"Why," thought the cat,
"can I see through the glass,
but when I try to go through it,
it won't let me pass?"
"There are bugs out there,"
the cat thought to himself,
"yet to them, I'm as dull as
a book on a shelf!"
The cat shook his head,
"This is really too much!
There's two squirrels in the yard
and a bird in the brush."
"How much fun it would be,"
with a mew he announced,
"to hunt and to stalk and then
"Why, I'd shake them until
their necks were broke!
Maybe then," mused the cat,
"I'd be more than a joke."
"They'd be amazed by my prowess,"
he thought with a sigh,
"I'd torture them slowly and
they'd wonder why,"
"they never realized that
I was a threat,
while completely ignoring me
like I was their pet."
"I'd show them," he growled
as he laid on the sill,
"with them in my tummy,
I'd savor the kill."
"They'd show some respect,"
he thought with a yawn,
"I'd shown them who's king
of this yard and this lawn."
Head full of adventure,
he fell fast asleep,
safe in his house,
with plenty to eat.
Gambit you were such a friend
twenty years we had together
filled with the fun of your antics
like the time as a kitten
you jumped on the table
and sniffed a burning candle
you leapt up high and sideways
in shock and nasty surprise
every hair of your body on end
You hated it when I sang
and would get in my face
I knew if I did not stop
you would bite my nose
just like you did Rita's
one time when she was crying
which only made her howl the more
you ran our lives with military precision
food on the table right on time
or you would let us know you were not pleased
The black scourge of the neighbourhood
you intensely disliked the other cats
but also you hated it if you were alone
a special bond you shared with my dogs
to them you were always kind once they
knew their place that is, too boisterous
and your claws would inflict a scratch
as for the birds you hunted them with glee
often taking them out of the air as by they flew
Our twenty years together were not enough
I still miss you and your own lovable ways
Gambit dearest Gambit you were and are the best
unique and a tyrant you ruled my heart
fearless and bold you now await me in paradise
contest Animals Alive
In the jungle of our collective heritage
In our wild teaming with endless species of flora and fauna
In the savannah, the tropics and the deserts of our kingdom
There is place for neither the honest nor the peace-loving
I am not adding to adages, I am talking reality
I am talking about the principle of virtue
And of the practicality of vice
I am talking about the cat family of our jungle life
That is celebrated for disrupting our conscientous existence
They are deemed meritorious because we are miserable
Because they are admired, our clamours go unheard
We are lowly, we are vulnerable, we are defenseless
We set our table with vegetation, but graze them with trembling
We respect their pathways but they don't respect ours
Under the lush delicacies of our livelihood, they ambush us
By the edge of our collectively-owned flows, they await us
They parade majestically and in showy antics, they stretch and growl
We see their prowess and bravery flaunted, and we cower into shades
They mock our meekness, even our gentleness, they deride
They mistake our peacefulness with cowardice
We are no cowards; we are only not favoured with their strength
We recognize our weakness the way they recognize their strength
And we bow loyally to their wishes and decline their contests
But our every decline provokes and challenges their ego
Our surrender and our protest are alike to them
Our existence is their headache, yet their means of livelihood we are
They will not stop until they have suppressed us into extinction
Unfortunately, when we are gone they shall be gone too
They shall comprehend the truth but very late
That though the cat rules, the jungle shall breathe without it
But without us, there is neither the jungle nor the cat
Familiar avenue, follies in the midst abandoning themselves to the fresh-air moon,
lured by old hallway allies into the bedroom bay, where the garden will still be, with a
The laundry turns,
the night dries.
They harass and blame those who follow far behind, await a signal from inside to
let 'em starve, ignore as they toe past the prow of the porch, past the tattered
drapes, tilting their tails;
old memory prints on window panes, that, at first glance, still have some taste
evaporate from a distance.
The prowlers aren't afraid to be strays, and they empty into the streets with
ashtrays, living their own way, solely opportunistic,
they usually pay for it in the end, if they ever get a glimpse.
And inside was a lifetime ago, as was her childhood, still stirring outside, roadside
across Fifth Street, underneath anything, to fall slowly, and awake sleepless,
remembering sounds of talking news.
* * * * *
At first light any morning, we blew smoke in the corners, a breath across the
covered picture frames wrapped in winter quilts of old coats that filled the front room,
memory replaced with swamped cardboard and wet newspapers
from the guest bedroom, and a mattress of molded mothballs.
Those last few nights, her friends came to visit but they hand’t returned;
the well-wisher and rubber neck gave more than some passerby;
left and chose not to write, ditched fifty miles east, right at the bend, on the back
fork of a highway river without a number.
© 2013 Wesley T Cutlip