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Of The Ubiquitous Cat Post by :camforbes Category :Short Stories Author :R. D. Cumming Date :November 2011 Read :3428

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Of The Ubiquitous Cat

Once upon a time I had a very curious experience which had a very curious ending.

I walked into a strange person's house, uninvited, for some mysterious reason perfectly unknown to myself.

Sitting promiscuously around an old-fashioned fire-place, in which blazed a cheery fire, were a man and woman and four small children; and on a lounge, partly hid under the eiderdown quilt, lay a pure white cat, half asleep and half awake, and at intervals casting sly glances at some of the children. The cat seemed to all intent and purpose one of that human family.

Now, although the cat can be abused like a toy doll by the children without losing his temper, yet he has the most curiously composed disposition of all the domestic animals. Although extravagantly domesticated, and although he shares our beds and tables with impunity, yet he is, to the mouse, as cruel and treacherous as a man-eating tiger.

However, we did not take up our pen to discuss cat psychology. Upon entering the strange person's house so unceremoniously, I sat me down upon a vacant chair, also uninvited, and began to make myself at home.

The strange persons did not seem to take any exception to my strange behavior, but, kept on talking as though nothing extraordinary had taken place in the human social regulations. I was more interested in the cat than I was in the people, and I could not keep my eye from him, he was so much like our "Teddy" at home.

At last I convinced myself that it was Teddy.

"Where did you get that cat?" I asked.

"Why, we have always had him. We raised him. He sleeps with the children every night, and gets up with them in the morning--when he is here," said the mother.

Our Teddy had the same weakness, and I was so positive that this was he that I called him by name.

In a moment he came to me and was on my knee--it was indeed Teddy.

Now, here was one of the most unique situations on record.

"This is my cat," I said demandingly.

"It is ours," said the chorus of children's voices.

It suddenly occurred to me that Teddy was in the habit of leaving home and would be absent for several days at a time. Could it be possible he had two homes? Did this cat actually accept the affections and hospitality of two distinct families, at the same time, without once breathing the truth or giving himself away?

I went home puzzled to my wife and said:

"Do you know, Teddy is not all ours?"

"What do you mean?"

I was just about to tell my strange story when I awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.

(The end)
R. D. Cumming's short story: Of The Ubiquitous Cat

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