The Black Cat Coming
“Come lie here and tell me your woes,
I charge by the hour but that’s how it goes.
Tell me your life; you said it was strange…”
(So the man on the couch began to relate):
“Not long ago, not long since, now,
I began to have troubles which churned me about.
Drinking was a problem; smoking was, too;
Gambling a vice; drugs changing my mood.
“I came home one day and saw a black cat
Outside my gate, not moving, just sat.
I thought nothing of it until the next day
When I left for work with the cat by the gate.
“After a bad week at work I nearly got fired,
Each waking moment I was drained and tired.
I couldn’t care less for the feline presence
For my life was breaking in desperate measures.
“A day or two later, I can’t remember when,
I was outside the door when I saw my friend.
He was sat on the path just looking at me,
Looking quite healthy but still I felt pity.
“Now usually I’d kick it and walk away
But the look of despair just made me obey.
I took it inside and gave it some food-
I think it liked it by the way it mewed.
“Anyway, this cat would appear most days
And we had a routine of our regular ways-
Milk by the oven, food by the light,
A stroke and a chat and then bed for the night.
“I liked this cat, although it wasn’t mine,
As it gave me a sense of purpose in spending my time.
Soon enough, though, my habits caught up
And the cat stopped coming as I started to smoke.
“I got worse and worse and spiralled downhill,
My days were empty with nothing to fill.
I realised then that I missed the cat,
I longed for the steadiness I otherwise lacked.
“Just as I thought all hope was lost
A jet-black figure came through the frost.
My cat had returned! What a glorious night!
Milk by the oven! Food by the light!
“The cat never left save to hunt in the fields,
Which was pointless, by the way, since I made his meals.
I left my job and gave up drugs and smoking
And I focused my mind ‘til at last I was thinking.
“I changed my job, I changed my life,
I met a girl who will soon be my wife,
Yet since I started to get back on track
The presence is waning of my back cat.
“The last I saw him was two weeks ago
And I’m frightened to death lest it becomes four.
What would I do if he never returned?
My best friend ever and he leaves me spurned!
“My life has moved on, this much is true,
I’m happy and glad and so much improved.
Now answer me, Professor- what’s happened to my cat?
Will I see him again? Will he ever some back?”
(The man on the couch has finished his tale)
“An excellent story, with excellent detail.
You may be surprised but I hear this a lot-
This black cat coming and shooting soon off.
“I have a theory and I’ll explain why,
Why this cat turned up and then left your life.
It’s all supposition, I can’t say for sure,
But I’m fairly convinced this fits the allure.
“You were- forgive me- quite a selfish man.
You admitted yourself the lifestyle you ran-
Destructive; lonely; pointless; bleak-
You cared for yourself and you hated the weak.
“Then the cat comes along and you feel the need
To look after it well, to love and to feed.
When you regressed to your former selfish ways
The cat disappeared as its care you allayed.
“Then you realise you love this cat
And surprise, surprise! It comes right back.
You care for it and it awakens in you
A desire to change, to be good, to be new.
“You get on your feet and the cat fades out
But this time it’s good as you’re strong and stout.
It made you care beyond Number One
And gradually it leaves when its job is done.”
(The man on the couch is astounded, to say the least)
“I can’t believe I was tamed by the beast!
I’ll forever be indebted to its power, I’ll bet,
But tell me, Doc, what kind of cat is it?”
(The man glanced at the Doc and the Doctor said):
“You decide that, but be it on your head!
All I know is that this cat changes lives-
It works just like we said, never in disguise.
“It may just be a cat, it could be an angel,
We’ll never know but we should be grateful
That it turns up then leaves when it’s done its will-
That’s your hour up… now, where do I send the bill?”