ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the October 4, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "fellowship" square in my 10-4-16 card for the Games and Sports fest. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.


"Creatures of Chaos"


Riposte did not believe -- no matter
who said it behind his back or
to his face -- that telepathic cats
were necessarily monsters.

They were, like supervillains,
merely creatures of chaos.

So he tried to restrain his temper
when Napoleon puked in his shoe,
or Cayenne destroyed the curtains, or
Mrrhow the Mercurial switched moods
like a channel-surfing toddler.

"You're going to spoil her,"
he said as he watched Lily
feeding tuna treats to Mrrhow.
"Also, catnip makes her stoned,
and she is a mean stoner."

Mrrhow the Mercurial rolled
onto her back and waved
her white paws in the air.

Riposte knew better than
to court certain death by
attempting to touch her.

"Oh, I'm not spoiling her,"
Lily said. "I'm just teaching her
that being around people has
some concrete advantages."

"That doesn't make it any safer
to get her stoned," Riposte said,
lifting a hand covered in bandaids.

"That's what this is for,"
Lily said smugly, picking up
a bath brush with a long handle.
She used it to stroke the white kitten.

For a minute, Mrrhow the Mercurial
stretched and purred beneath the bristles.

Then she abruptly turned ruthless,
curling around it to kick and claw
at the head with all four paws.

"Much as I adore her, she is still
a savage beast," Riposte said,
shaking his head at them.

As quickly as it began, the attack stopped,
and the kitten lay limp and innocent again.

Lily waited until Mrrhow was completely calm
before feeding her the next cat treat.
"She's not savage," Lily said. "She just
needs someone to understand her."

Riposte thought about that, and
wondered how he could translate
the idea of the long-handled brush
into coping with supervillains.

* * *

Notes:

Mrrhow the Mercurial -- She is a white female kitten with odd eyes; her left eye is blue and her right eye is yellow-green. Like many white cats, Mrrhow has impaired hearing, but she refuses to believe it, because she can typically 'borrow' someone else's hearing via her superpowers. But when she's alone, she can't hear well. She is the daughter of Macavity, younger sister of Cayenne and Napoleon. Currently they live with Riposte.
Origin: She was born with her superpowers.
Uniform: None. She goes nude.
Qualities: Good (+2) Elusive, Good (+2) Kitten
Poor (-2) Hard of Hearing
Powers:
Average (0) Telempathy
Motivation: To get away with things.

* * *
Here is a recipe for Tuna and Catnip Croutons.

Catnip has different effects on different cats -- they may love it, hate it, ignore it, etc. Some cats really are mean stoners.

Cats are also notorious for biting and clawing while being petted. There are some tips to reduce the tendency. But really, this map and this haiku capture the essence of the issue.

A long-handled brush may provide interaction while minimizing risk. Get the longest handle you can find, preferably on a brush with natural bristles and wood backing in case the cat chews on it.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-10 01:46 am (UTC)
thnidu: our cat (Ista)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Yep, that's my Ista.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-10 02:57 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Aww, kitty! I think it's cute when they start attacking my hand ... which says something about how fuzz-brained I am ... but then of my two cats (in KC) one generally shies away rather than play-scratches and the other is gentle with his claw-grip and doesn't break skin normally while doing it (unless I try to get away).

I've been known to playfully do this to (trusted) people too, if they are allowed to pet me and happen to do so incorrectly. My partner S occasionally thinks it's funny to pet in the wrong direction, which gets the appropriate response: RAWR!

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2016-10-10 01:41 pm (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
>> Yeah, there's a big difference between cats who just wrap around your hand and hold on vs. cats who try to rip your arm off. <<

The number of scars on the dopily infatuated cat owner servant who pets them anyway?
Edited (accuracy) Date: 2016-10-10 01:41 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-12 12:25 am (UTC)
chanter_greenie: a slightly faded picture of a three-legged torbie kitty cat with a lot of rust coloring in her fur (supermodel kitty)
From: [personal profile] chanter_greenie
*giggles* I can think of a kitty or two who might react this same way to the 'nip. The torbie in the icon got mellow under the influence, to the point of sharing lap space with other girl cats, which normally didn't happen.

Ms. Mercurial Prettykitty there=chaotic neutral? Hmmm... :)

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2016-10-12 06:05 am (UTC)
chanter_greenie: a slightly faded picture of a three-legged torbie kitty cat with a lot of rust coloring in her fur (supermodel kitty)
From: [personal profile] chanter_greenie
I <3 the chaotic kitty of ever-changing moods. The power of white paws waving in the air compels me. ... Ah heck, the power of 'aloof but not actively causing trouble' compels me, as in the first sighting we had of Mrrhow.

Unrelated, would you mind if I e-mailed you something much, much more suited to backchannel discussion?

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