Guy Wetmore Carryl

(1873-1904 / the United States)

How A Cat Was Annoyed And A Poet Was Booted - Poem by Guy Wetmore Carryl

A poet had a cat.
There is nothing odd in that—
(I might make a little pun about the Mews!)
But what is really more
Remarkable, she wore
A pair of pointed patent-leather shoes.
And I doubt me greatly whether
E'er you heard the like of that:
Pointed shoes of patent-leather
On a cat!

His time he used to pass
Writing sonnets, on the grass—
(I might say something good on pen and sward!)
While the cat sat near at hand,
Trying hard to understand
The poems he occasionally roared.
(I myself possess a feline,
But when poetry I roar
He is sure to make a bee-line
For the door.)

The poet, cent by cent,
All his patrimony spent—
(I might tell how he went from verse to werse!)
Till the cat was sure she could,
By advising, do him good.
So addressed him in a manner that was terse:
'We are bound toward the scuppers,
And the time has come to act,
Or we'll both be on our uppers
For a fact!'

On her boot she fixed her eye,
But the boot made no reply—
(I might say: 'Couldn't speak to save its sole!')
And the foolish bard, instead
Of responding, only read
A verse that wasn't bad upon the whole.
And it pleased the cat so greatly,
Though she knew not what it meant,
That I'll quote approximately
How it went:—

'If I should live to be
The last leaf upon the tree'—
(I might put in: 'I think I'd just as leaf!')
'Let them smile, as I do now,
At the old forsaken bough'—
Well, he'd plagiarized it bodily, in brief!
But that cat of simple breeding
Couldn't read the lines between,
So she took it to a leading

She was jarred and very sore
When they showed her to the door.
(I might hit off the door that was a jar!)
To the spot she swift returned
Where the poet sighed and yearned,
And she told him that he'd gone a little far.
'Your performance with this rhyme has
Made me absolutely sick,'
She remarked. 'I think the time has
Come to kick!'

I could fill up half the page
With descriptions of her rage—
(I might say that she went a bit too fur!)
When he smiled and murmured: 'Shoo!'
'There is one thing I can do!'
She answered with a wrathful kind of purr.
'You may shoo me, and it suit you,
But I feel my conscience bid
Me, as tit for tat, to boot you!'
(Which she did.)

The Moral of the plot
(Though I say it, as should not!)
Is: An editor is difficult to suit.
But again there're other times
When the man who fashions rhymes
Is a rascal, and a bully one to boot!

Comments about How A Cat Was Annoyed And A Poet Was Booted by Guy Wetmore Carryl

  • Practicing Poetess (3/12/2017 12:03:00 AM)

    This is adorable! Lost count of how many times I laughed!
    I'm only sorry that Mr. Carryl is no longer with us, so that I could commend him in person!
    (Report) Reply

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  • Alisha Castle (2/6/2016 1:26:00 AM)

    Beautiful poetry indeed..................... (Report) Reply

  • (2/1/2016 10:52:00 PM)

    Cats can be very judgmental. Don't take it purrsonally. (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (1/30/2016 2:10:00 PM)

    Gee, that was sure punny! ! ! ! Haven't had such pun in a long time! Purrrsonally, I thought this was the cat's meow. Okay, so I am not in the same witty bracket as Guy Wetmore Carryl. (Report) Reply

  • Kim Barney (1/30/2016 9:06:00 AM)

    Entertaining poem.
    There seems to be a misprint on line 3 of the second verse. I think that should be SWORD instead of SWARD. That would make it rhyme with ROARED on the sixth line of the same verse.
    (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (1/30/2016 6:47:00 AM)

    The act of nature. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (1/30/2016 4:43:00 AM)

    Crafty poem. Nicely written. (Report) Reply

  • (1/30/2016 4:05:00 AM)

    A beautifully penned entertaining interesting read. It is refreshing too. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (1/30/2016 1:45:00 AM)

    This is indeed a great mood freshener. The role played by cat is no less than that of the poet.
    'I myself possess a feline / But when poetry I roar / He is sure to make a bee-line / For the door'.
    (Report) Reply

  • (1/30/2016 12:47:00 AM)

    my cat can be very judgemental also. dont take it purrsonally (Report) Reply

  • (1/30/2016 12:46:00 AM)

    my cat can be very judgemental also. dont take purrsonally (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (1/30/2016 12:31:00 AM)

    Very nice poetry. enjoyed. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 7, 2010

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