10 Poetic Tributes to Cats

Esteemed American poet T. S. Eliot had a deep love of cats, evidenced in his 1939 collection of humorous poems Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. The whimsical work was originally composed to amuse his godchildren and friends, but became admired by feline fanciers the world over (inspiring the Andrew Lloyd Webber Cats). Open Culture featured an audiobook version of Eliot’s poems on their website this week, with readings from the author himself. In the spirit of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, we collected ten other poems for pussycats — tributes to their mystique and reflections on their place in our (lesser) human lives.


Charles Baudelaire, “The Cat

In reverie they emulate the noble mood
Of giant sphinxes stretched in depths of solitude
Who seem to slumber in a never-ending dream