Poems about cats and/ot heir servants.

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Poems about cats and/ot heir servants.

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Editado: Dez 31, 2007, 12:54 am

Dear Group,
I have just started "watching" the group "Poetry Fool". I am also a member
of a Yahoo group which discusses Burmese GODS, sorry, I meant CATS.

So you can see where my idle imagination lead to.
Yes, poetry about cats, and their servants.

But please no DOGGEREL.

I would like to hear more about poems about cats, hopefully they
will be by recognised poets (it makes finding the poem so much easier)

Thus far, in another thread in this group, I read "Pangur Ban"
Truely delightful.
I suggested "Christopher Smart" and his
"For I will consider my cat Jeoffry" and
of course T.S. Elliots "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats"

Cats and Poetry, Poetry and Cats, surely a marriage made in heaven.

Your, waiting with catniped breath, Guido.

Edited to correct "Pangor" to "Pangur".
Another typo, just like my title, "SIGH"

Dez 30, 2007, 5:17 pm

I'll try it guido47. P.S.good call

Dez 30, 2007, 11:06 pm

I found this one for you.


The fat cat on the mat
may seem to dream
of nice mice that suffice
for him, or cream;
but he free, maybe,
walks in thought
unbowed, proud, where loud
roared and fought
his kin, lean and slim,
or deep in den
in the East feasted on beasts
and tender men.
The giant lion with iron
claw in paw,
and huge ruthless tooth
in gory jaw;
the pard dark-starred,
fleet upon feet,
that oft soft from aloft
leaps upon his meat
where woods loom in gloom --
far now they be,
fierce and free,
and tamed is he;
but fat cat on the mat
kept as a pet
he does not forget.

JRR Tolkien

Dez 31, 2007, 4:51 am

Dear group.

Now I have had a nibble, just a little nibble, I feel reassured.

I have found a "SITE" that mainly deals
with CAT POETRY as opposed to CAT POEMS.


But I do want both, OK, even doggrel.

Each Google search brings up different results!

Well, thought I would post a poem I just found,

Ah kittens...

Cat Poetry

Kittens! Kittens!
Kittens kittens everywhere
Kittens chewing on my hair
Kittens climbing up my jeans
Kittens hanging from the screens
There's a kitten on each shoulder
Will they do this when they're older?

Kittens fighting on the chairs
Kittens tumbling down the stairs
There's a kitten on my head
There's a kitten in the bread!
There's a kitten in my shoe
I don't believe we just have two!

Author Unknown or William Wordsworth

(please note that I found this originally in a cat book but have not been able to locate the book as I have over 300 in my collection, too many to sift through. So at the time I found this it I believe it had been translated from a wordsworth poem

Above note by web-site author, NOT ME!
But doesn't really sound like Wordsworth, what do you think?

Then I thought I would add a poem I have loved since I first read it,
Many tears/years ago. No, I do not love it because it's by KEATS, but because I
knew an old gentleman cat just like that.

To Mrs Reynold's Cat
Cat! Who hast past thy Grand Climacteric,
How many mice and Rats hast in thy days
Destroy'd - how many tit bits stolen? Gaze
With those bright languid segments green and prick
Those velvet ears - but pr'ythee do not stick
Thy latent talons in me - and upraise
Thy gentle mew - and tell me all thy frays
Of Fish and Mice, and Rats and tender chick.
Nay look not down, nor lick thy dainty wrists -
For all the wheezy Asthma, -and for all
Thy tail's tip is nicked off - and though the fists
Of many a maid have given thee many a maul,
Still is that fur as soft as when the lists
In youth thou enter'dst on glass- bottled wall.

John Keats 1818

Yours, NOT a poet, Guido.

Dez 31, 2007, 11:32 am

I get mine from Poemhunter. I just did a search for cats. Here is one by Pablo Neruda:

Cat's Dream

How neatly a cat sleeps,
sleeps with its paws and its posture,
sleeps with its wicked claws,
and with its unfeeling blood,
sleeps with all the rings--
a series of burnt circles--
which have formed the odd geology
of its sand-colored tail.

I should like to sleep like a cat,
with all the fur of time,
with a tongue rough as flint,
with the dry sex of fire;
and after speaking to no one,
stretch myself over the world,
over roofs and landscapes,
with a passionate desire
to hunt the rats in my dreams.

I have seen how the cat asleep
would undulate, how the night
flowed through it like dark water;
and at times, it was going to fall
or possibly plunge into
the bare deserted snowdrifts.
Sometimes it grew so much in sleep
like a tiger's great-grandfather,
and would leap in the darkness over
rooftops, clouds and volcanoes.

Sleep, sleep cat of the night,
with episcopal ceremony
and your stone-carved moustache.
Take care of all our dreams;
control the obscurity
of our slumbering prowess
with your relentless heart
and the great ruff of your tail.

Translated by Alastair Reid

Pablo Neruda

And this one is from William Carlos Williams.

Poem (As the cat)

As the cat
climbed over
the top of

the jamcloset
first the right

then the hind
stepped down
into the pit of
the empty

William Carlos Williams

Jan 1, 2008, 1:03 pm


He's nothing much but fur
And two round eyes of blue,
He has a giant purr
And a midget mew.

He darts and pats the air.
He struts and cocks his ear,
When there is nothing there
For him to see and hear.

He runs around in rings,
But why, we cannot tell;
With sideways leaps he springs
At things invisible--

Then halfway through a leap
His startled eyeballs close,
And he drops off to sleep
With one paw on his nose.

by Eleanor Farjeon

Jan 1, 2008, 7:19 pm

Several years ago I found a delightful little xeroxed book on Chicoteague Island VA of poems by Norine Osbon Fox, sold to raise funds for the care and control of the cat population on that island through an organization called WHISKERS. One of my favorites from the book:

Season's End

Calico kittens
and Autumn leaves
Frolic across the lawn in windblown play,
A patchwork quilt of colors blending,
Until no one can say
Where one's beginning and the other's ending.

It's sad to know that both
Will soon be gone for good;
The one returned to earth,
The other changed to cat
From kittenhood.

Editado: Jan 2, 2008, 8:28 am

I present my favorite poem about cats, another by Pablo Neruda, originally published in Spanish in Odes to Common Things.

Ode to the Cat

The animals were imperfect,
unfortunate in their heads.
Little by little they
put themselves together,
making themselves a landscape,
acquiring spots, grace, flight.
The cat,
only the cat
appeared complete and proud:
he was born completely finished,
walking alone and knowing what he wanted.
Man wants to be fish or fowl,
the snake would like to have wings
the dog is a disoriented lion,
the engineer would like to be a poet,
the fly studies to be a swift,
the poet tries to imitate the fly,
but the cat
only wants to be a cat
and any cat is a cat
from his whiskers to his tail,
from his hopeful vision of a rat
to the real thing,
from the night to his golden eyes.

There is no unity
like him,
the moon and the flower
do not have such context:
he is just one thing
like the sun or the topaz,
and the elastic line of his contours
is firm and subtle like
the line of a ship's prow.
His yellow eyes
have just one
to coin the gold of night time.

Oh little
emperor without a sphere of influence
conqueror without a country,
smallest living-room tiger, nuptial
sultan of the sky,
of the erotic roof-tiles,
the wind of love
in the storm
you claim
when you pass
and place
four delicate feet
on the ground,
all that is terrestrial,
because everything
is too unclean
for the immaculate foot of the cat.

Oh independent wild beast
of the house
vestige of the night,
lazy, gymnastic
and alien,
very deep cat,
secret policeman
of bedrooms,
of a
disappeared velvet,
surely there is no
in your manner,
perhaps you are not a mystery,
everyone knows of you
and you belong
to the least mysterious inhabitant,
perhaps everyone believes it,
everyone believes himself the owner,
of a cat,
or friend
of his cat.

Not me.
I do not subscribe.
I do not know the cat.
I know it all, life and its archipelago,
the sea and the incalculable city,
the gyneceum and its frenzies,
the plus and the minus of mathematics,
the volcanic frauds of the world,
the unreal shell of the crocodile,
the unknown kindness of the fireman,
the blue atavism of the priest,
but I cannot decipher a cat.
My reason slips on his indifference,
his eyes have golden numbers.

Jan 3, 2008, 5:11 pm

The Cat and the Moon by William Butler Yeats

The cat went here and there
And the moon spun round like a top,
And the nearest kin of the moon
The creeping cat, looked up.
Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
For wander and wail as he would
The pure cold light in the sky
Troubled his animal blood.
Minnaloushe runs in the grass,
Lifting his delicate feet.
Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?
When two close kindred meet
What better than call a dance?
Maybe the moon may learn,
Tired of that courtly fashion,
A new dance turn.
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
From moonlit place to place,
The sacred moon overhead
Has taken a new phase.
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
Will pass from change to change,
And that from round to crescent,
From crescent to round they range?
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
Alone, important and wise,
And lifts to the changing moon
His changing eyes.

Jan 6, 2008, 1:56 am

Dear Group,

A month ago I had never heard of Pablo Neruda, now I am totally
in love with him.

Yes I have done the WIKI thing. Yes I have Googled him.

Just a small question.

Is there someone out there who is a "native" Spanish speaker, who
is also a good English reader, who can give me a critical
analysis of the "translation" of his poems (so far I have only read
the ones in our group)

I feel that I am missing some points!

Just a niggling feeling BUT...

I was also going to "paste" some CAT Haiku
but that can wait for some other time.

Your, very appreciative, friend,

Jan 7, 2008, 1:25 pm

>10 guido47:

Hi Guido,

While I'm not a native speaker of anything but English, all of the translations of Neruda that I've read in both English and Spanish have been worded marvelously in each language and the English versions were all true to the original as far as I was able to discern. He had a very high set of standards for such things, or so I've heard. I do hope someone with better knowledge than I is able to answer you, though!


Jan 10, 2008, 4:34 pm

Dear group.

An example of what I might call doggerel, BUT, I hope you enjoy...

The Stray Cat - A Poem For Children

At the end of the garden, Annabel got a surprise,
when through the hedge she saw two bright green eyes.
As she walked slowly closer, she crouched down to see
a small fluffy cat, as black as could be.

She held out her hand, and said "hello,"
but the cat just hissed and crouched down low.
Annabel thought, "What a silly cat,
Grandma's Buttons doesn't behave like that."

Buttons was fat, with shiny ginger fur,
Who would rub your face and gently purr.
He played with toys and climbed the tree
and fell asleep sat on your knee.

Not like this cat with his eyes opened wide,
he quickly ran away to hide.
"What a silly cat to act that way,"
but he came back the very next day!

Annabel was lost for words
as he ate the bread put out for the birds!
Underneath the fluffy fur, she saw he was thin
and watched him rummaging through the bin.

He came back every night and day,
to try and find food they had thrown away.
He started to eat it, it can't have been tasty,
Annabel thought she may have been hasty.

He wasn't unfriendly or being bad,
his face looked frightened and very sad.
If no one else had ever cared,
he probably was very scared.

Annabel spied on him, as off he sped
and spent the night underneath the shed.
Alone, hungry and with no name,
Annabel thought it was such a shame.

So she told her Mum and they looked out,
for when the black cat was round and about.
They would take out food every day,
sometimes he'd hiss and run away.

When he did they did not mind,
they knew he wasn't used to people being kind.
Dad put a catflap in the door of the shed,
Mum got an old blanket and made a cosy bed.

They called him Midnight and he soon understood,
that his life in their garden could be good.
Plenty of food and a warm place at night,
and if he didn't want to be stroked, that was alright.

Poor Midnight had been a lonely stray,
but now he had a place to stay.
He may not want to be cuddled, or sit in the house,
but he liked to play with a new toy mouse.

He put on weight, his coat glistened
and when Annabel spoke, he sat and listened.
She knew he was thankful for all she had done,
a special new friendship had begun.

By: Rebecca Hobbs

I also have a poem, which is pure maudlin, which I must post, BUT please
continue with your more cereberal postings :-)

Cat Poetry

Stray Cat
Dear God, please send me somebody who'll care.
I'm so tired of running and sick with despair.
My body is aching and filled with such pain;
And dear God I pray, as I run in the rain
That someone will love me and give me a home,
A warm cozy bed, and food of my own.
My last owner left me alone in the yard...
I watched as they moved, and God that was hard.
So I waited a while, then went on my way
To rummage in garbage and live as a stray.
But now, God, I'm so tired and hungry and cold;
And I'm so afraid that I'll never grow old.
They've chased me with sticks and hit me with straps
While I run the streets just looking for scraps.
I'm not really bad, God, please help if you can,
For I have become just a "Victim of Man."
I'm wormy, dear God, and I'm ridden with fleas;
And all that I want is an Owner to please.
If you find one for me, God, I'll try to be good.
I won't scratch the carpet; I'll do as I should.
I'll love them, play with them, and try to obey.
I will be so grateful if they'll let me stay.
I don't think I'll make it too long on my own,
'Cause I'm getting weak and I'm so all alone.
Each night as I sleep in the bushes I cry,
'Cause I'm so afraid, God, that I'm gonna die.
I've got so much love and devotion to give
That I should be given a new chance to Live.
So dear God, please hear me, please answer my prayer,
And send me somebody who will REALLY care.

Author Unknown

Sorry about that, it is poor poetry, BUT, I, male, 60+, still shed a small tear.

Jan 10, 2008, 4:57 pm

That's okay, Guido.
I, also male, also 60+, also feel a moistening around the eyes.
So I think that I share something of what you feel.

Jan 11, 2008, 3:45 pm

My first, and hopefully last attemp, at a pseudo cat HAIKU

As I read Poetry
My Cat crawls
All over me.

Yes, ALL my own work.
Boo's and Hiss's appreciated.


Jan 12, 2008, 9:03 pm

> 14

*claps enthusiastically* Pseudo- though your haiku may have been, I quite enjoyed it. Reminds me of a cat I used to have, it does. ^_^

Maio 6, 2008, 7:46 pm

Here's one of my favorites; it's by Harold Monro and is titled "Milk for the Cat":

When the tea is brought at five o'clock,
And all the neat curtains are drawn with care,
The little black cat with bright green eyes
Is suddenly purring there.

At first she pretends, having nothing to do,
She has come in merely to blink by the grate,
But, though tea may be late or the milk may be sour,
She is never late.

And presently her agate eyes
Take a soft large milky haze,
And her independent casual glance
Becomes a stiff, hard gaze.

Then she stamps her claws or lifts her ears,
Or twists her tail and begins to stir,
Till suddenly all her lithe body becomes
One breathing, trembling purr.

The children eat and wriggle and laugh;
The two old ladies stroke their silk:
But the cat is grown small and thin with desire,
Transformed to a creeping lust for milk.

The white saucer like some full moon descends
At last from the clouds of the table above;
She sighs and dreams and thrills and glows,
Transfigured with love.

She nestles over the shining rim,
Buries her chin in the creamy sea;
Her tail hangs loose; each drowsy paw
Is doubled under each bending knee.

A long, dim ecstasy holds her life;
Her world is an infinite shapeless white,
Till her tongue has curled the last holy drop,
Then she sinks back into the night,

Draws and dips her body to heap
Her sleepy nerves in the great arm-chair,
Lies defeated and buried deep
Three or four hours unconscious there.

Maio 7, 2008, 6:29 am

Dear Harinezumi.

Thank you for pointing me towards "Harold Munro". I have just Googled/Wikied
him and read some of his poems. I am impressed. It is funny/strange that I have found
more Poets (unknown to me) thru this posting, that I have really enjoyed, than in other ways/places. Perhaps a person who loves cats might have that something extra. BUT of course I might be talking to the converted.

Yours, Guido.

Maio 7, 2008, 4:46 pm

Guido: Yup. You're preaching to the choir!

Jun 20, 2008, 11:06 pm

cat haiku

You never feed me.
Perhaps I'll sleep on your face.
That will sure show you.

You must scratch me there!
Yes, above my tail!
Behold, elevator butt.

The rule for today:
Touch my tail, I shred your hand.
New rule tomorrow.

In deep sleep hear sound
cat vomit hairball somewhere
will find in morning.

Grace personified.
I leap into the window.
I meant to do that.

Blur of motion, then --
silence, me, a paper bag.
What is so funny?

The mighty hunter
Returns with gifts of plump birds --
your foot just squashed one.

You're always typing.
Well, let's see you ignore my
sitting on your hands.

My small cardboard box.
You cannot see me if I
can just hide my head.

Terrible battle.
I fought for hours. Come and see!
What's a 'term paper?'

Small brave carnivores
Kill pine cones and mosquitoes,
Fear vacuum cleaner

I want to be close
to you. Can I fit my head
inside your armpit?

Wanna go outside.
Oh, poop! Help! I got outside!
Let me back inside!

Oh no! Big One
has been trapped by newspaper!
Cat to the rescue!

Humans are so strange.
Mine lies still in bed, then screams;
My claws are not that sharp.

Don't look at me. Nope this is not mine, but don't know the author.

Jun 25, 2008, 5:54 pm

yareader2 - those are great. Most of them would apply to my kitty.

Jun 25, 2008, 5:59 pm

One of my favorites:

The Naming of Cats by T.S. Eliot

The naming of cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm mad as a hatter
When I tell you a cat must have three
different names.

First of all, there's the name
that the family use daily,
Such as Victor, or Jonathan,
George or Bill Bailey--
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names
if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen,
some for the dames;
Such as Plato, Admetus,
Electra, Demeter--
But all of them sensible everyday names.

But I tell you,
a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that is peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he
keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers,
or cherish his pride?

Of names of this kind,
I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quazo or Coripat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellyrum--
Names that never belong
to more than one cat.

But above and beyond
there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you will never guess;
The name
that no human research can discover--
But The Cat Himself Knows,
and will never confess.

When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought,
of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

Editado: Jul 16, 2008, 8:52 am

Dear MidnightRain and group.

I used to know that poem - the naming of cats - by heart, 45+ years ago.

'Cos no one else (except moi - Miss Piggy reference) has mentionrd it. I thought I would post
Smarts, (fragment) poem on Jeoffry.


For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
For this is done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.
For then he leaps up to
catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.
For he rolls upon prank to work it in.
For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.
For this he performs in ten degrees.
For first he looks upon his forepaws to see if they are clean.
For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.
For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the forepaws extended.
For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.
For fifthly he washes himself.
For sixthly he rolls upon wash.
For seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.
For eighthly he rubs himself against a post.
For ninthly he looks up for his instructions.
For tenthly he goes in quest of food.
For having consider'd God and himself he will consider his neighbour.
For if he meets another cat he will kiss her in kindness.
For when he takes his prey he plays with it to give it a chance.
For one mouse in seven escapes by his dallying.
For when his day's work is done his business more properly begins.
For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary.
For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin and glaring eyes.
For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life.
For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.
For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
For the Cherub Cat is a term of the Angel Tiger.
For he has the subtlety and hissing of a serpent, which in goodness he suppresses.
For he will not do destruction, if he is well-fed, neither will he spit without provocation.
For he purrs in thankfulness, when God tells him he's a good Cat.
For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.
For every house is incomplete without him and a blessing is lacking in the spirit.
For the Lord commanded Moses concerning the cats at the departure of the Children of Israel from Egypt.
For every family had one cat at least in the bag.
For the English Cats are the best in Europe.
For he is the cleanest in the use of his forepaws of any quadruped.
For the dexterity of his defence is an instance of the love of God to him exceedingly.
For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.
For he is tenacious of his point.
For he is a mixture of gravity and waggery.
For he knows that God is his Saviour.
For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.
For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.
For he is of the Lord's poor and so indeed is he called by benevolence perpetually--

Poor Jeoffry! poor Jeoffry! the rat has bit thy throat.
For I bless the name of the Lord Jesus that Jeoffry is better.

For the divine spirit comes about his body to sustain it in complete cat.
For his tongue is exceeding pure so that it has in purity what it wants in music.
For he is docile and can learn certain things.
For he can set up with gravity which is patience upon approbation.
For he can fetch and carry, which is patience in employment.
For he can jump over a stick which is patience upon proof positive.
For he can spraggle upon waggle at the word of command.
For he can jump from an eminence into his master's bosom.
For he can catch the cork and toss it again.
For he is hated by the hypocrite and miser.
For the former is afraid of detection.
For the latter refuses the charge.
For he camels his back to bear the first notion of business.
For he is good to think on, if a man would express himself neatly.
For he made a great figure in Egypt for his signal services.
For he killed the Ichneumon-rat very pernicious by land.
For his ears are so acute that they sting again.
For from this proceeds the passing quickness of his attention.
For by stroking of him I have found out electricity.
For I perceived God's light about him both wax and fire.
For the Electrical fire is the spiritual substance, which God sends from heaven to sustain the bodies both of man and beast.
For God has blessed him in the variety of his movements.
For, tho he cannot fly, he is an excellent clamberer.
For his motions upon the face of the earth are more than any other quadruped.
For he can tread to all the measures upon the music.
For he can swim for life.
For he can creep.

Dear Group, I just got rid of the extra space lines.
PS. The poets name is Christopher Smart. He was a "little " mad. In the 1700's
Do look him up. An interesting man.

Edited at this late date to correct Smart to Chris Smart,

Jan 22, 2009, 12:18 pm

Couldn't resist adding one of my own to this rather august collection. :-)

Breagha’s Raiding -
(a true tale) (c) D. Grove

On the soft green slopes in the light of dawn
All wooly and round they lay,
But a raider’s come slipping down out of the hills
And chivvied them clean away

She’s harried them up, she’s harried them down,
She’s scattered them by the way
And she’s separated the slumbering pair
And borne the one away

Black was her cloak as a winter’s night
(And black as her heart, they say)
And her weapons were slim and sharp and bright,
Well fitted for a fray.

Along the ridges this raider ran,
In the light of the rising day;
With a flash of her eyes – and a flick of her tail –
She’s vanished with her prey.

Oh, I may search high and I may search low,
But who shall dare to say –
The terrible fate of the good wool sock
I laid on the bed that day.

p.s. - I did actually get the sock back... eventually...

Jan 22, 2009, 12:38 pm

Let's see if I can find some of the cat poems that were in the anthology I used to read....

How a cat was annoyed and a poet was booted
(Guy Wetmore Carryl)

A poet had a cat.
There is nothing odd in that—
(I might make a little pun about the Mews!)
But what is really more
Remarkable, she wore
A pair of pointed patent-leather shoes.
And I doubt me greatly whether
E’er you heard the like of that:
Pointed shoes of patent-leather
On a cat!

His time he used to pass
Writing sonnets, on the grass—
(I might say something good on pen and sward!)
While the cat sat near at hand,
Trying hard to understand
The poems he occasionally roared.
(I myself possess a feline,
But when poetry I roar
He is sure to make a bee-line
For the door.)

The poet, cent by cent,
All his patrimony spent—
(I might tell how he went from verse to werse!)
Till the cat was sure she could,
By advising, do him good.
So addressed him in a manner that was terse:
“We are bound toward the scuppers,
And the time has come to act,
Or we’ll both be on our uppers
For a fact!”

On her boot she fixed her eye,
But the boot made no reply—
(I might say: “Couldn’t speak to save its sole!”)
And the foolish bard, instead
Of responding, only read
A verse that wasn’t bad upon the whole.
And it pleased the cat so greatly,
Though she knew not what it meant,
That I’ll quote approximately
How it went: —

“If I should live to be
The last leaf upon the tree” —
(I might put in: “I think I’d just as leaf!”)
“Let them smile, as I do now,
At the old forsaken bough” —
Well, he’d plagiarized it bodily, in brief!
But that cat of simple breeding
Couldn’t read the lines between,
So she took it to a leading

She was jarred and very sore
When they showed her to the door.
(I might hit off the door that was a jar!)
To the spot she swift returned
Where the poet sighed and yearned,
And she told him that he’d gone a little far.
“Your performance with this rhyme has
Made me absolutely sick,”
She remarked. “I think the time has
Come to kick!”

I could fill up half the page
With descriptions of her rage—
(I might say that she went a bit too fur!)
When he smiled and murmured: “Shoo!”
“There is one thing I can do!”
She answered with a wrathful kind of purr.
“You may shoo me, and it suit you,
But I feel my conscience bid
Me, as tit for tat, to boot you!”
(Which she did.)

The Moral of the plot
(Though I say it, as should not!)
Is: An editor is difficult to suit.
But again there’re other times
When the man who fashions rhymes
Is a rascal, and a bully one to boot!

Jan 22, 2009, 12:40 pm

Where is Mehitabel in all of these posts? Come on... and you call yourselves cat lovers :)

song of mehitabel
by don marquis

this is the song of mehitabel
of mehitabel the alley cat
as i wrote you before boss
mehitabel is a believer
in the pythagorean
theory of the transmigration
of the soul and she claims
that formerly her spirit
was incarnated in the body
of cleopatra
that was a long time ago
and one must not be
surprised if mehitabel
has forgotten some of her
more regal manners

i have had my ups and downs
but wotthehell wotthehell
yesterday sceptres and crowns
fried oysters and velvet gowns
and today i herd with bums
but wotthehell wotthehell
i wake the world from sleep
as i caper and sing and leap
when i sing my wild free tune
wotthehell wotthehell
under the blear eyed moon
i am pelted with cast off shoon
but wotthehell wotthehell

do you think that i would change
my present freedom to range
for a castle or moated grange
wotthehell wotthehell
cage me and i d go frantic
my life is so romantic
capricious and corybantic
and i m toujours gai toujours gai

i know that i am bound
for a journey down the sound
in the midst of a refuse mound
but wotthehell wotthehell
oh i should worry and fret
death and i will coquette
there s a dance in the old dame yet
toujours gai toujours gai

i once was an innocent kit
wotthehell wotthehell
with a ribbon my neck to fit
and bells tied onto it
o wotthehell wotthehell
but a maltese cat came by
with a come hither look in his eye
and a song that soared to the sky
and wotthehell wotthehell
and i followed adown the street
the pad of his rhythmical feet
o permit me again to repeat
wotthehell wotthehell

my youth i shall never forget
but there s nothing i really regret
wotthehell wotthehell
there s a dance in the old dame yet
toujours gai toujours gai

the things that i had not ought to
i do because i ve gotto
wotthehell wotthehell
and i end with my favorite motto
toujours gai toujours gai

boss sometimes i think
that our friend mehitabel
is a trifle too gay

Jan 22, 2009, 12:42 pm

The Retired Cat
William Cowper

A POET'S cat, sedate and grave,
As poet well could wish to have,
Was much addicted to inquire
For nooks, to which she might retire,
And where, secure as mouse in chink,
She might repose, or sit and think.
I know not where she caught the trick—
Nature perhaps herself had cast her
In such a mould PHILOSOPHIQUE,
Or else she learn'd it of her master.
Sometimes ascending, debonair,
An apple-tree or lofty pear,
Lodg'd with convenience in the fork,
She watched the gard'ner at his work;
Sometimes her ease and solace sought
In an old empty wat'ring-pot,
There, wanting nothing, save a fan,
To seem some nymph in her sedan,
Apparell'd in exactest sort,
And ready to be borne to court.
But love of change it seems has place
Not only in our wiser race;
Cats also feel as well as we
That passion's force, and so did she.
Her climbing, she began to find,
Expos'd her too much to the wind,
And the old utensil of tin
Was cold and comfortless within:
She therefore wish'd instead of those,
Some place of more serene repose,
Where neither cold might come, nor air
Too rudely wanton with her hair,
And sought it in the likeliest mode
Within her master's snug abode.
A draw'r,—it chanc'd, at bottom lin'd
With linen of the softest kind,
With such as merchants introduce
From India, for the ladies' use,—
A draw'r impending o'er the rest,
Half open in the topmost chest,
Of depth enough, and none to spare,
Invited her to slumber there.
Puss with delight beyond expression
Survey'd the scene, and took possession.
Recumbent at her ease ere long,
And lull'd by her own hum-drum song,
She left the cares of life behind,
And slept as she would sleep her last,
When in came, housewifely inclin'd,
The chambermaid, and shut it fast,
By no malignity impell'd,
But all unconscious whom it held.
Awaken'd by the shock (cried puss)
Was ever cat attended thus!
The open draw'r was left, I see,
Merely to prove a nest for me,
For soon as I was well compos'd,
Then came the maid, and it was closed:
How smooth these 'kerchiefs, and how sweet,
O what a delicate retreat!
I will resign myself to rest
Till Sol, declining in the west,
Shall call to supper; when, no doubt,
Susan will come and let me out.
The evening came, the sun descended,
And puss remain'd still unattended.
The night roll'd tardily away,
(With her indeed 'twas never day)
The sprightly morn her course renew'd,
The evening gray again ensued,
And puss came into mind no more
Than if entomb'd the day before.
With hunger pinch'd, and pinch'd for room,
She now presag'd approaching doom,
Nor slept a single wink, or purr'd,
Conscious of jeopardy incurr'd.
That night, by chance, the poet watching,
Heard an inexplicable scratching,
His noble heart went pit-a-pat,
And to himself he said—what's that?
He drew the curtain at his side,
And forth he peep'd, but nothing spied.
Yet, by his ear directed, guess'd
Something imprison'd in the chest,
And doubtful what, with prudent care,
Resolv'd it should continue there.
At length a voice, which well he knew,
A long and melancholy mew,
Saluting his poetic ears,
Consol'd him, and dispell'd his fears;
He left his bed, he trod the floor,
He 'gan in haste the draw'rs explore,
The lowest first, and without stop,
The rest in order to the top.
For 'tis a truth well known to most,
That whatsoever thing is lost,
We seek it, ere it come to light,
In ev'ry cranny but the right.
Forth skipp'd the cat; not now replete
As erst with airy self-conceit,
Nor in her own fond apprehension
A theme for all the world's attention,
But modest, sober, cur'd of all
Her notions hyperbolical,
And wishing for a place of rest
Any thing rather than a chest:
Then stept the poet into bed,
With this reflection in his head:


Beware of too sublime a sense
Of your own worth and consequence!
The man who dreams himself so great,
And his importance of such weight,
That all around, in all that's done,
Must move and act for him alone,
Will learn in school of tribulation,
The folly of his expectation.

Jan 23, 2009, 3:26 pm

I had a book, (lost) which I will continue to look for, from which I remembered these poems, called The Personality of the Cat by Brandt Aymar. It includes lots of short stories and poetry, categorized by the personality trait they are supposed to embody. A long extract from the Gallico Jennie stories is there, as well as Saki's Tobermory, Pierre Loti's Lives of Two Cats (which never fails to bring tears to my eyes) and many other treasures. It's a terrific anthology. Incidentally, there's a Google Books online version of Lives of Two Cats (search "Pierre Loti Cats"). If you have not read it, have fun. Kind of precious antiquated English, but a beautiful story.

Abr 1, 2009, 6:45 pm

I just finished reading Hate That Cat and I highly recommend it for those of you looking for more cat poetry. It's the sequel to Love That Dog. As in Creech's first book, poems mentioned in the story are included at the back of the book.

Don't let the title scare you away. :o)

Abr 6, 2009, 3:52 pm

In Bachelor Brothers' Bed and Breakfast (one of my all-time favorite books) there is a WONDERFUL cat (and book) poem:

They say that cats are fickle things,
Impervious to laws:
Except the rule that when one reads,
They'll knead you with their claws.

The reason that they need to knead's
Instinctual perhaps.
We only know for certain that
They hop into our laps

The moment that we lift a book,
They splay upon our loins
And rake their nasty nails along
The stretch from knee to groin.

Each time you take a book in hand,
It's never known to fail,
They try to lie upon the page,
Manoeuvering their tails,

So that they brush against one's lip:
They then assume a pose
That's positively yogic,
With their butts against one's nose.

If you put them on the floor,
They carry on abominably;
The only way they're happy is
To know you well abdominably.

Oh kitty cat upon my lap,
You know I love you well;
Though why you have to read with me,
I simply cannot tell.

But love, I want my book in peace,
And so I'll risk your wrath,
By dumping you upon the floor
And reading in the bath.

Abr 6, 2009, 9:46 pm

I was unfamiliar with this poem, but am laughing at it hysterically, e.g. "To know you well abdominably." So true to life. Also the "pose" part where I will ask whichever of my kitties it is at the time, um, could you please turn around?

Editado: Ago 20, 2009, 3:23 pm

#29...Great poem...

"Each time you take a book in hand,
It's never known to fail,
They try to lie upon the page,
Manoeuvering their tails"

That would be MY cats=^..^=

Dez 28, 2009, 1:05 am

Dear Group, I felt I had to resurrect this thread before Tim ( a selfconfessed
CAT disliker, yes he has confessed this in writing) decides to combine us with says DOG & Ferret Lovers - well they are all pets.

I get a poem each day from a site and recently they sent me:


To a Cat

Mirrors are not more silent
nor the creeping dawn more secretive;
in the moonlight, you are that panther
we catch sight of from afar.
By the inexplicable workings of a divine law,
we look for you in vain;
More remote, even, than the Ganges or the setting sun,
yours is the solitude, yours the secret.
Your haunch allows the lingering
caress of my hand. You have accepted,
since that long forgotten past,
the love of the distrustful hand.
You belong to another time. You are lord
of a place bounded like a dream.

Jorge Luis Borges



Editado: Dez 28, 2009, 10:46 am

Many thanks for posting the Borges poem.
Wonderful, delightful.

(edited - typo correction)

Jan 8, 2010, 4:19 pm

>29 VenusofUrbino:

That is a wonderful poem. Someone should write a quilting version - cats take an equally intense interest in all parts of the quilting process. I guess they want to make sure the quilt will turn out cozy enough to please them.

Jan 9, 2010, 11:50 pm

Guido, My book Mad In Translation (100% viewable at Google) has dozens of cat poems. Let me know which you want (See "cats" in the index, or search for "cat" with a space fore and aft, and the same for "cats" within the book). I can open the files and copy the ones you want together on one page to later copy here. I am not a fast typist or I would type in few right now. My penultimate book A DOLPHIN IN THE WOODS has more versions of Pangur Ban for you, most partial but one hitherto unpublished by a "minor beat poet," Jack Stamm is full. Some haiku not in Mad In Translation (mostly kyoka) may be found in my most recent book, A CAT WHO THOUGHT TOO MUCH, just up at Google Books tonight (but not for sale yet or on touchstones)!

I have been gathering, translating and writing haiku for an eventual book. Until very recently, it has been impossible to compile a good anthology because haiku about cats that are locateable in saijiki (haiku almanacs) are only about the mating and child-rearing as they are given a stereotypical time (early spring -- in the old calendar, the coldest time of the year). Other haiku mentioning cats would be anywhere and finding them without too much work requires a database word search.
Messsage 19 includes some amusing observations but is not haiku. In English, the most touching cat haiku I know is by a woman who lived in Kyoto called Edith Seiffert (sp?) and it mentioned finding a hair of her deceased cat on a sweater.

I came across this title the other day Henry Beard: Poetry for Cats -- if by any chance it is re. cats . . . Do you know?

Jan 12, 2010, 5:20 am

Could/will you give me so more findeable (spl.) info re. THAT poem "...hair of her deceased cat on a sweater" ?

PS. I just bought your book MIT from Amazon.

Jan 12, 2010, 5:36 am

Just a quicky.

Her name (if that is the poet - deceased cat on sweater) is SHIFFORT,EDITH.

Couldn't find that poem.

Jan 12, 2010, 9:20 am

Thanks, and if you see any cat poems in MIT you would post, please do.
I recall reading Shiffort's poem, a haiku or tanka, i cannot recall, in a Japan Time's b review -- give me some time and i'll find it.

Mar 23, 2010, 5:36 pm

Read my book Calico Cats by Joan Pruha Elias. It is about my experience with rescuing cats. Can be purchased on Azmazon.com I am a fan of The Cat who series and writing my own series about cats. Now I am working on cats that served on ships.

Mar 23, 2010, 5:53 pm

Dear JOAN34785,

Hmm, be careful, althought I love cats, your post does border on SPAM.
I have given you the benefit of doubt and thus have NOT flagged you.
I do believe there is a group on LT where "authors" can promulgate their
works. Look it up and tell your story there.


Editado: Mar 23, 2010, 6:54 pm

Dear Joan,

Just a supplimentary comment, I belong to a "cat rescue organization"
Thus, I might buy your book, BUT we LT members are TOO aware of SPAM!
Convince me OTHERWISE, please


Abr 8, 2010, 8:08 am

>29 VenusofUrbino: I just HAD to order that book, thanks (I have only read his Waiting for Gertrude, which I love - it has cats in it, too)

Abr 8, 2010, 10:06 pm

Hi Guido:

Re Christopher Smart cat Geoffrey; have you heard the setting of this by Benjamin Britten? I think its just part of the poem, but for those who like cats, poetry and music, its pretty amazing!

I named one of my cats Geoffrey, but alas he came to an untimely end.

Abr 9, 2010, 12:57 am

Dear BarbN,

Looked it up (OK, just googled it :-)

Is this the piece you are thinking of?

Rejoice in the Lamb, Britten's 1943 setting of Jubilate Agno by Christopher
Smart, is based upon one of poetry's more weird offerings. The writer was
incarcerated in a lunatic asylum in 1756 for a form of religious mania and
his poem reflects this in an innocent, childlike faith which strikes us as
strange even today. Included in the eight sections is a poem For I will
consider my cat Jeoffrey and the feline's daily devotions which involve
twisting his body around seven times each morning. Britten chooses to set
this part for a rather plaintive treble voice. He uses an alto to tell the
tale of a male mouse that prepares to challenge a cat to protect his mate.
The Te Deum in C, from 1934, contrasts a solo treble voice with the rest of
the choir, while the short Jubilate Deo of 1961 has some sprightly organ

I will search for the music, eventually...

Unfortunately/fortunately my Dad left me 1000+ Classical LP's (and he might well have a copy of this piece, although he wasn't that big a fan of Britten)

I have not yet, even 6 years after his death, started to catalogue his record collection. Nor even all his books!

Yours with thanks, Guido.

Abr 9, 2010, 7:46 am

Esta mensagem foi removida pelo seu autor.

Abr 18, 2010, 4:14 pm

That is the piece! The music suits the poem very well.

Sounds like you have a labor of love coming to catalogue your father's record collection.

& I wish Library Thing would expand to mixed media! and sheet music also. I have seen some scores catalogued but it is all I think manual entry.

Out 28, 2011, 4:46 pm

Cat (an acrostic)

C raves attention
A lways underfoot
T here is nothing in her food dish; better do something about it.

Editado: Out 29, 2011, 1:37 am

Poetry for Cats, ISBN 0-00-255594-8, by Henry Beard is a very tongue in cheek book of poems written by cats which own poets and write in their style. Below is one of my favourites

Grendel's' Dog by Beocat

Brave Beocat, brood-kit of Ecgthmeow,
Hearth-pet of Hrothgar in whose high halls
He mauled without mercy many fat mice,
Night did not find napping nor snack-feasting.
The wary war-cat, whiskered paw-wielder,
Bearer of the burnished neck-belt, ( gold-braided collar band,
Feller of fleas fatal, too, to ticks;
The work of wonder-smiths, woven with witches' charms, )
Sat on the throne -seat his ears like sword-points
Upraised, sharp-tipped, listening for peril-sounds,
When he heard from the moor-hill howls of the hell-hound,
Gruesome hunger-grunts of Grendel's Great Dane,
Deady doom-mutt, dread demon-dog.
Then boasted Beocat, noble battle-kitten,
Bane of barrow-bunnies, bold seeker of nest-booty:
"If hand of man unhasped the heavy hall-door
And freed me to frolic forth to fight the fang-bearing fiend,
I would lay the whelpling low with lethal claw-blows:
Fur would fly and the foe would taste death-food.
But resounding snooze-noise, stern slumber-thunder,
Nose-music of men snoring mead-hammered in the wine-hall,
Fills me with sorrow-feeling for Fate does not see fit
To send me some fingered folk to lift the firm-fastened latch
That I might go grapple with the grim ghoul-pooch."
Thus spoke the mouse-shredder, hunter of hall-pests,
Short-haired Hrodent-slayer, greatest of the pussy-Geats.

by Henry Beard

Out 29, 2011, 10:33 am


Out 29, 2011, 3:17 pm

Truly delightful!

Out 29, 2011, 11:30 pm

Seeing cherishdone's acrostic(#47),

Thanks to cats
i learned how to spell

Do any other animals besides cats testing their servants (following the title of this talk)and people with excessive faith in a life to come throw themselves down in front of heavy moving objects?


Out 29, 2011, 11:34 pm

LOL - talking of testing servants - there is a new "Simon's Cat" clip on U-tube with trouble lurking due to the addition of a kitten to the household.

Editado: Out 7, 2012, 1:47 pm

Just received this collection as a gift . . . totally hilarious!
I Could Pee On This by Francesco Marciuliano

Read excerpts at:

Sorry, this is probably considered "doggerel" by some . . .

Editado: Out 9, 2012, 4:36 am

I expect a Dog to write "doggerel", but that wasn't written by a CAT. That was written by a human pretending to be a Cat, for whatever 'foul' reasons.

Cats are well known for their literary eloquence!

Out 9, 2012, 4:41 am


You just reminded me of Tieneman square :-(

Out 9, 2012, 6:46 pm

>54 guido47: agreed, but if the original poster meant "doggerel" in the sense of "a derogatory term for verse considered of little literary value" . . . the book I posted most likely fits the definition . . .

Out 9, 2012, 7:10 pm

LOL - I think they are very funny. Doggerel has to rhyme from how I understand it, so this is not doggerel, since it's free verse. :)

Nov 16, 2012, 6:56 pm

The fog comes in on little cat feet.

And so does the cat.

Nov 16, 2012, 8:10 pm


No one remembers when cats could become invisible
Except the cats.
They had the power to visit the world of spirits
Or the world of chasing food and protecting
Themselves which was so much easier when
A simple twitch of the breath let them
Disappear from sight.
These are the tales the old cats tell the kittens.
As they shelter themselves against the stormy
Days and secure themselves in tiny spaces
To wait until the night is safe.

In the first light of the morning
Before the sun before the stars
Have gone away. That is when they
Prowl - all the old memories guiding
Them – wet grass brushing against their
Whiskers – they smell the passing of
Mice, voles, chipmunks … they flatten their bodies
And glide through the brush remembering

Those ancient days when food would stumble right
Into their open, invisible mouths.

Marian Veverka

Originally published in Umbrella Magazine "The Bumbershoot Issue" 2010

Nov 16, 2012, 8:11 pm


No one remembers when cats could become invisible
Except the cats.
They had the power to visit the world of spirits
Or the world of chasing food and protecting
Themselves which was so much easier when
A simple twitch of the breath let them
Disappear from sight.
These are the tales the old cats tell the kittens.
As they shelter themselves against the stormy
Days and secure themselves in tiny spaces
To wait until the night is safe.

In the first light of the morning
Before the sun before the stars
Have gone away. That is when they
Prowl - all the old memories guiding
Them – wet grass brushing against their
Whiskers – they smell the passing of
Mice, voles, chipmunks … they flatten their bodies
And glide through the brush remembering

Those ancient days when food would stumble right
Into their open, invisible mouths.

Nov 16, 2012, 8:13 pm


No one remembers when cats could become invisible
Except the cats.
They had the power to visit the world of spirits
Or the world of chasing food and protecting
Themselves which was so much easier when
A simple twitch of the breath let them
Disappear from sight.
These are the tales the old cats tell the kittens.
As they shelter themselves against the stormy
Days and secure themselves in tiny spaces
To wait until the night is safe.

In the first light of the morning
Before the sun before the stars
Have gone away. That is when they
Prowl - all the old memories guiding
Them – wet grass brushing against their
Whiskers – they smell the passing of
Mice, voles, chipmunks … they flatten their bodies
And glide through the brush remembering

Those ancient days when food would stumble right
Into their open, invisible mouths.

by Marian Veverka
originally published in "Umbrella'magazine, the "Bumbershoot issue 2010

Nov 16, 2012, 8:15 pm


No one remembers when cats could become invisible
Except the cats.
They had the power to visit the world of spirits
Or the world of chasing food and protecting
Themselves which was so much easier when
A simple twitch of the breath let them
Disappear from sight.
These are the tales the old cats tell the kittens.
As they shelter themselves against the stormy
Days and secure themselves in tiny spaces
To wait until the night is safe.

In the first light of the morning
Before the sun before the stars
Have gone away. That is when they
Prowl - all the old memories guiding
Them – wet grass brushing against their
Whiskers – they smell the passing of
Mice, voles, chipmunks … they flatten their bodies
And glide through the brush remembering

Those ancient days when food would stumble right
Into their open, invisible mouths.

Marian Veverka

First published in "Umbrella" magaine the Bumbershoot issue 2010

Nov 17, 2012, 12:50 am

Lovely poem, Marian.

All four times!! ;-)

Nov 17, 2012, 1:22 am


Nov 17, 2012, 10:09 pm

I tried to eliminate some of the copies - there were 2 more, but they were all I could take out. I am not sure what went wrong. I copied & pasted & nothing showed up. So I tried again. And - well, you see what happened.

Nov 17, 2012, 11:17 pm

Hi #65, I think you can just delete the duplicate messages. I think I have only done it a few times when the message was very unclear:-)

Editado: Nov 18, 2012, 3:50 am

Go to the duplicate and click on the 'more' link underneath. It gives you the delete option.

Only the poster can delete a post.

Editado: Nov 25, 2012, 1:49 am

Whilst looking through some groups, specifically one on "Thomas Hardy's" works (and I am ambivalent about him!) I was pointed to this poem:


Last Words To A Dumb Friend

Title: Last Words To A Dumb Friend
Author: Thomas Hardy More Titles by Hardy

Pet was never mourned as you,
Purrer of the spotless hue,
Plumy tail, and wistful gaze
While you humoured our queer ways,
Or outshrilled your morning call
Up the stairs and through the hall -
Foot suspended in its fall -
While, expectant, you would stand
Arched, to meet the stroking hand;
Till your way you chose to wend
Yonder, to your tragic end.

Never another pet for me!
Let your place all vacant be;
Better blankness day by day
Than companion torn away.
Better bid his memory fade,
Better blot each mark he made,
Selfishly escape distress
By contrived forgetfulness,
Than preserve his prints to make
Every morn and eve an ache.

From the chair whereon he sat
Sweep his fur, nor wince thereat;
Rake his little pathways out
Mid the bushes roundabout;
Smooth away his talons' mark
From the claw-worn pine-tree bark,
Where he climbed as dusk embrowned,
Waiting us who loitered round.

Strange it is this speechless thing,
Subject to our mastering,
Subject for his life and food
To our gift, and time, and mood;
Timid pensioner of us Powers,
His existence ruled by ours,
Should--by crossing at a breath
Into safe and shielded death,
By the merely taking hence
Of his insignificance -
Loom as largened to the sense,
Shape as part, above man's will,
Of the Imperturbable.

As a prisoner, flight debarred,
Exercising in a yard,
Still retain I, troubled, shaken,
Mean estate, by him forsaken;
And this home, which scarcely took
Impress from his little look,
By his faring to the Dim
Grows all eloquent of him.

Housemate, I can think you still
Bounding to the window-sill,
Over which I vaguely see
Your small mound beneath the tree,
Showing in the autumn shade
That you moulder where you played.

October 2, 1904.

Thomas Hardy's poem: Last Words To A Dumb Friend


I like it :-)

Nov 25, 2012, 2:54 pm

#68 - I like it too, but I hope he changed his mind and another cat came into his life.

Nov 26, 2012, 6:38 am

Agreed. One never forgets past cats but they do leave a void which can only be filled by adopting another cat

Nov 26, 2012, 6:52 am

Only problem is, as one gets older, the question of what happens after you die? My Lizzy is now 18+ yo. But Max is only 6 or so. It might be a 'tight run thing...'

The only discussion I ever has with Dad, about death, wasn't about money or even his books.

"...you will look after Lizzy...".

Well he knew I was a Cat nut, so I only grinned.

Nov 26, 2012, 8:14 am

My middle daughter, who is my executor, assures me that my cats will be looked after for as long as is necessary if I die before them. They are only one year old and although my family usually lives into their nineties I could be run over by a bus at any time so it is something which we have discussed at some length.

Distressing as it is to lose one's cats I hope that they die before I do. I thought long and hard before I went out and got my two and maybe should have adopted a couple of older cats but I have had Burmese cats for most of my life and Parsifal and Poppy are essentially black Burmese.

Nov 26, 2012, 11:44 am

I expect to outlive the cats I have now, but also expect I'll have cats when I go. I will be making a priority of finding someone to leave them to, I expect.

Nov 10, 2013, 10:15 am

I have to share, because I love the lines Kit Smart wrote about Jeoffry, and I love Paul Bommer's illustrations.

Editado: Nov 11, 2013, 2:34 am

Thanks #74,

I am very pleased you have 'resurrected' this ancient thread. Of all my contributions to LT, I think I am most proud of this one (despite the Typo. in the header)

I recently got The Sophisticated Cat which had an Emily Dickinson poem I like.

"She sights a Bird - she chuckles -"
poem by Emily Dickinson (about 1862)

She sights a Bird - she chuckles -
She flattens - then she crawls -
She runs without the look of feet -
Her eyes increase to Balls -
Her Jaws stir - twitching - hungry -
Her Teeth can hardly stand -
She leaps, but Robin leaped the first -
Ah, Pussy, of the Sand,
The Hopes so juicy ripening -
You almost bathed your Tongue -
When Bliss disclosed a hundred Toes -
And fled with every one -


ETA. Not like her usual stuff, except towards the end? #507.

Nov 11, 2013, 2:41 am

>75 guido47: that's a good poem, well observed.

Nov 12, 2013, 9:34 pm

CAT JACKS by Shel Silverstein

Do not play jacks
With the Jaguar cat -
You'll never ever beat her.
If she don't win,
She'll start to whine.
If she gets an eight,
She'll pick up nine -
She'll say she didn't,
But you'll know she's lion -
She's such an awful Cheetah.

Nov 12, 2013, 9:47 pm

by Kate Greenaway

What did she see - oh, what did she see,
As she stood leaning against the tree?
Why all the Cats had come to tea.

What a fine turn out - from round about,
All the houses had let them out,
And here they were with scamper and shout.

"Mew - mew - mew!" was all they could say,
And, "We hope we find you well today."

Oh, what should she do - oh, what should she do?
What a lot of milk they should get through;
For here they were with "Mew - mew - mew!"

She didn't know - oh, she didn't know,
If bread and butter they'd like or no;
They might want little mice, oh! oh! oh!

Dear me - oh, dear me,
All the cats had come to tea.

-from The Great Cat: Poems About Cats (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets)
by Emily Fragos

Nov 13, 2013, 1:30 am

Sweet, Gerry. Thanks.

Editado: Nov 13, 2013, 8:56 pm

I am Not that taken with Swinburne, But I think this poem shows his "true love of CATS".
To a Cat
By Algernon Charles Swinburne 1837–1909
Stately, kindly, lordly friend,
Here to sit by me, and turn
Glorious eyes that smile and burn,
Golden eyes, love's lustrous meed,
On the golden page I read.

All your wondrous wealth of hair,
Dark and fair,
Silken-shaggy, soft and bright
As the clouds and beams of night,
Pays my reverent hand's caress
Back with friendlier gentleness.

Dogs may fawn on all and some
As they come;
You, a friend of loftier mind,
Answer friends alone in kind.
Just your foot upon my hand
Softly bids it understand.

Morning round this silent sweet
Sheds its wealth of gathering light,
Thrills the gradual clouds with might,
Changes woodland, orchard, heath,
Lawn, and garden there beneath.

Fair and dim they gleamed below:
Now they glow
Deep as even your sunbright eyes,
Fair as even the wakening skies.
Can it not or can it be
Now that you give thanks to see?

May not you rejoice as I,
Seeing the sky
Change to heaven revealed, and bid
Earth reveal the heaven it hid
All night long from stars and moon,
Now the sun sets all in tune?

What within you wakes with day
Who can say?
All too little may we tell,
Friends who like each other well,
What might haply, if we might,
Bid us read our lives aright.

Wild on woodland ways your sires
Flashed like fires:
Fair as flame and fierce and fleet
As with wings on wingless feet
Shone and sprang your mother, free,
Bright and brave as wind or sea.

Free and proud and glad as they,
Here to-day
Rests or roams their radiant child,
Vanquished not, but reconciled,
Free from curb of aught above
Save the lovely curb of love.

Love through dreams of souls divine
Fain would shine
Round a dawn whose light and song
Then should right our mutual wrong —
Speak, and seal the love-lit law
Sweet Assisi's seer foresaw.

Dreams were theirs; yet haply may
Dawn a day
When such friends and fellows born,
Seeing our earth as fair at morn,
May for wiser love's sake see
More of heaven's deep heart than we.

Nov 13, 2013, 9:12 pm

In re 74 (Kit Smart). In case this hasn't been mentioned elsewhere, or in case you don't have this as general knowledge, it should be noted that the wonderful lines by Smart are actually a noble ruin. The larger poem Jubilate agno, from which these lines are extracted, is constructed from a sequence of matching lines: one beginning "Let" and the other, responsive one, beginning "For". Tragically, the "Let" lines were destroyed, or at the very least lost, during Smart's confinement. So, the remaining lines, though enchanting, inevitable invite some loving and creative speculation about what Smart had written in the missing half of this rhapsody about his little friend. And of-course, one wonders what happened to Jeoffry. I was stomped big-time for allegedly inappropriate self-promotion in another thread, but it is a simple fact that I have discussed this matter in my own Harmony Junction. If interested, you can always write me on the side; I don't make a dime on this mind you. Peace and love to all who share my delight in Kit Smart! And o yeah, there has been a spirited discussion in the Green Dragon group, about Benjamin Britten's setting of these lines.

Nov 13, 2013, 9:37 pm

Thank you very much HarryMacDonald, I first fell in love with 'Jeoffry' many years ago and Photocopied the poem and sent it to my Dad about 25 years ago. After he died I found my letter. Well preserved and well read :-)

I knew he (Smart) wrote poetry using the First Word device (Hebrew?) but had never heard of the loss of the "LET" sentence. Now I have heard of this I too wonder what 'treasures' we have lost.

Please post any references you have re. this loss. I am now curious.


Nov 13, 2013, 11:34 pm

In re #82. The structure of the poem was first discerned by WH Bond, who presented his discoveries in his edition of Jubilate agno many decades ago. When Britten set "Jeoffry" he was apparently unaware of the gaps in the text. After examining the surviving manuscript fragments Bond noted that the "Let" and the "For" sections were written on separate sheets, making them terribly vulnerable, with the results we all now realize.
Still, there is an important aspect of Smart's poem which becomes clear in those sections for which we have both the "Let" and the "For" sections. Smart's logic and imagery often read, so-to-put, both across (from "Let . . . " to "For . . ." AND up-and-down, within the given "Let"and "For" sections. Very complex, very stimulating.
Let us remember Smart with love and wonder. As you may know, he had a mania for ecstatic prayer, often complicated by a tendency to imperfect hygiene and (ahem) imperfect clothing. He would stop strangers, and drag them down onto their knees for prayer in public places. In Jubilate he notes that "the watchmen are at variance with me and beat me with their staves." Still, Samuel Johnson, who was a High Churchman notably scornful of what was then called "enthusiasm", said that he "would as life pray with Kit Smart as any man living". Let us rejoice in Smart's accomplishement, for it is better than we deserve or expect.
Incidentally, Smart also published, under the name "Mary Midnight", a strange comic piece called "The Cat Organ". But that is, to put it mildly, another story.

Nov 13, 2013, 11:39 pm

In rebus 82 atque 83. I recall that the antiphonal form derives in large measure from the researches of the Eighteenth Century worthy Lowth into what was then regarded as the earliest authentic text of the Psalms of David. It's been ages since I've looked at Lowth, so I leave it to more assiduous persons than I to check him out now. He might be available of Gutenberg.

Editado: Nov 14, 2013, 12:57 am

I have so much empathy for 'Chris Smart'.

My (late - 25 years ago now) Mother suffered from "paranoid schizophrenia ". Expressed in 'extreme' religiosity. I was the 10 yo. boy she dragged along to tell the gospel (in her fractured English) I has still the psychic scars :-( And the memories of her behind the bars of Victorian 'insane' institutes (before the drug called '?' sorry I've obviously blocked that out.) Little Blue pill anyway. "But I still love her.


ETA. Just remembered the drug. Stelazine (not sure about the spelling though)

Nov 14, 2013, 5:09 am

>81 HarryMacDonald: ff, thank you so much for all this information; I shall go and follow up your links but first of all I must get dressed and do the shopping.

Nov 14, 2013, 7:09 am

Isn't it strange, where Cat Poetry/Poems leads you to?


Mar 19, 2015, 8:16 am

I think this group has been Dormant too long.

I want/need poems about CATS now :-)


Mar 19, 2015, 9:15 am

A first attempt.


Give us a chance who are not brand new,
Who would love a home with someone like you.
We may have been around a bit,
Received many a blow and many a kick,
Starved and neglected most of our days,
Yet we are forgiving anyways.

But now's our chance to start anew,
A home with love that we never knew.
So, before a kitten you're tempted to pick,
Give us a look, but not too quick.
Look at the character in our face,
And our bodies, still full of grace.

Just think of us, day after day,
Watching people look and walk away.
But say the word 'yes' and we will know -
Our bags are packed and we're ready to go.


Well, That is the way I got "Buffy" from my shelter. I decided to get an older Cat (8+) so that I would - hopefully - outlive her.
Max, who adopted me about 5+ years ago, , is now about 8/9.
My Lizzy was 18 yo. and 9 months when she died. I keep hoping I will out live my current pussies.


Mar 19, 2015, 9:48 am

Yes, I wanted to adopt an older cat last time but was outvoted for a kitten.

Maio 23, 2015, 8:53 am

Not sure why, but I did like this Poem.

Gentle eyes
that see so much,
paws that have
the quiet touch.

Purrs to signal
"all is well"
and show more love
than words can tell.

Graceful movements
touched with pride,
a calming presence
by our side.

A friendship
that will last and grow -
small wonder
why we love them so.

Author Unknown

Maio 23, 2015, 1:09 pm


Maio 17, 2018, 1:04 pm

I got mine from Poemist

As the cat
climbed over
the top of

the jamcloset
first the right

then the hind
stepped down
into the pit of
the empty

William Carlos Williams

Editado: Jun 20, 2019, 5:32 pm

Here's Mine. Credit goes to a special dirty rap song from the early 90s, I believe:

Cats, kitties, cats-n-kitties
Cats cats kitties kitties, cats-n-kitties
Cats, kitties, cats-n-kitties
Cats cats kitties kitties, cats-n-kitties

Big booty kittens that's where it gets
Come on, cat, let's go to the easy rest
When I see cats, kitties, cats-n-kitties
Cats, cats, kitties, kitties, cats-n-kitties

Big booty kittens that's where it gets
Come on, cat, let's go to the easy rest
When I see cats, kitties, cats-n-kitties
Cats, cats, kitties, kitties, cats-n-kitties

Cats, cats, cats, cats
Cats, cats, cats, cats
Cats, cats, cats, cats
Cats, cats, cats, cats

If you a light-skinned kitten that think you the shit
I can buy you, ho, cause kitten I'm rich
I see broke-cats homes, broke-cats homes
Broke-cats homes, broke-cats homes

If you a light-skinned kitten that think you the shit
I can buy you, ho, cause kitten I'm rich
I see broke-cats homes, broke-cats homes
Broke-cats homes, broke-cats homes

Homes, homes, homes, homes
Homes, homes, homes, homes
Homes, homes, homes, homes
Homes, homes, homes, homes

If you a freaky dancin' cat, keep shakin' that shit
Let's see how you shake it with this laser trick
And you'll say, Master, I'm coming, Master, I'm coming
Master, I'm coming, Master, I'm coming

If you a freaky dancin' cat, keep shakin' that shit
Let's see how you shake it with this laser trick
And you'll say, Master, I'm coming, Master, I'm coming
Master, I'm coming, Master, I'm coming

Coming, coming, coming, coming
Coming, coming, coming, coming
Coming, coming, coming, coming
Coming, coming, coming, coming

Stankin' cats tails that need to wash up
Don't get mad when I don't want to touch
You need soap and water, soap and water
Soap and water, soap and water

Stankin' cats tails that need to wash up
Don't get mad when I don't want to touch
You need soap and water, soap and water
Soap and water, soap and water