December 12, 1851


Dec 12 Friday  I am no better than yesterday & my cough

is increasing.  Have been mending most all day

Took a piece out of a comforter that the cat

had been on  Hannah called a few minutes

Mr Talbot brought home the sausage chopper

that he borrowed yesterday and Orville borrowed 

it and has brought it home this evening

Mary has been sick most all day talked of leaving

A cat! Today’s entry is the only mention in Evelina’s diary of the existence of a pet at the Ames house. There may have been some feral cats in the Ames barn, keeping the rodent population down, but the way this entry is written suggests that this cat was more of a household pet. And this pet “had been on” (what might that mean!) an old comforter or quilt, and had done enough damage to warrant the piece being removed. While the cat was no doubt indifferent to the fate of the comforter, Evelina was concerned enough to repair it.

Evelina was “mending most of the day,” which meant she was finally sitting down and holding relatively still. For several days, she had been indoors and out, painting and varnishing, kneeling and bending, and challenging herself to ignore her cold. No wonder her cough was “increasing.”  Her newest servant, Mary, had taken sick, too.

Neighbors were making sausage, and Evelina and Sarah Witherell would be doing that, too, in a day or two. Old Oliver had slaughtered four hogs a little over a week earlier, most of which he sold. But some of the pork made its way into the various Ames kitchens, and now the Ames wives and daughters would be putting it away.


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