A ray of sun strayed softly round,
For something to caress,
Until a resting place it found
Of joy and thankfulness;
'Twas Minette, our Angora cat,
With deep contented purr,
Relaxed in rapture on a mat,
Three kittens nuzzling her.
With tenderness the sunbeam kissed
her fur of silver-grey;
Her eyes held an ecstatic mist,
In boundless bliss she lay;
The sunny radiance seemed to hold
Her longer than it should,
As if it sought to shine in gold
Such mystic motherhood.
The darling kittens grew and grew;
Then one day Mother Cat,
Back from their gambolling withdrew,
And glared at them and - spat.
Aye, though they toddled after her
With playful stratagem,
Instead of soft maternal purr
She snarled and clawed at them.
And now she goes her callous way
And never gives them heed;
You barely would believe that they
Were children of her breed.
Upon the roof we see her creep
And howl with fiendish tone,
While on the hearth-rug softly sleep
Three kittens on their own.
And such is nature's way, it seems,
And maybe right at that;
So Mother, drop your foolish dreams
And emulate the Cat.
And when your offspring well are grown,
And strong and swift and tall,
Just turn them out upon their own
And let them fight - or fall.
Kittens by Robert William Service