Posts Tagged ‘cat’


          (For Sheryl)


Where did you go, Little Girl,

Weren’t you just here?

It seems we just played dolls and house

Or was that yesteryear?

Didn’t we tea party yesterday

(It seems so to me)

As we dressed your lovely little dolls

In all their finery


My recollections are vivid

Of blond be-ribboned curls

And dresses full of ruffles and lace

Like most little girls.

Too quick you leave behind you

That sweet adorable age

But I will treasure always

Memories of that stage


Like the many clever comments

And cute antics seen

And stories galore about pretend friends

Mr. Ralph and sweet Charlene

Mr. Ralph (your remarkable Teacher)

Blew smoke rings out his ears

Sweet Charlene (your unseen friend)

Shared secrets, hopes, and fears


Of course, there were endless questions

Like, “How does it make it dark?”

“Does dandruff have legs, Mom?”

And “How come cats don’t bark?”

When others kept annoying you

You’d say, as you frowned

“Will you guys leave me alone?”

And quit foodle-doodelin’ around


You even had a cuss word

(At least in your view)

When angry at Dave, you’d say

“Oh you, you, you Harriet, you.”

Whenever you were naughty

Or erred in some way

You tried to blame our little dog

To lead my thoughts astray.


 With a question in your voice

(So it wouldn’t be a lie)

You hoped to escape punishment

By giving this reply

“Maybe Lucky did it, Mama?”

Then, trying to be coy

You’d turn to the dog, scolding –

“Lucky, you’re a bad bad boy!”


I’ll never forget your helpfulness

Concerning the cat, one day

When you helped her with her grooming

(Much to my dismay)

When Calico came to the kitchen

Looking scruffy and somewhat wet

I asked you what had happened

To your furry little pet


Then looking very wise, you said,

“I just happened to think

That since her hands are very small

And she can’t reach the sink

It’s hard for her to wash herself

She needs someone to help her

So I kept licking MY hand, too

And I’d rub it on her fur.”


The things that I’ve related here

Are treasures in my mind

Recalling feelings from the past

Of the sweetest kind

Told here with warm nostalgia

Each incident the truth

Meant only to recall for us

A picture of your youth

And though they’re only samples

From time, as you grew

They’ll always be remembered

As little bits of you.


 8/10/58    Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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I saw a cat approach you

As  you fluttered on the ground

Prepared to pounce upon you

Without the slightest sound 


I hurried to your rescue

And got there just in time

To save you from an early death

While you are in your prime


Then I took you to my garden

Where a flowered bush grows

And there you sipped the nectar

From the center of a rose


Then you basked in golden sunshine                 

And dried your dew-damp wings

While I enjoyed the beauty

That a butterfly brings


1/20/01 – Phyliis DeWitt VanVleck

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The puppy piddled on the floor

And then he did a little more

The kitten snagged my favorite chair

There’s cat and dog hair everywhere


The dog chews everything he sees

And spends much time just scratching fleas

The cat climbs drapes and jumps on stuff

Oh, having them is mighty rough


They let you know you’re there to serve

They do it fast, with guile and verve

Before you know it, you’re on a hook

And they can do that with one look


But I’m rewarded every day

When they get tired of games to play

They curl upon my lap to sleep

Entwined in one small furry heap


2/10/00 Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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This poem is based upon a true story of the night my grandfather decided to swear off liquor.



The old man stumbled up the stairs,

Too drunk to stand up straight.

His clothing reeked of rum and gin,

And he was feeling great!

Tobacco spittle made small streams

In creases made by age.

His shameful drunken stupor

Filled his daughter-in-law with rage.


Lecturing on such evil ways,

She threatened him once more

That the Devil was sure to get him,

As he groveled on the floor.

Her threats did not impress the man,

For he loved booze, you see.

And so he’d say, Devil belief,

Is just a fantasy.


The old man lurched into his room

And reached up for the light,

Forgetting that the switch-plate guard

Had fallen off last night.

His finger reached the open switch,

And expletives were spat.

Then jumping back in terror,

He stepped on his pet cat.


The startled cat extended claws

And raked the old man’s arm.

The old man fell across the dog,

Who bit in his alarm.

All three headed for the stairs

With scream and yowl and bark;

They tangled in their struggles

And rolled down in the dark.


The din was unbelievable!

The old man’s shouts were clear

As he screamed in downright terror,



They lit in one sad trembling pile

The pets ran out the door

The old man sat there muttering,

“No more! No more! No more!”

The cat and dog, no worse for wear,

Survived their awful fright,

And the old man’s Devil encounter

Made him swear off booze that night.


4/29/91        Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck


5’th … Arkansas NPD – 1992

4’th … Arkansas NPD – 1995

4’th … Arkansas W C – 2001

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I thought I would start off my Weblog with something to make everyone laugh. I know the residents of Martinsville, Indiana, could use one as they sop up the flood water. It’s a bit long, but I hope you will enjoy it and I look forward to your response.



          THE PICNIC


It was that special day again

Awaited all year long

It was planned with such perfection

That nothing could go wrong


With games and food and sing-a-long

Prepared in great detail

The clan converged at forest glen

And herein starts my tale


Some sheets were spread upon the ground

And food was placed thereon

With space enough around the edge

To seat the hungry throng


It started when Samantha Sue

Performed her annual feat

She upchucked everything she ate

Upon the picnic sheet


Obnoxious little Curtis Lee

Dropped bugs in Elmer’s plate

Old Elmer never noticed them

And relished what he ate


Aunt Martha brought her terrier

And Elsie brought her cat

The cat and dog were enemies

So hissed and barked and spat


They tugged at leash and chewed on rope

And finally they were free

The chase was on, right through the food

Up to a nearby tree


The cat then jumped upon the dog

I can’t describe the scenes

As they tangled in the salad

And fell into the beans

Then dripping beans from nose and tails

The chase led near a log

Where they disturbed a hive of bees

Who then chased cat and dog


Forgotten was their hateful feud

And running from the bees

They jumped upon the Preacher’s wife

And scratched her arms and knees


The woman, screaming from her fright

Pushed cat and dog away

She swatted bees with paper plates

Then fled, in her dismay


Well, cat and dog and Preacher’s wife

With bees in close pursuit

Ran right on through the food again

And squashed a bowl of fruit


With shoe caught in a melon wedge

Miz Preacher set the pace

For cat and dog and angry bees

Like some made comic race


They headed for a scummy pond

The Preacher’s wife jumped in

The dog and cat joined her there

In water to her chin


The cat and dog were terrified

And shared the woman’s space

The dog was first – sat on her head

With cat astride her face


The Preacher’s wife was traumatized

I know, I heard her swear

A string of words not fit for man

As she dislodged the pair 

The bees turned back, still angry

And headed up the hill

Our group, in mass, ran screaming

Including cousin Will


He headed for the old outhouse

And in his drunken role

He lost his balance in his haste

And fell into the hole


In extricating Uncle Will

(And laughing as he did)

John’s teeth fell out, and need I tell

Just where the darn things slid


He scooped them out with hot-dog forks

And washed them off with beer

Then placed them on a log to air

And blushed from ear to ear


Then Martha’s dog grabbed the teeth . . .

John’s anger was afire

And another chase was under way

Through bramble-bush and briar


Emerging from the underbrush

John’s language was a sin

The teeth were caught in Fido’s mouth

In toothy canine grin


Hank caught the dog as he ran past

And pulled the denture free

The dog then showed his gratitude

And bit him on the knee


So Hank let out a piercing scream

And cursed his luckless fate

Just then a crow high overhead

Dropped bird-doo on his pate 

It splattered down in Hank’s toupee

And whitewashed jet black curls

What made it worse was when he heard

The laughter from the girls


He shook the wig against a bush

Arousing skunks near-by

One lifted up his angry tail

And let his essence fly


Those catching spray coughed and wheezed

And rolled upon the ground,

They burned their clothes, right on the spot

And in the sheets were wound


Mosquitoes tortured everyone

And chiggers did their best

To make us scratch in misery

And put us to the test


The wind blew sand in everything

In food, and eyes, and nose

And sunburns were a sizzling red

From bald heads to bare toes


Small babies cried relentlessly

And children fought all day

“Dear Lord, please let this day speed by!”

I heard the Mothers pray


To top it off, as if on cue

Dark clouds then drifted in

The rain came down in buckets full

And soaked us to the skin


We rushed to pack our things away

But shouts were loud and clear …

“It’s sure been a wonderful day!

Let’s do it again next year!”



7/27/92                Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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