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Cat Poetry 101: Exploring the Feline Muse 

Cats, with their enigmatic eyes and graceful ways, have been a timeless source of inspiration for poets and writers throughout the ages. Plain and simple – poetry about cats is a timeless tradition that we should all celebrate.

These purring creatures always seem to find a way of weaving themselves into our lives, leaving indelible paw prints on our hearts and inspiring the creation of beautiful poetry. In this whimsical exploration, we’ll dive into the world of feline-inspired verse and the poetic aspects of owning a cat.


They move through the world with an elegant and rhythmic gait, their lithe bodies embodying the very essence of poetry in motion. Every swish of their tail, every stealthy pounce, is a dance of precision and grace. 

They are the furriest of ballerinas.

A cat’s ability to inhabit the moment, to be completely present, is a lesson in mindfulness and a theme often celebrated in poetry. Just as a poet uses words to paint vivid pictures, a cat uses its actions and expressions to convey a spectrum of emotions, from affection to indifference.

The great T.S. Eliot knew this well when he penned “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.” 

His whimsical collection of cat poems, later adapted into the famous musical “Cats,” brings the quirks and idiosyncrasies of feline friends to life through imaginative verse. 

In “The Naming of Cats,” he muses on the complexity of a cat’s many names, reflecting the multi-faceted nature of these creatures that poets find so enchanting.

Eliot’s poems capture the playful spirit of cats while exploring the secrets hidden in their mystique.

Cat Poetry Turns the Ordinary into the Extraordinary

A simple sunbeam transforms into a stage for their theatrical naps, and a cardboard box becomes an epic adventure. In these everyday moments, poets find inspiration to celebrate the joy of the mundane. And thus, this is why owning a cat is like living in a perpetual poem.

Their presence evokes a sense of wonder, an appreciation for life’s smaller pleasures, and a deep connection with the world around us. Whether it’s through their graceful movements, their soothing purrs, or their playful antics, cats invite us to explore the poetic aspects of existence.

Here’s a list of poems about cats, each celebrating the grace, mystery, and charm of these beloved feline companions:

  • “The Naming of Cats” by T.S. Eliot – From “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” this poem explores the idea that cats have many names and facets.
  • “The Owl and the Pussycat” by Edward Lear – A delightful and whimsical poem about an owl and a cat who set out on a journey together.
  • “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss – A beloved children’s book in rhyme, featuring the mischievous cat in the iconic red and white striped hat.
  • “Macavity: The Mystery Cat” by T.S. Eliot – Another gem from “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” this poem introduces us to Macavity, the notorious mystery cat.
  • “Cat” by Eleanor Farjeon – A charming and simple poem that captures the essence of a cat’s character.
  • “The Cat” by Emily Dickinson – In this short poem, Emily Dickinson muses on the enigmatic nature of cats.
  • “The Cat’s Song” by Marge Piercy – This poem celebrates the independent and wild spirit of cats.
  • “Pangur Bán” by Anonymous – An Irish poem from the 9th century, it compares the scholar’s work to the hunting activities of a white cat named Pangur Bán.
  • “The Rum Tum Tugger” by T.S. Eliot – Yet another cat from “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” this poem introduces the curious and fickle Rum Tum Tugger.
  • “Cats” by Henry S. Leigh – A humorous poem that pokes fun at the various personalities and quirks of different cat breeds.
  • “To a Cat” by Jorge Luis Borges – In this poem, Borges reflects on the mysterious and timeless nature of cats.
  • “The Cat That Walked by Himself” by Rudyard Kipling – Part of Kipling’s “Just So Stories,” this poem explores the independent nature of the first cat in the world.
  • “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot – While not exclusively about cats, this modernist masterpiece contains a reference to a cat that adds depth to the poem.

These poems offer a diverse range of perspectives on cats, from whimsical and playful to contemplative and profound, reflecting the unique and multifaceted relationship between humans and their feline companions.

So, the next time you curl up with your feline friend and watch as they chase moonbeams or contemplate the mysteries of an empty cardboard box, take a moment to appreciate the poetic muse that is your cat.

For in their playful and mysterious ways, they inspire us to see the world through a different lens, one filled with wonder and poetry.