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Stacy Mantle

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The Cat
by Stacy Mantle

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

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Recent poems by Stacy Mantle
•  People Pounding On My Door
•  Puppy for Adoption
•  An Ode to Poe
•  Once Upon A Midnight Dreary...
•  The Dancing Kitten
           >> View all 13

My most sincere apologies to Mr. Edgar Allen Poe...



This is the story of a "cat that came a tapping" the other night- terrifying both my husband and I, and our animals...  A horror story for the holidays...;)


Once upon a late night dreary, while watching TV, weak and weary,
Surfing through unusual, and mostly violent TV shows,
While we nodded, nearly napping, suddenly, there came a tapping,
As of someone hurriedly rapping, rapping at our small cat door.
"Tis some stray, " I muttered softly, "Tapping at our small cat door – Only this, and nothing more…"


Ah, distinctly I recall - it was during the late fall,
And each feral cat we have, scrambled in across the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - frightened of the constant rapping
of the feral cat a tapping – some sign of mind-crazed tapping -
For the horrid sound of door flap as it slammed against the door
Even coyote stopped his yapping, silent for evermore.


And the sad consistent tapping of the constant, steady rapping
Thrilled me - filled me with a terror, never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`'Tis some stray cat wanting entrance at my small cat door -
Some late visitor wanting entrance at my small cat door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'


Presently my heart grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Tom,' said I, `or Queen, your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was watching, and suddenly you came rapping,
And so loud you came a tapping, rapping at my small cat door,
That I ran to see you, scared to death - I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there seeing,
Doubting, fearful dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And no words were ever spoken, only hisses in the wind,
Brave, I hissed into the darkness, and an echo hiss returned...
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely, there is a cat at my small door;
Let me see what type he is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis a cat and nothing more!'


Suddenly, I flung the flap, when, with many a scattering yap,
And there stepped a big black cat of my neighbors house next door,.
Not the least obeisance made he; not an instant stopped or stayed;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched before my small cat door –
Sitting on the dirt before me, just outside my small cat door -
Sat, and sat, and nothing more.

Then the black cat, sitting lonely near the small cat door, spoke only,
Just one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a whisker then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Many cats have been before -
On the morrow will he leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the cat hissed, `Nevermore!'


This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the cat whose fiery eyes now burned through my small cat door;
This and more I sat divining, with the cats gathering behind me,
glancing through the small cat door that the flash-light gloated o'er,
But whose clear plastic flap with the flash-light gloating o'er,
He shall tap, ah, nevermore!

`Stray cat!' said I, `feral cat! - Feline still, if pet or stray! -
Whether tempter sent, or tempest tossed thee here at my cat door,
Desolate yet still undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
At this home by pets we’re stunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Are you - are you homeless? - Tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the feline, `Nevermore.'

`Be that word our sign of parting, pet or feral!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into thy home - go on through the neighbor’s door!
Do not bully my poor felines, and recognize that I hath spoken!
Leave my frightened pets unbroken! – disappear from my cat door!
Take thy tail from out my heart, and stop rapping at my door!'
Quoth the feline, `Nevermore.'

And the feline, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
Terrorizing all my kittens just outside my small cat door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a tom cat's that is dreaming,
And the flash-light o'er him streaming throws his fur upon the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

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Reviewed by Lois Christensen 5/17/2008
The photo is just like my gray cat Seashore her name is. She is 12 years old and follows me all around. Gets lonely when I go away and greets me with a loud MEOW WHEN I return home. I love to watch her when she crouches and eats her meals. She is a darling.
Reviewed by De Stanelli 10/25/2003
Well done write in POEtic form!
Reviewed by Vesna Vanessa 10/22/2003
..Well I must say I enjoyed this write very much..you are talented indeed!
Thankyou!

vesna
Reviewed by Anna Marie Fritz (Reader) 10/22/2003
Oh, Stacy, did I ever enjoy this frolicking over Poe's grave!
The Raven has always been one of my favorites, and now I
will consider your stray cat poem a favorite as well.
A lovely piece of work!
Reviewed by Erin Kelly-Moen 10/15/2003
Ha, enjoyed this so much, Stacy, marvelous story, flow and word choices! I have five cats, they stare at me, evermore... :D
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 10/14/2003
*purring contentedly* delightful write; that kitty reminds me of "savannah", a kitty that lives up the street from me! :) (((HUGS)))
Reviewed by Taylor Trenton (Reader) 10/14/2003
Wonderful write nice looking cat.
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 10/14/2003
Hey! We both posted cat stories at about the same time!! Don't apologize to Edgar; this is great stuff! Loved it!! Beautiful cat picture, too.
Reviewed by Cheryl Sellers 10/14/2003
Wonderful, thank you for writing this
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