Thursday, June 20, 2013


He scratched at the front door
insisting we let him in.
Somebody's senile moggie
inspected the living room,
sat down, then looked at us
as if we'd lost our minds
rearranging the furniture like that.

We were a generic match
and the floorplan was familiar
so he ambled over to where
the food bowl should have been,
it was there last time he looked—

he puzzled it out, and posed, 
rail-thin, then yowled mightily.
We obliged with a saucer of milk.
Blue Willow to match his eyes. 

He sniffed. Shook his head.
Not his cuppa, apparently.
And so, he gazed at us
with crossed eyes, trying 

to set his world right.

Just as I stepped into the shower, the poem arrived at an inopportune moment, building, as I shampooed my hair, and I hoped that I could hold onto it, repeating each line. I madly typed down what I could remember in a Facebook comment box as that was open and easy to save.

But it escaped, on the wing, as do all the good ones. This was the ghosted remains of what I could remember. I had been reading a BBC article on the secret lives of cats—moggies, moggs, mutts, a cat of indeterminate breed. But lost, or abandoned cats, even if purebred, can be moggies too. Moggie comes from Maggie, a diminutive of Margaret—suggesting a disheveled appearance. 
Perhaps I was also thinking of Eric Bogle's macabre song, Nobody's Moggy Now I had heard him sing at the Sebastopol Celtic Festival during a songwritng workshop decades ago. I was mesmerized as Eric told the backstory of a moggy, a dead cat by the side of the road.

Nobody's Moggy Now —Eric Bogle

Somebody's Moggy by the side of the road
Somebody's pussy who forgot his highway code
Someone's favorite feline who ran clean out of luck
When he ran onto the road and tried to argue with a truck

Yesterday he purred and played in his pussy paradise
Decapitating tweetybirds and masticating mice
Now he's just 6 lbs of raw minced meat that don't smell very nice
He's nobody's Moggy now

Oh you who love your pussy be sure to keep him in
Don't let him argue with a truck the truck is bound to win
And upon the busy road don't let him play or frolic
If you do I'm warning you it could be CAT-ostrophic

If he plays out on the roadway I'm afraid that will be that
There'll be one last despairing MEOW and a sort of squelchy SPLAT
And your pussy will be slightly dead and very, very flat
He's nobody's Moggy
Just red and squashed and soggy
He's Nobody's Moggy now

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