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Title: Our Cats and All About Them - Their Varieties, Habits, and Management; and for Show, the - Standard of Excellence and Beauty; Described and Pictured
Author: Weir, Harrison, 1824-1906
Language: English
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  Our Cats


  Harrison Weir.


  [Illustration: The Author

  With all good wishes,
  Yours truly
  Harrison Weir

  Engraved by R. TAYLOR, from a Photograph by G. GLANVILLE,
  of Tunbridge Wells.]















  [_All rights reserved._]


  Alice Mary,





  "THE CAT."

  "_Iddesleigh," Sevenoaks._


                 "What is aught, but as 'tis valued?"
                                    _Troilus 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 life 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 house, buildings, cultivated 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 training, have made the Cat
self-reliant; and from this emanates the marvellous powers of
observation, the concentration 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 "Encyclopædia 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.

       _May_ 5_th_, 1889.


              "'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful."

Some time has passed since I published my book, "Our Cats and all about
them," in 1889, and much has taken place regarding these household pets.
All know as well as myself that each and everything about us changes,
nothing stands still; that which is of to-day is past, and that which
was hidden often revealed, sometimes by mere accident, at others by
scientific research; but one was scarcely prepared in any way for so
wonderful "a find" as that of the large number of "mummy" Cats at Beni
Hassan, Central Egypt. They were discovered by an Egyptian fellah,
employed in husbandry, who tumbled into a pit which, on further
examination, proved to be a large subterranean cave completely filled
with mummy Cats, every one of which had been separately embalmed and
wrapped in cloth, after the manner of the Egyptian human mummies, all
being laid out carefully in rows; and here they had lain probably about
three or four thousand years. The "totem" of a section of the ancients,
as is well known, was the Cat; hence when a Cat died it was buried with
due honours, being embalmed, and often decorated in various ways, and,
in short, had as much attention paid to it as a human being. It had long
been believed that a Cat cemetery existed on the east bank of the Nile,
and in the autumn of 1889 the lucky Egyptian, about 100 miles from
Cairo, came unexpectedly upon it.

Immediately on "the find" becoming known, "specimen" mummy Cats were
written for to agents in Egypt, one friend of mine sending for four, and
it appeared for a while that much money would be realised by the owner
of the cave or land in this way; but the number was too great, and the
prices and the interest gave way, and, sad to relate, these former
"Deities" were dug out of their resting-place by hundreds of thousands,
and quickly sold to local farmers, being used for enriching the land.
Other lots found their way to an Alexandrian merchant, and were by him
sent to Liverpool on board the steamer _Pharos and Thebes_.

The consignment consisted of 19½ tons, and were sold by auction, mostly
being bought by a local "fertiliser" merchant. The auction was only
known to the trade, and the lots were "knocked down" at the "giving
away" sums of £3 13_s._ 9_d._, £3 17_s._, to £4 5_s._ _per ton_, the big
and the perfect ones being picked out for the museum and private
collections. The broker who sold used a head of one of these Cats in
lieu of an auctioneer's hammer. And now these tons of "deified" Cats are
used for manure, and in our English soil plants grow into them, and on
them, and of them; and, if it be true, as chemists assert, these plants
take into their system that on which they feed, and so, if so, possibly
in our very bread that we have eaten, we have swallowed "_a little_ at a
time part of if not the whole of a deified cat."

I made several endeavours to find out from those on the spot at
Liverpool whether there was any hair of colours in existence among the
mass of bodies; but in no case could I succeed in getting any, as I had
hoped by this means to possibly come to some conclusion as to the kind
or breed. Of course, it is well known from mummies long in this country
what form, size, and general appearance the Egyptian possessed; but as
yet, as far as I can learn, no one has found so much, if any, of the fur
as to be able to determine the colour.

Apropos with the above, as applying the bodies of the mummy Cats for
manure, comes the modern idea of keeping Cats for their fur. It is
stated that a company has been formed in America for that purpose in
Washington, and an island of some size has been bought or leased for
the purpose. The intention is to raise entirely black Cats; and as their
place of abode will be surrounded by water, it is conjectured that after
the first importation they will go on propagating and producing only
Cats of that beautiful though sombre dark hue. The Cats with which the
island is to be stocked are to be procured from Holland, where already
the "industry" is "at work." So much so that a friend of mine, an
elderly gentleman, sending to a furrier in Holland to know what kind of
fur he would recommend as the best for warmth, received the reply that
Cats' skins "were the most useful and warmest." A few days ago he called
on me wrapped in a cloth coat, with fur collar and cuffs, and _lining
throughout of black Cats' skins_, and I am bound to say that the general
appearance was much in its favour; he also stated that he was in every
way perfectly satisfied.

By-the-bye, the Cat Company intend to feed their Cats on fish, which
abound about the shores of their island, and so they affirm the food
will cost nothing, and their profits consequently be very large. But in
this I hope they have been well informed as to the adaptability of the
Cat to feed _entirely_ on fish, for of this I have my doubts; certainly
those I have had did not appear to thrive if they had fish too often.

Again, as the Cats are to roam the island at their "own sweet will," I
take it there will be at times some "damaging of fur" by the playful way
in which they so often engage, when jealousy incites them to mortal
combat. But possibly this has been considered and duly entered in the
"profit and loss" account.

While writing that portion of my book in which I referred to the
superstitions connected with the domestic Cat, and the amazing stories
told of the witches' Cats, I felt convinced that in those darkened and
foolish times that the very fact of the wonderful faculty the Cat
possesses of applying what it observes to its own purposes was in some
way the cause of the ignorant and superstitious considering that it was
"possessed" of an evil spirit. I therefore searched for proofs among the
evidence given at the trial of witches, and was, as I expected, rewarded
for my trouble. What a Cat would do now would not unreasonably be
thought clever and showing much sagacity, if not attributes of a deeper

Yet I find that at a trial for witchcraft, the following questions were
put to a man: "Well! and what did you see?" "Well! I saw her Cat walk up
and try to open the door by the latch." "What did you do?" "I
immediately killed it." This, which is now regarded as an everyday
example of the intelligence of the Cat, bore hardly in the evidence
against the witch. Sir Walter Scott, in his letter on "Demonology and
Witchcraft," tells of "a poor old woman condemned, as usual, on her own
confession, and on the testimony of a neighbour, who deposed that he saw
a Cat jump in the accused person's cottage through the window at
twilight, one evening, and that he verily believed the Cat to be the
devil, on which precious testimony the poor wretch was hanged." One more
note and I leave the subject. A certain carpenter, named William
Montgomery, was so infested with Cats, which, as his servant-maid
reported, "spoke among themselves," that he fell in a rage upon a party
of these animals, which had assembled in his house at irregular hours,
and betwixt his Highland arms of knife, dirk, and broadsword, and his
professional weapon of an axe, he made such a dispersion that they were
quiet for the night. In consequence of his blows _two witches_ are said
to have died.

Since writing of the English wild Cat, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr.
Francis Darwin (brother of Mr. Charles Darwin) on board the steamboat
going to St. Servan, when, in the course of conversation, he informed me
that a wild Cat was killed at Bramhope Moor Plantation, in 1841, a
keeper having caught it in _two_ traps.

In February of this year, 1891, my kind friend, Mr. Dresser, of
Orpington, the well-known naturalist, wrote to me to know whether I
would like to have a kitten half-bred between the British Wild Cat and a
domestic she Cat, which I was unfortunately obliged to decline, fearing
it would "make matters unpleasant" with what I had. He very kindly
supplied me with the following particulars forwarded to him by O. H.
Mactheyer, Esq.: "Mr. Harrison Weir can see the papa of the kitten at
the Zoo.

"He is a young Cat (under a year old, we thought, by the teeth). He was
seen one moonlight night in company with my 'stalker's' small lean black
Cat, right away in my deer forest. We caught the papa in a trap after he
had killed a number of grouse, and not being badly hurt, I sent him to
Bartlett at the Zoo. We are thoroughly up to real wild Cats here. I have
caught them forty-three inches from nose to tail-end; tails as thick at
the point as at the root; the ears are also differently set on. Martin
Cats, Polecats, and Badgers are all extinct here, and it is ten years
since we got the last wild Cat, but three have been killed in this
district this winter."

I insert the foregoing as being of much interest, it having been
frequently stated that the wild Cat will not mate with the domestic Cat.
The kitten offered to me is now at Fawley Court, Bucks.

Among the numerous letters I have received from America is one from Mrs.
Mary A. C. Livermore, of Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A., who writes: "I have
just come possessed of a black long-haired Cat from Maine. It is neither
Persian, Angora, nor Indian. They are called here 'Coon' Cats, and it is
vulgarly supposed to be a cross between a common Cat and a 'Coon.' Mine
is a rusty bear-brown colour, but his relatives have been black and
white, blue and white, and fawn and white, the latter the gentlest,
prettiest Cat I know. His tail is very bushy and a fine ruff adorns his
neck. A friend of mine has a pair of these Cats, all black, and the
female consorts with no one but her mate. Yet often she has in her
litter a common short-haired kitten."

Since the above reached me, I have received from another correspondent
in the United States a very beautiful photograph of what is termed a
"Coon" Cat. It certainly differs much from the ordinary long-haired Cat
in appearance; but as to its being a cross with the Racoon, such a
supposition is totally out of the question, and the idea cannot be
entertained. The photographs sent to me show that the ears are unusually
large, the head long, the length being in excess from the eyes to the
tip of the nose, the legs and feet are large and evenly covered with
long, somewhat coarse hair, the latter being devoid of tufts between and
at the extremity of the toes; there are no long hairs of any consequence
either within the ears or at their apex. The frill or mane is
considerable, as is the length of the hair covering the body; the tail
is rather short and somewhat thick, well covered with hair of equal
length, and in shape like a fox's brush. The eyes are large, round, and
full, with a wild staring expression. Certainly, the breed, however it
may be obtained, is most interesting to the Cat naturalist, and the
colour, as before stated, being peculiar, must of course attract his
attention independently of its general appearance.

Since the above was written, I have received the following from Mr.
Henry Brooker, The Elms, West Midford, Massachusetts, United States of
America. After asking for information respecting Cats of certain breeds,
he says: "I have had for a number of years a peculiar strain of
long-haired Cats; they come from the islands off the coast of Maine, and
are known in this country as 'Coon' Cats. The belief is that they have
been crossed with the 'Coon.' This, of course, is untrue. The
inhabitants of these islands are seafaring people, and many years ago
some one on his vessel had a pair of long-haired Cats from which the
strain has sprung. There are few short-haired cats on the island as
there is no communication with the mainland except by boat. I want to
improve my strain and get finer hair than the Cats now have. Yellow Cats
are the most popular kind here, and I have succeeded in producing Cats
of a rich mahogany colour with brushes like a fox. They hunt in the
fields with me, and my Scotch terriers and they are on the most friendly
terms." This, as a corroboration of the foregoing letters and the
photographs, is, I take it, eminently satisfactory.

I have been shown a Siberian Cat, by Mr. Castang, of Leadenhall Market;
the breed is entirely new to me. It is a small female Cat of a
slaty-blue colour, rather short in body and legs; the head is small and
much rounded, while the ears are of medium size. The iris of the eyes is
a deep golden colour, which, in contrast to the bluish colour of the
fur, makes them to appear still more brilliant; the tail is short and
thick, very much so at the base, and suddenly pointed at the tip. It is
particularly timid and wild in its nature, and is difficult to approach;
but, as Mr. Castang observed, this timidity may be "because it does not
understand our language and does not know when it is called or spoken
to." I think it would make a valuable Cat to cross with some English

A correspondent writes: "In your book on Cats you do not mention
Norwegian Cats. I was in Norway last year, and was struck by the Cats
being different to any I had ever seen, being much stouter built, with
thick close fur, mostly sandy, with stripes of dark yellow." I suppose I
am to infer that both the sexes are of sandy yellow colour. If so, I
should say it is more a matter of selection than a new colour. I find
generally in the colder countries the fur is short, dense, and somewhat
woolly, and as a rule, judging from the information that I am
continually receiving, whole or entire colours predominate.

Large Cats are by some sought after. This, I take it, is a great
mistake, the fairly medium-sized Cat being much the handsomer of the
two, and they are generally also devoid of that coarseness that is found
apparent in the former; while small Cats are extremely pretty, and I
understand are not only likely to be "in vogue," but are actually now
being bred for their extreme _prettiness_. I have heard of some of these
"Bantam" Cats being produced by that true and most excellent fancier,
Mr. Herbert Young, who not only has produced a Tortoiseshell Tom Cat on
lines laid down by myself, but is also engaged in breeding more, and I
have not the least doubt he will be most successful, he having so been
in producing new colours and some of the finest silver tabby
short-haired Cats as yet seen; these short-haired Cats, in my opinion,
far surpassing for beauty any long-hair ever exhibited, and are
certainly of a "sweeter disposition."

In my former edition of "Our Cats," I wrote hopefully and expectantly of
much good to be derived from the institution of the so-called National
Cat Club, and of which I was then President; but I am sorry to say that
none of those hopes or expectations have been realised, and I now feel
the _deepest regret_ that I was ever induced to be in any way associated
with it. I do not care to go into particulars further than to say I
found the principal idea of many of its members consisted not so much in
promoting the welfare of the Cat as of winning prizes, and more
particularly their own Cat Club medals, for which, though offered at
public shows, the public were not allowed to compete, and when won by
the members, in many cases the public were thoughtlessly misled by
believing it was an open competition. I therefore felt it my duty to
leave the club for that and other reasons. I have also left off judging
of the Cats, even at my old much-loved show at the Crystal Palace,
because I no longer cared to come into contact with _such_ "Lovers of

I am very much in favour of the Cats' Homes. The one at Dublin, in which
Miss Swift takes so much interest; the one in London, with Miss Mayhew
working for it with the zeal of a true "Cat lover"; and that where Mr.
Colam is the manager, all deserve and _have_ my _sincerest_ and
_warmest_ approbation, sympathy, and support, standing out as they do in
such bright contrast to those self-styled "Cat lovers," the National Cat

                                                 HARRISON WEIR, F.R.H.S.

     _March_ 12_th_, 1892.



  Reduction of Cat's Head drawn for Posting Bill,
       Crystal Palace Cat Show, 1871                                   1

  Silver Tankard presented by the Crystal Palace Company
       to the Author                                                   3

  Cat at Show                                                          5

  Miss Saunders' White Persian, "Muff"                                 6

  "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"                             16

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

  Miss F. Moore's Persian Cat, "Fez"                                  19

  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, "Minnie." Winner of a large number
       of prizes at the Crystal Palace, etc.                          26

  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                                                    35

  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                                                      36

  Miss Moore's Long-haired Persian, "Bogey." First and medal
       at Albert Palace Show, 1885; second at Brighton Show           37

  Miss Saunders' White Persian, "Fluffie"                             38

  Mr. Smith's Tortoiseshell He-Cat. The only tortoiseshell
       he-cat of entire colouring 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                           43

  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, 1886             51

  White Cat at the Show. First prize, blue eyes and deep.             53

  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                                     62

  Archangel Blue Cat                                                  66

  Group of Kittens in Box                                             67

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

  Mrs. Vyvyan'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                                              90

  The Game of Ball                                                   108

  Cat and Kittens. "Happy"                                           109

  What is it?                                                        114

  Tired of Play                                                      117

  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
       Crystal 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, "Miss Whitey." At the Crystal Palace Show
       in 1888, first in her class, taking the Crystal 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 exhibition, 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 Sutherland; 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                                                   239

[Illustration: 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 16, 1871.]




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 instituted 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 that it would be well to
hold "Cat Shows," so that the different breeds, colours, markings, etc.,
might be more carefully 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-headedness, 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 in black on 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 _début_.

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.



On the day for judging, at Ludgate Hill I took a ticket and the train
for 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 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; 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


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



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 exhibits 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 persons 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 New," in which a cat opened a
door by pulling it _towards_ him, when he found _pushing_ it 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 degree 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 fled. I thought that Zillah seemed then more than

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 accompany 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 feeling of jealousy. But these, as I said before, were
exceptions. 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. Trübner, 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.
Trübner 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 itself, 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 feelings by a low growl and spitting
furiously. Under such conditions 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 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 opening 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 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 singular 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

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 distinguished 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.


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 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.

[Illustration: "THE OLD LADY."]

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 London, 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 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 undisturbed 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 afternoon 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 lithe and beautiful 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, I 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.



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 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 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 something like
melancholy in the gaze of his _amber_-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 something 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 excellences, 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 picture." After a while he said, looking at "Pussy"
warming himself before the fire, "I think I never saw one I liked more."
"Indeed," said I, "if you really think so, I will give it to you; 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 still 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? They
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--do what you will
with 'the beauty,' but it must not return, 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, "'all is well
that ends well;' I have given 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 _certainty_ that it is _not deaf_.


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

[Illustration: MISS SAUNDERS' "TIGER."]



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 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 furniture 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 imported
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 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.

[Illustration: MISS MOORE'S "DINAH."]

[Illustration: MISS SAUNDERS' "SYLVIE."]


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 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 forehead 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 unmistakable signs of such being the case. For a long time, if
not now, the black was the most sought after and the most difficult 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 belonged 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 to sit on
the table by his side while he was writing either his letters, articles,
or planning those improvements regarding 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 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 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 arrangements or colour; not
as the ordinary short-haired tabby. The eyes should be orange-yellow in
the browns, reds, blues, grays, and blacks.

[Illustration: MR. A. A. CLARKE'S "TIM."]

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 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 themselves 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.




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 Persian 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 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 outdoors 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 comparing
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
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
_long-haired_ 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
probability "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 which I have hitherto
seen being tabbies, but whole colour. This is the more singular as all
those of the long-hair have been brown tabbies, with only one or two
exceptions, which were 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.


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


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 _Lusus Naturæ_, for such it may be deemed, the _Mother_
had no other Likeness to her Production, than her Colour, which is a
_tawny Sandy_, in some parts lightly streaked with _black_; She had
this, and another Kitten _like it_, 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
_usual_ 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-screw Curls_, and which are
frequently seen, among the _smart_ young _Watermen_, 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."


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."


[Illustration: 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 unprofitable 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 likely I shall get an
increase of information on the subject, but hitherto without any
success. Therefore, 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 seeing the British wild cat
exhibited by the Duke of Sutherland at the first cat show at the Crystal
Palace in July, 1871. 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
contradistinction 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 mention; whether it is so apparent to others I know


[Illustration: MR. SMITH'S PRIZE HE-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 versâ_. Those that have had any experience 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
match how they like, and one would be quite surprised, unless he were a
naturalist, to note the great changes that occur in a few years, and the
unmistakable signs of reversion 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 exception of the long-haired cats. Why
this is so I am at a loss to understand, but the fact remains. Good
well-developed 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 attention, I have little or no doubt, has
it in his power to produce either variety _ad libitum_. 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 remember 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 1871, 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
succeeding shows, no other pure tortoiseshell has been exhibited, and he
ceased to appear after 1873; but tortoiseshell-and-white have been shown
from 1871, 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; 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 tendency. 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 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 tortoiseshell 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 information 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 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.




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 tortoiseshell is the original domestic cat, and that the other
varieties of marking and colours are but deviations produced by
crossing with wild varieties. My brother, John Jenner Weir, F.L.S.,
F.Z.S., holds somewhat to this opinion; but, 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, especially 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 suppose 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. I was 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 conclude they in some way were

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 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 _relief_ in 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
tortoiseshell-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 tortoiseshell 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
careful 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 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 _may_
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 competition with the _real_
tortoiseshell they would stand _no chance_ whatever, and ought in my
opinion to be disqualified as being wrong class, and be put in that
for "any other colour."




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 continuous 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 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 were two he-cats in the litter,
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 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 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 black_, sharply and _very clearly


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 marking 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 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 Provincialisms" (1839),
gives the following:--

"Calimanco Cat, s. (_calimanco_, a _glossy stuff_), a tortoiseshell cat,

Salmon, in "The Compleat English Physician," 1693, p. 326, writing of
the cat, says: "It is a neat and cleanly creature, often licking itself
to keep it fair and clean, and washing its face with its fore feet; the
best are such as of a fair and large kind and of an exquisite tabby
color called _Cyprus_ cats."


[Illustration: 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 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 _lines_ or
_bands_, the better the specimen is considered to be. The varieties of
the ground colour or tint on which these markings or spots are placed
constitutes the name, such as black-spotted tabby, brown-spotted tabby,
and so on, the red-spotted tabby or yellow-spotted tabby in _she_-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 chocolate 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.

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 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 English 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. 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 reliable authority,
Thomas Bewick. In the year 1873, there was a specimen 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 powerfully 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.



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
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 interesting 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 precisely 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 English and less marked. These bred with an
English tabby often give a result of nearly black, the back band
extending very much down the sides, and the brown ticks almost
disappearing, producing a 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
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 turquoise 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-haired_ 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.




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 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

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 presented 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.


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; experiments 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 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 swollen, 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" appearance.
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 than 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

[Illustration: ARCHANGEL 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

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 extraction or pedigree. I feel bound, however, to
admit that those that came from Archangel were of a deeper, purer tint
than the English cross-breeds; and on reference to my notes, I find they
had larger ears and eyes, and were larger and longer in the head and
legs, also the coat or fur was excessively short, rather inclined to
woolliness, but bright and glossy, the hair inside the ears being
shorter than is usual in the English cat.




This is distinct from the _white-and-black_ 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 detrimental to its beauty and its chance of a prize.

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.




This differs entirely from the black-and-white cat, as just explained,
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 _under_ one eye with a
_little above_, the balance of colour would be maintained if the other
eye had a preponderance of colour _above_ instead 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 probability, 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 peculiar 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 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

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.

[Illustration: WHITE CAT.]



Among the beautiful varieties of the domestic cat brought into notice by
the cat shows, none deserve more attention 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 Dangstein, 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
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 me 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 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 litter, and three litters a year.

"We have never succeeded in breeding any like our 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 1871 until 1887, I find that there were
_fifteen_ females and only _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
extraordinary 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

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.

"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

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, occupying 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 _warm_, 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 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

"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 becoming 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 'attentions' 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 to Scotland last August, has done

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 not over broad,
and then rather sharply taper off towards the muzzle, the forehead flat,
and receding, the eyes somewhat 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_.




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 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 excrescence, and some with an
appendage more like 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, mentions
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 _stump 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 established
breed. Also a small black breed of dogs from the Netherlands, which is
now very fashionable. 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 different 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 cannot, 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 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 Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication,"
vol. i. p. 47, that "throughout an immense area, namely, the Malayan
Archipelago, Siam, 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 Madagascar
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 contortion 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 from the Malayan? Or rather is it a freak of nature
perpetuated 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
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 proportion 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.



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 prophesying 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 therefore it is imperative that the owner should
note carefully the different properties and beauties of his or her
particular specimen, 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 inattention_ to the _printed rules_ and
instructions prepared by the committee or promoters of the show. It is
exceedingly distasteful, and 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. Therefore 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 peculiar 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 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
brilliant, 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 from 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.



In our urban and suburban houses what should we do without cats? In our
sitting or bedrooms, our libraries, 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

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 accounts 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 chamber during its discussion. According to the
_Pays_ these cats are kept for the purpose of destroying the numerous
rats and mice which infest the premises, and cause considerable 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 incurred; sufficient, in fact, to form a special item in the
national expenditure.

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

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 whole 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 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.




Adult cats require less food in proportion than kittens, for two
reasons. One is this: a kitten is growing, and therefore 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
horseflesh 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 Generally 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 alternative than

As raw meat or other raw food is natural to the cat, it is far the best,
with vegetables, for keeping the body, 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, _and not otherwise_. Many horses and other
animals have their constitutions entirely ruined by what are called
"coat tonics," which are useless, and only believed in and practised by
the thoughtless, 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.


I much prefer a round basket filled with oat straw to anything 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.

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

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 apparent
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 different 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 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 waviness 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.


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 playing 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' 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

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.


    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.

                                    _Coriolanus, Act 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; yet,
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 observation and close
study of the peculiar properties of colour, besides that of form. If,
for instance, a really, absolutely _blue_ 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 tints, markings light or dark, as desired. To all
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 further.

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.

Then in what are termed the sandies and browns, it commences with the
yellow-white tint scarcely visible apart from white to the uninitiated
eye; then darker and darker, until it culminates in deep brown, with the
intervening 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 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 domestication. 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 mating, continued 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 production 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 colours or markings by
which he wishes to produce, if possible, 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 prepare 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


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 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 tortoiseshell 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, because, 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 constituted (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 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 unfrequently 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 successful 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


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 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.


The best black, undoubtedly, are those bred from tortoiseshell 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 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.


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 mulatto, and some 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, exhibited at fairs in England by
Richardson, the famous showman; 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, 1813. 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 all these have likewise 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 hue, 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, should be
avoided; because, as I explained at the commencement 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 come 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.


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.

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 richness of colour, among which it will not be found
difficult to find something worthy of notice.


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
with 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 advantage, 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 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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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 carefully selected, not only for their ground colour,
but also for the roundness, 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.


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.




Care and attention is necessary when the cat is likely 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,
therefore this, 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.

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 10th, 1886, states:--"There is a cat at Cromford, the age of
which is nineteen years. It belonged 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 which 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 was 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, helpless little
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 developing. 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 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 touching than the following anecdote, sent to _The Animal
World_ by C. E. N., in 1876? It is a little poem of everyday 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
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 downstairs 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 little 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 observed 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 noticed that
she had one of her kittens in her mouth. She ran past 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 shortly reappeared 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 lightning was flashing,
the thunder crashed overhead and rumbled in the distance, but 'Jenny'
did not mind, for 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 observation, 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.



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 rolling 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, when she and her little
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

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!" 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 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 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 _whole_ 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

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 from 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
occasionally. 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,
Mr. 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.
I am not in favour of liver, or "lights," as it is called, either for
cats or kittens. If horseflesh 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 time_, and not _wait
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.

[Illustration: MISS MOORE'S KITTEN, "CHLOE."]


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 treatment, 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 little 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 will be sure to "come in,"
and thus preserved from doing and receiving injury.

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.

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 railings 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

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 in the basket, but plenty of good,
sweet hay or oat-straw; this will answer all purposes, and does not get

If you use a padlock for the fastening, _do not forget to send the key
to the manager of the show_, as is sometimes the case.





              _Revised and corrected to the present time._

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

                                    _Winter's Tale, Act IV._


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 the apex, broad at
     the base.

EYES                                                                10

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

FUR                                                                 10

     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


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

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

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.

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                                                  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


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

EYES                                                                15

     Blue--a soft, turquoise blue--but yellow is permissible 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.

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


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

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.

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


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

EYES                                                                15

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

FUR                                                                 10

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

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

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 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 backs of hind-legs, and the ear-points,

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

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


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

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

MARKINGS                                                            20

     Dark, rich brown or chocolate, lines not too broad, scarcely
     so wide as the ground colour shown between, 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.

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 dark 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



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 the apex, broad at
     the base.

EYES                                                                15

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

FUR                                                                 10

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

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 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 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

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



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 whatever 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.



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

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.


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 uncommon
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.


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.

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

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

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.


HEAD                                                                10

     Small, broad across and between the eyes, tapering upwards
     and somewhat narrow between the ears: forehead flat and
     receding, nose long, and somewhat 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

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 precedence.

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.

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, lithe, 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


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.

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 proportion 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

[Illustration: MR. CLARKE'S "MISS WHITEY."]


HEAD                                                                10

     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 surrounded 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.

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

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, like 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


HEAD                                                                10

     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 surrounded with long hair, which should also be long on
     the forehead and lips.

EYES                                                                10

     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

TAIL                                                                10

     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



HEAD                                                                10

     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                                                                10

     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                                                       10

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

FUR                                                                 10

     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

TAIL                                                                10

     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

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, red, 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 qualities.

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."

[Illustration: "SYLVIE."]


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 surgeon 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.


"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, affecting cats generally over wide areas, sometimes
entire continents being invaded by it. From A.D. 1414 up to 1832 no
fewer than nineteen widespread outbreaks of this kind have been
recorded. The most notable of these was in 1796, when the cats in
England and Holland were generally attacked by the disease, and in the
following year when it had spread over Europe and extended 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 cleanliness, keeping the
animal moderately warm and comfortable. The disease rapidly produces
intense debility, and therefore the strength should be maintained from
the very commencement 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. _Vaccination_ 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 as a kind of
influenza, and considers one of the most important 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 vitality. 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.


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.


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, 1 oz. to 5 oz. of water, adding
about a teaspoonful of glycerine, and sponging the affected parts twice
or thrice daily.


The symptoms are twofold, usually there is constant sneezing and
discharge from the nose. Aconite, 1^{×} tincture, 1 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.


The short, hard, dry cough will always give way to treatment 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, antimonium tartaric., 2^{×}, grains iij
every 2, 3 or 4 hours, according to the severity of the symptoms.


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 life 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.


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)                    ½    "
Glycerine, to make up to                2 oz.

If external, paint with the mixture the affected parts.


Get a chemist to rub down a medium-size croton bean with about 40 grains
of sugar of milk, and divide into 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.


     Aconite, 1^{×} tincture. Arsenicum, 2^{×} trituration.
     Antimonium tartaricum, 2^{×} trituration. Belladonna, 3^{×}
     trituration. Mercurius biniodatus, 3^{×} trituration.
     Hydrastis canadensis, [Greek: phi] 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 counsellors there is wisdom," I place all before
my friends, and those of the cat, that they may select which remedy they
deem best:


Take yellow basilicon, 1 oz.; flowers of sulphur, ½ oz.; oil of juniper,
3 drachms. Mix for ointment. Then give sulphide of mercury, 3 grains,
two or three times on alternate nights.


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


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


Cold in the eyes and sneezing may be relieved by sweet spirits of nitre,
1 drachm; minocrerus spirit, 3 drachms; antimony wine, 1 drachm; water
to 1½ oz. Mix. Give 1 teaspoonful every two or three hours.


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


Red oxide of mercury, 12 grains; spermaceti ointment, 1 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.


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

Another remedy: give a teaspoonful of castor oil; next day give raw
meat, dusted over with flowers of sulphur. 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, ¼ oz.; sulphur,
a teaspoonful.

As a rule, when the animal is of value, either intrinsically 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 virulent 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.


It is not generally known that the much-admired laburnum contains a
strong poison, and is therefore an exceedingly 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
happened 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.



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 1871, 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
consideration, and of extraordinary fierceness.

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 it 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 determined 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 naturalist,
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 observation
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--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 1871 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

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

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 "Menageries,"
"Bartholomoeus de Proprietatibus 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 therewith when he drinketh, as other beasts do, that
have the nether lip shorter than the over; for, by cause of unevenness
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
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.

     "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 gastefull 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 incredible. 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 Mountain_ 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 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 "Encyclopædia of Rural
Sports"--a book no sportsman should be without--thus discusses the
origin of the domestic cat compared 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 _Felinæ_ generally, are almost
     exclusively native to countries warmer than our own. It is true
     that occasionally varieties of the _Felinæ_ 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 admission 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 differences observable between them are attributable
     solely to the long-continued action of external agencies, which
     had modified the various organs to meet the varied necessities of
     the animals. The wild cat, according to this theory, having to
     contend with powerful enemies, expanded in general dimensions;
     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 exist, 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. Linnæus and Buffon having both of
     them confounded 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 otherwise 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 remarkable difference between the intestines of
     the two? _Those of 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

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 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


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."

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, cockchafers, 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 as _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 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 wild 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
1127, 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, embodying some very
interesting information, was published in the _Zoologist_ for January,
1881. The replies which 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 great deer forests. Thus we see that the wild cat is being
gradually driven northward before advancing civilisation and the
increased supervision of moors and forests. Just as the reindeer in the
twelfth century was driven northward 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 'Encyclopædia Britannica'
(art. _Cat_) 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
throughout 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 is 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, Northumberland, in 1853;[A] although so
recently as March, 1883, a cat was shot in Bullington Wood,
Lincolnshire, which in point of size, colour, and markings was said to
be quite indistinguishable from the wild _Felis catus_. Bullington Wood
is one of an almost continuous chain of great woodlands, extending 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 persecution.
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.

[A] "Trans. Tyneside Nat. Field Club," 1864, vol. vi. p. 123.

"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, namely, 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

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 wild _females_, and _vice
versâ_; yet the curious fact remains that the wild cat still retains its
peculiar colouring and form, as is 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 _large_ 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 claws_," and mentions the scars
were of different ages; he also thought they did this "_to tear off the
horny points_." This, I believe, is the received opinion among
naturalists; 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 _one_ of the legs of a kitchen table entirely torn
to pieces by my cats; and after much observation 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 particular 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 state. Some were very curious, such as a
_skulk_ of foxes, a _cete_ of badgers, a _huske_ or _down_ of hares, a
_nest_ of rabbits, and a _clowder of cats_, and a _kindle of young
cats_. Now cats are said to _kitten_, 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

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

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 "The 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 "_Wild
cats_ formerly were an object of _sport_ to huntsmen. Thus, Gerard
Camvile, 6 John, had special licence to hunt the hare, fox, and wild
cat, throughout all the King's _forests_; and 23 Henry III., Earl
Warren, by giving 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 _fur_."

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 differ in their opinion whether the jaguar is good eating;
but were unanimous in saying the _cat_ is _excellent_."

It is also stated that the Chinese fatten and eat cats with considerable
relish; but of this I can obtain no reliable information, 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 (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

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

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

While the foregoing was about being printed, Mr. Edward Hamilton, M.D.,
writing to _The Field_, May 11th, 1889, gives information of a wild cat
being shot in Inverness-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, 1 foot 11
inches; length of tail, 1 foot; height at shoulder, 1 foot 2 inches; the
length of small intestine, 1 foot 8½ inches; and the large intestine, 1
foot 1 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.


CAT.--Irish, _Cat_; French, _Chat_; Dutch, _Kat_; Danish, _Kat_;
Swedish, _Katt_; German, _Katti_ or _Katze_; Latin, _Catus_; 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 _Kaita_, is a male

_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 Queen cat (Catus femina)._--"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

_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 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 principal 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._--A metal tripod for holding a plate or Dutch oven before the
fire. So called because, in whatever position 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 of the Shrew_, Act I., Scene 2.

CAT.--A 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.

_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, which 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).

_Catamount._--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

_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
_Turdus 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: _pro'tasis_ (introduction), _epit'asis_ (continuation),
_catas'tasis_ (climax), and _catas'trophë_ (conclusion or _dénouement_).
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 "catterwaulings." 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 _Chatte peleuse_ (PALSGRAVE, 1530). "Hairy cat;" the last part of
the word was probably assimilated to _piller_, a robber or despoiler
(PALMER'S _Folk Etymology_).

_Caterwauling._--The wrawl of cats in rutting times; any hideous noise.
Topsel gives _catwralling_, 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 _wraw_ (angry).
Caterwaul, therefore, is the wawl or wrawl of cats; the _er_ being
either a plural, similar to "childer" (children), or a corrupted
genitive.--BREWER'S _Dictionary of Phrase and Fable._

    "What a caterwawling do you keep here!"
                       SHAKESPEARE, _Twelfth Night_, Act II., Scene 3.

"To yawl.--To squall or scream harshly like an enraged cat."--HOLLOWAY

    "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._--Sly, gray eyes, or with large pupils, watchful.

_Cat-fall._--A rope used in ships for hoisting the anchor to the

_Catfish._--A species of the squalus, or shark (_Felis marinus_). The
catfish of North America is a species of _cottus_, or bull-head.

_Catgut._--A 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 the original reading in Shakespeare was "_calves'_-gut." "A
sort of linen or canvas with wide interstices."--WEBSTER.

_Cat-hamed._, or _hammed._--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

_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

_Cathood._--The time when a kitten is full grown, it is then a cat and
has attained maturity, that 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, _very_
small beer; even thin gruel is called "cat-lap." Weak tea is also called

_Cat-like._--Stealthy, slow, yet appertaining more to appearance.

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

_Cat o' 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 unlike 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 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 egg, 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 soap."--_Encyclopædia._

_Cat's-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 _cat's-eye_ fixed in a topaz,
and mounted in a pyramidal base studded with diamonds and precious
stones. This curious relic stood 2¼ 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 cat's-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 1
10-16ths inch in length, and 9-16ths of an inch in depth, shaped like a
horseshoe; in the centre of the horseshoe the _great chrysoberyl
cat's-eye_ stands upright. This is 15-16ths 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 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
£2,450 to Mr. S. J. Phillips, jeweller, New Bond Street.

_Cat's-foot._--To live under the cat's foot, to be under the dominion of
a wife, hen-pecked.

_Cat's-foot._--A plant of the genus _Glechoma pes felinus_, 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

_Cat's-paw._--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.

_Cat's-tail._ (_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.

_Cats'-tails._--Mares' tails (_equisetum_).

_Cat-stane._--"Battle-stone. A monolith in Scotland (sometimes falsely
called a Druidical stone). The Norwegian term, banta stein, means the
same thing. Celtic--_cath_ (battle)."--BREWER'S _Dictionary of Phrase
and Fable._

_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

_Cattaria._--_Nepeta Cattaria._ _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,

_Catwater._ (Plymouth).--"This is a remarkable instance of
mistranslation. The castle at the mouth of the Plym used to be called
the Château; 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 Rose is the name of the _plant_.

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

_Grinagog, the cat's uncle._--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?"

_Hang 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 (1812) to hang up a cat in a small
cask or firkin, half filled with soot, and then a parcel of clowns on
horseback 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), 1511:

     "_Q._ 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. Evans._--"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

_Nine 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 lives--a cat's and your own.'"--THISELTON DYER'S _English

     "TYB. What wouldst thou have with me?

     MER. Good king of cats, nothing but one of your nine lives."
                                   _Romeo and Juliet_, III. I.

Middleton says in "Blurt Master Constable," 1602:

     "They have nine lives apiece, like a woman."

_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 much 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:
_Prævaricor_" (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, '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 _cat_,
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 _turn it
completely over_, 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 pancakes 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

       *       *       *       *       *

_To whip the cat._--"To practise the most pinching parsimony, grudging
even the scraps and orts, or remnants of food given to the
cat."--HOLLOWAY (_Norfolk_).

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

"To be drunk."--HEYWOOD'S _Philoconothista_, 1635, p. 60.

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

"A trick practised on ignorant country fellows, vain of 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, pretending 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

_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 anything 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 (_S._). It seems to be an
early form of _Cricket._ (Query, is this the same as Cat and Trap?)

_Catband._--1. The name given to the strong hook used on the inside of a
door or gate, which, being fixed to the 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 (_S._). _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._--1. 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 necessaries 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; a pen. _Hud_ might seem allied
to Teut. _huyd-en_, _conservare_, 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-loup._--1. 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.

_Catmint._--An herbaceous plant (_Mentha felina_), that cats delight to
roll on.

_Cat's Carriage._--The same play that is otherwise called the "King's
Cushion," q.v. (_Loth._).

_Cat's Cradle._--A plaything for children, made of pack-thread on the
fingers of one person, and transferred from them to those of another

_Cat's Crammocks._--Clouds like hairs streaming from an animal's tail

_Cat's Hair._--1. 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 _katzen silber_ of
the vulgar in Germany. Teut., _katten silver_, _amiantus_, _mica_,
_vulgo argentum felium_; Kilian.

_Cat's Lug._--The name given to the _Auricula ursi._--LINN.

_Cat's 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._).

_Catstone._--One of the upright stones which support a grate, there
being one on each side (_Roxb._). Since the introduction 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.

_Cat's-Tails._--Hare's Tail Rush (_Eriophorum vaginatum_). LINN.
_Mearns_; also called _Canna-down_, Cat Tails (_Galloway_).

_Catten-Clover._, _Cat-in-Clover._--The Lotus (_South of S._). Sw.,
_Katt-klor_ (Cat's Claws).

_Catter._--1. Catarrh (BELLENDEN). 2. A supposed disease of the fingers
from handling cats.

_Catterbatch._--A broil, a quarrel (_Fife_). Teut., _kater_, a he-cat,
and _boetse_, rendered _cavillatio, q._, "a cat's quarrel."

_Catwittit._--Harebrained, unsettled; _q._, having the _wits_ of a _cat_

_Kittie._--A North-country name for a cat, male or female.

_Kitling._--Sharp; kitten-like.

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

                         HERRICK, _Hesperides_.

_Kittenhood._--State of being a kitten.

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


_Kittenish_, kitten-like.

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

_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 gentleman._--An effeminate man.--DAVIS, _Glossary._

    "I cannot talk with civet in th' room,
    A fine puss gentleman that's all perfume."

                     COWPER'S _Conversations._



_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 Middleton's _Blurt
Master Constable_, 1602, we have: "They have nine lives apiece, like a

_A cat may 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 at a king,"
and a king's head and shoulders on the title-page, with the same
inscription above.

_A cat's walk_, a little 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 like a beam,
     sided like a bream, A _foot like a cat_, a tail like a rat.

_Ale that would make a cat talk._ Strong enough to make even the dumb

    "A spicy pot,
      Then do's us reason,
    Would make a cat
      To talk high treason."--D'URFEY.

_A half-penny 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

_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 worth 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

_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 Christmas Prince_, 1607.

_As gray as Grannum's 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

    "I am as melancholy as a gib-cat or a lugged bear."[B]

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

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 Exultans_, 1673, p.
50. That is never.

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 clammed a cat._--SIR G. C. LEWIS'S "Herefordshire 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^{y}. Antiq. Anglic." 1816, p. 93. "For never yet was
good cat out of kinde."--_English Proverbs_, HAZLITT.

_Cats and Carlins sit in the sun._ When work is done then warmth and

_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

_Cry you mercy, killed my cat._--CLARKE, 1639. Better away, than stay
and ask pardon.

_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 of _small beer_."--DENHAM'S _Popular Sayings_, 1846.


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


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


_He is like a dog or a cat._ Not reliable.

_He looks like a wild cat out of a bush._ Fiercely afraid.

_He's 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 than 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 particular. The hungry cannot choose.

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

_He wald gar a man trow that the moon is made of green cheis, or the cat
took the heron._ Never believe all that is laid to another.

_Honest 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 cat's luck_, in Fletcher's _Knight of
Malta_, alluding to the activity and caution of the cat, which generally
stands it in good stead.

_I'll 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'll fall on his legs._ To succeed, never to fail, always

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

_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

_Love me, love my cat._--This refers to one marrying; in taking a wife
he must take her belongings. Or, where you like, you must avoid

_Never was cat or dog drowned that could see the shore._ To know the way
often brings a right ending.

_None but cats and dogs are allowed to quarrel here._ All else agree.

_No playing with a straw 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 not them meese._--WODROEPHE, 1623.
Rogues abound where laws are weak.

_Send not a cat for lard._--GEORGE HERBERT. Put not any to temptation.

_So as cat is after kind._ Near friends are dearest. Birds of a feather
flock together.

_Take the chestnuts out of the fire with the cat's paw._ Making use of
others to save oneself.

_That comes of a cat will catch mice._ What is bred in the bone comes
out in the flesh. Like father, like son.

_The cat and 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 hungry when a crust contents 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 III. (who carried a boar on his escutcheon) and his
myrmidons, _Cat_esby, _Rat_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 mouse ever._--HEYWOOD. Those that should hide, see
more than they who seek. The fearful eye sees far.

_The liquorish cat gets many a rap._ The wrong-doer escapes not.

_The more you 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 not._--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

_They agree like two cats in gutter._--HEYWOOD. To be less than friends.

_They argue like cats and dogs._ That is to quarrel.

_Thou'lt strip it, as Stack stripped the cat when he pulled her out of
the churn._ 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 bake-stone._ 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,"

_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 and one bone,
never agree._ No peace when all want to be masters, or to possess one

_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.

"_Well wots the cat whose beard she licketh._"--SKELTON'S _Garlande of
Laurel_, 1523.

"Wel wot nure cat whas berd he lickat."--WRIGHT'S _Essays_, vol. i. p.

"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 cat's 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 cat's 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 than 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.


Shakespeare mentions the cat forty-four times, and in this, like nearly
all else of which he wrote, displayed both wonderful 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 resembled. 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, aspirations, 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 informs 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
Tempest_, Antonio's reply to Sebastian in Act II., Scene 1:

                              For all the rest,
    They'll take suggestion as a cat laps milk.

And in _King 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 to the
voice and presence of the cat at certain times and seasons:

    Thrice the brinded cat hath mewed.

The line almost carries a kind of awe with it, a sort of feeling 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 _King
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 of 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 _All's Well that Ends
Well_, 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.

And Gremio tells of the untamableness of the wild cat, which he deems
apparently impossible:

    But will you woo this wild cat?

Romeo, in _Romeo and Juliet_, looks with much disfavour, not only on
cats but also dogs; in fact, the dog was held in as high disdain as the

    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.

In _Cymbeline_ there is:

    In killing creatures vile, as cats and dogs.

The foregoing is enough to show the great poet's opinion of the cat.


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 observant 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
properly insulated, the shock might have been given to a whole circle of

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 _Witch_, 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.
(_Then_ 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 transform herself into a certain animal, the favourite and most usual
transformation being a _cat_; hence cats were tormented by the ignorant

"_Rutterkin_ 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 authority 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 Cives, and
so left the said cat right before the towne of Leith in Scotland. 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 majestie
acknowledgeth, for when the rest of the shippes had a fair and good
winde, then was the winde contrairie, and altogether against his
majestie,' etc."[C]

[C] Hone's "Every-day Book," vol. i.

"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 a cat should leap over a corpse, it is said to portend
misfortune. 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

[D] Mr. T. F. Thiselton Dyer's "English Folk-lore."

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 lively
than ordinary, it is a sign of wind; but if the cat is accidentally
drowned, then there is consternation, which does not wear off 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 witchcraft 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."

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,"

       ----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 formation 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.


"Signs of Foul Weather," by Dr. Erasmus Darwin. In a poem, the
well-known relative 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 superstitious 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 superstitious, 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 _Phu_), is very
like to the eye of a cat, and wheresoever it groweth, if cats come
thereunto, they 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

    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 contract with the
flow and ebb of the tide. In Lancashire the common people have an idea
that those who play much with cats never have good health."[E]

[E] Mr. T. F. Thiselton Dyer's "English Folk-lore."

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,[F] when they are ill they are usually drowned.

[F] Harland and Wilkinson, "Lancashire Folk-lore," p. 141.

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.[G]

[G] Edwards's "Old English Customs," p. 54.

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.


The following curious incident is to be found in Huc'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, who 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, however, 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 immediately 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 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

       *       *       *       *       *

"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 it _pasht_,
which meant the face of the moon. _Pasht_ became pas, pus,
puss."--_Church Times_, March 8th, 1888.

"PUSS IN BOOTS" (_Le Chat Botté_)

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.


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
confectioner'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 appertaining to cats, and is well worthy of a place
in the cat-lover's library.

In Larwood and Hotten's "History of Sign-boards," 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 _cat_ was hung." This little
incident of the cat-hater, told in No. 538 of _The 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, Lancaster,
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 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 fidèle_, wife of Czar Peter the Great of Russia, or
of _Caton le fidèle_, 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 public-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 fidèle.' From some cause or other the
'Chat fidèle' 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 Fidèle,' 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 matter, 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

    Heigh diddle diddle,
    The Cat and the fiddle."

Amongst the other explanations offered is the one that it may have
originated with the sign of a certain _Caton Fidèle_, 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 appellation 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 place 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 Goldsmith'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,
    Because the Mutton is so rare.

    Pray Puss do not claw,
    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 pelote_), "Fishing Cat" (_La Chatte qui pêche_),
"The Dancing Cat," and the well-known "Puss in Boots."

"Whittington and his Cat" is by no means uncommon, and was not unknown
in the early part of the seventeenth century. Somewhere I remember
having seen "Whittington'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.


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

"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."


Lifeless cats have been from time immemorial suggestive 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_ recipient
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 unfortunate 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
"_people's_ representative" had to endure at that period, and with what
good humour such favours of popular appreciation, or otherwise, were

"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 Mr.
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.



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
alluded 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.

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.


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 Burgundians, 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.
_Argent_ three cats in pale _sable_ is the coat of the family of Keat of

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 _gamekeeper_ whose name was Cat.


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 _hunting_, _sporting_,
_shepherding_, _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. _Long teaching_, _persistent teaching from time
immemorial_ has undoubtedly had its due effect, and in some instances,
if not all, has been _transmitted_, 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

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 little 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 the _few_ approved, with
the _many_ not only neglected, but in bygone days, and with some even in
the present, it has 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
_never once forgets it is restrained_, 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

One of the best instances of this was a small collection of animals and
birds in a large cage that used to be shown 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, however, 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 comfortable. 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

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 "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

"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 was 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 announced to the
Parisian public by the title of _Concert Miaulant."--Zoological

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 draw up water in a bucket, ring a
bell; and in doing these things begin, continue, and stop as they are
commanded. But the _commencez_, _continuez_, _arrêtez_ 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 unnatural 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 performance 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
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 performance 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
succeeded 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, which 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, with one or two
exceptions, when 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 him. Shuter was directed
to some court in the Minories, where this extraordinary musician lived;
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 and New London_, vol. iv.



"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
described: "Cat-racing is a sport which stands high in popular favour.
In one of the suburbs of Liège 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 like 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
Times_, June 16th, 1860.



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! 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 everyday 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 the _purposes_ good. Cats
sitting on pen-wipers; clay cats of burnt brick-earth. These were
generally something to remember 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 uncommon, 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
_new_. 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 conscious 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 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 _clambering_ 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 cats from 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 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 recognition as an animal both useful, beautiful, and worthy
of culture.




"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 off_ 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 _Death_."[H]

[H] Daniel's "Rural Sports," 1813.

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 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 compensation 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 equanimity 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 line:

    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.

Mr. 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, 1666:

     "_September 5th._--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

Dr. Jortin wrote a Latin epitaph on a favourite cat:[I]

[I] Hone's "Every-day Book," vol. i.

                         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

"Dr. Barker kept a Seraglio 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 Power_, adorning them
with the Blue, Red, or Green Insignia of Ribbons, which the Persons they
represented, wore."[J]

[J] Daniel's "Rural Sports," 1813.

Daniel, in his "Rural Sports," 1813, 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 Pounds_, on the express
Condition, that they were to _dine_ at the Cabin-table, and lap their
_Wine_ afterwards. Yet these happy dogs do not engross the _whole_ of
their good Lady's Affection; she has also, in Jamaica, FORTY CATS, and a

"The Partiality to the _domestic_ Cat, has been thus established. Some
Years since, a Lady of the name of Greggs, died at an advanced Age, in
Southampton Row, London. Her fortune was _Thirty Thousand Pounds_, at
the Time of her Decease. _Credite Posteri!_ her _Executors_ found in her
House _Eighty-six living_, and _Twenty-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 annum_ to
keep the _Favourites_, whom she left _alive_."[K]

[K] Daniel's "Rural Sports," 1813.

The Chantrel family of Rottingdean seem also to be possessed with a
similar kind of feeling towards cats, exhibiting 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.

_Petrarch_ 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 in a door for his cat and her
kitten to enter by--a _large_ one for the cat, and a _small_ one for the

_Peg 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 sent up her name. She was admitted, and
found him lolling on a sofa, surrounded by twenty-seven cats of all

The following is from the _Echo_, respecting a lady well known in her
profession: "Miss Ellen Terry has a passionate 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-skin,
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 himself 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

_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 Couldery in delineation, 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.



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 _crêche_ (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, _catch_, 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 re-crossed 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 _cat's_, or it
might be so called from the _catching_ or clawing at, to get and to
hold, the entanglement.


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.


[L] The Boy's Own Book.

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
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 without 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 corner, but B fails to reach A's
before the player who stands out gets there, it is B and not A who
becomes Puss.


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.


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 office 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 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."


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.


[M] Jamieson's "Scottish Dictionary."

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 Hole_, it
is against the laws of the game to put the ball into it.


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 Mouse," and, later, "The White Cat,"
"The Adventures of Miss Minette Cattina," 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.


Having just come across a communication made to _The Kelso Mail_, in
1880, by a correspondent giving the signature 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 proclivities 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 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 always
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 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 destructiveness is
so strong within them as to overcome even their aversion to water."

The following still more extraordinary circumstance of a cat fishing in
the sea, appeared in _The Plymouth Journal_, June, 1828: "There is now
at the battery on the Devil's Point, a cat, which is an expert catcher
of the finny tribe, being in the constant habit of diving into the sea,
and bringing up the fish alive in her mouth, and depositing them in the
guard-room for the use of the soldiers. She is now seven years old, and
has long been a useful caterer. It is supposed that her pursuits of the
water-rats first taught her to venture into the water, to which it is
well known puss has a natural aversion. She is as fond of the water as a
Newfoundland dog, and takes her regular peregrinations along the rocks
at its edge, looking out for her prey, ready to dive for them at a
moment's notice."--ED.


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." "Many 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, standing.



John Tabois Tregellas (1792-1865), born 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
"Grammer'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 of cats,' you said; now worn't it so?"
    "Why, iss," said Jim, "and I beleeve ut too;
    Not millions p'rhaps, but thousands must be theere,
    And fiercer cats than they you'll 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;
    They maake such dismal noises when they're fighting,
    Such scrowling, 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 Grammer's cat go fust
    (Of all the thievish cats, he es the wust).
    You knaw Mal 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 Georgey 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, Miss Jinkin broft from Devon,
    I s'pose she's theere, and that, you knaw, maakes 'leven;
    Theere's Grace 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;
    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 well 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."



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 impressionable; 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, thoughtful 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
perception--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.

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, graceful 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

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. Honeywold. "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
house 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

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. Honeywold 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 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 saw 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 involuntarily 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 you 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,

"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 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 landlady was looking
pale and troubled, and I felt sure she had spent a sleepless night.

"Well, Mrs. Honeywold," I said, with assumed cheerfulness, 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 landlady, in a
troubled voice. "She has not come home yet, and I am very anxious about

"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 police. My mission was not
encouraging. They promised to do their best, but gave slight hopes of a
successful result.

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

"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 blandishments, 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



Abyssinian cats,                                          58

Angora cats,                                              21

Antipathy to cats,                                        11

Aperient,                                                151

Archangel blue cat,                                       66

"Bartholomoeus de Proprietatibus Rerum,"
  Extract from,                                          156

Bewick's "Quadrupeds," Extract from,                     166

Black-and-white cats,                                     68

Black cats,                                               64

Blue cats,                                                66

Blue small-banded tabby,                                  60

"Boduca," Extract from,                                  199

"Bogey",                                                  37

British wild cat,                                         38

Brown tabby cats,                                         48

Canker of ear,                                           150

Cat and kittens,                                         109

Catarrh,                                            148, 152

Catarrhal fevers,                                        147

Cat as a tormentor, The,                                 209

Cat-clock, A,                                            202

"Cat Harris",                                            216

Cat images,                                              219

Cat of Shakespeare, The,                                 193

Cat-racing in Belgium,                                   218

Cats and fish,                                           159

Cats and horses,                                         236

Cats at The Morning Advertiser Office,                    88

Cats in Vienna,                                           88

Cats reared by dogs,                                      11

Cats take note of time,                                    9

"Chipperkes",                                             81

"Chloe",                                                 119

Chocolate Siamese,                                        74

Cleanliness,                                             119

Colds,                                                   149

Concerning cats,                                         170

Coughs,                                                  150

Curious long-haired cat,                                  34

Cytisin,                                                 153

Daniel's "Rural Sports," Extracts from,        161, 167, 225

Darwin's, Mr. Charles, "Voyage of the Beagle,"
  Extract from,                                          167

Dead cats,                                               208

Deaf cat, A,                                              17

"Dinah",                                                  23

Diseases of cats,                                        147

Distance cats will travel,                                10

Distemper,                                          150, 151

Distemper, Inoculation for,                              148

Electricity in cats' fur,                                195

"Encyclopædia of Rural Sports," Extract from,            158

"English Folk-lore," Extracts from,                 197, 200

Eye ointment,                                            152

Feeding cats,                                             91

First Cat Show, The,                                       3

Fishing cats,                                            233

Fleas,                                                   152

Fleet Prison, Debtors in,                                 90

Fox, Charles James, Anecdote of,                          93

Games,                                                   228

General management,                                       91

Gentleness and kindness,                                  10

Glossary,                                         170 to 184

Government cats,                                          88

"Grammer's Cat and Ours",                                237

Habits,                                                    6

Hamilton, Mr. E., Letter to The Field,                   169

"Happy Family," The,                                 12, 213

Harting, Mr. J. E., on the origin of the domestic cat,   162

Heraldry, etc.,                                          210

Hone's "Every-day Book," Extract from,                   196

Horses fond of cats,                                     236

Hybrid cats,                                              55

Imperial Printing Office, France, Cats in,                88

Inoculation for distemper,                               148

Irritation,                                              152

Jamieson's "Scottish Dictionary," Extracts from,         181

Jealousy of cats,                                          8

Johnson, Dr. Samuel, and his cat,                        161

Killing cats, The law on,                                207

Kindness and gentleness,                                  10

Kittens,                                                 114

"Lambkin",                                                33

"Lambkin No. 2",                                          36

Law on cat-killing, The,                                 207

Long-haired cats,                                         16

Lost,                                                    240

Lovers of cats,                                          223

Management,                                              120

Mange,                                              149, 152

Manx cats,                                                80

Mating,                                                   96

Midland Railway, Cats on the staff of the,                89

Mill's "History of the Crusades," Extract from           169

"Mimie"                                                   25

Nevill, Lady Dorothy                                      74

Nursery rhymes and stories                               232

Observation of cats                                        7

Origin of the domestic cat                               162

Performing cats                                          211

Persian cats                                              24

Plague of mice                                            14

Points of Excellence:
  Abyssinian                                             135
  Black-and-white, gray-white, red-and-white,
    and other colours and white                          134
  Black, blue, gray, red, or any
    self-colour long-haired                              142
  Blue, silver, light gray, and
    white tabby, striped, short-hair                     131
  Brown and ordinary tabby,
    striped, short-hair                                  128
  Brown, blue, silver, light gray,
    and white tabby long-haired                          144
  Chinchilla  136
  Chocolate, chestnut, red, or
    yellow tabby, striped, short-hair                    130
  Chocolate, mahogany, red,
    and yellow long-haired                               145
  Manx, or short-tailed                                  138
  Royal Cat of Siam                                      137
  Self-colour, black, blue, gray,
    or red short-hair                                    127
  Short-haired, spotted tabbies
  of any colour                                          133
  Siamese                                                137
  Tortoiseshell                                          123
  Tortoiseshell-and-white                                125
    White-and-black, white-and-gray,
    white-and-red, white
    and any other colour                                 135
  White, long-haired                                     140
  White, short-hair                                      126

Poison                                                   153

Proverbs                                                 185

Purgative                                                151

"Puss in Boots"                                          203

Rats, mice, and cats                                      15

Remedies                                          147 to 153

Royal cat of Siam, The                                    73

Russian cats                                              30

Salmon's "Compleat English Physician,"  Extract from     157

Sharpening claws                                         165

Short-haired white cats                                   62

Siamese cats                                              73

Signs                                                    204

"Signs of Foul Weather," Extract from                    200

Singular attachments                                      11

Skin, Irritation of the                                  152

Sleeping-places                                           92

Smith's, Mr., prize he-cat                                39

Spotted silver tabby                                     133

Spotted tabbies                                           54

Strengthening medicines                                  151

Strutt's "Habits of the Anglo-Normans,"
   Extracts from                                    167, 168

Superstition,                                            195

"Sylvie",                                                 24

Tabby, derivation of the word,                            52

"The Old Lady",                                           13

"The Tamer Tamed," Extract from,                         199

"Tiger",                                                  20

"Tim",                                                    27

Tormentor, The cat as a,                                 209

Tortoiseshell-and-white cats,                             44

Tortoiseshell cats,                                       39

Trained cats,                                             12

United States Post Office, Cats in the,                   88

Usefulness of cats,                                       87

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



  |                                                              |
  | Transcriber's note:-                                         |
  |                                                              |
  | The symbols ^{x} represent the superscript x.                |
  |                                                              |
  | Page 235 has been corrected to 239 in the Illustration index.|
  |                                                              |
  | Punctuation errors were corrected.                           |
  |                                                              |
  | The following printer's suspected spelling                   |
  | errors have been addressed.                                  |
  |                                                              |
  | Page 91 alterative changed to alternative                    |
  | as an alternative than food                                  |
  |                                                              |
  | Page 111 ancedote changed to anecdote                        |
  | than the following anecdote                                  |
  |                                                              |
  | Page 129 narrrowing changed to narrowing                     |
  | and narrowing towards the end                                |
  |                                                              |

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