In an ode to cats everywhere, “My Old Cat” summarizes life with a cat who won’t let her owner sleep at night but is more than ready to take a nap after breakfast in the morning. Children and adults will be able to identify with these cat behaviors presented in a funny but warm and endearing way. The image of the cat in the windowsill that accompanies this poem has also been a favorite of children and adults alike.
This poem provides a great opportunity to get children talking about their pets and their behaviors. It might be fun to start with a discussion of cat behaviors. Ask children if their cats behave like the cat in the poem. This starting point could lead to a discussion of pet or animal behaviors in general. Having children share about their experiences with their pets is a great way to get even the shyest child to chat.
- Have children make a poster with a picture of their family pet or pets and make a list on the poster of behaviors that are funny, annoying, or endearing.
- The artwork that accompanies this poem was created by our son without any direction at all. He just listened to the poem and created the beautiful cat in the windowsill picture. Before showing the image to children, read them the poem and have them try the same thing. Ask they to use art to create an image to accompany this poem. It’s fascinating to see how children interpret a poem through art.
As a class or a group, research cat behaviors. This poem provides a great opportunity to learn about one of our favorite pets, their history, and why keeping them as pets can even be controversial when cats are allowed to roam outside. Helping children understand the environmental impact of cats could be an interesting lesson and one that many children would be able to teach their parents.