Wrong Kind of Cat

From the December 21, 1900 edition:

The elevator has for years been a great harbor for rats.  The rodents grow and thrive within its protecting walls even as the rank weeds grow and are unmolested around some peoples’ homes in Skidmore in the summer time. Some of the rats grow very large, very gray and very old, before a natural death sends them to rat heaven.  But occasionally – or semi-occasionally – some of the more venturesome rats scurry across the railroad tracks to the depot; and thereby hangs a tale of woe.

The omnivorous little pests have a habit of nosing into things left over night in the freight room.  They take great delight in gnawing into sacks containing meal, flour or grain of any kind; and a leaky barrel of molasses occasions a great feast from nightfall until the dawn – or until the agent has had his breakfast.  On one occasion the mischievous little rascals even tapped a case of “mineral water” and stole out three bottles.

These depredations led the agent to get a trap – a steel trap – which was always “set” regularly every night up until last Monday night.  And each night an unfortunate rat would step on the “trigger” and get his foot in it.  But last Monday morning there was great rejoicing among the rats because none of their kind had been held by the trap.  Instead, there was a cat – a black and white striped cat with a large bushy tail – and loafing at the depot hasn’t been so good as usual this week, and the rats frisk and frolic through the old depot in peace because the trap is not set any more.

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