Ex

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JERNARD M. MEEKS

CHILDREN'S BOOK COLLECTION
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LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

LETTERS FROM A CAT.
PUBLISHED BY HER MISTRESS

JFor

tlje

asenefit

of all Cats

AND

THE AMUSEMENT OF LITTLE CHILDREN.

BY H.

H.,
MINE.'

AUTHOR OF "NELLY'S SILVER

WITH SEVENTEEN ILLUSTRATIONS BY ADD IE LED YARD.

BOSTON: ROBERTS BROTHERS.
1879.

Copyright, 1879,

BY ROBERTS BROTHERS.

INTRODUCTION.

DEAR CHILDREN

:

DO

not feel wholly

sure that

my

Pussy
letters

wrote these
herself.

They al ways came inside

the letters written
to
I

me by my mamma,
I

or other friends, and

never caught Pussy writing at any time

when

was

at

home

;

but the printing

INTRODUCTION.

was

pretty bad, and they were signed by

Pussy's

name

;

and

my mamma
when
I

always

looked very mysterious

asked about

them, as

if

there
it

were some very great
;

secret about

all
I

so that until

I

grew

to be a big girl,

never doubted but that
all

Pussy printed them
after dark.

alone by herself,

They were
little

written

when

I

was a very

girl,

and was away from home with

my

father
in

on a journey.
our

We

made
and
it

this

journey

own

carriage,

was

one of the pleasantest things that ever

happened
father's

to

me.

My
in

clothes

and

my

were packed

a

little

leather

valise

which was hung by straps under-

INTRODUCTION.

neath

the

carriage,

and went

swinging,

swinging, back and forth, as the wheels

went round.
walk up
all

My

father

and

I

used to

the steep

hills,

because old
;

Charley, our horse,

was not very strong
on that valise

and

I

kept
I

my

eyes

all

the while
riage
;

was walking behind the
to

car

it

seemed

me

the most unsafe

way to carry a valise, and I wished very much that my best dress had been put in
a

bundle that

I

could carry in

my
that

lap.

This was the only drawback on the pleas
ure
of

my

journey,
fall

my

fear

the

valise
it,

would

off

when we

did not
I

know

and be

left in

the road, and then

should
I

not have anything nice to wear

when

INTRODUCTION.

reached

my

aunt's house.
all

But the
I

valise
sat

went through
isfaction of

safe,

and

had the

wearing
I

my
;

best dress every

afternoon while

stayed

and

I

was

foolish

enough

to think a great deal of this.

On

the fourth day after our arrival

came

a letter from
great

my mamma,
how
first

giving

me

a

many

directions

to behave,

and
I

enclosing this
carried
all

letter

from Pussy.
apron
first

both

letters

in

my
I

pocket
letters

the time.

They were

the

I

ever had received, and
I

was very proud
to everybody,
at

of them.

showed them

and everybody laughed hard
and asked
printed
it

Pussy's,

me

if

I I

believed

that

Pussy

herself.

thought perhaps

my

INTRODUCTION.

mamma

held her paw, with the pen in

it,

as she had sometimes held

my

hand

for

me, and guided
words.
I

my

pen
to

to write a

few

asked

papa

please

to ask

mamma,
from

in his letter, if that
it
;

were the way
next letter
this sen
I

Pussy did

but

when

his

mamma
of

came, he read
it

me

tence out

"
:

Tell Helen
to

did not
letter."

hold

Pussy's
I I

paw

write

that
it

So then
and as

felt

sure Pussy did
I

herself;
to be

told you,

had grown up
I

quite a big girl before
it.

began

to

doubt

You

see

I

thought

my
I

Pussy such a

wonderful Pussy that nothing was too re

markable

for her to do.

knew very

well
to

that cats generally did not

know how

io

INTRODUCTION.

read or write

;

but

I

thought there had

never been such a cat in the world as this

Pussy of mine.
since she died
;

It is

a great

many

years

but

I

can see her before
if
it

me

to-day as plainly as
I

were only

yesterday that

had

really seen her alive.

She was a
her
;

little

kitten
fast,

when

I first

had

but she grew
I

and was very soon
to be.
I

bigger than
her to stay

wanted her

wanted

little.

Her

fur

was a

beautiful

dark
stripes
tiger.

gray

color,

and there were
stripes

black

on her

sides, like the

on a

Her

eyes were very big, and her

ears

unusually long and pointed.
like

This

made her look

a fox

;

and she was so

bright and mischievous that

some people

INTRODUCTION.

II

thought she must be part
to

fox.

She used

do one thing that
:

I

never heard of any

other cat's doing
and-seek.

she used to play hidecat's

Did you ever hear of a
hide-and-seek?
it

playing

And

the

most
it

wonderful part of

was, that she took

up of her own accord.
heard

As soon

as she

me

shut the gate in the yard at noon,

when
the

school Xvas done, she would run up
as hard as she could go, and

stairs

take her place at the top, where she could
just peep through the banisters.
I

When
cats

opened the door, she would give a funny

little

mew, something
call

like the

mew

make when they
as soon as
I

their kittens.
first

Then
stair to

stepped on the

1

2

INTR OD UCTION.

come up
the

to her, she

would race away

at

top of her speed, and hide under a
;

bed

and when

I

reached the room, there
to be seen.
If I called

would be no Pussy
her,

she would come out from under the
;

bed

but

if I left

the room, and went

down

stairs

without speaking, in less than a min

ute she

would

fly

back to her post

at the

head of the
peculiar
off

stairs,

and

call

again with the
as
I

mew.

As soon

appeared,

she would run, and hide under the bed

as before.

Sometimes she would do
;

this

three or four times

and

it

was a

favorite

amusement
trick

of

my

mother's to exhibit this
It
it

of
;

hers to strangers.
sl\e

was odd,

though

never would do

twice,

when

INTR OD UCTION.

1

3

she observed that other people were watch
ing.

When

I

called her,
if

and she came out

from under the bed,

there were strangers

looking on, she would walk straight to
in

me

the demurest manner, as
that
;

if

it

were a
be
did

pure* accident

she happened to
I

under that bed

and no matter what

or said, her frolic

was over

for that day.

She used

to follow me, just like a little
I

dog, wherever

went.

She followed me
diffi*

to school every day,

and we had great

culty on

Sundays

to

keep her from follow

ing us to church.

Once she followed me,

when
in

it

made
of

a good

many

people laugh,

spite
it

themselves, on

an
for

occasion

when

was very improper

them

to

1

4

INTR OD UCTION.

laugh, and they were
It

all

feeling very sad.

was

at the funeral of

one of the profes

sors in the college.

The

professors' families all sat together
for

;

and when the time came

them

to

walk

out of the house and get into the carriages
to

go

to the graveyard, they

were

called,
it

one

after the other,

by name.
father

When
sister

came
went
I
;

to our turn,
first,

my
;

and mother

arm-in-arm

then

my

and

and then, who should

rise,

very gravely,

but

my

Pussy,

who had

slipped into the

room

after

me, and had not been noticed

in the crowd.

With

a slow and deliberate
directly behind

gait she
sister

walked along,
if

my

and me, as

she were the remaining

INTRODUCTION.

15

member

of the family, as indeed she was.

People began to smile, and as

through the front door,
steps,

we passed and went down the
standing
;

some of

the

men and boys
I

there laughed out.
it

do not wonder

for

must have been a very comical

sight.

In a second more, somebody sprang for

ward and snatched Pussy
scream as she gave
!

up.

Such a
his face

and scratched

with her claws, so that he was glad to put
her down.
I

As soon

as

I

heard her voice,

turned round, and called her in a low

tone.

She ran quickly

to me,

and

I

picked
rest

her up and carried her in
of the way.

my

arms the

But

I

saw even

my own

papa

and

mamma

laughing a

little,

for just a

1

6

INTRODUCTION.

minute.

That was the only funeral Pussy

ever attended.

Pussy lived
events
letters.

several

years

after
in

the

which

are

related

these

It

was a long time before her
fall
it

fur

grew

out again after that terrible
soft-soap barrel.

into the

However,

did

grow
ever.

out at

last,

and looked as well as
that

Nobody would have known
had been the matter with
her eyes were always weak.

any thing

her, except that

The edges

of

them never got quite
used to
sit

well

;

and poor Pussy
;

and wash them by the hour
in

^sometimes mewing and looking up
face,

my
her

with each stroke of her

paw on

INTR OD UCTION.

1

7

eyes, as

much

as to say,

"

Don't you see
don't

how

sore

my

eyes are?
for

Why
for

you

do something

me ?

"

She was never good
mouser
after

any thing as a
for

that accident, nor
I

very

much

to play with.

recollect

hearing

my
"

mother say one day

to

somebody,
in

Pussy was spoiled by her experience

the cradle.

She would
I

like to

be rocked
;

the rest of her days,
is

do believe

and

it

too funny to see her turn up her nose

at

tough

beef.

It

was a
"
!

pity she

ever

got a taste of tenderloin

At
very

last,

what with good feeding and
exercise, she

little

grew so

fat

that

she was clumsy, and so lazy that she did

1

8

INTRODUCTION.

not want to do any thing but

lie

curled

up

on a

soft cushion.

She had outgrown
had a green

my little chair,
in

which
it,

moreen cushion
slept for

on

which she had
of which
I

many

a year, and
use,

myself had very
so

little

she

was

in

it

much

of the time.

But now

that this

was too

tight for her, she took

possession of the most comfortable places

she could

find, all

over the house.

Now

it

was a

sofa,

now

it

was an arm-chair, now

it

was the
ever
it

foot of

somebody's bed.
be,
it

But wher
to be

happened to

was sure was

the precise place where she

in the

way,

and the poor thing was tipped headlong
out of chairs, shoved hastily off sofas, and

INTRODUCTION.

19

driven off beds so continually, that at last

she came to understand that

when she saw
chair, sofa, or

any person approaching the

bed on which she happened to be lying,
the part of

wisdom
it

for her

was
to

to

move

away.
injured

And

was very

droll

see the

and reproachful

expression with
all

which she would slowly get up, stretch

her legs, and walk away, looking for her

next

sleeping-place.

Everybody

in

the

house, except me, hated the sight' of her;

and

I

had many a pitched

battle with the

servants in her behalf.

who was

the kindest

Even my mother, human being I ever
at last,

knew, got out of patience
to

and said

me

one day:

20

INTRODUCTION.

"

Helen, your Pussy has grown so old
fat,

and so

she

is

no comfort to
to

herself,
else.
kill

and a great torment
I

everybody

think

it

would

be

a

mercy

to

her."
"

Kill

my

"

Pussy

!

I

exclaimed,
so

and
hard
;

burst
that
I

out

crying,

so loud and

think

my

mother was frightened
:

for she said quickly
"

Never mind, dear
it

;

it

shall

not be

done, unless

is

necessary.
live,
if

You would

not want Pussy to

she were very

uncomfortable
"

all

the time."
I

She
is

isn't

uncomfortable,"
If

cried

;

"she
let

only sleepy.
alone,

people would
all

her

she would sleep

day.

INTR OD UCTION.

2

1

It

would be awful
kill

to kill her.

You might

as well

me!"
I

After that,

kept a very close eye on

Pussy

;

and

I

carried her

up

to

bed with

me

every night for a long time.

But

Pussy's

days
I

were
up,

numbered.

One morning,
came
into

before

was

my mamma
the

my

room, and sat

down on

edge of
"

my

bed.
"
I

Helen," she said,

have something
feel

to tell

you which
but
I

will

make you
will

very

badly

;

hope you

be a good

little girl,

and not make

mamma

unhappy

about

it.

You know your papa and
always

mamma

do what

they think

is

the very best thing."

22

INTRODUCTION.

"

What

is

it,

mamma ?

"

I

asked, feel

ing very

much

frightened, but never think

ing of Pussy.
"

You

will

never see your Pussy any
"

more," she replied.
"

She
"
?

is

dead."
"

Oh, where
her
"
?

is

she

I

cried.

What
life

killed

?

Won't she

come

to

again
"

No,"

said

my

mother

"
;

she

is

drowned."

Then
'tWho
"

I

knew what had happened.
did it?"

was

all

I

said.
"
;

Cousin

Josiah,"

she
that

replied

and

he took
suffer
at

great
all.

care

Pussy did not
to

She sank

the bottom

instantly."

INTRODUCTION.

23

"
"

Where

did he

drown her
mill,

"
?

I

asked.
Valley,

Down
mother

by the
is

in

Mill

where the water

very deep," answered
told
.

my

"
;

we
'
.

him
-

to
'

take
' .
-

her
.

there."

/

;

At these words
"

I

cried bitterly.
I

That

's

the very place
I

used to go
" I
'11

with her to play,"

exclaimed.

never

go near that bridge as long as
I
'11

I live,

and

never speak a word to Cousin Josiah
never
"
!

either

My
it

mother

tried
;

to

comfort me, but
heart

was of no use

my
to

was nearly

broken.

When
my

I

went

breakfast, there sat

cousin Josiah, looking as unconcerned

24

INTRODUCTION.

as possible, reading a newspaper.

He was

a student in the college, and boarded at our
house.
tion

At

the sight of

him

all

my

indigna
I

and grief broke forth
;

afresh.

began
I

to cry again

and running up
and shook
it

to him,

doubled up
"
I

my fist
'd

in his face.

said I

never speak to you as long
"
;

as

I

lived," I cried

but

I

will.

You
;

're
's

just a murderer, a real

murderer

that

what you are! and when you go
missionary,
I

to be a
'11

hope the cannibals
'11

eat

you

!

I

hope they
"
!

eat

you

alive raw,

you mean old murderer!"
"

Helen Maria

said

my
'

father's voice

behind me, sternly.
the

"Helen Maria! leave
"
!

room

this

moment

INTRODUCTION.

25

I

went away
is

"

sullenly,

muttering,
I

I

don't care, he

a murderer; and
if

hope

he

'11

be drowned,

he

isn't

eaten

!

The
shall

Bible says the

same measure ye mete

be meted to you again.

He

ought

to be

drowned."

For
without
fast

this sullen

muttering
;

I

had

to

go

my

breakfast
I

and
to

after

break

was

over,

was made
;

beg Cousin
not

Josiah's
in

pardon
heart

but

I

did

beg

it

my
say

not a bit

only with
I

my
told

lips,

just repeating the words
;

was

to

and from that time

I

never spoke
if I

one word to him, nor looked at him,
could help
it.

My

kind mother offered to get another

26

INTRODUCTION.

kitten

for

me, but

I

did

not want one.

After a while,
of a pretty

my

sister

Ann had
;

a present
I

little

gray kitten

but

never
it

played with
at
all.

it,

nor took any notice of

I

was
;

as true to

my

Pussy as she
to this, I

was

to

me

and from that day
1

have never had another Pussy

LETTERS FROM A CAT.

I.

MY DEAR
That

HELEN:

what your mother calls you, I know, for I jumped up on her writing-table just now, and
is

looked, while

she was out of the

room

;

and
right
if

I

am
call

sure

I

have as

much
has,
kitty,

to

you so as she

for

you were

my own
like

little
I

and looked

just

me,

could not love you any more than

28

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

I

do.

How
in

have had

many good naps I and how your lap
!

many
ner!

nice bits of

meat you have

saved for

out of your Oh, I'll never let a

me

own
rat,

din
or a

mouse, touch any thing of yours so
long as
I I live.

very unhappy after you drove off yesterday, and did not
felt

know what
went
into

do with myself. the barn, and thought
to

I

I

would take a nap on the hay, for I do think going to sleep is one of
the very best things for people who are unhappy but it seemed so
;

lonely without old Charlie stamping
in his stall that I

could not bear

it,

"

I felt

very unhappy after you drove off yesterday."

PAGE

28.

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

29

so

I

went

into the garden,

and

lay

down under
and caught of fly round
better

the
flies.

damask There
I

rose-bush,
is

a kind
I

that

bush which

like
ate.
is

than

any other
to see

ever
there

You ought
very great
catching
flies

that

a

difference

between
it

my
I

and your doing
that

have
them,

noticed

and

I

you never have wondered

eat

that

when you were always

so kind to
kill

me you

could be so cruel as to
:

poor flies for nothing I have often wished that I could speak to you about it now that your dear mother
:

has taught

me

to print,

I

shall

be

able to say a great

many

things to

30

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

you which

I

have often been un
I

happy about because

could
I

not

make you
tirely

understand.

am

en

discouraged about learning to
I

speak the English language, and
trouble
to

do not think anybody takes much
learn

ours;

so

we

cats

are confined entirely to the society

of each other, which

prevents
;

our

knowing so much
it is

as

we might and

very lonely too, in a place where there are so few cats kept as in If it were not for Mrs. Amherst.

Hitchcock's
son's, I

cat,

and Judge Dickin

should really forget

how

to

use

my
I

home

When you are at tongue. do not mind it, for although

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

31

I

cannot talk to you,

I

understand

every word that you say to me, and we have such good plays together with the red ball. That is put away

now
little

in

the bottom drawer of
in the

the

workstand

sitting-room.

your mother put it in, she " turned round to me, and said, Poor
pussy, no
till

When

more good plays for you " and I Helen comes home
!

thought
I

I
it

should certainly
is

cry.

But

think

very foolish to cry over
I

what cannot be helped, so

pretend

ed to have got something into my left eye, and rubbed it with my paw.
very seldom that I cry over any thing, unless it is "spilt milk."
It
is

32

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

I

must confess,
that
is

I

have often cried
:

when
always

has

happened
to

and

it

happening

cats'

milk.

put it into old broken things that tip over at the least knock, and

They

then they set them just where they are sure to be most in the way. Many's the time Josiah has knocked over that blue saucer of mine, in the
shed,
that
I

and when you have thought had had a nice breakfast of
I

had nothing in the world but flies, which are not good for much more than just a little sort
milk,

of

relish.

I

am

so

chance
because

to
I

tell

you

glad of a about this,

know when you

come

I

hope you found the horse-chestnuts which

I put in the carriage for you. a dreadful time climbing up over the dasher with them." PAGE 33.

I

had

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

33

home you
for me.
I

will

get

a

better

dish

hope you chestnuts which

found
I

the

horse-

put in the bot
for

tom

of,

the

carriage

you.

I

could not think of any thing else to

put

in,
:

which would remind you of
I

me

but

am
it it

afraid
I

you

will

never

think that
there,

was
will

who

put them
if

and
for

be too bad

you

don't,

I

had a dreadful time

climbing up over the dasher with them, and both my jaws are quite

lame from stretching them

so,

to

carry the biggest ones I could find. There are three beautiful dan

delions

out

on the

terrace,

but

I

34

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

suppose they you come home.

don't

will

keep

till

A

man

has been

doing something to your garden, but though I watched him very closely
all

the time,

I

could not
I

make

out
it

what he was about.
is
if

am

afraid
;

something you
I

will not like
it,

but
will

find out

more about
next

I

tell

you

in

my

letter.

Good
PUSSY.

by.

Your

affectionate

II.

MY DEAR
I

HELEN:
that

you and your father would turn around directly,
wherever you are, when you get this letter, and come home as fast as you If you do not come soon there can.
will

do wish

be no home
into.
I

left

for

you

to

come

am

so frightened and tremble, and
I

excited, that

my paws

have upset the ink twice, and spilled
so
left

much

only a little in the bottom of the cup, and
that there
is

36

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

it

is

as thick as hasty

pudding; so

you must excuse the looks of this letter, and I will tell you as quickly
as
I

can about the dreadful state of
here.
I

things

Not more
finished
I

than
letter

an
to

hour after

my

you, yesterday,
in the parlor,

heard a great noise
in to see

and ran
blue

what

was the
with

matter.

There was Mary
handkerchief

her worst

tied over her head, her

washing-day

gown
hand.
said,

on,
"

and a big hammer in her As soon as she saw me, she
's

There

that cat

!

Always

way/' and threw a cricket at me, and then shut the parlor door
in

my

with a great slam.

So

I

ran out

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

37

and listened under the front win
dows, for
I

felt

sure

she was

in

some bad business she did not want to have known. Such a noise I
never

heard

:

all

the
in a

thing's

were

being moved

;

and

few minutes,

what do you think out came the whole carpet right on my head! I

was nearly
as
if

stifled

with dust, and

felt

every bone in my body must be broken but I managed to creep out from under it, and heard Mary
;

say,

"If there
!

isn't
I

that torment of
to

a cat again

wish

goodness
"

Helen

had
I

taken
surer

her

along

!

Then

felt

than ever that
foot
;

some mischief was on

and

I

38

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

ran out into the garden, and climbed up the old apple-tree at the foot of
the
steps,

and

crawled
I

-

out

on a
look

branch,
directly

from which
into

could

the

parlor

windows.

Oh my
!

dear Helen, you can fancy
to see all the chairs

how

I

felt,

and

tables

and bookshelves
in

in a pile in

the middle of the
all

floor,

the books

packed

big baskets, and

taking out window after I fast as she could. forgot to

Mary window as
tell

you
last

your mother went away I think she has night. gone to
that
to

Hadley
to
to

make a visit, and it looks me very much as if Mary meant
run away with every thing which

I

climbed up the old apple-tree, and crawled out on a branch from which PAGE 38. look directly into the parlor windows."

I

could

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

39

could be moved, before she comes
back.

After awhile that ugly Irish

woman, who lives in Mr. Slater's house, came into the back gate: you
mean,- -the one that threw cold water on me last spring,
I

know

the one

When
sure
to kill

I

that

saw her coming she and Mary
all

I

felt

meant

me, while you were

away

;

so

I

jumped down out
split

of the tree,

and

my

best claw in

my

hurry,

and ran

off into

Baker's Grove, and

stayed there all the rest of the day, in dreadful misery from cold and

There was hunger. the hollows, and I wet
always makes

some snow

in

my

feet,

which
;

me

feel

wretchedly

40

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

and

could not find any thing to eat except a thin dried-up old mole.
I

They
hard

are never

good
cats

in the spring.

Really,

nobody

does

know what
even the
I

lives

we

lead,

luckiest of us!

After dark,

went

home; but Mary had fastened up
every door, even the
the back shed.
into the
cellar
little
I

one into
to

So

had

jump

thing
that

I

window, which is a never like to do since I got

bad sprain in my shoulder from coming down on the edge of a milkpan.
I

crept
stairs,

up
as

to the
still

head of the
if

kitchen
I

as a mouse,

'm any judge, and listened there
to
try

for a long time,

and make

I

crept

up

to the
I

head of the kitchen stairs, as still as a mouse, PAGE 40. 'm any judge, and listened."

if

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

41

from Mary's talk with the Irish woman, what they were planning to
out,

do.
Irish,

But

I

never could understand
I

and although
in
all

listened
legs,

till

I

had cramps

my

from
I

being so long in one position, no wiser. Even the things
said
I

was

Mary
I

could not understand, and

usually understand her very easily. I passed a very uncomfortable night*
in the

carrot

bin.

As

soon as

I

heard
stairs,

Mary coming down
this

the cellar

morning, I hid in the arch, and while she was skimming
the milk,
into the
I

slipped upstairs, and ran

sitting-room.
in the

Every thing
;

there

is

same confusion

the

42

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

carpet

is

gone; and the windows

too,

and

I

think

some

of the chairs have

been carried away.
is

All

the china

on the pantry floor; and your father and mother's clothes are all taken out of the nur
in

great

baskets

sery closet,
is

and

laid

on

chairs.

It

very dreadful to have to stand by and see all this, and not be able to

do any
fully

thing.

I

don't think

I

ever

realized

before

the

disadvan

tage
just

I have being only a cat been across the street, and

of

talked
cat,

it

all

over with the
is

Judge's

very old and stupid, and so taken up with her six kittens

but she

(who are the

ugliest

I

ever

saw),

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

43

that she does not take the least in
terest in her neighbors' affairs.

Mrs.

Hitchcock walked by the house this morning, and I ran out to her, and
took
pulled

her
it,

dress

in

my
all
I

teeth

and
to

and did

could
she

make
"

her
no,

come
pussy,

in,
I

but

said,

No,

'm not coming
is

in

to-day;
I

your mistress
declare
I

not at

home/'
cried.
I

could

have

sat

down

in

the middle
for

of the path, and
half an hour.
I

never stirred

heard

your

friend,

Hannah

say yesterday, that she was going to write to you to-day, so I shall run up the hill now and

Dorrance,

44

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

carry
will

my

letter to her.

I

think she

be astonished when she sees me, for I am very sure that no other
in

cat

town knows how

to

write.

Do come home
Your
P. S.

as soon as possible.

affectionate

PUSSY.

Two men
to

have

just

driven

up

the

front

gate in a
all

great cart, and they are putting

the
dear,

carpets
if I
I

into

it.

Oh

dear,

oh
!

And
them,

only knew what to do just heard Mary say to
as quick as

"

Be

you

can, for

I

want

through with this busi ness before the folks come back/
to get

III.

MY

DEAR HELEN I am too stiff and
:

sore from a

terrible

fall

I

have had, to write
line
;

more than one

but

I

must

let

you know that my fright was very silly, and I am very much mortified about it. The house and the things
are
all
;

safe; your

mother has come
write,
I

home
you

and

I

will

and

tell

all,

just as

soon as
pain.

can use

my

pen without great

46

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

Some new
to
live

people

have

come
keep

in

the Nelson house; very
I

nice people,
their

think, for they

milk in yellow crockery pans. They have brought with them a
black cat whose

splendid
Caesar,

name

is

and

everybody

is

talking

about him.
est
I

He
I

has the handsom
I

whiskers
shall

ever saw.

be well enough to before long, but I wouldn't have

do hope see him

him

see

me now
Your

for

any

thing.

affectionate

PUSSY.

IV.

MY

DEAR HELEN:
There
is

thing that cats don't like any better than men and

one

women
I

do,

and

that

is

to

make
I

fools
fool

of themselves.

But a precious

made

of myself

when

wrote you

that long letter about

ing out all the house down. ing to have to turned out, but

Mary's mov the furniture, and taking
It is
tell
I

very mortify
it

you how

all

know you

love Hie

48

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

enough to be sorry that have had such a terrible
nothing.
It

I

should

fright for

went on from bad

to
I

worse
wrote

for three

more days

after

you.

Your mother did

not

come

home; and the awful Irishwoman was here all the time. I did not dare to go near the house, and I do
assure you
to
lie
I

nearly starved

:

I

used

under the
I

rose-bushes,

and

watch as well as
going on
:

could what was
then
I

now and

caught

a rat in the barn, but that sort of

hearty food never has agreed with me since I came to live with you, and became accustomed to a lighter

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

49

diet

By

the third day
sick to stir
:

I

felt
I

too
still

weak and
all

so

lay

day on the straw in Charlie's and I really thought, between stall
;

the hunger and the anxiety, that

I

should

die.

About noon
"

I

heard

say in the shed, I do believe that everlasting cat has taken herself

Mary

off:

it's
I

but

good riddance anyhow, should like to know what has
a
"

become of
I

the plaguy thing
all

!

trembled

over, for
I

if

she

had come
kick

into the barn

know one

heavy foot would have killed me, and I was quite too

from

her

weak
I

to run away.

Towards

heard your dear

night mother's voice

50

LETTERS FROM A
"

CAT.

calling,

Poor

pussy,
"
?

why,

poor

pussy,
I

where are you
.assure

you,

my

dear Helen,

people are very much mistaken who say, as I have often overheard them,
that cats have

no

feeling.
I

If they

could only

know how

felt at that

moment, they would change their I was almost too glad to minds.

make
that
floor,

a sound.

It

seemed

to
to

me
the

my
and

feet

Were fastened
I

her.

never could get to She took me up in her arms,
that

and carried
into

me

through the kitchen

the

/

sitting-room.

Mary was

frying cakes in the kitchen, and as your mother passed by the stove

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

51

she said in her sweet voice,
" "

"

You

see I've found poor pussy, Mary/'

Humph,"

said
that

Mary,
she'd

I

never

thought but
fast
'

be

found
to
lie,

be

!

enough when she wanted I knew that this was a
I

because
in

had heard what she said
I

the

shed.

do wish
hate

I

knew
so
I
:

what makes
only wish
her.
I

her

me
how
shall

I

she -knew
I

hate

really think

gnaw

her stockings and shoes some night. It would not be any more than fair;

and she would
for

never suspect me, there are so many mice in her room,
I

never touch one that
closet.

I

think

belongs in her

52

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

The

sitting-room
order,

was
- -

all

in

most beautiful

a

smooth

white something, like the side of a basket, over the whole floor, a beau

paper curtain, pink and white, over the fire-place, and white muslin
tiful

curtains at the windows.
perfectly
still

I

stood

in

the middle of the
I

room
that

for

some
stir.

time.

was too sur
I

prised to
I

Oh, how
that

wished
your

could speak, and
all

tell

dear mother

had happened, and how the room had looked three
Presently
I

days before.

she
'

said,

"Poor
most
said
"

pussy,
starved,

know you
you
?

are al

aren't

and
I

I

Yes/' as plainly as

could

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

53

mew

it.

Then

she brought

me

a

big soup-plate full of thick cream, and some of the most delicious cold

hash
eaten

I

ever tasted; and after
all,

I

had

it

she took
"

me

in her lap,

and
little

said,

Poor pussy, we miss Helen, don't we?" and she
in
let
it

held

me
she

her

lap

till

bed-time.

Then
piest

me

of her bed:

sleep on the foot was one of the hap
life.

nights of my middle of the night

In the
for

I

was up
the

a

while,

and

caught

smallest

mouse I ever saw out of Such little ones are very
In
the

the nest.
tender.

morning
her
in

I

had

my

breakfast

with

the

dining-

54

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

room, which looks just as nice as After breakfast the sitting-room.

Mrs. Hitchcock came

in,

and your

mother said
tunate
I

"
:

Only

think,

how
all

for

am

;

Mary
I

did

the

house-cleaning while

was away.
order;
are

Every room
all

is

in

perfect

the

w oollen
r

clothes

put

away
here,

for the

summer.

Poor pussy,

was frightened out of the house, and I suppose we should all have been if we had been at
home/'

Can you imagine how ashamed
I

felt?

I

ran under the table and
out again until after

did not

come

Mrs. Hitchcock had gone.

But now

;

Can you imagine how ashamed

I felt?

I

ran under the table and did not come

out again until after Mrs. Hitchcock had gone."

PAGE

54.

"

I

knew

that there
all

was no time
might and

to

be

lost

if

I

meant

to catch that robin, so I

ran with

my

tried to

jump through."

PAGE

55.

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

55

comes the saddest part of my story. Soon after this, as I was looking
out of the window,
test,

saw the fat most tempting robin on the
I

ground under the cherry-tree: the

windows did not look
had any glass
it

as

if I

in

them, and
it

they took

for granted that

had

all

been

and put away upstairs, with the andirons and the carpets,
taken
out
for next winter.
I

knew
lost
I

that there
I

was no time
to
all

to

be

if

meant

catch that robin, so

ran with
to

my

might and

tried

jump

Oh, my dear Helen, I do through. not believe you ever had such a

bump

:

I

fell

back nearly into the

56

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

middle of the room
to

;

and

it

seemed

me

that

I

turned

over at least six times.

completely The blood

streamed out of

my

nose,

and

I

cut

my

right ear very badly against
I

one

of the castors of the table.

could

not see nor hear any thing for some minutes. When I came to myself,

found your dear mother holding me, and wiping my face with her own nice handkerchief wet in cold
I

water.

My right

fore-paw

bruised,

and that

w as badly troubles me very
r

much about washing my
about writing.
is

face,

and
all

But the worst of

Every body laughs who sees me, and I do

the condition of

my

nose.

LETTERS FROM A
not blame
as
it

CAT.

57

them

;

it

is

twice as large
I

used to

be,

and
it

seriously afraid
to
its

begin to be will never return

old shape.
:

This
for

will

be a
not

dreadful affliction

who does
is
?

know

that

the

nose

the
I

chief

beauty of a

cat's face

have got

very tired of hearing the story of my fall told to all the people who

come
would
cially

in.

They laugh
I

as

if
it,

they

kill

themselves at

espe
to get

when

do not manage

under the table before they look see how my nose is.

to

Except
written
to

for this

I

should

have

you before, and would

write

more now, but

my paw

aches

58

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

badly,

and one of
from
so
I

my

eyes

is

closed

the

swelling

nearly of my

nose

:

must say good-by.
affectionate

Your
P. S.
I

PUSSY.

told
in

you about Caesar,
last

did

I

not,
I

my

letter

?

Of
so
I

course

do not venture out of the

house

in

my

present

plight,

have not seen him except from the window.

V.

MY DEAR
I

HELEN:

am
for

sure you must have
I

won

dered

why

have not written to
last

two weeks, but when you hear what I have been

you

the

through, you will only wonder that I am alive to write to I you at all.

your mother say, yesterday, that she had not writ ten to you about what had happened
to hear to

was very glad

me, because

it

would make you

60

-LETTERS

FROM A

CAT.

so unhappy.
over,

But now

that

it

is

all

and

I

am

in a fair

way

to

be

soon as well as
will like to

ever,

I

think you

hear the whole story.
last

In
about

my
the

letter

I

told

you

new black cat, Caesar, who had come to live in the Nelson house, and how anxious I was to know him. As soon as my nose
was
fit

to

be seen, Judge Dickin
is

son's cat,

a good, hospitable old soul, in spite of her stupidity,
invited
too.

who

me

to tea,

and asked him
and we

All the other cats were asked
later in the evening,
frolic,

to

come

had a grand

hunting rats in the Judge's great barn. Caesar

"

When

there suddenly

came down on us a whole

pailful of water.

PAGE

61.

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

61

is

certainly the

handsomest and most
I

gentlemanly cat
paid

ever
:

saw.

He

me

great attention

in fact, so

much, that one of those miserable half-starved cats from Mill Valley

grew so jealous and bit my ear

that she flew at
till

me

it

bled,

which

broke up the party. But Caesar went home with me, so I did not

and talked a long I time under the nursery window.
care
;

then

we

sat

was was

so

much occupied
that
I

in

what he
not

saying,

did

hear

Mary open
when

the

window

overhead,

and was therefore
us a whole pailful

terribly frightened

there suddenly

came down on I was of water.

62

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

so startled that

I

lost all

presence of

mind

;

and

without

bidding

him

good-night, I jumped directly into the cellar window by which we were
sitting.

Oh,

my

dear Helen,

I

can

never give you any idea of what fol lowed. Instead of coming down as
I

expected to on the cabbages, which

were just under that window the last time I was in the cellar, I found
myself sinking, sinking, into some
horrible soft, slimy, sticky substance,

which
cated
I

in

an

instant

have closed over

my

more would head, and suffo
at

me

;

but, fortunately, as I sank,

felt

something hard

one

side,

and making a great

effort, I

caught

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

63

on

it

with

my

claws.

It

proved to

be the side of a

barrel,

and

I

suc

ceeded

in getting

one paw over the

edge of it There I hung, growing weaker and weaker every minute,
with this frightful stuff running into

my
with

eyes and ears, and choking
its
I

me
as

bad

smell.

I

mewed

loud as
loud,

could,

for

which was not very whenever I opened my
stuff

mouth
off

the

trickled

into
I

it

my

whiskers;

but
stood

called

to

Caesar,
at

who
the

in

great

distress

window,
to

and
I

ex

plained to him, as well as

could,

what

had

happened

me,

and

begged him

to call as loudly as pos-

64

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

sible; for if

somebody did not come

very soon, and take
certainly die.

me

out, I

should
first,

He

insisted, at

on jumping down
self
;

to help

me him
would be
;

but

I

told

him

that

the most foolish thing he could do
if

he did,

we

be drowned.
at the

should certainly both So he began to mew
there

top of his voice, and between

his

mewing and mine,

was
;

enough for a few minutes then windows began to open, and I
noise

heard

grandfather swearing and throwing out a stick of wood

your

at

Caesar;

fortunately
it

he was so
did not hit grandfather

near the house that
him.

At

last

your

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

65

came

downstairs,
;

back door

and opened the and Caesar was so fright

ened that he ran away, for which I have never thought so well of him
since,

though we are

friends.

When

I

very good heard him run
-

still

and calling back to me, from a distance, that he was so sorry
ning
off,

he could not help me,

began
I

to

fail,

courage and in a moment more,
let

my

should have

the barrel,

go of the edge of and sunk to the bottom
;

but luckily your grandfather noticed
that there

was something very strange
mewing, and opened the the cellar the head of

about

my
at

door
stairs,

saying, "I

do believe the

cat

66

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

is

in

some

trouble

down

here/'

Then I made a mewed still more
I

great

effort

and

piteously.
call

How

wished

I

could
I

out and say,

"

Yes, indeed,
in
I

death,

am; drowning to 'm sure I don't know

something a great deal worse than water !" However, he understood me as it was, and came
what, but

down with
saw me, he
the cellar
that

a lamp.
set

As

soon as he

lamp down on bottom, and laughed so
the

he

thought

I hardly move. this was the most cruel

could

If I had thing I ever heard of. not been, as it were, at death's door,
I

should have laughed at him,

too,

LETTERS FROM A
for even with

CAT.

67

my
I

eyes

full

of that

dreadful

stuff,

could see that he

looked very funny in his red night He cap, and without his teeth.

Mary, and your mother, who stood at the head of the .stairs,
called out to
"

Come

down, come down

;

here's
!"

the cat 'in the soft-soap barrel

and
they

then

he laughed

again,

and

both came

down

the stairs laughing,

even your dear kind mother, who I never could have believed would

any one in such trouble. They did not seem to know what to do at first nobody wanted to
laugh
at
;

touch
afraid

me;
I

and-

I

began

to

be

should drown while they

68

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

stood

much
weak
the

looking, at me, for I better than they could
I

knew how

was from
the

holding on to
barrel

edge of
last

so

long.

At

your grandfather swore that oath of his,- -you know the one I

mean, the one he always swears when he is very sorry for anybody,

and

lifted

me

out by the nape of

my
him

neck, holding

me

as far off

from

as he could, for the soft soap

ran off

my

legs

and

tail

in streams.

He
the

carried

me up

into the kitchen,
in the

and put

me down

middle of

and then they all stood round me, and laughed again, so
floor,

loud that they waked up the cook,

"

He

lifted

me

out by the nape of my neck, holding PAGE 68. from him as he could."

me

as far off

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

69

who came running
room with her

out of her bed

tin candlestick

and a

chair in her hand, thinking that rob

bers were breaking

in.

At

last

your
it

dear mother said,

"

Poor pussy,

is

too bad to laugh at you,
are in such pain" (I

when you
"

had been think
time).

ing

so

for

some

Mary,

The only bring the small washtub. thing we can do is to wash her/'

When
in the soft

I

heard
left

this,

I

almost

wished they had
soap
;

me
if

to

drown
is

for
I

there

any

thing of
dread,
too
it

which
is

have a mortal

water.
;

weak

to resist

However, I was and they plunged

me

in all over, into the tub full of ice-

70

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

cold water, and

Mary began

to rub

me with her great rough hands, which,
assure you, are very different from Then yours and your mother's.
I

they all laughed again to see the white lather it made in two min
;

utes the whole tub

was

as white as
that

the water

under the mill-wheel

you and
to see.

I

have so often been together You can imagine how my
I

eyes

smarted.

burnt

my paws
had
fallen

once

in getting a piece of beefsteak
it

out of the coals where
off the gridiron,

but the pain of that
this/

was

.

nothing

to

You
I tell

will

hardly bejieve
that they

me when
to

had

you empty the tub and

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

71

again ten times before the soap was all washed out of my fur. By
fill

it

that

time

I

hausted, that

was so cold and ex I could not move, and
I

they began to think

should

die.

But your mother one of your old
the stove.

rolled

me up me

in

flannel

petticoats,

and made a nice bed

for

behind

By

this

time even
for me,

Mary

began

to

seem sorry

she was very cross at first, me much more than she need
in
"

though and hurt
to

washing

me

;

now

she

said,

You 're

of a cat,
that

nothing but a poor beast to be sure; but it's mesilf
to

would be sorry

have the

little

mistress

come

back,

and

find

ye

72

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

kilt/'

So you

see

me

did

me
far

service,

your love for even when you
I

were so
taken

doubt very much whether they would have ever
away.
the

trouble

to

nurse

me
your

through
sake.

this sickness, except for
I

But
next

must leave the
I

rest for

my

not strong enough yet to write more than two hours at a time.
letter.

am

Your

affectionate

PUSSY.

VI.

MY
I

DEAR HELEN:
will begin

where

I

left off in

my

last letter.

As

you may imagine,

I

did not

get any sleep that night, not even so much as a cat's nap, as people say,

though how cat's naps differ from men's and women's naps, I don't
know.
hurt
I

shivered

all

night,
I

and

it

me
in

terribly

whenever

moved.

Early

the

morning your grand-

74

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

came downstairs, and when he saw how I looked, he swore again, that same oath we all know very well what it means when he swears in that way: it means that he is going to do all he can for you,
father
:

and

is

so sorry, that he
sorry.

is

afraid of

Don't you re member when you had that big double tooth pulled out, and he gave

seeming too

you

five dollars,

how he swore

then

?

Well, he took

me up
;

in

his arms,
;

and carried
it

me

into the dining-room

was

quite cool
fire,

wood
was

on the

was a nice hearth, and Mary
there

setting the table for breakfast.

He

said to her in a very gruff voice,

LETTERS FROM A
"

CAT.

75

Here

you, Mary, you go

up

into

the

garret

and

bring

down

the

cradle/'

Sick as
laughing
It

I

at

could not help the sight of her face.
was,
I

was enough
"

to

make any
mean
to say,

cat

laugh.

You

don't ever

sir,

as you're going to put that cat into

the cradle."
"

You do

as

I

tell

you," said he,
his,

in that

most awful tone of

which
I

always makes you so
afraid

afraid.
all

felt

myself, though

the time

he was stroking
"

my head,
few

and saying,

Poor pussy,
In
a

there,

still."

poor pussy, lie minutes Mary

76

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

came down with
it

the cradle, and set

down by
I

the

fire

that

wondered

with such a bang it did not break.

You know
when
see

she always bangs things she is cross, but I never could
it

what good

does.

Then your

grandfather

made up

a nice bed in

the cradle, out of Charlie's winter

blanket and an old pillow, and laid

me down
in

in

it,

all

rolled

up

as

I

was

When your your petticoat. mother came into the room she
laughed almost as hard as she did when she saw me in the soft-soap
barrel,

and

"

said,

Why,

father,

you
"
!

are rather old to play cat's cradle

The

old gentleman laughed at

this,

" Then your grandfather made up a

nice

bed in the
76.

cradle,

and

laid

me down

in it."

PAGE

LETTERS FROM A
the tears ran

CAT.

77

till

down
"I

his red cheeks.
tell

"Well," he
thing;
the

said,

you one

game

will

that poor cat gets well

me till again/' Then
last

he went upstairs, and brought down a bottle of something very soft and
slippery, like lard,
eyes,
better.

and

it

and put it on my made them feel much

After that he gave me some milk into which he had put some
of his very best brandy
pretty
:

that

was

down, but I understood enough of what they had said, to be sure that if I did
hard
to

get

not take something of the kind I After break should never get well.
fast
I

tried

to walk,

but

my

right

78

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

paw was
they

entirely useless.

At
was

first

thought it was that finally decided
sprained,

broken,
it

but
only

must be bandaged. The bandages were wet with some thing which smelled so badly it

and

made me

feel

day or two.
are; but
I

very sick, for the first Cats' noses are much
people's

more sensitive to smells than
did

my

grew used to it, and it poor lame paw so much

good that I would have borne it if For it had smelled twice as badly.
three days
in
I

had
:

to lie all the

time

the cradle

caught
at

me

your grandfather out of it, he would swear
put

if

me,

and

me

back

again.

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

79

Every morning he put the soft white stuff on my eyes, and changed the bandages on my leg. And, oh, my
dear Helen, such good things as I had to eat! I had almost the same
things for my dinner that the rest of them did it must be a splendid I thing to be a man or a woman
:

!

do not think
contented
to

I

shall ever again

be

eat

in

the

shed,

and

have only the old pieces which no

body wants.

Two
much
cradle
:

things
I

troubled

me

while

was confined

very to the

one was that everybody who came in to see your mother laughed
as
if

they never could stop, at the

8o

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

first

sight of
I

me and
;

the other

was

that
all

heard

poor Caesar mewing

around the house, and calling me with all his might and I knew he
;

thought
to

I

was dead.

I

tried

hard

make your kind mother notice his crying, for I knew she would be willing to let him come in and see me, but I could not make her under
stand.
I

suppose she thought

it

was only some common strolling cat have always I who was hungry. noticed that people do not observe
any
difference

between

one

cat's

voice and another's;
are just as different

now they really as human voices.
finest,

Caesar has one of the

deepest-

I
o
8

LETTERS FROM A
toned voices
day, after
I

CAT.

81

I

ever

heard.

One

got well enough to be in
in,

the kitchen, he slipped the legs of

between

the butcher's boy

who

was bringing in some meat; but before I had time to say one word to him, Mary flew at him with the How broom, and drove him out.
ever,

he saw that

I

was

alive,

and

was something. I am afraid it will be some days yet before 1 can see him again, for they do not let me go out at all, and the band
that

ages

are

not
is

taken

off

my

leg.

The
I

cradle

carried upstairs,

and

sleep on Charlie's blanket behind
stove.
I

the

heard

your

mother

82

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

say to-day that she really believed the cat had the rheumatism. I do not
I

know what
it
:

that
it

is,

but

I

think

have got
I

hurts
I

me
feel

all

over
if I

when
looked

walk, and
like
Bill

as

Jacobs's

old

cat,

who, they
est

say, is older

than the old

man

in

town

;

but of course that

must be a

slander.
I

The
about
spots:
is

thing

am most
it

concerned
off in

my
my

fur;
is

is

coming

there

back of

bare spot on the neck, on the place by
a

which they

lifted

me up
I

out of the

soap barrel, half as large as your

hand
self,

;

and whenever
get

wash

my

I

my mouth

full

of hairs,

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

83

which

is

very disagreeable.

I

heard

your grandfather say to-day, that he believed he would try Mrs. Some
body's Hair Restorer on the
cat, at

which everybody laughed
I

so

that
I

ran out of the
go,

room
then

as fast as

could
still

and
I

harder.

they laughed will write you again
tell

in
I

a day or two, and

you how
will

am

come

getting on. home soon.

I

hope you

Your

affectionate

PUSSY.

VII.

MY DEAR
I

HELEN:

am

so glad to

know

that

you
that
else.

are
I

coming home next week,
is

cannot think of any thing
only one drawback to

There

my
so

pleasure,

and
to

that

is,

I

am
in

ashamed
a plight.
letter,

have you see
I

me

such
last

told

you, in

my

that
off.

my

fur

was beginning

to

come

Your grandfather

has

tried several things of his,

which are

LETTERS FROM A
be

CAT.

85

good for hair; but they have not had the least effect. For my part I don't see why they
to

said

should

;

fur

different

and hair are two very things, and I thought at
.

the outset there
ting on

was no use

in put

my

skin what

was intended
heads, and

for the skin of

human

even on them don't seem to work

any great wonders, if I can judge from your grandfather's head, which

you know

is

as bald

shiny as a baby's. has been so good to me, that

and pink and However, he
I

let

him do any thing he likes, and every day he rubs in some new kind of
stuff,

which

smells

a

little

worse

86

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

than the

last one.

It is utterly

im

possible for me to get within half a I mile of a rat or a mouse. might
as well
fire

off

a

gun

to let

them

coming, as to go about scented up so that they can smell me a great deal farther off than they
I

know

am

can see me.

If

it

were not for

this

dreadful state of

my

fur,

I

should

be perfectly happy, for I feel much better than I ever did before in my

whole

life,

and

am

twice as fat as

when you went away. I try to be resigned to whatever may be in store
very hard to look forward to being a fright all the rest I don't of one's days. suppose such
for me, but
it

is

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

87

a thing was ever seen in the world as a cat without any fur. This

morning your grandfather
:

sat look

ing at -me for a long time and strok " Do ing his chin at last he said,

you suppose
to
I

it

would do any good
all

shave the cat
could

over

"
?

At
said,

this

not resist the

impulse to
"
I

scream, and

your mother
about

do believe the creature knows when
ever

we speak
I

her."

Of

course

do
I
!

!

Why

in

the world

People never seem to I often observe that cats have ears.
shouldn't

think

how much more
be
if

careful

they

would
laughed

many

have I they did. a time to see them

88

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

send children out of the room, and
leave

me

behind,

when

I

knew per
would
half

fectly well

that the children

neither notice

nor understand
I

so

much
I

as

would.
in

There
I

are

some
before

houses

which
live

lived,

came
I

to

with
tell

you,

about which
stories
if

could

strange

I

chose.

Caesar pretends that he likes the looks of little spots of pink skin, here and there, in fur but I know
;

he only does
for
it

it

to save

my

feelings,
- 1

isn't in

human nature-

mean

in cat's

nature- -that any one should.

You

see

time in

spend so much more the society of men and woI

LETTERS FROM A

CAT.

89

men

than of

cats, that I find

myself

constantly using

sound

queerly

expressions which in a cat's mouth.
well

But you know
fectly natural.

me

enough
I

to

be

sure that every thing

say

is

And
I

now,

my

per dear

Helen,
to see
I

I

hope

have prepared you

me

looking perfectly hideous.

only trust that your love for will not be entirely killed by
unfortunate appearance.
If
I

me

my

seem

to

love
I

me

less,
still

you do shall be
PUSSY.

wretched, but

shall

be, always,

Your

affectionate

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