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Chinatown Cat

Story ID:846
Written by:Nancy J. Kopp (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Poem
Location:San Francisco CA USA
Person:Ling Po
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Chinatown Cat

Ling Po had a ginger-colored cat,
not a very pretty one at that.
Near a window he oft slept by day.
Nights he went out and far away.

Where in Chinatown did he go?
Ling Po really wanted to know.
Night after night Cat wen
As if on a mission he’d been sent.

One warm and moonlit night,
Ling Po followed on Cat’s right.
Cat slid by cans for trash,
then Ling Po padded softly past.

He stayed a bit behind,
while Cat continued down the line.
Cat didn’t even seem to slow
when sirens began to blow.

On through dark and eerie streets,
Master and pet moved on silent feet.
Farther and farther, past store upon store.
Ling Po could not take much more!

Now beyond temple and pagoda.
This Chinatown boy needed a soda.
Then, Cat stopped, looked all around
and crouched down close to the ground.

He lay there, green eyes peering
at an ancient man now nearing.
“There you are, my friend,” he fret
“Come close to be petted.

Ling Po waited behind a car.
Was this the reason they’d come so far?
The Old One bent, pigtail swinging,
from Cat’s throat, a purr like singing.

Now Cat belonged to the pair,
for Ling Po knew he would share.
This cat who loved both young and old
was surely worth his weight in gold.
With patience, Ling Po watched the two,
no more than that could he do
until Cat turned to take his leave
and Ling Po followed him home with relief.

Note: This narrative poem was published in Boys’ Quest magazine in June 2004