21 July 2022

Vedma Had a Little Cat

Her name got lost, absconded, at some unrecorded time--ever since it
offended the Rhyming Dictionary by
rejecting for no reason, each, every, and all perfectly suitable and appropriate professionally proffered partners in rhyme.
So Vedma we shall call her--witch--a generic but it must do
to tell the tale of Rasputin, her little Russian blue,
the cat she thought she had
though Rasputin knew as all “owned” cats do, “O, you poor deluded one. I, of course, have you.”

Now, Vedma loved tomatoes as much as anyone else in Siberia;
she craved them with a passion that bordered on deliria.
They gazed out at the snow from their pots on the window sill
and treated her to blushing treats because they loved her exciting insides, never wishing her the least of ill.
Rasputin, on the other hand,
hated her distraction, her straying from waiting for his every little twitch of tail or whisker--
her unprofessional lack of attention to He, the A-plus lister;
her hunting and exterminating every tomato enemy though single or in a roving band.
So one night he swiped left and right, and shattered every pot of them.
The cold outdoors was monstrous, but inside was hell-warm and dry, a setting made by Velma’s spell.
(She also took her tea with dried raspberries, who, of course, would never tell.)
So when morning broke, and Vedma woke,
the tomatoes were almost dead,
a fate most undeserved considering the life they'd led.
Their roots, exposed, gone stiff and dry as the twigs in her graduation broom.
Their fruits wept but they couldn't die because of all the love she'd given them in that haven of a hellroom.
Love kept them alive just long enough for her to dive into
her jars of potions.
She dumped and washed and scraped and dug and scooped
and coddled and mumbled and wondered and asked,
but they acted as if they hadn’t notions not to mention
of the identity of the dastard.
They knew. 
Of course they knew, 
but tomatoes don't cast aspersions, 
so they didn’t tell. 

Instead they cast a spell.


  1. I never fail to be impressed by your use of language. Lovely piece, this one. Enjoyable and intreguing. Garry x

  2. Thank you so much for reading this, and your kind comment. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I think reading my poetry is much like trying to walk through the middle of a swollen tributary on the slickened tops of boulders.

  3. I see I have already commented on this story, but I've just reread it and have more to say. love cats. I had a Russian Blue once called Molly (I wish she had a more exciting name like Rasputin but my choice, Diogenes, was firmly outvoted by the family who refused to give a female a male name and anyway said I would look silly calling her in at night). After Molly came Dylan Thomas, who was a tom. Next to real cats I love stories about cats and I love this one.

  4. Oh, Garry. I wish I were a cat so my blush would be Russian blue. Thank you for your delightful comments, both of them. I wonder how many people think of how their calls would sound. It's easier naming someone when their name could be none other than ....
    There was a cat I used to know whose people called him I don't know what. His true name was plain as his big round spectacled eyes--T,S. Eliot, which reminds me of his poem in which he opines on the names of cats. https://poets.org/poem/naming-cats