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A Cat in My Lap by Karen Boxell

I know I have a lot to do,

So many things - see them through.

There are clothes to clean, grass to mow,

Cookies to bake, seeds to sow.

But I really can't do all these things in a snap.

Because, you see, there's a cat in my lap.


He stretches and rolls and gives me a wink,


From his sleepy gold eyes - just a small blink.

I smooth his long tail and tickle his tummy,

He yawns and purrs to tell me that's yummy.

The telephone rings. The paper boy taps.

No move do I make. There's a cat in my lap.


Bright sunlight dances across the floor,

To warm my small friend just a bit more.

A happy prisoner am I in my chair –


Some moments of peace - not a care.

I think I'll take a little nap,

With this soft, furry ball, a cat in my lap.

A Cat's Prayer

Now I lay me down to sleep,

The king-size bed is soft and deep...

I sleep right in the center groove

My human can hardly move!


I've trapped her legs, she's tucked in tight

And here is where I pass the night

No one disturbs me or dares intrude

Till morning comes and 'I want food!'


I sneak up slowly to begin

My nibbles on my human's chin.

She wakes up quickly, I have sharp teeth -

And my claws I will unsheath


For the morning's here and it's time to play

I always seem to get my way.

So thank you Lord for giving me

This human person that I see.


The one who hugs me and holds me tight

And sacrifices her bed at night.


A Kitten by Eleanor Farjeon

He's nothing much but fur

And two round eyes of blue,

He has a giant purr

And a midget mew.


He darts and pats the air,

He starts and cocks his ear,

When there is nothing there

For him to see and hear.


He runs around in rings,

But why we cannot tell;

With sideways leaps he springs

At things invisible -


Then half-way through a leap

His startled eyeballs close,

And he drops off to sleep With one paw on his nose.


A Pets Prayer

If it should be, that I grow frail and weak,

And pain should keep me from my sleep,

Then, you must do what must be done

For this, the last battle, can't be won.

Don't let your grief stay your hand,


For this day more than the rest,

Your love and friendship stand the test.

We've had so many years,

What is to come can hold no fear.

You'd not want me to suffer, so

When the time comes, please let me go.


Take me where my needs they'll tend,

Only, stay with me to the end

And hold me firm and speak to me

Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time you'll see it is a kindness you do for me

Although my tail its last has waved,

From pain and suffering I've been saved.


Don't grieve it should be you who this thing decides to do.

We've been so close, we two, these years,

Don't let your heart hold tears.


An Old Russian Prayer

Hear our prayer Lord, for all animals,

May they be well-fed and well-trained and happy;

Protect them from hunger and fear and suffering;

And, we pray, protect specially, dear Lord,

The little cat who is the companion of our home,

Keep her safe as she goes abroad,

And bring her back to comfort us.

Black Cat

A cat as black

As blackest coal

Is out upon

His midnight stroll,

His steps are soft,

His walk is slow,

His eyes are gold,

They flash and glow.

And so I run

And so I duck,

I do not need

His black-cat luck.


Cat Hair

Cat hair on the bedspread,

Cat hair on the chair.

Cat hair in the casserole,



Cat hair on my best coat,

Even on the mouse!

You live and eat and breathe cat hair,

When cats live in your house.

Cat Kisses by Bobbi Katz

Sandpaper kisses

on a cheek or a chin-

that is the way

for a day to begin!


Sandpaper kisses-

a cuddle and a purr.

I have an alarm clock

that's covered in fur!

Cat Owner's Prayer

Because I'm only human,

It's sometimes hard to be

The wise, all-knowing creature

That my cat expects of me.


And so I pray for special help

To somehow understand

The subtle implications

Of each proud meowed command.


Oh, let me not forget that chairs

Were put on earth to shred;

And what I like to call a lap

Is actually a bed.


I know it's really lots to ask

But please, oh please, take pity;

And though I'm only human,

Make me worthy of my kitty!

Cats by Charles Baudelaire

They are alike, prim scholar and perfervid lover:

When comes the season of decay, they both decide

Upon sweet, husky cats to be the household pride;

Cats choose, like them, to sit, and like them, shudder.


Like partisans of carnal dalliance and science,

They search for silence and the shadowings of dread;

Hell well might harness them as horses for the dead,

If it could bend their native proudness in compliance.


In reverie they emulate the noble mood

Of giant sphinxes stretched in depths of solitude

Who seem to slumber in a never-ending dream;


Within their fertile loins a sparkling magic lies;

Finer than any sand are dusts of gold that gleam,

Vague starpoints, in the mystic iris of their eyes.

Cats are Wonderful Friends

Gentle eyes that see so much,

paws that have the quiet touch,

Purrs to signal 'all is well'

and show more love than words could tell.

Graceful movements touched with pride,

a calming presence by our side

A friendship that takes time to grow

Small wonder why we love them so.


Gray Thrums by Clara Doty Bates

Which is the cosiest voice,

The piping droning noise

When the kettle hums,

Or this little old-fashioned wheel

Spinning gray thrums?


Gray thrums! What wheel, you ask,

Turns at such pleasant task

With a soft whirr?

Why, the one in pussy's throat

That makes her purr.


Listen the rippling sound,

And think how round and round

The spindle goes,

As the drowsy thread she spins

Drowsily grows.


What will she do with it

When it is finished? Knit

Some mittens new?

Or shuttle it, and weave cloth

As weavers do?


A funny idea that,

A spinning wheel in a cat!

Yet how it hums!

Our puss is gray, so of course

She spins gray thrums.

Had Tiberius Been a Cat by Matthew Arnold

Cruel, but composed and bland,

Dumb, inscrutable and grand,

So Tiberius might have sat,

Had Tiberius been a cat.


Matthew Arnold 1822-1888

Hodge the Cat by Susan Coolidge

Burly and big, his books among,

Good Samuel Johnson sat,

With frowning brows and wig askew,

His snuff-strewn waistcoat far from new;

So stern and menacing his air,

That neither Black Sam,

nor the maid

To knock or interrupt him dare;

Yet close beside him, unafraid,

Sat Hodge, the cat.


'This participle,' the Doctor wrote,

'The modern scholar cavils at,

But,' - even as he penned the word,

A soft, protesting note was heard;

The Doctor fumbled with his pen,

The dawning thought took wings and flew,

The sound repeated, come again,

It was a faint, reminding 'Mew!'

From Hodge, the cat...


The Dictionary was laid down,

The Doctor tied his vast cravat,

And down the buzzing street he strode,

Taking an often-trodden road,

And halted at a well-known stall:

'Fishmonger,' spoke the Doctor gruff,

'Give me six oysters, that is all;

Hodge knows when he has had enough,

Hodge is my cat.'


Then home; puss dined and while in sleep

he chased a visionary rat,

His master sat him down again,

Rewrote his page, renibbed his pen;

Each 'i' was dotted, each 't' was crossed,

He labored on for all to read,

Nor deemed that time was waste or lost

Spent in supplying the small need

Of Hodge, the cat.


The dear old Doctor! Fierce of mien,

Untidy, arbitrary, fat,

What gentle thought his name enfold!

So generous of his scanty gold.

So quick to love, so hot to scorn,

Kind to all sufferers under heaven,

A tend'rer despot ne'er was born;

His big heart held a corner, even

For Hodge, the cat.


Sarah Chauncy Woolsey (Susan Coolidge)

I'm Only a Cat

I'm only a cat,

and I stay in my place...

Up there on your chair,

on your bed or your face!


I'm only a cat,

and I don't finick much...

I'm happy with cream

and anchovies and such!


I'm only a cat,

and we'll get along fine...

As long as you know

I'm not yours... you're all mine!

Kittens! Kittens! by Helen Reese

Kittenskittens everywhere

Kittens chewing on my hair

Kittens climbing up my jeans

Kittens hanging from the screens

There's a kitten on each shoulder

Will they do this when they're older?


Kittens fighting on the chairs

Kittens tumbling down the stairs

There's a kitten on my head

There's a kitten in the bread!

There's a kitten in my shoe

I don't believe we just have two!


When man first went to look around

He saw a lion on the ground

The lion tried to give a smile

The man felt happy - for a while

Until he saw the lion's jaw

Full of teeth and looking for

Something good and fat to eat

So the man decided to retreat

The lion was only going to play

He'd already eaten once that day.

Oh, he was lovely, lovely, lovely!


They rode a cleaner, not a broom.

'Go left!' screeched Puss and spoke their doom.

She turned right-they hit the moon.

Oh, it was lovely, lovely, lovely


On a Cat Ageing by Alexander Gray

He blinks upon the hearth-rug,

and yawns in deep content,

accepting all the comforts

that Providence has sent.


Louder he purrs, and louder,

in one glad hymn of praise

for all the night's adventures,

for quiet, restful days.


Life will go on forever,

with all that cat can wish:

warmth and the glad procession

of fish and milk and fish.


Only-the thought disturbs him-

he's noticed once or twice,

the times are somehow breeding

a nimbler race of mice.

Pinkle Purr by A A Milne

Tattoo was the mother of Pinkle Purr,

A little black nothing of feet and fur;

And by and by, when his eyes came through,

He saw his mother, the big Tattoo.

And all that he learned he learned from her,

'I'll ask my mother,' says Pinkle Purr.



Tattoo was the mother of Pinkle Purr,

A ridiculous kitten with silky fur.

And little black Pinkle grew and grew

Till he got as big as the big Tattoo.

And all he did he did with her.

'Two friends together,' says Pinkle Purr.



Tattoo was the mother of Pinkle Purr,

An adventurous cat in a coat of fur.

And whenever he thought of a thing to do,

He didn't much bother about Tattoo.

For he knows it's nothing to do with her,

So 'See you later,' says Pinkle Purr.



Tattoo was the mother of Pinkle Purr,

An enormous leopard with coal-black fur.

A little brown kitten that's nearly new

Is now playing games with its big Tattoo...

And Pink looks lazily down at her:

'Dear little Tat,' says Pinkle Purr.

Puss by Walter De La Mare

Puss loves man's winter fire

Now that the sun so soon

Leaves the hours cold it warmed

In burning June.


She purrs full length before

The heaped-up hissing blaze,

Drowsy in slumber down

Her head she lays.


While he with whom she dwells

Sits snug in his inglenook,

Stretches his legs to the flame

And reads his book.

The Cat That Walked by Himself by Rudyard Kipling

'He will kill mice, and he will be kind to babies when he is in the house, just as long as they do not pull his tail too hard. But when he has done that, and between times, and when the moon gets up and night comes, he is the Cat that walks by himself, and all places are alike to him. Then he goes out to the Wet Wild Woods or up the Wet Wild Trees or on the Wet Wild Roofs, waving his wild tail and walking by his wild lone.'

Two Cats

Two Cats

One up a tree

One under the tree

The cat up a tree is he

The cat under the tree is she

The tree is witch elm, just incidentally.

He takes no notice of she, she takes no notice of he.

He stares at the woolly clouds passing, she stares at the tree.

There's been a lot written about cats, by Old Possum, Yeats and Company

But not Alfred de Musset or Lord Tennyson or Poe or anybody

Wrote about one cat under, and one cat up, a tree.

God knows why this should be left for me

Except I like cats as cats be

Especially one cat up

And one cat under

A witch elm



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