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Laughing Stock

Hamlet's Cat's Soliloquy

To go outside, and there perchance to stay 
Or to remain within: that is the question 
Whether 'tis better for a cat to suffer 
The cuffs and buffets of inclement weather 
That Nature rains on those who roam abroad, 
Or take a nap upon a scrap of carpet, 
And so by dozing melt the solid hours 
That clog the clock's bright gears with sullen time 
And stall the dinner bell. To sit, to stare 
Outdoors, and by a stare to seem to state 
A wish to venture forth without delay, 
Then when the portal's opened up, to stand 
As if transfixed by doubt. To prowl; to sleep; 
To choose not knowing when we may once more 
Our readmittance gain: aye, there's the hairball; 
For if a paw were shaped to turn a knob, 
Or work a lock or slip a window-catch, 
And going out and coming in were made 
As simple as the breaking of a bowl, 
What cat would bear the household's petty plagues, 
The cook's well-practiced kicks, the butler's broom, 
The infant's careless pokes, the tickled ears, 
The trampled tail, and all the daily shocks 
That fur is heir to, when, of his own free will, 
He might his exodus or entrance make 
With a mere mitten? Who would spaniels fear, 
Or strays trespassing from a neighbor's yard, 
But that the dread of our unheeded cries 
And scratches at a barricaded door 
No claw can open up, dispels our nerve 
And makes us rather bear our human's faults 
Than run away to unguessed miseries? 
Thus caution doth make house cats of us all; 
And thus the bristling hair of resolution 
Is softened up with the pale brush of thought, 
And since our choices hinge on weighty things, 
We pause upon the threshold of decision. 

- Shakespaw 


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