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Cat-Egorically Speaking
by Doris Lueth Stengel

Erudite Mr. Eliot, no doubt chagrined,
if from Up, up, up past the Russell Hotel,
somewhere over the Heaviside Layer,
he can see cats from Old Possum's book
fur-rollicking across marquees.
Lithe and leggy dancers in feline leotards,
yak hair wigs, faces painted white,
purr and slump on a polyethylene dump.

While the Jellicle Cats have a ball
Old Deuteronomy nobly chooses
bedraggled Grizabella for recycling
as she caterwauls about nine lives
in Memories forever in Andrew
Lloyd Webber's musical endeavor.
Orangely plump Jennyanydots tumbles
out of a junkyard oven, extolling
the loving ways of a Gumbie cat,
while hunky tom, Rum Tum Tugger
struts the set in sexy-meter shaking
cat gut in a Elvis Presley shimmy.
Children's favorite Macavity
guilty of many cat-astrophes
"is not there" when the bill comes due.
Magical Mr. Mistoffolees sends
sparks flashing from his beaded jacket,
worth forty thousand bucks.

Makes one wonder if T.S.Eliot
made that much in his lifetime as he wrote
of Wasteland and J. Alfred Prufrock.
This poet from Missouri who became
so very British, proper as plum pudding,
left his widow rich by writing
witty ditties on the naming and taming
of those acrobatical theatrical "Cats."

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