The Kitten and the Falling Leaves, by William Wordsworth

See the kitten on the wall,
Sporting with the leaves that fall,
Withered leaves—one—two—and three—
From the lofty elder tree!
Through the calm and frosty air
Of this morning bright and fair,
Eddying round and round they sink
Softly, slowly: one might think
From the motions that are made,
Every little leaf conveyed
Sylph or fairy hither tending,
To this lower world descending,
Each invisible and mute,
In his wavering parachute.
But the kitten, how she starts,
Crouches, stretches, paws and darts!
First at one and then its fellow,
Just as light and just as yellow;
There are many now—now one—
Now they stop and there are none:
What intenseness of desire
In her upward eye of fire!
With a tiger-leap, halfway,
Now she meets the coming prey;
Lets it go as fast and then
Has it in her power again.
Now she works with three or four,
Like an Indian conjuror;
Quick as he in feats of art,
Far beyond in joy of heart.

Do You Like My Cat?

I like my cat, I like him well,
As all the house may see
I like him for himself, and not
Because the cat likes me.

He counts his only work in life,
To flourish and be fat;
And this he does with all his might;—
Of course, I like my cat.

His eyes shine out beneath his brows,
As eyes have rarely shone;
His beauty is the grandest thing
That ever cat put on.

He wears a paw of wondrous bulk,
With secret claws to match,
And puts a charm in all its play,
The pat, the box, the scratch.

I have not heard how cats are made
Within their furry veil,
But rather fancy Tippo’s thoughts
Lie chiefly in his tail.

For while in every other part
His portly person sleeps,
That bushy tail, with steady wave,
A ceaseless vigil keeps.

The Kitten

Wanton droll, whose harmless play
Beguiles the rustic’s closing day,
When drawn the evening fire about,
Sit aged crone and thoughtless lout;
Come, show thy tricks and sportive graces,
Thus circled round with merry faces.
Backward coiled, and crouching low,
With glaring eyeballs watch thy foe.
The house wife’s, spindle whirling round,
Or thread, or straw, that on the ground
Its shadow throws, by urchin sly,
Held out to lure thy roving eye.
Then, onward stealing, fiercely spring
Upon the futile, faithless thing.
Now, wheeling round with bootless skill,
Thy bo-peep tail provokes thee still,
As oft beyond thy curving side
Its jetty tip is seen to glide.
Whence hast thou, then, thou witless puss,
The magic power to charm us thus?
Is it that in thy glaring eye,
And rapid movements we descry—
While we at ease, secure from ill,
The chimney corner snugly fill.

Playing Robinson Crusoe, by Rudyard Kipling

dog-and-catPussy can sit by the fire and sing,
Pussy can climb a tree,
Or play with a silly old cork and string
To ‘muse herself, not me.

But I like Binkie, my dog, because
He knows how to behave;
So, Binkie’s the same as the First Friend was,
And I am the Man in the Cave.

Pussy will play Man-Friday till
It’s time to wet her paw
And make her walk on the window-sill
(For the footprint Crusoe saw);

Then she fluffles her tail and mews,
And scratches and won’t attend.
But Binkie will play whatever I choose,
And he is my true First Friend.

Pussy will rub my knees with her head,
Pretending she loves me hard;
But the very minute I go to my bed
Pussy runs out in the yard.

And there she stays till the morning light;
So I know it is only pretend;
But Binkie, he snores at my feet all night,
And he is my Firstest Friend!