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Simba's Domain


The Ad-dressing of Cats

You've read of several kinds of Cat,
 And my opinion now is that
 You should need no interpreter
 to understand their character.
 You now have learned enough to see
 That Cats are much like you and me
 And other people whome we find
 Possessed of various types of mind.
 For some are sane and some are mad
 And some are good and some are bad
 And some are better, some are worse -
 But all may be described in verse.
 You've seen them both at work and games,
 And learnt about their proper names,
 Their habits and their habitat:
 But
    How would you ad-dress a Cat?

 So first, your memory I'll jog,
 And say: A CAT IS NOT A DOG.

 Now Dogs pretend they like to fight;
 They often bark, more seldom bite;
 But yet a Dog is, on the whole,
 What you would call a simple soul.
 Of course I'm not including Pekes,
 And such fantastic canine freaks.
 The usual Dog about the Town
 Is much inclined to play the clown,
 And far from showing too much pride
 Is frequently undignified.
 He's very easily taken in -
 Just chuck him underneath the chin
 Or slap his back or shake his paw,
 And he will gambol and guffaw.
 He's such an easy-going lout,
 He'll answer any hail or shout.

 Again I must remind you that
 A Dog's a Dog - A CAT'S A CAT.

 With Cats, some say, one rule is true:
 Don't speak till you are spoken to.
 Myself, I do not hold with that -
 I say, you should ad-dress a Cat.
 But always keep in mind that he
 Resents familiarity.
 I bow, and taking off my hat,
 Ad-dress him in this form: O CAT!
 But if he is the Cat next door,
 Whom I have often met before
 (He comes to see me in my flat)
 I greet him with an OOPSA CAT!
 I've heard them call him James Buz-James -
 But we've not got so far as names.
 Before a Cat will condescend
 To treat you as a trusted friend,
 Some little token of esteem
 Is needed, like a dish of cream;
 And you might now and then supply
 Some caviare, or Strassburg Pie,
 Some potted grouse, or salmon paste -
 He's sure to have his personal taste.
 (I know a Cat, who makes a habit
 Of eating nothing else but rabbit,
 And when he's finished, licks his paws
 So's not to waste the onion sauce.)
 A Cat's entitled to expect
 These evidences of respect.
 And so in time you reach your aim,
 And finally call him by his NAME.

 So this is this, and that is that:
 And there's how you AD-DRESS A CAT.


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