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“Old Yellow Cat”


This poem is based on my cat’s recent demonstration of his old age. It was inspired by the compassionate animal/pet poems in the outstanding collection Lamb written by  Frannie Lindsay.



Something fails
to deploy the moment
he launches from
the carpet to the dark rim
of our dining room table–
an altimeter of paws
or the emergency yaw
of his tail. Some new foe
for the first time
in thirteen years pitches him
backward, twisted hips
recoiling at the
permanent insult
of the floor. For two
seconds he holds ground,
brow flat and wide. Then
he swallows and juts his chin,
aims his sight again
aims his sight again
at the red salmon lifted
on our forks.
by Therese L. Broderick
FACT & FICTION in my poem: the “red salmon” is an invented detail. I describe the cat’s movements as best I can remember them.
This poem benefits from the feedback of my two local first readers JG and JH.

About ThereseLBroderick

Independent community poet living in Albany, New York USA.

3 responses »

  1. A lovely poem, Therese, despite the blow to his self esteem. I wish I had the spirit to attempt such leaps! The red salmon is a nice touch.


  2. Oh, Therese! This reminds me so much of my old yellow cat, Tiger. Do you remember him? You describe so well the arthritic “insult” of old age and the terrible surprise of it that even a cat must endure.


  3. That heartbreaking pause after the fall…gathering back his pride.


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