Ode to a Cat
Mr P was so happy with his previous poem that he decided to write another one. He wanted to write on animals this time and he thought writing a poem on the feline species would be very neat. He realised that it would be good to watch his subject while he wrote about it. However, Mr P was not inclined to take another trip into the Gir forests (see Mr P, Figura and the lion) or even go and watch lions at the nearest zoo. It was then that he decided to settle for the humbler Felis catus instead of Panthera leo and chose the neighbour’s cat as his prime candidate. Mr P and the cat had a complicated relationship going between them. While the cat liked to sneak into P’s kitchen, especially after Mr P cooked some fish, it preferred to be left alone from Mr P’s doting attentions. Every time Mr P tried to sweet talk the cat to come close to him, it had only given Mr P scornful and disdainful looks, twitched its tail in displeasure, and cat-walked away.
That day, Mr P sneaked in on the cat while it was enjoying a nap in the cool of the veranda, after a sumptuous meal of mackerel from Mr P’s leftover lunch. He slowly sat down near the cat, spread the paper on the floor and took his pen to write.
Yet he was stuck again… He made a few dots and dashes with his pen and a few doodles but no words were penned. Mr P again remembered his writer’s block. There was now no doubt in his mind that he could have been born with it! P made a mental note to talk to his doctor about this at his next appointment. Gathering his thoughts back, he focused hard on the sleeping feline, put his pen to paper, and started to write:
Oh feline so sleek even in sleep,
Your paws huddled and claws withdrawn,
While awake you stealthily creep
To filch my fish and prawn.
In anger your tail whips and lashes,
Whiskers frown, topaz eyes flare
And off you scoot on wild dashes
Every time I spoil your dare.
If more fish on your menu you expect,
Then wipe the disdain off your gaze
And learn to show me some respect
The next time we come face to face.
With these few lines written down, Mr P was tempted into stretching out like the cat on the veranda floor. It was a balmy day and a gentle breeze came flowing in. Mr P was soon giving orations and reciting poems in front of a cheering, awe-struck audience……
But the poor cat began to have nightmares. The loud, jarring sound got to a point where the feline finally woke up, its heart beating in panic. She saw Mr P on the floor. Very loud purring sounds escaped from his nostrils and lips as they quivered rhythmically. With a yowl it dashed away.