Breakfast was over, Father had started for the City, and now was the
time for Pussy's breakfast.
Eva brought the saucer to her mother, and when it was filled with milk,
Eva put it carefully on the floor. The kitten rushed up to it, and at
once began lapping.
'Isn't she clever, Mother?' asked Eva, as she seated herself on her own
footstool, and watched the dainty way in which the kitten licked up
every drop of milk that fell on her fur. 'She knows how to keep herself
so clean and tidy.'
Mrs. Poison was reading a letter which had just come by the post, but
she looked up as Eva spoke, and said half-absently, for she was thinking
more of her letter than the kitten, 'Yes, very clever! Listen, Eva, my
letter is from Mrs. James: she wants us both to drive over to her this
afternoon and have tea.'
'Oh, I shall like that,' said Eva, shaking out her long auburn hair like
a cloud, as she joyfully nodded her head. 'I shall like to see Jessie
again. Is she quite well now?'
"The kitten at once began lapping."
'No, dear, she is not; her mother says she seems as if she could not
shake off the effects of the whooping-cough.'
'Oh! and I had it at the same time, and I am quite well,' said Eva, in
'Poor Jessie! she is a delicate little thing,' said Mrs. Polson. 'You
must see what you can do to cheer her up, Eva.'
'Yes, Mother,' said Eva, thoughtfully.
When Eva and her mother arrived at Mrs. James's house, no Jessie was in
the drawing-room to welcome them, and Mrs. James had to explain the
'Poor Jessie, she is terribly upset,' she said, 'for only an hour ago
her little cat was found dead in the garden. We are afraid it was
poisoned. Jessie is fretting about it, and she is shy of showing herself
with her red eyes, so she ran away to the nursery.'
'May I go to her?' asked Eva.
'Yes, dear, do,' answered Mrs. James; 'she will perhaps forget the poor
cat in a game of play.'
Eva ran upstairs to the nursery, and did her best to comfort Jessie, but
the poor child was languid and fretful, and could hardly put away the
thought of her lost pet.
'It was such a dear little cat, and quite black all over,' she told Eva.
'There was not a white hair in it. I shall never see a quite black
kitten again. Nurse says they are very rare; oh! I wish I had it back!'
Again Jessie burst out crying, for she was worn out with grief, and
hardly knew how to stop.
Eva was really sorry for Jessie, who, though two or three years older
than herself, looked so small and frail, and throwing her arms around
her, she whispered, 'Don't cry any more, Jessie! You shall have my
kitten for your very own; it is quite black, too, and you will soon love
it very much. I will ask Mother to let the groom bring it you to-night.'
'Oh, Eva! will you really? But it is a shame to take your kitten,' said
Jessie, stopping her sobs, and looking up at Eva. 'You love it too; I
know you do, Eva.'
'Yes, I do,' said Eva, slowly, 'but I want to give it you because you
are ill, and cannot run about out of doors as I can, and this kitten
will be your friend; and now you must stop crying.'
The black kitten was taken to its new home that same evening, and Jessie
was so pleased to have a kitten once more that she went off cheerfully
to bed, much to her mother's relief.
Eva felt the parting from her pet, but there is a feeling in giving up
for others that is a happiness in itself, and that happiness was Eva's.