I don’t have a cat, but cats find their way into my writing.  Cats are messengers and story-tellers, and follow people through the ages, attaching themselves to the human story, translating it. Here is a poem about a famous cat, whose name I do not know, but she was real enough, and probably did not mind what humans called her. Half a century later, she is around somewhere, I am sure, in a new home, encouraging another writer. The poet was real, he was brilliant, but is incidental to the cat!





The cat disdains the handsome poet

who teases her with dangled string.

She has rich striped tortoiseshell fur, like a royal train,

and blatantly ignores him.

The man, striped by shadows from the window blind,

will be acclaimed for what he writes.

His wife-to-be reads intelligently.

She is beautiful, posed like Cleopatra.

They are all at home together. Man, woman, cat.

The string is artifice. The cat knows this.



From: The Future, and Other Poems for Lovers


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