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The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918


"Boori": Pay night! And once more we were among the vine-covered slopes. A vague, but insistent, sound caused us to look down, and there was the most emaciated, forlorn, wobbly little kitten possible, with the spark of life just existent. Lower the candle. A—A— Ah! by all the mokes that have never won a race, she was black, as black as a raven! Our fortune was in the balance; but first of all, we would return the joy of life to our benefactress. Hastily grabbing a tin of milk, fresh from Australia, the right dose for a dying cat was mixed. Trying to make a kitten drink, though, was quite another matter, and just about as successful as forcibly feeding a marble lion. That infantile cat was brimful of character, another Adela Pankhurst for determined intention. Any form of a gamble was impossible after a black cat had damned us; and with the apathy of lost souls, we wondered how, and when, and where, our fate would overtake us. Dawn next morning found us looking out from our bivvy, heavy-eyed and morose, when old Jim passed on his way to the cookhouse, with the kitten in his arms. "Drop it!" we shouted. "She'll never drink, and will bring a curse on you for life". "Garn!", he said, "she drinks like a balloon, and then gallops about all night; but (confidentially) yer or-ter seen her two days ago; why, she couldn't open her eyes and waggle her tail at the same time". That lifted the curse; but for the sake of perfect immunity, we went out and changed the positions of our old horse's hind shoes, thus making the reprieve absolute.