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Of Engagements and Cats

As you can probably guess from my last post and the list of events that occurred in my life in 2015, I am glad to be on this side of 2016. But one more good thing did happen at the very tippy end of 2015: my son got engaged! He bought his girlfriend a pet rock (that’s what I call it), proposed on bended knee (on a hotel rooftop overlooking the ocean and city lights), and even asked her father for permission. Both son and his fiancée are traditional types! Not that it’s necessarily my business, but I definitely approve his choice. Come to think of it, I guess it is as much my business as it is her father’s business!!! I’m thrilled to be gaining another daughter!

The last couple of weeks I’ve been spending more time than usual on the shelter cats. I even started to think that my next project after the one I am working on ought to be poems about an animal shelter. That is a rich, emotional, and even dangerous setting.  Nobody has done that one before. The problem is how to write about the issue without becoming too sentimental or too cold. I think that is why it’s a subject usually avoided in literary poetry.

For your entertainment, a little cat poem by Irish/American poet Eamon Grennan.

Cat Scat

Dearest, note how these two are alike:
I am watching Cleo listening, our cat
listening to Mozart's Magic Flute. What
can she be hearing? What
can the air carry into her ears like that,
her ears swivelling like radio dishes that
are tuned to all the noise of the world, flat
and sharp, high and low, a scramble of this and that
she can decode like nobody's business, acrobat
of random airs as she is? Although of course a bat
is better at it, sifting out of its acoustic habitat
the sound of the very shape of things automat-
ically-- and on the wing, at that. The Magic Flute! What
a joy it is, I feel, and wonder (to the end this little scat)
does , or can, the cat.

—Eamon Grennan

What do cat poems have to do with son’s engagement? Not much, except that he has two cats, Lily and Meesker, so they will be very happy to be part of the marriage ahead.

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Filed under #AmWriting, Cats and Other Animals, Memoir, Nonfiction, Writing