Sunday, November 28, 2021

Poetry Break


The lion tamers wrestle with the lions in a cage,
With but a fragile whip they dare their charges’ feral rage.
They put their heads in tigers’ mouths and do not flinch a grain,
But … they never tried to take a cat five hundred miles to Maine.

You hunters who bring back alive from Afric’s roaring shore
The nilghai and the elephant, the rhino and the boar;
Who load them on a steamer and evince no sign of strain –
Let’s see you drive a cat five hundred miles to Maine.

Go cope with your rhinoceros bare-handed and alone,
Or kick a famished grizzly if for harmless fun you hone,
Or aggravate a timber wolf with pokings of a cane,
But do NOT try to drive a cat five hundred mile to Maine.

There is no word, there is no tongue, there is no ink to tell
One tenth of what one cat can raise of concentrated hell,
When after two hours’ driving to mistaken qualms you yield
And take poor puss to stretch her limbs in some adjacent field.

And if you’ve done the things set forth in stanzas two and three,
You stand a chance, when Krazy from the leash has wriggled free
(Provided you are clad in steel with hat and gloves to match),
To get her back into the car without a bite or scratch.

Ye lion tamers, naturalists, and big-game hunters eke,
When I’m around be chary of your tendency to speak.
To hear you boast your petty deeds gives me a shooting pain
For I have driven Krazy — phew! — five hundred miles to Maine!

– Baron Ireland

(via Futility Closet)


Bicycle Bill said...

A little research shows that this came from a 1934 book entitled "Our Cat", which just goes to show that even back then we knew that humans should have never attempted to domesticate cats.   Now here we are, almost 90 years later, and we still haven't learned!


KaraBoo said...

I’ve had a cat or 3 in my home for almost 40 years, and had 2 who adored being in the car. Kibby would fall asleep between my head and the headrest as I drove, or would snooze by the rear window. Phoebe would scream if I had her carrier zipped, but I’d unzip it and she’s promptly fall asleep inside it, and not wake for hours. Figaro, however, was a nightmare, he’d let go from every orifice and scream the entire time the car was moving. A 4 hour move to a new city meant he couldn’t make a sound for days afterwards, he screamed himself hoarse. But I loved that fat boy, regardless. I’m cat-free for the first time, it’s bizarre. I still think I see Phoebe out of the corner of my eye, she died months ago. And I’m STILL finding cat fur dust bunnies under the furniture.