BETA

Five cats and one rat hang off the back of an ornamental banner. The animals’ heads and paws line up along the top edge. The tips of their tails hang out the bottom. The banner displays the poem title. An additional cat stands at the top-right of the banner and appears to be meowing. Full page width and approximately 1/4 page height.

TOWN CATS

IN THE COUNTRY.

A portrait of a long-haired cat. Two butterflies fly in the top-right above its left ear. Approximately 1/3 page width and 1/6 page height.
Dear old Mother Tabbykins,1
How are you to-day ?2
What a busy time we’ve had3
Since we came away !4
Such adventures—really, now,5
You old folks would be6
Finely startled if you saw7
Half the things we see.8
Talk of country joys, indeed !9
Mortals must be cracked10
If they like to leave their homes11
In a hamper packed,12
Labelled, This side up, with care,’13
Tossed from hand to hand ;14
Such proceedings, I, for one,15
Really could not stand.16
So I squiggled—wriggled—pushed—17
Out my whiskers poked18
Though I may confess at once19
I was nearly choked.20
But I got my way at last,21
As, indeed, you know,22
Cats with any self-respect23
Always will do so.24
A short-haired cat pokes its head and paws out of a wicker basket. One of the cat’s eyes is closed. A feather falls out the left side of the basket. Approximately 1/2 page width and 1/3 page height.
A dim-lit countryside scene. A house stands in the back-left. In the centre, there is a vague bright light flanked by hedges and dark twisted trees. In the foreground, miscellaneous wooden structures are propped against the trees and two bee hives sit on a wooden bench. A black cat walks near the beehives. Single border. Full page width and approximately 1/3 page height.
Well, we reached our journey’s end,25
Such a queer old place !26
No nice neighbour’s garden-walls27
For our nightly race28
No secluded chimney-pots29
For our songs and fun ;30
Really Puck, and Pearl, and I31
Felt ourselves quite ‘ done.’32
Pearl dashed out—you know her way—33
Said she must ‘ex-
plore’—
34
For she’d seen some
lovely things
35
Never seen before36
Darling, fuzzy, buzzy
things,
37
Fit to catch and eat,38
Just a nice fat mouth-
ful each,
39
O, the luscious treat !40
An open-mouthed cat looks sideways with a pained expression. The bottom section of a bee hive is visible on the left. Vague flower shapes decorate the background. Approximately 1/3 page width and 1/6 page height.
But the wretches—would you think41
They could be so spiteful ?—42
Actually they rushed at her—43
Wasn’t it delightful ?44
Punishment for greed, say I,45
Puck says just the same,46
But you know in his own way47
Puck’s as much to blame.48
He got into trouble, too,49
In this dreadful place ;50
Came across an awful
crew,
51
Who at once gave
chase
52
Helter-skelter, here and
there,
53
Refuge was in vain ;54
Swift the monsters found
him out,
55
Drove him down the lane.56
Four large and curious chickens look toward a wooden bucket in the centre-foreground. A black tail peeks out of the bucket. Full page width and approximately 1/3 page height.
That’s what comes of prying
ways
57
Seven chickens and a cat run along a path toward the foreground. The cat is at the front of the pack. Farm tools, a bush, and a fence feature in the background. Approximately 1/2 page.
And the want of pluck.58
This, with all my usual
tact,
59
I explained to Puck.60
Very different
was the case
61
I will now relate62
Of a fearful episode63
Which befell of late.64
For a little gentle
stroll
65
Yesterday I went,66
A striped cat with a bristled back and tail looks toward five ducklings in the centre-foreground. The cat appears to be meowing or hissing. Grasses and leaves feature in the background. Full page width and approximately 1/4 page height.
Seeking knowledge new to gain as is still my bent.67
Watched with keen inquiring mind everything I saw,68
Till at last I chanced to come to a heap of straw.69
Oh, the awful vision there !  Ah, the monster grim !70
Even while I write these words all my senses swim.71
First, in happy ignorance there was aught to fear,72
A long-haired cat in profile view peeks over a log to look at a small frog. There is a twig in the middle of the log. Grasses and leaves are in the background. Single border. Full page width and approximately 1/4 page height.
Landscape featuring a forest of leafy trees and long grasses. A small cat walks through the grass. Double border with some trees breaking the top edge. Full page width and approximately 1/4 page height.
A cat cautiously approaches a sleeping pig. The pig is covered in hay. The background features wooden wall panels. A shovel leans against the wall but only the handle is visible. Full page width and approximately 1/4 page height.
With my usual wariness73
Softly I drew near.74
Softly—slowly—step by step,75
Not with prying mind,76
But to gain experience77
Of a useful kind.78
What a—very—curious—yah !79
Spitz !— Fits !—Oh, the fright !80
Even I, the valiant Puff,81
Could not bear the sight ;82
Only my unflinching soul83
And my doughty paws84
Brought me out alive, unhurt,85
From the demon’s jaws.86
Yet deluded travellers still87
Talk of country bliss !88
A pig surprises a cat. The cat exclaims and falls backward in fear. The pig is covered in hay. The background features wooden wall panels. A shovel leans against the wall but only the handle is visible. 1/2 page width and approximately 1/4 page height.
A short-haired striped cat has an expression of fear on its face. The cat is covered in and surrounded by thistles. Approximately 2/3 page width and 1/3 page height.
Give me London town, say I, after joys like this.89
Yet, in this benighted place, I will frankly say90
One delicious gleam of joy came to us to-day.91
Ah, the rapture,
all too short,
92
Of content
supreme !
93
A short-haired striped cat creeps low through the grass. There is a bush in the background. Full page width and approximately 1/3 page height.
Picture, Mother Tabbykins,94
Bowl on bowl of
cream !
95
Four cats drink from a bowl of milk. Full page width and approximately 1/3 page height.
Lap, lap, lap !  We had a feast !  Really farm-yards are96
Not so bad when mortals leave
Dairy-doors a-jar.
97
Pearl, indeed, is quite resigned98
Always here to stay ;99
Says she’s found a friend so kind100
Don’t you know her way ?101
A small long-haired dog (possibly a terrier) and a short-haired cat sit together. The cat looks up at the dog. Full page width and approximately 1/2 page height.
Silly cat ! I never could102
Understand such stuff.103
Good-bye, Mother Tabbykins,104
I’m your kitten—
PUFF.
105