Shaming Me

A Twenty Minutes poem. As a note, this one refers to our cat Raquel, who I’ve written about several times. In this little picture, it was October 2014 and she really was plump. She died in August 2015, aged 14, and by then had become very thin. I like to think of her this way.

Shaming Me

– Ma’am, your cat is too fat
and you must get her to exercise
she is subject to all kinds of health issues
and you are her biggest problem
feeding her too much and too often
and look at her coat!
you must comb her
since she is too fat to clean it herself –
This to me from the vet’s assistant.
I am ashamed and bow my head
But the cat and I both know
Things will stay exactly the same
when we get home
because it’s what the cat wants.
She looks at me with her yellow eyes
and dares me
to think anything else.

Raquel's View small

“Raquel’s View” – acrylic painting, about 2000. She liked to sit in the window and look down at the street.


23 thoughts on “Shaming Me

  1. My cat’s a rain- and night gazer. We were walking one day, sat down a bit both of us, just because, her a little distance from me. I wanted my tea so looked round for her and found her gazing at the stone formation in front of her, turning her head this way and that with a clear sense of wonder on her face. A lizard or other little animal wouldn’t have stood a chance. … the light through the leaves of the tree under which she sat was playing on the rockface …

  2. I can identify with this poem. I once had a very portly cat and the vet basically accused me of cruelty and abuse because he was so flabby. I had him on a special diet and he didn’t get treats so I could not figure out why he was so chubby. Still, the shame was there and I dreaded taking him back to the vet. Well it turned out that, whenever I was at work, the cat was leaving the house via the cat flap and was being fed by several people in the neighborhood. I felt all those people should accompany me to the next vet appointment and share the burden of shame.

  3. Thank you. I wrote several poems about Raquel, not about our other cats, don’t know why. She was very serious and contemplative, kind of a silent shadow around the house for me. I could always look up and see her with me.

  4. I love this story! I am laughing and laughing. What a sly little guy!

    We did not have that excuse of too-friendly neighbors as the cats stayed inside. All I could come up with was that we had three cats and so, some greedy appetites took advantage of those less interested in food. Plus, how to get a cat to exercise, well, just try it, right?

  5. It’s interesting, our neighbor’s cat Geri had the same effect on us. He was often outside, on our deck, in nice weather, and came into our kitchen for visits all the time. We really miss him, and he wasn’t even our cat! But there was something about him…

  6. Yes, Raquel was quiet, but compelling. Funny how some intangible thing, you don’t know what it is, but it makes an impression on you and you have a connection like that.

  7. I still wonder at how people think you can get an animal to do something he or she really doesn’t want to do.

    But people have an opinion on everything, I think, and they don’t mind telling you, do they?

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