The Cat and the Lovers:
Like children - like LIFE - cats crave attention. If attention
isn't sent their way, they move to where attention is - between
your eyes and your book, or even between lovers in bed.
The title is a play on the species name for the domestic cat,
felis catus. It also means "domestic happiness".
Big bed: room
for both of us or for
one small sleeping cat.
Perched on my belly
she nuzzles my hand
and doesn't budge.
until we solve your riddle
we can't make love.
Easy to make the cat rise:
Just stroke from head
to tip of tail.
She arches up
against my hand, resettles
on my belly.
Lifted off (squawk!)...
You turn to me. She squeezes
Between your breast and my hand
probes a head
to be scratched.
Hard to resist
the tiny taut stroked head,
eyes squinched in "Don't stop!"
Wherever the cat curls up,
she has always been.
I slide my arm around you,
cat stretched out
at our feet.
Though careful with our feet
(Ummm! You feel good!), "Squawk!"
She plipplops to the floor.
Absence of cat:
"I know when I'm not wanted!"
(Ahh! That's nice!)
Somewhere in the room
she licks herself as we make
the fur fly.
The reference to a "furry sphinz" in the fourth haiku
seems to me to describe one of the typical positions of a cat settled
in place and not intending to move - head up, feet and tail tucked
under, body extended behind head. After all, the body of the Sphinx
is supposed to be a lions (another felis). The riddle of the Sphinx
refers to an ancient story: Answer it correctly, and you prosper;
answer it wrong, and you die. Here the riddle is, how to negotiate
the convulsions of love making without dislodging a cat. The fabled
riddle was, what goes on four legs, then two legs, then three? (Something
like that.) And the answer provided by a hero who lived to be a
miserable king was "a man" - crawling on all fours, then
walking on two, then using a cane as a third leg.