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
and we both knew it 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 tentive 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 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
and victory 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.


A big ‘thank you’ to Jean for providing this lovely poem. You can see Jean’s book, The Boots of Saint Felicity, here

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