Second Chance: Ode to Minnie

Second Chance: Ode to Minnie

So I was feeling a bit left out on Valentine’s Weekend – as that shelter dog Dolly used up the entire Second Chance Pet Column to write about the origin of dogs and how long dogs have been “human’s best friend.” Blah blah – barf.

I am not sure what all that had to do with Valentine’s Day and the celebration of love, but I am going to right the wrong to my feline friends by reciting excerpts from my favorite poet, Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Naruda, considered the world’s greatest poet of the 20th century (and particularly known for his love sonnets).



An Ode to the Cat

The animals were imperfect,
unfortunate in their heads.
Little by little they
put themselves together,
making themselves a landscape,
acquiring spots, grace, flight.
The cat,
only the cat
appeared complete and proud:
he was born completely finished,
walking alone and knowing what he wanted.

Man wants to be fish or fowl,
the snake would like to have wings
the dog is a disoriented lion,
the engineer would like to be a poet,
the fly studies to be a swift,
the poet tries to imitate the fly,
but the cat
only wants to be a cat
and any cat is a cat
from his whiskers to his tail…
Oh little
emperor without a sphere of influence
conqueror without a country,
smallest living-room tiger, nuptial
sultan of the sky,
of the erotic roof-tiles,
the wind of love
in the storm
you claim
when you pass
and place
four delicate feet
on the ground,
all that is terrestrial,
because everything
is too unclean
for the immaculate foot of the cat.

Oh independent wild beast
of the house arrogant vestige of the night,
lazy, gymnastic and alien,
very deep cat,
secret policeman
of bedrooms,
insignia of a
disappeared velvet,
surely there is no enigma
in your manner,
perhaps you are not a mystery,
everyone knows of you
and you belong
to the least mysterious inhabitant,
perhaps everyone believes it,
everyone believes himself the owner,
proprietor, uncle
of a cat, companion,
colleague, disciple
or friend of his cat.

Ah Pablo, thank you so much for the truth and beauty in your words. My name is Minnie, a delightful drop-dead gorgeous, eight-month-young, long-haired feline. Beyond my love of poetry, I also enjoy affectionate petting and ear scratching – and am still accepting Valentine roses here at the shelter while I await my new loving family…

Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Well, pet heaven. Unless you are one of our furry friends who gets caught in the maw of neglect and abuse. Then heaven is on hold until Second Chance Humane Society comes to the rescue. Second Chance is the region’s nonprofit dedicated to saving animals’ lives and promoting responsible pet parenting and human-animal bond. In her weekly blog, executive director Kelly Goodin profiles at least one, generally two of the many animals now living at the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving permanent homes. The column is sponsored by Ted Hoff of Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer, partnering with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal.

Ted Hoff & Mae

Ted Hoff &  Magnificent Mae

By the by, there is no better place to park your pup than Cottonwood whenever you head out of town (for locals) or are heading to town and staying somewhere that does not allow pets. Consider joining Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. (Details on Ted’s website.)

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shop are both located in Ridgway, but service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View the shelter pets and services online:

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