Day 238 – Hitchhiker in Mittens


Hitchiker in Mittens

Day 238

The Old Gumbie Cat by T. S. Eliot

I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots;
Her coat is of the tabby kind, with tiger stripes and leopard spots.
All day she sits upon the stair or on the steps or on the mat;
She sits and sits and sits and sits–and that’s what makes a Gumbie Cat!But when the day’s hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat’s work is but hardly begun.
And when all the family’s in bed and asleep,
She tucks up her skirts to the basement to creep.
She is deeply concerned with the ways of the mice–
Their behaviour’s not good and their manners not nice;
So when she has got them lined up on the matting,
She teachs them music, crocheting and tatting.I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots;
Her equal would be hard to find, she likes the warm and sunny spots.
All day she sits beside the hearth or on the bed or on my hat:
She sits and sits and sits and sits–and that’s what makes a Gumbie Cat!But when the day’s hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat’s work is but hardly begun.
As she finds that the mice will not ever keep quiet,
She is sure it is due to irregular diet;
And believing that nothing is done without trying,
She sets right to work with her baking and frying.
She makes them a mouse–cake of bread and dried peas,
And a beautiful fry of lean bacon and cheese.I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots;
The curtain-cord she likes to wind, and tie it into sailor-knots.
She sits upon the window-sill, or anything that’s smooth and flat:
She sits and sits and sits and sits–and that’s what makes a Gumbie Cat!

But when the day’s hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat’s work is but hardly begun.
She thinks that the cockroaches just need employment
To prevent them from idle and wanton destroyment.
So she’s formed, from that lot of disorderly louts,
A troop of well-disciplined helpful boy-scouts,
With a purpose in life and a good deed to do–
And she’s even created a Beetles’ Tattoo.

So for Old Gumbie Cats let us now give three cheers–
On whom well-ordered households depend, it appears.

They always seem to find us.  The softhearted ones.  The ones who can’t say no.  The ones who know cold weather is coming and shelter is scarce.  The ones whose hearts break to see need staring us in the face.  The ones who care.
Right now we have four of those little searchers in our house and two found me at the library.  Booker came through the front doors and Mittens, in the photo above, hitched a ride by jumping into my car.  Baxter came via my sister who took him in after his owners moved here from Oklahoma and didn’t have a place for him here – he is a well-traveled cat.  Lucy came to us from a breeder who didn’t find a buyer – her hair was so thin and she was covered in fleas.
I don’t know how anyone can put an animal out, ill-equipped to fend for itself with no shelter and no more loving arms; to starve, to freeze, to get disease and to fear.
I am looking at my three cats curled up on the sofa and chairs and at my dog on her princess pillow and I am so grateful that I am softhearted, that I can’t say no and that I care.  And I am so grateful that my husband is the same way.
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17 thoughts on “Day 238 – Hitchhiker in Mittens

  1. Beautiful animal portrait.
    I also wonder how some people can put an animal out, but I admire you for what you are doing; that gives more sense to the picture.
    Excellent lighting by the way 😉

    • The lighting is my laptop with photoshop opened and a blank white screen! Mittens was looking at it like it was something interesting! Silly kitten! (we call her Mittens because she has extra thumbs on her front feet making them look like furry mittens)

  2. Oh, a polydactyl kitty! Cool. And *what* a beauty she is. You are so right to open heart and home to those in need. How blessed your beasties are, you sweet pet-parents you. And I’m betting you’ve got three Gumbie Cats among them. A ridiculously cuddlesome tale of the tailed ones. 🙂

  3. It takes a special person to be softhearted. My late Gramma called me tenderhearted because when I was young, I was the same. I attracted and loved strays of the four-legged & the two-legged variety & was a better person for it. I fear I’ve lost some of that along the way. I’m so thankful for wonderful people like you who haven’t. Beautiful photo and, as always, the poem pairs perfectly with it.

  4. She’s so pretty – her eyes are gorgeous! 😀

    We get lots of drop offs, cause we’re on a farm in the country. Sad. 😦 We do feed any that show up, and they have shelter in the barn and shed. Some stay, some leave. We name them all. 🙂

    • She is a strange little one – she is a polydactyl and her feet are very, very large. She is a limp as an old rag when we pick her up too. I love animals as well and wish I could take them all in!

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