The Mysterious Technique of the Cat
Neko no Myōjutsu by Issai Chozanshi (1659-1741)
There was once a swordsman called Shōken. In Shōken’s house, there was a large rat. The rat boldly ran around in the house in plain day, so Shōken attempted to catch it by closing off the room it was in and sending in his cat. Unfortunately, the rat ran straight at the cat, jumping on its head and biting it. The cat cried out and ran away.
Shōken had no choice but to assemble some local cats that seemed to be plenty strong, and send them into the room through a small opening. The rat was crouching in a corner, and jumped on and bit each cat that came near. Its fury was so great that the cats all cowered from the rat, making no further attempts to catch it. Seeing this, Shōken grew angry and grabbed…
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