By S L Smith

"Fluffy's having kittens!" the children cry with glee,
Disturbing Fluffy's private hour, they crowd around to see.
Four fuzzy, living bundles, helpless, blind at birth,
Under Fluffy's tender gaze begin their life on earth.

A gift of life, a gift of grace,
Four tiny souls of Fluffy's race.

One day at dawn the owner wakes
And from the basket roughly takes,
Four squirming kittens, bellies round
With Fluffy's milk, four kittens drowned.

"Fluffy's having kittens!" the cry is heard elsewhere,
Unplanned, unwanted kittens are born into despair,
Six weeks they have with Fluffy, with mother's milk replete,
And then one howling stormy night - abandoned in the street.

Each year a million kittens, unplanned are given life,
Some to perish screaming, from the vivisector's knife,
Some to linger starving, turned out into the night,
To live their lives as ferals on the fringes of our sight.
In the humane shelters death comes with gentler hands,
To the million surplus kittens that arrive on earth, unplanned.

A gift of life, a gift of grace,
Unwanted souls of feline race.

By Dr Barry Taylor, DVM

"Come quick, come quick," their mother said, "The time is getting near."
She feels that when the kittens come the children should be here,
She told them that a big orange tom took "Kitty" as his wife,
"It's wonderful, a gift from God, the miracle of life."

At half a year, young "Kitty" feels too painful and too scared,
To appreciate six miracles, blind-eyed and yellow-haired.
But she knows these lives depend on her and nature tells her how,
And as she cleans them, children ask, "Mom, can we go now?"
But now and then for six more weeks, the children visit her,
To play with six new magic toys made of life and fur.
The six weeks pass, the newness gone and new homes yet unfound,
Mom bundles up six miracles and takes them to the pound,
Where lovingly, with gentle hands and no tears left to cry,
The shelter workers kiss them once and take them off to die.
And "Momma Kitty" now she's called mourns her loss and then,
She's put outside, and of course, she's pregnant once again.
Dad tells "Kitty" "STOP THIS NOW or you won't live here long!"
But deep inside of Momma Cat, this time there's something wrong.
Too young, too small, too often bred, now nature's gone awry,
"Momma Kitty" feels it too and she crawls off to die.
She too is freed from this cruel world, and from her time of strife,
How harsh the truth, how high the price, this "Miracle of Life"?