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Full text of "Our cats and all about them : their varieties, habits, and management, and for show, the standard of excellence and beauty"

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Engraved by R. TAYLOR, from a Photograph by G. GLAN"\.-ILLE, of Tunbridge "Wells. 



OUR CATS 



AND 



ALL ABOUT THEM 

THEIR VARIETIES, 
HABITS, AND MANAGEMENT; 
AND FOR SHOW, 

THE STANDARD OF 

EXCELLENCE AND BEAUTY; 

DESCRIBED AND PICTURED 




HARRISON WEIR, F.R.H.S. 

President of " The National Cat Club:' 

TUNBRIDGE WELLS: 

R. CLEMENTS AND COMPANY, MOUNT PLEASANT. 

1889. 

{All rights reserved.^ 



TO MY DEAR WIFE, 

I DEDICATE THIS BOOK, 

IN TOKEN OF MY APPRECIATION OF HER GENTLE AND TENDER 

KINDNESS TOWARDS ALL ANIMAL LIFE, 

MORE PARTICULARLY 

"THE CAT." 



Iddesleigh," Seveiioaks, 

March 12th, li 



PREFACE 



" What is aught, but as 'tis valued ? " 

Troihis and Cressida, Act II. 

The following notes and illustrations of and respecting 
the Cat are the outcome of over fifty years' careful, 
thoughtful, heedful observation, much research, and not 
unprofitable attention to the facts and fancies of others. 
From a tiny child to the present, the love of Nature has 
been my chief delight ; animals and birds have not only 
been objects of study, but of deep and absorbing interest. 
I have noted their habits, watched their ways, and found 
lasting pleasure in their companionship. This love of 
animal hfe and Nature, with all its moods and phases, 
has grown with me from childhood to manhood, and is 
not the least enjoyable part of my old age. 

Among animals possibly the most perfect, and certainly 
the most domestic, is the Cat. I did not think so always, 
having had a bias against it, and was some time coming 
to this belief; nevertheless, such is the fact. It is a 
veritable part of our household, and is both useful, quiet, 
affectionate, and ornamental. The small or large dog 
may be regarded and petted, but is generally useless; the 
Cat, a pet or not, is of service. Were it not for our Cats, 
rats and mice would overrun our houses, buildings, cul- 
tivated and other lands. If there were not millions of 
Cats, there would be billions of vermin. 

Long ages of neglect, ill-treatment, and absolute 
cruelty, with little or no gentleness, kindness, or 



VI PREFACE. 

training, have made the Cat self-reHant ; and from this 
emanates the marvellous powers of observation, the con- 
centration of which has produced a state analogous to 
reasoning, not unmixed with timidity, caution, wildness, 
and a retaliative nature. 

But should a new order of things arise, and it is 
nurtured, petted, cosseted, talked to, noticed, and trained, 
with mellowed firmness and tender gentleness, then in but a 
few generations much evil that bygone cruelty has stamped 
into its often wretched existence will disappear, and it 
will be more than ever not only a useful, serviceable 
helpmate, but an object of increasing interest, admiration, 
and cultured beauty, and, thus being of value, profitable. 

Having said this much, I turn to the pleasurable duty 
of recording my deep sense of the kindness of those warm- 
hearted friends who have assisted me in " my labour of 
love," not the least among these being those publishers, 
who, with a generous and prompt alacrity, gave me 
permission to make extracts, excerpts, notes, and quotations 
from the following high-class works^ their property. 
My best thanks are due to Messrs. Longmans & Co. ; 
Blaine's " Encyclopaedia of British Sports ; " Allen & Co. ; 
Rev. J. F. Thiselton Dyer's "English Folk-lore;" 
Cassell & Company (Limited), Dr. Brewer's "Dictionary of 
Phrase and Fable," and " Old and New London ; " Messrs. 
Chatto «&: Windus, "History of Sign-boards;" Mr. J. 
Murray, Jamieson's " Scottish Dictionary," and others. I 
am also indebted to Messrs. Walker & Boutal, and The 
Phototype Company, for the able manner in which they 
have rendered my drawings ; and for the careful printing, 
to my good friends Messrs. Charles Dickens & Evans. 

HARRISON WEIR. 

"IDDESLEIGH," SeVENOAKS, 

May Sth, 1889. 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Reduction of Cat's Head drawn for Posting Bill, Crystal Palace Cat Show, 1871 i 
Silver Tankard presented by the Crystal Palace Company to the Author . . 3 

Cat at Show [ ^ 

Miss Saunders' White Persian, "Muff" g 

"The Old Lady." Silver Tabby, good in colour and marking, the property of 

the Author, shown at the first Crystal Palace Cat Show, not for competition 13 

Miss Saunders' Long-haired Cat, " Tiger" jg 

*' The Colonel." Deaf White Persian, the property of the Author ... 17 

Miss F. Moore's Persian Cat, " Fez " j- 

Miss Saunders' Long-haired Cat, " Tiger " 20 

Specimen of a good White Angora 21 

Miss F. Moore's Long-haired Kitten, " Dinah." This and " Chloe," as Kittens 
won first prize and medal at the Crystal Palace, Brighton, and Bexley Cat 

Shows, 1887 23 

Miss Saunders' very Light Blue Tabby, "Sylvie." A great beauty, and winner 
of first prize, silver medal, and silver sugar basin, at the Crystal Palace, 
1886, as the best long-haired cat in the show ; then the property of Mrs.' 
Christopher ••••••......, 24. 

Mr. Lloyd's Black Persian, " Mimie." Winner of a large number of prizes at 

the Crystal Palace, etc ^g 

Mr. A. A, Clarke's White Persian, " Tim." First prize and silver medal at the 

Crystal Palace, 1885, and winner of other prizes 27 

Mrs, C. Herring's young Persian Kitten 29 

Russian Long-haired Brown Tabby Cat, the property of the Author ... 30 
Miss Mary Gresham's Persian Kitten, " Lambkin." (Also see reference, p. 36) 33 

Long-haired Cat, from Daniel's "Rural Sports," 1813 34 

Tail of the same ,- 

Miss Mary Gresham's "Lambkin No. 2." This, with " Lambkin " at p. 33, 
won first and special and silver medal at the Crystal Palace Show. These 
were of fine quality, and were said to be the best pair of long-haired kittens 

ever seen -^ 

Miss Moore's Long-haired Persian, " Bogey." First and medal at Albert Palace 

Show, 1885; second at Brighton Show 07 

Miss Saunders' White 'Persian, " Fluffie" 38 

Mr. Smith's Tortoiseshell He-Cat. The only tortoiseshell he-cat of enh're 
colourmg ever shown at the Crystal Palace, and winner of numerous first 



prizes 



39 



Example of 'Tortoiseshell Cat, very dark variety, purposely showing too much 

black, which is a defect ••........, 40 

Light White and Sandy She-Cat and Kittens 4-. 

Tortoiseshell-and- White Cat, finely marked, and prize-winner 



44 



Head of Mrs. Vyvyan's Royal Cat of Siam. Winner of prizes .... 47 
Example of a properly-marked Brown Tabby, showing the width of the black 

bars and spaces between. A fine specimen 48 

Example of a Brown Tabby, "Aaron," with the black bars far too wide, only 

showing the brown as streaks. This is a defect. Property of the Author . 50 
Well-marked Silver Black-banded Tabby. First prize in its class and special 



prize. Crystal Palace Show, 



White Cat at the Show. 



51 



First prize, blue eyes and deep 53 



viii ILLUSTRATIONS. 

I'AGE 

Example of a finely-marked Spotted Tabby He Cat 54 

Spotted Tabby Half-bred Indian Wild Cat 56 

Head of a well-marked Striped Brown Tabby 57 

Mrs. Herring's Dark Blue Small-banded Tabby, " Chin." A very fine specimen, 

and winner of a large number of prizes, and in champion classes ... 60 

Group of Kittens at the Crystal Palace Cat Show 61 

White Cat. Prize-winner in 1879 ^^ 

Archangel Blue Cat 66 

Group of Kittens in Box 67 

Example of a properly-marked Black-and-White Cat 68 

Mrs. V>-\'yan's Royal Cat of Siam. Prize-winner 69 

Mr. Lyon's curiously-marked White-and- Black Cat 70 

White Cat, Winner of many prizes 72 

Mrs. Lee's Royal Cat of Siam. Winner of many prizes 73 

Head of properly-marked Siamese Cat . 79 

Mr. Thomas's Tortoiseshell Manx She-Cat. Winner of many prizes at the 

Crystal Palace 80 

Mr. Thomas's Brown Tabby Manx Kitten 83 

Kittens at the Show 86 

Kittens after the Show 9° 

The Game of Ball 108 

Cat and Kittens. "Happy" 109 

What is it? "4 

Tired of Play "7 

Miss Moore's Long-haired Kitten, " Chloe." (See description of "Dinah" 
for p. 23.) Chloe has been several times shown alone, and never without 

winning 119 

The Cat Club Challenge Vase, presented by Mr. A. A. Clarke, to be won three 

times by the same exhibitor before it is his actual property .... 122 

Example of a finely-marked Tortoiseshell Cat 123 

Mr. Babb's beautiful properly-marked Light Silver Tabby She-Cat. First prize 
in her class, silver medal and plate as being the best short-haired cat in the 

Crj'stal Palace Show, 1888 ; also winner of many prizes at other shows . 133 

Example of a well-marked Black-and-White He- Cat 134 

Mr. A. A. Clarke's extremely beautiful White Persian She-Cat, " MissWhitey." 
At the Crystal Palace Show in 18S8, first in her class, taking the Cr^'stal 
Palace silver medal for the best female cat in the section, the silver-mounted 
Doulton ware five o'clock tea-set for the best long-haired cat in the exhibi- 
tion, the gold medal given by the National Cat Club for the best long-haired 
cat belonging to a member, the National Cat Club Challenge Cup, and also 

winner of numerous first prizes elsewhere 140 

"In full play" 143 

Head of Miss Saunders' "Sylvie." (See other description) . . . .146 
Wild Cat shown at the Crystal Palace Cat Show, 1871, by the Duke of Suther- 
land ; caught in Sutherlandshire ......... 154 

English Wild Cat, from the British Museum 160 

Heading to " Cat Proverbs " 185 

Cat watching Mouse-hole 209 

Cat on Tight-rope with White Mice 215 

Cat made of Snail Shells and Wax 219 

Blue Long-haired Persian Cat. Prize-winner 223 

Head of Wild Cat 235 




A reduction of the large black Cat's Head, drawn for the Posting Bill giving notice 
of the first Cat Show at the Crystal Palace, July i6, 1871. 



OUR CATS 

AND ALL ABOUT THEM. 



INTRODUCTORY. 



After a Cat Show at the Crystal Palace, I usually receive 
a number of letters requesting information. One asks : 
''What is a true tortoiseshell like?" Another: "What is 
a tabby?" and yet another: "What is a blue tabby?" One 
writes of the "splendid disposition" of his cat, another 
asks how to cure a cat scratching the furniture, and so on. 

After much consideration, and also at the request of 
many, I have thought it best to publish my notes on cats, 
their ways, habits, instincts, peculiarities, usefulness, colours, 
markings, forms, and other qualities that are required as 
fitting subjects to exhibit at what is now one of the insti- 
tuted exhibitions of "The land we live in," and also the Folk 
and other lore, both ancient and modern, respecting them. 

It is many years ago that, when thinking of the large 
number of cats kept in London alone, I conceived the idea 

B 



2 CRYSTAL PALACE CAT SHOW. 

that it would be well to hold '' Cat Shows," so that the dif- 
ferent breeds, colours, markings, etc., might be more care- 
fully attended to, and the domestic cat, sitting in front of 
the fire, would then possess a beauty and an attractiveness 
to its owner unobserved and unknown because uncultivated 
heretofore. Prepossessed with this view of the subject, I 
called on my friend Mr. Wilkinson, the then manager of the 
Crystal Palace. With his usual businesslike clear-headed- 
ness, he saw it was "a thing to be done." In a few days 
I presented my scheme in full working order : the schedule 
of prizes, the price of entry, the number of classes, and the 
points by which they would be judged, the number of prizes 
in each class, their amount, the different varieties of colour, 
form, size, and sex for which they were to be given ; I 
also made a drawing of the head of a cat to be printed on 
black or yellow paper for a posting bill. Mr. F. Wilson, the 
Company's naturalist and show manager, then took the 
matter in charge, worked hard, got a goodly number of cats 
together, among which was my blue tabby, " The Old Lady," 
then about fourteen years old, yet the best in the show of 
its colour and never surpassed, though lately possibly 
equalled. To my watch-chain I have attached the silver bell 
she wore at her debut. 

My brother, John Jenner Weir, the Rev. J. Macdona, 
and myself acted as judges, and the result was a success 
far beyond our most sanguine expectations — so much so 
that I having made it a labour of love of the feline race, 
and acting " without fee, gratuity, or reward," the Crystal 
Palace Company generously presented me with a large silver 
tankard in token of their high approval of my exertions on 
behalf of "the Company," and — Cats. Now that a Cat 
Club is formed, shows are more numerous, and the entries 
increasing, there is every reason to expect a permanent 
benefit in every way to one of the most intelligent of (though 
often much abused) animals. 



CRYSTAL PALACE CAT SHOW. 




THE FIRST CAT SHOW. 



On the day for judging, at Ludgate Hill I took a ticket 
and the train Cor the Crystal Palace. Sitting alone in the 
comfortable cushioned compartment of a " first class," I 
confess I felt somewhat more than anxious as to the issue 
of the experiment. Yes ; what would it be like ? Would 
there be many cats ? How many ? How would the animals 
comport themselves in their cages? Would they sulk or 
cry for liberty, refuse all food ? or settle down and take the 
situation quietly and resignedly, or give way to terror ? I 
could in no way picture to myself the scene ; it was all so 
new. Presently, and while I was musing on the subject, 
the door was opened, and a friend got in. "Ah !" said he, 
" how are you ? " " Tolerably well," said I ; *' I am on my 

B 2 



4 CRYSTAL PALACE CAT SHOW. 

way to the Cat Show." "What!" said my friend, "that 
surpasses everything ! A show of cats ! Why, I hate the 
things ; I drive them off my premises when I see them. 
You'll have a fine bother with them in their cages ! Or are 
they to be tied up? Anyhow, what a noise there will be, and 
how they will clutch at the bars and try and get out, or they 
will strangle themselves with their chains." " I am sorry, 
very sorry," said I, " that you do not like cats. For my 
part, I think them extremely beautiful, also very graceful in 
all their actions, and they are quite as domestic in their 
habits as the dog, if not more so. They are very useful in 
catching rats and mice ; they are not deficient in sense ; 
they will jump up at doors to push up latches with their 
paws. I have known them knock at a door by the knocker 
when wanting admittance. They know Sunday from the 
week-day, and do not go out to wait for the meat barrow 

on that day ; they " " Stop," said my friend, " I see you 

do like cats, and I do not, so let the matter drop." "No," 
said I, "not so. That is why I instituted this Cat Show; I 
wish every one to see how beautiful a well-cared-for cat is, 
and how docile, gentle, and — may I use the term? — cossetty. 
Why should not the cat that sits purring in front of us 
before the fire be an object of interest, and be selected for 
its colour, markings, and form ? Now come with me, my 
dear old friend, and see the first Cat Show." 

Inside the Crystal Palace stood my friend and I. Instead 
of the noise and struggles to escape, there lay the cats in 
their different pens, reclining on crimson cushions, making 
no sound save now and then a homely purring, as from 
time to time they lapped the nice new milk provided for 
them. Yes, there they were, big cats, very big cats, middling- 
sized cats, and small cats, cats of all colours and markings, 
and beautiful pure white Persian cats ; and as we passed 
down the front of the cages I saw that my friend became 
interested ; presently he said : "What a beauty this is ! and 
here's another ! " " And no doubt," said I, " many of the 
cats you have seen before would be quite as beautiful if 
they were as well cared for, or at least cared for at all; 



CRYSTAL PALACE CAT SHOW. 




generally they are driven about and ill-fed, and often ill- 
used, simply for the reason that they are cats, and for no 
other. Yet I feel a great pleasure in telling you the show 
would have been much larger were it not for the difficulty 
of inducing the owners to send their pets from home, though 
you see the great care that is taken of them." "Well, I had 
no idea there was such a variety of form, size, and colour," 
said my friend, and departed. A few months after, I called 
on him ; he was at luncheon, with two cats on a chair 
beside him— pets I should say, from their appearance. 

This is not a solitary instance of the good of the first 
Cat Show in leading up to the observation of, and kindly 
feeling for, the domestic cat. Since then, throughout the 
length and breadth of the land there have been Cat Shows, 
and much interest is taken in them by all classes of the 
community, so much so that large prices have been paid 
for handsome specimens. It is to be hoped that by these 
shows the too often despised cat will meet with the attention 
and kind treatment that every dumb animal should have 
and ought to receive at the hands of humanity. Even the 
few instances of the shows generating a love for cats that 
have come before my own notice are a sufficient pleasure to 
me not to regret having thought out and planned the first 
Cat Show at the Crystal Palace. 




CHAPTER I. 



Before attempting to describe the different varieties, I 
should like to make a few remarks as to the habits and 
ways of " the domestic cat." 

When judging, I have frequently found some of the ex- 
hibits of anything but a mild and placid disposition. 
Some have displayed a downright ferocity; others, on the 
contrary, have been excessively gentle, and very few but 
seemed to recognise their position, and submitted quietly to 
their confinement. This is easily accounted for when per- 
sons are accustomed to cats ; they know what wonderful 
powers of observation the cat possesses, and how quickly 
they recognise the " why and the wherefore " of many things. 
Take for instance, how very many cats will open a latched 
door by springing up and holding on with one fore-leg while 
with the other they press down the latch catch, and so open 
the door ; and yet even more observant are they than that, 
as I have shown by a case in my " Animal Stories, Old and 



OBSERVATION OF CATS. 7 

New,'*' in which a cat opened a door by pulling it towards 
him, when he (om\d pus /wig \t of no avail. The cat is more 
critical in noticing than the dog. I never knew but one dog 
that would open a door by moving the fastening without 
being shown or taught how to do it. Cats that have done 
so are numberless. I noticed one at the last Crystal Palace 
Show, a white cat : it looked up, it looked down, then to the 
right and then a little to the left, paused, seemed lost in 
thought, when, not seeing any one about, it crept up to the 
door, and with its paw tried to pull back the bolt or catch. 
On getting sight of me, it retired to a corner of the cage, 
shut its eyes, and pretended to sleep. I stood further away, 
and soon saw the paw coming through the bars again. This 
cat had noticed how the cage-door was fastened, and so 
knew how to open it. 

Many cats that are said to be spiteful are made so by 
ill-treatment, for, as a rule, I have found them to be 
most affectionate and gentle, and that to the last degree, 
attaching themselves to individuals, although such is stated 
not to be the case, yet of this I am certain. Having 
had several in my house at one time, I found that no 
two were the " followers " of the same member of my 
family. But it may be argued, and I think with some de- 
gree of justice. Why was this ? Was it only that each cat 
had a separate liking? If so, why? Why should not 
three or four cats take a liking to the same individual ? But 
they seldom or never do, and for that matter there seems 
somewhat the same feeling with dogs. This required some 
consideration, but that not of long duration. For I am 
sorry to say I rapidly came to the conclusion that it was 
jealousy. Yes, jealousy ! There was no doubt of it. Zeno 
would be very cossetty, loving, lovable, and gentle, but when 
Lulu came in and was nursed he retired to a corner and 
seized the first opportunity of vanishing through the door. 
As soon as Zillah jumped on my knee and put her paws 
about my neck, Lulu looked at me, then at her, then at me, 
walked to the fire, sat down, looked round, got up, went to 
the door, cried to go out, the door was opened,. and she 



8 JEALOUSY OF CATS. 

fled. I thought that Zillah seemed then more than ever — 
happy. 

Though jealousy is one of if not the ruling attributes of 
the cat, there are exceptions to such a rule. Sometimes it 
may be that two or more will take to the same person. As 
an instance of this I had two cats, one a red tabby, a great 
beauty; Lillah, a short-haired red-and-white cat ; the latter 
and a white long-haired one, named " The Colonel," were 
great friends, and these associated with a tortoiseshell-and- 
white, Lizzie. None of these were absolutely house cats, 
but attended more to the poultry yards and runs, looking 
after the chicken, seeing that no rats were about or other 
" vermin," near the coops. Useful cats, very ! 

Mine was then a very large garden, and generally of 
an evening, when at home, I used to walk about the 
numerous paths to admire the beauties of the different 
herbaceous plants, of which I had an interesting collection. 
Five was my time of starting on my ambulation, when, 
on going out of the door, I was sure to find the two 
first-named cats, and often the third, waiting for me, ready 
to go wherever I went, following like faithful dogs. These 
apparently never had any jealous feeling. 

Of all the cats Lillah was the most loving. If I stood 
still, she would look up, and watch the expression of my 
face. If she thought it was favourable to her, she would 
jump, and, clinging to my chest, put her fore-paws around 
my neck, and rub her head softly against my face, purring 
melodiously all the time, then move on to my shoulder, 
while "The Colonel" and his tortoiseshell friend Lizzie 
would press about my legs, uttering the same musical self- 
complacent sound. Here, there, and everywhere, even out 
into the road or into the wood, the pretty things would ac- 
company me, seeming intensely happy. When I returned 
to the house, they would scamper off, bounding in the air, 
and playing with and tumbling over each other in the fullest 
and most frolicsome manner imaginable. No ! I do not 
think that Lillah, The Colonel, or Lizzie ever knew the feel- 
ing of jealousy. But these, as I said before, were exceptions. 



CATS TAKE NOTE OF TIME. 9 

They all had a sad ending, coming to an untimely death 
through being caught in wires set by poachers for rabbits. 
I have ever regretted the loss of the gentle, Lillah. She was 
as beautiful as she was good, gentle, and loving, without a 
fault. 

It may have been noted in the foregoing I have said 
that my cats were always awaiting my coming. Just so. 
The cat seems to take note of time as well as place. At my 
town house I had a cat named Guadalquiver^ which was fed 
on horseflesh brought to the door. Every day during the 
week he would go and sit ready for the coming of "the 
cat's-meat man," but he never did so on the Sunday. How 
it was he knew on that day that the man did not come I 
never could discover; still, the fact remains. How he, or 
whether he, counted the days until the sixth, and then rested 
the seventh from his watching, is a mystery. A similar 
case is related of an animal belonging to Mr. Triibner, 
the London publisher. The cat, a gigantic one, and a pet 
of his, used to go every evening to the end of the terrace, 
on which was the house where he resided, to escort Mr. 
Triibner back to dinner on his arrival from the City, but 
was never once known to make the mistake of going to 
meet him on Sundays. And again, how well a cat knows 
when it is luncheon-time ! He or she may be apparently 
asleep on the tiles, or snugly lying under a bush basking in 
the sun's warm rays, when it will look up, yawn, stretch it- 
self, get up, and move leisurely towards the house, and as 
the luncheon-bell rings, in walks the cat, as ready for food 
as any there. 

Most cats are of a gentle disposition, but resent ill- 
treatment in a most determined way, generally making use 
of their claws, at the same time giving vent to their feehngs 
by a low growl and spitting furiously. Under such condi- 
tions it is best to leave off that which has appeared to 
irritate them. Dogs generally bite when they lose their 
temper, but a cat seldom. Should a cat dig her claws into 
your hand, never draw it backward, but push forward ; you 
thus close the foot and render the claws harmless. If 



lo GENTLENESS AND KINDNESS. 

otherwise, you generally lose three to four pieces of skin 
from your hand ; the cat knows he has done it, and feels 
revenged. Some cats do not like their ears touched, others 
their backs, others their tails. I have one now (Fritz) ; he 
has such a great dislike to having his tail touched that if we 
only point to it and say " Tail ! " he growls, and if repeated 
he will get up and go out of the room, even though he was 
enjoying the comfort of his basket before a good fire. By 
avoiding anything that is known to tease an animal, no 
matter what, it will be found that is the true way, combined 
with gentle treatment and oft caressing, to tame and to 
make them love you, even those whose temper is none of 
the best. This is equally applicable to horses, cows, and 
dogs as to cats. Gentleness and kindness will work wonders 
with animals, and, I take it, is not lost on human beings. 

The distance cats will travel to find and regain the home 
they have been taken from is surprising. One my groom 
begged of me, as he said he had no cat at home, and he 
was fond of " the dear thing," but he really wanted to be 
rid of it, as I found afterwards. He took the poor animal 
away in a hamper, and after carrying it some three miles 
through London streets, threw it into the Surrey Canal. 
That cat was sitting wet and dirty outside the stable when 
he came in the morning, and went in joyfully on his open- 
ing the door, ran up to and climbed on to the back of its 
favourite, the horse, who neighed a "welcome home." The 
man left that week. 

Another instance, and I could give many more, but this 
will suffice. It is said that if you wish an old cat to stay 
you should have the mother with the kitten or kittens, but 
this sometimes fails to keep her. Having a fancy for a 
beautiful brown tabby, I purchased her and kitten from a 
cottager living two miles and a half away. The next day I 
let her out, keeping the kitten in a basket before the fire. 
In half an hour mother and child were gone, and though 
she had to carry her little one through woods, hedgerows, 
across grass and arable fields, she arrived home with her 
young charge quite safely the following day, though evidently 



SINGULAR ATTACHMENT OF CATS. ii 

very tired, wet, and hungry. After two days she was 
brought back, and being well fed and carefully tended, she 
roamed no more. 

The cat, like many other animals, will often form sin- 
gular attachments. One would sit in my horse's manger and 
purr and rub against his nose, which undoubtedly the horse 
enjoyed, for he would frequently turn his head purposely 
to be so treated. One went as consort with a Dorking 
cock ; another took a great liking to my collie. Rover ; 
another loved Lina, the cow; while another would cosset 
up close to a sitting hen, and allowed the fresh-hatched 
chickens to seek warmth by creeping under her. Again, 
they will rear other animals such as rats, rabbits, squirrels, 
puppies, hedgehogs ; and, when motherly inclined, will take 
to almost anything, even to a young pigeon. 

At the Brighton Show of 1886 there were two cats, both 
reared by dogs, the foster-mother and her bantling showing 
evident signs of sincere affection. 

There are both men and women who have a decided 
antipathy to cats — " Won't have one in the house on any 
account." They are called " deceitful," and some go as 
far as to say " treacherous," but how and in what way I 
cannot discover. Others, on the contrary, love cats beyond 
all other "things domestic." Of course cats, like other 
animals, or even human beings, are very dissimilar, no two 
being precisely alike in disposition, any more than are to be 
found two forms' so closely resembling as not to be distin- 
guished one from the other. To some a cat is a cat, and if 
all were black all would be alike. But this would not be 
so in reality, as those well know who are close observers 
of animal and bird life. Of course the gamekeeper has 
a dislike to cats, more especially when they " take to the 
woods," but so long as they are fed, and keep within bounds, 
they are " useful " in scaring away rats from the young 
broods of pheasants. What are termed "poaching cats" 
are clearly "outlaws/' and must be treated as such. 



CHAPTER 11. 



That cats may be trained to respect the lives of other 
animals, and also birds on which they habitually feed, is a 
well-known fact. In proof of this I well recollect a story 
that my father used to tell of " a happy family" that was 
shown many years ago on the Surrey side of Waterloo 
Bridge. Their abode consisted of a large wire cage placed 
on wheels. In windy weather the "breezy side" was 
protected by green baize, so draughts were prevented, and 
a degree of comfort obtained. As there was no charge for 
" the show," a box was placed in front with an opening for 
the purpose of admitting any donations from those who felt 
inclined to give. On it was written '' The Happy Family — 
their money-box." The family varied somewhat, as 
casualties occurred occasionally by death from natural causes 
or sales. Usually, there was a Monkey, an Owl, some 
Guinea-pigs, Squirrels, small birds, Starlings, a Magpie, 
Rats, Mice, and a Cat or two. But the story ? Well, the 
story is this. One day, when my father was looking at 
" the happy family," a burly-looking man came up, and, 
after a while, said to the man who owned the show : " Ah ! 
I don't see much in that. It is true the cat does not touch 
the small birds [one of which was sitting on the head of the 
cat at the time], nor the other things ; but you could not 
manage to keep rats and mice in there as well." "Think 
not?" said the showman. "I think I could very easily." 
" Not you," said the burly one. *' I will give you a month 
to do it in, if you like, and a shilling in the bargain if you 



WELL-TRAINED CATS. 



13 



succeed. I shall be this way again soon." "Thank you, 
sir," said the man. " Don't go yet," then, putting a stick 
through the bars of the cage he lifted up the cat, when 
from beneath her out ran a white rat and three white mice. 
" Won — der — ful ! " slowly ejaculated he of the burly form ; 
"Wonder — ful !" The money was paid. 

Cats, properly trained, will not touch anything, alive 
or dead, on the premises to which they are attached. I 
have known them to sport with tame rabbits, to romp and 
jump in frolicsome mood this way, then that, which both 
seemed greatly to enjoy, yet they would bring home wild 
rabbits they had killed, and not touch my little chickens or 
ducklings. 




THE OLD LADY. 



14 THE PLAGUE OF MICE. 

When I built a house in the country, fond as I am 
of cats, I determined not to keep any there, because they 
would destroy the birds' nests and drive my feathered 
friends away, and I liked to watch and feed these from the 
windows. Things went pleasantly for awhile. The birds 
were fed, and paid for their keep with many and many a 
song. There were the old ones and there the young, and 
oft by the hour I watched them from the window ; and 
they became so tame as scarcely caring to get out of my 
way when I went outside with more food. But — there is 
always a but — but one day, or rather evening, as I was 
^'looking on," a rat came out from the rocks, and then 
another. Soon they began their repast on the remains 
of the birds' food. Then in the twilight came mice, the 
short-tailed and the long, scampering hither and thither. 
This, too, was amusing. In the autumn I bought some 
filberts, and put them into a closet upstairs, went to Lon- 
don, returned, and thought I would sleep in the room 
adjoining the closet. No such thing. As soon as the 
light was out there was a sound of gnawing — curb — curb 
— sweek ! — squeak — a rushing of tiny feet here, there, 
and everywhere ; thump, bump — scriggle, scraggle — squeak 
— overhead, above the ceiling, behind the skirting boards, 
under the floor, and — in the closet. I lighted a candle, 
opened the door, and looked into the repository for my 
filberts. What a hustling, what a scuffling, what a scrambling. 
There they were, mice in numbers ; they " made for " some 
holes in the corners of the cupboard, got jammed, squeaked, 
struggled, squabbled, pushed, their tails making circles; 
push — push — squeak ! — more jostling, another effort or two 
— squeak — squeak — gurgle — squeak — more struggling — and 
they were gone. Gone ? Yes ! but not for long. As 
soon as the light was out back they came. No ! oh, 
dear no ! sleep ! no more sleep. Outside, I liked to 
watch the mice; but when they climbed the ivy and got 
inside, the pleasure entirely ceased. Nor was this all ; they 
got into the vineries and spoilt the grapes, and the rats 
killed the young ducks and chickens, and undermined the 



RATS, MICE, AND CATS. 15 

building also, besides storing quantities of grain and other 
things under the floor. The result number one was, three 
cats coming on a visit. Farmyard cats— cats that knew the 
difference between chickens, ducklings, mice, and rats. 
Result number two, that after being away a couple of 
weeks, I went again to my cottage, and I slept un- 
disturbed in the room late the play-ground of the mice. 
My chickens and ducklings were safe, and soon the cats 
allowed the birds to be fed in front of the window, 
though I could not break them of destroying many of 
the nests. I never noticed more fully the very great use 
the domestic cat is to man than on that occasion. All 
day my cats were indoors, dozy, sociable, and contented. 
At night they were on guard outside, and doubtless saved 
me the lives of dozens of my " young things." One after- 
noon I saw one of my cats coming towards me with 
apparent difficulty in walking. On its near approach I 
found it was carrying a large rat, which appeared dead. 
Coming nearer, the cat put down the rat. Presently I saw 
it move, then it suddenly got up and ran off. The cat 
caught it again. Again it feigned death, again got up and 
ran off, and was once more caught. It laid quite still, when, 
perceiving the cat had turned away, it got up, apparently 
quite uninjured, and ran in another direction, and I and 
the cat — lost it ! I was not sorry. This rat deserved his 
liberty. Whether it was permanent I know not, as " Little- 
john," the cat, remained, and I left. 

The cat is not only a very useful animal about the house 
and premises, but is also ornamental. It is Hthe and beau- 
tiful in form, and graceful in action. Of course there are 
cats that are ugly by comparison with others, both in form, 
colour, and markings ; and as there are now cat shows, at 
which prizes are offered for varieties, 1 will endeavour to 
give, in succeeding chapters, the points of excellence as 
regards form, colour, and markings required and most 
esteemed for the different classes. I am the more induced 
to define these as clearly as possible, owing to the number 
of mistakes that often occur in the entries. 



i6 



LONG-HAIRED CATS. 




^"^^^ 



LONG-HAIRED CATS. 



These are very diversified, both in form, colour, and the 
quality of the hair, which in some is more woolly than in 
others ; and they vary also in the shape and length of the 
tail, the ears, and size of eyes. There are several varieties — 
the Russian, the Angora, the Persian, and Indian. Forty or 
fifty years ago they used all to be called French cats, as they 
were mostly imported from Paris — more particularly the 
white, which were then the fashion, and, if I remember rightly, 
they, as a rule, were larger than those of the present day. 
Coloured long-haired cats were then rare, and but little cared 
for or appreciated. The pure white, with long silky hair, 
bedecked with blue or rose-colour ribbon, or a silver collar 
with its name inscribed thereon or one of scarlet leather 
studded with brass, might often be seen stretching its full lazy 
length on luxurious woollen rugs — the valued, pampered pets 
of "West End "life. 



A DEAF CAT. 



17 




A curious fact relating to the white cat of not only the 
long but also the short-haired breed is their deafness. 
Should they have blue eyes, which is the fancy colour, these 
are nearly always deaf; although I have seen specimens whose 
hearing was as perfect as that of any other colour. Still 
deafness in white cats is not always confined to those with 
blue eyes, as I too well know from purchasing a very fine 
male at the Crystal Palace Show some few years since. The 

c 



i8 A DEAF CAT. 

price was low and the cat " a beauty," both in form, coat, 
and tail, his eyes were yellow, and he had a nice, meek, 
mild, expressive face. I stopped and looked at him, as he 
much took my fancy. He stared at me wistfully, with some- 
thing like melancholy in the gaze of his ^w^^^'-coloured eyes. 
I put my hand through the bars of the cage. He purred, 
licked my hand, rubbed against the wires, put his tail up, as 
much as to say, " See, here is a beautiful tail ; am I not a 
lovely cat?" "Yes," thought I, "a very nice cat." When 
I looked at my catalogue and saw the low price, " something 
is wrong here," said I, musingly. "Yes, there must be 
something wrong. The price is misstated, or there is some- 
thing not right about this cat." No ! it was a beauty — so 
comely, so loving, so gentle — so very gentle. " Well," 
said I to myself, "if there is no misstatement of price, I 
will buy this cat," and, with a parting survey of its ex- 
cellences, I went to the office of the show manager. He 
looked at the letter of entry. No ; the price was quite right — 
"two guineas!" "I will buy it," said I. And so I did; 
but at two guineas I bought it dearly. Yes ! very dearly, 
for when I got it home I found it was " stone " deaf. What 
an unhappy cat it was ! If shut out of the dining-room 
you could hear its cry for admission all over the house; 
being so deaf the poor wretched creature never knew the 
noise it made. I often wish that it had so known — 
very, very often. I am satisfied that a tithe would have 
frightened it out of its life. And so loving, so affectionate. 
But, oh ! horror, when it called out as it sat on my lap, its 
voice seemed to acquire at least ten cat power. And when, 
if it lost sight of me in the garden, its voice rose to the 
occasion, I feel confident it might have been heard miles 
off. Alas ! he never knew what that agonised sound was 
like, but I did, and I have never forgotten it, and I never 
shall. I named him " The Colonel " on account of his 
commanding voice. 

One morning a friend came — blessed be that day — and 
after dinner he saw " the beauty." " What a lovely cat ! " 
said he. " Yes," said I, " he is very beautiful, quite a 



THE DEAF CAT LEAVES. ,g 

^'''^^'^•" A^^f ^ "^^'^^ ^^ '^^^' l^°^^"g ^t '' P"ssy " warm- 
ing himsdf before the fire, - 1 think I never saw one I liked 
more. - Indeed," said I, -if you really think so, I will 
^n^.VA' y?u; but he has a fault-he is ^ stone ' deaf." 
Oh, I don t mind that," said he. He took him away— 
miles and miles away. I was glad it was so many miles 
away for two reasons One was I feared he might come 
back and the other that his voice might come resounding 
on the s ill night air. But he never came back nor a 
sound.— A few days after he left "to better himself," a letter 
came saying, would I wish to have him back.? Thev liked 
It very much, all but its voice. - No," I wrote, " no, you are 
very kind, no, thank you ; give him to any one you please- 

nevJr ' ^w.""'^^ ^''K'^^ ^'^""'^^^ ^''^ ^' must not^eturn, 
never. When next I saw my friend, I asked him how - the 
beauty was. " You dreadful man ! " said he ; - why that 
cat nearly drove us all mad-I never heard anything like it." 
Nor I, said I, sententiously. -Well," said my friend, 

ni/i J' ^^V^'V'^u^' ^"^^ ' ^ ^^^^ g^^^^ it to a very deaf 
old lady, and so both are happy." - Very, I trust," said I 

The foregoing is by way of advice ; in buying a white 
cat— or, in fact, any other— ascertain for a ce?ctamty that it 




C 2 



20 



WHITE PERSIAN. 



A short time since I saw a white Persian cat with deep blue 
eyes sitting at the door of a tobacconist's, at the corner of the 
Haymarket, London. On inquiry I found that the cat could 
hear perfectly, and was in no way deficient of health and 
strength ; and this is by no means a solitary instance. 




MISS SAUNDERS' " TIGER. 



ANGORA CATS, 



21 




THE ANGORA. 



The Angora cat, as its name indicates, comes from 
Angora, in Western Asia, a province that is also celebrated 
for its goats with long hair, which is of extremely fine quality. 
It is said that this deteriorates when the animal leaves that 
locality. This may be so, but that I have no means of 
proving ; yet, if so, do the Angora cats also deteriorate in 
the silky qualities of their fur? Or does it get shorter? 
Certain it is that many of the imported cats have finer and 
longer hair than those bred in this country ; but when are 
the latter true bred? Even some a little cross-bred 
will often have long hair, but not of the texture as regards 
length and silkiness which is to be noted in the pure breed. 
The Angora cats, I am told, are great favourites with the 
Turks and Armenians, and the best are of high value, a pure 



22 ANGORA CATS. 

white, with blue eyes, being thought the perfection of cats, 
all other points being good, and its hearing by no means 
defective. The points are a small head, with not too long 
a nose, large full eyes of a colour in harmony with that of 
its fur, ears rather large than small and pointed, with a tuft 
of hair at the apex, the size not showing, as they are deeply 
set in the long hair on the forehead, with a very full flowing 
mane about the head and neck ; this latter should not be 
short, neither the body, which should be long, graceful, and 
elegant, and covered with long, silky hair, with a slight 
admixture of woolliness ; in this it differs from the Persian, 
and the longer the better. In texture it should be as fine 
as possible, and also not so woolly as that of the Russian ; 
still it is more inclined to be so than the Persian. The legs 
to be of moderate length, and in proportion to the body ; 
the tail long, and slightly curving upward towards the end. 
The hair should be very long at the base, less so toward the 
tip. When perfect, it is an extremely beautiful and elegant 
object, and no wonder that it has become a pet among the 
Orientals. The colours are varied; but the black which 
should have orange eyes, as should also the slate colours, and 
blues, and the white are the most esteemed, though the soft 
slates, blues, and the light fawns, deep reds, and mottled 
grays are shades of colour that blend well with the Eastern 
fifrniture and other surroundings. There are also light 
grays, and what is termed smoke colour ; a beauty was shown 
at Brighton which was white with black tips to the hair, the 
white being scarcely visible, unless the hair was parted ; 
this tinting had a marvellous effect. I have never seen im- 
ported strong-coloured tabbies of this breed, nor do I 
believe such are true Angoras. Fine specimens are even 
now rare in this country, and are extremely valuable. In 
manners and temper they are quiet, sociable, and docile, 
though given to roaming, especially in the country, where I 
have seen them far from their homes, hunting the hedgerows 
more like dogs than cats ; nor do they appear to possess the 
keen intelligence of the short-haired European cat. They 
are not new to us, being mentioned by writers nearly a 



ANGORA CATS. 



23 



hundred years ago, if not more. I well remember white 
specimens of uncommon size on sale in Leadenhall Market, 
more than forty years since; the price usually was five 
guineas, though some of rare excellence would realise 
double that sum. 




24 



PERSIAN CATS. 




MISS SAUNDERS' " SYLVIE." 



THE PERSIAN CAT. 



This differs somewhat from the Angora, the tail being 
generally longer, more like a table brush in point of form, 
and is generally slightly turned upwards, the hair being 
more full and coarser at the end, while at the base it 
is somewhat longer. The head is rather larger, with less 
pointed ears, although these should not be devoid of 



PERSIAN CATS. 25 

the tuft at the apex, and also well furnished with long hair 
within, and of moderate size. The eyes should be large, 
full, and round, with a soft expression ; the hair on the fore- 
head is generally rather short in comparison to the other 
parts of the body, which ought to be clothed with long 
silky hair, very long about the neck, giving the appearance 
of the mane of the lion. The legs, feet, and toes should be 
well clothed with long hair and have well-developed fringes 
on the toes, assuming the character of tufts between them. 
It is larger in body, and generally broader in the loins, and 
apparently stronger made, than the foregoing variety, though 
yet slender and elegant, with small bone, and exceedingly 
graceful in all its movements, there being a kind of languor 
observable in its walk, until roused, when it immediately 
assumes the quick motion of the ordinary short-haired cat, 
though not so alert. The colours vary very much, and 
comprise almost every tint obtainable in cats, though the 
tortoiseshell is not, nor is the dark marked tabby, in 
my opinion, a Persian cat colour, but has been got by 
crossing with the short-haired tortoiseshell, and also 
English tabby, and as generally shows pretty clearly un- 
niistakable signs of such being the case. For a long 
time, if not now, the black was the most sought after 
and the most diflficult to obtain. A good rich, deep 
black, with orange-coloured eyes and long flowing hair, 
grand in mane, large and with graceful carriage, with a 
mild expression, is truly a very beautiful object, and one 
very rare. The best I have hitherto seen was one that be- 
longed to Mr. Edward Lloyd, the great authority on all 
matters relating to aquariums. It was called Mimie, and 
was a very fine specimen, usually carrying off the first prize 
wherever shown. It generally wore a handsome collar, on 
which was inscribed its name and victories. The collar, as 
Mr. Lloyd used jocosely to observe, really belonged to it, as 
it was bought out of its winnings ; and, according to the 
accounts kept, was proved also to have paid for its food for 
some considerable period. It was, as its owner laughingly 
said, "his friend, and not his dependent," and generally used 



26 



PERSIAN CATS. 




to sit on the table by his side while he was writing either 
his letters, articles, or planning those improvements regard- 
ing aquariums, for which he was so justly celebrated. 

Next in value is the light slate or blue colour. This 
beautiful tint is very different in its shades. In some it 
verges towards a light purplish or lilac hue, and is very 



PERSIAN CATS. 



27 




S:m 







MRS. A. A. CLARKE S "TIM 



lovely ; in others it tends to a much bluer tone, having a 
colder and harder appearance, still beautiful by way of 
contrast ; in all the colour should be pure, even, and bright, 
not in any way mottled, which is a defect ; and I may here 



28 PERSIAN CATS. 

remark that in these colours the hair is generally of a softer 
texture, as far as I have observed, than that of any other 
colour, not excepting the white, which is also in much 
request. Then follow the various shades of light tabbies, 
so light in the marking having scarcely a right to be called 
tabbies ; in fact, tabby is not a Persian colour, nor have I 
ever seen an imported cat of that colour — I mean firmly, 
strongly marked with black on a brown-blue or gray ground, 
until they culminate in those of intense richness and density 
in the way of deep, harmonious browns and reds, yet still 
preserving throughout an extreme delicacy of line and 
tracery, never becoming harsh or hard in any of its arrange- 
ments or colour; not as the ordinary short-haired tabby. 
The eyes should be orange-yellow in the browns, reds, blues, 
grays, and blacks. 

As far as my experience extends, and I have had 
numerous opportunities of noticing, I find this variety less 
reliable as regards temper than the short-haired cats, less 
also in the keen sense of observing, as in the Angora, and 
also of turning such observations to account, either as 
regards their comfort, their endeavour to help themselves, 
or in their efforts to escape from confinement. 

In some few cases I have found them to be of almost a 
savage disposition, biting and snapping more like a dog 
than a cat, and using their claws less for protective purposes. 
Nor have I found them so " cossetty " in their ways as those 
of the "short-coats," though I have known exceptions in 
both. 

They are much given to roam, as indeed are the Russian 
and Angora, especially in the country, going considerable 
distances either for their own pleasure or in search of food, 
or when "on the hunt." After mature consideration, I 
have come to the conclusion that this breed, and slightly so 
the preceding, are decidedly different in their habits to the 
short-haired English domestic cat, as it is now generally 
called. 

It may be, however, only a very close observer would 
notice the several peculiarities which I consider certainly 



PERSIAN CATS. 29 

exist. These cats attach themselves to places more than 
persons, and are indifferent to those who feed and have the 
care of them. They are beautiful and useful objects about 
the house, and generally very pleasant companions, and when 
kept with the short-haired varieties form an exceedingly 
pretty and interesting contrast ; but, as I have stated, they 
certainly require more attention to their training, and more 
caution in their handling, than the latter. I may here 
remark, that during the time I have acted as judge at cat 
shows, which is now over eighteen years, it has been 
seldom there has been any display of temper in the short- 
haired breeds in comparison with the long ; though some 
of the former, in some instances, have not comported them- 
selves with that sweetness and amiability of disposition 
that is their usual characteristic. My attendant has been 
frequently wounded in our endeavour to examine the fur, 
dentition, etc., of the Angora, Persian, or Russian ; and 
once severely by a " short-hair." Hitherto I have been so 
fortunate as to escape all injury, but this I attribute to my 
close observation of the countenance and expression of the 
cat about to be handled, so as to be perfectly on my guard, 
and to the knowledge of how to put my hands out of 
harm's way. If a vicious cat is to be taken from one pen 
to another, it must be carried by the loose skin at the back 
of the neck and that of the back with both hands, and held 
well away from the person who is carrying it. 




so 



RUSSIAN CATS. 




THE RUSSIAN LONG-HAIRED CAT. 



The above is a portrait of a cat given me many years ago, 
whose parents came from Russia, but from what part I could 
never ascertain. It differed from the Angora and the Per- 
sian in many respects. It was larger in the body with shorter 
legs. The mane or frill was very large, long, and dense, 
and more of a woolly texture, with coarse hairs among it ; 
the colour was of dark tabby, though the markings were not 
a decided black, nor clear and distinct ; the ground colour 



RUSSIAN CATS. 31 

was wanting in that depth and richness possessed by the 
Persian, having a somewhat dull appearance. The eyes 
were large and prominent, of a bright orange, slightly tinted 
with green, the ears large by comparison, with small tufts, 
full of long, woolly hair, the limbs stout and short, the 
tail being very dissimilar, as it was short, very woolly, and 
thickly covered with hair the same length from the base to 
the tip, and much resembled in form that of the English 
wild cat. Its motion was not so agile as other cats, nor 
did it apparently care for warmth, as it liked being out- 
doors in the coldest weather. Another peculiarity being 
that it seemed to care little in the way of watching birds for 
the purpose of food, neither were its habits like those of 
the short-haired cats that were its companions. It attached 
itself to no person, as was the case with some of the 
others, but curiously took a particular fancy to one of my 
short-haired, silver-gray tabbies ; the two appeared always 
together. In front of the fire they sat side by side. If one 
left the room the other followed. Adown the garden paths 
there they were, still companions ; and at night slept in the 
same box ; they drank milk from the same saucer, and fed 
from the same plate, and, in fact, only seemed to exist for 
each other. In all my experience I never knew a more 
devoted couple. I bred but one kitten from the Russian, 
and this was the offspring of the short-haired silver tabby. 
It was black-and-white, and resembled the Russian in a 
large degree, having a woolly coat, somewhat of a mane, 
and a short, very bushy tail. This, like his father, seemed 
also to be fonder of animals for food than birds, and, 
although very small, would without any hesitation attack 
and kill a full-grown rat. I have seen several Russian cats, 
yet never but on this occasion had the opportunity of com- 
paring their habits and mode of life with those of the other 
varieties; neither have I seen any but those of a tabby 
colour, and they mostly of a dark brown. I am fully aware 
that many cross-bred cats are sold as Russian, Angora, and 
Persian, either between these or the short-haired, and some 
of these, of course, retain in large degree the distinctive 



32 RUSSIAN CATS. 

peculiarities of each breed. Yet to the practised eye there 
is generally — I do not say always — a difference of some 
sort by which the particular breed may be clearly defined. 
When the prizes are given, as is the case even at our 
largest cat shows, for the best long-haired cat, there, of 
course, exists in the eye of the judge no distinction as 
regards breed. He selects^ as he is bound to do, that 
which is the best lo?ig-/iaired cat in all points, the length of 
hair, colour, texture, and condition of the exhibit being that 
which commands his first attention. But if it were so put 
that the prize should be for the best Angora, Persian, 
Russian, etc., it would make the task rather more than 
difficult, for I have seen some " first-cross cats " that have 
possessed all, or nearly all, the points requisite for that of 
the Angora, Persian, or Russian, while others so bred 
have been very deficient, perhaps showing the Angora 
cross only by the tail and a slight and small frill. At the 
same time it must be noted, that, although from time 
to time some excellent specimens may be so bred, it is 
by no means desirable to buy and use such for stock 
purposes, for they will in all probabiHty "throw back" — 
that is, after several generations, although allied with 
thoroughbred, they will possibly have a little family of quite 
" short-hairs." I have known this with rabbits, who, after 
breeding short-haired varieties for some time, suddenly 
reverted to a litter of " long-hairs " ; but have not carried 
out the experiment with cats. At the same time I may 
state that I have little or no doubt that such would be the 
case ; therefore I would urge on all those who are fond of 
cats — or, in fact, other animals — of any particular breed, 
to use when possible none but those of the purest pedigree, 
as this will tend to prevent much disappointment that might 
otherwise ensue. But I am digressing, and so back to my 
subject — the Russian long-haired cat. I advisedly say 
long-haired cat, for I shall hereafter have to treat of other 
cats coming from Russia that are short-haired, none of those 
which I have hitherto seen being tabbies, but whole colour. 
This is the more singular as all those of the long-hair have 



RUSSIAN CATS. 



33 



been brown tabbies, with only one or two exceptions, and 
these were both black. It is just possible these were the 
offspring of tabby or gray parents, as the wild rabbit has 
been known to have had black progeny. I have seen 
a black rabbit shot from amongst the gray on the South 
Downs. 




MISS MARY GRESHAM's PERSIAN KITTEN, " LAMBKIN." 



34 CURIOUS LOXG-HAIRED CAT. 

I do not remember having seen a white Russian " long- 
hair," and I should feel particularly obliged to any of my 
readers who could supply me with further information on 
this subject, or on any other relating to the various breeds 
of cats, cat-life and habits. I am fully aware that no two 
cats are exactly alike either in their form, colour, movements, 
or habits ; but what I have given much study and attention 
to, and what I wish to arrive at is, the broad existing 
natural distinctions of the different varieties. In this way I 
shall feel grateful for any information. 




The above engraving and description of a very peculiar 
animal is from Daniel's "Rural Sports," 1813 : 

" This Cat was the Property of Mrs. Finch, of Maldon, 
Essex. In the Account of this Liisus Natures^ for such 
it may be deemed, the Mother has no other Likeness 
of her Production, than her Colour, which is a taivny 



CURIOUS LONG-HAIRED CAT. 



35 



Saftdy, in some parts lightly streaked with black; She 
had this, and another Kitten like if, about two Years 
since. The fellow Kitten was killed, in consequence of 
being troublesome, to the Mistress of the House, where it 
was presented. This is a Male, above the 7isual Size, with 
a shaggy Appearance round its Face, resembling that of the 
Lion's, in Miniature. The Hair protruding from the Ears, 
formerly grew, like what are termed Cork-screiv Curls, and 
which are frequently seen, among the smart young Water- 
7?ie?i, on the Thames ; the Tail is perfectly distinct, from 
that of the Cat Species, and resembles the Brush of a Fox. 
The Mother, has at this time (1813), three Young ones, but 
without the least Difference to common Kittens, neither, 
indeed, has she ever had any before, or since, similar to That 
here described. The Proprietor has been offered, and 
refused One Hundred Pounds for this Animal." 




D 2 



36 



CURIOUS LONG-HAIRED CAT. 



This was either a cross with the English wild cat, which 
sometimes has a mane, or it was an accidental variation of 
nature. I once bred a long-haired rabbit in a similar way, 
but at first I failed entirely to perpetuate the peculiarity. I 
think the above simply "a sport." 




GRESHAM'S PERSIAN KITTEN, " LAMBKIN." NO. 2. 



LONG-HAIRED CATS. 



37 




MISS MOORE'S ' BOGEY. 



I have now concluded my remarks on the long-haired 
varieties of cats that I am at present acquainted with. 
They are an exceedingly interesting section ; their habits, 
manners, forms, and colours form a by no means un- 
profitable study for those fond of animal life, as they, in 
my opinion, differ in many ways from those of their " short- 
haired" brethren. I shall not cease, however, in my 
endeavours to find out if any other long-haired breeds exist, 
and I am, therefore, making inquiries in every direction in 
which I deem it Hkely I shall get an increase of information 
on the subject, but hitherto without any success. There- 



38 



LONG-HAIRED CATS, 



fore, I am led to suppose that the three I have enumerated 
are the only domesticated long-haired varieties. The nearest 
approach, I believe, to these in the wild state is that of the 
British wild cat, which has in some instances a mane and 
a bushy tail, slightly resembling that of the Russian long- 
hair, with much of the same facial expression, and rather 
pointed tufts at the apex of the ears. It is also large, like 
some of the " long-haired " cats that I have seen ; in fact, it 
far more resembles these breeds than those of the short hair. 
I was much struck with the many points of similitude on see- 
ing the British wild cat exhibited by the Duke of Sutherland 
at the first cat show at the Crystal Palace in July, 187 1. I 
merely offer this as an idea for further consideration. At the 
same time, allow me to say that I have had no opportunity 
of studying the anatomy of the British wild cat, in contra- 
distinction to that of the Russian, or others with long hair. 
I only wish to point out what I term a general resemblance, 
far in excess of those with short hair. I am fully aware how 
difficult it is to trace any origin of the domestic cat, or from 
what breeds ; it is also said, that the British wild cat is not 
one of them, still I urge there exists the similarity I men- 
tion ; whether it is so apparent to others I know not. 




TORTOISESHELL CATS. 



39 




MR. smith's prize HE-CAT, 



THE TORTOISESHELL CAT. 



I NOW come to the section of the short-haired domestic 
cat, a variety possessing sub-varieties. Whether these 
all came from the same origin is doubtful, although in 
breeding many of the different colours will breed back 
to the striped or tabby colour, and, per contra, white 
whole-coloured cats are often got from striped or spotted 
parents, and vice versa. Those that have had any ex- 
perience of breeding domesticated animals or birds, know 
perfectly well how difficult it is to keep certain peculiarities 
gained by years of perseverance of breeding for such 
points of variation, or what is termed excellence. Place a 
few fancy pigeons, for instance, in the country and let them 



40 



TORTOISESHELL CATS. 




EXAMPLE OF TORTOISESHELL CAT, VERY DARK VARIETY. 



match how they Hke, and one would be quite surprised, un- 
less he were a naturalist, to note the great changes that 
occur in a few years, and the unmistakable signs of de- 
terioration towards their ancestral stock — that of the Rock 
pigeon. But with the cat this is somewhat different, as little 
or no attempts have been made, as far as I know of, until 
cat shows were instituted, to improve any particular breed 
either in form or colour. Nor has it even yet, with the ex- 
ception of the long-haired cats. Why this is so I am at a 
loss to understand, but the fact remains. Good well-deve- 
loped cats of certain colours fetch large prices, and are, if I 
may use the term, perpetual prize-winners. I will take as an 
instance the tortoiseshell tom, he, or male cat as one of the 
most scarce, and the red or yellow tabby she-cat as the next ; 
and yet the possessor of either, with proper care and atten- 



TORTOISESHELL CATS. 41 

tion, I have little or no doubt, has it in his power to produce 
either variety ad libitujti. It is now many years since I 
remember the first " tortoiseshell tom-cat ; " nor can I now 
at this distance of time quite call to mind whether or not it 
was not a tortoiseshell-and-white, and not a tortoiseshell 
pure and simple. It was exhibited in Piccadilly. If I re- 
member rightly, I made a drawing of it, but as it is about 
forty years ago, of this I am not certain, although I have 
lately been told that I did, and that the price asked for the 
cat was 100 guineas. 

This supposed scarcity was rudely put aside by the 
appearance, at the Crystal Palace Show of 187 1, of no less 
than one tortoiseshell he-cat (exhibited by Mr, Smith) and 
three tortoiseshell-and-white he-cats, but it will be observed 
there was really but only one tortoiseshell he-cat, the others 
having white. On referring to the catalogues of the succeed- 
ing shows, no other pure tortoiseshell has been exhibited, 
and he ceased to appear after 1873; but tortoiseshell-and- 
white have been shown from 187 1, varying in number from 
five to three until 1885. One of these, a tortoiseshell-and- 
white belonging to Mr. Hurry, gained no fewer than nine first 
prizes at the Crystal Palace, besides several firsts at other 
shows j this maintains my statement, that a really good 
scarce variety of cats is a valuable investment, Mr. Hurry's 
cat Totty keeping up his price of ;^ 100 till the end. 

As may have been gathered from the foregoing remarks, 
the points of the tortoiseshell he-cat are, black-red and 
yellow in patches, but no white. The colouring should be 
in broad, well-defined blotches and solid in colour, not 
mealy or tabby-like in the marking, but clear, sharp, and 
distinct, and the richer and deeper the colours the better. 
When this is so the animal presents a very handsome 
appearance. The eyes should be orange, the tail long and 
thick towards the base, the form slim, graceful, and elegant, 
and not too short on the leg, to which this breed has a ten- 
dency. Coming then to the actual tortoiseshell he, or male 
cat without white, I have never seen but one at the Shows, 
and that was exhibited by Mr. Smith. It does not appear 



42 TORTOISESHELL CATS. 

that Mr. Smith bred any from it, nor do I know whether he 
took any precautions to do so ; but if not, I am still of the 
opinion that more might have been produced. In Cassell's 
*' Natural History," it is stated that the tortoiseshell cat is 
quite common in Egypt and in the south of Europe. This 
I can readily believe, as I think that it comes from a 
different stock than the usual short-haired cat, the texture 
of the hair being different, the form of tail also. I should 
much like to know whether in that country, where the 
variety is so common, there exists any number of tortoise- 
shell he-cats. In England the he-kittens are almost invariably 
red-tabby or red-tabby-and-white ; the red-tabby she-cats 
are almost as scarce as tortoiseshell-and-white he-cats. Yet 
if red-tabby she-cats can be produced, I am of opinion that 
tortoiseshell he-cats could also. I had one of the former, 
a great beauty, and hoped to perpetuate the breed, but it 
unfortunately fell a victim to wires set by poachers for game. 
Again returning to the tortoiseshell, I have noted that, in 
drawings made by the Japanese, the cats are always of this 
colour ; that being so, it leads one to suppose that in that 
country tortoiseshell he-cats must be plentiful. Though the 
drawings are strong evidence, they are not absolute proof. 
I have asked several travelling friends questions as regards 
the Japanese cats, but in no case have I found them to have 
taken sufficient notice for their testimony to be anything else 
than worthless. I shall be very thankful for any informa- 
tion on this subject, for to myself, and doubtless also to 
many others, it is exceedingly interesting. Any one wishing 
to breed rich brown tabbies, should use a tortoiseshell she- 
cat with a very brown and black-banded he-cat. They are 
not so good from the spotted tabby, often producing merely 
tortoiseshell tabbies instead of brown tabbies, or true 
tortoiseshells. My remarks as to the colouring of the 
tortoiseshell he-cat are equally applicable to the she-cat, which 
should not have any white. Of the tortoiseshell-and-white 
hereafter. 

To breed tortoiseshell he-cats, I should use males of a 



TORTOISESHELL CATS. 



43 



whole colour, such as either white, black, or blue ; and on no 
account any tabby, no matter the colour. What is wanted 
is patches of colour, not tiny streaks or spots ; and I feel 
certain that, for those who persevere, there will be successful 
results. 




^r^_ 







44 TORTOISESHELL'AXD-WHITE CATS. 




THE TORTOISESHELL-AND-WHITE CAT. 



This is a more common mixture of colouring than the 
tortoiseshell pure and simple without white, and seems to 
be widely spread over different parts of the world. It is 
the opinion of some that this colour and the pure tortoise- 
shell is the original domestic cat, and that the other varieties 
of marking and colours are but deviations produced by 
crossing with wuld varieties. My brother, John Jenner 
Weir, F.L.S., F.Z.S., holds somewhat to this opinion; but, 



TORTOISESHELL-AND-WHITE CATS. 45 

to me, it is rather difficult to arrive at this conclusion. In 
fact, I can scarcely realise the ground on which the theory- 
is based — at the same time, I do not mean to ignore it 
entirely. And yet, if this be so, from what starting-point 
was the original domestic cat derived, and by what means 
were the rich and varied markings obtained ? I am fully 
aware that by selection cats with large patches of colour 
may be obtained ; still, there remain the peculiar markings 
of the tortoiseshell. Nor is this by any means an uncommon 
colour, not only in this country, but in many others, and 
there also appears to be a peculiar fixedness of this, espe- 
cially in the female, but why it is not so in the male I am 
at a loss to understand, the males almost invariably coming 
either red-tabby or red-tabby-and-white. One would sup- 
pose that black or white would be equally likely ; but, as 
far as my observations take me,'this is not so, though I have 
seen both pure white, yellow, red, and black in litters of 
kittens, but this might be different were the he parent 
tortoiseshell. 

Some years ago I was out with a shooting party not far 
from Snowdon, in Wales, when turning past a large rock I 
came on a sheltered nook, and there in a nest made of dry 
grasses laid six tortoiseshell-and-white kittens about eight 
to ten days old. I was much surprised at this, as I did not 
know of any house near, therefore these must have been 
the offspring of some cat or cats that were leading a roving 
or wild life, and, yet it had no effect as to the deviation of 
the colour. I left them there, and without observing the 
sex. T -vas afterwards sorry, as it is just possible, though 
scarcely probable, that one or more of the six, being all of 
the same colour, might have proved to be a male. As I 
left the neighbourhood a few days after I saw no more of 
them, nor have I since heard of any being there ; so con- 
clude they in some way were destroyed. 

I have observed in the breed of tortoiseshell or tortoise- 
shell-and-white that the hair is of a coarser texture than the 
ordinary domestic cat, and that the tail is generally thicker, 
especially at the base, though some few are thin-tailed ; yet 



46 TORTOISESHELL-AND-WHITE CATS. 

I prefer the thick and tapering form. Some are very much 
so, and of a good length ; the legs are generally somewhat 
short ; I do not ever remember seeing a really long-legged 
tortoiseshell, though when this is so if not too long it adds 
much to its grace of action. I give a drawing of what I 
consider to be a good tortoiseshell-and-white tom or he-cat. 
It will be observed that there is more white on the chest, 
belly, and hind legs than is allowable in the black-and-white 
cat. This I deem necessary for artistic beauty, when the 
colour is laid on in patches, although it should be even, clear, 
and distinct in its outline ; the larger space of white adds 
brilliancy to the red, yellow, and black colouring. The 
face is one of the parts which should have some uniformity 
of colour, and yet not so, but a mere balancing of colour ; 
that is to say, that there should be a relitfm black, with the 
yellow and red on each side, and so in the body and tail. 
The nose should be white, the eyes orange, and the whole 
colouring rich and varied without the least Tabbyness^ either 
brown or gray or an approach to it, such being highly 
detrimental to its beauty. 

I have received a welcome letter from Mr. Herbert 
Young, of James Street, Harrogate, informing me of the 
existence of what is said to be a tortoiseshell tom or he-cat 
somewhere in Yorkshire, and the price is fifty guineas ; but 
he, unfortunately, has forgotten the exact address. He also 
kindly favours me with the further information of a tor- 
toiseshell-and-white he-cat. He describes it as " splendid," 
and "extra good in colour," and it is at present in the 
vicinity of Harrogate. And still further, Mr. Herbert Young 
says, " I am breeding from a dark colour cat and two tor- 
toiseshell females," and he hopes, by careful selection, to 
succeed in " breeding the other colour out." This, I deem, 
is by no means an unlikely thing to happen, and, by care- 
ful management, may not take very long to accomplish ; 
but much depends on the ancestry, or rather the pedigree of 
both sides. I for one most heartily wish Mr. Herbert Young 
success, and it will be most gratifying should he arrive at 
the height of his expectations. Failing the producing of the 



TORTOISESHELL-AND-WHITE CATS. 47 

desired colour in the he-cats by the legitimate method of 
tortoiseshell with tortoiseshell, I would advise the trial of 
some whole colours, such as solid black and white. This 
7nay prove a better way than the other, as we pigeon fanciers 
go an apparently roundabout way often to obtain what we 
want to attain in colour, and yet there is almost a certainty 
in the method. 

As regards the tortoiseshell cat, there is a distinct variety 
known to us cat fanciers as the tortoiseshell-tabby. This 
must not be confounded with the true variety, as it consists 
only of a variegation in colour of the yellow, the red, and 
the dark tabby, and is more in lines than patches, or patches 
of lines or spots. These are by no means ugly, and a well- 
marked, richly-coloured specimen is really very handsome. 
They may also be intermixed with white, and should be 
marked the same as the true tortoiseshell ; but in compe- 
tition with the real tortoiseshell they would stand no chance 
whatever, and ought in my opinion to be disquahfied as 
being wrong class, and be put in that for "any other 
colour." 




MRS. VYVYAN's royal CAT OF SIAM. 



48 



TABBY CATS. 




BROWN TABBY— BARS THE RIGHT WIDTH. 



THE BROWN TABBY CAT. 



The tabby cat is doubtless one of, if not the most common 
of colours, and numbers many almost endless varieties of 
both tint and markings. Of these those with very broad 
bands of black, or narrow bands of black, on nearly a 
black ground, are usually called black tabby, and if the 
bands are divided into spots instead of being in con- 
tinuous lines, then it is a spotted black tabby ; but I 
purpose in this paper to deal mostly with the brown 
tabby — that is to say, a tabby, whose ground colour is 
of a very rich, orangey, dark brown ground, without any 



TABBY CATS. 



49 



white, and that is evenly, proportionably, and not too 
broadly but elegantly marked on the face, head, breast, 
sides, back, belly, legs, and tail with bands of solid, deep, 
shining black. The front part of the head or face and legs, 
breast, and belly should have a more rich red orange tint 
than the back, but which should be nearly if not equal in 
depth of colour, though somewhat browner ; the markings 
should be graceful in curve, sharply, well, and clearly 
defined, with fine deep black edges, so that the brown and 
black are clear and distinct the one from the other, not 
blurred in any way. The banded tabby should not be 
spotted in any way, excepting those few that nearly always 
occur on the face and sometimes on the fore-legs. The 
clearer, redder, and brighter the brown the better. The 
nose should be deep red, bordered with black ; the eyes an 
orange colour, slightly diffused with green; in form the 
head should not be large, nor too wide, being rather longer 
than broad, so as not to give too round or clumsy an 
appearance ; ears not large nor small, but of moderate size, 
and of good form; legs medium length, rather long than 
short, so as not to lose grace of action ; body long, narrow, 
and deep towards the fore part. Tail long, and gradually 
tapering towards the point; feet round, with black claws, 
and black pads ; yellowish-white around the black lips and 
brown whiskers are allowable, but orange-tinted are far 
preferable, and pure white should disqualify. A cat of 
this description , is now somewhat rare. What are generally 
shown as brown tabbies are not sufficiently orange-brown^ 
but mostly of a dark, brownish-gray. This is simply the 
ordinary tabby, and not the brown tabby proper. 

As I stated in my notes on the Tortoiseshell cat, the 
best parents to obtain a good brown tabby from is to have a 
strongly marked, not too broad-banded tabby he-cat and a 
tortoiseshell she-cat with little black, or red tabby she-cat, 
the produce being, when tabby, generally of a rich brown, 
or sometimes what is termed black tabby, and also red 
tabby. The picture illustrating these notes is from one so 
bred, and is a particularly handsome specimen. There 



so 



TABBY CATS. 




BROWN TABBY— MARKINGS MUCH TOO WIDE. 



were two he-cats in the Htter, one the dark-brown tabby 
just mentioned, which I named Aaron, and the other, a 
very fine red tabby, ^Moses. This last was even a finer 
animal than Aaron, being very beautiful in colour and very 



TABBY CATS. 



51 







iVELL-MARKED PRIZE SILVER TABBY. 



large in size ; but he, alas ! like many others, was caught in 
wires set by poachers, and was found dead. His handsome 
brother still survives, though no longer my property. The 
banded red tabby should be marked precisely the same as 
the brown tabby, only the bands should be of deep red on 
an orange ground, the deeper in colour the better ; almost a 
chocolate on orange is very fine. The nose deep pink, as 
also the pads of the feet. The ordinary dark tabby the 
same way as the brown, and so also the blue or silver, only 

E 2 



52 TABBY CATS. 

the ground colour should be of a pale, soft, blue colour — 
not the slightest tint of brown in it, The clearer, the 
lighter^ and brighter the blue the better, bearing in mind 
always that the bands should be of a Jet blacky sharply and 
very clearly defined. 

The word tabby was derived from a kind of taffeta, or 
ribbed silk, which when calendered or what is now termed 
" watered," is by that process covered with wavy lines. 
This stuff, in bygone times, was often called " tabby : " 
hence the cat with lines or markings on its fur was called 
a ''tabby" cat. But it might also, one would suppose, 
with as much justice, be called a taffety cat, unless the 
calendering of "taffety" caused it to become "tabby." 
Certain it is that the word tabby only referred to the mark- 
ing or stripes, not to the absolute colour, for in " Wit and 
Drollery" (1682), p. 343, is the following : — 

" Her petticoat of satin, 

Her gown of crimson tabby." 

Be that as it may, I think there is little doubt that the 
foregoing was the origin of the term. Yet it was also called 
the brinded cat, or the brindled cat, also tiger cat, with 
some the gray cat, graymalkin ; but I was rather unprepared 
to learn that in Norfolk and Suffolk it is called a Cyprus 
cat. "Why Cyprus cat?" quoth I. " I do not know," said 
my informant. " All I know is, that such is the case." 

So I referred to my Bailey's Dictionary of 1730, and 
there, " sure enough," was the elucidation ; for I found that 
Cyprus was a kind of cloth made of silk and hair, showing 
wavy lines on it, and coming from Cyprus ; therefore this 
somewhat strengthens the argument in favour of " taffeta," 
or "tabby," but it is still curious that the Norfolk and 
Suffolk people should have adopted a kind of cloth as that 
representing the markings and colour of the cat, and that of 
a different name from that in use for the cat — one or more 
counties calling it a "tabby cat," as regards colour, and the 
other naming the same as " Cyprus." I take this to be 
exceedingly interesting. How or when such naming took 



TABBY CATS. 



53 



place I am at present unable to get the least clue, though 
I think from what I gather from one of the Crystal 
Palace Cat Show catalogues, that it must have been after 
1597, as the excerpt shows that at that time the shape and 
colour was like a leopard's, which, of course, is spotted, 
and is always called the spotted leopard. (Since this I have 
learned that the domestic cat is said to have been brought 
from Cyprus by merchants, as also was the tortoiseshell. 
Cyprus is a colour, a sort of reddish-yellow, something like 
citron ; so a Cyprus cat may mean a red or yellow tabby.) 

However, I find Holloway, in his " Dictionary of Pro- 
vinciahsms " (1839), gives the following : — 

. "CaHmanco Cat, s. {calimanco, a glossy stuff), a tortoise- 
shell cat, Norfolk." 




54 



SPOTTED TABBIES. 




SPOTTED TABBY CAT. 



I HAVE thought it best to give two illustrations of the peculiar 
markings of the spotted tabby, or leopard cat of some, as 
showing its distinctness from the ordinary and banded 



SPOTTED TABBIES, 55 

Tabby, one of my reasons being that I have, when judging 
at cat shows, often found excellent specimens of both 
entered in the "wrong class," thereby losing all chance 
of a prize, though, if rightly entered, either might very 
possibly have taken honours. I therefore wish to direct 
particular attention to the spotted character of the markings 
of the variety called the " spotted tabby." It will be 
observed that there are no lines, but what are lines in 
other tabbies are broken up into a number of spots, and 
the more these spots prevail, to the exclusion of liiies or 
bands, the better the specimen is considered to be. The 
varieties of the ground colour or tint on which these mark- 
ings or spots are placed constitutes the name, such as 
black-spotted tabby, brown-spotted tabby, and so on, the 
red-spotted tabby or yellows-spotted tabby in i-Zz^-cats being 
by far the most scarce. These should be marked with spots 
instead of bands, on the same ground colour as the red or 
yellow-banded tabby cat. In the former the ground colour 
should be a rich red, with spots of a deep, almost choco- 
late colour, while that of the yellow tabby may be a deep 
yellow cream, with yellowish-brown spots. Both are very 
scarce, and are extremely pretty. Any admixture of white 
is not allowable in the class for yellow or red tabbies; 
such exhibit must be put into the class (should there be 
one, which is usually the case at large shows) for red or 
yellow and white tabbies. This exhibitors will do well to 
make a note of. 

Some few years ago a hybrid, between the domestic cat 
and the English wild cat, was exhibited at the Crystal 
Palace Show. It took first prize in the Spotted Tabby Class, 
and was very beautiful. There is a rich-coloured brown 
tabby hybrid to be seen at the Zoological Society Gardens 
in Regent's Park, between the wild cat of Bengal and a 
tabby she-cat. It is handsome, but very wild. These hybrids, 
I am told, will breed again with tame variety, or with others. 

In the brown-spotted tabby, the dark gray-spotted tabby, 
the black-spotted tabby, the gray or the blue-spotted tabby, 
the eyes are best yellow or orange tinted, with the less of the 



56 



SPOTTED TABBIES. 



green the better. The nose should be of a dark red, 
edged with black or dark brown, in the dark colours, or 
somewhat lighter colour in the gray or blue tabbies. The 
pads of the feet in all instances must be black. In the 
yellow and the red tabby the nose and the pads of the feet 
are to be pink. As regards the tail, that should have large 
spots on the upper and lower sides instead of being annulated, 
but this is difficult to obtain. It has always occurred to 
me that the spotted tabby is a much nearer approach to 
the wild Enghsh cat and some other wild cats in the way 
of colour than the ordinary broad-banded tabby. Those 
specimens of the crosses, said to be between the wild and 
domestic cat, that I have seen, have had a tendency to be 




SPOTTED TABBIES. 57 

spotted tabbies. And these crosses were not infrequent in 
bygone times when the wild cats were more numerous than 
at present, as is stated to be the case by that reHable autho- 
rity, Thomas Bewick. In the year 1873, there was a speci- 
men shown at the Crystal Palace Cat Show, and also the 
last year or two there has been exhibited at the same place 
a most beautiful hybrid between the East Indian wild cat 
and the domestic cat. It was shown in the spotted tabby 
class, and won the first prize. The ground colour was a 
deep blackish-brown, with well-defined black spots, black 
pads to the feet, rich in colour, and very strong and power- 
fully made, and not by any means a sweet temper. It was 
a he-cat, and though I have made inquiry, I have not been 
able to ascertain that any progeny has been reared from it, 
yet I have been informed that such hybrids between the 
Indian wild cat and the domestic cat breed freely. 




/^^x 



58 THE ABYSSINIAN. 



THE ABYSSINIAN. 



I NOW come to the last variety of the tabby cat, and 
this can scarcely be called a tabby proper, as it is nearly 
destitute of markings, excepting sometimes on the legs 
and a broad black band along the back. It is mostly of 
a deep brown, ticked with black, somewhat resembling 
the back of a wild (only not so gray) rabbit. Along the 
centre of the back, from the nape of the neck to the tip of 
the tail; there is a band of black, very slightly interspersed 
with dark brown hairs. The inner sides of the legs and 
belly are more of a rufous-orange tint than the body, and 
are marked in some cases with a few dark patches ; but they 
are best without these marks, and in the exhibition pens it 
is a point lost. The eyes are deep yellow, tinted with 
green ; nose dark red, black-edged ; ears rather small, dark 
brown, with black edges and tips ; the pads of the feet are 
black. Altogether, it is a pretty and interesting variety. 
It has been shown under a variety of names, such as 
Russian, Spanish, Abyssinian, Hare cat, Rabbit cat, and 
some have gone so far as to maintain that it is a cross 
between the latter and a cat, proving very unmistakably 
there is nothing, however absurd or impossible, in animal 
or everyday life, that some people are not ready to credit 
and believe. A hybrid between the English wild cat and 
the domestic much resembles it ; and I do not consider it 
different in any way, with the exception of its colour, from 
the ordinary tabby cat, from which I have seen kittens and 
adults bearing almost the same appearance. Some years 
ago when out rabbit-shooting on the South Downs, not 
far from Eastbourne, one of our party shot a cat of this 
colour in a copse not far from the village of Eastdean. 
He mistook it at first for a rabbit as it dashed into 



THE ABYSSINIAN, 59 

the underwood. It proved not to be wild, but belonged to 
one of the villagers, and was bred in the village. When 
the ground colour is light gray or blue, it is generally 
called chinchilla, to the fur of which animal the coat has 
a general resemblance. I have but little inclination to place 
it as a distinct, though often it is of foreign breed ; such 
may be, though ours is merely a variety — and a very in- 
teresting one — of the ordinary tabby, with which its form, 
habits, temper, etc., seem fully to correspond ; still several 
have been imported from Abyssinia all of which were pre- 
cisely similar, and it is stated that this is the origin of 
the Egyptian cat that was worshipped so many centuries 
ago. The mummies of the cats I have seen in no case 
had any hair left, so that it was impossible to determine 
what colour they were. The imported cats are of stouter 
build than the EngHsh and less marked. These bred with 
an EngHsh tabby often give a result of a nearly black, the 
back band extending very much down the sides, and the 
brown ticks almost disappearing, which gives a very rich 
and beautiful colouring. 

I find there is yet another tint or colour of the tabby 
proper which I have not mentioned, that is to say, a cat 
marked with light wavy lines, and an exceedingly pretty one 
it is. It is very rare ; in fact, so much so that it has never 
had a class appropriated to it, and therefore is only 
admissible to or likely to win in the class " For Any Other 
Colour," in which class usually a number of very beautiful 
varieties are to be found, some of which I shall have 
occasion to notice further on. The colour, however, that 
I now refer to is often called the silver tabby, for want of a 
better name. It is this. The whole of the ground colour 
is of a most delicate silver-gray, clear and firm in tone, 
slightly blue if anything apart from the gray, and the markings 
thereon are but a little darker, with a tinge of lilac in them 
making the fur to look like an evening sky, rayed with light 
clouds. The eyes are orange-yellow, and when large and 
full make a fine contrast to the colour of the fur. The nose 
is red, edged with a lilac tint, and the pads of the feet and 



6o 



WAVE-MARKED TABBIES, 




MRS. HERRING S BLUE SMALL-BANDED TABBY. 



claws are black, or nearly so. The hair is generally very 
fine, short, and soft. Altogether it is most lovely, and well 
worthy of attention, forming, as it does, a beautiful contrast 
to the red, the yellow, or even the brown tabby. A tur- 
quoise ribbon about its neck will show to great advantage 
the delicate lilac tints of its coat, or, if a contrast is preferred, 
a light orange scarlet, or what is often called geranium 
colour, will perhaps give a brighter and more pleasing 
effect. 

This is by no means so uncommon a colour in the long- 



VARIOUS TABBIES. 



6i 



hatred cats, some of which are exquisite, and are certainly 
the acme of beauty in the way of cat colouring ; but I must 
here remark that there is a vast difference in the way of 
disposition between these two light varieties, that of the 
former being far more gentle. In fact, I am of opinion 
that the short-haired cat in general is of a more genial 
temperament, more " cossetty," more observant, more quick 
in adapting itself to its surroundings and circumstances than 
its long-haired brother, and, as a rule, it is also more cleanly 
in its habits. Though at the same time I am willing to 
admit that some of these peculiarities being set aside, the 
long-haired cat is charmingly beautiful, and at the same 
time has a large degree of intelligence— in fact, much more 
than most animals that I know, not even setting aside the 
dog, and I have come to this conclusion after much long, 
careful, and mature consideration. 




62 



WHITE CATS. 




THE SHORT-HAIRED WHITE CAT. 



This of all, as it depends entirely on its comeliness, should 
be graceful and elegant in the outline of its form and 
also action, the head small, not too round nor thick, for 
this gives a clumsy, heavy appearance, but broad on 
the forehead, and gently tapering towards the muzzle, 
the nose small, tip even and pink, the ears rather small 
than large, and not too pointed, the neck slender, shoulders 
narrow and sloping backwards, loin full and long, legs of 
moderate length, tail well set on, long, broad at the base, 
and gradually tapering towards the end ; the white should 
be the yellow-white, that is, the white of the colours, such 



WHITE CATS. 63 

as tortoiseshell, red tabby or blues, not the gray-white bred 
from the black, as these are coarser in the quality of the 
furs. The eye should be large, round, full, and blue. I 
noted this peculiarity of white when breeding white Cochins 
many years ago ; those chickens that were black when 
hatched were a colder and harder white than those which 
were hatched buff. This colouring of white should be fully 
borne in mind when crossing colours in breeding, as the 
results are widely different from the two varieties. The 
whole colour yellow-white will not do to match with blue 
or gray, as it will assuredly give the wrong tinge or colour. 

The eyes should be blue; green is a great defect; 
bright yellow is allowable, or what in horses is called " wall 
eyes." Orange gives a heavy appearance ; but yellow will 
harmonise and look well with a gray-white. 

White cats with blue eyes are hardy. Mr. Timbs, in 
"Things Not Generally Known," relates that even they are 
not so likely to be deaf as is supposed, and mentions one 
of seventeen years old which retained its hearing faculties 
perfectly. Some specimens I have seen with one yellow 
eye and one blue ; this is a most singular freak of nature, 
and to the best of my knowledge is not to be found among 
any of the other colours. 

It is stated that one of the white horses recently pre- 
sented by the Shah of Persia to the Emperor of Russia 
has blue eyes. I can scarcely credit this, but think it 
must be a true albino, with the gray-pink coloured eyes 
they generally have, or possibly the blue eye is that peculiar 
to the albino cat and horse, as I have never seen an albino 
horse or cat with pink eyes but a kind of opalesque colour, 
or what is termed "wall eye." No doubt many of my 
readers have observed the differences in the white of our 
horses, they mostly being the gray-white, with dark skin ; 
but the purer white has a pink skin, and is much softer and 
elegant in appearance. It is the same with our white cats. 



64 BLACK CATS. 



THE BLACK CAT. 



It is often said " What's in a name?" the object, whatever 
it is, by any other would be the same, and yet there is much 
in a name; but this is not the question at issue, which 
is that of colour. Why should a black cat be thought so 
widely different from all others by the foolish, unthinking, and 
ignorant ? Why, simply on account of its colour being black, 
should it have ascribed to it a numberless variety of bad omens, 
besides having certain necromantic power ? In Germany, for 
instance, black cats are kept away from children as omens 
of evil, and if a black cat appeared in the room of one 
lying ill it was said to portend death. To meet a black cat 
in the twilight was held unlucky. In the "good old 
times" a black cat was generally the only colour that 
was favoured by men reported to be wizards, and 
also were said to be the constant companions of reputed 
witches, and in such horror and detestation were they 
then held that when the unfortunate creatures were ill- 
treated, drowned, or even burned, very frequently we 
are told that their cats suffered martyrdom at the same 
time. It is possible that one of the reasons for such 
wild, savage superstition may have arisen from the 
fact of the larger amount of electricity to be found by 
friction in the coat of the black cat to any other ; experi- 
ments prove there is but very little either in that of 
the white or the red tabby cat. Be this as it may, still 
the fact remains that, for some reason or other, the black 
cat is held by the prejudiced ignorant as an animal most 
foul and detestable, and wonderful stories are related 



BLACK CATS. 65 

of their actions in the dead of the night during thunder- 
storms and windy nights. Yet, as far as I can discover, 
there appears little difference either of temper or habit 
in the black cat distinct from that of any other colour, 
though it is maintained by many even to this day that black 
cats are far more vicious and spiteful and of higher courage, 
and this last I admit. Still, when a black cat is enraged 
and its coat and tail are well "set up," its form distended, 
its round, bright, orange-yellow eye distended and all aglow 
with anger, it certainly presents to even the most impartial 
observer, to say the least of it, a most ''uncanny" appear- 
ance. But, for all this, their admirers are by no means few ; 
and, to my thinking, a jet-black cat, fine and glossy in fur 
and elegantly formed, certainly has its attractions; but I 
will refer to the superstitions connected with the black cat 
further on. 

A black cat for show purposes should be of a uniform, 
intense black ; a brown-black is richer thaii a blue-black. I 
mean by this that when the hair is parted it should show in 
the division a dark brown-black in preference to any tint of 
blue whatever. The coat or fur should be short, velvety, 
and very glossy. The eyes round and full, and of a deep 
orange colour ; nose black, and also the pads of the feet ; 
tail long, wide at the base, and tapering gradually towards 
the end. A long thin tail is a great fault, and detracts 
much from the merits it may otherwise possess, A good, 
deep, rich-coloured black cat is not so common as many 
may at first suppose, as often those that are said to be 
black show tabby markings under certain conditions of 
light ; and, again, others want depth and richness of colour, 
some being only a very dark gray. In form it is the same as 
other short-haired cats, such as I have described in the white, 
and this brings me to the variety called " blue." 



66 



BLUE CATS. 




ARCHANGEL BLUE CAT. 



THE BLUE CAT. 



This is shown often under a number of names. It was at 
first shown as the Archangel cat, then Russian blue, 
Spanish blue, Chartreuse blue, and, lastly, and I know not 
why, the American blue. It is not, in my belief, a distinct 
breed, but merely a light-coloured form of the black cat. 
In fact, I have ascertained that one shown at the Crystal 
Palace, and which won many prizes on account of its 
beautiful blue colour slightly tinged with purple, was the 
offspring of a tabby and white she-cat and a black-and-white 
he-cat, and I have seen the same colour occur when bred 
from the cats usually kept about a farmhouse as a protection 
from rats and mice, though none of the parents had any 
blue colour. 



BLUE CATS. 



(>7 



Being so beautiful, and as it is possible in some places 
abroad it may be bred in numbers, I deemed it advisable, 
when making out the prize schedule, to give special prizes 
for this colour; the fur being used for various purposes 
on account of its hue. A fine specimen should be even 
in colour, of a bluish-lilac tint, with no sootiness or black, 
and though light be firm and rich in tone, the nose and pads 
dark, and the eyes orange-yellow. If of a very light blue- 
gray, the nose and pads may be of a deep chocolate colour 
and the eyes deep yellow, not green. If it is a foreign 
variety, I can only say that I see no distinction in form, 
temper, or habit; and, as I have before mentioned, it is 
sometimes bred here in England from cats bearing no 
resemblance to the bluish-lilac colour, nor of foreign ex- 
traction or pedigree. I feel bound, however, to admit that 
those that came from Archangel were of a deeper, purer 
tint than the Enghsh cross-breeds ; and on reference to my 
notes, I find they had larger ears and eyes, and were larger 
and longer in the head. 




F 2 



68 



BLACK-AND-WHITE CATS. 




THE BLACK-AND-WHITE CAT. 



This is distinct from the white-and-hlack cat, the ground 
colour being black, marked with white ; while the other is 
white, marked with black. The chief points of excellence 
for show purposes are a dense bright brown-black, evenly 
marked with white. Of this I give an illustration, showing 
the most approved way in which the white should be 
distributed, coming to a point between the eyes. The feet 
should be white, and the chest, the nose, and the pads white. 
No black on the lips or nose, whiskers white, eyes of orange 
yellow. Any black on the white portions is highly detri- 
mental to its beauty and its chance of a prize. 



BLACK-AND-WHITE CATS. 



69 



The same markings are applicable to the brown tabby 
and white, the dark tabby and white, the red tabby and 
white, the yellow tabby and white, the blue or silver tabby 
and white, and the blue and white. One great point is to 
obtain a perfectly clear and distinct gracefully-curved outline 
of colour, and this to be maintained throughout ; the blaze 
on the forehead to be central. It is stated that if a dog 
has white anywhere, he is sure to have a white tip to his 
tail, and I think, on observation, it will be found usually the 
case, although this is not so in the cat, for I cannot call to mind 
a single instance where a black-and-white had a white tip to 
its tail ; but taking the various colours of the domestic cat 
into consideration I think it will be found that there is a 
larger number with some white about them than those of 
entirely one colour, without even a few white hairs, which if 
they appear at all are mostly to be found on the chest, 
though they often are exceedingly few in number. 




ROYAL CAT OF SIAM. 



70 



WHITE-AND-BLACK CATS. 




THE WHITE-AND-BLACK CAT. 



This differs entirely from the black-and-white cat, as just ex- 
plained, and is the opposite as regards colour, the ground 
being white instead of black, and the markings black on 
white.] For exhibition purposes and points of excellence, no 
particular rule exists beyond that the exhibit shall be evenly 
marked, with the colour distributed so as to balance, as, for 
example : — If a cat has a black patch just Jinder one eye 
with a little above, the balance of colour would be maintained 
if the other eye had a preponderance of colour above instead 



WHITE-AND-BLACK CATS. 71 

of below, and so with the nose, shoulders, or back, but it 
would be far better if the patches of colour were the same 
size and shape, and equal in position. It might be that a 
cat evenly marked on the head had a mark on the left 
shoulder with more on the right, with a rather larger patch 
on the right side of the loin, or a black tail would help 
considerably to produce what is termed " balance,'^ though 
a cat of this description would lose if competing against one 
of entirely uniform markings. 

I have seen several that have been marked in a very 
singular way. One was entirely white, with black ears. 
Another white, with a black tail only. This had orange 
eyes, and was very pretty. Another had a black blaze up 
the nose, the rest of the animal being white. This had 
blue eyes, and was deaf. Another had the two front feet 
black, all else being white; the eyes were yellow-tinted 
green. All these, it will be observed, were perfect in the 
way they were marked. 

I give an illustration of a cat belonging to Mr. S. Lyon, 
of Crewe. It is remarkable in more ways than one, and 
in all probabihty, had it been born in " the dark ages " a 
vast degree of importance would have been attached to it, 
not only on account of the peculiar distribution of the colour 
and its form, but also as to the singular coincidence of its 
birth. The head is white, with a black mark over the eyes 
and ears which, when looked at from above, presents the 
appearance of a fleur-de-lis. The body is white, with a 
distinct black cross on the right side, or, rather, more on 
the back than side. The cross resembles that known as 
Maltese in form, and is clearly defined. The tail is black, 
the legs and feet white. Nor does the cat's claim to notice 
entirely end here, for, marvellous to relate, it was born on 
Easter Sunday, a.d. 1886. Now, what would have been 
said of such a coincidence had this pecuHar development 
of Nature occurred in bygone times? There is just the 
possibility that the credulous would have *' flocked " to see 
the wondrous animal from far and near ; and even now, in 
these enlightened times, I learn from Mr. Lyon that the cat 



72 WHITE-AND-BLACK CATS. 

is not by any means devoid of interest and attraction, for, 
as he tells me, a number of persons have been to see it, 
some of whom predict that " luck" will follow, and that he 
and his household will, in consequence, doubtless enjoy 
many blessings, and that all things will prosper with him 
accordingly. 

Although my remarks are directed to " the white-and- 
black " cat, the same will apply to the " white-and-red, 
white-and-yellow, white-and-tabby, white-and-blue, or dun 
colour;" all these, and the foregoing, will most probably 
have to be exhibited in the " Any Other Colour " class, as 
there is seldom one at even the largest shows for peculiar 
markings with white as the ground or principal colour. 



SIAMESE CATS. 



73 




^O/VYlXJIt. 



SIAMESE CAT. 



Among the beautiful varieties of the domestic cat brought 
into notice by the cat shows, none deserve more atten- 
tion than " The Royal Cat of Siam." In form, colour, 
texture, and length, or rather shortness of its coat, it is 
widely different from other short-haired varieties ; yet there 
is but little difference in its mode of life or habit. I have 
not had the pleasure of owning one of this breed, though 
when on a visit to Lady Dorothy Nevill, at Dangstien, near 
Petersfield, I had several opportunities for observation. I 
noticed in particular the intense liking of these cats for 
"the woods," not passing along the hedgerows like the 
ordinary cat, but quickly and quietly creeping from bush to 



74 SIAMESE CATS. 

bush, then away in the shaws ; not that they displayed 
a wildness of nature, in being shy or distrustful, nor did 
they seem to care about getting wet like many cats do, 
though apparently they suffer much when it is cold and 
damp weather, as would be likely on account of the 
extreme shortness of their fur, which is of both a hairy and 
a woolly texture, and not so glossy as our ordinary common 
domestic cat, nor is the tail, which is thin. Lady Dorothy 
Nevill informed rrie that those which belonged to her were 
imported from Siam and presented by Sir R. Herbert of the 
Colonial Office ; the late Duke of Wellington imported the 
breed, also Mr. Scott of Rotherfield. Lady Dorothy Nevill 
thought them exceedingly docile and domestic, but delicate 
in their constitution ; although her ladyship kept one for two 
years, another over a year, but eventually all died of the same 
complaint, that of worms, which permeated every part of their 
body. 

Mr. Young, of Harrogate, possesses a chocolate variety 
of this Royal Siamese cat ; it was sent from Singapore to 
Mr. Brennand, from whom he purchased it, and is described 
as " most loving and affectionate," which I believe is usually 
the case. Although this peculiar colour is very beautiful 
and scarce, I am of opinion that the light gray or fawn 
colour with black and well-marked muzzle, ears, and legs is 
the typical variety, the markings being the same as the 
Himalayan rabbits. There are cavies so marked ; and many 
years ago I saw a mouse similarly coloured. Mr. Young 
informs me that the kittens he has bred from his dark variety 
have invariably come the usual gray or light dun colour with 
dark points. I therefore take that to be the correct form and 
colour, and the darker colour to be an accidental deviation. 
In pug-dogs such a depth of colour would be considered a 
blemish, however beautiful it might be ; even black pugs do 
not obtain prizes in competition with a true-marked light 
dun ; but whatever colour the body is it should be clear and 
firm, rich and not clouded in any way. But I give Mr. 
Young's own views : 

" The dun Siamese we have has won whenever 



SIAMESE CATS. 75 

shown ; the body is of a dun colour, nose, part of the face, 
ears, feet, and tail of a very dark chocolate brown, nearly 
black, eyes of a beautiful blue by day, and of a red colour 
at night ! My other prize cat is of a very rich chocolate or 
seal, with darker face, ears, and tail ; the legs are a shade 
darker, which intensifies towards the feet. The eyes small, 
of a rich amber colour, the ears are bare of hair, and not 
so much hair between the eyes and the ears as the English 
cats have. The dun, unless under special judges, invariably 
beats the chocolate at the shows. The tail is shorter and 
finer than our English cats. 

" I may add that we lately have had four kittens from the 
chocolate cat by a pure dun Siamese he-cat. All the young 
are dun coloured, and when born were very light, nearly 
white, but are gradually getting the dark points of the 
parents ; in fact, I expect that one will turn chocolate. The 
cats are very affectionate, and make charming ladies' pets, 
but are rather more delicate than our cats, but after they 
have once wintered in England they seem to get acclimatised. 

'' Mr. Brennand, who brought the chocolate one and 
another, a male, from Singapore last year, informs me that 
there are two varieties, a large and small. Ours are the 
small ; he also tells me the chocolate is the most rare. 

" I have heard a little more regarding the Siamese cats 
from Miss Walker, the daughter of General Walker, who 
brought over one male and three females. It seems the 
only pure breed , is kept at the King of Siam's palace, and 
the cats are very difficult to procure, for in Siam it took 
three different gentlemen of great influence three months 
before they could get any. 

" Their food is fish and rice boiled together until quite 
soft, and Miss Walker finds the kittens bred have thriven 
on it. 

" It is my intention to try and breed from a white 
English female with blue eyes, and a Siamese male. 

" The Siamese cats are very prolific breeders, having 
generally five at each fitter, and three litters a year. 

"We have never succeeded in breeding any like our 



76 SIAMESE CATS. 

chocolate cat ; they all come fawn, with black or dark 
brown points ; the last family are a little darker on their 
backs, which gives them a richer appearance than the pale 
fawn. Hitherto we have never had any half-bred Siamese ; 
but there used to be a male Siamese at Hurworth-on-Tees, 
and there were many young bred from English cats. They 
invariably showed the Siamese cross in the ground colour." 

From the foregoing it will be seen how very difficult it is 
to obtain the pure breed, even in Siam, and on reference to 
the Crystal Palace catalogues from the year 187 1 until 1887, 
I find that there were fifteen females and on\y four males, 
and some of these were not entire ; and I have always 
understood that the latter were not allowed to be exported, 
and were only got by those so fortunate as a most extra- 
ordinary favour, as the King of Siam is most jealous of 
keeping the breed entirely in Siam as royal cats. 

The one exhibited by Lady Dorothy Nevill (Mrs. 
Poodle) had three kittens by an English cat ; but none 
showed any trace of the Siamese, being all tabby. 

Although Mr. Herbert Young was informed by Mr. 
Brennand that there is another and a larger breed in Siam, 
it does not appear that any of these have been imported ; 
nor have we any description of them, either as to colour, 
size, form, or quality of coat, or whether they resemble the 
lesser variety in this or any respect, yet it is to be hoped that, 
ere long, some specimens may be secured for this country. 

Besides Mr. Herbert Young, I am also much indebted 
to the courtesy of Mrs. Vyvyan, of Dover, who is a lover of 
this beautiful breed, and who kindly sends the following 
information : 

" The original pair were sent from Bangkok, and it is 
believed that they came from the King's Palace, where alone 
the breed are said to be kept pure. At any rate they were 
procured as a great favour, after much delay and great 
difficulty, and since that time no others have been attainable 
by the same person. We were in China when they reached 
us, and the following year, 1886, we brought the father, 
mother, and a pair of kittens to England. 



SIAMESE CATS. 77 

" Their habits are in general the same as the common 
cat, though it has been observed by strangers, ' there is a 
pleasant wild animal odour,' which is not apparent to us. 

" Most of the kittens have a kink in the tail ; it varies in 
position, sometimes in the middle, close to the body, or at 
the extreme end like a hook." 

This tallies with the description given by Mr. Darwin of 
the Malayan and also the Siamese cats. See my notes on 
the Manx cat. Mr. Young had also noted this peculiarity 
in " the Royal cat of Siam." 

Mrs. Vyvyan further remarks : 

" They are very affectionate and personally attached 
to their human friends, not liking to be left alone, and 
following us from room to room more after the manner of 
dogs than cats. 

"They are devoted parents, the old father taking the 
greatest interest in the young ones. 

'' They are friendly with the dogs of the house, occupy- 
ing the same baskets ; but the males are very strong, and 
fight with great persistency with strange dogs, and conquer 
all other tom-cats in their neighbourhood. We lost one, 
however, a very fine cat, in China in this way, as he returned 
to the house almost torn to pieces and in a dying condition, 
from an encounter with some animal which we think was 
one of the wild cats of the hills. 

'' We feed them on fresh fish boiled with rice, until the 
two are nearly amalgamated ; they also take bread and milk 
war7?i, the milk having been boiled, and this diet seems to 
suit them better than any other. They also like chicken 
and game. We have proved the fish diet is not essential, 
as two of our cats (in Cornwall) never get it. 

"Rather a free life seems necessary to their perfect 
acclimatisation, where they can go out and provide 
themselves with raw animal food, 'feather and fur.' 

" We find these cats require a great deal of care, unless 
they live in the country, and become hardy through being 
constantly out of doors. The kittens are difficult to rear 
unless they are born late in the spring, thus having the 



78 SIAMESE CATS. 

warm weather before them. Most deaths occur before they 
are six months old. 

" We have lost several kittens from worms, which they 
endeavour to vomit ; as relief we give them raw chicken 
heads, with the feathers on, with success. We also give cod- 
liver oil, if the appetite fails and weight diminishes. 

"When first born the colour is nearly pure white, the only 
trace of ' points ' being a fine line of dark gray at the edge 
of the ears; a gradual alteration takes place, the body becom- 
ing creamy, the ears, face, tail, and feet darkening, until, 
about a year old, they attain perfection, when the points 
should be the deepest brown, nearly black, and the body 
ash or fawn colour, eyes opal or blue, looking red in the 
dark. After maturity they are apt to darken considerably, 
though not in all specimens. 

" They are most interesting and delightful pets. But 
owing to their delicacy and the great care they require, no 
one, unless a real cat lover, should attempt to keep them ; 
they cannot with safety to their health be treated as common 
cats. 

" During * Susan's ' (one of the cats) illness, the old he- 
cat came daily to condole with her, bringing delicate ' atten- 
tions ' in the form of freshly-caught mice. ' Loquat ' also 
provided this for a young family for whom she had no milk. 

" Another, ' Saiwan,' is very clever at undoing the latch 
of the window in order to let himself out ; tying it up with 
string is of no use, and he has even managed to untwist 
wire that has been used to prevent his going out in the snow. 
We have at present two males, four adult females, and five 
kittens." One of our kittens sent t3 Scotland last August, 
has done well. 

Mrs. Lee, of Penshurst, also has some fine specimens of 
the breed, and of the same colours as described. I take 
it, therefore, that the true breed, by consensus of opinion, 
is that of the dun, fawn, or ash-coloured ground, with 
black points. Other colours should be shown in the 
variety classes. 

The head should be long from the ears to the eyes, and 



SIAMESE CATS. 79 

not over broad, and then rather sharply taper off towards 
the muzzle, the forehead flat, and receding, the eyes some- 
what aslant downwards towards the nose, and the eyes of a 
pearly, yet bright blue colour, the ears usual size and black, 
with little or no hair on the inside, with black muzzle, and 
round the eyes black. The form should be slight, graceful, 
and delicately made, body long, tail rather short and thin, 
and the legs somewhat short, slender, and the feet oval, 
not so round as the ordinary English cat. The body should 
be one bright, uniform, even colour, not clouded, either 
rich fawn, dun, or ash. The legs, feet, and tail black. The 
back slightly darker is allowable, if of a rich colour, and the 
colour softened, not clouded. 




PROPERLY MARKED SIAMESE CAT. 



8o 



MANX CATS. 




THE MANX CAT. 



The Manx cat is well known, and is by no means uncommon. 
It differs chiefly from the ordinary domestic cat in being 
tailless, or nearly so, the best breeds not having any ; the 
hind legs are thicker and rather longer, particularly in the 
thighs. It runs more like a hare than a cat, the action of the 
legs being awkward, nor does it seem to turn itself so readily, 
or with such rapidity and ease ; the head is somewhat small 
for its size, yet thick and well set on a rather long neck ; the 
eyes large, round, and full, ears medium, and rather rounded 
at the apex. In colour they vary, but I do not remember 



MANX CATS. 8i 

to have seen a white or many black, though one of the best 
that has come under my notice was the latter colour. I 
have examined a number of specimens sent for exhibition 
at the Crystal Palace and other cat shows, and found in 
some a very short, thin, twisted tail, in others a mere excres- 
cence,and somewith an appendage morelike a knob. These I 
have taken as having been operated upon when young, the 
tail being removed, but this may not be the case, as Mr. St. 
George Mivart in his very valuable book on the cat, men- 
tions a case where a female cat had her tail so injured by the 
passage of a cart-wheel over it, that her master judged it 
best to have it cut off near the base. Since then she has had 
two litters of kittens, and in each litter one or more of the 
kittens had a stu7np of tail, while their brothers and sisters 
had tails of the usual length. But were there no Manx cats in 
the neighbourhood, is a query. This case is analogous to 
the statement that the short-tailed sheep-dog was produced 
from parents that had had their tails amputated ; and yet 
this is now an estabHshed breed. Also a small black breed 
of dogs from the Netherlands, which is now very fashion- 
able. They are called " Chipperkes," and have no tails, 
at least when exhibited. Mr. St. George Mivart further 
states that Mr. Bartlett told him, as he has so stated to 
myself, that in the Isle of Man the cats have tails of dif- 
ferent lengths, from nothing up to ten inches. I have also 
been informed on good authority that the Fox Terrier dogs, 
which invariably have (as a matter of fashion) their tails 
cut short, sometimes have puppies with much shorter tails 
than the original breed ; but this does not appear to take 
effect on sheep, whose tails are generally cut off. I can- 
not, myself, come to the same conclusion as to the origin of 
the Manx cat. Be this as it may, one thing is certain : that 
cross-bred Manx with other cats often have young that are 
tailless. As a proof of this, Mr. Herbert Young, of Harrogate, 
has had in his possession a very fine red female long-haired 
tailless cat, that was bred between the Manx and a Persian. 
Another case showing the strong prepotency of the Manx cat. 
Mr. Hodgkin, of Eridge, some time ago had a female 

G 



82 MANX CATS. 

Manx cat sent to him. Not only does she produce tailless 
cats when crossed with the ordinary cat, but the progeny 
again crossed also frequently have some tailless kittens in each 
litter. I have also been told there is a breed of tailless cats 
in Cornwall. Mr. Darwin states in his book on " The Varia- 
tion of Animals and Plants under Domestication," vol.i. p. 47, 
that ''throughout an immense area, namely, the Malayan 
Archipelago, Slam, Pequan, and Burmah, all the cats have 
truncated tails about half the proper length, often with a sort 
of knob at the end." This description tallies somewhat with 
the appearance of some of the Siamese cats that have been 
imported, several of which, though they have fairly long and 
thin tails, and though they are much pointed at the end, often 
have a break or kink. In a note Mr. Darwin says, "The Mada- 
gascar cat is said to have a twisted tail." (See Desmares, in 
Encyclop. Nat. Mamm., 1820, p. 233, for some other breeds.) 
Mr. St. George Mivart also corroborates the statement, so far 
as the Malay cat is concerned. He says the tail is only half 
the ordinary length, and often contorted into a sort of knot, 
so that it cannot be straightened. He further states, " Its con- 
tortion is due to deformity of the bones of the tail," and there 
is a tailless breed of cats in the Crimea. Some of the Manx 
cats I have examined have precisely the kind of tail here 
described — thin, very short, and twisted, that cannot be 
straightened. Is it possible that the Manx cat originated 
with the Malayan ? Or rather is it a freak of nature perpe- 
tuated by selection ? Be this as it may, we have the Manx 
cat now as a distinct breed, and, when crossed with others, 
will almost always produce some entirely tailless kittens, if not 
all. Many of the Siamese kittens bred here have kinks in 
their tails. 

The illustration I give is that of a prize winner at the 
Crystal Palace in 1880, 1881, 1882, and is the property of 
Mr. J. M. Thomas, of Parliament Street. In colour it is a 
brindled tortoiseshell. It is eight years old. At the end of 
this description I also give a portrait of one of its kittens, a 
tabby; both are true Manx, and neither have a particle of tail, 
only a very small tuft of hair which is boneless. The hind 



MANX CATS, 



83 



quarters are very square and deep, as contrasted with other 
cats, and the flank deeper, giving an appearance of great 
strength, the hind legs being longer, and thicker in propor- 
tion to the fore legs, which are much slighter and tapering ; 
even the toes are smaller. The head is round for a she-cat, 
and the ears somewhat large and pointed, but thin and fine 
in the hair, the cavity of the ear has less hair within it (also 
a trait of the Siamese) than some other short-haired cats, 
the neck is long and thin, as are the shoulders. Its habits 
are the same as those of most cats. I may add that 
Mr. Thomas, who is an old friend of mine, has had this 
breed many years, and kept it perfectly pure. 




G 2 



84 VARIOUS COLOURS. 



VARIOUS COLOURS. 

Those who have had much to do with breeding, and 
crossing of animals, birds, or plants, well know that with 
time, leisure, and patience, how comparatively easy it is to 
improve, alter, enlarge, or diminish any of these, or any part 
of them ; and looking at the cat from this standpoint, now 
that it is becoming " a fancy " animal, there is no prophesy- 
ing what forms, colours, markings, or other variations will 
be made by those who understand what can be done by 
careful, well-considered matching, and skilful selection. 
We have now cats with no tails, short tails, and some of 
moderate length, long tails bushy and hairy ; but should a 
very long tail be in request, I have no doubt whatever but 
that in a few years it would be produced ; and now that there 
is a cat club constituted for the welfare and improvement of 
the condition, as well as the careful breeding of cats, curious 
and unforeseen results are most likely to be attained ; but 
whether any will ever excel the many beautiful varieties 
we now have, is a problem that remains to be solved. 

This concludes the numerous varieties of colours and 
the proper markings of the domestic cat, as regards beauty 
and the points of excellence to be observed for the purposes 
of exhibition. These are distinct, and as such, nearly all have 
classes for each individual colour and marking, and there- 
fore it is imperative that the owner should note carefully the 
different properties and beauties of his or her particular speci- 
men, and also as carefully read the schedule of prizes with 
such attention as to be enabled to enter his or her pet in the 
proper class ; for, it is not only annoying to the exhibitor but 
to the judge to find an animal sometimes of extraordinary 
merit placed in the "wrong class" by sheer inattentioji to 
XhQprififed rules and instructions prepared by the committee 
or promoters of the show. It is exceedingly distasteful, and 



VARIOUS COLOURS. 85 

I may say almost distressing, to a judge to find a splendid 
animal wrongly entered, and so to feel himself compelled to 
" pass it," and to affix the words fatal to all chance of winning 
— " Wrong class." Again let me impress on exhibitors to 
be careful — very careful — in this matter — this matter of 
entry — for I may say it is one of the reasons which has led 
to my placing these notes on paper, though I have done so 
with much pleasure, and with earnest hope that they will be 
found of some value and service to the " uninitiated." 

Of course there are, as there must be, a number of 
beautiful shades of colour, tints, and markings that are 
difficult to define or describe ; colours and markings that are 
intermediate with those noticed ; but though in themselves 
they are extremely interesting, and even very beautiful, they 
do not come within the range of the classes for certain definite 
forms of lines, spots, or colourings, as I have endeavoured 
to point out, and, indeed, it was almost impossible to make a 
sufficient number of classes to comprehend the whole. There- 
fore it has been considered wisest and even necessary as 
the most conducive to the best interests of the exhibitor 
and also to simplify the difficulties of judging, and for the 
maintenance of the various forms of beauty of the cat, to 
have classes wherein they are shown under rules of colour, 
points of beauty and excellence that are *' hard and fast," 
and by this means all may not only know how and in what 
class to exhibit, but also what their chance is of "taking 
honours." 

As I have just stated, there are intermediate colours, 
markings, and forms, so extra classes have been provided 
for these, under the heading of " any other variety of colour," 
and " any other variety not before mentioned," and "any 
cats of pecuhar structure." In this last case, the cats that 
have abnormal formations, such as seven toes, or even nine 
on their fore and hind legs, peculiar in other ways, such as 
three legs, or only two legs, as I have seen, may be exhibited. 
I regard these, however, as malformations, and not to be 
encouraged, being generally devoid of beauty, and lacking 
interest for the ordinary observer, and they also tend to 



86 



THE BEAUTY OF THE CAT 



create a morbid taste for the unnatural and ugly, instead 
of the beautiful ; the beautiful, be it what it may, is always 
pleasant to behold ; and there is but little, if any, doubt in 
my mind but that the constant companionship of even a 
beautiful cat must have a soothing effect. Therefore, not 
in cats only, but in all things have the finest and best. 
Surround yourself with the elegant, the graceful, the bril- 
liant, the beautiful, the agile, and the gentle. Be it what 
it may, animal, bird, or flower, be careful to have the best. 
A man, it is said, is made more or less by his environments, 
and doubtless this is to a great extent, if not entirely, a fact ; 
that being so, the contemplation of the beautiful must 
have its quieting, restful influences, and tend to a brighter 
and happier state of existence. I am' fully aware there are 
many that may differ with me, though I feel sure I am not 
far wrong when I aver there are few animals really more 
beautiful than a cat. If it is a good, carefully selected 
specimen, well kept, well cared for, in high condition, 
in its prime of life, well-trained, graceful in every line, 
bright in colour, distinct in markings, supple and elegant in 
form, agile and gentle in its ways, it is beautiful to look at 
and must command admiration. Yes ! the contemplation 
of the beautiful elevates the mind, if only in a cat ; beauty 
of any kind, is beauty, and has its refining influences. 






^ 







USEFULNESS OF CATS, 87 



USEFULNESS OF CATS. 



In our urban and suburban houses what should we do with- 
out cats ? In our sitting or bedrooms, our hbraries, in our 
kitchens and storerooms, our farms, barns, and rickyards, 
in our docks, our granaries, our ships, and our wharves, 
in our corn markets, meat markets, and other places too 
numerous to mention, how useful they are ! In our ships, 
however, the rats oft set them at defiance ; still they are of 
great service. 

How wonderfully patient is the cat when watching for 
rats or mice, awaiting their egress from their place of refuge 
or that which is their home ! How well Shakespeare in 
Pericles^ Act iii., describes this keen attention of the cat 
to its natural pursuit ! 

The cat, with eyne of burning coal, 

Now crouches from (before) the mouse's hole. 

A slight rustle, and the fugitive comes forth; a quick, 
sharp, resolute motion, and the cat has proved its usefulness. 
Let any one have a plague of rats and mice, as I once had, 
and let them be delivered therefrom by cats, as I was, and 
they will have a lasting and kind regard for them. 

A friend not long since informed me that a cat at Stone's 
Distillery was seen to catch two rats at one time, a fore foot 
on each. All the cats kept at this establishment, and there 
are several, are of the red tabby colour, and therefore most 
likely all males. 

I am credibly informed of a still more extraordinary 
feat of a cat in catching mice, that of a red tabby cat which 
on being taken into a granary at Sevenoaks where there 
were a number of mice, dashed in among a retreating 
group, and secured four, one with each paw and two in her 
mouth. 



88 USEFULNESS OF CATS. 

At the office of The Morning Advertiser^ I am informed 
by my old friend Mr. Charles Williams, they boast of 
a race of cats bred there for nearly half a century. In 
colour these are mostly tortoiseshell, and some are very 
handsome. 

The Government, mindful also of their utility, pay certain 
sums, which are regularly passed through the account 
quarterly, for the purpose of providing and keeping cats in 
our public offices^ dockyards, stores, shipping, etc., thereby 
proving, if proof were wanting, their acknowledged worth. 

In Vienna four cats are employed by the town magistrates 
to catch mice on the premises of the municipality. A regular 
allowance is voted for their keep, and, after a limited period 
of active service, they are placed on the " retired list," with a 
comfortable pension. 

There are also a number of cats in the service of the 
United States Post Office. These cats are distributed over 
the different offices to protect the bags from being eaten by 
rats and mice, and the cost of providing for them is duly 
inscribed in the accounts. When a birth takes place, the 
local postmaster informs the district superintendent of the 
fact, and obtains an addition to his rations. 

A short time ago, the budget of the Imperial Printing 
Office in France, amongst other items, contained one for 
cats, which caused some merriment in the legislative cham- 
ber during its discussion. According to the Fays these 
cats are kept for the purpose of destroying the numerous 
rats and mice which infest the premises, and cause con- 
siderable damage to the large stock of paper which is 
always stored there. This feline staff is fed twice a day, and 
a man is employed to look after them ; so that for cats' meat 
and the keeper's salary no little expense is annually in- 
curred ; sufficient, in fact, to form a special item in the 
national expenditure. 

Mr. W. M. Acworth, in his excellent book, ''The Rail- 
ways of England," gives a very interesting account of the 



USEFULNESS OF CATS. 89 

usefulness of the cat. He says, writing of the Midland 
Railway : "A few miles further off, however — at Trent— is a 
still more remarkable portion of the company's staff, eight 
cats, who are borne on the strength of the establishment, 
and for whom a sufficient allowance of milk and cats' meat 
is provided. And when we say that the cats have under 
their charge, according to the season of the year, from one 
to three or four hundred thousand empty corn sacks, it will 
be admitted that the company cannot have many servants 
who better earn their wages. 

"The holes in the sacks, which are eaten by the rats 
which are not killed by the cats, are darned by twelve 
women, who are employed by the company." 

Few people know, or wish to know, what a boon to 
mankind is " The Domestic Cat." Liked or disliked, there 
is the cat, in some cases unthought of or uncared for, 
but simply kept on account of the devastation that would 
otherwise take place were rats and mice allowed to have 
undivided possession. An uncle of mine had some hams 
sent from Yorkshire; during the transit by rail* the v/hole 
of the interior of one of the largest was consumed by rats. 
More cats at the stations would possibly have prevented 
such irritating damage. 

And further, it is almost incredible, and likewise almost 
unknown, the great benefit the cat is to the farmer. All 
day they sleep in the barns, stables, or outhouses, among the 
hay or straw. At eve they are seen about the rick-yard, 
the corn-stack, the cow and bullock yards, the stables, the 
gardens, and the newly sown or mown fields, in quest of 
their natural prey, the rat and mouse. In the fields the 
mice eat and carry off the newly-sown peas or corn, so in 
the garden, or the ripened garnered corn in stacks ; but when 
the cat is on guard much of this is prevented. Rats eat 
corn and carry off more, kill whole broods of ducklings and 
chickens in a night, undermine buildings, stop drains, and 
unwittingly do much other injury to the well-being of the 
farmers and others. What a ruinous thing it would be, 
and what a dreadfully horrible thing it is to be overrun 



90 



USEFULNESS OF CATS. 



with rats, to say nothing of mice. In this matter man's 
best friend is the cat. Silent, careful, cautious, and sure, 
it is at work, while the owner sleeps, with an industry, a will, 
and purpose that never rests nor tires from dewy eve till 
rosy morn, when it will glide through " the cat hole " into 
the barn for repose among the straw, and when night comes, 
forth again ; its usefulness scarcely imagined, much less 
known and appreciated. 

They who remember old Fleet Prison, in Farringdon 
Street, will scarcely believe that the debtors there confined 
were at times so neglected as to be absolutely starving ; so 
much so, that a Mr. Morgan, a surgeon of Liverpool, being 
put into that prison, was ultimately reduced so low by 
poverty, neglect, and hunger, as to catch mice by the 
means of a cat for his sustenance. This is stated to be 
the fact in a book written by Moses Pitt, "The Cries 
of the Oppressed," 1691. 




GENERAL MANAGEMENT. 



GENERAL MANAGEMENT. 



FEEDING. 

Adult cats require less food in proportion than kittens, 
for two reasons. One is this : a kitten is growing, and there- 
fore extra bone, flesh, skin, hair, and all else has to be 
provided for ; while in the adults, these are more or less 
acquired, and also they procure for themselves, in various 
ways in country or suburban localities, much live and other 
food, and no animal is the better for over or excessive 
feeding, especially if confined, or its chances of exercise 
contracted. 

I have tried many ways or methods of feeding. Biscuits 
of sorts, liver, lights, horseflesh, bread and milk, rice, fish, 
and cat mixtures, but have always attained the best results 
by giving new milk as drink, and raw shin of beef for food, 
with grass, boiled asparagus stems, cabbage - lettuce, or 
some other vegetable, either cooked or fresh. Good horse- 
flesh is much liked by the cat, and it thrives well on it. I 
do not believe in either liver or lights as a flesh or bone 
maker. Besides the beef, there are the " tit-bits " that the 
household cat not only usually receives, but looks for or 
expects. 

My dear friend, Mr. John Timbs, in '' Things not Gene- 
rally Known," avers that cats are not so fond of fish as flesh, 
and that the statement that they are is a fallacy. He says, 
put both before them and they will take the flesh first, and 
this I have found to be correct. I should only give fresh 
fish, as a rule, to a cat when unwell, more as an alterative 
than food. 



92 GENERAL MANAGEMENT. 

As raw meat or other raw food is natural to the cat, 
it is far the best, with vegetables, for keeping the bod}', 
coat, and skin in good condition and health, and the securing 
of a rich, bright, high colour and quality. On no account 
try to improve these by either medicinal liquids, pills, or 
condiments ; nothing can be much worse, as reflection will 
prove. If the cat is healthy, it is at its best, and will keep 
so by proper food ; if unwell, then use such medicines as 
the disease or complaint it suffers from requires, a7id ?iot 
otherwise. JSIany horses and other animals have their con- 
stitutions entirely ruined by what are called " coat tonics," 
which are useless, and only believed in and practised by 
the thoughdess, gullible, and foolish. Does any one, or 
will any one take pills, powders, or liquids, for promoting 
the colour or texture of their hair; would any one be so silly? 
And yet we are coolly told to give such things to our 
animals. Granted that in illness medicine is of much service, 
in health it is harmful, and tends to promote disease where 
none exists. 



SLEEPING PLACES. 

I MUCH prefer a round basket filled with oat straw to any- 
thing else ; some urge that a box is better ; my cats have a 
basket. It is well to sprinkle the straw occasionally with 
Keating's Powder or flour of sulphur, which is a preventive 
of insect annoyances, and "Prevention is better than cure." 

Never shut cats up in close cupboards for the night, 
there being little or no ventilation; it is most injurious, pure 
air being as essential to a cat as to a human being. 

Always have a box with dry earth near the cat's sleeping 
place, unless there is an opening for egress near. 

Do not, as a rule, put either collar or ribbon on your cat; 
though they may thereby be improved in appearance, they 
are too apt to get entangled or caught by the collar, and 
often strangulation ensues ; besides which, in long-haired cats, 
it spoils their mane or frill. Of course at shows it is 
allowable. 



SLEEPING PLACES. 93 

All cats, as well as other animals, should have ready 
access to a pan of clear water, which should be changed 
every day, and the pan cleaned. 

Fresh air, sunlight, and warm sunshine are good, both for 
cats and their owners. 

It is related of Charles James Fox that, walking up St. 
James's Street from one of the club-houses with the Prince of 
Wales, he laid a wager that he would see more cats than 
the Prince in his walk, and that he might take which side of 
the street he liked. When they reached the top, it was found 
that Mr. Fox had seen thirteen cats, and the Prince not one. 
The Royal personage asked for an explanation of this appa- 
rent miracle. Mr. Fox said : " Your Royal Highness took, 
of course, the shady side of the way as most agreeable ; I 
knew the sunny side would be left for me, and cats always 
prefer the sunshine ^ 

A most essential requisite for the health of the cat is 
cleanliness. In itself the animal is particularly so, as may 
be observed by its constant habit of washing, or cleaning its 
fur many times a day ; therefore, a clean basket, clean straw, 
or clean flannel, to lie on — in fact, everything clean is not 
only necessary, but is a necessity for its absolute comfort. 

Mr. Timbs says : " It is equally erroneous that she is 
subject to fleas ; the small insect, which infests the half- 
grown kitten, being a totally different animal, exceedingly 
swift in running, but not salient or leaping like a flea." 

In this Mr., Timbs slightly errs. Cats do have fleas, but 
not often, and of a diff'erent kind to the ordinary flea ; but I 
have certainly seen them jump. 

In dressing the coat of the cat no comb should be used, 
more especially with the long-haired varieties ; but if so, 
which I do not recommend, great care should be used not 
to drag the hair so that it comes out, or breaks, otherwise a 
rough, uneven coat will and must be the result. 

Should the hair become clotted, matted, or felted, as is 
sometimes the case, it ought to be moistened, either with 
oil or soft-soap, a little water being added, and when the 
application has well soaked in, it will be found comparatively 



94 WASHING. 

easy to separate the tangle with the fingers by gently pulling 
out from the mass a few hairs at a time, after which wash 
thoroughly, and use a soft, long-haired brush ; but this must 
be done with discretion, so as not to spoil the natural wavi- 
ness of the hair, or to make it lie in breadths instead of the 
natural, easy, carelessly-parted flaky appearance, which shows 
the white or blue cat off to such advantage. 



WASHING. 

Most cats have a dislike to water, and as a rule, and under 
ordinary conditions, generally keep themselves clean, more 
especially the short-haired breeds ; but, as is well known, the 
Angora, Persian, and Russian, if not taken care of, are sure to 
require washing, the more so to prepare them for exhibition^ 
as there is much gain in the condition in which a cat comes 
before the judge. 

There are many cases of cats taking to the water and 
swimming to certain points to catch fish, or for other food, 
on record ; yet it is seldom that they take a pleasure in play- 
ing about in it. I therefore think it well to mention that I 
had a half-bred black and white Russian, that would 
frequently jump into the bath while it was being filled, and 
sit there until the water rose too high for its safety. Thus 
cats may be taught to like washing. 

If a cat is to be washed, treat it as kindly and gently as 
is possible, speaking in a soothing tone, and in no way be 
hasty or sudden in your movements, so as to raise distrust 
or fear. Let the water be warm but not hot, put the cat in 
slowly, and when its feet rest on the bottom of the tub, you 
may commence the washing. 

Mr. A. A. Clarke, the well-known cat fancier, says : " I 
seldom wash my cats, I rather prefer giving them a good 
clean straw-bed, and attending to their general health and 
condition, and they will then very seldom require washing. 
I find that much washing makes the coat harsh and poor, 
and I also know from experience that it is * a work of art ' 



WASHING. 95 

to wash a cat properly, and requires an artist in that way 
to do it. My plan is to prepare some liquid soap, by cutting 
a piece into shreds, and putting it into cold water, and then 
boiling it for an hour. I then have two clean tubs got 
ready, one to wash, the other to rinse in. Have soft water 
about blood heat, with a very small piece of soda in the 
washing-tub, into which I place the cat, hind-quarters first, 
having some one that it knows perfectly well, to hold and 
talk to the cat while the washing is going on. I begin with 
the tail, and thoroughly rubbing in the soap with my hands, 
and getting by degrees over the body and shoulders up to 
the ears, leaving the head until the cat is rinsed in the other 
tub, which ought to be half filled with warm soft water, into 
which I place the cat, and thoroughly rinse out all the soap, 
when at the same time I wash the head, and I then sit in 
front of the fire and dry with warm towels ; and if it is 
done well and thoroughly, it is a good three hours' hard 
work." 

I would add to the foregoing that I should use Naldire's 
dog soap, which I have found excellent in all ways, and it 
also destroys any insect life that may be present. 

Also in washing, be careful not to move the hands in 
circles, or the hair will become entangled and knotty, and 
very difficult to untwist or unravel. Take the hair in the 
hands, and press the softened soap through and through the 
interstices, and when rinsing do the same with the water, 
using a large sponge for the purpose. After drying I should 
put the cat in a box lightly, full of oat straw, and place it in 
front of, or near a fire, at such distance as not to become 
too warm, and only near enough to prevent a chill before 
the cat is thoroughly dry. 



95 MATING. 



MATING. 



Yet nature is made better by no mean, 
But nature makes that mean : so, o'er that art, 
Which, you say, adds to nature, is an art 
That nature makes. 

Con'olanus, Aci II. Scene i. 

This requires much and careful consideration, and in this, as 
well as in many other things, experience and theory join 
hands, while the knowledge of the naturalist and fancier is 
of great and superlative value; though, with all combined, 
anything like certainty can never be assured, although the 
possession of pedigree is added, and the different properties of 
food, health, quality, and breed understood and taken into 
account. Still, much may be gained by continued observa- 
tion and close study of the peculiar properties of colour, 
besides that of form. If, for instance, a really, absolutely 
hhie cat, without a shade of any other colour, were obtainable, 
and likewise a pure, clear, canary yellow, there is little 
doubt that at a distant period, a green would be the 
ultimate goal of success. But the yellow tabby is not a yellow, 
nor the blue a blue. There being, then, only a certain 
variety of colours in cats, the tints to be gained are limited 
entirely to a certain set of such colours, and the numerous 
shades and half-shades of these mixed, broken, or not, into 
such tints, markings light or dark, as desired. To all such 
colour arrangements, if I may so call them, by the mind, 
intellect, or hand of man, there is a limit, beyond which 
none can go. It is thus far and no farther. 

There is the black cat, and the white; and between 
these are intervening shades, from very light, or white-gray, 
to darker, blue, dark blue, blackish blue, gray and black. 
If a blue-black is used, the lighter colours are of one tint ; if 
a brown-black, they are another. 



MA TING. 97 

Then in what are termed the sandies and browns, it 
commences with the yellow-white, a colour scarcely visible 
apart from white to the uninitiated eye ; then darker and 
darker^ until it culminates in deep brown, with the interven- 
ing yellows, reds, chestnuts, mahoganys, and such colours, 
which generally are striped with a darker colour of nearly 
their own shade, until growing denser, it ends in brown- 
black. 

The gray tabby has a ground colour of gray. In this 
there are the various shades from little or no markings, 
leaving the colour a brown or gray, or the gray gradually 
disappearing before the advance of the black in broader 
and broader bands, until the first is excluded and black is 
the result. 

The tortoiseshell is a skilful mixture of colours in 
patches, and is certainly an exhibition of what may be done 
by careful selection, mating, and crossing of an animal while 
under the control of man, in a state of thorough domestica- 
tion. What the almond tumbler is to the pigeon fancier, 
so is the tortoiseshell cat to the cat fancier, or the bizarre 
tulip to the florist. As regards colour, it is a triumph of art 
over nature, by the means of skilful, careful selection, con- 
tinued with unwearying patience. We get the same 
combination of colour in the guinea-pig, both male and 
female, and therefore this is in part a proof that by proper 
mating, eventually a tortoiseshell male cat should soon be 
by no means a rarity. There are rules, which, if strictly 
followed under favourable conditions, ought to produce 
certain properties, such properties that may be desired, 
either by foolish (which generally it is) fashion, or the pro- 
duction of absolute beauty of form, markings in colours, 
or other brilliant effects, and which the true fanciers 
endeavour to obtain. It is to this latter I shall address my 
remarks, rather than to the reproduction of the curious, 
the inelegant, or the deformed, such as an undesirable 
number of toes, which are impediments to utility. 

In the first place, the fancier must thoroughly make up 
his mind as to the variety of form, colour, association of 

H 



98 MA TING. 

colours or markings by which he wishes to produce, if pos- 
sible, perfection ; and, having done so, he must provide 
himself with such stock as, on being mated, are likely to 
bring such progeny as will enable him in due time to attain 
the end he has in view. This being gained, he must also pre- 
pare himself for many disappointments, which are the more 
likely to accrue from the reason that, in all probability, he 
starts without any knowledge of the ancestry or pedigree of 
the animals with which he begins his operations. Therefore, 
for this reason, he has to gain his knowledge of any aptitude 
for divergence from the ordinary or the common they may 
exhibit, or which his practical experience discovers, and 
thus, as it were, build up a family with certain points and 
qualities before he can actually embark in the real business 
of accurately matching and crossing so as to produce the 
results which, by a will, undeviating perseverance, and 
patience, he is hoping to gain eventually — the perfection he 
so long, ardently, and anxiously seeks to acquire ; but he 
must bear in mind that that, on which he sets his mark, though 
high, must come within the limits and compass of that which 
is attainable, for it is not the slightest use to attempt that 
which is not within the charmed circle of possibilities. 



TORTOISESHELLS. 

I PLACE these first on the list because, being an old pigeon 
fancier and somewhat of a florist, I deem these to be the 
breed wherein there is the most art and skill required to 
produce properly all the varied mottled beauty of bright 
colours that a cat of this breed should possess ; and those 
who have bred tortoiseshells well know how difficult a task 
it is. 

In breeding for this splendid, gorgeous, and diversified 
arrangement of colouring, a black, or even a blue, may be 
used with a yellow or red tabby female, or a white male, 
supposing either or both were the offspring of a tortoiseshell 



MATING. 99 

mother. The same males might be used with advantage with 
a tortoiseshell female. This is on the theory of whole colours, 
and patches or portions of whole colours, without bars or 
markings when possible. In the same way some of the best 
almond tumbler pigeons are bred from an almond cock 
mated to a yellow hen. The difficulty here, until lately, has 
been to breed hens of the varied mottling on almond colour, 
the hen almost invariably coming nearly, if not quite yellow — 
so much so that forty to fifty years ago a yellow hen was 
considered as a pair to an almond cock, in the same way as 
the red tabby male is now regarded in respect to the tortoise- 
shell female ; and it was not until at Birmingham, many 
years ago, when acting as judge, I refused to award prizes 
to them as such, that the effort was made, and a successful 
one, to breed almond-coloured hens with the same plumage 
as the cock — that is, the three colours. With cats the matter 
is entirely different, it being the male at present that is the 
difficulty, if a real difficulty it may be called. 

Mr. Herbert Young, a most excellent cat fancier and 
authority on the subject, is of opinion that if a tortoiseshell 
male cat could be found, it would not prove fertile with a 
tortoiseshell female. But of this I am very doubtful, be- 
cause, if the red and the yellow tabby is so, which is 
decidedly a weaker colour, I do not see how it can 
possess more vitality than a cat marked with the three 
colours ; in fact the latter ought, in reality, to be more 
prolific, having black as one of the colours, which is a strong 
colour, blue being only the weak substitute, or with white 
combined. A whole black is one of the strongest colours and 
most powerful of cats. 

Reverting once again to the pigeon fancier by way of 
analogy, take, as an instance, what is termed the silver- 
coloured pigeon, or the yellow. These two, and duns, are, 
by loss of certain pigments, differently coloured and con- 
stituted (like the tortoiseshell among cats) from other varieties 
of pigeons of harder colours, such as blues, and blacks, or 
even reds. For a long time silver turbit cock pigeons were 
so scarce that, until I bred some myself, I had never seen 

H 2 



loo MATING. 

such a thing ; yet hens were common enough, and got from 
silver and blues. In the nestling before the feathers come, 
the young of these colours are without down, and are thus 
thought to be, and doubtless are, a weakly breed ; yet there 
is no absolute diminution of strength, beyond that of colour, 
when silver is matched to silver ; but dun with dun, these 
last go lower in the scale, losing the black tint, and not unfre- 
quently the colour is yellow ; or, matched with black, breed 
true blacks. I am, therefore, of opinion that a tortoiseshell 
male and female would, and should, produce the best of 
tortoiseshells, both male and female. 

It not unfrequently happens that from a tortoiseshell 
mother, in the litter of kittens there are male blacks and 
clear whites, and I have known of one case when a good 
blue and one where the mixed colours were blue, light red, 
and light yellow were produced, while the sisters in the 
litter were of the usual pure tortoiseshell markings. In such 
cases, generally, the latter only are kept, unless it is the blue, 
the others being too often destroyed. My own plan would 
be to breed from such black or white males, and if not suc- 
cessful in the first attempt, to breed again in the same way 
with the young obtained with such cross ; and I have but 
little doubt that, by so doing, the result so long sought after 
would be achieved. At least, I deem it far more likely to 
be so than the present plan of using the red tabby as the 
male, which are easily produced, though very few are of 
high excellence in richness of ground tints. 



TORTOISESHELL-AND-WHITE. 

If tortoiseshell-and-white are desired, then a black-and- 
white male may be selected, being bred in the same way as 
those recommended for the pure tortoiseshell, or one without 
white if the female has white ; but on no account should an 
ordinary tabby be tolerated, but a red tabby female of deep 
colour, or having white, may be held in request, though I 



MATING. loi 

would prefer patches of colour not in any way barred. The 
gray tabby will throw barred, spotted, or banded kittens, 
mixed with tortoiseshell, which is the very worst form of 
mottling, and is very difficult to eradicate. A gray *' ticking" 
will most likely appear between the dark colour, as it does 
between the black bars of the tabby. 



BLACK 

The best black, undoubtedly, are those bred from tortoise- 
shell mothers or females. The black is generally more dense, 
and less liable to show any signs of spots, bands, or bars, when 
the animal is in the sun or a bright light; when this is so, it 
is fatal to a black as regards its chance of a prize, or even 
notice, and it comes under the denomination of a black 
tabby. 

If a black and a white cat are mated, let the black be the 
male, blacks having more stamina, the issue will probably be 
either white or black ; and also when you wish the black 
to be perpetuated, the black male must be younger. In 
1884, a black female cat was exhibited with five white 
kittens. I have just seen a beautiful black Persian whose 
mother was a clear white ; this, and the foregoing example, 
prove either colour represents the same for the purpose of 
breeding to colour. 

For breeding black with white, take care that the white 
is the gray-white, and not the yellow-white ; the first generally 
has orange or yellow eyes, and this is one of the required 
qualities in the black cat. If a yellow-white with blue eyes, 
this type of eye would be detrimental, and most likely the 
eyes of the offspring would have a green stain, or possibly be 
of odd colours. 

It should be borne in mind, that black kittens are seldom 
or ever so rich in colour when newly born, as they afterwards 
become ; therefore, if without spots or bars, and of a deep 
self brown-black, they will in all possibility be fine in 



I02 MATING. 

colour when they gain their adult coat. This the experienced 
fancier well knows, though the tyro often destroys that which 
will ultimately prove of value, simply from ignorance. An 
instance of the brown-black kitten is before me as I write, 
in a beautiful Persian, which is now changing from the dull 
kitten self brown -black on to a brilliant glossy, jetty 
beauty. 



BLUES. 

Blue in cats is one of the most extraordinary colours of 
any, for the reason that it is the mixture of black which is no 
colour, and white which is no colour, and this is the more 
curious because black mated with white generally produces 
either one colour or the other, or breaks black and white, or 
white and black. The blue being, as it were, a weakened' 
black, or a withdrawal by white of some, if not all, of the 
brown or red, varying in tint according to the colour 
of the black from which it was bred, dark-gray, or from 
weakness in the stamina of the litter. In the human species 
an alliance of the Negro, or African race, and the European, 
produces the Creole, the mulatto, and other shades of coloured 
skin, though the hair generally retains the black hue ; but 
seldom or ever are the colours broken up as in animal life, 
the only instance that has come to my knowledge, and I 
believe on record, being that of the spotted Negro boy, ex- 
hibited at fairs in England by Richardson, the famous show- 
man ; but in this case both the parents were black, and natives 
of South Africa. The boy arrived in England in September, 
1809, and died February, 18 13. His skin and hair were 
everywhere parti-coloured, transparent brown and white ; 
on the crown of his head several triangles, one within the 
other, were formed by alternations of the colour of the hair. 
In other domestic animals blue colour is not uncommon. 
Blue-tinted dogs, rabbits, horses of a blue-gray, or spotted 
with blue on a pink flesh colour, as in the naked horse 
shown at the Crystal Palace some years ago, also pigs ; and 



MATING. 103 

all these have Hkewise broken colours of blue, or black, and 
white. I do not remember having seen any blue cattle, 
nor any blue guinea-pigs, but no doubt these latter will 
soon exist. When once the colour or break from the black 
is acquired, it is then easy to go on multiplying the different 
shades and varieties of tint and tone, from the dark blue- 
black to the very light, almost white-gray. In some places 
in Russia, I am told, blue cats are exceedingly common ; I 
have seen several shown under the names of Archangel, 
and others as Chartreuse and Maltese cats. Persians are 
imported sometimes of this colour, both dark and light 
Next kin to it is the very light-gray tabby, with almost 
the same dye, if not quite so light-gray markings. Two such 
mated have been known to produce very light self grays, 
and of a lovely hue, a sort of "morning gray"; these 
matched with black should breed blues. Old male black, 
and young female white cats, have been known to produce 
kittens this colour. There is a colony of farm cats at Rodmell, 
Sussex, from which very fine blues are bred. Light silver 
tabby males, and white females, are also apt to have one or 
so in a litter of kittens ; but these generally are not such 
good blues, the colour being a gray-white, or nearly so, 
should the hair or coat be parted or divided, the skin 
being light. The very dark, if from brown-black, are not 
so blue, but come under the denomination of "smokies," 
or blue *' smokies," with scarcely a tint of blue in them ; 
some " smokies " are white, or nearly so, with dark tips to 
the hair ; these more often occur among Persian than English 
cats, though I once had a smoky tabby bred from a black 
and a silver tabby. Importations of some of the former 
are often extremely light, scarcely showing any markings. 
These, and such as these, are very valuable where a self blue 
is desired. If these light colours are females, a smoke- 
coloured male is an excellent cross, as it already shows a 
weakened colour. For a very light, tender, delicate, light- 
gray long-haired self, I should try a white male, and either 
a rich blue, or a soft gray, extremely lightly-marked tabby. 
As a rule, all broken whites, such as black and white, 



104 MATING. 

should be avoided; because, as I explained at the commence- 
ment of these notes on blues, the blue is black and white 
amalgamated^ or the brown withdrawn from the colouring, 
or, if not, with the colours breaking, or becoming black 
and white. If whole coloured blues are in request, then 
parti-colours, such as white and black, or black and white, 
are best excluded. Blue and white are easily attainable 
by mating a blue male with a white and black female. 

The best and deepest coloured of the blue short-haired 
cats are from Archangel. Those I have seen were very fine 
in colour, the pelage being the same colour to the skin, which 
was also dark and of a uniform lilac-tinted blue. Some 
came by chance, I knew, of a blue English cat, winner of 
several prizes, whose parents were a black and white male 
mated with a " light-gray tabby " and white ; but this was an 
exception to the rule, for strongly-marked tabbies are not a 
good cross. 



BROWN TABBY. 

For the purpose of breeding rich brown black -striped 
tabbies, a male of a rich dark rufous or red tabby should be 
selected, the bands being regular and not too broad, the 
lighter or ground colour showing well between the lines ; if 
the black lines are very broad, it is then a black, striped 
with brown, instead of a brown with black, which is wrong. 
With this match a female of a good brown ground colour, 
marked with dense, not broad, black bands, having clear, 
sharply defined edges. Note also that the centre line of 
the back is a distinct line, with the brown ground 
colour on which it is placed being in no way interspersed 
with black, and at least as broad as the black line ; by this 
cross finely-marked kittens of a brilliant colour may be 
expected. But if the progeny are not so bright as required, 
and the ground colour not glowing enough, then, when the 
young arrive at maturity, mate with a dark-yellow red tabby, 
either male or female. 



MATING. 105 

Very beautiful brown tabbies are also to be found 
among the litters of the female tortoiseshell, allied with a 
dark-brown tabby with narrow black bars. It is a cross 
that may be tried with advantage for both variety and rich- 
ness of colour, among which it will not be found difficult to 
find something worthy of notice. 



WHITE. 

Of English, or short-haired cats, the best white are those 
from a tortoiseshell mother, and as often some of the best 
blacks. These whites are generally of soft yellow, or sandy 
tint of white. Although they have pink noses, as also are 
the cushions of their feet, they are not Albinos, not having 
the peculiar pink or red eyes, nor are they deficient in sight. 
I have seen and examined with much care some hundreds 
of white cats, but have never yet seen one with pink eyes, 
though it has been asserted that such exist, and there is no 
reason why they should not. Still, I am inclined to think 
they do not, and the pale blue eyes, or the red tinted blue, 
like those of the Siamese, take the place of it in the feline 
race ; neither have I ever seen a white horse with pink eyes, 
but I find it mentioned in one of the daily papers that 
among other presents to the Emperor of Russia, the Bokhara 
Embassy took ^vith them ten thoroughbred saddle-horses of 
different breeds, one of them being a magnificent animal — 
a pure white stallion with blue eyes. 

The cold gray-white is the opposite of the black, and 
this knowledge should not be lost sight of in mating. It 
generally has yellow or light orange eyes. This colour, in 
a male, may be crossed with the yellow-white with advan- 
tage, when more strength of constitution is required ; but 
otherwise I deem the best matching is that of two yellow- 
white, both with blue eyes, for soft hair, elegance, and 
beauty ; but even a black male and a white female produce 
whites, and sometimes blacks, but the former are generally 



io6 MATING, 

of a coarse description, and harsh in coat by comparison. 
I think the blue-eyed white are a distinct breed from the 
common ordinary white cat, nor do I remember any such 
being bred from those with eyes of yellow colour. 

ABYSSINIAN. 

To breed these true, it is well to procure imported or 
pedigree stock, for many cats are bred in England from 
ordinary tabbies, that so nearly resemble Abyssinian in 
colour as scarcely to be distinguished from the much-prized 
foreigners. The males are generally of a darker colour than 
the females, and are mostly marked with dark-brown bands 
on the forehead, a black band along the back which ends at 
the tip of the tail, with which it is annulated. The ticking 
should be of the truest kind, each hair being of three 
distinct colours, blue, yellow, or red, and black at the points, 
the cushions of the feet black, and back of the hind-legs. 
Choose a female, with either more red or yellow, the 
markings being the same, and, with care in the selection, 
there will be some very brilliant specimens. Eyes bright 
orange-yellow. 



ABYSSINIAN CROSSES. 

Curiously coloured as the Abyssinian cat is, and being a 
true breed, no doubt of long far back ancestry, it is most 
useful in crossing with other varieties, even with the Persian, 
Russian, Angora, or the Archangel, the ticking hues being 
easy of transmission, and is then capable of charming and 
delightful tints, with breadths of beautiful mottled or grizzled 
colouring, if judiciously mated. The light tabby Persian, 
matched with a female Abyssinian, would give unexpected 
surprises, so with the dark blue Archangel; a well-ticked blue 
would not only be a novelty, but an elegant colour hitherto 
unseen. A deep red tabby might result in a whole colour, 
bright red, or a yellow tint. I have seen a cat nearly black 



MATING. 107 

ticked with white, which had yellow eyes. It was truly 
a splendid and very beautiful animal, of a most recherche 
colour. Matched with a silver-gray tabby, a silver-gray 
tick is generally the sequence. A yellow-white will possibly 
prove excellent. Try it ! 



WHITE AND BLACK. 

For white and black choose evenly marked animals, in 
which white predominates. I have seen three differently 
bred cats, white, with black ears and tails, all else being 
white, and been informed of others. I failed to notice the 
colour of the eyes which came under my own observation, 
for which I am sorry, for much depends on the colour of the 
eyes in selection ; for though the parents are white and 
black, many gray and white, tabby and white, even yellow 
and white will appear among the kittens, gray being the 
original colour, and black the sport. 



BLACK AND WHITE. 

A DEEP brown, dense black ground, with a blaze up the 
face, white nose and lips, should be chosen — white chest 
and white feet, Get a female as nearly as possible so 
marked, and being a dense blue-black, both with orange 
eyes, when satisfactorily marked, and sable and white kittens 
may be expected. 

BLUE TABBY. 

A SLATE colour, or a blue male cat, mated with a strongly 
black-marked, though narrow-banded blue or gray tabby, is 
the best for dark blue tabbies, or a light-gray, evenly- 
marked female may be used. What a lovely thing a white 
cat, marked with black stripes, would be ! It may be got. 



[o8 



MATING. 

SPOTTED TABBY. 



For spotted tabby the best brown are those got by mating a 
spotted red tabby, the darker the better, and a brown and 
black spotted female. These should be carefally selected, 
not only for their ground colour, but also for the round- 
ness, distinctness, blackness, and arrangements of their 
spots. 

For grays, blues, and light ash-coloured tabbies, the 
same care should be exercised, the only difference being the 
choice of ground colours. 



FANCY COLOURS. 

By other odd and fanciful combinations, many beautiful 
mottles and stripes may be secured, and strange, quaint, 
harmonious arrangements of lines and spots produced 
according to "fancy's dictates;" but the foregoing are the chief 
colours in request for exhibition purposes, and most of the 
colour marking. In any other colour classes, the beauties, 
whatever they may be, are chiefly the result of accident or 
sports, selected for such beauty, or in other ways equally 
interesting. 



"^^hc^^ 




CAT AND KITTENS. 



109 




CAT AND KITTENS. 



Care and attention is necessary when the cat is hkely to 
become a mother. A basket or box, half filled with sweet 
hay, or clean oat straw, with some flannel in the winter, is 
absolutely requisite, and a quiet nook or corner selected away 
from light, noise, and intrusion. Some prefer a box made like 
a rabbit-hutch, with sleeping place, and a barred door to one 
or both compartments which may be closed when thought 
necessary for comfort and quiet. The cat should be placed 
within, with food and new milk by or inside, and there 
be regularly fed for a few days, all pans and plates to be 
kept well washed, and only as much food given at a time as 
can be eaten at one meal, so that everything is clean and 
fresh. Cats, as I have before stated, delight in cleanliness, 
so these, nor any comfort, should not be forgotten or omitted, 
for so much depends on her health and the growth of 
her little family, with regard to their future well-being. 



no CAT AND KITTENS. 

The cat brings forth three times a year, and often more. 
The time of gestation is to sixty-three days, and the number 
of the kittens varies much. Some will have five to six at a 
birth, while others never have more than two or three. I 
had a blue tabby, " The Old Lady," which never had more 
than one. The cat, however, is a very prolific animal, and, 
if of long life, produces a very numerous progeny. The 
Derby Gazette, December loth, 1886, states: — "There is a 
cat at Cromford, the age of which is nineteen years. It be- 
longed to the late Mr. Isaac Orme, who died a few months 
ago. The old man made an entry of all the kittens the cat 
had given birth to, which, up to the time of his death, 
numbered 120. It has now just given birth to one more. 
It will not leave the house where the old man died, except 
to visit a neighbouring house, where there is a harmonium ; 
and when the instrument is being played, the cat will go 
and stand on its hind-legs beside the player." 

Cats live to various ages, the oldest I have seen 
being twenty-one years, and the foregoing is the greatest 
age at w^hich I have known one to breed. But I am 
indebted to Mrs. Paterson, of Tunbridge Wells, for the 
information that Mr. Sandal had a cat that lived to the 
extraordinary age of twenty-four years. I have seen Mr. 
Sandal, and found that such w^as the case. It was a short- 
haired cat, and rather above the usual size, and tabby in 
colour. 

When littered, the kittens are weak, blind, deaf, help- 
less Uttle things, and it appears almost impossible they can 
ever attain the supple grace and elegance of form and 
motion so much admired in the fully-developed cat. 

The state of visual darkness continues until the eighth 
or ninth day, during which the eyesight is gradually develop- 
ing. After this they grow rapidly, and, at the age of a few 
weeks, the gamboling, frolicsome life of "kittenhood " begins, 
and they begin to feed, lap milk, if slightly warm, when 
placed in front of them. 

No animal is more fond and attentive than the cat; 
she is the most tender and gentle of nurses, watching 



CAT AND HER KITTEN. m 

closely every movement of her young. With the utmost 
solicitude she brings the choicest morsels of her own food, 
which she lays before them, softly purring, while with gentle 
and motherly ways she attracts them to the spot while she 
sits or stands, looking on with evident satisfaction, full of 
almost uncontrollable pleasure and delight, at their eager, 
but often futile attempts and endeavours to eat and enjoy 
the dainty morsel. Yet nothing is wasted, for after waiting 
what appears to her a reasonable time, and giving them 
every encouragement, and with the most exemplary patience, 
she teaches them what they should do, and how, by slowly 
making a meal of the residue herself, frequently stopping 
and fondling and licking them in the hope they will yet 
make another effort. What can be more sensitively touch- 
ing than the following anecdote, sent to The Anitnal World 
by C. E. N., in 1876? It is a little poem of every-day life, 
full of deep feeling and feline love. 

" I have a small tabby cat, very comely and graceful. 
Being very fond of her kitten, she is always uneasy if she 
loses sight of it if only for a short time. For the last six 
weeks, the mother, failing to recall the truant back by her 
voice, even returns to the kitchen for the lower portion of a 
rabbit's fore-leg, which has served as a plaything for some 
time. With this in her mouth, she proceeds to search for 
her lost one, crying all the time, and, putting it down at her 
feet, repeats her entreaties, to which the kitten, allured by 
the sight of its- plaything, generally responds. Owing to 
its gambols in the open air during the inclement weather, 
the kitten was seized with an affliction of the throat ; the 
mother, puzzled with the prostration of its offspring, brought 
down the rabbit's foot to attract attention. In vain ; the 
kitten died. Even now the loving mother searches for the 
rabbit's foot, and brings it down." 

An instance of the peculiar foresight and instinct, so 
often observable in the cat, is related in The Animal World, 
October, 1882. Miss M. writes: "This house is very old, 
and big impudent rats often appear in the shop, so a cat 
is always kept on the premises. Pussy is about five 



112 CAT AND KITTENS, 

years old, and is a handsome, light tortoiseshell, with a 
pretty face and coaxing ways. A month ago she had three 
kittens, one of which was kept ; they were born in the 
drawing-room, by the side of the piano. When the two 
were taken away, pussy carried the one remaining to the 
fireplace, and made it a bed under the grate with 
shavings. When a fortnight old, both were removed down- 
stairs to the room behind the shop. One day last week 
an enormous rat appeared ; pussy spied him, and set up 
her back ; but her motherly instinct prevailed. She looked 
round the shop, and, finding a drawer high up a httle 
way open, she jumped with her kitten in her mouth, and 
dropped it into the drawer, after which she descended 
and fought a battle royal with the rat, which she soon 
despatched and carried to her mistress, then went back to 
the drawer and brought out her kitten." 

Here is another fact as regards the observation of cats,, 
which possibly, in this respect, is not far different from some 
other domestic animals. " A gray and white cat, ' Jenny '' 
(a house cat), had three kittens in the hollow stump of an 
old ash-tree, some distance from the house. There, from 
time to time, she took them food, and there nursed them. 
One day, looking from the window, I saw that a very- 
heavy storm was approaching, and also, what should I 
see but Mistress ' Jenny ' running across the meadow 
as fast as she could, and, on her drawing nearer, I saw that 
she had one of her kittens in her mouth. She ran past the 
window and put the kitten into a small outhouse, when she 
immediately hastened back, and returned bringing another 
of her kittens, which she put in the same place. Again 
she started for the wood, and then shortly appeared 
bringing her third and last kitten, though more slowly, 
seemingly very tired. I was just thinking of going to help 
her, when she suddenly quickened her pace and ran for 
the outhouse ; just then a few drops of rain began to fall. 
In a few moments a deluge of water was falling, the light- 
ning was flashing, the thunder crashed overhead and 
rumbled in the distance, but ' Jenny ' did not mind, for 



FEEDING KITTENS. 113 

she had her three kittens comfortably housed, and she and 
they were all nestled together in an apple basket, warm 
and dry. Surely she must' have known, by instinct or obser- 
vation, that the storm was coming." — From my Book of 
''Animal Stories, Old and New:' 

Should it be deemed necessary to destroy some, if not 
all of the litter, which, unfortunately, is sometimes the case, 
it is not well to take away the whole at once ; but it is 
advisable to let a day or two intervene between each 
removal ; the mother will thus be relieved of much suffering, 
especially if one at least is left for her to rear, but two is 
preferable. Still, when the progeny are well-marked or 
otherwise valuable, and large specimens are required for 
show or other purposes, three kittens are enough to leave, 
though some advocate as many as five ; but if this is done 
it is better to provide a foster-mother for two, for which 
even a dog will often prove a very good substitute for 
one of the feline race. In either case, slightly warm new 
milk should be given at least three times a day ; the milk 
should not be heated, but some hot water put to it, and 
as soon as their teeth are sufficiently grown for them to be 
of use in mastication give some raw beef cut very small 
and fine. Some prefer chopped liver ; I do not ; but never 
give more than they can lap or eat at each meal. This 
liberal treatment will make a wonderful difference in their 
growth, and also their general health and strength; and 
being so fed makes them more docile. And it should be 
borne in mind that in a state of nature cats always bring 
raw food to their young as soon as they are able to eat ; 
therefore raw meat is far the best to give them— their 
dentition proves this. 



114 



KITTENHOOD. 




KITTENS. 



KiTTENHOOD, the baby time especially of country cats, is 
with most the brightest, sprightliest, and prettiest period 
of their existence, and perhaps the most happy. True, 
when first born and in the earliest era of their lives, they 
are blind, helpless little things, dull, weak, and staggering, 
scarcely able to stand, if at all, almost rollmg over at every 
attempt, making querulous, fretful noises, if wakeful or 
cold, or for the time motherless. But 'tis not for long; 
awhile, and she, the fondest of mothers, is with them. They 
are nestled about her, or amid her soft, warm fluffy fur, 
cossetted with parental tenderness, caressed, nurtured, and, 
with low, sweet tones and fondlings, they are soothed again 
and again to sleep. — They sleep. — Noiseless, and with 
many a longing, lingering look, the careful, watchful, loving 
creature slowly and reluctantly steals away ; soon to return, 



KITTENHOOD. 115 

when she and her Httle ones are lost "in the land of 
dreams." And so from day to day, until bright, meek- 
eyed, innocent, inquiring little faces, with eager eyes, peep 
above the basket that is yet their home. One bolder than 
the others springs out, when, scared at its own audacity, as 
quickly, and oft clumsily, scrambles back, then out — in — 
and out, in happy, varied, wild, frolicsome, gambolsome 
play, they clutch, twist, turn, and wrestle in artless mimicry 
of desperate quarrelling ; — the struggle over, in liveliest 
antics they chase and rechase in turn, or in fantastic mood 
play ; 'tis but play, and such wondrous play — bright, joyous, 
and light ; and so life glides on with them as kittens — frisky, 
skittish, playful kittens. 

A few more days, and their mother leads them forth, 
with many an anxious look and turn, softly calling in a 
subdued voice, they halting almost at every step ; suddenly, 
oft at nothing, panic-stricken, quickly scamper back, not one 
yet daring to follow where all is so oddly strange and 
new, their natural shyness being stronger than the love of 
freedom. Again, with scared look and timid steps, they come, 
when again at nothing frightened, or with infantile pretence, 
they are off, " helter-skelter," without a pause or stay, one 
and all, they o'er and into their basket clamber, tumble in, 
turn about and stare with a more than half-bewildered, 
self-satisfied safety look about them. Gaining courage once 
more, they peer about, with dreamy, startled, anxious eyes, 
watching for dangers that never are, although expected. 
Noiseless comes their patient, loving mother; with what 
new delight they cling about her ; how fondly and tenderly 
she tends them, lures, cossets, coaxes, and talks, as only a 
gentle mother-cat can — "There is no danger, no ! — nothing 
to fear. Is she not with them ; will she not guard, keep 
and defend them ? There is a paradise out there ; through 
this door ; they must see it. Come, she will show them ; 
come, have confidence ! Now, then— come I " When 
followed by her three little ones, and they with much 
misgiving, she passes out — out into the garden, out 
among the lovely, blooming, fragrant roses, out among the 

I 2 



ii6 KITTENHOOD. 

sweet stocks and the damask-coloured gilly-flowers, the 
pink daisies, brown, red, and orange wallflowers, the spice- 
scented pinks, and other gay and modest floral beauties that 
make so sweet the soft and balmy breath of Spring. Out 
into the sunshine, almost dazed amid a flood of light, 
warmed by the glowing midday sun. Light above, light 
around and everywhere about ; while the sweet-scented 
breezes come joy-laden with the happy wild birds' melodious 
songs ; wearied with wonderment, under the flower-crowned 
lilacs they gather themselves to rest. How beautiful all 
is, how full of young delights; the odorous wind fans, 
soothes, and lulls them to rest, while rustling leaves softly 
whisper them to sleep — they and their loving mother 
slumber unconscious of all things, and with all things at 
peace. There, stretched in the warm sunshine asleep, 
possibly dreaming of their after-life when they are kittens 
no longer, they rest and — sleep. 

Their young, bright life has begun ; how charming all is, 
how peaceful under the young, green leaves, bright as 
emeralds ; about them flickering, chequering lights play with 
the never-wearying, restless shadows ; they know of nothing 
but bliss, so happy, they enjoy all — sweet-faced, gentle-eyed 
and pretty. Happy, there is no other word. "Happy as 
a kitten." " Sprightly as a kitten." As they sleep they 
dream of delight, awake they more than realise their dreams. 



KITTENS IN GENERAL. 117 




OF KITTENS IN GENERAL. 



Kittens usually shed their first teeth from five to seven 
months old, and seldom possess even part of a set of 
the small, sharp dentition after that time. When shown 
as kittens under, six months old, and they have changed 
the tvhole of their kittenhood teeth for those of the adult, 
it is generally considered a fairly strong proof that their life 
is in excess of that age, and the judge is therefore certainly 
justified in disqualifying such exhibit, though sometimes, 
as in other domestic animals, there occurs premature 
change, as well as inexplicable delay. 

Kittens are not so cleanly in their habits as cats of a 
mature growth ; this is more generally the case when they 
have been separated fro7n the mother-cat^ or when removed 
to some place that is strange to them, or when sufficient 
care is not taken, by letting them out of the house occa- 



ii8 FEEDING. 

sionally. When they cannot from various reasons be so 
turned out, a box should be provided, partly filled with dry 
earth, to which they may retire. This is always a requisite 
when cats or kittens are valuable, and therefore obliged to be 
kept within doors, especially in neighbourhoods where there 
is a chance of their being lost or stolen. 

It should also be borne in mind, that the present and 
future health of an animal, be it what it may, is subject 
to many incidences, and not the least of these is good and 
appropriate food, shelter, warmth, and cleanliness. It is best 
to feed at regular intervals. In confinement, INIr. Bartlett, 
the skilful and experienced manager of the Zoological 
Society's Gardens, at Regent's Park, finds that one meal a 
day is sufficient, and this is thought also to be the case 
with a full-grown cat, more especially when it has the 
opportunity of ranging and getting other food, such 
as mice, and "such small deer;" but with "young 
things " it is different, as it is deemed necessary to get as 
much strength and growth as possible. I therefore advocate 
several meals a day, at least three, with a variety of food, 
such as raw shin of beef, cut very small ; bones to pick ; 
fish of sorts, with all the bones taken out, or refuse parts ; 
milk, with a little hot water ; boiled rice or oatmeal, with 
milk or without it ; and grass, if possible ; if not, some boiled 
vegetables, stalks of asparagus, cabbage, or even carrots. Let 
the food be varied from time to time, but never omitting 
the finely- cut raw beef every day. 1 am not in favour of liver, 
or "lights," as it is called, either for cats or kittens. If 
horse-flesh can be depended on, it is a very favourite and 
strengthening food, and may be given. The kitten should 
be kept warm and dry, and away from draughts. 

Also take especial care not in any way to frighten, tease, 
or worry a young animal, but do everything possible to give 
confidence and engender regard, fondness, or affection for 
its owner ; always be gentle and yet firm in its training. Do 
not allow it to do one day uncorrected, that for which it is 
punished the next for the same kind of fault. If it is doing 
wrong remove it, speaking gently, at the twie, and not wait 



CLEANLINESS. 119 

long after the fault is committed^ or they will not know what 
the punishment is for. Many animals' tempers are spoiled 
entirely by this mode of proceeding. 

Take care there is always a clean vessel, with pure clear 
water for them to drink when thirsty. 




MISS MOORE S KITTEN, "CHLOE. 



MANAGEMENT. 



MANAGEMENT OF KITTENS AND CATS. 



These require quiet and kindly treatment. Do nothing 
quickly or suddenly, so as in any way to scare or frighten, 
but when speaking to them, let the voice be moderated, gentle, 
and soft in tone. Cats are not slow to understand kind treat- 
ment, and may often be seen to watch the countenance as 
though trying to fathom our thoughts. Some cats are of a very 
timorous nature, and are thus easily dismayed. Others 
again are more bold in their ways and habits, and are ever 
ready for cossetty attention ; but treat both as you would be 
treated — kindly. 

As to food, as already noted, I have found raw beef the 
best, with milk mixed with a Httle hot water to drink — 
never boil it — and give plenty of grass, or some boiled 
vegetable, such as asparagus, sea-kale, or celery ; they also 
are fond of certain weeds, such as cat-mint, and equisetum, 
or mares' or cats' tails, as it is sometimes called. If fish is 
given it is best mixed with either rice or oatmeal, and 
boiled, otherwise it is apt to produce diarrhoea. 

Horse-flesh may be given as a change, provided that it is 
not from a diseased animal ; and should be boiled, and be 
fresh. 

Brown bread and milk is also good and healthy food ; 
the bread should be cut in cubes of half an inch, and the 
warm milk and water poured on ; only enough for one meal 
should be prepared at a time. 

Let the cat and kittens have as much fresh air as is 
possible ; and if fed on some dainty last thing at night they 



MANAGEMENT. 121 

will be sure to " come in," and thus preserved from doing 
and receiving injury. ^ • „ ^u 

If cats are in any way soiled in their coat, especially the 
long-haired varieties, and cannot cleanse themselves, they 
may be washed in warm, soapy water ; but this is not 
advisable in kittens, unless great care is used to prevent 
their taking cold. , . . r 

Some cats like being brushed, and it is often an 
improvement to the pelage or fur if carefully done; but 
in all cases the brush should have soft, close hair, which 
should be rather long than otherwise. 

Do not let your cats or kittens wear collars or ribbons 
always, especially if they are ramblers, for the reason that 
they are liable to get caught on spikes of raihngs or twigs 
of bushes, and so starved to death, or strangled, unless 
discovered. 

For sending cats to an exhibition, a close-made basket 
is best, which will allow for ventilation, as fresh air is most 
essential ; and have it sufficiently large to allow of the cat 
standing and turning about, especially if a long journey is 
before them. I have seen cats sent to shows taken out of 
small boxes, dead, stifled to death—" poor things." 

Bear in mind that the higher and better condition your 
cat is in on its arrival at the show, the greater is the chance 
of winning. 

Do not put carpet or woollen fabrics m the basket, but 
plenty of good, .sweet hay or oat-straw ; this will answer all 
purposes, and does not get sodden. 

If you use a padlock for the fastening, do not forget to 
send the key to the ma?iager of the show, as is sometimes 
the case. 




CAT CLVB CHALLENGE CO'P. 



POINTS OF EXCELLENCE. 




POINTS BY WHICH CATS ARE JUDGED, 

AS SPECIFIED BY MYSELF. 

Revised a?id corrected to the preseiit time. 



. . . What you do, 
Still betters what is done. 



Winters Tale, Act IV. 



Head 



THE TORTOISESHELL. 



POINTS 



Small, broad across and between the eyes, rounded 
above, below tapering towards the lips, nose rather 
long than short, ears of medium size, narrow and 
rounded at the apex, broad at the base. 



124 POINTS OF EXCELLENCE. 



I'OINTS 
. lO 



Eyes 

Orange-yellow, clear, brilliant, large, full, round, and 
lustrous. 

Fur lo 

Short, of even length, smooth, silky, and glossy. 

Colour 25 

A mixture of three colours — black, red, and yellow — 
each to be distinct and clear of the other, with 
sharp edges, not one colour running into the other, 
but in small irregular patches, of great brilliancy of 
tint, the red and yellow to preponderate over the 
black. If the colours are deep and rich, and the 
variegation harmonious, the effect is very fine. 
White is a disqualification. 

Form 15 

Narrow, long, graceful in line, neck rather long and 
slender ; shoulders receding, well-sloped and deep ; 
legs medium length, not thick nor clumsy; feet 
round and small. 

Tail 10 

Long, thick at the base, and narrowing towards the 
end, carried low, with graceful curve, and well- 
marked with alternate patches of black, red, and 
yellow. 

Size and Condition 15 

Large, lithe, elegant in all its movements; hair smooth, 
clean, bright, full of lustre, and lying close to the 
body, all betokening full health and strength. 

Total 100 



POINTS OF EXCELLENCE. 125 



TORTOISESHELL AND WHITE. 

POINTS 

Head 10 

Small, broad across and between the eyes, rounded 
above, below tapering towards the lips, nose rather 
long than short, ears medium size, narrow and 
rounded at the apex, broad at the base. 

Eyes 10 

Orange-yellow, clear, brilliant, large, full, round, and 
lustrous. 

Fur 10 

Short, of even length, smooth, silky, and glossy. 

Colour 25 

A mixture of three — black, red, and yellow — each to 
be distinct and clear of the other, with sharp edges, 
not one colour running into the other, but in small 
irregular patches of great brilliancy of tint, the red 
and yellow to preponderate over the black. If the 
colours are deep and rich, and the variegation 
harmonious, the effect is very fine. 

White Marking 15 

The fore-legs, breast, throat, lips and a circle round 
them, with a blaze up the forehead, white ; lower 
half of the hind-legs white, nose and cushions of 
the feet white. 

Form 10 

Narrow, long, graceful in line, neck rather long and 
slender ; shoulders receding, well-sloped and deep ; 
legs medium length, not thick nor clumsy ; feet 
round and small. 



126 POINTS OF EXCELLENCE. 

POINTS 

Tail . . . lo 

Long, thick at the base and narrowing towards the 
end, carried low, with graceful curve, and well- 
marked with alternate patches of black, red, and 
yellow. 

Size and Condition . . . . , .10 

Large, lithe, elegant in all its movements ; hair 
smooth, clean, bright, full of lustre, and lying close 
to the body, all betokening full health and strength. 

Total 100 



WHITE. SHORT-HAIR. 

Head 15 

Small, broad across and between the eyes, rounded 
above, below tapering towards the lips, nose rather 
long than short, ears of medium size, narrow and 
rounded at apex, broad at the base. 

Eyes 15 

Blue — a soft, turquoise blue — but yellow is per- 
missible as five points only, green a defect; 
large, round, and full. 

Fur 15 

Short, of even length, smooth, silky, and glossy. 

Colour 15 

Yellow-white ; gray-white, five points less. 

Form . . . . . . . . .15 

Narrow, long, graceful in line, neck rather long and 
slender ; shoulders receding, well-sloped and deep ; 
legs medium length, not thick nor clumsy; feet 
round and small. 



POINTS OF EXCELLENCE. 127 

POINTS 

Tail 10 

Long, thick at the base and narrowing towards the 
end, carried low, with graceful curve. 

Size and Condition 15 

Large, lithe, and elegant in all its movements ; hair 
smooth, clean, bright, full of lustre, and lying 
close to the body, all betokening good health and 



strength. 



Total 100 



SELF-COLOUR, BLACK, BLUE, GRAY, OR RED 
SHORT-HAIR. 

Head 15 

Small, broad across and between the eyes, rounded 
above, below tapering towards the lips, nose rather 
long than short, ears of medium size, narrow, 
rounded at apex, broad at the base. 

Eyes 15 

Orange for black, orange-yellow for blue, deep 
yellow for gray, and gold tinged with green for 
red. Large, round, and full ; very bright. 

Fur 10 

Short, of even length, smooth, silky, and glossy. 

Form . . . . . . . . -15 

Narrow, long, graceful in line ; neck rather long and 
slender ; shoulders receding, well-sloped and deep ; 
legs medium length, not thick nor clumsy ; feet 
round and small. 



128 POINTS OF EXCELLENCE. 

POINTS 

Colour 25 

Black, a jet, dense, brown-black, with purple gloss ; 
blue, a bright, rich, even, dark colour, or lighter, 
but even in tint ; gray, a bright, light, even 
colour; red, a brilliant sandy or yellowish-red 
colour. 

Tail 5 

Long, thick at the base, and narrowing towards the 
end, carried low, with graceful curve. 

Size and Condition . . . . . -15 

Large, lithe, elegant in all its movements ; hair 
smooth, clean, bright, full of lustre, lying close to 
the body, all betokening good health and strength. 

Total 100 



BROWN AND ORDINARY TABBY, STRIPED, 
SHORT-HAIR. 

Head 10 

Small, broad across and between the eyes, rounded 
above, below tapering towards the lips, nose rather 
long than short, ears of medium size, narrow and 
rounded at apex, broad at the base. 

Eyes 15 

Orange-yellow, slightly tinted with green, large, full, 
round, and very lustrous. 



Fur 

Short, of even length, smooth, silky, and glossy. 



10 



POINTS OF EXCELLENCE. 129 

POINTS 

Colour 20 

Deep, very rich reddish-brown, more rufous inside 
the legs and belly ; ears and nose a still deeper red- 
brown, the latter at the tip edged with black. 
Ordinary tabby, dark gray, and ticked. 

Markings 20 

Jet-black lines, not too broad, scarcely so wide as 
the ground colour shown between, so as to give a 
light and brilliant effect. When the black lines 
are broader than the colour space, it is a defect, 
being then black marked with colour, instead of 
colour marked with black. The Hnes must be 
clear, sharp, and well-defined, in every way dis- 
tinct, having no mixture of the ground colour. 
Head and legs marked regularly, the rings on the 
throat and chest being in no way blurred or 
broken, but clear, graceful, and continuous ; lips, 
cushions of feet, and backs of hind-legs, and the 
ear-points, black. 

Form lo 

Narrow, long, graceful in line, neck rather long and 
slender; shoulders receding, well-sloped and deep; 
legs medium length, not thick nor clumsy; feet 
round and small. 

Tatl. . ■ 5 

Long, thick at the base and narrrowing towards the 
end, carried low, with graceful curve, and marked 
with black rings. 

Size and Condition 10 

Large, lithe, elegant in all its movements ; hair 
smooth, clean, bright, full of lustre, and lying 
close to the body, all betokening full health and 
strength. 

Total 100 

K 



I30 POINTS OF EXCELLENCE, 



CHOCOLATE, CHESTNUT, RED, OR YELLOW 
TABBY, STRIPED, SHORT-HAIR. 

POINTS 

Head lo 

Small, broad across and between the eyes, rounded 
above, below tapering towards the lips, nose rather 
long than short, ears of medium size, narrow and 
rounded at apex, broad at the base. 

Eyes 15 

Orange, gold, or yellow, in the order of the above 
names, large, round, full, and very lustrous. 

Fur 10 

Short, of even length, smooth, silky, and glossy. 

Colour 20 

Deep, rich, reddish-brown, bright red, or yellow, in 
the order as above, brighter inside the legs and 
belly ; ears and nose deeper colour, the latter at 
the tip red, edged with chocolate. 

Markings 20 

Dark, rich brown or chocolate, lines not too broad, 
scarcely so wide as the ground colour shown be- 
tween, so as to give a light and brilliant effect ; 
when the lines are broader than the colour space 
it is a defect, being then light colour markings on 
dark brown or chocolate, red or dark yellow, instead 
of colour marked with deeper colour. Head and 
legs marked regularly, the rings on the throat and 
chest being in no way blurred or broken, but clear, 
graceful, and continuous ; lips, cushions of feet, 
and the back of hind-legs, and the ear-points, 
dark. Yellow tabby, the cushions of feet red, or 
light red. 



POINTS OF EXCELLENCE, ,31 

T7^ POINTS 

Form j^ 

Narrow, long, graceful in line, neck rather long and 
slender, shoulders receding, well-sloped, and deep, 
legs medium length, not thick nor clumsy, feet 
round and small. 



Tail 



Long, thick at the base, and narrowing towards the 
end, carried low, with graceful curve, and marked 
with dark rings. 



5 



Size and Condition j^ 

Large, lithe, elegant in all its movements; hair 
smooth, clean, bright, full of lustre, and lying 
close to the body, all betokening full health and 
strength. 

Total 100 



BLUE, SILVER, LIGHT GRAY, AND WHITE 
TABBY, STRIPED, SHORT-HAIR. 
Head ^ 

Small, broad across and between the eyes, rounded 
above, below tapering towards the lips; nose 
rather long than short; ears of medium size, narrow 
and rounded at the apex, broad at the base. 



Eyes 



Orange-yellow for blue tabby; deep, bright yellow 
for silver or gray ; large, full, round, and very 
lustrous. 



Fur ........ 

Short, of even length, smooth, silky, and glossy. 



15 



10 



K 2 



132 POINTS OF EXCELLENCE. 

POINTS 

Colour 20 

If blue, a rich, deep, yet bright colour; silver, a 
lighter, yet bright tint; gray, very light; if a 
white tabby, ground to be colourless ; ears and 
nose a deep gray, the tip red, edged with black. 

Markings 20 

Jet-black hnes, not too broad, scarcely so wide as 
the ground colour shown between, so as to give 
a light and briUiant effect. When the black lines 
are broader than the colour space, it is a defect, 
being then black marked with colour, instead of 
colour with black. The lines must be clear, sharp, 
and well-defined, in every way distinct, having no 
mixture of the ground colour. Head and legs 
marked regularly, the rings on the throat and chest 
being in no way blurred or broken, but clear, 
graceful, and continuous ; lips, cushions of feet, 
and the backs of hind-legs, and the ear-points, 
black. 

Form 10 

Narrow, long, graceful in line, neck rather long and 
slender ; shoulders receding, well-sloped, and 
deep ; legs medium length, not thick nor clumsy ; 
feet round and small. 

Tail 5 

Long, thick at the base and narrowing towards the 
end, carried low, with graceful curve, and marked 
with black rings. 

Size and Condition 10 

Large, lithe, elegant in all its movements ; hair 
smooth, clean, bright, full of lustre, and lying 
close to the body, all betokening full health and 

strength. 

Total ico 



POINTS OF EXCELLENCE. 



133 




MR. BABB S SPOTTED SILVER TABBY. 



SHORT-HAIRED, 



SPOTTED TABBIES 
COLOUR. 



OF ANY 



These to be the same in all points of head, eyes, fur, 
form, colours, tail, size and condition as those laid down for 
the judging of short-haired tabby cats in general, with the 
exception, in whatever colour the markings are, or on what- 
ever ground, they, instead of being in lines or bands, are to 
be broken up into clear, well-defined and well-formed spots, 
each spot to be separate, and distinct, and good, firm and 
dark in colour ; these then count as many points as a 
finely-striped cat in its class. 



134 



POINTS OF EXCELLENCE. 




PROPERLY MARKED BLACK AND WHITE. 



BLACK AND WHITE, GRAY-WHITE, RED AND 
WHITE, AND OTHER COLOURS AND WHITE. 



The self colour to count the same number of points as 
the ground colour in tabby, namely, twenty points, and the 
white 77iarki?igs the same as the tabby markings, that is, 
twenty points. The other points also the same. 

The markings to be : lips, mouth and part of the cheek, 
including the whiskers, with a blaze up the nose, coming to 
a point between the eyes, white; throat and chest white, 
and pear-shaped in outline of colour ; all four feet white. 



POINTS OF EXCELLENCE. 135 



WHITE AND BLACK, WHITE AND GRAY, WHITE 
AND RED, WHITE AND ANY OTHER COLOUR. 

The colours and markings to count the same as the 
above. The ground colour being white, and markings the 
dark colour instead of white. In the markings they should 
be even or well-balanced, such as two black ears, the rest 
white ; or two black ears, with black tail, and the rest white ; 
or all white, with dark tail only. These are not very un- 
common markings, but if so marked, they may also have a 
spot or two on the back or sides provided they balance in 
size of colour. But the simplicity of the former is the best. 
All other fancy colours and markings must be judged 
according to taste, and entered in the any other variety of 
colours for short-haired cats, such as strawberry colour, 
smokies, chinchillas, ticked, black tabbies and such fancy 
colours. 



ABYSSINIAN. 

POINTS 

Head . • 10 



Small, broad across the eyes, rather long than short 
nose medium length, all well-formed. 



Eyes 15 

Orange-yellow, slightly tinged with green, large, 
round, full, and bright. 

Nose and Feet 10 

Nose dark red, edged with black ; tips and cushions 
of feet black, also the back of the hind-legs. 



136 POINTS OF EXCELLENCE. 

POINTS 

Fur 15 

Soft, rather woolly hair, yet soft, silky, lustrous, and 
glossy, short, smooth, even, and dense. 

Ears 10 

The usual size of the ordinary English cat, but a little 
more rounded, with not much hair in the interior, 
black at the apex. 

Colour 20 

A rich, dun brown, ticked with black and orange, 
or darker on lighter colours, having a dark or 
black line along the back extending to the end 
of the tail, and slightly annulated with black or 
dark colour. As few other marks as possible. 
Inside of fore-legs and belly to be orange-brown. 
No white. 

Size and Condition 10 

Large ; coat glossy and smooth, fitting close to the 
body ; eyes bright and clear. 

Carriage and Appearance 10 

Graceful, lithe, elegant, alert and quick in all its 
movements, head carried up, tail trailing, in walk 

undulating. 

Total 100 

N.B. — The Abyssinian Silver Gray, or Chinchilla, is the 
same in all points, with the exception of the ground colour 
being silver instead of brown. This is a new and beautiful 
variety. 



POINTS OF EXCELLENCE. 137 



ROYAL CAT OF SIAM. 

POINTS 

Head 10 

Small, broad across and between the eyes, tapering 
upwards and somewhat narrow between the ears : 
forehead flat and receding, nose long, and some- 
what broad, cheeks narrowing towards the mouth, 
lips full and rounded, ears rather large and wide 
at base, with very little hair inside. 

Fur 10 

Very short, and somewhat woolly, yet soft and silky 
to the touch, and glossy, with much lustre on the 
face, legs, and tail. 

Colour 20 

The ground or body colour to be of an even tint, 
slightly darker on the back, but not in any way 
clouded or patched with any darker colour ; light 
rich dun is the preferable colour, but a light fawn, 
light silver-gray, or light orange is allowable; deeper 
and richer browns, almost chocolate, are admissible 
if even and not clouded, but the first is the true 
type, the last merely a variety of much beauty and 
excellence ; but the dun and light tints take pre- 
cedence. 

Markings 20 

Ears black, the colour not extending beyond them, 
but ending in a clear and well-defined outline ; 
around the eyes, and all the lower part of the head, 
black ; legs and tail black, the colour not extending 
into or staining the body, but having a clear line 
of demarkation. 



138 POINTS OF EXCELLENCE. 

POINTS 

Eyes 15 

Rather of almond shape, slanting towards the nose, 
full and of a very beautiful blue opalesque colour, 
luminous and of a reddish tint in the dusk of 
evening or by artificial light. 

Tail 5 

Short by comparison with the English cat, thin 
throughout, a little thicker towards the base, 
without any break or kink. 

Size and Form 10 

Rather small, hthe, elegant in outline, and graceful, 
narrow and somewhat long ; legs thin and a little 
short than otherwise ; feet long, not so round as 
the ordinary cat ; neck long and small. 

Condition 10 

In full health, not too fat, hair smooth, clear, bright, 
full of lustre, lying close to the body, which should 
be hard and firm in the muscles. 

Total 100 



MANX, OR SHORT-TAILED CAT. 

Head 10 

Small, round, but tapering towards the lips, rather 
broad across the eyes, nose medium length, ears 
rather small, broad at base and sloping upwards to 
a point. 

Eyes 10 

According to colour, as shown in other varieties. 



POINTS OF EXCELLENCE. 139 

POINTS 

Fur 10 

Short, of even length, smooth, silky, and glossy. 

Colour 15 

To range the same as other short-haired cats, if self 
same as self, if marked same as the marked varieties, 
with less points, allowing for the tail points in this 
variety. 

Form 15 

Narrow, long, neck long and thin, all to be graceful 
in line ; shoulders narrow, well-sloped ; fore-legs 
medium length and thin ; hind-legs long in pro- 
portion and stouter built ; feet round and small. 

Tail 25 

To have no tail whatever, not even a stump, but 
some true bred have a very short, thin, twisted 
tail, that cannot be straightened, this allowable, 
and is true bred ; but thick stumps, knobs, or short, 
thick tails disqualify. 

Size and Condition 15 

Large, elegant in all its movements, hair smooth, 
clean, bright;, full of lustre, and lying close to the 
body, all betokening good health and strength. 

Total 100 



I40 



POINTS OF EXCELLENCE, 




MR. CLARKE S MISS VVHITEY. 



WHITE. LONG-HAIRED CAT. 



POINTS 

Head lo 

Round and broad across and between the eyes, of 
medium size ; nose rather short, pink at the tip ; 
ears ordinary size, but looking small, being sur- 
rounded with long hair, which should also be long 
on the forehead and lips. 

Eyes 15 

Large, full, round or almond-shape, lustrous, and of 
a beautiful azure blue. Yellow admissible as five 
points only. Green a defect. 



POINTS OF EXCELLENCE. 141 

POINTS 

Ruff or Frill 15 

Large, very long, flowing, and lion-like, extending 
over the shoulders, and covering the neck and 
chest thickly. 



Fur 



15 



Very long everywhere, mostly along the back, sides, 
legs, and feet, making tufts between the toes, and 
points at the apex of the ears. 

Quality of Fur 10 

Fine, silky, and very soft in the Persian, with a 
slightly woolly texture in the Angora, and still 
more so in the Russian. 



Tail 10 

In the Persian the hair long and silky throughout, 
but somewhat longer at the base. Angora more 
like the brush of a fox, but much longer in the 
hair. Russian equally long in hair, but full tail, 
shorter and more blunt, hke a tassel. 

Size, Shape, and Condition 15 

Large, small in bone, looking larger than it really is 
on account of the length of hair. Body long, legs 
short, tail carried low — not over the back, which is 
a fault. Fur clean, bright and glossy, even and 
smooth, and flakey, which gives an appearance of 
quality. 

Colour 10 

White, with a tender, very slightly yellow tint; 
cushions of feet and tip of nose pink. 

Total 100 



142 POINTS OF EXCELLENCE, 



BLACK, BLUE, GRAY, RED, OR ANY SELF 
COLOUR LONG-HAIRED CATS. 



POINTS 

Head lo 

Round, and broad across and between the eyes, of 
medium size ; nose rather short and dark at tip, 
excepting in the red, when it should be pink ; 
ears ordinary size, but looking small, being sur- 
rounded with long hair, which should also be long 
on the forehead and lips. 

Eyes lo 

For black, orange ; orange-yellow for blue ; deep 
yellow for gray ; and gold, tinged with green, for 
red ; large, round, or almond-shaped, full and very 
bright. 

Ruff or Frill 15 

Large, very long, flowing, and lion-like, extending 
over the shoulders, and covering the neck and 
chest thickly. 

Fur 15 

Very long everywhere ; mostly so along the back, 
sides, legs, and feet, making tufts between the toes, 
and points at the apex of the ears. 

Quality of Fur 10 

Fine, silky, and very soft in the Persian, with slightly 
woolly texture in the Angora, and still more so in 
the Russian. 



POINTS OF EXCELLENCE, 



143 

POINTS 
. 10 



Tail 

In the Persian the hair long and silky throughout, 
but somewhat longer at the base ; Angora like the 
brush of a fox, but longer in the hair; Russian 
equally long in hair but more full at the end, tail 
shorter, rather blunt, like a tassel. 

Size, Shape, and Condition 10 

Large, small in bone, looking larger than it really is 
on account of the length of the hair ; body long, 
legs short; tail carried low, not over the back, 
which is a fault; fur clean and glossy, even, 
smooth, and flakey, which gives an appearance of 
quality. 

Colour 20 

Black, dense, bright brown-black, with purple gloss ; 
blue, a bright, rich, even dark colour, or lighter, 
but even in tint ; gray, a bright, light, even colour; 
red, a brilliant, sandy, or yellowish-red colour. 

Total 100 







144 POINTS OF EXCELLENCE. 

BROWN, BLUE, SILVER, LIGHT GRAY, AND 
WHITE TABBY LONG-HAIRED CATS. 

POINTS 

Head lo 

Round and broad across and between the eyes, of 
medium size ; nose rather short ; ears ordinary size, 
but looking small, being surrounded with long 
hair, which should also be long on the forehead 
and lips. 

Eyes lo 

Orange-yellow for brown and blue tabby, very slightly 
tinted with green ; deep, bright yellow for silver ; 
gray, and golden yellow for white tabby ; large, 
full, round, or almond-shaped, and very lustrous. 

Ruff or Frill lo 

Large, very long, flowing, and lion-like, extending 
over the shoulders, and covering the neck and 
chest thickly. 

Fur lo 

Very long everywhere, mostly so along the back, 
sides, legs, and feet, making tufts between the 
toes, and points at the apex of the ears. 

Quality of Fur lo 

Fine, silky, and very soft in the Persian, with slightly 
woolly texture in the Angora, and still more so in 
the Russian. 

Tail lo 

In the Persian the hair long and silky throughout, 
but somewhat longer at the base ; Angora like the 
brush of a fox, but longer in the hair; Russian 
equally long in the hair, but more full at the end; 
tail shorter, rather blunt, like a tassel. 



POINTS OF EXCELLENCE. 145 

POINTS 

Size, Shape, and Condition 10 

Large, small in bone, looking larger than it really 
is on account of the length of the hair ; body long; 
legs short; tail carried low, not over the back, 
which is a fault ; fur clean and glossy, even, 
smooth, and flakey, which gives an appearance of 
quality. 

Colour 15 

Ground colour, deep, rich reddish-brown, more 
rufous on the nose, ears, mane, and inside the 
legs and belly ; tip of nose red, edged with black ; 
blue, bright, deep, rich, even, dark colour; 
silver, lighter and equally even tint ; and so light 
gray ; and white ground, pure white. 

Markings 15 

Jet-black lines, not too broad, scarcely so wide as the 
ground colour seen between, so as to give a light 
and brilliant effect. When the black lines are 
broader than the colour space, it is a defect, being 
then black marked with colour, instead of colour 
marked with black. The lines must be clear, 
sharp, and well-defined, in every way distinct, 
having no mixture of the ground colour. Head, 
legs, and tail regularly marked, the latter with 
rings, the lines on the throat and chest being in no 
way blurred or broken, but clear, graceful, and 
continuous ; lips, cushions of feet, the backs of 
the hind-legs and the ear-points black. 

Total 100 

In chocolate, mahogany, led, or yellow long-haired 
tabbies, the markings and colours to be the same as in the 
short-haired cats ; but in points to count the same as the 
last in all quahties. 



146 



POINTS OF EXCELLENCE. 



Spotted tabbies to count the same in all points, the only- 
difference being that instead of stripes, the cats are marked 
with clear, well-defined spots. 

All fancy colours to be shown in the " any other variety 
of colour'^ class, and judged according to quality of coat, 
beauty, and rarity of colouring or marking. The small, thin, 
broken-banded tabby should go in this class, as also those 
with thin, light, wavy lines. 

All foreign, wild, or other cats of peculiar form to go 
into the class for "any other variety or species." 




DISEASES OF CATS. 147 



DISEASES OF CATS. 



Cats, like many other animals, both wild and domestic, are 
subject to diseases, several being fatal, others yielding to 
known curatives ; many are of a very exhaustive character, 
some are epidemic, others are undoubtedly contagious — 
the two worst of these are what is known as the distemper 
and the mange. Through the kindness of friends I am 
enabled to give recipes for medicines considered as useful, 
or, at any rate, tending to abate the severity of the attack 
in the one, and utterly eradicate the other. Care should 
always be taken on the first symptoms of illness to remove 
the animal at once from contact with others. My kind 
friend, Dr. George Fleming, C.B., principal veterinary sur- 
geon of the army, has courteously sent me a copy of a 
remedy for cat distemper from his very excellent work, 
'' Animal Plagues : their History, Nature, and Prevention," 
which I give in full. 

CATARRHAL FEVERS. 

" Cats are, like some other of the domesticated animals, 
liable to be attacked by two kinds of Catarrhal Fever, one 
of which is undoubtedly very infectious — like distemper in 
dogs — and the other may be looked upon as the result of a 
simple cold, and therefore not transmissible. The first 
is, of course, the most severe and fatal, and often prevails 
most extensively, afi'ecting cats generally over wide areas, 
sometimes entire continents being invaded by it. From 
A.D. 1414 up to 1832 no fewer than nineteen widespread out- 
breaks of this kind have been recorded. The most notable 
of these was in 1796, when the cats in England and 

L 2 



148 DISEASES OF CATS. 

Holland were generally attacked by the disease, and in the 
following year when it had spread over Europe and ex- 
tended to America; in 1803, it again appeared in this 
country and over a large part of the European continent. 

"The symptoms are intense fever, prostration, vomiting, 
diarrhoea, sneezing, cough, and profuse discharge from the 
nose and eyes. Sometimes the parotid glands are swollen, 
as in human mumps. Dr. Darwin, of Derby, uncle to 
Charles Darwin, thought it was a kind of mumps, and 
therefore designated it Parotitis felina. 

" The treatment consists in careful nursing and cleanli- 
ness, keeping the animal moderately warm and comfortable. 
The disease rapidly produces intense debility, and therefore 
the strength should be maintained from the very commence- 
ment by frequent small doses of strong beef-tea, into which 
one grain of quinine has been introduced twice a day, a 
small quantity of port wine (from half to one teaspoonful) 
according to the size of the cat, and the state of debility. 
If there is no diarrhoea, but constipation, a small dose of 
castor oil or syrup of buckthorn should be given. Solid 
food should not be allowed until convalescence has set in. 
Isolation, with regard to other cats, and disinfection, should 
be attended to. 

" Simple Catarrh demands similar treatment. Warmth, 
cleanliness, broth, and beef tea, are the chief items of 
treatment, with a dose of castor oil if constipation is present. 
If the discharge obstructs the nostrils it should be removed 
with a sponge, and these and the eyes may be bathed with 
a weak lotion of vinegar and water." 

"As regards inoculation for distemper," Dr. Fleming says, 
" it has been tried, but the remedy is often worse than the 
disease, at least as bad as the natural disease. Vacd?iation 
has also been tried, but it is valueless. Probably inoculation 
with cultivated or modified virus would be found a good 
and safe preventative." 

I was anxious to know about this, as inoculation used to 
be the practice with packs of hounds. 

It will be observed that Dr. Fleming treats the distemper 



DISEASES OF CATS. 149 

as a kind of influenza, and considers one of the most im- 
portant things is to keep up the strength of the suffering 
animal. Other members of the R.C.V.S., whom I have 
consulted, have all given the same kind of advice, not only 
prescribing for the sick animal wine, but brandy, as a last 
resource, to arouse sinking vitaUty. Mr. George Cheverton, 
of High Street, Tunbridge Wells, who is very successful with 
animals and their diseases, thinks it best to treat them 
homoeopathically. The following is what he prescribes as 
efficacious for some of the most dire complaints with which 
cats are apt to be afflicted. 

WORMS. 

For a full-grown cat give 3 grains of santonine every night 
for a week or 10 days ; it might be administered in milk, or 
given in a small piece of beef or meat of any kind. After 
the course give an aperient powder. 



MANGE. 

The best possible remedies for this disease are arsenicum, 
2" trituration, and sulphur, 2^^ trituration, given on alternate 
days, as much as will lie on a threepenny piece, night and 
morning, administered as above. 

A most useful lotion is acid sulphurous, i oz. to 5 oz. of 
water, adding about a teaspoonful of glycerine, and sponging 
the affected parts twice or thrice daily. 



COLDS. 

The symptoms are twofold, usually there is constant 
sneezing and discharge from the nose. Aconite, i" tincture, 
I drop given every 3 hours in alternation with arsenicum, 
3* trituration, will speedily remove the disease. Should 
there be stuffing of the nose, and difficult breathing, give 
mercurius biniod., 3^^ trituration, a dose every 3 or 4 hours. 



I50 DISEASES OF CATS. 



COUGHS. 

The short, hard, dry cough will always give way to treat- 
ment with belladonna, 3^ trituration, 3 grains every 3 or 
4 hours. 

For the difficult breathing, with rattling in the chest 
and bronchial tubes, with distressing cough, antimoniura 
tartaric, 2*, grains iij every 2, 3 or 4 hours, according to 
the severity of the symptoms. 



DISTEMPER. 

Early symptoms should be noted and receive prompt 
attention; this will often cut short the duration of the 
malady. The first indications usually are a disinclination to 
rest in the usual place, seeking a dark corner beneath a 
sofa, etc. The eyes flow freely, the nose after becoming 
hard and dry becomes stopped with fluid, the tongue parched, 
and total aversion to food follows. The breathing becomes 
short and laboured, the discharges are offensive, and the 
animal creeps away into some quiet corner to die— if 
before this its Hfe has not been mercifully ended. 

On discovery of first symptoms, give 2 drops aconite 
and arsenicum in alternation every 3 hours. When the 
nose becomes dry, and the eye restless and glaring, give 
belladonna. 

CANKER OF EAR. 

When internal, drop into the affected ear, night and 
morning, 3 or 5 drops of the following mixture : 

Tincture of Hydrastis Canadensis . . 2 drachms. 
Carbolic Acid (pure) . . . • j^ ,, 
Glycerine, to make up to . . .2 oz. 

If external, paint with the mixture the affected parts. 



DISEASES OF CATS. 151 



APERIENT. 

Get a chemist to rub down a medium-size croton bean 
with about 40 grains of sugar of milk, and divide mto four 
powders. One of these powders given in milk usually suffices. 
Large cats often require two powders. The dose might be 
repeated if necessary. 

Dose, when drops are ordered, 2 drops. 

,, „ trituration is ordered, 2 to 3 grains. 

REMEDIES AND STRENGTHENING MEDICINES. 

Aconite, i'' tincture. 
Arsenicum, 2"^ trituration. 
Antimonium tartaricum, 2* trituration. 
Belladonna, 3'' trituration. 
Mercurius biniodatus, 3^^ trituration. 
Hydrastis canadensis, <^ tincture. 
Sulphur, 2"" trituration. 
Santonine. 

Mr. Frank Upjohn, of Castelnau, Barnes, has also kindly 
forwarded me his treatment of some few of the cat ailments. 
Mindful of the old proverb that " In a multitude of counsel- 
lors there is wisdom," I place all before my friends, and 
those of the clt, that they may select which remedy they 
deem best : 

DISTEMPER. 

Take yellow basilicon, i oz. ; flowers of sulphur, % oz. ; 
oil of juniper, 3 drachms. Mix for ointment. Then give 
sulphide of mercury, 3 grains, two or three times on alter- 
nate nights. 

PURGATIVE. 

Nothing like castor oil for purgation ; half the quantity of 
syrup of buckthorn, if necessary, may be added. 



152 DISEASES OF CATS. 



WORMS. 



Two or three grains of santonine in a teaspoonful of 
castor oil, for two or three days. 



CATARRH. 

Cold in the eyes and sneezing may be relieved by sweet 
spirits of nitre, i drachm ; minocrerus spirit, 3 drachms ; 
antimony wine, i drachm ; water to i ^ oz. Mix. Give 
I teaspoonful every two or three hours. 

FLEAS, AND IRRITATION OF SKIN. 

Two drachms pure carbolic acid to 6 oz. of water well 
mixed for a lotion, and apply night and morning. 

EYE OINTMENT. 

Red oxide of mercury, 12 grains; spermaceti ointment. 
I oz. Mix. 

The above prescription was given to me many years ago 
by the late Dr. Walsh (Stonehenge), and I have found it of 
great service, both for my own eyes, also those of animals and 
birds. Wash the eyes carefully with warm water, dry off with 
a soft silk handkerchief, and apply a little of the ointment. 
Dr. Walsh informed me that he deemed it excellent for 
canker in the ear, but of that I have had no experience. 

FOR MANGE. 

In the early stages of mange, flowers of sulphur mixed in 
vaseline, and rubbed in the coat of the cat, is efficacious, 
giving sulphur in the milk, the water, and on the food of the 
patient ; also give vegetable diet. 

Another remedy : give a teaspoonful of castor oil ; next 
day give raw meat, dusted over with flowers of sulphur. 



DISEASES OF CATS. 153 

Also give sulphur in milk. If there are any sore places, 
bathe with lotion made from camphorated oil in which 
some sulphur is mixed. Oil, 2 oz. ; camphor, ^ oz. ; 
sulphur, a teaspoonful. 

As a rule, when the animal is of value, either intrin- 
sically or as a pet, the best plan is to consult a practitioner, 
well versed in the veterinary science and art, especially 
when the cat appears to suffer from some obscure disease, 
many of which it is very difficult to detect, unless by the 
trained and practised eye. Of all the ailments, both of dogs 
and cats, distemper is the worst to combat, and is so viru- 
lent and contagious that I have thought it well to offer 
remedies that are at least worthy of a trial, though when the 
complaint has firm hold, and the attack very severe, the case 
is generally almost hopeless, especially with high-bred 
animals. 

POISON. 

It is not generally known that the much-admired labur- 
num contains a strong poison, and is therefore an exceed- 
ingly dangerous plant. All its parts — blossoms, leaves, seeds, 
even the bark and the roots — are charged with a poison 
named cytisin, which was discovered by Husemann and 
Marms in 1864. 

A small dose of juice infused under the skin is quite 
sufficient to kill a cat or a dog. Children have died from 
eating the seeds, of which ten or twelve were sufficient to 
cause death. The worst of it is that there is no remedy, no 
antidote against this poison. How many cases have hap- 
pened before the danger was discovered is of course only a 
matter of conjecture, as few would suspect the cause to 
come from the lovely plant that so delights the eye. 

It has, however, long been known to gamekeepers and 
others, and used by them to destroy "vermin." When 
quite a boy I remember an old uncle of mine telling me to 
beware of it even in gathering the blossom. 



154 



THE WILD CAT OF BRITAIN. 




THE WILD CAT OF BRITAIN. 



The wild cat is said to be now extinct in England, and 
only found in some of the northern parts of Scotland, or 
the rocky parts of the mountains of the south, where I am 
informed it may yet occasionally be seen. The drawing I 
give above was made from one sent to the first Crystal 
Palace Cat Show in 187 1, by the Duke of Sutherland, from 
Sutherlandshire. It was caught in a trap by the fore-leg, 
which was much injured, but not so as to prevent its 
moving with great alacrity, even with agility, endeavouring 
frequently to use the claws of both fore-feet with a desperate 
determination and amazing vigour. It was a very powerful 
animal, possessing great strength, taking size into considera- 
tion, and of extraordinary fierceness. 



THE WILD CAT OF BRITAIN. 155 

Mr. Wilson, the manager of the show, though an 
excellent naturalist, tried to get it out of the thick-barred, 
heavy-made travelling box in which k arrived, into one of 
the ordinary wire show-cages, thinking it would appear to 
better advantage ; but in this endeavour he was unsuccessful, 
the animal resisting all attempts to expel it from the one 
into the other, making such frantic and deterriiined opposition 
that the idea was abandoned. This was most fortunate, for 
the wire cages then in use were afterwards found unequal to 
confining even the ordinary domestic cat, which, in more 
than one instance, forced the bars apart sufficiently to allow 
of escape. As it was, the wild cat maintained its position, 
sullenly retiring to one corner of the box, where it scowled, 
growled, and fought in a most fearful and courageous manner 
during the time of its exhibition, never once relaxing its 
savage watchfulness or attempts to injure even those who fed 
it. I never saw anything more unremittingly ferocious, 
nor apparently more untamable. 

It was a grand animal, however, and most interesting 
to the naturaUst, being, even then, scarcely ever seen ; if so, 
only in districts far away and remote from the dwellings of 
civilisation. Yet I believe I saw one among the rocks of 
Bodsbeck, in Dumfriesshire, many years ago, though of this 
I am not certain, as it was too far away for accurate obser- 
vation before it turned and stood at bay, and on my 
advancing it disappeared. The animal shown at the Crystal 
Palace was very much lighter in colour, and with less markings 
than those in the British Museum, the tail shorter, and the 
dark rings fewer, the lines on the body not much deeper in 
tint than the ground colour, excepting on the forehead and 
the inside of the fore-legs, which were darker, rather a light 
red round the mouth, and almost white on the chest — which 
appears to be usual with the wild cat ; the eyes were yellow- 
tinted green, the tips of the ears, the lips, cushions of the 
feet, and a portion of the back part of the hind-legs, black > 
the markings were, in short, irregular thin lines, and in 
no way resembled those of the ordinary black-marked 
domestic tabby cat, possessing little elegance of line — 



156 THE WILD CAT OF BRITAIN. 

in character it was bolder, having a rugged sturdiness, 
being stronger and broader built, the fore-arms thick, 
massive, and endowed with great power, with long, curved 
claws, the feet were stout, sinewy, and strong ; altogether 
it was a very peculiar, interesting, and extraordinary animal. 
What became of it I never learned. 

In 1 87 1 and 1872, a wild cat was exhibited at the Crystal 
Palace Cat Show, by the Earl of Hopetoun, aged three years, 
also some hybrid kittens, the father of which was a long- 
haired cat, the mother a sandy, by a wild cat out of a long- 
haired tabby, which proves, if proof were wanting, that such 
hybrids breed freely either with hybrids, the domestic, or 
the wild cat. 

Mr. Frank Buckland also exhibited a hybrid between 
the wild and tame cat. 

The Zoological Society, a pair of wild cats which did not 
appear to be British. 

In 1873, Mr. A. H. Senger sent a fine specimen of 
hybrid, between the domestic cat and Scotch wild cat. 

An early description of the wild cat in England is to be 
found in an old book on Natural History, and copied into 
a work on " ^lenageries," " Bartholoraoeus de Proprieta- 
tibus Rerum," which was translated into English by Thomas 
Berthlet, and printed by Wynkyn de Worde as early as 1498. 
There is a very interesting description of the cat, which gives 
nearly all the properties of the wild animal in an odd and 
very amusing way. It states : " He is most like to the leopard, 
and hath a great mouthe, and saw teeth and sharp, and 
long tongue, and pliant, thin, and subtle ; and lappeth there- 
with when he drinketh, as other beasts do, that have the 
nether lip shorter than the over ; for, by cause of uneven- 
ness of lips, such beasts suck not in drinking, but lap and 
lick, as Aristotle saith and Plinius also. And he is a full 
lecherous beast in youth, swift, pliant, and merry, and leapeth, 
and riseth on all things that is tofore him ; and is led by a 
straw, and playeth therewith, and is a right heavy beast in 
age, and full sleepy, and lieth slyly in wait for mice ; and is 
ware where they bene more by smell than by sight, and 



THE WILD CAT OF BRITAIN, 157 

hunteth and riseth on them in privy places ; and when he 
taketh a mouse, he playeth therewith, and eateth him after 
the play ; and is a cruel beast when he is wild, and dwelleth 
in woods, and hunteth there small wild beasts as conies and 
hares." 

The next appears in John Bossewell's "Workes of 
Armorie," folio, a.d. 1597 : 

** This beaste is called a Musion, for that he is enimie to 
Myse and Rattes. He is slye and wittie, and seeth so sharpely 
that he overcommeth darknes of the nighte by the shyninge 
lyghte of his eyne. In shape of body he is like unto a 
Leoparde, and hathe a great mouth. He dothe delight that 
he enioyeth his libertye ; and in his youthe he is swifte, 
plyante, and merye. He maketh a rufull noyse and a gaste- 
full when he profereth to fighte with an other. He is a 
cruell beaste when he is wilde, and falleth on his owne feete 
from most high places : and vneth is hurt therewith. 

*' When he hath a fayre skinne, he is, as it were, prowde 
thereof, and then he goeth faste aboute to be seene. . . ." 

Those who have seen the wild cat of Britain, especially 
in confinement, will doubtless be ready to endorse this 
description as being "true to the life," even to the "rufull 
noyse," or his industry in the way of fighting. Yet even this 
old chronicler mentions the fact of his being " wilde," clearly 
indicating a similar animal in a state of domestication. Later 
on we find Maister Salmon giving an account of the cat in 
his strangely-curious book, " Salmon's Compleat English 
Physician; or, the Druggist's Shop Opened/' a.d. 1693, in 
which he relates that marvellous properties exist in the brain, 
bones, etc., of the cat, giving recipes mostly cruel and in- 
credible. He describes " Catus the Cat " in such terms as 
these : 

" The Cat of Mountain^ all which are of one nature, and 
agree much in one shape, save as to their magnitude, the 
wild Cat being larger than the Tame and the Cat of Afomi- 
tain much larger than the wild Cat. It has a broad Face, 
almost like a Lyon, short Ears, large Whiskers, shining Eyes, 
short, smooth Hair, long Tail, rough Tongue, and armed on 



158 THE WILD CAT OF BRITAIN. 

its Feet, with Claws, being a crafty, subtle, watchful Creature, 
very loving and familiar with Man-kind, the mortal enemy 
to the Rat, Mouse, and all sorts of Birds, which it seizes on 
as its prey. As to its Eyes, Authors say that they shine in 
the Night, and see better at the full, and more dimly at the 
change of the moon ; as also that the Cat doth vary his 
Eyes with the Sun, the Apple of its Eye being long at Sun 
rise, round towards Noon, and not to be seen at all at night, 
but the whole Eye shining in the night. These appearances 
of the Cats' Eyes I am sure are true, but whether they 
answer to the times of the day, I never observed." " Its 
flesh is not usually eaten, yet in some countries it is 
accounted an excellent dish." 

Mr. Blaine, in his excellent and useful work, the " Ency- 
clopaedia of Rural Sports " — a book no sportsman should be 
without — thus discusses the origin of the domestic cat com- 
pared with the British wild cat : 

" We have yet, however, to satisfy ourselves with regard 
to the origin of the true wild cat {Felis catus, Linn.), which, 
following the analogies of the Felvicz generally, are almost 
exclusively native to countries warmer than our own. It is 
true that occasionally varieties of the Felines do breed in our 
caravans and menageries, where artificial warmth is kept up 
to represent something like a tropical temperature ; but the 
circumstance is too rare to ground any opinion on of their 
ever having been indigenous here — at least, since our part 
of the globe has cooled down to its present temperature. It 
is, therefore, more than probable that both the wild and the 
tame cat have been derived from some other extra-European 
source or sources. We say source or sources, for such ad- 
mission begets another difficulty not easily got over, which 
is this, that if both of these grimalkins own one common 
root, in which variety was it that the very marked differences 
between them have taken place? Most sportsmen, we 
believe, suspect that they own one common origin, and 
some naturalists also do the same, contending that the diffe- 
rences observable between them are attributable solely to the 
long-continued action of external agencies, which had modi- 
fied the various organs to meet the varied necessities of the 



THE WILD CAT OF BRITAIN. 159 

animals. The wild cat, according to this theory, having to 
contend with powerful enemies, expanded in general dimen- 
sions ; its limbs, particularly, became massive ; and its long 
and strong claws, with the powerful muscular mechanism 
which operated on them, fitted it for a life of predacity. 
Thus its increased size enabled it to stand some time before 
any other dogs than high-bred foxhounds, and even before 
them also, in any place but the direct open ground. There 
«xist, however, in direct contradiction to this opinion, certain 
specialities proper to the wild, and certain other to the domestic 
cat, besides the simple expansion of bulk, which sufficiently 
disprove their identity. It will be seen that a remarkable 
difference exists between the tails of the two animals ; that of 
the domestic being, as is well known, long, and tapering 
elegantly to a point, whereas that of the wild cat is seen to 
be broad, and to terminate abruptly in a blunt or rounded 
-extremity. Linnaeus and Buffon having both of them con- 
founded these two species into one, have contributed much 
to propagate this error, which affords us another opportunity 
of adding to the many we have taken of remarking on the 
vast importance of comparative anatomy, which enables us 
to draw just distinctions between animals that might other- 
wise erroneously be adjudged to be dependent on external 
agencies, etc. Nor need we rest here, for what doubt can 
be entertained on the subject when we point at the remark- 
able difference between the intestines of the two ? Those 
cf the domestic are nine times the length of its body, whereas, 
in the wild cat^ they are little more than three times as long 
as the body." 

The food of the wild cat is said to consist of animals, 
and in the opinion of some, fish should be added. Why 
not also birds' eggs? Cats are particularly fond of the 
latter. In the event of their finding and destroying a nest, 
they invariably eat the eggs, and generally the shells. 

Much has been written as to the aptitude of the domestic 
cat at catching fish. If this be so, are fish necessarily a part 
of the food of the native wild cat ? Numerous instances 
are adduced of our " household cat " plunging into water 
in pursuit of and capture of fish. Although I have spent 



[6o 



THE WILD CAT OF BRITAIN. 



.^^^^ 







WILU CAT, BRITISH MUSEUM. 



much time in watching cats that were roaming beside 
streams and about ponds, there has never been even an 
attempt at " fishing." Frogs they will take and kill, often 
greedily devouring the small ones. Yet doubtless they 
will hunt, catch, and eat fish, for the fact has become 
proverbial. 

A writer in " Menageries " states : " There is no doubt 
that wild cats will seize on fish, and the passionate longing 
of the domestic cat after this food is an evidence of the 
natural desire. We have seen a cat overcome her natural 
reluctance to wet her feet, and take an eel out of a pail of 
water." Dr. Darwin alludes to this propensity : " Mr. 
Leonard, a very intelligent friend of mine, saw a cat catch 
a trout by darting on it in deep, clear water, at the Mill, 
Wexford, near Lichfield. The cat belonged to Mr. Stanley, 
who had often seen it catch fish." 



THE WILD CAT OF BRITAIN. 16 [ 

Cases have also been known of cats catching fish in 
shallow water, springing on them from the banks of streams 
and ponds ; but I take this as not the habit of the domestic 
cat, though it is not unusual. 

Gray, in a poem, tells of a cat's death through drowning, 
while attempting to take gold-fish from a vase filled with water. 

Of Dr. Samuel Johnson it is related, that his cat having 
fallen sick and refused all food, he became aware that cats 
are fond of fish. With this knowledge before him he went 
to the fishmonger's and bought an oyster for the sick 
creature, wrapped it in paper and brought the appetising 
morsel home. The cat relished the dainty food, and the 
Doctor was seen going on the same kindly errand every 
day until his suffering feline friend was restored to health. 

Still this is no proof that the wild cat, in a pure state of 
nature, feeds on fish. Again, it is nothing unusual for 
domestic cats to catch and eat cockroaches, crickets, cock- 
chafers, also large and small moths, but not so all. In 
domesticity some are almost omnivorous. But is the wild 
cat ? Taking its anatomical structure into consideration, 
there is doubtless a wide distinction, both as regards food 
and habit. 

In Daniel's "Rural Sports," a.d. 1813, the wild cat is 
stated to be " now scarce in England, inhabiting the 
mountainous and woody parts. Mr. Pennant describes it 
2iS four times the size of the house cat, but the head larger, 
that it multiplies' as fast, and may be called the British tiger, 
being the fiercest and most destructive beast we have. 
When only wounded with shot they will attack the person 
who injured them, and often have strength enough to be no 
despicable enemy." 

Through the kind courtesy of that painstaking, excellent, 
observant, and eminent naturalist, Mr. J. E. Harting, I am 
enabled to reprint a portion of his lecture on the origin of 
the domestic cat, and which afterwards appeared in The 
Field. Although many of the statements are known to 
naturalists, still I prefer giving them in the order in which 
they are so skilfully arranged, presenting, as they do, a very 

M 



i62 THE WILD CAT OF BRITAIN. 

garland of facts connected with the British wild cat {Felis 
catus) up to the present, and which I deem valuable from 
many points of view, but the more particularly as a record 
of an animal once abundant in England, where it has now 
apparently almost, if not quite, ceased to exist. 

*' In England in former days, the wuld cat was included 
amongst the beasts of chase, and is often mentioned in 
royal grants giving liberty to inclose forest land and licence 
to hunt there (extracts from several such grants will be 
found in the Zoologist for 1878, p. 251, and 1880, p. 251). 
Nor was it for diversion alone that the wild cat was hunted. 
Its fur was much used as trimming for dresses, and in this 
way was worn even by nuns at one time. Thus, in 
Archbishop Corboyle's ' Canons,' anno ii27,it is ordained 
' that no abbess or nun use more costly apparel than such 
as is made of lambs' or cats^ skins,' and as no other part of 
the animal but the skin was of any use here, it grew into a 
proverb that ' You can have nothing of a cat but her skin.' 

" The wild cat is believed to be now extinct, not only in 
England and Wales, but in a great part of the south of 
Scotland. About five years ago a Scottish naturalist resident 
in Stirlingshire (Mr. J. A. Harvie Brown) took a great deal 
of trouble, by means of printed circulars addressed to the 
principal landowners throughout Scotland and the Isles, to 
ascertain the existing haunts of the wild cat in that part of 
the United Kingdom. The result of his inquiries, embody- 
ing some very interesting information, was published in the 
Zoologist for January, 1881. The replies w^hich he received 
indicated pretty clearly, although perhaps unexpectedly, 
that there are now no wild cats in Scotland south of a line 
drawn from Oban on the west coast up the Brander Pass to 
Dalmally, and thence following the borders of Perthshire 
to the junction of the three counties of Perth, Forfar and 
Aberdeen, northward to Tomintoul, and so to the city of 
Inverness. We are assured that it is only to the northward 
and westward of this line that the animal still keeps a 
footing in suitable localities, finding its principal shelter in 



THE WILD CAT OF BRITAIN. 163 

the great deer forests. Thus we see that the wild cat is 
being gradually driven northward before advancing civili- 
sation and the increased supervision of moors and forests. 
Just as the reindeer in the twelfth century was driven north- 
ward from England and found its last home in Caithness, 
and as the wolf followed it a few centuries later, so we may 
expect one day that the wild cat will come to be numbered 
amongst the ' extinct British animals.' 

*' A recent writer in the new edition of the ' Encyclopaedia 
Britannica' (art. Caf) expresses the opinion that the wild cat 
still exists in Wales and in the north of England, but gives 
no proof of its recent occurrence there. From time to time 
we see reports in the newspapers to the effect that a wild 
cat has been shot or trapped in some out-of-the-way part of 
the country ; but it usually turns out to be a large example 
of the domestic cat, coloured like the wild form. It is 
remarkable that when cats in England are allowed to return 
to a feral state, their offspring, in the course of generations, 
show a tendency to revert to the wild type of the country ; 
partly, no doubt, in consequence of former interbreeding 
with the wild species when the latter was common through- 
out all the wooded portions of the country, and partly 
because the light-coloured varieties of escaped cats, being 
more readily seen and destroyed, are gradually eliminated, 
while the darker wild type is perpetuated- The great 
increase in size observable in the offspring of escaped 
domestic cats i^ no doubt due to continuous living on 
freshly-killed, warm-blooded animals, and to the greater use 
of the muscles which their new mode of life requires. In 
this way I think we may account for the size and appearance 
of the so-called ' wild cats ' which are from time to time 
reported south of the Tweed. 

" Perhaps the last genuine wild cat seen in England was 
the one shot by Lord Ravensworth at Eslington, Northumber- 
land, in 1853 ;* although so recently as March, 1883, a cat 
was shot in Bullington Wood, Lincolnshire, which in point 

* "Trans. Tyneside Nat. Field Club," 1864, vol. vi. p. 123. 

M 2 



i64 THE WILD CAT OF BRITAIN. 

of size, colour, and markings was said to be quite indis- 
tinguishable from the wild Felis catus. Bullington Wood is 
one of an almost continuous chain of great woodlands, ex- 
tending from Mid-Lincolnshire to near Peterborough. Much 
of the district has never been preserved for game, and 
keepers are few and far between ; hence the wild animals 
have enjoyed an almost complete immunity from persecu- 
tion. Cats are known to have bred in these woods in a wild 
state for generations, and there is no improbability that the 
cat in question may have descended directly from the old 
British wild cat. Under all the circumstances, however, it 
seems more likely to be a case of reversion under favourable 
conditions from the domestic to the wild type. 

''In Ireland, strange to say, notwithstanding reports to 
the contrary, all endeavours to find a genuine wild cat have 
failed, the so-called ' wild cat ' of the natives proving to be 
the ' marten cat,' a very different animal. 

"We thus come back to the question with which we 
started, nam.ely, the question of origin of the domestic cat ; 
and the conclusion, I think, at which we must arrive is, that 
although Felis catus has contributed to the formation of the 
existing race of domestic cats, it is not the sole ancestor. 
Several wild species of Egyptian and Indian origin having 
been ages ago reclaimed, the interbreeding of their offspring 
and crossing with other wild species in the countries to 
which they have been at various times exported, has resulted 
in the gradual production of the many varieties, so different 
in shape and colour, with which we are now familiar." 

Before quitting the subject, I would point to the fact 
that when the domestic cat takes to the woods and becomes 
wild, it becomes much larger, stronger, and changes in 
colour; and there can be little doubt that during the 
centuries of the existence of the cat in England there must 
have been numberless crosses and intercrosses, both with 
regard to the males of the domestic cat as with \N\i^ fe7nales , 
and vice versa ; yet the curious fact remains that the wild 
cat still retains its peculiar colouring and form, as is 



THE WILD CAT OF BRITAIN. 165 

shown by the skins preserved in the British Museum and 
elsewhere. 

Mr. Darwin, in his "Voyage of the Beagle," 1845 
(p. 120), in his notes of the first colonists of La Plata, 
A.D. 1535, says, among other animals that he saw was 
" the common cat altered into a lai-ge and fierce animal, 
inhabiting the rocky hills," etc. 

Another point on which I wish to give my impressions 
is the act of the cat in what is termed "sharpening its claws." 
Mr. Darwin notes certain trees where the jaguars " sharpen 
their daws^^^ and mentions the scars were of different ages ; 
he also thought they did this "/^ tear off the hortiy points '^ 
This, I believe, is the received opinion among naturaUsts ; 
but I differ entirely from this view of the practice. It is 
a fact, however, and worthy of notice, that all cats do so, 
even the domestic cat. I had o?ie of the legs of a kitchen 
table entirely torn to pieces by my cats ; and after much obser- 
vation I came to the conclusion that it has nothing whatever 
to do with sharpening the claws, but is done to stretch the 
muscles and tendons of the feet so that they work readily and 
strongly, as the retraction of the claws for lengthened periods 
must tend to contract the tendons used for the purpose of 
extending or retracting ; therefore the cats fix the points of 
their claws in something soft, and bear downwards with the 
whole weight of the body, simply to stretch and, by use, to 
strengthen the ligatures that pull the claws forward. It is 
also to be noted, that even the domestic cat goes to one par- 
ticular place or tree to insert the claws and drag forward the 
muscles — perhaps even in the leather of an arm-chair, a 
costly practice. Why one object is always selected is that 
they may not betray their presence by numerous marks in 
the neighbourhood, if wild, to other animals or their enemies. 
I have mentioned this to my brother, John Jenner Weir, 
F.L.S., and he concurs with me throughout. 

I find in Strutt's "Sports and Pastimes" that of the 
names applied to companies of animals in the Middle Ages, 
several are still in use, though many have become obsolete ; 
and also a few of the beasts have ceased to exist in a wild 



i66 THE WILD CAT OF BRITAIN. 

state. Some were very curious, such as a skulk of foxes, a 
cete of badgers, a huske or down of hares, a ;?^j-/ of rabbits, 
and a clowder of cats, and a kindle of yoimg cats. Now cats 
are said to kitte7i, and rabbits kindle. 

The following shows the value of the cat nearly a thousand 
years ago ; it is to be found in Bewick's " Quadrupeds " : 
'' In the time of Hoel the Good, King of Wales, who died 
in the year 948, laws were made as well to preserve as to 
fix the different prices of animals ; among which the cat is 
included, as being at that period of great importance, on 
account of its scarcity and utility. 

"The price of a kitten, before it could see, was fixed at 
one penny; till proof could be given of its having caught a 
mouse, twopence ; after which it was rated at fourpence, 
which was a great sum in those days, when the value of 
specie was extremely high. It was likewise required that it 
should be perfect in its sense of hearing and seeing, should 
be a good mouser, have its claws whole, and, if a female, be 
a careful nurse. If it failed in any of these good qualities, 
the seller was to forfeit to the buyer a third part of its 
value. If any one should steal or kill a cat that guarded 
the Prince's granary, he was either to forfeit a milch ewe, 
her fleece and lamb, or as much wheat as when poured on 
the cat suspended by its feet (its head touching the floor), 
would form a heap high enough to cover the tip of the 
former." Bewick remarks : " Hence we may conclude that 
cats were not originally natives of these islands, and from 
the great care taken to improve the breed of this prolific 
creature, we may suppose were but little known at that 
period." 

I scarcely think this the right conclusion, the English 
wild cat being anatomically different. In Hone's popular 
works it is stated that " Cats are supposed to have been 
brought into England from the island of Cyprus by some 
foreign merchants, who came hither for tin." Mr. Hone 
further says : " Wild cats were kept by our ancient kings 
for hunting. The officers who had charge of these cats 
seem to have had appointments of equal consequence 



THE WILD CAT OF BRITAIN. 167 

with the masters of the king's hounds ; they were called 

Beaumont and Fletcher in The Scornful Lady allude to 
the hunting of cats in the line, 

Bring out the cat-hounds, I'll make you take a tree. 

But although large and ferocious, the wild cat was not 
considered a match for some of the lesser animals, for in 
Salmon's "English Physician," 1693, we read that Ihe 
weasel is an enemy to ravens, crows, and cats, and although 
cats may sometimes set upon them, yet they can scarcely 
overcome them." „ 

Nevertheless, we find in Daniel's " Rural Sports, 1813, 
that " Wildcats formerly were an object oi sport to huntsmen. 
Thus, Gerard Camvile, 6 John, had special licence to hunt 
the hare, fox, and wild cat, throughout all the King's >-^^/^ ; 
and 23 Henry III., Earl Warren, by givmg Simon de 
Pierpont a goshawk, obtained leave to hunt the buck, doe, 
hart, hind, hare, fox, goat, cat, or any other wild beast, in 
certain lands of Simon's. But it was not for diversion alone 
that this animal was pursued ; for the skin was much used by 
the nuns in their habits, as a/z/r." . , „ ,r c 

Still it appears from Mr. Charles Darwin's Voyage of 
the Beagle," that tastes vary. " Doctor Shaw was laughed at 
for stating the flesh of the lion is in great esteem, having no 
small affinity with veal, both in the colour, taste, and flavour. 
Such certainly is the case with the puma. The Guachos 
difl'er in their opinion whether the jaguar is good eating ; but 
were unanimous in saying the cat is excelle?ity _ 

It is also stated that the Chinese fatten and eat cats with 
considerable relish ; but of this I can obtain no reliable in- 
formation, some of my friends from China not having heard 
of the custom, if such it is. ^ 

Again referring to the skin of the cat, vide Strutt : in 
the thirty-seventh year of the reign of Edward III., it was 
decreed, after enumerating the various kinds of cloth that were 
to be worn by the nobles, knights, dames, and others, that 



i68 THE WILD CAT OF BRITAIN. 

(Article 2) tradesmen, artificers, and men in office, called 
yeomen, their wives and children, shall wear no kind of furs 
excepting those of lambs, of rabbits, of cats, and of foxes." 
Further : " No man, unless he be possessed of the yearly 
value of forty shillings, shall wear any furs but black and 
white lambs' skins." Lambs' and cats' skins were equivalent 
in value and order. 

In the twenty-second year of this monarch's reign, all the 
former statutes "against excess in apparel " were repealed. 

My old friend Fairholt, in his useful work on costume, 
says of the Middle Ages : " The peasants wore cat skins, 
badger skins, etc." 

One of the reasons why the skin of cats was used on 
cloaks and other garments for trimming, being that it 
showed humility in dress, and not by way of affectation or 
vanity, but for warmth and comfort, it being of the lowest 
value of any, with the exception of lambs' skin and badgers' ; 
and adopted by some priests as well as nuns, when wishing 
to impress others with their deep sense of humility in all 
things, even to their wearing-apparel. The proof of which 
Strutt's "Habits of the Anglo-Normans," circa twelfth century, 
fully illustrates : 

"William of Malmesbury, speaking of Wulfstan, Bishop of 
Worcester, assures us that he avoided all appearance of 
pride and ostentation in his dress, and though he was very 
wealthy, he never used any furs finer than lambs' skin for 
the lining of his garments. Being blamed for such needless 
humility by Geoffrey, Bishop of Constans, who told him that 

* He not only could afford, but even ought to wear those of 
sables, of beavers, or of foxes,' he replied : ' It may indeed 
be proper for you politicians, skilful in the affairs of the 
world, to adorn yourselves in the skins of such cunning 
animals ; but for me, who am a plain man, and not subject 
to change my opinion, the skins of lambs are quite sufficient.' 

* If,' returned his opponent, * the finer furs are unpleasant, 
you might at least make use of those of the cat.' * Believe 
me,' answered the facetious prelate, * the lamb of God is 
much oftener sung in the Church than the cat of God.' This 



THE WILD CAT OF BRITAIN. 169 

witty retort put Geoffrey to the blush, and threw the whole 
company into a violent fit of laughter. " 

Of a very different character was the usage of the cat at 
clerical festivals. In Mill's " History of the Crusades," 
one reads with some degree of horror that *' In the Middle 
Ages the cat was a very important personage in religious 
festivals. At Aix, in Provence, on the festival of the Corpus 
Christi, the finest he-cat of the country, wrapped like a child 
in swaddling clothes, was exhibited in a magnificent shrine 
to public admiration. Every knee was bent, every hand 
strewed flowers or poured incense ; and pussy was treated in 
all respects as the god of the day. On the festival, however, 
of St. John (June 24), the poor cat's fate was reversed. A 
number of cats were put in a wicker basket, and thrown alive 
into the midst of a large fire, kindled in the public square 
by the bishop and his clergy. Hymns and anthems were 
sung, and processions were made by the priests and people 
in honour of the sacrifice." 

While the foregoing was about being printed, Mr. 
Edward Hamilton, M.D., writing to The Fields May nth, 
1889, gives information of a wild cat being shot in Inver- 
ness-shire. I therefore insert the paragraph, as every record 
of so scarce an animal is of importance and value, especially 
when it is descriptive. He states: "A fine specimen of 
the wild cat {Felis sylvestris) was sent to me on May 3rd, 
trapped in Inverness-shire on the Ben Nevis range. It was 
too much decomposed to exhibit. Its dimensions were : 
from nose to base of tail, i foot 11 inches; length of tail, 
I foot ; height at shoulder, i foot 2 inches ; the length of 
small intestine, i foot 8}^ inches; and the large intestine, 
I foot I inch." It will be seen by these measurements that 
the animal was not so large as some that have been taken, 
though excelling in size many of the domestic varieties. 



I70 CONCERNING CATS. 



CONCERNING CATS. 



Cat. — Irish, Cat; French, Chat ; Dutch, Kat ; Danish, 
JCat; Swedish, A'l?//; G^rmdcn, Katti ox Katze ; Latin, Cains; 
Italian, Gatto; Portuguese and Spanish, Gato; Polish, Kot ; 
Russian, Kots; Turkish, Keti; Welsh, Cath; Cornish, Kath; 
Basque, Catua ; Armenian, Gaz or Katz. In Armenic, 
Kitta^ or Kat'ta, is a male cat. 

Abram cat. — This I first thought simply meant a male 
cat; but I find in Nares, "Abram" is the corruption of 
" auburn," so, no doubt, a red or sandy tabby cat is intended. 

A Wheen cat^ a Queefi cat [Cains feint na). — "Queen" 
was used by the Saxons to signify the female sex, in that 
" queen fugol " was used for " hen fowl." Farmers in Kent 
and Sussex used also to call heifers " little queens." 

Carl cat. — A boar or he-cat, from the old Saxon carle 
or karle, a male, and cat. 

Cat. — It was used to denote " Liberty." No animal is 
more impatient of restriction or confinement, nor yet 
seeming to bear it with more resignation. The Romans 
made their goddess of Liberty holding a cup in one hand 
and a broken sceptre in the other, with a cat lying at her feet. 
Among the goddesses, Diana is said to have assumed the 
form of a cat. The Egyptians worshipped the cat as an 
emblem of the moon, not only because it was more active 
after sunset, but from the dilation and contraction of its orb, 
symbolical of the waxing and waning of the night goddess. 
But Bailey, in his dictionary, says cats see best as the sun 
approaches, and that their eyesight decays as it goes down 
in the evening. Yet, ^' on this account," says Mr. Thiselton 
Dyer, in his " English Folk-lore," " it was so highly esteemed 
as to receive sacrifices, and even to have stately temples 



CONCERNING CATS. 171 

erected to its honour. Whenever a cat died, Brand tells 
us, all the family shaved their eyebrows; and Diodorus 
Siculus relates that a Roman happening accidentally to kill 
a cat, the mob immediately gathered round the house 
where he was, and neither the entreaties of some prmcipal 
men by the king, nor the fear of the Romans, with whom 
the Egyptians were then negotiating a peace, could save 
the man's life. In so much esteem also was it held, that on 
the death of its owner the favourite cat, or even kitten, was 
sacrificed, embalmed, and placed in the same sarcophagus. 
Some few years ago, Mr. E. Long, R.A., exhibited at the 
Royal Academy a very fine picture of Egyptians idol-making, 
idol worshippers and sellers ; the lines from Juvenal being 
descriptive : 

" All know what monsters Egypt venerates ; 
It worships crocodiles, or it adores 
The snake-gorged ibis ; and sacred ape 
Graven in gold is seen. . . . Whole cities pray 
To cats and fishes, or the dog invoke." 
Cat—K metal tripod for holding a plate or Dutch oven 
before the fire. So called because, in whatever posiuon it 
is placed, it is supported by the spokes; as it is said 
a cat will always light on its feet, so the plate-holder will 
stand firmly in any position. These old brass appliances 
have now gone out of use and are seldom seen, the new 
mode of "handing round" not requiring them. Another 
reason, doubtless, is the lowness of the fire compared with 
the stove of former years, which was high up in the bygone 
"parlour grate." 

Cat — A cross old woman was called " a cat "; or to a 
shrewish, the epithet was applied tauntingly. 

*' But will you woo this wild cat ? " 

Taming the Shrew, Act I., Scene 2. 

Cat.—K ship formed on the Norwegian model, having a 
narrow stern, projecting quarters, and a deep waist. It is 
strongly built, from four to six hundred tons' burden, and 
employed in the coal trade. 



172 CONCERXING CATS. 

Cat. — A strong tackle, or combination of pulleys, to hook 
and draw in the anchor perpendicularly up to the cat-head 
of the ship. 

Cat. — A small kind of anchor is sometimes called a 
cat or ketch ; by the Dutch, " Kat." 

Cat. — " At the edge of the moat, opposite the wooden 
tower, a strong penthouse, w^hich they called a ' cat,' might 
be seen stealing towards the curtain, and gradually filling 
up the moat with facines and rubbish." — Read Cloister and 
Hearth, chap, xliii. (Davis' " Glossary.") 

Catacide. — A cat-killer (Bailey, 1726). 

Catajiioimt. — Cat of the mountain, the ordinary wild 
cat, when found on the mountains, among the rocks or 
woods. 

Cat and trap. — A game or play (Ainsworth). This is 
probably that known as " trap, bat, and ball," as on striking 
the trap, after the ball is placed on the lever, it is propelled 
upwards, and then struck by the batsman. 

Catapult. — A military engine for battering or attacking 
purposes. A modern toy, by which much mischief and evil 
is done by unthinking boys. 

Cat-bird. — An American bird, whose cry resembles that 
of a cat, the Tardus felivox. 

Cat-block. — A two or threefold block with an iron strap 
and large hook, used to draw up an anchor to the cat-head. 

Cat-call. — "A tin whistle. The ancients divided their 
dramas into four parts : protasis (introduction), epit'asis 
(continuation), catas'tasis (climax), and catastrophe (con- 
clusion or de?ioue??ie?it). The cat-call is the call for the cat 
or catastrophe.^' — Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 
" Sound, sound, ye viols ; be the cat-call dumb." 

Dunciade, I. 303. 
The modern imitation of " cat - calls " is caused by 
whistling with two fingers in the mouth, and so making an 
intensely shrill noise, with waulings imitating " catter- 



CONCERNING CATS. i73 

waulings." Also a shrill tin whistle, round and flat, set 
against the teeth. 

Cat-eaten Street.— In London ; properly " Catte Street " 
(Stow). 

Caterpillar.—'' Catyrpelwyrm among fruit" is corrupted 
from old French C/^^//^A/^2^^^ (Palsgrave, 1530). "Hairy 
cat • " the last part of the word was probably assimilated to 
pilier, a robber or despoiler (Palmer's Folk Etymology). 

Caterwauling.— The wrawl of cats in rutting times ; any 
hideous noise. Topsel gives catwr ailing, to "wrall;" 
" wrawl," to rail or quarrel with a loud voice ; hence the 
Yorkshire expression, "raising a wrow," meaning a row or 
quarrel. There is also the archaic adjective wraiv (angry). 
Cater-waul therefore, is the wawl or wrawl of cats ; the er 
being either a plural, similar to " childer" (children), or a cor- 
rupted genitive.— Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 
" What a caterwawling do you keep here ! " 

Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Act IL, Scene 3. 

a To yawl. To squall or scream harshly like an enraged 

cat." — HoLLOWAY (Norfolk). 

" Thou must be patient ; we came crying hither ; 
Thou knowest the first time that we smell air, 

We waul and cry." 

King John, Act IV. 

Cat-eyed.— '^Xy, gray eyes, or with large pupils, watchful. 

Cat-fall.— K rope used in ships for hoisting the anchor to 
the cat-head. 

Catfish.— K species of the squalus, or shark {Fells 
marinus). The catfish of North America is a species of 
cottur or bull-head. 

Catout.—K corruption of "gut-cord." The intestines 
of a sheep, twisted and dried; not that of a cat, as 
generally supposed. Also, it is stated by some, the finer 
strings for viols were made from the cat. Mr. Timbs says 



174 CONCERNING CATS, 

the original reading in Shakespeare was " calves' -g\iV *' A 
sort of linen or canvas with wide interstices." — Webster. 

Cat-ha7ned, or hauwied. — Awkward ; sometimes applied 
to a horse with weak hind-legs, and which drops suddenly 
behind on its haunches, as a cat is said to do. 

Cat-handed. — A Devonshire term for awkward. 

Cat-harpings. — " Rope sewing to brace in the shrouds 
of the lower masts behind their respective yards, to tighten 
the shrouds and give more room to draw in the yards when 
the ship is close hauled." — Marine Dictionary. 

Cat-harping fashion. — Drinking crossways, and not as 
usual, over the left thumb. Sea term. — Grose. 

Cat-head. — "A strong beam, projecting horizontally over 
the ship's bows, carrying two or three sheaves, above which 
a rope, called the cat-fall, passes, and communicates with 
the cat-block." — Marine Dictionary. 

Cathood. — The time when a kitten is full grown, it is 
then a cat and has attained maturity, ihat is, cathood. 

Cat-hook. — A strong hook fitted to the cat-block. 

Cat-lap. — Weak tea, only fit for the cat to lap, or thin 
milk and water. In Kent and Sussex it is also often 
applied to small, vejy small beer ; even thin gruel is called 
"cat-lap." Weak tea is also called " scandal-broth." 

Cat-like. — Stealthy, slow, yet appertaining more to 
appearance. 

Catlings. — Down, or moss, growing about walnut-trees, 
resembling the hair of a cat. 

Cat d Nine Tails. — So called from being nine pieces of 
cord put together, in each cord nine knots ; and this, when 
used vigorously, makes several long marks not unUke the 
clawing or scratching of a cat, producing crossing and re- 
crossing wounds ; a fearful and severe punishment, formerly 
too often exercised for trivial offences. 

Cat or dog wool. — " Of which cotte or coarse blankets 



CONCERNING CATS. 175 

were formerly made " (Bailey). "• Cot gase " (refuse wool). 
"■ Cat" no doubt was a corruption of "cot." 

Cat-pear. — A pear, shaped like a hen's tgg, that ripens 
in October. 

Cat pellet. — The pop-gun of boys, one pellet of paper 
driving out the other. Davis in his "Glossary" thinks it 
means " tip-cat." Probably it may be the sharpened piece of 
wood, not the game, that is different altogether, he quotes. 

" Who beats the boys from cat pellet, and stool ball." 

British Bellman^ 1648. 

Cat-salt. — A salt obtained from butter. 

Cat-salt. — "A sort of salt beautifully granulated, formed 
out of the bittern or leach brine, used for making hard 
s oap. " — Encyclopcedia. 

Cafs-eye. — A precious stone, resembling, when polished, 
the eye of a cat. It has lately become fashionable. 

A large collection of Burmese, Indian, and Japanese 
curiosities was lately sold by auction. The great attraction 
of the sale was "The Hindoo Lingam God," consisting of a 
chrysoberyl cafs-eye fixed in a topaz, and mounted in a 
pyramidal base studded with diamonds and precious stones. 
This curious relic stood 2^ inches in height. It was preserved 
for more than a thousand years in an ancient temple at 
Delhi, where acts of devotion were paid before it by women 
anxious to have children. The base is of solid gold, and 
around it are set nine gems or charms, a diamond, ruby, 
sapphire, chrysoberyl cafs-eye, coral, pearl, hyacinthine garnet, 
yellow sapphire, and emerald. Round the apex of this gold 
pyramid is a plinth set with diamonds. On the apex is a 
topaz I io-i6ths inch in length, and 9-i6ths of an inch 
in depth, shaped like a horseshoe ; in the centre of the horse- 
shoe the great chrysoberyl cafs-eye stands upright. This is 
i5-i6ths of an inch in height, and dark brown in colour, and 
shaped like a pear. An extremely mobile opalescent light 
crosses the length of the stone in an oblique direction. When 



176 CONCERNING CATS. 

Bad Shah Bahadoor Shah, the last King of Delhi, was 
captured and exiled to the Andaman Isles, his Queen secreted 
this gem, and it was never seen again until, being distressed 
during the Mutiny, she sold it to the present owner. The 
gem was finally knocked down at ;£"2,45o to Mr. S. J. 
Phillips, jeweller, New Bond Street. 

Cafs-foot. — To live under the cat's foot, to be under the 
dominion of a wife, henpecked. 

Cafs-foot. — A plant of the genus Glechoma pes feHnus, 
ground ivy or gill. 

Cat" s-head apple. — A large culinary apple, considered by 
some in form to bear a resemblance to a cat's head. Philips 
in his poem " Cyder " thus describes it : 

"... The cat's head's weighty orb, 
Enormous in growth, for various use." 

Cat-silver. — An old popular name for mica or talc. 

Cat-sleep. — A light doze, a watchful sleep, like that of a 
hare or of a cat who sits in front of a mouse-hole, a dozy 
or a sleeping wakefulness. 

Cafs-paiu. — Any one used by another for getting them 
out of a difficulty, and for no other reason, is made a cat's- 
paw of. The simile is from the fable of the monkey using 
the cat's paw to take his chestnuts out of the fire. A light 
breeze just ruffling the water in a calm is called a cat's-paw. 
Also a particular kind of turn in the bight of a rope made 
to hook tackle on. 

Cafs-iail {Typha latifolia). — A kind of reed which bears 
a spike like the tail of a cat, which some call reed mace ; its 
long, flat leaves are much used for the bottoms of chairs. 

Cais'-tails. — Mares' tails {equisetuvi). 

Cat-stane. — " Battle- stone. A monolith in Scotland 
(sometimes falsely called a Druidical stone). The Norwegian 
term, hanta stein, means the same thing. Celtic — catJi 
(battle)." — Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 



CONCERNING CATS. 177 

Cat-sticks. -Thin legs ; compared to the thin sticks with 
which boys play at cat (Grose). 

Catsup or ketchup. — A corruption of the Eastern name 
of " Kitjap." Is then the syllable " cat " a pun on " kit " 
or " kitten " (a young cat) ? Surely not. 

Cattaria. — Nip eta Caiaria. Mentha felina, the herb 
cat-mint. 

Cattery. — A place where cats are kept, the ordinary 
name when a person keeps a collection of cats. 

Cattish. — Having stealthy ways, slow and cautious in 
movements, watchful. 

Catwater (Plymouth). — "This is a remarkable instance 
of mistranslation. The castle at the mouth of the Plym 
used to be called the Chateau ; but some one, thinking it 
would be better to Anglicise the French, divided the word 
into two parts : chat (cat), eau (water)." — Brewer's Dictionary 
of Phrase and Fable. 

Catwhin. — Rosa spinosissima. Burnet is the name of 
\h^ plant. 

Cat with tivo tails. — The earwig. Northumberland ; 
Holloway. 

Gil cat. — A male cat; some say an old male. Nares 
says, an expression exactly analogous to " Jack ass ; " the 
one being formerly called '' Gil " or " Gilbert," as commonly 
as the other " Jack." " Tom cat " is now the usual term, 
and for a similar reason. " Tibert " is said to be the old 
French for "Gilbert." From "Tibert," ^'Tib," "Tibby," 
also was a common name for a cat. Wilkins, in his " Index 
to Philosophical Language," has " Gil " (male) cat in the 
same way as a male cat is called a " Tom " cat. In some 
counties the cock fowl is called a " Tom." It is unknown 
whence the origin of the latter term. 

Grimalkin. — Poetical name for a cat (Bailey). " Mawkin " 
signifies a hare in Scotland (Grose). In Sussex a hare is 



178 CONCERNING CATS. 

often called "puss" or "pussy." "Puss" is also a common 
name for a cat. 

Grhiagog, the cafs wide. — A foolish, grinning fellow. 
One who grins without reason (Grose). In Norfolk, if one 
say " she," the reply is, " Who's ' she ' ? The cat's aunt ? " 

Ha7ig me in a bottle like a cat. — " Benedict. If I do, 
hang me in a bottle like a cat, and shoot at me, and he that 
hits me, let him be clapt on the shoulder and called Adam " 
(meaning Adam Bell, the famous archer). — Much Ado About 
Nothing, Act I. 

A note in the "Percy Reliques," vol. i., 1812, states: 
" Bottles were formerly of leather, though perhaps a wooden 
bottle might be here meant. It is still a diversion in 
Scotland (18 12) to hang up a cat in a small cask or firkin, 
half filled with soot, and then a parcel of clowns on horse- 
back try to beat out the ends of it, in order to show their 
dexterity in escaping before the contents fall on them." 

From "Demandes Joyeuses" (amusing questions), 151 1 : 

" (2- What is that that never was and never will be ? 

" A. A mouse nest in a cat's ear. 

" Q. Why does a cat cross the road ? 

" A. Because it wants to get to the other side." 

Mrs. Eva?is. — "A local name for a she-cat, owing, it is 
said, to a witch of the name of Evans, who assumed the 
appearance of a cat." — Grose. 

Ni?te lives like a cat, — '' Cats, from their great suppleness 
and aptitude to fall on their feet, are commonly said to 
have nine lives ; hence Ben Jonson, in ' Every Man in His 
Humour,' says : ' 'Tis a pity you had not ten hves — a cat's 
and your own.'" — Thiselton Dyer's English Folk-lore. 
" Tyb. What wouldst thou have with me ? 
Mer. Good king of cats, nothing but one of your 
nine lives." Rotneo and Juliet, III. i. 

Middleton says in "Blurt Master Constable," 1602 : 
" They have nine lives apiece, like a woman." 



CONCERNING CATS. 179 

Pussy cats. — Male blossom of the willow. 

Salt-cat, or salt-cate. — A mixture of salt, gravel, clay, old 
mortar, cumin seed, ginger, and other ingredients, in a pan, 
which is placed in pigeon lofts. 

Sick as a Cat. — Cats are subject to sickness or vomiting 
for the purpose of throwing up indigestible matter, such as 
the fur of mice, feathers of birds, which would otherwise 
collect and form balls internally. For this reason they eat 
grass, which produces the desired effect ; hence arises the 
phrase " as sick as a cat." 

Tabby.— ''An old maid; either from Tabitha, a formal 
antiquated name, or else from a tabby cat ; old maids, by 
the rude, weak-minded, and vulgar, being often compared to 
cats. ' To drive tab,' to go out on a party of pleasure with 
wife and family." — Grose's Glossary. 

" The neighbour's old cat often 

Came to pay us a visit ; 
We made her a bow and courtesy, 

Each with a compliment in it. 
After her health we asked. 

Our care and regard to evince ; 
(We have made the very same speeches 

To many an old cat since)." 

Mrs. B. Browning (translation of "Heine"). 

Tip-cat. — A pleasant game for those engaged in it ; not 
so, too often, for others, medical reports of late tending to 
show that many cases of the loss of sight have occurred. 

To turn Cat in Pan. — This phrase has been a source of 
niuch contention, and many different derivations have been 
given; but all tend to show that it means a complete turn over, 
that is, to quit one side and go to the other, to turn traitor, 
to turncoat. "To turn cat in pan: Prcevaricor'' (Ainsworth)! 
Bacon, in his Essays " On Cunning," p. 81, says : "There is 
a cunning which we in England call ' the turning of the 
cat in the pan,' which is when that a man says to another, 



N 2 



i8o CONCERNING CATS. 

*he lays it as if another had said it to him.'" This 
is somewhat obscure in definition. Toone says : " The 
proverbial expression, * to turn a cat in a pan/ denotes 
a sudden change in one's party, or politics, or religion, 
for the sake of being in the ascendant, as a cat always 
comes down on its legs, however thrown." The Vicar 
of Bray is quoted as simply a "turncoat," but this does 
not affect the argument. I quite think, and in this others 
agree with me, that it has nothing to do with the caf^ 
but was originally cate. In olden times, and until lately, 
it was the custom to toss pancakes (to turn them over). It 
was no easy matter ; frequently the cake or cate went in the 
fire or lodged in the chimney. To turn the cat or cate in 
the pan was to toss and ttirn it completely cver^ that is, from 
one side to the other. The meaning given to the phrase 
helps to prove this view. I merely introduce this because 
so many have asked for an explanation as regards " the cat 
in pan." I consider the " far-fetched " origins of the term 
are complete errors. It was a custom to toss pancakes on 
Shrove Tuesday, and it required great skill to do it well, 
cleanly, and completely. Some cooks were noted for it, and 
thought clever if it was done without injury to themselves 
or clothes. 

It appears from " The Westmoreland Dialect," by 
A. Walker (1790), that cock-fighting and "casting" of pan- 
cakes were then common in that county, thus : " Whaar 
ther wor tae be cock-feightin', for it war pankeak Tuesday," 
and " we met sum lads an' lasses gangin' to kest (cast) their 
pankeaks." 

To whip the cat. — " To practise the most pinching parsi- 
mony, grudging even the scraps and orts, or remnants of 
food given to the cat." — Hollo way {Norfolk). 

A phrase applied to the village tailor going round from 
house to house for work. 

" To be drunk." — Heywoob's Fhiloconothista, 1635, p. 60. 

An itinerant parson is said to "whip the cat." 

" A trick practised on ignorant country fellows, vain of 



CONCERNING CATS. i8i 

their strength, by laying a wager with them that they may 
be pulled through a pond by a cat. The bet being made, 
a rope is fixed round the waist of the party to be catted, 
and the end thrown across the pond, to which the cat is 
also fastened by a pack-thread, and three or four sturdy 
fellows are appointed to lead and 'whip the cat.' These, 
on a signal being given, seize the end of the cord, and, pre- 
tending to whip the cat, haul the astonished booby through 
the water." — Grose, 1785. 

The following are culled from the well-known and useful 
book, Jamieson's " Scottish Dictionary " : 

Cat. — A small bit of rag, rolled up and put between the 
handle of a pot and the hook which suspends it over the 
fire, to raise it a little. — Roxb. 

Cat. — A handful of straw, with or without corn upon it, 
or of reaped grain, laid on the ground by the reaper without 
being put into a sheaf {Roxb.^ Dumfr.). Perhaps from the 
Belg. word katt-en, to throw, the handful of corn being 
cast on the ground ; whence kat, a small anchor. 

Cat. — The name given to a bit of wood, a horn, or any- 
thing which is struck in place of a ball in certain games. 

To Cat a Chimney. — To enclose a vent by the process 
called Cat and Clay {Teviotd.). 

Cat and Clay. — The materials of which a mud wall is 
constructed in many parts of S. Straw and clay are well 
wrought together, and being formed into pretty large rolls, 
are laid between the different wooden posts by means of 
which the wall is formed, and carefully pressed down so as 
to incorporate with each other, or with the twigs that are 
sometimes plaited from one post to another (,S.). 

Cat and Dog. — The name of an ancient sport (6'.). It 
seems to be an early form of Cricket, (Query, is this the 
same as Cat and Trap ?) 

Catband. — i. The name given to the strong hook used 
on the inside of a door or gate, which, being fixed to the 



182 CONCERNING CATS. 

wall, keeps it shut. 2. A chain drawn across a street for 
defence in time of war. Germ., kette, a chain, and band. 

Cat-fish^ Sea-cat. — The sea-wolf (6".). Anarhicas lupus 
(Linn.) Sw., haf-cat — i.e. sea-cat. — Sibbald. 

Cat-gut. — Thread fucus, or sea laces. Fucus filum 
(Linn.), Orkney, "Neill's Tour." 

Cat-Harrow. — " They draw the Cat-Harrow " — that is, 
they thwart one another. — Loth. Ang., Lyndsey. 

Cat-heather. — A finer species of heath, low and slender, 
growing more in separate, upright stalks than the common 
heath, and flowering only at the top {Aberd.). 

Cat-hole. — i. The name given to the loop-holes or 
narrow openings in the wall of a barn {S.). 2. A sort of 
niche in the wall of a barn, in which keys and other neces- 
saries are deposited in the inside, where it is not perforated. 

Cat-hud. — The name given to a large stone, which serves 
as a back to a fire on the hearth in the house of a cottager 
{Dumfr.). Sw. G., kaette, denotes a small cell or apartment, 
which corresponds to the form of the country fireside ; also 
a bed j a pen. Hud might seem allied to Teut. huyd-en, 
co?iservare, as the stone is meant to guard this enclosure 
from the effects of the fire. 

Catling. — Small catgut strings for musical instruments, 
also a kind of knife used in surgery. 

Cat-louJ). — I. A very short distance as to space {S.) ; 
q. as far as a cat may leap (Hogg). 2. A moment ; as, " I'se 
be wi' ye in a catloup^' — i.e., instantly. " I will be with you 
as quickly as a cat can leap." 

Catmaw. — " To tumble the catmaw^^ to go topsy-turvy, 
to tumble (S. B.). 

Catmint. — An herbaceous plant {Mentha felina), that 
cats delight to roll on. 

Cafs Carriage. — The same play that is otherwise called 
the "King's Cushion," q.v. {Loth.). 



CONCERNING CATS. 183 

Cafs Cradle. — A plaything for children, made of pack- 
thread on the fingers of one person, and transferred from 
them to those of another (6*.). 

Cafs Crammocks. — Clouds like hairs streaming from an 
animal's tail {Shetland). 

Cafs Hair. — i. The down that covers unfledged birds 
{Fife) ; synon. Paddockhair. 2. The down on the face of 
boys before the beard grows {S.). 3. Applied also to the 
thin hair that often grows on the bodies of persons in bad 
health {S.). 

Cat-siller. — The mica of mineralogists {S.) \ the kaizen 
silber of the vulgar in Germany. Teut., katten silver^ 
amiantus, mica^ viilgo argentum felium ; Kilian. 

Cafs Lug. — The name given to the Auricula iirsi. — 
Linn. {Roxburgh.). 

Cafs Stairs. — A plaything for children, made of thread, 
small cord, or tape, which is so disposed by the hands as to 
fall down like steps of a stair {Dumfr.^ Gall.). 

Catstoiie. — One of the upright stones which support a 
grate, there being one on each side {Roxb.). Since the intro- 
duction of Carron grates these stones are found in kitchens 
only. The term is said to originate from this being the 
favourite seat of the cat. See Catstone (English). 

Catstone-head. — The flat top of the Catstone {ibid.). 

Catsteps. — The projections of the stones in the slanting 
part of a gable {Roxb.). Corbie-steps^ synon. 

Cafs-Tails. — Hare's Tail Rush {Eriophorum vaginatum). 
Linn. Mearns) also called Canna-down^ Cat Tsi\\^ {Galloway). 

Catten- Clover, Cat-in- Clover. — The Lotus {South of S.). 
Sw., Katt-klor (Cat's Claws). 

Catter. — i. Catarrh (Bellknden). 2. A supposed 
disease of the fingers from handling cats. 



1 84 CONCERNING CATS. 

Catterbatch. — A broil, a quarrel {Fife). Teut., kaier, a 
he-cat, and boetse^ rendered cavillatio^ q., "a cat's quarrel." 

Caiwiitit. — Harebrained, unsettled ; ^., having the wits 
of a cat (S.). 

Kittie. — A North-country name for a cat, male or female. 
Kitling. — Sharp ; kitten-like. 

" His kitting eyes begin to run 
Quite through the table where he spies 
The horns of paperie butterflys." 

Herrick, Hesperides, 

Kittenhood.—^tdite of being a kitten. 

" For thou art as beautiful as ever a cat 
That wantoned in the joy of kittenhood." 

SOUTHEY. 

Kittenish^ kitten-like. 

" Such a kittenish disposition in her, I called it ; . . . 
the love of playfulness." — Richardson. 

Kit, or kitten. — A young cat. A young cat is a kitten 
until it is full-grown, then kittenhood ceases. 

A school-boy being asked to describe a kitten, replied : 
**A kitten is chiefly remarkable for rushing like mad at 
nothing whatever, and generally stopping before it gets 
there." 

Puss ge7itle77ian, — An effeminate man. — Davis, Glossary. 
*' I cannot talk with civet in th' room, 
A fine puss gentleman that's all perfume." 

Cowter's Conversations. 



CAT 




A BLATE cat makes a proud mouse (Scotch). An idle, or 
stupid, or timid foe is never feared. 

A cat has nine lives^ a woman has nine lives. In 
M.\di6\Qtox)!s Blurt Master Constable, 1602, we have : "They 
have nine lives apiece, like a woman." 

A cat 77iay look at a king. In Cornwall they say a cat 
may look at a king if he carries his eyes about him. 

"A Cat may Look at a King," is the title of a book on 
history, published in the early part of the last century. On 
the frontispiece is the picture of a cat, over it the inscription, 
"A cat may look a.t a king," and a king's head and shoulders 
on the title-page, with the same inscription above. 

A cafs walk, a litde way and back (Cornwall). No 
place like home. Idling about. 

A dead cat feels no cold. No life, no pain, nor reproach. 

A dog hath a day. — Heywood. In Essex folks add ; 
And a cat has two Sundays. Why ? 

The shape of a good greyhound : 

A head like a snake, a neck like a drake, 
A back Hke a beam, a belly like a bream, 
A foot like a cat, a tail like a rat. 



1 86 CAT PROVERBS. 

Ale that would make a cat talk. Strong enough to make 
even the dumb speak. 

"A spicy pot, 

Then do's us reason, 
Would make a cat 

To talk high treason." — D'Urfey. 

A half-pentty cat may look at a king (Scotch). A jeering 
saying of offence — " One is as good as another," and as a 
Scotchman once said, " and better." 

A muffled cat is no good mouser. — Clarke, 1639. No 
good workman wears gloves. By some is said " muzzled." 

A piece of a kid is 7vorth two of a cat. A little of good 
is better than much that is bad. 

A scalded cat fears cold water. Once bit always shy. 
What was may be again. 

As cat or cap case. 
" Bouser I am not, but mild sober Tuesday, 
As catte in cap case^ if I like not St. Hewsday." 

The Christinas Prince, 1607. 

As gray as Graiinunis cat. — Hazlitt. So old as to 
be likely to be doubly gray. 

As melancholy as a cat. — Walker. The voice of the 
cat is melancholy. 

As melancholy as a gib-cat (Scotch). As an old, worn- 
out cat. — Johnston. 

" I am as melancholy as a gib-cat or a lugged bear.""^ 

Shakespeare. 
Gib-cat ; an old, lonely, melancholy cat. 

Before the cat can lick her ear. "Nay, you were not 
quite out of hearing ere the cat could lick her ear." — 
Oviddius Exultaiis, 1673, p. 50. That is never. 

* A lugged bear is a bear with its ears cut off, so that when used 
for baiting there is less hold for the dogs. 



CAT PROVERBS. 187 

Dun, besides being the name of one who arrested for 
debt in Henry VII.'s time, was also the name of the 
hangman before " Jack Ketch." — Grose. 

"And presently a halter got, 
Made of the best strong teer, 
And ere a cat could lick her ear. 
Had tied it up with so much art." 

1664, Cotton's Virgile, Book 4. 

By biting and scratching dogs and cats come together. — 
Heywood. Quarrelling oft makes friends. 

Care ciamjned a cat. — Sir G. C. Lewis's " Hereford- 
shire Glossary." Clammed means starvation ; that is, care 
killed the cat; for want of food the entrails get "clammed." 

Care killed the cat, but ye canna live without it. To all 
some trouble, though not all take heed. None know 
another's burden. 

Care will kill a cat. 

" Then hang care and sorrow, 
'Tis able to kill a cat."— D'Urfey. 

Alluding to its tenacity of life and the carking wear of care. 

Cats after kind good mouse hunt. — Heywood. Letter 
by F. A. touching the quarrel between Arthur Hall and 
Melch Mallorie, in 1575-6, repr. of ed. 1580, in " Misc^. 
Antiq. Anglic." 1816, p. 93. "For never yet was good cat 
out of kinde." — E?iglish Proverbs ^ Hazlitt. 

Cats and Carliiis sit in the su7i. When work is done 
then warmth and rest. 

Cats eat what hussies spare. Nothing is lost. Also 
refers to giving away, and saying " the cat took it." 

Cats hide their claws. All is not fair that seems so. 
Trust not to appearances. 

Cry you mercy, killed my cat. — Clarke, 1639. Better 
away, than stay and ask pardon. 



i88 CAT PROVERBS. 

Every day's no yule; cast the cat a castock. The stump 
of a cabbage, and the proverb means much the same thing 
as "Spare no expense, bring another bottle oi sffiall beer.'^ — 
Denham's Popular Sayings, 1846. 

OF FALSE PERSONS. 

He bydes as fast as a cat bound with a sacer. He does 
as he likes ; nothing holds him. 

OF WITTIE PERSONS. 

He can hold the cat to the sun. Bold and foolish enough 
for anything. 

INCONSTANT PERSONS. 

He is like a dog or a cat. Not reliable. 

He looks like a wild cat out of a bush. Fiercely afraid. 

His like a cat ; fling him which way you will, he'll not 
hurt. Some are always superior to misfortune, or fortune 
favours many. 

He's like a singed cat, better tha?i he's likely. He's 
better than he looks or seems. 

He stands in great need that borrows the cat's dish. — 
Clarke, 1639. The starving are not pardcular. The 
hungry cannot choose. 

He lives at the sign of the cat's foot. He is hen-pecked, 
his wife scratches him. — Ray. 

He w aid gar a ma?i tro:v that the moo7i is made of green 
cheis, or the cat took the heron. Never believe all that is 
laid to another. 

Hofiest as the cat when the meat is out of reach. Some 
are honest, but others not by choice. 

How can the cat help it when the maid is a fool ? Often 
things lost, given, or stolen, are laid to the cat. 

If thou 'scap'st, thou hast cafs luck, in Fletcher's K?iight 
of Malta, alluding to the activity and caution of the cat, 
which generally stands it in good stead. 



CAT PROVERBS. 189 

/'// not buy a cat in a poke. F., Chat en Poche. See 
what you buy ; bargain not on another's word. 

Just as quick as a cat up a walnut-tree. — D'Urfey. To 
climb well and easily. To be alert and sudden. 

Let the cat wink, and let the mouse run. For want of 
watching and care much is lost. — Hazlitt's '' Dodsley," i. 
265. The first portion is in the interlude of " The World and 
the Child," 1522. 

Like a cat he^l fall on his legs. To succeed, never to 
fail, always right. 

Like a cat round hot milk. Wait and have ; all things 
come to those who wait. 

Little and little the cat eateth the stickle. — Heywood. 
Constant dropping weareth a stone. 

Long and slender like a cat's elbow. — Hazlitt. A sneer 
at the ill-favoured. 

Love me, love 7ny cat. — This refers to one marrying ; in 
taking a wife he must take her belongings. Or, where you 
like, you must avoid contention. 

Never was cat or dog drowned that could see the shore. 
To know the way often brings a right ending. 

JVone but cats and dogs are alloiued to quarrel here. All 
else agree. 

No playing wipi a strazv before an old cat. — Heywood, 
1562. Every trifling toy age cannot laugh at. — " Youth and 
Folly, Age and Wisdom." 

Rats walk at their ease if cats do fiot them meese. — 
WoDROEPHE, 1623. Rogues abound where laws are weak. 

Setid not a cat for lard. —G^o^G'e. Herbert. Put not 
any to temptation. 

So as cat is afier kind. Near friends are dearest. Birds 
of a feather flock together. 

Take the chestnuts out of the fire with the cafs paw. 
Making use of others to save oneself. 



I go CAT PROVERBS. 

That comes of a cat will catch vii^e. What is bred in 
the bone comes out in the flesh. Like father, like son. 

The cat atid dog may kiss, but are none the better friends. 
Policy is one thing, friendship another. 

The cat invites the mouse to her feast. It is difficult for 
the weak to refuse the strong. 

The cat is in the cream-pot. Any one's fault but hers. A 
row in the house (Northern). 

The cat is hu?igry 7uhen a crust co?itents her. Hunger is 
a good sauce. 

The cat is out of kind that sweet milk will not lap. One 
is wrong who forsakes custom. — "History of Jacob and 
Esau," 1568. 

The cat, the rat, and Lovel the dog, rule England under 
one hog. — "A Myrrour for Magistrates," edition 1563, 
fol. 143. This couplet is a satire on Richard HI. (who 
carried a boar on his escutcheon) and his myrmidons, 
C«/esby, i?«/cliffe, and Lovell. 

The cat would eat fish, and would not wet her feet. — 
Heywood, 1562. 

" Fain would the cat fish eat, 
But she is loth to wet her feet." 

" What cat's averse to fish ? " — Gray. 

Dr. Trench has pointed out the allusion to this saying 
in Macbeth, when Lady Macbeth speaks of her husband as 
a man, 

" Letting I dare not, wait upon I would. 
Like the poor cat i' the adage." 

The cat sees not the inouse ez'er. — Heywood. Those 
that should hide, see more than they who seek. The fearful 
eye sees far. 

The liquorish cat gets fnatiy a rap. The wrong-doer 
escapes not. 



CAT PROVERBS. 191 

The more yo2i rub a cat on the back, the higher she sets 
her tail. Praise the vain and they are more than pleased. 
Flattery and vanity are near akin. 

The mouse lords it where the cat is 7iot. — MS., 15th 
century. The little rule, where there are no great. 

The old cat laps as much as the young. — Clarke. One 
evil is much like another. 

They agree like two cats in gutter. — Heywood. To be 
less than friends. 

They argiie like cats and dogs. That is to quarrel. 

TliouUt strip it, as Stack stripped the cat when he pulled 
her out of the churti. To take away everything. 

Though the cat winks awhile, yet sure he is not blind. 
To know all and pretend ignorance. 

To grin like a Cheshire cat. Said to be like a cheese 
cat, often made in Cheshire ; but this is not very clear, and 
the meaning doubtful. 

To go like a cat on a hot bakestone. To lose no time. 
To be swift and stay not. 

To keep a cat from the tongs. To stop at home in 
idleness. It is said of a youth who stays at home with his 
family, when others go to the wars abroad, in " A Health 
to the Gentlemanly Profession of Serving Men," 1598. 

Too late repents the rat when caught by the cat. Shun 
danger, nor dare too long. 

To love it as a cat loves mustard. Not at all. To 
abhor. 

Two cats and a mouse, two wives in one house, two dogs 
a?id one bone, never agree. No peace when all want to be 
masters, or to possess one object. 

Well might the cat wink when both her eyes were out. 
" Sumwhat it was sayeth the proverbe old. 
That the cat winked when here iye was out." 

Jack Juggler, edit. 1848, p. 46. 
Those bribed are worse than blind. 



192 CAT PROVERBS. 

" Well wots the cat whose beaj'd she licieth ."—SKELTOii's 
Garlande of Laurel^ 1523. 

"Wei wot iiure cat whas berd he lickat." — Wright's 
Essays, vol. i. p. 149. 

" The cat knoweth whose lips she licketh." — Heywood, 
1562. 

The first appears the most correct. 

What the good wife spares the cat eats. Favourites are 
well cared for. 

When candles are out all cats are gray. In the dark all 
are alike. This is said of beauty in general. 

When the cat is away the mice will play. — "The 
Bachelor's Banquet," 1603. Heywood's "Woman Killed 
with Kindness," 1607. When danger is past, it is time to 
rejoice. 

When the weasel and the cat make a marriage, it is very 
ill presage. When enemies counsel together, take heed ; 
when rogues agree, let the honest folk beware. 

When the maid leaves the door open, the cafs in fault. 
It is always well to have another to bear the blame. The 
way to do ill deeds oft makes ill deeds done. 

Who shall hang the bell about the cafs neck ? — Heywood, 
1562. 

" Who shall ty the bell about the cat's necke low ? 

Not I (quoth the mouse), for a thing that I know." 
The mice at a consultation held how to secure themselves 
from the cat, resolved upon hanging a bell about her neck, 
to give warning when she was near ; but when this was 
resolved, they were as far to seek ; for who would do it ? — R. 
Who will court danger to benefit others ? 

A Douglas in the olden time, at a meeting of conspirators, 
said he would " bell the cat." Afterwards the enemy was 
taken by him, he retaining the cognomen of " Archibald 
Bell-the-cat." 

You can have no more of a cat tha?i its skin. You can 
have no more of a man but what he can do or what he has, 
or no more from a jug than what it contains. 



THE CAT OF SHAKESPEARE. 193 



THE CAT OF SHAKESPEARE. 

Shakespeare mentions the cat forty-four times, and in thi?, 
like nearly all else of which he wrote, displayed both won- 
derful and accurate knowledge, not only of the form, nature, 
habits, and food of the animal, but also the inner life, the 
disposition, what it was, of what capable, and what it re- 
sembled. How truly he saw either from study, observation, 
or intuitively knew, not only the outward contour of " men 
and things," but could see within the casket which held 
the life and being, noting clearly thoughts, feelings, aspira- 
tions, intents, and purposes, not of the one only, but that 
also of the brute creation. 

How truthfully he alludes to the peculiar eyes of the 
cat, the fine mark that the pupil dwindles to when the sun 
rides high in the heavens ! Hear Grumio in The Taming of 
the Shrew : 

And so disfigure her with it, that she shall have no more eyes to see 
withal than a cat. 

As to the food of the cat, he well infornr.s us that at this 
distant period domestic cats were fed and cared for to 
a certain extent, for besides much else, he points to the 
fact of its love of milk in The TemJ>esf, Antonio's reply to 
Sebastian in Act 'II., Scene i : 

For all the rest, 
They'll take suggestion as a cat laps milk. 

And in Kiiig Henry the Fourth, Act IV., Scene 2, of its 
pilfering ways, Falstaff cries out : 

I am as vigilant as a cat to steal cream, 
while Lady Macbeth points to the uncertain, timid, cautious 
habits of the cat, amounting almost to cowardice : 

Letting I dare not wait upon I would, 
Like the poor cat i' the adage. 

and in the same play the strange superstitious fear attached 

o 



194 THE CAT OF SHAKESPEARE. 

to the voice and presence of the cat at certain times and 
seasons : 

Thrice the brindecl cat hath mewed. 
The hne almost carries a kind of awe with it, a sort of 
feehng of " what next will happen ? " He noted, also, as 
he did most things, its marvellous powers of observation, 
for in Coriolanus^ Act IV., Scene 2, occurs the following : 

Cats, that can judge as fitly, 
and of the forlorn loneliness of the age-stricken male cat in 
Ki?ig Henry the Fourth^ Falstaff, murmuring, says: 

I am as melancholy as a gib cat. 
He marks, too, the difference of action in the lion and cat, 
in a state of nature : 

A crouching lion and a ramping cat. 
Of the night-time food-seeking cat, in The Merchant oj 
Venice^ old Shylock talks of the 

. . . Slow in profit, and he sleeps by day 

More than the wild cat. 
In the same play Shylock discourses of those that have 
a natural horror of certain animals, which holds good till 
this day : 

Some men there are love not a gaping pig, 
Some, that are mad if they behold a cat. 

and further on : 

As there is no firm reason to be rendered 
Why he cannot abide a gaping pig, 
Why he, a harmless necessary cat. 

Note the distinction he makes between the wild and the 
domestic cat ; the one, evidently, he knew the value and 
use of, and the other, its peculiar stealthy ways and of 
nature dread. In AlVs Well that Ends JVell, he gives vent 
to his dislike ; Bertram rages forth : 

I could endure anything before but a cat. 
And now he's cat to me. 

The feud with the wild cat intensifies in Midsummer Night' s 
Dream ; 'tis Lysander speaks : 

Hang off, thou cat, thou burr, thou vile thing. 



SUPERSTITION AND WITCHCRAFT. 195 

And Gremio tells of the untamableness of the wild cat, 
which he deems apparently impossible : 

But wilt thou woo this wild cat ? 
Romeo, in Romeo and Jidiet^ looks with much disfavour, 
not only on cats but also dogs ;• in fact, the dog was held in 
as high disdain as the cat : 

And every cat and dog, 

And every little mouse, and every unworthy thing. 

Here is Hamlet's opinion : 

The cat will mew, the dog will have his day. 

Ill Cymheline there is : 

In killing creatures vile, as cats and dogs. 

The foregoing is enough to show the great poet's opinion 
of the cat. 



SUPERSTITION AND WITCHCRAFT. 

A VERY remarkable peculiarity of the domestic cat, and 
possibly one that has had much to do with the ill favour 
with which it has been regarded, especially in the Middle 
Ages, is the extraordinary property which its fur possesses of 
yielding electric sparks when hand-rubbed or by other friction, 
the black in a larger degree than any other colour, even the 
rapid motion of a fast retreating cat through rough, tangled 
underwood having been known to produce a luminous 
effect. In frosty weather it is the more noticeable, the 
coldness of the weather apparently giving intensity and 
brilliancy, which to the ignorant would certainly be attributed 
to the interference of the spiritual or superhuman. To 
sensitive natures and nervous temperaments the very contact 
with the fur of the black cat will often produce a startling 
thrill or absolutely an electric shock. That carefully ob- 
servant naturalist, Gilbert White, speaking of the frost of 
1785, notes : " During those two Siberian days my parlour 
cat was so electric, that had a person stroked her, and been 

o 2 



196 SUPERSTITIOX AND WITCHCRAFT. 

properly insulated, the shock might have been given to a 
whole circle of people." 

Possibly from this lively fiery sparkling tendency, combined 
with its noiseless motion and stealthy habits, our ancestors 
were led in the happily bygone superstitious days to regard the 
unconscious animal as a "familiar" of Satan or some other 
evil spirit, which generally appeared in the form of a black 
cat ; hence witches were said to have a black cat as their 
" familiar," or could at will change themselves into the form 
of a black cat with eyes of fire. Shakespeare says, "the 
cat with eyne of burning coal," and in Middleton's Witc/i^ 
Act III., Hecate says : 

I will but 'noint, and then I'll mount. 
(A Spirit like a cat descends. Voice above.) 

There's one come down to fetch his dues. 
{Later on the Voice calls.) Hark ! hark ! the cat sings a brave treble in 

her own language. 
{The7t Hecate.) Now I go, now I fly, 

Malkin, my sweet spirit, and I, etc. 

Note. — Almost the same words are sung in the music to Macbeth. 

" One of the frauds of witchcraft," says Timbs, " is the 
witch pretending to transfcrm herself into a certain animal, 
the favourite and most usual transformation being a cat; 
hence cats were tormented by the ignorant vulgar." 

''^Ruiterkin was a famous cat, a cat who was 'cater'-cousin 
to the great-great-great- great-great-great-great-great-great- 
grandmother of Grimalkin, and first cat in the caterie of an 
old woman who was tried for bewitching a daughter of the 
Countess of Rutland in the beginning of the sixteenth century. 
The monodis connects him with cats of great renown in the 
annals of witchcraft, a science whereto they have been allied 
as poor old women, one of whom, it appears, on the au- 
thority of an old pamphlet entitled ' Newes from Scotland,' 
etc., printed in the year 1591, 'confessed that she took a 
cat and christened it, etc., and that in the night following, 
the said cat was conveyed into the middest of the sea by all 
these witches sayling in their Riddles, or Gives, and so left 
the said cat right before the towne of Leith in Scotland. 



SUPERSTITIOA AND WITCHCRAFT, 197 

This done, there did arise such a tempest at sea as a greater 
hath not been seen, etc. Againe it is confessed that the 
said christened cat was the cause of the kinges majestie's 
shippe, at his coming forthe of Denmarke, had a contrarie 
winde to the rest of the shippes then being in his companie, 
which thing was most straunge and true, as the kinges 
majestic acknowledgeth, for when the rest of the shippes 
had a fair and good winde, then was the winde contrairie, 
and altogether against his majestic/ etc." * 

" In some parts black cats are said to bring good luck, 
and in Scarborough (Henderson's 'Folk-lore of the Northern 
Counties'). A few years ago, sailors' wives were in the habit 
of keeping one, thinking thereby to ensure the safety of 
their husbands at sea. This, consequently, gave black cats 
such a value that no one else could keep them, as they were 
nearly always stolen. There are various proverbs which 
attach equal importance to this lucky animal, as, for 
example : 

Whenever the cat o' the house is black, 

The lasses o' lovers will have no lack. 



" And again : 



Kiss the black cat, 
An' 'twill make ye fat 
Kiss the white ane, 
'Twill make ye lean. 



''In Scotland there is a children's rhyme upon the 
■ purring of the cat : 

Dirdum drum, 

Three threads and a thrum ; 

Thrum gray, thrum gray ! 

" In Devonshire and Wiltshire it is believed that a May 
cat— or, in other words, a cat born in the month of May- 
will never catch any rats or mice, but, contrary to the wont 
of cats, will bring into the house snakes, and slow-worms, 
and other disagreeable reptiles. In Huntingdonshire it is a 
common saying that ' a May kitten makes a dirty cat.' If 

"* Hone's "Every-day Book," vol. i. 



198 SUPERSTITION AND WITCHCRAFT 

a cat should leap over a corpse, it is said to portend mis- 
fortune. Gough, in his ' Sepulchral Monuments,' says that 
in Orkney, during the time the corpse remains in the house, 
all the cats are locked up, and the looking-glasses covered 
over. In Devonshire a superstition prevails that a cat will 
not remain in a house with an unburied corpse ; and stories 
are often told how, on the death of one of the inmates of a 
house, the cat has suddenly made its disappearance, and 
not returned again until after the funeral. The sneezing of 
the cat, says Brand ('Popular Antiquities,' 1849, vol. iii., 
p. 187), appears to have been considered as a lucky omen 
to a bride who was to be married on the succeeding day. 

" 'In Cornwall,' says Hunt, 'those little gatherings which 
come on children's eyelids, locally called " whilks," and also 
" warts," are cured by passing the tail of a black cat nine 
times over the place. If a ram cat, the cure is more 
certain. In Ireland it is considered highly unlucky.' "* 

Sailors are very superstitious as regards cats. If a black 
cat comes on board, it is a presage of disaster ; if the ship's 
cat is more Hvely than ordinary, it is a sign of wind ; but if 
the cat is accidentally drowned, then there is consternation, 
which does not wear oif until the vessel is safe in harbour. 

Lady Wilde, in her " Irish Legends," gives a cat story quite 
of the fairy type, and well in keeping with many of witch- 
craft and sorcery. " One dark, cold night, as an old woman 
was spinning, there came three taps at her door, and not 
until after the last did she open it, when a pleading voice 
said : ' Let me in, let me in,' and a handsome black cat, 
with a white breast, and two white kittens, entered. The 
old woman spun on, and the cats purred loudly, till the 
mother puss warned her that it was very late, that they 
wanted some milk, and that the fairies wanted her room that 
night to dance and sup in. The milk was given, the cats 
thanked her, and said they would not forget her kindness ; 
but, ere they vanished up the chimney, they left her a great 
silver coin, and the fairies had their ball untroubled by the old 
woman's presence, for the pussy's warning was a gentle hint." 
* Mr. T. F. Thiselton Dyer's '* English Folk-lore." 



SUPERSTITION AND WITCHCRAFT. 199 

If a kitten comes to a house in the morning, it is lucky ; 
if in the evening, it portends evil of some kind, unless it 
stays to prevent it. 

A cat's hair is said to be indigestible, and if one is 
swallowed death will ensue (Northern). 

Milton, in his " Astrologaster," p. 48, tells us : " That 
when the cat washes her face over her eares we shall have 
great store of raine." 

Lord Westmoreland, in a poem "To a cat bore me 
company in confinement," says : 

Scratch but thine ear, 

Then boldly tell what weather's drawing near. 

The cat sneezing appears to be a lucky omen to a bride. 

It was a vulgar notion that cats, when hungry, would eat 
coals ; and even to this day, in some parts there is a doubt 
about it. In "The Tamer Tamed, or, Woman's Pride," 
Izamo says to Moroso, " I'd learn to eat coals with a hungry 
cat"; and in " Boduca," the first daughter says, "They are 
cowards ; eat coals like compelled cats." 

"The crying of cats, ospreys, ravens, or other birds upon 
the tops of houses in the night time are observed by the 
vulgar to presignify death to the sick." — Brand. 

There is also a superstition that cats will suck the breath 
of infants. Nothing could be more ridiculous. The forma- 
tion of the cat's mouth is not well adapted for such action, 
the under jaw. being shorter than the upper, which is one 
reason why it laps fluids instead of drinking. Cats will 
creep into cradles,, but for no other purpose than that of 
sleep, the bed and clothes being warm and soft, and of 
course comfortable ; yet instead of doing harm, they help 
to keep the child's temperature more even in cold weather. 
Of course, if they lie on the infant, it is a different matter. 



200 WEATHER NOTIONS. 



WEATHER NOTIONS. 

" Signs of Foul Weather," by Dr. Erasmus Darwin. 
In a poem, the well-known father of the eminent Charles 
Darwin describes the various natural indications of coming 
storms. Among the animals and birds he notes the cat : 

Low o'er the grass the swallow wings ; 
The cricket, too, how sharp he sings ; 
Puss on the hearth, with velvet paws, 
Sits wiping o'er his whiskered jaws. 

"In England," says Mr. T. F. Thiselton Dyer, "the super- 
stitious still hold the cat in high esteem, and oftentimes, 
when observing the weather, attribute much importance to 
its various movements. Thus, according to some, when 
they sneeze it is a sign of rain ; and Herrick, in his 
' Hesperides,' tells us how 

True calendars as pusses eare, 

Wash't o're to tell what change is neare. 

"It is a common notion that when a cat scratches the 
legs of a table, it is a prognostic of change of weather. 
John Swan, in his 'Speculum Mundi ' (Cambridge, 1643), 
writing of the cat, says : ' She useth therefore to wash her 
face with her feet, which she licketh and moisteneth with 
her tongue ; and it is observed by some that if she put her 
feet beyond the crown of her head in this kind of washing, 
it is a signe of rain.' Indeed, in the eyes of the super- 
stitious, there is scarcely a movement of the cat which is 
not supposed to have some significance. 

" Cats are exceedingly fond of valerian ( V. officinalis), 
and in Topsell's 'Four-footed Beasts ' (1658, p. 81), we find 
the following curious remarks : ' The root of the herb 
valerian (called PJui), is very like to the eye of a cat, 
and wheresoever it groweth, if cats come thereunto, they 



WEATHER NOTIONS. 201 

instantly dig it up for the love thereof, as I myself have 
seen in mine own garden, for it smelleth moreover like a 
cat.' There is also an English rhyme on the plant marum 
to the following effect : 

If you see it, 

The cats will eat it ; 
If you sow it, 

The cats will know it. 

" In Suffolk, cats' eyes are supposed to dilate and con- 
tract with the fiow^ and ebb of the tide. In Lancashire the 
common people have an idea that those who play much 
with cats never have good health.""^ 

If tincture of valerian is sprinkled on a plant or bush 
the neighbouring cats roll and rub themselves on or against 
it, often biting and scratching the plant to pieces. — H. W. 

In Lancashire it is regarded as unlucky to allow a cat to 
die in a house. Hence,t when they are ill they are usually 
drowned. 

At Christ Church, Spitalfields, there is a benefaction 
for the widows of weavers under certain restrictions, called 
" cat and dog money." There is a tradition in the parish 
that money was given in the first instance to cats and dogs. J 

If a cat tears at the cushions, carpet, and other articles 
of furniture with its claws, it is considered a sign of wind. 
Hence the saying, '• the cat is raising the wind." 

Mr. Park's note in his copy of Bourn and Brand's 
"Popular Antiquities," p. 92, says : " Cats sitting with their 
tails to the fire, or washing with their paws behind their ears, 
are said to foretell a change of weather." 

In Pules' play of " The Novice " is the line : 
Ere Gil, our cat, can lick her ear. 

This is from Brand, and I do not think it refers to the weather, 
but to an impossibility. 

* ls\x. T. F. Thiselton Dyer's " English Folk-lore." 

+ Harland and Wilkinson, "Lancashire Folk-lore," p, 141. 

X Edwards's " Old English Customs," p. 54. 



202 A CAT-CLOCK. 



A CAT-CLOCK. 



The following curious incident is to be found in Hue's 
"Chinese Empire" : 

" One day, when we went to pay a visit to some families 
of Chinese Christian peasants, we met, near a farm, a young 
lad, who was taking a buffalo to graze along our path. We 
asked him carelessly as we passed whether it was yet noon. 
The child raised his head to look at the sun, but it was 
hidden behind thick clouds, and he could read no answer 
there. ' The sky is so cloudy,' said he ; ' but wait a 
moment ; ' and with these words he ran towards the farm, 
and came back a few minutes afterwards with a cat in his 
arms. ' Look here,' said he, ' it is not noon yet ;' and he 
showed us the cat's eyes by pushing up the lids with his 
hands. We looked at the child with surprise ; but he was 
evidently in earnest, and the cat, though astonished, and 
not much pleased at the experiment made on her eyes, 
behaved with most exemplary complaisance. ' Very well,' 
said we, 'thank you;' and he then let go the cat, w^ho 
made her escape pretty quickly, and we continued our 
route. To say the truth, we had not at all understood 
the proceeding, but did not wish to question the little 
pagan, lest he should find out that we were Europeans by 
our ignorance. As soon as we reached the farm, how- 
ever, we made haste to ask our Christians whether they 
could tell the clock by looking into the cat's eyes. They 
seemed surprised at the question, but as there was no danger 
in confessing to them our ignorance of the properties of the 
cat's eyes, we related what had just taken place. That was 
all that was necessary ; our complaisant neophytes imme- 
diately gave chase to all the cats in the neighbourhood. 
They brought us three or four, and explained in what 
manner they might be made use of for watches. They 



''PUSS IN BOOTS." 203 

pointed out that the pupils of their eyes went on constantly 
growing narrower until twelve o'clock, when they became 
like a fine line, as thin as a hair, drawn perpendicularly 
across the eye, and that after twelve the dilatation re- 
commenced." 



" Archbishop Whately once declared that there was only 
one noun in English which had a real vocative case. It 
was * cat,' vocative ' puss.' I wonder if this derivation is 
true (I take it from a New York journal) : When the 
Egyptians of old worshipped the cat they settled it that she 
was like the moon, because she was more bright at night, 
and because her eyes changed just as the moon changes — 
from new, to crescent, and to full. So they made an idol 
of the cat's head, and named iVpasht, which meant the face 
of the moon. Pasht became pas, pus, puss." — Church 
Times, March 8th, 1888. 



"PUSS IN BOOTS" {Le Chat Boitc) 

Is from the " Eleventh Night " of Straparola's Italian fairy 
tales, where Constantine's cat procures his master a fine 
castle and the king's heiress, first translated into French in 
1585. Our version is taken from that of Charles Perrault. 
There is a similar one in the Scandinavian nursery tales, 
This clever cat secures a fortune and a royal partner for his 
master, who passes off as the Marquis of Carabas, but is in 
reality a young miller, without a penny in the world. 

The above is from Dr. Brewer's " Dictionary of Phrase 
and Fable," and goes far to prove the antiquity of what is 
generally believed to be a modern story, many believing it 
to be one of the numberless pleasant, amusing, and in a 
sense instructive nursery or children's stories of the present 
time. 



204 SIGNS. 



SIGNS. 



D'Urfey, in his poem on Knole, speaks of " The Cats " 
at Sevenoaks. 

" The Cat" or " Cats " is by no means a common sign. 
The subject is well alluded to in "The Cat, Past and 
Present," from the French of M. Champfleury, translated 
by Mrs. Cashel Hoey, at page 33. A sign is pictured from 
the Lombards' quarter, Paris. It is there over a con- 
fectioner's shop, and is a cat seated, or rather two, a sign 
being placed on either side of the corner. Underneath 
one is " Au Chat," the other, " Noir." I may add the work 
is a most excellent and amusing collection of much apper- 
taining to cats, and is well worthy of a place in the cat-lover's 
library. 

In Larwood and Hotten's '' History of Signboards," a 
work of much research and merit, occurs the following : 
" As I was going through a street of London where I had 
never been till then, I felt a general damp and faintness all 
over me which I could not tell how to account for, till I 
chanced to cast my eyes upwards, and found I was passing 
under a sign-post on which the picture of a caf was hung." 
This little incident of the cat-hater, told in No. 538 of T/ie 
Spectator^ is a proof of the presence of cats on the sign- 
board, where, indeed, they are still to be met with, but very 
rarely. There is a sign of "The Cat" at Egremont, in 
Cumberland, a "Black Cat" at St. Leonard's Gate, Lan- 
caster, and a "Red Cat" at Birkenhead; and a "Red 
Cat" in the Hague, Holland, to which is attached an 
amusing story worthy of perusal. 

"The Cat and Parrot" and "The Cat and Lion" 
apparently have no direct meaning, unless by the former 
may be inferred that if you lap like a cat of the liquids sold 
at the hostelry, you will talk like a parrot ; yet, according 
to Larwood and Hotten, it was a bookseller's sign. 

"The Cat and Cage" and "The Cat in Basket" were 
signs much in vogue during the frost fair on the Thames in 



SIGNS. 20S 

1739-40, a live cat being hung outside some of the booths, 
which afterwards was not infrequent at other festive meetings. 
What the exact origin was is not quite apparent. 

*' ' Cat and Fiddle,' a public-house sign, is a corruption 
either of the French Catherine la fidele, wife of Czar Peter 
the Great of Russia, or of Caton le fidele^ meaning Caton, 
governor of Calais." — Dr. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase 
and Fable. 

Cat and Fiddle. — " While on the subject of sign-boards,'^ 
says a writer in Cassell's " Old and New London," vol. i., 
p. 507, " we may state that Piccadilly was the place in which 
' The Cat and Fiddle ' first appeared as a pubUc-house sign. 
The story is that a Frenchwoman, a small shopkeeper at 
the eastern end soon after it was built, had a very faithful 
and favourite cat, and that in the lack of any other sign she 
put over her door the words, ' Voici un Chat fidele.'" 
From some cause or other the ' Chat fidele ' soon became 
a popular sign in France, and was speedily Anglicised into 
' The Cat and Fiddle,' because the words form part of one 
of our most popular nursery rhymes. We do not pledge 
ourselves as to the accuracy of this definition." 

" In Farringdon (Devon) is the sign of * La Chatte 
Fidele,* in commemoration of a faithful cat. Without 
scanning the phrase too nicely, it may simply indicate that 
the game of cat (trap-ball) and a fiddle for dancing are 
provided for customers." 

Yet, according' to Larwood and Hotten's " History of 
Sign-boards," there is yet another version, and another, of 
the m.atter, for it is stated, " a little hidden meaning is 
there in the ' Cat and Fiddle,' still a great favourite in 
Hampshire, the only connection between the animal and 
the instrument being that the strings are made from cats' 
entrails {sic), and that a small fiddle is called a kit, and a 
small cat a kitten; besides, they have been united from time 
immemorial in the nursery rhyme : 

Heigh diddle diddle, 
The Cat and the fiddle." 



2o6 SIGNS. 

Amongst the other explanations offered is the one that 
it may have originated with the sign of a certain Cafo/i 
Fidele, a staunch Protestant in the reign of Queen Mary, 
and only have been changed into the cat and fiddle by 
corruption ; but if so it must have lost its original appella- 
tion very soon, for as early as 1589 we find " Henry Carr, 
signe of the Catte and Fidle in the olde Chaunge." Formerly 
there was a "■ Cat and Fiddle at Norwich, the Cat being 
represented playing on a fiddle, and a number of mice 
dancing round her." 

Cat and Bagpipes. — Was not uncommon in Ireland, 
this instrument being the national one in Dlace of the 
fiddle. 

When doctors disagree, who shall decide? Thus I 
leave it. 

Cat and Mutton, from Cassell's " Old and New London," 
vol. iv., p. 223 : 

"Near the Imperial Gas Works, Haggerston, is Gold- 
smith's row ; this was formerly known as Mutton Lane, a 
name still given to that part of the thoroughfare bordering 
on the southern extremity of London Fields, where stands 
a noted public-house rejoicing in the sign of the 'Cat and 
Mutton ' affixed to the house, and two sign-boards, which 
are rather curious. They have upon them the following 
doggerel lines : 

Pray Puss do not tare, I Pray Puss do not claw, 

Because the Mutton is so rare. | Because the Mutton is so raw. 

Cat and Wheel. — Most likely to be a corruption of 
Catherine Wheel; there was a sign of this name in the 
Borough, Southwark. 

In France some signs are still more peculiar, as a '' Cat 
Playing at Raquet " {Chatte qui peiote), "Fishing Cat" {La 
Chatte qui pcche), " The Dancing Cat," and the well-known 
^'Puss in Boots." 

"Whittington and his Cat" is by no means uncommon, 
^nd was not unknown in the early part of the seventeenth 



THE LAW ON CAT KILLING, 207 

century. Somewhere I remember having seen "Whitting- 
ton's Cat " without the master, which, I suppose, arose from 
the painter not knowing how to portray " Sir Richard." 

" Cat and Kittens. — A public-house sign, alluding to the 
pewter pots so called. Stealing these pots is termed ' Cat 
and kitten sneaking.' We still call a large kettle a kitchen^ 
and speak of a soldier's kit (Saxon, cytel, a pot, pan, or 
vessel generally)." — Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and 
Fable. 

May not this sign be intended to mean merely what 
is shown, " The Cat and Kittens," indicative of comfort and 
rest? Or may it have been *' Cat and Chitterlings" in 
allusion to the source from which fiddlestrings were said to 
be derived ? 

Cat and Tortoise. — This seems to have no meaning 
other than at a tavern extremes meet, the fast and the 
slow, the lively and the stolid ; or it is possibly a corruption 
of something widely different. 



THE LAW ON CAT KILLING. 

An *' Articled Clerk," writing to The Standard with regard 
to the illegality of killing cats, states : " It is clearly laid down 
in ' Addison on Torts,' that a person is not justified in killing 
his neighbour's cat, or dog, which he finds on his land, unless 
the animal is in the act of doing some injurious act which can 
only be prevented by its slaughter. 

"And it has been decided by the case of ' Townsend v. 
Watken' 9 last 277, that if a person sets on his lands a 
trap for foxes, and baits it with such strong-smelling meat 
as to attract his neighbour's dog or cat on to his land, to the 
trap, and such animal is thereby killed or injured, he is 
liable for the act, though he had no intention of doing it, 
and though the animal ought not to have been on his land." 



2o8 DEAD CATS. 



DEAD CATS. 



Lifeless cats have been from time immemorial sug- 
gestive of foolish hoaxing, a parcel being made up, or a 
basket with the legs of a hare projecting, directed to 
some one at a distance, and on which the charge for 
carriage comes to a considerable sum, the fortunate reci- 
pient ultimately, to his great annoyance, finding " his 
present " was nothing else but " a dead cat." Dead 
cats, which not infrequently were cast into the streets, or 
accidentally killed there, were sometimes used as objects 
of sport by the silly, low-minded, and vulgar, and it was 
thought a "clever thing" if they could deposit such in a 
drawing-room through an open window, or pitch the unfor- 
tunate animal, often crushed and dirty, into a passing 
carriage ; but " the time of times " when it was considered 
to be a legitimate object to use was that of either a borough 
or county election, cats and rotten eggs forming the material 
with which the assault was conducted in the event of an 
unpopular candidate for honours attempting to give his 
political views to a depreciatory mob surrounding the 
hustings. An anecdote is recorded in Grose's "Olio" of 
Mr. Fox, who, in 1784, was a candidate for Westminster, 
which goes far to show what dirty, degrading, disgusting 
indignities the would-be '^peoples representative " had to 
endure at that period, and with what good humour such 
favours of popular appreciation, or otherwise, were received 1 

" During the poll, a dead cat being thrown on the 
hustings, one of Sir Cecil Wray's party observed it stunk 
worse than a fox ; to which ]\Ir. Fox replied there was 
nothing extraordinary in that, considering it was a 'poll 
cat.' " 

This is by no means the only ready and witty answer 
that has been attributed to Mr. Fox, though not bearing on 
the present subject. 




THE CAT AS A TORMENTOR. 



Shakespeare, in "Lucrece," says : 

" Yet foul night-waking cat, he doth but dally, 
While in his holdfast foot the weak mouse panteth." 

In an essay on " The Art of Ingeniously Tormenting " 
(1753), the cat is aUuded to in the frontispiece — a cat at 
play with a mouse, below which is the couplet : 



The cat doth play, 
And after slay. 



Child^s Guide, 



Giovanni Batista Casti, in his book, "Tre Giuli" (1762), 
likens the cat to one who lends money, and suddenly 
pounces on the debtor : 



Thus sometimes with a mouse, ere nip, 
The cat will on her hapless victim smile, 
Until at length she gives the fatal grip. 



2IO HERALDRY, ETC. 

Again, John Philips, in the latter part of the seventeenth 
century, in his poem of *' The Splendid Shilling," referring 
to debtors, writes : 

Grimalkin to Domestick Vermin sworn 
An everlasting Foe, with watchful Eye 
Lies nightly brooding o'er a chinky Gap 
Protending her fell Claws, to thoughtless Mice 
Sure Ruin. 



HERALDRY, etc. 

A CAT (hieroglyphically) represents false friendship, or a 
deceitful, flattering friend. 

The cat (in heraldry) is an emblem of liberty, because it 
naturally dislikes to be shut up, and therefore the Bur- 
gundians, etc., bore a cat on their banners to intimate they 
could not endure servitude. 

" It is a bold and daring creature and also cruel to its 
enemy, and never gives over till it has destroyed it, if 
possible. It is also watchful, dexterous, swift, pliable, and 
has good nerves — thus, if it falls from a place never so high, 
it still alights on its feet ; and therefore may denote those 
who have much forethought, that whatsoever befalls them 
they are still on their guard." 

'*In coat armour they must always be represented as 
full-faced, and not showing one side of it, but both their 
eyes and both their ears. Argefit three cats in pale sable is 
the coat of the family of Keat of Devonshire." 

Many families have adopted the cat as their emblem. 
In "Cats, Past and Present," several are noted. In Scotland, 
the Clan Chattan bore as their chief cognizance the wild cat, 
and called their chief "Mohr au Chat," the great wild 
cat. Nor is the name uncommon as an English surname, 
frequently appearing as Cat, Catt, Catte; but the most 
strange association of the name with the calling was one I 
knew in my old sporting days of a gaffiekeeper whose name 
was Cat. 



PERFORMING CATS. 211 



PERFORMING CATS. 



Cats, unlike dogs, are not amused by, nor do they in any 
way take an interest in what are termed "tricks." Performing 
dogs will sit about their master watching anxiously for their 
turn, and they have been known on more than one occasion 
to slip before the dog that has next jump through the hoop 
or over a stick, barking merrily, exulting in having excelled 
the other ; generally they await with intense eagerness the 
agility of the others and strenuously try to surpass them. 
Possibly this is so from the long time the dog has been 
under the dominion of man, and taught by him how to be 
of service, either in /ni?tti?ig, sporti?ig^ shej>he?-ding^ watching; 
in a sense his friend, though more his bond or slave, even 
to dragging carts, waggons, and sleighs, to fetch and carry, 
even to smuggle. Lo7ig teachijig, persistent teaching frojn time 
iminemorial has undoubtedly had its due effect, and in some 
instances, if not all, has been trans?nitted, such as in the 
pointer and setter, which particular sections have been 
known to require little or no present training, taking to their 
duties naturally, receiving but little guidance as to how much, 
when, and where such instinctive qualities are required. 

With the cat it is widely different. Beyond being the 
" necessary " cat, the pet cat or kitten, it never has been an 
object of interest, beyond that of keeping from increase 
those veritable plagues, rats and mice ; the enormous use 
it has thus been to man has had but scant acknowledgment, 
never thoroughly appreciated, vastly underrated, with but 
httle attention not only to its beauty, nor in modifying its 
nature to the actual requirements of civilisation. The cat 
through long ages has had, as it were, to shift for itself; 
with ihQ/e7u approved, with the many not only neglected, but 
in bygone days, and with some even in the present, it has 

p 2 



212 PERFORMING CATS. 

been, and is looked on as a thing that is not to be cared for, 
or domesticated, but often absolutely ill-treated, not because 
there has been wrong done, but because it is a cat. I heard 
a man of " gentle blood " once say that there was no good 
in a cat, and the only use they were, as far as he could 
see, was as an animal to try the courage of his terriers 
upon. 

Happily all are not alike, and so the cat survives, and 
by the present generation is petted and noticed with a 
growing interest. Though long closely connected with man 
in many ways, still, as I have before said, it has been left to 
itself to a certain degree. In no way, or but slightly, has it 
been guided ; and thus, as a domestic animal, it has 
become what it is — one repelling most attempts to make it 
of the same kind of value as the dog ; its great powers of 
observation, coupled with timidity, make a barrier to its 
being trained into that which its nature dislikes ; and its 
natural and acquired repugnance to confinement and tuition 
prevent it — at least at present — from being " the humble 
servant/' as the dog, " past and present," has been and is. 

Studying closely the habits of the cat for years, as I 
have, I believe there is a natural sullen antipathy to being 
taught or restrained, or made to do anything to which its 
nature or feelings are averse; and this arises from long- 
continued persecution and no training. Try, for instance, 
to make a cat lie still if it wants to go out. You may hold 
it at first, then gently relinquish your grasp, stroke it, talk 
to it, fondle it, until it purrs, and purrs with seeming 
pleasure, but it 7iever once forgets it is rest?'aiTied, and the 
first opportunity it will make a sudden dash, and is — 
gone. 

However, all animals, more or less, may be trained, and 
the cat, of course, is among them, and a notable one. By 
bringing them up among birds, such as canaries, pigeons, 
chickens, and ducklings, it will respect and not touch them, 
while those wild will be immediately sacrificed. 

One of the best instances of this was a small collection 
of animals and birds in a large cage that used to be shown 



PERFORMING CATS. 213 

by a man by the name of Austin, and to which I have 
already referred. This man was a lover and trainer of 
animal life, and an adept. His " Happy Family " generally 
consisted of a cat or two, some kittens, rats, mice, rabbits, 
guinea pigs, an owl, a kestrel falcon, starlings, goldfinches, 
canaries, etc. — a most incongruous assembly. Yet among 
them all there was a freedom of action^ a self-reliance, and 
an air of happiness that I have never seen in ' performing 
cats." Mr. Austin informed me that he had been a number 
of years studying their different natures, but that he found 
the cats the most difficult to deal with, only the most gentle 
treatment accomplishing the object he had in view. Any 
fresh introduction had to be done by degrees, and shown 
outside first for some time. It was quite apparent, how- 
ever, that the cats were quite at their ease, and I have seen 
a canary sitting on the head of the cat, while a starling was 
resting on the back. But all are gone — Austin and his pets 
— and no other reigns in his stead. 

Occasionally one sees, at the corners of some of the 
London streets, a man who professes to have trained cats 
and birds ; the latter, certainly, are clever, but the former 
have a frightened, scared look, and seem by no means com- 
fortable. I should say the tuition was on different lines to 
that of Austin. The man takes a canary, opens a cat's 
mouth, puts it in, takes it out, makes the cat, or cats, go up a 
short ladder and down another ; then they are told to fight, 
and placed in front of each other \ but fight they will not 
with their fore-paws, so the master moves their paws for 
them, each looking away from the other. There is no 
training in this but fear. There is an innate timidity, the 
offspring of long persecution, in the cat that prevents, as a 
rule, its performing in public. Not so the dog ; time and 
place matter not to him ; from generation to generation 
he has been used to it. 

In "Cats Past and Present," by Champfleury, there are 
descriptions of performing cats, and one Valmont de Bomare 
mentions that in a booth at the fair of St. Germain's, during 
the eighteenth century, there was a cat concert, the word 



214 PERFORMING CATS. 

"Miaulique," in huge letters, being on the outside. In 
1789 there is an account of a Venetian giving cat concerts, 
and the facsimile of a print of the seventeenth century 
picturing a cat showman. 

"In 1758, or the following year, Bisset, the famous 
animal trainer, hired a room near the Haymarket, at which 
he announced a public performance of a ' Cats' Opera,' 
supplemented by tricks of a horse, a dog, and some 
monkeys, etc. The ' Cats' Opera ' was attended by 
crowded houses, and Bisset cleared a thousand pounds 
in a few days. After a successful season in London, he 
sold some of the animals, and made a provincial tour with 
the rest, rapidly accumulating a considerable fortune." — 
Mr. Frost's Old Showman. 

" Many years ago a concert w^as given at Paris, wherein 
cats were the performers. They were placed in rows, and 
a monkey beat time to them. According as he beat the 
time so the cats mewed ; and the historian of the fact 
relates that the diversity of the tones which they emitted 
produced a very ludicrous effect. This exhibition was an- 
nounced to the Parisian public by the title of Concert 
Miaulaiit.^^ — Zoological Anecdotes. 

Another specimen of discipline is to be found in 
" Menageries." The writer says : '' Cats may be taught to 
perform tricks, such as leaping over a stick, but they always 
do such feats unwillingly. There is at present an exhibition 
of cats in Regent Street, who, at the bidding of their master, 
an Italian, turn a wheel and drav/ up water in a bucket, ring 
a bell ; and in doing these things begin, continue, and stop 
as they are commanded. But the cofninencez, continuez^ 
arretez of their keeper is always enforced with a threatening 
eye, and often with a severe blow ; and the poor creatures 
exhibit the greatest reluctance to proceed with their un- 
natural employments. They have a subdued and piteous 
look ; but the scratches upon their master's arms show that 
his task is not always an easy one." 

Of performing cats on the stage, there have been several 
"companies" of late in London, one of which I went to see 




at the Royal Aquarium, Westminster ; and I am bound to 
say that the relations between master and cats were on a 
better footing than any that have hitherto come under my 
notice. On each side of the stage there were cat kennels, 
from which the cats made their appearance on a given 
signal, ran across, on or over whatever was placed between, 
and disappeared quickly into the opposite kennels. But 
about it all there was a decided air of timidity^ and an 
eagerness to get the performance over, and done with it. 
When the cats came out they were caressed and encouraged, 
which seemed to have a soothing effect, and I have a strong 
apprehension that they received some dainty morsel when 
they reached their destination. One ran up a pole at 
command, over which there was a cap at the top, into which 
it disappeared for a few seconds, evidently for some reason, 
food perhaps. It then descended. But before this supreme 
act several cats had crossed a bridge of chairs, stepping only 
on the backs, until they reached the opposite house or box 
into which to retire. The process was repeated, and the per- 
formance varied by two cats crossing the bridge together, one 
passing over and the other under the horizontal rung between 
the seat and the top of the chair. A long plank was next 



2i6 PERFORMING CATS. 

produced, upon which was placed a row of wine-bottles at 
intervals ; and the cats ran along the plank, winding in 
and out between the bottles, first to the right, then to the 
left, without making a mistake. This part of the perform- 
ance was varied by placing on the top of each bottle a flat 
disc of thick wood ; one of the cats strode then from disc 
to disc, without displacing or upsetting a bottle, while the 
other animal repeated its serpentine walk on the plank below. 
The plank being removed, a number of trestles were brought 
in, and placed at intervals in a row between the two sets of 
houses, when the cats, on being called, jumped from trestle 
to trestle, varying the feat by leaping through a hoop, which 
was held up by the trainer between the trestles. To this suc- 
ceeded a performance on the tight rope, which was not the 
least curious part of the exhibition. A rope being stretched 
across the arena from house to house, the cats walked across 
in turn, without making a mistake. Some white rats were 
then brought and placed at intervals along the rope, when 
the cats, re-crossing from one end to the other, strode over 
the rats without injuring them. A repetition of this feat was 
rendered a little more difficult by substituting for rats, 
w^hich sat pretty quietly in one place, several white mice and 
small birds, which were more restless, and kept changing 
their positions. The cats re-crossed the rope, and passed over 
all these obstacles without even noticing the impediments 
placed in their way, wath one or two exceptions, w^hen they 
stopped, and cosseted one or more of the white rats, 
two of which rode triumphantly on the back of a large 
black cat. 

Perhaps the most odd performance was that of "Cat 
Harris," an imitator of the voice of cats in 1747. 

"When Foote first opened the Haymarket Theatre, 
amongst other projects he proposed to entertain the public 
with imitation of cat-music. For this purpose he engaged a 
man famous for his skill in mimicking the mewing of the 
cat. This person was called *Cat Harris.' As he did not 
attend the rehearsal of this odd concert, Foote desired 
Shuter would endeavour to find him out and bring him with 



PERFORMING CATS. 217 

him. Shuter was directed to some court in the Minories, 
where this extraordinary musician Hved ; but, not being able 
to find the house^ Shuter began a cat solo ; upon this the 
other looked out of the window, and answered him with a 
cantata of the same sort. ' Come along,' said Shuter ; ' I 
want no better information that you are the man. Foote 
stays for us ; we cannot begin the cat-opera without you.'" — 
Cassell's Old a?id Neiv London^ vol. iv. 



2i8 CAT-RACING IN BELGIUM. 



CAT-RACING IN BELGIUM. 



" On festival days,, parties of young men assemble in various 
places to shoot with cross-bows and muskets, and prizes of 
considerable value are often distributed to the winners. 
Then there are pigeon- clubs and canary-clubs, for granting 
rewards to the trainers of the fleetest carrier-pigeons and 
best warbling canaries. Of these clubs many individuals of 
high rank are the honorary presidents, and even royal 
princes deign to present them banners, without which no 
Belgian club can lay claim to any degree of importance." 
But the most curious thing is cat-racing, which takes place, 
according to an engraving, in the public thoroughfare, the 
cats being turned loose at a given time. It is thus de- 
scribed : '' Cat-racing is a sport which stands high in 
popular favour. In one of the suburbs of Liege it is an 
affair of annual observance during carnival time. Numerous 
individuals of the feline tribe are collected, each having 
round his neck a collar with a seal attached to it, precisely 
Hke those of the carrier-pigeons. The cats are tied up in 
sacks, and as soon as the clock strikes the solemn hour of 
midnight the sacks are unfastened, the cats let loose, and 
the race begins. The winner is the cat which first reaches 
home, and the prize awarded to its owner is sometimes a 
ham, sometimes a silver spoon. On the occasion of the 
last competition the prize was won by a blind cat." — 
Pictorial Ti?nes, June i6th, i860. 




CAT IMAGES. 



Those with long memories will not have forgotten the 
Italian with a board on his head, on which were tied 
a number of plaster casts, and possibly still seem to hear, 
in the far away time, the unforgotten cry of "Yah im- 
a-gees." Notably, among these works of art, were models 
of cats — such cats, such expressive faces ; and what forms I 
How droll, too, were those with a moving head, wagging 
and nodding, as it were, with a grave and thoughtful, semi- 
reproachful, vacant gaze ! '' Yah im-a-gees " has passed on, 
and the country pedlar, with his " crockery " cats, mostly 
red and white. "Sure such cats alive were never seen ? " but 
in burnt clay they existed, and often adorned the mantel- 
shelves of the poor. What must the live cat sitting before 
the fire have thought — if cats think — when it looked up 
at the stolid, staring, stiff and stark new-comer? One 
never sees these things now; nor the cats made of paste- 
board covered with black velvet, and two large brass spangles 
for eyes. These were put into dark corners with an 
idea of deception, with the imbecile hope that visitors 
would take them to be real flesh and bone every-day 



220 CAT IMAGES. 

black cats. But was any one ever taken in but — the 
maker? Then there were cats, and cats and kittens, made 
of silk, for selling at fancy fairs, not much like cats, but for 
t\\Q purposes good. Cats sitting on pen-wipers ; clay cats of 
burnt brick-earth. These were generally something to re- 
member rather than possess. Wax cats also, with a cotton 
wick coming out at the top of the head. It was a saddening 
sight to see these beauties burning slowly away. Was this a 
" remnant " of the burning of the live cats in the " good old 
times"? And cats made of rabbits' skins were not un- 
common, and far better to give children to play with than 
the tiny^ lovable, patient, live kitten, which, if it submit to 
be tortured, it is well, but if it resent pain and suffering, 
then it is beaten. There is more ill done "from want of 
thought than want of heart." 

But kittens have fallen upon evil times, ay, even in 
these days of education and enlightenment. As long as the 
world lasts probably there will be the foolish, the gay, 
unthinking, and, in tastes, the ridiculous. But then there are, 
and there ever will be, those that are always craving, thirsting, 
longing, shall I say mad? — for something 7iew. Light-headed, 
with softened intellects who must — they say they must — have 
some excitement or some novelty, no matter what, to talk 
of or possess, though all this is ephemeral, and the silliness 
only lasts a few hours. Long or short, they are never con- 
scious of these absurdities, and look forward with all the 
eagerness of doll-pleased infancy for another — craze. The 
world is being denuded of some of its brightest ornaments and 
its heaven-taught music, in the slaughter of birds, to gratify 
for scarcely a few hours the insane vanity, that is now rife 
in the ball-room — fashion. 

What has all this to do with cats ? Why, this class of 
people are not content, they never are so ; but are adding 
to the evil by piling up a fresh one. It is the kitten now, 
the small, about two or three weeks old kitten that is the 
" fashion." Not long ago they were killed and stuffed for 
children to play with — better so than alive, perhaps; but now 
they are to please children of a larger growth^ their tightly 



CAT IMAGES. 221 

filled skins, adorned with glass eyes, being put in sportive 
attitudes about portrait frames, and such like uses. It is 
comical, and were it not for the stupid bad taste and 
absurdity of the thing, one would feel inclined to laugh at 
clauiberiiig kitten skins about, and supposed to be peeping 
into the face of a languor-struck " beauty." Who buys such ? 
Does any one? If so, where do they go? Over thirty 
kittens in one shop window. What next, and — next ? 
Truly frivolity is not dead ! 

From these, and such as these, turn to the models fair 
and proper ; the china, the porcelain, the terra cotta, the 
bronze, and the silver, both English, French, German, and 
Japanese ; some exquisite, with all the character, elegance, 
and grace of the living animals. In these there has been 
a great advance of late years, Miss A. Chaplin taking the 
lead. Then in bold point tracery on pottery Miss Barlow 
tells of the animal's flowing lines and non-angular posing. 
Art — true art — all of it ; and art to be coveted by the lover 
of cats, or for art alone. 

But I have almost forgotten the old-time custom of, when 
the young ladies came from school, bringing home a "sampler," 
in the days before linen stamping was known or thought of. 
On these in needlework were alphabets, numbers, trees (such 
trees), dogs, and cats. Then, too, there were cats of silk and 
satin, in needlework, and cats in various materials ; but the 
most curious among the young people's accomplishments was 
the making of tortoiseshell catsfrom a snail-shell, with a smaller 
one for a head, with either wax or bread ears, fore-legs and 
tail, and yellow or green beads for eyes. Droll-looking things 
— very. I give a drawing of one. And last, not least often, 
the edible cats — cats made of cheese, cats of sweet sponge- 
cake, cats of sugar, and once I saw a cat of jelly. In the old 
times of country pleasure fairs, when every one brought home 
gingerbread nuts and cakes as " a fairing," the gingerbread 
"cat in boots " was not forgotten nor left unappreciated ; 
generally fairly good in form, and gilt over with Dutch metal, 
it occupied a place of honour in many a country cottage 
home, and, for the matter of that, also in the busy town. If 



222 CAT IMAGES. 

good gingerbread, it was saved for many a day, or until the 
holiday time was ended and feasting over, and the next fair 
talked of. 

But, after all " said and done," what a little respect, 
regard, and reverence is there in our mode to that of the 
Egyptians ! They had three varieties of cats, but they were all 
the same to them; as their pets, as useful, beautiful, and 
typical, they were individually and nationally regarded, their 
bodies embalmed, and verses chaunted in their praise ; and 
the image of the cat then — a thousand years ago— was a deity. 
What do they think of the cat now, these same though 
modern Egyptians ? Scarcely anything. And we, who in 
bygone ages persecuted it, to-day give it a growing recog- 
nition as an animal both useful, beautiful, and worthy of 
culture. 




LOVERS OF CATS. 



" The Turks greatly admire Cats ; to them, their alluring 
Figure appears preferable to the Docility, Instinct, and 
Fidelity of the Dog. Mahomet was very partial to Cats. 
It is related, that being called up on some urgent Business, 
he preferred cutting ^/"the Sleeve of his Robe, to waking the 
Cat, that lay upon it asleep. Nothing more was necessary, 
to bring these Animals into high Request. A Cat may even 
enter a Mosque; it is caressed there, as the Favourite 
Animal of the Prophet ; while the Dog, that should dare 
appear in the Temples, would pollute them with ^his 
Presence, and would be punished with instant Deaths* 

I am indebted to the Rev. T. G. Gardner, of St. Paul's 
Cray, for the following from the French : 

" A recluse, in the time of Gregory the Great, had it 

* Daniel's "Rural Sports," 1813. 



224 LOVERS OF CATS. 

revealed to him in a vision that in the world to come he 
should have equal share of beatitude with that Pontiff; but 
this scarcely contented him, and he thought some compen- 
sation was his due, inasmuch as the Pope enjoyed immense 
wealth in this present life, and he himself had nothing he could 
call his own save one pet cat. But in another vision he was 
censured ; his worldly detachment was not so entire as he 
imagined, and that Gregory would with far greater equa- 
nimity part with his vast treasures than he could part with 
his beloved puss." 

Cats Endowed by La Belle Stewart. — One of the 
chief ornaments of the Court of St. James', in the reign of 
Charles II., was "La Belle Stewart," afterwards the Duchess 
of Richmond, to whom Pope alluded as the ''Duchess of 
R." in the well-known hne : 

Die and endow a college or a cat. 

The endowment satirised by Pope has been favourably 
explained by Warton. She left annuities to several female 
friends, with the burden of maintaining some of her cats — 
a delicate way of providing for poor and probably proud 
gentlewomen, without making them feel that they owed 
their livelihood to her mere liberality. But possibly there 
may have been a kindliness of thought for both, deeming 
that those who were dear friends would be most likely to 
attend to her wishes. 

Ml Samuel Pepys had at least a gentle nature as 
regards animals, if he was not a lover of cats, for in his Diary 
occurs this note as to the Fire of London, i666 : 

" September <^th. — Thence homeward having passed 
through Cheapside and Newgate Market, all burned ; and 
seen Antony Joyce's house on fire. And took up (which 
I keep by me) a piece of glass of Mercer's chapel in the 
street, where much more was, so melted and buckled with 
the heat of the fire like parchment. I did also see a poor 
cat taken out of a hole in a chimney, joining the wall of the 
Exchange, with the hair all burned off its body and yet 
alive." 



LOVERS OF CATS. 225 

Dr. Jortin wrote a Latin epitaph on a favourite cat : * 

IMITATED IN ENGLISH. 

" Worn out with age and dire disease, a cat, 
Friendly to all, save wicked mouse and rat, 
I'm sent at last to ford the Stygian lake. 
And to the infernal coast a voyage make. 
Me Proserpine receiv'd, and smiling said, 
* Be bless'd within these mansions of the dead. 
Enjoy among thy velvet-footed loves, 
Elysian's sunny banks and shady groves.' 
' But if I've well deserv'd (O gracious queen), 
If patient under sufferings I have been. 
Grant me at least one night to visit home again, 
Once more to see my home and mistress dear. 
And purr these grateful accents in her ear : 
" Thy faithful cat, thy poor departed slave, 
Still loves her mistress, e'en beyond the grave." ' " 

** Dr. Barker kept a Seragho and Colony of Cats. It 
happened, that at the Coronation of George I. the Chair of 
State fell to his Share of the Spoil (as Prebendary of 
Westminster) which he sold to some Foreigner ; when they 
packed it up, one of his favourite Cats was inclosed along 
with it ; but the Doctor pursued his treasure in a boat to 
Gravesend and recovered her safe. When the Doctor was 
disgusted with the Ministry^ he gave his Female Cats, the 
Names of the Chief Ladies about the Court ; and the Male- 
ones^ those of the Men in Foiuer, adorning them with the 
Blue, Red, or Green Insignia of Ribbons, which the 
Persons they represented, wore." t 

Daniel, in his "Rural Sports," 18x3, mentions the fact 
that, " In one of the Ships of the Fleet, that sailed lately 
from Falmouth, for the West Indies, went as Passengers a 
Lady and her seven Lap-dogs, for the Passage of each of 
which, she paid Thirty Founds, on the express Condition, 

* Hone s *' Every-day Book," vol. i. 
t Daniel's "Rural Sports," 1813. 



226 LOVERS OF CATS. 

that they were to dine at the Cabin-table, and lap their 
Wine afterwards. Yet these happy dogs do not engross 
the wko/e of their good Lady's Affection ; she has also, in 
Jamaica, Forty Cats, and a Husband." 

''The Partiality to the domestic QdX^ has been thus estab- 
lished. Some Years since, a Lady of the name of Greggs, 
died at an advanced Age, in Southampton Row, London. 
Her fortune was Thirty Thousand Founds, at the Time of 
her Decease. Credite Fosteri ! her Executors found in her 
House Eighty-six Hiding, and Twe7ity-eight dead Cats. Her 
Mode of Interring them, was, as they died, to place them 
in different Boxes, which were heaped on one another in 
Closets, as the Dead are described by Pennant, to be in the 
Church of St. Giles, She had a black Female Servant — to 
Her she left One hundred and fifty pounds per a?inum to 
keep the Favourites, whom she left alive""^ 

The Chantrel family of Rottingdean seem also to be 
possessed with a similar kind of feeling towards cats, exhi- 
biting no fewer than twenty-one specimens at one Cat Show, 
which at the time were said to represent only a small portion 
of their stock; these ultimately became almost too numerous, 
getting beyond control. 

Signor Foli is a lover of cats, and has exhibited at the 
Crystal Palace Cat Show. 

Fetrarch loved his cat almost as much as he loved 
Laura, and when it died he had it embalmed. 

Tasso addressed one of his best sonnets to his female 
cat. 

Cardinal Wolsey had his cat placed near him on a chair 
while acting in his judicial capacity. 

Sir I. Newton was also a lover of cats, and there is a 
good story told of the philosopher having two holes made 
m a door for his cat and her kitten to enter by — a large one 
for the cat, and a small one for the kitten. 

Feg Woffington came to London at twenty-two years of 
age. After calling many times unsuccessfully at the house 
of John Rich, the manager of Covent Garden, she at last 
* Daniel's "Rural Sports," 1813. 



LOVERS OF CATS, 227 

sent up her name. She was admitted, and found him lolling 
on a sofa, surrounded by twenty-seven cats of all ages. 

The following is from the Echo, respecting a lady well 
known in her profession : " Miss Ellen Terry has a pas- 
sionate fondness for cats. She will frolic for hours with her 
feline pets, never tiring of studying their graceful gambols. 
An author friend of mine told me of once reading a play 
to her. During the reading she posed on an immense tiger- 
skm, surrounded by a small army of cats. At first the 
playful capers of the mistress and her pets were toned down 
to suit the quiet situations of the play ; but as the reading 
progressed, and the plot approached a climax, the antics of 
the group became so vigorous and drolly excited that my 
poor friend closed the MS. in despair, and abandoned him- 
self to the unrestrained expression of his mirth, declaring 
that if he could write a play to equal the fun of Miss Terry 
and her cats, his fortune would be made." 

Cowper loved his pet hares, spaniel, and cat, and wrote 
the well-known '' Cat retired from business." 

Gray wrote a poem on a cat drowned in a vase which 
contained gold-fish. 

Cardinal Richelieu was a lover of the cat. 
Montaigne had a favourite cat. 

Among painters, Gottfried Mind was not only fond of 
cats, but was one of, if not the best at portraying them in 
action ; and in England no one has surpassed Coudray in 
delmeation, nor Miss Chaplin in perfection of modelling. 
I am the fortunate possessor of several of her models in 
terra cotta, which, though small, are beautiful in finish. Of 
one. Miss Chaplin informed me, the details were scratched in 
with a pin, for want of better and proper tools. 



Q 2 



228 GAMES. 



GAMES. 



CAT'S CRADLE OR CATCH CRADLE. 

Dr. Brewer, in his " Dictionary of Phrase and Fable," thinks 
this "the corrupt for cratch cradle or manger cradle, in which 
the infant Saviour was laid. Cratch is the French arche (a rack 
or manger), and to the present hour the racks which stand 
in the fields for cattle to eat from are called cratches.'^ Of 
this, however, I am doubtful, though there is much reason 
in his suggestion. In Sussex and Kent, when I was a boy, 
it was commonly played among children, but always called 
cat's, catchy or scratch cradle, and consisted generally of two 
or more players. A piece of string, being tied at the ends, 
was placed on the fingers, and crossed and recrossed to 
make a sort of cradle ; the next player inserted his or her 
fingers, quickly taking it off; then the first catching it back, 
then the second again, then the first, as fast as possible, 
catching and taking off the string. Sometimes the sides 
were caught by the teeth of the players, one on each side, 
and as the hands were relaxed the faces were apart, then 
when drawn out it brought the faces together ; the string 
being let go or not, and caught again as it receded, was 
according to the will of the players, the catching and letting 
go affording much merriment. When four or five played, 
the string rapidly passed from hand to hand until, in the 
rapidity of the motion, one missed, who then stood out, and 
so on until only one was left, winning the game of cat's, 
catch, or scratch cradle. It was varied also to single and 
double cradle, according to the number of crossings of the 
string. Catch is easily converted into cafs, or it might be 
so called from the catching or clawing at, to get and to hold, 
the entanglement. 



GAMES. 229 



* 



CAT-TRAP, BAT, AND BALL. 

With the form of the trap our readers are, doubtless, 
acquainted ; it will only be necessary for us to give the 
laws of the game. Two boundaries are equally placed at 
some distance from the trap, between which it is necessary 
for the ball to pass when struck by the batsman ; if it fall 
outside either of them he loses his innings. Innings are 
drawn for, and the player who wins places the ball in the 
spoon of the trap, touches the trigger with the bat, and, as 
the ball ascends from the trap, strikes it as far as he can. 
One of the other players (who may be from two to half-a- 
dozen) endeavours to catch it. If he do so before it reaches 
the ground, or hops more than once, or if the striker miss 
the ball when he aims at it, or hits the trigger more than 
once without striking the ball, he loses his innings, and the 
next in order, which must previously be agreed on, takes 
his place. Should the ball be fairly struck, and not caught, 
as we have stated, the out-player, into whose hand it comes, 
bowls it from the place where he picks it up, at the trap, 
which if he hit, the striker is out ; if he miss it the striker 
counts one towards the game, which may be any number 
decided on. There is also a practice in some places, when 
the bowler has sent in the ball, of the striker's guessing the 
number of bats' lengths it is from the trap ; if he guess 
within the real number he reckons that number toward his 
game, but if he guess more than there really are he loses 
his innings. It is not necessary to make the game in one 
innings. 

PUSS IN THE CORNER.* 

This is a very simple, but, at the same time, a very lively 
and amusing game. It is played by five only ; and the 
place chosen for the sport should be a square court or yard 
with four corners, or any place where there are four trees or 
posts, about equidistant from each other, and forming the 
four points of a square. Each of these points or corners is 

* The Boy's Own Book, 



230 GAMES. 

occupied by a player ; the fifth, who is called Puss, stands 
in the centre. The game now commences ; the players 
exchange corners in all directions ; it is the object of the 
one who stands out to occupy any of the corners which 
may remain vacant for an instant during the exchanges. 
When he succeeds in so doing, that player who is left with- 
out a corner becomes the puss. It is to be observed, that 
if A and B attempt to exchange corners, and A gets to B's 
comer, but B fails to reach A's before the player who stands 
out gets there, it is B and not A who becomes Puss. 

CAT AND MOUSE. 

This is a French sport. The toys with which it is played 
consist of two flat bits of hard wood, the edges of one of 
which are notched. The game is played by two only ; they 
are both blindfolded and tied to the ends of a long string, 
which is fastened in the centre to a post, by a loose knot, 
so as to play easily in the evolutions made by the players. 
The party who plays the mouse occasionally scrapes the 
toys together, and the other, who plays the cat, attracted 
by the sound, endeavours to catch him. 

CAT AND MOUSE-HUNTING. 

The game of " Hunt the Slipper " used frequently to be 
called " Cat and Mouse hunting." It is generally played 
with a slipper, shoe, or even a piece of wood, which was 
called the mouse, the centre player being the cat, and 
trying to catch or find the mouse. The "Boy's Own Book" 
thus describes the game, but not as Cat and Mouse : 
"Several young persons sit on the ground in a circle, a 
slipper is given them, and one — who generally volunteers to 
accept the oflice in order to begin the game— stands in the 
centre, and whose business it is to ' chase the slipper by its 
sound.' The parties who are seated pass it round so as to 
prevent, if possible, its being found in the possession of any 
individual. In order that the player in the centre may 



GAMES, 231 

know where the slipper is, it is occasionally tapped on the 
ground and then suddenly handed on to right or left. 
When the slipper is found in the possession of any one in 
the circle, by the player who is hunting it, the party on 
whom it is found takes the latter player's place." 

TIP-CAT 

Is a game played with sticks of a certain length and a piece 
of wood sharpened off at each end, which is called the " cat." 
A ring is made on the ground with chalk, or the pointed 
part of the cat, which is then placed in the centre. One 
end being smartly struck by the player, it springs spinning 
upwards ; as it rises it is again struck, and thus knocked to 
a considerable distance. It is played in two ways, one 
being for the antagonist to guess how many sticks length it 
is off the ring, which is measured, and if right he goes in ; 
or he may elect to pitch the cat, if possible, into the ring, 
which if he succeeds in doing, he then has the pleasure of 
knocking the wood called the cat recklessly, he knows 
not whither, until it alights somewhere, on something or 
some one. 

CAT l' THE HOLE."^ 

The name of a game well known in Fife, and perhaps 
in other counties. If seven boys are to play, six holes 
are made at certain distances. Each of the six stands at 
a hole, with a, short stick in his hand ; the seventh stands 
at a certain distance, holding a ball. When he gives the 
word, or makes the sign agreed upon, all the six must 
change holes, each running to his neighbour's hole, and 
putting his stick in the hole which he has newly seized. 
In making this change, the boy who has the ball tries to put 
it into the empty hole. If he succeeds in this, the boy who 
had not his stick (for the stick is the cat) in the hole for 
which he had run is put out, and must take the ball. When 
the Cat is in the Boie, it is against the laws of the game to 
put the ball into it. 

* Jamieson's "Scottish Dictionary." 



232 NURSERY RHYMES AND STORIES, 



NURSERY RHYMES AND STORIES. 



These are as plentiful as blackberries, and are far too 
numerous to be treated of here. Some are very old, such 
as " Puss in Boots," " Whittington and his Cat," " Hey, 
diddle, diddle ! " etc. Some have a political meaning, 
others satirical, others amusing, funny, or instructive, while 
a few are unmeaning jangles. " Dame Trot and her 
Wonderful Cat," "The Cat and the IMouse," and, later, 
"The White Cat," "The Adventures of Miss Numble 
Cattine," are familiar to many of the present time. Of the 
older stories and rhymes there are enough to fill a book ; not 
of or about the cat in particular, possibly ; but even that — 
the old combined with those of modern date — might be 
done ; and for such information and perusal the " Popular 
Rhymes," by J. O. Halliwell, will be found very interesting, 
space preventing the subject being amplified here. Nor do 
they come within the scope and intention for which I have 
written respecting the cat. 



FISHING CATS. 233 



FISHING CATS. 



Having just come across a communication made to The 
Kelso Alail, in 1880, by a correspondent giving the signa- 
ture of " March Brown," bearing on the subject to which I 
have already alluded ("Fishing Cats"), I deem it worthy of 
notice, corroborating, as it does, the statement so often 
made, and almost as often denied, that cats are adept 
fishers, not only for food, but likewise for the sport and 
pleasure they so derive. The writer says that " for several 
years it has been my happy fortune to fish the lovely Tweed 
for salmon and trout. From Tweed Well to Coldstream is 
a long stretch, but I have fished it all, and believe that 
though other rivers have their special advantages, there is 
not one in Britain which offers such varied and successful 
angling as the grand Border stream. Many have been the 
boatmen whom I have employed whilst fishing for salmon, 
and all were fairly honest, except in the matter of a little 
poaching. Some had the complaint more fiercely than 
others, and some so bad as to be incurable. One of the 
afflicted (Donald by name) was an excellent boatman by 
day; as to his nocturnal doings I deemed it best not to 
inquire, except on those occasions when he needed a 
holiday to attend a summons with which the police had 
favoured him. Now any one who has studied the pro- 
clivities of poachers, knows that they have wonderful 
powers over all animals who depend upon them, such as 
dogs, cats, ferrets, tame badgers, otters, etc., etc. Donald's 
special favourite was a lady-cat, which followed him in his 
frequent fishings, and took deep interest in the sport. Near 
to his cottage on the river-bank was a dam or weir, over 
which the water trickled here and there a few inches deep. 
In the evenings of spring and summer Donald was generally 



234 FISHING CATS. 

to be found fishing upon this favourite stretch with artificial 
fly for trout, and, being an adept in the art, he seldom fished 
in vain. Pretty puss ahvays kept close behind him, watching 
the trail of the mimic flies till a fish was hooked, and then 
her eagerness and love of sport could not be controlled, and 
so soon as the captive was in shoal water, in sprang puss up 
to the shoulders, and, fixing her claws firmly in the fish, 
brought it to the bank, when, with a caress from Donald, 
she again took her place behind him till another trout was 
on the line, and the sport was repeated. In this way did 
puss and her master pass the evenings, each proud of 
the other's doings, and happy in their companionship. 
Such was the affection of the cat for her master, that 
she could not even bear to be separated from him by 
day. Donald had charge of a ferry across the river, 
and no sooner did a bell at the opposite side of the stream 
give notice that a passenger was ready to voyage across, 
than down scampered puss to the boat, and, leaping in, 
she journeyed with her master to the further side, and 
again returned, gravely watching each stroke of the oar. 
Many a voyage did she thus daily make, and I question, 
with these luxurious boatings and the exciting fishing in the 
evenings, if ever cat was more truly happy. The love of 
fishing once developed itself to the disturbance of my own 
sport. With careful prevision, my boatman had, in the 
floods of November and December, secured a plentiful 
supply of minnows, to be held in readiness till wanted in 
my fishings for salmon in the ensuing February and March. 
The minnows were placed in a well two or three feet deep, 
and the cold spring water rendered them as tough as angler 
could desire. All went well for the first few days of the 
salmon fishing; the minnows were deemed admirable for 
the purpose, and the supply ample for our needs ; but this 
good fortune was not to last. One morning the boatman 
reported a serious diminution of stock in the well, and on 
the following day things were still worse. Suspicion fell on 
more than one honest person, and we determined to watch 
late and early till the real thief was discovered. When the 



FISHING CATS, 



=35 



guidwife and bairns were abed, the boatman kept watch 
from the cottage window, and by the aid of a bright moon 
the mystery was soon solved. At the well-side stood puss, 
the favourite of the household; with arched back and 
extended paw she took her prey. When an unfortunate 
minnow approached the surface, sharp was the dash made 
by puss, arm and shoulder were boldly immersed, and 
straightway the victim lay gasping on the bank. Fishing in 
this manner, she soon captured half-a-dozen, and was then 
driven away. From that evening the well was always 
covered with a net, which scared puss into enforced honesty. 
By nature cats love dry warmth and sunshine, whilst they 
hate water and cold. Who has not seen the misery of a 
cat when compelled to step into a shallow pool, and how 
she examines her wet paw with anxiety, holding it up as 
something to be pitied ? And yet the passion of destructive- 
ness is so strong within them as to overcome even their 
aversion to water." 




236 CATS AND HORSES. 



CATS AND HORSES. 

From time immemorial cats have been kept in stables, and 
when this is the case there is generally a friendly feeling 
between one or other of the horses and the cat or cats. 
Such I have known with the heavy, ponderous cart-horse 
and his feline companion ; such was the case in my stable, 
and so in many others. Cats are as a rule fond of horses, 
and the feeling is generally reciprocated. Several of our 
*' race winners " have had their favourites at home, among 
others the well-known " Foxhall." " ]\Iany famous horses 
have had their stable cats, and the great, amiable Foxhall 
has adopted a couple of kittens, if it would not be more 
correct to say that they have adopted him. A pretty little 
white and a tabby, own brothers, live in Foxhall's box, and 
when Hatcher, his attendant, has rubbed him over, and put 
on his clothing, he takes up the kittens from the corner of 
the box where they have been waiting, and gently throws 
them on Foxhall's back. They are quite accustomed to the 
process, and, catching hold, soon settle down and curl 
themselves up into little fluffy balls, much to their own 
satisfaction and to the good horse's likewise, to judge from 
the way in which he turns and watches the operation." 

In Lawrence's " History of the Horse," it is stated that 
the celebrated Arabian stallion, Godolphin, and a black cat 
were for many years the warmest friends. When the horse 
died, in 1753, the cat sat upon his carcase till it was put 
under ground, and then, crawling slowly and reluctantly 
away, was never seen again till her dead body was found in 
a hay-loft. Stubbs painted the portraits of the Arabian and 
the cat. There was a hunter in the King's stables at 
Windsor, to which a cat was so attached, that whenever he 
was in the stable the creature would never leave her usual 
seat on the horse's back, and the horse was so well pleased 
with the attention that, to accommodate his friend, he slept, 
as horses will sometimes do, standinsr. 



''CRAMMER'S CAT AND OURSr 237 

='GRAMMER'S CAT AND OURS." 

BY JOHN TABOIS TREGELLAS. 



John Tabois Tregellas (1792-1865), bom at St. Agnes. 
The greatest master of the niceties of the Cornish dialect, 
in which he wrote largely, both in prose and verse. The 
piece quoted from is included in a volume of miscellanies 
published by Mr. Netherton, Truro, and happily indicates 
the marked difference between the modern dialect of 
Cornwall and that of Devon, illustrated in " Girt Ofvenders 
an' Zmal." The hero of "Crammer's Cat" was a miner named 
Jim Chegwidden. 

To wash his hands and save the floshing, 

Outside the door Jim did his washing, 

But soon returned in haste and fright — 

" Mother, aw come ! and see the sight ; 

Up on our house there's such a row, 

Millions of cats es up there now ! " 

Jim's mother stared, and well she might ; 

She knew that Jim had not said right. 

" ' Millions ofcats,' you said ; now worn't it so ?" 

" Why, iss," said Jim, " and I beleeve ut too j 

Not millions p'rhaps, but thousands must be theere, 

And fiercer cats than they youll never hear ; 

They're spitting, yowling, and the fur is flying. 

Some of 'em's dead, I s'pose, and some is dying ; 

Such dismal groans I'm sure you never heard, 

Aw, mother ! ef you ded, you'd be affeered." 

" Not I," said Jinny ; " no, not I, indeed ; 

A hundred cats out theere, thee'st never seed." 

Said Jim, " I doan't knaw 'zackly to a cat. 

They must be laarge wauns, then, to do like that ; 



38 ''CRAMMER'S CAT AND OURS:' 

They maake such dismal noises when they're fighting, 
Such scrowHng, and such tearing, and such biting." 
" Count ev'ry cat," says Jinny, " 'round and 'round ; 
Iss, rams and yaws, theer caan't be twenty found." 
" We'll caall 'em twenty, mother, ef 'twill do ; 
Shut all the cats, say I ; let's have my stew." 
" No, Jimmy, no ! — no stew to-night, 
'Tell all the cats es counted right." 
" Heere goes," said Jim ; " lev Crammer's cat go fust 
(Of all the thievish cats, he es the wust). 
You knaw Mai Digry's cat, he's nither black nor blue, 
But howsomever, he's a cat, and that maakes two ; 
Theer's that theer short-tailed cat, and she's a he. 
Short tail or long now, mother, that maakes three ; 
Theer's that theer grayish cat what stawl the flour, 
Hee's theere, I s'pose, and that, you knaw^ maakes fower; 
Trevenen's black es theere, ef he's alive, 
Now, mother, doan't 'ee see, why, that maakes five ; 
That no-tailed cat, that wance was uncle Dick's, 
He's sure theere to-night, and that maakes six ; 
That tabby cat you gove to Ceorgey Bevan, 
I knaw his yowl — he's theere, and that maakes seven ; 
That sickly cat we had, cud ait no mait, 
She's up theere too to-night, and she maakes 'ight ; 
That genteel cat, you knaw, weth fur so fine. 
She's surely theere, I s'pose, and that maakes nine ; 
Tom Avery's cat es theere, they caall un Ben, 
A reg'lar fighter he, and he maakes ten ; 
The ould maid's cat, ]\Iiss Jinkin broft from Devon, 
I s'pose she's theere, and that, you knaw, maakes 'leven ; 
Theere's Crace Penrose's cat, got chets, 'tes awnly two, 
And they're too young to fight as yet ; so they waan't do. 
Iss, 'leven's all that I can mind. 
Not more than 'leven you waan't find ; 
So lev me have my supper, mother, 
And let the cats ait one another." 
" No, Jimmy, no ! 
It shaan't be so ; 



'' CRAMMER'S CAT AND OURS." 239 

No supper shu'st thou have this night 
Until the cats thee'st counted right ; 
Go taake the lantern from the shelf, 
And go and count the cats thyself." 

See hungry Jimmy with his light, 
Turned out to count the cats aright ; 
And he who had Hugh Tonkin blamed 
Did soon return, and, much ashamed, 
Confessed the number was but two. 
And both were cats that w^ell he knew. 

Jim scratched his head, 

And then he said — 
" Theere's Grammer's cat and ours out theere, 
And they two cats made all that rout theere ; 
But ef two cats made such a row, 
"Tes like a thousand, anyhow." 



240 LOST. 



LOST. 



How beautiful she was in her superb calmness, so graceful, 
so mild, and yet so majestic ! Ah ! I was a younger man 
then, of course, than I am now, and possibly more impres- 
sionable ; but I thought her then the most perfect creature 
I had ever beheld. And even now, looking back through 
the gathering mists of time and the chilling frosts of advancing 
age, and recalling what she was, I endorse that earlier 
sentiment — she lives in my memory now, as she lived in 
my presence then, as the most perfect creature I ever beheld. 

I had gone the round of all the best boarding-houses in 
town, when, at last, I went to Mrs. Honeywold's, and 
there, in her small, unpretending establishment, I, General 
Leslie Auchester, having been subdued, I trust, to a proper 
and humble state of mind by my past experiences, agreed 
to take up my abode. 

And it was there I first met her ! Hers was the early 
maturity of loveliness, perfect in repose, with mild, thought- 
ful eyes, intelligent and tender, a trifle sad at times, but 
lighting up with quick brilliancy as some new object met 
her view, or some vivid thought darted its lightning flash 
through her brain — for she was wonderfully quick of percep- 
tion — with an exquisite figure, splendidly symmetrical, yet 
swaying and supple as a young willow, and with unstudied 
grace in every quick, sinewy motion. 

She spent little upon dress (I was sure she was not 
wealthy); but though there was little variety, her dress 
was always exquisitely neat and in perfect good taste, of 
some soft glossy fabric, smooth as silk and lustrous as 
satin, and of the softest shade of silver-gray, that colour 
so beautiful in itself, and so becoming to beautiful wearers ; 
simply made, but fitting with a nicety more like the work 
of nature than of art to every curve and outline of that 
full and stately figure, and finished off round her white 
throat with something scarcely whiter. 



LOST. 241 

She never wore ornaments of any kind, no chain, no 
brooch, no ring or pin. She had twins — two beautiful little 
blue-eyed things, wonderfully like herself — little shy, grace- 
ful creatures, always together, always playful. She never 
spoke of her own affairs, and affable as she was, and gentle 
in manner, there was something about her which repelled 
intrusion. 

When, after some weeks' residence there, I had gained 
the good-will of my simple-minded but kindly little landlady, 
I cautiously ventured to ask her to gratify my not, I think, 
unnatural curiosity ; but I found, to my surprise, she knew 
but little more than I did myself. 

"She came to me," she said, "just at the edge of the 
evening, one cold rainy night, and I could not refuse to 
give her shelter, at least for the night, or till she could 
do better. I did not think of her remaining; but she is 
so pretty and gentle, and innocent-looking, I could not 
turn her out of my house — could I, now? I know I am 
silly in such ways; but what could I do?" 

"But is it possible," I said, "that she has remained here 
ever since, and you know nothing more about her?" 

"No more than you do yourself, general," said Mrs. 
Honey wold. " I do not even know where she lived before 
she came here. I cannot question her, and now, indeed, 
I have become so fond of her, I should not be willing 
to part with her ; and I would not turn her and her little 
ones out of my hbuse for the world ! " 

Further conversation elicited the fact that she was not a 
boarder, but that she and her little ones were the dependents 
upon Mrs. Honeywold's charity. 

One fine summer day I had made an appointment with 
a friend to drive out to his place in the suburbs and dine 
with him, returning in the evening. When I came down 
in the afternoon, dressed for my excursion, I went into 
the dining-room to tell Mrs. Honey wold she need not wait 
for me. As I came back through the parlour, she was there 
alone. She was sitting on the sofa. A book lay near her, 
but I do not think she had been reading. She was sitting 

R 



242 LOST. 

perfectly still, as if lost in reverie, and her eyes looked heavy 
with sleep or thought. But as I passed out of the room I 
looked back. I saAv she had risen to her feet, and standing 
with her graceful figure drawn up to its full height, she was 
looking after me, with a look which I flattered myself was a 
look of interest. Ah, how well I remember that look ! 

The day had been a beautiful one, though sultry ; but 
in the early evening we had a heavy thunder-shower, the 
violence of the summer rain delaying my return to town for 
an hour or two ; and when the rain ceased, the evening was 
still starless, cloudy, and damp ; and as I drove back to 
town I remember that the night air, although somewhat 
freshened by the rain, was warm, and heavy with the scent 
of unseen flowers. 

It was late when I reached the quiet street where I 
had taken up my abode, and as I mounted the steps I in- 
voluntarily felt for my latch-key, but to my surprise I found 
the hall-door not only unfastened, but a little way opened. 

"Why, how is this, Mrs. Honeywold?" I said, as my 
landlady met me in the hall. "Do 5^ou know that your 
street-door was left open ? " 

"Yes," she said, quietly, "I know it." 

"But is it safe?" I asked, as I turned to lock the door; 
" and so late, too." 

"I do not think there is any danger," she said. "I was 
on the watch ; I was in the hall myself, waiting." 

"Not waiting for me, I hope? " said I ; "that was surely 
unnecessary." 

" No, not for you," she answered. " I presume you can 
take care of yourself; but," she added, in a low voice, "she 
is out, and I was waiting to let her in." 

"Out at this time of night! — that seems strange. Where 
has she gone?" 

" I do not know." 

"And how long has she been gone?" I asked, as I 
hung up my hat. 

"I cannot tell just what time she went out," she said; 
"I know she was in the garden with the little ones, and 



LOST. 243 

came in just before tea. After they had had their suppers 
and gone to bed I saw her in the parlour alone, and when 
I came into the room again she was gone, and she has not 
returned, and I " 

"Oh, then she went out before the rain, did she?" 

" Yes, sir ; some time before the rain." 

''Oh, then that explains it; she was probably caught 
out by the rain, and took shelter somewhere, and has been 
persuaded to stay. There is nothing to be alarmed at; you 
had better not wait up another moment." 

"But I don't like to shut her out, general; I should not 
sleep a wink." 

"Nonsense, nonsense!" I said. "Go to bed, you silly 
woman ; you will hear her when she comes, of course, and 
can come down and let her in." And so saying, I retired 
to my own room. 

The next morning at breakfast, I noticed that my land- 
lady was looking pale and troubled, and I felt sure she had 
spent a sleepless night. 

"Well, Mrs. Honey wold," I said, with assumed cheerful- 
ness, as she handed my coffee to me, " how long did you 
have to sit up ? What time did she come in ? " 

" She did not come in all night, general," said my land- 
lady, in a troubled voice. " She has not come home yet, 
and I am very anxious about it." 

" No need of that, I trust," I said, reassuringly ; " she 
will come this morning, no doubt." 

" I don't know. I wish I was sure of that. I don't 
know what to make of it. I don't understand it. She never 
did so before. How she could have stayed out, and left those 
two blessed little things all night — and she always seemed 
such a tender, loving mother, too — I don't understand it." 

When I returned at dinner-time I found matters still 
worse. She had not returned. My poor landlady was 
almost in hysterics, though she tried hard to control herself. 

To satisfy her I set off to consult the poHce. My mission 
was not encouraging. They promised to do their best, but 
gave slight hopes of a successful result. 



244 LOST. 

So sad, weary, and discouraged, I returned home, only 
to learn there were no tidings of the missing one. 

" I give her up now," said my weeping landlady ; " I 
shall never see her again. She is lost for ever ; and those 
two poor pretty little creatures " 

*' By the way," I said, " I wanted to speak to you about 
them. If she never does return, what do you purpose to do 
with them ? " 

*' Keep them ! " said the generous and impulsive little 
woman. 

" I wanted to say, if she does not return, I will, if you 
like, relieve you of one of them. My sister, who lives with 
me, and keeps my house, is a very kind, tender-hearted 
woman. There are no children in the house, and she 
would, I am sure, be very kind to the poor little thing. 
What do you say ? " 

'*No, no!" sobbed the poor woman; ''I cannot part 
with them. I am a poor woman, it is true, but not too 
poor to give them a home; and while I have a bit and a sup 
for myself they shall have one too. Their poor mother left 
them here, and if she ever does return she shall find them 
here. And if she never returns, then " 

And she never did return^ and no tidings of her fate ever 
reached us. If she was enticed away by artful blandish- 
ments, or kidnapped by cruel violence, we knew not. But 
I honestly believe the latter. Either way, it was her fatal 
beauty that led her to destruction; for, as I have said before, 
she was the most perfect creature, the most beautiful Maltese 
cat, that I ever beheld in my life ! I am sure she never 
deserted her two pretty little kittens of her own accord. 
And if — poor dumb thing — she was stolen and killed for 
her beautiful fur, still I say, as I said at first, she was "more 
sinned against than sinning." — C. H. Grattan, in Tit-Bits. 





INDEX. 






PAGE 




PAGE 


Abyssinian cats . 


■ 58 


Catarrhal fevers 


147 


Angora cats 


21 


Cat as a tormentor, The . 


209 


Antipathy to cats 


II 


Cat-clock, A . . . 


202 


Aperient . 


. 151 


" Cat Harris " . 


216 


Archangel blue cat . 


. 66 


Cat images 


219 






Cat of Shakespeare, The . 


193 






Cat-racing in Belgium 


218 


' ' Bartholomoeus de Prop 


rieta- 


Cats and fish 


159 


tibus Rerum," Extract f 


rom . 156 










Cats and horses 


236 


Bewick's ' ' Quadrupeds," E 
from 


xtract 

. 166 


Cats at The, Morning Advertisei 








Office .... 


88 


Black-and-white cats. 


68 










Cats in Vienna . 


. 88 


Black cats . 


. 64 








Cats reared by dogs . 


II 


Blue cats . 


66 










Cats take note of time 


9 


Blue small-banded tabby 


. 60 


" Chipperkes " , 


81 


" Boduca," Extract from 


• 199 










"Chloe" .... 


119 


"Bogey". 


• 37 


Chocolate Siamese . 


74 


British wild cat . 


• 38 










Cleanliness 


119 


Brown tabby cats 


. 48 


Colds .... 


149 






Concerning cats 


170 


Canker of ear . 


. ISO 


Coughs .... 


ISO 


Cat and kittens . 


. 109 


Curious long-haired cat . 


34 


Catarrh . 


148. 152 


Cytisin .... 


153 



246 



INDEX. 



PAGE 

Daniels " Rural Sports," Ex- 
tracts from . . i6i, 167, 225 

Darwin's, Mr. Charles, "Voyage 
of the Beagle," Extract from 

Dead cats . 

Deaf cat, A 

Diseases of cats 

Distance cats will travel 

Distemper 

Distemper, Inoculation for 



167 

203 

147 
10 

151 
148 



Electricity in cats' fur . . 195 
' ' Encyclopcedia of Rural Sports, ' ' 

Extract from . . . .158 
"English Folk-lore," 

from 
Eye ointment . 



Extracts 
• 197. 



200 
152 



Feeding cats 

First Cat Show, The . 

Fishing cats 

Fleas 

Fleet Prison, Debtors in . 
Fox, Charles James, Anecdote of 



91 

3 

233 

152 

90 

93 



Games 228 

General management . . 91 
Gentleness and kindness . . 10 
Glossary . . . , 170 to 184 
Government cats ... 88 
" Grammer's Cat and Ours " . 237 



Habits 

Hamilton, Mr. 
The Field 



E., Letter to 



Happy Family," The 



. 169 
12, 213 



Harting, Mr. J. E., on the origin 

of the domestic cat 
Heraldry, etc. . 
Hone's " E/ery-day Book," E 

tract from . 
Horses fond of cats \ 
Hybrid cats 



Imperial Printing Office, France 

Cats in . 
Inoculation for distemper . 
Irritation .... 



Jamieson's "Scottish Diction 

ary, " Extracts from 
Jealousy of cats. 
Johnson, Dr. Samuel, and hi; 



KiUing cats, The law on . 
Kindness and gentleness . 
Kittens .... 

"Lambkin", 
" Lambkin No. 2 " . 
Law on cat-killing. The . 
Long-haired cats 

Lost 

Lovers of cats . 

Management .... 120 
Mange .... 149, 152 

Manx cats 80 

Mating 96 

Midland Railway, Cats on the 
staff of the . 



INDEX. 



247 



Mill's "Historyof the Crusades,' 

Extract from . 
" Mimie" .... 

Nevill, Lady Dorothy . . 
Nursery rhymes and stories 

Observation of cats . 
Origin of the domestic cat 

Performing cats 
Persian cats 

Plague of mice ... 
Points of Excellence : 

Abyssinian . . . , 

Black-and-white, gray-white 
red-and-white, and other 
colours and white 

Black, blue, gray, red, or any 
self-colour long-haired 

Blue, silver, light gray, and 
white tabby, striped, short 
hair .... 

Brown and ordinary tabby 
striped, short-hair 

Brown, blue, silver, light gray 
and white tabby long-haired 

Chinchilla 

Chocolate, chestnut, red, or 
yellow tabby, striped, short- 
hair .... 

Chocolate, mahogany, red 
and yellow long-haired 

Manx, or short-tailed . 

Royal Cat of Siam 

Self-colour, black, blue, gray 
or red short-hair 

Short-haired, spotted tabbies 
of any colour 



169 
25 

74 
232 

7 
162 



24 
14 

135 

134 
142 

131 

128 

144 
136 

130 

145 
138 

127 
133 



Points of Excellence— ro^/zTz^/^fl'. 

Siamese 

Tortoiseshell . 

Tortoisesbell-and-white 

White-and-black, white-and 
gray, white-and-red, white 
and any other colour 

White, long-haired 

White, short-hair 
Poison 
Proverbs , 
Purgative . 
" Puss in Boots " 



137 
123 

125 



135 
140 
126 
153 
185 
151 
203 



Rats, mice, and cats 
Remedies . 

Royal cat of Siam, The 
Russian cats 



147 to 153 

• 73 

• 30 



Salmon's " Compleat English 
Physician," Extracts from 157 

Sharpening claws 

Short-haired white cats 

Siamese cats 

Signs 

" Signs of Foul Weather," Ex 
tract from 

Singular attachments 

Skin, Irritation of the 

Sleeping-places . 

Smith's, Mr,, prize he-cat 

Spotted silver tabby . 

Spotted tabbies 

Strengthening medicines 

Strutt's "Habits of the Anglo 
Normans," Extracts from 167, 168 



167 

165 

62 

7^ 
204 

200 
II 

152 
92 
39 

133 
54 

151 



248 

Superstition 
"Sylvie " . 

Tabby, derivation of the word 

" The Old Lady " . 

' ' The Tamer Tamed, " Extract 

from .... 
"Tiger" .... 
"Tim" .... 
Tormentor, The cat as a . 
Tortoiseshell-and-white cats 
Tortoiseshell cats 
Trained cats 



INDEX. 



FAGR 
24 

52 
13 

199 
20 

27 
209 

44 
39 
12 



United States Post Office, 
in the . . . . 
Usefulness of cats . 



Cats 



87 



PAGE 

Various colours . . -84 
Vyvyan, Mrs., on Siamese cats 76 



Washing cats . 


. 


94 


Weather notions 




200 


Well-trained cats . 


. 


13 


White-and-black cats 




70 


White cats 




62 


Wild cat of Britain . 


• 38 


154 


Witchcraft 




195 


"Works of Armorie,' 


Extracts 




from 




157 


Worms . 


. 149. 


152 



You dreadful man ! 



19 



CHARLES DICKENS AND EVANS CRYSTAL PALACE PRESS. 



THE CAT 

PAST AND PRESENT 



TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH OF 

M. C H A M P F L E U RY. 

With Supplementary Notes 

BY 

MRS. C A S H E L H O E Y. 

AND NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS. 



AMONG THE CONTENTS ARE \ 



The Cat in Ancient Egypt. 
Cats in Eastern Lands. 
The Cat in Greece and Rome. 
Tiie Cat in Popular Tradition. 
The Enemies of -the Cat in the 

Middle Ages. 
Cats in Court. 
The Friends of Cats. 
Curiosity of the Cat. 
Is the Cat a Domestic Animal ? 



Cat Language, 

Hereditary Transmission of Moral 

Qualities in Cats. 
The Cat's Paw. 
Country Cats, 
Nervous Cats. 
Egotism of Cats. 
Cat Music. 
Cats in China. 

Etc. etc. etc. 



LONDON : 

GEORGE BELL AND SONS, 

YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN. 



Price Six Shillings.