By Archibald Cameron of Edinburgh (d. 1887), who wrote poems to while away his bedridden days; he had been paralyzed by rheumatism, except for some use of his right hand.
A PLEA FOR PUSSY
I do not soar to giddy heights
To flatter prince or king;
My theme is one of low degree,
In Pussy's cause I sing:
The sleek, fur-coated forager,
Sly tenant of the hearth,
A target for mischevous youth,
Fond cause of childish mirth.
What slanders, libels, cuffs and kicks
Thick on her shoulders fall,
Things broken, stolen, or mislaid—
Grimalkin's blamed for all.
Her stomach must be wonderful,
Such various things to gorge;
Tarts, jewels, jams, and crockery
Are all laid to her charge.
She sometimes scratches, and is oft
Engaged in fierce combats;
Yet I've heard of scratches given
By other things than cats.
'Tis just because she is a cat
She cannot understand,
The reason she one minute bites,
The next one licks your hand.
Instinct, not reason, is her guide,
Though oftentimes we see
The case reversed—see reason err,
And man the brute, not she.
Ill-use her as you will, she shows
No resentment strong;
Next minute she is on your lap,
Purring out her song:
Now cleansing paws, her toilet makes,
Now left ear, now the right,
Now with her tongue her velvet dress
She smooths with all her might.
Her company I'm sure you'll own
Repays a little care,
The fireside picture's incomplete
If tabby is not there.
With feline as with humankind,
Kindness is the power
That softens passion, kindles love-
Let this be Pussy's dower.
-- from One Hundred Modern Scottish Poets: With Biographical and Critical Notices, David Herschell Edwards, ed. (1893), pp. 242-3.