What is a summary of the poem "Cat!" by Eleanor Farjeon?

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literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Eleanor Farjeon's poem "Cat!" can be described as a shape poem. If one were to examine the choice of line length, over the course of the poem, he or she would notice that the line lengths vary greatly. Some lines include only one word, while others total four words. This is important because it describes the actions of a cat: from crouching away from a dog (signified by a one word line "Wuff") to climbing a tree (the longest line signifying the top of the cat's world). One can see the cat skittering over the floor, crouching in defense, and climbing to high perches.  Essentially, the movement of the poem (the line length) moves as a cat does.

As for summarizing the poem, the meaning is simple. The poem speaks to the daily life of a typical cat. Through analysis, one can assume that the narrator has come in contact with a cat she (assumed given the gender of the poet) does not wish around. It is through the closing line that the narrator reveals her intent, to get rid of the cat:


The narrator wishes the cat to be gone, denoted by the "scat," and after the cat leaves, nothing more needs to be done ("that's that!).

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pursam | eNotes Newbie

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The moral of the poem 'Cat' by Eleanor Farjeon :

The cat described in the poem is a typical cat, that is afraid of dogs and climbs up a tree to protect itself from a dog. Like humans, animals also possess fears. They also try to protect themselves from their enemies and they also express themselves by doing some actions and producing some sounds.

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