My wise old tom, you’re sleeping by the window,
tail twitching as you heave a dreamy sigh.
At lunchtime you may cautiously turn over,
and at dusk you’ll raise one glowing-amber eye.
I remember how you chased and hunted nightly,
the scourge of mice and birds for miles around,
now you dream of better days, of distant glory
and the kitchen where your breakfast can be found
Once king of all the gardens in the village,
you’d choose a different one with care each day
to be the proud recipient of your ‘gift’,
well buried, for that was, of course, your way.
You prowled the quiet streets with gay abandon,
impregnated every queen that ever moved.
Now scores of white and ginger furry felines
say virility was yours, and has been proved.
(Oh tom, I swear you must have spawned an army
on those velvet summer nights, so sweet and balmy)
Black princeling cats now prowl within your garden
and dare mince beneath your nose, within your sight,
pausing not to catch your scent or beg your pardon.
You dismiss them as unworthy of the fight
You know they are but callow imitations
bereft of all your grace, your wit and style,
just a cheap and ill-designed impersonation,
so you watch, and for a moment seem to smile.
Then nose beneath your tail you’ll drift away again
and in your dreams patrol elysian heights.
It’s a canny cat that knows his limitations
and keeps his old bones warm on winter nights.
Dream on, tom.