Jab of Feral Cat

red cat picture from creative commons

A few years ago, I saw a male cat at my patio door. It was a loud August day, full of cicadas trilling.  I could hear them, but not the cat-sounds.  I could see his mouth move, and I think he was mewing.

It was high August, a loud fierce time of blasting summer heat, sounds, images.

As to the cat, whom I called Big Red?  He looked bad—had been in some type of fight. He was skinny, losing weight. I’d been noticing him for years and grew to be fond of this fighter—he had challenged a coyote and won!  He would fight younger, stronger male cats.

And he would eat from anyone who would feed him, learning quickly that the back patios were home to older ladies at home who loved cats.

And I am writing about a cat, but also poetry. Because I could not hear him.  Because the words “pane” and “pain” came to mind, and boundaries and borders came to mind.

I jotted down some ideas on my phone in Notes.  And just found them years later, since I had posted them on Facebook—yes Facebook—so I could find them again. They came up on my timeline, so it worked.

Just a cat poem rough draft.   I want to see where I can go with this with language, can I create a real poem?

We shall see—maybe that jab of feral cat will come alive.

Just a few snippets from that time ten years ago, since I am submitting a revised/ edited full version for publication and don’t want to have this considered published.

ROUGH DRAFT–partial poem

jab of feral kitten
black, white, orange
crust on nose and mouth
up to glass door
paw up to glass he
mewed silently
all that pane
between cat sounds
and my world…



(picture from the creative commons–Big Red does look like this, only bigger, furrier, and much older)C5438C4D-7EFC-4B03-8398-D253E9D9DDE8

I Won’t be Going “Back to School” in the Fall

        insprie teacher change     For the first time in 28 years, I won’t be going “back to school” in the fall. I need to take some time off to recover from an annoying injury, and I plan to return in the spring session.

To say I am disappointed is very true. This is the first time in my working life–going back to 1969!–I had to say, I cannot do this right now. Not there anyway, with the mile long parking lots and the super long walks to the classes. Not yet.

 I love teaching, and I will miss it a lot this fall term. 

So… if you hear my brains rattling or if you hear some whimpering on my part, give me a nudge and remind me there might be life outside of teaching.

Or just tell me to get to work getting better.