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Lend Me a Cat

I will lend to you for awhile,
a cat, God said,
For you to love her while she lives
And mourn for her when she's dead.

Maybe for twelve or fourteen years,
Or maybe two or three
But will you, 'till I call her back,
Take care of her for me.

She'll bring her charms to gladden you;
And (should her stay be brief)
You'll always have her memories,
As solace for your grief.

I cannot promise she will stay,
Since all from earth return
But there are lessons taught below
I want this cat 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 her all your love,
Nor think the labour vain,
Nor hate me when I come
To take my Cat back again.

I fancied that I heard them say,
"Dear Lord Thy Will be Done,"
For all the joys this Cat will bring,
The risk of grief we'll run.

We'll shelter her with tenderness,
We'll love her while we may
And for the happiness we've known,
Forever grateful stay

But should you call her back,
Much sooner than we've planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes,
And try to understand.

If, by our love, we've managed,
Your wishes to achieve
In memory of her we loved,
To help us while we grieve,

When our faithful bundle
Departs this world of strife,
We'll have yet another Cat,
And love her all her life.

~Author Unknown~

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