Monday, 30 November -0001

Purrfect Poems

Cats have fascinated, amused and inspired poets for many years. With special thanks to the British Library, here are some of our favourites

Kitty: What She Thinks of Herself, William Brighty Rands (1823-1882)
I am the cat of cats. I am
The everlasting cat!
Cunning, and old, and sleek as jam,
The everlasting cat! I hunt vermin in the night – The everlasting cat!
For I see best without the light –
The everlasting cat!

Marigold, Richard Garnett (1835-1906)
She moved through the
garden in glory because
She had very long claws at the
end of her paws.
Her back was arched, her tail
was high.
A green fire glared in her
vivid eye;
And all the toms, though
never so bold,
Quailed at the martial
(From The Cats’ Newspaper c.1808)

Pussy Can Sit by the Fire, Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
Pussy can sit by the fire and
Pussy can climb a tree
Or play with a silly old cork
and string
To ‘muse herself, not me.
But I like Binkie my dog,
He knows how to behave;
So, Binkie’s the same as the
First Friend was,
And I am the Man in the Cave!
Pussy will play Man Friday till
It’s time to wet her paw
And make her walk on the
(For the footprint Crusoe saw);
Then she fluffles her tail and
And scratches and won’t
But Binkie will play whatever
I choose,
And he is my true First Friend!
Pussy will rub my knees with
her head
Pretending she loves me hard;
But the very minute I go to
my bed
Pussy runs out in the yard,
And there she stays till the
So I know it is only pretend
And he is my Firstest Friend.

The Shadow Kitten, Oliver Herford (1863-1935)
There’s a funny little kitten
that tries to look like me,
But, though I’m round and
fluffy, he’s as flat as flat can be;
And when I try to mew to him
he never makes a sound,
And when I jump into the air
he never leaves the ground.
He has a way of growling
I don’t understand at all.
Sometimes he’s very little and
sometimes he’s very tall.
And once when in the garden
when the sun came up
at dawn
He grew so big I think he
stretched half-way across
the lawn.

The Cat and the Rain, Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
Careful observers may foretell
the hour
(By sure prognostics) when to
dread a shower;
While rain depends, the
pensive cat gives o’er
Her frolics, and pursues her
tail no more.

I Had a Little Cat, Charles Causley (1917-2003)
I had a little cat called
Tim Tom Tay
I took him to town on
market day,
I combed his whiskers,
I brushed his tail,
I wrote on a label ‘Cat for Sale.
Knows how to deal with rats
and mice.
Two pounds fifty. Bargain

But when the people came
to buy
I saw such a look in Tim Tom’s
That it was clear as clear
could be
I couldn’t sell Tim for
a fortune’s fee.
I was shamed and sorry, I’ll tell
you plain
And I took home Tim Tom Tay

Do you have a poem about a cat you have known? Please send it to us at the usual Bedford Street address or by email to for possible inclusion in our 24 July double issue. 

The Cat And The Moon And Other Cat Poems, is published by The British Library, priced £7.99.

Forgot your password?
Click to read our digital edition

Boarders Dormitory Master-Mistress
We are looking to appoint a Dormitory Mistress/Master for 5 nights per week, weekday evenings and nights only, term time. (35 weeks). [...]


Housekeeper to Headmaster
We have an opportunity for an experienced live-out housekeeper. You will provide a cleaning and hospitality service for the Headmaster and his guests and help to ensure the household runs efficiently. [...]


Full Time Housekeeper, Nanny
We are looking for a full time, live-out housekeeper/nanny. We are a relaxed young couple living in a large country house, and will have one newborn baby. [...]


Experienced Carer, Companion, Housekeeper needed
Our elderly mother needs a live in carer/companion on a part time basis. Must be warm hearted, calm & compassionate, with a good sense of humour. [...]


Live-in Housekeeper
Our client is looking for a very capable, experienced individual to become the new housekeeper at their 6 bedroom, rural home. [...]




What the stars have in store for you this week.2017

Capricorn Aquarius Pisces Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius

Sign up to receive our weekly newsletter