In honor of our cat, who is now sitting in front of the television screen and staring at me in a patient but accusatory way, I am re-posting a poem from about a year and a half ago:
How To Be A Cat
Be the noble curator of your excellence, for
fate made you perfect. In all things, be precise:
standing, sitting, staring, walking, sniffing, eating,
sleeping, killing. Never look in mirrors,
which are windows for the insecure. Sleep
in a variety of comfortable places, which
were created for you alone. Make acquaintances,
never friends. The latter tend to cling.
All phenomena are potential enemies. Therefore,
stare, listen, listen, stare, sniff, stare, listen, sniff,
hide, stare, and listen. Never perform tricks. Leave
those to dogs, who need to be wanted and want
to be liked. Talk as necessary, but never just
to chit-chat. Crack the whip of feline fury as
you wish. Keep the blades of your four feet sharp
and retracted like long-held resentments. Let
your soul's motor idle and strum the taut cord
of your body. No one owns you.
God made you and likes you best. In a world
that's dubious, you are certain. You never
make mistakes. You are entitled to what
you want; otherwise, why would you want it?
No matter what else you may be undertaking,
never be reticent to stop and groom yourself,
for you are superb, and self-maintenance
doubles as self-admiration. You are a cat,
a form of beauty that enters stealthily,
naps, and agrees to be admired. You
are a cat. Everything is as it should be.
Copyright 2008 Hans Ostrom