musings, life lessons & poetry from Theresa Jarosz Alberti

Poetry Challenge – Day 25

Welcome to Day 25 of my 30-Day Poetry Challenge!

Comment on today’s poem to win a copy of my poetry book, “(After) Confession… I’m giving away a copy every day. Scroll down below the poem for more details about this Poetry Challenge.

But first, congratulations, Barbara Z, for winning a free copy of my poetry book! (I do a raffle from those who commented on yesterday’s post.) Barbara, please email me your address so I can send your prize:

Now onto today’s poem. Don’t forget to comment, and check back tomorrow to see if you’ve won!

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I just couldn’t resist with this one…

Instructions for Cats by Cats [based on human observation while living with 4 of them]

First of all, People:
the one with the long fur is nice. She’ll treat you like a baby
most of the time, talks softly, thinks you’re cute.
Watch out for the furry-faced one. He’ll
sweep you off the table or chairs. If you complain-meow
around him, he’ll send you Out. He roars loudly, but if
you rub against him purring, he’ll scratch your head and ears.

Decide your place in the Order of Cats in the house.
Are you the Charming Bitch, who hits others on a whim?
The Old Grouch who growls and hisses at everyone walking by?
The Happy Space Cadet who just gets along and runs scattering away?
Or maybe the Recluse who hides most of the time,
with sweet momentary appearances?
There are so many options!

In general, if you meow loudly enough, repeatedly, they will
Do Something. It may not be what you want, but try anyway.
It’s funny to see them all grouchy, at least.

Sometimes, it’s okay to show you like attention. Purrrrr
when they pet you, scratch you, coo baby talk at you. Be careful,
though. It’s good to keep them guessing. Sometimes act annoyed
or walk away, for no reason.

Keep them to a schedule, Make sure they know when The Bowl
is empty. It’s your job to remind them to fill it at this particular
time. Everyday. Insist loudly. It doesn’t matter if you’re hungry or not.
They need to know their place.

Wake them up early! Do this by running around their room,
climbing on them in bed, meowing repeatedly outside their door.
Whatever it takes. Trust me. They will be crabby but it’s good for them.

Watch out for Feet. It’s easy to get complacent, but People are
big oafs who don’t think about where they put their huge paws.
Be sure to screech freakishy loud if the Feet step on your tail or paw.
They will feel really guilty.

The sand boxes in the basement are there for our convenience.
But really, they are just a suggestion. Feel free to find hidden corners,
plastic bags, or choice rugs for your elimination needs.
Be creative!

As for those pesky hairballs or tummy troubles, sometimes
a cat’s gotta barf. Remember it’s best to spew on soft things.
Carpet, sofa, bed, laundry. The People will loudly
appreciate this.

Lastly, look adorable. I know, you can’t help it. Curl up in furry balls,
sit in regal poses, perch on backs of chairs. People will eat this up and
pet you more. It makes everything better.
They will keep you forever. Meow.

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  • I’m writing and posting a new poem every day through the month of April (yikes!), for better or worse.
  • AND, as a gift, I’m giving away a copy of my poetry book EVERY DAY this month. FREE!
  • Sign up to WIN a copy of (After) Confession by just leaving a comment beneath the poem of the day.
  • I will pick a winner every day in April! So comment every day for a new chance to win.

OR, you can purchase your own copy of (After) Confession for the new low price of $9.00 USD, shipping and handling included! Click here to read sample poems and purchase a copy.

April is National Poetry Month, which was inaugurated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996.

This month’s posts are part of the  NaPoWriMo challenge — that’s National Poetry Writing Month. At, you’ll find links to other participating writers and their poetry. AND daily writing prompts for inspiration to write your own poems. Check them out.

I’m so looking forward to your comments–  it doesn’t have to be about the poem. Write anything, share the name of your favorite poet or poem, write about the weather, whatever! And thanks for reading.

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Photo credit: me, courtesy of Jinx, Loki, Bea and Ellie


  1. Ann

    Your cats didn’t mention eating plants and scratching furniture. I like the sand box as a suggestion!

    • Theresa Alberti

      I think there may need to be a Volume 2, since there are so many instructions to choose from! It’s so very yes to plants and furniture, and with one of my cats, eating knit socks and hats!

  2. Sharon

    Ha! Sometimes I think it’s true that dogs have owners and cats have staff.

    We have a recluse cat – she hates all the others (including her offspring) but loves people.

    We also have a cat who loves to wake us up early, usually meowing outside the door around 5AM; if that doesn’t work, he messes with the door handle – which is quite alarming.

    We also have a cat who digs incessantly in the litter box – I like to say she is trying to dig to China.

    We have a lot of cats.

    • Theresa Alberti

      They are all so different. One of ours also messes with door handles, and if the door isn’t closed quite tight enough, he can pull it open by using the handle. This seems unnatural!

  3. Serena

    Cats SO have staff.
    I wonder which of your cats wrote this…???

    • Theresa Alberti

      They do, and they’re not telling me. Isn’t that just like cats?

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