by Carmen Bernos de Gasztold
I am the cat.
It is not, exactly, that I have something to ask of You!
I ask nothing of anyone –
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,
A short humorous drabble I wrote a while ago.
“Go on then, have a bite,” said the Serpent.
Eve looked down at the fruit. Contrary to the popular paintings, it was a tangerine.
“Come on, don’t you want to be kicked out? An eternity of raw food and this moron for company?” The Serpent pointed at Adam, who scratched himself as he struggled to name a horsey creature with a single horn in its forehead. His beard was caked with the remains of last night’s meal. He hadn’t said thank you for dinner, then or ever.
Eve glanced at Adam, sighed, and began to peel the tangerine.
In between pumping out his countless Discworld novels, Terry Pratchett (may he rest in peace) also found time to pen this delightful little oddity. It’s more or less a novelty book, perfect to read in short bursts if, like me, you can’t eat breakfast without leafing through a book or staring at your mobile phone. You probably need to like British humour and cats to get the most out of it, but if you enjoy both or, better still, own a cat, you’ll be cackling like crazy in recognition while reading this gem.
Far too many people these days have grown used to boring, mass-produced cats, which may bounce with health and nourishing vitamins but aren’t a patch on the good old cats you used to get. The Campaign for Real Cats wants to change all that by helping people recognise Real cats when they see them. Hence this book.
You never feed me.
Perhaps I’ll sleep on your face.
That will sure show you.
The rule for today:
Touch my tail, I shred your hand.
New rule tomorrow.
I fought for hours. Come and see!
What’s a ‘term paper?’
Wanna go outside.
Oh, poop! Help! I got outside!
Let me back inside!
Litter box not here.
You must have moved it again.
I’ll go in the sink.
Want to trim my claws?
Don’t even think about it!
My cries will wake dead.
The 2001 film adaptation with Renee Zellweger is one of my favorite romcoms, so when I spied the original novel on the book shelf at my Mum’s I decided to give it a go. With some reservations, as I’ve read a couple of other books my favourite chick flicks were based on, which turned out to be very disappointing. I ended up gulping down the book in a space of one evening, while waiting for the drying machine to finish its business, it was that readable.
The only thing that’s better than a limerick is a cat limerick!
There once were two cats of Kilkenny,
Each thought there was one cat too many.
So they fought and they fit,
And they scratched and they bit,
Till, excepting their nails
And the tips of their tails,
Instead of two cats, there weren’t any.
I’ve just re-read The Collected Dorothy Parker. To be honest I prefer her short stories over her poems, partially because poetry is such a particular form I find I need to concentrate much more in order to take it in. Especially with the poetry written in my second language. But she sure wrote some sharp poems and her sarcastic/cynical wit is totally up my alley.
In youth, it was a way I had
To do my best to please,
And change, with every passing lad,
To suit his theories.
But now I know the things I know,
And do the things I do;
And if you do not like me so,
To hell, my love, with you!
Being a recovering people-pleaser, this does resonate with me quite a bit.