Poetry Friday: “Cat Breath”

I was going through some of my old(er) poetry and stumbled upon a short poem I wrote almost exactly 13 years ago, in late Feb. 2001.

At the time, we had a cat my daughter had named Dozey – a black kitty poetryfridaybutton-fulllwho always looked like he was napping, even when he was awake! Anyway, he had come over to me and started rubbing his face in mine, as cats often do, and it was at that moment I was struck by how horrendously putrid his breath was – we’re talking eye-tearing, nose-numbing, knock-a-buzzard-off-a-manure-wagon bad.

When I finally regained consciousness, I set about writing my experience down in verse. This is what I came up with. And for more fun, Anasatasia Suen has the complete poetry Friday roundup at her blog, Poet!

Cat Breath (for Dozey)

A cross between some tuna fish
and salmon three days old;
perhaps some stinky cheddar cheese
that’s growing fuzzy mold.
A whiff of bird, a hint of mouse,
the sour milk he had…
what is that one ingredient
that makes cat breath so bad??

© 2001, Matt Forrest Esenwine

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25 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “Cat Breath”

  1. Love this, Matt! Our cat, Cupcake, has putrid breath, too. Personally, I think it’s her tongue that’s to blame, though I’m not about to make a list of the culprits that I think linger there.

    1. Thanks, folks! Renee, my daughter Lauren subsequently had ANOTHER all-black cat, which we were struggling to name – until I came up with Nosferatu, which was perfect, as he looked like a little bat when you held him up! His nickname was Nosey…and he was exactly that, too!

    1. Thanks, Heidi, I’m glad I bring some sunshine to your Juicy Little Universe! It’s going to require some brain power to come up with bloggers and questions…so let me work on it, and I’ll let you know when I post mine!

  2. maryleehahn

    You had me at the title. HA! Perfect poem. Going to hug my kitty now and see if I can detect that secret ingredient. Kibble, perhaps? Or slime of hairball?

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