A Soft October Night, 1987

orange and white cat
Allegro in the Autumn Sun

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

T.S. Eliot, excerpt, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

It is a soft October night, a little misty in the warm glow under the street light, and I remembered my orange boy, Allegro, as the leaves were falling thickly like colorful rain in the October breeze; how he loved to chase them. This photo of Allegro is from around 1987, taken with film and my good old Pentax K-1000. In light of what I do now, it’s not a bad composition at all, thinking of me lying flat on my belly on the floor using my elbows as a tripod, and Allegro wondering what I was up to. But he never thought too deeply about things, so no wrinkles on his forehead.

And I love this image of the street cat from T.S. Eliot’s poem, totally unrelated to the subject of the poem it’s excerpted from, but Eliot worked cat imagery into his poetry all the time. Rumor has it he was often not a pleasant person to be around, but he, the author of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, certainly loved cats. I learned much about crafting words into images by reading his poetry, and not the least for finding feline imagery hidden in the pages.

You can read a little about Allegro in my seasonal tales “Little Visits” and “Photographs and Memories”. You can also read a bit about him in “The Artist’s Life: The Splendor of Autumn“. Someday soon I will tell his rescue story; I had planned to tell it to you today and share a new painting of Allegro tomorrow on the day I feature artwork, but this month has been difficult for deadlines.

 I wrote an article about T. S. Eliot, his feline imagery, and my discovery of it as a college freshman in Litter-ary Cats: T.S. Eliot, which won a Certificate of Excellence in the Cat Writers’ Association 2012 Communication Contest. I continue to be inspired.


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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

4 thoughts on “A Soft October Night, 1987

  • October 29, 2013 at 8:57 pm
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    Beautiful Bernadette..Allegro and the poem..

    Reply
    • October 29, 2013 at 9:20 pm
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      Thank you, Blue Moon, I’m so glad to share.

      Reply
  • October 29, 2013 at 6:54 pm
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    What a handsome boy – as you know I love orange boys! The poems was lovely too. I love Eliot’s use of feline imagery in his poems.

    Reply
    • October 29, 2013 at 9:20 pm
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      Vicki, Allegro was the only orange boy who stayed with me–there were other fosters, but he’s still been the only creamsicle kitty.

      Reply

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