By Lauren Merryfield

In deepest midnight darkness, when the sky seemed so forlorn,
Our mother knew the time had come; the four of us were born.
We nestled near our mother in the corner of the barn.
Some giant steps approached us and we heard it say “Oh darn!

The cat’s got kittens; more than one, so now what do I do?
I spoze I could just shoot ’em all and hope that no one knew.”
Our mother stiffened where she stood and nudged us, one and all.
She grabbed us by the neck scruff and … she hid us in a stall.

“He’ll kill you and he’ll leave me here without my babies four
So, soon as we are surely safe, we’re out that open door.”
Before the dawn our mother took each one of us again.
She streaked beyond the open door and out into the rain.

She carried us to who knows where somewhere among the trees
And once more all the four of us were gone where no one sees….
A tiny human knelt above and squealed and clapped with glee.
“A kitten, Mommy, can I keep it?” asked the one so wee.

“You know your father wouldn’t let you keep a cat at home.
You’ll have to let it go, you know, and let the fellow roam.”
The tearful human, young and disappointed, left that day,
But she was there again, next day, and carted me away.

She placed me in a tiny box and set it on her bike
And all the yowls and scratching showed my utterest dislike.
And now a human friend appeared, no yelling; no demand
But gently lifted me and held me in her loving hand.

Lauren has written about cats since she was in grade-school. She is a member of the Cat Writers’ Association and has contributed human and animal-interest articles to several publications.