On soft padded paws, the black cat treads
slowly infiltrating the night.
Cautiously stalking his perceived dreads
lips part, teeth flash, ready to fight.

The cat pulls back, his spine hairs alert
he pauses ’fore slithering on.
Slit eyes of gold, on guard!, they assert
feigning cool, he stifles a yawn.

He’s prey or it’s prey, he knows not which
fear propels him to take a stand.
Back arched, ears flat, the tail starts to twitch
one pounce, and I’m back from dreamland.

(Written for dVerse, Meeting The Bar: Following Through On Metaphor. September 11, 2014.)

This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, Poetry, Short Fiction, Short Story and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to “Nightcat”

  1. billgncs says:

    Vb, are you writing about our old Siamese cat that each morning as we barefoot from bed to breakfast would hide in a separate place and jump out with a hiss and attack our ankles! So you could say this seemed familiar 🙂

  2. I like how the cat comes out from the dreamland in the last stanza.. the way it slithers through being prey or not .. it’s very catlike…

    • vbholmes says:

      Sometimes in dreams, it’s hard to tell whether you’re the one in danger or you’re the dangerous one. I like that the black cat is very catlike–the way all self-respecting felines should be.

  3. Mary says:

    Oh, you have definitely shared a lot about the cat’s personality in this poem. I loved the ending…which I interpreted to mean that the cat pounded on you, as you were in dreamland. This has happened to me with one of my dogs!

    • vbholmes says:

      Right on, Mary–and, successful or not, the cat is supposed to be a metaphor for the villains who stalk us (or who we stalk) in our nightmares (ergo, “I” awaken before the cat lands).

  4. Grace says:

    I admire the imagery of the nightcat with slit eyes of gold ~ This one struck out for me:

    He’s prey or it’s prey, he knows not which

  5. ManicDdaily says:

    Ah. Very suspenseful! Night is like that! Thanks. k.

  6. Glenn Buttkus says:

    We certainly do have our share of villains to dispatch while dreaming, ego & ID conjure up some frightening ones; but though I have killed things in my slumber, I have never actually seemed to be harmed; nice that way.

  7. Vb, well-done metaphor for those things that happen in dreams. I just linked, so I’m a bit late, but there are so many good writers in this bunch.


  8. lynndiane says:

    i could hear this cat hiss! Like your description of gold slit eyes feigning cool… pretty much describes some cats i’ve known.

  9. Love how the form heightens the tension and puts the images in high relief – nice twist at the end because it felt quite real and indelible images throughout. Well done.

  10. Yikes! I’m allergic to cats, but still doesn’t stop me from playing with friends’ cats… one of em is feisty lil devil… nice write

  11. claudia says:

    oh heck… the tension is palpable in this…

  12. Ah, you had me with padded paws and black cat! Nice follow through on feline metaphor. Who knows where dreams may take us. Nicely done!

    • vbholmes says:

      I tried to comment on your site but I kept getting cut off in mid-sentence. Your post resonated with me as I had two family members who suffered from dementia. Good write.

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