SEVEN BLACK CATS.
closets, and racket about the walls by night, now paused in their revels, and felt that their day was over. Czar did not know what fear was, and flew at the biggest, fiercest rat that dared to show his long tail on the premises. He fought many a gallant fight, and slew his thousands, always bringing his dead foe to display him to us, and receive our thanks.
It was sometimes rather startling to find a large rat reposing in the middle of your parlor; not always agreeable to have an excited cat bounce into your lap, lugging a half-dead rat in his mouth; or to have visitors received by the Czar, tossing a mouse on the door-steps, like a playful child with its cup and ball.
He was not fond of petting, but allowed one or two honored beings to cuddle him. My work-basket was his favorite bed, for a certain fat cushion suited him for a pillow, and, having coolly pulled out all the pins, the rascal would lay his handsome head on the red mound, and wink at me with an irresistibly saucy expression that made it impossible to scold.