Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer were a very notorious couple
of cats.
As knockabout clown, quick-change comedians, tight-rope
walkers and acrobats
They had extensive reputation. They made their home in
Victoria Grove–
That was merely their centre of operation, for they were
incurably given to rove.
They were very well know in Cornwall Gardens, in Launceston
Place and in Kensington Square–
They had really a little more reputation than a couple of
cats can very well bear.

If the area window was found ajar
And the basement looked like a field of war,
If a tile or two came loose on the roof,
Which presently ceased to be waterproof,
If the drawers were pulled out from the bedroom chests,
And you couldn’t find one of your winter vests,
Or after supper one of the girls
Suddenly missed her Woolworth pearls:

Then the family would say: “It’s that horrible cat!
It was Mungojerrie–or Rumpelteazer!”– And most of the time
they left it at that.

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer had a very unusual gift of the
gab.
They were highly efficient cat-burglars as well, and
remarkably smart at smash-and-grab.
They made their home in Victoria Grove. They had no regular
occupation.
They were plausible fellows, and liked to engage a friendly
policeman in conversation.

When the family assembled for Sunday dinner,
With their minds made up that they wouldn’t get thinner
On Argentine joint, potatoes and greens,
And the cook would appear from behind the scenes
And say in a voice that was broken with sorrow:
“I’m afraid you must wait and have dinner tomorrow!
For the joint has gone from the oven-like that!”
Then the family would say: “It’s that horrible cat!
It was Mungojerrie–or Rumpelteazer!”– And most of the time
they left it at that.

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer had a wonderful way of working
together.
And some of the time you would say it was luck, and some of
the time you would say it was weather.
They would go through the house like a hurricane, and no sober
person could take his oath
Was it Mungojerrie–or Rumpelteazer? or could you have sworn
that it mightn’t be both?

And when you heard a dining-room smash
Or up from the pantry there came a loud crash
Or down from the library came a loud ping
From a vase which was commonly said to be Ming–
Then the family would say: “Now which was which cat?
It was Mungojerrie! AND Rumpelteazer!”– And there’s nothing
at all to be done about that!

Analysis, meaning and summary of T.S. Eliot's poem Mungojerrie And Rumpelteazer

5 Comments

  1. Bj says:

    I LOVE “Cats”
    It is the reason I started dancing.
    Warragul Theatre Company are performing Cats as there 2008 production
    AND I GOT THE ROLL OF MUNGOJERRIE!!
    It’s like a dream come true.
    If any one has performed in cats and has any tips for me they would be GREATLY appreciated

    Thanks Bj (A.k.a Mungo)

  2. maddie says:

    i luv this poem i saw the musical “cats” and it is hard for me to not to sing this when i see it

  3. Emily says:

    They rock!!!!! They are the cutest kitty cats I have ever seen in my entire life!!!!!!

  4. Duratar says:

    I like Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer and I also like “Cats”. It is cool!

  5. Belinda Jemima says:

    I love rumpleteazer & mungojerrie, so I like to reed about them! Well site, i will say.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by T.S. Eliot better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.