C is for Cats, Of Course!

Today, a reprint of my poem about Tiffany, my late and still lamented cat. She died at the age of 16, 12 years ago. She still gives me delight when I remember her. Not a sweet cat. She came with the name, given her at the rescue shelter. I would have named her “Killer”. Still….

The first fight my husband and I got into was over the cat. His kids had a couple of cats who lived outside. He said it was only fair that my cat (I had her before we married) should also live outside, although she had been an indoor cat all her life. For the sake of being fair to the kids, I agreed. One of their cats put my cat up a tree. Charlie came home from work to find me sitting on the stoop by the tree, angry and crying. I told him it was his fault, for making her live outside. He wanted to know if she was more important to me than he was, and I said, “I’ve known her longer than I have you!” He still mentions that remark now and then, and I still stand by it.

The Styrofoam Kitty
by Marian Allen

After sixteen human years of life
Miss Tiffany
— cat of the silent meow —
had no heft, no weight, no mass
except on stairs.
There, by force of will,
she mimicked elephants.
Or, when I napped on the couch,
she stepped
from her higher perch,
passing a cosmic pressure
through one small foot
into the space between two ribs.

I’m also posting today at Fatal Foodies, on the subject of cyanobacteria or why polar bears are green.

WRITING PROMPT: A character gets into a fight over an animal.


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I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “C is for Cats, Of Course!

  1. Liz Brownlee

    April 3, 2012 at 8:43am

    Fantastic, Marion, i really like this. Our cat also sounds like a herd of elephants on the stairs – however, she is 8, and obese, so it’s not as surprising. Although I always thought cats were light of foot! Milla is also heavier and sort of harder than the dog on my lap.

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      April 3, 2012 at 10:01am

      Cats can be silent, but they can be NOISY, I’ve learned. My current cat, Katya, can come out of nowhere, but sometimes she sounds like the entire cast of Riverdance.


  2. Matthew MacNish

    April 3, 2012 at 11:07am

    Plus cat is the first word most of us learn to read and write. It’s perfect for C!

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      April 3, 2012 at 2:53pm

      Good to see you, Cap’n! Love your A-to-Z posts — I’m a word junkie. Batholith. Sounds like a monster with a lisp. Beautiful!

  3. hcg pellets

    April 3, 2012 at 12:16pm

    Marion it is very nice I am a man but I love cat a lot I think that is the dearest animal in world.

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      April 4, 2012 at 3:29pm

      I think so, too, Mr. Wilson. My poor cat must get tired of my picking her up and hugging her!


  4. The Writing Goddess

    April 3, 2012 at 1:36pm

    Cats rule, dogs drool.

    I made some compromises when first connecting to my guy, too, regarding my cats that I still regret. They were indoor cats, and they stayed indoor cats, but they weren’t allowed in the bedroom or up on the furniture. Climbing is part of what cats DO.

    I’ve since learned, if somebody wants another creature to change its nature or life habits… red flag. Because in this case, my guy didn’t stop with cats.

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      April 3, 2012 at 2:55pm

      Luckily, my guy did stop with cats. He’s turned out to be a real keeper. πŸ™‚ Maybe it was because I told him, early on, that I would always do anything he asked me to do … as long as he never asked me to do anything I didn’t want to.

      My cat turned out to love being outdoors and my guy caved and let ALL the cats come in and go out as they pleased. Happy ending! πŸ™‚


  5. L. Diane Wolfe

    April 3, 2012 at 3:36pm

    You can’t put an indoor cat outside. That’s just wrong. My cats never go outside. It’s dangerous out there.

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      April 3, 2012 at 3:44pm

      Tiffany wasn’t declawed, or HE would have been outside before SHE was, for sure! As it was, it was a near thing, but Tiff took to it, especially after we moved to the country. She was like, “Where has this been all my life? Lemme at it!”

  6. Jean Yates

    April 3, 2012 at 8:04pm

    I love all animals and miss our cat Cecil terribly! we all do. Our dog Ghalli misses Cecil too. He was a puppy and Cecil was one year old when he arrived. I believe that Cecil saw him and decided he looked like Ghalli and was therefore a dog, and Ghalli looked at Cecil and decided he was a cat! They were very close friends. Animals are precious to our family. Your cat sounds very very special and I understand how you must feel about her. Your poem is beautiful.
    Pets are very very wonderful and beautiful as well.

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      April 3, 2012 at 10:03pm

      That is so sweet! My #4 daughter’s late cat, Al, was good friends with Joe, the dog. It was so cute to see them snoozing together on the porch! πŸ™‚


  7. Charmaine

    April 3, 2012 at 10:52pm

    You have too many cats. Usually a good ratio if you are going to have both cats and dogs is 2-1 cats over dogs.

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      April 4, 2012 at 8:14am

      Oh, trust me, Charmaine, we have too many DOGS. We have one too many. We have one.

      Poor Joe. He THINKS he’s a good dog, but he just isn’t, really. πŸ™‚


  8. Sarah Reece

    April 4, 2012 at 10:17am

    ‘C’ for you was meant to be ‘Cats’, given your love for cats Marian. I like this poem about Tiffany, especially the title. BTW how many cats do you have at home?

    • Author

      Marian Allen

      April 4, 2012 at 10:43am

      We only have one cat now. Tiffany was reincarnated as a Russian Blue who fell out of our peach tree as a kitten. I can’t imagine a kitten that tiny climbing a tree back 1000 yards from the road, so she must have ripened up there. Her name is Katya and she acted EXACTLY like Tiff from the minute she arrived!


  9. mshatch

    April 4, 2012 at 11:00am

    loved the poem – It must be magic how they can sound so much heavier than they are on the stairs.

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