"The Cat Came Back" was written by Harry S. Miller in 1893. Nowadays, people sing a version like the one just below. The original version by Harry S. Miller is lower down on the page.

The Cat Came Back - American Children's Songs - The USA - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image


Here's the original version (the chorus is meant to be sung in between each verse):

1. Dar was ole Mister Johnson, he had troubles ob his own;
He had an ole yaller cat that wouldn't leave its home.
He tried eb'ry thing he knew to keep de cat away;
Eben sent it to de preacher, an' he tole it for to stay.

But de cat came back, couldn't stay no longer,
Yes de cat came back de very next day;
De cat came back - thought she were a goner,
But de cat came back for it wouldn't stay away.

2. De cat did hab some company one night out in de yard.
Some one frowed a bootjack, an' dey frowed it mighty hard,
Caught de cat behind de ear, she thought it rather slight,
When along dar comes a brickbat an' it knocked it out ob sight.

3. Away acrowss de ocean dey send de cat at last,
Vessel only out a day and making water fast;
People all begin to pray, de boat begin to toss,
When a nodder vessel came along and took de people off.

4. On a telegraph wire sparrows sitting in a bunch;
Cat a feeling hungry, thought she'd like 'em for a lunch,
Climbing softly up de pole, an' when she reached de top
Put her foot upon de 'lectric wire, which tied her in a knot.

5. One time did gib de cat away to a man in a balloon
An' tole him her to gib it to de man in de moon;
But de b'loon it busted, sho, an' eb'rybody sed
It wer seben miles away or more dey picked de man up dead.

6. De cat it were a possessor ob a fam'ly ob its own
Wid seben little kittens till dar comes a cyclone,
Blowed de houses all apart and tossed de cat around;
While de air was full ob kittens not a one was eber found.

7. De cat it were a terror and dey said it wer de best
To gib it to a n*g*#@ who was going out West.
De train going 'round de curve struck a broken rail,
Not a blessed soul aboard de train wer left to tell de tale.

8. A man down on de corner swore to kill de cat at sight,
Loaded up a musket full ob nails and dynamite,
Waited in de garden for de cat to come around;
Half a dozen little pieces ob de man was all dey found.

9. Little boy took de cat away, he got a dollar note,
Took it down de ribber in a little open boat,
Tied a brick around its neck an' stone about a pound;
Now dey're grappling in de ribber for a little boy that's drowned.

10. While de cat lay a-sleeping an' a-resting one day,
'Round came an organ grinder an' he began to play;
De cat look'd around awhile an' kinder raised her head
When he played Ta-rah-dahboom-da-rah, an' de cat dropped dead.

(Last Chorus)
But its ghost came back to tell you all about it;
Yes its ghost came back, between you and I.
Its ghost came back, may be you will doubt it,
But its ghost came back just to bid 'em all goodbye.

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