The History Of One Tough Motherfucker Stray Cat Poem by Charles Bukowski

The History Of One Tough Motherfucker Stray Cat Poem by Charles Bukowski

The History Of One Tough Motherfucker

he came to the door one night wet thin beaten and
terrorized
a white cross-eyed tailless cat
I took him in and fed him and he stayed
grew to trust me until a friend drove up the driveway
and ran him over
I took what was left to a vet who said,”not much
chance…give him these pills…his backbone
is crushed, but is was crushed before and somehow
mended, if he lives he’ll never walk, look at
these x-rays, he’s been shot, look here, the pellets
are still there…also, he once had a tail, somebody
cut it off…”
I took the cat back, it was a hot summer, one of the
hottest in decades, I put him on the bathroom
floor, gave him water and pills, he wouldn’t eat, he
wouldn’t touch the water, I dipped my finger into it
and wet his mouth and I talked to him, I didn’t go any-
where, I put in a lot of bathroom time and talked to
him and gently touched him and he looked back at
me with those pale blue crossed eyes and as the days went
by he made his first move
dragging himself forward by his front legs
(the rear ones wouldn’t work)
he made it to the litter box
crawled over and in,
it was like the trumpet of possible victory
blowing in that bathroom and into the city, I
related to that cat-I’d had it bad, not that
bad but bad enough
one morning he got up, stood up, fell back down and
just looked at me.
“you can make it,” I said to him.
he kept trying, getting up falling down, finally
he walked a few steps, he was like a drunk, the
rear legs just didn’t want to do it and he fell again, rested,
then got up.
you know the rest: now he’s better than ever, cross-eyed
almost toothless, but the grace is back, and that look in
his eyes never left…
and now sometimes I’m interviewed, they want to hear about
life and literature and I get drunk and hold up my cross-eyed,
shot, runover de-tailed cat and I say,”look, look
at this!”
but they don’t understand, they say something like,”you
say you’ve been influenced by Celine?”
“no,” I hold the cat up,”by what happens, by
things like this, by this, by this!”
I shake the cat, hold him up in
the smoky and drunken light, he’s relaxed he knows…
it’s then that the interviews end
although I am proud sometimes when I see the pictures
later and there I am and there is the cat and we are photo-
graphed together.
he too knows it’s bullshit but that somehow it all helps.

***

Posted in art music poetry, Charles Bukowski, Famous Poets, Poetry Posts

Bukowski Poems

8 Count
A Challenge To The Dark
A Following
A Radio With Guts
A Smile to Renember
Alone With Everybody
An Almost Made Up Poem 
And The Moon And The Stars And The World
ANOTHER BED
Another Day
Are You Drinking?
AS CRAZY AS I EVER WAS
As The Poems Go
As The Sparrow
At the track today
Back to the Machine Gun
BAD TIMES AT THE 3RD AND VERMONT HOTEL
Be Angry At San Pedro
Be Kind
BEER
Big Night On The Town
Bluebird Poem
Cause And Effect
Confession
Cows In Art Class
Cut While Shaving
Death of an idiot
Death Wants More Death
Eat Your Heart Out This is It
Flophouse
For The Foxes
Freedom  and He Drank Wine All Night
Gamblers All Not Going to Make it
God I got the sad blue blues
Grief
Hell is a Lonely Place
I don’t know what to do
I Made A Mistake
In the hospitals and jails
Love & Fame & Death
man in the sun 
My Father
My First Affair With That Older Woman
My Groupie
New Mexico
NIGHT SCHOOL
Nirvana
 On Going Back To The Street After Viewing An Art Show
Question and Answer
Rain Or Shine Vultures at the Zoo
Roll the Dice
Ruin
SHE SAID
Short Order
Show Biz
Sleep
Some People Never Go Crazy
Sparrow
THE ALIENS
The Blackbirds are Rough Today
The Great Poet
The Great Slob
The History Of One Tough Motherfucker Stray Cat Poe
The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth
The Poetry Reading
The Secret Of My Endurance

The Shower
The wind blows hard tonight
They are building a house
They found him walking along the freeway
They only burn themselves to reach Paradise
This time has finished me
THOSE GIRLS WE FOLLOWED HOME
To the whore who took my s
Traffic report
Trapped don’t undress my love mannequin
Trash can
Upon reading a critical review
Van Gogh
We Ain’t Got No Money, Honey, But We Got Rain
what i liked about e.e. cummings
Who In The Hell Is Tom Jones
Young in New Orleans