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."





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