poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘a niche for Zoë’ Category

Zoe finds a nest

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Every Christmas my kind brother-in-law gives us a beautiful basket, filled with homemade pickles and treats and done up with such style. I always save the basket and this morning put it in a chair to go upstairs. Not three minutes later, I came out to the living room to find Zoe in the basket, the straw rearranged to suit her. Not very apologetic either! Sorry, I realise the Net is overrun with photos of well-loved cats!



Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

February 22, 2017 at 7:05 am

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a place for Zoe

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I’ve heard the theory that the Internet is 90% occupied by cats. I have spent a fair share of my time watching feline antics on stairways, kittens tumbling from chairs and cats sneaking up on cameras.


The cat I spend most time with is Zoe. She is a small cat, about eight years old (whoops, my niece says Zoe is twelve)! She tries so hard to communicate and can usually make herself understood via telepathy. She sits and stares at me and I go through the list. Food? No. Water? No. Ice cubes? Yes.



Zoe checks in with me at intervals through the day. She greets me and listens to the morning bird chorus with me. She runs in front of me to her bowls and waits while I feed her. When I am typing at the computer, she hops up and tries to help. Later, when I watch TV, she snoozes on my lap for a few minutes. She usually appears later to race through the house from corner to corner.



Nothing special about this particular cat post. But I wish I had Zoe’s nonchalance, her utter calm, her faith that all will be well.


Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

June 22, 2016 at 7:00 am

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Zoë, watching

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Our feeding of the birds has given our cat, Zoë, a new form of entertainment.  She sits in the chair in front of the glass of the door leading to the deck and watches.  Her head swivels as each new arrival lands and selects its seed.  All evening, the pupils in her eyes are as black as those of the little Flying Squirrels she sees outside the window.

The birds and squirrels know they are being watched but have decided the sphinx behind the window glass cannot harm them.  For her part, Zoe knows she can only observe the antics around the feeder.  She contents herself with the pantomime of predation.



strategic hyphenation


patience nestles into space

between edge-wise foliage

strategic paw-placement where

no dry-leaf crackle, dry-twig snap

disturbs the nothingness downwind

of furred-or-feathered prey

no tattling breeze

can carry scent-anticipation


to be pounced-upon

all muscle-twitch contained

in nervous, horizontal




©  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

January 18, 2012 at 9:54 am

string for Zoë

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Our cat Zoë’s niche includes a ‘string’. 

I often say our Zoë is ‘telepathetic‘.  She will sit and stare me down until I understand what she wants.  Sometimes she wants food.  Sometimes she wants fresh water, or an ice cube (yes, an ice cube).  Sometimes she wants to play, with her string.  Her trust that we will figure out what she wants is pitiful.

The string is not a special toy.  Any long thin peice of string will do.  A shoelace or a length of thread are all the same to Zoë.

Zoë can be an acrobat when her string is part of the action.  She will stalk the string and pounce on it.  She will walk upright on her back legs to reach it.  Sometimes she just wants to look at it.





Zoë thinks she is telepathic

sits intently, stares at me

narrow pupils on pale green eyes


I run the list

water, cat food, litter

such simple needs

but no thought resonates

with telepathic tremble



the word vibrates

as if plucked on a guitar

Zoë blinks her eyes

looks over her shoulder, utter longing

ten inch shoelace, knot at one end

pathetic on the hearth


black pupils open round

frank pathway to brain


© Jane Tims  2010

© Jane Tims 2011

Written by jane tims

December 9, 2011 at 6:32 am

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through Zoë’s eyes

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Each space is unique to its occupier.  For example, two people will experience a space quite differently.  How they perceive a space depends on their mood, their individual preferences for certain tastes, smells, and colours, and their background and memories.

Animals perceive spaces very differently from humans.  Their eyes and ears are tuned to a broader spectrum of colour and a different range of sound frequencies.

Zoë watches the air above her

My cat Zoë sees the world very differently from me.  Her perceptions are much keener.  At times, she will pay sudden and rapt attention to the empty space above her.  I puzzle for a moment, look a little harder, and there it is … a tiny moth I would never have seen if Zoë had not pointed the way.

If you have a pet, are you amazed at how differently they experience their space?

Zoe watches the birds in the feeders


Stalking the Wind


the cat crouches 

on the window sill

puzzles out the night

considers fireflies and the moon

explores the June bug

on the other side

of the screen

pats at a maple key

wandering on the wind


when the door cracks open

she is ready

she slips between my feet

into the yard


and waits


all around her

            the crickets

            the tickle of grass

            the scent of other cats


no moment     to gather herself

and run


into the arms of her keeper

scolded inside

dour at the window


next time

she will not pause


she will leap and run

kin with the fireflies

pursuit of the wind


Published as: ‘Stalking the Wind’, Spring 1995, Green’s Magazine XXIV (1)

 © Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

August 16, 2011 at 6:34 am

Posted in a niche for Zoë

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