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Stoically, smugly, sitting in The quad pretending To ignore those who pet him Only opening those sly cat eyes When his sunlight is blocked by Some good-intentioned, loving shadow

Sometimes he rises and wanders

Around, leaving when he pleases Yet always coming back to the warmth

Of his Hertford home.

Sleeping on laps and laptops To the annoyance of studious

Humans who exasperatedly at first

May try to remove him; Giving up after a futile battle They bestow upon him Freedom to sit anywhere and Be the king he always Knew he was.

On occasion he chooses A living seat and refuses To let it be anything other than his throne:

Clinging for dear life onto fabric And drawing the threads out, Plucking the poor person’s trousers like A guitar, he eventually falls off as The impatient learner heads off To hall lunch... and so begins The new search for a throne In his Hertford home.


Written in honor of the enigmatic black cat at Hertford College, Oxford University. It was an unparalleled honor if he sat on your lap while you were reading in the quad or stole your seat in the library!

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