Horoscope for Cats


 
I have been advised to make a list
of what needs ‘to be tweaked a little or altered a lot’.
My soul mate’s cat who shares my horoscope
has been similarly advised.
Come on, I say, give the scratching post a rest.
We have work to do.
We have to make a list.
At first she seems a little indifferent
but after a time she gets into
the spirit of the thing.
I have a peak over her shoulder
and can’t help
but notice most are about food,
a sort of bucket list of what she’d like
to be fed and how often.
Mine’s a little more modest, how I could be
less demanding towards my love, more appreciative but on reflection
much of my list seems to be about food as well.
It seems we share
more than just a horoscope.
                                  
 

Start with the Animals

Start with the animals, Buddha once said.

So I do.

The cat wants to go out. It is badgering me to let it out in the balmy evening where all sorts of adventure await.

But I want it to stay inside, settle down like me.

It is so easy to be mean.

I open the door.

I must open my heart a little more as well.

My girl and I sometimes send unpleasant texts to each other. It is what couples who are not quite couples do.

I think the meanness in my texts should be let out too.

I open the door. It dithers.

I give it a swift kick up the backside and send it on its way.

I begin my text message anew.

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

260px-Libai_touxiang

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

 

Cat_peeking_above_the_roof_28Unsplash29

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

photo-1533738363-b7f9aef128ce

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.