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"No, the couch can't wait!" thought Jamie, her senses tingling with anticipation. Carefully she climbed a leg. Using her sharp teeth, she cut a gerbil-sized hole in the undercloth and slipped into the couch.
Although it was dark, Jamie could see well enough. Gerbils have excellent night vision, even if they are near-sighted. Jamie decided to see how high she could climb.
She worked her way up the side and climbed the springs which supported the cushions. "Humans are so spoiled," she thought darkly. "Why, a gerbil is more than content with a soft layer of grass or leaves."
With a bit of effort, Jamie managed to reach the VERY top - she could even see light through the cloth above her. She considered briefly cutting a gerbil-sized hole and climbing triumphantly onto the top, but decided that Lucy would probably be mad. Lucy's mother, on the other hand, would probably be furious!
Without warning, five sharp claws came crashing through the cloth above her, scratching her back in several places. Jamie tried to run left, then right, but the claws followed her wherever she went. Mittens the cat! Now she was in trouble for sure.
Mittens batted at her through the sofa fabric, trying to decide how to pull her free. Jamie couldn't find the path she had followed in climbing to the top, so she dug furiously in the foam. Finally she was safely in the cushion, where the cats claws couldn't reach her.
"But now what shall I do?" she thought with a most perplexed look on her face. "If I try to get back to my cage, the cat may catch me and eat me. But how will I know when the cat is safely gone? Maybe I should just make a break for it now and hope for the best."