I Didn’t Choose to be a Stray

A few years ago, one special poem touched the hearts of thousands of animal-lovers. Our very own Judy Layne, who generously volunteers her time and talent for the Paw Print, became well-known throughout the world for her writing. A cat rescue organization miles and miles away in Wisconsin even shared the poem reaching 75,000 people! Altogether, the poem has reached more than 175,000 people and shared more than 3,500 times. Wow!!

Grab your tissues and prepare yourselves for her beautiful poem below. After that, please join us in giving a round of a-paws for the talented and dedicated Judy Layne.


I didn’t choose to be a stray
I was born into this life
Of loneliness and sadness
Of hardship and of strife.


With heavy heart and tired paws
I walk the streets on end
No family to call my own
No one to call my friend.


I’ve never had a loving home
No door has opened wide
No friendly voice has called to me
“Poor kitty, come inside.”


I’ve never had a windowsill
To lie on in the sun
No cozy bed to snuggle in
When the day is done.


I have no one to comfort me
When I am hurt or sick
Instead I’m chased away with brooms
Or hit with stones and sticks.


I have feelings, thoughts and dreams
And so much love to give
But I have no one to love me back
So I simply try to live.


My hunger and my thirst are great
My legs are growing weak
I hope that someone rescues me
Some kindness do I seek.


But no one stops to offer help
They look and walk away
They do not hear my plaintive cries
I’m just a scruffy stray.


My head I can no longer lift
No rescuer I see
I close my eyes but I’m afraid
What will become of me?


I dreamed I met a man of light
Who looked at me and smiled
“I see your pain and loneliness
Let me comfort you my child.”


He said “While people see a stray
So matted, frail and thin
I see the goodness of your heart
Your loving soul within.”


He cradled me in gentle arms
And whispered in my ear
“Come with me, you’ll have a home
Where all will hold you dear.”


“You’ll hurt no more, nor be afraid
And you’ll see wondrous things
Some angels have fur and paws
Before they get their wings.”

-Judy Layne