Tuesday, March 31, 2009


a peaceable kingdom
within reach, at our sugared shoes
if we follow
the rules I've established


a note for the small bird
preening outside the front window:
don't assume
that I can't fly
that I could not catch you
with ease

Monday, March 30, 2009


Over the weekend, I realized I should have provided an example of the form I've created, the Waka-Wau, which is a derivative form of the Japanese Waka. And so here it is.

At cloudbreak or at dawn
I renew the sun-splashed promise,
nothing when I
locate the rectangle
of warmth.

I will provide further examples throughout the week.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Still more...

The middle portion of my manuscript features a number of cinquains. I tend to favor the reverse cinquain. Here are a few:

I am
loyal and trustworthy and true
but if I must I'll use
my hands, backhands
on you.


to the sound of listening ears,
themselves awash with sound,
themselves finding


I click
as I cross the room to see you
so you'll know I'm coming
and will need to
be stroked.


A note on the cinquain. I most admire and employ the form as developed and practiced by American poet Adelaide Crapsey. Her cinquain form was itself insipred by Japanese haiku and Tanka (a form of Waka).

I am develepoing my own form of Waka, which will be known as Waka-Wau. Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More from the Portefeuille

voici la belle chatte
qui ronronne comme le tonnerre

cher matin d'été
pourquoi es-tu un chien
qui suit le printemps

un maison des chats
ne peut pas dormir assez
mais ne dort jamais

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An Acrostic

Beautiful beyond compare.
A set of egg-shaped hands
Inspires joy in some, fear in others.
"Laisse-moi dormir,
Et je ne te pas employer mes mains."
You know the rules.

Silliness is not my
Currency, but you knew that.
Hours spent in reverie
Upon freshly laundered clothes
Begets a happy Schubert.
Elegance reverberates,
Ricochets wherever I walk.
Traces my path like a memory of shadow.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

...on the future of fish.

I read with great interest an opinion piece in the Sunday New York Times entitled "Cat Got Your Fish?" I have not linked it here because it starts on a bit of a sad note regarding the writer's recent pet loss.

The op-ed was written by a fellow named Paul Greenberg, who, according to the author's note, is the author of a forthcoming book on the future of fish. I regret to report that the note is not more specific than that. I was immediately curious whether M. Greenberg would posit that fish are due for an evolutionary leap that would enable them to fashion crude tools or (horror!) develop a taste for queens.

One interesting tidbit from the story: the average American cat consumes more fish in one year than the average African human.

M. Greenberg's article suggests that food for cats -- specifically the cat food industry -- is having an immense negative impact on the fish supply in the world's oceans. Not to be rude, but wouldn't scaling back the supply of cat food have an immense negative impact on the cat supply in American homes? Shall I list the number of ways in which cats are able to enrich lives? Can fish boast the same?

But then I remember that fish are creatures too.

So I come away from the article to note that much work is to be done to maintain the supply of fish worldwide. After all, I need to eat.

Why this guy decided to single out cats is an argument for another time.

Monday, March 23, 2009

At some point...

...I am going to compose a comedy of manners regards the current upstairs cats/downstairs cats dynamic chez nous. It will involve the hijinx that ensue when one of the upstairs cats is mistakenly switched with one of the downstairs cats. Both cats will marvel at the differences in their new digs and the audience will confront their own assumptions about upstairs/downstairs -- all while laughing. It will be, dare I say, an absolute lark!

Think "Trading Places" meets "Gosford Park." Mostly the latter because every film is made better by being set in period.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pittsburgh will win the National Championship

Rather than go game-by-game, here's how the regions will shake out.

East: Pittsburgh Panthers
  • Is there anything more magnificent than a panther?
South: Temple Owls
  • Owls. 'Nuff said.
West: BYU Cougars
  • In a region that also features two Tigers, a dog team or two and the magnificent Terrapin, I have to go with the Cougars.
Midwest: West Virginia Mountaineers
  • This was the toughest region for me. It's a bunch of bird teams and some old-timey soldiers and whatnot. You might have thought I'd go with the Arizona Wildcats, but not this time. Going with the Mountaineers, with heavy emphasis on the EARS.

The Panthers will take the Owls apart in the Final Four and the EARS will defeat the Cougars. Panthers over EARS in the final.

You're welcome. For the advice, you know.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Brief Poll

1. Please choose one:

A. Cat Scratch Fever

B. Cat's in the Cradle

C. Katmandu

D. Stray Cat Strut

E. Black Cat

F. The Year of the Cat

G. What's New Pussycat?

H. Love Cats

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

For me, Halloween is a big old 'meh.' But I suppose that makes sense for a green-eyed Irish lass such as me.

One things for sure, I'll be puking today.

Well, maybe not.

Probably though.

Monday, March 16, 2009


If you don't like your clothes thrown onto the floor, don't put so many of them in my bed. This shouldn't be confusing.

That is all.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Humble Pie

Which is the more humiliating: the punishment or the crime?

Something to ponder to be sure. As it happens, I've got some more time to reflect these days. The quick answer would be that the punishment brings greater humiliation than the crime, but I submit that for a Schubert cat to have committed such a reprehensible act as to require punishment, a great deal of humiliation is in accompaniment. Lesser beasts may lack the self-awareness of the Schubert and may be able to commit a crime in blissful ignorance, but not the Schubert.

I plan to reflect on this further over the next few days. Your thoughts, as always, are both welcome and appreciated.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ah...young queens...

Last night, after lights out, the guy put some food into the dishes. Lulu rushed into the kitchen and attacked the food. Me? I was bunchy and comfy. I waited. Slowly I stood and stretched my neumes. I clicked into the kitchen without hurrying.

I bring this up because it illustrates a key difference between me and Lulu -- a difference entirely attributable to her youth. She heard food and rushes in. Her instinct demads it. I, on the other hand, know that the food is there and will be there. It will be ready for me when I am ready for it.

Lulu will learn eventually. She will learn that rushing around does not become a proper queen.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rude Awakening

So there I was, curled up on the sofa last night, sleeping my sleeps. Out of nowhere, a hiss and growl. Two shots to my ear before I could react.

The good news, for Lulu Barnes, is that I was to bunchy to give chase. She ran away though, which means she knows she was wrong. This was verified later when I approached her at the food site and she averted eyes and slunk away.

I have a great deal of patience for younger cats. I see myself in some.

Payback, however, is a cat.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sometimes I just want to eat...

...and the people just stand there, not letting me eat.

I point to where the food should go. Nothing at all. "I know, Bailey," they say.

If you know that I want to eat, why are we having this discussion?

Monday, March 09, 2009


This is the 101st post on my blog. Though it seems like there have been more. The first entry I find on this iteration of the World of Bil-Wau is dated October 2, 2006. Is that right?

In any event. This is post #101. By way of celebration, I (re-)present the teaser poster for the the abandoned Disney project for which I had done some consulting work:

The shame of it is, I had hoped to use "Prufrock" as a springboard to bring other literary works to the big screen in cartoon form. I've got story treatments for "Howl" and "Leaves of Grass" in addition to some lesser-known works. I figured once five or six of these blew through cinemas and into everyone's DVD collection, I would be able to "write my own ticket," as they say, and could kick it up a notch with some contemporary works.

As it stands, "Prufrock" is in developmental limbo. Shame really.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday quotes...

Ah...a blast from the past. Here is a collection of quotes that I have noted over the years and reference when I need to be reminded that not all people are as obtuse as dogs.

"A dog, I have always said, is prose; a cat is a poem." ~Jean Burden

"You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats." ~Proverb

"You own a dog but you feed a cat." ~Jenny de Vries

"Dogs have owners, cats have staff." ~Author Unknown

"A catless writer is almost inconceivable. It's a perverse taste, really, since it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the typewriter keys." ~Barbara Holland

"If cats could talk, they wouldn't." ~Nan Porter

It's important, from time to time, to remember that not only to my people feed and care for me, but they seem to understand the order of things.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

If I were a different kind of cat...

...I might, you know, open the door to the basement. I might encourage a certain M____ to roam the house. I might even spread some fur around in his wake. Think of it as set dressing.

I might then wait for the people to get home and delight as M____ was thrown back downstairs. Or better yet, I could consult on the appropriate punishment. And mete out justice.

Nevertheless, I am not that kind of cat.

And I am certainly not the kind of cat who would scratch a baby.

I wash a baby, not scratch a baby.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Incident

Every once in a while, the younger cats need to be reminded who wears the sugared shoes in the house.

I would like to report that I took it easy on Lulu Barnes. I would like to report that she got the message quickly.

Unfortunately, what I'd like to report and what actually happened are different stories.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Where Do I Sit?

Anywhere I want. At least that's the way it ought to be. In application, however, I find that I am often asked to relocate.

This is completely unacceptable.

Obviously the other cats and the dog don't try to relocate me. They know better -- though occasionally they need to be reminded.

No, this is about the people in the house. And it's going to stop.

Memo to people: if I am bunched up on the sofa, find another place to sit.

(Of course, this is in no way directed at Cher Maman.)

That is all.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Un Peu de Vin

Cats. We go with wine. It's who we are. It's what we do.

But then I noticed this:

Seriously? A dog lovers' wine club? What kind of wine, pray tell, is appropriate for a dog lovers' club? Wait. Let me guess: White Zinfandel. Or this:

(You just know it's good because it comes in so many colors...)

Maybe I'm a snob. Okay, let's drop the charade -- I am a snob. In fact, I pronounce charade "shah-rahd."

The fact remains, a dog-related wine club is as troubling as the thought of finding something like this at the country club:

Or worse, in the pool at the country club.

Okay. I think I'm going to be sick.