Half Breed by Ivanka Fear

Cat lady, catwoman...

blinking, winking,

eyes lined with kohl, glittering in the lamplight,

windows to her soul.

Masked illusionist…

She-cat, female feline…

purrfectly content,

lithe body stretched out, baking in the sunlight,

temple of her spirit.

Sun goddess…

Kitty, Kat...

brushing, grooming,

soft, silky hair, glistening in the daylight,

veil of her quintessence.

Queen of the jungle...

Your familiar, bewitching you.

A transformer, the shifter.

Cougar, wildcat…

on the hunt,

sharp claws painted red, kneading in the darkness,

tools of her trade.

Sheath shedder…

Jaguar creature, were-cat,

on the prowl,

toned legs, ready to pounce in the witching hour,

instruments of her pursuit.

Stealthy stalker...

Skinwalker, shapeshifter...

on the sly,

vampire fangs bared, feeding in the dead of night,

devices of her covenant.

Deadly predator…

The sacred Egyptian Bastet, cat headed woman,

protector and devourer.

The Cat Mother.


Ivanka Fear is a Canadian writer. Her poems and stories appear in numerous publications, including The Sirens Call, Scarlet Leaf Review, Mystery Tribune, October Hill, Close to the Bone, and elsewhere. The debut novel of her mystery series is scheduled for release by Level Best Books in January 2023. You can read more about her here.

Author's note

When I was a child, my mind associated the term ‘feline’ with ‘female’, and I thought all cats were girls. My poem, Half Breed, melds the two together, playing on the similarities between cats and women. In mythology and folklore, shapeshifting most often revolves around males and wolves, but were-cats are also featured prominently in folklore and literature. Throughout history, cats have been associated with both mysticism and with superstitions. As a lover of felines and a devoted cat Mom, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the ‘human’ qualities cats possess. My poem pays homage to these mysterious creatures.

This piece originally appeared in The Sirens Call Ezine, Spring 2021.