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A Newspaper Man's Thoughts On The Cat

( Originally Published 1928 )

We remember days long ago when we were sick in bed, as children sometimes are, and we think about toast softened with water, or milk, and spread with lots of butter, and we think of the rain pattering on the piazza roof just outside the window, and we think about the funny patterns in the wallpaper, and about some one with kind eyes and a soft hand who came at night and smoothed out our hair and smiled, and made us feel that being sick was not so bad. And we think, too, of a black cat that lay, hour after hour, on the white counterpane, and purred, and looked at us with its round yellow eyes, and was company...

We think of a newspaper man in those days who used to come home after midnight, every night, and we can hear the furnace door being opened, and then the coal shoveled on the fire, and we hear him scooping up the range coal directly into the hod (he always said it was easier to do it that way than to use the coal shovel), and we can hear the water running through the pipes as he drew a glass of water to drink in the kitchen, and we imagine the little kerosene lamp he was carrying about, and the night lunch he ate all alone at the table in the dim dining room, and we knew that the black cat was with him, purring expectantly, and not in vain, for a share in the lunch, and for a good word, and stroking of its fur.

We think of rainy Sundays, when the house was still, and the trees were dripping water on the lawn; and of the distant church bells, and books about, and a piano on which we tried to pick out tunes a note at a time, and of the fragrance of matting in wet weather, and of paintings all about on the walls, and puzzles to do, and in the picture is a cat that follows us about the silent house and rubs up against our thin little legs and keeps us from being lonesome.

Edward E. Whiting in "The Boston Herald"

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