Athenian Cats [Athens 2018 daily poem series #3]
Athenian cats may be Greek
but that isn't the language they speak.
Neither do they communicate exclusively in the international language of Cat;
Athenian moggies are a little more sophisticated than that.
They prowl and meander and frolic and woo
and slumber for hours as other cats do
but given that most of them live on the street
they're concerned above all to find something to eat.
And the principal source
is the kindness of diners who, during their meal,
respond, it would seem, to two types of appeal.
The Athenian felines' majority voice
(it's adaptive behaviour rather than choice)
is a brawling insistence, a pestering blur,
a dialect rendered in vagabond fur;
by contrast the tactic employed by the rest
(a proportion shaped too by Darwinian test)
means sitting with patience, unmoving and mute,
then turning their eyes up to Maximum Cute.
Two means of transmission, but one single goal:
they want to remind us that they're in control.
Both means are effective, that's certainly true:
they say to us "Feed me!" and that's what we do.