Gert Strydom

(03 April 1964 / Johannesburg, South Africa)

a Cat’s dream


He stretched out on the ground
lying in the sun
and the heat on the long hair
of the red-golden ginger coat
felt really great
and the golden eyes
of the Persian closed
while it dozed away
and air flowed softly
through its flat pink nose.

Two sharp little white teeth
pointed past its lip
as if ready to clip
and stripes ran everywhere
like those of a tiger.

He’d been a good cat
all his life,
cuddled against
the master and his wife,
caught rats, mice
and even snakes
and brought them
as gifts to the humans
that he loved.

Still on that day
while he slept
he prayed to all the gods
that took cats to heart,
to have a tiger’s day
and be able
to live and play
for just one day
like a tiger.

The dream became a nightmare
and two vicious Rottweilers
chased him up a tree
growling, barking
and leaping up in the air,
but while he slept
his prayer was granted
and a ferocious tiger
rushed down
clawing at the hounds
even before it landed
on the ground.

Torn, bleeding and wailing
the two dogs
ran whining away
and in terror
let every other dog know
a tiger was afoot.

When he rushed down the street
all the people that he met
were totally fretted out
and ran away in sheer terror
and he found nobody
to play with
as even the other cats
were terrified
and kept to themselves.

As the day went on
he got really hungry
and drank water
from a wishing well
where tourists stopped
at a distance
to gaze at him
from their cars
while a squadron of police
drew near in great fear.

To be a Persian cat again,
seemed much, much better
in this place at this time
and he wished
and by chance
he bumped a coin
from the ledge
down into the waters.

Submitted: Monday, November 16, 2009
Edited: Monday, November 23, 2009

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