animals

Chang Tuan’s Cats – A Poem

Scholar Chang Tuan was fond of cats,
And had seven of them,
Wonderful beasts with wonderful names.
They were:


Guardian of the East
White Phoenix
Purple Blossom
Drive-Away-Vexation
Brocade Sash
Cloud Pattern
Ten Thousand Strings of Cash


Each was worth several pieces of gold,
And nothing could persuade Chang
To part with them.

— Wang Chih (c. 1100 C.E.)

Stray Cat (A Poem)

by Francis Witham

Oh, what unhappy twist of fate
Has brought you, homeless to my gate?
The gate where once another stood
To beg for shelter, warmth and food.

For from that day I ceased to be
The master of my destiny.
While he, with purr and velvet paw
Became within my house, The Law.

He scratched the furniture and shed
And claimed the middle of my bed.
He ruled in arrogance and pride
And broke my heart the day he died.

So if you really think, oh cat,
I’d willingly relive all that
Because you come, forlorn and thin
Well… don’t just stand there… come on in!

Two Cats – A Drabble

A drabble is a short work of fiction of precisely one hundred words in length. I was inspired to write this one by observing the psychological warfare between cats.

They met every day.

The tabby cat appeared first, and took her place atop the old weathered table in the middle of the veranda. There she lay like a queen, her white paws tucked in, secure in her high ground advantage. The ginger cat came later and settled on the floor, never more than two metres away from the table.

They never played, never fought, never acknowledged each other’s existence in any way. Their relationship was a study in pretend indifference. A waste of time, to our human mind, but who were we to judge that inscrutable mystery, the cat.

Quote of the Day – Cats

“Holding this soft, small living creature in my lap this way, though, and seeing how it slept with complete trust in me, I felt a warm rush in my chest. I put my hand on the cat’s chest and felt his heart beating. The pulse was faint and fast, but his heart, like mine, was ticking off the time allotted to his small body with all the restless earnestness of my own.”

– Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

The Prayer of the Cat

by Carmen Bernos de Gasztold

Lord,
I am the cat.
It is not, exactly, that I have something to ask of You!
No –
I ask nothing of anyone –
but,
if You have by some chance, in some celestial barn,
a little white mouse,
or a saucer of milk,
I know someone who would relish them.
Wouldn’t You like someday
to put a curse on the whole race of dogs?
If so I should say,

Amen

A British Shorthair Named Charlie

Charlie’s been my housemate for a few months now, and it’s hard to imagine that I ever lived in my apartment without a cat and a couch that wasn’t shredded. After our old family cat passed away, I was wondering if I’d ever get attached to another pet as strongly, but nope he’s my little treasure alright.

Here are some random facts and observations about Charlie:

(more…)