Sue Millard: Catastrophe


I injured a claw in the garden
But licking has done it no good.
My humans have taken me vet-wards
And now I am wearing a hood.
It’s conic and fits like a collar
Or maybe Elizabeth’s ruff.
It stops me from licking the damage
(And that is frustrating enough)
But it stuffs-up my hearing and balance
And keeps me from washing my face;
I just have to suffer my itches
And my coat is a total disgrace.
I enter the dining room backwards.
The silly thing follows me there.
I sit down and claw it, but nothing
Will get the cone out of my hair.
I can’t rub my head as a greeting
And eating’s a bit hit and miss –
I just have to hope that the collar
Will scoop up and corner my dish.
And as for my drinking, well sadly
It’s come to this terrible pass;
I have to sit lapping up water
From the top of a very tall glass.
I crouch on my chair in a morning
And growl at the jokes people crack;
“You’d be a light-bulb in a lampshade
If light-bulbs were furry and black.
Shall we get you a telly subscription
And then you can tune in to Sky?”
Hilarious. Stick me on YouTube
And people can laugh till they cry!

I sit and I scowl at the humans
Who laugh at my cone as at sport.
Imprisoned inside the back-kitchen,
I concentrate power of thought,
And practise at pointing with plastic.
That door has a lesson to learn.
I’m focusing hard on the handle
And willing the bastard to turn.
The post lady calls with a parcel –
I see that my wish has come true –
I scoot out and head for the railings
But I can’t get the bloody cone through.
I’m captured, and back in the kitchen
They launder my paw and I croon
A war song of oaths and defiance
At having salt rubbed in the wound.
They tell me it isn’t forever:
On Friday the cone will be shed.
If any mouse gets in my way then
I’ll kill it and rip off its head.