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Poems About Cats

Updated on September 17, 2014

Purrrr-ty Poems . . .

The reason for this page is simple. I love poetry and I love cats. Many poets have written about our feline friends and some are presented here in traditional and contemporary verse. Enjoy!


"Cats can work out mathematically the exact place to sit that will cause most inconvenience." ~ Pam Brown ~

The Cat and the Moon

by Wm. Butler Yeats

The cat went here and there

and the moon spun round like a top,

and the nearest kin of the moon,

the creeping cat, looked up.

Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,

for, wander and wail as he would,

the pure cold light in the sky

troubled his animal blood.

Minnaloushe runs in the grass

lifting his delicate feet.

Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?

When two close kindred meet,

what better than call a dance?

Maybe the moon may learn,

tired of that courtly fashion,

a new dance turn.

Minnaloushe creeps through the grass

from moonlit place to place,

the sacred moon overhead

has taken a new phase.

Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils

will pass from change to change,

and that from round to crescent,

from crescent to round they range?

Minnaloushe creeps through the grass

alone, important and wise,

and lifts to the changing moon

his changing eyes.

by Jim Howell

Cats...

have eyes that yawn,

green

as a halt sign.

In morse-tail

language

they speak your mind,

loving you

to fur-deep

distraction.

Let Sleeping Cats Lie

by William Cowper

A poet's cat, sedate and grave,

as poet would wish to have,

was much addicted to enquire,

for nooks to which she might retire,

and where, secure as mouse in chink,

she might repose, or sit and think.

I know not where she caught her trick,

nature perhaps herself had cast her,

in such a mold philosophique,

or else she learn'd it of her master.

Sometimes ascending, debonair,

an apple tree or lofty pear,

lodg'd with convenience in the fork,

she watched the gard'ner at his work;

sometimes her ease and solace sought,

in an old empty wat'ring pot,

there wanting nothing, save a fan,

to seem some nymph in her sedan,

apparell'd in exactest sort,

and ready to be borne in court.

art: Karadajuu / photobucket

The Cat of the House

by Ford Madox Ford

Over the hearth with my 'minishing eyes I muse; until after

the last coal dies.

Every tunnel of the mouse,

every channel of the cricket,

I have smelt,

I have felt

the secret shifting of the mouldered rafter,

and heard

every bird in the thicket.

I see

you

Nightingale up in the tree!

I, born of a race of strange things,

of deserts, great temples, great kings,

in the hot sands where the nightingale never sings!

Bookshelf

The Great Cat: Poems About Cats (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets Series)
The Great Cat: Poems About Cats (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets Series)

This anthology gives us a teeming litter of literary tributes to the ever-fascinating, ever-mystifying cat. The Great Cat will delight cat lovers everywhere, celebrating as it does the beauty, the mystery, the gravity, the grace, and, of course, the unassailable superiority our feline friends. (amazon)

 

The Monk and His Cat Pangur

by an Irish Monk, 18th cetury

I and my white Pangur

have each his special art:

His mind is set on hunting mice,

mine is upon my special craft.

I love to rest - better than any fame!

With close study at my little book;

White Pangur does not envy me:

He loves his childish play.

When in our house we two are all alone...

A tale without tedium.

We have - sport never-ending!

Something to exercise our wit.

At times by feats of derring-do

a mouse sticks in his net,

while into my net there drops

a difficult problem of hard meaning.

He points his full shining eye

against the fence of the wall:

I point my clear though feeble eye

against the keenness of science.

He rejoices with quick leaps

when in his sharp claw sticks a mouse;

I, too, rejoice when I have grasped

a problem difficult and dearly loved.

Though we are thus at all time,

neither hinders the other,

each of us pleased with his own art

amuses himself alone.

He is master of the work

which every day he does:

While I am at my own work

to bring difficulty to clearness.

See the Kitten on the Wall

by Wm. Wordsworth

See the kitten on the wall,

Sporting with the leaves that fall.

Withered leaves - one - two - three

From the lofty elder tree.

Though the calm and frosty air,

Of this morning bright and fair.

Eddying round and round they sink,

Softly, slowly; one might think.

From the motions that are made,

Every little leaf conveyed

Sylph or Faery hither tending,

To this lower world descending.

Each invisible and mute,

In his wavering parachute.

But the Kitten, how she starts,

Crouches, stretches, paws, and darts!

First at one, and then its fellow,

Just as light and just as yellow.

There are many now - now one,

Now they stop and there are none.

What intenseness of desire,

In her upward eye of fire!

With a tiger-leap half-way,

Now she meets the coming prey.

Lets it go as fast, and then;

Has it in her power again.

Now she works with three or four,

Like an Indian conjurer;

Quick as he in feats of art,

Far beyond in joy of heart.

Where her antics played in the eye,

Of a thousand standers-by,

Clapping hands with shout and stare,

What would little Tabby care

For the plaudits of the crowd?

art: wanderra / photobucket

Cats Sleep Anywhere

by Eleanor Farjeon

Cats sleep anywhere, any table, any chair.

Top of piano, window-ledge, in the middle, on the edge.

Open draw, empty shoe, anybody's lap will do.

Fitted in a cardboard box, in the cupboard with your frocks.

Anywhere! They don't care! Cats sleep anywhere.

Confess . . .

DO YOU ADORE CATS?

See results

The Cats Will Know

by Cesare Pavese

Rain will fall again

on your smooth pavement,

a light rain like

a breath or a step.

The breeze and the dawn

will flourish again

when you return,

as if beneath your step.

Between flowers and sills

the cats will know.

There will be other days,

there will be other voices.

You will smile alone.

The cats will know.

You will hear words

old and spent and useless

like costumes left over

from yesterday's parties.

You too will make gestures.

You'll answer with words-

face of springtime,

you too will make gestures.

The cats will know,

face of springtime;

and the light rain

and the hyacinth dawn

that wrench the heart of him

who hopes no more for you-

they are the sad smile

you smile by yourself.

There will be other days,

other voices and renewals.

Face of springtime,

we will suffer at daybreak.

The Naming of Cats

by T. S. Elliot

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,

It isn't just one of your holiday games;

You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter

When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.

First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,

Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,

Such as Victor or Jonathan, or George or Bill Bailey -

All of them sensible everyday names.

There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,

Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:

Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter -

But all of them sensible everyday names.

But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,

A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,

Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,

Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?

Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,

Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,

Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum -

Names that never belong to more than one cat.

But above and beyond there's still one name left over,

And that is the name that you never will guess;

The name that no human research can discover -

But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.

When you notice a cat in profound meditation,

The reason, I tell you, is always the same:

His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation

Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:

His ineffable effable

Effanineffable

Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

Puss

by Walter De La Mare

Puss loves man's winter fire

Now that the sun so soon

Leaves the hours cold it warmed

In burning June.

She purrs full length before

The heaped-up hissing blaze,

Drowsy in slumber down

Her head she lays.

While he with whom she dwells

Sits snug in his inglenook,

Stretches his legs to the flame

And reads his book.

art: wanderra / photobucket

Brat

by Beryl Halinbourg

Brat of a cat,

Where are you now?

Never a sign or an answering yeow;

Not in the garden, not in your bed,

Though it's five o'clock and time to be fed -

Brat of a curious cat

Brat of a cat,

I heard today

There's a conference on just over the way,

With the local toms all having their say;

So that's, I guess, where you go all day -

Brat of a vagrant cat.

Cat Math

by Ruth Berman

Addition:

How many strokes

Of cheek against chair

Does it take to prove

Territorial rights?

Geometry:

is any amount of bare space

Shining at the bottom of the food bowl

Acceptable?

And how do you prove the negative

To humans?

Calculus:

Jump too close

And the parabola will be still ascending

Feet below the surface

Where their tangent

Should be level

Landing without lift or fall.

Jump too far

And the parabola will be descending

Feet below the surface.

Feet shouldn't scrabble for purchase.

Cat math depends on dignity.

The derivative should be zero

Eyed before the leap

Into quadratics.

On a Cat Aging

by Alexander Gray

He blinks upon the hearth-rug,

and yawns in deep content,

accepting all the comforts

that Providence has sent.

Louder he purrs, and louder,

in one glad hymn of praise

for all the night's adventures,

for quiet, restful days.

Life will go on for ever,

with all that cat can wish:

warmth and the glad procession

of fish and milk and fish.

Only-the thought disturbs him-

he's noticed once or twice,

the times are somehow breeding

a nimbler race of mice.

Bookshelf

Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse
Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse

Even if you don't like cats--or poetry--you'll be tickled by the contents of Henry Beard's Poetry for Cats. Beard has already demonstrated his command of French in previous books, French for Cats and Advanced French for Exceptional Cats. Now he shows off his extraordinary skills as a parodist. These poems are fun even if you don't know the original sources; if you do, they are sublime.

Example:

"The Mongrel" by Wm. Blake's cat:

Mongrel! Mongrel! Barking blight,

Bane upon my yard at night;

What infernal hand or eye,

Could frame thy vile anatomy?

 

Two Cats

by Winston Plowes

My cats groom themselves

Vain contortionist coiffeurs

Lick fur....... Content purr

Both my cats hunt mice

Miniature jungle tigers

Keep still....... Torture, kill

My cats sleep all day

Long symmetrical slumbers

Squashed tail....... piercing wail

Both my cats climb trees

Lofty feline ascenders

Scots Pine....... 999

My cats play with string

Junior Gladiators

Too fast....... Elastoplast

Both my cats eat grass

In creep regurgitators

Retch, waul....... kitchen towel

My cats have been ill

White coat investigators

Nothing found....... £100

© Winston Plowes 01/09

Fickle Lover

by Charles Albano

She loves the gentle feel

Of sunbeams on her fur,

But as the day wears on,

It gives her cause to stir.

The sun's a fickle lover

Courted in ritual,

By my nomad cat under skylights,

Unable to sit still.

art: kurostarsunny / photobucket

Cats in Every Space

by Mark A. Dye

I live a very simple life

with cats in every space

But when I got to bed at night

they sleep upon my face

Now to live without the luxury

of cats in every space

Would be to live a sorry life

in a very sorry place.

I've never been without a cat

and this I can uphold

I'll have a cat in every space

Until I'm gray and old.

For every fool should be aware

that cats are complex creatures

they live about in every space

And give the house its features.

Now take my house away from me

and place me in a tent

I'll have a cat in every space

And still I'll be content.

Sleeping with Cats

by J Brehmer

last night I woke up around 2:00 a.m.

Mocha Joe was sleeping

in the crook of my arm

Java was curled on my chest

Jax was stretched out on my legs

and I had to pee

you know you're a sucker

when you lie awake

thinking about peeing

but don't want to disturb

the cats

so I lay there

knowing I'm an idiot

hoping to drift off

in spite of a screaming bladder

knowing all the while

I won't sleep until I pee

my cats are not

that considerate of me

they think:

she's reading

let's sit on her book

she's on the computer

let's park in front of the screen

she's taking a nap

let's play king of the human

and still

I lay there . . .

art: betscampbell / photobucket

What's your favorite cat poem? - or other comments

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I read a small poem the other day......"and God called the cat".....misplaced the newspaper,can't find it.......hoping to find it on you site

    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 4 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      I've visited your page before, but I love it so much that it's worth an extra visit. I expect I'll be back to read these lovely poems about cats again. Each one is a masterpiece - just like a cat.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Catanalysis

      Cats know many things weâll never know,

      things they are not inclined to tell us.

      Things like why and how the dandelions grow,

      or why the rose falls in love with the trellis.

      Cats have long enjoyed the laps of Queens,

      and window ledges in the loftiest spaces.

      And they posed for the sphinx and libraryâs lion,

      but you could not discern those facts from their faces.

      They always proffer that axiomatical staring,

      Oh, how they find us all so entertaining.

      Seeing as we all spend half our time comparing,

      while spending the other half complaining.

      They wonder about things like eyeglasses,

      padlocks, bathtubs, and potted plants.

      Those gadgets of ours that count time as it passes,

      closets full of socks, shoes, hats, coats and pants.

      A cat is not given to bouts of depression,

      nor any moments of great exultation.

      All thatâs conveyed from any catâs expression,

      is the catâs imperturbable contemplation.

      Though cats seem remote and hard to the core,

      a cat will always be soft to the touch.

      The catâs Master the cat will always silently assure,

      people matter, albeit not very much.

      The cat holds closely to the enigma thatâs he,

      yet the cat possesses an ascertainable plus.

      Whatever the aspersions cast upon the cat might be,

      we love our cats for all the ways theyâre not us.

      2013 Daniel Thomas Moran

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      LOVE KITTENS

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      OMG!!!!!!!! I LOVE CATS!!!!!!!!!!! FREAKEN OWSOME POEMS!!!!!!!!!!!! PEOPLE WHO DON'T LOVE CATS ARE CRAZY!!!!!!!!! =^.^=

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is a poem about my cat when he ran away for 4 days but he's back now though

      Ode to a Cat

      A poem for my cat,

      Stretch is his name,

      He ran away 3 nights ago,

      Now I may never see him again.

      His sleek cream fur,

      His sapphire blue eyes,

      His ability to meow so loud,

      It would always wake up the whole house,

      Nine years I looked after him,

      I always spoilt him rotten,

      I can promise one thing to him,

      Stretch, you will never be forgotten.

    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 4 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      "Cats sleep anywhere", and "Sleeping with Cats" I also write cat poetry. I don't have them all on my lens but since I have so enjoyed these, if you would like to read any, let me know and I will send you them.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      very nice lens

    • softclaws profile image

      softclaws 4 years ago

      This was a nice read - thanks for taking the time to write this lense - going to look at some TS eliot poems in a moment :)

    • profile image

      aussiejon 4 years ago

      Great poems, sums cats up purrrrfectly (sorry couldn't resist hehe)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      A Tale of Two Cats by Jeremy Bloomfield

      All is silence, not a peep

      Like cat voyeurs, we watch them sleep

      Dreaming away the hours

      Of prowlings amongst spring flowers

      The butterflies you chased after

      Your cuteness and our laughter

      As curious little noses

      Sneezed at the pollinated roses

      And such innocence doth enchant

      As a newborn nephew to his aunt

      Tranquil, as a red sunset

      Calm, as a storm unmet

      As they sleepily awaken from their doze

      A yawning purr and a lick of the nose

      A stretch of claws and how they mewed

      A hungry demand, a cry for food

      Oh cats, what a beautiful pair

      As you lie upon the pillowed chair

      What strange thoughts pass through your heads

      As angels dance and lovers wed

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      My 4 month cat just died this morning after a 6th story fall and it's killing me the worst way: inside. Love your page, after all we're just humans that wsh we were as noble as these fine creatures. Yeats' poem is simply magnificent.

    • KevinGeetar profile image

      KevinGeetar 5 years ago

      Great lens, love cats as well as the poems. Can't pick a favourite, always a fan of TS Eliot. Not sure why, but this poem by Carl Sandburg has resonated in me since childhood:

      Fog

      The fog comes

      on little cat feet.

      It sits looking

      over harbor and city

      on silent haunches

      and then moves on.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I absolutely love cats and these poems are adorable. Well done to the authors who created such fabulous poems. May God bless all of you.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      Since I wrote and published a book of cat poems, I have many favorites. Thank you for publishing this lens. I enjoyed reading the poems. They earn a full Four Paws. Meow.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i love the poem cats sleep in every space

    • ResearchAddict profile image

      ResearchAddict 5 years ago

      Love this lens. My favorite poem is Cats Sleep Anywhere and the picture you included is just precious!

    • LoriBeninger profile image

      LoriBeninger 5 years ago

      I'm a T.S.Eliot fan...this is a beautiful lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This one: I'm only a cat,

      and I stay in my place...

      Up there on your chair,

      on your bed or your face!

      I'm only a cat,

      and I don't finick much...

      I'm happy with cream

      and anchovies and such!

      I'm only a cat,

      and we'll get along fine...

      As long as you know

      I'm not yours... you're all mine! >anon

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      The last one is so true!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      the last one is too true.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Pangur Ban

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: wow. these arent childish. its POETRY. don't be so freakin rude

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Cat's are the best! I love all the poetry here!

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      Cats are fun.

    • Lemming13 profile image

      Lemming13 5 years ago

      Cats Sleep Anywhere is my favourite, I have read it to my children so often at bedtime. But all of these are wonderful; a terrific choice. Great lens.

    • Jadelynx-HP profile image

      Tracey Boyer 5 years ago from Michigan

      This lens is featured in my new lens "Twelve Best Cat Lens on Squidoo." Come and check it out: http://www.squidoo.com/catlenses. Congratulations !

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      The first and last poems both resonated with my experience as a cat owner.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @sheilamarie78: I know the poems are ok. Hope ur kittens r cool. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      do u nowhere non childish poems are. I need help.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I forgot! the cat and the moon and cats! - they are all awesome-

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      the naming of cats - and sleeping with cats -

    • profile image

      cmadden 5 years ago

      I have three favorites: "On a Cat Aging," "Cats in Every Space," and "Sleeping with Cats." I resemble that last one entirely too much!

    • marlene3 profile image

      marlene3 5 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading your cat poem lens. You did a fantastic job! my favorite is : Brat- Thanks & Thumbs up!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      If you know the way of cats........is a little poem, and I can't remember the rest of it.

      Can someone help me, please ????

    • marigoldina profile image

      Heather B 5 years ago

      This is easily one of my favourite lenses so far. Such beautiful poetry, and great fodder for my cat Facebook page! Tee hee. ;)

    • sheilamarie78 profile image

      sheilamarie78 6 years ago

      Some great poems here! I have two new kittens. Maybe there's a cat poem in my future.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      These are great!! We have two cats (used to have four). These speak to us!! : )

    • profile image

      GrinningFool 6 years ago

      Great choice of cat poems and pictures.

    • SilmarwenLinwelin profile image

      SilmarwenLinwelin 6 years ago

      Cute lens! The naming of cats is one of my favourites!

    • David Dove profile image

      David Dove 6 years ago

      lovely, lovely lens, thank you.

    • laki2lav profile image

      laki2lav 6 years ago

      i never knew that poetry for cats existed. but it makes sense. nice lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Holy Macaroni! Your first photo looks a lot like one I have: http://www.flickr.com/photos/grandmemories/5950604... Anyway, this is a great lens. Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wonderful collection! Cats are quite poetic in and of themselves. :)

    • profile image

      Brodo51 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Test

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I'm chasing a poem I *think* is called "Brat of a Cat". It starts..

      "....Brat of a Cat I heard you say

      There's a conference on just over the way

      ........."

      and each verse ends with the line "Brat of a cat". My sister used to recite it when she was in primary school 40 years ago.

      Can anyone help?

    • efriedman profile image

      efriedman 6 years ago

      Great poems and pictures.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Really enjoyed this. I, too, love poetry and my three kittens. Such a lovely combination. :-)

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Loved and lensrolled to Persian Cats and Poetry :)

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 6 years ago

      I lensrolled this to Cats, Diamond Rings, and Poems. Nice lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Inspiring. Thank you.

    • profile image

      scar4 6 years ago

      Great lens, even though I love dogs more than cats. Thumbs up!

    • WorldVisionary3 profile image

      WorldVisionary3 6 years ago

      Cute lens! I love cats.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Purrr-ty nice poetry and so wonderfully presented along with your array of cat images.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      the cat and the moon was my fav poem thanks i could really use it for poem in my pocket day, thanks! you really helped! :) :) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      BeyondRoses 6 years ago

      One of my favorite cat poems is The Cat and the Moon. Love poetry, cats and cat photos. Sweet cat lens!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 6 years ago

      I like the Brehmer one! I also LOVE the photo of the kitten sleeping on her back on the laptop with her feet crossed - made me laugh - thanks! I have several cat lenses too. My cat Kisser has me trained.

    • JakTraks profile image
      Author

      Jacqueline Marshall 6 years ago from Chicago area

      @ZenandChic: Its appreciated!

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 6 years ago

      Wonderfully done! Blessing!

    • Manjurul profile image

      Manjurul Islam 6 years ago from Chittagong, Bangladesh

      A nice lens.

    • Manjurul profile image

      Manjurul Islam 6 years ago from Chittagong, Bangladesh

      A nice lens.

    • CozyKitty profile image

      CozyKitty 6 years ago

      This is great! I am such a cat lover. Dogs are okay, but cats rule! Gorgeous lens - thanks so much ...

      ;-)

    • NoodleKittens profile image

      NoodleKittens 6 years ago

      This is just great! I really enjoyed reading it.

    • jp1978 profile image

      jp1978 6 years ago

      I don't like poetry so much, but I do love cats!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      Oh gosh, that there can be so much creativity and awe in cats and cat poems!

    • Amy Fricano profile image

      Amy Fricano 7 years ago from WNY

      clever!

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 7 years ago from Iowa

      What a beautiful lens both art and poem wise. :) 5*

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      What a wonderful celebration of cats in poetry and in art!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      What a wonderful celebration of cats in poetry and in art!