Barks and Purrs eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 69 pages of information about Barks and Purrs.

I intend to astonish the world, Fire, during Winter’s reign.  The Cat that lives at the farm (She says the farmer’s cat, while we say the Cat’s farmer), the fellow that’s so badly dressed, disfigured by the nose of a weasel, and seems to walk on stilts, his legs are so long—­well, he sharpens his claws and regards me the while.  Patience!  He’s strong, brutal, irresolute, and utterly lacks distinction.  The slamming of a door terrifies him; he puts back his ears and flies, panic-stricken.  Still, I’ve seen him kill a good-sized hen, without making any fuss about it.  For a glance of the young cat’s deceitful eyes, or right of precedence on the garden wall, for a word of double meaning, for nothing, but the fun of the thing—­I’ll take my chances with him!  He’ll learn that a mysterious silence can demoralize the enemy quite as effectively as murderous cries.  The low garden wall seems to me a convenient place.  Let him try his hoarse miauling in all possible keys!  May his unsightly face, and more hideous body dislocate itself in a deceitful ataxia (for they’re still at these old tricks)!  I’ll be proof against it all, and merely flash the green magnetism of my magnificent eyes upon him.  His brows will fall under their persistent insult, a shudder will run along his spine, he’ll do a few steps of our ancient war dance—­forward, back, forward again.  But I’ll stand—­motionless as the statue of a Cat.  The green witchcraft of my gaze will strike terror and madness into my rival and soon I’ll see him writhe, utter false cries, and, as a last resource, try to balance himself on the nape of his neck, like a forked pear tree, only to roll over shamefully into the potato field....

All that will come to pass, Fire, exactly as I’ve told it.  To-day the future dawns in your new flame....  I’m growing drowsy....  My purr and your crackling are ceasing together....  I see you still and already I catch glimpses of my dreams....  The silky sound of the rain against the window is soft as a caress, and the water-pipe on the roof sobs low like a pigeon....

Don’t go out during my nap, Fire.  Remember, you’re the guardian of my august repose—­that delicate death, known as a Cat’s sleep....


A suffocating summer’s day in the country.  The blinds of the house are half closed.  Not a sound is heard from within; not a murmur from the parched garden, where even the sensitive leaves of the mimosa hang motionless.

KIKI-THE-DEMURE and TOBY-DOG begin to feel uncomfortably conscious of the coming storm, which is yet but a slate-blue plinth thickly painted at the bottom of the dull blue sky-wall.

TOBY-DOG, (restlessly lying first on one side, then on the other) No use!  I can’t be comfortable.  What does this heat mean anyway?  I must be sick.  It began at breakfast; I didn’t like the meat and sniffed disdainfully at my dog-biscuit.  Something awful is going to happen.  I haven’t done anything wrong that I know of—­my conscience is clear—­and yet, I’m suffering.  There lies my chum, shivering and unable to sleep.  I know by his quick breathing that he feels just as I do....  I say, Cat?

Project Gutenberg
Barks and Purrs from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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