The ghost of a little white kitten
Crying mournfully, early and late,
Distracted Saint Peter, the watchman,
As he guarded the heavenly gate.
"Say, what do you mean," said his Saintship,
"Coming here and behaving like that?"
"I want to see Nellie, my missus,"
Sobbed the wee little ghost of a cat.
"I know she's not happy without me,
Won't you open and let me go in?"
"Begone," gasped the horrified watchman,
"Why the very idea is a sin;
I open the gate to good angels,
Not to stray little beggars like you."
"All right," mewed the little white kitten,
"Though a cat, I'm a good angel, too."
Amazed at so bold an assertion,
But aware that he made no mistake,
In silence, Saint Peter long pondered,
For his name and repute were at stake.
Then placing the cat in his bosom
With a "Whist now, and say all your prayers,"
He opened the heavenly portals
And ascended the bright golden stairs.
A little girl angel came flying,
"That's my kitty, Saint Peter," she cried.
And, seeing the joy of their meeting,
Peter let the cat angel abide.
This tale is the tale of a kitten
Dwelling now with the blessed above,
It vanquished grim Death and High Heaven
For the name of the kitten was Love.
(Leontine Stanfield in
"The Best Loved Poems of the American People")