The cats of Dakar are a curious breed—
Imagine a hyena mixed in with a Swede.
They often remind me of guys from The Bronx
Who swagger around in black pick-up trucks
And brag to their gang, She means nothing to me—-
Then weep and go limp when she threatens to leave.

A few cats of Dakar I happen to know.
Two lounge here, supine–intertwined–on the floor
In a slant of sunlight, a fan flutters their fur—
One stretches a paw and issues a purr,
And gazes at me in that “I’m so asleep” way—
It’s hard to believe that three weeks to the day,
Scavenging trash with the punks of Ngor,
We found this big orange cat and his little grey whore.

(It reminds me of another cat’s plight—
who lived alone in house built by Frank Lloyd Wright.
It just goes to show that if you cultivate passion,
you may sleep in a ditch, but wake up a Kardashian.)

Last night we had dinner at a fancy sea place
And I wept for my home, for the past, for God’s grace—
When a cat, a great cat—all fluff and perfume,
Gallant and haughty and Queen of the Room—
Waltzed right over and whispered to me,
There are worse fates, my dear, than a life by the sea.

I’m not sure what next to write,
Except the cats of Dakar just make things right.
Apologies, dog friends, but cats have a way—
And I plan to live with one hundred, someday.


4 thoughts on “The Cats of Dakar

  1. Nicole says:

    And you have a way too, my friend, with your beautiful words. Here’s to the Cats of Dakar, plus one little deaf black cat in Patan, Nepal, who meows loudly at people all day, and plays with her ping pong balls and grooms herself as if she hadn’t just lived through 2 very large earthquakes!


  2. gallaudet says:

    The five (now six, since another moved in beneath our porch) cats of 135 Old Ferry Road, Newburyport, send greetings and a mouse (what’s left of the one which somebody consumed on my bedroom floor last night) to the cats of Dakar.

    And this human sends her love to the humans of Dakar as well.


  3. nancy says:

    With her clarity and exactness Emile has taken me to her new land and the two cats who now command starring roles

    Thank you my friend

    Miss you


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