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On the Ecumenism of Species

(x = space)



On the Ecumenism of Species


Dogs and cats should share

Often, they do

They share heat when it’s cold

They can share toys

They can treat each other

As toys

Food is another matter

Their systems are different

So unless it’s An Incredible Journey


They should eat apart

And eat apart

Be who each other is

They can rest together

Often, they do

And enjoy God’s-creature status

Both, together

All, together



C L Couch



Photo by Madalyn Cox on Unsplash


I Hope the Dogs and Cats Are Well

(x = space)



I Hope the Dogs and Cats Are Well


I heard stories about them

Early in the war

Not so much now

There might be zoos

I remember that detail

In a story by Unamuno

About the end of the world

And the wild animals getting out

But dogs and cats need our help

They always do

We made them that way

Adapted them for use

And took away their other capabilities

How could they stand up to wolves

Or bears or badgers


Or unknown men and women

With machine guns

Who have no familiar smells

Nothing about them

To indicate


Or family

Or home

Cats and dogs might do all right

With welcome from the stranger

But in battlefields

The anonymities are too severe

And the cruelties

Tend to pile up

Where did they go?

Where are the ones I was protecting?

I do not know anyone




C L Couch


Photo by troy williams on Unsplash


Species Speak Out

(x = space)



Species Speak Out


Is there a dog

In doggerel?

How about a dog

In dogma?

And while we’re at it,

Should it not be called



I’m sure there is

A certain species

That, should we understand

And grasp

The elevated obvious,

Should know

Things are better served

By catterel

And catma


C L Couch



Love between Dogs and Cats

Photo by Callum Shaw on Unsplash


Friday Felines

Friday Felines


I will see cat-friends tonight

They will ignore me

I’m not feeding them

They’ll act as if they do not play

Though I know it’s different


One friend

Erstwhile Pennsylvania Quaker

Might decide it’s time for

A first-floor chase

Or to jump on me, reach toward my

Ear as if to say

Quietly through sharpened teeth,

Feed me


C L Couch



Photo by Sam Lee on Unsplash

2 Chome-4-8 Daiba, Minato, Tokyo 135-0091, Japan


Cat House

Cat House


Last night I saw


Allergies notwithstanding

There were people, too

They’re fine, I think,

The cats (I guess the people, too)

The screened-in porch was open to them

In fact, a breeze

And persons to protect the bowls

One cat’s from the other

The skittish cat leaped up

The other flowed like mercury

Upon the floor

Seeking a container of some sort,

I think

The way liquid does

We ate

They hoped

We watched a film

They stayed away

We had to pass through, after

Their insistence came alive again

Furballs of self-interest

That is their purpose

And their lesson

Nature to the rest of us

Not wrong to want our way

Not bad to serve affection

For no reason

Beyond being


C L Couch



Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay


Friday’s Children

Friday’s Children


It’s Friday

I should say something

About cats

And to be fair


And if you have a rabbit

Pet your rabbit

Be careful ‘round the ears

Otherwise, I think they like it


Friday’s child is loving and giving

Cats, it’s true

Are a source of affection

And encouragement

Through seeming indifference

Dogs are obvious about it,

Aren’t they?

Sometimes that’s just what we need

Obvious affection

I’ve spent most of my life

Around both

Not both kinds of cats (though

that’s true)

But contrary cats

And thorough dogs


C L Couch



Image by Peter Morth from Pixabay


Cat News in Mews

Cat News in Mews

(not meaning stables except I guess as places for cat-gossip)


In a recent study

It was on the news today

Arch researching

(not unlike the cats indifferent

arch that is a pose, I’m sure) Found that

Cats can hear us

They know our names

They simply choose

To ignore us


This is news?

We know our cats know us

We count on it

As they on us

It’s a round-robin game

(sparing the robin)

The supplicants of Bastet

Could inform you

And all the rats on ships


Certainly, they know their names

But what is in the mind

Are silent cues

Scripted by a

God who loves them both

The felines and their victims


Cycles for the ages

Worthy of praise

Like Christopher Smart’s cat Jeoffry

Who will, I’m sure, not hear daily

Anything else


C L Couch




Study of the Virgin and Christ Child with a cat.

Leonardo da Vinci – The British Museum Database, Public Domain,


“Jubilate Agno”

Christopher Smart





I heard from my friends about

Their trip to Europe

My cat friends listened with


We enjoyed the stories

Though they’d rather have their bowls

And I was a soft touch for them

While Mom and Dad

Had been away


But life returns to older ways

And all are here

I’ll see the images, go home

I’ll think about my parents

For some reason

How it was not



And, if vicarious,

The family I attend to


Only tussles over

Unimportant things

So that negotiations never last

Because remembrance is


All the needful things we keep


C L Couch



Photo by sarandy westfall on Unsplash


Cats and Dogs LLC

Cats and Dogs LLC


Taking care of cats is done

Human mom and dad are home

Now I’ve been asked about

A dog

It’s a cottage industry

Without the cottage

Next time I want a cottage

Maybe a retreat house

Maybe a place for

Pet contemplatives

We could invite patrons to workshops:

Julian for cats

Roch for dogs

Francis for the birds that visit

Via rafters


Can you imagine compline

Vigil and matins?

Cats gathered not as

Clowders but choristers

Dogs serving as lectors

Reading from

What else

You know it’s coming

Saint Bernard


C L Couch



Church ruins and a stray dog in Karpaz, Northern Cyprus.

Michal Klajban – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,



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