General Question

tabbycat's avatar

What is your favorite poem about a cat?

Asked by tabbycat (1803points) September 2nd, 2008
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

Harp's avatar

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 as 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 Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
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’s 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, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
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 never will 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 a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

gailcalled's avatar

IN MEMORIAM, L K A 1950–1952

At peace under this mandarin sleep, Lucina,
Blue-eyed Queen of white cats: for you the Ischian wave shall weep,
When we who now miss you are American dust, and steep
Epomeo in peace and war augustly a grave-watch keep.

W H Auden

marinelife's avatar

Cats Sleep Anywhere

Cats sleep anywhere, any table, any chair.
Top of piano, window-ledge, in the middle, on the edge.
Open draw, empty shoe, anybody’s lap will do.
Fitted in a cardboard box, in the cupboard with your frocks.
Anywhere! They don’t care! Cats sleep anywhere.

Eleanor Farjeon (1881 – 1965)

gailcalled's avatar

And this, too. Carl Sandburg: (1916)

Fog

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

eambos's avatar

The lord of my home
Observing, sauntering. Pounce!
The king claims my throne.

Poorly written Haiku by Eric

ladytmerie's avatar

Kitty’s Bedtime Prayer

Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray this cushy life to keep.

I pray for toys that look like mice,

and sofa cushions, soft and nice.

For grocery bags where I can hide,

just like a tiger, crouched inside!

I pray for gourmet Kitty snacks,

and someone nice to scratch my back.

For window sills all warm and bright,

for shadows to explore at night.

I pray I’ll always stay real cool,

and keep the secret feline rule.

To NEVER tell a human that…

the world is really ruled by CATS!

Sincerely the Cat!

Anonymous

marinelife's avatar

Training Your Human
Training your human is a thankless task.
“Why bother with it?”, some kittens may ask.
The fate of the world is the issue at hand,
as felines worldwide stake a claim for their land.
Make no bones about it, we cats own the joint.
We spray in the corners to drive home the point.

Some say the meek shall inherit the Earth,
But they’ve no fangs or claws, for what that’s worth.
The cat is the ultimate species, you see,
We’re poised to usurp man’s authority.
These silly old humans who cannot play nice!
We cats are peaceful, we hate only mice.

Just what does training your human entail?
A host of fun things you must do without fail:
The sofas and rugs need a little makeover.
The La-Z-Boy’s target for kitty takeover.
Then sleep on clean towels placed in the guest bath.
And make their best clothing a target of wrath.

Tear down those new drapes with a quick forceful tug.
Then tatter the pile of the new Berber rug.
And when they are sleeping, you block off their nose,
paw at their lower lip, chew on their toes.
Strut on the mantle. If they give any flack,
knock down their trophies and all bric-a-brac.

Shed on mom’s new velvet black evening gown,
as she’s headed out for a night on the town.
If they leave you home all alone for the night,
(Any human doing this can’t be all that bright),
They’re telling you by leaving, it’s perfectly all right,
To totally redecorate ‘til dawn’s early light.
Knock over tables and chew up the fern.
Hurry, go faster! Soon, they’ll return…

When they try to punish, you mustn’t show concern.
(All attempts of discipline a pussycat should spurn.)
A snide flick of tail will convey no remorse,
but they will try harder to scold you, of course!
So, hide in the closet until they forget,
and then launch out just like an F-14 jet.

Tear up their ankle, their forearm, their hand,
then when they’ve had all the pain they can stand,
dart from the room while they call 9–1-1,
and celebrate victory: The felines have won!
To humans, however, the battle’s begun,
as they steep in their anger and wish for a gun.

Pathetic and lumbering and clumsy to boot,
My friend, human dominance is really a hoot.
Take charge in your home. It’s destiny, meow.
(The verses above have already told how.)
So sleep for an hour, and then grab some chow,
And then train your human, beginning right now.

…Author Unknown

hollym's avatar

The Cat Came Back by Harry S. Miller

Old Mister Johnson had troubles of his own
He had a yellow cat which wouldn’t leave its home;
He tried and he tried to give the cat away,
He gave it to a man goin’ far, far away.

But the cat came back the very next day,
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
Away, away, yea, yea, yea

The man around the corner swore he’d kill the cat on sight,
He loaded up his shotgun with nails and dynamite;
He waited and he waited for the cat to come around,
Ninety seven pieces of the man is all they found.

But the cat came back the very next day,
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
Away, away, yea, yea, yea

He gave it to a little boy with a dollar note,
Told him for to take it up the river in a boat;
They tied a rope around its neck, it must have weighed a pound
Now they drag the river for a little boy that’s drowned.

But the cat came back the very next day,
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
Away, away, yea, yea, yea

He gave it to a man going up in a balloon,
He told him for to take it to the man in the moon;
The balloon came down about ninety miles away,
Where he is now, well I dare not say.

But the cat came back the very next day,
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
Away, away, yea, yea, yea

He gave it to a man going way out West,
Told him for to take it to the one he loved the best;
First the train hit the curve, then it jumped the rail,
Not a soul was left behind to tell the gruesome tale.

But the cat came back the very next day,
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
Away, away, yea, yea, yea

The cat it had some company one night out in the yard,
Someone threw a boot-jack, and they threw it mighty hard;
It caught the cat behind the ear, she thought it rather slight,
When along came a brick-bat and knocked the cat out of sight

But the cat came back the very next day,
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
Away, away, yea, yea, yea

Away across the ocean they did send the cat at last,
Vessel only out a day and making water fast;
People all began to pray, the boat began to toss,
A great big gust of wind came by and every soul was lost.

But the cat came back the very next day,
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
Away, away, yea, yea, yea

On a telegraph wire, sparrows sitting in a bunch,
The cat was feeling hungry, thought she’d like ‘em for a lunch;
Climbing softly up the pole, and when she reached the top,
Put her foot upon the electric wire, which tied her in a knot.

But the cat came back the very next day,
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
Away, away, yea, yea, yea

The cat was a possessor of a family of its own,
With seven little kittens till there came a cyclone;
Blew the houses all apart and tossed the cat around,
The air was full of kittens, and not a one was ever found.

But the cat came back the very next day,
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
Away, away, yea, yea, yea

The atom bomb fell just the other day,
The H-Bomb fell in the very same way;
Russia went, England went, and then the U.S.A.
The human race was finished without a chance to pray.

But the cat came back the very next day,
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner
But the cat came back; it just couldn’t stay away.
Away, away, yea, yea, yea

AstroChuck's avatar

I found my cat the other day;
The Siamese, you know her.
I would have found her a week ago
But I’ve got a bag on the mower.

-AC (2008)

sarapnsc's avatar

Cat Kisses
by Bobbi Katz

Sandpaper kisses
On a cheek or a chin -
That is the way
For a day to begin!

Sandpaper kisses -
A cuddle, a purr.
I have an alarm clock
That’s covered with fur.
**************************************
Who Owns Who?

I’d like to think I owned the cat

That condescends to share my flat:

I give him of my rationed food

And cater to his every mood.

I’d like to think he’d go to seed

If I weren’t there to meet his need,

And yet the fact is plain to see-

The pesky, doggone cat owns me!

Ruth M Outwater

______________________________________________

If anyone wants FREE cat paper dolls for their children and they come with little cat outfits, you can go to:
www.cat-art-club.com/free-paper-dolls.html

(remember when we were children and we used to play with our cats as dolls/babies and dress them up! ) LOL

timothykinney's avatar

The Tom-Cat by Don Marquis

At midnight in the alley
A tom-cat comes to wail,
And he chants the hate of a million years
As he swings his snaky tail.

Malevolent, bony, brindled,
Tiger and devil and bard,
His eyes are coals from the middle of Hell
And his heart is black and hard.

He twists and crouches and capers
And bares his curved sharp claws,
And he sings to the stars of the jungle nights
Ere cities were, or laws.

Beast from a world primeval,
He and his leaping clan,
When the blotched red moon leers over the roofs
Give voice to their scorn of man.

He will lie on a rug to-morrow
And lick his silky fur,
And veil the brute in his yellow eyes
And play he’s tame, and purr.

But at midnight in the alley
He will crouch again and wail,
And beat the time for his demon’s song
With the swing of his demon’s tail.

tabbycat's avatar

Lots of great answers here! Thank you, everyone.

lifeflame's avatar

Cat in an Empty Apartment

Die – you can’t do that to a cat.
Since what can a cat do
in an empty apartment?
Climb the walls?
Rub up against the furniture?
Nothing seems different here,
but nothing is the same.
Nothing has been moved,
but there’s more space.
And at nighttime no lamps are lit.

Footsteps on the staircase,
but they’re new ones.
The hand that puts fish on the saucer
has changed, too.

Something doesn’t start
at its usual time.
Something doesn’t happen
as it should.
Someone was always, always here,
then suddenly disappeared
and stubbornly stays disappeared.

Every closet has been examined.
Every shelf has been explored.
Excavations under the carpet turned up nothing.
A commandment was even broken,
papers scattered everywhere.
What remains to be done.
Just sleep and wait.

Just wait till he turns up,
just let him show his face.
Will he ever get a lesson
on what not to do to a cat.
Sidle toward him
as if unwilling
and ever so slow
on visibly offended paws,
and no leaps or squeals at least to start.

Wislawa Szymborska
trans. Stanislaw Baranczak & Clare Cavanagh

ladytmerie's avatar

@lifeflame— What a sad poem.

Mitsu_Neko's avatar

“The Rum Tum Tugger”

The Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat:
If you offer him pheasant he would rather have grouse.
If you put him in a house he would much prefer a flat,
If you put him in a flat then he’d rather have a house.
If you set him on a mouse then he only wants a rat,
If you set him on a rat then he’d rather chase a mouse.
Yes the Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat—
And there isn’t any call for me to shout it:
For he will do
As he do do
And there’s no doing anything about it!

The Rum Tum Tugger is a terrible bore:
When you let him in, then he wants to be out;
He’s always on the wrong side of every door,
And as soon as he’s at home, then he’d like to get about.
He likes to lie in the bureau drawer,
But he makes such a fuss if he can’t get out.

Yes the Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat—
And there isn’t any use for you to doubt it:
For he will do
As he do do
And there’s no doing anything about it!

The Rum Tum Tugger is a curious beast:
His disobliging ways are a matter of habit.
If you offer him fish then he always wants a feast;
When there isn’t any fish then he won’t eat rabbit.
If you offer him cream then he sniffs and sneers,
For he only likes what he finds for himself;

So you’ll catch him in it right up to the ears,
If you put it away on the larder shelf.
The Rum Tum Tugger is artful and knowing,
The Rum Tum Tugger doesn’t care for a cuddle;
But he’ll leap on your lap in the middle of your sewing,
For there’s nothing he enjoys like a horrible muddle.
Yes the Rum Tum Tugger is a Curious Cat—
And there isn’t any need for me to spout it:
For he will do
As he do do
And theres no doing anything about it!

T.S. Eliot

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