THE CATS OF BROOKLYN
Brooklyn cats breakfast on birds.
No canned wet pet food for them,
nor kibbles & bits of dry food.
Brooklyn cats are street cats.
They rule rooftops, fire escapes, and fences.
They roam backyards and alleyways
and won’t be confined
in condos, cages, or courtyards.
These are the cats of Brighton, Borough Park,
Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, and Bushwick.
These are not the cats of Manhattan,
Queens, Staten Island, or The Bronx.
These Brooklyn cats are tough, not even
the big dogs of Bed-Stuy will tangle with them,
knowing they, like their cousins of Tel Aviv,
fiercely fang and claw all comers.
You can take the cat out of Brooklyn
to Long Island, Westchester, or Connecticut,
but you can’t take the Brooklyn out of the cat.
—Stanley H. Barkan