Thursday, April 5, 2018

Rhyming with a Side of E

Some weeks seem to go by like molasses, and others like a speeding bullet. This week, for me, has surprisingly been the latter. I can't believe it's already Thursday, but it is! And, as usual, for this Thursday post we are participating in Angel Sammy and Teddy's Thoroughly Poetic Thursday challenge.

Our pawsome and poetic hosts give us a photo prompt with which to work each week. This week's photo prompt is this stunner right here:

I was incredibly excited the second I saw this photo. It immediately reminded me of one of my favorite fantasy series growing up as a child. I was still going through grade school and high school when the Harry Potter books were being released. As a huge fantasy fan even as a toddler (thanks for that, Dad!), I found great joy in reading this series as I went through my preteen and teenage years. Do I sound like a geek? A nerd? That's okay, because I'll openly admit that I am all of the above.

Anyway, for those who don't know, the magical kids in the Harry Potter series go to a magical school known as Hogwarts. And to get to Hogwarts, they have to take a train known as the Hogwarts Express. So, when I saw the mesmerizing photo above, it took no time at all for my brain to think of the magical train in Harry Potter.

Now, I didn't go and write some Harry Potter fanfiction poem or anything like that. But, I did incorporate the idea of magic and, of course, a cameo from a train. My poem is weird and random, as per usual, but if you'd like to read it anyway, you'll find it below. (Yet again, my weekly poem is long. Really, really long. I should start offering prizes to all those who survive my wordy rhymes.)

Tilly and the Ten O'Clock Train to Tremain

Tilly was a girl of twelve,
And she had a secret that she could not shelve.
You see, Tilly was a girl with magic,
But this was not something she considered tragic.
Tilly was indeed a young little witch,
But it was her magic that made her feel rich.

But this is where the truth must be told.
Tilly knew that her magic she needed to mold.
After all, she had just yesterday transformed her aunt's dog,
Into none other than a slimy, croaking frog.
This had been an accident, of course,
And one for which Tilly felt great remorse.

Since magic was not all that common in Tilly's village,
Seeking help from a neighbor was not an available privilege.
Some family and friends tried to offer advice,
But these folks' counsel oft came with a price,
Such as when the baker once recommended Tilly learn to steer a broom,
And straight through a window the girl witch did zoom.

Soon after, the librarian suggested Tilly find herself a feline familiar,
And this idea the little witch deemed a real winner.
To the shelter she went and adopted a tiny black kitten,
With whom she immediately grew totally smitten.

This little kitty picked up on Tilly's magic,
And his penchant for the gift had Tilly ecstatic.
That is, until one day a lack of finesse he also began to show,
When with every purr he began to shoot fire from his nose.
Tilly's kitten, just like her, needed to fine-tune his magic,
And she quickly named the furry little guy Havoc.

Tilly decided she and Havoc needed professional aid,
For they were quite obviously amateurs at this magical trade.
Tilly rummaged through the library's pamphlets and scrolls,
Hoping to find information on nearby magical souls.

After hours and hours of searching the archives,
Tilly began to lose hope in her endeavor and her tired eyes.
But then she finally found a helpful feature,
For one little scroll indeed advertised a magical teacher.
Master Wizard was his offered name,
And he could be found over in Tremain.

With the scroll in one pocket and Havoc in the other,
Tilly packed up her things and said farewell to her mother.
She walked through fields and forests to reach her destination,
Which was, at this time, the train station.

To the ticket booth Tilly did scurry,
Where she asked, "How can I get to Tremain in a hurry?"
The man behind the booth did not even look up,
When he said, "Until ten o'clock tomorrow morning you're out of luck."
That meant Tilly had to wait all night,
Which to her really was a grand plight.

The clock on the station wall had only just struck two,
Which meant Tilly and Havoc had to find a way to pass the afternoon.
They moseyed over to the little town nearby,
Hoping to find something to help pass the time.

Tilly and Havoc first visited a merchant's store,
Where being sold was beautiful glassware galore.
Tilly told her little kitten to touch nothing at all,
For she did not want even one glass from the shelves to fall.

Havoc obeyed and stayed perched in her pocket.
That is, until a bright and shining laser from his eyes did rocket.
That was something Tilly had certainly not seen before,
And it was also something that made dozens of vases fall to the floor.

With a crash and a bang and a boom,
The merchant came running to their side of the room.
"What have you done?" he cried.
"Here, I can fix it," was what Tilly replied.
Tilly muttered a charm that she was sure would make the repairs,
But the vases only ended up with arms, legs, and some hair.

After that, Tilly and Havoc fled from the scene,
As the merchant shouted things really quite mean.
Feeling sad, hungry, and tired,
Tilly decided that for the night it was time to retire.

The witch and her kitten found their way to an inn,
Where dinner was just about to begin.
Tilly ordered herself some sausage and kraut,
And for Havoc there was a dish of tuna and trout.
When Tilly decided she wanted a little more flavor to her meal,
She waved her hand, but simply managed to turn it into an eel.

Tilly took Havoc to their room at the inn,
And declared that neither could do magic therein.
After all, they had already caused enough damage that day,
And Tilly did not want to get into anymore trouble, no way.

They passed the night nearly without shame,
Except for when Havoc sneezed and the bed sheets went up in flames.
The little witch and her kitten set out bright and early,
In part because the the innkeeper was a tad bit surly.

They arrived at the train station with time to spare.
The wait for the train was something Tilly could hardly bear.
Finally, though, it chugged into sight,
And Tilly and Havoc boarded it with great delight.

Though Tilly kept her lips sealed and sat on her hands,
And also told Havoc that his magic was banned,
The two still managed to turn another passenger's toddler into a lamb,
Whose mother then told them to scram.

When the train finally reached the town of Tremain,
Tilly's reputation felt perfectly strained.
But that had simply been destined to happen,
For the lamb of her making had spat on the train's captain.

Scurrying and skedaddling off of the train,
Tilly and Havoc were eager for the aid they would gain in Tremain.
Tilly pulled out the scroll with Master Wizard's address,
But after reading it she felt a bit of distress.
After all, it read:
Go thirty-seven steps to the right of where a woman bakes bread.
Then take a left until you find where the river does spread.
Follow the water past roughly three hundred eighty-nine trees,
And there the wizard you will see.

Looking up from the scroll's instructions,
Tilly's brain seemed to have ceased to function.
She had no idea where to begin.
But then, she realized, the way to go Havoc already did pin.

The kitten was chasing crickets in the lawn of a bakery,
Where inside a woman was making bread that smelled ever so savory.
That, Tilly was sure, was where the scroll's instruction's began.
And so to the right of the bakery Tilly and Havoc traveled thirty-seven steps' span.
They took a left and indeed found a roaring river,
And then passed roughly three hundred eighty-nine trees that in the breeze did quiver.

Now Tilly and Havoc stood and waited.
Should she not see the wizard, as the scroll stated?
But, alas, there was no wizard in sight.
Was there something she had failed to do right?

Almost completely out of hope,
Tilly looked around and caught sight of a rope.
From one of the trees in front of her it hung,
And back and forth in the breeze it swung.
Looking up and up and way up in the tree,
Tilly was surprised at what she did see.

Nestled way up there was none other than a treehouse,
Built so high that from the ground it looked no bigger than a mouse.
Did the wizard live up there?
Tilly didn't know if that was a thought she should dare.
What to do, she did not know,
And so she yelled up, "Um, hello?"

After a few moments' time of standing in silent limbo,
A head peeked out of the treehouse window.
From what she could tell from way below,
The head belonged to an old bearded fellow.

"Get off my lawn!" the old man yelled.
Tilly took a deep breath until her confidence swelled.
"Are you Master Wizard?" she asked.
"No!" was the only thing he threw back.
"But, I followed the directions on this scroll," Tilly pled.
"I was Master Wizard once," the old man said,
"But I most certainly am not anymore."
Ready to argue, she held up the scroll,
Only to then realize it was marked with a date from ten years ago.

"Perhaps all I need is a lesson or two," Tilly then began.
But negative words the retired wizard spewed yet again.
"Here," Tilly said in the form of a yelp,
"Let me show you why I need your help.
I'm going to turn this rope into a rose."
Tilly turned to the treehouse's rope and her eyes she did close.
She thought she knew well the rose incantation's prose.
But, alas, she must have made a mistake,
For now dangling in the rope's place was a giant snake!

Tilly screamed and ran with her kitten Havoc in hand,
Until suddenly beside her stood the bearded old man.
He waved his hands and said a few words,
And the snake disappeared in a smokey blur.

"See?" Tilly said with her hands on her hips.
"I told you I need your magical tips."
The old man did not argue the point anymore,
But instead he nodded and did retort,
"Teaching you magic is going to be a chore.
That was an uglier rose than I have ever laid eyes on before."

"I'm tired of being the worst witch ever," Tilly told the old man.
"I even started my day off by turning a child into a lamb!"
The old man snorted and shook his head in dismay,
And then said, "Good grief, this is going to be a long day."

Despite the insults and grumpy nature of the old man,
Tilly could not help but clap her hands.
It seemed the old wizard was going to help her hone her magical skills,
So that others would no longer think her such a pill.

"Oh, by the way, my name is Tilly."
She offered the old man her hand with a smile quite giddy.
Tilly then pointed to Havoc, who was acting like a kitten most silly.
"My kitten needs your help, too," she had to admit,
"Because fire comes out of him every time he spits."

"Jiminy Cricket," the old wizard said with a frown,
Before adding, "No matter, let's help you get this magic thing down.
Come now, let's hurry along and begin.
Oh, and by the way, my name is Merlin."

Now, usually at this point we share an illustration for our poem. We will indeed be sharing an illustration for the above poem, but that just won't be today. Since we're participating in the A to Z Challenge this month, and since our A to Z Challenge theme involves sharing daily doodles, that's the doodle we'll be showing you today. But, most Sundays are skipped during the A to Z Challenge. So long story short, what I'm getting at, is that for the month of April our poem illustrations will be shared the Sunday after the poem is posted. So, for Tilly and Havoc's doodle, visit us on Sunday.


Okay, and now we have our A to Z Challenge part of this post.

For anyone who hasn't heard us say this for the past four days, our A to Z Challenge involves putting animal-inspired twists on classic story titles, and then doodling up an illustration for that new title. That being said, I'll be honest, I'm not all that thrilled with our contribution for the letter E. You see, I thought E would be an easy letter for which to find a title to fit our theme. Unless I'm missing an obvious classic, though, I was wrong. I searched high and low, and just could not find a famous classic to make work with our animal-inspired series. So, I ended up going with an obscure 1904 short story by James Joyce. The original story is called "Eveline", which for this challenge then became "Evelion".

James Joyce's "Eveline" is a classic short story about a young woman, Eveline, who is torn between remaining in the familiarity of her humdrum life, or sailing away with her sailor of a beau. The story begins with the young woman gazing out her window at the street beyond her home, which is of course what inspired the illustration of the Evelion above. If you're curious how the original "Eveline" plays out, you can read the short story here.


This post is not done just yet! Thimble of course wants to share some shots of her pretty self today, as well as participate in Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.

We may be having lots of cold and rain and snow outside that there window, but Thimble is still grateful for her window view. What's more, Thimble and all of us here are thankful for the roof over our heads, for the home in which we can stay cozy and safe. We purr and pray that all furbabies could know the security of a home.

On this Thankful Thursday, we are also, of course, thankful for all of you! We count you all amongst our best of friends, and we are so grateful for this community.

We want to wish all of you wonderful friends of ours a most terrific Thursday!

Our Tip of the Day:

Today, we have the last tip in a repeat series of heartworm tips that we shared a couple months back. This is because April is Heartworm Awareness Month. So, the final such tip is below.

Today’s tip is a very long one, and it relates to a fact that especially all cat parents really should know. And this is that there is currently no true treatment for heartworms in cats. There are treatments available for dogs that can kill the adult heartworms, but this does not work the same for cats. One reason for this is that the drug used to treat heartworms in dogs has been found, in some cases, to cause sudden death in cats. This is often due to dead or dying heartworms causing blockages and cardiac failure. Another reason why treatments may not work is because the life cycle of a heartworm is different in a dog versus a cat.

In dogs, the lifespan of a heartworm is longer, around five to seven years. This lifespan includes larvae entering the body after a mosquito bite, traveling to the heart, and then growing into mature, reproducing adults. Dogs are an optimal host for heartworms.

In cats, the heartworm lifespan is far shorter, often two to three years. What’s more, cats are not a prime host for heartworms, and a cat’s body itself often overcomes the heartworms, typically before they can even enter into adulthood. This is why far less adult heartworms are found in cats than are found in dogs. Even immature heartworms, which are typically what would circulate in the blood and be indicative of disease in a canine heartworm test, are often not found in the blood of cats. This is why cats are less commonly diagnosed with heartworm disease. Then again, though, it is not impossible for a cat to have heartworm disease, and in this case, heartworms cannot be killed as they can in dogs.

For cats, one of the only options for a cure is to have the heartworms surgically removed. This, of course, can be tricky and risky. Symptoms of the disease can also perhaps be controlled and the cat made comfortable with various medications and supportive treatments. Given that a cat might be able to outlive the heartworms, it is possible to treat the symptoms while the heartworms go through their cycle and ultimately die. As mentioned earlier, though, heartworms can live for two to three years in a cat, and there is still always the risk of pulmonary or cardiac failure while the heartworms remain.

With such limited treatment options for heartworms in cats, it is incredibly important to again note that the best option is to keep your cats on heartworm prevention. The risk of heartworm disease might seem small, but it is a risk nonetheless. And, just as always, it is better to be safe than sorry.

And, there is one last note for pup parents. Though there is a more successful heartworm treatment for dogs, heartworm disease can cause permanent damage. This can lead to lifelong issues, such as of the heart and lungs, even after the heartworms are eradicated. For this reason, heartworm prevention is of course also recommended for dogs.


Fur Everywhere said...

Wow, fantastic poem! You are so creative. I also loved the Harry Potter series - I think it is one of the best series ever written.

Anonymous said...

You have an amazing talent for poetic short stories. This one is a doozy. I love that you use Angel Sammy's photo prompts to take you to such magical and wonderful places every week. Thanks so much for being part of this weekly fun!! Thimble looks pawsome as always - even our cats know that windows are the gateway to our imagination - I often wonder WHAT Teddy is seeing when he gets excited looking out there even when I look and see NOTHING!

Hugs, Pam (and Teddy too)

pilch92 said...

You never cease to amaze me, that was fantastic. I have a hard time writing a short poem and every week you come up with these fantastic poems, I am beyond impressed. I look forward to the drawing that goes with it. Excellent E drawing. Thimble is a beautiful girl. And I love that you are doing so much with heartworm, it is such a deadly thing.

Brian's Home Blog said...

That was a terrific train photo and an incredible poem too. Y'all are doing great on the A-Z challenge and you always look purrfect sweet Thimble! Thanks for joining the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

da tabbies o trout towne said...

waves two ewe thimble N yur gorgeouz self !!!!!! we lovez de doodle an de storee iz amazin.....troo lee with out a doubt yur storeez amazin !!! 984 pawz up; oh, N we wood ran two like faster N lite.... if we saw a rope ternz inta a snakez ! ~~~~~~~~~

Eastside Cats said...


Sandee said...

Your poems rock. You really put a lot of work into them. It shows too.

Have a purrfect Thankful Thursday. ♥

Marg said...

That was such a great poem and story. I just love that photo. And Thimble, you are looking mighty good. Have a super rest of the day.

The Island Cats said...

We think you look terrific today, Thimble!

Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows) said...

I just cannot get over your poetry. Your talents are pawsitively limitless!