Sunday Poetry – John Keats & Abby

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.

2 thoughts on “Sunday Poetry – John Keats & Abby

  1. They're gone, but they never leave us, do they? I think about and miss all my missing pet friends and, thanks to your sharing Abby with us, I miss her, too. Pet Lucky and Phoebe and tell them how glad you are they found you or you found them. Keats captured his cat perfectly.


  2. I miss my friend's cats as well! A friend's much loved cat died last month at the age of 14 but she'd had a wonderful life so I couldn't be too sad.


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