Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Love Poem to a Cat

Ana has a sentimental streak, though it may not be obvious. She tends to guard her emotions. (If you were the first person on Earth from another planet you might guard your emotions too.) She loves nearly all cats, of course, and she almost loves the family's two Rhodesian ridgebacks, but Ana really bonded with one particular cat, and that cat bonded with her: the fluffy Eleanor. The reasons were not obvious to the casual observer, nor even to Ana and probably not to Eleanor (but who knows about cats?).

Eleanor was not demonstrative. She performed no amazing feats of athleticism and was only occasionally playful. She simply was: calm, sweet-tempered, and totally devoted to Ana. She may have been the first living creature on Earth for whom Ana felt unabashed love, which Eleanor returned. They understood each other. Eleanor's tiny grave, in a shady spot in the back of the Mendez compound, is well tended.

When Ana found the poem "Pushkin," by Marjorie Kowalski Cole,* it struck her keenly on first reading. She has reread it so many times she surely has memorized it. Pushkin the cat is not sweet-tempered and not female, but his relationship with his person made Ana's eyes watery. Like Pushkin did for his person (we avoid the word "owner"), Eleanor did for Ana, and, perhaps, vice versa.

*The host site for this poem has unfortunately been closed. Please see the Workaround for another way that usually gets you to it.

Many more poems about cats, believe it or not, may be found in the right column, under the photo of the LOVE sculpture-->

1 comment:

Dianne K. Salerni said...

As you know, I'm not a real big fan of poetry, but I do like that one!

I've never had a cat that would tolerate being carried around in a bag ... but poor Maui did let the children dress him up in feather boas and pearls.