The Hand that Feeds

If you feed a stray dog, he will happily follow you.

That is, until you cease feeding him.


If someone else comes along who feeds him more frequently.

And just like that.

Your best friend is off to the races with his new master.

What does this teach us about the crude instincts inherent in all beings?

It seems to me that nature might be tipping it’s hand.

To the hand that feeds.

Because, humans beings.

The ones that have feral hearts?

They are not so different from those wild dogs.

They will feign devotion as long as they are being fed.

Financially, emotionally, sexually.

There are countless ways in which we “feed” others.

Sometimes we neglect that responsibility.

Other times we spoil the hounds.

The egos of mongrels are insatiable and undiscerning.

Within the absence of gratitude there exists the failure to thrive.

When we are too generous with our table scraps?

We steer ourselves toward starvation.

And this, dear friends, is why I prefer cats.

If they are consistent in one thing – it’s their brutal honesty.

There’s no pretending, no tip-toeing around their utter indifference of us.

I, for one, appreciate the zero fucks, at-least-you-know-what-you’re-getting-into, approach.

And should you manage to *bond with a feline?

You have earned their tolerance, permanently.


If you intend to betray someone who has shown you a genuine kindness?

If you don’t mind someone else going hungry to warm your own belly?

If you bolt when an even bigger sucker begins catering to you?

Fido, darling.

You weren’t much of a companion to begin with, were you?

Rescue season has ended.

Some of you motherfuckers need to go on a diet, anyway.

— a. duncan, 2019






*allowed to pet them in one specific spot without them out right killing you

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Amor et melle et felle est fecundissimus || Love is rich with both honey and venom

25 thoughts on “The Hand that Feeds

  1. Oh my GOD April. I would not in a million years bite your hand, even if you feed me nothing. Unless it’s a different kind of bite, because of course, those are a thing too. Despite a feral heart… According to this, that makes me feline not canine. You may have heard me purring, but I’m not sure, I think my loyalty has a certain doggishness about it.

    This poem, absolutely fucking amazing. I’m not even going to tone down the profanities or the blasphemies this time.

    But I’m confused, am I dog or am I cat?
    ❤️ 🐱 🐶

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh… how this made me smile. How YOU make me smile. Thank you!!!

      I’m so pleased you felt the blending of empowerment and contempt in this piece!

      You… my darling are a unique combination of dog and cat. You’re… a cog. Haha!

      You are the loyalty, affection, and compassion of a beloved canine. And at the same time. You are the clever ancient sensuality of a feline.

      In fact. You are my absolute favorite feline. You get a saucer full of milk before all the other cats. And endless caresses. 😍

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh! I’m in feline heaven right here, a saucer of milk and endless caresses…. I am stretched out on a luxurious rug, contented and purring. I could stay here all day. ❤️

        I think what your post conveys is a really deep issue, the fickleness of humans, that “insatiable ego” following selfish desires…. Are we really ever altruistic? Loving just for the giving, not for the taking of it? Deep questions you pose here, love it.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Okay. Wait.

      I am so confused.

      So, so confused.

      I just sauntered over to your page to check for anything new. I do this often because you’re basically the best. And to my *supreme* bewilderment and surprise – there are at least 6 posts I have never seen before.

      Further confounding – these were posted over the last few weeks when I was dutifully checking for new content from you. And there was none.

      How… where. How.

      Why were these not displayed before??? I am almost frantic right now that you have been posting so many incredible, erotic, poignant and inspiring pieces of poetry and I had NO IDEA.

      I swear on everything holy I would never ignore these. Were they private or something? Am I losing my mind?!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh Rachel.

        That’s exactly what happened and I feel… so… extremely stupid at this moment. Of course I knew that blogs could pin/feature posts up top – but having never done it myself, I unintentionally overlook it unless the owner hangs them with a neon sign for some reason. I just peaked again and yours do say “featured” but my eyes just went right past. Probably in their eagerness to coalesce in those beautiful words of yours. I am so incredibly sorry.

        I mean that. I feel like the biggest, jerkiest tightrope-partner-jewelry-box-dancer-naked-tea-party-with-lace-parasols-and-poison-rings-soulful-symbiotic-lover ever.

        I honestly thought perhaps you were on bit of hiatus from posting poetry. I kept checking and checking. I worried a little. Secretly hoping it wasn’t writers block and/or nothing was bothering you in your personal life.

        I also didn’t want to pry because you are so very special and I would never want to lose you.

        But. This whole time. There they were.

        You were pouring out those words I adore so much and I wasn’t there to melt and get practically inconsolable at how rare and talented you are.

        Please forgive me. I intend to swan dive into each and every one tomorrow and spoil you by describing the awe you inspire in me and so many others.

        Now come close and let’s listen to whale songs and brush each other’s hair with ancient jade combs. 🙏🏼♥️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. April, honestly, you are the absolute best, and I treasure you like you’re a rare gem, which of course you are. But then you’re much more than that. Because gems are lifeless and you are 3D gorgeousness, made of fur and words and wit and intelligence and gorgeousness.


        Liked by 1 person

      3. Aargh that was precisely the wrong moment to accidentally hit reply!!! I can’t even review and I was in the middle of a copy and paste and in the middle of a stream of consciousness and heartfelt reply!!! I was saying, that this “tightrope-partner-jewelry-box-dancer-naked-tea-party-with-lace-parasols-and-poison-rings-soulful-symbiotic-lover” – that this, exists whether you read my posts or not. Maybe I am more feline than canine because I don’t need you to tell me how much you love my poetry for me to love yours. I can’t even believe you think there is anything to say sorry for, because truly, I didn’t think a thing of it, I promise.

        This comment April, it has me spinning. Plus, I must confess to a Friday night drink or two which makes the emotions I feel as a result all the more intense. Comb my hair honey, please, I’ll love that, while whales boom in the background and I purr like a contented feline and wait for a chance to untangle your knots too – regardless of whether you read my posts or not ❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Don’t mind me while I attempt to mop up the melted pieces of myself from the floor. Melted into oblivion. Melted beyond recognition of my former self. My goodness – you are some kind of black magic. You are a mirage. And if dehydration nearing death be the cause for the delirium, I hope one day they find me as nothing more than sun bleached bones on some long forgotten dune. Purrrrrrrr x 64383746389294847 😭♥️💫🌙

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Your imagination is beyond, you just sweep me up in these scenes you paint and have my mind and my heart happily run away with you. Those bones, no matter how sun bleached and ancient would still contain poetry, because I’m convinced your entire being is infused with it. I’d probably hear those bones whispering to me, and knowing black magic and all, find a way to resurrect your beautiful soul 💋❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Ps. I apologized profusely (and will continue to do so!) because I wanted to make it very, very clear that your work is outstanding and exceedingly important to me. It matters to me that I show my undivided inspiration in the things you create. I would never NOT read you. There is no such thing. So perhaps I am, in this instance, the canine. The adoring golden retriever who suffers immense shame at not having proven to his master how much he cares. 🐶🦊💗

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Awww, I do love golden retrievers, so adore away my Fido friend, and then we can go and swim in the sea and roll in the sand. But don’t worry, even with all this dog and cat talk, I know that you are true vixen through and through and will always behave accordingly.
        🦊 ♾ 🎀 💓

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved this, April! So true – cats have style & feline grace, but when you’re in their bad books they sure let you know it. 😀 Love how you’ve depicted it here – very relatable!

    I used to act more like a dog in my early writing journey – deliberately being over-the-top and overly enthusiastic about every small token of kindness from other bloggers; as I mellowed out & got comfortable in my niche, I was much more confident letting the cats in – people who weren’t shy about pointing out the inconsistencies in my writing & were openly honest about what didn’t work for them. I’ve definitely improved my writing by letting the cats into my life! 🐶🐱

    Also if this is a metaphor for blogging (insipid loyalty from skimming readers vs genuine trust from long-time friends who aren’t afraid to critique your work) it’s a great comparison! You always express such universal truths in such a unique way ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tom – this is such quality feedback. Thank you, sincerely.

      You have given me so many interesting way to look at and re-examine to my own concept. I love that you connected it specifically with to your journey as a writer.

      Being too eager in the beginning. Then mellowing out and finding comfort with yourself and another species 😉 a dog learning to relax, to love the sound of a meow ♥️

      How brilliant of you to make that connection!

      Also, very astute. This absolutely relates to the writing, blogging and internet culture we find ourselves navigating daily. There *is* a sense of vapidness from some. Shameless self promotion. Very little return from the shallow people lurking in the rafters.

      For me it’s an art. For others it’s fame and/or a paycheck. And while neither approach is wrong, it can be disheartening and difficult to find common ground.

      Thank you again for such complimentary words and for always giving me something poignant to consider!! ♥️🦊🐶🐈

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Completely right, April! 😀 I’ve definitely found blogging a huge difference now compared to when I first started – there’s a much smaller but closer-knit audience now & the few dedicated readers I have are far more likely to leave constructive feedback (the cats) compared to my first initial stories getting a ton of positive love but not much meaningful advice on how to improve (the dogs).
        Totally agree with your thoughts about writing being art as well! Plenty of talented bloggers I know have focussed on building their audience or monetising their work for £$€, but now that I’ve changed my blogging focus that’s…not as important? It shouldn’t need to be measured by the size of your audience or your wallet. Good art speaks for itself & yours is one of a kind! ♥️🦊 Have a fabulous week ahead, you valiant vixen! 🤗 x

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Rob I couldn’t agree more! You, sir, are no tramp. Strike that. You’re not a stray. Hahaha.

      Thinking about it just now. As a doggo. You remind me of a German Shepherd. Dapper, loyal, secretly sensitive. And very, VERY protective of his lawn! ♥️😘

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, April! I came here from Tom’s blog. I’m glad I did.
    I really liked this piece but I wanted to know what you meant by this:
    “Within the absence of gratitude there exists the failure to thrive.”
    Also, I think I’m part dog part cat. I think I should be more of a cat.
    The way you’ve described cats, the part about them being so brutally honest is so true! And there are few people like that. Who’d much rather be honest than be “fed”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Rashi! Very pleased to meet you. Welcome!! Any friend of Toms is a friend of mine!

      I’m flattered that you enjoyed the piece. Thank you! I think we’re all probably a mixture of cat and dog at heart. But I’m definitely more cat leaning, haha..

      To answer your (really good!) question: People who inherently lack gratitude / humility, have a tendency to use others for personal gain instead of striving and achieving for themselves. Because they do not appreciate others, they grow “entitled” and drain those around them. Thus, they fail to thrive on their own. They’re spiritually and psychologically malnourished.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the warm welcome!
        Wow, that sums up 70 percent of the people I’ve met. And I’m not even that old or experienced yet. Thanks for the explanation, April. I understand better now. I really appreciate it.🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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