Also see Humorous Cats Poems, Cat Humor, Cat Page Ideas and Pets.
(William rose Benet)
She had green eyes, that excellent seer,
And little peaks to either ear.
She sat there, and I sat here.
She spoke of Egypt, and a white
Temple, against enormous night.
She smiled with clicking teeth and said
That the dead were never dead;
Said old emperors hung like bats
In barns at night, or ran like rats--
But empresses came back as cats!
(Janet W. Gould)
I should deplore,
A poet's cat, sedate and grave
As poet well could wish to have,
Was much addicted to inquire
For nooks to which she might retire,
And where, secure as mouse in chink,
She might repose, or sit and think.
A drawer, it chanced, at the bottom lined,
With linen of the softest kind,
With such as merchants introduce
From India, for the ladies' use;
A drawer, impending o'er the rest,
Half open in the topmost chest,
Of depth enough and none to spare,
Invited her to slumber there;
Puss with delight beyond expression,
Surveyed the scene and took possession.
If I have honored
How to find and
When I have things to say
I expect you to listen to me.
If you cannot understand what I am saying
That is your fault and your loss,
But at least be quiet when I am speaking
And try to comprehend
You who think yourselves so clever,
Who know languages of the people
Of the living world and dead,
Why cannot you learn mine
Which is so simple
To express wants so few?
"Give me just a taste of what you are having"
"My ball has rolled under the divan; get it out."
"Stop doing whatever it is you are doing
and pay more attention to me."
"I like you"
"I don't like you."
If you can talk to the Arabs, the Chinese, the Eskimos
And read the hieroglyphics of the past,
why cannot you understand me?
(Hattie S. Clarke)
I watched her smallest girl
totter off to the first day of school
propped between two older sisters,
I watched the woman
watch them also
with her suddenly empty arms
wrapped across her middle,
though the day was warm.
Even when the children had turned the corner,
her eyes clung to that distance that they had filled
and she lowered herself to the porch step.
The cat detached itself gradually
from the dappled space next to the porch.
He moved toward the woman and sat,
slid toward her and sat,
until he was at her feet, watching her watchfulness.
Then he took over her lap
in a breath of movement,
forcing her arms to peel away from herself
and encircle him.
I think she cried
as her fingers toyed at a snag in the soft, gray fur.
But the message was clear
in the upturned, unblinking
wise face of the cat
that no nest should ever be empty.
The Cat is Free
(© Adeline Foster)
The cat is free;
Ah but the eyes
Disdains the call,
Yet he betrays
(Phyllis Merryman Cloyd)
Max was an only cat,
"Two cats are quite enough,
On that final judgment day,
(Doughty P. Phillips)
She was a tiny, smiling girl,
The kitten, too shy to hold.
When they met, something changed for each
Though neither one could have told.
Kittens can't speak of learning trust
From hesitant gestures made
And girls don't mention their feelings for
A small one, alone, afraid.
Yet in that special moment when
They met and I chanced to see,
A timid kitten was nurturing
The woman that she would be.
(Mary Britton Miller)
The black cat yawns,
Then she gets up
She shows her sharp teeth,
She lets herself down
The fog comes
(I know this poem isn't about cats but I've always kept it with my cat poems.)
(Caroline D. Henry)
The painters of cats
The cat is seldom captive.
Instead the cat pads
The sight of her comforts
I saw a proud mysterious cat
Too proud to catch a mouse or rat--
But catnip she would eat and purr.
And goldfish she did much prefer.
I saw a cat--'twas but a dream
Who scorned the slave that brought her cream--
Unless the slave were dressed in style
And knelt before her all the while.
Did you ever hear of a thing like that?
Oh, what a proud mysterious cat.
(Virginia L. Canviness)
Nervous twitches distorted his features;
His dark hair was in complete disarray.
Her face, worn and pale, moved just a muscle;
She had already said what she had to say.
Accusingly, vindictively, his eyes met hers and held.
The surprisingly she laughed, love struggling against
foible of mind.
"Oh, all right, you can keep it," she reluctantly relented.
Watching her small son stagger under the weight of
the stray feline.
His little face buried in its fluffy fur,
Her abhorrence of black cats, her superstition and
In squeals of joy and a contented purr.
(Violet Alleyn Storey)
Of course, I thought I'd never let him stay,
But, anyhow, I'd save him from the street
And dreadful woes that might befall a cat
So very small and wobbly on his feet.
He was kitten black as licorice
From spiky tail to wee, shoe-button nose,
His eyes were blackish gray, and dark as soot
Were all the cushions underneath his toes.
I'd bought him from an urchin for a dime,
And, for another dime, when day grew dim,
I'd buy a vial of chloroform, I thought,
And put a swift but gentle end to him;
Or send him to a shelter for stray cats--
This might be kinder. Then I looked, and, oh,
He made the quaintest little silhouette
Against the kitchen baseboard, white as snow!
A week before I'd seen some silhouettes
Bring forth, at auction, bids absurdly high,
And these weren't soft and cuddly and alive;
These couldn't give a white-toothed, pink-mouthed cry.
And so, I thought I'd name him 'Silhouette'
But call him 'Silly', almost all the time,
For silhouettes are quite the rage just now
And one can't often buy one for a dime!
Cat, if you go outdoors you must walk in the snow.
You will come back with little white shoes on your feet,
Little white slippers of snow that have heels of sleet.
Stay by the fire, my Cat. Lie still, do not go.
See how the flames are leaping and hissing low,
I will bring you a saucer of milk like a Marguerite,
So white and smooth, so spherical and sweet--
Stay with me, Cat. Outdoors the wild winds blow.
Outdoors the wild winds blow, Mistress, and dark is the night.
Strange voices cry in the trees, intoning strange lore;
And more than cats move, lit by our eyes' green light,
On silent feet where the meadow grasses hang hoar--
Mistress, there are portents abroad of magic and might,
And things that are yet to be done. Open the door!
My cat rubs my leg
I say, "nice kitty!"
Your arched tail is a question mark
You whiskers cup quotations
And when at night you settle
(Edith Benedict Hawes)
Feed a yellow cat from willow pattern--blue.
Give a black cat his supper from a yellow bowl.
Let the Maltese have a gaudy dish--tomato-red will do.
And always feed white kittens from Dresden China.
Something modernistic for the calico cat;
But oh! For a gray Angora, with a white breast,
There is no scheme for soft contentment that
Outdoes a bit of rosy salmon on gray Wedgwood ware!
(Mary Peat McDonald)
(Sandra M. Haight)
You walk through my thoughts
With the same sure-footed command
You walked through the house.
Your pitter-patter of feet
Pounds like a drum in my head.
No bowl in your special corner;
You thrive on the meat of my mind.
No wrinkles on my bed
Where your purring body slept.
Just a heart, crumpled
By the weight of your absence.
That flashed warmth like a smile
Now brings hot tears
To my eyes in remembrance.
My lap is empty and cold--
It cannot hold memories
Full and warm,
Alive with your image
And the comfort you were.
You walk through my thoughts . . .
And the pain of your footprints will pass.
(Sara H. Hay)
Put the rubber mouse away,
Pick the spools up from the floor--
What was velvet-shod and gay
Will not need them any more.
What was soft and warm, is cold--
Whence dissolved the little breath?
How could this small body hold
So immense a thing as death?
Twisting, spinning, winging a flying "pas de deax" no dancer could perform,
You exhaust me with your frenzy,
Divert me with your kitten antics,
Annoy me with your infant's mischief.
(careful, cautious, moving with the regal grace of a queen mother,
She soothed me with her calm,
Comforted me with her furry warmth,
Caressed me with velvet paws.)
Your springing leap, misjudging height,
Pulls down the cloth, the candles, the dishes.
You're a blurred arc of brownish black,
And a crystal vase shatters.
(Never even in her unreined kittenhood, did she match your jungle wildness.
She spoiled me with her gentle ways.)
You bounce sideways in hair-raised arched-backed terror--a leaf fell!
Your one-eyed ambush around a corner, rear end wiggling--
Catch that threatening spider!
Chasing upstairs and down with pounding gallop--
an imagined prey, or pursuer.
Your kitten tricks amuse.
(But how we miss her--our dear friend.
Her predictable patterns, her habitual rites.
It will be years before you slip into those tailored ways.
And replace her? Never.)
I could tell you that this silence
will long rub against your legs,
that the sound of the electric can opener
will long summon his shadow
to the kitchen . . .
I could tell you that every cat you see
and some you don't,
will scratch and mew at the door
of your memory . . .
But I won't mention these things,
because the claws of grief are sharp.
I will say instead that your cat
is curled up somewhere in a sun spot
waiting to hear you come home,
at which time he will put on
his old aristocratic act of indifference
to let you know that you did, after all,
take longer than the expected time . . .
But soon, in his arrogant but casual way
he will edge nearer, forgiving
your human ineptness,
allowing you to finally hold him
and scratch behind his ears
while he is purring purring purring
to welcome you home.
My Old Cat
My old cat is dead,
My cat sped by and in his wake
"Snowball--Beloved Family Pet"
Your sign reads, thumb-tacked to my tree
with Popsicle-sticky thumbs.
Your tears are the exact shade of the
blood-red maple under which we stand.
Your faith is defined in plaster piggy banks and
Grandma's birthday checks.
"Do Not Chase"
in pressed-hard black crayon deepens your plea.
But for me it was far easier
this morning, to dig a hole
in the dawn in which to tuck
a lukewarm Snowball,
poised with dainty tail
curved round bloody paws,
then is now my task of telling.
For it is a myth--like the Tooth Fairy--
that cats have nine lives.
Over bodily functions.
Tail listlessly wagging
At the sound
Of my voice.
Stored neatly in a box,
Still bright with love.
Striving to please.
What to choose?
Or well-deserved repose?
Slumber or wakefulness?
Because I love her,