Cat Fever

by J. Bersee

For Sonja

Cats are not like bats;
they don’t need wings
nor all the rest.
Bats exist to entertain
a warm, well nourished cat
behind its windowpane
where it never gets wet.

Cats have toys like spiders and flies,
not lasting long once spotted
by the feline’s awakened eye.
They get pounced upon,

on a carpet or messy lawn.
Then they chew them to heaven high!
Or dump them on the windowsill.
Surely they have died from an autumn chill.

The vacuum cleaner’s tune
will carry them away
from life's betrayal
into their dusty tomb.

Now let me not forget the Lords,
the Dukes and Duchesses
sitting on benches in a pale morning sun!
Here they study cats till dawn,
sadly aware of their human failings,
trying to be as one.
They wear monocles or pince nez
saying ‘I say Old Boy, I Say’.
And how do cats strut,
their tales in the air?
The paws invisibly gloved.
It isn’t fair!

We are not second best but the worst,
returning with a dented cat food tin.
We are the species cursed,
don’t deserve to live in a cat’s dustbin.

Now let me end with this advice.
There is nothing a cat can’t do.
But what’s the use of a cat in a canoe
somewhere on a river,
in a cat forsaken jungle,
too dull for words,
as it can make us happy
with a single purr?

Their names might be
Luca, Frikkie, Katja or Gizmo.
Their story remains the same:
a meal and a brush too long ago!!

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"A cat improves the garden wall in sunshine, and the hearth in foul weather." - Judith Merkle Riley

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