A Cat I Met in a Zoo Near Moliere

When we met clouds blanketed above

Thick and maggot white, a singular sheet.

The hairy baboon and bear, tortoise and dove

Owl and Serval, Lion and leopard, each I’d greet

With a quick wave, a “Morning” and an open smile

To which each creature turned away with a rush.

The hungry leopard, the baboon alone on it’s isle

Who, filthily, clutched himself tight with a blush.

The goose whose great wings were beating still

In a frenzy of feathers. Greedy thing didn’t stop

Biting even when my fingers were caught in its bill,

It would not easily let the popcorn’s kernel drop.


So too the two Servals fighting, one missing their

Hind leg, the other snarling with all it’s power.

My ill-returned greeting that left perplexed

The budgies and owls squawking at the empty air.

The tortoise half-confused below the shower

Of a waterfall, slinking down into to the depths.


This odd venture had brought me no success.

I crouched down on the dirt and yellow straw

Carving with my fingernail Brittany’s cross

Feeling lonelier than before.


That is when I saw you,

pacing from place to place

Outside the quiet café.

A little cat, ordinary tabby

Mewling at each passer-by.

I went inside and bought a ham and cheese sandwich.

I said “puss puss” and threw out the meat.

You took it eagerly.

So I threw out a second slice, a third, a fourth.

I bought another sandwich.

You lapped up ham like milk and licked my fingers clean.


I saw you again a week later.

You didn’t need ham this time

But I brought you some anyway.

You ran to me, wide-eyed and whimsical-faced.

I stroked your downy brown fur.

You nuzzled my palm.

I tickled your ears.

You dabbed my lap with the soft-stepping toe beans,

The gentle pink-pads, hardened with use.

You curled into a ball and purred.


I’ll return soon, perhaps with fairer weather,

Hoping to see you again so we can sit together.