Some families are pet families. Some others, the sad, lonely minority, are not.
We were not a pet family. Sure I had fish, and at one point a rabbit (Mum and Dad, what did happen to Jenni the (male) rabbit?), but I never had a dog, or a guinea pig, or, for shame, a cat, all those perfectly normal pets every child at primary school has.
This absence of furry creatures (barring Jenni the male rabbit) from my life lead, inevitably, to an obsession with such creatures, and so it was that my best friend in year five, Katrina, and I performed 'Mungo Jerry and Rumpletezer' (from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Cats, of course) for the 1985 talent quest at my primary school. Ahem.
Fast forward to September 2010 and I'm happy to report that quite the opposite is now the case re: furry cat things. I find myself today fairly inundated with cats. Sure they're less in the physical form than the poetic form, but cat-related they are nonetheless.
Here is a marvellous cat poem by the very fine internet poet, Mad Cat Lady:
I have a cat
She is fat
she broke my hat
which I'd careless left lying on a mat
and as is commonly known, cats
are much attracted to sitting on mats
and the combination of hat and mat
was too much for the cat
she squashed my hat flat
its now rather like a hat shaped mat
so sod her if she thinks shes going to be getting any pats
feckin fat cat
Marvellous, Mad Cat Lady! Your poem (and a bottle of shiraz) helped me remember a childhood effort of my own, entitled 'My Neighbour's Cat'. It read:
My neighbour's cat
Is rather fat
For he loves his food.
He's white and black
With a high-arched back
And he gets in a fiery mood
When his owner is late
To bring in a plate
Piled with steamed and smoked fish.
When I come to play
He stalks away
And curls his tail with a swish.
T.S. Eliot's Book of Practical Cats probably comes close, quality-wise, to Maddie and my poems, don't you think? If you too have a cat poem that you feel would be right at home here please do send it to me.
Squib, Ramon, Ms Catast, Words and Wine, I have no doubt you have extraordinary cat poems just waiting for an appreciative audience; that audience is here! That audience is now. Let's hear your feline lines.