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my claws ready, seized me with his mouth, and began to shake me most terribly. I screamed out, and by good luck my mistress was within hearing. She ran to me, but was not able to make the dog let me go; but a servant seeing her distress took a great stick and gave the dog such a blow on the back, that he ran yelping out of the room. He had used me so roughly that I was not able to stand for some time, but in a few weeks, by taking care of myself, I began to mend.
"I was now running after everybody's heels, by which means I got one day locked in the dairy. I was not sorry for this accident, thinking to feast upon the cream and other good things. But having climbed up a shelf to get at a bowl of cream, I unluckily fell backwards into a large bowl of buttermilk, where I should most likely have been drowned had not the maid heard the noise, and come to see what was the matter. She took me out, scolding me severely, and, after having washed me at the pump, dismissed me with a good whipping. I took care not to follow her into the dairy again.
"After a while I began to get into the yard, and my mother took me to the barn with her to look after some mice. I shall never forget the pleasure this gave me. We watched by a hole, and after a short time, out came a mouse with a brood of young ones. My mother darted among them, and seized the old one, while I ran after a little mouse, and soon overtook it. Oh! how proud I was as I stood over my trembling captive,
and patted him on the head with my paws. My pride, however, soon met with a check, for seeing one day a large rat, I bravely flew at him; but instead of turning tail, he gave me such a bite on the nose that I ran away to my mother mewing piteously, with my face all bloody and swollen. For some time I did not meddle with rats again; but at length growing more skilful, I feared neither rats nor any other vermin, and was considered by the family a capital hunter.
I had some other escapes about this time. Once I happened to meet with some poisoned food laid for the rats, and eating it, I was thrown into a disorder that was very near killing me. At another time, I chanced to set my foot in a rattrap, and received such a deep wound from its teeth, that, though the servants got me out as gently as they could, I was rendered lame for weeks after."
HISTORY OF A CAT.
"Time went on, and I arrived at my I was once prowling for birds along a hedge at some distance from home, when the Squire's greyhounds came that way a coursing. As soon as they saw me they ran after me at full speed, and were gaining upon me fast, when, just as they were at my tail, I reached a tree, and saved myself by climbing up it,
"A greater danger befell me on meeting a number of boys returning home from school. They came all around me before I was aware, and obliged me to take refuge in a tree; but I soon found that a poor defence against such enemies, for they threw stones on all sides, so that I could not avoid receiving many hard blows, one of which brought me senseless to the ground. The biggest boy now seized me, and proposed to the rest to have what he called some rare sport with me. This sport was, to tie me to a large stone, and throw me into the pond, when they could amuse themselves with watching my attempts to get to the side, in order to save myself from being drowned. Already I was tied to the stone, and they were just going to throw me in, when a policeman appeared, and the boys scampered away, leaving me on the ground. The policeman cut the string which bound me to the stone, and I ran home as quick as I could, counting myself fortunate that my life was spared.
"The next remarkable event in my life, was the occasion of my removal from the country. My mistress's brother had a tame linnet, of which he was very fond, for it would come and light upon his shoulders when he called it, and feed out of his hand, and it sung well besides. This bird was usually either in its cage, or on a very high perch; but one unlucky day, when he and I were in the room together, he came down on the table to pick up crumbs. I spied him, and not being able to resist the temptation, sprang at him, and
catching him in my claws, soon began to devour him. I had almost finished eating him, when his master came into the room, and seeing me with the remains of the poor linnet in my mouth, he ran to me in the greatest fury, and after chasing me several times round the room, at last caught me. He was going at once to hang me, when his sister, by many entreaties and tears, persuaded him to give me a good whipping and let me go. She promised, if he would consent to this, I should be sent away. The next market day, therefore, I was placed in the carrier's cart, and sent to a relation of theirs in this town, who wanted a good cat, as the house was overrun with mice.
"In the service of this family, I continued a good while, catching the mice very eagerly, so that the family held me in great esteem as an excellent cat. I soon became acquainted with all the particulars of a town life, and was very active in climbing up walls and houses, and jumping from roof to roof, either in pursuit of prey, or to gossip with my neighbours. Once, however, I had nearly suffered for this practice, for having made a great jump from one house to another, I lighted upon a loose tile, which giving way with me, I fell from a vast height into the street, and should certainly have been killed, had I not been caught in a mudcart, whence I escaped, covered over with mire and dirt.
"There were a number of pigeons not many doors from my new home, which I often thought would be delicious eating. One night, I leapt
down from a roof upon a board with some pigeon holes, which led to a garret where the pigeons lived. I entered, and finding them asleep, made sad havoc among all that were within my reach, killing and sucking the blood of nearly a dozen. When I had finished and wished to return, I found it was impossible to leap back to the roof from which I came down. After several dangerous trials, I was obliged to wait trembling in the place where I had committed all these murders till the owner came up in the morning to feed his pigeons. I rushed out between his legs as soon as the door was opened, and had the good fortune to get safe downstairs, and make my escape through a window unknown.
"My adventures here, since that time have been few, for after the monkey had bit off the last joint of my tail (for which offence, I am glad to say, he was soundly punished), I kept beyond the length of his chain, and neither the parrot nor the lap dog ever dared to molest me. One of the
greatest sorrows I have felt, was the stifling of a whole litter of my kittens by a fat old lady, who sat down in the chair where they lay, and never perceived the mischief she was doing till she rose, though I pulled her clothes, and used all the means in my power to show the trouble I was in."
Having thus recounted her history, Grimalkin became speechless, and shortly afterwards expired, to the great grief of the family.