Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Now let me tell you a small story about one of my cats

I dedicate this entire poem to Mitzi G Burger, who was there the whole time.


I sing now of a certain cat,
With coat of grey and four white socks,
Oft running round our little flat,
And in and out of every box,
And chewing on the old straw hat,
And even in MILADY’S frocks,

Hight HARRIET. She loves to pace
Alone along the street and then
With sister BEATRICE to chase
The neighbour’s chickens in their pen,
To right around the garden race,
Then through the window home again.

Whereat regaled with cuts of meat
Both sisters then with pleasure dine;
She cleans her coat, and all four feet,
She licks her tail back into line,
And after this she finds a seat,
And with a sigh she does recline.

Alas! Ambition pricks the breast
Of man and beast, of friend and foe.
A home for cats is comfiest -
THIS cat would on adventures go,
And keep her HUMANS from their rest,
The truth of which you soon shall know.

For once when dusk drew down the sky
She heard Adventure’s miaowing call,
And with a soft and swift goodbye
She silent stole into the hall,
With questing heart and roaming eye -
And did not come back home AT ALL!

Unknowing did her HUMANS wait
For HARRIET to homewards come,
Hoping, yearning, praying late
That HARRIET would cease her run -
For what is fun at one to eight
Is not so much at EIGHT TO ONE.

What nervous thoughts her HUMANS nursed
- O how and why and what and where -
They thought their anxious hearts would burst,
They searched the street, they searched the stair,
They hoped the best, they feared the worst -
They could not find her anywhere.

At last the HUMANS homewards drew -
And let us leave them fretting there,
Their brains beset with thoughts of rue,
And hearts bewrayed with woeful care,
While we our heroine pursue
Who vanished has into thin air.

Now just imagine you’re a cat
With things to see and things to do;
You wonder where the action’s at.
A doorway opens – just for you -
The doorway to another flat,
Containing vistas fresh and new…

For this, it can be now disclosed,
Is what occurred to HARRIET;
And though the door behind her closed,
She was on exploration set!
Each object in the flat was nosed -
It was her best adventure yet!

And while her HUMANS wailed and wept
And wondered why she ran away,
Why, HARRIET round the lounge room crept,
And clawed a couch or two in play,
From chair to stool to bench she leapt,
Past pots and pans in bright array.

Her HUMANS’ thoughts were doom and gloom;
They wondered where their cat could be,
But HARRIET went from room to room,
Exploring to the nth degree
The cupboard where was held the broom,
The jars of raisin and split pea,

And not forgetting to survey
The fruit bowl by the table head,
The line of bills laid out to pay
From black and white to in the red -
And finally, in bold assay
She leapt and curled up on the bed.

In restless sleep and sleepless rest
In bed the HUMANS tossed and turned;
In fitful dreams their pillows pressed,
In nervous agonies they burned;
They made their blankets very messed.
They twitched. They woke at thumps. They yearned.

Through bathroom window open wide
Still BEATRICE her sister sought,
On midnight missions went outside,
But bringing back a strict report,
She found, it cannot be denied,
No evidence of sister. Naught.

The Zephyrs blew fresh show’rs of dew,
AURORA painted o’er the skies,
While bright-eyed, shining, silver-hued,
Did dainty HARRIET arise;
And so arose her HUMANS too,
With blinking, blotched and bleary eyes.

Now HARRIET stands behind the door,
And wishes much to be let out -
A game before is now a chore:
While in the streets her HUMANS shout,
They call her name in vain once more
And just when everything’s in doubt -

Who should come up the stairs but – GLEN,
Who spent the night upon the town,
And only came back home just then?
He turned the lock and handle round,
He opened up his door again,
And HARRIET with joyous bound,

With jubilant and joyful sound,
Leapt straight across the hall to home.
A kitten lost! A kitten found!
Her HUMANS sang, made gleeful poems,
And gave her biscuits (half a pound)
And asked her NEVER MORE TO ROAM.

Yes, everyone was quite relieved -
How many pats, how many kisses,
How many strokes she then received,
From HUMANS and from BEATRICES -
On count they would not be believed:
How full this day of joy and bliss is!


A moral now can be proposed:
Unerring is a cat’s direction,
But sometimes they are indisposed,
Evading everyone’s detection.
They will come back, it is supposed,
If home's a place of much affection.

(This is a true story. Harriet really did go missing for a night last week, and it turned out that she was in the neighbour's flat. I wasn't there at the time H. first went into the hall, and Mitzi Burger was with us while we went searching the streets in the morning, but essential details are correct.

No animals were harmed in the making of this poem.)


Mel said...

Love it! Love it!

Legal Eagle said...

Oh my gosh, you use the word "hight"! Did you do Medieval Literature as well? :-) Adorable poem.

TimT said...

Thanks Mel!

LE - nah, I just chucked it in for the alliteration, and because it added a nicely formal tone to it. It was floating around in my head somewhere, I wasn't even 100 per cent sure that I used it correctly. Glad you liked it.:)

Blandwagon said...

A fine poem if ever there was one.

TimT said...

You do me credit, Sir Bland.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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