‘Twas The Night Before Solstice

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Leto (orange) and his brothers Fletcher (grey tiger) and Mica (jet black) on Christmas day, 2011 – four days after the event described in the poem.
Guest post by Mar Penner Griswold

I wrote [this poem] last December about Leto, one of six kittens + mama that I rescued from the mean streets of Buffalo in August  of 2011.  10th Chance Cat Rescue in Buffalo assisted me by lending me a trap, and Leto was the first and only kitten actually trapped. H was 5 weeks old and immediately regretted being so curious. Mama Lucy was scooped up by a neighbor who had been feeding and befriending her, and we crawled through the neighborhood shrubbery for 2 more days to locate the rest of the litter.  I kept three of the boys. Through the rescue group, wonderful forever homes were found for the other three. Mama Lucy has been my Shop Cat ever since.


The Night Before Solstice

Twas the night before Solstice
When I and the cats
Had just settled down
For a long winter’s nap

When out in the hallway
There arose such a clatter
Thunking and clunking
What on earth was the matter?

The cats were not with me
I found none in the house
Had they all scattered thither
In chase of a mouse?

I roared as I strode through
The doorways and halls
“What the hell are you doing?”
“What’s going on?”

The last door I yanked open
Revealed a surprise
Leto the kitten
With huge frightened eyes

His head was wedged firmly
Inside a glass jar
I don’t even know
How he’d made it that far

In this airless prison
His doom was foretold
I had to act swiftly
I had to be bold

Left hand on the kitten
Right hand on the jar
I grabbed his neck tightly
And twisted the jar

I pulled and I pulled
With all of my might
And I freed my small friend
From his terrible plight

I calmed him and soothed him
And called him by name
“Oh Leto! Poor Leto!”
“You’re all right again!”

His purr increased swiftly
And I swear he made clear
“Blessed Solstice to all!”
“I’m so glad I’m still here!”

Originally published Thursday, December 22, 2011 by Mar Penner Griswold
at her blog, Tilting at Woodpeckers.

Mar also operates a framing shop in Buffalo, NY, called State of the Art. She is involved in cat rescue, and her cat Mama Lucy, who can bee seen at the Facebook page in the link, is the framer’s  shop cat.

Mama Lucy



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