Written in Lancashire dialect (North England)
Theaw'rt one o' God's creatures - come in here, come in;
Poor Pussy! Theau art hungry lookin' an' thin.
Eawr John's just bin tellin' me heaw tha's been used;
It's shawmful is th' way 'at he's seen thee abused.
Poor thing! an' tha'rt nobbut a kittlin' aw see;
An' yet th' nowty lads couldn't let thee a-be;
But tha's met wi' a friend at'll keep thee fro' harm,
So ceawer thee deawn here wheer it's cosy an' warm.
It's th' wrong time o'th' year to be takin' owt in;
An' yet aw shall never be guilty o' th' sin
O' turnin mi back on a creature i' need
Iv it's nobbut a cat 'at awm able ta feed.
Lie thee deawn close to th, hob, an' aw'll fot some moor coal;
Tha shall join me at th' best 'at aw have i' this hole.
Wheer's thi mother, aw wonder? Well, that tha can't tell,
But tha'rt rayther to' young to turn eawt bi thisel'.
Neaw then, here's a sope o' warm milk in a plate;
Lap it up, an' be sharp, for tha needs sum'at t' ate.
Here John, lad, thee slip into th' butcher's, th' next dur,
For a pennorth o' leets, an' say what they're for;
He's a good-natured fellow is Alfred Maclure,
Iv he knows what they're for he may send rayther moor.
He's fond of a dog, is th' owd lad - he is that;
Let's hope he can feel for a poor starvin' cat.
Here's John wi' his leets; come an' have a "tuck in,"
An' we'll cure thee o' lookin' so famished an' thin.
Hasto getten nine lives? Some cats have, they sen;
Well, stop here wi' me, an' tha'll happen ha' ten.
Come here, neaw - come here; for tha mustn't go eawt,
Or tha'll get welly kilt wi' th' bad lads 'at's abeawt.
They think it foine sport to illuse sich as thee;
Jump up, an' aw'll howd thee a bit on mi knee.
Well, it's th' way o' this world! When one's powfagge'd an'deawn,
An' friends 'at should care for us every one fleawn,
There's allis some ready - Tom, Harry, or Dick
To hurl us still still lower, an' give us a kick.
Like some hungry vulture 'at hovers areawnd,
An' fattens its carcase o' meat 'at's unseawnd
So these, havin' passions degraded an' low,
Can feed upo' cruelty, revel 'midst woe!
Aw'd rayther this minute be clemm'd same as thee,
As friendless an' whoamless tha ceawers on mi knee,
Nor be cursed wi' mean actions, like some aw could name,
'At are soulless, an' heartless, an' "glory i' shame."
But tha pricks up thi ears, an' howds up thi yead
As iv t' understand every word 'at aw said;
An' theaw has as mitch sence - an' knows what to do wi't
As that wretch 'at wur puncin' thee up an' deawn th' street.
Well, aw'm thinkin' we've summat t' be thankful fot John;
It's grand, lad, to do a kind act when we con;
Aw've towt thee a lesson aw want thee to heed,
Whenever tha meets a poor creature i' need,
Let's allis deal gently wi' th' sufferin' an' sad,
Then God will deal gently with us, mi dear lad;
An, iv ever, loike th' cat here, we get cast adrift,
There's no deawt but what someb'dy will give us a lift.
Samuel Laycock - 1893