I will lend you
a kitten for a while, God said,
For you to love while he lives and mourn when he is dead.
Maybe for twelve or fourteen years, or maybe two or three.
But will you, ’till I call him back, take care of him for me?
He’ll bring his charms to gladden you, and should his stay be brief,
You’ll always have his memories
as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return,
there are lessons taught below I want this kitten to learn.
I’ve looked the whole world over in search of teachers true,
And from the folk that crowd life’s land I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love, nor think the labor vain?
Nor hate me when I come to take my kitten home again?
I fancied I heard them say “Dear Lord Thy Will
For all the joys this kitten brings the risk of grief we’ll run.
shelter him with tenderness; we’ll love him while we may
And for the happiness we’ve known, forever grateful stay.
But should you call him back much sooner than we planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.
Then in memory of him, whom we loved, please help us while we grieve.
When our cherished
kitten departs this world of strife,
Please send us another needing soul for us to love all his life.