Addressing a Cat (by TS Elliott)
The Ad dressing of Cats by T. S. Elliott
You've read of several kinds of Cat, And my opinion now is that You should need no interpreter to understand their character. You now have learned enough to see That Cats are much like you and me And other people whome we find Possessed of various types of mind. For some are sane and some are mad And some are good and some are bad And some are better, some are worse But all may be described in verse. You've seen them both at work and games, And learnt about their proper names, Their habits and their habitat: But How would you ad dress a Cat? So first, your memory I'll jog, And say: A CAT IS NOT A DOG. Now Dogs pretend they like to fight; They often bark, more seldom bite; But yet a Dog is, on the whole, What you would call a simple soul. Of course I'm not including Pekes, And such fantastic canine freaks. The usual Dog about the Town Is much inclined to play the clown, And far from showing too much pride Is frequently undignified. He's very easily taken in Just chuck him underneath the chin Or slap his back or shake his paw, And he will gambol and guffaw. He's such an easy going lout, He'll answer any hail or shout. Again I must remind you that A Dog's a Dog A CAT'S A CAT. With Cats, some say, one rule is true: Don't speak till you are spoken to. Myself, I do not hold with that I say, you should ad dress a Cat. But always keep in mind that he Resents familiarity. I bow, and taking off my hat, Ad dress him in this form: O CAT! But if he is the Cat next door, Whom I have often met before (He comes to see me in my flat) I greet him with an OOPSA CAT! I've heard them call him James Buz James But we've not got so far as names. Before a Cat will condescend To treat you as a trusted friend, Some little token of esteem Is needed, like a dish of cream; And you might now and then supply Some caviare, or Strassburg Pie, Some potted grouse, or salmon paste He's sure to have his personal taste. (I know a Cat, who makes a habit Of eating nothing else but rabbit, And when he's finished, licks his paws So's not to waste the onion sauce.) A Cat's entitled to expect These evidences of respect. And so in time you reach your aim, And finally call him by his NAME. So this is this, and that is that: And there's how you AD DRESS A CAT.
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