Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sweet William, Meet Marlene

Of the two cats in my life
thankfully neither are in my home.

My neighbor’s cat, Sweet William
embodies all that is wrong about cats.
No friend of personal hygiene or organic gardening
he willfully despoils my finest handiwork.
Were this not enough
he’s learnt to flip me off when finished.
And he leaves his Car and Driver magazines
strewn everywhere.

The other cat I’ve named Marlene
an enormous cougar (Felis concolor)
who haunts the foothills near my home.
She’s lean, muscular and tawny
like this poet I know in Portland who does triathlons.
I see her from a distance when I go hiking
usually around dusk.
She’s beautiful and harmless to me
but likes an occasional rack of lamb.
Or the odd poodle who just will not shut up.
I adore her physique, her authenticity.
We don’t talk much but I understand
she’s torqued that we humans have co-opted
the term cougar for more pejorative things.

In a perfect world
Marlene would make the acquaintance
of Sweet William.

~ J. D. Mackenzie

(inspired by Irene's NaPoWriMo promt #18 Cats)


  1. JDM,
    I like this and I laughed at the part about the cat flipping you off. Funny!

  2. There's a piece in the Marlene stanza where I start picturing the triathlete in place of the cougar-- and in my confused reading, the images were so fun! Nice work!

  3. I love how you give each cat such a distinct, visual character. And I laughed out loud at the last lines. :0)

  4. JD--This is a lot of fun. Love the cougar stanza--the rack of lamb, odd yelping poodle, and the perjorative terms.