One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had
nothing to do with it:— it was the black kitten’s fault
entirely. For the white kitten had been having its face
washed by the old cat for the last quarter of an hour (and
bearing it pretty well, considering); so you see that it couldn’t
have had any hand in the mischief.
The way Dinah washed her children’s faces was this:
first she held the poor thing down by its ear with one paw,
and then with the other paw she rubbed its face all over, the
wrong way, beginning at the nose: and just now, as I said,
she was hard at work on the white kitten, which was lying
quite still and trying to purr— no doubt feeling that it was
all meant for its good.
But the black kitten had been finished with earlier in the
afternoon, and so, while Alice was sitting curled up in a corner
of the great arm-chair, half talking to herself and half
asleep, the kitten had been having a grand game of romps
with the ball of worsted Alice had been trying to wind up,
and had been rolling it up and down till it had all come
undone again; and there it was, spread over the hearth-rug,
all knots and tangles, with the kitten running after its own
tail in the middle.
‘Oh, you wicked little thing!’ cried Alice, catching up
the kitten, and giving it a little kiss to make it understand
that it was in disgrace. ‘Really, Dinah ought to have taught
you better manners! You ought, Dinah, you know you
ought!’ she added, looking reproachfully at the old cat, and
speaking in as cross a voice as she could manage— and then
she scrambled back into the arm-chair, taking the kitten and
the worsted with her, and began winding up the ball again.
But she didn’t get on very fast, as she was talking all the
time, sometimes to the kitten, and sometimes to herself.
Kitty sat very demurely on her knee, pretending to watch
the progress of the winding, and now and then putting out
one paw and gently touching the ball, as if it would be glad
to help, if it might.
‘Do you know what tomorrow is, Kitty?’ Alice began.
‘You’d have guessed if you’d been up in the window with
me— only Dinah was making you tidy, so you couldn’t. I
was watching the boys getting in stick for the bonfire— and
it wants plenty of sticks, Kitty! Only it got so cold, and it
snowed so, they had to leave off. Never mind, Kitty, we’ll
go and see the bonfire to-morrow.’…
Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There (1896), 8-9.