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Authors: George Selden

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“All right. But you have to pull the fur back.”

Happy craned his neck up, and Harry Cat, on hind legs, separated the hair with his paws to reveal a silver medal with HAPPY written on one side of it and Mr. Smedley's name and address on the other. It was hanging from a red leather collar. “It means I'm legal.”

“So what are we? Crooks?” said Tucker. “I see it matches Miss Catherine's leash.”

“Oh, I have a leash, too!” said the dog. “You want to see my leash?”


“We thought of a plaid sweater as well,” said Miss Catherine. “But with all that fur it seemed unnecessary.”

“I know the feeling,” said Tucker.

To make a little quick conversation, Harry asked, “Did the collar itch, Happy? At first?”

“Some. I scratched at it a day. But then I forgot all about it.”

“Yeah,” sulked Tucker, “you're pretty good at—”

“I think we ought to go,” said Harry.

“Oh, must you?” Miss Catherine asked. “You're welcome to stay for supper, too. It's vegetable dinner—we always have vegetable dinner on Tuesdays—but I'm sure there'll be plenty left over.”

“No, no,” Harry Cat politely declined, as they made their way through the hall to the kitchen.

“You'll stay, though, won't you, Lulu?” said the Siamese. “I know that Horatio's planning to French-fry some potatoes—”

“Groovy!” Lulu Pigeon approved, leading the way, as always, through the air.

At the rear door to the Smedley apartment there was a nervous emptiness: the time when people said goodbye.

Tucker tried one last time. “I suppose you wouldn't want to come down to the drainpipe, Happy, and visit us? For old times' sake?”

Happy shifted from one pair of legs to the other. “Wouldn't you rather come up here? I don't really fit there, you know.”

“I guess not,” admitted Tucker Mouse.

“Miss Catherine”—Happy peered shyly through his hair—“even if it isn't practice, can I show what I've learned already?”

“All right,” she permitted, with frowning reluctance. “But softly now—softly!”

And as softly as a big dog could, Happy howled the opening bars to the sextet from
Lucia di Lammermoor.
Then proudly barked.

“Yup,” said Tucker, “it's time to go.”

“That was really grand!” said Harry Cat.

The front doorbell to the apartment rang. “There's Barbara!” Happy bounded away.

“Young fellow!” Miss Catherine called. “Aren't you forgetting—”

“What? Oh—” He dashed back and lap-kissed Harry. And lap-kissed Tucker so vigorously the mouse fell on his back. He was gone. From the hall came joyous barking.

Tucker stood up and brushed himself off. “Well, that's something at least, I guess.”

“He does so like to be at the door when the pupils arrive,” Miss Catherine explained. “A wag of the tail, a lap at the hand, don't you know—it sets the mood for the lesson.”

Last goodbyes …

But when Harry and Tucker were in the hall, the Siamese stuck her head out the door. “Oh, and, Tucker, remember, Happy can't fit in that drainpipe of yours—but
still can!”

“You're welcome any time.” The mouse made her a gallant bow.

The two of them were halfway to the street, nine flights—and neither one had said a word—when Harry proposed, “Let's rest a minute.” They stopped on a landing. “Okay, Mousiekins—what's wrong?”

“Don't call me Mousiekins.”

“You're mad.”

“I'm not mad,” said Tucker. “I'll tell you why I'm mad!
He doesn't even miss us!

“You want him to miss us—?”

“He could miss us a little bit!”

“—and be homesick? And lonely? And miserable?”

“No. I don't want that.”

“The whole point was to find him a home. The whole winter long. Wasn't it?”

“Of course.”

“And he's found it now. It always feels like a miracle when somebody's found a home in New York. Don't we have ours?”

“Of course we do!”

“Let's go there then. I'm homesick for Times Square. Come on.”


The Cricket in Times Square

I See What I See!

Tucker's Countryside

The Genie of Sutton Place

Text Copyright © 1974 by George Selden Thompson

Pictures Copyright © 1974 by Garth Williams

All rights reserved

First printing, 1974

Published simultaneously in Canada by Doubleday Canada Ltd., Toronto

ISBN 0-374-32856-0

eISBN 9781466863644

First eBook edition: January 2014

BOOK: Harry Cat's Pet Puppy
5.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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