To write my thoughts on your love, as you ask: it
Is like forcing cats into a basket.
They thrash at the unnatural position
Of any bid for human composition.
Regardless bowls of water, cuddles, pills,
The little monsters vary in their wills.
Some will hiss, some pounce, and some obey,
And all the wisest creatures shy away.
Murmuring their names and playing coy
And delicately taunting with their toy,
Playing dead or tickling their tums
Or giving them some most perplexing sums
Will not put cat-like feelings into prose –
The proverb, “herding cats,” of nothing knows.
My partner once asked me to put my love for them into a poem. It was impossible. Instead I tried to convey this difficulty through the idiom of “trying to herd cats.” A sneaky benefit of this, of course, is that it brings to the imagery the idea of lots of cuddles, softness, idleness and playfulness which is present in both my relationship with my fiancé and in the very nature of my feline friends. It is itself a playful little thing, with the knowingly-silly opening rhyme and the continuing whimsy of the piece.
Also inspired in part by The Cure’s Lovecats and T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.