A Cat’s Instincts
“Take that! and that! and that!” These words came from an angry little girl. She was leaning over a big gray puss which she was holding down with one hand, while with the other she struck him a sharp blow every time she said “THAT.”
It is a wonder puss did not bite her, for he was so strong he could have done so. He was a very gentle cat. “Gentle?” I hear some one ask. Then why did he deserve such a whipping as the little girl was giving him?
That is a question we must try to have answered. For my part I do not believe he deserved it at all. Let us see what happened next. Just as the little girl struck the last blow her Aunt Margaret came into the room. Aunt Margaret stopped in the doorway, astonished.
“Why Flora,” she said, as puss darted out of the room, “what are you beating Griffin for?”
“What do you think he was doing?” cried Flora, her cheeks still flushed with anger. “He was on the table just ready to spring at this beautiful bird in my new hat. If I had not come he would have torn it to pieces.”
“But he knew no better, said Aunt Margaret, “it is perfectly natural for a cat to spring at a bird. Yes, and for him to kill it too, if he has not been trained to do otherwise.”
“But it would have made me feel dreadfully to have this beautiful bird torn to bits. I really love it. Besides, it was killed long ago.”
“Yes,” said Aunt Margaret, “killed that you might wear it on a hat.”
There was something in Aunt Margaret’s voice which made Flora and the little girls who were visiting her stand very still and look up.
“You say,” continued Aunt Margaret very gently, “you say you love your beautiful bird. That you would feel dreadfully if it were torn to bits. How do you think its bird-mother felt when it was torn from her nest, and she never saw it again?”
“Oh,” said Flora, “I never thought of that before. I’m afraid,– I’m afraid I’m more to blame than the cat.”