Sunday, November 14, 2010

The life of Flounce the cat

(adept at sensing a photographer in the house, she chose her moments well....)

her names slid from phoebe

a first attempt

hurriedly rushed in

to annoint a stray

who burst into our duet

she then settled into

a deeper engraving

on our my hearts

Flounce became her

verbal presence

adroit and annoyed

at having to perform

her catness

before applauding humanoids

claws helped

sharp as glass

and a yowl

called ‘common’

by hifalutin trainers

she leapt to the attack

kamikaze dressed in fur

venus swooned

before her wildcat act

she - a stray - reliving

life & death battles


unstable and likely

to fly off the handle

as much as blink

followed by something

almost human

a sense of shame

at her performance

attempts to show regret

and a delicate hop

onto the lap to secure

her credentials as an

adorable pet



if slightly manky

on hot days looking

distinctly moth-eaten

cool air fluffed her

out into ‘what becomes

a legend most? ‘

thick as mink

luxurious to rub

the nub of your worry

into where it dissolves

like caramel in the mouth


she never learnt to purr

till we had been together

several years

then it emerged

faint as a sewing machine

echoing over arctic wastes

where it took up its magic

leaving long artful pauses

like some kind of contemporary music

where sudden drops into silence

counted as much as broken fragments


she could be a looker

when she tried.

Introduce a camera

and she hussied out

a look so convincing

it took in any touring

paparazzi so she featured

in glossy magazines.


the stray


and abandoned

now as luxuriantly

comparisoned as

an emir’s queen

tricked out

in arctic fox

the dark well of

her eyes the only

indication inside

lay an anarchy

a wilderness

never quite conqueured.


so my heart

bruised to pulp

leapt up and did

a fandango when she,

just before the lethal

prick, unbared her

claws and practiced her

final hiss

take this


and get the fuck

out of my face

was her cancelled thoughtbubble

before she


unbelievably quickly



leaving me


my secret name

the shameful stigma

of all cat owners in such

life and death situations


at being left





she progressed royally

onto different names

and folderoles of titles


as in some member

of a french royal house

madame as a hoitytoity

bitch in a hat shop

sweeping out of plateglass


leaving an unpaid bill

madame for her determination

to get everything her way

all the time

for all time


which became extended to


to cover her possibly

eastern european fits

of improbable glamour

and the mystery of her origins

half cardsharp

half fallen aristocrat

with more than an air

of street mongrel

who had slithered onto the

silken cushion of being

the pet of a pouf

every stray cat’s dream

she realised

with casual disdain

as being her due.

greedy bitch.


like all such tricksters

you were first

out the door

having stolen

my heart.


so fare-thee-well

ninelived monster

of much cherished wonder

with your claws

your silences

and your leaning into me

when i came back

from being far away

and gently sniffing me

several times

as if drinking in

the most pure liquor

that had ever been

invented in the world

that is why we have pets

to make us special

you made me special

and this palsied rhyme

is the shape of my design

to single you out

as individual

which you remained

till the last.

I salute you

noble beast

stray cat


fading as I write

into the ur-cat

no different to

anyone’s feline


your individuality

as I speak.

hence these words here

to secure your rare self

and mark your passage

through my world.



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