She just appeared one winter’s day,
A little cat from nowhere.
I tried my best to coax her in,
To give her food and care.
She stood her ground, just out of reach
As I filled up a dish
With feed from Tiger’s ample stash,
As much as she could wish.
Waiting until the door was closed
She ate all she could hold,
Then turned and went beneath my deck,
Her fortress from the cold.
It went that way all winter long,
At the same time every day,
She’d come until she had been fed,
Then turn and slink away.
Though Tiger and I worried lots,
The stray cat was doing fine.
Whenever I filled up her dish
She’d be right there to dine.
The winter waned, the warm spring came,
I knew her woes were over.
With sun to warm her frozen bones
She would live her life in clover.
One morning to my great surprise,
There were two kittens there.
One was all white and one was dark,
They were a handsome pair.
After breakfast she licked both of them
‘Til they were shining clean,
The most devoted mother cat
That I had ever seen.
How did she learn the lessons
That she teaches them today,
When she is so disadvantaged,
Just a lonely little stray?
She coaxes them to lie down
In the sunshine on the deck,
Then lays right down beside them,
Holding them close to her neck.
I run to take a picture
Of the scene so sweet, I cried.
The three of them together,
Mother love personified.
For Leonora's contest "Adorable Picture"
Copyright © Joyce Johnson