Once, the cat was a thief's cat.
The cat really, really hated thievery.
The thief would always take the cat into towns at night,
quietly sneaking like a cat down the dark alleys.
The thief would only break into houses that had dogs.
While the dog barked at the cat, he would go break into the safe.
One day, the cat was bitten by a dog, and died.
The thief hugged the cat and a stolen diamond, walking down the alleys
and crying loudly.
He went home and buried the cat in his small yard.
Once, the cat was a lonely old widow's cat.
The cat really, really hated the lonely old widow.
Every day, the widow would hold the cat in her lap
and stare out a little first-floor window.
The cat would sit in the widow's lap all day, and nap.
In due time, the cat grew old, and died.
The decrepit old widow held the decrepit old cat,
and cried all day.
She buried the cat underneath the a tree in her garden.
Once, the cat was a little girl's cat.
The cat really, really hated children.
The girl would make the cat ride piggy-back,
or sleep holding him too tight.
When the girl cried, she would wipe her tears off on the cat's back.
One day, the girl made the cat ride piggy-back
by tying a string around his neck. The cat died.
The girl hugged the wobbly-necked cat,
and cried all day.
She buried the cat underneath a tree in her garden.
The cat didn't really mind dying.
Once, the cat was nobody's cat.
He was a wild cat.
For the first time the cat was his own cat.
The cat really, really liked himself.
For you know, he was a truly splendid tabby cat,
So of course he made a truly splendid wild cat.
Every girl cat wanted to be the cat's wife.
Some brought him big fish as presents.
Some brought him the best mice as presents.
Some brought him presents from unusual journeys.
Some said he was greater than the greatest of tigers.
The cat said: "I've died a million times. After so long a time, this is amusing!"
The cat liked himself better than anyone else.