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Three Cat Poems by Yu-Han Chao

Ashamed Cat

He has Ashamed written all over his face and body, like the scarlet letter A, except the crime here seems more ambiguous. What did Ashamed Cat do that makes him so ashamed? He glances guiltily at Buddha Cat, who is smiling even more contentedly than ever, paws neatly folded beneath his face, cheerful mi mi eyes. Ashamed Cat thinks this will not do, this cat just makes me feel worse, I need to convert to Catholicism so I can confess my sins and feel like a new cat, no longer ashamed.

Loner Cat

Lone cat on the wall feels lost, hasn’t seen another human or another cat in days. He’d been eating the same stash of food for a few days, almost run out, but he feels incapable of going out to socialize, to face the other cats, he feels too tired, too antisocial, hopeless, unhappy. A disease of civilization, when healthy cats no longer have to work to earn their keep. Perhaps Zoloft will help, since it reportedly makes sad dumplings into happy ones, and if it works for dumplings it must surely work for depressed kitties.

Paw Map

Pass through a maximum security jail-like over pass, elevated suicide proof monkey cage, and you will be in Guanfu Li, where signs with sly looking cat silhouettes, signs with paws with four fingers, posters with cats with long noses and adorable hand drawn maps await. Paws on the map indicate where cats appear. A tabby stands for the home of the Head of Guanfu Li, head gangster. White and chocolate spotted Splotch marks Mediation Committee. Mediate between cats? Between brawling tourists? There are bus stops and verandas and pits and old mines, noodles and ice, the train station, and a Grandpa Grandma Chatting Area.


Yu-Han (Eugenia) Chao was born and grew up Taipei, Taiwan. She received her MFA from Penn State. She edits poetry for The Rose and Thorn Journal, and the Backwaters Press published her poetry book, We Grow Old, in 2008. For more writing and artwork, please visit www.yuhanchao.com