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This poem was written by T.S. Eliot to go in the Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, which was published in 1939. Old Possum was T. S. Eliot's nickname. It was used in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical 'Cats'.

Read through the poem.

 

 

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Macavity: The Mystery Cat

 

Macavity's a Mystery Cat: he's called the Hidden Paw –

For he's the master criminal who can defy the Law.

He's the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad's despair:

For when they reach the scene of crime – Macavity's not there!

 

Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity,

He's broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.

His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare,

And when you reach the scene of crime – Macavity's not there!

You may seek him in the basement, you make look up in the air – 

But I tell you once and once again, Macavity's not there!

 

Macavity's a ginger cat, he's very tall and thin;

You would know him if you saw him, for his eyes are sunken in.

His brow is deeply lined with thought, his head is highly domed;

His coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are uncombed.

He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake;

And when you think he's half asleep, he's always wide awake.

 

Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity,

For he's a fiend in feline shape, a monster in depravity.

You may meet him in a by-street, you may meet him in the square – 

But when the crime's discovered, then Macavity's not there!

 

He's outwardly respectable (They say he cheats at cards.)

And his footprints are not found in any file of Scotland Yard's

And when the larder's looted, or the jewel-case is rifled,

Or when the milk is missing, or another Peke's been stifled,

Or the greenhouse glass is broken, and the trellis past repair –

Ay, there's the wonder of the thing! Macavity's not there!

 

Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity,

There never was a Cat of such deceitfulness and suavity.

He always has an alibi, and one or two to spare:

At whatever time the deed took place – MACAVITY WASN'T THERE!

 

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Now use this poem to help you answer the following questions.

10 questions