Back to school means back to more intentional work in my writer’s notebook. I’ve been sharing two or three different poems a day and writing alongside them with my students. Wislawa Szymborska’s “Possibilities” has been one particularly rich text to write beside. I’ve gotten the seeds for several possible pieces from this poem. But this one was the most fun to write. I invited my students to borrow a line and write from it. The second line of the poem is “I prefer cats.”
I prefer cats. I prefer senior cats and kittens, skinny cats and zaftig cats. I prefer tame cats and feral cats, house cats and tough street cats. I prefer slinky black cats with gold eyes. I prefer whiskers and eyebrows–lots of them. I prefer calicos with their fussy calico personalities. I prefer tuxedos, torties, gingers, and tabbies. I prefer neuro kitties with their wobbles and twitches and tipovers and spills. I prefer cats with fur–long fur, short fur, in between fur–and also naked cats, with their wrinkles and velvety skin. I prefer lap cats and standoffish cats, turtle cats who hide in the rafters and social butterflies who greet you at the door like dogs. Cat prefer cats too.