The Room It Takes to Swing a Cat
They say no room, as though it’s really small.
But have you ever tried? To swing a cat,
you have to find a grip — not by the tail,
nor by the scruff, nor any bit of coat
that lets you hold it loosely. Cats are taut,
elastic, slingshot creatures, hardly still
at all, impatient, patient, prudent, not
too trusting, not too independent, all
aquiver with misgiving love. The fall’s
so full of grace the landing makes the fight
a painful pleasure. Here’s the truth: a cat
will shoot away from slipping fingers, maul
its way from hands that hold. And so, to swing
a cat takes practice — and a room that’s long.