Finnegan’s Fancy

Before the ink dried on the contract for the home we currently lease (while we look for one to purchase), we were adopted by a cat. Not just any cat. A tortoiseshell cat. Different from calico cats, “torties” have no white in their coat. And though she’s a female, we call her Finnegan.

Finnegan - blog

Drawn to traditional Japanese Haiku since elementary school where it was introduced to me by my fifth grade teacher — Mrs. Kline — I love the simplicity and direct expression found in three stark lines for a total of 17 syllables:

5 syllables in the first line
7 syllables in the second line
5 syllables in the third line

With that in mind, here’s my nod to Finnegan:

Eyes closed satisfied
back arching on tiptoed paws
into affection.

Do you Haiku?


70 thoughts on “Finnegan’s Fancy

  1. I do Haiku! I love the challenge of using so few words to express a remarkable moment. Love your nod to Finnegan – she’s such a pretty and affectionate tortoiseshell and I’ve become partial to them – perhaps I will write one for Zoë some day.

    • Barbara – I love the way you describe Haiku: “the challenge of using so few words to express a remarkable moment.” I’ll be looking for an “Ode to Zoë” on your blog one of these days 🙂

  2. great haiku:) Finnegan is a cute – will you call her Finny for short?

    I love haiku – sometimes they come easy, and sometimes they do not, but they can say so much in such few words.

  3. I used to Haiku, but it’s been a very long time. You were adopted by a real cutie. Of course I’m partial to calicos/torties. Of course that’s because one is part of our family. Before that I was partial to black cats when Hershey was with us.

  4. I do Haiku, too. it’s a perfect distillation and slides down the mind like a fine whiskey in the throat…preferably John Jameson’s Irish Whiskey.

      • Oh, my, thank you, Laurie. I am honored. Right now, I am reading Close Range: Wyoming Stories by Annie Proulx, a masterful storyteller, who carves out her characters with such palpably precise descriptives that they are breathing next to you. I love the open west and reading her book is like a longed for visit home.

  5. Love Finnegan’s Haiku!
    I discovered haiku recently and posted my first one last week when I was inspired by the hosts and astilbe in my shade garden.

    Soothing creams and white
    Sitting on a quilt of green
    A shadow Presence

    Val x

  6. Sometimes Laurie I Haiku. I like you the simplicity is active. What a lovely cat and you have captured her so perfectly in words and pictures. I am sure she enjoys having you as her house guest 😉

    • Terrill – She likes us just fine when we feed her on time. If she perceives we’re off (her) schedule a bit, she dances, prances, and meows to beat the band. I think it’s her way of scolding us…

    • Time With Thea – It definitely speaks to my minimalist heart. And even though it tends to be more difficult to write something short and in a specific pattern, I enjoy the challenge 🙂

  7. I love haiku too and remember some wonderful examples I got from my 4th graders long ago. It’s appealing because it speaks of minimalism and vivid imagery.

    Maybe I’ll indulge myself later and write a haiku specially for today, a shiny penny kind of day, as you would say. Lovely cat, that Finnegan.

    • Marian – My hat is off to teachers like yourself (current and past) who shared this art form with their students. Fifth grade was the one and only introduction I ever received. If not for Mrs. Kline, I would have missed out on the enjoyment of it all. THANK YOU for your positive thumbprint on this planet 🙂

  8. Hi Laurie , I love Finnegan …a real stunner . I love the poem the poem you wrote I have never had a go at haiku
    but here goes .
    We are having a wonderful summer here in England as you know we are usually known for grey skies .

    Beautiful summer
    English country lanes blooming
    Poppies cowslips dream.


  9. If I read a great many haikus in form. I can do it. But most of the time no. I have difficulties with rhythm Ended my music career early on and now as I grow older it interfere s even more. My children are masters at it and I love their funny quips

  10. +1 I will haiku again…..


    [image: Inline image 1]

    *”I believe in the sun even when it’s not shining.* *I believe in love, even when I’m alone* *I believe in God, even when He is silent.” *

  11. Laurie, I do not but appreciate other peoples talent in that area. Brevity is something I also appreciate, getting the point across in as few words as possible appeals to me. I would Haiku phone calls if possible. You have Finnigan down pat!

  12. Laurie, I have indeed “haikued” in my elementary school classes, where I have taught the style to students. It’s never easy to be economical, but I have always found this loads of fun! You frame your new boarder quite well there, and what a boarder she is! And I really do love that name Finnegan. Have a very great week my friend!

    • Sam – I had the sneaking suspicion that as a teacher you’ve “haikued” and taught it as well. I’m just back online after a nice long visit from my sister. I went to the post office box today as well 🙂 and will cover that in a separate email 🙂

    • Carol – I’m just now back online after a nice long visit from my sister. You “say” so much with your gorgeous photography, even if you didn’t say a word, I’d know what you mean 🙂

  13. love this. I have been working at a vet for about six months now. it is a completely new experience and teaching me tons. I have always been a “cat” person and just love kitties of all shapes and sizes. Finnigan is beautiful!

  14. I was traveling and missed my Tuesdays fix. But Haiku is a great challenge for the traveler.

    So much new to know.
    Each minute another sense
    Bursts into full bloom.

    • Shirley – I love your Haiku! I’m just now resurfacing after a nice long visit from my sister. We leave tomorrow (07-08-14) to see you at Third Place Books at 7pm in Seattle on the 9th. Whoohoo — I’m looking forward to it! 🙂

  15. black cat lingering
    she’s hiding in the shadows
    adoption pending

    You probably remember I have a large dog, and a small one, neither of which are kitty friendly. A neighbor recently moved out, and apparently left a skinny black cat behind (and, yes, it saddens my heart that people do this). The cat has been loitering consistently on my back patio, putting herself in danger every time. My big dog is serious about tangling with her, so I’m exercising extreme caution before I open the door to let them out these days. So far, no cat-to-dog explosions.

    I keep trying to resist, but haven’t been able to stop myself from putting food out for her on the front porch. No kitty should have to fend for herself, especially in this sweltering heat. So I make sure she has food and water, and even though I don’t like to make it official, apparently, the adoption is pending.

  16. We had a tortie
    Corfu, sweetest cat ever
    Fondly remembered

    I’ve done some Haiku on my blog in years past, always liked the discipline. Should do it more. Thanks for triggering memories of the best cat I ever owned.


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