Frivolous Friday — Cat Eternal-A Poem

Cat Eternal

She was deeply etched in Egypt’s ancient marble

as oils of today are fluid in her image.

She padded about the pyramids.

She saunters gingerly now through the city’s clutter.

Mau, man’s idol, was molded into powerful figures of clay

much like the cat cast of this era

 

Guardian of Europe’s granaries,

keeper of dragon-emblazoned silk,

she sought, she seized, she slew.

For mankind, for her own kind.

 

Today’s cat wraps herself sinuously

around the hearts of many

reflecting her ancestral likeness being

lured into lotus-scented, bamboo-lined homes

and coddled on laps of kimono clad figures.

Lolling on Nippon’s silken pads,

she dreams of former hunts…vivid dreams

eclipsing swiftly from memory.

 

Soon the destiny of silk for future kimonos is doomed.

The feline is forced into freedom.

 

She is free today, free to multiply,

to starve, and to die

 

Sacrificial fires glowed in her honor

holocausts leaving only her

cindery skeleton,

 

She was liberated from the ashes

by man, who lay helplessly embraced by the

shuddery blight.

Free again, to roam infested alleys in pursuit

of her natural prey.

The horror of the plague graced the cat with new hope

 

Cat; a fireside sphinx

A clown, making life her circus

Possessor of a mystery that has

resounded through the ages

Predictable, in that she isn’t

 

Eternally clad in her aura of dignity.

Sidebar: I wrote this poem—my first non-rhyming poem—as a class assignment for a creative-writing course. And it makes me sad every time I read it. Right now I have an awful knot in my stomach. In case you miss the gist of the poem, let me explain:

We follow the cat through history, as an idol in ancient Egypt. When Europe’s granaries were threatened by rodents, cats were set free to save the nation. They became beloved pets in Asia until the ownership of cats was outlawed because cats were needed to protect their precious silk industry.

We’ve all heard about witch hunts and sacrificial cats. Cats were thought to be evil and many were thought to be burned.

However, when man was in dire danger again—when the plague visited—once again, they relied on the cat as a savior. And she was set free.

Today, cats are actually represented in each of these scenarios, still. There are the coddled cat—thankfully there are millions in this category. But cats are still being used, abused, neglected, and misunderstood. And still, her sense of dignity (sometimes, perhaps, recognized as aloofness) is evident.

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One Response to Frivolous Friday — Cat Eternal-A Poem

  1. Michele says:

    I would love to share this but there are no share buttons on your blog.

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