What is the Essence of a Cat?

Is it a purr
or the brush of fur
against a human cheek?

Is it the curl
of a curious tail
or the tongue that licks it sleek?

Is it a velvet paw,
the kneading of sharp claws
or a pleading squeak?

Is it the surprise
of a pair of jade or amber eyes
and their luminous mystique?

Kim M. Russell, 14th June 2018

Mojo on the elephant 1

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads What the?  also linked to dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night

We are writing ‘What the?’ poems today, inspired by the Walt Whitman poem ‘Leaves of Grass’, which starts with the lines:

‘A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full  hands;
How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it  is any more than he.
I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful  green stuff woven.’

We have been invited to pick something–anything–and to write its what’. Our chosen ‘whats’ can be anything; ideally, they should speak to us, drop hints, loosen our tongues; serve as jumping off or diving down points.

38 thoughts on “What is the Essence of a Cat?

  1. Is it the silent way they pad about? That sandpaper touch of their tongue upon our hand? Cats are so many things…….We always enjoyed our two cats: Purrsalot and Blossom. They, like our dogs, were a part of our family. Such an interesting question to ask……..of a cat, a dog, a Kim or a Lillian too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely adore this one 😊 being a cat person 💜 there is a distinct sense of calm when one is around them. Beautifully rendered! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Alsion, and I’m glad to see you back. I’m in the middle of GCSE exam marking at the moment, which means tired eyes and discombobulation, so I will be on and off the poetry circuit for a few weeks. I’m just about to read and comment this morning. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My Emily bought me a card wallet yesterday and it has Marie on it from aristocats and it has the words from the song- “Everybody wants to be a cat…” I am singing it in my head, good luck wiht the marking, XXXX

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, think you’ve captured the domesticated versions very well. Just returned from the Greek island of Santorini where cats – and dogs for that matter – are left to fend for themselves. They are also lean, mean survival machines…intensely loyal to their own, but no less imperious, no less grateful for human contact, care and… food.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The answer is “yes” to having every trait. The way you phrased this is nice, soft, and sweet. I’m sure the cat in your picture fits all these.and even more nice cat descriptors.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As you enquire and provide Whitmanesque reply in the sum: All of it. Every cat lover like this one would agree! Now where does this take us? What does a cat sing about ourselves? Nice shaping here, smooth belling of rhyme.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Watching a cat, petting a cat, having them tap me because I forgot to feed them 🙂 … I just love my kitties – maybe because they like to cuddle (when they feel like it)… Nice poetic rhyming throughout and adorable photo – she has beautiful markings (and she knows it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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