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The Language of Cat

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Look at these 5 words from the first verse of the poem: blink, stare, purr, hiss, saunter. Say each of these out loud 3 times. On your own or with a partner move around the room doing these actions. Which words do you like best in the poem to describe ‘the language of cat’?

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Teach me the language of Cat;
the slow-motion blink, that crystal stare,
a tight-lipped purr and a wide-mouthed hiss.
Let me walk with a saunter, nose in the air.

Teach my ears the way to ignore
names that I’m called. May they only twitch
to the distant shake of a boxful of biscuits,
the clink of a fork on a china dish.

Teach me that vanishing trick
where dents in cushions appear, and I’m missed.
Show me the high-wire trip along fences
to hideaway places, that no-one but me knows exist.

Don’t teach me Dog,
all eager to please, that slobbers, yaps and begs for a pat,
that sits when told by its owner, that’s led on a lead.
No, not that. Teach me the language of Cat.

The Language of Cat

by Rachel Rooney