Fortnightly Poetry: Catalogue by Rosalie Moore

Last week I pet-sitted for one of my best friends as they went away for a holiday and over that week I learnt some rather interesting things. You see when I say pets, I’m talking about my friend’s dog and cat.

Although we’d had a dog in the house since before the dawn of me cats, well… We’d never had a cat and we didn’t know what we were in for.

Exploration of the Sewing Cupboard

Exploration of the Sewing Cupboard

You see dogs are wonderfully two dimensional creatures, especially small ones (my favourite kind). They go forwards and backwards and side to side, occasionally they jump but most of the time they’re confined to below the knees or hips. Cats and this black Burmese kitty by the name of Lina to be exact was anything but 2D.

Within twenty minutes of her tenancy with us we had already discovered the cat had vanished. Not only did she seem to shirk the calls of her name but she also seemed to just melt away into the floorboards. Regardless however we soon found her upon a pile of freshly folded towels pretending to be asleep.

That was just the beginning.

Lina’s antics with us (Including stealing the dog’s bed, jumping onto a window sill a quarter her size, trying to catch a gecko on the other side of the glass and jumping on the bed at two o’clock in the morning, sending screams echoing down the hallway) reminded me of a poem by Rosalie Moore called Catalogue, which I’m going to feature as this Fortnight’s poem. I hope you enjoy and let me know about your experiences with cats!

A Bed of Batting fit for Catting

A Bed of Batting fit for Catting

 

Catalogue by Rosalie Moore.

Cats sleep fat and walk thin.

Cats, when they sleep, slump;

When they wake, pull in –

And where the plump’s been

There’s skin.

Cats walk thin.

 

Cats wait in a lump,

Jump in a streak.

Cats, when they jump, are sleek

As a grape slipping its skin-

They have technique.

Oh, cats don’t creak.

They sneak.

 

Cats sleep fat.

They spread comfort beneath them

Like a good mat,

As if they picked the place

And then sat.

You walk around one

As if he were City Hall

After that.

 

If male,

A cat is apt to sing upon a major scale:

This concert is for everybody, this

Is wholesale.

For a baton, he wields a tail.

 

(he is also found,

When happy, to resound

With an enclosed and private sound.)

 

A cat condenses.

He pulls in his tail to go under bridges,

And himself to go under fences.

Cats fit

In any box or kit;

And if a large pumpkin grew under one,

He could arch over it.

 

When everyone else is just ready to go out,

The cat is just ready to come in,

He’s not where he’s been.

Cats sleep fat and walk thin.

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