Saturday, September 11, 2010

All things cat

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

so 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
to combat
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.


Catastrophe Waitress said...

I adore those poems!
Good show!
I shall get my thinking cap on.

No pets here either Mme Kettle.
(insert image of sad face)
The fish we had didn't survive.
Although my daughter would LOVE a cat.
She gives regular cat inquisitions:
"But what if we FOUND a cat and it had no home to go to?"
"What if we had a million dollars?"
"What if someone gave us a cat to babysit and then forgot to pick it back up?"

As far as scenarios go, I'm crossing my fingers for option 2. I told her that if option number 2 pops up, she can have 2 cats!

Mad Cat Lady said...

My grandma went with option three and kept 'forgetting' to pick up the cat she asked us to look after while she was away. She was unfixed. We ended up with about 20 cats/kittens at one stage.

It was great!

Kettle said...

Ms Catast, we eagerly await your cat lines.

Just thinking, perhaps your daughter doesn't actually want a cat but rather is using the topic of cats to practise her hypotheticals? Any chance she's been muttering in her sleep about supplanting Geoffrey Robertson? That could be what's really going on here.

Grandmas are wily, eh Maddie. You've got to watch them.

Twenty cats at one time is very impressive. Have all your cats had names? Have you found that any cat with the same name, say, as a tragic literary character (like Anna Karenina) has died an equally tragic and fitting death? I'm finding this with fish.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Your poem puts me to shame, MCL.

We have a cat.

It wandered in as a kitten six years ago and refuses to leave.

squib said...

I'm a dog person, Kettle

MCL's poem reminds me of her epic verse in the great flying spaghetti monster t-shirt competition of 08. She offered me 4 cats for that shirt

Kettle said...

Ramon and Squib, your comments raise a myriad of questions:

Ramon, where did the kitten wander in from? Now that it's a cat does it have a name (or is it still 'Kitten')? If it refuses to leave does that mean you've asked it to leave? Why would you do that?

Squib, what, pray tell, was the great flying spaghetti monster t-shirt competition of 08?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Kitten the cat is still called "Kitten", Kettle.

We didn't want to waste a perfectly good name on a stray

Kettle said...

By that reasoning, Ramon, should anyone who's adopted or suffering amnesia be stripped of their name?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...


Yes, they should.

Mad Cat Lady said...

The twenty (and more that passed through our home since we gave a lot away and mother said the snake at some, which I didn't know was a fib for a long time) all had different names.

One was dubbed "Super Purr-er" for the awesome loudness of its purr.

But there was bandit and cuddles and speedy and Tabitha and kit and gun-sin and smokey and lady and midgit and ...

squib said...

People had to explain why they HAD to have the blue flying spaghetti monster shirt. It got quite complicated in the end and there was a scatter graph

Catastrophe Waitress said...

Mme Kettle and Mrs Squib?
You should both consult Maddie for names when you have your next lot of children.

OH my!
word verification:

I kid you not!

Kettle said...

Maddie you had a 'Kit'? As in Knight Rider? Awesome.

You are a cat-naming natural, and I think Ms Catast is right in suggesting you move into human-baby naming. Tell your sister you'd be happy to rename her newish baby for her. She'll be honoured to have an MCL Original.

And Ms Catast: your word verification alignments are majorly spooky. If only we could turn these line-ups to profit as well as hilarity, eh.

squib said...

when you have your next lot of children.

no way Jose!

squib said...

Goodness, it's been very quiet in Kettleland?

Kettle said...

Deary me, Squib, we have been tither and thither these last few weeks, travelling all over the country-side having holidays and supposedly enjoying ourselves.

In reality it poured with rain at the coast, Mr Kettle got attacked with what he thinks were mosquitoes but I'm sure were pterodactyls, I got the 'flu (and I'm utterly convinced it was The Swine Flu--and to think I became a vegetarian this year and my piggy brethren have so turned against me! (Of course there's no medical evidence to suggest it was the H1N1 virus, just my histrionics)), and I had an allergic reaction to our sunscreen, and I had to try mulberries, and we went to Canberra, and we went to the Blue Mountains, and I've had so many books to buy online what with the dollar where it is (was) and all, and I had to make my Wuthering Heights cd (thanks for your suggestions there), and then I had to defend Wuthering Heights against the five million people who've told me it's the very worst novel of all time, and and and.

Ah, just got one more thing to do tomorrow then the nonsense will begin again.

You know, you could always restart your blog? That would be fun, eh?

squib said...

Oh my goodness, well of course I hope Mr Kettle doesn't get Ross River Virus (I am always worried about getting that from mozzies and also I always check suncreams for nano robots)

By a strange synchronicity, I was on a train yesterday, eavesdropping on the teenage girls next to me and they were saying how this girl got pterodactyls tattooed on her arm because she so totally wanted to be a paleontologist. I have been spending big on book as well

I preferred Jane Eyre, myself but WH is still fazzo

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Looks at watch.

Looks at Kettle's blog.

Looks at watch again.

Kettle said...

Ah Ramon I have been deeply mired in an existential-musical crisis this past month.

It started like this:

One partially balmy early Spring day I was scrolling through my itunes thinking how much I didn't want to listen to anything I've downloaded so I casually asked four dear friends what they might suggest now that I was over Sarah Blasko and Holly Throsby (ah, yep).

On recovering from the shock that my poncy selections brought on, my friends suggested roughly the same gaggle of bands, which I have been gloriously working my way through, with almost no time for sleeping, eating or internetting besides.

I'm happy to report that I think my crisis is over because when someone mentioned Cold Play at dinner last night I squealed, "Eww Cold Play! They so suck, man."

Now I've just got to figure out how to stop squealing and saying naff things like 'eww' and I think I'm going to be ok.

Kettle said...


That's gold, Squib. I'm going to use it; along with 'doth', and 'weft', eh.