The Project Gutenberg eBook of Ten Kittens

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Title: Ten Kittens

Author: G. A. Puckett

Illustrator: Helen Walley

Release date: December 30, 2021 [eBook #67044]

Language: English

Original publication: United States: Burton Publishing Company, 1919

Credits: Charlene Taylor, David E. Brown, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.)




Author of “Grant’s Old Star;” “The Story of
David;” “Thoughts Along
the Way.”

Illustrated by

Kansas City, Missouri

Burton Publishing Company

To the children who are interested in the welfare
of their pets, this little volume is affectionately



The stories of the ten kittens told in this book are true to life. They have been gathered from here and there over the country. All the kittens have lived and played their little parts in the life history as told in each chapter.

The purpose of this collection of stories is to create more interest and love for kittens on the part of our boys and girls. If these stories help someone to be kinder to little kittens, then the author’s purpose will not have been in vain.

G. A. P.






The story of Mack begins in a Rescue League in Albany, New York, where he was born. The story was very interesting to me as the lady who owned Mack told me about him. I will try to tell you about the unusual circumstances in this kitten’s life.

Mack was a Tiger Persian kitten but was afflicted with a disease called mange when he was very small. His mother had a very bad case of the mange, but instead of being cruelly treated, her mistress took her to the Rescue League where she could be well cared for. While under treatment in this League, which was a home for sick, afflicted and homeless kittens, Mack was born. A short time after his birth he and his brothers and sisters became afflicted with the disease of the mother. When Mack[12] was six weeks old the mother and all the kittens, excepting Mack, were chloroformed, because of their awful condition with the disease.

Mack was left an orphan kitten with no home but the quarters of the Rescue League. One day a kind lady went to this League and from all the kittens there she selected Mack to go and live in her home. This was very kind of the lady because Mack needed a home. Let us not forget this example when we see a homeless or hungry kitten. It would be easy for many people to make kittens happy in this way.

The lady who took Mack had a little daughter who became attached to the kitten and in a few weeks they were the best of friends. By the time Mack was one year old he had learned many tricks and was very obedient. When he wanted someone to open the door he would stand on his hind feet and put both front feet around the door knob and try to open the door or attract attention. It was a good thing that Mack learned to do this. One[13] night he was left in the kitchen to sleep. The little girl of the home, Mack’s little mistress, was asleep in another room which opened into the kitchen. About two o’clock that night the girl’s mother heard Mack rattling the door knob and meowing with all his might. She knew that something was wrong so she went to the kitchen to see why he was calling so much. When she opened the door she saw that the kitchen was on fire and the blaze had almost reached the door of the little girl’s room, where Mack was calling for help. His fur was scorched a little but he was not seriously burned. The mother said that five minutes more and the blaze would have been beyond control and would have made its way into the little girl’s bedroom. She feels that Mack saved her daughter’s life by calling for her to open the door.

When the lady and her daughter moved from Albany, New York, to Chicago, they did not leave Mack behind. He moved with them as one of the family and lived for a long[14] time in a boarding house in the big city. There are so many kittens that do not get to travel over the country; neither do they get to live in boarding houses. Almost any kitten is satisfied to have a good place to sleep and plenty to eat. There is another thing most kittens like, and that is kind treatment. They like to be petted and loved as well as being cared for with home and food.

After leaving Chicago, Mack moved to Kansas City with his kind mistress. For some time he lived in this city but at last he moved to Maple Park, just east of the city on the Interurban line to Excelsior Springs. It was there he lived and spent many happy days. Out there in the open, away from the crowded streets of the big cities, Mack caught grasshoppers as his favorite pastime in the fields. This he enjoyed very much and it was also good exercise for him.

When the lady’s husband would sit down to read the evening paper in the big Morris chair, Mack would always sleep on one of the arms of the[15] chair. At meal time he would sit in a high chair at the table and eat just what was given to him. He would not offer to get on the table nor bother anything in the kitchen. One day another kitten came into the home to live but he was not so careful to keep out of the food not intended for him. When he would try to get into anything or stand up against the cabinet or table, Mack would box his ears and make him get away. Mack had been trained from his baby days to keep off the table or cabinet and to keep out of food which did not belong to him.

The years passed by in Mack’s life until he became a very old cat. He never forgot his early training and the many little tricks which he had been taught to do. Of course, his mistress thought more of him after he saved the little girl from the fire but he always had a favorite place in everything.

At the ripe old age of fourteen years Mack died. His life had been useful and he had been kind and obedient through all the years. It was a[16] sad day in the home when Mack died. The whole family went to his burial. He was buried at Maple Park in a little grave over which many tears were shed. He was loved by all and had helped to make life brighter with the life which he had lived. A beautiful and obedient cat was laid to rest.




Snooks was a very small kitten and lived in a preacher’s home. He was well liked by the children in the home. One day one of the girls became very ill and for weeks everyone had to be very quiet. The kitten liked to be in the house and romp with the children but during those weeks of sickness he had to stay outdoors. One day a young man called at the house on an errand and as he turned to leave he noticed the kitten asleep in a chair on the front porch. He told one of the children that he would like to have the little ball of gray and blue and to his surprise the little girl gave it to him.

The first ride the kitten ever had in an automobile was that afternoon when the young man started home[20] with the little gift. Kittens do not like to ride as dogs do, so this kitten was afraid and had to be kept from jumping out while the car was running.

The kitten soon made friends in the new home and was named Snooks. This name was given him by his new mistress because a little pet chicken she once had was named Snooks. He was trained in many ways during the early months in this new home and could be trusted alone in the house for he would not climb upon the table or bother anything.

Nearly all kittens are afraid of water but Snooks likes to get into it and play by splashing it with his feet. He also likes to take a bath for he will not offer to scratch or bite, but stands in the bathtub while his mistress washes him.

Sometime during each day Snooks has a big romp from room to room. He has learned to run fast and then jump on little rugs and slide on the floor. Many times a day these rugs have to be straightened and put back[21] into place. On cold nights he is allowed to sleep in the house on a little bed which is all his own. This he greatly enjoys, but little does he realize that many poor kittens which have no homes have to sleep out in the cold. Many times they go to bed on the cold ground and their little ears freeze because they cannot keep warm.

One of the greatest delights of this kitten is to play with a little rubber ball which was bought for him. He will chase it from room to room, like playing with a mouse. He makes it roll by striking it with his feet or jumping at it. One day the ball rolled under the pantry door and the mistress heard Snooks meowing but did not go to see what he wanted. Soon he came to the living room and meowed again and then started back toward the kitchen still meowing. The mistress followed and Snooks led her to the door of the pantry and looked under as much as to say, “I have lost the little ball, will you get it for me?” She opened the door and found the[22] ball and the kitten went on playing again perfectly satisfied.

On another day a Victrola was brought into the house where Snooks lives and at first he was afraid of the music but soon showed signs of interest. He would sit and listen and liked to watch the records go ’round and ’round. He would walk all around the machine smelling and looking as though trying to find where the music and voices were coming from.

At this writing Snooks, the little blue and gray kitten, is alive and well. He lives in a college town but has never gone to college. He is satisfied to eat three times a day and every day he plays with the little ball which he enjoys so much. He is now about one year old and is going to be a large cat when grown. Let us hope that he will always have a good home and be well and playful.




This is a very peculiar name for a kitten but kittens often have peculiar names. Dump could not be called a beautiful kitten but his good nature and playfulness made him attractive and likeable. His mother must have thought him pretty for she petted him so much by smoothing his fur with her tongue. I have not yet told you the color of this kitten and I am sure you are wondering about it. You might say he was very pretty. His fur was a bluish gray and white and his face was white almost all over. He was just a common kitten but you know the common kittens are smart and many times as good in disposition as the thorough-breds.

Dump was very playful and would do many cute things. One thing that[26] he did and seemed to like most of all was playing hide and seek in the house. He would get behind the door and wait for his little mistress to come and then he would jump out at her as though he meant to frighten her. Of course, she had jumped at him in the same way many times and in this way had taught him the game of hide and seek.

One afternoon in the summer time the little girl thought of something to do of which Dump had not thought. It was this. The girl had a nice little kodak which her uncle had given her and she thought of taking Dump’s picture. Not very many kittens are fortunate enough to have their pictures taken. The little kitten had never posed for a picture and of course thought it was great fun, that is, if he thought of it at all. Anyway, they both went into the yard and the little girl placed Dump on the gate post. He seemed to know the purpose of being placed there for he sat still in the warm sun just like he was really posing for the picture. It was a good[27] picture, too, and the girl has the little picture yet, although she is grown now and has a home of her own and another kitten takes Dump’s place.

Dump always slept in the window during the summer between the screen and curtains. He would always answer his little mistress with a little meow when she called him. He knew when it was time for his meals as his master worked down town in a meat shop and when he would go to the house for his meals Dump would meet him at the door and beg for meat.

When the yard was mowed and the grass piled up in one big pile, the kitten would run to it and hide himself from his little mistress. This was great fun for both. They loved each other very much and where one went around the yard or in the house the other was to be found, too.

Dump never cared to play with other kittens and would not be very friendly. One of the neighbors had a big cat next door, but Dump would never let him come through the yard fence if he saw him. He must have been a[28] little selfish but probably it was because he loved his mistress more than other kittens.

Many times Dump would go to the woodshed and watch for mice. He nearly always caught one and he loved to play with it for hours at a time before eating it. One hot summer day he played too long and it cost him his life for he became overheated and died in just a little while. The little girl did everything she could for him but could not save his life. Dump’s little body was buried back of the cave beside the graves of two little bantam chickens and a little gold fish.




Mitch was a beautiful Persian kitten and lived in Kansas City, Missouri. City kittens do not have such large playgrounds as kittens on the farm for many times they are kept in the house almost all the time. There are many dangers for kittens outside in the big cities, too. Some one may steal them and take them away from their homes or they may get run over by the cars and big trucks.

A little girl whose name was Mitchell gave the kitten to the lady who told me this story. The family called him Mitchie for awhile after the name Mitchell. Some of them thought that name too long so they shortened it to Mitch, and that became the name of this beautiful Persian kitten.

The mistress kept a large fruit basket[32] on the dining table and when there was no fruit in it, Mitch used it for a bed. He learned to run toward the table and with one jump he would land right in the basket. Then he would curl up for a long nap and be perfectly satisfied for hours. He always liked to get into boxes and when the dresser drawers were left open he would get into them. It did not make much difference to Mitch just what it was for he could feel contented in anything. One day a member of the family brought something home in a paper sack and taking the articles out, laid the sack on the bed. In a few minutes Mitch was curled up in the sack, fast asleep.

The lady’s husband worked at night, or about half the night, and when he came home about midnight, Mitch would always meet him at the head of the stairs ready for a romp. He loved to play with the man’s watch chain but one day it was a costly play. The watch was left on the dresser with the chain hanging over the edge and Mitch decided to romp with it a[33] little while. Of course, he did not know the watch might fall and break. In some way he got his claws fastened in the chain and jerked the watch to the floor. Mitch did not mean to break the watch but it cost about seven dollars to have it repaired. Mitch could not repair the broken watch and he had no way of paying the debt except by love and affection for his master.

Mitch was like Snooks (in the other story), he liked water and liked to play in it. He was very careful about keeping clean and would go to the lavatory and put his feet in the water and then wash his face. One faucet in the bathtub leaked a little and Mitch found that he could get a drink there. In some way he learned that he could strike the faucet with his feet and turn on more water. One day some member of the family had prepared a half tub of water for a bath and about the same time Mitch decided that he wanted a drink. He went to the bath room and as usual jumped right over into the tub, but this time[34] he landed in all the water. You should have seen him scramble to get out for he was terribly frightened.

One day the lady and her husband moved away from the city to the farm and of course Mitch went along and became a country kitten. I am sure that he liked to be on the farm where he could get out into the big outdoors and catch lots of mice. About a year passed and the family moved back to the city, but Mitch was left on the farm with the family who moved on the place. Evidently he did not like his new friends or else decided to go back to the city for he disappeared one afternoon and has not been heard of since. If you should see Mitch anywhere it would be kind of you to tell him that the fruit basket is on the table in the city waiting for him. His mistress, too, will be very glad to hear from him or have him return to his former home.





Thomas is another very peculiar name for a kitten. He was a grocery-man by trade, as he lived in a grocery store for seventeen years.

Like so many kittens, Thomas was a stray that came to the store in search of food. The proprietors of the store, two brothers, were kind to hungry and friendless kittens. They allowed this kitten to live in the store, and not many days after he arrived they named him Thomas. At night he slept in the basement of the store. He kept the store free from mice, as he was a good mouser. He was well cared for, too, as he had plenty to eat of everything that he liked which the store furnished.

Because of kind treatment and plenty to eat the kitten grew very[38] rapidly and made a large cat when fully grown. Many months before his death he weighed thirteen or fourteen pounds and was always fat and sleek. So many poor, wretched cats that have no home could be more like Thomas if people would give them a home and treat them kindly. A kind deed, though done for a kitten, is not thrown away.

Thomas had a favorite place to sit, which was on one of the counters near the front window of the store. In this way he made many friends. He was of a lovable disposition and kind to everyone. He could have numbered these friends by the score as all the customers had a kind word or pat for him. Many people would stop at the window and look at him because he was so large and beautiful. His fur was gray and striped and he made a very pretty ornament as well as a good advertisement for the store.

The play ground for Thomas was in the basement of the store building. He had many a romp there but one romp cost him his beautiful gray coat. Near[39] the basement stairs there was a large oil can or tank that had a large top which could be removed when the tank was filled with oil. One of the employees had left this top off and Thomas stepped into the hole while walking across the tank. The tank of coal-oil did not make a very good swimming pool nor bath tub. It was lucky for Thomas that he got out alive. The oil caused all the fur to come off his body and this left him without a coat. The only fur left was a little at the end of his tail. Some one said that his smooth body looked like that of an elephant. Thomas was ashamed of this condition and would not appear in the main room of the store. His meals had to be taken to the basement for him and even then he would not come into the light any more than necessary. For three or four weeks he remained in the dark corners of the basement until a new coat of fur was well started. The new coat was even brighter and prettier than the old one so Thomas did not lose so much after all.

[40]One of the brothers of the store seemed to be more attached to Thomas than the other. The cat noticed this and showed his appreciation in many ways. When this brother would go to his meals Thomas would get on the front counter and watch and wait for him to return. He could see up the street for a whole block the way his kind master would return and he would watch him all the way.

For seventeen years Thomas lived in the grocery store after being taken in as a homeless kitten. The men who owned the store never regretted that they had shown kindness to a dumb animal and furnished a home for a cat that had many times repaid them for all the care and expense he had been to them. Many new friends and acquaintances had been made because of Thomas on the front counter. New customers had been added to the already long list. The store contained no mice to disturb anything and everyone seemed happy because Thomas was always happy. During all those years he never spent more than two nights[41] outside the store building. He always attended to his own business and was satisfied to stay at home and romp in the basement play ground. At last he died of old age and for many weeks afterward people would look on the counter for the old friend of former days. There were many regrets expressed when the news went out that Thomas was dead. A life of good fellowship and love had not been lived in vain.



Perhaps you have read or heard of tramp kittens. Sometimes they are called little beggars. No doubt you have seen such kittens along the roads or on the streets. Sometimes they will go for miles in search of food and home. In cities and towns they will go from house to house or to the stores in search of scraps of food to eat. Many times these kittens are afraid of boys and girls because they have been abused and often driven away with rocks and clubs but they would like to be treated kindly.

Tiger was one of these tramp kittens in his young days. He had been cast out from his home as an undesirable kitten. Days and nights he wandered around in the town in which he had been left but no one seemed to care[44] for a homeless kitten. Sometimes he was able to find enough to eat but many nights he slept in an alley, cold and hungry.

One morning this tramp kitten was sitting on the back porch of a drug store very hungry. His little body was wasting away. While sitting in the warm sunshine on the porch he went to sleep but was soon awakened by someone opening the back door. Instead of being kicked off the porch with a warning not to return he was surprised to hear kind words and to feel a warm hand stroking his dirty fur.

The kind words and tender strokes came from a young boy whose name was Frank and whose father owned the store. In a few minutes Frank had a little bed arranged by the stove in the store and the tramp kitten was soon fast asleep. A little later he was awakened by Frank who had brought scraps of meat from the meat shop and this the hungry kitten enjoyed very much.

When Frank’s father came in that[45] morning he was led back to the stove where the kitten was sleeping and asked if it might live in the store. The father consented and by noon the little boy and the little beggar kitten had made friends for life.

“I am going to name him Tiger,” said Frank that evening as he was telling his mother of the new found friend.

“Why name him Tiger, Frank?” asked his mother.

“Because he looks like a Tiger,” answered Frank. “His body has stripes all over it just like the pictures of Tigers in my books.”

As the months rolled by Tiger became more and more at home in the store. His little master fed him every day and soon he was fat and sleek. He grew very fast and became the pet of the store force. He was taught many tricks and it seemed that he always tried to do what he was told.

By Frank’s continual training Tiger became a little circus performer. Frank would clasp both hands and then hold out his arms in front of him[46] forming a circle through which Tiger would jump back and forth.

Another thing which attracted much attention from the employees and customers was that Tiger would try to get into any kind of box left open or set out for him. He never forgot this and after becoming a full grown cat he would try to get into little boxes. Sometimes Frank or one of the clerks would give him a small paste board box and tell him to lie down in it. He would turn ’round and ’round in it until the sides were mashed and then he would lie down on the flat piece of the box. Sometimes they would give him a very small pill box and he would try to get into it. He would walk all around it and at last would lie down on top of it.

As the years went by Tiger became the pet of all who knew him. His master grew to be a young man but the close friendship with the kitten always existed. Tiger never failed to receive good meals and kind treatment.

One evening while Tiger was lying in the alley one of the clerks called[47] him but he would not answer. The man almost had to whip him to get him back into the store. This was very unusual. The clerk noticed the changed attitude and spoke to others about it.

During the night the fire alarm was given and news soon spread that the drug store was burning. Frank thought first of Tiger and of his desire to remain outside the store that evening. The firemen arrived too late to enter the building although it was not entirely destroyed. The next day Tiger was found on top of the office desk near a rear window. He had suffocated in the smoke but the flames had not touched his body. Such was the end of life for the obedient and faithful Tiger.




It is very interesting to know why pets are called the same names as people. Not only cats and dogs, but birds, horses, cows and other pets are given the names of people. Many times these names are given because of fondness for the pets and love for those after whom they are named.

The lady who told me this story of Sammy also told me why she called him this name. She had met a very attractive young man while visiting in another town and when she came home she did not forget the new acquaintance. In a few days after she returned from the visit someone gave her a little kitten which she named Sammy for him. She never learned whether the young man felt honored[50] because of this, but the kitten was well cared for.

Sammy was a beautiful Maltese kitten but his young mistress did not know where he was born nor anything about his mother, sisters nor brothers. He seemed like an orphan kitten and was given the best of care. In a little while he was satisfied in the new home and seemed to be perfectly happy.

As the months rolled by, Sammy and his mistress became very fond of each other. One day something happened which changed the course of events. The young lady made another acquaintance—this time of a young man who had gone into business in her home town. Sammy was afraid of all strangers and would not play with any of the boys in the neighborhood and would not make friends with any of the young men who called on his mistress. When the nice looking business man began visiting the young lady Sammy also became acquainted with him. From the first visit he seemed to like the new acquaintance[51] and soon they were close friends. When the young man called at the home Sammy would always meet him at the gate and accompany him to the door. When his mistress would allow him to do so he would go into the house so that the young man might pet him.

Sammy was never trained to catch mice and was never given one to eat. It is often a good thing to have a cat that will catch mice, but sometimes it proves very fatal as mice are often poisoned and thrown out or die where the kittens can find them. Sammy was not allowed to eat meat either, especially raw meat. Feeding raw meat has proven very costly to many valuable cats as it has made them of vicious or cross disposition. The mistress of Sammy was very careful to cultivate in him a kind and obedient disposition.

In the yard of the home there was an old tree in which Sammy spent many happy hours in the warm sunshine. Not many feet from the ground the tree forked and this made a very desirable place to get out of the reach[52] of dogs and to rest or sleep. This had been a favorite resting place for Trilby, a kitten that lived in the home long before Sammy was born. The lady said that both kittens had used the old tree for a resting place and that she had often regretted that she had not taken their pictures. I am sorry, too, as I would like to have shown you the picture of Sammy in this book, but we will have to imagine how peaceful he was as he slept in the warm sunshine.

One beautiful autumn day in September, the young man whom Sammy loved and who had been going to the home very often, went to take Sammy’s mistress away. Sammy was pleased to have the young man there although he did not understand why so many people were there and what it all meant.

A few days after the couple were married they moved to a little cottage in another part of town and took Sammy along to live with them. In this new home he seemed perfectly satisfied and never tried to go back to the[53] old home again. He spent many happy days in this home and every evening he would go down the street to meet his new master. The young couple became very much attached to Sammy and gave him the best place in almost everything. Have you ever heard of a spoiled kitten? Sammy was like some children who are allowed to have their way for he became a spoiled kitten later in life.

On another day, many months after the beautiful autumn wedding day, a little baby came into the home to live. Sammy did not know what to think of a baby crying and to see everyone making over the new daughter. In those days he felt somewhat neglected as he was not petted as much as usual but he soon became attached to the little one in the crib. He seemed to love the baby as much as anyone else and at last he became so jealous that he would try to protect her when anyone would lift her from the crib. He would almost fight the young father or mother to keep them away as he seemed to think that they should not[54] fondle her. He must have been afraid that they would hurt his little playmate, although the baby never got to play with Sammy except to coo at him from the crib. He became so cross and so jealous that he had to be given away.

The father saw a man in town one day who lived in the country and he told this man about Sammy and of how good he had been until he became jealous of the baby. Sammy was given to this man and he went to live on a farm. I have wondered how much he missed the baby but probably the farm life attracted his attention so much that he did not grieve very long over the change. He lived to be seven or eight years old and proved to be a valuable cat on the farm. He never got to see his little baby mistress again but after she grew older she was told of Sammy’s fondness for her. She is now three or four years older than Sammy was when he died but of course she can remember nothing about him except as the parents have told her.

Sammy is buried on a farm not far[55] from Liberty, Missouri, and those who knew and loved him will never forget the story of his life.



Betty is of the Persian breed of cats like Mitch and Mack in two other stories of this book. She lives at Winnwood Lake, just east of Kansas City, and has a good home and a kind mistress. She is of a loveable disposition. Her father is the famous White Czar, of Kansas City, and her mother is of good stock.

Betty has not traveled over the country like Mack in the other story but she is satisfied to live in a comfortable home with her mistress. She has no time for traveling anyway, because she has to be at home with her family of kittens. I am not sure she is perfectly satisfied though because three of her kittens are far from home today.

The day that Betty’s first babies[58] were born was very gloomy and by night a storm was gathering which broke from the clouds in all of its fury later in the night. The trees were howling in the wind and the thunder and lightning caused Betty and her mistress much fear. The lady had gone to bed that night before the storm came on and Betty was in the corner of the room with her new babies. When the noise of the storm was heard, Betty ran to the bed but in a few seconds went back to the box to be with the kittens. She kept this up, going back and forth, for several minutes. At last the lady told her to bring the kittens to the bed. It seemed that she knew what her mistress had said for she went to the box in the corner three times, each time taking a kitten to the bed. After three kittens had been placed on the bed, Betty took a long breath and seemed almost exhausted by jumping back and forth so many times. The lady told her that she had left one kitten in the box so again she went to the corner, this time getting the fourth[59] kitten. After a second attempt she jumped upon the bed and then cuddled down to sleep regardless of the raging storm. She had been used to sleeping on the bed, but was not satisfied to sleep there that night and leave the four kittens in the box in the corner of the room. This act of Betty’s showed the mother love for her babies.

The four kittens grew to be beautiful pets. There were three brothers and one sister in Betty’s family. One of the brothers was taken to the state of Michigan, and one was sent to Abilene, Kansas. The third brother, named Jack, went to France with a Captain and his wife during the war. Only this one of the brothers went to war. It seems that it would be right for Betty to have a blue star for Jack. The sister, Blue Bell, is still at home with her mother. The father of Blue Bell and the three brothers is Blue-Eyed Billy, another famous cat of Kansas City.

Blue Bell is not alone now because Betty has two more babies in the home. The father of these two younger[60] kittens is called John and he seems to love them as much as Betty does. He will get into the box and wash their faces just like the mother cat. Betty does not forget Blue Bell as her first baby. She is almost two years old now, but Betty washes her face and ears every day just like she did when Blue Bell was a little kitten.

Betty is very fond of going down to the lake and catching craw-fish for the kittens. She will sit near the water until a craw-fish comes in sight near the edge and then with one grab she has it. She always catches them by the back so they cannot pinch her with their sharp pinchers.

Another of her favorite pastimes is gathering the eggs. Betty goes with her mistress every morning and looks into all the nests. If she finds eggs in the nests she will wait until her mistress takes them out. If she looks into a nest and finds no eggs she goes on to the next. In this way Betty helps her mistress every evening.

Betty always knows when Saturday comes because her mistress goes to[61] town on that day. Betty expects a treat of good meat on Saturday. When the lady gets home from town Betty always goes to the hand bag and smells for meat. If she finds none she will go back to her box and lie down greatly disappointed. If she smells the meat then she sits upon her hind feet begging for it and is not satisfied until she and the kittens have the special Saturday treat.

When the lady goes to the mail box for mail Betty always desires to go along. She climbs the post and looks into the box when her mistress opens it but she has never learned to carry the mail to the house.

Betty still lives at Winnwood Lake and with the help of John she is carefully rearing a family of three beautiful and obedient kittens.



Jimmie was a drug store cat, following the same occupation as Tiger in the story called Tiger. One of the clerks in the store found him in the alley one morning while burning some old boxes. The kitten was poor and hungry and seemed to be homeless and friendless. He was a stranger in the neighborhood and no one ever came to the store to claim him. He was lost and lonesome when picked up and seemed very glad to find a friend. He was only a stray kitten and no one knew of his mother nor where he was born. This seems sad but with Jimmie it gave him a distinguished place later in life which I will tell you about in this story.

In a little while Jimmie was growing and happy in the new home. He had[64] made friends with all of the clerks in the store and especially with the proprietor. They became devoted friends for life; even money could not separate them as a large sum was offered for him but his master loved him more than money.

Some of the clerks taught him to jump through hoops or through their arms or over their feet. On one of the counters in the drug store there was a large clock which became the resting place for Jimmie. When told to go and get on the clock he would obey instantly and then look around at those watching him as though he was proud of the feat. One day his master took a picture of him as he sat on the clock and he seemed to pose for it. The picture is now in the desk of the drug store although Jimmie has been dead three years. When I asked Jimmie’s master for the facts about this story he turned to the desk and showed me the picture. While we were speaking of the kitten’s life a man came into the room who used to know and love Jimmie. He was[65] asked if he knew the picture and when he looked at it he exclaimed, “that’s Jimmie!” This shows how much he was loved and that he was well known. Like Thomas of the grocery store in the other story Jimmie had scores of friends and is remembered by many citizens in the town in which he lived.

During one of the cat shows in Convention Hall in Kansas City a few years ago, Jimmie was also on exhibition. He attracted much attention although he was not a thorough-bred and was only a stray. His fur was striped like a tiger and in the show he received first prize as the best tiger cat shown. He also won first prize as a stray, but to receive the premium his master had to take three witnesses before a notary public and make affidavit that Jimmie was found in the alley and that no one knew of his birth or his pedigree. After receiving these prizes Jimmie’s master thought more of him than ever. He attracted much attention in his home town, too, when the news went out that Jimmie had won first at tiger and stray. New[66] friends went to the store to see him and he, too, became a good advertisement for the store.

One day a physician’s wife from another town went into the drug store and saw Jimmie sitting on the old clock. She soon made his acquaintance and became attached to him. She was a lover of kittens and Jimmie so large and beautiful seemed to her an ideal kitten. She asked all about him, of his birth, pedigree, disposition and many other questions. When told that he was only a stray picked up in the alley as a homeless kitten she seemed to think more of him than ever. Perhaps she had been kind to some homeless kitten sometime in the past and understood what it meant to care for one that needed a friend. She was anxious to have him as her own and let him live in her own home. I am sure that she would have given him the best of care and that he would have had a good home in which to spend his old age. In a few days the woman’s husband was in the town and went to the store and offered twenty-five[67] dollars for Jimmie. The proprietor would not sell him for that, and then the physician offered him fifty dollars, but Jimmie’s master said that money could not buy him. Such was the love for a kitten that had been so kind and obedient during the many years in the store.

About two weeks after the physician had offered the fifty dollars for him, Jimmie in some way got hold of poison and died. He was nine years old at the time of his death and left many friends who have greatly missed him during these past three years.



To get the story of Pete I had to go to a large hotel and there I found an old gentleman who had lost his wife by death about a year before and who seemed lonely for her presence. He told all that he could about Pete, but said, “if she were only here,” pointing to a picture on the wall, “she could tell you a fine story of this kitten. She loved cats as no one else on earth, I suppose,” he continued. “Such deeds are not thrown away either, although I used to think many of them were unnecessary.”

One morning, while the good wife was living, they lost their last kitten and she had said that they would not try to raise or care for any more. That same morning Pete arrived at the back door of the home and begged for[70] something to eat. He was invited inside and that was all that was necessary to make friends between the lady and the homeless kitten. Pete was not so young either at that time for he seemed to be nearly two years old.

The gentleman said that there never was a cat that could fight like Pete. He was not afraid of anything that walked and could whip any dog that ever came into the yard. When he made up his mind that he did not want any dog or certain cats around the house or yard it was then that they had to leave. He would sometimes make up with a cat after giving him a good flogging if the cat was willing to stay long enough to make up. He was an awful fighter and yet he was of a good disposition around the home. Of all the kittens this lady had and loved and cared for there was none so loveable and of a better character than Pete. If it had not been for his fighting nature he would have been an ideal cat in every way. Perhaps the brave spirit he showed helped him to protect[71] himself from cruel dogs and mean cats.

For ten years Pete occupied the best chair in the home for his resting place and bed. He had things his own way because he was loved by all the members of the family. His food consisted of anything and everything that money could buy. He lacked for nothing that would make him contented and happy.

When baby kittens were born in the neighborhood Pete was always one of the first visitors and took charge of the kittens along with the mother cat. He would fight for the baby kittens and protect them with his own life. No mother cat was afraid to leave her kittens in charge of Pete because they all knew his daring spirit and courageous nature.

After the death of the kind mistress Pete missed her very much. He missed her loving caresses and the good meals which she always provided for him. Of course the other members of the family took good care of him then, but the mistress of the home had been the[72] one he had largely depended upon. She would get up any time in the night and let him in if he came to the door and called. If he was not in the house at supper time a good meal would be placed back for him and then during the night if he came to the door she would let him in and warm his supper for him. All this he greatly missed although he was well taken care of.

Today he lives in a Boarding School for cats in the city of Chicago and is visited once each week at least by a daughter of his former mistress. This daughter loves Pete too and Pete loves her just as much. When she goes to the boarding place to see him he will come to her and put both front feet around her neck and try in every way to show his affection. He is now about fourteen years old and weighs sixteen and one half pounds. During March of this year (1919) the old gentleman received a letter from his daughter in Chicago saying that Pete was well and seemingly contented in the Boarding School. It costs two or three dollars a week to keep him there but this[73] kindness is due him after such faithful service during all the years.


Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

Inconsistencies in hyphenation have been standardized.