Our Pet Column

Published weekly and read widely in The Watch, Telluride Daily Planet and Telluride Inside…and Out as well as this website the Pet Column offers insights from the Second Chance’s pet of the week on a variety of topics.

Ode to the Cat

Ode to the Cat

So I was feeling a bit left out on Valentine’s Weekend – as that shelter dog Dolly used the entire Second Chance Pet Column to write about the origin of dogs and how long dogs have been “human’s best friend” blah blah - barf. I am not sure what that all had to do with Valentine’s Day and the Celebration of Love but I am going to rectify that injury to my feline friends by reciting excerpts from my favorite poet, Nobel Prize winning poet Pablo Naruda, considered the world’s greatest poet of the 20th Century (and particularly known for his love sonnets).

An Ode to the Cat

The animals were imperfect,
unfortunate in their heads.
Little by little they
put themselves together,
making themselves a landscape,
acquiring spots, grace, flight.
The cat,
only the cat
appeared complete and proud:
he was born completely finished,
walking alone and knowing what he wanted.

Man wants to be fish or fowl,
the snake would like to have wings
the dog is a disoriented lion,
the engineer would like to be a poet,
the fly studies to be a swift,
the poet tries to imitate the fly,
but the cat
only wants to be a cat
and any cat is a cat
from his whiskers to his tail…

Oh little
emperor without a sphere of influence
conqueror without a country,
smallest living-room tiger, nuptial
sultan of the sky,
of the erotic roof-tiles,
the wind of love
in the storm
you claim
when you pass
and place
four delicate feet
on the ground,
all that is terrestrial,
because everything
is too unclean
for the immaculate foot of the cat.

Oh independent wild beast
of the house arrogant vestige of the night,
lazy, gymnastic and alien,
very deep cat,
secret policeman
of bedrooms,
insignia of a
disappeared velvet,
surely there is no enigma
in your manner,
perhaps you are not a mystery,
everyone knows of you
and you belong
to the least mysterious inhabitant,
perhaps everyone believes it,
everyone believes himself the owner,
proprietor, uncle
of a cat, companion,
colleague, disciple
or friend of his cat.

Ah Pablo, thank you so much for the truth and beauty in your words. My name is Minnie, a delightful drop dead gorgeous 8 month young long haired feline. Beyond my love of poetry I also enjoy receiving affectionate petting and ear scratching and am still accepting Valentine roses here at the Shelter while I await my new Loving Family...

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View our shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org.

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Second Chance Humane Society


(970) 626-2273 | phone
(970) 626-3233 | Ridgway thrift
(970) 728-1100 | Telluride thrift


PO Box 2096 [mailing]
177 County Road 10
Ridgway, CO 81432

Shelter Hours

Animal Resource Center 11 am - 6 pm
Cat Castle 11 am - 6 pm
Dog Den 11 am - 5:45 pm