Scaevola’s Cat Thought of the Week* (#5)


The Thought

Dormitat servus meus, ast crater eget escā.

Forsitan excitet ut dente pedem capio…


The Meaning

My servant repeatedly sleeps, but the bowl needs food.

Perhaps he may awake as I seize (his) foot with (my) tooth.

(Yes, he does this. It’s gentle and funny, but he does this.)


The Form

ˉ = Full beat
˘ = Half beat
° = Either a full or half beat may be used
ˉ ˘ ˘ = D = Dactyl (a metrical foot)
ˉ ˉ = S = Spondee (a metrical foot)
ˉ ˘ = T = Trochee (a metrical foot)
/ = Separator between metrical feet
|| = A hiatus – a pronounced pause
X = Either a dactyl or spondee may be used
Y = Either a spondee or a trochee may be used

Form = Elegiac Couplet
X / X / X / X / D / Y
X / X / ° || D / D / ˉ


The Scansion

Dōrmī/tāt sēr/vūs mĕŭs, / āst crā/tēr ĕgĕt / ēscā.
(ˉ ˉ / ˉ ˉ / ˉ ˘ ˘ / ˉ ˉ / ˉ ˘ ˘ / ˉ ˘)

Fōrsĭtăn / ēxcĭtĕt / ūt || dēntĕ pĕd/ēm căpĭ/ō…
(ˉ ˘ ˘ / ˉ ˘ ˘ / ˉ || ˉ ˘ ˘ / ˉ ˘ ˘ / ˉ)


The Recitation


The Vocabulary and Grammar

Dormitat = dormito (dormito, -āre, -āvi, -atum), verb, 1st conjugation, 3rd person, singular, present, active, indicative, meaning = he (servus) repeatedly sleeps.

servus = servus (servus -i), noun, 2nd declension, singular, masculine, nominative, meaning = male servant.

meus = meus (meus -a -um), adjective, 1st & 2nd declension, singular, feminine, nominative, modifies servus, meaning = my.

ast = conjunction, indeclinable, meaning = but.

crater = crater (crater, -eris), noun, 3rd declension, singular, neuter, nominative, meaning = bowl.

eget = egeo (egeo, -ēre, -ui), verb, 2nd conjugation, 3rd person, singular, present, active, indicative, meaning = it (crater) is in need (need). (While English may sometimes use the genitive: “is in need *of*,” Latin uses the  ablative for verbs of needing, lacking, etc: “is in need *by means of*”)

escā = esca (esca, -ae), noun, 1st declension, singular, feminine, ablative, meaning = (by means of) food.

Forsitan = adverb, indeclinable, modifies excitet, meaning = perhaps.

excitet = excito (excito, -āre, -āvi, -atum), verb, 1st conjugation, 3rd person, singular, present, active, subjunctive, meaning = he (servus) may awake. (This form and use of the subjunctive conveys the idea of a potential action)

ut = conjunction (temporal), indeclinable, meaning = as (just as, at the same time as).

dens = dens (dens, dentis), noun, 3rd declension, singular, neuter, ablative, meaning = (by means of) tooth.

pedem = pes (pes, pedis), noun, 3rd declension, singular, masculine, accusative, meaning = foot.

capio = capio (capio, capere, cepi, captum), verb, 3rd conjugation, 1st person, singular, present, active, indicative, meaning = I seize.


*  “Week” is a used here as to specify an undefined length of time, possibly at times equal to an actual week.

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5 thoughts on “Scaevola’s Cat Thought of the Week* (#5)”

  1. I enjoy seeing this cat show up.

    Does this cat get around alright on three legs? What causes problems that you see?

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  2. 10 Cents:
    I enjoy seeing this cat show up.

    Does this cat get around alright on three legs? What causes problems that you see?

    He is a total love-bug.

    In order to move slowly he has to hop a bit. So, he prefers to run everywhere, which I guess is easier to do on three legs.

    I see no problem with his mobility – he gets around just fine. The only “problem” is that he wants almost nonstop attention from his humans – he prefers to be held and will jump up to make that happen, whether you are ready or not. I’ve ordered a sling cat carrier on Amazon so I can carry him around when he gets in the mood and I can still have my hands free.

    The only other problem I see is that I know he wants to be outside. He’s made a move for an open door a couple of times. If he had all four legs, could defend himself and avoid cars better than he probably can now, then I probably wouldn’t have an issue with letting him out occasionally. A standard harness won’t work (only 1 front leg). And I haven’t yet been sold on a catio. So, I’m going to see if I can take him out occasionally in the sling.

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  3. This is the first I have heard of “catio”.  I see that is an outdoor enclosure for cats. Cat plus patio, right?

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  4. 10 Cents:
    This is the first I have heard of “catio”.  I see that is an outdoor enclosure for cats. Cat plus patio, right?

    Yes. A lot of work to install correctly. I don’t have that kind of time, I might in the future though.

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