PETER'S cat is very fond of going in to the wood. We are afraid
she will be killed some day. For Peggy's father shoots
all the cats he finds in the wood, because they eat the
rabbits and pheasants.
But Peter cannot keep her at home. As soon as it gets
dusk, she slips out, and often does not come home all
night. She goes in the dusk, because then all the
animals are feeding. So she can catch mice and young
rabbits, as well as partridges asleep on the ground,
and other birds in the trees.
A CAT STALKING A RABBIT.
She is a very clever hunter. Her body is so well made
for catching her prey. She is slender, but very strong.
She can kill a mouse with one stroke of her paw. She
can spring ever so far, and so quickly that few mice or
birds can escape her.
Then she has soft pads under her feet, so that she can
creep along very quietly. And she
 can jump down from a high wall because the soft pads
keep her feet from being hurt when she reaches the
We all know what sharp claws she has at the end of her
toes. But when she is playing with her kitten or with
Peter, her paw is so soft you would not think she could
scratch. This is because she has a groove in each toe
under the skin, and when she does not want her claws,
she draws each one back into its own sheath.
PADS AND CLAWS ON PUSSY'S FEET.
But when she springs on a mouse or a bird, she strikes
with her paw, and as she bends her toes, out come the
claws and pierce the flesh of her prey.
But how does she see the rats and mice in the night?
Paul showed us that she can open the middle of her eye
very wide in the dark. We took pussy near to the lamp
and saw the hole or "pupil" of her eye was only a
little narrow slit. Then we shut her up in dark room
for some minutes, and took her outside, and looked at
her eyes in the moonlight. The little slit had become a
large round black hole.
 The slit lets in enough light for pussy to see in the
daytime, and when she goes out at night the slit
stretches out into a big round hole which lets in all
the light there is, from the moon or the stars.
CAT'S EYES. (A) IN THE LIGHT. (B) IN THE DARK.
But if it is very dark indeed, she feels her way with
her whiskers. Paul says it is very cruel to cut a cat's
whiskers, for they are a great help to her in the dark.
Pussy has a very rough tongue. If you let her lick your
hand, you will feel how different it is from your own
tongue, or that of a dog. It is so rough that she can
rasp the scraps of meat off a bone, after she has torn
away the flesh with her long pointed front teeth.
Pussy is very clever in getting her living, and if you
look at her head you will see why. For she has a good
broad forehead with plenty of room inside for a large
brain. We put a rabbit's head near hers the other day.
It was so narrow, and had so little room for a brain we
were not surprised that the cat is too cunning for him.
Who would think that Pussy, who sits and purrs with her
kitten by the fire, is so fierce in the wood? But Paul
says that there were once
 wild cats in Scotland and in the north of England, and
they were as fierce as tigers. Tigers and cats are very
much alike. Tigers can be loving too. We heard a tiger
purr one day in a wild beast show, when she was licking