The Runcible Cat   Come, hear the tail of a Runcible cat;
The Grandfather pawsed, while he
Trimmed the clause of the Runcible cat
Who purr pussed to sail on the sea.

He told of a Runcible cat that sailed
In a Runcible boat with a bird,
But the grandchild frowned, and said to him,
This cat's tail is really absurd.

He wondered aloud of a Runcible moon.
And Runcible quinces ill flavoured with minces
Neath the Runcible light of the moon.
The moon, the silvery Runcible moon.

And he spoke to the child of a Runcible wood,
And a pig with a Runcible ring
But the little girl said, "It is clear that the thing
Is all muddled up with the spoon, the spoon,
The original Runcible spoon."

"You forgot as you told me this Runcible tail"
Said the Runcible grand child to me,
"That their Runcible boat with it's Runcible sail
Was adrift on a Runcible sea."

"But it is certainly NOT a Runcible cat,
His purr puss was honest and clear.
It was only a simple Runcible spoon,
That was dreamed of by dear Mister Lear."

Envoi. What a Runcible word for a poet to find.
It rings day and night in my Runcible mind.

New readers please consult "The Owl and the Pussy Cat."

                                                                                by Edward Lear.

  The Tail of the Runcible Cat - part 2

The little girl said to her dear Grandad
"Your tail of a Runcible cat
And a bird and a boat, and a glad piggy wig
Who sold, very willing.
His nose ring, for one shilling
And, you remembered the Runcible sand
On the distant shores of a far foreign land
And a pottage of honey
And lots of money
All stirred by a Runcible spoon, a spoon,
The original Runcible spoon."

"Now I," said the child, "have a tale as good,
Of how these Runcibles danced in the wood
To the Runcible pussycats fiddle
They danced all night to the hi diddle diddle
'Neath the light of the silvery moon
And the Runcible cow you overlooked
In a moment of Runcible glee
Jumped out of the wood and over the moon,
And the little dog Runcible, laughed to see
That Runcible dish with the spoon."

The Grandfather praised the little girls rhyme
And patted the golden head.
"But there are more," the little girl said
"Of such Runcible tails to tell,
Or have you exhausted your Runcible wit
With just one? There are others as well."

"What of the Runcible cat who went
To London to look at the Queen?
And the pussycat put down the well
And Puss-in-Boots with the Runcible hat
And good Dick Whittington's Runcible cat
And other fine cats we have seen?"

"What of the cats that Eliot knew,
Ask Old Gumbie cat to mention a few.
And Mister Mistoffeles and Gus
And Skimbleshanks and the Runcible crew
And others he wrote about, just for us."

"For a Runcible joke, some Catastrophes,
And Catalogues and other cat-isms,
And the bad wickid cat and the Runcible pigeons,
And Runcible Big Cats in their legions."

"And that Runcible puss
Whose coat was so warm
And the Kats of Kilkenny
Who came to great harm."

"And Alice's cat who was only a grin
A Runcible joke to count her in."

"And what of the witches cats that fly
On Runcible broomsticks, black in the sky,
And the feral cat with the Runcible fur
But perhaps we are catty to speak of her."

"And common street cats when all else fails,
Shopcats and farmcats catch Runcible rats
And grey Manx cats without any tales
And Silver Tabbies and Tortoiseshell cats."

"Siamese Browns and Blue Burmese.
And plenty of others more fancy than these,
Safe in the house in the armchair curled
The Runcible cats from around the world."

The little girl frowned, "I know there are more,
But enough is enough as I've mentioned before,
Dear Grandad, this list hardly starts to tell
All the cats that the mouse's wanted to bell."

"Dear child," the Grandfather said to the girl,
You have put my old head in a Runcible whirl,
It is clear from your list there is much to do
With so many cats tails wanting review."

"So child, it is clear to me that you,
Are the one that has all this work to do;
And let us acknowledge with gratitude clear
Our Runcible debt to dear Mister Lear."

  The Magic Cat
This is a dream
A boy had one night
He was teasing the cat
But she gave him a fright.
This means she 
suddenly changed 
What a terrible sight
Into a fierce tiger
Such a terrible night.
This means very fierce 
and roaring and 
stamping his feet 
and waving his tail 
But then when he ran
The cat changed again
From Egypt or Spain.
This means he 
changed again 
Dear me, what a fuss
Did that little boy make
When that great roaring lion
TRANSFORMED to a snake.
This means 
mean and cross 
Which changed to a dragon,
All scaly and smoking 
Flew round the boys head.
This means he was 
magicked again 
And when the boy yelled
In fright and in pain
To his father to save him
Dragon magicked again.
This was a 
Wascally Wombat 
And a fat furry wombat
Cuddled up to the boy
And his fear and his terror
Was changed into joy.
This means he was 
changed by magic 
But the wombat so furry
So gentle and fat
To a terrible cat.
This means 
awfully terribly 
With terrible eyes
And terrible claws
And eats little boys.
This means asking 
very truly 
That bad little boy
Fell down on his knees
PLEADING for mercy
And shouted out "please."
Now he tells fibs  He promised if spared
He would never again
Chase her or tease her
Nor cause her pain.
The Cheshire Cat is 
very famous - Read 
Alice in Wonderland 
And the clever cat smiled
She knew that he would
At least for a while.


On the nature of cats

The confidence of cats is a mutual trust.
A friendship - so do not ask too much.
They will be free; be free of all control
Which threatens their peace; this the wild free soul.

Cats as we love them most happily purr,
But suffer from times when they must caterwaul
Though we love them dearly, their nature is still
Jealous of freedom, in house or on hill.

See in those luminous, golden eyes,
An insight into that other dim world,
Visioned by Sphinx; a mystery
Far, far beyond our dark humanity.

  Cats of various shapes and sizes

Cats are diverse and curious creatures,
Clothed in furs of remarkable colours.
Their story is ancient, and cats have been
Consort of Princes and Egypt's fair Queen.

The Burmese cats are long furred and fat,
With soft warm tonings of cream, brown and blue
Clever and playful, a beautiful cat.
A faithful companion, quiet, loyal and true.

Siamese too are beautiful creatures
Such lovely blue eyes in their shapely heads
She has soft blue points, or chocolate or red,
And some Siamese show equally well,
Points silver or tabby or tortoiseshell.

Abyssinian cats have short dark fur,
A sharp elvish face, and a long lean back.
Lithe strong and fast, with ears like wings
An ancient breed, fit consort of kings.

Moon cats are strange; that smooth skin, no fur,
Is curious, as is the huge orbed eye.
And the great alert ears; their looks belie
The gentle nature, the welcoming purr.

Yes, beautiful creatures.
We are favoured when we
Are permitted to share
Their company.

  Nepeta Cataria   Nepeta cataria, catmint to you,
Is adored by cats; it excites their play
Disturbs their composure, upsets their calm
Tickles their fancy, but does them no harm.
  Ordinary cats   The plain tabby cat in home, store or farm
Is striped or dappled, or plain black or white.
(But probably deaf, if she's really pure white.)
The family cats loved all round the world
Snug in the armchair, comfortably curled.

But all of them, Royals, Moon kits, or Bast,
Have one thing in common all over the world
They have to keep palace, temple and house
Free from the snake, the rat and the mouse.

  The Cats Tale   I am no complacent cat
I surely Felis Catus still
You did not break me
Train me to your will
I came of my own choice to you
And choose, of my own will
To remain with you still

In truth it was your open fire
Dear God of Cats, that cheerful heat
The torment of the rich full scents
On such chill days, of your roast meat

In the hard bitter days
And the long bitter night
Of the great ice ages
I saw your welcome light

The mammoth, and great auroch bear
The sabre toothed tiger
The great and mighty perished there
Died in the great cold of the ice

I sought a peace with you
Desired your fire, your meat
You were the mighty hunter then
And had the fire, so I
Crept for my purposes
To your indifferent feet
I veiled my savage maw
I sheathed my deadly claw
In passive velvet paw
And for my kittens need
I crept inside your door

A rat or so, and a mouse or two
Also came from the cold to you
Each in his creeping furtive way
And these for you, I kept at bay

All through those bitter years
I stayed
Yes, for your meat, and fire
And safety for my kits
In the warm nest your children made

And you were pleased, in your way
To have the wild thing stay
About your homes and fires
We shared a warm companionship
Through all those bitter years
Surely you pleased my own desires

It pleased my own desire
My kits to share your fire
Your children played with mine
And deeper friendship grew with time

So I am now content to stay
Felis Domesticus to be
I choose to pay my way
Upon the step, sometimes a mouse
Maintains my independent state
Within your house

And now by mutual consent
We be old friends
The wisdom's garnered thru long years
Now inherent in me,
And you are wiser too
And more compassionate
I have great trust in you.

But Felis Catus still at heart
I stay at my own will
And when it pleases me
I will unsheathe my claw
Return to forest and to kill
Live to my own cat law.

Your pet! This cat is not so mild
Old friend
Your Felis still is Cattus wild


To keep cats at home
It is not possible
Chicken, lambs fry,
Or delicate fish,
Freshly put out
In his favourite dish
These only detain him
They do not restrain him
He sleeps, or just sits
Through the long sunny day
In my own deep armchair
Just lazes about
A comfortable cat.
Half asleep half awake
On my front door mat
And rarely goes out.

But you just watch him
At close of the day
When he stretches his paws
And he flexes his claws
And then goes his own way
Over the front path
And over the lawn
To the high garden wall
Where he sits most content
And knows he wont fall
Sleek tawny astutely
Twitching his tail
A cunning old mouser
Who knows he wont fail.

Then he has gone
We know not where
From dusk to dawn
He is just "out there"
But just where "that" is
We never can share.
But he knows, yes he knows
Every rats den
And where the snake goes,
And where the black hen
Has her secret nest.

And every wee mouse
Must pass a strict test
Before he can hope
To come into the house.

He knows the height
And the place of each tree
And when the dog chases
He knows where to flee.

And then when the pale dawn
Comes calm from the sea
Home like an angel
He comes home to me.

Mild meek and innocent
He comes home to me.


Puss on my lap - her quiet contented purr
For both a sweet domestic bliss
And the smooth stroking
Of her soft warm fur
Against my willing leg
A loving kiss.

Her quiet voiced plea in vocal silk
A song of humble grateful praise
Of such, as, obedient to her certain need
Pours as demanded, the nectar of her milk.

Yet I who love her know full well
Despite that humble grateful purr
The savage nature of the hunting cat
That burns so fiercely, in that silken fur.

  Not everyone loves cats, but taking a cat into one's life can be a very enriching experience, a new and beautiful experience.

Your dog says, "Come on, lets go for a run, now."

Your cat says, "You go for your walk. I'll be here when you get back."

Our first records of the cat are Egyptian, children of Bast, the God Cat of that ancient kingdom. Folk tales of Ethiopia and India, suggest a much longer history, and we should remember

that folk tales, essential part of oral tradition, were told forunknown centuries before mankind's first recorded messages.

Cats have this long association with the deeper side of our nature

What of the Sphinx? Now known to be five and probably more thousand years older than the Pyramids. Or, are the Pyramids, like the Sphinx, so much older than as at present taught?

This food for thought.

The Sphinx suggests the cat (possibly one of the Great Cats) as being deified as a God of some peoples so ancient as to be utterly forgotten - except for the Sphinx. The Egyptians possibly inherited something of the ancient religion in the worship of Bast from remnants of this lost people.

Bubastus, is a burial city, a necropolis built by the Egyptians, to house the mummified bodies of cats. Bubastus contains over four million of these mummified cats, all once loved animals.

And loved they were; death was the penalty for the deliberate killing of a cat in that ancient kingdom.

The Hindu goddess of birth, Shosti has a cat as a symbol and in both China and Japan cats are respected as "shape - shifters" with great powers of good and ill. The Australian wild cat is a totem animal of several tribes, and amongst many of the old American Indian tribes their wild cat was revered as a Hunter God. Cats are also creatures of the High Gods in Celtic mythology.

In ancient Roman times the cat was an honoured symbol of Liberty, and were so popular amongst the Roman troops that they spread and interbreed with the cats of all the conquered countries, popular no doubt, as ratters, as much as symbols of Liberty. (Dare we make a pun, and suggest liberty from rats?)

It is suggested that the Dragon, in all it's fearful forms, is our friend the cat, magnified to terrible shape and powers as in the Celtic mythology, and in the Scandinavian where they draw the chariot of Frejya.

They have not always been favoured pets in Europe. In the Middle Ages at the time when the Church was ruthlessly attempting to stamp out the vestiges of the old Pagan religions and beliefs, any accusation of Paganism or witchcraft would result in the cruel death of the accused. These were often older women, living alone, their menfolk killed in the wars or for other reason, old maids, even a wart on the face or other deformity and living with a cat for company; such were persecuted without mercy. For the cat was considered a "familiar", an active associate of the witch in the old ways.

The association of cats with witchcraft continues to this day.

So fiercely were cats hunted, that few were willing to keep them, during these terrible years, with the result that rats and mice were multiplied to plague numbers throughout Europe, resulting in the Black Death, the bubonic plague which killed millions.

The well known stories, "The Pied Piper of Hamelin Town," "Bishop Hatto," "Dick Whittington and his Cat," and the nursery rhyme, "Ring-a-ring of Roses," all stem from this troubled time.

Cats very quickly regained favour, in palaces, cathedrals, manors and cottages, and since have been valued as the best natural control of rats and mice, both carriers of disease.

In many states of India householders are required by law to maintain a cat, this to control vermin, not for religious reasons.

Even feral cats do valuable work in keeping vermin under control.

We do not know how a cat purrs, though we know why. The sound is not vocalised; it is generated within the animals body.

Only contented cats purr.

A cat, contented on the lap is excellent medicine. They are loved pets and healers in millions of homes, relieving stress, giving friendship and comfort, helping recovery from sickness, solace in times of worry and distress, and inducing peaceful thought.

Many of our most creative people find relaxation and inspiration in the placid yet stimulating company of a loved cat.

They show concern when a family goes on holiday, and there is always a warm welcome on return.

There are many stories of cats (and dogs), finding their own way over long distances and unknown country to unite with a lost family. Just how they find that unknown way is a mystery. We do not know. It is thought that this ability is yet more evidence of that wonderful universal mind which is the basis of all life, and of which every living creature, be it grasses, trees, insect, bird, animal, fish and all mankind is each but a living responsive part.


She prowls by Night

We have clever and curious cat
Who lives in the spaces between
The special place where she lives in our house,
And the other strange and secret places
Where this curious cat may be seen.

For when this mysterious curious cat
So warm and so friendly and mild
Goes outside in the fading light
She becomes a savage creature of night
A hunter at home in the wild.

All that we see are her eyes; two luminous lamps
With a flick of her ears she's away
She is gone. And the dark folds in
And a mighty huntress of rats and mice
Is abroad in the garden,
And she's not at all nice

Thus is our mild and innocent pet
Transformed by the magic of night
And she must beware the black and green snake
Hunter or hunted, no room for mistake.

Then comes the dawn, pale, quiet, from the sea
Then comes my beautiful cat home to me
Again she is meek and friendly and warm
After the hunt and the death before dawn
Picking her way through the dew on the lawn
My gentle companion comes home to me.

But I cannot forget, when day is bright
The fierce hunting creature she is by night.


TRIM was Matthew Flinder's cat
A well beloved and famous cat
And most adventurous.
Trim, with Flinders
Circumnavigated the World
With him charted the long sea ways
Innumerable reefs and cays
And sounded a thousand
Golden sanded bays.

Trim shared great dangers, hunger, cold
Trim was, as Flinders said with grace
"Always resolute and bold
The best of all companions, and
The most illustrious of all his race
And the most affectionate of friends"

Matthew watched Trim's merriment's
With shared delight,
Noted his keen intelligence
With surprise.
And knew that never
Would another equal Trim
In Matthew Flinders eyes.

There is a bronze statue of Trim, created by John Cornwall, beside a statue of Matthew Flinders in the Mitchell Library, McQuarrie St., Sydney. A very pleasant group.

Flinders lovely little story of Trim was written during his captivity on Mauritius between 1803 and 1810. The essay, titled simply 'Trim', was published only in 1973 and copies are available from the library.

  'Twas a wild, windy day

Our cat, one wild and windy day
A day when cats love to gambol and play,
Ran up a tree and was stranded for hours
High in the little leaves; the sweet scented flowers.
In the big lemon gum, beside the gate,
And a very high tree I have to relate.

She cried and she meowed most piteously
Long hours for help to get down from that tree
"Will anyone help me to get down from this tree?"
I was in town by business delayed
So she had to wait as the tree rocked and swayed
Wild was the wind in the blue sky that day.

When I reached home, what a shock to me
To find my cat in that wild swaying tree
I had no idea as to what I could do
To climb was beyond me, that I well knew.

I prayed "Dear Lord, oh what must I do,"
For I feared for my cat, so gentle and true.
When behold. A goshawk glided by,
A king in the heart of that wild windy sky
And swooped for the kill, with my cat in his eye
My dear kitty screamed, she has no wish to die
She let go her hold and she tumbled and leaped
Down through the branches on nimble cat feet,
And safe at last jumped out of that tree
And quick as a flash, she scrambled up me.

We went to the house most joyfully
Musing the miracle, gratefully
Gave heartfelt thanks to such powers that be,
Said grace, and with my adventurous cat
Enjoyed our tea.


Our cat
Just loves
The peace and quiet
About our house.
Her preferred dish
A little poached fish
Is all she asks.
As for her day
She likes to bask
In the sun.
And for some fun
To play with some wool
About my footstool.

It's a quiet life
But says my cat
I like it that way
You know I hate strife.


Not understood
By mankind
My cat has no
Purr Puss
Other than
Peace and Quiet
By day
And occasionally
A Mouse
To establish her place
In the Universe
In My House


The Tail of a Tomcat   A dreadful lesson for all true cat lovers.

Our tom was a scandalous, dreadful cheat,
In spite of white sox on three of his feet
His fur was silken, a lovely smooth coat,
And a patch of white, decorating his throat.

A well behaved happy, contented cat
Happy to sleep in the old armchair,
Or to sleep in the sun through the afternoon
On the front door mat.

But one day our tom just could not be found
Although all the children hunted around
We thought him lost as cats sometimes are,
Gone walkabout, on some journey afar.

But; on the weekend, what a shock. Surprise
In marched our Tom Cat, and our eyes
Opened wide. We were silent with awe
For Tom brought in kittens; One, Two, Three and Four

Our lovely cheat, our wicked Tom Cat
Was a SHE. We had all been wrong
For Tom was a lady cat all along,
And, just to prove that she knows what she's at
Tom had her kittens in Mothers best hat.

And, Oh, those kittens, each lovely wee thing
What wonder, what joy did Toms kittens bring.
And though we're not one's to gamble or bet,
We think Tom was mixed up when he went to the vet.

  Some lines on a famous AWFUL cat   Believe me,
There are AWFUL cats.
Just think of that cat
In the little dogs book
You know, it's called
Footrot Flats.

They call him Horse,
He's a bully, a bouncer.
Not a name I would choose
For a family cat
"Bruiser" might be a better name.
He's so dreadfully coarse.

He's rough,
He's tough,
Sometimes gruff
And other kinds
And possibly worse
Than I'd care for this verse.

But look; look when the moon and the stars
Silver the world with their beautiful light
Horse will be out with the lady cats
Out courting all night, and despite their cries,
Cool with the pale dawn light in the skies,
Home go those lady cats; stars in their eyes.

It is no surprise their king is Horse
And Wal and the Dog
They love him, of course. [ I wonder ]
But what a name for a family cat,
I'm sure that my Mum would do better than that.

  OUR CAT   Our cat,
is quite at home
within our house
for rent
she offers
just a mouse.

This gift
makes clear
see how I care
for you
and for
your house.

  Sebastian   Being the several tales of a cat
The first tale.

Please meet Sebastian.
The neighbours call him "Jolly Rover"
Because no fence was wall to him
One swift lithe leap and Rover's over.

Sebastian was my son's cat. My son
Earned him as a kitten

From a lousy farmer, who thought it was fun
To pay such wages, stooking wheat,
Thin drought winnowed, thistle fat wheat.
Under the blazing sun's dry heat.

So Sebastian stayed. Long years
A well contented cat; long furred
Angora, I believe; long pointed ears.
Kathleen combed, brushed and cared for him
Fed him well; a deep affection won
In their subtle feline way
A link, a bonding with the absent son.

In the days of his departure
Had he not said "Thanks Mum,"
I know that you will care for him.

This is the first tale.

The second tale   He went to India - first Bombay
Where brutal poverty and flagrant wealth
Shocked him; it bred a bitterness of spirit
All unsuspected in our easy Western world.

Sebastian, at home, was well content
In his animal innocence
Of both hubristic wealth
And desperate poverty
Shielding him, not comprehending
The infinite pity
The patient ways that love transcends

The hurt of shameful poverty.

From Bombay to Poona.
It needs a Kipling to tell the tale
Of innocents abroad upon that road.
Sweet innocence should stay at home
Such evil as defiles
Is best unknown.

He laughs now, when people they say,
"Oz has too many people."

For on the road he clearly saw
India suffers the same drought;
The same Wet season, and the same
Generous flooding wasted rain
Desert and marsh lands, arid plains
Another worn and sunburned land
But shaped by patient peasant hands.

Eight hundred million human hearts
Throng her still productive soils
The hard prest land but half the size
Of our vast empty inland parts.

When 'they' have gleaned our easy wealth,
These empty plains will feed millions;
Their ancient peasant ways
Conserve the flooding rain
Restore the living stream again
Revive the precious soil's good health
Restore the land to living wealth.

Our easy days
Are but an interlude between
The Dreamtime; so deep a dream,
And the stark reality
Of this world's restless hunger.

But India broke the boy.
The Rajneesh with his golden plans.

Of liberated love to save the world
Was seduced by the disciples
The channelled wealth of a baser kind
Than visioned in the master's mind.

This the sad fate: the destiny observed
Of all Messiah's.

The Word of Peace corrupted
Now calls the world to arms.

Mosque and cathedral
Mock the simple life and teachings
Of all the prophets
Slums fester in the shadows
Of such places
And the disciples garner
Wealth and power
Despised by their masters.

The loaves, the fishes, and the wine
These are but symbols
Hear the Word.
Search the Spirit.
Read clear the certain sign
The Bread of Life sustains all
The Living Water, a rich wine
Is sweet refreshment to the world.
The Way - our certain road to Eden.

Thus the second tale.

Sebastian but a familiar of the absent suffering son.

The third tale   The son returned - the spirit bruised
To Sebastian, to Mother
And a comfort he could understand
And rest his soul and heal the mind
The bitter search for truth abused.

One day Sebastian met a dog
Smarter, younger than himself.
The local dogs had learned
Respect for Jolly Rover.
He would spit in a dog's face
With fierce impunity,
And skin an intrusive nose
With savage joy and feline grace.

But today, a young blue heeler
Well schooled in the art of nipping
The heels of reluctant cattle,
Took a leg from Sebastian.
Yes, the off front leg
In one hectic second. He too
Bore honourable scars of battle.

So post haste to the vet.
Who later restored to us
A sorry Jolly Rover
Licking his wounds, but unrepentant
The battle is over.

Sebastian now
With stoic gallantry
Is well recovered from defeat,
We think him wonderful because
He is the only cat in Oz
To sport, most elegantly,
A tiny wooden leg
Cut from a peg, and held
With a socket, and
A belt on his shoulder.
And Sebastian
Wiser and older.

Thus ends the tale of Sebastian


Mr Eliot's Cats

Mr. Eliot made a name - a notable name - in English literature, commenting on other Poetry and Poets - in hard covers or paperback, Faber's etc.

I trust, which is greater than hope, that his shade will smile on this comment on his cats, written to pleasure two young kits, {better kits than kids}, who found the reading of the originals beyond their developing skills.

Mr. Eliot's original cats most gratefully acknowledged.

  Eliot's cats are curious creatures
With wonderful names and curious features
Skimbleshanks kept the railway in order
Not even Growltiger would cross his border.

Growltiger was a ruffian cat
No ruffer cat at sea
And Griddlestone his lady cat
Was just as ruff as he.
The Siamese cats ganged up on him,
One dark night on Thames water
Growltiger had to walk the plank,
And that was as he oughter.

As for McCavity, millions like him
Not very good looking, most bones and skin.
Very few of his relatives count for much,
Just plain alley cats, all tabbys and such.

Much like old Gus the theatre cat
A bit of a skite, but he knows what he's at,
A boasting and bragging old cat is Gus,
But, just call him asparagus,
And stand by for the fuss.

Rumpleteazer, prowls
Around Kensington Square
Winnie the Pooh must have met him there
Or in Victoria Grove, or round about there
And though he is well fed and rotund and not trim,
It is stealing from cooks
That has doubled his chin.

His friend, Mungojerrie,
He's as fat as his mate.
Both highly professional, bad horrid cats
Who live on the best, and never catch rats.

Old Deuteronomy still walks up High Street
The oldest old man and the others to meet.
A popular cat and the villagers pet,
And for all that I know, he sleeps there yet.

Bustopher Jones, fat cat of the city,
Lives round the Mall and St. James of all places
I'm sure Prince Charles has chatted him, there,
Or topped him on Derby Day, doing the races.
Bustopher's best of all possible cats
And terribly elegant in his white spats.

But greatest of all is that cat of renown,
Mister Mistoffeles: we all bow down
To this mysterious magical cat.
So wonderful is his wondrous way
So cunning and bold at all times of the day.

And YES - HE had kittens - Just one of his days
And none of us blinked when we saw those kittens
Were all born wearing their lost and found mittens
No wonder Lloyd Webber put those wonderful cats
With Mister Mistoffeles into a play
Those cats so clever so brave and so gay.

Dear Mr. Eliot, we love your strange cats, such a contribution to our rich inheritance of English literature.  
  Cats of various shapes and sizes   Cats are diverse and curious creatures,
Clothed in furs of remarkable colours.
Their story is ancient, and cats have been
Consort of Princes and Egypt's fair Queen.

The Burmese cats are long furred and fat,
With soft warm tonings of cream, brown and blue.
Clever and playful, a beautiful cat,
A faithful companion, quiet, loyal and true.

Siamese too are beautiful creatures
Such lovely blue eyes in their shapely heads
She has soft blue points, or chocolate or red,
And some Siamese show equally well,
Points silver or tabby or tortoiseshell.

Abyssinian cats have short dark fur,
A sharp elvish face, and a long lean back.
Lithe strong and fast, with ears like wings
An ancient breed, fit consort of kings.

Moon cats are strange; that smooth skin, no fur.
Is curious, as is the huge orbed eye.
And the great alert ears; their looks belie
The gentle nature, the welcoming purr.

Yes, beautiful creatures
We are favoured when we
Are permitted to share
Their company.

  On the nature of cats   The confidence of cats is a mutual trust.
A friendship - so do not ask too much.
They will be free; be free of all control
Which threatens their peace; their wild free soul.

Cats as we love them most happily purr,
But suffer times when they must caterwaul
Though we love them dearly, their nature is still
Jealous of freedom, in house or on hill.

See in those luminous, golden eyes,
An insight into that other dim world,
Visioned by Sphinx; a mystery
Far, far beyond our dark humanity.

  The Sting   As well as the Runcible spoon there was
A runcible pea green boat
With pirates bold with a lust for gold
In heathen pants and brass buttoned coat
And they were terribly Runcible BAD
And they fought with knives
And their pirate wives
Were as bad as any afloat
And they fought and they sang
That bad wicked gang
And they didn't care THAT
For their Runcible lives.


Though they were bold, they all grew old
And quiet and very well mannered
With hearts of gold, and their ladies bold
All kept black cats for mice and rats
And all of those Runcible pirate men
None of them went to sea again
All in peace and quiet grew old
In suburban streets like ordinary men
What a dreadful end for those pirates bold

And their wives lived on, as they often do
Each with her share of Runcible gold
And their Runcible cats and a parrot or two
Such gentle old dears, you never could tell
That each had a husband - a pirate in.

The sting is that this is an analogy of the ruthless wealth gathering as practiced by humanity. Few will read the analogy: why should we? All are guilty. The touchstone is opportunity.

The Runcible Spoon was dreamed by Edward Lear. I borrowed the words, with acknowledgments, thinking 'Runcible' a beautiful word, with many applications.


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