The Animal Story Book - online children's book

Edited By Andrew Lang And With Numerous Illustrations By H. J. Ford

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292
THE OTTER WHO WAS REARED BY A OAT1
There is still living in the kingdom of Galloway a won­derful cat who is so completely above all the instincts and prejudices of her race, that she can remain on friendly terms with young rabbits, and wile away a spare hour by having a game with a mouse. A real game, where the fun is not all on one side, but which is enjoyed by the mouse as much as by the cat.
Hardly less strange, from the opposite point of view, is the friendship that existed between two cats and an otter, which had been taken from its mother when only a few hours old, to be brought up by hand by a gentleman. This was not a very easy thing to manage. It was too young to suck milk out of a spoon, which was the first thing thought of, but a quill passed through a cork and stuck into a baby's bottle proved a success, and through this the little otter had its milk five times every day, until he was more than five weeks old. Then he was intro­duced to a cat who had lately lost a kitten, and though not naturally very good-tempered, the puss took to him directly, evidently thinking it was her own kitten grown a little bigger. In general this cat, which was partly Persian, and, as I have said, very cross, did not trouble herself much about her young ones, which had to take care of themselves as well as they could; but she could not make enough of the little otter, and when he was as big as herself she would walk with him every day to the pond in the yard, where he had his bath, watching his
1 Naturalist's Note-Book.
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