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If I could come back

Updated on February 9, 2012

Hubpages member rickzimmerman posed this question to the community:

If you were reincarnated as an animal, which would you prefer? and why?

Want the speed of the cheetah? Eye of the hawk? Memory of the elephant? Indestructibility of the cockroach? Longevity of the tortoise? Pampering of a housecat?

Now when I was a younger woman I believe my answer would have been an animal somewhat exotic like a black panther or an animal that could fly, an eagle perhaps or even a pretty butterfly. But now that I'm older and lived and learned and learned some more, there is only one animal I can hope to come back as in a reincarnation. That animal is a kitten. And here is why:

Autumn and Puff
Autumn and Puff

If I could come back

If the gods were to call me

to Valhalla tomorrow or now,

I’d pray and I’d beg to return somehow;

and if they allowed

what animal to be

I’d pick to be a kitten, furry and wee.

Now kittens are common,

nothing special or rare

though they tend to get tuna caught in your hair.

Kittens crawl into spaces

narrow and rough

then meow for help when the fit is too tough.

They claw the furniture,

the stereo speakers, your legs and pantyhose

before pouncing on you and ripping your clothes.

Left to their own devices

kittens play under your bed

all night long and leap on your head,

and pilfer your meals

lapping beverages unguarded

and snatching the chicken before even you’ve started.

Kittens are like vultures

that circle your feet

making you drop the plate holding your meat.

At the sound of the fridge opening

they’ll leap in the door

and gobble the leftovers straight to the core.

They’ll climb into the dryer

lest you have eyes on the back of your head

and worry you sick that they’ve shrunked or are dead.

They take up with the litter box

slinging sand everywhere,

forgetting to cover up what they left behind there.

They’ll climb onto the mantle

knock over the clock, break the porcelain clown

then use the curtains to scale their way down.

They’ll crawl into the sink

then jump out the door

leaving wet tracks all over the floor.

They ignore the toys

you bought with great cost

preferring instead the homework that you feared was lost.

They’ll purr at your ear

then sink teeth into your throat

and vomit up hairballs all over your coat.

Their hair can be seen all through the house

from the company-only chair

to the black pants that you wear,

and their whimpers are angry and loud

as they sleep on your chest

and belch up your earring they chose to ingest.

So why would anyone want

to be a kitten you say?

I may be a masochist, but I’ll put it this way:

there is no thing in life

that made you smile more than this -

kittens to scold and kittens to kiss.

And as no thing in life

made me smile more than you

or let me know I was loved all the way through

yes, from good times to bad,

through rich times and poor

or even when tragedy knocked at our door.

You are my sunshine,

your laughter lights up my life,

and helps me to carry on through even the strife.

You draw me masterpiece pictures,

tell me jokes o so droll

and compose songs that color my soul.

For all of this I want to come back to you

as a furry hairball, rotten and sweet,

clawing your hose and purring at your feet,

and hopefully to make you smile until the Gods call again

yes, this all that I crave

If just to pay the interest on all the smiles that you've gave.

©2012 by Beth Perry

Dedicated to Autumn, Byron, Charlotte, Evelyn, Gabriel, Killian, Robert and Wolfy, with much love and gratitude


Autumn and Fuzzybutt II
Autumn and Fuzzybutt II
Boodles and Midnight
Boodles and Midnight


Submit a Comment

  • bethperry profile image

    Beth Perry 6 years ago from Tennesee

    Oh Feenix, what a dear thing to say and I suspect I don't deserve it. But thank you, you made my evening :)

  • feenix profile image

    feenix 6 years ago

    Hello, Beth,

    What a loving sentiment this is. Only a real good person like you are could have composed a wonderful piece like this one is.

  • bethperry profile image

    Beth Perry 6 years ago from Tennesee

    justateacher, aw LOL!! That reminds me of the old adage be careful what you ask for, but in your Dad's case I think he was terrifically rewarded.

    I hope the situation changes for you soon and you can get a kitty. Cats -and dogs, too- are wonderful, loyal creatures. Thank you for commenting, too :)

  • justateacher profile image

    LaDena Campbell 6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

    I love kitties....I wish I were allowed to have one where I live now, but sadly I can't. When I was a child, my sisters and I begged our dad for a kitten. He said that we could have one, but only under the condition that we could find one that was small, didn't have a tail, was yellow and acted like a dog...I think he gave us these conditions because he didn't think that we would find one that fit his description. Imagine his surprise when we brought home Yella' Dog...a small yellow cat that had no tail...the cat would fetch balls and was taught to speak on command. He followed my dad around just like a puppy and my dad came to love him as much as we did.

    Love the poem!

  • bethperry profile image

    Beth Perry 6 years ago from Tennesee

    Nityanandagaurang, thank you so much :)

  • nityanandagaurang profile image

    nityanandagaurang 6 years ago

    kitten picture are very cute.Your poem has been beautifully woven around kitten.Interesting and voting it up.

  • bethperry profile image

    Beth Perry 6 years ago from Tennesee

    Thank you Debbie! And they sure are. I'd like to read about Muffin, too :)

  • Deborah Brooks profile image

    Deborah Brooks Langford 6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

    Beth this did make me smile.. I love cats. I had wrote about my cat muffin. they are such joys..thanks for sharing this.

    voted up


  • bethperry profile image

    Beth Perry 6 years ago from Tennesee

    thelyricwriter, thanks hon, that is very kind :)

  • thelyricwriter profile image

    Richard Ricky Hale 6 years ago from West Virginia

    Up, awesome, and interesting votes Beth. This really makes you think. Very creative poem. That is talent, making poetry out of a question. Best wishes Beth.

  • bethperry profile image

    Beth Perry 6 years ago from Tennesee

    Thank you Devyn :)

  • profile image

    Devyn Quinn 6 years ago

    Aw, how sweet!