Sarah Hartwell

Affy is a longhair cat and worth her weight in gold
But judging by my furniture she really should be bald
There's fur upon the bedspread and there's fur upon the mat
It seems there's fur on everything, except upon the cat!

Sarah Hartwell

Scrapper's got a girlfriend, she's woolly and she's blue,
But Scrapper thinks she's gorgeous as only she will do,
His girlfriend is a jumper and so "she" can't have kittens,
But if she did get pregnant, it would be a pair of mittens!

David Rogers

My hatred of the canine beast
Needs very little proddin'
For enmity is prompted fresh
By something fresh I trod in.  
Consider now, the pussy cat
That beast reclin-ed on the mat
For she is haughty, proud and free
And feels no need to favour thee
But if, for this disdainful beast
You feel no love, you should at least
Feel envy for the feline what
Can lick the parts what you cannot.

(S L Smith)

Liquid shadow lurking,
languorous in evening still,
Or wary hunter, bow-string taut,
poised bristling for the kill,
Pampered purebred cat show kings,
languishing in captive glory,
Far removed from ancestral nighttime
skirmishes of tooth and claw,
Sinuous sleek-sided Siamese,
Persians clad in waterfalls of fur?
It is the humble moggy cats
whose company I prefer.

(S L Smith)

I feel your silken warmth against my shoulder,
The murmured gentleness of sleepbound sighs,
And should I turn my head towards you
I'd lock my gaze with green bewitching eyes.
For you my cat, my sweet companion,
Peaceful slumberer by my face,
I suffer you to steal my pillow,
Your presence brings to me such grace.


Roy Burton

My cat, my dear and gentle friend,
As you lay sleeping quietly,
I think of all the times we spend
In true and happy company.
How I delight my life to share
With you, so loyal and dignified,
Sublime reward beyond compare,
Just to see you by my side.

Dear cat, how full of grace you are,
As near perfection as could be,
Most elegant of lifeís gifts by far,
Proportioned in pure symmetry.
Yet your placid form does hide
A supple strength and gallant heart,
You are, it cannot be denied
Natureís finest work of art.

How much joy you bring to me,
Like sunshine to a winterís day,
What greater pleasure can there be
Than to watch you as you play.
When troubles seem to grow apace
I tell you of my fears and pain,
You rub your head against my face,
And suddenly, all is well again.

In the private world thatís all your own
You have no thoughts of greed or spite,
Nor waste your time to weep and moan
Of things that do not seem just right.
I look at you with grateful heart,
As in the fireís warm glow you lie,
The simple joys that you impart,
No money on this earth could buy.

Oh, my dear friend, when you are gone,
Such sadness will be hard to bear,
The rooms so empty, days so long,
When you are no longer there.
But you, sweet cat, you cannot know
That final parting brings such pain,
When fate at last deals that cruel blow,
And I cannot hold you tight again.

My cat, my dear and gentle friend,
As you lay sleeping quietly,
I thank you for the time we spend
In true and happy company.
How I delight my life to share
With you, so loyal and dignified,
Blessed am I with riches rare,
When I have you by my side.

(Sarah Hartwell)

There are furries at the bottom of my garden,
Some are ginger, some are tabby, some are black,
They are trampling on the borders and the veggies,
They are climbing up the fruit trees for a nap.

The furries keep on rolling in the catnip,
They have dug up all the seedlings in a day,
But how can I chastise them for their actions
When I laugh out loud to watch my furries play.

Some people have neat flower beds and borders,
Their seedlings thrive and so do all their veg,
But I can't give my furries marching orders,
Though they bring in half the garden to my bed.

There are furries at the bottom of my garden,
Where they frolic and they gambol in the sun,
Though they leave it looking like a recent war-zone,
I love my little furries, every one.

(Sarah Hartwell)

When you're seven miles out in the country,
And that's a heck of a lonely spot,
And you're clutching a trap and a Thermos
Of coffee to keep yourself hot,
When your fingers are blue and half-frozen,
And you're clutching a tin of sardines,
When you'd much rather be in bed dozing,
Not tugging a trap shut with string -

It's then you will see the ferals,
Grey and ginger and gold,
Male and female and neuter,
Ferals both young and old.

White ones'll reach through the trapdoor,
Male ones'll bite through the string,
Tabbies will gobble the cat food,
While females will disarm the spring,
Two gingers will perch on the trap top,
And fight tooth and claw for a scrap,
There's one fat, furry, middle-aged neuter
Who only goes in for a nap.

The kittens will learn from their mothers,
To pull the food out with their nails,
And prop the door open for others,
Then spring it, still empty, with tails.

This is the song of the ferals
As sung by the CPL,
To you they are cute little moggies,
To us they're the ferals from hell!


Give us a chance who are not brand new,
Who would love a home with someone like you.
We may have been around a bit,
Received many a blow and many a kick,
Starved and neglected most of our days,
Yet we are forgiving anyways.

But now's our chance to start anew,
A home with love that we never knew.
So, before a kitten you're tempted to pick,
Give us a look, but not too quick.
Look at the character in our face,
And our bodies, still full of grace.

Just think of us, day after day,
Watching people look and walk away.
But say the word 'yes' and we will know -
Our bags are packed and we're ready to go.

(Denise Hynn)

If I could sing my pussy-song outside your window,
To wish you Happy Birthday filled with joy,
I would gladly do it,
But I fear you'd only rue it,
And alas! My efforts would be to annoy!

Yet humans do make the most horrible noises,
With supersonic bangs and much the like,
Or pneumatic drills,
To augment the human ills,
And the bumps and bangs and roars of motor bike.

Now our vocal pussy-chords are quite distinctive,
Are clear and high and cover quite a range,
But we never get encores,
Only horrid human roars,
To my feline comprehension it's most strange.

So as I cannot come and serenade you,
I send you all best wishes most sincere,
From a happy tabby 'Pu',
Take this ode meant just for you,
To wish you Happy Birthday, Happy Year.

(Theodor Storm, this translation by Mary Wunderly)

A friend has sent me a book of German poems about cats including one from a 19th century North German writer called Theodor Storm. He called it ĎAbout Catsí but perhaps ist should be renamed ĎIn praise of Spayingí! Herewith my own translation. In Theodor Stormís time I suppose that spaying was unheard of and by the end of the poem it is difficult to know whether one has most sympathy with Theodor Storm, the kittens or even the Cook!

Last May Day my cat brought into the world
Six of the most darling little kittens,
May kittens,
All white,
With little black tails.
Indeed, it was a delightful
Little confinement!
Cook, however -
Cooks are hard of heart,
And humanity does not thrive
In a kitchen -,
She wanted to drown five of the six;
This wicked woman wanted to murder
Five white, black-tailed May kittens.
I sent her on her way.
May Heaven bless my humanity!

The dear little kittens grew up
And within a short time were striding
With their tails held high
Through yard and house;
Indeed, as Cook observed furiously,
They grew up,
And at night outside her window
They tried out their sweet little voices.
I, however, watching them grow up,
Praised myself and my humanity.

A year has passed,
And the kittens are cats,
And itís May Day! -
How can I describe the play
That is now unfolding before my eyes?
My whole house,
From the cellar to the gables,
Cats are now confined in every corner of it!
Here lies one,
There another kitten,
In cupboards, baskets,
Under table and stairs,
Indeed the mother cat -
No, itís unspeakable -
Is lying in Cookís bed!
And every one,
Yes, every one of the seven cats
Has seven, just imagine!
Seven young kittens,
May kittens, all white,
With little black tails.
Cook is in a rage,
I cannot check this womanís blind fury;
She wants to drown all forty nine!
As for me, oh,
Iím out of my mind -
Oh humanity,
How am I to preserve you?
What am I to do with
Fifty six cats!?


Pussy cat, pussy cat where have you strayed?
I've been to the Shelter to get myself spayed.
Pussy cat, pussy cat please tell me why?
The cat sat down sadly and said with a sigh:

You may not have noticed, but all through the land,
The cat population is quite out of hand,
There are far too many, and so that is why,
People leave kittens by roadsides to die -

There is a solution to this situation,
We must limit the number of cats in the nation,
So I make this suggestion to all female pets,
Make spaying appointments with your local vets.


(Muriel Manton)

Cat careless of catastrophe
Recumbent reclining on russet roof,
Baffled by bumble bees'
Flight pell-mell surpassing reproof.
Rascal on the rampage
Bluffed by buzzing bumble bee,
Settling softly on silver sape,
Flurried feline, fly and flee!

(Sally Lunn)

Mother cat is arrogant in maternity:
With narrowed eyes, black velvet legs outstretched,
Her newborn kittens mew their way to life,
Into the harsh unfriendly world of Man,
Gently she cuffs and licks each tiny form,
Like damp and woolly chicks with tight-shut eyes,
Till Mother Nature tells the Mother cat
That all is well and over - till next time.

(Sally Lunn)

Cats refulgent, cats sublime,
Cats who live a life of crime,
Cats a'wauling, cats galore,
Cats a'plenty by the score,
Little leos leap on chairs,
Mighty moggies race upstairs,
Furry felines feel no fear -
Every cat is welcomed here.

(Sally Lunn)

From legend to history leaped the offspring of a favour
Bestowed upon the King by his Lioness-wife in Egypt.
"Is this a part-grown panther?" roared the curious Lion King,
The tiny leo met his gaze, a replica in miniature,
Beauty, strength and grace of limb were in this furry creature,
Sekhmet was the goddess who has suckled him in infancy,
Bastet taught him courage, how to arch his back in anger,
And thus evolved the world's first cat, a veritable Godhead,
Who reigned supreme until the birth of Christianity,
Centuries later, on the hearth-rugs of nations,
Curled, contented kittens lie like cast-off furs, in comfort,
Twisting tails in question marks although they know the answer,
For cats see their reflections still, when gazing upon kings.


(Phillip Wright)

A cat loves you for his own gains,
From bawdy tricks his mind refrains,
He exchanges love to suit his need,
No contract 'twixt you both agreed.
A life-long friend and always there,
Curled upon your favourite chair,
Count his faults, arrive at none,
Watch him basking in the noonday sun.
See him roll and soak the rays,
Give each other countless days
Of closeness, minds as one,
Till both your days are done.

(Linda Davies)

Lurks the black shadow shape,
Dark on darkness, a duskier dusk,
A movement fluid, midnight oil,
Pierces the velvet night with tooth and claw.

Death comes with the merest whisper,
The hint of breath at the body's passing,
Two yellow eyes catch the cold moon's light,
Pawfall cuts short a second's precious grace.

(Joan Brocklehurst)

I wonder, every passing day,
If cats could speak, what would they say?

Please do not offer food that's stale,
And most of all, don't pull my tail!
Do not imagine it is right
To turn me out to spend each night,
No, leave me to enjoy my rest
By cosy fireside - that's the best.
Do talk to me, and stroke my fur,
I'll always answer with a purr.
All cats need food, but mice and rats
Are not enough for farmyard cats.
Make sure, when serving meat or fish
No bones appear upon my dish.
An unkempt look you ought to note,
Then comb the tangles from my coat.
Please learn the meaning of my words -
"I'm hungry" or "I'm watching birds".

We cats agree, it would be nice,
If people followed OUR advice.

(Heather O'Dare)

Why does he still whisper to me,
Sleeping beneath the snow?
Only a kitten, the friend of a child,
So long ago.

Happy we were, sharing delight,
Days were serene and good,
But then he died and I couldn't change that,
Cry as I would.

Kindly old tree, shelter him still,
We could not hope to stay
Always a kitten and always a child,
Always to play.

(Barbara Joyce)

In early dawns
And newborn morns
I'd sit on a rock by a standing stone and think.
I'd stare at the morning moon,
A setting moon of lucent gold,
A full round moon in the west,
Brooching the cloak of the sky,
Like a jewel of the Golden Age.
I'd think of the Sphynx,
And the Solstice beam,
In ancient mounds of glory,
And I'd ponder the ways of the world.

We were all perfection
Long before humans came
With their bowls of milk
And fickle warmth.

You worshipped us,
You burned us,
We survived.

The earth's been ours for
Thirty times a million years
And if a nuclear cloud
Bequeathes a shroud
We'll hide away
From the darkened icy day
Patiently waiting
Grey by grey.
And when the banished sun returns
A cat will sit on a rock
And muse again with amber moon,
Silently pondering rune upon rune ...

(Arnold Hunt)

In her old eyes there burn the fires
That glittered once for slaughtered prey,
All blood and wings. But hunting tires,
And no more pigeons die today.

Unconsciously, the dull claws tense.
Dim flickerings of a summer when
She was a hunter, warm her sense.
The pigeons flew much slower then ....

And as evening's fading light,
Gives colour to her grey fur,
She gazes up to watch the flight,
Of pigeons faster now than her.


W. Girt

Kittens have such busy paws, very seldom still;
Skidding on a table top, along a window-sill
Poking all inquisitive down the easy chair
Feeling underneath the rug, sure thereís a treasure there.

Boxing shadows on the wall; chasing after leaves,
Patting moths when summer dusk her mystic pattern weaves.
Waiting underneath the hedge to hook unwary legs,
Fishing from their tidy box the plastic linen pegs.

Stretching up to touch your face, velvet soft to feel,
Flashing, swift as lightning, to needle claws of steel;
Creeping prone along the quilt to stalk imagined foe
Swooping with an instant pounce upon your moving toe.

Investigating thoroughly, every suspect scrap;
Fascinated by the magic of a dripping tap.
Youíd think, at last, when fast asleep, those busy paws would rest,
But no, he chases dreamland prey with undiminished zest.

Isnít it a shame when this enchanting wealth of fun
Suddenly becomes a cat, disowned by everyone.
Looking for a kitten? then please to think it through,
A cat, once owned is yours for good, his life depends on YOU.

(Charlotte Joseph)

Stretching now and slightly stirring,
Narrowed eyes against the light,
The quiet perfection of your purring,
Wraps me round in Wicca white.

They say you are the witch's cat,
Your gentle soothing psychic stare,
Will help me keep the peace I'm losing,
Purr for me your pagan prayer.

But one day I will have to leave you,
Lose your love and company,
Creeping crouching claws extending,
Fight the future off for me.

(E Gowing)

She sits upon the windowsill awhile,
So that the passing world her charms may see,
It is beneath her dignity to smile,
Or even to acknowledge you or me.

She is as some Egyptian Queen of old,
Her eyes like emeralds, smouldering and green,
And yet within their depths they are quite cold,
No trace of her emotion can be seen.

Her movements are a symphony of grace,
Her perfect body lithe and strong as steel,
But there is no expression on her face,
No hint of any pleasure she might feel.

She glides from room to room as is her will,
The house and gardens, all are her domain,
And who are we to bid her to be still,
And risk her haughty glance and cold disdain.

She came to us one morning in the snow,
We found her wet and cold upon the mat;
We would be sad should she decide to go ....
She really is the cutest pussy cat!

(Dorothy Elthorne-Jones)

The lordly lion, proudly roaming free,
The cheetah who, with perfect symmetry,
With any rival runner can compete -
The fastest motivation on four feet.

The loping leopard, moving silently,
The wily tiger, waiting patiently
Until his prey, unmoving is and still,
Then springs with speed to make the measured kill.

Domestic cats of such diversity,
The champion with perfect pedigree,
The other sort, like mine, with none at all,
Why do these creatures hold us so in thrall?


(Joan Jessiman)

Aged you lie, with your soft purring tone,
Victory marked right ear displayed,
No conquest now, no battle zone,
To fight off pain now your crusade.
But still claw-sharp, your wits reveal
Intellect in that beauteous head;
Your heart that cleverly mine did steal,
Insurance for your daily bread.
No more on luckless sparrow leap
You once in feline frenzy caught,
But wearily climb the mountain steep
For lap-warm comfort's the prize now sought.
Your form I caress. Each contour trace,
Milk-white breast near my own,
Green-flecked eyes look up to my face,
Our lines they connect and we are as one.


(Helen Stewart)

Years ago, in Egypt, the people worshipped cats
Decked out in golden earrings, they sat on ornate mats,
With proud disdain, their haughty glance is still preserved in stone,
There's little doubt about it - they made the world their own.
Today we're far more civilised - we laugh at ancient folly,
Our cats are pets, they have their place, they keep down pests, they're jolly,
But have you ever tried to keep the softest, warmest chair?
Don't you find, unfailingly, your tabby's sleeping there>
And when you're pushed for shopping and his food is hard to find,
Have you ever known him settle for a poorer, cheaper kind?
When he decides he wants to roam, regardless of your flowers,
Can you make him use the paths and teach him 'those are ours'?
He'll go his way, he won't be ruled, the old adage rings true,
YOU may think 'I own a cat', the truth is - HE OWNS YOU!


Bast bless you merry pussycats
Let nothing you dismay,
Go wreck the decorations
Put up for Christmas day,
Pull down the tinsel and the lights,
Pull down the baubles too
Oh tidings of havoc and destroy
Oh tidings of havoc and destroy!


(To the tune of Jingle Bells [verses only])

Rushing to the vets, in the family car,
Feeling very queasy, hope it isn't far,
Always feel this way, every time I go,
The car is nice and clean - think I'm going to throw!

Think I'll bite the vet, scratch and hiss and spit,
Wee all down is coat - then he'll have a fit.
Demonstrate my teeth, demonstrate my claws,
He'll pronounce me fit and well and show me to the door.

Rushing from the vets, grinning ear to ear,
Homeward bound again, feeling very queer,
P'raps I've caught a bug, I really can't be sure,
I only have to hear them say "vet" and I am cured.

(S L Smith)

A slinky temple-dancer,
lithe and slim and sleek,
Met a ginger guttersnipe
from the wrong side of the street;
He whispered his sweet nothings
in her eager seal-point ears,
Then when she said 'I'm pregnant',
the lout just disappeared.
The kittens were an odd lot,
sort of ginger Balinese,
With apricot striped bodies
and red socks to their knees;
Their mother tells them stories,
warns them not to meet,
Sweet-talking fickle tomcats
from the wrong side of the street.

(S L Smith)

When you're up to your ankles in litter,
And you've got Kit-E-Kat up your nose,
And the tabby in 9B just bit you,
And its pen-mate has peed on your toes,
That's when you question the wisdom,
Of helping down at Willow Grove.

There are five kittens chewing your laces
And tying French knots in your clothes,
And the grey in 2A's pulling faces,
While for the floor-mop she goes.

There's a feral in need of a tablet
And an orphan to hand-rear in 'A'
And when you're cleaning the ferals in 'that pen'
Use the floor-mop to keep them at bay.

The kittens will fall in your bucket
And burrow in bin-bags as you work,
They're cute, but they're ever so mucky,
As they leave muddy marks on your shirt.

If you're cleaning 4A please remember,
To take the poor darling a treat;
Don't worry - she's just being friendly
When she embeds her claws in your cheek.

So you're up to your armpits in kittens,
And you've got Kit-E-Kat up your nose,
And your fingers have been chewed and bitten
By the ginger that peed on your toes,
That's when you know you are helping
The C.P.L. at Willow Grove.


Jingle bells, litter smells, flush it all away,
Oh what fun, it is to clean, a well-used litter tray.

Bast rest you merry pussycats
Let nothing you dismay,
For there are lots of turkey scraps
To have upon this day!

We wish you a furry Christmas
We wish you a furry Christmas,
We wish you a furry Christmas,
We'll shed on your chairs!
Much shedding we'll bring,
On you and your kin,
We wish you a furry Christmas,
And a hairy new year.

Wreck the halls and trash the holly,
Tra la la la la, la la la la,
Tis the season for such folly,
Tra la la la la, la la la la!

We three cats of pedigree are,
Munchkin and Maine Coon and an Angora,
We're spraying and weeing,
And need a defleaing,
So we're hiding from our owner!

Oh little pot of fresh whipped cream
How still we see you lie,
You are the stuff of feline dream
And not to top mince pies,
And on the kitchen counter top,
Is turkey freshly cooked,
Didn't mean to eat all the Christmas meat,
We only meant to look!

Away in a duvet, no place like your bed,
Where little tired pusscat lays down his sweet head,
The cat bed you've made me, is all well and good,
But I prefer your duvet when the weather gets cold.

(A Soutar)

As winter's dusk engulfs the day,
He ventures out to hunt his prey,
With eyes as hard and cold as ice,
He waits for unsuspecting mice,
A little lion out to kill,
Impervious to icy chill.

He's heard this is what he should do,
But he's not really sure it's true,
He knows that cats are brave and bold,
And really do not mind the cold,
But though he knows he should stalk prey,
He'd rather stay at home and play.

Warm and cosy, snug and fed,
This winter cat goes up to bed,
But sometimes when the moon is full,
The age-old instincts start to pull,
Then in the night, beneath the sheet,
He wakes and kills his owner's feet.

(G. M. Bate)

"Lord, what fools these mortals be"
A line Iíve borrowed from the Bard,
For no truer word wrote he;
They fret and fume and work so hard
And fill their lives with worry;
They have no time, they cannot wait,
Theyíre always in a hurry.

Now they could learn a lot from me
Who know the art of sitting still
And taking life more leisurely!
I can long hours contented fill
In watching through my narrowed eyes
The tiny things that come my way,
The busy ants and restless flies.

I toil not, neither do I spin
(I canít avoid quotation)
And yet I am not worn or thin;
I thrive on contemplation,
Like those anchorites so holy
Who expected and accepted
Food and homage from the lowly.

Like them I sit, aloof and wise,
Upon some safe and lofty perch,
And watch the crowds that early rise
To start their never ending search
For things to me that matter not
For I have learnt to be content
With what has fallen to my lot!


(Spot is the pet of the Android "Data" in Star Trek)

Felis catus is your taxonomic nomenclature,
an endothermic quadruped, carnivorous by nature.
Your visual, olfactory, and auditory senses,
contribute to your hunting skills, and natural defences.

I find myself intrigued, by your subvocal oscillations,
a singular development of cat communications,
that obviates your basic hedonistic predilection,
for a rhythmic stroking of your fur, to demonstrate affection.

A tail is quite essential, for your acrobatic talents.
You would not be so agile, if you lacked its counterbalance,
and when not being utilized to aid in locomotion,
it often serves to illustrate, the state of your emotion.

Oh Spot, the complex levels of behaviour you display,
connote a fairly well developed cognitive array,
and though you are not sentient, Spot, and do not comprehend,
I nonetheless consider you, a true, and valued, friend.


(attributed to Lauren Wahl and T Gorca)

To go outside, and there perchance to stay
Or to remain within: that is the question:
Whether 'tis better for a cat to suffer
The cuffs and buffets of inclement weather
That Nature rains on those who roam abroad,
Or take a nap upon a scrap of carpet,
And so by dozing melt the solid hours
That clog the clock's bright gears with sullen time
And stall the dinner bell. To sit, to stare
Outdoors, and by a stare to seem to state
A wish to venture forth without delay,
Then when the portal's opened up, to stand
As if transfixed by doubt. To prowl; to sleep;
To choose not knowing when we may once more
Our re-admittance gain: aye, there's the hairball;
For if a paw were shaped to turn a knob,
Or work a lock or slip a window-catch,
And going out and coming in were made
As simple as the breaking of a bowl,
What cat would bear the household's petty plagues,
The cook's well-practiced kicks, the butler's broom,
The infant's careless pokes, the tickled ears,
The trampled tail, and all the daily shocks
That fur is heir to, when, of his own free will,
He might his exodus or entrance make
With a mere mitten? Who would spaniels fear,
Or strays trespassing from a neighbor's yard,
But that the dread of our unheeded cries
And scratches at a barricaded door
No claw can open up, dispels our nerve
And makes us rather bear our humans' faults
Than run away to unguessed miseries?
Thus caution doth make house cats of us all;
And thus the bristling hair of resolution
Is softened up with the pale brush of thought,
And since our choices hinge on weighty things,
We pause upon the threshold of decision.



Some Cats Are Loving; Some Are Aloof,
Some Like To Climb Trees Or Sit On The Roof,
There Are Cats Who Stay Out Late And Hunt In The Night,
Then Appear Home For Breakfast As Soon As It's Light,
And Then There Are ĎHomeí Cats Who Sleep On Your Bed,
They Wake You Each Morning By Paddling Your Head!
All Cats Are Different, It's Part Of Their Charm,
Please Help Us Protect Them And Keep Them From Harm.