Monday, July 09, 2007

Herding Cats

*art courtesy of

nvironmental Activism

Some days I am able to be somewhat

organized, get things done.
Other days it's like herding cats.

Environmental work would be slapstick,
if it were even slightly funny.

Scholars and activists
who work in or study world cultures
sometimes talk about two legal systems —
the written code, often a colonial over layer,
and codes of habit and tradition,
which is how people actually live.

Stupidly, I recently pointed out
that an environmental group I work
was acting in violation
of their bylaws and the regulations
for non-profit groups.

They were incensed.

Said I was trying to
violate their
first amendment rights.

Today, however, there is something
we can all do for the environment.

Today, the world can wake up,
at the level on which
everything is real.

Take the Live Earth Pledge.

Review the MoveOn Town Hall Meeting on Climate Change
and vote for the Dem candidate with the best platform
for the Planet.

©Susan Bright, 2007

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-ninety books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

Announcement: The Plain View Press e-store is online.

* akajake

Tim Jones sent these instructions for giving a cat a pill
several days ago.


1. Pick up cat and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a
baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth
and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As
cat opens mouth; pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and

2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left
arm and repeat process.

3. Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws
tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth
with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call
spouse from garden.

6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and
rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head
firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down
ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make
note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered
figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just
visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth
open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

9. Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink 1 beer to
take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood
carpet with cold water and soap.

10. Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed. Get another pill. Open another
beer. Place cat in cupboard, and close door on to neck, to leave head
showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with
elastic band.

11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges.
Drink beer. Fetch bottle of scotch. Pour shot, drink. Apply cold compress
to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Apply whiskey
compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw Tee shirt
away and fetch new one from bedroom.

12. Call fire department to retrieve the damn cat from across the road.
Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat.
Take last pill from foil wrap.

13. Tie the little bastard's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and
bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy-duty pruning gloves from
shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Be
rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat
to wash pill down.

14. Consume remainder of scotch. Get spouse to drive you to the
room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm
and removes
pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.

15. Post flyers: Sweet cat, in good health, free to good home.


1. Wrap it in bacon.

2. Toss it in the air.


Labels: ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. I have two of the dear little cats.

Thanks so much.


11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is absolutely priceless! Where do you find this stuff? I had to send this on to some of my friends. . .


1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for that poem, Susan.


7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hanks, Susan. I hope everybody scrolled far enough down to read the instructions for giving a cat a pill. It’s really wonderful!


2:24 PM  
Anonymous Jake Beckman said...

Please post a link to my website, since you are using my image-please post it WITH MY IMAGE and a copyright notice-do not just post this comment. I sell merchandise etc. based on my design. Clearly you did not read the copyright notice on my page. Thanking you in advance for your cooperation.

Jake Beckman

the link to my website is

1:24 PM  
Blogger oZ said...

yes, Jake... glad to make the link to your site clear... and thanks for being so gracious. Actually there was a link, which is our policy, but it was buried down in the story.

8:22 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home