by Cynthia Rylant

From the author of the bestselling Cat Heaven, here is a thoughtful collection of poems about a cat named Boris.

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN-13/ EAN: 9780152058098
  • ISBN-10: 0152058095
  • Pages: 80
  • Publication Date: 11/01/2006
  • Carton Quantity: 100

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About the Book
About the Author
  • About the Book
    Boris is a big gray cat who loves sleeping and playing and exploring and hunting. And his owner loves him for all of his simple cat ways.

    But Boris, typical as he may be, is part of a much larger story in this moving exploration of love, longing, compassion, and most of all, the continuous give-and-take of companionship.

    Newbery medalist Cynthia Rylant's powerful collection of poems is sure to find its place in the hearts of readers of all ages, especially those who have been lucky enough to experience the many joys and hardships that come with true friendship.
  • About the Author
  • Excerpts

    They were smart

    to put a storefront

    humane shelter

    on the street I walked.

    I was new in town.

    Everybody else was used

    to those cats in cages

    in the windows.

    They kept on walking,

    trained not to glance over,

    lest they lie awake

    at night thinking about

    that long-haired tabby




    But I hadn't been trained.

    I tried not to look.

    I have never been able

    to go to a humane shelter.

    But now

    they had brought one to me.

    I'd buried my last cat

    two years before.

    I had only dogs now.

    Dogs that didn't get into

    howling, spitting fights

    in the middle of the night.

    Dogs that didn't spray

    or leave chunks of

    frothy hair ball on the

    carpet exactly where I

    place my feet

    in the morning.

    I had buried my last cat.

    I was a dog person now.

    But they'd put a storefront

    humane shelter

    on the street I walked

    every day.

    And I was new in town.

    I lasted two months.

    Then I went inside,

    swearing I'd get only one,

    and only a girl,

    and no more.

    Working hard to keep

    my heart together.

    Cages, cages, eyes.

    They can't be too sad.

    Cats sleep 80 percent

    of the time.

    They are all right,

    could be worse.

    Don't look at that dog

    over there.

    The one storefront dog

    in the cage.

    You will break apart.

    Not made for shelters.

    Ashamed of it.

    But not made for shelters.

    At first I thought,

    I'll choose this one,

    this nervous one.

    I'll choose this one,

    this old battered one.

    I'll choose this one,

    this bright one.

    Cages, cages, eyes.

    And then last cage,

    last cage,

    there you were, Boris.

    With your gray sister.

    And you stood up

    and stretched

    and purred

    and promised, promised

    you would be good if

    I took her, too,

    because she had

    kept you alive

    all those days and days and days.

    Three months in a cage,

    Boris, with your sister,

    living in the moment

    with only your memories

    of leaves and rooftops

    and warm brown mice.

    I promise, you said,

    and I believed you,

    and I took home

    two cats-one more

    than I wanted, and

    a boy at that-

    but you promised,

    and I knew.

    Copyright © 2005 by Cynthia Rylant

    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or

    transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,

    including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and

    retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

    Requests for permission to make copies of any part of the work

    should be mailed to the following address: Permissions Department,

    Harcourt, Inc., 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, Florida 32887-6777.

  • Reviews

    "Makes a great introduction for readers not comfortable with poetry. The poems tell an accessible, compelling story . . . Warm and tender."--The Horn Book


    "It's a grand experience, this set of poems, this rumination on the cat and the human condition. Everyone with a pet (and without) will read and remember this title, and come back to it."--School Library Journal

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