Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Hand That Puts Fish on the Saucer Has Changed, Too

That's Jess, who I never write about. She's younger than Sarah, older than Fleabus, eight, nine maybe? She's smart but bitter, resents Sarah and Fleabus and Stanley and Rose and Napoleon, torments Sarah since Sarah's old and is the only cat that can't kick Jess' ass. She doesn't meow or purr, she gacks and hisses. She walked up to me last night while I was reading and, for the first time ever, or at least since the last time that I've forgotten, made a please love me sound. You may or not have noticed, but I am making a conscious effort to be more tolerant towards all and everything that always piss me off, it's pissing people off; I'm not going to do the research, but I bet I say motherfucking crackers much less recently than I used to when I used to say it repeatedly every day. I picked her up, put her in my lap, rubbed her ears, she has beautiful green eyes. Stanley jumped on the sofa next to us, Jess hissed, ripped open a two inch gash in my right thigh leaping away.  

Here's Napoleon this morning in our dogwood tree.


Wislawa Szymborska
Translated by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh

Die - you can't do that to a cat.
Since what can a cat do
in an empty apartment?
Climb the walls?
Rub up against the furniture?
Nothing seems different here,
but nothing is the same.
Nothing has been moved,
but there's more space.
And at nighttime no lamps are lit.

Footsteps on the staircase,
but they're new ones.
The hand that puts fish on the saucer
has changed, too.

Something doesn't start
as it's usual time.
Something doesn't happen
as it should.
Someone was always, always here,
then suddenly disappeared
and stubbornly stays disappeared.

Every closet has been examined.
Every shelf has been explored.
Excavations under the carpet turned up nothing.
A commandment was even broken:
papers scattered everywhere.
What remains to be done.
Just sleep and wait.

Just wait till he turns up,
just let him show his face.
Will he ever get a lesson
on what not to do to a cat.
Sidle towards him
as if unwilling
and ever so slow
on visibly offended paws,
and now leaps or squeals at least to start.


  1. There is often a reason for bad cat behavior. Cats get gum disease just like people which can be painful, might want to take kitty to the vet for a checkup.

  2. Thanks, she was at vet within past three months, all's OK. She's lovely when there are no other cats around, but there are always other cats around and then she's just plain mean. I should be nicer, though.

  3. Yours are okay and all, but when it comes to cat pics, Planet's rule. Just sayin'. Tho' Honorable Mention for the little corporal.

  4. I liked it when Madonna strummed the lyre.