Adult Poetry

[Poetry Friday] My Cats (And Maybe Yours, Too)

poetry friday

Fats here.

I fell in love with cats when I met Daniel’s cat named Tommy. Almost three years ago, his parents rescued a lost kitty and nursed her back to health. They named her Penny. Daniel’s mom would always comment that Penny is my shadow. I didn’t think I would love cats as much as I do now. (Daniel and I would still like to have a golden retriever someday, but cats would do fine for now.)



Below are three cat poems I would like to share with you today. I hope you enjoy them. I like them all, but the last one is my favorite. (Channeling my inner feline here.)

Tabatha Yeatts of The Opposite of Indifference is hosting Poetry Friday this week!


My Cats

by Charles Bukowski

I know. I know.
they are limited, have different
needs and

but I watch and learn from them.
I like the little they know,
which is so

they complain but never
they walk with a surprising dignity.
they sleep with a direct simplicity that
humans just can’t

their eyes are more
beautiful than our eyes.
and they can sleep 20 hours
a day
hesitation or

when I am feeling
all I have to do is
watch my cats
and my

I study these

they are my


A Cat is a Cat

by Karin Holloway

A cat is a cat

A cat on the lap
Is a cat in the house
Is a cat through the flap
Carrying a mouse.

A cat on the bed
Is a cat with flea collar
Is a cat when all’s said
Will cost you some dollars.

A cat in the shed
Is a cat full of fleas
Is a cat with a head
Which meows ‘Please! ‘

A cat in your arms
Is a cat who’s a dear
Is a cat who has charms
And brings one good cheer.


How to Be a Cat

by Hans Ostrom

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.


13 comments on “[Poetry Friday] My Cats (And Maybe Yours, Too)

  1. I love that last line of the last poem, but all three made me insufferably happy, despite the knowledge that cats are probably laughing at us. 😉


  2. Such wisdom & mirth in the trio of feline poems. LOVE.


  3. These poets obviously really understand cats! I can see why you love the last poem in particular: “Be the noble curator of your excellence” (and this line: “You are entitled to what/you want; otherwise, why would you want it?”)

    I also like Bukowski’s observation:
    “they can sleep 20 hours
    a day
    hesitation or


  4. maryleehahn

    A fun trio of poems. True to form, our cat is nothing like any of the cats in any of these poems! I do love the last stanza of the last poem. If only I could live like that!


  5. I’m with Bukowski: definitely something to be learned from cats! We are cat lovers… currently have 2 of them. (We also have a dog I adore… an Aussie (!) named Ruby, but shhhh, if I had to have just ONE animal… it would be a cat.) I have an inner cat, too. xo


  6. I love that Bukowski one – he totally got cats, that’s for sure.


  7. What a fun collection of cat poems. Love Bukowski’s student of cat view!


  8. The 3rd stanza of Bukowski’s “My Cats” stands out to me. When I was 4 my cat jumped out of my arms and got run over. I will never forget that day. I have never had another cat since then but do admire them.


  9. As a life-long cat lady, these poems sing to my soul! My dad is also cat-obsessed, so I will pass these on to him!


  10. Wonderful cat poems….all true. Sleep with a direct simplicity….love that line!


  11. I’ve been cat-crazy since I was born, I guess – and love dogs, too. Always lived with both! Terrific feline-y tribute here, Fats – esp. the Hans Ostrom poem. I was immediately hooked with “Be the noble curator of your excellence, for / fate made you perfect”!


  12. Always fun to find new cat poems. I especially like the first, in which Bukowski takes courage from his cats’ noble excellence.


  13. Three excellent cat poems. My favorite is the Bukowski. I love to sit and watch cats, and I envy their ability to sleep without remorse!


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