The Rum Tum Tugger Poem Summary Meanings and Question Answers

‘The Rum Tum Tugger’ is a poem from Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. The Rum Tum Tugger Solutions, Summary and Poetry Appreciation for the class 6 English Wind Chimes book are given here.

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It is a poem for children and brings humour. The Rum Tum Tugger is half a pet cat and half a domestic nightmare. He wants the exact opposite of what you give him: a grouse if you give him a pheasant, a house if you put him in a flat, a rat if you gave him a mouse, to be outside if you let him in, a feast if you give him a fish and a rabbit if you give him fish. He blocks doorways and gets into bureau drawers he cannot get out of. He will not have cream unless he steals it from the larder himself. He is not fond of cuddling but makes sure to jump into the lap of anyone who is sewing. But really, there is not much of a point in getting aggravated about him and his ways, or trying to change him or complaining about him because there is nothing to be done about the Rum Tum Tugger’s oddities.

Textbook Exercises


  1. For he will do/As he do do…
    a. Who is ‘he’?
    b. What will he do?
    c. Rewrite the sentence in everyday English.
  2. He’s always on the wrong side of every door.
    a. What is the wrong side of any door?
    b. Why is he always on the wrong side?
    c. What does the speaker think about this habit?
  3. So you’ll catch him in it right up to the ears,/!{ you put it away on the larder shelf
    a. What does ‘in it’ refer to?
    b. Explain the usage ‘up to the ears’.
    c. What did he do earlier with the same thing?


  1. a. He is the Rum Tum Tugger.
    b. He will do whatever he wants to.
    c. For he will do as he pleases.
  2. a. The wrong side of the door is any side on which the Rum Tum Tugger becomes an obstruction.
    b. He is always on the wrong side because he always wants to be wherever he is not.
    c. The speaker thinks it is terribly boring.
  3. a. ‘In it’ refers to the fact that the Rum Tum Tugger is in the cream.
    b. ‘Up to the ears’ implies that he is pretty much submerged in the cream.
    c. He sniffed and sneered at the cream when it was given to him.
  1. What does the Rum Tum Tugger do when he is given anything to eat?
  2. In what context does the speaker refer to ‘the bureau drawer’?
  3. Which sentence conveys the futility of trying to reform ‘the Rum Tum Tugger?
  4. Does the Rum Tum Tugger respond to affectionate behaviour? Support your answer with an example from the poem.
  5. If you had a pet like the Rum Tum Tugger, how would you treat it?
  6. What do you think the poet’s opinion of the Rum Tum Tugger is like?


Short Answers:

  1. The Rum Tum Tugger’s eating preferences are unpredictable, and he changes his mind quickly.
  2. The bureau drawer is mentioned when describing where the Rum Tum Tugger likes to lie.
  3. The phrase “And there’s no doing anything about it!” conveys the futility of trying to reform the Rum Tum Tugger.
  4. The Rum Tum Tugger does not seem to respond much to affectionate behavior, as he doesn’t care for a cuddle.
  5. If I had a pet like the Rum Tum Tugger, I would respect its unique personality and provide a variety of options for its preferences.
  6. The poet’s opinion of the Rum Tum Tugger seems to be one of amusement and acceptance, finding humor in the cat’s unpredictable nature.

Long Answers:

1. He’s notoriously picky! If offered pheasant, he’d crave grouse. Fish? Only if it’s a whole feast! Cream? He sniffs and sneers, preferring his own discoveries. He only wants what he can’t have, making mealtimes an unpredictable adventure.

2. The Rum Tum Tugger loves burrowing into drawers, but as soon as he’s in, he wants out! This highlights his restless nature and constant dissatisfaction, never fully content with one place or state.

3. “For he will do / As he do do / And there’s no doing anything about it!” This repeated refrain emphasizes his unwavering individuality. He is who he is, and attempts to change him are as futile as chasing your tail.

4.Not in the conventional sense. While he might leap into your lap, it’s not for cuddles but for the chaos it creates. He disdains “a cuddle,” preferring the “horrible muddle” his presence triggers. His affection is expressed through mischievousness, a unique feline language.

5. Patience would be key! Embracing his unpredictable nature and providing ample outlets for his curiosity would be essential. Puzzle feeders, climbing structures, and engaging toys could channel his restless energy. Remember, he thrives on exploration and surprise, so keep things interesting!

6. The poem reads as a playful portrait, filled with exasperation and amusement. There’s a clear fondness for the cat’s quirky personality, even as his antics cause a stir. While acknowledging the challenges he presents, the poet ultimately celebrates his individuality and untamed spirit.

The Rum Tum Tugger is a reminder that not all cats crave cuddles and predictability. He’s a whirlwind of fur and mischief, and accepting him on his own terms is half the fun!

One More Set of Answers:

  1. The Rum Tum Tugger is quite unpredictable when it comes to food. When given anything to eat, he tends to change his preferences and desires quickly. For example, if offered pheasant, he would rather have grouse, and his choices seem to be constantly changing.
  2. The speaker refers to ‘the bureau drawer’ when describing the Rum Tum Tugger’s behavior. The cat likes to lie in the bureau drawer, but he makes a fuss if he can’t get out. This context suggests that the bureau drawer serves as a place of comfort or interest for the cat.
  3. The sentence that conveys the futility of trying to reform the Rum Tum Tugger is: “And there’s no doing anything about it!” This phrase is repeated in the poem, emphasizing the idea that the cat’s behavior is unchangeable and that there’s no use in trying to reform or control him.
  4. The Rum Tum Tugger does not seem to respond much to affectionate behavior. The poem mentions that he doesn’t care for a cuddle. However, there is an example of him leaping on someone’s lap in the middle of sewing, which may be seen as a response to affection, but it’s more about creating a “horrible muddle” than seeking affection.
  5. If I had a pet like the Rum Tum Tugger, I would try to understand and appreciate its unique personality. I might provide a variety of options for food and create an environment that allows the pet to explore and express its curiosity. It’s important to respect the pet’s individuality while ensuring its well-being.
  6. The poet’s opinion of the Rum Tum Tugger is likely one of amusement and acceptance. The cat is portrayed as a curious and unpredictable character, and the repetition of the line “And there’s no doing anything about it!” suggests a resigned acceptance of the cat’s behavior. The poet seems to find humor in the cat’s whimsical nature rather than expressing frustration or disapproval.

Poetry Appreciation


The repetition in the poem occurs in the stanza ending lines, ‘For he will do/As he do do/And there’s no doing anything about it!’.

Firstly, the lines convey the stubborn character that defines the Rum Tum Tugger. The only way to coexist with this cat is to make peace with his oddities.

The humour is further heightened by the tone of desperation and failure in them. It conveys that poet has struggled long and hard with the Rum Tum Tugger’s misbehaviour and eccentricity and finally, has just given up

Another Answer:

The poet, T.S. Eliot, uses repetition effectively in “The Rum Tum Tugger” to enhance the humor of the poem. The repeated line “And there’s no doing anything about it!” serves as a humorous refrain, emphasizing the futility of trying to understand or control the Rum Tum Tugger’s behavior. The recurrence of this line not only creates a rhythmic and musical quality, but it also reinforces the central theme of the cat’s unpredictability.

The repetition of phrases such as “If you…” in the first stanza adds a comical touch by highlighting the Rum Tum Tugger’s capricious nature. The constant changes in preferences, illustrated through these repetitions, contribute to the playful and whimsical tone of the poem.

Overall, the poet’s use of repetition serves to emphasize key points, create a sense of rhythm, and contribute to the lighthearted and amusing atmosphere of the poem, making it an essential element in enhancing its humor.


The Rum Tum Tugger, being the whimsical and unpredictable cat that he is, might offer a spirited justification for his actions. He could argue that his ever-changing preferences and contrary behavior are a testament to his individuality and refusal to conform to societal norms. The Rum Tum Tugger might express that he thrives on variety, always seeking new experiences and delights. He could argue that his love for chaos and creating a “horrible muddle” is his way of injecting excitement and unpredictability into life, making each moment unique. From his perspective, his refusal to be cuddled or conform to expectations is a declaration of independence, a celebration of his free spirit. Ultimately, the Rum Tum Tugger might assert that his curious and capricious nature is what makes him special, and he wouldn’t trade it for anything predictable or ordinary.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    It is very useful

  2. S. Sarkar

    Good job . Thank u

  3. Anonymous

    Thank you so much this really helped me in my examination

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