Southampton is a Cool Cat


Southampton is a ferrel catp1170655

stretched out on a grand, green lawn

of broad summer sunshine

Fatted on battered haddock

grappled for against gulls

conquests behind nightclubs

kicked-over street bins

reeking of curry and booze

She cleans her face but not Her furp1100615

Who does She need to impress?


Southampton is a cool cat

catch the rat between two rivers

acrobatics at gas works

parkour-flipping around the old town walls

From hooks of port cranes

She sees it all.

Southampton is a wise old catp1090073

hoisted up quick and sailed close-to-wind

Her kittens roam world-wide

thirst knowledge – take notes

stalk students on side-streets

hide beneath Ford Transits


Southampton is flatteredp1100968

by the kindness of strangers

You’re fun – She likes to play

Curl up with Her by the coal fire

Stroke, purr, snooze,

Come dawn She’ll yowl you out of bed

Howl and holler ‘til She’s fed

p1120095Southampton is the eternal cat

you will never own

She’ll still be here

when you’ve sneaked out

by the back stairs

never to be forgotten

so longed for on your return


p1110933You will find Her asleep on tombs of sea captains

who dutifully sank with their vessels

You will find Her at the dock-gates

preening Her paws for sailors

from mighty merchant boats

who came bearing gifts

in big metal containers

For this ship’s cat

that can stare at Queens


p1140027Call Her names across the pitch… Scummer!

But don’t come looking for a fight – Mush!

Or She’ll give you War

Southampton. The great Defender

She sees you in the dark

She will hook out your eyes

with Her steel claws

One Spitfire pounce can kill

Wounds licked  –  She’ll be on her feet again

This Cat has nine lives


Poem and Photos © Southampton Old Lady

28 thoughts on “Southampton is a Cool Cat

    • Yes. Thanks Erica. I started it a year ago after being asked what animal Southampton would be – I thought a scruffy, white cat like one I know. The photo was taken from ship – local people never get this view point very often.


  1. Just wonderful! It’s a creative metaphor, and you expanded it so well. I thought of T.S. Eliot, and his naming of cats. Yup — you and ol’ T.S., writing cat poetry for the ages. The photos are great, too. I like the ones of the docks and such, but that portrait of the cat, with her tail crooked just so? Perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I have to confess that I’m not fond of the modern ships. They have no elegance, although I remember being terribly impressed when the new Queen Mary eased herself sideways into her berth when she first appeared in Southampton. I just looked it up and it was almost 14 years ago. I’m just old enough to remember how sad it was when the original Queen Mary left Southampton for the final time.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A very satisfying post to read. I hope you had the same feeling of satisfaction when you wrote it. Loved all the photos but the blue eyes of the white cat captured my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

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