Persian Cats and Cat Poetry About Persian Cats
Poems for Persian Cats
Poems for Persian cats anyone? Actually this is really poetry for and about all cats, not just poetry about Persian cats, but Persian cats have taken over my life. I am a musician and I am also a poet. I write about many things but my focus in poetry has usually been positive. I want to make people smile when then read my words, so I try to share the love.
My persian cats are a very important part of my life. I love all cats, but all my cats are now Persian cats. Paddy was my last "moggy" and sadly he is no longer with us. This lens features my persian cats and some of the poems they have inspired.
I have always been surrounded by animals and I have been very lucky in the animals I have known. I won't say "owned" because although one can "own" a dog (and I have from time to time) a cat tends to live alongside a family if not rule. A cat is never going to stoop to being "owned" as though it were some sort of slave. On the contrary, a cat will choose its owner wisely, if bought, it retains the option to leave. If sent to a "rescue" it will only make eyes at the potential "staff" it finds most agreeable! So, on to the magic....
My First Persian Cat
Persian cats are so special!
You have no real say in the matter when a Persian cat takes over your existence. One day you have self-sufficient moggies happily going about moggie business, bringing home do-it-yourself mouse kits, gainfully employed in the serious business of goldfish worrying and then you meet your first Persian cat!
Should a Persian cat be allowed outside of the house? Well, that is a straight question, and the straight answer would be in a world free from traffic, evil minded hooligans, wild predators and kitten mills, yes. Under supervision in a safe garden? Maybe....
Persian Cats get lost, they get abducted - worse things happen than abduction by kitten mills, subsequent "dumping" of spayed and neutered cats, and rescue leading to a new home. These are truly horrible things I don't even like to discuss. The things to remember - Persian cats are abnormally friendly and trusting, they have no traffic sense - and they are valuable. Don't lose your Persian cat under the misguided sentiment that it is a wild cat!
A celebration of "All Things Warm and Fuzzy" and the sweetness of the Persian cat's temperament. This customizable card design features a rough and tumble of adorable Persians on a flaming dragon throw in warm glowing colours!
All things Warm and Fuzzy
It was around Halloween I think and I looked out of the dining room window to see the biggest, roundest, glowingest orange eyes ever! At first I was startled, then I realised we had been blessed with a visit from a beautiful spirit, a gorgeous young Persian Cat . She spent some time over the next few days exploring our garden thoroughly. I did not dare go too close for fear of startling her but she was fearless.
She yowled around the house at night, driving our orange boy crazy. We always kept cats in at night for fear of wild revellers and drunk drivers. Our neighbour was in the habit of leaving out table scraps on a Sunday for cats to scavenge and we watched in disbelief as this beautiful little animal cleaned the plate in a flash. She was too hungry for words!
I went indoors and opened a tin of cat food and took some to her. She went straight to it and allowed me to stroke her wild coat. It was then that I realised how thin and matted she was. I allowed her to finish, then gently scooped her up in a little ball and took her indoors. Her ribs were prominent, her coat a mess and she was running alive with fleas.
Her eyes were bright and clear though! We were to learn with later Persian cat arrivals that they are prone to tears which stain their faces brown. Sometimes this is due to blocked tear ducts, or the sudden discharge of "dry eye", sometimes it is due to infections like chlamydia. Using special feline proprietary eye cleaners, or even warm sterile water with cotton pads can help. Often a persian cat finds this comforting as it is like being washed by the mother cat. Cotton wool is a no no for obvious reasons!
I spent the evening grooming her gently, Phyx the ginger boy was curious but cautious. This was fortunate as that first night I removed about 50 fleas from her! The following day we treated the house with flea spray one room at a time and made an appointment to see the vet.
Eye Care for Cats - How to keep Persian eyes clean
Buy eye cleaning products for sensitive Persian eyes.
The Abandoned Persian
The vet did not seem so surprised that we had an under-nourished stray Persian girl. It happens all the time when people buy them and do not really understand how to care for them apparently..
He checked his records to see if any had been reported missing. We had already checked with the Cat's Protection League and a local pet finding organization the name of which I forget - but no luck. Her colour was subdued tortoiseshell (Calico for you Americans) but she went down on the record as the first of our "grey Persians".
"This cat has been living rough for 8-9 weeks in my opinion" he said, "she was lucky to find you." and then "Do you want to keep her?" Did we? It was too late, she had already cast such a spell with her big Daruma Buddha eyes that we were forever hooked. Unfortunately, and at that time unknown to us, Persians do not do well with tinned cat food. She was no exception, and she had been very gassy indeed. "What will you call her?" asked Mr Way "Fart arse" said Colin mischieviously. "No way!" I cried, "You can't call a pedigree Persian that! We will call her Photahsia - that sounds nice - the Empress Photahsia Mirabel!" The vet laughed and a legend was born, along with an email address or three....
Buy Persian Cat Gifts
A selection of gifts for those besotted with the fluffy ones!
Sonnet for an Empress
Tahsy, as she became fondly known, lived with us for another 11 years. We had many happy days and a few sad ones. Her eventual parting was due to a mammary cancer. Despite discovering the tumour when it was the size of a small lentil, surgery was to no avail. Just when we thought she would get the all-clear, the cancer returned visciously and aggressively and the day came when we had to say goodbye. To this day we both feel a tear rise when we think of our little friend with the Daruma Buddha face. I vowed from that day that I would help Persians, and the story continues, and will continue to be told here....
For now, from my website, here is the first of our Persian cat poems.
Sonnet for an Empress
Now so long since that final kiss
Releasing you, I still feel pain.
Such deep Love I'll always miss
Yet losing you brought so much gain.
Wild eyes afire that winter night
Begged "Do not leave me in the cold!"
Time made you precious to my sight
And what we shared will not grow old.
In life, and death, you gave so much
Your dying led me on my way
To knowing self, to feel God's touch,
My gratitude no words can say.
Though Sorrow binds, Love through it sings
To join our souls on Angel's wings.
Lisa Gabriel, 3rd December 2005
Apricot and Max - The picture shows a contented Apricot and a newly furred Max...
Contacting Chapelhouse Rescue
When I lost Tahsy it was some time before I felt able to keep my promise to rescue two Persians. It was something I was unsure how to go about. I had recently got my first computer and set up an account in her name before the tragedy had struck so what better way than to look on-line?
In my search, I found a rescue in Dorset that looked promising - I had it planned to spend a night somewhere on the way back so the trip would not be too long for the new boss. It didn't work out quite the way I had intended. I wrote to the rescue and got no reply. Then I found Chapelhouse Persian Rescue, at that time based at Timbersbrook.
Cheryl-Anne Jenkinson, rescue manager, had devoted herself to rescuing Persians and become an expert on their care. She was also very careful who she considered as an owner and many, many emails and questions went back and forth. Then one day I had one to say she thought she had just the cat for me - a Colourpoint (you call them Himalayans, which is what seemed to suit) but there might be two as she had a half sister!
Just like Brian
In the event I was suffering from just about the worst toothache ever when we arrived at Timbersbrook and as a result I forgot the paperwork. Cheryl-Anne's printer was on the blink, so we contented ourselves with meeting the cats and promised a return in two weeks.
So, two weeks later and much better for a root canal filling, we went back. Unfortunately in the meantime Lulu had developed Horner's Syndrome and been diagnosed with lymphosarcoma. It was unlikely she would be fit enough to leave the rescue and I was not up to watching another cat die from cancer, but then there was Apricot. Did I still want Apricot? You bet, she was totally adorable, and then I set eyes on Max....
Max was a sad blue boy whose fur had been so matted that it had needed a depilatory cream to remove it safely. Apart from his head, paws and tail he was completely naked - but his eyes were something else! I fell in love with that blue boy right then and there. I didn't know if either of them would hit it off with Padu, our grey tabby moggy, but it just felt right. Max and Apricot came home with us that day!
Apricot - Head honcho always, especially in the studio, my adorable Woolly Bear!
A Poem I wrote to Apricot and Max
Apricot and Max were always the best of friends, but Apri was always so needy of affection. The minute Max, or Padu for that matter, got any attention she would be there waiting. Sometimes she would push her brothers away. What many people fail to understand about Persians is how very sensitive and affectionate they are. They show the love and loyalty of a good dog and follow you everywhere - even the bathroom. Their jealousy is usually mild and comes from neediness. Persian boys are generally the most gentle souls too. They are like children but if anything even more innocent....
Softly treading in the night,
He croons his love in velvet tone.
His eyes, so deep and knowing,
Understand my very soul.
My Muse has grown
So handsome in my sight!
My Emperor, yet humble,
Follows every move I make;
My every whim he bends to -
Every path he has to take!
Once, long ago, his beauty
Went unrecognised, unknown,
His needs, so pure and simple
Were unnoticed, never met.
Once loved, now left alone
And kept but out of Duty,
He languished on a trash can
Shabby coated in the rain
'Til rescued by an "angel"
Who released him from his pain.
Now Time and patient love
Have brought glory to his face.
As confidence increased
He grew to love and trust.
My Muse has found his place,
My gift from Heaven above
What greater Muse is Max
Who serenades me in the night -
For such reward is Love
When felt so deeply at first sight!
(c)Lisa Marie Gabriel 2005
You tumble chaotic into my dreams
With the rustle of paper,
Scratching away in dark corners
Where spiders fall prey
To your happy search.
You charm such joy
From these high passes
Where no man could tread.
The day is shattered
By the thunder footfall
Of such delicate feet
And the click of cellulose.
Like Pele, you dive
And dribble your ball,
So early in the day
I roll sweet in avoidance.
Sandpaper softly scours my cheek,
You kiss my eyes to wake,
You chew my hair.
How can I grudge a second
Of this Summer Sunday morning?
Laughing, I rise,
I lift you in my arms
And hug my Woolly Bear!
(c) Lisa Marie Gabriel 2005
My Muse - Max follows us everywhere, copies everything - here he takes a bath!
We still love the moggies who wander through our yard.
Cats just seem to walk into our lives continuously. Our Persians are indoor cats for obvious reasons (little road sense and no stranger danger awareness) but in the yard we have an honorary Persian. He is far too fat and friendly to be genuinely feral but we call him the fat feral.
The neighbours are divided in their opinion; he would take Screwball in, she is afraid because he winds around her legs when she hangs the washing out. So they built him a feeding shelter and a kennel, which they asked to put in our yard. Once he scratched her leg, but she still gives him Sunday table scraps. This is his poem!
Greedy for leftover love,
He steals into our passageway;
Black, burr bedraggled,
Seeking Persian leavings.
One ear almost two,
Socks and vest immaculate -
New fallen snow -
Nobility in shabbiness!
Taking guard upon the roof,
Sentry to Need,
He pauses, watchful;
Every in and out an opportunity.
He bumps his massive head -
Each venture and return he greets.
Pampered once perhaps,
Now sadly lost,
He craves the love he senses.
Our neighbour's in the yard!
"He will not let me pass!"
The little panther has her cornered!
Later she tells her friend -
"Our neighbour feeds him"
He scratched her once,
When in desperate bid for warmth
He raked her tights as cats will do.
"He's such a nuisance!"
Screwball, as we call him,
Shuts his eyes;
Dreaming of tasty offerings left
When Fear subsides
And her Compassion stirs.
(c) Lisa Marie Gabriel
Apricot's other Sister
Loolie comes to stay.
For a short while - a little over a month I think - why had another delightful little Himalayan girl in our family. This is only one of three photos sadly. She was a sealpoint with bright-blue eyes which weren't usually mucky! You can't see her eyes properly here because she has them shut in a mutual grooming session with Apricot. Her name was Loolie and she was yet another half-sister to the Bear. She was a little smaller than Woolly, but she was so pretty. For a while Max felt a little out in the cold as the sisters recognised each other immediately. They would even groom each other's faces.
Sadly, she became ill and was vomiting so we took her to the vet and diaphramatic hernia was discovered. This was apparently due to a birth defect so how it had gone unnoticed for five years was beyond me! Anyway, we picked up the tab for an operation as her liver was becoming increasingly compromised and it was a medical emergency. Technically the operation was a success but she never came through the anaesthetic.
Rescue and Rehoming can be sad too....
How could we explain to Woolly Bear that once more she had lost her sister, this time for ever? Anyone in rescue or who adopts from rescues will tell you how rewarding it can be, but you need to remove the rose-tinted spectacles. People put cats and dogs into rescues for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes due to "bad habits" on the animal's part, sometimes due to "bad habits" from a new human - and every now and then because a big vet bill looms....
If that were indeed the case, I wish Cheryl-Anne had been told - we would have still adopted and the necessary operation might have taken place on a stronger cat. We will never know the whole truth here, I suspect, although I know for a fact Cheryl-Anne would have had her treated before rehoming had she been aware of the problem!
And then there was Amberley!
Don't let this chocolate box kitten act fool you! Amberley is a hater! She likes people she has learned to trust, she adores Colin who has become her butler, hairdresser and general factotum, but cats? She does not like other cats, unlike most Persians, and maintains a separate apartment upstairs. Nevertheless, she is still adorable if you don't mind the occasional extension to the litterbox, loves being groomed and is very affectionate to her pet human!
What if your lion's mane,
Your fierce owl eyes
And griffin posture
Offer feline threat
To passing waifs
To challenge Fear?
If suddenly you leap
Fur blown, tail coiled,
To stare at those outside;
Timid heart beating,
Like starting deer?
I question -
What makes you so afraid
Of your own kind?
This growing love and trust
That calm beside
Such large, gross animals you lie;
As they caress you
To such bulk grown blind!
(c) Lisa Marie Gabriel
The Death of a Cat
The death of any animal affects and diminishes those who care. I hate to see the foxes, badgers and hedgehogs on the road on my travels, but worst of all, it hurts me to see a cat stretched out by the roadside. This poem was written after seeing such a silent animal...
On cold street furniture
Where sorry hands have laid
In final dream,
I hardly see
Grey on fawn and brindled grey -
So calm you seem.
Your welcoming length
No litter here
Snug, trusting -
Comfort thrusting into
Silken warmth -
Here sleeping loss and fear.
I am Cat -
But let it go.
To take your pain,
To seat and ride my own,
What would I gain
Shone in your eyes -
Yet open, but unseeing.
Still in sweet trust
This Winter day
Before a warming fire,
In dreams you chase and play
Your litter at your breast
Returning to the Light
Within us all
Perhaps, for some,
Show the way.
(c) Lisa Marie Gabriel
My Poetry on Amazon
Not all of my poetry is about cats, but if you would like to read more here is my latest book!