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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Monday, September 14, 2015

a teaching moment brought to you by a cat

. . . and a litter of young rats, unfortunately for them. This piece is from a children's book (so now you know what you're in for) by Caroline Howard Gilman (1794-1888). She's primarily known for editing The Rosebud, a periodical for children that evolved into a more intellectual and international publication called the Southern Rose. There's a lot to learn and admire about her. Meanwhile, here is her educational bit of domestic natural history on cats and rats, from The Little Wreath of Stories and Poems for Children:

Do you know how to spell cat? 
Very well. I have a large cat. One day I looked into my flour barrel. What do you think I saw? I saw six young rats. I was sorry for the little things, they were so scared. But rats must be killed, or they will eat up all our dinners. 
So I called puss! puss! puss! and pussy came to see what was the matter. 
A little girl wished to put her in the barrel, but cats will not be forced to catch mice, and she ran away. 
Then all the children went aside with me, and we did not talk, but peeped at puss; so puss came along very softly to the barrel, and smelled all around it, and at last she gave a spring into the barrel, and then out of the barrel, with a rat in her mouth, and so she did until all were dead. 
Cats do not often eat rats, they kill them and leave them. They eat mice. 
Then all the children went into the parlour with me, and we sat down and talked about the rats, and as it pleased them, I hope it will please you too.

-- Gilman, C. Howard. (1846). The little wreath of stories and poems for children. New York.28-29.

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