Fraser Valley Humane Society

Fraser Valley Humane Society

Feline Rescue and Adoption Center

That Cat!

We are pleased to offer a series of writings for your enjoyment by local author Frank Sterle Jr.   We will add pieces monthly so check back often for new stories.

A little about the author….

Since 1996, Frank Sterle Jr. has edited and produced small-circulation mental-health-related publications, to which he also contributed his own writings.

For a brief time in the mid1990s, he held a part-time position as a staff reporter and contributing writer with two community newspapers, The Burnaby News and The New Westminster News, at which he had just completed his journalism program practicum.

Also during the 1990s, typically on an annual basis, he’d have a guest column article in either of Vancouver’s two metro-daily newspapers, The Province and The Vancouver Sun; also, on two occasions he had a piece in The Sun’s (former) Saturday Review weekend supplement. He also had a half-dozen or so pieces in the CMHA journal Visions.

Perhaps his most notable achievements, he edited and produced two anthologies, both to which he also contributed written works.

Furthermore, he was/am the editor/producer of local, small-circulation mental-health-related publications, including The Whale Houser, all to which he frequently contribute(d) his own works.

Other than one statistics math course, his entire post-secondary education consists of a half-dozen English and creative writing courses, on top of a diploma program in Mass Communications and Journalism from (the since renamed) Kwantlen College.

January 2021! 

Ode: To Simon’s Drinking Problem
It’s clear dear cat you’ve had a water drink
For it hangs thick and low from your thin chin
As a large drop through which light rays glisten
Then a flicker of your tongue’s tip quite pink
Comes with a sway of your tail, its kink
So noticed like that water drop again
(And you without a little silk napkin)
Your habit’s one endearingly distinct.
Plus your drinking problem leaves us no stink
Like old food stuff or hard liquor like gin
And into a bad thing you didn’t sink
You’ve committed naught resembling a sin
Habits can still be dropped in an eye’s blink
While having you nears my mind’s medicine.


December: This one is short and sweet, but reminds us of the next few months as our fur friends cuddle up next to us in these cold days ahead!

Toasty Paws

Warm was paramount to Mimi, my cat.
She loved to lay right next to the
warmed heater elements’ casing,
usually with her sweet paws
pressed right against it. ‘Please,’
she’d say with her sad eyes when
the element was cold, ‘Please turn
on the heat.’ She just wanted to
make her paws toasty.


And She Wanted Me
Up & Awake
She’d passed on and was gone yet
I cannot forget that fine feline’s
assertive though gentle paws tapping
on my lips one morning, having
climbed up gracefully onto my
raised shoulder, sitting herself
down. She was hungry and bored,
not feeling like waiting longer
than my usual rising hour of a
few minutes before or past five
in the morning: “Friend, friend,”
she’d murr, “please get up and
feed me—be with me, please …”
So, after a minute or two, I’d get
up and she’d murr as I opened
a can of lavish Fancy Feast
for her; she’d then rub her hips
(i.e., scent gland areas) against
my calves. I, letting the water run
cold for her drinking bowl, would
look down at her as she’d eat her
special cat food and related to her:
“What would I do without you …?”


She Was No Ghost

Continuing to write his ghost-story-in-progress late one night, alone in his room with the door closed and all being dead quiet, he became somewhat spooked by his own written content. Not that he was particularly good at penning potent ghost stories, but he nevertheless caught the creeps by the various ideas of ghostly encounters aroused by his imagination. Increasingly immersed within the subject matter of his writing, the resultant overly sensitive state of his mind eventually peaked, and that was when she, regardless of intension, got the better of him: His pet
black cat happened to be on the bed immediately behind the chair on which he sat, and he’d completely forgotten that she was there in the room with him. Perhaps having decided that she had become bored in there and wanted out, she unbeknownst to him arose and walked across the bed and gently enough poked just one of her claws into his back. To say that he was stunned-numb startled wouldn’t at all be an exaggeration. A hair-follicle-raising, deep chill suddenly rushed throughout his body, and he somewhat reluctantly turned around to see just who it was that had so effectively gotten his attention. Obviously he was greatly relieved at the sight of his pet cat who lightly meowed once to be let out of the room, for there was no ghost about which to worry.


And Simon Said That It Is Good
Just as God was about to commence creating Everything on that First
Day, His cat Simon gently swept his silky furred hips (at which were
located his scent glands, as well as at his cheeks) against God’s bared
ankles to get His undivided attention. Simon looked up into His eyes,
and He adoringly down into his.
Although they hadn’t yet agreed between themselves on whether
Simon was God’s pet or He his grand host or simply the twain were
very close companions, the fine feline was, is and always would be second only to Him.
“Before You do Your amazing
creative thing,” he said to God (via
his thoughts), “could You please for
me first create that ‘grooming brush’
idea You mentioned to me earlier?”
“Oh, yes,” replied He with a
smile, “that item. Here it is, my be-
loved little friend.” Holding it in His
hand, He slowly bent down onto one
knee next to Simon.
The cat had already flopped
himself down onto one side, as he
anticipated that God would always
create great things, and the brush’s
bristles had instantly looked mighty
good to the feline.
God slowly stroked Simon’s glistening coat with the bristles’
smooth rounded tips, which left His four-legged friend experiencing
immeasurable jubilation. The cat slowly closed his eyes, leisurely
stretching out first his feet, then his paws, and finally with his fingers
extending (seemingly all one at a time). Then, when God paused, the
purring Simon gradually opened his eyes and turned them sideways to
look up at his gracious ‘host’. God saw it was a good sign His first creation (aside from that which brought about beloved cat Simon, of
course) had received His pet’s nonverbal yet ecstatic approval.
As He reached again with the brush, the feline took the initiative by gently nudging his cheek forward into the massaging bristles,
his eyes squinted, almost smiling, in absolute pleasure. This action
was repeated, again and again and with greater enthusiasm, on his
cheeks and side of head, his purring getting louder and more pronounced. Simon lost himself in those blissful bristle strokes.
As they slowly slid across his cheeks, the bristles caused his facial muscles to slightly contract and by extension his whiskers to
adoringly move forward.
Smiling wide, God once more observed His little feline friend’s
endearing exultant response and knew the sensations felt quite right,
with Simon continuing to move each well-whiskered cheek this way
and that way to receive the most satisfying full brush stroke effect.
Simon was exhilarated by the bristles sliding along his furred
skin. And it wasn’t only on his cheeks; he also experienced ecstasy
when groomed on his back and sides, about the ears, under his chin
and down along the curve of his neck, and more. It seemed every part
of him—even his tail!—loved that grooming brush in motion. It was
heavenly, and he felt he couldn’t have cherished any other sensation
more than he did those brought about by the bristles. So much so, in
fact, that even a hint of drool became noticeable at the corner of his
seemingly smiling mouth.
Somewhat grinning, God
glanced at His cat to ask (though
rhetorically, of course, for He knew
the brush had performed its magic
exceedingly well), “What do you
think of my grooming creation, Simon?”
In turn, he, again laying on
his side, eyelids almost closed with
every part of him so relaxed, lifted his head slightly, just enough to
make sideways eye contact with his Maker and let his thoughts be unmistakably known: “Those brush bristles are truly a blessing … Yes,
my most hospitable host, Your creation is good—very good … Let’s
do this thing every day, shall we? … Oh, and please feel free to now
create that universe you also talked about.”


Oh, How My Cat Just Loved That Large Plastic Bag
You, our pet, loved that huge plastic bag,
for it crinkled and crackled, which you’d dig,
rolling around inside that bag so big
as though you were tempted to really brag
and your sweet black tail did truly wag;
then you were sped fed that dark, healthy fig,
fresh fish and you’d eat a fig?—quite the jig
… but, oh, that bag, that beacon, that loud flag.
Although you bore a metal I.D. tag
and did not make yourself a mealtime pig,
you still required the odd verbal nag,
still better than the SPCA brig
or the humane society’s great drag
or the abused-feline-that’s-starving gig.


ODE: to a Galloping, Black Feline
Oh, how adorable it was to see you feline,
galloping up and down the hallway, yourself you’d hurl
with your tail up—your shiny, black tail—in a curl
as though it was a protruding, thick, balancing vine;
so we, your human hosts, did not need a Valentine
as long as we had you, cherished you, our gorgeous girl,
almost worshiped you as one might a stout British earl,
how could we not?—you, our sleek, silky pet so fine?
And it amazed us as you lived out your lives nine,
there in the part of the map known as populace rural,
avoiding the neighboring, vicious pit-bull canine;
so, we’re pleased you galloped freely, our priceless pearl,
throughout the hallway before you took a break to dine
and we, your hosts, thought of you as a gorgeous mural.


She Murred, Purred & Drooled
Over the castle Mimi the cat ruled
and when so finely brushed was quite well heard:
stroked with its bristles, Mimi would’ve murred
and purred; then she’d have pleasurably drooled,
feeling so pleasant, she’d nobody fooled
and needing not to have expressed her ‘word’
that this much gratefulness should have occurred,
then lying on the cement, she’d felt cooled.
She’d recently together her fleas pooled,
upon her furry body they had stirred
and with whom she’d continuously dueled
(enduring such parasites was absurd!),
through which the itching was promptly fueled,
this outdoor cat wouldn’t ever be cured.