Thou Shalt Have a Cat


A poem by Madhuri

Discovered during Self-Healing session

The World Cat Organism
Wants to enslave as many of us as possible.
This is done not just with guiles and wiles
And occasional tender miaows
While looking searchingly into your face
While standing on your prone chest
Kneading and purring.

It’s like this: if you send $10
To the Arbor Day Foundation
In a moment of weakness that feels like strength
They will send you slim envelopes forever
And even if you become an astronaut
And go to far gaseous Jupiter
Those envelopes, white and cool as nurses,
Will keep on coming, up to the spacecraft,
Soliciting funds.

Cat by Madhuri

Once you have had a childhood
With a cat in it
(or as in my case, four)
You’ve been signed up, baby –
You can protest of allergies, frequent travel,
Dislike of other beings’ barf –
It makes no difference. You can say
You avoided having kids, so as not
To spend a million dollars over each
Little beast’s lifetime, culminating in college,
Which it will use to slash itself and
Get HPV and change majors five times.

So surely avoiding having a cat
Is simple as pudding pie?
– In your eye!
The World Cat Organism
Has all your numbers. It whispers and rolls
In your dreams, swells up a lymph node
In your armpit like that time
The black kitten scratched you in the hall
When you were nine,
And the wound festered and swelled
And you got fever.

This is revenge, baby –
A reminder you’re overdue
With your cat-lover dues.
It’s a loyalty thing,
Like, “We all hate J. Edgar Hoover,”
Or, “We’re all liberals here” – families
With cats are expected
By the World Cat Organism
To keep the faith, the breed, the creed.

“You’re sixty-one!” it hisses, “You live alone!
Isn’t it time you got a cat? You’re expected
To take care of one of us, bare minimum!
That’s how it’s done! Otherwise…Psst! Spat!
!@#$%^&*!! Take that!”

But seeing…as I lie deep in meditation,
Right hand on left pit –
I see freedom…light floats now in the places
Formerly held by cats.

Poem by Madhuri, Hebden Bridge, August 2013
Illustration: Levikat by Madhuri

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