The Land of Broken Cats
By Tamara Burnham
An Animal Rights Poem from All-Creatures.org

All of God's creatures have rights, a fact that most people don't seem to recognize. This includes both human and non-human animals, but not all of them can speak for themselves.

The Land of Broken Cats
By Tamara Burnham

Sometimes the juggernaut's wheel comes
slowly, sometimes fast, the steely
ratio of pounds to ounces one
sure way of separating all nine
lives from feline flesh.

Sometimes it is the grey owl's wings
sweeping in the black night. On this
witch's taloned broomstick
cats can fly
if only briefly.

Or it's the coyote's white-hot bite
severing the spinal cord
No more midnight music
will be heard, not
from that cat.

And sometimes it is only simple
starving. Ivory bones
seek a way out through fur
thinner than a well-worn rug.
Fine eyes dim.

Few find the land of broken cats:
the tenth life.

In the land of broken cats, milk
flows like water. Tuna waits,
with other heavenly morsels,
on pristine plates.
Only soft cushions,
only warm laps,
only cozy fires,
only catnip mice.

God smiles:
paradise.

cat companions Zissy



Originally published in The Animals Voice Magazine, 1988

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