POEM: Kittens Can’t Get Their Legs

Little kittens can’t get their legs.

Feet slide as legs sprawl wide.

Writhing amid a pile of siblings.

Wrangled and nudged by mama.

Tiny screams for leeway ungranted.

Bellies bulge with mama’s milk.

They don’t yet look like miniature cats.

They have neither the proportions nor the ears.

They could as well be puppies or opossums.

From any distance mama sanctions.


[National Poetry Month: Poem #19]

DAILY PHOTO: “Whoa, Déjà Vu” [a Matrix Reference]

Taken in July of 2014 in Kochi (Cochin), Kerala

DAILY PHOTO: Side-by-Side Cats: or, Two Grumpy Lionesses

Taken in May of 2016 in Zambia

Taken in May of 2016 in Zambia

This isn’t a good shot. It’s washed out and the composition is poor.

And yet, when I saw it I couldn’t help but imagine a dialogue between these two lionesses. If it triggers that reaction for you, it’s worth posting it.

POEM: Lion Eyes (or Lionize or Lyin’ Eyes)

Taken Nov 10, 2013 at Bannerghatta National Park

Taken Nov 10, 2013 at Bannerghatta National Park

The lion is  a kingly beast

Whose eyes no lies can abide

If you don’t wish to be his feast

Please act with tact and don’t chide

He doesn’t take to teasing well

He’s still but to kill is in his blood

His placid face may look swell

But a strong heart pounds THUD-THUD…

THUD-THUD

&

another thing

He may look like a big plush toy

But he’s no fun for a girl or boy

Don’t get your kid a big feline

Unless your exit is a swift beeline

MICRO-FICTION: Julia Doesn’t Know How Lucky She Is

IMG_2555“Have you completed your mission? The Council grows impatient,” The thought occurred in Safrom’s mind as if he had a split personality rather than an angry disembodied consciousness in his head.

“No, we were very close to planting it last night, but the cat came in squawking and making racket. It woke her up just before we could get it set. Those damn cats will be the death of me.  The preceding night we managed to keep one out all night, but the other slept on the subject maintaining constant vigilance,”  Safrom said aloud as he paced around the sterile white space of his station.

“The subject travels, why don’t you just do it then?” The thought formed.

“Believe me, I would love to, and we make great efforts to do so. But it is not as easy to track a person through thought-space as it is in the physical world. If we can ever get the damn implant installed, that will, of course, change immediately. Most of the time she is not gone long enough for us to find her, and on the few occasions she has been, or we’ve been lucky, she hasn’t slept deeply.”


“RRRrrrarr-eeeow …  RRRARRrrr-eeeow… RRArrra-eeeow,” the noise came from floor level.

Julia pushed herself upright groggily and swept a shock of black hair out of her face. She stared at the gray cat illuminated by a shaft of streetlamp glow that slanted in through her bedroom window, and said, “Really! You’re really waking me up from a sound sleep in the middle of the night?”

The cat stopped its bellowing and sat back on its haunches, looking at Julia indifferently. Then the shorthair trotted out of the room and down the hall.

Julia lay back down melting into a down pillow and drifted back to sleep while wondering what made her cat do that. What makes a cat that has been fed and is never let out at night, repetitively caterwaul until its owner wakes up, and then it just goes back to its indifferent self?


Julia yawned aloud. “Excuse me. My cat woke me up in the middle of the night three times for no apparent reason.”

“Does it do that a lot?” Erma asked.

“It comes in waves, but, it seems to have it down to a science. It always seems to do it when I’m in the deepest sleep, usually in the middle of a weird dream.” Julia elaborated.

“What was your dream about?” Erma asked.

“Ah, you know, it was a dream. It didn’t make much sense. I was being chased?

“Being chased by whom?”

“I don’t know. I never see them, but it always feels as though they are just about to catch me.”

“Maybe the cat is doing you a favor.”  Erma said in a completely somber tone.

“Yeah, right, maybe.” Julia replied with a grin. She assumed Erma was joking, although there was nothing in the older woman’s expression to indicate that she might be.

Erma changed the subject, “So how is your research coming?”

Julia shrugged and said, “I don’t know. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed as of late. I keep pulling up new material, but, as I do analysis, I don’t seem to be converging on an explanation.”

“It’ll come, you’ve just got to keep at it, and never up. If you never give up, a solution will always present itself.” Erma said with a smile.

“I suppose.”

“You know the thing about cats is…” Erma began.

“What’s that?” Julia inquired.

“Aww, never mind.” Erma said.

TODAY’S RANT: Punked by NPR

Sleeping CatsI’m driving along, my mind roving, the droning radio only faintly registering in my subconscious, and suddenly I’m ripped from my reverie by a shrieking siren. I punch the brakes, slowing from a present speed that, unbeknownst to me, is two miles an hour below the limit to an octogenarian crawl. I hear the screech, and look into my rear-view mirror to see the black behemoth, an  SUV, becoming ever bigger. The driver’s solitary finger pressed up against the window, not pointing  at me accusingly, but rather straight up in the air. The SUV slows just enough to not ram me. We travel onward in our respective soiled underwear, I not looking back, her boiling rage now just a flush face and a fading headache (or at least that’s what I expect from my vast experience in her shoes.)

I’ve been punked by a stranger, an audio tech who likes to put background noises into every news story or ad spot to gain the attention of an ADD -riddled populace. Yes, I should have been more in the moment; that’s how they get you.

I would be remiss if I didn’t act as a mouthpiece for another individual wronged by similar antics. I have a cat that only gets about 20.5 hours of sleep per day, and he’s inevitably robbed of precious slumber whenever he hears a “BING-BONG.”  This is another much beloved sound effect for the wicked curs in radio. This particular cat can comfortably ignore any other sound in the universe–including my high-volume rants about use of various personal possessions as a scratching post. I don’t know why our cat knows what a doorbell is. Does he get lots of visitors when we are not there? Who is he expecting? These are questions that I cannot answer.