We're capable, mature, and our services will make you purr......
Serving neighborhoods within a six-mile radius of Vassar College
Contact and/or Order Form:
Old Cats Enterprises* PO Box 3121
Poughkeepsie, New York 12603
Telephone: (845) 489-1291
Email us : [email protected] (Please do not use this address for Verdi/Wagner Birthday Celebration business.), or simply fill in the form below, then press the "send" button. Please allow 2-5 business days for responses to your e-mail. We will make every effort to answer questions with updates to these pages as they arise, rather than attempting to respond to individual email, so please be patient, and have a look here on the website for the answers you desire.
Telephone calls are, generally, returned the same day they are received. Please do not call for information on the Wagner/Verdi celebration and vocal competition weekend. Address your questions for that to: [email protected] ; or to the above USPS mailing address. Then, please look for answers in updated/revised copy, or in the Questions and Answers section below "Hisses, purrs, and IdSpills" on this page. Please be patient.
If you would like to view a candle holder please ask us to arrange a showing at a time and place convenient for all.
Neither the comment form below, nor the OldCatsEnterprises telephone number should be used to register for, or ask questions concerning, the Seasoned Singers&their proteges' Richard Wagner/Guiseppe Verdi Birthday Party&Vocal Competition. PLEASE use the email address provided.
...And please drive with care, here in the Hudson Valley, and Everywhere !
#2A Goslings at Play (Advisory/Warning sign by one of Richard's D.E. students at Kildonan School, Amenia NY
All should know, OldCatsEnterprises is owned and operated solely by Richard Sonnenschein. No other party may be held responsible for its remarkable inception and the superior quality of its services/products; and none but Richard held to account for its successes or failures. Viewers are asked to please not make unauthorized use of images contained in these pages. We will hiss and the geese will honk if you do.
Hisses, Purrs, and IdSpills
by Richard and our guests. We welcome Willow Graves andWalter Hinton to our little page.
Do you have an opinion, essay or poem you would like to share with us? Please send it along, and we'll consider it. Please edit carefully, as all work will be published as submitted!
my dear friends
How long will I grieve?
How long will I grieve?
Until, for thirty seconds each year,
the waters of the Mohawk and Hudson rivers
are to wine transformed,
and the Catskill and Adirondack mountains
to our very favorite cheeses and chocolates.
So long, my dear friends. So long will I grieve.
Until the flakes of dead skin cells
I’ve shed throughout my life
somehow manage to find each other,
and join the circus; and people start saying:
“If I only knew now what I knew then.”
So long, my dear friends. So long will I grieve.
Until synagogues, cathedrals,
churches and mosques
open their doors to the homeless,
the laws of Moses are obeyed by the Jews,
the Christians finally practice the teaching of Jesus,
and the Muslims honor Muhammad.
So long, my dear friends. So long will I grieve.
Until the words “war”, “torture”,
“greed” and “hunger” are only words
no longer in usage;
words to tell the history of a time long past,
and only adults are told their meanings.
So long, my dear friends. So long will I grieve.
Until the leaves in autumn fallen
from every tree in all the world
counted and sorted by kind and by color
are brought to me upon the fuzzy backs
of smiling bumblebees humming your names.
So long, my dear friends. I will grieve so long.
Auf Dem Wasser zu singen
We mourn our loss, as we celebrate the lives of:
October 10, 1961-March 14, 2014
George Francis Lenz
July 24, 1951-March 25, 2014
Brahms Requiem excerpt:"You grieve now, but I will see you again, and you will rejoice..."
Suzanne Sonnenschein, soprano; members of Munich Philharmonic and Bavarian State Opera chorus.
May you find the little rhymes
In each and every thing
All the every little days of your life
May they fluff up your pillows
And sweeten your dreams
May they have and hold you dear
As would the truest of lovers
Each and every little night
May they challenge and delight you
Dancing questions upon your lips
Singing reasons from your eyes
Strumming peace with your heart
And kiss you in eternal friendship
Vowing never never ever to part
Before the fall
Again and again urging my rise
From life’s felling steps
Through foreboding shadows
Cast by inextricable manhood
Upon murkily-marked ways
Toward unearthly bedazzle about being
Where no gods of the mundane
Make covenants with petty prophets
Worshipping trivial idols
The apollonian boy I once was
With you my darling love at my side
Cheering the ascent of Icarus
Keeping holy the fragile things
Making sense of my madness
Upon the wax and feather wing
‘tis of thee
My eyes tear up
My heart pounds downbeat
I slow my breathing to counter anxiety
Threatening to disable me
Remembering that year it was 1970
I raged with pen and paper
Against brick walls about true patriotism
My poetic impotence
Unable to do anything to stop the pain
Of that day That beautiful spring day in May
Guns answered tattered pleas of conscience
Sprayed with bullets a messiah come
Only to go alone yet again into final spasms
Shouldering antichrist in persuasive disguise
The remnants of humanity awakening in its children
Not dead enough to stop the leaden assault
By a paradigm of perpetual profiteering in war
Criers of pride in nationalism wearing the masks of patriots
I hammered my fists into the nothingness I represented
The everything was crucified in what had become due process
On the blood-sweet land of liberty at Kent State that day
That beautiful spring day in May
America butchered her young selfless lovers
And married out her faith
Ombra Mai Fu
With my dear friend
In a sanctuary for flora and fauna
We met a dear old tree standing solitary
Its huge limbs outstretched welcoming us
My friend put her arms around it
Well Around one-quarter of it
Its great girth
And she hugged and she kissed it
I stood back watching the affection
And waiting eagerly for my turn
When my friend stepped away from the venerable oak
I approached respectfully
I ran my hand slowly along the regal trunk
Letting my fingertips explore
Between the narrow furrows in the bark
And then I put my ear right up against the giant
Wondering if there might be something to hear
I heard a pounding heart and was amazed
Before realizing it was the excited heart belonging to me
But I thought there was a faint whisper as well
Coming from somewhere within the beautiful creature
And in the background
I believe I could hear ocean waves
Breaking against something huge
And while I cannot be absolutely certain
I was astonished by all of this
Though I am fairly certain I heard the words
You hear your heartbeat
Because I resound it
It is my heart as well as your heart
I am your blood
I am your life
I am your mother
I am your father
I am your brothers and your sisters
And what I then apprehensively asked not expecting an answer
Is the sound much like ocean waves breaking against something enormous?
To my amazement came the whispered answer I think may well have been
It is all the tears of loves possessed and lost
Or gone forever unexpressed
Colliding eternally with the titans that are grief and regret
It is endings you hear
It is beginnings you hear
It is perpetual endings and perpetual beginnings
Black makes White possible, you African crackers
You look so white much too white for my liking You look so very white
If you get any whiter you might just disappear from my view So white
But you’re every bit as black in your weak bones and thin blood as I Black as I
Under all that pasty pale skin washed colorless by your ancient wanderings
Out of the scorching deserts of mother Africa Up and down the Arabian Peninsula
Way up north into densely canopied jungles of Asia Way up to the North Pole and back
Down All the way back down to the frigid Bering Sea And then you crossed it
Seventy millennia Yes I said seventy millennia Seventy thousand years
Before my great great grandfather a medicine man with immense hands
With powerful kind loving immense hands and a face the color of Eve and Adam
The color keeping unto itself the entire spectrum of glorious colors man has come to know
The color of African soil The color of the first born to wonder at the moon and stars
Was chained to my great great great uncle A tribal chief in Africa with immense hands
Powerful kind loving immense hands dragged beaten bloodied to a stinking boat
That sailed them into this port of slavery while Thomas Jefferson passing for white
Was writing in 1775 with his kind in mind His wigged pasty white-skinned kind in mind
With the egocentric European Africans bleached white by time and tundra in mind
Was writing in 1775 “…all men are created equal…” Yeah “…all men are created equal…”
Mumbled the aging scholar of genetics to himself in the all-white Missouri town
Walter Hinton / 2016
Hear Ye, Israel
Look eastward from burning Gaza, beyond Israel,
Across steaming, ever-shifting Syrian Desert Sands,
To where it is the rivers Tigris and Euphrates meet—
And long ago great art and scholarship were conceived—
In Iraq, near the Persian Gulf by the city of Basra.
It is there, the place once known as Ur of Chaldees,
He who would father the Hebrew nation was born
Among descendants of the Shem family.
There, where two willful waterways unite—
As may rival Semite siblings too long estranged
Someday join hands at long last reconciled—
Still echo the haunting chuckles of baby Abraham.
Hear Ye, Israel, the sweet laughter of contentment.
Then, listen for bitter cries from Gaza’s disinherited child
Wanting modest share in the milk and honey of Palestine.
Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen! Listen!
Through its terrified heart pounds the blood of Talmudic scribes.
The children of Palestine now need your compassion and generosity more than ever!
Been to Dachau
It was 1965 In Dachau, Germany. Yeah, that Dachau!
They sure loved beer and Bach, Brahms, Beethoven and the Beatles.
We waited for Vietnam to call. We waited anxiously for the call
While we wondered for whom the bells would next toll.
Said to me one day an old Kraut, “It must terrible for you
To live in America with all the prejudice and inequality.”
I answered, “Yes, Sir, it can get awfully ugly for us,
But they haven’t yet built ovens and gas chambers
To employ in a final solution to exterminate us.”
It was many years later when I’d grown up
I realized Vietnam had done the job on us,
As Iraq and Afghanistan would do forty years in the future.
They don’t need gas chambers and ovens to kill us.
They got money-makin’ wars to send us brothers into,
And neighborhoods that might as well be concentration camps.
Go kill somebody colored in a country you never heard of,
If you want to get out the ghetto. If you want out of poverty.
Or stay in your own country, in your neighborhood
And kill somebody colored, or be killed by somebody colored.
We ain’t got much choice right now, but someday. Someday.
Someday, down the line. Someday. Someday down the line.
I have a dream. I have a dream. I have dream. I have a dream.
Dear Lord. I got nothin’ but a dream.
Sunny and cheery
The weather it was
And tears were near
The day in late August
By the shore of Lake Erie
I sat on a rock with you my dear
Talking of love—
And thoughts of careening
Through the rest of life—
In our very separate ways
While ancient waves again and again
Came toward us singing
Before turning away from us
Then over and over again returning
I served myself one half of the smallish watermelon
For the first time and most likely the last
Because the crop is bumper this year here in upstate New York
Better belly bust than good food go to waste
My Illinois grandma liked to say
I looked down into it
Deep down into it as I ate
Like I have never looked down into a watermelon
A dying classical music station drifted by my choosy old radio
That snatched it up and played it
Gave it a joyride ride through my rosy atmosphere
Before losing grip and letting Rachmaninoff drift away again
Clear water pooled in the relatively tiny red craters the moon will never see
Formed by my eager extraction one heaping tablespoon full after another
Of the glorious fruit no man alive can appear dignified devouring
To have the chance at being alive and to relish such a magical breakfast
In which I could see my face without age upon it reflected
To draw breaths among all manner flora and fauna
On such a wonderfully warm summer day
My old well-fed and pampered cat by my side
My only friend not too far away in the kitchen brewing tea
And the seeds
The seeds I scooped up
The seeds I chewed and then swallowed
Because I like them and they help lower blood pressure
While reminding me of a joke my granny chortling loved to tell
The seeds floating in those pools I began to imagine galaxies
Little semisweet containers of stars I like a god had set free
Having cut open their universe
Before looking down into it and devouring them
Dispatching the rind to the compost pile
I wondered how long it would be
Before unknown gods come to harvest us
Before gods we could never have imagined—
Let alone create— look down at us
Look deep down into us before greedily consuming us
Every sweet and bitter thing we are
I wondered if they would then compost Earth’s rind
Or if they would pickle it
And if they would have a belly ache to suffer
For their gluttony
The blood-orange sun splits open on night’s terrible edge,
Sending with the promise to wash me awhile away from darkness
A tsunami of light gushing into my gloomy little place on this earth.
I have accomplished much, readying for this windy winter-heralding day.
I will dare to leave the protection of my warm, caressing bed,
Having at long last braved a bath, combed my hair, and shaved.
I am dressed well, bad teeth brushed, all polished and pressed,
As an image of me in the mirror averting his familiar gaze,
And my happy, ever-approving dog may this morning attest.
This is the day I will make my way to the village, the day I will be brave!
I will be a man! I will pedal along the deserted bicycle path to the market.
Over the pastel mosaic of leaves fallen, I will pedal singing, unafraid,
Passing by the cemetery full of forgotten graves wildflowers remember,
To buy the finest treats available for my loyal tail-wagging friend.
Even if I become dizzy, my heartbeat now faint murmuring, then racing,
And everything I see, I begin to see doubled, or blurred, or in gray;
Even if breathing becomes the hardest labor I will ever have done,
I will be by nothing deterred. I am leaving my room to buy dog treats today!
The predictable man in the mirror looks furtively about my dimension,
Fearing bloody eye contact will shatter the fragile portal we share,
Through which pass no real festering sores of a body and soul in isolation,
But only empathic view of purpose we have in the moment agreed my life serves.
The round and rippling glass molds mutable truth in my reflections,
Indulging denial of the atrocity begun when my blameless mother gave birth.
Cataracts have made barely distinguishable my once extraordinary vision,
From that of myopic everyman seeing only with eyes everything as it is on Earth;
So while I cannot now see beyond my nose, infinite in scope remain my illusions.
It looks now as though I’ll not make my way to the village today
My chilly-nosed hound, as I, will have to wait for a better day.
There has begun an icy rain, and the chorus of the dead
To enchant with my song from the cemetery:
I envy the bones in the boxes underneath the clay,
The urns full of ashes in their final resting places,
Where hearts and vows will no more break;
I envy them the slumbering throughout eternity,
The sheltering from the storm raging about me;
I envy them the freedom from choice and regret,
From great expectations, faith and promises not kept;
I envy them the freedom from the want to be loved!
To a leaf in autumn
(For Saeb Erekat and all those striving to improve the human condition)
Now changed with age to a splendid gold
Hold fast the divine maple tree
You—in fanciful youth of spring
When costumers design with wild abandon—
Dressed a myriad of glorious greens;
To the sacred limb you have since birth adorned
Cling dearly for as long as you may.
Keep your grip until gentle autumn breeze
Promises a blissful fall besotted with wonder at life;
Then, and only then, let go,
Drop majestically, victoriously down upon grateful earth
Honored by you.
Enriched by you.
Given reason by you.
Given purpose by you.
Given beauty by you.
Given hope by you.
Questions and Answers
Look here for the answers to the questions you send us. We'll try our best to answer in a timely manner.
In your career, thinkoutsideof the box:
Be innovative, aggressive, fast, and first; take risks, bend the rules, and compete fiercely with others in the
marketplace of skills, ideas, products and services.
In your car, however, thinkinsideof the box:
Be predictable (always signal your intentions) and law abiding (don’t speed/text/talk/drug/drink)
and collaborative (don’t change directions, lanes or speeds abruptly). Above all, be courteous
to other drivers sharing roadways with you. Never permit yourself to be filled with road rage.
Holly with friend and client 'Mia'.
Do you need pet sitters in the Poughkeepsie, NY 12603 (near Vassar College)? Give Holly and Richard a call!