Tuesday, April 29, 2008

An Intriguing Old Word: Cloke

Here's the tale of my cloking young cat--
How she clawed me and brought on a spat--
But the photo below
Is her housemate, although,
He, too, clokes at the drop of a hat.

Intent Kitty

First she cloked* me, left-pawed, for she thought
There was reason: Her yowl had not brought
Any catnip. Therefore,
By the open fridge door,
First she clawed--then she nipped—then we fought.

I am sure she'd not meant to provoke me--
With her head she could pleasingly stroke me.
Still, her quick feline mind
Told her not to be kind
But go straight for attention and cloke me.

Yet she soon sought forgiveness, so then
As she purred, I forgave her. And when
I had served her the cream
And the catnip, her dream
Had come true. So, she'll cloke me again.

Pet cats, like their presumed owners, learn by doing.

*One meaning of cloke, according to the Oxford English Dictionary is "to claw, scratch or clutch." The OED provides the following illustrative sentence, from about the year 1883: "The cat cloked me."

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