Touch Not The Cat

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October, the sky wrapped in colours of slate seas and tarnished gold. Atmosphere of witchery, Samhain approaching. Stand beneath the locked door, the crest of stone; a cat black as midnight and a legend invoking the dormant blood-courage of centuries past.

Here is your life’s path narrowing to a single point in time; a doorway, a key’s turning, a dark line scored in the palm.

Badenoch, Newton Castle, Cluny. Take this feral inheritance, a clan of cats. Nurture this bloody imagination, these violent dreams.

The wildcat is a law unto herself. She stalks the forest alone, ungloved, angry. She fights battles with earth and sky, with the wind, the wild deer and any man who strays into her diminishing territory. She fights battles within herself and has outlasted every enemy. The Caldedonian forest is empty yet her tracks remain, an overpowering spoor.


             I will fight your battles, their battles

                           And my ain

             I will fight the world and heaven,

             I will be pushed into my grave, teeth bared

                           Eyes burning.


These are the months of the long nights. I invoke the wildcat, her unsheathed fury. For devilment, for the hell of it. A crackle of ancient magic fires the blood. Fall under her spell – month of moon, month of bat, of frog, ghosties, of cat. Look her in the eyes, two slices of light, and read the untamed poetry that is reflected back. I have opened the door to her loneliness, her fury. She is powerful, fearful, old - mated to my soul. The night slows time, opens a thousand eyes to witness this infernal, sublimity of past corrupting present. “Touch not the cat but a glove.” She robs my spirit of tenderness, the copulation leaves a wound that will never heal, an injustice that grows.

Liberation, to face the world unsheathed. Bitterness, to fight alone.

WritingOonagh Moon