“The cat fits in the crook of my arm
as would a new-born child, although
equipped with wariness.
He cares for me much as I care
for what seems to be God, demonstrably
here and in charge
though often deaf to prayer.
Having no Cattish, I cannot explain
why I wear clothes, speak words and cause
a car to move, but as a cat will choose
food and a kind hand, not the frosted wood,
I trust in the unknowable
rather than cry on the cliff’s edge
to a diagram of stars.”
Alison Prince, “Having no Cattish”
A sweet reflection on the nature of faith without language. The poet’s cat cannot understand the basics of a human but he knows (or trusts) that he will be provided for. He bides in contented care. The poem also raises the question of the two-way nature of belief. The cat’s acceptance of the existence of the poet’s care makes that care a responsibility, a covenant.