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Cats

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Clarence, aged eight, was a member of the Band of Mercy, of his Sunday
School, which was a miniature society for the prevention of cruelty to
animals. The badge was a small star, and Clarence wore this with as much
pride as ever a policeman had in his shield. He displayed eagerness in
the work, and grew somewhat unpopular with the other boys and girls by
reason of his many rebukes for their harsh treatment of animals. But one
morning his mother, on looking out of the window, observed to her horror
that the erstwhile virtuous Clarence had the family cat by the tail, and
was swinging it to and fro with every evidence of glee. In fact, it had
been the wailing of the outraged beast that had caused the mother to
look out.

"Why, Clarence!" she cried, aghast. "What are you doing to that poor
cat? And you a member of the Band of Mercy!"

Little Clarence released the cat, but he showed no shame as he
explained:

"I was--but I lost my star."

* * *

The teacher put a question to the class:

"What does a cat have that no other animal has?"

A number cried in unison:

"Fur!"

But an objector raised the point that bears and skunks have fur. One
pupil raised an eager hand:

"I know, teacher--whiskers!"

But another objector laughed scornfully.

"Haw-haw! My papa has whiskers!"

The suggester of whiskers defended her idea by declaring: "My papa ain't
got whiskers."

"'Cause he can't!" the objector sneered. "Haw-haw! Your pa ain't no
good. My pa says----"

The teacher rapped for order, and repeated her question. A little girl
raised her hand, and at the teacher's nod spoke timidly.

"Kittens!"

* * *

The little girl returned from church deeply musing on the sermon, in
which the preacher had declared that animals, lacking souls, could not
go to heaven. As the result of her meditation, she presented a problem
to the family at the dinner table, when she asked earnestly:

"If cats don't go to heaven, where do the angels get the strings for
their harps?"





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