Sonnets from the Porch – and Geese

Midnight approached quickly.  What an active 24 hours of advocacy on behalf of local wild-life, not found in taverns but rather the world of nature.  Printer loaded, Talk of the Town’s account of Squawk Back activities entered into scan mode.

Vtech phone jingled off the hook.  Information from a dear friend, freshly home recuperating from thyroid surgery, involved this self-pronounced “cat-whisperer” rescuing a severely crippled kitten.  Pretty chum Laurie planned to deliver Elizabeth Barrett Browning within 15 short minutes.

Two ladies in bathrobes, a prolonged transfer from a cardboard box to a certified, appropriately sanctioned feline carrier, accompanied by tears-smiles-hugs activated our porch’s motion lights. Lizzie Beth commenced her journey to safety.

Veterinarians own my soul similarly to Tennessee Ernie Ford’s which belonged to the “company store”!  Lizzie Betty’s nerve damaged-front leg demands amputation, and only my commitment to possibly a paper route might generate enough pennies in the piggy bank to cover a $700 operation of that magnitude.

Thus, years filled with visiting the good doctors Coble & Waterfall, Richey & Mawhorter, Rogers & Glidewell serve me well.  Observation, acquisition of patience, and emotional investment tempered with common sense play front and center.

As 250 geese plus goslings gained a reprieve this summer of 2010 and live out their lives for at least one more year, I now focus on this kitten’s maturation underscored by her good health.  Money’s tight; magic’s not.

Regretting with all of my might that I shunned Chemistry 1 and 2…as well as Physics, while only engaging in mandatory freshman Biology taught by the amazing Leon Alter, I, alas, am not a DVM.  However, I am a former English and Language Arts teacher, inspired by Lois Walter and Mary Jane Lesh and a hand-ful of Literary professors, and composed this Shakespearean ditty. Since Will borrowed his sonnet form from Italian Guittone of Arezzo, I feel no compunction whatsoever in ripping off the Bard of Avon.  My prayerful chant follows:

“To Lizzie Beth Who Rang Our Door-Bell”

Tiny, timid, “tortoise-shell”, treasured pet:

Needy, delicate, demanding all day

Meow mix, litter box, never to fret.

We carry you about–you have your way!

Invalid so darling, the bills do mount.

Perhaps a suitor will one day appear,

Neutered, poetic, a huge bank account

Who’ll ply you with kisses and crutches, dear.

 “The Barretts of Wimpole Street”–a sweet tale!

“Bob” and Elizabeth Barrett Browning!

Jennifer Jones portrayed you–with NO tail.


“How do (we) love thee?  Let (us) count the ways!”

Shots, flea baths, de-claw and a vet who spays.

This stalwart little kitten stuns us with her feisty fortitude.  Her straying days behind her now, she vies for more than her share of attention, hissing, then frolicking, finally napping.  Although her left front leg is useless to her from the shoulder down, her adjustment to such a handicap convinces us to “let it be”.  Lizzie Beth remains unfazed as she behaves in cat fashion to the max, leaping, pouncing, jumping far into the air @ several times her own height.

As poet Robert Browning so famously wrote, “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp…or what’s a heaven for?”

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