The Owl and the Pussycat


Cat sat squarely in the middle of our best beach towel and lapped at the bowl of soup I had placed for my lunch, using my favourite Wedgewood for the purpose. I gave her my most demeaning stare – “oh dear pussy, why can’t you use a spoon like normal people. The runcible spoon was good enough for the mince, so surely it’s good enough for soup? I don’t want to share your slobber.” But Cat insists on drinking her soup like tea. She looked up at me, licked her lips and belched. I stood up, no longer hungry, and walked off along the beach. How did I get myself into this mess? Eating soup for lunch, married to a cat and stranded on a desert island with a pig and a turkey for our only neighbours, and a bong tree for our only shade.

I’m not sure why I chose soup for lunch on a day at the beach. Probably just looking to settle my tummy. I’ve not felt the same since we gorged ourselves on quince and honey after spending a year and a day that tiny little boat, bobbing about on the ocean. The colour was so apt, for it matched my face by the end of that horrendous voyage.

I don’t know what I ever saw in that cat. They say opposites attract, but why I ever thought an owl and a cat could make good bedfellows I will never understand. I guess those beguiling eyes were all it took. That and the fact that her tongue could reach places I didn’t know existed, and she could get her legs behind her ears. But that was before she took to lazing all day on our only beach towel (we should really have packed better), stuffing her fat feline face with honey, mince and sliced quince.

Such a fool was I. A professor, attracted to a student. And all she wanted was good marks. I was such a fool to do the chasing. The wise one, the Old Sage, now there’s a joke. Oh she was much wiser than I, that I can see now. She saw me for the old feathery fool I am, then used her feline wiles to lure me in and trap me in a loveless marriage, bound together by the ring from a pig’s nose. Oh the tragedy, the irony, the utter humiliation for a member of the Fine Order of Wisdom to be reduced to a shadow of his former self, a sparrow no less.

What’s that? What’s wrong with my wings? Well nothing! Oh yes, I see what you mean. Don’t think I’ve not thought of flying off and leaving the vicious little pussy, but what kind of a nobleman deserts his wife? What kind of nobleman goes back on his word, however deviously that word was extracted from his lips? I’m hoisted by my own petard, for was it not I who lusted for the promise of a beguiling young puss-puss? No, it is she who must end this sham of a marriage and free me to lick my wounds as she so memorably licked herself that hot summer’s day.

Forgive me, for I must cogitate on the solution to this enigma. I thank you for listening to the ramblings of an old owl. And pray I have not spoiled forever your pleasure of Mr Lear’s fine words of our young romance. For he was not to know that in so writing, he was to entwine me in this eternity of torment.

(written tongue-in-cheek in response to the Daily Post prompt: An Odd Trio – Today, you can write about whatever you what — but your post must include, in whatever role you see fit, a cat, a bowl of soup, and a beach towel). With apologies to Edward Lear.


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