Venus (or Bernie) in Furs

Venus in fursVenus of Urbino - Titian

(Venus of Urbino by Titian)

I am a humble pussy cat
my fur is red and white
I’m not a Renaissance painter’s dream
or a swordsman of great might

I lived with my owner till she died
then they put me in a cage
I lived there forever, it seemed
I wondered if I’d be saved

Now I have lots of furry friends
and good (diet) food to eat
scratch posts and mouse toys to play with
my world is quite complete

So don’t forget–it’s never too late
for good things to happen to you
don’t ever give up, be steadfast
and your dreams can come true

 

A Cat’s Life

Quincy twisting

I twist on the sofa like a pretzel knot,

it’s a cat’s life for me.

I don’t know why you’re so busy, but I am not,

it’s a cat’s life for me.

I supervise as you iron the clothes, mop the floor,

but I never soil my paws.

When you clean the toilet, I sometimes jump in.

You towel me off.

I like to be swaddled,

but then I want to be free.

I slap at the blinds till you open the window,

to observe the happenings in my backyard–

Quincy in window

It’s a good life for me.

Why do you go into the world?

It’s better in here.

We have everything we need:

food, toys, a cup of joe,

a cup a joe

cozy napping places.

Quincy TGIF

I like to go in the yard,

leashed

but then

Quince in bag

it’s back in in my bag.

It’s a cat’s life for me.

(all photos by E. Herd)

 

The Man with the Handlebar Mustache

mustache man

(photo by Darrell Miller)

Ascending the escalator towards Gate 224 was a gentleman in a pin-striped navy suit jacket, lemony linen shorts and boat shoes. We stood on the same line for the express bus.

He turned around, looking in the direction of hopefully soon-to-be oncoming buses, and said, “What do you think will come next, a 162 or 163T?”

There was a mischievous twinkle in his eye, as if we were playing a game. His white handlebar mustache and round greenish-brown-tinted sunglasses added to his mystique.

I smiled and said, “I don’t know. I leave it to you.”

“I predict it will be a 162: they usually follow the 144.”

He had the mien of George Plimpton or Peter O’Toole: the height, the long limbs, the carriage, the comfort in his own skin. Underneath the jacket he wore a button-down dress shirt and delicately patterned pink bow tie.

Within five minutes, the 162 bus barreled through. The gentleman turned around at me and smiled. I smiled back.

“You were right!” I said.

No smugness in his victory, only playfulness and fun.

I wondered about him—did he own a yacht, why did he live in New Jersey, why would a man like him take the bus?

A young man standing between us on line turned to me and said, “Do you want to sit together?”

“No, we don’t know each other,” I said.

The gentleman exited the bus in Hackensack. I didn’t picture him as a Hackensack resident. He seemed more a Cherry Hill sort, but that’s another bus line. A Billy Joel line ran through my head, “Who needs a house out in Hackensack, is that all you get for your money?”

People continue to amaze me. I suppose that’s a good thing.

 

High Five

blue boy

(photo by Gisella Klein)

The little boy was standing near the corner of 40th Street and 8th Avenue, across the street from Port Authority Bus Terminal. He was standing to one side of the amNew York newspaper rack and in front of his parents who were pouring over a map. I presume it was a map of New York City. Clearly, they were tourists.

The little boy could not have been more than four or five, his right hand held out to the side so people could “high five” him as they rushed by. Only they didn’t all rush by. Some slowed down, miraculously, to slap his tiny hand. New Yorkers are not known for slowing down for anyone. His smile so wide and bright you’d think this was Disneyland or some other fairy tale place, magical and full of wonder. His parents seemed either oblivious to what he was doing or felt he was safe, or both.

I stopped in my tracks for a moment, thinking this might be a joke, watching the man walking in front of me high-five the boy. I thought, I’m not gonna do that, it’s too weird. But then a flash of whimsy overcame me, and I slapped the boy’s somewhat grubby hand. What a smile! He was the human toll booth you had to pass, but didn’t have to pay. You could ignore him and walk on by, but why would you miss an opportunity for pure joy, however fleeting?

It made the bus ride home so much sweeter.

Jesus Hates Commuting

I thought it was only me and thousands of other working people, but it turns out that Jesus hates commuting too. How do I know? Well, he appeared to me on the NJ Transit bus the other day.

He was a tall African American with chiseled features, wearing jeans, a button down white shirt and Birkenstocks.

Before sitting next to me, he removed the soiled coffee cup and food wrappers wedged in beside his seat.

“How can you stand this?” He said.

“I don’t know, Jesus. I guess we just get used to it.”

“And the mildew and dust?” He said, coughing.

“The same. If you don’t mind me asking, Jesus, why are you in New Jersey?”

“Trying to convince Governor Christie from running for president. Not sure I succeeded.”

We sat outside the “teardrop” NJ Turnpike toll plaza for almost thirty minutes. It was 9:00.

“I have to be somewhere at 9:30,” He said.

“So do most of us,” I said. “Can you fix it?”

“This is beyond my powers,” He said, shaking his dreadlocks.

I thought to myself, If that’s the case, then we are royally fucked. I didn’t think Jesus would approve of profanity.

Jesus sneezed.

“God bless you,” I said.

He looked at me quizzically.

“Oh, sorry,” I said.

“Are you late for work every day?” Jesus said.

“Not every day, maybe every other day.”

“How do you accomplish anything ?”

“It’s a challenge.”

Jesus started to sweat.

“Hey, Jesus, do you want to listen to Pandora or read the paper? It’ll pass the time.”

“What’s Pandora?” He said.

“It’s a radio station on the iPhone.” I pulled out my phone to show Him.

“Oh, cool. Sure.”

He was rocking out to the Five Blind Boys of Alabama singing “I’ll Fly Away.”

It was 9:26 when we arrived at Port Authority Bus Terminal.

“Where are you headed, Jesus?”

“I’ve got to be at the Brooklyn Bridge to stop someone from doing something stupid.”

“You won’t make it, Jesus.”

“Shit! I mean, shoot,” He said.

“It’s okay, Jesus. Commuting’ll do that to you.”

“I don’t know how you stand it, Erica. I hate commuting.”

We shook hands before exiting the bus; then Jesus flew down a flight of stairs.

The Lady in the Robe

mannequin

mannequin - side angle

Is she a prisoner
or a confused supermodel
the Lady in the Robe

Does she wonder how
she landed in a Chemist’s on Park
our Lady in the Robe

Is she a meeter and greeter,
or did she go for a spa day
to wind up in that thing

Is she tired or
or besotted with ennui
watching pedestrians zag and zig

or a time traveler,
a Twilight Zone character–
walking the floors at night

Nothing fazes her,
she’s a real New Yorker
she never gets uptight

I hope she enjoys her weekend
whether in or out of bath wear
she needs a break from
watching the streets
our Lady in the terry

*photos by E. Herd

 

Pudu Makes It Better

 

 

pudu

(photo – cnn.com)

This 6×6 inch deer
could fit inside your shoe
unlike Thumbelina or Tinkerbell
he was born at the Queens Zoo

tinkerbell

(google images)

It’s hard to be upset or sad
when looking at this fellow
he can calm the worried heart
and make the Angry mellow

The smallest deer species in the world
He prefers solitude and likes to hide
He sprints and jumps with savoir faire
And barks when danger abides

Well that’s the story of the pudu
I hope it makes you smile
and transports you from mundanities
If only for a while

Chuckles, the Bus Driver

sad clown mural

Will Russell

Chuckles is the saddest bus driver you ever did see
but he isn’t testy, and he isn’t mean
he picks us up at the same time every day
but when you say “good morning,” he turns the other way

I’ve tried to get through to him, Lord knows I have
hoping on a Friday he wouldn’t be so sad
still sullen as ever, he turns the other cheek
perhaps he’s simply mild-mannered or meek

I wonder if I poked him or brought him a beer
you think that would cheer him, or would he think it queer?
of course, I’d tell him it was for after his shift
wouldn’t want him to get in trouble or drive us into a ditch

Perhaps a mug that says “Best Bus Driver Ever” would do the trick
or would that go against driver / commuter etiquette?
What about Bus Drivers Appreciation Day, I think it would be swell
they certainly deserve it, they go through hell

Commuters yell at them when buses are late
we know they’re not to blame, but sometimes haters gotta hate
we could storm Christie’s office, demand the transit system be improved
but Governor Christie, as we know, has more important things to do

Despite his glum demeanor, I hope Chuckles finds joy
perhaps he’s a Rhodes scholar, and is merely underemployed
at least he has a job, we all know that is a boon
so Happy Friday all, and remember, your bus driver has a heart too.

The Cat’s in the Bag

Pince in tote

I sit in the tote bag
and watch the world
although my eyes cannot see.
I feel the vibrations,
smell food and friends
and know everything’s as it should be

I knock over trash cans
and lay in them
sometimes I fall asleep
I huddle in a shopping bag or box–
just about anything

Quince in bag

Q in box

My humans carry me in the basket
up and downstairs
I don’t want to get out,
so I hiss, but I’m not angry

Quincy and laundry basket

I like to pet the Christmas tree,
smell its needles,
and let him know he’s okay.

Quince and tree

 

(poem by Quincy, photos by his human, Erica)

Tummy Rub Tuesday

Katzenworld has an ongoing Tummy Rub Tuesday (TRT) challenge, featuring cats baring their tummies (or not).  Here is my contribution for the day.  I couldn’t decide on just one photo, so I’m including a few.

Lewd Q

Quincy cooling his jets (photo, E. Herd)

Sammo

Samson on the dining room table: “Feline, it’s what’s for dinner.”  (photo, E. Herd)

yoga cat

Samson taking a yoga break at the keyboard (photo, L.E. Swenson)

Hope this brightened your day!

Share your own tummy rub photos at Katzenworld.