To present cat-hood from a kitten,
Oft had he dozed and watched her knitting;
And Jemima's faith, howe'er ill-founded,
In him, her favorite, was unbounded.
She loved but one thing more than tabby--
Not having husband or a baby--
It hung in palace light and airy,
Her own, her darling, sweet canary.
But once came home from tea, Jemima
Horror on horrors piled! to see
The seed, which once so sprightly tinkled,
Upon the carpet all besprinkled;.
And water, too, the floor bespattered
From out the bird-cage, smashed and battered--
'Mid broken flower-pot and geranium,
There lay, in death, with fractured cranium,
All specked with red his breast of yellow,
Silent and stark, the little fellow!
Fancy the maiden's dumb surprise,
What notes and queries in her eyes!
With tears of anguish and vexation,
She looked to Tom for explanation.
Now Tom, a lawyer of his kind,
A ready answer soon could find;
A moment more, his thoughts to rally by,
He'd clear himself on proof of alibi;
But, taken rather by surprise,
He opened wide his opal eyes;
Tha exordium framed to turn attention,
Of former housings he made mention,
A modest statement of his merit,
Slightly disparaged dog and ferret.
The case went on with that acumen
Oft seen in practice purely human;
For he described the lost one singing,
There by the window gently swinging--
None could replace his dear, dead brother,
E'en should his mistress buy another!
Tom spake of music, and its power
To soothe the saddest, heaviest hour--
A perfume for the soul to drink of--
And every fine thing he could think of.
Whether 'twas change from the pathetic,
Or tickling, acting like emetic,
Our cat, declaiming like Lord Chatham,
Was choked with feathers and out spat 'em.
About to resume--“'Tis quite enough, sir,
Your protestation is all stuff, sir;
Nor can I think that cat is truthful
whose words come forth with such A Mouthful.”