Once upon a midnight dreary as I pondered, weak and weary
Struggling with eyesight bleary over some forgotten TV bore.
As I grimaced, nearly retching, gently then there came a kvetching.
As of someone gently etching, scratching at my kitchen door.
"'Tis the wind," I softly murmured. Only this and nothing more.
Ah, distinctly I remember; it was in the bleak December.
Yet cozy was I as an ember (thanks to register within the floor).
Eagerly I sought the morrow; would go to bed but dread the sorrow.
If only somewhere I could borrow 'lectric carpets (three or four),
My feet would not freeze to the floor.
As I sat and warmly waited, scratching went on, unabated.
Till that racket I so hated that I could endure no more.
Off the sofa I aroseth, no longer could I reposeth.
And what now do you supposeth I found crouching at my door?
"Me Out," he orders; nothing more.
His feet take wings into the night to do his little heart's delight.
I grumpily turn off the light; thence to sofa as before.
Minutes later came a yowling as of something evil howling.
From the darkened window cowling came a fearsome feline roar.
"Me in Now!" he commanded; only this and nothing more.
Purring insolence and pride, he slowly strolls his way inside.
And I consider cat-ricide, as all the heat blows out the door.
Scarce do I resume my viewing when again I hear him mewing.
After intermittent chewing at his bowl upon the floor.
Quoth the monster, "Me want More!"
I check his dish. Despite his dissing, three small bits are all that's missing.
Curses 'neath my breath I'm hissing. He pursues his calls for more.
I fill his bowl with kitty kibble. He partakes of one small nibble.
Then no longer stays to quibble, but returns to kitchen door.
"Me Out," he orders, as before.
"You just came in!" I shout with passion in an agitated fashion.
He insists with serene ration. My blood pressure starts to soar.
But the cat ignores my ravin'; self-assurance he's been savin'.
He knows that I soon will cave in, having played this scene before.
It always ends with open door.
I refuse to heed his bitchin'. He at last slinks from the kitchen.
I return to TV, which in time begins to make me snore.
Suddenly I hear a growling, followed then by painful howling.
Dog flies in (cat closely following), and whimpers by me on the floor.
"Devil!" said I, "Leave off this dog that I adore!"
So I try to get some rest. A furry rock lands on my chest.
I tell you, dreams are not the best with such a monster watching o'er.
He guards me like a lion will, keeping others from his kill.
"Begone, accursed cat", I yell and shove him roughly to the floor.
He just stands beside the door.
Seeking then an interlude, I rise and go in search of food.
Ice cream should improve my mood; there's some left from the night before.
But alas, it's not to be; a hairy pest harasses me.
And seeks to climb me like a tree. How come he wouldn't eat before?
Aha. I let him out the door.
Some day we'll lay him to his rest; his furry paws upon his chest.
I know then I'll miss that pest, and all his meowing at my door.
And when family gets together, saying that we need another.
I'll say words I've said forever, that they've often heard before.
Another house cat? Nevermore! --------
This poem of course began as "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe. D.L. Stewart did a parody of it in a newspaper article from 1996. And that made me think of the antics of my parent's tomcat "Chigger" and their dog "Sam".
The events in the poem are literally true. Chigger was the Rambo of the cat world, and would chase and attack any dog alive. He died peacefully after a halcyon life of harassing dogs and testing door hinges.
Lee A. Hart
A poem by Lee A. Hart, © 1984-2019 by Lee A. Hart. Created 3/6/2012. Last updated 3/2/2019.
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