Macabre Memory: Warning

The cat left no suicide note





unlike the farmer who died

in the same way

head swathed in cling wrap

like a cellophane mummy

note fabricated:

he met with foul play.

His wife the killer — Insurance —

eager for a big pay.





But who would asphyxiate a cat

& dump it by the riverside

where dreamy poets wander

& children play?

.

The Cat inside Me

angry cat

The Cat inside me cannot settle.

“Do you want to go in or out?” I say.

She does not know.

She winds her way around my feet then nips my ankle.

“Okay, okay, I get it. You want food.

You always want food,”

I bend down, give her some leftovers

from breakfast.

“You were only fed a few hours ago,” I say.

“No. Not croissants”, she says.

“And certainly not a banana. I’m not a fucking monkey.

I want Stone Baked Ciabatta Loaf with honey.”

She is anything if not specific.

But, of course, we haven’t any.

I drive down to the supermarket, my inner cat

Turning with anticipation.

I get home. Give her some.

She’s satisfied. And so am I.

We both flop on the mattress and have

an afternoon nap.

The cat inside me purrs.

 

What Happiness Is

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You know what happiness is? he said.

Contentment? I suggested.

Not even close, he said through the burnished orange of this late autumn afternoon.

Money? Wealth?

Come on, he said. You know better that that.

Then what? I asked.

Curiosity.

What?

It’s not true what they say about cats, you know. That old proverb about curiosity killed the cat. It’s to stop you changing lanes.

You’re beginning to sound like a zen poet, I said. Like Li Po.

Become like a cat, he said. Go out into the world, cat-curious. You can never NOT be happy if you’re finding out things.

 

do you agree?

where is happiness found for you?

what is the chief impediment for happiness, do you think?

 

 

The Cat and the Canary

canary

The cat had just killed a canary.

Bad, bad cat, said the bird lover who was staying at my place for the weekend.

Easy, I said, Remember what happened at the restaurant last night when you ordered barramundi for the first time and complained it was too fishy?

Yes. So?

Well, I said, you may as well berate a barramundi for being a fish as to castigate a cat for killing a canary.

Jump

 

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It’s Milly’s birthday today.

It is?

Yes. But what do you buy a cat who has everything?

A parachute.

A parachute?

Yes. The next time she gets on the roof and can’t get down all she has to do is jump.

 

The Cat with No Eyes

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Was photographed

on a bus seat with sunglasses

smoking a cigarette,

on a pedestal wearing a tiny

camouflage boonie hat,

floating on a little pillow in a

wading pool with flowers

behind its ears,

& in ninety other poses —

and because it had no eyes

that cat from Abu Ghraib

they put pebbles in the sockets

of its mummified head

which looked out at the world

with a blank stare..

 

[ based on a New Yorker story on Sabrina Harriman: the woman

behind the camera at Abu Ghraib]

 

 

 

 

I Hate being a Cat

angry cat

I hate being a cat, she says.

Not that I’m a wuss

But there’s more minuses than pluses

at being someone’s puss.

 

You have to wait until they’re ready

To get food put into yr bowl

The one you sit behind so patiently

and try not to scowl.

 

And when they have a friend stay

Then it’s a hey diddle-diddle

You’re no longer alpha female

but playing second fiddle.

 

I like to go out and in, she says

Or in and out at will

But someone sadly has other ideas

Which is why I’m here still.

 

Oh I could write a novel, she wails

There’d be fury on every page

Not that I’m a Prima Donna

But I like being centre stage.

You Coming Up?

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It’s a great day to be on the roof. You coming up?

I don’t know, I say. It’s an awfully long way.

Don’t be a wuss! She says.

Watch it, I say.

 

But she scrambles up, climbing the tiled slopes and disappears.

What’s it like? I call.

Fan—bloody—tastic!! She says. You should see this.

You can tell me about it later, I say. Write me a poem.

 

The sun climbs towards its zenith, begins it s long slide towards the sea.

I hear nothing till dinner time when I hear plaintive cries.

I let her stew for a while then  go out the back, look up.

She’s near the gutter but doesn’t go any further.

 

What’s wrong? I say.

Get me down, she whimpers.

What’s wrong? You can get up. You can get down.

It’s an awfully long way, she wails.

Who’s a ‘fraidy cat now?

I’m sorry I called you a ‘wuss’, she says.

I reach up, lift her down. She runs straight to her bowl.

 

What’s the forecast tomorrow? She asks after she’s finished eating.

Overcast with a chance of showers.

Damn! She meows but sounds almost glad.

 

 

The Alcoholic Cat

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Hey! Who’s been drinking my wine?

Rosco shrugs his shoulders.

It’s not the first time I’ve noticed the level’s fallen, I say. Do you know anything about this?

I only had a few mouthfuls.

But you’re a cat!

What is this? Can’t a cat be allowed to drink now? The RSPCA would have something to say about that.

Indeed it might but it might not be to your liking.

I thought I had him there.

Well, the top was off.

To let it breathe! Not as an invitation to drink!

Oh.

Drink your own wine, I snap.

I just can’t walk into a bottle shop you know and ask ….

Look, I’ll put a few mouthfuls in your bowl each evening if you must drink.

It’s for medicinal purposes only, you understand and looks up purring with innocence — and hope.