Poetry Review – T S Eliot – Macavity The Mystery Cat

Photo taken by me – My Cat Smudge
Preston, England
December 29, 2015 11:13am CST
One of Eliot’s lovely Cat poems, used in the long running musical Cats. Macavity represents the household pet cat who manages to move and disturb ornaments, and break a few things in the house, but somehow manages to be nowhere near the scene of the incident by the time you discover the situation. Many cat owners will know the sound of a falling vase, or a suddenly vanished slice of meat from a plate. They’ll know the cat had everything to do with the incident, but the cat will be found sitting in another room, looking oblivious to what must have occurred, and as innocent of blame as anyone genuinely harassed for crimes they have never committed. Eliot’s poem exaggerates this cat-trait to see Macavity as a major jewel thief, sought by international police, who somehow manages to hide himself away so you can never locate him. Macavity is a ginger cat, who can pretend to be asleep while taking in everything around him. He is the Moriarty of the cat world, a criminal genius we see in virtually any domestic cat, but more so in some than others. Arthur Chappell
9 people like this
8 responses
@LadyDuck (187952)
• Switzerland
29 Dec 15
I love the similarity with Moriarty, the evil genius against Holmes. I learned something new tonight, I did not know that Eliot wrote the Cat poems. Your cat is cute.
3 people like this
@pgiblett (6576)
• Canada
29 Dec 15
I remember the story and did love it, not that I ever imagined any of my cats to be Macavity.
2 people like this
• Preston, England
29 Dec 15
Mine more than qualifies for the part much of the time
@troyburns (1428)
• New Zealand
30 Dec 15
Off topic,perhaps, but my favorite cat poem has always been the one by A S J Tessimond.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
30 Dec 15
that is good, though I only just read it looking it up from your mention of it though I still prefer Eliot.
1 person likes this
@troyburns (1428)
• New Zealand
30 Dec 15
@arthurchappell - Not knocking Eliot at all - Macavity is a wonderful poem, with subtle, hidden kinks. Just like a cat, really.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
30 Dec 15
@troyburns very much so, and just one of a set of poems - each of Eliot's cats has a very specific defined character of his own
@Jessicalynnt (47879)
• Centralia, Missouri
1 Jan 16
well innocently and vigorously bathing their face. as if to scrub off the guilt
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
1 Jan 16
yes, they are masters of disguised feelings
1 person likes this
@alberello75 (19926)
• Genova, Italy
29 Dec 15
Well, maybe the moral wants you to believe that it is always the fault of pets (dogs, cats, etc.), even when they are innocent! I love animals, so I do not think to see this movie, "Cat Eliot"
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
29 Dec 15
No such movie @alberello75 Cats is a very popular musical stage show setting the poetry of T S Eliot to music
@TheHorse (74825)
• Walnut Creek, California
29 Dec 15
I hadn't realized Eliot wrote cat poems!
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
29 Dec 15
yes the collection from 1939 is called old possum's book of practical cats and the poems are the lyrics to the musical called Cats - here is the cat poem Magical Mr Misteofolees set to music in the stage show
From the Crown Uptown's 2013 staging of Cats
1 person likes this
@amadeo (78301)
• United States
29 Dec 15
Same here did not realized that he wrote cat poems.Something learned today
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (141256)
• Bunbury, Australia
30 Dec 15
This is a great poem. I remember reading it at school.