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sometimes troublesome, as she pinched my sides with carrying me, and once or twice hurt me a good deal by letting me fall. Soon, however, I became strong and active, and played and gamboled all day long, to the great delight of my mistress and her companions.
At this time I had another narrow escape. A man brought into the house a strange dog, who had been taught to worry all the Cats that came in his way. My mother slunk away at his entrance; but I, thinking, like a little fool as I was, that I was able to protect myself, staid on the floor, growling, and setting up my back by way of defiance. The dog instantly ran at me, and before I could get my claws ready, seized me with his mouth, and began to gripe and shake me most terribly. I screamed out, and, by good luck, my mistress was within hearing. She ran to us, but was not able to disengage me ; how
ever, a servant, seeing her distress, took a great stick, and gave the dog such a bang on the back, that he was forced to let me go. He had used me sp roughly, that I was not able to stand for some time; but by care and a good constitution I recovered.
I was now running after every body's heels, by which means I got one day locked up 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 bowlof cream, I unluckily fell backwards into a large vessel of buttermilk, where I should probably have been drowned, had not the maid heard the noise, and come to see what was the matter, She took me out, scolding bitterly at me, and after making me undergo a severe discipline at the pump to clean me, she 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 into the barn upon a mousing expedition. I shall never forget the pleasure this gave
We sat by a hole, and presently out came a mouse with a brood of young ones. My mother darted among them, and first demolished the old one, and then pursued the little ones, who ran about squeaking in dreadful perplexity. I now thought it was time for me to do something, and accordingly ran after a straggler, and soon overtook it. 0, how proud was I, as I stood over my trembling captive, and patted him with my paws! my pride, however, soon met with a check; for seeing one day a large rat, I courageously 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 swelled. For some time I did not meddle with rats again; but at length, growing stronger and more skilful, I feared neither rạts nor any other vermin, and acquired the reputation of an excellent hunter.
Į 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 rat-trap, and received so many deep wounds from its teeth, that though I was loosened as gently as possible by the people who heard me cry, I was rendered lame for some weeks after,
Time went on, and I arrived at my full growth; and forming an acquaintance with a he-cat about my age, after a decent resistance by scolding, bịting
and scratching, we made a match of it. I became a mother in due time, and had the mortification of seeing several broods of my kittens disposed of in the same manner as my brothers and sisters had been. I shall mention two or three more adventures in the order I remember them. 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 spied me, they set off full speed, and running much faster than I could do, were just at my tail, when I . reached a tree, and saved myself by climbing up it. But a greater danger befel me on meeting with a parcel of boys returning from school. They surrounded 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 assembled about it, and threw stones on all