Cats, poems and a proverb

Today I’m thinking about cats — because several people who know I love cats have sent me items about them…

You see: I’ve always had cats — quite a few cats. But never a dog. Here at The Legacy Midtown Park, many people have dogs, so of course there’s the necessary outdoor Dog Park. But nobody I know here has a cat, and I’ve never even heard of such a thing as a Cat Park! My last cat passed away just before I moved, and I wonder now if he had a sixth sense that this would just not be a good place for him, since he — like almost all cats — preferred to run free rather than walk sedately at the end of a leash.

So here’s a cat-themed selection of poetry from among those I’ve received:

“It’s just an old alley cat that followed us all the way home…No star on its forehead, no silky satiny coat…No proud tiger stripes, no elegant velvet throat…It’s a splotchy, blotchy city cat, not a pretty cat, a tough little bag of old bones. ‘Beauty’ we shall call you, as we open our door: Beauty, come in!”

And here are excerpts from another that I especially love because it deals most specifically — just as we here at The Legacy Midtown Park are doing ourselves — with aging:

“He blinks upon the hearth rug and yawns in deep content, accepting all the comforts that Providence has sent…Life will go on forever with all that he can wish: warmth… and fish… and milk…and more fish. Only this disturbs him: He’s noticed once or twice…that times today are breeding a nimbler race of mice!”

I’ll conclude this bit of reminiscing with an old Chinese proverb, its real source being that great writer we who are readers all know and cherish, and have named Anonymous: “A lame cat is better than a swift horse — when rats infest the palace”! And now I’ll REALLY end my own words today with a vigorous nod of agreement!

Harriet Gross can be reached at

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