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A cat for dinner.

One night after taps, feeling weary and hungry after returning from my arduous task, as I entered the casemate from the basement below, my eye caught sight of a large cat that seemed to be enjoying itself under the stove. There were, perhaps, as many as forty-seven or fifty of these cats making their home in the fort. The thought came quickly—‘I will prepare one of these for dinner tomorrow.’ I had never tasted cat's flesh, but I fancied it might be palatable, especially to hungry men.

Immediately I caught the cat, held it in my left hand by the back of its neck, and with a stick held in the right hand, soon dispatched it with a few strong blows. It was carefully dressed, parboiled, and baked in a pan in our stove. While I was thus engaged, the officer of the day made his appearance, and asked me what I was doing. I suppose his astonishment prompted the question. I replied I was killing a cat, and when he inquired what I intended to do with it, I said: ‘Eat it,’ and invited him to dine with our mess next day.

He declined with thanks, and at the same time expressed his sympathy, and regretted that the prisoners had to resort to such means to satisfy hunger.

The next day, while we were in the midst of our feast, an envelope, without address, was brought to our casemate and handed to one of the mess, who promptly said: ‘This is not intended for me; Lieutenant George killed the cat.’ Receiving the envelope from his hands, I had evidence that the communication was meant for me, as it bore the picture of a man holding a cat by the neck in his left hand, with a stick of wood raised in the right, as if with the purpose of slaying his victim. All laughed and enjoyed the joke, though not more than they enjoyed the savory roast.


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W. W. George (1)
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