The Cathay nation as a whole
is clever and inscrutable,
But not a lot of people know that
this applies also to their cats.

In China, cats are suitable to train,
to sit uncomfortably in line,
squatting in little holes at night
and act as feline traffic lights.

Their apprehensive heads protrude
above the surface of the road
facing the traffic with a squint.

They do not even dare to blink,
exposed to juggernaut and car.

And all they do is stare and stare.

Straight down the middle of the way,
especially to Old Cathay
where all too often it is foggy,
the Chinese cousin of our moggy
marks out the route with jewelled eye.

Of course they cannot possibly avoid
from time to time ‑ even the brainier ‑
staccato bumps upon their crania.

But they all know there’s much at stake
worth the occasional headache.

So this is why we ought to praise
the cats of Cathay and their emerald eyes.