Why doth a pussy cat prefer,
When dozing, drowsy, on the sill,
To purr and purr and purr and purr
Instead of merely keeping still?
With nodding head and folded paws,
She keeps it up without a cause.
Why doth she flaunt her lofty tail
In such a stiff right-angled pose?
If lax and limp she let it trail
‘Twould seem more restful, Goodness knows!
When strolling ‘neath the chairs or bed,
She lets it bump above her head.
Why doth she suddenly refrain
From anything she’s busied in
And start to wash, with might and main,
Most any place upon her skin?
Why doth she pick that special spot,
Not seeing if it’s soiled or not?
Why doth she never seem to care
To come directly when you call,
But makes approach from here and there,
Or sidles half around the wall?
Though doors are opened at her mew,
You often have to push her through.
Why doth she this? Why doth she that?
I seek for cause–I yearn for clews;
The subject of the pussy cat
Doth endlessly inspire the mews.
Why doth a pussy cat? Ah, me,
I haven’t got the least idee.
– Burges Johnson, in Harper’s Monthly Magazine, May 1909