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barn-cat, and I was contented with my lot till I saw you yesterday in your beautiful home; but now I feel that I was intended for a higher sphere. Tell me--oh, tell me, Mrs. Velvetpaw, how I may become a house-cat!' "'Well, did I ever!' said Mrs. Velvetpaw. 'The idea!' and she moved a step or two away from poor Furry-Purry, her manner, as well as her words, expressing astonishment and disdain. "'I know it seems presuming, Mrs. Velvetpaw, but'-- "'Presuming! I should say so. What is this generation of cats coming to, when a low creature reared in a barn--a paw-paw (pauper) cat, as I may say--dare lift her eyes to those so far above her?' "'I have heard my mother say "a cat may look at a king,"' said Furry-Purry. "'Go away, you low-born creature! How dare you quote your mother to me? Go away, this instant! I am ashamed to be seen talking with you! What if my friend Mrs. Silvercoat or Major Mouser should happen to pass! Begone, I say! scat!' "'O Mrs. Tabitha,' said the poor little cat, 'don't send me away! I can't go back to that barn. Indeed, indeed, after spending this short time in your company, I can never endure to live with Tom Skip-an'-jump and Mrs. Barebones and that horrid Robber Grim. If you refuse to help me I will go straight to Growler's kennel. When he has worried me to death, won't you be sorry you drove me to such a fate? Dear, dear Mrs. Velvetpaw, your face is kinder than your words. Oh, pity the sorrows of a poor little cat!' "Now, Mrs. Tabitha was not at heart an ill-natured puss; and when she saw Furry-Purry's imploring face, and listened to her eloquent appeal, she was moved with compassion. "'Rather than see you go to the dogs,' said she, 'I will lend a paw to help you. But what can I do, you silly thing?' "'Mrs. Velvetpaw, you have lived a long time in this neighborhood?' "'All my life, Yellow Cat.' "'And you know every body?' "'If you mean in the first rank of society--yes. Your Barebones, and Hop-an'-jumps, and creatures of that vulgar herd, are quite out of my _cat_egory.' "'Perhaps you know of some house-cat dead or gone away?' "'And if I do?' "'You might put me in her place, you know.' "'Yellow Cat,' said Mrs. Tabitha, severely. "'If you please, my name is Furry-Purry.' "'Well, Furry-Purry, then. Your presumption can only be pardoned in consideration of your ignorance of the usages of society. House-cats, you must know, hold their position in families b
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