is fast asleep
and so is my leg
— Jim Young (Wales, UK)
This haiku is full of compassion, love, and care. It shows a deep bond between a person with their surroundings, especially with creatures who depend on us as part of the ecosystem. I loved the overall imagery of this haiku that reflects genuineness and innocence.
Cats are known for their possessiveness and extreme loyalty. This may illustrate that they are not a mere pet. The article ‘the’ places importance on the cat and makes it the center of the poem, at least for the first two lines. ‘Fast asleep’ may be a metaphor for the comfort and calmness when a person, for a time, keeps possessions aside and focuses more on inner energies, or the inner self.
In other words, the cat always feels comfortable when it gets the personal touch of its owner, which displays the power of feelings or deep relationships that are irreplaceable. The strong bond between the man and his cat induces the feline to go to sleep, and consequently, the man’s leg.
I am not only seeing a leg here that lacks sensitivity due to the cat who is sitting on it, and the person out of love, care, and compassion doesn’t move it. I can also see the laborious work and hardship a person goes through all day long and finally feels muscular fatigue. He needs a break from his busy life, and the cat may represent a true friend who gives comfort to him.
The overall theme of this haiku revolves around the sincerity, loyalty, compassion, and care that a person needs to feel inner peace.
— Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)
It’s a charming haiku that exudes compassion and care. Rather than disturb the cat’s sleep when the poet’s leg has fallen asleep, he allows his cat to keep resting. Cats sleep most of the day—about 15 hours on average. To let his cat sleep more without annoyance shows the poet’s feelings for the cat clearly.
There is also a sense of union here. The cat is fast asleep and a part of the poet’s body is also “asleep” from the weight of the cat. They are sharing an experience that illustrates the bond between animals and humans have had for centuries. I feel that the poet is saying to us, “Love and connection is the important thing. It is not whether we are human or not.”
With a few words and simple language, the poet has expressed a great deal of feeling and humor. I also like the sound of “cat/fast” and “asleep/leg.” An endearing haiku.
— Nicholas Klacsanzky (USA)
Sleeping cat by Asha Sudhaker Shenoy