Cat Love


There is no joy greater than the purring of a cat 
(No not a cat. This cat. Cats are not interchangeable.)
There is no joy greater than the purring of this cat  
When she curls around my heart and purrs
And I purr my silent purr back
She taps out a soft rhythm of her cheek on mine
Once, twice, four times, eight times
Then rests it gently on my face for an hour
Then she shifts, and flips her head upside-down under her arm
The purr getting loud in the stretch 
Then buries her face in my neck for a while 
Before bringing it back to my cheek
And there is no moment where pain matters less
For there is no joy greater than the purring of this cat  
When she curls around my heart and purrs
And I purr my silent purr back 

(Dedicated to Fey.)

a closeup of my face with my eyes closed and a grey cat face with a spot of white resting her cheek on mine

We’ve been doing this several hours a day lately, including right now.

For a lovely illustration of a purring kittypile, see the following YouTube video by Anne of her three feral rescue kittens. There is no transcript or captions but maybe someone capable of doing so could do so in comments (including the purring). The most relevant sound to me is the sound of three kittens purring in unison in a way that sounds like an amazing cat harmony.

About Mel Baggs

Hufflepuff. Came from the redwoods, which tell me who I am and where I belong in the world. I relate to objects as if they are alive, but as things with identities and properties all of their own, not as something human-like. Culturally I'm from a California Okie background. Crochet or otherwise create constantly, write poetry and paint when I can. Proud member of the developmental disability self-advocacy movement. I care a lot more about being a human being than I care about what categories I fit into.

11 responses »

  1. I miss having pets.I would like to have a cat and I know the kids would too.DH and DS are allergic, but we’rs slowly introducing them to dogs and cats in order to desensitise them.Maybe we will have a little purring fur ball of our own.

  2. This is a great poem. I love pets, especially dogs. Thank you once again for posting up the youtube videos, they are very touching & more people need to take a look at the words they choose to use in society. You are an inspiration to us all. From a 23-year old who has aspergers as well as living with an autistic/mentally challenged 19-year old sister……thank you

  3. Actually I just tried this with my iPod speaker and if you turn the volume all the way up and put your hand on the speaker (if you have one) it’s very possible to feel the very cool purring rhythm. Unfortunately I can’t simultaneously listen and transcribe the rest of it since the iPod won’t let me watch a video and edit text at the same time.

  4. As the maker of the linked video I will say first that I apologize for the lack of captioning, but really when I randomly record my cats I am not figuring that my meandering background-babble ought to be the focus in the first place!

    Purring, however, is another matter. What I was thinking (and was discussing with Amanda after she wrote and said she’d linked one of my videos) was that it would be awesome to have some sort of a force-feedback thingie that could attach to the computer and allow someone (including someone who might be d/Deaf, etc.) to FEEL the purr. I suppose playing it through loud, well-made speakers might approximate this effect, but in any case, purring is one of the first ways kittens and their mothers communicate and does not depend on either eyesight or hearing as newborn kittens are both blind and deaf until their eyes/ears open. So their first week (or so) of life is comprised entirely of tactile/olfactory experiences, which of course includes the purr between them and their mother.

    So yeah, tangent, but cats are easy to go on tangents about. Mew!

    And the kittens in the video are indeed feral rescue kittens — I caught them in a local neighborhood when they were between 7 and 10 weeks old (got the first two at 7 weeks, took 3 weeks longer to catch the third!). They all had various medical issues (fleas, intestinal parasites, one of them was underweight at first, etc.) but those have been treated now and they’re all healthy and thriving and seem happy in their new home (my house has big huge windows in it, being a California ranch-style construction, which are splendid for bird and squirrel-watching!).

    Oh and the kittens’ names are Brodie (tabby on left in video), Coraline (tabby on right), and Shadow (black kitty, snuggled behind the other two). They are siblings/littermates.

  5. Pingback: When she curls around my heart and purrs - Ballastexistenz

  6. Wonderful, gorgeous poem. I hope I don’t offend you in any way by telling you that you have a way with words? It may not be your first language, but this poem speaks to your skills at manipulating it.

    :) tagAught

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s