The fiercest wind

A protest poem for earthweal.

The fiercest wind

The tiny feral cat gave birth
in the warm spring,
her first two kits.
I put out food,
but the kits stayed small,
then there was just one.

I saw it after the deluge
in the track up to the house,
curled,
a dead bird,
a tuft of brown oak leaves.

It trembled,
raised itself on long bones of legs,
stumbled away from the offered food,
mouth open in rage,

and from its empty stomach
rose a deafening roar
against the abject cruelty
of this world.

A cat called Raymond

He breezed in one day, cat-roared in the street until I opened a window, and in he jumped. Cool as a cucumber, an expression coined by someone who must have met him in one of his former lives. He was a beautiful, stripy tom cat with a tiger tail and a couldn’t-care-less attitude. He had arrived on our little street a few days previously, said the odd-job man who had a shed on the vacant lot at the end. Picked fights with the homeless cats who camped there and obviously decided he was a cut above the local fauna.
We called him Raymond, and he turned the house upside down. It was like living with a tornado, a flash of long muscular limbs leaping from one piece of furniture to another, massacring the children’s soft toys, peeing everywhere, letting himself into every room, cupboard and the fridge. Stole an entire chicken once.
We would watch him from an upstairs window as he made his way across the rooftops, leaping up sheer walls with the ease of a big bird, laying claim to his territory. Although he caused havoc, we forgave him everything, and when, exactly one year to the day he arrived, he walked out, never to be seen again, we were grief-stricken. We kept hoping that he would be back, picking his way along the garden wall, his tiger tail held high.
Four weeks later, when Trixie waylaid the children on their way home from school one afternoon and followed them, wailing, all the way, crossing the main road, we knew that Raymond had moved on.
Every stripy tom cat will forever more be a Raymond, a species all to himself, and we haven’t given up hope that he might still, one day, leap back through an open window.

Tiger, Tiger,
somewhere in the night you made a choice,
stalked into a new story,
perhaps one more of many.

Perhaps you have a book now,
a frieze stitched in stars,
and if we look across to where the city lies,
we might pick it out
above the orange glow,
a constellation of nine lives.

Cat prowl

Cat prowl

In the frost crisp they prowl
the growlers and scavengers
for leavings not frozen

though not worth the hot-blood mouthfuls
quivering deep in the frozen
holed in the dark.

Fox digs but dainty cat pads
are not diggers
and the cold bites through fancy fur.

Fox digs and the blood scent spills
twitching cat whiskers with longing
but even hard bread and cheese rind
are better than death.

In the dark

Dark the windows pressed with rain
and the condensed breath of winter.

Crackling the wood reduced to glowing ash,
the hum of iron heating,

and beneath the dripping trees, a feral cat,
a cat with no home and too much fear to stay,

picks over food fit for foxes,
finds too little that will serve,

her face in the torchlight not wild,
not tame, but full of sadness.

The cat of very little brain…

…very little ears and a sweetly strange personality. Sometimes Ninnie comes down from the attic where she plays with lizards

Ninnie about to roll

and sits on my desk or telephone

Nin on desk

until she falls onto my lap

Ninnie no ears

or rolls onto the floor

Ninnie attention grabber

or just tries to grab my attention.

Ninnie reading

She prefers to read sideways

Ninnie killing a few typos

but I draw the line when she tries to remove typos with her claws.

About a cat

A cat Serpent’s Tail poem for the OctPoWriMo prompt.

Come on Trixie

What can I say about the cat

that shares this home,

roams at will

until hunger brings her in?

Winter cold resistant,

insistent, she claims her right to walk,

stalk the night,

bright eyes light the way.

Daytime, she sits for hours,

scours thickets and hedge,

edging ever closer to small prey.

Says the dog, you’ll never change her,

feather-brain but quick,

thick as river mud but fast,

last to leave the chase.

Brace yourself to wait,

late, for there she’ll squat.