October 5, 2016

Vibrissae or My Cat Whisker Collection

Why do I collect whiskers? I don't really know.
It started on a whim, about 25 years ago.
Now I have almost two hundred, call me crazy,
From about a dozen different cats, and a dog named Maisy.

First whiskers from Zelda, then Sadie Baby,
By now I might be turning into that kind of cat lady.
They are my companions, familiars and kin,
In this funny way I honor their fuzzy contributions.

Whiskers are cool, here's some facts:
They are not just hair upon the cats.
Known as vibrissae, sensitive touch receptors,
They act like radar, little kitty interceptors.

Whiskers help cats to perceive, especially at night,
Fit in small places, figure out if they're tight.
Really, they act as the ultimate sensory guage,
And just like us, whiskers change color with age.

You might not believes this, even think it's absurd,
But none of my pets' names are used for my passwords!
Simply talking about the weird thing I collect,
Helps me express my profound feline respect.

Now Roxie! Now Rosie! Now Mango and Poppy!
On, CJ! On, Cotton! On, Alex and Sharkey!
"To the top of porch! To the top of the wall!"
Each of these cats, I have loved them all.

And then we had Maisy, who was very special,
Yes indeedy, she was trans-Pet-ual.
A cat trapped in a dog's body, she could even purr,
She had pop-corny feet, and deep black fur.

As a perpetual cat-lover for all of my life,
Maisy taught me tolerance, acceptance of strife,
Her owner's also transgendered, and I always feel proud,
To be a part of a particularly colorful crowd.

What will I do with these whiskers? Glad you asked,
I think I'll have them scattered, along with my ash.
I'm sure it's clear from what you read above,
What these whiskers really represent -  is unconditional love.

You can see my collection of whiskers displayed alongside other local collections at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History starting October 7th.