It’s two years today since my much loved cat Abby died. So, here’s a sonnet by Keats about Mrs Reynolds’ Cat. Abby wasn’t really very much like this cat who seems to have spent his life killing mice & getting into fights but it’s an affectionate tribute & that’s what’s important. Abby was a timid cat, more likely to spend her days sleeping in her favourite spots in the garden, waiting for me to sit down so she could jump on my lap & being fed the finest tidbits of chicken & fish on offer.
Next week, some more Keats with a Barbara Pym connection as Barbara Pym Reading Week gets underway.
Cat! who hast passed thy grand climacteric,
How many mice and rats hast in thy days
Destroyed? How many tit-bits stolen? Gaze
With those bright languid segments green, and prick
Those velvet ears – but prithee do not stick
Thy latent talons in me, and up-raise
Thy gentle mew, and tell me all thy frays
Of fish and mice, and rats and tender chick.
Nay, look not down, nor lick thy dainty wrists –
For all thy wheezy asthma, and for all
Thy tail’s tip is nicked off, and though the fists
Of many a maid have given thee many a maul,
Still is that fur as soft as when the lists
In youth thou enteredst on glass-bottled wall.