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Title: Pussy and Her Language
Author: Clark, Marvin R., Grimaldi, Alphonse Leon
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Pussy and Her Language" ***

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[Transcriber's Note: Obvious printer errors in the original have been
corrected without note. References to "Hospice du Chats" have been
retained as they appear in the original, despite the grammatical



Her Language



Including a Paper on the Wonderful Discovery of the Cat Language.
































When, in the fable, that humorous progenitor of the human species,
according to that slicker, slyer and still more humorous, practical
joker, Darwin, the monkey, cast about him in a sudden emergency for
some useful utensil adequate to the purpose of pulling his chestnuts
out of the fire, his selfish ambition was rewarded by the sight of no
less distinguished a person than the Cat. Notwithstanding the piteous
protests and flowing tears of Pussy, she was forced into the service
of the monkey, and ever after there lived in the memory of man that
wonderful story, from which we get the expressive saying of "making a
cat's paw" of anything or anybody.

The cruelty of the act and the subsequent greed of the simian who,
despite the appeals of the feline for a share in the delicious roast,
gave her nothing but the smell, of which he could not have deprived
her, appeals to the indignation of a just public. But the suffering
and the tears and the cries of the Cat command the sympathy of all
right-minded people who rest in peace under the "Banner of Freedom,"
and fight against oppression. The moral is demonstrative, as you will

The presiding genius who carries the portfolio and administers
the affairs of the most important of all the divisions of the
household--the culinary department--the cook, wisely appreciates the
inestimable value of the Cat, and never fails to make convenient
use of the animal, even employing her upon occasions when Pussy
becomes nothing short of a miracle-worker. Of course, the reader
may differentiate the story with common sense, but rarely, for the
word of the queen of the realm of the culinary department is as the
verity of the Law and the Gospel. The mistress may wonder, and a
smile of incredulity may pass over the countenance of the master of
the house, but the breakage of crockery and the lavish disappearance
of spirits, wine and ale, the wonderful growth of the butcher's bill,
the prodigal wanderings of butter not strong enough to sustain its
own weight, the overdone appearance of the breakfast steak, and the
underdone appearance of the dinner joint are attributable only to the
household pet, for the cook hath said "It was the Cat!" Even when the
mistress sadly discovers the queen of the sacred domain, who has the
power to poison the food she dispenses, lying prone upon the kitchen
floor at the dinner hour, the fumes of the best brandy escaping from
her stentorian lungs and her limbs limp as fresh putty, the bouquet
of the spirits of 1840 comes to the sensitive nostrils of the lady
laden with the murmurings of the cook, "It was the Cat!" and the
faithful mistress intuitively realizes that there has been a battle
royal between the queen regent and the agent of the king of that
realm where ice appeareth not, and all skating is done upon rollers.

When the extensive disappearance of the family preserves causes
inquiry, and the heir of the house is questioned concerning his
knowledge of the loss, he unhesitatingly and solemnly declares that
"It was the Cat!" which is in the usual course of events, and always
to be believed, even when it is noted by the nurse that the nose of
the urchin resembles, in color, that of a man whose ways are not
those of the temperate, and smelleth of strawberry jelly, and his
chin resembleth that of one who has but recently been thickly coated
with raspberry jam.

Now, mark the moral. We loudly censure the monkey in the fable, and
smile at the charges of the others, not pausing to consider that the
sufferings of the flesh are endurable, but the tortures of the mind
from undeserved censure are frequently beyond endurance. The great
lover of the Cat, Shakespeare, as if the wrongs of the calumniated
feline in his mind aptly expresses the feelings of the Cat, when he
says, through the medium of Othello:

     "Who steals my purse, steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
     'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
     But he that filches from me my good name,
     Robs me of that which not enriches him,
     And makes me poor indeed."

"Give a dog a bad name, and you send him to"--the place not hung
with icy stalactites. It is a solemn and well-known fact that one of
a million dogs gets a bad name, while not one out of a million Cats
gets a good one. It is out of the shadow of this cruel prejudice that
I would lead the Cat, and place her upon the pedestal to which she
should have been raised for the admiration of the world, long, long



When a startling discovery which virtually concerns every atom of
humanity has been rounded into a fact, so that the average human
intellect may grasp and, after thoroughly comprehending its value,
make the proper application of it, the sooner it is given to the
world for the benefit of the human race, if benefit there be in the
discovery, the better for the world and all that are upon it.

Such a fact, and one which will go far to revolutionize society, has
certainly been discovered, and, I hope, may be presented in so clear
and comprehensive a manner that "he who runs may read," and readily
realize its vast importance to the world, although its development
will, undoubtedly, spread the greatest alarm wherever it is made

It will not be denied, when I make the assertion, that in every
household, in the hovel of the poorest as well as in the mansion of
the richest, in the storehouse, the factory, the workshop, the mill,
the foundry, the newspaper office, the schoolhouse, the hospital,
the theatre, the counting-room, the great libraries, the ships and
the political headquarters, even in the grand capitol buildings at
Washington, and penetrating, without hindrance, into the very secret
Cabinet meetings at the White House, and almost everywhere throughout
the whole inhabitable globe, there exists a spy upon whose ears fall
the secrets of a nation, which, if breathed at some inopportune
moment, might be its ruin. With an air of insouciant nonchalance,
this ever-present spy meanders everywhere and, with ears alert to
catch the softest whisper, gives token only of a feeling of innocuous
desuetude when scenes and secrets of the most astounding character
are being developed to the understanding.

From time immemorial these facts have existed with the knowledge and
consent of everybody, but, strangely enough, without a thought that
it might be possible for the Cat to communicate the secrets thus
surreptitiously obtained through the careless confidence of humanity.

The safety of such confidences lies entirely in the assumption
of what has hitherto been regarded as a fact, and, although such
utterances have been made in the presence of this universal spy,
there was no possibility of their communication to the outer world
because of its lack of power to do so. The astonishment following the
recent discovery lies in the fact that this overweening confidence of
man has been sadly misplaced, for I may state with the firmest faith
in the proofs which have been presented to me, that, notwithstanding
the belief to the contrary, the whole world has been misguided and
the ever-present feline community has a language of its own, and,
further, that it has become intelligible to more than one individual,
myself among the number.

The importance of this startling discovery cannot be overestimated.
It vitally concerns every human being in the known world, as may
readily be perceived after a moment's thought. The possibility of
the existence of a language as a means of communication of thoughts
and ideas between animals has, for ages, been a subject of comment
with many, while to those whose association with and fondness
for the animal kingdom cannot but admit that there is no doubt
concerning the truth. In fact, innumerable evidences of signs and
verbal communications between what are incorrectly stigmatized as
dumb beasts are constantly being demonstrated to the world but,
unfortunately, described as evidences of instinct, although bearing
every proof of thought emanating from the soul as uttered by the
human being.

I may be considered as aiming too high in my declaration of what I
shall proceed to prove, but it is with a firm belief that I shall
be fully able to substantiate my assertion and convince the reader.
Such wonderful evidences of the astonishing sagacity of animals
have come to the knowledge of every man and woman that, when these
instances are remembered, I consider myself well on the road toward
demonstrating the assertion that there is a language of communication
between animals.

Explain to me, if you can, why, if they do not possess souls, when
shrouded in slumber, the horse will neigh and prance, the Cat will
cry, the lion will roar, the monkey will chatter and the dog will
bark and whine while dreaming, even as a human being will give
evidence of a restless mind when the animal senses are dormant.

Some years ago I possessed a dog who learned, without instruction
and with little difficulty, to turn the knob and thus gain admission
through the outer door of my house to the interior. Last Winter I was
in possession of two Skye terriers, to whom I frequently remarked in
a quiet tone of voice, in the morning, that I would take them out
for a walk in the afternoon, and, at the hour when they had been
taken out by me upon previous occasions, they invariably put their
noses together and communicated their ideas. As a result of such
communication first one and then the other, then both worried me
with their paws and called to me unceasingly, until I kept my word
with them. These are but two of the countless instances which have
come under my observation, as numberless cases have been met with by
others, proving, beyond denial, that these and other animals are as
fully possessed of memory as is that nobler animal, man.

Call it instinct, if you will, but is that not to be considered as
more than instinct which prompts the Cat to distinguish between
the friend and the enemy of its master and mistress, and even to
protect them from the attacks of an enemy at the risk of the life
of the animal? The number of such instances is legion. Surely the
faithfulness of our domestic animals cannot be doubted, but we may
doubt the humanity of man to the animal kingdom when the evidence of
the same senses in what are termed the lower animals is said to be
instinct, while in the human it is called soul and mind.

It has frequently been remarked by those who have made a study of
the animal kingdom that the intelligence of the lower animals, in
many matters, is far superior to that possessed by human beings. For
instance, the natural, living, breathing barometer is a Cat, and
there are none better. When a Cat washes herself in the ordinary
manner, we may be sure of bright, sunshiny weather, but when she
licks herself against the grain of her fur or washes herself with her
paw over the ear, or sits with her tail to the fire, there will be a



At certain stages in our great journey we sit down and take a
retrospect, going over, hand in hand with memory, the old road
and carefully treading in the same footsteps, looking upon the
same scenes, suffering the old pains and rejoicing in the same
joys. At such times we wonder at the misplaced confidences and
our unexplainable, as well as our unjust prejudices. We admit our
proneness to go with the current when in the swim, and the natural
lassitude which prompts us, rather than argue a point or spur
ourselves to the task of disproving what may be false, which means
work, to take for granted the theory of another. We often excuse
ourselves upon the plea that one cannot find time, in this short
life, to prove everything, and we must necessarily take for granted
many things, perhaps upon the guarantee of those in whom we have
confidence, sometimes because it has passed into a proverb and at
other times for the reason that we are too tired to go against the
current and set ourselves up for oddities or cranks. But we do stop
and wonder at our prejudices, more particularly because we have had
occasion so many times to completely reverse our opinions, wondering,
at the same time, how we ever could have jumped at the conclusion
that because a nut has a sour rind it must necessarily have a sour
kernel, or that the bristling appearance of the prickly outside
denoted that it was prickly all through, and for this reason to be
avoided. We hear a man derided by the mob and follow the crowd--we
discriminate when a woman is talked about derogatively and avoid her
because it is the rule--then, perhaps, it is in after years, when the
object has lived down the false assertions, at some certain stage in
our journey, we look back, wonderingly, commiserate the sufferings of
one and another and say that it was nothing but prejudice, and then
what? Then we go on our way and do the selfsame thing over and over

How easy it is to do all these things we people of experience can
testify. We say, "Give a dog a bad name," and so on, but how singular
it would sound if one should say, "Give a Cat a bad name!" Why,
the Cat has it, already! Are you sure that the almost universally
bad name of the Cat is not pure and unadulterated prejudice, and,
considered as a generality, with the least foundation in fact?

You say that the Cat is treacherous, a thief and a lover of places,
not persons. This is the sum and substance of humanity's grievances
against the feline. I know of no other despicable attributes ascribed
to the Cat, and admit that these would be enough to condemn her, were
they true. But they are not true, saving only in exceptional cases.
Providentially for the Cat, she is provided with natural means of
defence and uses her claws at times and very justly when imposed
upon. I never knew, or heard of, a Cat who deliberately and out of
pure viciousness, scratched or fought a person whom she might have
reasonably supposed to be her friend. Be just and admit this fact.

Concerning the charge of thievery, I admit that Pussy's derelictions
have been proven in exceptional cases, but plead, in partial
justification, the neglect of master or mistress to properly provide
for her, and that her food was due to her for labor performed, upon
the principle that "the workman is worthy of his hire." Consider
that Pussy has ridden your house of mice and rats, and continues,
day by day, to perform her duty of keeping the thieves from your
dwelling--that if you profit by her prognostications, she tells
you, far better than a barometer, the truth about the weather, long
before there comes a change--that she even guards your home from
intruders--that she is the first, if permitted to do so, to welcome
your home-coming--that she is ever ready, with her gentle purr, to
express her love for you and with her soothing song--the gentlest
ever heard--to calm your troubled mind. Think for a moment how her
winning ways and pretty playfulness have amused you for many an hour
and won a warm place in your heart for the little household pet, then
justify her for helping herself when you either forgot or refused to
give her the nourishment she had so richly earned. This is by way
of justification of the feline, in the exceptional case, when she
takes what may not be regarded as technically her own, although the
equivalent of the same is rightfully her due. Ask yourself if, when
you walk into your landlady's larder and help yourself to the viands
there because your luncheon is not ready on time, you are not as
great a criminal as Pussy, who has been equally neglected. Concerning
the accusation that she is fond of places and not of persons, I will
have something definite to say further on.

There is one undeniable fact concerning animals, which is that when
associated with man they acquire his ways and imitate his habits.
Thus the Cat, but, in a more delicate manner, soon takes upon herself
the temper, mannerisms, actions and ways of her mistress, and in
her life imitates the actions of the one who is her admiration and
involuntary teacher. Cats, in short, are like ourselves, and are
subject to the same rules that govern all humanity throughout the
habitable globe. I cannot better illustrate and prove this fact than
by relating a story that came under my observation, and from which,
while I vouch for the truth of it, you may draw your own conclusions.



I was a boy of eighteen years of age when my mother brought home with
her, all the way from the State of Maine, a Maltese Pussy, of full
breed. We called her "Nellie." After mother had buttered Nellie's
feet, a process which she said would always keep a cat from running
away from home, the aristocratic Nellie became an important member of
our household, and never deserted us.

One day I brought home to Nellie a companion who had been presented
to me by a friend. "Tom," as we called the boy, was a pure Maltese,
and a giant of his kind, a cheerful, clever and peaceable fellow and
an ornament and pet, for he was admired by everybody who saw him. His
feet were also buttered, and after a little spat with Nellie, who,
at first, could see no just reason why Tom should encroach upon her
domain, the two became fast friends, and finally married and raised
several litters of pure Maltese kittens, all of whom we gave to
longing friends save one, which we kept for Nellie's sake.

Tom remained true to his marriage vows for a long time, but one day,
about six months after his advent in the household, he was missing,
and the neighborhood was searched for Tom. He remained away until the
following afternoon, when he returned, looking sheepish, while his
appearance bore unmistakable evidence of his having been indulging
in a debauch. Tom was very crestfallen and expressed his sorrow to
his spouse Nellie, who would have nothing to do with him for several
days. Poor Tom was disconsolate, and applied to me for sympathy. Of
course every member of the family reproved Tom for his waywardness,
but the story of the "Prodigal Son" and his return, in tatters, was
not forgotten, although the fatted calf was omitted, and I was the
first to forgive and console Tom. I used my influence so successfully
with Nellie, who was very fond of me, that once more Tom was taken
into Nellie's favor and everything went on as usual, excepting that
Nellie gave every evidence of keeping a close eye upon her erring
liege-lord, who was not fully restored to her confidence.

Some five weeks after, while Nellie was nursing a new brood of
kittens, Tom turned up missing again. We did not go to any trouble
that time to search for him, nor did we feel any anxiety concerning
the wandering minstrel, knowing from our former experience that he
was big enough and old enough to take care of himself. Three weary
weeks for Nellie went by while she was worrying for her Romeo,
although she tried to conceal her anxiety behind an appearance of
unconcern, while lavishing her affections upon her infants. At the
end of the third week Tom leisurely strolled into the house and
sought Nellie's presence. He bore an air of bravado which seemed to
say that he was lord and master of his own family, that he had a
right to go whither, and stay there as long as he pleased. But he was
battered and torn, almost beyond recognition. One eye was completely
closed, much of his fur was gone, he limped when he walked, one ear
was entirely bitten through and a portion of it missing, and his head
was covered with bloody wounds, while his general appearance was
emaciated, tattered and forlorn. Nellie's tail was a sight to behold
when she spied Tom, and she raised herself to a sitting posture and
threw upon the debauchee a withering look of contempt which sent his
tail between his legs in less time than it takes to tell it, while he
completely lost his braggadocio air and slunk off to a corner of the
room and Nellie returned to her babies.

After the tramp had received a scolding from each one of the family,
and been thoroughly cleansed and his wounds dressed, he sat down a
few feet from his lawful wife and moaned and cried for an hour or
more, without once attracting a look of pity from her. After that
he approached Nellie and attempted to ask her forgiveness for his
absence upon some fictitious ground, but that faithful one raised
herself upon her hind legs, spat upon the battered tramp and then
deliberately beat him with her paws and scratched him with her claws
until he slunk out of the room, a well reproved if not a better Cat.
For more than a week, every time Tom made overtures looking toward a
reconciliation, Nellie repeated her chastisement, and I fully believe
if any other Maltese Tom had presented himself during that time, she
would have taught Tom a lesson which he would have remembered to
the end of his life, by adopting him in Tom's place, and, with his
assistance, driven out upon the charity of a cold world, her wayward
and presumably unfaithful consort. But, although we refused to
intercede for him with Nellie, in the course of time Tom was partly
forgiven and was again kept under the watchful eye of Nellie.

Three months later the vagabond again forgot his marriage vows and
disappeared. This time we gave him up for lost, as he did not return
for a month. Considering him a thing of the beautiful past, I bought
another Tom and brought him home to Nellie. Singularly enough, the
two did not fraternize, although it was not the fault of the new
Tom, and Nellie remained, as she supposed, a widow, with her kittens
as her constant care. Upon them she lavished all of her affections,
spitting at and boxing the new Tom whenever he approached them.

One fine day, to our utter astonishment, the scoundrel, Tom, strolled
in upon the scene as nonchalantly as if he had not been off on a long
protracted cruise. But this time he was covered with sores, and had,
in addition, the mange. He was a sorry-looking Tom, and an animal to
avoid. Even in that condition, I am sure, Nellie would have nursed
him and doctored him until he recovered, had he been faithful to her.
But there was no hope of it now. She had evidently been thinking
deeply about the newcomer, and was making comparisons.

At first he showed contrition, but when he discovered the new Tom,
who he supposed had assumed his duties in the household, he did not
become an Enoch Arden, but, with fire in his evil eye and without
making proper inquiries concerning Nellie's unexceptionable conduct,
with a great bologna sausage of a fuzzy tail and a fearful shriek for
vengeance, he made for Tom Number Two with the speed of lightning, in
the stereotyped manner of an outraged husband whose lapses of fealty
and so on are forgotten in the greater sin of an interloper.

What might have become of the innocent new fellow was illustrated in
the story of the Kilkenny cats, with this difference, that one of
the two would have been left on the earth, and it wouldn't have been
the new fellow, for Tom was the maddest Cat you ever saw. When the
tocsin of war was sounded by the mangy deserter, Nellie sprang for
him and there ensued a battle royal. There was war to the knife, from
the point to the hilt. The screams of the combatants were terrific,
and the dining-room floor was covered with a constantly accumulating
mass of Maltese fur. In both the new Tom and Nellie, who, alone, was
a host in herself, the mangy Tom found more than his match, and he
was beaten, torn, wounded at every point, and a total wreck when he
scurried out of the house and took his sorrowful way down the street,
toward the dock at the foot of Hubert street. Whether or not he did
the best thing he could have done under the circumstances, and went
and drowned himself, is more [Transcriber's Note: The remainder of
this sentence appears to be missing.] original Tom, by the side of
Nellie, never knew him more, for the new fellow thereafter succeeded
to his lares and penates and Nellie and he lived happily together
until Tom number two was shot by some cruel person. After that Nellie
mourned his loss and refused to be comforted with another, although,
of course, there were many Toms who would have lain down and died
for her. She lived but a short time after the death of her second
husband, and died regretted by all of us.



We find, upon looking closely and impartially into our natural gifts,
that it is memory that fails and proves treacherous to us more
frequently than any other faculty, and as we go on with life, the
fact becomes more and more apparent. With the Cat, memory never fails
her. The dog may fail to find his way home, particularly the little
dog, but the Cat, never.

No more conclusive testimony concerning the memory and intelligence
of the Cat can be given to a doubting world than that contained in
the following story from the columns of the New York Press. It is
also illustrative of the love of persons as well as places, by the
feline. It is recited in a straightforward manner, and I have no
doubt of its truthfulness. At any rate, if the reader has his doubts,
he can readily, at the cost of a few cents, paid to Uncle Sam in
postage stamps, satisfy himself concerning the story, for names are
given and the address is plain. "Fritz Heath," says the narrator,
"is the noble son of a worthy mother, and lives in Syracuse, N.Y.
Fritz is a large gray and white tomcat. Fritz and his mother are
the proteges of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Heath. Mr. Heath is a telegraph
operator in the employ of the New York Central Railroad. Both Fritz
and Gyp are cats of unusual size and beauty. Fritz will roll over,
jump through a hoop and turn somersaults at command. He also has the
habit of jumping up to catch the smooth top of the dining-table
with his paws and swinging suspended, while he surveys the prospects
of his coming dinner. Two years ago there was mourning in the home
of Heath. Fritz had suddenly disappeared. At night Gyp came into
the house, sniffed at the basket, which she and Fritz had occupied
together since the latter's kittenhood, and walked disconsolately
away. The Heath family searched diligently, but Fritz could not be

"When two years had passed by, all but Gyp had nearly forgotten
the missing member of the household. She could not be induced to
go near her basket, which was still kept beside the fire, and
persistently refused to be comforted. One night recently Gyp jumped
into her basket and, nestling down, began to purr contentedly. A
few days afterward the Heaths, returning from an evening call, saw
a cat which, in the darkness, they supposed to be Gyp, lying on the
doorstep. When the door was opened the cat ran into the hallway and
out again as quickly. A short time later Mrs. Heath heard the crying
at the door and went down to bring in the homeless cat and give it
something to eat. As soon as she opened the door the cat darted
inside. When it came to the lighted apartments, Mrs. Heath exclaimed,
'Why, Tom, that's Fritz!' Hearing his name, the overjoyed Fritz
bounded into Mrs. Heath's lap, from hers to her husband's, turned
somersaults, rolled over and performed all the tricks he had been
taught, as if to thoroughly establish his identity or express his
pleasure at getting home.

"'It surely is Fritz,' thought the Heaths, and they examined the
cat's right ear. It was split. There was little doubt now, but to
make assurance doubly sure, a small stick was thrown down the stairs,
into the dark hallway.

"'Go get it, Fritz,' said Mr. Heath, and the cat darted down stairs,
returned triumphantly with the stick balanced in its mouth, a trick,
by the way, common enough with retrievers, but which few cats have
ever been taught to perform. After a good supper, the reclaimed
Fritz went straight to his basket behind the stove and cuddled down

"Gyp at first gave the intruder a sharp rap with her paw, but at once
recognized her prodigal son, fell on his neck and kissed him. Fritz
now stays very closely at home, for his two years' absence seems to
have given him an increased regard for the family roof-tree."

This wonderful power of memory in the Cat has seldom been surpassed
by any other attribute in the feline, but there came under my
personal observation the following astonishing proof of the
intelligence and motherly love of the Cat for her young, the relation
of which will undoubtedly find an echo in the memories of many of my

While residing on Lexington avenue near Twenty-fourth street, New
York, I had a Pussy who presented the world with a litter of three
as pretty kittens as ever were seen. Their beauty, however, did not
compensate for their burden upon the household, because there was no
yard to the house. I kept the little ones until they were a month
old and had grown to be attractive, and offered them to friends and
neighbors, all of whom admired, but regretted that they had neither
use nor room for them. So, one day I tied about the neck of each
cunning little kitten a bright ribbon, to improve their appearance,
and having secured the mother cat in the kitchen, I took her babies
in my overcoat pockets and carried them to the Twenty-first street
side of Gramercy Park, where I deposited two of them inside the
enclosure. I then went around to the other side of the great iron
fence and placed the other baby in the park and returned to the
house. The day was a cold one in Winter, and the avenue is a very
busy one during the day, being well traveled by pedestrians and
vehicles, and the park a considerable distance from my residence.
Within an hour the mother, who was supposed to be securely imprisoned
in the kitchen, was heard by the servant crying in the front area,
and upon opening the basement door, I discovered the Cat with her
three beautiful kittens, all safe and sound, returned and claiming my
protection. How the Cat released herself from her imprisonment in the
kitchen, and by what wonderful power she found the kittens, whom she
must have brought through the street, at the risk of her life, one by
one, is more than I could surmise, and there they were. My admiration
of her was such that I took in the brood and continued to care for
them a month longer, all the while endeavoring to find homes for the
little ones, but with no success. Finally, recognizing the necessity
of getting rid of the kittens, I carried out the babies, once more,
in my pockets, and deposited them in an area of a house, ten blocks
away, in a busy part of the city, near Fourth avenue. This time I
made sure of the mother by locking her in a room, but, on returning
to the house, two hours later, I found the three kittens there, and
the mother looking at me appealingly. Although much disgusted at the
determination of the mother, I kept her kittens until I had induced
some friends to take them, after telling the story and persuading
them that the children of such a mother must necessarily become
wonderful Cats.

Illustrative also of the intelligence, as well as the praiseworthy
liberality and charitableness of the Cat, is the story in the Sun of
Baltimore, Md., of June 22d, 1892, as follows:

"Mr. James Forwood of Darlington, Hartford County, has a cat which
has developed an interesting trait. Being kittenless, she adopted as
her own a brood of motherless young chickens, which come to her when
she purrs, and follow her around wherever she goes. When any of the
brood stray into a neighbor's premises the cat follows, and, picking
up each chick carefully by the back of its neck, as if it were a
kitten, and in the same manner in which she had been carried when a
kitten herself, deposits it safely upon its own premises. Calling the
chicks to her, the cat lies down and hovers over them as tenderly and
as carefully as their feathered mother would have done. The chicks
appear to accept the situation and are thriving."



The unjust prejudice concerning Pussy extant in the United States
and England is not common in other lands. In fact, nowhere outside
of the two great countries named is the prejudice tolerated. In
Arabia, the Cat is worshiped and treated with tenderest care and the
consideration which is her due for duties well performed and properly
appreciated. Arabians, who have always expressed a great fondness for
the feline, in their legends trace back the origin of the Cat to the
time of building the great ark by Noah, and they have a fiction that
Pussy was sneezed out of the nostrils of the king of beasts, the lion.

Whatever may be the origin of the Cat, one fact is undeniable, which
is that she is not indigenous to America. Some naturalists declare
that Pussy was brought over to America in a ship, and others have
arrived at the conclusion that it was the wild-cat that took passage
to our shores on a sailing vessel, and our kind little household pet
has evoluted from the wild beast of the denser forests. The tutelary
deity of the Cat is Diana, or Pacht, and, according to Plutarch,
Pussy was not only sacred to the moon, but an emblem of it, and a
figure of a Cat, fixed upon a sistrum, denoted the moon, just as a
frog on a ring denoted a man in embryo. Hence Cats were treated with
peculiar consideration in Egypt during the reign of the Pharaohs.
Throughout Egypt, upon the death of the family pet, the entire
household went into mourning, and the Cat's funeral was invariably
celebrated with great pomp and impressive ceremonies. The bereaved
owners of the deceased feline testified their sorrow and respect for
the memory of the lost pet by shaving off their eyebrows. The body
was always embalmed, and after the funeral placed in the temple of
Babistis, where it was visited at stated intervals by members of the
household and mourned over as one of the family.

In the days of Moses and the prophets it was a very serious thing to
kill a cat. Diodorus relates a story of a Roman soldier, a man of
bravery, who accidentally killed a Cat and was tried, convicted and
condemned to die. This sentence was executed as religiously as if the
Cat had been a human being. It was, in those days, a common thing
to mete out severe punishment for injuries done to the feline, and
it is to be regretted that some of the stern laws of the Egyptians,
relating to outrages perpetrated upon the innocent animals, have not
descended to this land and generation, for the better protection
of the person of an innocent animal that harms no one and is of
inestimable value to mankind.

The Arabs continue to venerate the Cat. Just out of Cairo stands a
mosque, where, in modern times, Sultan El Daher provides all the Cats
of Cairo and its vicinity in need of sustenance with a plentiful
daily repast. From flat roof and from terrace, from the dusty streets
and the multitudes of filthy alleys of the city, and from their
thousands of hiding places, the hungry felines come, at the hour of
prayer, to get their never-forgotten allowance of food, furnished
by their ever-faithful friend of the Orient. It has been declared
to be an outgrowth of superstition, but there is justice in the
remark, "'tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis, 'tis true," that the
superstition exists only in the nobler breast of Sultan El Daher,
who feeds his pets, the poor, needy and neglected waifs of other
households, then, with a happy heart filled with the glow of a deed
of charity well performed, he turns his face to the setting sun and
prays for the blessing so richly earned.

Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have hated a Cat with as great a
fervor as was expressed by him for his Austrian and Russian foes.
In him we have a strong contrast to the great Sultan, although the
ridiculous superstition of the great soldier of France has gone into
a proverb. Even Shylock, with all his sins and hardness of heart, had
a good word for Pussy, and expressed his disgust of a cowardly man
by saying, "Some men there are that are mad if they behold a cat--a
harmless, necessary cat."

France's greatest Cardinal, Richelieu, was of an opposite temperament
to Napoleon, for he dearly loved the Cat. Mahomet possessed a strong
passion for the feline, which has seldom been equaled. It is recorded
of the immortal prophet that upon one occasion, when a particular
favorite was lying asleep upon his sleeve, he cut off the sleeve and
left Pussy in a peaceful slumber rather than disturb her rest. Horace
Walpole had a favorite Pussy, and when she died he mourned her loss
so much that the ever-living author of "Gray's Elegy in a Country
Churchyard" wrote an ode on the death of Salina, the lovely Tabby of
his friend. Many world-renowned people of all ages have been noted
for possessing large families of Cats, a fact due, in some cases, to
a superstition, but generally from an intense love for the innocent,
beautiful and useful animal. The author of "The Doctor," Robert
Southey, when he lived at Greta, near Keswick, possessed a large
number of plump and healthy Cats, which the kitchen-maids nursed and
the Keswick apothecary dosed.

In fact, from time immemorial Pussy has been a companion of the
learned. Petrarch had his pet embalmed and Andrea Doria, one of the
rulers of Venice, not only had his dead Cat's portrait taken, but
also preserved her skeleton among his choicest mementos. The Cat of
Cardinal Wolsey sat by his side when he gave audience or received
princes. Rousseau loved Cats, and it is said of Sir Isaac Newton that
he cut a large hole in his barn for his old cat and a smaller one,
beside it, for the young kittens. Edgar Allen Poe wrote a thrilling
tale of a black Cat, and even the ambitious, bloodthirsty Lady
Macbeth alludes kindly to the household pet. Dr. Johnson had a Cat
upon which he doted, and being seemingly desirous of perpetuating
her fame, he taught her to eat oysters, a feat never recorded of any
other Cat in history. Henry James, the novelist, wrote with his Cat
upon his shoulder. The effusively polite, sensitively dilettante,
conscienceless and steel-hearted Chesterfield had one redeeming
trait, which was his love for Pussy, if such a cold-blooded man
could be possessed of the faculty of loving. When he died, he left
a pension to his Cats and their posterity after them. Paul de Kock,
the French novelist, had a family of thirty Cats, and De Musset wrote
apostrophes to Cats, in verse.

Chateaubriand was passionately fond of Cats, and when he was sent as
an ambassador to the Pope, the latter could think of no more suitable
present for the devoted son of the Church than his predecessor's
favorite Cat, which present greatly pleased Chateaubriand and cost
the great prelate nothing. There is no more familiar figure in the
memory of an Englishman than Whittington, once Lord Mayor of London,
with his Cat.

The Greek monks of the Island of Cyprus used to train the Cats to
hunt and kill the serpents with which they were plagued. In Sicily
the Cat is sacred to Saint Martha, and whoever, either by design
or accident, kills one, it is believed, undergoes seven years of
punishment. In Hungary they believe that a Cat must necessarily be
a good mouser, and she is highly prized there for her inestimable



The delicate movement, characteristic reserve and native modesty
of the Cat may account for the supposition of the ignorant and
unappreciative that Pussy is stupid. This foolish supposition has
been refuted by innumerable instances of her intelligence, which,
in many cases on record and thoroughly authenticated, are marvelous
in the extreme. I will not delve into ancient history for proofs of
the astonishing intelligence of the Cat and relate what is already
patent to the world, but will give some of the best authenticated
incidents which have occurred within a few years in our own land.
Very recently the New York Sun gave an authenticated account of
a Cat owned by Mr. Chester F. Hall, of Danville, Ind., who, when
she desires to enter the house, invariably rings the bell of the
front door and is admitted by the servants. This, I imagine, is an
expression of more intelligence than is often evinced by many of the
Cat's traducers among the country bumpkins who, with the bell handle
under their noses, have frequently been known to knock upon the door
for admission to the house.

The camaraderie of dogs and Cats, in every land, has been
significantly narrated in every tongue, innumerable times. It has
always been noticed that in such associations the dog have always
bossed the Cat, demonstrating his arrogant spirit, resulting from
his appreciation of the fact that he is the stronger animal and that
"might makes right." But within my personal observation this bossism
is of a good-natured character, and often amusing. Frequently, too,
the canine in the full knowledge of his superior strength, uses it
generously for the protection of the weaker comrade, and I propose to
give an instance of this fact, together with an illustration of the
characteristic insouciance of Pussy, and the sense of order and the
amenities of private life as manifested by the stronger comrade.

Some years ago my Skye terrier, "Gyp," had a litter of puppies, and
we saved one of them, "Jessie," who was brought up with a pretty
little kitten. From Jessie's birth she manifested a great liking for
Kitty, and played with her as good-naturedly and freely as if she had
been a dog. It is true that Gyp, the mother of Jessie, looked upon
this fraternizing with disapprobation, often telling her puppy that
she was lowering herself by such close intimacy with the Cat, but
the intimacy went on and on. One never saw Kittie scratch or hurt
Jessie, nor did the latter ever injure, nor even anger, the Cat.
Pussy permitted Jessie to play all sorts of pranks with her tail, and
the laughter of the entire household has often been provoked by the
seeming cunning little ways of both. Jessie would hide behind the
door, and as Pussy came gingerly along in search of her playfellow
suddenly dash out upon Kittie, to her palpable consternation, and
the two would roll over and over each other, on the kitchen floor,
in each other's arms. Neither dog ever interfered with the food set
apart for Kittie, nor was there ever a wistful glance at the dainties
upon her plate.

One remarkable circumstance, however, proved the dogs' ideas of "the
right of domain," and demonstrated the fact that they considered
the kitchen the proper place for Kittie. She had always been kept
"downstairs," and never ventured to go above the kitchen floor,
excepting upon one memorable occasion. The little dogs were permitted
to remain in the dining room during the time when the family were
eating. At all other times they were at liberty to roam about the
house at their own sweet will. One day, the kitchen door being left
open, Kittie thought she would make a new departure, and accordingly
strolled up the kitchen stairs and into the dining room, tail erect
and a "lovely day, to-day" kind of a look upon her smiling face.
Pussy's appearance and her nonchalant impudence overpowered the dogs
for a moment, and before they had recovered from their astonishment
Pussy had pre-empted a soft cushion on a rocking chair, which was
the especial resting place of the mother, Gyp, and always regarded
as particularly sacred to her aristocratic ladyship. This was too
much for the dogs. Every member of the family vacated that chair when
Gyp claimed it, and as for Jessie, she never dared to get upon that
sacred cushion.

When the dogs had recovered their equilibrium, after their
astonishment at the temerity of the "kitchen cat," as they evidently
regarded her, they put their noses together and compared notes,
after the fashion of canines, and then Gyp and Jessie proceeded
to the development of their theory concerning Cats in the dining
room. Together they went up to the chair, and each seized a corner
of the cushion upon which Kittie had made herself comfortable and
at home, and with a suggestion that she was not asked to sit down,
deliberately pulled both Cat and cushion from the chair, landing
Kittie unceremoniously upon the floor in a very indecorous manner and
very much to her disgust. But the affair did not end here. Kittie
looked from one to the other of her household companions as if
doubting the evidence of her senses, and as much as to ask them if
they did not feel ashamed of themselves for treating a lady in such
an undignified manner? She cast a withering glance at them and sidled
toward the table, as it seeking protection from some one of the
family, who were at dinner, and with an injured air sat down at my
side. This was altogether too much presumption for the dogs to stand,
and their good nature left them as, prompted by the mother, Jessie
sidled up to Kittie, who looked at the dogs, appealingly, while they
said, as plainly as could be said by dogs, "You are not an upstairs
Cat, Kittie--you are nothing but a kitchen Cat, and you have no
rights here that we are bound to respect. Go downstairs, like a good
little kitten, and the cook will feed you."

To this remark Kittie shrugged her shoulders and refused to budge.
Then came the funny part of it, which was not at all funny to the
Cat. Jessie edged up to Kittie upon one side and Gyp sidled up to the
other side of the Cat, and together they actually pushed her along to
the kitchen stairs and forced her to descend to her own quarters on
the floor below. Kittie struggled to get away from them and remain in
the dining room, but they were too quick for her, and downstairs she
went, full of dudgeon, and never after attempted to encroach upon the
territory which the little dogs claimed for their own.

This incident did not disturb the friendship existing between Jessie
and Kittie, for they continued to be as fast friends as ever, but the
Cat, certainly, had an idea that Jessie had been put up to the job by
her mother, and I have no doubt that the cunning Jessie told her so.

These two dogs were the terror of the Cats in the neighborhood, and
it was no unusual occurrence to see the feline skurrying away from
our "farm," with both sky terriers at their heels and almost within
biting distance. Woe betide the Cat that either got their teeth into,
for they were dead Cats when either Gyp or Jessie caught them, as
many an occasion proved. Singularly, however, they never injured
Kittie, but, to show that they cherished and protected her, I will
mention one occurrence of the many which came under my own eye. It
was in the summer time, when the windows of the kitchen were open.
Both dogs were reposing in the doorway when there suddenly appeared
upon the window sill, a Tomcat, who had ventured to come courting
Kittie. The "Young Lochinvar" eyed Kittie lovingly, and approached
the innocent young thing with a polite air, saying, no doubt, that
he would like to persuade her to "tread but one measure with young
Lochinvar," and that "in all the wide border his steed was the best."

Kittie received the bold suitor, who had not noticed the dogs, in
his eagerness to get near and his admiration of Kittie. The cunning
Dulcinea eyed the canines out of a corner of one eye, while she
had the other upon the approaching Tom, and before he had lisped a
confession of his love she, with maidenly instinct and appropriate
modesty, gave the customary wild scream, resembling that of the
maiden in story, when "the villain still pursues her," and started
to her feet. The dogs sprang up in an instant at the call for help
uttered by Kittie, and in an instant they landed upon the astonished
Lochinvar, who, it may be remarked, "never knew what struck him," for
we put his cold Catship in the ash-barrel, a few moments later, and
washed the noses of the dogs with a rough towel, and the remark that
it was a cruel act, while laughing in our sleeves at the suddenness
of the "taking off" and the affection of the little protectors, Gyp
and Jessie.

One of the most astonishing incidents upon record, proving the
sagacity, as well as the courage of the Cat, is of recent occurrence
and worthy of recital. The fearlessness of the feline, and the
wonderful intelligence manifested in her attack upon the animal, in
its only tender part, is something astonishing and unaccountable. In
a combat with a dog, the Cat is frequently victor, but seldom has
she demonstrated her power of conquering a saurian. The incident is
narrated by a correspondent of the "New York Sun," under date of
April 3, 1892, as follows:

"One of the most remarkable combats ever witnessed in this country
occurred on Holmes River, near this place, last week. In the battle a
Cat and an alligator fought for three hours, with the final result in
favor of the tabby.

"The alligators have infested the river, and it is considered
dangerous for any person or animal to go near the banks. The saurians
are not large, but they appear to make up in activity what they lack
in size. A house Cat belonging to Mr. Walton was in the habit of
going to the river and feeding on mussels and such fish as it could
get, and it was noticed several times that when the Cat moved along
the bank a ripple in the water showed that an alligator kept pace
with it in the stream. The Cat, however, was aware of the alligator's
presence, but showed no fear.

"On the day mentioned the Cat approached too near the water in its
eagerness to get a fish, and was grasped by the hind legs by an
alligator about three feet long. The Cat made a spring and got away,
but its leg was badly bitten, and bled freely. The taste of blood
seemed to put the alligator into a frenzy, for it came out on the
bank and continued the pursuit. The Cat turned on its enemy, and then
began one of the strangest sights seen in a long time. The Cat was
so quick that it was impossible for the alligator to get a bite at
it, and the result was that the saurian soon endeavored to beat a
retreat to the water. But the Cat now began an offensive attack, and
cut off the way, biting the alligator in the throat and tender spots
under the arms, until the reptile was bleeding and almost exhausted.
The fight continued, and when, at last, the alligator gave up, it
was bleeding from a hundred wounds. The Cat was, seemingly, unhurt,
except in the wounded leg, which was injured before the fight began."



In many civilized countries Cat Hospitals have been established, and
for many years sustained by subscriptions from charitably disposed
people. Attached to one of the Turkish mosques at Aleppo is a Cat
Asylum, founded by a misanthropic old Turk, who placed a great
value upon the Cat, because of the service it had been in ridding
his granary of rats. In Philadelphia, Pa., there is a Cat Refuge,
which was established some fifteen years ago, and during that time
has cared for more than thirty thousand Cats. In the city of Paris,
France, is a very extensive establishment called Hospice du Chats,
whose name is an indication of its object. It has been in existence
for many years, and is maintained by gifts from charitable people as
well as by contributions from the Government and bequests from dead
lovers of the household pet. This building, covering a very large
space of land, is two stories in height and expensively built for the
exclusive purpose of sheltering the Cats of France, and there they
have been domiciled, nursed through sickness and cared for to extreme
old age, as tenderly as ever human beings were nurtured. Rooms are
assigned to the sexes and different nationalities, halls and chambers
are warmed by steam, meals are served with religious regularity,
and the institution is run with the same regard to decorum and
preciseness in every detail as is manifested in a well-regulated
hotel. Many thousands of the feline race have been born, nursed,
grown to old age and died there, within the hospitable walls of
this admirable hospice, while a hundred thousand more have found
good homes and tender care throughout sunny France, by means of the
solicitous administration of the officers of the institution. London,
also, boasts of a similar charity, although the hospice in Paris is
the model one of its kind, by which all the others take pattern.
An institution of this kind was projected some three years ago by
some charitably-disposed ladies of New York, but failed to meet the
required indorsement of the authorities, and being opposed by the
"Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals," which claims to
have control of the stray Cats, by virtue of its charter, the embryo
hospice, or Cat Hospital, as it was called, died in its inception,
very much to the disgust of many wealthy ladies, whose admiration
of the feline pet had induced them to subscribe large amounts for
the establishment of an institution similar to that of the Paris
"Hospice du Chats." Perhaps, at some future time, Mr. Bergh's
successor may become so far yielding as to permit the erection of a
suitable institution, upon the plan of the French hospice, where sick
Cats may be nursed, tramp Cats may be cut off in their wickedness,
incurably afflicted Cats may be chloroformed and healthy and restored
Cats may procure good homes throughout the country, while the breed
of the animal may be materially and effectually improved. Should
these objects be accomplished through the instrumentality of such a
worthy asylum for the sick and outcast of our household pets, the
delighted ladies at the head of such an institution may be induced to
add to the benefits of the hospice a thorough course of instruction
in Chesterfieldian politeness and regard for the feelings of their
immediate neighbors, to be observed, most particularly, during those
hours which, by the usage of a well-regulated community, have been
devoted exclusively to sleep. This course of "belles-lettres" would
obviate the dernier resort of "belling the Cat," and bring joy to
the hearthstone of many a would-be slumberer at the witching hour of
midnight, when the ghosts do walk and firearms are frequently heard
in the land, the song of the nightingale being supplanted by the
peculiar organ of the unruly and homeless Cat.

A scientist by the name of Prof. R.L. Garnier, a native of this
country, if I am rightly informed, who has devoted a lifetime to
the development of his theory that monkeys have a language of
their own, has recently been given great encouragement in the
pursuit of his inquiries by the Government of this country. A large
appropriation was awarded to him for the necessary apparatus, of a
scientific nature, and for the purpose of defraying his expenses of
travel through Africa, for the prosecution of his experiments, and
his demonstration, as he fondly hoped, that these animals have a
language of communication of ideas between themselves. Already he has
discovered one word of their peculiar language, which gives promise
of better results after he has been enabled to properly carry out his
experiments. He departed upon his journey fully equipped with all the
scientific instruments and aids which money, lavishly expended by the
Government, could procure. It is expected that his experiences will
be announced to the astonishment of the world and revolutionize the
old and fallacious beliefs that animals cannot talk and express their
feelings one to the other.

Without disparagement of the worthy object of this scientist, I
desire to call attention to the fact that, like the poor, we have
the Cat always with us, and I would press the consideration of
their necessities as being pertinent to the question of the comfort
and enjoyment of the human race. That the Government should have
considered the subject of the monkey language of such importance as
to warrant the expenditure of a great sum of money to Prof. Garnier
for the development of this theory is evidence that the same benign
Republic should award a much larger sum for the care, protection and
improvement of the breed of our domestic pets and more particularly
for the development of my theory of the language of the Cat, which
has occupied the lonely hours of many a scientist in this country,
and been my study for years past. When the proper time arrives, I
shall hope for encouragement from our Government, which has been my
Government for the past half century, for the further development of
the theories, proofs of which I shall submit to the public. While
I favor missionary work, I may be like many others who claim that
"Charity begins at home," and recommend the Government to make an
instant application of the doctrine, to the end that it may have a
wholesome effect, intimating that the protecting Protection is that
which protects our own, and particularly our household pets.



Under the classification of remarkable instances of the intelligence
of animals, I omitted one instance, pertinent to this story and
astonishing to me, unless it may be regarded as an accident. I will
give it without the least coloring of the truth. The manuscript of
the preceding part of this treatise was prepared some time ago, and
placed in a drawer of my desk with many other rolls of writing, the
drawer being filled with them. For several successive nights I heard
a peculiar noise in this drawer, but, although the sounds emitted
seemed to indicate the gnawing of a mouse, I could not bring myself
to the belief that such a busy little animal could gain access to
the drawer, or would be able to find anything attractive to him
there. However, my amanuensis, having occasion to open the drawer one
day, exclaimed with surprise that the mice had been making a nest
in the drawer. Upon examination we found that the paper gnawed was
this article treating upon the enemy of the mouse--the Cat--while
the other rolls of manuscript remained untouched. Now, whether this
act was committed in a spirit of vandalism and to demonstrate the
hatred of the destroyers for the subject of the story, or with a mere
wanton desire to destroy my property, I cannot surmise. Certain it
is, however, that they singled out this matter about the Cat, and
left uninjured the other manuscript, thus demonstrating the fact,
it seems to me, that the Cat story and none other was the object of
their search.

It was at the time when my attention was called to the subject of
the simian language that my memory recurred to an important document
in my possession relating to the Cat. After a prolonged search, with
a determination to rescue it from the oblivion into which I had
unintentionally cast it, I, with more success than generally rewards
such searches, discovered the document, and will have the pleasure
of presenting it to the public, giving it a free translation from
the French, in which language it is written. The history of this
wonderful document is short. Some years ago I was the editor of a New
York morning newspaper, and one day there chanced to call upon me
at my office a French gentleman of about fifty years of age, rather
short in stature, fairly well dressed, with a benevolent countenance,
bright, black eyes, regular features with the exception of a
prominent nose and the unmistakable stamp of a litterateur. His hands
and feet were small, and he had a nervous air about him while he
gesticulated in the expression of his ideas, and spoke in a mixture
of French and English, just as all pure Frenchmen are accustomed to

He had previously sent in to me his card, which read thus:

  "Alphonse Leon Grimaldi, F.R.S., F.G.S., M.O.S.,
    D.H. du C., M.F.A.S., M.F.A., et al.
      "Rue de Honoré, 13, Paris.
        "Metropolitan Hotel, N.Y."

Prof. Grimaldi, the French gentleman, presented himself to my
wondering eyes as I rose to meet him, and extended his hand with a
Chesterfieldian bow, exclaiming, as nearly as my memory serves:

"Jais ver happy for ze honaire of ze attention pour le editaire of
one great journal."

I replied, of course, that I was proud to meet him, and asked what he
desired to know, and how I could serve so great a scientist, for the
reputation of this great man and his wonderful scientific researches
and discoveries had reached my ears upon the wings of many foreign
messages even then.

As I replied to the Professor in his native tongue, he expressed
himself as being more at his ease, although he offered to converse
with me in English, a language in which, he said, "he was perfectly
at home, and spoke fluently," as all Frenchmen pride themselves
upon being able to do after a month's practice, without taking into
consideration that Webster claims words in our language to the
extent of six figures. However, I considered my French much more
comprehensible than his English, and the conversation was continued
in that language, very much to his delight.

He informed me that he had made a life study of the animal kingdom,
and that, for many years, unknown to his most intimate friends and
associates in the scientific world, he had made a particular study
of the Cat and its habits, while of late years he had come to the
conclusion that Cats have a language all their own. To my surprise
he informed me that he had demonstrated in a paper, which he drew
from his pocket, the fact that upon his theories, and by a close
observation of the rules set down in his manuscript upon the Cat
language, the whole world might acquire it. He presented me with
the document in recognition of my sympathy with him in a subject
so near his heart, and expressed a hope that I might find time in
the near future to examine and print his theories and the results
of his investigations. The reason for his keeping the facts of his
researches a secret from his most intimate friends and his scientific
brethren, he remarked, was that if he had not carried the subject
to a successful termination, he never could have lived through
the sarcasm and taunts of these men of science, who would have
overwhelmed him with abuse because of his failure.

I glanced at the title of the paper, and, after thanking him for his
valuable gift, and promising to read it at some leisure hour, I bade
him adieu, and resumed my duties, having placed the paper in the
editorial desk.

To those who are aware of the numberless documents and the thousands
of articles upon various subjects which accumulate in and about
the desk of an editor, I need not explain that this paper was soon
buried, so that when my memory recurred to it, a month later, the
document could not be found, and I finally gave up my quest, and
considered the paper last beyond recovery. Imagine my rejoicing,
however, when, but a few months ago, I found it intact, and perused
its contents with great surprise. I was the more rejoiced at its
recovery because it verifies my own theories, and proves beyond a
doubt that the Cat has a language which may be spoken by anybody who
will make a study of it. What wonders this discovery will work in
every community of the civilized world may better be imagined than
described. The accumulated secrets of many years will be told, and
crimes and misdemeanors which until now have baffled inquisitors will
be unearthed, and the perpetrators punished; little peccadillos will
be given to the gossipers, and even the tender passages between John
and his girl in the parlor or the sitting-room, in the arbor, or upon
the way through "lover's land," will become subject for tattle among



It is scarcely necessary to recount the wonderful researches of the
great Prof. Grimaldi, the great French naturalist. His name has
become a household word, and his fame world-wide. When I unearthed
his carefully prepared paper it was yellow with age, but his
chirography was a marvel of neatness, and distinct as copper plate.
I have made a literal translation of it, and will give it in his own
words without emendations.


By Alphonse Leon Grimaldi, F.R.S., F.G.S., M.O.S., D.H. du C.,
M.F.A.S., M.F.A., et al.

I was born with an intense passion for animals. I am a Frenchman,
therefore am I a man of strong passions. I have not married. My
love is for the animal kingdom, and it has been returned to me one
hundred fold all my life. In woman there is deceit, and in man
deception rules his nature. If I treat an animal with kindness, I
will, invariably, be overwhelmed with gratitude. The animal never
bites the hand that feeds it--the human being frequently does.
Therefore, I live among animals and center my affections in them.
I have made my unalterable choice. I teach the gentler manners
and the magnanimity, perhaps the greater intelligence of those of
God's creatures who are far above their self-constituted masters,
and their inexhaustible love of even the hand that smites, if it
be the hand of a beneficiary. You have repeatedly noticed that a
large and powerful dog can never be persuaded to attack or oppress
a smaller or a feebler one. Tell me how frequently you have known
a man of influence, power, riches or strength, to oppress and take
advantage of a feebler or poorer one? Is it not a daily, nay, hourly
occurrence? Have you ever seen a healthy animal oppress a sickly
one? Never! Times without number you have been an eyewitness to the
tender care and solicitude of the well for the sick animal, and
as frequently you have seen the unfortunate provided with every
necessary by his more fortunate comrades.

How often do you find these traits in the human being? For this,
and for many other reasons with which I might tire you, I love all
animals but man.

Men declare that only the biped, man, is endowed with reason. It
is false. It is so declared, in order that man may possess one
characteristic that will elevate him above, and distinguish him from
what he chooses, falsely, to call the lower animals.

Your Noah Webster, who padded your dictionary in order to make a
formidable book, like many another man, says that animals are not
possessed of reasoning powers, but have only instinct. He gives
the definition of instinct as follows: "INSTINCT. A certain power
or disposition of mind by which, independent of all instructions
or experience, without deliberation, and without having any end in
view, animals are unerringly directed to do spontaneously whatever is
necessary for the preservation of the individual or the continuation
of the kind."

This is your American authority, and you must accept it, for you
have adopted the dictionary. By this definition, and with only one
question, I will prove to you that animals have reasoning powers,
just as men have. Have not animals an end in view when they gather
their food and build their homes for the winter months, when they
rear their young, anticipate the coming of the night and of that
longer night constituting the darkness of age and death, when
preparing for the coming of their Master, and when, with a grand
evidence of their superiority over man, they anticipate the changes
of the weather?

The intelligent man admits that animals not only have minds, but
that they reason also. The sooner the whole world admits this fact
the sooner we will arrive at the truth in the premises, and give
the feline her due as well as be just to other animals. The study
of natural history unfolds to the mind a new universe of beauty,
interest and profit. The beautiful book of nature is spread out in
inexhaustible profusion to all creatures, and no one can claim a
monopoly of this grand study. Other animals read it constantly, and
seem to understand it better than man. Man has not been able, with
all his knowledge of science, to make a barometer which will give
as unerring calculations concerning the weather as will the animals
which he considers beneath him in intelligence. I instance more
particularly the wild goose, who will indicate the temperature of the
season, and I will remark that there is no compass or needle which
can indicate the course of a pigeon while it navigates the air equal
to its own instinct. In the hydraulics of nature, the beaver stands
foremost of all living creatures, and the bee is the greatest builder
in the world. Do you not admit that "instinct" will no longer answer
as a name for intelligence in what you call the "brute" animals? Is
it without deliberation and without having an end in view that, when
you take a young pigeon from the cote in which it was hatched, and
carrying it in a coop to a distance of four hundred miles from its
home, you free it, and it takes its flight in a bee line for the cote
in which it was born? What shall that quality of mind be called?

Dogs, Cats and other animals have been carried for hundreds of miles
from their homes, and but a few days elapsed before they return to
the place from whence they were taken. Have they "no end in view,"
and is this done "without deliberation?"

There is a species of fish-hawk, in your Northern lakes, which has
most remarkable eyes, microscopic as well as telescopic. You may
often see this fellow, early in the morning, hovering over the placid
water of some lonely lake, when he will suddenly dart off, leave the
water and take up his position upon the bare limb of a blighted tree,
and watch the track over which he flew. Presently you will see him
leave his high perch and, with the accuracy and velocity of an arrow,
strike the bosom of the lake, grasp a fish and bear it to his perch.
Nature has furnished this wise bird with a bait which enables him to
become a successful fisherman. He has in his throat, or oesophagus, a
small sac, in which he secretes a kind of oil. This oil he drops upon
the surface, the fishes are attracted to it, and at once there is a
great commotion in the water. The hawk, seeing this, takes advantage
of the situation, and pounces upon his prey.

It is silly in man to assume that all he sees is but the effect of
law. It is more sensible to assume that there is an intelligence
behind law and matter. The intelligence shown in plants cannot be
denied. Take, for instance, the aquatic plants. They will travel long
distances over walls and other impediments before they will stop
their growth.

That animals have a moral sense is evidenced in the fact of the
prominence in their natures of the attributes of reason, memory,
invention, motive, ingenuity, will and gratitude. Granting these
premises, and grant them you must from the proofs which I have
submitted to you, and which have come under my own observation, you
must admit that animals reason and think and give the same evidence
of free intelligence observable in human nature.

That dogs, Cats, horses, elephants, birds and even pigs can be taught
to do most wonderful things, millions of people can attest from
personal observation, and you have the proof in your own minds, to
show free intellectual ability on the part of wild and tame animals.

In my love for the Cat and my preference for that beautiful animal
above all others, I do not stand alone. Nearly all men of note
among the learned, as well as others, both in ancient and modern
times, have signified their preference for the Cat in the strongest
terms. Mahomet almost worshipped the Cat, and declared that his own
should have a prominent place in his heaven. Richelieu possessed a
house full of Cats, with twenty favorites, whom he cherished with
great care and fed with his own hands. Shakespeare, Milton, Byron,
Moore, Talleyrand, Edgar Allen Poe, Chateaubriand, Robert Southey,
Dr. Johnson, Benjamin Franklin, Julius Caesar, Thomas Gray, Sir
Isaac Newton, Sir Walter Raleigh, Cardinal Wolsey, Rousseau, Lord
Chesterfield, Whittington, Lord Mayor of London, Plutarch, and
thousands of others, have expressed their admiration of my favorite.
Ancient history tells us of more than one nation that sainted the
Cat, while others still hold the animal in high veneration. Certainly
it must be admitted that the Cat possesses some wonderful attributes
the evidence of which prompts its distinction. I claim for the Cat
a higher order of intellect than exists in any other animal. While
I love the dog, and claim for him a greater degree of intelligence
than may be accorded to the horse, I class the Cat and the dog to be
as distinct in their individuality and with as much difference as
you see existing between man and woman. The organism of the Cat is
of a very delicate nature, and, therefore, more susceptible to all
influences. They are quicker of perception than any other animal,
and, therefore, they more readily acquire knowledge.

By an extended series of experiments I have demonstrated this fact,
and would give the results of my labor were I not positive that my
readers have made a comparison of the dog and the Cat, and arrived at
the same conclusion without anything more than a casual observation.
In experimenting, however, my attention was directed with more
particularity to the manner of communication of ideas between Cats,
and what was my surprise to discover that they have a language of
their own, embracing not only words but, in a large degree, signs.
You may the better understand me when I call attention to the fact
that there are few words, comparatively, in the French language, but
there is, among Frenchmen, a sign language; as, for instance, there
is no word to express the meaning of our shrug of the shoulders and
the extending of the hand and forearms. Words cannot express the
feelings of the heart when men and women of every nativity bow their
heads before their God. Because of this predominance of signs in the
language of the Cat, it will be difficult for me to describe their
mode of idea-communication; but I will make the attempt, and endeavor
to bring it as clearly as possible to your minds, in order that you
may comprehend it as distinctly as it presents itself to mine.



Language signifies the expression of ideas by sounds and by certain
articulate sounds which are used as the signs or the ideas, sounds
being regarded as mere aids and of secondary importance to signs,
which are, primarily, of the greatest importance in language.

By articulate sounds I mean those modulations of the simple voice or
of sounds emitted from the thorax, formed by means of the mouth and
its several organs, namely, the teeth, the tongue and the palate.
When we give a name to anything harsh or boisterous we, of course,
use a harsh or boisterous sound, the better to describe our meaning.
By the use of such words as express such sounds we convey the ideas
intended to be expressed. It is purely natural to imitate, by the
sound of the voice, the quality of the sound or noise which any
external object makes, and to form its name accordingly. In every
language will be found a multitude of words constructed upon this
principle. We call a certain bird a cuckoo because of the peculiar
sound which he emits. Regard the fact that in English one kind of
bird is said to "whistle," another to "chirp," a serpent to "hiss,"
a fly to "buzz," a bee to "hum," falling timber to "crash," a stream
to "flow," hail to "rattle," rain to "patter," a bell to "tinkle" or
"jingle," or "toll," or to "clash" with another, a board to "creak,"
thunder to "roll," lightning to "flash" and a cataract to "roar." In
these instances the analogy between the word and the thing expressed
is most plainly discernible to the ear. Notice, also, if you please,
that in the names of objects which address the sight only, when
neither noise nor motion are concerned, and still more in the term
applied to moral ideas, this analogy appears to fail. This shows a
superiority of signs over sounds, and is one reason for according to
signs, over sounds, a primary importance. I have noticed, however,
that many learned men have been of the opinion that though in such
cases the meaning becomes more obscure, yet it is not altogether
lost, but that throughout the radical words of all languages there
may be traced some degree of correspondence with the object signified.

Perhaps no language is so peculiar a mixture as your own, by which
I mean the English, which is neither pure nor indigenous. The rule
applies to other languages to a far less degree, but still it
applies. As the multitude of names increases in every nation and
the immense field of language is filled up--if it ever gets filled
up--words by the thousands, fanciful and irregular methods of
derivation and composition, come to deviate widely from the primitive
character of their roots and lose all analogy or resemblance to sound
in the thing signified. It is in such a heterogeneous state that we
find words of sound-signs in language.

Nature taught the members of the animal kingdom to communicate
their feelings, one to another, by those expressive cries and
gestures which are so descriptive. Afterward, names of objects were
invented by slow degrees, in aid of signs. This mode of speaking by
natural signs could not be all at once applied, for language, in
its infancy, must have been extremely crude, and there certainly
was a period in the history of all rude nations when conversation
was carried on by the use of a very few words, intermixed with a
multitude of exclamations and earnest gestures significant of the
meaning intended to be conveyed.

In the early days, the small stock of words which were in use,
rendered signs absolutely necessary for explaining the conceptions
and rude, uncultivated beings, not having signs at hand, with the
few words which they knew it was naturally labor to make themselves
understood by varying their tones of voice and accompanying their
voices with the most significant gesticulations they could make.

The primitive search was for signs and sounds which bore an analogy
to the thing signified. The pronunciation of the earliest sounds
of the languages was accompanied with more gesticulations and with
more and greater inflections of the voice than we now use. Certainly
there was more action in it, and it was conducted upon more of a
crying or a singing tone. Necessity first gave rise to this primitive
yet admirable way of speaking, and it may be said of it that it was
action explanatory of meaning.

Inflections of voice are so natural that to some nations it has
appeared easier to express different ideas by varying the tones in
which they pronounce the same word than to contrive words for all
of their ideas. I instance the Chinese in particular. The number of
words in their language is not great, but in speaking they vary each
of their words by not less than five different tones, by which they
make the same word signify five different things. This gives the
appearance of singing, or music, to their speech, so noticeable in
their conversation, for these inflections of voice, which, in the
infancy of language, were no more than harsh or disconsonant cries,
must, as language gradually becomes more polished, pass into smoother
and more musical sounds. Hence is formed what is styled the prosody
of language.

It is remarkable and deserves attention that both in the Greek and
the Roman languages this musical and gesticulating pronunciation was
retained in a very high degree. The Greeks, it is well known, were a
more musical people than the Romans, and carried their attention to
the tone and pronunciation much farther in every public exhibition.
Aristotle, in his poetics, considers the music of tragedy one of
its chief and essential parts. The case was more than parallel in
regard to gestures, for strong tones and animated gestures always go
together. At last gesture came to engross the stage wholly, for under
the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius the favorite entertainment of the
public was pantomime, carried on entirely by gesticulations.



A Frenchman both varies his accents and gesticulates while he speaks
much more than an Englishman, and an Italian a great deal more than
either. Musical pronunciations and expressive gesture are, to this
day, the distinction of Italy, and this combination of sign and its
aid, sound, the latter being notes for its music, make the sweetest
and most liquid language in existence. The want of a proper name for
every object, obliged them to use one name for many objects, and, of
course, to express themselves by comparisons, metaphors, allusions
and all those substantive forms of speech which render language

Poetry is more ancient than prose, and here we have a remarkable
order of speech, such as "fruit give me." I, therefore, conclude, as
the first fundamental principle in the organization and procession
of word-signs, that this would be the order in which words should be
most commonly arranged at the beginning of language, and accordingly,
we find, in fact, that in this order words are arranged in most of
the ancient tongues--the Russian, Slavonic, Gaelic, and many others.
In the Latin the arrangement which most commonly obtains is to place
first in the sentence that word which expresses the principal object,
together with its circumstance, and afterward the person or thing
which acts upon it.

I desire to impress most particularly upon the reader the value of
signs and sounds in the language, for he would be a fool, indeed, who
would not mark the significance of a tone or a gesture.

The word-signs in the English language number thirty-eight
thousands. This includes, of course, not only the radical words,
but all the derivatives, except the preterites and participles of
verbs, to which must be added some few terms which, though set
down in your dictionary, are either obsolete or have never ceased
to be considered foreign. They have been introduced into your Noah
Webster, "unabridged," together with many thousands of conjunctive
and scientific words, for the sole purpose of making a big book
and claiming that there are one hundred thousand word-signs in the
English language. Of the thirty-eight thousands about twenty-three
thousands are of Anglo-Saxon origin. The majority of the remainder,
in what exact proportion I cannot say, are Latin and Greek, but the
largest share is Latin. The names of the greater part of the objects
of sense, in other words, the terms which occur most frequently in
discourse, or which recall the most vivid conceptions, in the English
vocabulary, are Anglo-Saxon. The names of the most striking objects
in visible nature, of the chief agencies at work and of the changes
which pass over it, are Anglo-Saxon.

This language has given names to the heavenly bodies, namely, the
sun, the moon and the stars, to three out of every four elements,
namely, earth, fire and water; to three out of every four seasons,
namely, spring, summer and winter, and, indeed, to all the natural
divisions of time, except one, as day, night, morning, evening,
twilight, noon, midday, midnight, sunrise, sunset, some of which are
among the most poetical terms in the language.

To the same language we are indebted for the names of light, heat,
cold, frost, rain, snow, hail, sleet, thunder, lightning, as well
as almost all those objects which form the component parts of the
beautiful and external scenery as seen in land, hill and dale,
wood and stream. It is from this language you derive the word most
expressive of the earliest and dearest connections and the strongest
and most powerful feelings of nature, and which are, consequently,
invested with your oldest and most complicated associations. In
this language we find the names of father, mother, husband, wife,
brother, sister, son, daughter, child, home, kindred, friends. It has
furnished the greater part of those metonymies and other figurative
expressions by which is represented to the imagination, and that in
a single word the reciprocal duties and enjoyments of hospitality,
friendship or love. Such are hearth, roof and fireside. The chief
emotions of which we are susceptible, as love, hope, fear, sorrow,
shame, and what is of more consequence to the orator and the poet,
as well as in common life, the outward signs by which emotion is
indicated, are almost all Anglo-Saxon. Such are tear, smile, blush,
to laugh, to weep, to sigh, to groan.

Most of those objects about which the practical reason of man is
employed in common life receive their names from the Anglo-Saxon.



One of our greatest poets says,

     "'Tis not enough no harshness gives offense,
     The sound must seem an echo of the sense."

The words buzz, crackle, crash, blow, rattle, roar, hiss, whistle,
and many others of a like nature and construction, were evidently
formed to imitate the sounds themselves. Sometimes the word
expressing an object is formed to imitate the sound produced by that
object, as waye, cuckoo, whippoorwill, whisper, hum. I have been thus
particular in calling the attention of the reader to these beautiful
characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon because it is the language of the
Cat in so far as word-signs are used in it for want of action to
express the ideas or as conjunctives more particularly. The smooth
and liquid passages from your poets, which express onomatopoeia, are
but echoes from that most beautiful of all languages, that of the
Cat. Such are the word-signs of Goldsmith,

     "The whitewashed wall, the nicely sanded floor,
     The varnished clock that clicked behind the door."

To the credit of the Cat language it must be said that, while it
is esteemed a great beauty in writing and conversation, as well as
speaking, when the word-signs selected for the expression of an idea
convey, by their sound, some resemblance to the subject which they
express, the Cat language contains none but such words. You will
remember the most wonderful poem written in the English language, and
notice the word-painting in the following extract from "Gray's Elegy
in a Country Churchyard,"

     "For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
       This pleasing, anxious being e'er resigned,
     Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
       Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind!"

Pope, also, in his "Essay on Criticism," in a manner though different
yet scarcely less expressive, gives a verbal representation of his
idea, by the selection of his terms in the following:

     "These equal syllables alone require,
     Though oft the ear the open vowels tire,
     While expletives their feeble aid do join,
     And ten low words oft creep in one dull line."

And, once again, Pope says,

     "A needless Alexandrian ends the song,
     That, like a wounded snake, drags his slow length along.
     Soft is the strain when zephyrs gently blow,
     And the smooth streams in smoother numbers flow,
     But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,
     The hoarse, rough verse should, like the torrent, roar.
     When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw,
     The line, too, labors, and the words move slow.
     Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain,
     Flies o'er the unbending corn, and skims along the main."

I am of the opinion that language is of Divine origin, and that
it was put into the mouth of the Cat, the same as it was put
into the mouth of Adam, by the Almighty. In this opinion I am
encouraged by many of your most prominent writers. In fact, it is
the only sensible theory upon which we can stand. But the very
first expression of a desire was a sign by action of the muscles,
frequently followed by a sound-sign. This has often been demonstrated
when infants have been placed, for a year or more, in a room where
no speech or expressive action has met either eye or ear, and it has
not yet been doubted. Many men have written upon the subject of the
origin of language, from every point of view, the majority of these
endeavoring to account for its existence without allowing that it
is of Divine origin. Undoubtedly the first man, Adam, could talk as
naturally as he could hear, see and taste. Speech was a part of his
endowment. Is there anything more wonderful in man's talking than
in a bird singing, save that speech is a higher order of utterance?
Dumb nature, so called, performs marvels every day as wonderful as
man talking. The honey bee builds its cell, ignorant of the fact that
such a construction is a solution of a problem which had troubled
men for centuries to solve--namely, at what point should certain
lines meet so as to give the most room with the least material and
have the greatest strength in building? This problem is said to have
been worked out by a Mr. McLaughlin, a noted Scotch mathematician,
who arrived at his conclusion by a laborious and careful fluctionary
calculation. To his surprise and the surprise of the whole world,
such lines and such a building were found in the common bee cell. Is
there anything preposterous in my assertion that the same Creator
who gave to the bee the mathematical instinct, could endow animals
with the instinct of speech? In proportion as the English language
has clung to the purest of Anglo-Saxon words it has gained strength
throughout the world, while there have gone down before it the real
British, the Cymeric or Welsh, Erse or Irish, the Gaelic of Scotland,
and the Manx of the Isle of Man. The British Keltic is entirely gone,
and the rest are only local. Besides these, it ousted from the island
of Norse the Norman French and several other tongues which had sought
to plant themselves on English soil.

My illustrious comrade, Prevost Paradol, one of our most learned
Frenchmen, says: "Neither Russia nor united Germany, supposing
that they should attain the highest fortune, can pretend to impede
that current of things, nor prevent that solution, relatively near
at hand, of the long rivalry of European races for the ultimate
colonization and domination of the universe. The world will not
be Russian, nor German, nor French, alas! nor Spanish. It will be

It was one of Britain's greatest poets who wrote the following
characteristic lines expressive of the force of languages:

     "Greek's a harp we love to hear,
     Latin is a trumpet clear;
     Spanish, like an organ, swells,
     Italian rings its bridal bells;
     France, with many a frolic mien,
     Tunes her sprightly violin;
     Loud the German rolls his drum,
     When Russia's clashing cymbals come
     But Britain's sons may well rejoice,
     For English is the human voice."

It is a noticeable fact that there have been five hundred distinct
languages, and about three thousand five hundred colloquials, or
about five thousand different forms of speech since Adam's time. At
the present time five hundred of the primary are dead, so that there
are about nine hundred now spoken on all the earth, with about two
thousand five hundred colloquials.

Canon Farrar says: "We may, therefore, assert, as Dante did, more
than five centuries ago,

     "That man speaks, is nature's prompting;
     Whether thus or thus she leaves to you
     As you do most affect it."

I am surprised at some of the heedlessness of your philologists, and
do not wonder that your children have a hard time of it acquiring
your language when they are so carelessly misdirected in many
instances, misled in many more and given rules which even the fully
developed mind of a man is unable to comprehend. It is not from one
alone of your linguists that I take this definition of the word
"language." "Language is the expression of our ideas by articulate
sounds, such as the signs of the ideas." Your Noah Webster, who
gathered together all dictionaries extant, including all scientific
words and definitions, and dumped them into his big book, gives the
definition of the word "language" as follows: "The expression of
ideas by words or significant articulate sounds for the communication
of thought."

Now, if these definitions are correct, and you choose to accept them
as being so, what becomes of the "language" of the deaf and dumb?



It is not true that all animals have vocal chords. Some are
marsupial, such as the kangaroo, and have membranous vocal chords,
which stretch upon themselves and so cannot be stretched by the
arytenoid muscles. A few of them are mammalia, such as the giraffe,
the porcupine, and the armadillo, have no vocal chords, and are,
therefore, mute. This is also the case with the cetacea, the loud
bellowing of the whale being produced by the expulsion of water
through the nostrils during the act of expiration. Serpents have no
vocal chords, and their hiss is the result of breathing forcibly down
through a soft glottis. Frogs have no trachea, so that their larynx
opens into the bronchial tube, but the loudness of the croaking
of male frogs is due to the distension of two membranous sacs at
the side of the neck. Some frogs have membranous vocal chords,
others two reed-like bodies, the anterior ends of which are fixed,
while the posterior ends with the ventricles of the larynx and the
laryngo-pharyngeal sacs looking into the bronchi are free.

The vocal organs of both man and the other animals present a general
resemblance to each other, despite varying degrees of development.
Cats have a sac between the thyroid cartilage and the os hyoideum,
which have much to do with the modifying and increasing of the
tones of the voice. The laryngeal sacs are small, and thus prevent
what might be a shrill cry, such as the deafening shrieks of the
monkeys of Africa. The epiglottis is comparatively small, and there
are proportionately small cavities in the thyroid cartilage and the
os hyoideum, which communicate with the ventricles of the larynx
and the laryngeal-pharyngeal sacs, which give the peculiar softness
of musical tone to the feline, as may be noted by a merely casual
observer, and is accounted one of the most delightful characteristics
of the Cat.

The brain of the Cat so closely resembles that of man as to force the
unwilling admission from anatomists and physiologists that in form
and substance they bear so close and striking a similarity that it
must be conceded that they are, to all intents and purposes, the same
in substance and conformation, and differ only in weight and size. It
will be seen, from this admission of the greatest of physiologists
and anatomists, possessed as men are of the natural prejudice against
all animals, saving only man, in the way of his ascendency in every
respect above all other animals, that, in the proportion of weight of
brain and under similar circumstances, the intelligence of the Cat is
equal to that of man. These forced admissions must necessarily carry
conviction with them, so that I shall hope, at no distant day, to
hear the admission of what to me is a proven fact, that in the ratio
of the size of the two brains the Cat is equal in intelligence to man
under the same existing circumstances.

The negro of America, brought up in ignorance and under servile
conditions, a slave, classified as cattle, was once considered an
inferior order of the human species by some, and by many as a
biped, but a long step beneath his now regarded white brother. Time
and experience developed the fact that the negro was susceptible
of cultivation, and his ebony brain, contained in a skull of twice
and thrice the thickness of the white man's, has been polished to
a high degree, in exceptional cases, although I must admit that
this polishing has been found to be in proportion to the degree of
amalgamation with other races, particularly that of the white man.

Anatomists are unanimous in their opinions and their experiments show
conclusively that the Cat has a much finer and more delicate organism
than the dog. Upon this universal deduction I argue that they are
more sensitive than the dog, a proposition which meets the approval
of every naturalist, anatomist and pathologist who has ever taken
the subject into consideration. In fact, it is almost universally
conceded that Cats are fully as intelligent as dogs, and by many the
feline is regarded as the superior animal in every respect.

Prof. William Lindsay, M.D., F.R.S., F.L.S., Hon. Member New Zealand
Institute, says in his remarkable work, entitled "Mind in the Lower
Animals": "The lower animals are subject to the same kinds of bodily
diseases as affect men. They are subject to the same kinds of mental
disorders, productible by the same causes as in man." He asserts that
Cats readily comprehend and thoroughly understand man's words and
the conversation of men. The following attributes he ascribes to the
Cat, namely, "a moral sense in so far as it involves, a, honesty; b,
sense of duty or trust; c, sense of guilt and shame; d, concealment
of crime.

"They are self-sacrificing, even to death, understanding man's
language, verbal and other, including the reading of human character
and words, the interpretation of facial expressions, use of money
and knowledge of its power and the principle of barter, buying and
selling, self-control, appetite, co-operation with man, both in
useful service and in crime, sensitiveness to insult or affront,
neglect, injustice, punishment and reproof, discovery of murderers
and murders, lost or stolen property, idea of time, tune, number,
order, succession of events. On the whole the place next to man, as
respects both intellect and morals, is usually assigned to the dog,
a rank which is, undoubtedly, due to his intimate association with
and careful training by man for countless generations, for there
can be no question as to the hereditary transmission and consequent
accumulation of the truths, good or bad, of education by or in
imitation of man.

"Man ascribes to the Cat spitefulness, selfishness, cold cruelty,
stealthiness, treachery and attachment to place and not to person.
The poor Cat has, probably, been as much maligned and misunderstood
as it has been petted. We are told that its apparent affection is
only 'a cupboard love,' and that this is popularly supposed to be
sufficient to account for its propensity to pilfer eatables and
drinkables. It is said to be attached to place, not to person, to
stick to a given house, even when a master or a mistress who has
heaped kindness upon it has had occasion to change quarters. Absurd
stories are told as to its sucking children's breath. To speak of
a scandal-propagating, sour old maid as 'spiteful as a Cat' is so
common, and we hear the Cat so frequently accused of stealthiness
or treachery--of the enjoyment of the tortures of its victims and
of calculating cruelty, and yet Wood tells us, 'instead of being a
greedy, selfish animal, it is really a very unselfish and generous
one, capable of great sacrifices.' Jesse mentions one that fed a jay
twice a day with mice. Another Cat always brought and laid at her
master's feet the mice she had caught, before she would eat them; she
made use of them as food only when they were given back to her by her
master. The attachment of the Cat is frequently as great to person as
to place, such attachment, however, depending usually on how far she
is understood, sympathized with and kindly treated.

"Cases have been given of Cats following their masters from house
to house and place to place, accompanying them on visits to other
people's residences as unconcerned as a dog. They may be trained to
guard and defend like a dog."

This author speaks of the affection of the feline for the canine and
gives many proofs instancing the feeding and nourishing of a sick dog
by a Cat, and of Cats and dogs living together, in the same kennel,
of which there have been innumerable instances. Other authors who
independently verify these assertions by the relations of personal
observations are Mockridge, Lubbock, Belt, Hogue, Pierre Huber,
François Huber, Latreille, Nemour, Dr. Franklin, Paisley, Boyer,
Spaulding, Houzeau, Nichols, Menauly, Leroy, Burnett, Jebb, Fleming,
Ferrier, Gillies, Gudden, Czermak, Flourens, Smellie, Marville, J. G.
Wood and many others.

Strong proofs in refutation of the ridiculous assertion that the Cat
is a lover of place and not of person have been multiplied until
their name is legion. Strongest of all these proofs are the verified
narratives of most reliable people and recited in books of authors
who are above question as to veracity. There is, in fact, no need of
deceit in this demonstration of the truth in this regard, for where
the intellect is but ordinary, the evidence of the eye is conclusive
to those who may have witnessed the action of the maligned animal,
and the character of the truthful author, whose honesty of purpose
and freedom from deceit have never been impugned, will be taken for
all it is worth by all searchers after the truth.

Prof. Wood, the celebrated naturalist, relates a wonderful story of a
Cat, as follows:

"A Cat recently exhibited a mysterious intuitive power, which equaled
if not surpassed any story of its kind and narrated. She was the
property of a newly married couple, who resided toward the north of
Scotland, where the country narrows considerably, by reason of the
deeply cut inlets of the surrounding sea. Their cottage was at no
great distance from the ocean, and there they remained for several
months. After a while the householders changed their locality and
took up their residence in a house near the opposite coast. As the
intervening country was so hilly and rugged that there would have
been much difficulty in transporting the household goods, the aid of
a ship was called in, and, after giving their Cat to a neighbor as a
present, the man and his wife proceeded by sea to their new home.

"After they had been settled for some weeks, they were surprised by
the sudden appearance of their Cat, which presented itself at their
door, dirty, ragged and half starved. As might be expected, she was
joyfully received, and soon recovered her good looks.

"It is hardly possible to conceive whence the animal could have
obtained her information. Even if the usual means of land transport
had been taken, it would have been most wonderful that the Cat should
have been able to trace the line of journey. But when, as in the
present instance, the human travelers went by water and the feline
traveler went by land, there seems to be no clue to the guiding power
which directed the animal in its course and brought it safely to the
desired goal."



Another story, told by Dr. Wood, is proof of the falsity of the
constantly repeated assertion by many naturalists that the Cat is a
lover of locality and not of persons, and although it seems almost a
matter of superfluity to relate it, I will narrate it in order to fix
the truth beyond contradiction, in the minds of doubters of the real

"Many years ago we changed our residence from one part of Oxford to
another, and, having been told that Cats have no affection except
for localities, my parents thought that they would not distress
their Cat by taking her into a house which she would not like, and,
accordingly, left 'Nutty' at home. But, after we had been settled
down some eight or ten days, Nutty made her appearance among us and
displayed by every means in her power her delight at rejoining her
old friends. She was terribly emaciated, and had evidently endured
great hardships, but in a few days her rich tortoise-shell fur had
sleeked itself down and she had recovered her wonted beauty."

I take the following from "Gleanings in Natural History," by Edward
Jesse, F.L.S., London, 1838. It demonstrates the love of the feline
for persons and the society of human beings and her innate desire to
protect both her master and his property, characteristics which have
heretofore been attributed alone to the dog and denied existence
in the feline animal. Of the latter trait there are thousands of
instances which have come under the observation of many people, and
have been recited in the numerous volumes which I have consulted in
preparing this paper. The story of this old writer is as follows:

"Cats are generally persecuted animals, and are supposed to show but
little attachment to those who are kind to them. I have known a Cat,
however, to evince great uneasiness during the absence of her owner,
and it is stated that when the Duke of Norfolk was committed to the
Tower, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, a favorite Cat made her way
into his prison room by getting down the chimney.

"Cats have been known, also, to do their best to protect the property
of their masters as well as dogs. A man who was sentenced to
transportation for robbery informed me, after his conviction, that
he and two others broke into the house of a gentleman near Hampton
Court. While they were in the act of plundering it a large black Cat
flew at one of the robbers and fixed her claws on each side of his
face. He added that he never saw any man so much frightened in his

"Mr. White, in his 'Natural History of Selborne,' states that of all
quadrupeds Cats are the least disposed toward water, and will not,
when they can avoid it, deign to wet a foot, much less to plunge
into that element. The following fact, however, communicated to me
by a friend who lived several years in Jamaica, will prove that, in
cases of necessity, they take to water, and is also another instance
of the attachment of animals to the places where they are bred.
Being in want of a Cat, one was given him which was not full grown.
It was put into a canvas bag, and a man on horseback brought him a
distance of five miles from the place where it was bred. It had never
been removed before. In doing so, he had to cross two rivers, one
named the Mino, which is about eighty feet wide and two and a half
feet deep, and running strong. The other, called Thomas's River, was
wider and more rapid, but less deep. Over these rivers there were no
bridges. The Cat, when it arrived, was shut up for some days, and
when supposed to be reconciled to her new dwelling she was allowed to
go about the house. The next day, however, she was missing, and was
found, shortly afterward, at her old abode.

"We had one cunning old black Cat," says a correspondent of Dr. Wood,
"whose wisdom was acquired by sad experience. In early youth he must
have been very careless, for at that time he was always getting
in the way of the men and the wine cases, and frequent were the
disasters he suffered from coming into collision with moving bodies.
His ribs had been often fractured, and when nature repaired them he
must have handed them over to the care of her 'prentice hand, for the
work was done in a rough and knotty manner.

"This battered and suffering pussy was, at last, assisted by a
younger hero, who, profiting by the teaching of his senior, managed
to avoid the scrapes which had tortured the one who was self-educated.

"These two Cats, 'Senior' and 'Junior,' appeared to swear--Cats
will swear--eternal friendship at first sight. An interchange of
good offices between them was at once established. 'Senior' taught
'Junior' to avoid men's feet, and wine-cases in motion, and pointed
out the favorite hunting ground, while 'Junior' offered to his
mentor the aid of his activity and physical prowess. 'Senior' had a
cultivated epicurean taste for mice, which he was too old to catch,
and he therefore entered into a solemn league and covenant with
'Junior' to the following effect: It was agreed between these two
low contracting powers that 'Junior' should devote his energies to
catching mice for the benefit of 'Senior,' who, in consideration of
such feudal service, was daily to relinquish his claim to a certain
allowance of cats' meat, in favor of 'Junior.'

"This curious compact was actually and seriously carried out. It
was an amusing and touching spectacle to behold young pussy gravely
laying at the feet of his elder the contents of his gamebag. On
the other hand, 'Senior,' true to his bargain, licked his jaws and
watched 'Junior' steadily consuming a double share of cats' meat."

Mr. Bidil writes from the Government Museum of Madras to "Nature,"
relating this instance of reasoning in a Cat:

"In 1867 I was absent from Madras for two months, and left in my
quarters three Cats, one of which was an English tabby, a very
gentle and affectionate creature. During my absence the quarters
were occupied by two young gentlemen, who delighted in teasing and
frightening the Cats. About a week before my return the English Cat
had kittens, which she carefully concealed behind bookshelves in the
library. On the morning of my return I saw the Cat and petted her,
as usual, and then left the house for about an hour. On returning
to dress, I found that the kittens were located in a corner of my
dressing-room, where previous broods had been deposited and nursed.
On questioning the servant how they came there, he at once replied,
'Sir, the old Cat, taking one by one in her mouth, brought them
here.' In other words, the mother had carried them, one by one, in
her mouth, from the library to the dressing-room, where they lay
quite exposed. I do not think I have heard of a more remarkable
instance of reasoning and affectionate confidence in an animal, and I
need hardly say that the latter manifestation gave me great pleasure.
The train of reasoning seems to be as follows: 'Now my master has
returned, there is no risk of the kittens being injured by the two
young savages in the house, so I will take them out for my protector
to see and admire, and keep them in the corner in which all my former
pets have been nursed in safety.'

"The attachment of the dog and the Cat is sometimes curiously
manifested," says Prof. Wood, and he continues: "In a large
metropolitan household there had been a change of servants, and the
new cook begged, as a favor, to be permitted the company of her dog.
Permission was granted, and the dog took up his quarters in the
kitchen, to the infinite disgust of the Cat, who thought her dignity
insulted by the introduction of a stranger into her special domain.
In process of time, however, she got over her dislike and the two
animals became fast friends. At last the cook left and took with her
the dog.

"After an absence of some length, she determined on paying a visit to
her former companions, her dog accompanying her as usual. Pussy was
in the room when the dog entered, and flew forward to greet him. She
then ran out of the room and shortly returned, bearing in her mouth
her own dinner. This she laid before her old friend, and actually
stood behind him as he ate the food with which she so hospitably
entertained him.

"This anecdote was related to me by the owner of the cat, and there
can be no reason to doubt it.

"In a chateau in Normandy lived a favorite Cat, which was plentifully
supplied with food, and had grown fat and sleek on her luxurious
fare. Indeed, so bounteously was her plate supplied that she was
unable to consume the entire amount of provisions laid before her.
This superabundance of food seemed to weigh upon her mind, and one
day, before her dinner time, she set off across the fields and paid
a visit to a little cottage near the roadside, where there lived a
lean Cat. The two animals returned to the chateau in company, and
after the feline hostess had eaten as much dinner as she desired she
relinquished the remainder in favor of her friend.

"The kind-hearted proprietor of the chateau, seeing this curious act
of hospitality, increased the daily allowance of meat and afforded
an ample meal for both Cats. The improved diet soon exerted its
beneficial effect on the lean stranger, who speedily became as near
comfortably sleek as her hostess.

"In this improved state of matters she could not eat as much as when
she was half starved and ravenous with hunger, and so, after the two
cats had dined, there was still an overplus. In order to avoid waste,
and urged by the generosity of her feelings, the hospitable Cat set
forth on another journey, and fetched another lean Cat from a village
at a league's distance.

"The owner of the chateau, being desirous to see how the matter would
end, continued to increase the daily allowance, and had, at last, as
pensioners of his bounty, nearly twenty Cats, which had been brought
from various houses in the surrounding country. Yet, however ravenous
were these daily visitors, none of them touched a morsel until
their hostess had finished her own dinner. My informant heard this
narrative from the owner of the chateau.

"In the conduct of this hospitably minded Cat there seems to be none
of the commercial spirit which actuated the two Mincing Lane Cats,
but an open-pawed liberality, as beseems an aristocratic birth and
breeding. The creature had evidently a sense of economy as well as a
spirit of generosity, and blending the two qualities together, became
the general almoner of the neighboring felines. There must have been
also great powers of conversation between these various animals, for
it is evident that they were able to communicate ideas to each other
and to induce their companions to act upon the imparted information."



The recent experiments of Prof. Ferrier, according to his own
interpretation of the phenomena, tend to show that human and animal
language are identical--that the barking of a dog and the mewing of
the Cat are equivalents of speech in man, and that the faculty of
language in man and other animals has virtually the same seat in the
brain. He describes opening the mouth, putting out the tongue and
barking, in the dog, mewing, spitting or hissing, in the Cat, as
signs corresponding to speech. But it needed not the experiments of
the physiologist or the pathologist, or the scalpel of the anatomist,
to tell us that the dog's bark, the cat's mew and the horse's neigh,
as well as the corresponding vocal expressions in other animals,
are the analogies of speech or speaking in man. Language in animals
is both natural and acquired. In both cases it may be the result of
self tuition or man's instruction and training. In both cases its
variety is to be remarked upon, and, just as in man, this variety,
which involves expressiveness, or the sign thereof, is frequently, if
not always, in proportion to the degree of cultivation or education
of the speaker. The interpretation of animal language, in its varied
forms, is of the utmost importance in relation to the discrimination
of notes. It is known, but with accompanying difficulties which arise
mainly from the following causes or source: first, the significance
of animal language has been little studied by man; second, the
wishes or thoughts are expressed in an infinite variety of ways,
not only in different tribes, genera or species, but, in different
individuals of the same species and different members of the same
family and different offspring of the same parent, in different ages
of the same individual, in the same individual at different times and
under different circumstances. The mode of expressing the passions is
different in different animals. Many of the utterances of animals are
such distinct imitations of the human voice and other sounds as to
deceive even man himself.

I do not credit the Darwinian theory of evolution with being in the
line of common sense. In this doubt of its correctness I think I
am joined by the great majority of mankind. In some human beings
who think as I do upon this subject, the wish may be father to the
thought, for a matter of pride, because no man takes kindly to the
assertion that his progenitors were apes and baboons, or something
akin to these, and this may be classified as a very commendable
pride in the human being. Nor do I believe that the domestic Cat
is an evolution from the wild-cat, or the puma, or the jaguar, or
anything of their species. The resemblance has deceived more than
one of the best writers upon the subject, as it certainly tends to
do. Naturalists are at variance now, as they always have been, upon
the subject of the true origin of the Cat, for while some declare
that the domestic Cat evolves from the wild-cat, others claim, with
as much sincerity, that the wild-cat comes from the domestic feline.
One author, in proof of such an assertion, remarks that the wild-cat
is not indigenous to the soil of America, and must, therefore, have
evolved from a domestic animal, our household pet, as there was no
other way for the wild animal to get to this country--an argument
which would scarcely apply to other animals. I cannot see the force
of such an argument, nor do I bring myself to the belief that the
beautiful and loving household pet is descended from the ferocious
and comparatively enormous wild-cat or anything of its species,
any more than I can believe that the dog is an evolution from the
lion, the catamount from the tiger, the sprat from the whale, or
man from the ape. The natural tendency to domesticity in the Cat
is antagonistic to this theory of evolution, as are many other
individualities of the feline, and I shall, therefore, claim that our
Cat is not even a distant relative of the wild animal, but is so far
removed that the comparison is not only odious but incorrect.

Prof. E.P. Thompson, in his valuable treatise, entitled "Passions of
Animals," gives to the feline race the following characteristics:
"Perception, touch, taste, smell, hearing, sight, recollection,
memory, imagination, dreams, playfulness, homesickness, thought,
discrimination, attention, experience, sense of injustice,
computation of time, calculation of number, sensation, tone and
power of sensation, sympathy, joy, pain, anger, astonishment,
fear, sympathy of suffering, cruelty, desire, fellowship of joy,
compassion, appetite, impulse, instinct, self-preservation, tenacity
of life, temptation, hibernation, form and color, distribution,
habitation, cleanliness, change of habitation, locality, postures
and use of natural weapons, care of young, affection for offspring,
imitation, social impulse, communication, language, curiosity,
sagacity, temperament, foresight, cunning, artifice, dissimulation,
attachment, fidelity, gratitude, generosity, vanity, love of praise,
jealousy, predominancy, hatred, revenge, love, and training."

Concerning the almost universal belief that the dog is a more
intelligent animal than the Cat, while the classification of animals,
in the order of intellect, by many authors, gives the first place to
the dog, the second to the Cat and the third to the horse, I cannot
agree with them, because the facts are all against such an order of
classification. I protest against the preferment of the dog to the
feline for many reasons, not the least of which is the established
and apparent fact that the construction of the Cat is finer than
that of the dog. It goes without saying that the dog has been given
far more and better opportunities for learning and refinement than
the Cat. The dog is the constant companion of man. He goes with him
everywhere, to his place of business, to his farm, to his work of
every nature, upon his walks abroad, to the enjoyment of his sports,
to the tavern, even to the church, and, when the day's work and
pleasures are over, to his home, and frequently to his bed-chamber.
The dog is with the man, his constant companion, from the cradle to
the grave, and from his constant companionship come the knowledge
and intelligence of the canine, developed by constant observation of
man's habits, mode of expression, likes, dislikes, associations and
moods. It must be admitted by the most obtuse that the Cat has never
been given such privilege; consequently, to compare the Cat with the
dog, in the matter of intelligence, is an apparent injustice. Give to
the feline the same advantages which are bestowed upon the canine,
and the superiority of the Cat will be immediately appreciable. Prof.
George J. Romanes, in his valuable work, "Animal Intelligence,"
recently published, says in relation to the injustice done the
feline animal by naturalists in general:

"The Cat is, unquestionably, a highly intelligent animal, though,
when compared with its great domestic rival, the dog, its
intelligence, from being cast in quite a different mold, is very
frequently underrated. Comparatively unsocial in temperament,
wanderingly predaceous in habits and lacking in the affectionate
docility of the canine nature, this animal has never, in any
considerable degree, been subject to those psychologically
transforming influences whereby a prolonged and intimate association
with man has, as we shall subsequently see, so profoundly modified
the psychology of the dog. Nevertheless, the Cat is not only by
nature, an animal remarkable for intelligence, but, in spite of its
naturally imposed disadvantages of temperament, has not altogether
escaped those privileges of nurture which unnumbered centuries of
domestication could scarcely fail to supply. Thus, as contrasted with
most of the wild species of the genus when tamed from their youngest
days, the domestic cat is conspicuously less uncertain in its temper
toward its masters, the uncertainty of temper displayed by nearly all
the wild members of the feline tribe, when tame, being, of course,
an expression of the interference of individual with hereditary

The delicacy and carefulness of the Cat were never more
characteristically illustrated or more gracefully described than by
Prof. Philip G. Hamerton, in his interesting and graphically written
"Chapter on Animals," in which he takes occasion to say:

"One evening, before dinner time, the present writer had occasion
to go into a dining room where the cloth was already laid, the
glasses already upon the sideboard and table, and the lamp and
candles lighted. A Cat, which was a favorite in the house, finding
the door ajar, entered softly after me, and began to make a little
exploration after his manner. I have a fancy for watching animals
when they think they are not observed, so I affected to be entirely
absorbed in the occupation which detained me there, and took note
of the Cat's proceedings without in any way interrupting them. The
first thing he did was to jump upon a chair and thence up on the
sideboard. There was a good deal of glass and plate upon that piece
of furniture, but nothing as yet which, in the Cat's opinion, was
worth purloining, so he brought all his paws together on the very
edge of the board, the two forepaws in the middle, the others on
both sides, and sat, balancing himself for a minute or two whilst he
contemplated the long, glittering vista of the table. As yet there
was not an item of anything eatable upon it, but the cat probably
thought he might as well ascertain whether this were so or not by a
closer inspection, for, with a single spring, he cleared the abyss,
and alighted noiselessly on the tablecloth. He walked all over it,
and left no trace. He passed among the slender glasses, fragile
stems, like air-bubbles cut in half and balanced on spears of ice,
yet he disturbed nothing, broke nothing anywhere. When his inspection
was over he stepped out of sight, having been perfectly inaudible
from the beginning, so that a blind person could only have suspected
his visit by that mysterious sense which makes the blind aware of the
presence of another creature.

"This little scene reveals one remarkable characteristic of the
feline nature, the innate and exquisite refinement of its behavior.
It would be infinitely difficult, probably even impossible, to
communicate a delicacy of this kind to any animal by teaching. Why
should she tread so carefully? It is not from fear of offending her
master and incurring punishment, because to do so is in conformity
with her own idea of behavior, exactly as a lady would feel vexed
with herself if she broke anything in her own drawing-room, though no
one would blame her maladresse, and she would never feel the loss.
A dog on velvet is evidently out of place; he would be as happy
in clean straw; but a Cat on velvet does not awaken any sense of
the incongruous. If animals could speak, the dog would be a bluff,
outspoken, honest fellow, but the Cat would have the rare talent of
never saying a word too much."



The immortal Shelley possessed an intense sense of the supernatural,
and, while being a lover of the feline, appeared to be convinced
of the fact that Cats have an articulate language formed of easily
distinguishable words, purely Anglo-Saxon. The following story,
demonstrative of these facts, may be discounted by some of the more
incredulous, but it must be remembered that Shelley was renowned for
his veracity, and is, therefore, entitled to credence. He relates the
following narrative as he heard it from Mr. G. Lewis:

"A gentleman on a visit to a friend," says he, "who lives on the
skirts of an extensive forest, on the east of Germany, lost his way.
He wandered for some hours among the trees, when he saw a light at
a distance. On approaching it he was surprised to observe that it
proceeded from the interior of a ruined monastery. Before he knocked,
he thought it prudent to look through the window. He saw a multitude
of Cats assembled around a small grave, four of whom were letting
down a coffin with a crown upon it. The gentleman, startled at this
unusual sight, and imagining that he had arrived among the retreat of
fiends or witches, mounted his horse and rode away with the utmost
precipitation. He arrived at a late hour at his friend's house, who
had sat up for him. On his arrival his friend questioned him as to
the cause of the traces of trouble visible in his face. He began to
recount his adventure after much difficulty, knowing that it was
scarcely possible that his friend should give faith to his relation.
No sooner had he mentioned the coffin, with the crown upon it, than
his friend's Cat, who seemed to have been lying asleep before the
fire, leaped up, saying, 'Then, I am the King of the Cats!' and,
scrambling up the chimney, was seen no more."

Prof. Hamerton, in quoting the above, comments upon the story as

"Now, is not that a remarkable story, proving at the same time, the
attention Cats pay to human conversation even when they outwardly
seem perfectly indifferent to it, and the monarchical character of
their political organization, which, without this incident, might
have remained forever unknown to us? This happened, we are told, in
Eastern Germany, but in our own island, England, less than a hundred
years ago, there remained many a Cat, it is said, fit to be the
ministrant of a sorceress."

Concerning the origin of the domestic Cat, Rev. J.G. Wood in his
"Illustrated Natural History," says: "The Egyptian Cat is the origin
of the domestic Cat. It is conjectured that the domestic Cat was
imported from Egypt into Greece and Rome, and from thence to England."

"The Cat," continues Dr. Wood, "is a sadly calumniated creature.
The Cats with which I have been most familiar have been as docile,
tractable and good-tempered as any dog could be, and displayed an
amount of intellectual power which would be equaled by very few dogs
and surpassed by none. The most conspicuous varieties of the domestic
Cat are the Manx and Angora. Angora Cats have long, silky hair and
bushy tails, while the Manx Cat's body is covered with close fur,
and is tailless."

Dr. Wood, in his most interesting work, relates several stories
confirmatory of the fact that the Cat is wonderfully endowed with
intellectuality, and I select the following as being the most

"Three years ago I had a lovely kitten presented to me. Her fur was
of beautiful blue-gray, marked with glossy, black stripes, according
to the most improved zebra or tiger fashion. She was so very pretty
that she was named 'Pret,' and was, without exception, the wisest,
most loving and dainty pussy that ever crossed my path. When Pret
was very young, I fell ill with a nervous fever. She missed me
immediately in my accustomed place, sought for me, and placed herself
at my door until she found a chance for getting into the room, which
she soon accomplished, and began at once to try her little best
to amuse me with her little frisky, kitten tricks and pussy-cat
attentions. But soon finding that I was too ill to play with her, she
placed herself beside me, and at once established herself as head
nurse. In this capacity few human beings could have exceeded her in
watchfulness, or manifested more affectionate regard. It was truly
wonderful to note how soon she learned to know the different hours at
which I ought to take medicine or nourishment, and, during the night,
if my attendant was asleep, she would call her, and if she could not
awake her without such extreme measures, she would gently nibble the
nose of the sleeper, which never failed to produce the desired effect.

"Having thus achieved her purpose, Miss Pret would watch attentively
the preparation of whatever was needed, and then come and, with a
gentle purr announce its advent to me. The most marvelous part of the
matter was her never being five minutes wrong in her calculation of
the true time, even amid the stillness and darkness of the night. But
who shall say by what means this little being was enabled to measure
the fleeting moments, and by the aid of what power did she connect
the lapse of time with the needful attentions of a nurse and her
charge? Surely we have here something more than reason."

The reverend gentleman goes on to say: "The never-failing accuracy
of this wise little cat was the more surprising since she was
equally infallible by day or night. There was no striking clock in
the house, so that she could not have been assisted by its aid,
nor was it habit, for her assiduous attentions only began with the
illness and ceased with the recovery of the invalid. Instinct,
popularly so called, will not account for this wonderful capability
so suddenly coming into being, and so suddenly ceasing. Surely some
spirit-guiding power must have animated this simple little creature,
and have directed her in her labor of love.

"Another time, while Pret was yet in her kittenhood, another kitten
lived in the same house, and very much annoyed Pret by coming into
the room and eating the meat which had been laid out for herself.
However, Pret soon got over that difficulty by going to the plate
and, as soon as it was placed in the accustomed spot, picking out all
the large pieces of meat and hiding them under a table. She then sat
quietly down, and placed herself sentry over the hidden treasure,
while the intruding Cat entered the room, walked up to the plate and
finished the little scraps of meat that Pret had thought fit to leave
her. After the obnoxious individual had left the room, Pret brought
her concealed treasures from their hiding place and quietly consumed

"When any one was writing Pret was rather apt to disconcert the
writer. She always must needs try her skill at anything that her
mistress did, and no sooner was the pen in motion than Pret would
jump on the table, and, seizing the end of the pen in her mouth, try
to direct its movements in her own way. That plan not answering her
expectations, she would pat the fresh writing paper with her paw, and
make sad havoc with the correspondence.

"Clever as Pret was, she sometimes displayed an unexpected simplicity
of character. After the fashion of the cat tribe, she delighted in
covering up the remnants of her food with any substance that seemed
most convenient. She was accustomed, after taking her meals, to
fetch a piece of paper and lay it over the saucer, or to put her paw
into her mistress' pocket and extract her handkerchief for the same
purpose. These little performances showed some depth of reasoning in
the creature, but she would sometimes act in a manner totally opposed
to rational action. Paper and handkerchiefs failing, she has been
often seen, after partly finishing her meal, to fetch one of her
kittens and lay it over the plate, for the purpose of covering up the
remaining food. When kitten, paper and handkerchief were all wanting,
she did her best to scratch up the carpet, and to lay the torn
fragments upon the plate. She had been known, in her anxiety, to find
covering for the superabundant food, to drag a tablecloth from its
proper locality, and to cause a sad demolition of the superincumbent
fragile ware.

"At last Pret died, and one of her offspring became a mother, and
I conveyed herself and kitten to her former home. Although she
had not seen the house since her early kittenhood, she recognized
the locality at once, and, pulling her kitten out of its basket,
established it in her accustomed bed on the sofa.

"One of her offspring is now domiciled in my own house, and there was
rather a quaint incident in connection with its departure.

"Minnie knew perfectly well that her kitten was going away from
her, and, after it had been placed in a little basket, she licked
it affectionately, and seemed to take a formal farewell of her
child. When next I visited the house Minnie would have nothing to
do with me, and when her mistress greeted me, she hid her face in
her mistress' arms. So I remonstrated with her, telling her that
her little one would be better off with me than if it had gone
to a stranger, but all to no purpose. At last I said, 'Minnie, I
apologize, and will not so offend again.'

"At this remark Minnie lifted up her head, looked me straight in
the face, and voluntarily came on my knee. Anything more humanly
appreciative could not be imagined.

"For many days after the abstraction of her offspring, Minnie would
not approach the various spots sanctified by the presence of her
lost child, and would not even repose on a certain shawl, knitted
from scarlet wool, which was her favorite resting-place. She is a
compassionate pussy, like her late mother, and mightily distressed
at any illness that falls on any of the household. When her mistress
has been suffering from a severe cough, I have seen Minnie jump up on
the sofa and put her paw sympathetically on the lips of the sufferer.
Sneezing seems to excite her compassion even more than coughing, and
causes her to display even a greater amount of sympathy."



One strong characteristic attributed to the Cat by its enemies and
traducers is quarrelsomeness. I will not take the trouble to deny the
assertion, but leave the reader to deny it out of his own experience,
and will give two versions of the old story of the Kilkenny Cats,
so frequently quoted in demonstration of the fighting qualities of
Pussy, who is, evidently, only too eager to live in peace with all
the world, in conformity with her great desire for comfort.

The story generally told is that two felines fought in a saw-pit with
such ferocious determination that, when the battle was over, nothing
could be found remaining of either combatant except the tail, the
marvelous inference to be drawn therefrom being, of course, that they
had devoured each other.

The ludicrous anecdote has, no doubt, been generally looked upon
as an absurdity of the Joe Miller class--but this, according to a
writer in the English "Notes and Queries," is all a mistake. He
continues, concerning the historical matter of the Kilkenny Cats, "I
have not the least doubt that the story of the mutual destruction
of the contending cats was an allegory designed to typify the
utter ruin to which centuries of litigation and embroilment on the
subject of conflicting rights and privileges tended to reduce the
respective exchequers of the rival municipal bodies of Kilkenny and
Irishtown--separate corporations, existing within the limits of
one city, and the boundaries of whose respective jurisdictions had
never been marked out or defined by any authority to which either was
willing to bow. Their struggle for precedence and for the maintenance
of alleged rights invaded commenced A.D. 1377, and were carried on
with truly feline fierceness and implacability until the end of the
seventeenth century, when it may be fairly considered that they had
mutually devoured each other, to the very tail, as we find their
property all mortgaged, and see them each passing by-laws that their
respective officers should be content with the dignity of their
stations and forego all salary until the suit at law with the other
pretended corporation should be terminated, and the incumbrances
thereby caused removed with the vanquishment of the enemy."

Those who have taken the story of the Kilkenny Cats in its literal
sense have done grievous injustice to the character of the grimalkins
of the "fair critic," who are really quite as demure and quietly
disposed a race of tabbies as it is in the nature of any animal to
be. The other story, which, to my mind seems mere probable than the
one just recited, is given by my friend, Mr. S. Clark Gould, in his
"Notes and Queries," as follows:

"During the rebellion which occurred in Ireland, in 1798, or, it may
be, in 1803, Kilkenny was garrisoned by a troop of Hessian soldiers,
who amused themselves in barracks by tying two cats together by their
tails and throwing them across a clothes-line to fight. One of the
officers, hearing of this cruel practice, resolved to stop it. As he
entered the room, one of the troopers seized a sword, cut the tails
in two as the animals hung across the line, and thus suffered the two
cats to escape, minus their tails, through the open window, and when
the officer inquired the meaning of the two bleeding tails being left
in the room, he was coolly told that two cats had been fighting, and
had devoured each other, all but the tails."

Before Noah Webster asserted that "the lower animals" only possessed
instinct, which he defined as a power "or disposition of mind,
by which, independent of all instruction or experience, without
deliberation, and without having any end in view, animals are
unerringly directed to do spontaneously whatever is necessary for the
preservation of the individual or the continuation of the kind," he
should have read the following authenticated stories, illustrative of
the forethought of the Cat. The first of these I take from an English
magazine, called "Nature," and it is communicated by Dr. J.R. Frost.

"Our servants have been accustomed, during the late frost, to throw
crumbs from the breakfast table to the birds, and I have, several
times, noticed that our cat used to wait there in ambush, in the
expectation of a hearty meal from one or two of the assembled
birds. Now, so far, this circumstance is not an example of abstract
reasoning, but to continue. For the last few days this practice of
feeding the birds has been left off. The cat, however, with an almost
incredible amount of forethought, was observed by myself, together
with two other members of my household, to scatter crumbs on the
grass with the obvious intention of enticing the birds."

Another correspondent writes to the same magazine as follows:

"A case somewhat similar to that mentioned by Dr. Frost, of a Cat
scattering crumbs, occurred within my own knowledge in a neighbor's
yard. During the recent severe winter a friend was in the habit
of throwing crumbs outside his bedroom window. The family have a
fine, black Cat, which, seeing that the crumbs brought birds, would
occasionally hide himself behind some shrubs, and when the birds
came to their breakfast would pounce upon them with varying success.
The crumbs had been thrown out as usual one afternoon, but left
untouched, and during the night a slight fall of snow occurred. On
looking out next morning, my friend observed puss busily engaged
in scratching away the snow. Curious to learn what she sought, he
waited, and saw her take the crumbs up from the cleared space and lay
them, one by one, on the snow. After doing this she retired behind
the shrubs to await further developments. This was repeated on two

In further proof of the fact that Pussy possesses a wonderful power
of forethought, Prof. Romanes tells this story as coming from a

"While a paraffine lamp was being filled, some of the oil fell upon
the back of our Cat, and was afterward ignited by a cinder falling
upon it from the fire. The Cat, with her back in a blaze, in an
instant made for the door, which happened to be open, and sped up
the street about a hundred yards, where she plunged into the village
watering-trough, and extinguished the blaze. The trough had eight or
nine inches of water, and Puss was in the habit of seeing the fire
put out with water every night. The latter point is important, as it
shows the data of observation on which the animal reasoned."

Another correspondent, after describing a Cat and parrot in their
amiable relationship, proceeds to the following narration:

"One evening there was no one in the kitchen. Cook had gone upstairs
and left a bowl of dough to raise by the fire. Shortly after the Cat
rushed up after her, mewing and making what signs she could for her
to go downstairs, when she jumped up and seized her apron and tried
to drag her down. As she was in such a state of excitement, cook
went and found Polly shrieking, calling out, flapping her wings and
struggling violently, up to her knees in dough and stuck quite fast.

"No doubt if she had not been rescued she would have sunk in the
morass and been smothered."

Mr. Belshaw, writing to "Nature," says: "I was sitting in one of the
rooms of a friend's house the first evening there, and on hearing
a loud knock at the front door, was told not to heed it, as it was
only the kitten asking for admission. Not believing it, I watched for
myself, and very soon saw the kitten jump onto the door, hang on by
one leg, and with the other forepaw right through the knocker, rap

As being of general interest, I take the following explanation of
the common theory that the Cat has nine lives, from "Zoological
Recreations," by William J. Broderip, F.R.S.:

"The expostulating tabby in 'Gay's Fables' says to the old beldame:

     "'Tis infamy to serve a hag,
     Cats are thought imps, her broom a nag;
     And boys against our lives combine,
     Because, 'tis said, your cats have nine.

"The Cat probably owes this reputation to a nine-fold vitality, not
only to its extraordinary endurance of violence and its recovery from
injury, which frequently leaves it for dead, but also to the belief
that a witch was empowered to take on her a Cat's body nine times."

In demonstrating the finer sensibilities of the feline race, Prof.
Wood says:

"Some Cats appear to have a strong sense of honor, and will resist
almost every temptation when they are placed in a position of trust.
Still, some temptations appear so powerful that the honorable
feelings cannot resist them. For example, one Cat would resist every
lure, except a piece of fried sole, another could never withstand the
allurements of a little jug of milk or bottled stout. She would have
boldly averted her head from the same liquids if they were placed in
a basin or saucer, but the little jug, in which she could just dip
her paw, and lick it possessed irresistible fascination for her. And
as other examples, I have known several cats who possessed a strong
taste for fermented liquors, and I have seen one of these creatures
eat a piece of bread, soaked in pure brandy, and beg earnestly for a
further supply."



Possibly there is no better way for an author to illustrate his
subject or punctuate an argument than by quoting the most interesting
and conclusive stories which are directly to the point. I have done
so and will continue to do so in this chapter, hoping that the
stories narrated will not only be of interest, but impressive and

From "Petland," by Rev. J.C. Wood, I take the following story, which
is illustrative of the generosity and self-sacrifice of the feline
animal. It is a relation about "Pret," the grandson of the original
of that name, of whom the reverend gentleman had something to say in
a previous chapter:

"He was fond of entertaining his friends in the yard, and was in
the habit of bringing dinner to the club for the benefit of his
acquaintances, and then wanting a second dinner on his own account,
in the evening. He even went so far as to be disgusted with the meals
furnished to a neighboring cat, thinking that cat's-meat was not fit
for feline consumption. Acting upon this supposition, he was seen to
take away the cat's-meat as soon as it was brought by the itinerant
purveyor, to carry it into the cellar, bury it under a heap of coals,
and to take his own dinner upstairs for his friends."

The imitative power of Pussy has never been illustrated with more
force than in the story which I take from the work by Prof. George
J. Romanes, and which occurred, as he states, under his personal

"For myself, I may say that my own coachman once had a Cat which,
certainly without tuition, learned to open a door that led into
the stables from a yard, into which looked some of the windows of
my house. Standing at these windows when the Cat did not see me,
I have many times witnessed her modus operandi. Walking up to the
door, with a most matter-of-course kind of air, she used to spring
at the half-hoop handle, just below the thumb-latch. Holding on to
the bottom of this half-hoop with one forepaw, she then raised the
other to the thumb-piece, and while depressing the latter, finally,
with her hind legs, scratched and pushed the doorpost so as to
open the door. Precisely similar cases have been described by my
correspondents as having been witnessed by them."

It may be interesting to the reader to know that Prof. Darwin, in his
great treatise upon animals, declares that Cats with blue eyes are
invariably deaf. My experience has not proven this assertion, and, if
it is as true as other assertions, in "The Origin of Species," for
instance, the evolution of man from the ape, I think the reader has
just cause for doubt.

Sir Richard Phillips says in "Million of Facts," American edition,
page 48: "The Angora Cat has one eye blue and the other yellow."
Also, on page 49: "Perfectly white Cats are deaf."

Regarding this last assertion, I will say I once owned a "perfectly
white Cat," which was a Tom, weighing twenty-five pounds, who was not
deaf, and I cannot comprehend any just reason why a white Cat should
be deaf, or what the color of the fur has to do with the ear or her

The statement has been made in the works of several writers upon
animals and their habits that dogs and Cats would never fraternize. I
have not a doubt that the experience of most of my readers will serve
to demonstrate the contrary, as my own experience undoubtedly does.

Illustrative of the superior intelligence of the Cat, Prof. Romanes
gives the following stories:

"Mrs. Hubbard tells me of a Cat she possessed that was in the habit
of poaching young rabbits, to 'eat privately in the seclusion of a
disused pig-sty.' One day this Cat caught a small black rabbit, and,
instead of eating it, as she always did the brown ones, brought it
into the house, unhurt, and laid it at the feet of her mistress.
'She clearly recognized the black rabbit as an unusual specimen and
apparently thought it right to show it to her mistress.' Such was not
the only instance this Cat showed of zoological discrimination, for
on another occasion, having caught another unusual animal, viz., a
stoat, she also brought this, alive, into the house, for the purpose
of exhibiting it."

Mr. T.B. Groves tells, in "Nature," of a Cat which, on first seeing
his own reflection in the mirror, tried to fight it. Meeting with
resistance from the glass, the Cat next ran behind the mirror. Not
finding the object of his search, he again came to the front, and
while keeping his eyes deliberately fixed upon the image, felt round
the edge of the glass with one paw, whilst with his head twisted
around to the front he assured himself of the persistence of the
reflection. He never afterwards condescended to notice the mirror.

A wonderful faculty of the Cat is her quick perception of the uses
of mechanical appliances. In corroboration of this assertion, I
introduce the following stories:

Couch, in his "Illustrations of Instinct," page 196, gives a case
within his own knowledge, of a Cat which, in order to get some milk
which was kept in a locked cupboard, used to unlock the door by
seating herself on an adjoining table and "repeatedly patting on the
bow of the key with her paw, when, with a slight push on the door,
she was able to open it. The lock was old and the key turned in it on
a very slight impulse."

As a still further instance of the Cat's high appreciation of
mechanical appliances, I give an extract from a paper by Mr. Otto,
which will have been read at the Linnean Society, before this paper
is published.

"At Peara, the residence of Parker Bowan, Esq., a full-grown Cat was
one day accidentally locked up in a room, without any other outlet
than a small window moved on hinges, and kept shut up by means of a
swivel. Not long afterwards the window was found open and the Cat
gone. This having happened several times, it was, at last, found that
the Cat jumped upon the window sill, placed her forepaws as high
as she could reach against the side, deliberately reached with one
over to the swivel, moved it from its horizontal to a perpendicular
position, and then, leaning with her whole weight against the window,

Illustrative of the camaraderie of the Cat with human beings, and
of the fact that she can, and frequently does, overcome her natural
antipathy to water, Prof. Romanes tells the following interesting

"A fisherman, of Portsmouth, England, called 'Robinson Crusoe,' made
famous by Mr. Buckland, had a cat called 'Puddles,' which overcame
the horror of water, characteristic of his race, and employed his
piscatorial talent in the service of his master, who said of him:
'He was the wonderfulest water Cat as ever came out of Portsmouth
Harbor, was Puddles, and he used to go out a-fishin' with me every
night. On cold nights he would sit on my lap while I was a-fishin',
and poke his head out every now and then, or else I would wrap him up
in a sail, and make him lay quiet. He'd lay down on me while I was
asleep, and if anybody come, he'd swear a good un, and have the face
off on 'em if they went to touch me, and he'd never touch a fish, not
even a little teeny pout, if you didn't give it to 'im. I was obliged
to take him out a-fishin' or else he'd stand an' yowl and marr till
I went back and ketched him by the poll and shied him into the boat,
and then he was quite happy. When it was fine he used to stick up at
the bow of the boat and sit a-watchin' the dogs," meaning dog-fish.
"The dogs used to come along by the thousands at a time, and when
they was thick all about, he would dive in and fetch 'em out, jammed
in his mouth as fast as may be, just as if they was a parcel of rats,
and he didn't tremble with the cold half as much as a Newfoundland
dog who was used to it. He looked terrible wild about the head when
he came out of the water with a dog-fish. I larnt him the water
myself. One day, when he was a kitten, I took him down to the sea
to wash and brush the fleas out of him, and in a week he could swim
after a feather or a cork."



In the foregoing chapters, I have quoted largely from the best
anatomists, physiologists, naturalists, pathologists, philologists
and linguists, in support of my theses, the most important of which

First--That the Cat is of a more delicate organism than the dog and,
therefore, more susceptible of refinement and everything that goes
toward making it a superior animal.

Second--That it possesses a higher order of intelligence than any
other of the quadrumina, and, consequently, more brain-power equal to
that of man, in the ratio of its size.

Third--That with the same advantages or association with man and
equal advantages of time and opportunity, the Cat will prove herself
possessed of all the attributes which have been so much admired in
the dog, besides the many admirable personalities accorded to her,
and disprove the faults which have been ascribed to the feline by a
prejudiced people.

If the reader will admit my arguments to be good enough to prove my
theses, it will go a long way toward the admission of my theories
concerning the language of the Cat, which my investigations have
proven to me to be not only a possibility, but a fact beyond dispute.
I have been thus particular in the foregoing chapters, in order to
lay a foundation for what follows concerning the interpretation of
a sign and word language, given to the Cat as language was given
to man by his Maker. The possibility of the cultivation of such a
language is an important point in my argument, and I give, in support
thereof, no less, as there cannot be any greater, authority in the
English language than Prof. A.H. Sayce, the eminent philologist,
who, in his "Introduction to the Science of Language," remarks: "We
must be careful to remember that language includes every kind of
instrumentality whereby we communicate our thoughts and feelings to
others, and that the deaf mute who can communicate only with the
fingers and lips is as truly gifted with the power of speech as the
man who can articulate his words. The latter has a more perfect
instrument at his command, but that is all. Indeed, it is quite
possible to conceive of a community in which all communications were
carried on by means of the hands alone. To this day the savage tribes
make large use of gestures, and we are told that the Grevos, of
Africa, admirably imitate the persons and tenses of the verbs by this
means only."

In the word part of the language of the Cat there are, probably,
not more than six hundred fundamental words, all others being
derivatives. Consonants are daintily used, while a wide berth is
given to explosives and the liquid letters "l" and "r" enter into
the great majority of sounds. The sounds of the labials are not
frequently heard, but the vowels, a, e, i, o and u, go far toward
making up the entire complement of words in the language of the Cat.

I say that there are not, probably, more than six hundred primitive
words, because I have not, after years of search, discovered more
than that number, and am of the opinion that the spoken words will
not number more. The difficulty of fixing the number of spoken words
may be realized from the fact that the signs are so universally used,
to the neglect of the sounds, that the opportunity afforded to catch
the sound and interpret the meaning is rare. In short, while the
words do exist, they are never used excepting when actual necessity
requires their use. Signs are not only more comprehensive than
sounds, but the meaning is conveyed more quickly and with greater
ease emphasized. Sounds are used chiefly to attract attention where
signs would fail. Therefore, signs are used to the exclusion of
sounds, whenever they will answer the purpose.

The Chinese language is more nearly like the Cat language than any
of the existing languages, and so closely resembles it in very
many respects as to almost persuade me that the language of the
Cat was derived from it. It is a wonderful thing, and well worth
our attention, that no people are more fond of the feline than the
Chinese, who utilize the little animal to a greater extent than
people in any other part of the world. It is not a fact generally
known, but it is a fact that reveals itself to all foreigners who
visit the Celestial Empire, all of whom assure us of its truth,
that the Chinese use the Cat to tell the time of day. This they
are enabled to do by a close observation of the contraction and
elongation of the pupil of the eye. It is said to be an unerring sign
and always answers the purpose of correctly indicating the hour and
part of an hour where a clock is not at hand, or may be too costly
an article of household furnishing for the poorer classes among the
moon-eyed creatures of the Orient.

In the Chinese language there are few words, and, like the Chinese,
the sounds uttered in the Cat language are musical tones, mellifluous
and pleasing to the senses. Like the Chinese, too, the words have
various meanings, according to the inflections of the voice. The
resemblance in the use and disuse of certain letters, is significant,
and never more so than in the constant infusion of the vowels. Take,
for instance, the word "mieouw," so frequently heard, uttered by the
feline, and meaning, literally, "here," and we find in it a word of
five letters, three absolute and one "possible" vowels.

Give attention, for a moment, to the word "purrieu," which is a
note of satisfaction and content, and give attention to the number
of vowels and the Frenchman's roll of the liquid "r," so that it
comes to the ear like "pur-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-rieu," with a gradually
ascending inflection. In plain English, it means "happy," or, more
comprehensively, perhaps, "all is quiet along the Potomac," and
"I am as happy as a clam at high water," expressions whose weight
and importance were better understood by the soldiers of the army
of the Potomac, after the Battle of Bull Run, and by lovers of the
crustacean, than by ordinary people.

A matronly Cat will always use the last-mentioned word in calling
together her family under ordinary circumstances, and continue it
while caressing them, frequently merging it into a song much lower
and sweeter to the sense than the lullaby we all have heard from the
lips of the gentle mother while nestled tenderly upon her heart.
The meaning of this word is never so well understood by kittens as
when uttered in a sharp tone and repeated a number of times more as
an explosive than otherwise, for it is a warning of danger and a
call for instant action from the mother-Cat, who is imperious in her
demands for obedience, which is the first law in her family life.

The sounds of the labials, b, f, m, p, v, w and y, are more
frequently heard in words of anger than otherwise, as, for instance,
in the significant war-cry and notes of defiance, out on the
woodshed, in the hours of the night when fair Luna is enthroned in
the peaceful sky, in contradistinction to the battle-field in the
back yard. This may be written "mie-ouw, vow, wow teiow yow tiow, wow
yow, ts-s-s-s-syow!" ending in an explosion. The signification is
both a defiance and a curse, and comes so near to bold, bad swearing
that I hesitate to put in words the English of it. The word "yow,"
means extermination from the face of the earth, and when the common
word "mieouw" is used with strong emphasis upon the first syllable,
it means "beware!" for the fur is about to fly.



The disposition of the Cat to mouth her words has given the
impression to many who have studied her utterances to conclude that
most, if not all of her words begin with the sound of the letter
"m," and this is an error which cost me months of wasted time while
seeking to evolve the Cat language. It is natural for a Cat, as well
as a necessary precaution in every animal, including man, to keep
the mouth closed and breathe only through the nostrils, excepting
while in the act of eating, drinking or speaking. It will be noticed
that when the mouth is open the sound that comes most naturally and
readily is that of the letter "m." The deception originated in this
fact. I will admit a tendency of the feline to anticipate the word
with this sound, but to suppose that every word of the Cat language
commences with that sound is erroneous. The plaintive cry for food,
"aelio," was, for a long time, set down by me with the letter "m"
preceding it, and it was not until I had appreciated the uselessness
of that letter preceding the word "lae," meaning "milk," that I
disregarded the letter "m," and arrived at the true spelling of these
and many other words which were uttered singly or at the beginning
of a sentence. The word "alieeo," meaning "water," is subject to the
same misspelling, there being no "m" at the beginning of it, but the
word uttered at the door, when the Cat wants it opened, "parrierre,"
meaning "open," is never preceded with the labial, as it could not be
pronounced in company with the letter "p."

The utterance of the word "bl" may have been noticed by an observer
when the mother-Cat has brought a mouse to her kitten. I have given
as close a resemblance to the sound as possible, in the English
language, and it signifies "meat," and not "mouse," as one might be
led to suppose, "ptleo-bl," meaning "mouse-meat," and "bleeme-bl,"
cooked meat.

The word "pad" means "foot," and "leo" signifies "head." "Pro" is the
feline for "nail or claw," and "tut" for "limb," while the body is
called "papoo" and the fur "oolie."

The most surprising characteristic of the Cat is, undoubtedly, her
wonderful appreciation of the passage of time and the invariable
correctness with which the feline notes the hour and even the
minutes after the hour, without the aid of, or even appearing to
comprehend the value of a clock in computing time. This wonderful
gift was one of the first of my discoveries, as it was one of the
most interesting rewards for my labors. Appreciating that the Cat
must have recourse to sounds for the expression of the hours in
their conversation, I applied myself to the study of them, and was
astonished at the rapidity with which I acquired the Cat-words
standing for numbers. In this labor I was materially aided by my
knowledge of the tendency of the feline to gesticulate, and when a
number was spoken I noticed, regarding the lowest of them, that the
Cat would significantly pat her foot, say once for one; twice for
two and so on, even to seven times occasionally. The highest numbers
were not difficult of attainment by the Cat language, because of
the lack of gesticulations comprehensive of the quantity. By other
signs I arrived at a correct conclusion and became as perfect in the
words and their meanings as the Cat herself. I was greatly rejoiced
at this easy victory, and regarded it as a good omen of success in
my more difficult undertaking of acquiring the full language, not
anticipating the years of toil, whose arduousness, however, was
lightened, at long intervals, by success. The numbers, correct beyond
doubt, are as follows:





































































































The word "hoo" means "hundred." The word "milli" stands for
"thousands" in the English language. The word "zule" means
"millions," and a millionaire in the Cat language is a "zuluaim."

Concerning the sense of the arrangement of sounds for the numbers I
have nothing to say, for I cannot account for their selection, but
the musical sweetness of the sounds in conjunction is wonderfully
striking. Mark the euphony of the language in the expression of
numbers conjunctively, for instance, in expressing the amount
ninety-nine millions, seven hundred and forty-three thousands,
two hundred and thirty-four--"nole-no zulus, el hoo sule-zah
millis, ki hoo zahle-su." Again, let the ear catch the music as I
give you, in the Cat language, the expression of one hundred and
fifty-seven millions, six hundred and fifty-four thousands, eight
hundred and thirty-nine--"aim hoo imle-el zulus, lah hoo imle-su
millis, ic hoo zahle-no." Once more, let me express the euphony
in the interpretation into the Cat language of eight hundred and
eighty-eight millions, four hundred and ninety-one thousands, seven
hundred and sixty-five--"ic hoo icle-ic zulus, su hoo nole-aim
millis, el hoo lahle-im." Now take the table and you may find much
pleasure in making up your own combinations of figures, none of which
will be other than musical.

The expression of the time of day by the man on the tramway, is the
expression of the time of day in the Cat language by the feline as,
for instance, in telling that the time was eight-eighteen, the Cat
would say "ic ic-doo;" twelve forty-five would be "ro sule-im;" nine
thirty-seven, "no zahle-el;" three thirty-three, "zah zahle-zah;"
eight thirty-eight, "ic zahle-ic;" two twenty-two, "ki kile-ki;"
four thirty-nine, "su zahle-no;" five fifty-five, "im imle-im;" six
twenty-three, "lah kile-zah," and so forth.



It is not my intention in this mere paper to give a lexicon of the
feline language. So short a treatise could not comprise so elaborate
a work. Even were the space adequate, I have not, as yet, accumulated
the information, because the time devoted to the subject has not
been adequate to the labor of investigation, which is, necessarily,
intricate and far-reaching. Neither do I propose to mystify the
reader by giving that most misleading of all inventions of the
linguist, a grammar of the feline language, any more than I intend
to inflict a dictionary upon the world. If I succeed in presenting
to the reader a comprehensive, or in any appreciable or satisfactory
degree comprehensive conception of the Cat language, demonstrating
what I know of my own knowledge, after years of investigation, that
the Cat has a distinct, simple and fully adequate language, universal
for all particular purposes, and intelligible to all felines, as
well as to all humanity who will seek to acquire it, I will have
accomplished my object for the present. In this paper my desire
is to lay the foundation for a larger structure in the future. My
greatest desire is to interest the world in this worthy subject and
induce investigations by others. I have no wish to be selfishly
exclusive. I do not seek any honor or remuneration for my labors and
discoveries. My reward will come with the reward to the feline, which
must necessarily follow that elevation of the Cat succeeding the
recognition of the fact claimed by me.

I have not yet discovered that any naturalist, linguist, philologist
or scientist has, thus far, either presented or advocated the theory
of the feline language comprehensive enough to be understood by man,
but I bear in mind what your great Shakespeare wrote, "There are more
things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreampt of in your
philosophy," and allow, without dispute, that all I have written may
have been thought out and even printed by some other writer than
myself, but it is, at least, new to me, and I think the reader will
admit that it is new to him as an entirety. Of course every reader
has heard the peculiar cries and expressions of the Cat, and will
remember some word or words, and will have no difficulty in following
up his or her investigations.

Remembering that mere words form but a very small part of the feline
language, I desire to lay particular stress upon the signs which,
in the Cat language, are paramount and always intelligible to man,
no matter what tongue he may choose to speak or from what part of
the world he may come. One of the beauties, as well as one of the
advantages of the muscular signs of an expression is that it needs
no grammar, no dictionary, no elaborate treatise upon rhetoric,
etymology, syntax, prosody or other advantages of belles-lettres,
to refine and perfect it. Because of this happy fact, the
uneducated man, as we are apt to call those who are ignorant of our
acquirements, may express his thoughts as fluently, as correctly and
as gracefully as his superiors in knowledge, wealth and refinement.
By the sign-language a whole sentence may be expressed better in a
fraction of a second than by the word language in a much greater
space of time. Therefore, its importance is of inestimable value.

I have already given seventeen of the most important words of the
feline language, with their English equivalents, as follows:

  Aelio          Food.
  Lae            Milk.
  Parriere       Open.
  Aliloo         Water.
  Bl             Meat.
  Ptlee-bl       Mouse meat.
  Bleeme-bl      Cooked meat.
  Pad            Foot.
  Leo            Head.
  Pro            Nail or claw.
  Tut            Limb.
  Papoo          Body.
  Oolie          Fur.
  Mi-ouw         Beware.
  Purrieu        Satisfaction or content.
  Yow            Extermination.
  Mieouw         Here.



To correctly interpret the words of a sentence, the important fact
must be borne in mind that the order of speech is not the same in
the feline tongue as in almost any other language. I claim to be
master of forty-nine different and distinct languages, and none but
the Latin and the French--my native tongue--approach in regularity
the order of speech of the feline language. In the latter the order
of speech is as it was with Adam. Primitively, in the construction
of sentences, the most important word of the subject matter was
given first. I claim that all languages would be bettered, to a
great extent, if this order were observed, and I cannot withhold
my condemnation of the inconsistent and reckless men who falsely
asserted themselves to be learned, who carelessly contrived many of
the languages of communities of people. I believe the language of
signs to be God's language, and that it cannot be improved upon.
I never have found a grammar of any language, not even the French
grammar, all sufficient and adequate to the purposes for which it is
supposed to have been intended. In fact, you may say that grammars
are beyond my comprehension, if you like, and I will not deny the
allegation, for I know that they are beyond the understanding of the
grand majority of human beings of all tongues.

Neither have I ever found a dictionary, in any language, which gives
correct definitions of a majority of the words in common use. The
reader has been informed of my estimation of the great American
dictionary compiled by Noah Webster, who was, I have no doubt, a
very good and erudite man, but one subject to strong temptations,
such, for instance, as those of publishers, whose blandishments are
irresistible to many writers and apt to mislead the honest author.

In the feline language the rule is to place the noun or the verb
first in the sentence, thus preparing the mind of the hearer for
what is to follow. To my thinking, this is the proper form of speech
and the only arrangement of words for any language. I never could
admire the speaker who launches out in a mystifying rhapsody on some
human being or some subject near his heart, by saying something
after this manner: "Mr. Chairman, I am about to name a gentleman
who," et cetera, and "a man well known to all the world as a," et
cetera. In this strain long continued, until the hearers tire of
the mystification and call loudly, in their justifiable impatience,
for the inconsistent orator to give the name of the individual, as
he should have done at first, so that the hearers might compare
notes while the eulogy was proceeding. When I read, or listen to
the reading of a letter, I want to know, first of all, the name of
the writer, for in him centres all the interest I may have in the
information contained in the communication. By the measure of my
interest in the writer, I measure the interest in his letter.

According to the primal order of speech and the manner of the
construction of sentences in the Cat language, you will hear such
utterances as these: "Milk give me," "Meat I want," "Mary I love,"
"Going out, my mistress?" "Sick I am," "Happy are my babies."

In the translation of words of the feline language the inflection of
the voice must constantly be kept in mind, for this, as well as the
sound, denotes the meaning intended to be conveyed. For instance,
"meouw," spoken in the ordinary tone of voice, means "how," and is
a salutation of good-will, expressed in English by "Good morning,"
"Good evening," or "How d'ye do?" When the same word is uttered in a
high tone of voice the first syllable "me," strongly emphasized, as
indicated in "meouw," hatred, or something akin to it, is expressed
by the feline. Similarly, the word "purrieu," when spoken with a long
roll of the letter "r" and a rising inflection to the last syllable,
is a call of the mother to her kittens; when spoken with a shrill
inflection to the last syllable, the word is a note of warning to
her loved ones, and when the word is uttered in an ordinary tone
of voice, while the Cat rubs her side against the dress of her
mistress, it denotes satisfaction, affection, or it may be a part of
the feline's system of cajolery. The word "yew," also, when uttered
as an explosive, is the Cat's strongest expression of hatred, and
a declaration of war, but it is, also, her word for expressing a
feeling of pain, or giving notice that she is ill, when uttered in
an ordinary, or perhaps, in a low tone of voice. In short, there is
scarcely a word in the feline language whose meaning is not subject
to four or more directly opposite interpretations, according to the
inflections given in its expression. "Poopoo" means tired--"poopoo"
with a slight emphasis upon the first syllable means sleep--"poopoo"
with a strong emphasis upon the last syllable means work, and this
drives the paterfamilias out after food for the infants and mother,
but when the last syllable is spoken in an explosive tone, such as
poor Mr. Caudle might have uttered when henpecked by his tantalizing
wife during her curtain lectures. The same word "poopoo" when uttered
with a falling tone on the last syllable, is an expression of sorrow
and grief.

I do not know of any sounds more soothing to the nerves of man as
musical, or as musically correct in rhythm, intonation or melody, as
the song of the Cat when at peace with all the world. I have listened
to it many times, and many times endeavored to translate the words of
the song, but, owing to the fact that she sings with closed mouth,
no word has been distinct enough to separate from other words of
the song. Perhaps at no distant day science, through the medium of
electricity, may furnish a means of discovering not only the words of
the singer, but also many words of the feline language which, through
ignorance, are now mouthed by the Cat for lack of knowledge of the
importance of emphasis and clearness of expression.



Signs, in the feline language, are almost invariably made through
the medium of the muscles, and are adequate to every expression. To
this language they are an absolute desideratum. Almost invariably
they accompany the word-signs of the language from a habitually
unconstrained feeling and a desire to better convey the meaning of
the speaker.

To put into words every such expressions is more than word-language
is capable of, which is the strongest proof of the inadequateness
of words for the proper and sufficient expression of ideas, and the
superiority of signs for the manifestation of ideas and desires.
No tiresome, misleading and fallacious grammar, no stuffy, lame,
meaningless dictionary, no wearisome spelling-book, containing words
which are all "at sixes," born in the prize-ring, with a heritage
of hatred for each other, and refusing forever to become reconciled
one to the other; no unpronounceable pronouncing dictionary, in
which words are all zigzag, stubbornly resisting every attempt to
straighten out and stand them upright, like a man, but determined to
inscribe themselves upon the brain in every conceivable pyrotechnical
contempt of straight lines or uniformity in any respect, askew in
reckless profligacy, in defiance of euphony and as uncontrollable as
they are funny; no ridiculously prolix analyzer, no hobbling treatise
upon syntax or prosody of a heterogeneous language of word-signs,
invented to confound those who seek, as well as those who possess
a knowledge of the language of signs. Yet many signs refuse to be
disgraced by being rendered into words.

Noticeable among those of the signs unpronounceable are many
expressed by the sons of Judah, Levi and Benjamin, such as the
bending forward of the shoulders and extending of the hands, palms
upward, and the placing of the index finger to the right hand upon
the right side of the nose; the Frenchman's shrug of the shoulders,
the gyration of the Englishman's finger while the end of the thumb
rests upon the point of his nose; the twirl of the Irishman's
shillelah, and his expressive manner of puffing smoke from his
short-stemmed dhudeen; the sudden change from animation to stolidity
in the German, and the multitudinous and inexpressible signs of the
gesticulating children of sunny Italy.

In the sign language of the Cat an expression is conveyed in the same
manner as by the human being, but the feline has a great advantage
over man in the possession of more utilizing forces. There is the
language of the ear, the tail, the limb, the body, the facial,
including the mouth, the nose, the eye, the brow, the chin, the lip
and the whiskers, the motion of the whole and the significant general
appearance, as in the carriage while in motion, and the form when at

The language of the tail cannot be misinterpreted, suggestive
as it is of the feelings of the Cat. When she raises it, like a
flagstaff, we know that she is proud of herself and satisfied with
her condition, as well as the condition of all other things. When the
appendage is an appendage to all intents and purposes, and streams
out in the rear of its possessor, she is not letting the grass grow
under her feet. When it waves from side to side it is a token of
dislike of position and significant of a change. When it curls under
her body it is a sign of fear, and when it is extended with the fur
on end, "like quills upon the fretful porcupine," there is a strong
probability that there will be commingled in the air untheological
imprecations, a sulphurous blue tinge and loose fur. When it lashes
from side to side it signifies a war of extermination. When it
twitches, that is a sign of amusement. When it is pointed toward the
fire it speaks of rain. When it inclines toward the door it says that
its mistress may go shopping without an umbrella, and while it is
curled upon its side it betokens that all is quiet along the owner's
line of life.

These, among many signs given by use of the tail, have been noted by
everybody. The facial signs are more numerous, and a multitude of
signs find means of communication through the medium of the ear, the
limbs, the feet and the trunk. So plain must the signs be to every
human being, of whatever mental capacity, that I deem it a work of
supererogation to occupy the reader's time in an explanation of what
is so palpably apparent, and I therefore leave the subject, hoping
that watchful care and pleasant study will fully develop the feline
language to the end that the Cat may be understood as she really
is, and elevated from a degrading position to one of still greater
usefulness. In conjunction with the study of the feline language, and
as an aid to its acquirement, I would recommend the remodeling of the
English language, so that it may, to a larger degree, be comprehended
by those who are acquainted with it. I would direct attention
particularly to the words ending in "ough," such as "cough, bough,
rough, though, through, although, enough, sough, tough, trough, and

I would have you notice that you seem undecided which to say, whether
"men clothing," or "men's clothing," the plural of "man" being "men."
You will remember that the plural of "ox" is "oxen," not "oxes," the
plural of "fox" is not "foxen," but "foxes." I am surprised when I
take a glass of wine with an English-speaking gentleman to see him
touch my glass with the rim of his own and to hear him say: "Here
we go!" while he remains stationary and makes no attempt to leave
me. I am hoping for the time to come when the reformation of the
English language will be so complete that when the conductor on a
tramway cries "look out!" he will mean what he says, so that the
Frenchman may save his head from being crushed by putting it out of
the carriage window because of the misdirection of the official of
the train. I shall hope for such reformation as will save me from
insulting a widow, unintentionally, by innocently telling her that
I am aware that her worthy and lamented husband has kicked over the
bucket, because I was informed that it was the proper expression in
the English for our French word "mort."

Hoping, by your aid, for better things for my favorite, the Cat, and
thanking you very much for your kind attention to my paper, I have
the honor of wishing you au revoir.


       *       *       *       *       *

The work of the Professor is complete as far as he has gone. I shall
expect to hear from him again, some day, if his paper meets with
encouragement from the people of this country.

There can be no doubt that with the aid of the phonograph and other
modern instruments which have recently been discovered, and which he
so significantly anticipated in his references to electricity, great
progress will be made in translating and disseminating the feline
language. In aid of this object, as well as to provide proper homes
and medical attendance for the felines, with an eye to their comfort
and the improvement of the breed, material assistance should be
given by the ruling powers in every nation. It is a subject of vast
importance and I leave it for the consideration of the great American
public and other nations as well.


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     And his fur is as soft as a mitten,
     He is spotted with white though as black as a hat
     And though aged--is as spry as a kitten.


     Tom never seems tired of washing his face.
     And he keeps himself tidy and slick
     He's as cleanly as if he belonged to our race
     And I think that's why Tom's never sick.


     I asked him one day as he sat by my side,
     How he kept himself always so clean.
     He looked up in my face, seemed to answer with pride
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