Eliot (Thomas Stearns Eliot)
– 26th September 1888, United States
– 4 January 1965 London
was a famous poet, dramatist, literary critic and editor.
works –
1) The love song of J. Alfred
Prufrock (1915)
2) The waste land (1922)
3) Four quartets (1944)
– i) Nobel Prize in Literature (1948)
Ii) Order of the merit (1948)
     Macavity is an immortal creation by T.S.
Eliot. He describes him as ‘the mystery cat, ‘the hidden paw’ and Napoleon of
crime. T.S. Eliot created the poem after he got inspired by the character of Professor
James Moriarty of Sherlock Holmes.
Macavity’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw—
For he’s the master criminal who can defy the Law.
He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair:
For when they reach the scene of crime—Macavity’s not there!
     Macavity is mysterious because he is
obscure to all of us. He is described as hidden paw because he does accomplish
all the works of crime in complete secrecy. To justify that he is a criminal he
defies law. Even the Scotland Yard and flying squad are unable to catch him,
and thus Macavity is the reason of failure and hopelessness for the police
agencies. Whenever there is a crime discovered Macavity is not to be found
Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
He’s broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.
His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare,
And when you reach the scene of crime—Macavity’s not there!
You may seek him in the basement, you may look up in the air—
But I tell you once and once again, Macavity’s not there!
     Macaviity is unparrelal. He is the unique
one. He is a master in breaking the laws made by the humans. He even breaks the
law of gravity with his agile and astounding jump. When he jumps, he floats in
the air which makes even a fakir (known for supernatural abilities) look in a
startled way. Searching Macavity will give futile result, you may search him in
the basement or in the air but you are not going to find him.

Macavity’s a ginger cat, he’s very tall and thin;
You would know him if you saw him, for his eyes
are sunken in.
His brow is deeply lined with thought, his head is
highly domed;
His coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are
He sways his head from side to side, with
movements like a snake;
And when you think he’s half asleep, he’s always
wide awake.
     Macavity is a ginger colour cat who is thin
and tall with sunken eye. You can recognize him when you see him with brow
lined with deep thought. He is never careful about his dress. His coat is dusty
with neglect. He even does not comb his whiskers. When he moves with caution he
moves his head like a snake from left to right and vice-versa. If you think
that Macavity is half asleep you are making a mistake. He is always wide awake.
Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity,
For he’s a fiend in feline shape, a monster of
You may meet him in a by-street, you may see him
in the square—
But when a crime’s discovered, then Macavity’s not
     According to the poet macavity a is a devil
in the shape of a cat. He does not have any value of morality. He is master in
moral corruption. You may meet him by chance at the by- street or in a square
but you must be sure that when there is a crime Macavity is not be found there.
Working with the poem
Page (51)
1. Read the first stanza and think.
Is Macavity a cat really?
In reality, Macavity is not at all a cat. T.S. Eliot has very skilfully woven
the total poem reflecting a super criminal in the form of a cat. Here the cat
is just a representation of the master criminal.
If not, who can Macavity
Ans:- T.S. Eliot did not mean Macavity as a cat. He
just has given a poetic form using the cat. He wanted to refer to a criminal
who is ferocious and very intelligent one. He has referred Macavity as
‘Napoleon’ (In the full poem) and his reference is made with Professor Moriarty
, the famous villain of the ‘Sherlock Holmes”.
the following sentences.
A master criminal is one who
The Scotland Yard is baffled
because ___________________
  (iii) ___________________ because Macavity
moves much faster than them.
master criminal is one who is mysterious;
who is unreachable to the Police and who is not found in the scene of crime.
Scotland yard is baffled because it never gets any
clue of Macavity.
Flying squad is unable to arrest Macavity because Macavity moves
much faster than them.
3. ‘A cat, I am could walk on a cloud without coming
through’ (Jules Verne)
Which law is Macavity breaking in the light of the comment above?
Ans:- In the light of the comment above Macavity
breaks the law of gravity.
4. Read stanza 3, and then describe Macavity in two or
three sentences of yours over.
Ans:- Macavity is a ginger colour cat. He is tall
and thin and you can recognize him by his eyes which are sunken; deeply lined
brow and highly doomed head. He never takes care of his dress. His coat is
dusty with neglect. He never combs his whiskers. Like a snake he moves his head
side to side. You will make a great mistake if you think him to be asleep. He
is always wide awake.
5. Say false of true for each of the following sentences.
Macavity is not an ordinary
Macavity cannot do what a fakir
can easily do.
Macavity has supernatural
Macavity is well-dressed,
smart and bright.
(v) Macavity is
a spy, a trickster and a criminal, all rolled in one.
  ii) false     iii) false    iv) false     v)  True

6. Having read the poem, try to guess whether the poet is
fond of cats. If so why does he call Macavity a find and monster?
Ans:- The poet is mesmerized with the skill and
intelligence of Macavity. His fast movement, master criminal mind, his ability
be-fool the police force made him fond of the cats despite its devilish tenets.
He calls him a monster because he has broken the laws and has accomplished a
lot of criminal offences.
7. Has the poet used exaggeration for special effect?
Find a few examples of it and read those lines aloud.
Indeed the poet has used hyperbolic statements .The following lines are the
examples –
power of levitation would make a fakir stare”
is the bafflement of Scotland yard, the flying squad’s despair.”

is a friend is feline shape, a monster of depravity.