The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm mad as a hatter
When I tell you a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name the family uses daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey -
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter -
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellyorum -
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover -
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.
GUS - THE THEATRE CAT T.S. Eliot
Gus is the Cat at the Theatre Door.
His name, as I ought to have told you before,
Is really Asparagus. That's such a fuss
To pronounce, that we usually call him just Gus.
His coat's very shabby, he's thin as a rake,
And he suffers from palsy that makes his paw shake.
Yet he was, in his youth, quite the smartest of Cats--
But no longer a terror to mice and to rats.
For he isn't the Cat that he was in his prime;
Though his name was quite famous, he says, in its time.
And whenever he joins his friends at their club
(Which takes place at the back of the neighbouring pub)
He loves to regale them, if someone else pays,
With anecdotes drawn from his palmiest days.
For he once was a Star of the highest degree--
He has acted with Irving, he's acted with Tree.
And he likes to relate his success on the Halls,
Where the Gallery once gave him seven cat-calls.
But his grandest creation, as he loves to tell,
Was Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell.
"I have played," so he says, "every possible part,
And I used to know seventy speeches by heart.
I'd extemporize back-chat, I knew how to gag,
And I knew how to let the cat out of the bag.
I knew how to act with my back and my tail;
With an hour of rehearsal, I never could fail.
I'd a voice that would soften the hardest of hearts,
Whether I took the lead, or in character parts.
I have sat by the bedside of poor Little Nell;
When the Curfew was rung, then I swung on the bell.
In the Pantomime season I never fell flat,
And I once understudied Dick Whittington's Cat.
But my grandest creation, as history will tell,
Was Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell."
Then, if someone will give him a toothful of gin,
He will tell how he once played a part in East Lynne.
At a Shakespeare performance he once walked on pat,
When some actor suggested the need for a cat.
He once played a Tiger--could do it again--
Which an Indian Colonel purused down a drain.
And he thinks that he still can, much better than most,
Produce blood-curdling noises to bring on the Ghost.
And he once crossed the stage on a telegraph wire,
To rescue a child when a house was on fire.
And he says: "Now then kittens, they do not get trained
As we did in the days when Victoria reigned.
They never get drilled in a regular troupe,
And they think they are smart, just to jump through a hoop."
And he'll say, as he scratches himself with his claws,
"Well, the Theatre's certainly not what it was.
These modern productions are all very well,
But there's nothing to equal, from what I hear tell,
That moment of mystery
When I made history
As Firefrorefiddle, the Fiend of the Fell."
THE DUEL by Eugene Field
The gingham dog and the calico cat
Side by side on the table sat;
T'was half past twelve, and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor t'other had slept a wink!
The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat
(I wasn't there; I simply state
What was told to me by the Chinese plate!)
The gingham dog went "Bow-wow-wow!"
And the calico cat replied "Mee-ow!"
The air was littered, an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico,
While the old Dutch clock in the chimney-place
Up with its hands before its face,
For it always dreaded a family row!
(Now mind: I'm only telling you
What the old Dutch clock declares is true!)
The Chinese plate looked very blue,
And wailed, "Oh, dear! what shall we do!"
But the gingham dog and the calico cat
Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
Employing every tooth and claw
In the awfulest way you ever saw--
And oh! How the gingham and calico flew!
(Don't fancy I exaggerate--I got my news from the Chinese plate!)
Next morning, where the two had sat
They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day
That burglars stole that pair away!
But the truth about that cat and pup
Is this: they ate each other up!
Now what do you really think of that!
(The old Dutch clock it told me so,
And that is how I came to know.)
THE LIFE OF A PUPPY
This morning, I woke up & kissed my dad's head.
I peed on the carpet, then went back to bed.
"The life of a puppy, oh my, this is great."
Then I thought about breakfast," I hope it's not late."
Mom took me outside, we walked for a while.
This never fails to make Mama smile.
I sniffed of everything, that we did pass,
I ate something weird - it gave me gas.
I'm sure God loves me, I know that is true.
He gave me so many great things to chew.
Rugs, plants or rocks, I really don't care.
What I truly like best, is Dad's underwear.
That obedience book, was sort of yummy.
Though it didn't sit well on my poor puppy tummy.
I threw up a bit, but that was all right,
When Mom found it later, I was well out of sight.
I made streamers of T. P., while running at full speed.
Mom is pretty quick -- but I was still in the lead.
I flew under the bed, and Mom flew past,
She stopped-shook her head, and breathed,
"You're too fast."
Mama later phoned Daddy, and said, "It was frightening!"
That afternoon, she was sure I'd pooped lightning.
She'd sat at the computer, while I chewed the cord,
She thought I was mad, but I was just bored.
When Mama had enough, couldn't take anymore,
That's when my tushy got shoved out the door.
I love it inside, but outside is best.
Lay in the cool grass, and had a good rest.
That didn't last long, there was too much to do--
Can't quite remember where I hid Daddy's shoe.
I found an old bone, and scratched at a flea,
I watched the dumb squirrels as they jumped in a tree.
I barked at the kids, when they got off the bus.
I can't figure out why this makes Mama fuss.
I barked at the neighbor, I barked at the wind.
I barked and barked, till Mom yelled, "COME IN."
The sun dipped in the west-soon Daddy would come!
I sure love my daddy: we always have fun.
I barked at my daddy, then turned on my charms,
I woo-wooed, "Hello," then jumped in his arms.
Sitting under the table -- it's sooo hard to wait.
Daddy slipped me a goodie right off his plate.
I raced through the house, and scattered my toys,
Ricocheted off the furniture, and made lots of noise.
Mom found her purse - the one I abused.
Daddy let loose a chuckle. Mom asked "Amused??"
I cowered down low, I must be in trouble.
Dad said, "Wasn't MY boy, it must be his double!"
Mom turned off the TV, and said,"Time for bed."
Dad said "Let's go boy," and patted my head.
I got in my spot, between Mom and Dad,
I thought 'bout my day and what fun I had.
Mama kicked out my bone from the covers below,
Then let loose a sigh -- a sigh deep and low.
She gave me a kiss, and snuggled me tight,
And whispered so softly, 'My darling goodnight'.
WHEN I GOT MY NEW DOG Unknown
I asked for strength that I might rear her perfectly;
I was given weakness that I might feed her more treats.
I asked for good health that I might rest easy;
I was given a "special needs" dog that I might know nurturing.
I asked for an obedient dog that I might feel proud;
I was given stubbornness that I might feel humble.
I asked for compliance that I might feel masterful;
I was given a clown that I might laugh.
I asked for a companion that I might not feel lonely;
I was given a best friend that I would feel loved.
I got nothing I asked for,
But everything that I needed.
TWO DOGS HAVE I Ogden Nash
For years we've had a little dog,
Last year we acquired a big dog;
He wasn't big when we got him,
He was littler than the dog we had.
We thought our little dog would love him,
Would help him to become a trig dog,
But the new little dog got bigger,
And the old little dog got mad.
Now the big dog loves the little dog,
But the little dog hates the big dog,
The little dog is eleven years old,
And the big dog only one;
The little dog calls him Schweinhund,
The little dog calls him Pig-dog,
She grumbles broken curses
As she dreams in the August sun.
The big dog's teeth are terrible,
But he wouldn't bite the little dog;
The little dog wants to grind his bones,
But the little dog has no teeth;
The big dog is acrobatic,
The little dog is a brittle dog;
She leaps to grip his jugular,
And passes underneath.
The big dog clings to the little dog
Like glue and cement and mortar;
The little dog is his own true love;
But the big dog is to her
Like a scarlet rag to a Longhorn,
Or a suitcase to a porter;
The day he sat on the hornet
I distinctly heard her purr.
Well, how can you blame the little dog,
Who was once the household darling?
He romps like a young Adonis,
She droops like an old mustache;
No wonder she steals his corner,
No wonder she comes out snarling,
No wonder she calls him Cochon
And even Espèce de vache.
Yet once I wanted a sandwich,
Either caviar or cucumber,
When the sun had not yet risen
And the moon had not yet sank;
As I tiptoed through the hallway
The big dog lay in slumber,
And the little dog slept by the big dog,
And her head was on his flank.