logo

A Cat Tale

Dr. Margaret Lacey

His birthplace was a camp in the Maine woods, near the foot of Mt. Katahdin. Perhaps some of the dark shades of the mountain got mixed with his fur, for he was as black and elusive as the shadows that lay at the evening along the sides of old Katahdin.

He had a very happy babyhood. Little brother and sister kittens romped with him, and Jolly, the dog, protected him. He was fuzzy and shaped not unlike a tiny Teddy bear. So the first few weeks of his life sped by and he had no other name than 'The Black Kitty'.

One day in August I visited the camp in my canoe. I landed and played with the kitten family while I talked to their mistress. When I left, all my new friends went down to the dock with me. I had paddled about twenty feet from shore on my return trip, when I heard a splash, and, looking back, beheld the black kitty, worried little nose above water, and fuzzy little paws paddling hard and fast after the canoe.

Of course I turned back and picked up the little fellow. When I set him ashore I made arrangements to purchase him. So it happened that two weeks later I carried him off under my arm on my homeward trip.

He was a capital little traveler, full of pluck, endurance and amiability. Spunky Swimmer is his name, or one of his names, though Tireless Traveler would have suited him as well. During the miles of canoe travel he sat purring or slumbering in my lap. Over the 'carries' he was tucked under my arm or buttoned into my coat, with his tiny head poking out, wide, wondering eyes taking in all the beautiful scenery.

When we stopped at a camp for food, he wisely made friends with the hostess and politely ate everything offered to him. In the Pullman car he slept in a writing paper box full of ventilation holes. Altogether he was a most satisfactory and entertaining traveling companion.

When he reached my home, he met the rest of the household. He promptly won favor with my brother by his beauty, and with my maid by his good manners. He succeeded even in ingratiating himself moderately with Cinders, my seventeen-year-old gray kitty.

Now Swimmer is a half-grown cat, intelligent and obedient. He comes to call or to whistle. Well he knows how to wheedle tid-bits from all members of the family by sitting on his hind legs, like a little black squirrel. His glossy fur is soft and long. His amber eyes hold the mystery of the mountain, or is it of Karma, who certainly prompted his leap from the dock.



Source: "The Cat Review", issue May, 1921.