bottomless box of kitties

catamari cats

This afternoon I found a box
behind the kitchen door.
It wriggled there, a restless cube;
it writhed upon my floor.
I lifted up the cardboard lid
and took a peek inside,
and when I saw what lay therein
I swear, I nearly died.
A darling ball of fur!
Adorable! And right away
I fell in love with her.
I scooped her up into my arms,
the mewing chunk of bliss,
when from inside the cardboard box
I heard a little hiss.
I reached inside and gathered up
another baby cat,
and then another, and one more,
and way more after that.
And soon the room was full of cats–
I thought I was in heaven!
By now my feline tally was
one hundred and eleven.
But things got weird soon after that.
Their purrs turned into sneers.
Their whiskers sharpened into blades,
their claws to pointy spears.
In unison they pounced on me
and I began to fall,
surrounded by a horde of cats–
The only thing that I could do?
Relinquish all control.
I let the catamari cats
initiate a roll.
We trundled through the neighbourhood
accumulating stuff.
(That’s what I pictured, anyway–
to steal a glimpse was tough.
But I did hear the kittens shriek,
their caterwauls of glee,
as garbage fastened to our glob
that rolled relentlessly.)
We gained momentum as we went.
I felt my insides turn…
till at the bottom of my gut
I felt an acrid burn.
I tried to hold it in, but no.
The vomit now was here!
I used my hands to stop its flow–
and puked inside the sphere.
It trickled through the clustered cats
who all began to moan–
my magic puke dissolved the beasts,
and I was left alone.

milk kitty

milk kitty

I met a cat one scorching day
beneath a leafy tree.
I offered her a glass of milk
but she just mewed at me.
“Drink up, my friend. It’s very hot!
The sun is killing you!”
I splashed a bit of milk at her
to see what she would do.
Her fur was shining, slick with sweat;
she panted like a pup.
I thought she’d lick the flying drops —
I thought she’d lap them up!
But no, not she. She did not move
to dodge the milky splatter.
It coated her in creamy flecks
and I said, “What’s the matter?”
She moved her lips as if to speak
and so I listened close:
“Li’l miss,” she croaked. Her tone was stern:
“I’ve had an overdose.”
The fur began to shed like mad
in matted, chunky clumps,
and then appearing on the skin
were angry boils and bumps.
The whiskers fell, and then the ears;
she tripled in her height;
and in her mouth were rows of teeth
all gnashing for a bite.
“Come here!” she roared. “I need some food!”
I nearly pissed my pants.
Yet somehow I walked up to her
as though I stood a chance.
How terrified I felt right then.
The taste of fear, so strong!
The bumpy beast — this former cat —
was fifty shades of wrong.
And suddenly she lunged at me
and knocked me to the ground.
My glass of milk spilled everywhere
and spattered all around.
“Pick up the glass!” the monster roared.
I picked it up with haste.
She grabbed the vessel from my hands
and had herself a taste.
“Delicious! Perfect! Just the thing!”
she munched upon my glass
as tiny shards flew from her maw
to shimmer in the grass.
And just like that, the bumpy beast
did vanish from my sight
to leave behind the baby cat
who purred with sweet delight.
And so I share this lesson with
my kitten-aiding class:
for cats intolerant to milk,
no worries. Feed them glass!

dentist kitty

cat with teeth potion

A promise from a kitten is
a promise always kept.
Impossible! That can’t be so!
But listen, how I wept!:
A street cat one day promised me
a mouth so clean and bright.
No cavities! No tooth decay!
And not a stain in sight!
“Throw out your toothbrush!” he exclaimed.
So throw it out I did.
I mean, who likes to brush her teeth?
I know of no such kid!
The cat gave me a potion black
to gargle at the sink.
“Just gargle this before you sleep,”
he told me with a wink.
I took it home, the tarry vial,
and waited for the night.
And when it fell, I drank the goop
and gargled with delight…
A future free from dental care?
My favourite fantasy!!!!!
But then I felt a tiny itch
upon my naked knee.
As I looked down, oh horror! Ach!
I saw the wicked cat!
Somehow it’d crept into my house!
I very nearly spat!
But I didn’t want the blackened goo
to stain the porcelain sink…
And so as though I had a choice,
I swallowed up the the drink.
The cat threw back its head with glee
as I fell to the floor.
I checked the inside of my mouth —
My teeth! They were no more!
Impossible! That can’t be so!
But listen, how I wept!:
A promise from a kitten is
a promise always kept.

snow kitty

A kitten came down from the sky,
from Heaven up above.
It fluttered slowly, slowly down
and fell into my glove.
Its fur was white, its mews so soft,
an angel in my grasp.
I tickled it beneath the chin
but soon I had to gasp…
for as I looked I came to see
I’d made a big mistake.
This was no cat! But a grotesque,
misshapen, wild snowflake.
Its points were mangled, bent and weird,
offending my poor soul.
It violated symmetry!
I threw it in a hole.
I watched it writhe, I watched it thaw,
that devil dressed in white.
Its shiny teeth gnashed up at me.
and tried to take a bite.
So take this as a warning fair
to save your precious pelt:
when kittens snow down from the sky,
don’t save them. Let them melt.

beard kitty


The other day I met a cat
whose fur was pink and tan.
I knelt to pat it, and it said:
“I thought you were a man!
From far away, upon your chin,
I saw a mass of hair.
But as you near to scratch my head,
I see no beard is there.”
He said this kindly, like a pal,
but still I found him crass.
I am a girl! I have no beard!
That kitten was an ass!
And so I sat upon the stoop,
and gave the cat a push,
when suddenly I yanked his tail
and threw him in a bush.
I kept the tail, a souvenir…
I know it might seem weird.
From time to time, I take it out
to wear it like a beard.


from underneath the kitchen sink

From underneath the kitchen sink
there reeks a really awful stink
of offal skins and garbage juice
and other foodstuff with no use…

The fume’s so foul we end our meal;
our noodles, cold, have no appeal.

We hold our breath and clear the spread
although our guts have not been fed.
We wipe the counter, wet our hands,
and scrub the crusty pots and pans…

But oh, that smell is much too vile —
our senses aren’t so versatile!

We hunker down, crouch to the floor
and peer behind the cupboard door.
But what is this? What’s this we see?

My Uncle Jim peers back at me!

His hands are full of bones and meat,
of turkey wings and chicken feet.
His face, once handsome, now is marred
with grease and crud and sludge and lard.

We grab him by the collar — quick!
He struggles with a punch and kick!

Bring vinegar to clean the slime!
Abrasive sponge to scrub the grime!

Then Uncle Jim begins scream:

“What’s that?” we say; we are perplexed.
We let him free; he says this next:

Imagine rodents tucked beneath
the kitchen sink: their tiny teeth
do tear upon the bits of flesh,
left over from your dinner, fresh.

They sleep inside the kitchen drawer,
and scatter crumbs upon the floor,
leave trails of refuse in their wake,

Would you prefer those mice to me?

Your Uncle Jim, who quietly
has seen that no food goes to waste,
so thankful for the glorious taste
of all the food you deem unfit,
discreetly in a napkin spit…

But don’t you know? All food’s divine!
To Uncle Jim, all food is fine!

So tell me kids, what do you think?
To dwell beneath the kitchen sink:
which one is better? Mice or me?

We chew on this thought carefully…

and so….

Back underneath the kitchen sink
goes Uncle Jim, who gives a wink.

His parting words are soft but frank:


written in 2010