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The View From The Back of the Couch

My Beautiful Daisy Belle

January 8, 2013 | Filed under: Daisy |

There is a flower within my heart, // Daisy, Daisy, // Planted one day by a glancing dart, // Planted by Daisy Bell…

~~ “Daisy Bell,” Harry Dacre (1892)

Daisy wasn’t with me long at all but she was very significant even for a short time. After Sunny died in January 2010, it took Robert and me over a year to get over his death. We simply weren’t ready for another cat. We thought we might want a dog, so we fostered Brian, a young English Bull Terrier, but that was a misfire of gargantuan proportions and after three days, Brian was rehomed. We decided we were not dog people at all. So I ended up adopting Daisy in May 2011 from the Montgomery County Animal Shelter. Shortly afterward, she developed Fatty Liver Disease and I tearfully made the decision, after 50 days loving that sweet girl, to have her put to sleep. Daisy, you taught me that I could love another creature after Sunny and for that I will be forever grateful.

Cat in an Empty Apartment

April 14, 2011 | Filed under: Poetry |

By Wislawa Szymborska

Die—you can't do that to a cat.
Since what can a cat do
in an empty apartment?
Climb the walls?
Rub up against the furniture?
Nothing seems different here,
but nothing is the same.
Nothing has been moved,
but there's more space.
And at nighttime no lamps are lit.

Footsteps on the staircase,
but they're new ones.
The hand that puts fish on the saucer
has changed, too.

Something doesn't start
at its usual time.
Something doesn't happen
as it should.
Someone was always, always here,
then suddenly disappeared
and stubbornly stays disappeared.

Every closet has been examined.
Every shelf has been explored.
Excavations under the carpet turned up nothing.
A commandment was even broken,
papers scattered everywhere.
What remains to be done.
Just sleep and wait.

Just wait till he turns up,
just let him show his face.
Will he ever get a lesson
on what not to do to a cat.
Sidle toward him
as if unwilling
and ever so slow
on visibly offended paws,
and no leaps or squeals at least to start.

The Laws Pertaining to Cats

March 14, 2011 | Filed under: Humor |
Law of Cat Inertia
A cat at rest will tend to remain at rest, unless acted upon by some outside force — such as the opening of cat food, or a nearby scurrying mouse.
Law of Cat Motion
A cat will move in a straight line, unless there is a really good reason to change direction.
Law of Cat Thermodynamics
Heat flows from a warmer to a cooler body, except in the case of a cat, in which case all heat flows to the cat.
Law of Cat Sleeping
All cats must sleep with people whenever possible, in a position as uncomfortable for the people involved, and as comfortable as possible for the cat.
Law of Cat Pill Rejection
Any pill given to a cat has the potential energy to reach escape velocity.
Law of Cat Composition
A cat is composed of Matter plus Antimatter plus It Doesn’t Matter.
Law of Cat Energy Consumption
Cats know that energy can neither be created nor destroyed and will, therefore, use as little energy as possible.
Law of Obedience Resistance
A cat’s resistance varies in proportion to a human’s desire for her to do something.
Law of Rug Configuration
No rug may remain in its naturally flat state for very long.
Law of Cat Obstruction
A cat must lay on the floor in such a position to obstruct the maximum amount of human foot traffic.
Law of Cat Magnetism
All blue blazers and black sweaters attract cat hair in direct proportion to the darkness of the fabric.

A Cat’s Christmas Prayer

December 14, 2010 | Filed under: Poetry |
Whoever made the stars that shine,
Whoever made green trees of pine,
Whoever dreamed up fish and mice,
Or sun and rain and snow and ice,
Must have the power in His paws
To help when there's a worthy cause.
Whoever gave the birds a nest
Will grant this humble cat's request.

For needy felines everywhere,
I meow my little Christmas prayer.
Please heal the sick
And cheer the sad,
Forgive the naughty,
and excuse the bad.

One more simple thing I ask:
A pool of sunlight in which to bask,
Plus a plate of food,
A safe, warm house,
A loving lap, a catnip mouse.
Freedom from fleas, furballs, and mats,
And homes for all the homeless cats.

[From A Cat’s Christmas – Stefanie Samek]