If you know me, you realize that I am not a fan of domestic cats (Don't get me started.), so the little story in Chapter III caught my attention. Martin and some others were "put into the houses for quarters during the night". A dozen of so men were placed in a particular house Martin remembered as having a fireplace, a chair frame, and a quill wheel. They located firewood for the fireplace and a thick board to lie across the chair and wheel to make a bench to sit on when a cat entered and walked under the bench "to partake of the bounty. Martin relates that the board bent from the weight upon it.
[B]oth ends slipped off at once and brought us all slap to the floor; upon taking up the board to replace it again we found the poor cat, pressed as flat as a pancake, with her eyes started out two inches from her head. We did not eat her although my appetite was sharp enough to have eaten almost any thing that could be eaten.
I've already written that Joseph Plumb Martin reminds me of my grandfather (Popo), but in this paragraph of an event that occurred in 1777, I hear my other grandfather (Grandpa) telling the story. Grandpa had a low-key demeanor and once let something slip in conversation. He was trying to remember the name of a small town where he grew up. Turning to my grandmother, his wife, he asked her, "Honey, what was the name of that school I burned down?" She told him the name, and he went on with what he was saying. When he was finished with his unrelated story, we had to back him up to hear his not-a-big-deal story about burning down a little one-room schoolhouse where he was a student. That's kind of the way JPM slipped in this story about a pancaked cat.