TIPS FOR QUIETING THE CAT
by Susan Rooke
When your cat prowls the bedroom
in the small hours of the night, regretting
a decline in philosophical discourse,
complaining of an excess of ennui,
don't be drawn into that conversation.
Complaints have no answer, requiring
only sympathy and your tireless ear,
which, offered once, will be exacted
every night to come for the rest
of your natural days, a span that soon
will feel longer than it is. Never again
will you know the peace of deep sleep
at 3 a.m., and your cat will be no happier.
Instead, begin by complimenting
the vertical pupils, a striking statement
unusual in mammals, then continue
by reminding it of the supremacy
of nine lives over one. Point out that
it may look boldly upon kings, that
its forebears were revered as gods.
That there once existed solely for its use
a choice of small canopic jars, should,
perhaps, remain unsaid. For who
among us wants to contemplate his insides
sealed tight within a jar so that his mummy
may sail uncorrupted through the ages?
Oh. Of course.
Hint: It's not the dog.
Susan Rooke lives in Austin, Texas. Her poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Aurorean, Main Street Rag, Time of Singing and U.S. 1 Worksheets, among other publications. She is the editor of the Austin Poetry Society’s monthly MuseLetter, and “Tips for Quieting the Cat” took 2nd Place in one of the Society’s 2010 Annual Awards Contests.