At one point my love of cats – and my very patient husband’s love of me – turned me into what some might call a crazy cat lady. (Although I honestly don’t think ten cats is that many, especially when most of them are outdoors.)
After spending years trying to write something “serious,” I decided to go back to what comes naturally, and wrote the very sing-songy poem below about the heyday of the “Copeland Cat” era. The photo above shows the nine outdoor cats having breakfast on the porch. Although most of the cats are gone now, I have fond memories of the sight of “all the cattails wavin’.”
THE COPELAND CATS
In the country, in Virginia, in a little place called Rockville,
Is a farm that gives a second chance to cats that got a raw deal.
Here the catnip grows in long straight rows; the farm’s called Copeland’s Haven.
Come and take a closer look – there’s something quite amazin’!
There are kitties at the Copeland’s over-running all the acres,
With their whisker-lickin’ groomin’ and their loud meowy-makers.
First is Idaho, then Leroy, next are Zed, Moe, Boo and Tina,
Then there’s Chingo, Honey, Rikki, and there’s also Grace and Xena.
All the kitties love the Copelands, in particular the Missus,
‘Cause she’s the Kitty Momma granting all their kitty wishes.
And although she is a human she’s an expert at the art
Of understanding feline feelings and respecting feline hearts.
So come and meet the Copeland cats, their antics are amusing,
(Just know that some may run away, while others may be snoozing).
But even so, come say hello – give in to cat seduction,
We’ll get you started on your way with this brief introduction.
Idaho’s an indoor cat; he’s pampered, sleek and happy,
He loves to eat his chicken bits and nap in Momma’s lappy.
On winter nights he stays inside and curls up by the fire,
In spring the open windows let him hear the birdie’s choir.
Leroy is the leader of the cats that live outside,
He’s a black tuxedo rascal with a lion’s royal pride.
He will be the first you’ll see, the one to give a greeting,
And Leroy is the first to give another cat a beating.
Zed is quite a scrapper with his dapper, long black coat,
He’s got a ton of cattitude and not much else of note.
He loves to run and climb the trees; he loves his kitty kibbles,
And when you’re busy petting him, he loves to give love nibbles.
Moe rhymes with “NO” – it’s apropos – the naughty little booger!
He’s also loving, cute and smart, and can be sweet as sugar.
He loves to chew on cardboard, eat the bills and tear up tissues,
Apparently this little guy is full of pulp-based issues.
With Boo it’s true you don’t see much, he tries not to be seen.
A solid black, big ‘fraidy cat, his birthday’s Halloween.
He slinks along behind the trees; he likes things nice and quiet.
And Boo’s the first to rush away should things become a riot.
Tina is the biggest cat and stately as a queen.
A calico with manners, she is never cross or mean.
She is fond of Chingo, and she finds his love inspiring,
Although his constant presence can occasionally be tiring.
Chingo is a tabby cat that sports a fat white tummy,
From thinking that most everything is absolutely yummy.
He’s in love with Tina, so much so it makes him loopy,
And when she is ignoring him, his tail gets sad and droopy.
Honey is the newest cat; he comes from who knows where,
He needs to learn to bathe and groom his honey colored hair.
He wants so badly to be loved, but runs away from petting,
You’ll always find the clumps of fur he leaves behind from shedding.
Rikki is a little man; he’s white with tabby patches,
He’s always mending from a scrape or one of many scratches.
Although he’s shy he’s quite a guy, he’s full of kitty charm;
The Momma’s constant worry is he’ll come to kitty harm.
Poor Grace is just a mental case and needs to get a clue.
She’s purring while you’re petting her, then bites before you’re through.
She has a way, like Puss in Boots, to look sad and appealing,
She could be sad, she could be mad – who knows what she is feeling!
Xena is a princess and our mighty warrior kitty.
She’s a pastel tortoiseshell, and just so itty-bitty.
She hunts for prey both night and day; you often see her stalking,
And when you hear her tiny voice, its daintiness is shocking.
That’s all the cats there are for now; the future is unwritten,
For if the Momma sees in need a kitten, she is smitten.
Come back to see the Copeland cats, they’re here at Copeland’s Haven,
You’ll recognize it by the sight of all the cat tails wavin’.