"Each experience is locked within my heart and only I hold the key..."
There was a time when Jess was young, that we thought we were going to lose him.
It all started with recurring headaches he would have. These headaches became more frequent and intense over a few months. Next, tremors on one side joined the headaches.
Countless trips to the Doctor and days of having to leave work to go to his side at school to help him through the episodes. I blew a gasket. I demanded a CAT scan. I think that the only reason that the Doctor agreed, was to shut me up. But I knew in my gut, that these were not migraines as diagnosed.
The day of the CAT scan came. I sat in an area that allowed me to see my son and hear the technicians. At first, the techs were very chatty among themselves. Then, stark silence. As if a tomb door had been shut. Then the words that still haunt me were said..."Oh shit" on of the technicians whispered. I closed my eyes and felt my heart cry out in its pain.
I sat in the Doctors office, waiting for him to come and tell me my son was fine. That there was an error in the reading of the scan.
He entered with his nurse, who was carrying a box of tissues and cup of water.
"Your son has an arachnoid cyst. The left temporal lobe of his brain is not there. In its place is a fluid filled sack. The pressure of the filling fluid is causing all the symptoms. He will need to undergo brain surgery."
I sat there....numb. All I recall hearing are the words...Brain surgery.
The day of the surgery came. His younger brother was with me in the waiting room. Too young to understand the gravity of the situation. All he knew was that his brother was very sick.
Now, I want to take you to our sons Hospital room, post surgery.
There he was, lying in the big bed. White as the sheet that covered his small body up to his chest. His head wrapped in bandages. Tubes and wires everywhere.
As our son was waking up, his first words were "Where is my brother?"
Mike flew to the side of his bed and grabbed his hand. "I'm right here!" he said.
Very weakly, Jess was able to say "I love you Mike."
Mike in turn said, "I love you Jess."
My tears that had never flowed through the whole ordeal finally came. Not out of fear, but for the love that our sons had for one another.
For the A Fragment Of Life contest
sponsored by Constance La France
Copyright © Paula Swanson | Year Posted 2011
A most unfortunate event
has occurred at our house.
It's embarrassing to admit,
We have a resident mouse.
The elusive little devil
has avoided every trap.
Though set in various places,
we've yet to hear a snap.
We have a playful tomcat
who loves his toy mouse,
carries it clutched in his teeth
to flip, toss and pounce.
Unfortunately, he performs
the same with a live one.
I'm urging, "Get it, kill it,"
he's too busy having fun.
Again and again he turns
it loose, enjoying the chase.
The mouse runs for his life,
hopeful of winning the race.
The crafty little victim
eludes the slothful brute,
scuttles down a heat vent,
leaves Tom to other pursuits.
Whereupon he saunters around,
searching for his toy mouse.
We're left with a useless cat
and a mouse in the house.
Copyright © Cona Adams | Year Posted 2014
The house sits silent.
All but for the creaks and groans
as the house settles on it’s aging foundation.
The arthritic sound of wood.
A faint hum from the refrigerator,
is the backdrop, to the passing of time
from the Grandfather clock in the hall.
A cat sits on the stairwell landing.
A silent witness to the night.
It’s green eyes glowing softly,
within the slash of moonlight.
The gentle sounds of sleep
come from the rooms above.
The slow steady drip of a faucet,
the only sound within the home.
A breeze sweeps through an open
French door, billowing, gauzy curtains.
Carrying with it the scents
of Honey suckle and Rose.
The wood rope swing that hangs
from the gnarled tree, is caught
up in the nighttime breath, to cast about.
The old rope squeaks it’s protest.
The wind in the leaves rustle out
their own soft song. Singing to sleep
the birds and small creatures of the day.
Welcoming the night hunters.
As the night passes and the sun begins to rise,
so too the house awakens.
The cat uncurls to stretch
and head out the open door.
the drip of the faucet,
is now a steady stream,
Washing off a face of sleep.
From the kitchen, comes the smell
of coffee freshly brewing.
So starts the new day.
The sun will ride this day's sky,
to set once again.
The house will settle anew,
welcoming the night time stage.
Copyright © Paula Swanson | Year Posted 2010
He came night after night. I don’t know how long he favored
me in such an appreciated manner, but I was most pleased when I realized it. We had moved back into a property that
had been rented out for nearly fifteen years.
The clean up was one tough job, because the back yard was filled with more than a few ’what not’s’ that had to be disposed. So when my neighborly friend was spotted patrolling my yard one night,
I was more than elated and grateful to see him.
He took the same route each night; and we did make eye contact. But I purposely refused to formerly meet him, because I did not want to become close to him. So I never bothered to feed him.
For reasons I will never know, he ceased to make his rounds. During the tenure of that treasured cat, the rodents disappeared. But I’m disappointed with myself for keeping a wall between us. He deserved better.
Sometimes I feel sad, because comparatively, I gave him so little. But I must say that I have always been much appreciative of the kindness he shared with me. I shall never forget the dedication with which the neighborly cat donated his time and served me so faithfully.
04152016 PS Contest, Own It, by Cyndi MacMillan
Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2016
somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose
or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands e.e. cummings
" LV means Love"
contrasting winds which carried particles
of who we used to be
circled and settled. to fold into one
that you are me...and i am you..
two hearts, one sun, one moon, that built a love
where twists and bends, would melt into one,
where eyes can't see where threads connect;
a solid rock, yet soft as feathers
where I can come to lay my head
and cast away the darkest day, the cruelest night
never will we understand
the shifts and strains of wayward winds
that whirl, and pound on fate's own door
the knowing why is not what counts, what matters deeply more...
is when I reach my hand to touch
this vaporous thing...impossible to define
where mortal words can not explain
nothing to see, nothing to touch,
just the faint breath of us
a dream, not myth....that final sleep cannot erase....
so sure this breath of life we share
is reason enough, that we are here
For Joann's Contest "Copy Cat" My poem inspired by e.e. cummings poem LVII
Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2012
I'm like a one-eyed cat peepin' in a seafood sto'
I'm like a one-eyed cat peepin' in a seafood sto'
Well I can look at you and tell you ain' no child no mo'
A few interpretations for this visually challanged and rather paranoid creature:
Still makes me hungry just don't LOOK good as it used to or
Still smells good, just ain't sure what I'm SMELLIN' no more or
Don't LOOK good as it used to, Don't SMELL good as it used to and
Definitely don't TASTE good as it used to or...
I was born that way, so what? or
Used to have two, now I only got one and
That's all you need to peep with anyways and
I think that's all you got left too so...
Let's put our eyes together on this thing and
Let's sneak over there and tom-peep that hole and
You peep on the women seafood and tell me about it and
I'll peep on the men seafood and tell you about it and...
Wait a minute here, something's not...
No, no I'm not gay! I swear I'm not!
I know by the above verse it might appear that way but
I swear to god! I swear to god I never...
Alright now, this has gone JUST ABOUT FAR ENOUGH and
You can't hardly tell them apart anyway and
The men don't even have one...they just kinda sprinkle, you know and
The rest just...How do I know? Well I-uh...read it somewhere and...
Oh, just kiss my big you-know-what! and
Wait!...I-I mean...if you're a FEMALE fish you can or a lady uh...
Oyster? Or girl crab or ..Hey, stop that!...Ow!
I didn't say...Ouch! Why you!...(Sigh) let's try this again, shall we?
Sorry folks...Just had to get this out of my system...Hope you think it's funny and
What?... WELL!! Kiss my-my uh...Elbow!...yeah, that's it! My elbow...
Bill Haley and the Comets became rich and famous for doing a 'sanitized' version of this song in 1954... Big Joe's original was considered too suggestive and sexual for white audiences...
Second verse for example:
'Way you wear those dresses, the sun come shinin' thru
Way you wear those dresses, the sun come shinin' thru
I can't believe my eyes all that mess belong to you'
(In 'proper' English: THE way you wear those dresses)
Copyright © Tim Ryerson | Year Posted 2013
She curled her tail around her toes,
Covering whiskers, chin and nose.
An ear twitch here, another there;
She claimed as hers the easy chair.
Tormentor of both mole and mouse,
She spent the summer out of house.
Plundered, pillaged, night and day,
No mercy for dim witted prey.
Summer passed and then the fall,
As bitter cold left wintery pall.
The feline wanted none of that;
Once more she posed as family cat.
She lay about each day and night:
Purred when stroked and feigned delight.
Her bowl, her chair and toilet place,
Were all she claimed as sovereign space.
The season wore on long and cold.
Outside most life seemed put on hold.
The feline lay there still as dead,
Entombed within her winter bed.
Come now the spring with days of fair;
The old cat stretched within her chair.
A well placed nose near open sill;
She felt the much diminished chill.
Then rushed to door that still was closed.
Cries from her pleading throat arose.
Weaving through her mistress legs;
"Let me out," brash feline begged.
As chipmunk fed in hemlock crotch,
Unfettered cat dashed off the porch.
With one quick scramble up the tree;
A winter cat she ceased to be.
Do we not marvel at her grace,
Ere all those months confined in place?
The cat resumes with guileless ease,
Her summer reign of fields and trees.
Copyright © Diane Lefebvre | Year Posted 2015
In an old Victorian building live two cats and a lady,
The girl cat is Patches and the boy cat is called Peanut;
And the lady is called mother, they all live in harmony.
One day, mother decided the cats needed to have collars,
So, she bought a pink one for Patches and a blue one for Peanut;
Each collar had a little bell that tinkled and tinkled as the cats walked.
Now, Patches loved her collar but Peanut twisted about,
He flopped on his back, putting his paws inside the blue collar;
Finally, the bell fell off and he pounced after it across the room.
As Patches walked around her little bell went tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
Peanut was determined to get that bell and became quite the pest;
Mother talked to Peanut telling him to STOP and leave the bell alone.
When mother came home from work the cats came,
She reached to stroke Patches and noticed the pink collar;
The bell was MISSING, she looked at Peanut, bad cat she said.
Where the bells went is still a MYSTERY that will stay unsolved,
Patches always wore her pink collar, she really loved to show it off;
Peanut totalled destroyed his within days and was very proud of that.
Mother pulled out furniture to look for those bells,
She looked in every corner, in every cupboard and drawer;
The bells were too big to eat, where did Peanut put those bells.
Well in time Peanut, although young went to heaven, God decides,
Patches followed not long after and mother was left so heartbroken;
One night, she was awoken to the sound of two tinkling, tinkling bells.
And still years after . . . she often hears those mysterious tinkling bells.
October 27, 2012
In Memory of Peanut the Cat and Patches the Cat
(and the bells have never been found)
Submitted to the contest, Mystery
sponsor, Nayda Ivette Negron
Copyright © Broken Wings | Year Posted 2012
My son and his family drove down from the big city,
out to the countryside with open fields and steams.
They brought their standard golden poodle along,
a curly-haired fellow, name of Timmy.
Timmy had never seen a cat;
not even a mole or a furry rat.
Visiting country kin, he was checking things out.
Everything went fine that very first day.
Cats went about paying him no mind.
He walked about just passing time.
On that second day there was a big mistake.
Being a city dog with more worldy ways,
to add pleasure to his hum-drum days,
he thought it time to befriend these country kin.
The cats had never seen a dog this small,
only those on stilts, big, long and tall,
like Pyrenees, big wide mouths and teeth to match.
With barking big dogs on the scene,
up a tree they squirreled, never to be seen.
But this golden-haired fellow, with city clout--
they’d give him benefit of instinctive doubt.
Mama cat was even so bold
to sniff this city slicker right on the nose.
Sizing him up all the while, a friendly rat, she surmised,
a might bigger than some she had seen,
playing cat and mouse, yet acting so coy;
that is, until that overgrown golden-haired rat
walked up to Mama’s black baby boy.
Mama’s two other sons, another black and a blue,
began to gather nearer this city dweller, too.
Timmy politely extended his nose.
black son cat extended his razor-sharp claws,
with a bristled tail and fierce hissing jaws.
Timmy let out with a painful yelp,
as Mama cat called all boys in for help.
Cats surrounded and gave chase to the dog,
life-fearing circles around the cedar tree he’d log;
four hissing cats hot on his tail,
poor Timmy yelping in a desperate wail.
The master of Timmy gave rescue,
but Mama cat and her three grown sons,
strutting in pride, putting a dog on the run.
Written by: Carolyn Henderson
For Constance LaFrance's Cat Poem Contest
Won 9th Place
Copyright © Carolyn Henderson | Year Posted 2010
She smiles all day she thinks it' s o.k.
She makes weird sounds and it's all day
My Aunt I asked will you not make that silly sound today?
My Aunt looked at me and said why? she always say
In public she snorts when she laughs and I get that
But when things get out of hand she scares my the cat
I have a cat but my Aunt well she kinda sat
Poor little cat it was now a furry little mat
I get really mad at her, but she seems to make me smile
Because one day we walked, she sang me a song about a mile
I was happy because she ran out of gas at last
She also could not speak at all, and that was a blast
Although she could not speak
She kept smiling she once never look bleak
My Aunt Willy who's Silly is the person who never does things in half's
I can not express any louder she makes me smile with laughs
Copyright © Reynaldo Mast | Year Posted 2013
With grace he jumps upon my lap,
deep humming in his throat.
He licks his soft, white mitten'd foot
and grooms his midnight coat.
Then settles down and settles in,
like many times before:
in all those springs and winters
since he came to my front door.
He’s never wrought an unclean act
inside my house . . my home.
He's shed a bit, but never even
dragged a dead rat home.
He's lazed about inside and out,
while others did not last.
His years pile up alongside mine,
with nearly nineteen passed.
I sadden thinking of the friends
that left me through those years.
His time as well, grows shorter now,
along with mine, I fear.
But he knows nothing of this truth,
as he settles in my lap.
No dread upon his whiskered face,
this loving, gentle cat.
And as he holds sly death at bay,
for as long as he can fend;
I hope and pray a peaceful trip,
escorts him to his end.
Copyright © Diane Lefebvre | Year Posted 2015
Christy, Christafur Cat.
Was a southern cat.
His ancestors came from the south of Spain.
His Great, Great, Grandfather was a
venturesome Cat who came across the Seven Seas.
Not Long after that he met another southern
Cat This one from the heart of Georgia.
As the years came and went History was
recorded by some other Cats.
To which Christy, Christafur, Cat asks.
Why is that? How do you know that?
Can you prove that? Is that a fact?
My dear Christy, Christafur, Cat I
really don’t know. You are such a Loveable
Cat. That is that. YOU CAT!
John H. Hardison..
Copyright © John Hardison | Year Posted 2015
The stray cat walks on three legs now.
(I swear he’d walk on two.)
I found out just the other night;
My neighbors call him Lou.
He’s weathered one more winter:
The fourth since I arrived.
The shape he’s always in by spring:
Lord . . how does he survive?
I leave a pan of dry food out
Each and every day.
Protected from the rain or snow,
In case Lou comes this way.
A little dog house waits nearby,
Next to the pan of food.
It’s padded well in wintertime,
In case Lou’s in the mood:
To trust me and to rest awhile,
In a place that’s dry and warm.
To stop his weary traveling round
And nevermore move on.
Except for this I do no more,
For Lou will not come near.
He’s feral now, afraid of me
And this won’t change, I fear.
In speaking with my neighbor though,
It seems there are a few --
Who also care about the likes
Of poor, old Tiger Lou.
His days are spent amongst us
And amongst us they will end.
But none can say, stray Tiger Lou,
Passed by without a friend.
Copyright © Diane Lefebvre | Year Posted 2015
it just stood there till forest ranger
knocked to check if widow raccoon was alright.
rain was very nasal that night; so she said
i’m fine with my woolen frock and lights on,
and shut the door and slid on her
then, a brownie cat from nowhere land jumped
through the sill and landed on widow’s lap.
brownie cat purred and meowed like a violin
in the middle of some broken refrain. she was
so pretty and had some scratch. widow raccoon
laughed and both had milk with lemon biscuits
for midnight snacks…as night stretched longer,
brownie took a shower and read nursery rhymes
with widow till sweet cat purred more with
gentle licks on widow’s prune cheeks. oh, how
raccoon flashed a wide grin for the first time
facing brownie she said it would
be nice to have dear stray cat for keeps…
canine pet crooned and purred some more
as they slept under tap-taps of rain while tiny
stars gently spun away. morning came; brownie
danced for her mother widow but sprained
her shoulder. i better put some balm on that,
raccoon pulled newfound cat near her chest.
oh, brownie had a name tag and flea collar
around her neck. fluffy kitten couldn’t be hers;
they hugged so tight as teary widow dressed up.
holding brownie on swaying arms, sad raccoon
swooned, it’s time for you to get home, and opened…
all rights reserved
(( for Francine Roberts' " Tell Me About It" ))
Copyright © nette onclaud | Year Posted 2011
As a kitten,
he ran away the moment
I opened my door,
or saw the bright crack
between the door
I knew the secret spot he loved
to come and dine;
I put a share of my meals
on that spot each day. As you
expect, he warmed up.
Now we are close buddies;
sometimes I feel as though
I'm in a company of a human,
with its breathing and stare,
as though it knows what
I'm saying or doing.
It rubs my legs with its furry tail,
whenever I return home from work.
I wish my girlfriend acted that excited,
every time she saw me…..
Copyright © Teddy Kimathi | Year Posted 2016
The morning greets me with birds at my window
They peck at the glass,
they chirp and harass,
"The sun is up, the grass smells clean!
The flowers so pretty they must be seen!"
I pull the covers back up to my chin,
the cold cotton pillow feels good on my skin.
But the longer I lie here the more I realize,
the coffee is calling; I really must rise.
With eyes barely open, I saunter about.
The kitty is purring and happy as trout.
My shepherds come running, their tails wagging fast.
They want to go outside, and go running past.
I open the door and nearly knocked over,
They run off the deck and into the clover.
I walk to the table,
all dressed with pink roses,
waiting for barking, and kissed by wet noses.
I smell the aroma of Colombian beans,
my percolator singing, while I get on my jeans.
I'm feeling quite artful,
the day has begun.
The birds are still chirping,
the yard in full sun.
The coffee tastes great, and as I sit here,
the birds at my window, the cat in the chair,
there's one place that's calling, with north light galore,
just past the den, where Big Bear will snore.
My studio corner, my wonderful place,
where dreams are realized, and canvas to face.
The day has begun
It's a spring morning
-Mary Susan Vaughn
Copyright © Mary Susan Vaughn | Year Posted 2016
The crashing waves hit the bow, as we cut through waters deep.
Clasped in irons that cut the skin; forged in the fires that never sleep.
The desert was dry, the sun beat down, I am free as a bird
The breeze tickled through the oasis, near the camel herd
Now my love is fading, like the burnt embers of those flames.
I am now branded a thief and prisoner, amongst some other names.
The hate I felt for the whore that tried to give his love to me.
Was so strong I felt I could kill him, my love he will never see.
I stole for her a flower, a simple heart felt gift.
The perfume now a memory, on this prison galleon adrift.
I am traveling to my wedding, across the desert so hot and dry.
Perfumed flower petals along the way, by slaves are scattered awry.
Seven years the price for my gift of love it did gain.
Hard labour I endure, to avoid the leather cat pain.
My arms are full of bracelets, and pearls hang round my neck.
I never think of him, now shackled on that deck.
Her kisses sublime, a memory fading, the perfume of her skin and hair
The price is high but I will pay, I took her from him to be fair.
To think I could have kissed. him makes my skin fairly crawl.
But the plan worked well, for my new rich lover, it managed to enthrall.
Slaves to love, there is no choice, when our hearts lead us astray.
I stand here windswept and tear stained, with seven years to pay.
How dry my eyes now he has gone, freedom is beckoning me.
So easy it was to frame him, now he has seven years before he is free.
I stand in the wind, rope in hand, waves crashing all around.
My ankles are bleeding with the chains, and the cat makes a whistling sound.
I lay on cushions with rings on my fingers the slaves are fanning me.
My wrists are bathed in rose oil, and kissed perpetually.
My love is strong, my heart is given, and I know I will endure.
My love will wait for me, my beauty, my life, my own sweet amour.
Thank goodness I kept my heart for me, and for me alone.
This thing called love is foolish, my heart it has never known.
In collaboration with Declan Fitzgerald who started the story off which made it easy to alternate my side of the story as a femme fatale between his couplets.
Copyright © Mandy Tams The Golden Girl | Year Posted 2012
I am a big admirer of all large cats, one of my favourites being the Scottish Wild Cat.
It is one of the wildest of all cats and will fight to the death to protect its kitten even with a golden eagle. It avoids humans like the plague preferring to live a solitary life.
They have survived human for over 500 years longer than the wolf and over 1000 years more than the bear and british lynx. They have been on the planet for millions of years before either humans or domestic cats.
They look much like a tabby but gait like a big cat, males weigh between 6-9kg, females smaller 5-7kg. They have rotating wrists and razor sharp claws for gripping and climbing trees. Fossil remains have been found measuring 4 feet.
They can sprint at 30mph and fall from massive heights landing on their feet, they are a stealth hunter and mainly nocturnal covering up to 10km range. Even when born in captivity they are un-tamable.
They charge when fighting but don't lie on their sides like domestic cats.. Renowned for biting right through gauntlets vets dart if they have to handle them.
Wild Cats enjoy their own space and daily schedules. They like things to be peaceful so live as far from humans as possible. Usually heavily forested and near water, they frequently change dens.
They are a friend of crop farmers by keeping down rabbits etc. They only eat meat consuming most if not all of what they kill. Killing by grabbing prey and pulling it down then biting through either neck or spine.
Wild Cats like to fish by using their paws to scoop out fish, and like eels, lizards and frogs. Their other food is small deer, ground birds and hares, nowadays they rarely take a lamb seeming to know the farmer will try to kill them. Most Scottish farmers are proud to have a Wild Cat on their land.
Their night vision is exceptional about seven better than ours. They can rotate their ears 180 degrees enabling them to hear all around them. They then triangulate and pinpoint the source, and exceptional balance as well make it a super predator.
Some Facts taken ad lib
Mating season: January to March, most births in April to May
Oestrus: 2 to 8 days, in presence of males
Gestation: 63 to 68 days
Litter size: Mean 3.4, range 1 to 8
Age at independence: 4 to 5 months, up to 10 months
Age at sexual maturity: Females 10 to 12 months, males 9 to 10 months
Inter birth interval: one year, females can only exceptionally breed twice in one year, such as when the first litter is lost
Mortality: Studies suggest human caused mortality (snares, roads, gunshot) account for up to 92% of deaths
Longevity: Probably around 6 to 8 years in the wild, up to 15 years in captivity
Usually one litter a year with 3-4 kittens born in early spring, they learn to hunt from roughly 7-9 weeks old by the mother bringing home live prey then with her becoming independent around 5-6 months.
This just scrapes the surface of this fascinating cat. I think the following quote sums them up well
"They'll fight to the death for their freedom; they epitomise what it takes to be truly free I think."
If interested you will find most if not all you want to know on this site
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Copyright © Shadow Hamilton | Year Posted 2013
“My grandfather was strong and mighty, till he died at age of ninety.
The clock then stopped to run no more.
Then one of my relations wrote a song, sung for generations.
I think of it more and more:
“My grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf,
So it stood ninety years on the floor.
It was taller by half than the old man himself,
Though it weighed not a penny-weight more . . .”
Shaken from his quaint digression, his face in tense expression,
He renewed his dire obsession
About what made the clock strike in the night.
He slipped to the room adjacent, above an empty basement,
Where stood the clock’s encasement – opened so very slight.
Moving with stealth, and in no hurry,
He saw an object hunched and furry;
His cat stood vigil in the night, with eyes reflecting light.
A mouse, the cat had faced, into the clock was chased,
And up the pendulum raced, quickly taking flight.
Climbing the clock’s encasement, the mouse’s weight displacement,
Tripped the spring so tight; it struck with awesome might!
Striking twelve it had numbered, his muddled thoughts encumbered,
Scared awake from slumber in the night.
“All of this is so confusing, could I, these years be using
The clock with spring so tight?”
In his mental delusion he added to the confusion,
For this intrusion in the night.
There was nothing he couldn’t handle
With his shotgun on the mantle by the door,
With it he could surely even up the score.
With the menace looming bigger, he quickly pulled the trigger
Then the grandfather clock was no more
And the cat and mouse— a taxidermy chore.
Copyright © James Tate | Year Posted 2011
One day my daughter brought home a scraggly looking young cat who had always
lived outside. In her first year, we learned she had given birth to two litters of kittens, most of which died. She’d always had to scrounge for food and had even escaped from the pound, only to find her way back to that place where she’d not been well-treated! When my daughter saw her, it was her kittens that were being given away. But my daughter saw a gentle quality in this mother cat that surpassed the sweetness of the kittens and asked to take the mother, who became known to our family as Callie (for Calico).
Callie grew plump and flourished in our home. She was no nuisance to anybody or anything. She became so pampered that she hated the outdoors and if a door were opened, she would approach the “outside” cautiously, only to come racing back inside the minute we returned from our porch. Callie loved to sit on laps and be petted. The older she got, the louder she even purred. If a visitor came to the house, she would climb to their laps. She was small and so likable that nobody wanted to shoo her away.
When our children left home, she became my one and only baby, curled up by my pillow each night and awakening me with a little pat to my face every morning for her breakfast. Callie lived a long life, nearly 18 years, but has since passed on. Dying of cancer, she clung to life until we saw fit to have her put to sleep. I have since adopted other cats, and my current cat is indeed charming, but I still believe there is not another cat in the world that can compare to our one and only Callie Cat!
Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2009
He dragged himself along a narrow corridor,
carrying a golden cat statue with him.
He walked as though the weight of the world
was on his shoulders, as he vomited
out thick blood. His favorite white shirt
was now red and wet.
On his skin, veins were dark
and swollen, as though they wanted to explode!
It is picking the artifact
from goddess Bastet’s shrine,
that made him to be as he was….
Copyright © Teddy Kimathi | Year Posted 2015
The English language does not serve up justice to the word ‘Love’.
It allows for an unrestricted usage relative to the object of our affection.
“I love my house, and I love my car; I love my dog, and I love my cat”.
If the equity in my house rises high enough, I will sell it and buy a better one.
If my car no longer performs or I desire to have a new one, I’ll sell or trade it.
My dog stands by me, and he’s my best friend. My cat is quiet and very comforting.
“I love my teachers, and I love my preachers: I love my parents and my siblings”.
I love my job, and I love my blue suede shoes; I love my friends and my enemies”.
I tell you, there is no end to the things that I love without much distinction.
I love my husband; I love my wife; Now hold on! This is where the red flag must fall.
This is where the defining line of true love is drawn in the sand, and here, I take my stand. There are obviously hidden meanings when it comes to “Love” in the English language.
Why did the English not confer more with the Greeks in matters of the “Love Word”?
Would my wife not be much more appreciative of a “Love Word” from me if she knew that my choice of words was different from, let’s say those used to describe my affinity for a professional football team? I think yes.
Anyway, I do “LOVE” my wife far more and far longer than I ‘love’ the raise I received on my job. English is the only language I know. So I am stuck with loving the coffee she made for me, and LOVING her with the same word.
The Greeks seemed to have had a better idea. In the Greek, there are at least three words for “Love”. Those words are very relevant at this point. Phileo, Eros, and Agape express three distinct meanings of “Love”. Phileo love is a brotherly love from which we get the English word Philadelphia. Eros is a romantic love from which we get the word Erotic. In Christian theology, Agape is the divine love, or God’s love for mankind.
And now a final word, especially to all of us who are married. Here is one way to clear everything up and cover all the bases of love. Herein lies a way to not just hit a home run, but a grand slam. Say these words to your spouse: “Honey, let me count the ways that I love thee; my dear, believe me when I say, I love thee in the English, and I love thee in the Greek; I Phileo you, because you are my best friend; I Eros you, because you are my only lover; and I Agape you with a love so divine. 09292015 (contest )
Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2015
Mother rabbit builds
a cozy burrow
underneath the soil.
She brings her babies
and covers them
in her own fur.
She places them
in the flower bed
near the front door,
a spot well chosen
to give protection
from the wind.
Pansies and petunias
sit in their boxes
crying for the soil.
We give them water,
waiting patiently for
a later day to plant.
The cats perch
on the windowsill,
twin heads turned,
eyes glued to her den.
We keep them inside
for babies’ sake.
Copyright © Cona Adams | Year Posted 2014
living with a ghost is easy
a bit hard on the nerves
at times but lovely too
I have been doing it for years now years I tell you
ever since grandma went or should I say didn't
you see I inherited all her things sadly some got sold
but I kept many including
her old favorite chair
an antique china cabinet
with her tea cups and collectibles
oh how she loved her collectibles now be gentle dear
I recall her saying to the little girl that was me
after grandma's funeral ( I read the eulogy too)
I felt a presence in my nest my home I really did
but brushed it off . . .
then one day a friend who thought herself a physic
she stood in the center of my living room eyes closed
for the longest time.... I wanted to say are you okay
turned to me suddenly and said you have a ghost
I gulped I DO . . . yes, she said you have TWO
she walked right over to the grandma's chair
she is right here watching you and she has a cat
A CAT ... I said yes, a calico cat
I did not know what to say
you see... my cat patches who recently died was calico
well, I was not that shocked as me and grandma
had a special bond always
now often I will hear the china cabinet open (at night)
and in the morning the tea cups and collectibles have moved
sometimes the chair will creak and was that a ghostly meow
but I love my ghosts both of them I really do
and would have it no other way . . .
sometimes, I bring the chair a cup of tea
I even talk to it (never sit in it)
I know that sounds silly
but I swear, she is listening
NOT THE CHAIR grandma-
June 5, 2016
For the contest, I Ain't Afraid Of No Ghost
sponsor, Casarah Nance
Copyright © Broken Wings | Year Posted 2016
“Without you, now I see
How fragile the world can be
And I know you've gone away,
But in my heart you'll always stay” –Katie Melua
There is a peculiar feeling I remember experiencing when the news came
I suppose people who have experienced the sudden death of a loved one would understand
My heart grew heavy; my body felt weak…
Yet there was still a part of me that simply didn’t want to fully believe it
I felt as if my entire body was overflowing with black grief,
Swirling in circular motions all throughout my blood and brain
Stumbling with heightening realization and heartache,
I ran down the stairs and out the door
I searched around for him, scared to see him, but needing to see him…
My sister motioned over to where he was lying…
“No…no…” I ran across the street to him, and sat there at the curb staring at him
I cried out in utter shock and pain,
Sobbing at the sight of my cat stiff as stone, bloated and bloodied
I had never thought I would see him this way
His eyes were opened; a couple of flies were crawling on his ears,
And he was lying in a small puddle of brown liquid
I knew it was him even at a distance, but I had to check for certain
Perhaps there was hope…
As bad as it sounded, maybe it was another black cat…
Maybe Spy was still laying in the grass contently, safe from harm
Scaring away the large flies,
I felt his tail till I came to the very end of it, where I felt the bend
This little crook of the tail confirmed it was no other cat but Spy
Spy - the best cat I have ever had the pleasure to call my own
My tears fell upon his fur, the hot California sun beating down upon us
He was my best friend
He was my pride and joy…he was my sweet black cat,
And I loved him with all of my heart
I think Spy deserves recognition for what he has done for me and my family
Yes, he was just a cat, but to me, he was so much more than that
He was family, and he was the closest friend I could ever have
Sitting at the curb sobbing, barefoot, hair a mess, not caring who saw me,
I set my hand on the fur that wasn’t already damp and mucky
My original thought of someone running him over with a car disappeared immediately
Half his face was messed up
His teeth were shattered
Inconceivable pain still lingered on his dead, cloudy eyes
I lifted each of his paws, examining them, and saw that each claw was severed,
And shards of the claws dangled in various areas
Deep blade wounds were evident as well…
With a heartrending groan, I knew someone did this to him
And this understanding curdled my blood and rattled my bones
Someone had done this…
Honestly, I wanted to be angry at whoever was involved in the death of Spy,
But instead, all I could do was feel sadness and cry
A part of me blamed myself of course
I should have kept him inside…
I should have watched over him better…
I should have known something was wrong when he didn’t visit my room that night…
I should have...I should have...
But now it is just too late…
A man with a short brown beard, plaid shirt
And a navy blue hat approached me slowly,
Holding a shoebox, a sad expression on his face
"Here's... a box you can put him in," He said faintly.
Being shy, I didn't want to look at him, but I did,
And his eyes were glistening in sadness.
Still shaking with sobs, I thanked him
And began lifting Spy into the box
Rather a big cat, I had some difficulty,
But anything was better than leaving him there
Lying in the dirty gutter collecting flies and other insects
He said, "I am really sorry about your cat..."
There was a silence, save for my crying,
And he crouched down near me for a little while.
All I could give him was a weak "Thank you."
I wanted to hug him
To tell him that he was so kind to stop and help...
I think what we regret the most is not taking action,
Not saying the right words, or not being there at the right time
Yet he took action…a stranger, he was there for me,
And he cried with me….
What a blessing he was to me in that moment
Copyright © Laura Breidenthal | Year Posted 2015
I will never forget the Feast of Tabernacles at Lake Arrowhead
I spent my nights there in our beautiful rented house
With Spy loyally by my side
He slept on my bed and kept me feeling comfortable and happy
We cuddled close to each other during the cooler nights
When I begin to shiver slightly (I know, I’m such a Californian!)
He would warm me up, laying across my neck—a purring scarf
During my most emotional prayers, he was there,
And he looked at me curiously with his beautiful, yellow-green eyes
He never failed to make me smile wide
Throughout many hardships,
His presence and his love toward me kept me going
I know that the memory of him and all the good times we had
Will help me endure through the hardships coming
He grew up to be a very fine cat
He followed me everywhere it seemed, my second shadow
Friendlier than most cats I have owned in the past,
He got along with everyone in the family
People say that cats are very independent and moody
—I would say Spy was quite the opposite
When he met my friend Allie for the first time,
He immediately fell in love with her and rubbed against her legs
He even laid on his back showing her his belly
When we sat down, he would curl up beside us,
Watching inquiringly, wondering what we were doing
When six kittens were born on a lovely Sabbath day,
Spy would get inside the drawer they were in,
Curl up around them and keep them warm
Until the mother returned after her meals
He was a fantastic father to them, though he was scared at first,
Like I presume all fathers are to some degree
The only complaints I had for Spy were his morning rituals—
Desperate begging out of hunger at odd hours of the morning
He liked to lay on my head, yowl loudly in my ear, scratch the walls,
Or paw my face if I ignored him in my bed
Come to think of it, I also used to get so irritated my him
As I would descend down the stairs to my room
He would always have the need to race me to the bottom
No matter what he had to reach the bottom first and he never failed
One time, I was determined to beat him to the bottom,
So before he noticed I was shooting down the stairs,
I desperately fumbled down the stairway like a maniac
When I reached the last few steps, frenzied with soon-to-be glory,
Suddenly Spy leaped down the stairs, and jumped right off the side rail,
Landing on the bottom on all four feet, ensuring his vivacious victory
I must admit, it was pretty damn epic
Of course, a sore loser once again,
I gave up with a playful glower,
Scooping him in my arms, kissing him on the head
"You silly thing..." –
Was an expression often repeated on various occasions
It is hard to express how I feel
It is truly like losing a family member
Spy is gone now I can see the pain in each family member’s eyes
Especially after the trip to Arrowhead, Spy and I,
We were like two peas in a pod
Thank you for reading
I want all of you to know,
I am thankful to have you in my life
We are blessed to have each other
And to share experiences together
Let’s make the best out of this life
We never know what tomorrow will bring, but let us not fret
I am just happy I had the time I had with Spy
He will always be a huge part of my life
The beginning of Spy's life was a tragedy as well
He was thrown out of a moving car with four kittens, and left for dead
I was angry at the people then,
But now I am at peace,
I now pray earnestly for those that harm others
The fact that Spy suffered before his death severely saddens me
But I am comforted in the fact that he now rests peacefully
Spy Breidenthal May 2013-October 18, 2014
Copyright © Laura Breidenthal | Year Posted 2015
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Silver rain wrapped her flowing fingers around Douglas Firs. Ocean was the blue ballerina dancing upon the stage of sand. Finally, the rain receded, and the cloud curtains parted their fleecy flair. Full moon bloomed from night's womb, and twinkling sky wore her as an Olympic medal.
Flash after flash, Cassaro took picture after picture.
Suddenly, to her haunted horror the landscape changed.
Full moon transformed into Death's skull while stars shined as his eyes. Evening became his ebony cape, and clouds climaxed into his sickle.
Oh the sight!
Oh the sight!
Cassaro's boss Death strutted in his skeleton stride towards her. She whipped down hot whiskey and sighed as Death entered the hotel room.
"Pinstripe Mouse, I have a mission for you. You are.. "
Cassaro ignored him and drank more.
"You drink too much cheese."
"Now, I desire steel cheese," Cassaro said.
She placed the bottle down on the counter. Then, she reached in her pocket and unleashed her stiletto. Cassaro grabbed Death's bony neck and threw his ghostly presence into the hotel wall.
"Go ahead, try to de-claw Skeleton Cat," Death said as he winked at her.
She threw her knife down as if it were a dirty wash cloth.
"You need your plethora of pills," Death said.
"You need to polish your bones."
"Again, I have a mission for you. You are..."
Cassaro snatched up the empty bottle and smashed it into the wall. Shards of glass slid down, then crackled upon the carpet.
She screamed, "Let my mortality melt into mush! Let my skull sink into the sands of the afterlife! Let me be just bone!"
Death slammed his scythe into the floor with such fury that the hotel room shook like an earthquake had hit. He ripped off his regal robe and threw it into the wall where it transformed into a flat screen. His sickle shrank into a remote control. Pictures of children appeared on the monitor.
"There are twenty children this week alone you can save. If you choose to die, then they will..."
"Only if you become flesh and blood," Cassaro said as she eyed his skull.
Life surrounded him like ivy in the forest, climbing bone after bone. Cassaro glanced into his amber eyes and smiled with lace tears.
"Death became man and walked right into the history books," she said.
"The mission begins in Russia," Death said.
They both turned into steam and disappeared.
Copyright © Chantelle Anne Cooke | Year Posted 2015
Drums and flags
And sight of toffee apples.
The fair begins for the new season.
Maud, the cat, waits for new night.
Then it comes, and past midnight,
Maud, the cat, searches for mice.
Somewhere behind the rubbish tip
And toffee apples half-prepared,
She waits by drums and flags.
Copyright © Julia Ward | Year Posted 2015
A cat walked across the street
(After looking both ways).
It was a pretty Kitty.
There were trees across the street.
In the trees there were squirrels.
The squirrels raised families.
They ate acorns,
they made babies,
A cat stepped across the street.
(After looking one way).
It was a pretty stray Kitty.
Across the street there were farmlands.
In the farmlands lived humans.
The humans raised many different plants.
The humans fed these plants to many types of animals.
Then the animals gave the humans “gifts”.
Which the humans ate, drank, and made into money.
Then they had sex (like animals).
A cat ran across the street.
It was a pretty curious stray Kitty.
It was run over by a taxi.
Riding inside the taxi were a Father and Son.
The Father remained unconcerned.
The Son frowned, looked out the window, and wept.
“The poor Kitty,” he said staring down at his hands.
“Why Dad, why did the Kitty have to die?” he asked.
“Son, the Kitty didn’t die; it went to Kitty Heaven.”
He answered almost-smiling at his Son now watching
the traffic consume outside quickly, noiselessly.
A cat stumbled across the street.
(At midnight, eyes closed).
Just some Goddamed kitty cat.
The Kitty was crushed by a taxi and by an ambulance
and by a Greyhound bus and by a mini-van.
All tomorrow bound and running a day late.
Thump! Thump-thump! and all Kitty’s bones shattered,
as a car window shatters (into thousands of perfect cubes).
Kitty’s use-to-be head popped like a water balloon;
that some homeless child dropped on a hot sidewalk-
in New York City summertime.
Its lifeless body was vomited up against-
wheel well wheel well wheel well, eventually
spiraling into a drainage ditch off the highway.
Where it laid epileptically twitching.
Yellow eyes now open and looking forever
upward at the hazy stars of almost June
in the Twenty-first century, respectfully.
Copyright © joshua ten eyck | Year Posted 2006
Bella and Shadow nestled in their woven beds on the cat tree
Bella stretches out her legs and purrs.
“Psst, Psst. Hey, Shadow, are you up for some fun?”
“Sure!”, Shadow purred, “What do you have in mind?”
“Let’s go tease Peeddie. Let’s see how far he can stretch from his leash.
He is always eager to see us come near, a stretch from his leash, whip lash for him.”
Together, bolting for the stairs, they waited, looking around.
Out the pet door they hurried, down the porch steps and started across the yard.
Shadow caught up with Bella.
With a mission they crept ahead, staying low, using the bushes for cover
Instead of his pillow inside his home, sleepy Peeddie lie basking in the sun
against a stake driven firmly into the ground,
Bella and Shadow creep forward through the mulch beneath the bushes,
a twig snapped off to one side
Bella stared at Shadow and whispered,
“Hush! We don’t want to get too close.”
Peedie, arose when he heard the snap, saw the two cats, with precision, unleash his position
“Uh-Oh.” Bella hissed and spat
“What? Oh my gosh,” Shadow said, and somersaulted back home
For it had rain the night before and the ground became so soft,
Peeddie had pulled out the stake
Bella and Shadow bolted across the yard back through the pet door up the stairs
They found out it was better to sleep like a mouse and let sleeping dogs lie
Moral of the story
Leave something alone if it might cause trouble or you might stir up more trouble that you can handle.
Contest Sponsored by Carol Eastman.
Copyright © Eve Roper | Year Posted 2016