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Poem: "Pine Cones and Pussy Tails" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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Poem: "Pine Cones and Pussy Tails"

This poem is from the July 1, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from pocketnaomi.  It also fills the "pine cones" square in my 6-18-14 card for the Christmas in July fest.  This poem has been sponsored by technoshaman.  It belongs to the Danso thread in the Polychrome Heroics series.


Pine Cones and Pussy Tails


The cat shows up around Christmas,
weaving around the fenceposts in the yard,
as indifferent to the fence itself as Lakia is.

There are pawprints in the inch of snow
that coats the back porch, and all over
the hood and windshield of the Muffler's car.

There are pine cones brought in
from the neighbor's place,
batted into shadows and lost,
only to be replaced by new ones.

Lakia watches the cat creep through the yard,
enormous ears atop a wedgie head
turning like antennas.

The cat's tail is long and thin and nimble,
very much like Lakia's own tail and
the same warm brown without any stripes,
just a darker tip at the very end.

It looks very handsome on him,
and Lakia wonders if there is any way
that her tail could look as fine as that.

Sometimes, when the Muffler is not looking,
Lakia pets the cat and he wraps his tail
around and around her legs.

She ties a pine cone to a piece of string
and pulls it along the ground for him to chase.
They're used to making their own toys.

The cat is willful and playful and
friendly for a stray, intelligent enough
to work the latch on the gate with his paws
and laugh -- mwahaha! -- when it swings open.

Lakia watches him walk along the top of the fence,
perfectly balanced as he puts each paw in line,
and wishes that she could do that.

Instead she steals pieces of ham
to sneak out to him when no one will notice
and he hides underneath the car to eat it,
only his green eyes glowing to show where he is.

Lakia knows better than to ask if she can keep him,
but that's okay, really, because he doesn't look
like the kind of cat who wants to be kept.

* * *

Notes:

Abyssinian cats tend to be extroverted, playful, willful, and extremely intelligent.  They come in several colors, mostly shades of smooth brown.

You can make your own cat toys from things such as pine conesAdd catnip to make them more attractive to cats.

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3 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: July 14th, 2014 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I understand that Lakia doesn't feel safe asking about keeping the cat, and also agree with her feeling that "this cat doesn't want to be kept," but I bet that if she did ask, Muffler would let her (pending having the cat checked for chips or other indicators of ownership). Indeed, I suspect that Muffler knows all about the cat and is looking the other way from the bits of food going missing.
pocketnaomi From: pocketnaomi Date: July 14th, 2014 10:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's my guess too. Although the Muffler might point out gently that he might not be a cat who wants to be kept, and suggest feeding him officially, in a dish, outdoors where he likes to be; and seeing whether he will eventually come, that way, to consider this place his. Which is different from keeping him but still builds the connection that Lakia wants.

Also, I think her tail probably already does look as fine as that. She just doesn't know it, since she doesn't like her tail very much. I hope the cat can help her learn that a tail isn't, on the whole, such a very bad thing to have.
mdlbear From: mdlbear Date: July 21st, 2014 12:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I hope so too. Often one has to see a quality in somebody else in order to recognize it in oneself.
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