Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ode to a Cat

Once there was a day
When my life was just normal,
That was before you came to stay.

Before I even gave you a ball
You played with plastic rats,
Jumping, twisting, ending in a fall.

You stalked my feet until I screamed, "Scat"
Then would run and hide under the sofa,
Until you got too fat.

Being heavy stole your skills of a cobra
But it brought you to my lap,
Where we developed our own euphoria.

You always loved to sneak a nap
But awake was the challenge years later,
Nothing phased you not even the dog's yap.

In the last days you were not much of an eater.
Instead forced by age to lie about and sleep,
Hours would pass away, you woke much later.

Now in my mind is where I keep
Memories of our life together,
And where silently I will weep.

*** Author's Thoughts ***
Recently one of my friends lost a long-time friend, his cat Petey. Grief was at a premium, as many of you may understand having experienced the loss of a pet. During our conversations I thought to myself, "I'm going to write an ode for him, something for Petey." After he went home and I had time to think about my personal commitment to write, I had to remind myself of what makes-up an ode. 

An ode is typically written by a poet to praise, or dedicate comments to someone or something. If you read different odes you will find that there are 3 main formats to present this kind of poem, but a lot of people use words that rhyme but follow no particular cadence. While reviewing the rules of an ode I was reminded that cadences exist, such as ABABCDECDE. This mean that the 1st, & 3rd, then the 2nd & 4th lines rhyme, etc... 

I decided to use my own cadence of ABA, BCB, CDC, etc., meaning I would use groupings of 3 sentences, with the 1st & 3rd sentences each containing an end-word that rhymed. The end-word of the 2nd sentence would be required to rhyme with the end-word in the 1st and 3rd sentences of the following 3-sentence grouping. Of course the end-word of the 2nd sentence in each segment would allow me to introduce a new ending sound to the ode. My thought was that this cadence would tie each segment rhythmically with the previous segment. This proved to be difficult, but pleasing once I was done. Let me know what you think about my ode.  


  1. Que história linda Andy. Linda e triste.
    Também tenho dois gatinhos e eles são a aleria da nossa casa, perdê-los seria muito triste.
    Espero que seu amigo se recupere da perda do seu gatinho. E espero que vc possa continuar escrevendo coisas tão lindinhas.

    Helen Araujo, Mato Grosso, Brasil.

  2. Helen, estou feliz que tenha gostado do post. Meu amigo parece estar indo melhor, embora esperando Petey estar lá faz com rapidez a cada dia. Aproveite o seu gatinho, eles são muita diversão. :-) Obrigado por conferir o meu blog, tome cuidado.

  3. Being an avid cat lover (I have 5) this is a very touching tribute for your friend and is cat. ~L~

  4. Thank you for the kind words, please feel free to come back and visit again. I'm always exploring other story lines, if you have something for me to consider email me, or tweet me at user ID _andybryant.

  5. I recently lost my pet cat in June, so this was very touching to me. Made me tear a little, but that's just because I'm still grieving. Very lovely & touching! Great thing for you to do for your friend and petey

  6. I'm sorry for my delayed response, I overlooked responding to your post. I feel your pain, losing a pet for most of us is like losing a long-time friend. I lost a Sheltie named Zack more than 10 years ago, I've had no other pets; he was my first child. Thank you for the time you spent reading my blog, your in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. This is so nice, Andy. I lost my cat of 20 years this June and miss her terribly. I have a six-month old cat who I adore, but the pain of losing my other cat will never leave me. Lovely poem; great blog.