A Cautionary Tale for Cats

A Wild Cat And Me

by Jean Cross


It all started with the crows who lit upon my tree

and gave full voice to discord and cawed incessantly.

I watched them hop all o’er the top as twig bent under claw.

It looked just like an argument. Perhaps about some straw.


Then I noticed something, and my apprehension grew.

A feline form was climbing. The crows all noticed too.

They flew in all directions and left my tree quite bare.

Save for the cat still closing on the crows no longer there.


I’d seen this creature skulking ’round the farm just down the road.

It was a wild and untamed thing and of no fixed abode.

But I’d never seen it up so close, though perhaps it had seen me.

This ginger soul who stalked the night so independently.


Then it stopped and looked around and tried to turn half way

just as the wind began to stir and the branch began to sway.

That was when I went outside to get a better look.

Our eyes met through the branches the climbing cat was stuck.


What to do?  I could not leave. Nor could I get near.

The branching was too thin up there, the creature full of fear.

No use in trying to coax this one. No words would get it down.

I’d have to get a ladder to lead it to the ground.


So there I stood with arms outstretched to push the ladder high

The first rung was now near the cat. The final rung was I.

Of course I could not look at it as it made a cautious move.

I had to supplicate myself and stare down at my shoes.


But I felt it getting closer and I wished I’d worn a hat.

For in a moment from my head sprang a wild old ginger cat.

Then it was gone and I replaced the ladder in the shed

and went inside to attend the holes upon my head.


Later as I ate my lunch in silent reverie

I pondered on the episode of the cat up in my tree.

And here’s the thing that bothered me the thing I still don’t know.

What made that scarred old hunter think that it could catch a crow?


Perhaps in some back garden, or by some untidy bin

the bird might let it’s guard down and the patient cat would win.

But at the top of a tall tree the outcome was assured.

Danger for the sneaking cat, survival for the bird.


But still the ginger creature crawled out on a limb.

Driven by its nature to a situation grim.

And here’s the lesson that I learned from that old cat in my tree,

let others do what they might do and I’ll be true to me.

About Jean Cross

I am fifty-eight, Irish, living in the rural county of Mayo and I write lesbian fiction and adventures for teenagers with strong girl characters.
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