Snail's Postcard Post

Kitten Comes Home

The Snail Family’s much-loved dog died this past April, but now we have a new furry friend. Yesterday we brought home a kitten! It’s no wonder that I have cats on the brain, so I present to you my feline postcards along with my favorite cat poems.

Ancient Egyptian bronze artifact at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum in Denmark. I can not find anything else about it!

The Cat and the Moon by W.B. Yeats

The cat went here and there
And the moon spun round like a top
And the nearest kin of the moon,
The creeping cat, looked up.
Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
For, wander and wail as he would,
The pure cold light in the sky
Troubled his animal blood.
Minnaloushe runs in the grass
Lifting his delicate feet.
Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?
When two close kindred meet,
What better than call a dance?
Maybe the moon may learn,
Tired of that courtly fashion
A new dance turn.
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
From moonlit place to place,
The sacred moon overhead
Has taken a new phase.
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
Will pass from change to change,
And that from round to crescent,
From crescent to round they range?
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
Alone, important and wise,
And lifts to the changing moon
His changing eyes.

From my friend with the mail project I’ve written about, Lovely Handwritten Notes. Check it out here!   

Cat by Mary Britton Miller

The black cat yawns,
Opens her jaws,

Stretches her legs,
And shows her claws.

Then she gets up
And stands on four
Long stiff legs
And yawns some more.

She shows her sharp teeth,
She stretches her lip,
Her slice of tongue
Turns up at the tip.

Lifting herself
On delicate toes,
She arches her back
As high as it goes.

She lets herself down
With particular care,
And pads away
With her tail in the air.

Detail from Philip William Steer’s painting Hydrangeas at the Fitzwilliam Museum of the University of Cambridge, UK. 

A card for my third birthday. One of my first postcards!

the song of mehitabel, iii from “archy and mehitabel” by don marquis

this is the song of mehitabel
of mehitabel the alley cat

as i wrote you before boss
mehitabel is a believer
in the pythagorean
theory of the transmigration
of the soul and she claims
that formerly her spirit was incarnated in the body 
of cleopatra
that was a long time ago
and one must not be
surprised if mehitabel
has forgotten some of her
more regal manners

i have had my ups and downs
but wotthehell wotthehell
yesterday sceptres and crowns
fried oysters and velvet gowns
and today i herd with bums
but wotthehell wotthehell

i wake the world from sleep
as i caper and sing and leap
when i sing my wild free tune
wotthehell wotthehell
under the blear eyed moon
i am pelted with cast off shoon
but wotthehell wotthehell

do you think that i would change
my present freedom to range
for a castle or moated grange
wotthehell wotthehell
cage me and i d go frantic
my life is so romantic
capricious and corybantic
and i m toujours gai toujours gai

i know that i am bound
for a journey down the sound
in the midst of a refuse mound
but wotthehell wotthehell
oh i should worry and fret
death and i will coquette
there s a dance in the old dame yet
toujours gai toujours gai

i once was an innocent kit
wotthehell wotthehell
with a ribbon my neck to fit
and bells tied onto it
o wotthehell wotthehell
but a maltese cat came by
with a come hither look in his eye
and a song that soared to the sky
and wotthehell wotthehell
and i followed adown the street 
the pad of his rhythmical feet
o permit me again to repeat
wotthehell wotthehell

my youth i shall never forget
but there s nothing i really regret
wotthehell wotthehell
there s a dance in the old dame yet
toujours gai toujours gai

the things that i had not ought to
i do because i ve gotto
wotthehell wotthehell
and i end with my favorite motto
toujours gai toujours gai

boss sometime i think
that our friend mehitabel
is a trifle too gay

Advertisement for Sew L.A. in Los Angeles’ Atwater Village. The shop offers specialty fabric, notions and sewing machines, and, best of all, classes. This postcard is of one of the fantastic instructors, sporting a frock from the 1950′s Dress Class. For more clothing related postcards, check out this post.

Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat from “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S. Eliot

There’s a whisper down the line at 11.39
When the Night Mail’s ready to depart,

Saying “Skimble where is Skimble has he gone to hunt the thimble?
We must find him or the train can’t start.”
All the guards and all the porters and the stationmaster’s daughters
They are searching high and low,
Saying “Skimble where is Skimble for unless he’s very nimble
Then the Night Mail just can’t go.”
At 11.42 then the signal’s nearly due
And the passengers are frantic to a man–
Then Skimble will appear and he’ll saunter to the rear:
He’s been busy in the luggage van!
         He gives one flash of his glass-green eyes
               And the signal goes “All Clear!”
         And we’re off at last for the northern part
               Of the Northern Hemisphere!

You may say that by and large it is Skimble who’s in charge 
Of the Sleeping Car Express.
From the driver and the guards to the bagmen playing cards
He will supervise them all, more or less.
Down the corridor he paces and examines all the faces
Of the travellers in the First and in the Third;

He establishes control by a regular patrol
And he’d know at once if anything occurred.
He will watch you without winking and he sees what you are thinking
And it’s certain that he doesn’t approve
Of hilarity and riot, so the folk are very quiet
When Skimble is about and on the move
          You can play no pranks with Skimbleshanks!
                  He’s a Cat that cannot be ignored;
           So nothing goes wrong on the Northern Mail
                  When Skimbleshanks is aboard.

Oh it’s very pleasant when you have found your little den
With your name written up on the door.
And the berth is very neat with a newly folded sheet
And there’s not a speck of dust on the floor.
There is every sort of light–you can make it dark or bright;
There’s a handle that you turn to make a breeze.
There’s a funny little basin you’re supposed to wash your face in
And a crank to shut the window if you sneeze.
Then the guard looks in politely and will ask you very brightly
“Do you like your morning tea weak or strong?”
But Skimble’s just behind him and was ready to remind him,
For Skimble won’t let anything go wrong.
       And when you creep into your cosy berth
                And pull up the counterpane,
       You ought to reflect that it’s very nice
       To know that you won’t be bothered by mice–
       You can leave all that to the Railway Cat,
               The Cat of the Railway Train!

In the watches of the night he is always fresh and bright;
Every now and then he has a cup of tea
With perhaps a drop of Scotch while he’s keeping on the watch,
Only stopping here and there to catch a flea.
You were fast asleep at Crewe and so you never knew
That he was walking up and down the station;
You were sleeping all the while he was busy at Carlisle,
Where he greets the stationmaster with elation.
But you saw him at Dumfries, where he speaks to the police
If there’s anything they ought to know about:
When you get to Gallowgate there you do not have to wait–
For Skimbleshanks will help you to get out!
       He gives you a wave of his long brown tail
             Which says: “I’ll see you again!
       You’ll meet without fail on the Midnight Mail
              The Cat of the Railway Train.”

This is another of my first postcards, as you can tell…

Keep purring!

This entry was published on September 21, 2012 at 8:15 pm. It’s filed under Art and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Kitten Comes Home

  1. Pingback: Dog Day Afternoon | Snail's Postcard Post

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