Sea Cat

Sea Cat

My first weeks at college, I was most puzzled that

everyone seemed to talk about a “sea cat”.

 

Weathered by abuse of sea and sky;

accustomed to pain; patch over one eye.

Hissing, spitting, a tendency to maul;

one leg torn off by a cannonball.

Steeped in the climate of tropical zones;

sailing under the skull and crossbones.

His liking for grog, aka rum,

was infectious; all just part of the fun.

 

This was the image I had in my head;

where my foolish fancies had led.

A pirate’s cat; an old sea hand,

straight from the pages of “Treasure Island”.

 

Sea Cat gave me the best three years of my life,

and the single most surreal moment of my life:

when I was told I was likely to be

the only one, that year, to get a first-class degree.

(This prediction proved erroneous, ultimately;

only one person did get a first-class degree,

but a student with more brainpower than me,

who went on to lecture in Sociology.)

 

Being a slow northerner, from Barnsley,

twenty-six years old, just starting a degree;

it took weeks before it finally dawned on me,

weeks to come to terms with my stupidity.

How was it I completely failed to see

that “Sea Cat” was derived from “CCAT”:

Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology?

Regular followers of this blog will probably be aware of the fact that I have previously posted a number of autobiographical poems about my student days in Cambridge, 1976-79.  This is the latest in the series.  The college I attended has undergone many metamorphoses since I was there, and is currently known as Anglia Ruskin University. 

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