An Old Man's Prayer For His Cat
So many years ago she came to me, a trusting tiny ball of fluff that climbed my leg to play...and sleep upon my lap.
For all those years, and still, we shared our joys and love, but now we are both grown old and, soon, must die.
Her eyes like mine, are clouded and would no longer serve to catch her prey.
Nor could she understand the missing saucer, cold hearth and empty bed, nor bend her ways to suit some strangers house.
Pray, take her first, O Lord, that I may see her resting, safe, beneath the apple tree that once she loved to climb, with such agility, far beyond my reach.
I shall grieve with understanding, then, anyone can bury me.
A Stray's Plea
I'm homeless and helpless, unwanted and alone;
I've no place to stay; I wander and roam.
I've no one to care if I live or die;
Nobody wants me as hard as I try.
I'm abandoned and starving and nobody cares;
I've met with nothing but hard and cold stares.
My stomach is empty, I've nothing to eat.
Why was I born and why am I here
Without any love, without any cheer?
Won't somebody love and take care of me?
People throw stones and chase me away;
They revile and despise me because I'm a stray.
But if a kind soul would open their door
I'd not have to be a stray anymore.
Here is an outline of the basic training routine mother cats provide for their young and inexperienced kittens when they find themselves with a human household to run for the first time.
If you have to throw up, get into a chair or the sofa quickly.
If you cannot manage this in time a Persian or Oriental rug is good - shag will do.
Do not permit closed doors in any room.
To open a door stand on hind legs and hammer with forepaws.
Once a door is opened for you it is not necessary to go through it.
When you have commanded a door to the outside to be opened stand half in/half out and consider whether this was really a good choice.
This is an especially important household task during cold weather and mosquito seasons.
Humans will not close the door on you - Don't worry.
Watch for swinging doors however!
After the dinner guests have eaten, while you are crossing over the empty dishes
Be prepared to look surprised when scolded while clearly conveying a 'I do it when we're alone' - look.
It is important to immediately introduce yourself to any guest who hates cats and sit on their lap for the evening.
A welcoming touch is to have recently enjoyed several of your favorite garlic-laden treats.
This also works as a bribe before company arrives by being especially attentive to your humans.
Do not embarrass yourself when rubbing up against trouser legs.
Choose tones which contrast sharply to your own coloring.
Additionally, texture is important when choosing to welcome guests in this way.
For example, if you are a longhair such as a Persian or Himalayan, black really is your pant color of choice.
Always escort guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything
Just sit and stare.
Overzealous guests are not to be tolerated.
Anyone who says "I just love kitties" must be straightened out immediately.
Respond with disdain followed by claws applied to stockings.
In desperate situations a sharp nip to the ankle is the last resort.
Never eat food from your own bowl if there is food anywhere else including the kitchen counter or the dinner table.
Never drink from your own bowl if you can get your humans riled by drinking from the toilet bowl.
Immediately behind the cook's left heel is the best place to stand while supervising dinner preparations.
Do not worry about being stepped on by your human.
Feign agony even if they merely brush against you.
This will result in tasty treats and much affection - if you're in the mood.
Whenever one of your humans is busy and the other just resting visit the busy one.
This is called 'hampering' and can be raised to an art form if you practice.
If one is reading and the other sewing, visit the one who is reading.
Sit on their lap or lie across their chest up to their shoulder and sniff at their ear.
Maintaining this position also allows you to tuck in close up under the chin.
Lying directly across the book is effective, so is rubbing against the book if you do not wish to climb up on your human.
For knitting, 'hampering' is best accomplished by curling up in the lap quietly, then suddenly attacking the threads and needles.
If you need to hamper paper work the most direct route is often the best.
Simply go sit on the paper.
When you are removed from this position for the second time push pens, pencils, or any other small items off the desk one at a time.
Typewriters provide special challenges and rewards.
Humans are often testy when sitting at the typewriter.
Some typewriters offer more variety in things you can do.
Automatic typewriters can rapidly repeat any key you touch so you don't need to be especially fast.
Paper can be chewed.
The finished pile is easier to get at.
New paper tends to stick to itself.
Be sure to get lots of sleep.
Daytime is ideal for this purpose as nothing much happens.
A big bonus is that you are fresh for night sports and competitions which can very conveniently be held on the bed.
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