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Saturday, 23 May 2009

The Watch

A ginger tabby
Perched on a log
And a black and white

As Egyptian
River gods on a barge

The windmill cats of Kinderdijk
Keep an eye on things
in the lumberyard

Remembering in their blood
It may be
The great Elizabeth Flood

Of the terrible winter of 1421
When as the humans say
A cat kept a child's cradle

Balanced on the waves
A cat and a cradle
A bit of dyke

A bit of fiction
Along with a bit
Of handed down history

Stranded through time
In sienna
And black and white

A tuxedo
Alongside a ginger tabby
Perched on a log

Beneath a windmill
By a canal

As the world floats past

Sientje Molenkat: photo by Hans Masius, 2007

Die Molenkatten in de winter: photo by Hans Masius, 2007


Annie said...

Makes me miss my babes' nanny cats-- Annapurna for Devin, Spot for Owen. Purna would accompany the stroller to the corner, where she would wait in some bushes until we returned from the park, then escort us back home. Spot used to dash in front of Owen to break his fall as O learned to walk. Both watchful in the same way.

TC/BTP said...


It seems the Windmill Cat colony of ferals have inbred in isolation down through the years, and are now endangered. The legend of their once having rescued a child provides a useful impetus for people to attempt to do what would anyway be the good thing, that is, to make an effort to help them survive. The poetic underlying the practical, the feline linked with the human in a reciprocal watchfulness perhaps. Once experienced or observed these lovely instances of mutual care can never be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

They are very mysterious animals. I really admire their independence.

TC said...


That is of course an admirable quality. And then again... we've found, after many years of taking in abandoned and stray cats, that even the "wildest" of so-called ferals will quickly surrender at least a little of that famous independence in return for a bit of food, shelter and love. The basics. All cats are independent by nature, but an independent cat that's well fed and well treated always seems that much happier than an independent cat that isn't. They are wonderful opportunists. And not unsociable by nature.