Bell's Life in London and Sporting Chronicle, 18th August 1822

A gentleman next appeared to answer the charge of a lady. The former was wholesale slaughterer of horses at Battle Bridge; the latter was a retail dealer in food for the canine race — or, other words, a barrow-hawker of cats’ and dogs’ meat. It appeared that the parties were man and wife, but that of late divers unhappy differences and disputes had arisen between them.’ The complainant was in the habit weekly of disposing of some three or four pounds’ worth of horse flesh, in the way of her trade, and there being a pretty decent profit attached, as well to the wholesale as the retail dealer, tire defendant thought it was nothing but fair, as he was the complainant’s husband, and a wholesale dealer in flesh, that she should come to him to buy her meat. The complainant had, however, thought proper to carry her ready money to another market, and the defendant, being displeased with this bad treatment, threatened the complainant what lie would do, provided she persisted in this course. It was for this that the present warrant had been granted. After hearing the parties at great length, Mr. Sergeant observed, that it appeared their object was a separation ; but had not power to separate them. The defendant replied, that the magistrate was quite mistaken, for wanted his wife to come back and live with him and be comfortable. The complainant— Yes, yes, your worship, he wants to come back and live with him, and then for my earnings to support another woman and a young family of children, that will have by her; but that’s what I’ll never do, your worship’ The worthy magistrate observed, that if the lady refused, he could not compel her to live with her husband. If the husband could not coax her back his winning appearance and actions, there was another course open to him, but he must take special care that he did not commit any breach of the peace; be therefore recommended them to depart, and behave civilly to each other. They then left the office, neither of them at all satisfied with this decision.

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, Tuesday 4 December 1832

John Thomas was charged with inflicting divers mortal wounds, bruises, and contusions on one Tommy Tortoiseshell, the darling protege of Miss Dorothy Brown, a maiden of four-score ; of which mortal wounds, bruises, and contusions the said Tommy Tortoiseshell then and there died, against the pence of his doting patroness, Miss Dorothy Brown. The lady in accents, which she doubtless considered perfectly ravishing, lisped out a long detail of John Thomas' naughty sayings and doings ; of his scandalizings all over the neighbourhood, the fair fame of herself and ' darling Tommy ;' of his repeatedly threatening to be the death of the sweet sensible creature ; and finally of his carrying the said threats into execution, by impaling him with a toasting fork,

"Well, John Thomas," said his Worship, "and what defence have you to make to this serious and weighty charge, preferred against you by Mrs, I beg her pardon, by Miss Dorothy Brown?"

"Why," returned John Thomas, "the fact is, sir, that Miss Dorothy Brown, and her defunct tom cat." Here the defendant was cut short by the maiden of fourscore, with a very severe reprimand for speaking so disrespectfully of her "sweet darling Tommy Tortoiseshell," which ended, he resumed. "The fact is, Sir, that Miss Dorothy Brown, and her defunct tom cat, have long been the joint nuisance of the whole neighbourhood. Among others who have experienced their annoyances was your humble servant. I have a garden, in which I have taken much pains to raise some choice flowers, and this rascally tom cat of Miss Dorothy Brown's used to exercise as much pains to destroy them in my absence. Many a time did I tell Miss Dorothy Brown that she ought to teach bim better manners, but she always encouraged him, and last time I went to tell her of his freaks, she patted him on the head, and actually told me, she should expect some of the pinks when they blossomed, in return for the assistance her Thomas had tendered me. Now my name is Thomas, your Worship, and I did not like to hear the same name used to such an animal, so what with taking my name in vain, and the rest of it, the next time I caught her nasty old tom-cat, in my garden. I settled him."

During this explanation Miss Dorothy Brown, manifested repeated tokens of impatience, and at its close, was about to make a spirited rejoinder, when the Magistrate, seeing how the matter stood, dismissed the case, telling Miss Dorothy Brown, she must seek her remedy elsewhere.

Hereford Times, 22nd August 1863

To the Editor of the Hereford Times.
Sir, consequence of having seen in your paper, some anecdotes respecting pet animals," I beg to introduce another, should you deem it worth inserting. It is about our cat, which has always been a "pet." About a fortnight ago, she had a family of two kittens. When they were a week old, a wild young rabbit, apparently about six weeks' old, was placed in her nest with the kittens, when, instead devouring it, she commenced licking and fondling it. The rabbit remained in the nest, but was, at first, very shy. The old cat, however, showed no hostile intentions towards it, but, on the contrary, supported its life for three days without any other food, the same manner as she did her own offspring. She now became even more attached to it than she had been before, and would carry it all over the house by the ears. As it began to gain confidence, it would venture out of the nest alone, when the old cat would always leave the nest and follow it about to play with it. The rabbit, however, soon began to dislike its confinement and made its escape into the garden, whither it was quickly followed, and on being discovered, immediately ran into the house. Early yesterday morning it again got out and nothing was seen of it for the whole day, although it was sought after, and the poor cat showed every possible sign of grief ; but, on the door being opened about 8 o'clock p.m., the cat was found sitting on the door-step with her paws round the rabbit. At this instant the rabbit is in the garden and its foster mother has just carried out her kitten to pay it visit. The rabbit has become quite tame and will take food from the hand; nor is it wholly ungrateful for the cat's kindness, for when it hears the kittens crying (as they will do when left by their mother, not being yet able to get out of the nest alone) the rabbit will immediately jump over a board foot high and settle itself down quietly with them. The Schools, Much Marcle, Aug. 11. 1863.

Pall Mall Gazette, 21st December 1867

Books about animals are always popular with children. [. . .] Mr. C. H. Ross's "Book of Cats' shows industry and cleverness, but is nevertheless a mistake. He should have made up his mind before he began what sort of audience he was going to address, and how he should treat the subject. He has collected a mass of scraps and cuttings about cats from books, newspapers, magazines, &c., and has put them together without any discrimination or order, and with some rather cockneyish salt of his own, which certainly does not make the ill-dressed mess more palatable. It is a book which a child could make nothing of, and it is too childish for grown-up people. Next time we hope Mr. Ross will take more pains with his work.

Shipping and Mercantile Gazette, 16th October 1869

Baily’s Magazine of Sports and Pastimes. Vol. 20. August 1871

From Handel Festivals and banquets to the Comedie, to cat shows and fireworks, what should we do without our Crystal Palace ? How pleasant, on a day of the first-named, to hear the rolling volume of sound which the orchestra sends forth, and the mighty strains of that Hailstone Chorus penetrating even that vast space — to sit among the palms and cocatoos and listen to the pure Parisian of my Lord Granville, on another — to enjoy the whole aeries of fountains,' and the wonderful fireworks of the Messrs. Brock, while you sip the not bad claret of Messrs. Bertram and Roberts — and finally to spend an afternoon among the cats (we feel the bathos of our last recreation), what place like the Sydenham temple. We believe we ought to be funny about poor ' pussy ;' but really we don't see why we should. We candidly confess to a liking for the sharer of many hearth-rugs and the companions of many solitary hours — the somewhat careworn, but yet attentive puss, whose role in life seems constant maternity — the well-fed and quiescent Thomas, condemned by circumstances over which he has had no control to a life of comparative retirement — the sprightly kitten, whose ways and manners are half a charm and half a torment — all this or all these find favour in our eyes.

'Mitissa, well-bred pass, descended
From cats of Cyprus much commended.
In whom more fondling arts are seen
Than had that wheedling, Cyprian queen,"

is the commencement of an ode to his cat by a county gentleman of the last century, who, in addition to being a scholar and a gendeman, was a mighty hunter before, or rather after such hounds as Dorsetshire then afforded (they were the pre-Adamite days, before Pleydell had arisen on the earth, Farquharson and Tread well were in embryo) ; and as we have the honour of being that worthy gendeman's unworthy descendant, it is right and proper that a liking for cats should come down with the blood. A liking for cats 1 What a humiliating confession that will appear to many "Baily" readers 1 Will they give up subscribing, we wonder? or will a deputation arrive at Cornhill, demanding the instant dismissal of the conductor of the "Van" We could not wonder if they did. What does the outside world know of cats, except as animals to be chevied,' to have Pinchers, Bills, and Tobys set at them — objectionable beings who pass the night on tiles, and make that night hideous beyond compare. What said our roost accomplished living novelist — a statesman to boot — in the opening verses of a poem he wrote some few years back describing early dawn in the great metropolis ? —

" The lean grimalkin, who since night began,
Hath hymned to love amidst the wrath of man,
Scared from his raptures by the morning star,
Flits fiercely by and threads the area bar "

Yes, that is it. We much fear the immoral conduct of our favourites has brought upon them a great deal of their unpopularity. They will stay out late, and they have a habit of letting people know it that has roused the wrath of "man" against them. Now we go to Cremorne ; but then we don't make any noise about it, and no one, save the unfortunate dwellers in the neighbourhood of the King's Road, curses us as they turn on their pillows. But Thomas is a bad boy when he has the power, defying public opinion and outraging propriety too, in a way that we cannot defend ; so by three parts of the world he is 'chevied,' and by a small minority he is considered a companion and a friend. But we fancy, after the great success of the show at the Palace, and the figure the cat world there cut, will do much to raise it in the scale of nations. Men and women who came to scoff remained to admire, while devotees (not necessarily old ladies, we beg to observe) had their enthusiasm roused to a greater pitch. It was a case of the cat with many friends. The sociable tabby, the coy white mother, half pleased at, half alarmed by the admiration her offspring excited, a brown tabby Angora, Mrs. Grey's magnificent Persian, and last, not least, Mr. Harrison Weir's "Old Lady," would have appealed to the most hardened heart. The sulky cats were in the minority ; and it was impossible to believe that the docile, neat-looking ladies who came to the bars of their pens to scrub against an offered hand, and be called "dear" and "sweet" by pretty lips, were of those who would make night hideous by caterwauling. No, these were all well-behaved pattern animals, with marriage certificates and unexceptionable morals ; and very gratifying must it have been to Mr. Wilson to see the interest they excited. Of course the Duke of Sutherland's wild animal roused a respectful interest, and old ladies gazed at it in doubt whether he could belong to the same species as their Mitissas. An awful brute, who looked as if he could have eaten the four white kittens reposing opposite with satisfaction — something very uncanny about him, and by no means an animal one would have liked to encounter on a dark, or any other sort of night. But enough of Pussy. The show was a decided success, and is likely, we hear, to be repeated.

The New York Times, October 8, 1871 (reprinted from "Once a Week")

Cats are held in great estimation in the East, and large prices are sometimes paid by native ladies for fine Persian specimens. In Cairo, a sum of money was left in trust to feed poor cats, who daily receive their rations at the Mahkemah (law Courts). Many animals have in Arabic a large number of names - more than 560, for instance, being applied to the lion. The following story, current among them, will illustrate this fact with reference to the cat. A Bedawi was out hunting one day, and caught a cat, but did not know what animal it could be. As he was carrying it along with him, he met a man has said, "What are you going to do with that sinnaur?" The another asked him "What is that kutt for?" A third called it 'hirr'; and others styled it successively dhayun, khaida and khaital. So the Bedawi thought to himself, this must be a very valuable animal; and took it to the market, where he offered it for sale at 100 dirhems. At this the people laughed, and said, "Knowest thou not, O Bedawi, that it would be dear at half a dirhem?" he was enraged at having his dream of wealth thus rudely dispelled and flung it away, exclaiming "May thy house be ruined thou beast of many names, but little worth." The Arabs say theat the occasion of the cat's first appearance was as follows: The inhabitants of the ark were much troubled by mice. Noah, in his perplexity, stroked the lion's nose, and made him sneeze; whereupon a cat appeared , and cleared off the mice. In the East, as in Europe, a black cat is regarded as "uncanny;" and various parts of it are useful for magical and medicinal purposes. Its claws, for example, are siad to be a charm against the nightmare.

CATS AND THEIR OWNERS- The Proud Status of Cats in New-York - Some Remarkable Cats - A Curious Cat Fancier and Her Home.
The New York Times, November 14, 1871

Nothing more forcibly attracts the notice of intelligent foreigners landing in New York than the number of cats which stretch their luxurious length in stores, warehouses and counting houses, or sit demurely on the head steps of basements. They have an at-home expression about them which shows that they are not only tolerated, but are even cared for and petted. When an Englishman goes round to present his letters of introduction, he observes. to his intense astonishment, in the private offices of merchants, sleek felines, who advance toward him with fearless step, arch their backs and rub their sides against his pantaloons in the most friendly spirit. His remembrance of counting houses in London or Liverpool contains nothing so free and easy, nothing so familiar. In the dim and staid offices of Lothbury such a solecism on custom as a cat was never beheld. The most daring innovation to the primness of the place has been, perhaps, a dog, whose snuffling inspection of old gentlemen's ankles and calves has been recorded by the sufferers as unwarranted and reprehensible in the highest degree. In stores and warehouses throughout England, cats are everywhere tabooed, and their almost universal presence before the public in this City impresses the Englishman with a high opinion of the friendly character of the people.

For it is certainly a fact that the semi-savage dogs patronized by Britons, with their eternal desire to be fighting something or somebody, betray that tendency to coarse and brutal pleasures which is a characteristic of the lower orders of Her Majesty's subjects. bill Sykes was not less savage than Bill Sykes' dog, and the bull pups which LEECH was so fond of drawing, were as like their collier masters as a phalansterian professor would desire. Nations less dogged, less fierce, betray a partiality for the smooth and friendly mouser, which Englishmen of the old school would have sneered at as feminine. Cats require nothing from their masters save caresses and food; dogs on the contrary, if of race despise the owner who does not show them sport. They may love him, but will always regret in the depths of their doggish hearts, that his has no turn for shooting, or even rabbit hunting, or at the very least, for an occasional burst of ratting. And they will envy other dogs whose masters have tastes more congenial with their own.

Cats, on the contrary, though of dispositions less plastic than dogs, accept civilized life more readily. There uis a shoe-store in Astor-place where a large black cat sits in the centre of the room as the genius loci. The goods are exclusively for ladies and children, and, when customers come in, the cat gravely perches itself in front of the person who is removing her shoe, and as soon as he sees the neat white-stockinged foot, makes a playful grab at it with his paw, as if it was a little mouse. This cat is a great favorite with the juvenile customers. its ears have been bored to ribbons, and the children delight to bring narrow strips for ear-rings, so that pussy is continually having fresh ones. Sometimes the ears are adorned with pink, sometimes with red, sometimes with blue or green, and, occasionally, roguish children bring black pieces, and play at making believe that Pussy is in mourning for the recent loss of a kitten.

On Fourth-avenue, between Ninth and Tenth streets, is a jeweler's store, where there is a huge tortoiseshell tom-cat, which is without exaggeration as large as an English terrier. This cat has very much the air of a cheetah, is less supple and rounded than cats generally are, and its manners are less coaxing. If called it comes up to be patted, but it never arches its back, and rubs against one, and betrays its satisfaction only by a loud purring. it has a very thick tail and very long, which it shakes from side to side in a very independent fashion. AHRENS, on Broadway and Seventeenth-street, has in his saloon a lively tabby cat, which was born with only two legs. Its hind legs are wanting, and the extremity of its body is something like that of a wasp, with the addition of a short, broad tail, which looks like the rudder to a vessel. its method of locomotion is peculiar. If it wants to go a considerable distance it hops like a kangaroo; if it has only a few feet to traverse it wriggles along on its extremity, helping itself with its forelegs, something like a baby with weak loins sometimes contrives to crawl. It has a capital appetite and enjoys very good health.

There is a young fellow who lives somewhere on Fourth-street who has a whim of carrying animals on his shoulder. Sometimes it is a squirrel, sometimes a mungoose, and sometimes a cat. It is singular, that while the crowd view with admiration and complacency the position of the first two perched on his shoulder and scrambling about his neck, there are always individuals who are aroused to wrath if a cat is there, more especially if it happens to be a black one. They say, "isn't it disgusting to see an intelligent man with a great cat stuck up on his back?" and such persons attempt occasionally to scare the poor feline by making threatening blows at her. On such occasions the cat seems to take no notice, though no doubt her claws take very firm hold without considering whether they go into cloth or flesh. This prejudice against black cats is very strange, but is unquestionably derived from Turanian sources. Among the ancients the crossing of a black animal or a black bird over the path of an army was sufficient to halt its march for that day. Black cats and black dogs were sacrificed to Hecate in rites that were sacred and mysterious above all others. Through the Etrurians this horror of black animals crept into Roman life, and from the Romans it was dispersed among the nations they conquered. In England the boys of the street or the village, as soon as they see a black cat, immediately pursue it with hideous cries and with stones. If the succeed in taking the poor animal's life they consider themselves absolute heroes, and tell their parents, with much pride, of the exploit. "Well done, boys; always kill a black cat, for it brings bad luck, and sucks babies' breaths away."

In New-York black cats are really at a premium. A certain dry goods prince has a black one which perches generally on the arm-chair behind the screen where the photographs are in his private office down-town. there is a rumor that he is very fond of this cat, and that employees who desire to win his favorable opinion seek every opportunity of ingratiating themselves with the cat. This, however, is doubtful. This black cat possess no special talent, and is altogether very inferior to MR THEODORE CLARKE'S. This gentleman has a wholesale wine and liquor store on Broadway, between Houston and Bleeckor streets. Here are tow immense cats - one purely black, the other completely white. the black is remarkably good-tempered, and will stand on his hind legs, jump over hands or through a small hoop, climb the wall for a cracker, mew loudly when ordered to speak, and perform sundry other dexterous exploits. When any one enters with whom he is acquainted, he will immediately jump on the counter, place his forepaws on his friends shoulders, rub his head gently against his mouth, and then tip his hat off by knocking the brim up suddenly with his head. This is a great accomplishment, and the cat is highly prized. Snowball, who is even larger than the black, is unfortunately, like almost all cats of that color, very savage. This is probably from the fact that white cats are born deaf, and in their kittenhood suffer so much from children that their tempers are permanently soured. This was the case with MR CLARKE'S Snowball. The children, discovering her infirmity, used to pounce on her from behind, whirl her in the air, and pull her tail in the most exasperating way. The consequence was that she was banished to the store, were, being unmolested, she grew an immense size. But her temper was irretrievably ruined, and nothing can induce her to respond to the advances of any one save her master. The black cat pined so when he was left alone that he was sent to the store also from motives of compassion.

One of the GRINNELLS, who has a shipping office in South-street, has also a fine gray cat, with beautiful stripes. This cat is immensely fat, and apparently does nothing at al, save lie in the sun and blink in the Summer time, and lie in front of the stove and blink in Winter. In HINMAN and UNDERHILL's ship chandlery store, also on South-street, they have two cats, a huge grey Maltese grimalkin, of no special merits, and a gray tom cat, who climbs ropes with considerable agility. This feline is a splendid mouser and very fond of play. Nothing pleases him better than to seize on a rope on the ground floor and be hoisted up to the sail-room in the fourth story. He will stand on his hind legs and box with his fore paws like a trained pugilist, only he hits out sideways. if hard pressed by his antagonist he throws himself on his back and brings all his paws to the battle. He has one bad quality, he is extremely voracious, and though plentifully fed, will insist on eating the rats which he catches. As they live in the sewers and feed on all sorts of poisonous matters, he is continually suffering untold anguish, and no doubt makes strong vows to govern his appetite better, which he breaks as soon as he is well again.

There is an old lady who lives in Avenue B who has a large family of cats which she looks after like children. She keeps two female servants whose special duty it is to look after these interesting charges. The number is continually increasing, as she will not allow a single kitten to be drowned, and the largest room in her house is fairly crowded with cats of all ages, sizes and colors. This singular person has plenty of nephews and nieces, and when she wishes to gratify any one of them in a particular fashion she presents the lucky individual with a kitten. At nighttime she sleeps surrounded by her feline friends, and though she has considerable wealth on the premises, there is not a burglar in New-York who would tackle her and her cats. For he would be torn to ribbons if not eaten alive by the faithful creatures who on various occasions have evinced their affection and fidelity to their eccentric mistress. On one occasion a favorite nephew entered the room with a bull-dog. The cats with hair standing on end, dilated tails and flashing eyes, were about to make a charge upon the whimpering dog, when the young man snatched it up in his arms and begged his aunt to have it, which she accordingly did. Of ca certainty, that dog will never worry cats again.

Indianapolis Evening Journal (Newspaper)
February 6, 1872,
Page 2 of this newspaper had a lengthy cat miscellany (I have corrected a few minor typographical errors, but left period spellings unchanged).

Died, in Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, Mrs. Gregg, a lady between fifty and sixty years of age, remarkable for her benevolence to cats, no fewer than eighty being entertained under her hospitable roof at the same. Her maids being frequently tired of their attendance on such numerous household, she was reduced at last to take a black woman to attend upon and feed them. She left this sable attendant an annuity, condition on the due care and sustenance of the cats.

So said Sylvanus Urban, eight years ago. And there have been other cases nearly similar; such as that of a gentleman at Hackney, who earned for himself the soubriquet of Cat Norris, on account of the numerous cats which he cherished. Grimalkin once now and then attracts a spurt of popular attention; and it is perhaps right that it should be so, for he appears to have had a good many hard rubs to bear. If Cattle Shows. Horse Shows, Pigeon Shows, Poultry Shows, Bird and Dog Shows - even Baby Shows and Barmaid Shows - why not Cat Shows? If people persist in doubting whether there has ever been such a being as a tortoise-shell tomcat, why should not others try to answer the question in the affirmative? Did a cat ever live twenty-six months without drink? and has a cat ever been known to exceed thirty-six years of age? and was there not a remarkable police court case lately, touching the personal identity of a white Persian cat? If we like such subjects, have we not a right to discuss them?

The tortoiseshell problem is one of the toughest relating to cats. Every one admits that the combination of red and yellow in the male animal, if observable at all, is very rare, and the rarity gives rise to a high commercial value — just as in the case of old pictures, old China, and uniques of various kinds. Some breeders have found that, cross how they might, they can not produce this phenomenon; If tom, then a few black or white hairs mixed with the yellow and red; if not black or white, then tom's sister, perhaps, but not tom. Some persons have suspected, and even asserted, that nitrate of silver is occasionally used to sophisticate the color of tom's coat. There was once a tortoiseshell cat named Dick; but the animal lost both name and fame on becoming the mother of a litter of kittens. The Times newspaper has not been without its allusions to this subject. In one issue there was an announcement: "A handsome Tortoise-shell Tom Cat to be disposed of on reasonable terms." In another: "To be sold, a real Tortoise-shell Tom Cat, fifteen months old, and pounds' weight;" and diligent readers of the paper could doubtless find other examples. About sixty years ago there was one of these rarities sold by auction in London; it fetched such an enormous price as to become quite a public topic. Mr. Bannister, the comedian, made fun about it in an entertainment called the "Budget," while song-books and broad-sheets revelled In the song of "The Tortoiseshell Tom Cat," or (in another form) "Tommy Tortoiseshell." The song puts the cat into a catalogue issued by Mr. Cats-eye of Cateaton street; and brings in the syllable cat in plentiful abundance. Men, as well as woman, it seems, helped to run up the biddings to more than two hundred guineas:

"E'en nine or ten fine gentlemen were in the fashion caught, as well
As ladies in their bidding for this purring piece of tortoiseshell!"

Four other lines ran thus:

"Of its beauty and its quality 'tis true he told us fine tales;
But as for me I would as soon have bought a cat-'o-nine-tails;
I would not give for all the cats in Christendom so vast a fee
To save them from the cataracts of Cataline's catastrophe!"

Not only the tortoiseshell, but the yellow and also the tri-colored, are subject to the same problem; are there any toms included in the number? Again, white cats are reputed to be always deaf and dumb; but some possessors assert that their proteges are as wide awake as any other cats. Again, there is the problem about tails. We all hear of the flagellatory cat-o-nine-tails; but are there any cats wholly without such appendages? There are, unquestionably, cats in the Isle of Man thus bereft; and hence the saying, that "Manx cats are tailless;" but whether a cat once lost her tail by accident, and thus established a new breed, or whether (as has been rumored) crafty and cruel rogues curtail poor puss, in order to obtain a high price for a so-called Manx cat, are matters open for discussion.

According to Pennant, King Howel laid down a good stiff value for cats in Wales 900 years ago: "The price of a kitten before it could see was to be a penny; till it caught a mouse, two pence;" provided the little one passed a good examination by certain tests. If any one stole or killed the cat that guarded the prince's granary, he was to forfeit a milch ewe, its fleece, and lamb; or as much wheat as when poured on the cat, suspended by its tail (the head touching the floor,) would form a heap high enough to cover the tip of the tail."

Pussy has unquestionably been a favorite with many persons. Witness Mrs. Gregg and Cat Norris; and witness Richard Robert Jones, an eccentric who died in 1826, and who kept copies of all the pictures and all the verses he could met with about cats. One of Gray's lighter minor poems, his "Ode on the Death of a Favorite Cat," gives a pleasant picture of a well-fed and well-treated puss:

"Her conscious tail her joy declared;
The fair round face, the snowy beard,
The velvet of her paws.
Her coat that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet and emerald eyes,.
She saw — and purr'd applause.

She was looking at her own reflected image in a stream; she saw two fish swim by, and dipped down her paw to catch them; but over-toppled, fell into the water and was drowned. On the other hand, some persons have a great antipathy to cats. Such is said to have been the case with Napoleon. A story is told that, after his brilliant victory at Wagram, and while temporarily sojourning at the humbled Emperor of Austria's palace, at Schonbrunn, he one night called out hastily in his bed-room for assistance. An equerry or Aide-de-camp entered, and found his potent master half-undressed, agitated, perspiring, and dealing intended blows at something or other. In truth, a cat had secreted herself behind some tapestry hanging in the room, and Napoleon was making desperate lunges at her through the hangings, almost as much in terror as puss herself.

But the modes of making use of a cat as a symbol, metaphor, representative or type, are much more varied than the actual show either of fondness or aversion ; although, it must be confessed, puss is seldom complimented on these occasions. As to the signs of taverns, such as the "Salutation and Cat," "Cat and Bagpipes," and "Cat and Fiddle," much conjecture has been hazarded concerning their origin, but without any very definite result. Some of the learned say that "Cat and Fiddle" comes from "Catan Fidele" — faithful Catharine; but this leaves unexplained our old familiar—

"Hey diddle diddle.
The cat and the fiddle," &c.

Not less difficult is it to trace the origin of certain old saws an sayings — such as this, that if you butter a cat's feet she will become domesticated to your house; or this, that if a cat sneezes or coughs, every person in the house will soon catch cold. Then, what is the meaning of "Cat's cradle," that wonderful sae-saw of thread or string, in which children delight, and which they often decall "Scratch cradle?" cratch being still a name for the hay-rack over the manger in a stable; and that it was associated in medieval times with some rude semblance to the holy manger; if so, cats have nothing to do with the matter.

The old saying that cats suck the breath of infants, and so kill them, is sometimes attended with discomfort to puss who is hurried away from the soft surroundings of baby, lest she should verify this proverb. Why is a particular game called cat? No one knows. It had something of cricket, something of trap-ball, but is neither; what we know is, that the little bit of wood called the Cat is troublesome to passers by. The term Gib-cat, once applied to tom, is supposed to have come from Sibert, familiar for Gilbert; but this does not help us much, for it leaves unexplained why a tomcat should be called Gilbert. Then there is the simile, or standard of comparison, known as the Kilkenny cat, implying mutual destruction; the story being that two cats belonging to that locality fought so long and so fiercely that nothing was left but a bit of one tail. A Kilkenny man, within the last few years, has expressed an opinion that the saying had an origin which has nothing to do with cats. Many generations ago there were two distinct municipal or corporate bodies in that city, called respectively Kilkenny and Irish-town; the boundaries of their jurisdictions had never been marked out or clearly defined; they were at litigation on the subject for nearly three hundred years, until both were nearly ruined by law expenses.

Nobody knows why a particular kind of whistle is named a cat-call. Addison, in his humorous and sarcastic essay on this subject in the Spectator, contrives to glide from catcalls to cats. "A Fellow of the Royal Society, who is my good friend, and a great proficient in the mathematical part of music, concludes, from the simplicity of its make, and the uniformity of its sound, that the catcall is older than any of the Inventions of Jubal. He observes, very well, that musical instruments took their first rise from the notes of birds and other melodious animals. "And what," says he, "'more natural than for the first ages of mankind to imitate the voice of a cat, that lived under the same roof with them? He added, that the cat has contributed more to the harmony than any other animal; as we are not only beholden to her for this instrument, but for our string music in general."

Art-connoisseurs are acquainted with a picture of Breughel called the "Cats' Concert," in which about a dozen cats are assembled before an open music book; the music, as is denoted by a small sketch, is a song about mice and cats; most of the cats are singing, with humorously varied expressions of countenance; one is blowing a horn or trumpet, one wears spectacles, and two or three are beating time with a front paw. Something approaching to this was actually attempted at one time at Paris; a Cat Concert, or "Concert Miaulant," was got up, in which several cats were placed in a row, with a monkey as conductor; when he beat time they mewed, the drollery depending chiefly on the different tones and qualities of the cats' voices.

Whether it is the voice, or the manner, there is something that has tempted the more spiteful class of satirists to liken women to cats. For instance, Huddlesford, who, in the early part of the present century, wrote a "Monody on the death of Dick, an Academical Cat," launches out into this diatribe against various, kinds of women:

"Calumlnons cats who circulate faux pas,
And reputations maul with murd'rous claws;
Shrill cats, whom fierce domestic brawls delight;
Cross cats, who nothing want but teeth to bite;
Starch cats, of puritanic aspect sad;
And learned cats, who talk their husbands mad;
Confounded cats, who cough, and crow, and cry;
And maudlin cats, who drink eternally;
Fastidious cats, who pine for costly cates;
And jealous cats, who catechise their mates;
Cat-prudes, who, when they're asked the question, squall.
And ne'er give answer categorical;
Uncleanly cats, who never pair their nails;
Cat gossips, full of Canterbury tales;
Cat grandames, vexed with asthmas and catarrhs;
And superstitions cats, who curse their stars!"

A more pleasant bit of fun, with which Thomas hood enriched his "Commic Annual," is a letter supposed to be written by one Thomas Frost to the Secretary of the Horticultural Society, revealing a most unexpected value of dead cats in gardening.

"I partickly wish the Satiety to be called to consider the Case that follows, as I think might be maid Transaxtionable in the nex Reports. My Wyf had a Tomb Cat that dyd. Being' a torture Shell, and a great faverit, we had him berried in the Guardian, and for the sake of inrichment of the Mould I had the Carks deposited under the roots of a Goozeberry Bush. The Frute being up to then of the Smooth Kind. But the next Season's Frute after the Cat was berried, the Gooseberries were all hairy — and more remarkable the Catpilers of the same bush was All of the same hairy description.

The instinct of the cat has not escaped the attention of the naturalists. Every one agrees that the dog is far more intelligent, faithful, unselfish — attached to his master by something more than mere cupboard love. Still there are occasional Instances of puss coming forward as a thinking being, laying plans, and adapting means to ends. As to cats suckling the young other species of animals, this may possibly arise from some kind of maternal yearning, not simply such as we might call kindness of motive. At Guildford, some years ago, a boy brought indoors a couple of blind young rabbits; the father, rather brutally, gave them to a cat, under the supposition that she would summarily treat them as rats, instead of which she suckled them and took care of them. At Overton, in Hampshire, a cat suckled her own kitten and a squirre1 at the same time. In White's "Natural History of Selborne" an incident is related of a cat who had been robbed (in a way familiarly known to most households) of her kittens, nursing a young leveret which had lost its mother; the marvel to Gilbert White was that a carnivorous animal should thus suckle one of the graminivorous order. At Woodbridge, in Suffolk, a hen died, leaving two eggs to bemoan their loss. The eggs were placed under a cat when suckling her kittens; the warmth hatched the eggs, the chicks came forth, and the cat looked after them as attentively as after her own kittens.

Poor, puss sometimes looks as though she would, if she could, tell her troubles to those around her. A kitten died one day, a natural and not a violent death; the cat brought it indoors In her mouth, laid it at her mistress' feet, and moaningly looked up for succor and sympathy. The instinct of dogs, in finding their Way to places under circumstances which would baffle their masters, is paralleled in one instance, if not in many, by the cat. A certain puss had her kitten taken away from her, put into a basket, and carried three miles off to the other extremity of a large town. Puss disappeared some time afterwards; but when the street door was opened early next morning, in she composedly walked with her kitten dangling in her mouth and replaced it on her own particular cushion. How she had managed her night journey no one knew.

A Child Six years old ran a splinter in his foot; sat down on the floor, and cried so lustily as to wake a cat Who was sleeping by the fireside; the cat got up, went to the child (who was a playmate of hers,) gave Wm a good hearty cuff on the cheek with her paw, returned to the fireside and resumed her nap, as if under the belief that the unusually loud crying was merely the result of "tantrums." A cat belonging to a convent received her food only when the bell was rung at meal times. One day she happened to be shut out at this critical period. On gaining admission an hour or two afterwards, she saw not trace of any allowance on her platter; whereupon she set the bell ringing, much to the astonishment of the establishment generally.

The Scotchman newspaper, in 1791, told an anecdote of a cat that was left on shore by mere accident, much to the regret of the shipmaster. When he returned to Aberdour from his voyage, about a month afterwards, puss at once walked on board with a kitten in her mouth, and went directly down to the cabin. It was ascertained that she had lived in a neighboring wood, coming to have a peep at all the vessels that entered the harbor, but paying no further attention to any except the one which she regarded as her home. And here we may remark that there is said to be a law or rule that If a live cat is found in an abandoned ship, it will prevent the vessel from being treated as derelict, or the property of the finder. If it be so, the rule probably applies to other live animals besides cats ; at any rate, it is known that ship owners and shipmasters like to have a cat on board. One more instance of thought, sagacity, or whatever we call it. A certain pantry window in the country was frequently found to be broken, and was as frequently mended; to guard it, a board was nailed across the lower part of the sash. One night the master of the house, when in bed, heard taps against the pantry- window, just below him. On looking out he saw a cat with her (or his) hind feet on the pantry sill, and left front paw clinging to the top edge of the hoard as a holdfast, and hammering away against one of the panes of glass with a small stone held in the right paw.

There is some justification for the belief that a new career of honor is opening for puss. Cat shows are likely to become institutions among us. When the Crystal Palace folk entered upon this matter half a year ago, there were no data from which the probable degree of success could be inferred. It was not known whether the owners of fine or rare cats would submit them to public view. But they did; and the display was a success. The famous question of questions was not quite solved. There was a tortoise-shell tom, but it was admitted that he had a few white hairs about him. People flocked in very large number to the north nave of the Palace, where the cats were ranged in cages; and newspapers and family circles were, for a week afterwards, discussing the merits of the Duchess of Sutherland's British wildcat, the white Persian cats, the blue-eyed deaf cats«, the Siamese cat with the puppy, pug-like nose, cats without tails, cats with superabundant toes, cats with less than the proper number of toes, cats weighing more than 21 pounds each, cats with the brown tabby coat, so rarely seen. And this first cat-show having been a success, a determined on, and still more decided is pussy now in favor than before. The cats were vastly more numerous; and so were the visitors. No fewer than three hundred and forty-nine mewing, purring beauties competed for public admiration and favor, reclining pleasantly on their cushions. The animals were grouped in forty classes, and three prizes were given in each class; so that about every third man had a prize, of course much to his or her satisfaction. The short-haired and long-haired were duly classified; while the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offered prizes for choice examples of workmen's cats. Good, kindness to animals ennobles a dustman and a duke alike. The brown, blue and gray tabbies wore in strong muster; the rare mauve color was present; the Australian and the Abyssinian had not been forgotten; there was a cream color, which the enraptured owner valued at one hundred pounds; there were twenty-pound cats, and hybrid white cats, and fawn colored cats, and — oh, rarity of rarities! — a real tortoise-shell tom, in whose coat not one white hair could be found. — (from) Every Saturday.

From the New-Bedford (Mass) Mercury, Oct 2 (reprinted in The New York Times, November 2, 1872)

Sometime Monday night the family of Mr J Buckley, residing at No 22 Bedfored-street, was awakened from their slumber by a terrific noise in the cellar. it was altogether louder than an accomplished burglar would suffer himself to make, and yet it seemed like the work of no honest man. It was apparent that an investigation must be made. So the household forces wended their way to the cellar, where the cause of the racket was soon discovered. A wild rabbit, nearly exhausted, was found trying to escape the clutches of several hungry cats, who had chased the poor animals nearly to death. The pursued and the pursuers had turned the cellar into a hunting-ground, and the chase had been followed with such vigor as to produce the effects above mentioned. The rabbit was secured, and the cats incontinently banished from the scene. How the creature came there is a mystery, though it is judged he entered a hole in the window when first chased by the feline hunters.

The New York Times, April 7, 1872 (reprinted from Chambers's Journal)

The Persian Cat is often more silky in appearance than the Angora, though the color is different, being gray. Pure white Persians, with blue eyes, are most beautiful animals, but strange to say they are always deaf. Those exhibited at the recent cat show at the Crystal Palace had this peculiarity. Some years ago there was a white Persian cat at Allesbury Rectory, near Coventry, quite deaf. Of her many kittens those quite white were always deaf, but those with the least color could always hear well. The Isle of Man produces the tailless cat, a very curious variety. When these are crossed with an ordinary tailed cat, the progeny exhibits the intermediate stages between tail and no tail.

A tortoise-shell Tom cat is extremely rare. MR BRODERIP, writing in 1847, says: "A friend, not less noted for his scientific labors than his fund of anecdotes, tells us that some twenty-five or (by'r Lady) thirty years ago, a tortoise-shell Tom cat was exhibited in Piccadilly, where the Liverpool Museum was afterward show, and where dowagers and spinsters thronged to the levee, as was recorded in the caricatures of the day. One hundred guineas, says our philosophical friend of many tales, was the price asked; and I saw many a longing, coroneted coach at the door of the exhibition room." Cats and spinsters are not always associated, for, at the Crystal Palace show, of the prized offered, thirty-two were gained by gentlemen, fifteen by married ladies, and only four by spinsters. MOHAMMED had a favourite; that of PETRARCH was at its death place in a niche in his room; and DR JOHNSON took great delight in bringing home oysters for his cat when it was ill. MRS GRIGGS of Southampton Row, who died Jan 16 1792, left in her house eighty-six living, and twenty-eight dead cats. She left £150 a year to maintain her black servant and the cats. No-one could paint cats like GOTTFRIET MIND, who died at Berne in 1814. He actually had eight hundred live ones, but these were ordered to be killed, as some were believed to be mad.

(As well as commenting on several genetic quirks, this has one of the earliest mentions of apparent cat-hoarding that I've come across, that of Mrs Griggs in the late eighteenth century. I am sceptical of Gottfriet Mind having 800 cats, though if he did, their madness could have stemmed from overcrowding and/or inbreeding. The tortoise-shell Tom cat at Piccadilly, may have been as early as 1817 and may have inspired "The Cat Auction" theatrical piece.)

The New York Times, September 13, 1873

After discussing the praise given to pet dogs, this rather satirical piece says of cats: This attention (given to dogs) is entirely without any corresponding degree of merit on the part of its object. Comparing his domestic usefulness with that of the cat, for example, one sees how greatly he is overrated. The cat goes about her work of keeping the house free of vermin quietly and promptly, without any noise or parade, while the dog is idling away his time barking out of the front windows, or sunning himself on the doorstep like the profligate lazzaroni he is, under pretense of awaiting his master. Yet nobody writes poems about the cat, unless it be unfeeling burlesques on her untimely demise, like that of GRAY. She makes no figure in the history or romance, except in the most repulsive aspects, as the familiar demon of a sorcerer or the centre of a witch's Sabbath, and she is made to bear the burden of every household crime, from eating the cold mutton to wearing out her mistress' Paris bonnet.

The New York Times, November 9th, 1873

Some time ago, says the Hartford Post, Mr E W Ives, Superintendent of the factory of N B Stevens and Co at Norfolk, Conn, took from his former house in Mt Carmel, near New-Haven, his pet cat, and carried it with him to Norfolk, going from Mt Carmel to New-haven by the canal road from New-Haven, to Hartford by the New-York, New-Haven and West Hartford Road, and from there to Norfolk by the Western Road. The cat stayed at Norfolk one day, and then was missed by Mr Ives, and all efforts to find it proved unavailing. Three or four days after, Mr Ives had word from Mt Carmel that the cat had arrived there safe and sound, having walked the entire distance - fifty-four miles. It was again taken to Norfolk, and is now living there apparently without any desire to make any more pedestrian excursions.

The New York Times, January 29, 1874

Wm. Breese, residing at No 37 East twenty-second street, was arrested yesterday morning, upon a warrant issued by Justice Kilbreth, for violation of a City ordinance and the laws for the prevention of cruelty to animals. It appears that the young man was in the habit of making targets of any stray cats who came within shot. he would sit at his window with a revolver, and within the past few days had shot two pet cats belonging to the neighbors. One was only wounded, and falling between two fences, gradually died of starvation and its wounds. Two lads working for a cabinet store were sitting within five feet of the spot where the cat was shot. William, when arrested, pleaded ignorance of all ordinances and law. He said the cats held concerts every night on his fence, much to the annoyance of his family, and as boots, brushes, and bottles had only caused the vocalists to return with fresh vigor and in increased numbers, he had in desperation used the revolver and a rifle. Judge Kilbreth, after giving the defendant to understand that he must not repeat his target practice under full penalty of the law, discharged him.

The New York Times, July 25, 1875 (reprinted from Chamers's Journal)

It is supposed that hitherto the culinary value of cats has been confined to China and Japan. Our Eastern friends have long held the monopoly, but the Parisiens now follow suit. According to Galignani, there are a few cat-butchers in that city of gourmands, who will give a good price to the rag-pickers for a puss dead or alive, provided it be fresh and fat; their skins are sold to the furriers, their fat to the frying shops, and their flesh to the low eating-houses. A certain amiable naturalist who has tasted almost everything under the sun, says that a well fed cat is superior to an Ostende rabibit. Prodigal as we are of cat life, kittens were recently quoted in the New-Zealand price lists at from £1 to £3 each, and a grown cat from £4 to £7. A tortoise-shell Tom exhibited in Piccadilly a few years ago was valued at a hundred guineas; and Rev A W advertises one for sale, in the Animal World of February, 1875. "A cat , perfectly black, nine months old," is likewise offered for sale on April 1 in the same journal. As long ago as the days of "Howel the Good," in the yaera 948, that Welsh King enacted that the price of a kitling before it could see was to be a penny; till it caught a mouse, twopence; and when a skillful mouse, fourpence. Those who stole or killed a cat that guarded the royal granaries were to forfeit a milch ewe, its fleece and lam, or as much wheat as when poured on the cat, suspended by its tail, (the head touching the floor,) would form a heap high enouth to cover the tip of the tail. A short time since "the rage set in so strong in Brussels for Angora cats that fabulous prices were asked, and dealers stoles the cats that were bought from them one cay, and sold them again the next, to satisfy the demand."

The New York Times, March 2, 1875

The Mayfield (Ky) Democrat of Feb 25 says: Mayfield has had the mad dog scare to a considerable extent for the last ten days and now comes a new sensation in the shape of mad cats - real mad cats that were not content to fight and scratch out each other's eyes, but flew around with glaring eyes and gnashing teeth, seeking what and whom they might devour. After biting one another and all the fowls on the place, they made sad havoc with two negro children living on Mr Bob Wright's place, near this city, biting them on the leg between the knee and ankle-joint. The children were brought to this city, and surgical operation was performed by cutting out the flesh around the wounds, and then by a plentiful use of caustic, which was thought to be sufficient to prevent any fatal result.

CATS The New York Times, July 25, 1875; The Indiana Progress, 26 August 1875 (reprinted from Chambers's Journal)

Cats from time immemorial have been favorites with the old and the young, the rich and the poor; and though at times persecuted by some thoughtless school boy, have upon the whole been received into the "bosom of the family." Dr. Johnson sent out to purchase oysters for his pet, Hodge, when he was old and sick, and fancied no other food; and the poet, not content with cutting one hole in his library door to let his mouser in and out, fashioned a second smaller hole for the necessities of the kitten. What would Whittington be in history, or in our love and reverence, without his cat'? Puss, however, generally falls to the favor of womankind. The Arab endows the cat by miraculous interposition at the beginning of the world, with the spirit of a gentle woman; and Dr. Stables, with whom cats are "darlings," assures us in his book on The Cat, that one sitting purring on the hearth-rug to the music of the hissing tea-urn, blinking her eyes before a bright fire, is the very personification of feminine virtue. Indeed in this favorable view of pussy's lady-like character, he was preceded by Mr. Broderip, who tells us, in his "Zoological Recreations", that the cat is closely connected with the untranslatable word, "comfort" a word that has neither name nor representation out of Great Britain. The Doctor gives us but little. if any, reverse to this amiable picture; but surely out of doors all likeness to womankind must cease, for we cannot be so ungallant as to follow the simile on to the tiles, or to compare a cat parliament, with its unearthly noises, to the sweet and dulcet vocalisms of the gentler sex, however, gossiping may be their tendency. If cats could always be kittens, redolent of fun and mischief as a schoolgirl, we might be disposed to admit some resemblance, but the comparison becomes flighty and far-fetched when it reaches our chimney-pots. However, cats are so greatly petted under the Doctor's pen, that they can afford a little wholesome detraction. It is an interesting sight, that of a cat teaching a kitten its future duties, in which domestic cleanliness, as well as mice-hunting, bears an important place. Some instances are given in which greediness is reproved by the mother, but not one in reproof of the errors of late hours. What open atmospheric influence is it that changes cats' nature, swearing and spitting at each other - fur-pulling and blood-letting being then their great delight, which nothing short of a descending boot or the discharge of a loaded blunderbuss seems sufficient to disturb.

The New York Times, August 1, 1875

A PHILANTRHROPIST'S PLEA FOR POOR PUSS. Baroness Burdett-Coutts writes as follows to the editor of the London Daily Telegraph: In the accounts given in the public journals of the disastrous floods there have been many interesting and saddening details of the misfortune which has recently visited our homesteads. and these have enabled us to realize ourselves the wider desolation suffered by our friends and neighbors in France, through the fierce and resistless power of rising water. None but those who have seen this water power, as i have done, in full action, can estimate fully the feeling of helplessness in engenders, nor the amount of energy needed to work against its steady encroachment until the turn comes, and the swift, silent destroyer recedes as noiselessly and almost as imperceptibly as it approached. This experience led to my reading with much care all the instances of courage and vigor with which the sudden emergency was met by many cottagers, and among the rest I found the following, with reference to a poor man whose house was flooded, in your columns of Saturday:

"With commendable presence of mind which he found the water rising he first got his wife and children up stairs, then rescued his dog and two cats, and next rushed to the pig-sty, wading through water up to his waist, and saved his two pigs, which were drowning, and which he valued at £6."

This simple story induces me to ask a little corner in your paper, as it has given the last impulse to representations made to me on behalf of "the harmless necessary cat." I have been asked to endeavor, if possible, to obtain for this animal some portion of that protection which public opinion can always command. The cat's case at the end of the London season is one of much distress, for while the dogs of a family accompany their owners, the cats are left uncared for, unthought of, and, shocking to relate, often locked up and unable to get away. A very benevolent lady, well known to me, who was detained late in London last Autumn, was so pained by the condition of some of these animals in the streets near her house that she collected a good many and distributed them among friends. I believe the police could bear witness to the great sufferings these creatures must undergo, and i am aware that the subject has often been under the notice of the Secretary of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, but hitherto nothing has been done in remedy. I am not disposed to advocate a cats' home, unless indeed the idea of one would thereby induce people to take more care of their cats. I am, however, inclined to think that cruelty arises, as a rule, either from want of consideration or from ignorance, and, in regard to the case in question, I feel assured that when people contrast their own cold-blooded neglect of their cats with the conduct of the laboring man, who after his first fond though for his wife and children, thinks next, not of his most valuable stock, the pigs - though he does not forget them - but of the humble companions of his hearth, and carries the dog and two cats to an upper room for safety, they will not lock their house door and leave the pretty cat who has moused for them during the season and perchance amused many an idle moment, to wander absent without food, timidly shrink8ing within itself in fear, suffering, and hunger. If these few lines can but arouse in the minds of those who are enjoying themselves in the country or by the seaside a remembrance of the miserable fate to which they have condemned these poor little beasts, i think the number of people who neglect their cats would sensibly diminish. If a poor working man in the flurry and hurry of a moment of unexpected danger to himself and those dear to him, could recollect his dog and cats, surely the family moving leisurely from one comfortable house to another, with plenty to eat in both, might give a thought to the living creature left behind, might give some direction for its keep, and recollect that it needs food whether they are in or out of the house, and that it feels the pangs of hunger and all that unites man to animal life as keenly as they do. It would be but common humanity to bestow on their cats that touch of pity which makes all men kin, and which we must hope will not be denied by the higher to the lower intelligence at man's own hour of need.

The New York Times, September 12, 1875 (reprinted from All The Year Round)

Under the general appellation of "cat" are classed, commercially, the lynx, the wild-cat, and - I shudder as i write it - the "harmless necessary" house-cat. I freely confess that I have little or no compassion for the lynx, who, if his eyes are as sharp as they are said to be, ought to be able to take care of himself; nor am I inclined to bewail the fate of a hecatomb of wild-cats. But, poor pussy! She is here in hundreds and thousands, black, white, tabby, and tortoise-shell. That huge pile of rugs is made entirely of cat-skins. In each rug lie imbedded like fossil specimens, the beautiful tabby or tortoise-shell backs of a dozen pets. I wonder who the people are who buy these rugs - whether they keep a cat themselves, and how that sagacious animal looks when one of these dreadful rugs is brought into the house.

CATS AND TWINS, from Lady Duff Gordon's last Letters.
The New York Times, September 12, 1875

Do you remember the German story of the lad who traveled "um das gruseln zu lernen" (to learn how to tremble)? Well, I, who never gruselte (quaked) before, had a touch of it a few evenings ago. I was sitting here quietly drinking tea and four or five men were present, when a cat came to the door. I called "bis, bis," and offered milk, but puss, after looking at us, ran away.
"Well dost thou, lady," said a quiet, sensible man, a merchant here, "to be kind to the cat, for I dare say he gets little enough at home : his father, poor man, cannot cook for his children every day." And then in an explanatory tone to the company, "That is Alee Nasseeree's boy Yussuf - it must be Yussuf, because his fellow twin Ismaeen is with his mule at Negadeh."

Mir gruselte (I shivered,) I confess; not but what I have heard things almost as absurd from gentlemen and ladies in Europe; but an "extravagance" in a kuftan has quite a different effect from one in a tail coat. "What! My butcher's boy who brings the meat - a cat?" I gasped.

"To be sure, and he knows well where to look for a bit of good cookery, you see. All twins go out as cats at night, if they go to sleep hungry; and their own bodies lie at home like dead meanwhile, but no one must touch them, or they would die. When they grow up to ten or twelve they leave it off. Why your own boy Achmet does it. Oh, Achmet!" A

Achmet appears.

"Boy don't you go out as a cat at night?"

"No," said Achmet tranquilly, "I am not a twin - my sister's sons do."

I Inquired if people here were not afraid of such cats.

"No there is no fear, they only eat a little of the cookery' but if you beat them they will tell their parents next day, 'So and do beat me in his house last night," and show their bruises. No, they are not Afreets; they are beni Adam; only twins do it, and if you give them a sort of onion broth and camel's milk the first thing when they are born, they don't do it at all."

Omar professed never to have heard it, but I am sure he had, only he dreads being laughed at. One of the American missionaries told me something like it, as belonging to the Copts, but it is entirely Egyptian, and common to both religions. I asked several Copts, who assured me it was true, and told it just the same. Is it a remant of the doctrine of transmigration? However, the notion fully accounts for the horror the people feel at the idea of killing a cat.

The New York Times, September 19, 1875

The Sacramento (Cal) Union tells this little story: "Dixie," one of the cats at the station-house, assumed his duty of watching a rat hole in one of the big cells night before last, and succeeded in capturing a rodent. The squealing of the victim aroused one of the prisoners in the cell, who almost immediately saw another rat emerge from the hole and attack the cat, catching him by the back of the neck and shaking him. Dixie dropped rat No 1 and went for No 2, but both escaped him.

The New York Times, September 26, 1875 (reprinted from Land and Water)

Fraser's Magazine for September has an article, "Two Years in Natal." The authoress writes, "Perhaps every one does not know that cats are snake-proof. A bite has no effect on them. We had an opportunity of proving this. A long green imamba was engaged in a fierce tussle with a big cat, in which the cat had bitten out one of its eyes, and in return had got a wound on its face that swelled up to an enormous size, but beyond that he seemed none the worse for the encounter, and in a few days was well again." On referring to those magnificent works by Dr Fayrer, on "The Thanatophidia of India," and by Dr Gunther, on "The Reptiles of India," I fail to find the term imamba mentioned by either of those authors, so I conclude it is a special name given by colonists to a snake indigenous to Natal and the Cape of Good Hope; but then the question arises, does this so-called imamba posses all the deadly qualities of a poisonous snake? I cannot imagine any animals receiving a wound in the face, causing it to swell up, from a snake said to be deadly in the strict sense of the term, and yet survive. It is true that pigs in the United States destroy numbers of rattlesnakes, but I suppose they would succumb to the effects of the poison if they were bitten by the snakes. In the same way it was maintained that the mongoose was capable of resisting the venom of the cobra, I believe, but few believe it now. Many years ago , while in India, I saw a tame domesticated mongoose on two occasions seize cobras by the back of their head and carry them off in triumph. It was much too wily and active to be bitten by a cobra. Had it received the full charge from the poison fangs of the latter, death, I doubt not, would have ensued. If the common domestic cat of this country were to be bitten by our only poisonous English snake, the adder, would it escape death? Ii believe not.

The New York Times, October 30, 1875

The Meriden (Conn.) Republican says: "In the building which was burned last week on West Main-street there was a cat with a litter of four kittens. At first the cat would not move, but stayed with her little ones, but as the fire progressed and became too warm for her, she finally jumped to her feet and seized on of the kittens in her mouth and carried it to a place of safety. The old cat then returned to the building and took another one of the kittens and carried that to the place where she had taken the first, and so on until the four were out of danger. The old cat was injured very badly, besides being permanently blinded. On the tail there is hardly the resemblance of a hair left, and on other portions of her body there are marked effects of the fire.

A CURIOUS MINIATURE MENAGERIE - The Graphic, 8 January 1876
A curious miniature menagerie was recently organised in Paris by an impecunious Pole. He obtained four docile cats and coloured them yellow, adding black stripes to complete the resemblance to tigers. A little boy of eight years old, very small for his age, was passed off as a dwarf, and shut up in a large cage with the cats, which were announced as a very rare and minute species of tigers. Boy and cats were instructed in the usual tricks of the wild-beast tamer; but one day the cats, infuriated by the chastisement they continually received, set upon the unfortunate boy, and lacerated his face and hands in a fearful manner. The boy took refuge in the street, where he was protected by the neighbours, and the menagerie proprietor at once decamped, leaving his property to the public.

Various, April 8, 1876.

In England there is an annual cat show held at Sydenham Palace, and so great is the interest felt in it that the ‘Times’ stops thundering, the ‘Saturday Review’ ceases its philosophical twaddle, and the ‘Pall Mall Gazette’ drops its glowing and cynicism to discuss the exhibition. A cat show is not of much use, except as a mere show of a very beautiful animal, in interest it cannot compare with the American baby show originated by Mr. Barnum some years ago – as every mother knows. We have our dog shows, which are worth seeing, the west has its shows of pretty girls, and not long ago we had a frog show, in which were beasts that might have rivalled Mark Twain’s celebrated jumping frog before the shot was poured into him. Perhaps on the principle that any interesting thing is worth comparison with others of a kindred sort, some enterprising man could make a success with a [absurd show suggestions e.g burglar & detective] or some other, in which striking points of resemblance between the animal might be brought out. Mr. Barnum seems to have over-looked something in the show line – Hearts and Home.

The New York Times, June 13, 1876

When it was agreed by every patriotic American that the year 1876 ought to be celebrated with unusual care, the question immediately arose how to celebrate it. (following a discussion planting trees for the centennial,) Why should not every American resolve that on the morning of the Fourth of July, 1876, she will begin the day by planting a cat in his back yard? It is by no means certain that we need a single additional tree, but the next wail that sweeps from the back fence will convince every thoughtful man that we have at least 36,000,000 cats in excess of our requirements. What a magnificent spectacle would America afford the civilized world if this vast array of cats was to be solemnly slaughtered as a slight expression of our patriotism and our love for free institutions! The thing is perfectly feasible. The cats are within our reach, and every citizen can, at a small expense, provide himself with a Centennial cat with the course of the next three weeks. let us these resolve that we will not waste our time by setting out unnecessary trees, but that when the sun of the next Fourth of July morning sends his beams into our back-yards the will fall like so many aureoles upon the brows of the precise number of freemen mentioned in the last census, each one of whom will be in the act of digging a Centennial grave in which to lay the Centennial cat that thoughtful and intelligent patriotism has carefully prepared for some noble and impressive a ceremony.

The New York Times, September 30, 1876

Elder F W Evans, a shining light at New Lebanon, has contributed to "The Shaker" for October an article in which he says "Kill the cats! That was a good suggestion in September number. They are the greatest nuisances on the premises; have to be killed to keep them within bounds. Kill a few more and it will lessen the number of cat deaths in the future. Mother Ann Lee affirmed that cats were mediums of evil spirits. She enjoined her children not to play with or fondle cats. A good rule. They are causes of weakly children in many households. We have no dogs, whey should we have cats? The dog loves his master or mistress. The cat loves the house, and will return if taken away by the removing owner. How shall we keep the mice and rats in check? Let some of the readers of 'The Shaker' answer. Do right, kill the cats, and 'the birds of the air' will tell subscribers how to abate the lesser nuisances of rats and mice."

The New York Times, July 17, 1876

Miss Jane Grey Swisshelm writes all the way from Leipzig to the Pittsburgh Commercial to express her utter detestation of cats. She expressed her opinion that the agricultural societies out to offer bounties for the scalps, and goes on otherwise:

“No one who has not paid attention to the subject can have any idea of the number of birds and bird’s nests destroyed in one year by one cat, and, to me it is a wonder that there are any birds left in the United States. To be sure, there are very few. I have heard more bird songs here in Leipzig in the seven weeks I have been here than I ever did in seven years at home, and there I lived most of the time in the country, while here I am in the city. Our street terminates abruptly on the confines of a garden, which must embrace twenty acres, and is surrounded on three sides by high houses. Our block is the last on the street, and our rooms at the end next to this garden, which is full of tall trees and shrubbery and flowers and pleasant walks, and i think there are more birds in it than in Cherryhill township, Indiana County, Penn, in which our Summer home was situated, and which is a very large township, not less than twenty miles square. Every family there, but one, kept cats to amuse the children and catch rats, and as a cat never touches a rat while it can get a bird, or a nest of birds, or eggs, and as they can easily follow a bird to its nest and cannot follow a rat to its, there are not many birds left when cats fall to catching rats. Nobody raised fruit there except by accident. All the trees were decorated with caterpillars’ nests, and the last year we were there the worms attacked the elder bushes and blackberries, the main dependence of the people for fruit. One might see ‘intelligent farmers’ sitting caressing cats, while the worms were devouring their crops, and their faithful guardians were in pussy’s maw. I used to be so tried that I should have been resigned to the dispensation of Providence if I had heard some morning that the cats were eating men instead of the birds. it would certainly be a great blessing to the country if they would just take a taste of enough members of agricultural societies to wake them up so that they could see the havoc these cruel, treacherous beasts of prey, these unnatural monstrous companions of our children, have been making with our forest songsters and prairie fowl. Two cats will be pretty certain to destroy every bird’s nest on a farm of 100 acres, except those of swallows and martins, which are out of their reach. The nests of the most valuable game birds are nearly all built on the ground, and are completely at pussy’s service. The people eat no partridges, for the cats have not had quite enough. The worms eat the roses around our doors, while the cat stands guard over them at their work to keep the birds away, and we repay her labors by saucers of mild and no end of caresses.”

(Swisshelm was a well-known journalist and outspoken campaigner for several causes including women’s rights.)

The New York Times, July 24, 1876

I am a reader of THE TIMES, and I often come across some very good cat and dog stories in its 5entertaining columns. I haven’t got a cat story to tell, but some days ago I read a letter in it “Concerning Cats,” the writer of which seems to be down on cats. She censures them beyond all reason; indeed, she recommends the extinction of the whole race. This is unfair. Cats have some good qualities, as well as many bad ones, otherwise two of them would not have been permitted to enter Noah’s ark, and for the few good qualities they possess let us give them a fair chance to vindicate themselves of some of the many false accusations which are brought against them.

I am not a lover of cats by any means. I have been kept awake by their nightly festivals and fence-walking expeditions too many times for that. At my home in Delaware, we keep five cats, not to fondle, but for the good they do. At the house where I am spending the Summer, among the green hills of Passaic County, NJ, twelve cats “revisit the glimpse of the moo, making the night hideous!” But not a rat nor a mouse can be found on the place, and the songs of the many birds are delightful to hear all the day long. So it is plain they have not destroyed all the feathered tribe yet.

Perhaps I have not studied the nature and habits of cats as attentively as i should have done. However, I have observed them pretty closely, and I never yet saw a cat break or suck a bird’s or a hen’s egg. But I do know that rats will such all the eggs and eat all the young chickens and birds they can get at. I do not deny cats eating birds, for it was only the other day I saw one of our twelve cats have a bird in her mouth. But the reason of this, I think, was because she could not find a mouse on the place to eat. Owls are also good to catch rats and mice, and cats would favor mankind to let their nests alone; but still the cat would be justifiable in sacking the owl’s nest since he not unfrequently pounces down on a young kitten and carries it off, mistaking it for a rat. If partridges and killdeers do build their nests on the ground they do not do it in the back yards, but far out in the old fields, away from the highway of the cat. Perhaps my friend (the cat-hater,) has seen a cat prowling along some country fence, and mistaken it for a bird-charmer. Not so, it was only hunting for a lizard to eat; through despair of finding a mouse.

If some of our neighbors in Cherryhill Township, Indiana County, Penn, would use more lye, soap, and ashes on their fruit trees, and not depend altogether on the birds for the destruction of insects, there would be less festooning of caterpillars’ nests an a greater abundance of fruit. For my own part, I do not advocate killing all the cats, but, if forty-nine dogs out of every fifty were killed out of the way, we would soon reap the benefit of such a slaughter in the way of an abundance of lambs, rabbits, partridges, and other game, for the greater part of dogs are good for nothing except to levy tax on. - W.W.W., Centrenille, NJ, July 21, 1876.

The New York Times, February 25, 1877
From the Dansville (NY) Advertiser

We picked up a few local stories about birdies and beasties the other day which we here now put into history. Here is a story which our veracious E S Palmes relates to us, and which we are therefore bound to believe. About two years ago one of his trusted hens hatched a brood of chickens, and they were domiciled in a coop in the garden. Close by, in an asparagus bed, rested a fine old cat, the pet of the household, with some new kittens. One of the kittens looked upon the chickens and loved them - loved them so well that it abandoned mother and brothers and sisters, and went to the old hen and asked to be admitted into her family circle and become a member thereof. Biddy clucked assent and thenceforward had, chickens and kitten mingled together in mutual sympathy and sweet accord. It astonished the Deacon, yet did his heart good ‘to see chickens and kitten rubbing against each other, and lying close together, and his favorite hen brooding them all with her wings, and the entire family acting all day as if kitty, in spite of her four claws and her fur, has been hatched from an egg. The curious affiliation has been kept up until this day. The kitty of two years ago is now a grave old cat, but from kittenhood to the present it has lived and rested with the chickens and hens.

There are several witnesses to the truth of another story. The affiliation in this case was between a cat at the Hyland House barn and four small pigs. It commenced last Summer and continued for some weeks on the grounds and street adjoining Hyland House. The cat saw the pigs, went up to them, made friends with them, and became their constant companion until they were shut up in pens. When they ate, the cat was always present, and they followed it about, running when it ran and walking when it walked, and each night the cat and pigs slept together in the straw.

The New York Times, March 18, 1877
(Reprinted from Chambers’s Journal)

It is not often that we hear any credit rendered to the cat for either intelligence or affection; and it is therefore pleasing to be able to record two instances in which one, if not both, of these qualities is shown in a remarkable manner in this animal. A gentleman writing from India to a friend in England, a few mails ago, says of a pet Persian cat; “I was lolling on the sofa, drowsily perusing the newspaper a few mornings ago, when Tom came and stood near me mewing in a plaintive way, as if to attract attention. Not wishing to be disturbed, I waved him off. he, however, returned in a minute or so, and this time jumped on to the sofa, and looking me in the face, renewed his noise more vigorously. Losing patience, I roughly drove him away. He then went to the door of an adjoining room, and stood there mewing most piteously. Full aroused, I got up and went toward him. As I approached he made for the further corner of the room, and began to show fight, bristling up and flourishing his tail. It at once struck me that there was an unwelcome visitor in the room, which Tom wished to get rid of; and sure enough, in looking towards the corner, I discovered a cobra coiled up behind a boot-shelf under a dressing table. The noise made by our approach aroused the snake, and he attempted to make off, but I dispatched him with my gun~ which was ready loaded close by. You should have seen Tom’s
satisfaction. He ran between my legs, rubbing himself against them caressingly, as if to say ‘Well done, master!’ The snake measured five feet seven inches in length”

The friend to whom the incident is related, after reading it to me, went on to say that some years ago, when in India with her father, the family were fathered after tea, one rainy evening, listening to one of their number who was reading an interesting story. While thus engaged a cat of which her father was very fond jumped on to his knee, and began moving about in a restless manner, began to mew in a louder key than usual. The old gentleman, as was his wont, commenced to caress the cat, expecting thereby to quiet it; but to no purpose. it showed signs of impatience by jumping down and up again, mewing vigorously the whole time. Not wishing 5to be interrupted in what was going on, he called for a servant to put the cat out of the room; but Puss would not tamely submit to an indignant turn out, and commenced clawing at the old man’s feet. This he thought was going too far, he rose to chastise the cat; but ere he had time to do so, he discovered that it was nothing less than a timely warning which Puss had given him; for not far from where he sat there was, under the table, a small venomous, which probably would have bitten him had he molested or trampled on it. The reptile was immediately killed, and Puss ceased her mewing.

The New York Times, July 29, 1877

The National Hotel Reporter says that the servant girls who escaped from the Southern Hotel, in St Louis, tell a singular story about their premonition of a fearful disaster. The girls occupied three different rooms in the sixth story, and about 11 o’clock after they had retired and most of them were asleep, a cat came, scratched against the doors, and moaned pitifully. As a cat had never before been seen in that part of the house, many of the girls were frightened. Lizzie Leary, a girl strongly superstitious in her inclinations, woke up the other inmates of the room in which she slept and told them there was a cat at the door, acting strangely, and expressed a belief that it was the sign of something terrible going to happen, at which the other girls laughed and ridiculed her. When they opened the door the cat mewed, but refused to come in, and in a moment retreated down the hall as if badly frightened. About 12 o’clock all the girls in that room were awakened by the noise of cats at the door. On opening the door they discovered four felines crouching against and scratching the wall, and moaning low as if in terror. They procured a broom and endeavored to drive the disturbers down the hail toward the stairway leading to the door below, but they refused to go in that direction. While making the effort to drive them away, the door of the adjoining room where other girls slept, was opened, whereupon the cats made a frantic rush into the room and flew under the beds, where they crouched together. By this time a dozen of the girls were awake and highly excited over the strange action of the cats. The cats refused to move from their position under the bed, neither blows nor persuasive calls having any effect upon them. All the cats were recognized as those belonging in the cellars and on the lower floors, where they were used as mousers, and their sudden advent to the sixth floor, together with their unaccountable actions, very naturally aroused the fears of the servants, and the more nervous ones could hardly be persuaded to retire to bed again. It was concluded to allow the cats to remain under the beds, and in a half hour quiet was again restored.

When the alarm of fire came the cats were still under the bed, crouched and mewing, and there they stayed until the girls were rescued by the memorable courage of Michael Hester. It is said that all the girls now have a firm belief that the visit of the cats was a warning of impending danger, and that they were sent there by some mysterious agency to give a timely premonition. The proper theory doubtless is, that occupying that part of the lower building where the fire first started, and where it spread and groaned and cracked in a smothered way, perhaps for hours before the alarm was given, the cats became terror-stricken, and sought safety by flight to the upper stories. They stopped at the servant girls’ room because it was the highest point that could be reached, and here conducted themselves in a manner which the girls, very excusably, consider altogether preternatural.

The New York Times, September 2, 1877

The Saratogian of Thursday has the following in connection with Wednesday’s regatta: “Chatting with Courtney an hour or two after the results, he related a little incident that illustrates the kindly nature of the great oarsman. ‘I believed that I should win the race,” he said, ‘because I did not think that Riley or Plaisted could pull with me. I knew just what I could do, and I thought I measured their strength prey well. And then I had a good omen,” he said with a smile, ‘ for a day or two before the race a hungry, half-starved kitten came on the piazza, where a lot of fellows were sitting, and they made fun of the little thing and drove it down the hill. I went and picked it up and fed it, and the little creature has slept on my bed ever since, sticks close to me, and has made great friends. And yesterday another kitten followed a couple of young fellows out from Saratoga and stayed at my head-quarters. The colored help all said that it meant good luck, and they hugged and caressed it, and said I would win, sure. Perhaps there was something in it after all.’ […]

The New York Times, September 27, 1877

A gentleman in Duxbury, Mass, has a cat which has accompanied the family to Gurnet Point 16 consecutive Summers. They occupy a cottage were several weeks each season, and this Summer, while on the steamer, the cat probably anticipating his usual good time, appeared in haste to get there, for he jumped overboard and swam a few rods to the shore. He generally reaches the cottage in advance of the family, and as they come in sight runs up the door, meowing loudly for admittance.

New York World, January 1878

In the little manufacturing village of Queechy, Vt., has arrived a new breed of cats that certainly ought to be represented at the cat show. Last spring they made their first appearance. Several old family cats, all of them quite aged, gave birth to litters of kittens of very peculiar appear¬ance. They were long haired, with large legs and long claws, and very heavy tails. One specimen in each litter was raised, so as to see this freak of nature in maturity. At six months of age they were very large. Some of them are striped like a lion [note: tiger?], others are quite black. The fur is from three to six inches in length all over the body; a tuft of long hair rims the ears. The head is like that of any cat, except the eyes of all of them have a wild or scared look. At the neck the hair stands out like a wide ruffle, the tail is covered with long far and would measure, perhaps, six inches in circumference. All of them are very active, and will spring from the floor to the ceiling eight or nine feet high with perfect ease. When frightened, they are disposed to turn and show fight, and they will not permit much petting.—

QUEECHY CAT - Chicago Daily Tribune, 3rd February, 1878
The new breed from Queechy, Vt., are a cross between the common house-cat and the fox. Then there were coon-cats, as they are called, with a ruffle of long hair. In a sort of Louis XVI fashion, about their necks. And such queer things as some of them would do. Talk about a dog’s tricks.

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 19th March 1878

At the Northallerton County Court - before Mr E. Turner, Judge - on Saturday, Jane Mitchell, of Northallerton, was sued by John Kettlewell, shoemaker, of the name place, for the sum of 20s., value of a cat killed by defendant. The Plaintiff stated that at half-past two o’clock on the 8th ult. he was called out of his workshop to look a cat which belonged to him. He was told that the defendant, who is a servant to Mr James Ward, draper, had done something to it. Upon looking at the cat, he fo9und it to be in a dying state, and it died in about five minutes afterwards. In cross-examination by Mr James, for the defence, he stated that he did not know the value of cats; but seeing that at the last cat show at Northallerton a number of cats had been valued at £50, he valued his cat at 20s. it was the first cat which he ever had, and it might be the last. He did not know if the defendant's master had ever complained of the cat always being in his house. He had sent the cat to be stuffed. He had been offered 10s. or the cat by a person at Wakefield. Mary Kettlewell, the wife of the last witness, stated that she saw the defendant on the 8th ult. strike at the cat with a cloth as she was coming down the yard, and it ran into the house, and soon afterwards died. Henry Lumley, painter, said that he was going down the yard where the plaintiff and defendant live, and he saw the defendant kick the cat on the side, and it ran into the plaintiff’s house an died soon after. His Honour gave a verdict for the plaintiff of 5s. with costs.

Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 16th April 1878

Some few weeks ago a family named Shuker, lived at Dawley, in the county of Salop, but had occasion to leave and go to Nottingham. They of course removed all their "household gods," including a fine cat, which bad been in the family for years. Arriving at Nottingham the cat showed signs of dissatisfaction with her new abode, and after a few days disappeared, to return to her old home at Dawley. The other day the cat walked into the old house at Dawley, to the great surprise of the neighbours. As might be expected she was very footsore and lame, but otherwise all right. When it is considered that the distance travelled on foot by the cat, from Nottingham to Dawley is over seventy miles, the feat is one of the most wonderful on record, and it is a question if such a feat was ever accomplished before. The most extraordinary thing is that how, by her sagacity, the cat traversed the whole distance without being lost or worried, the journey evidently being accomplished in the night time. Hundreds have flocked to see the four-footed pedestrian that has out-rivalled Barclay and Newton, and large sums have been refused by the owners for their favourite.

The New York Times, April 28, 1878
Reprinted from The Spectator.

A century or two ago the destiny of cats - especially of black ones, or such as belonged to poor lonely old women who could possibly be suspected of witchcraft - was wretched and perilous indeed. No notion of mercy towards them seems to have occurred to anybody, even to men exercising judicial functions. We read that a woman was burned alive in France for murdering some babies, and the mode of execution was that she was put in a cage with 14 cats over a fire, so that the animals in their agony should tear her while burning. Another story equally horrible is told without a word of comment or reprobation, in a familiar letter of just 200 years ago, in the Hatton correspondence. The writer describes a pageant of the period, performed in London in commemoration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. “There were,” he says, “mighty bonfires, and the burning of a most costly Pope, carried by four persons, and the effigies of two ‘divells.” The interior of the “Pope” was filled with live cats who “squawled most hideously as soon as they felt the fire,” the people making the joke that it was the language of the pope and the devils! Such were the amusements of that age to which a great living man of science looks back with sighs of regret, because people were not so “softly nurtured” then as we are now; and Queen Victoria only sends for artists to paint her animals - unlike her predecessor, James I, -who sent for physiologists to cut them up.

The New York Times, June 23, 1878

The square bounded by Seventy-seventh and Seventy-eighth streets and Lexington and Third avenues, is a rather interesting spot. After the evening shades have fallen, it resounds with a commotion, as if a multitude of Mr. Abrahamsen’s aeolian, business harps were singing their discordant solos to the balmy night air. thereby hangs a tale, or rather thereby hand a number of tails. Aristocracy and penury struggle for the supremacy of this square. Half of it is occupied by the handsome houses of the well-to-do residents of Seventy-eight street, and the other half by the homes of Irish families of limited means. The well-to-co, following the bent of their tastes, have cultivated their back yards with loving care, until they bloom, each and every one, with the fragrance and beauty of so many tiny bowers. The Irish families, on the other hand, exert their talents in the effort to make their two-story wooden cottages resemble the thatched ones of the old country. the plots of ill-kept ground in front of the tumble-down structures bloom with the emerald cabbage head and the potato. Between the floral bowers of the well-to-do residents and the vegetable yards of the poorer denizens stretches a board fence.

This fence has late been the source of great tribulation. The poorer denizens of Seventy-eighth-street being unable to rear the perambulating pig in their cottages, as on the other side of the water, endeavor to atone for the deficiency by rearing up whole troops of cats. A rag-picker in the vicinity lends his efforts to their cause, and through his agency the cats multiply. Each of the poorer families has, by the estimate of the rich, at least 15 cats, with their full accompaniment of kittens. Every night these felines hold meetings, the Thomases resorting to the Democratic cat primary, and their wives and children flocking to the female garden party. Both primaries and garden party are held by common consent upon the great board fence. As the Thomas cats raise their voices in heated discussion of the political topics of the day, and the females expand their lungs in kindred discussion of female suffrage and a united protest against the tyranny and cruelty of the human male, the neighborhood resounds with a loud and discordant chorus, which becomes even more loud and discordant when the discussions are abandoned and the male and female unite in melodious courtship. Their words of love are not to be compared to their words of debate. Right of ownership, however, shuts the ears of the poor residents to the disagreeable features of these nightly concerts of their pets. Not so with the well-to-do residents. Not only do the caterwaulings disturb their repose, but they find that the felines employ the great board fence as a medium of reaching their flower-gardens, and tearing up flowers with relentless vigor.

One of the Seventy-eighth street residents, Mr W Lunt by name, living at No 118 on the above street, has garden which he takes peculiar pride in keeping in fine order. In a central plot is planted seeds of plants that, when in bloom, present to the eye all the beauteous hues of the rainbow, but they have never yet bloomed, nearly twenty times the plot has been ruined by the depredations of the cats. The kitchen of one of the poorer residents, Mr Christensen, a Danish fresco painter, living at No 115 East Seventy-seventh-street, stretches to the board fence immediately in the rear of Mr Lunt’s house. The kitchen roof is on a level with the board fence, and it is fitted with two skylights. It is a favorite rendezvous for the cats, especially a great black fellow kept by Christensen’s neighbor. This cat is particularly destructive to the flowers. One Sunday recently Mr Lunt placed some meat, sprinkled with arsenic, in the garden, and armed with two dozen wine bottles, took his station at his third story back window, commanding a fine view of the garden. The black cat came upon the kitchen roof, crept down upon the fence, sprang into the garden, and approached the meat. he dragged it into the midst of the flowers, and sat down for a comfortable and luxurious meal. Mr Lunt took deadly aim with a champagne bottle and fired. The bottle broke, but missed the cat. Again he took aim and fired, and again he missed. He kept on aiming and firing until the ruins of 24 shattered champagne bottles strewed the yard, but the cat sat there and finished its meal. Whenever he saw a bottle coming he coolly turned his head aside and unconcernedly allowed it to smash at his side. Mr Lunt longed for a gun, but none being at hand, he stole softly down to his cellar, and arming himself with a large piece of coal, sallied forth into the yard. The cat having finished his repast, sprang upon the kitchen roof, when Mr Lunt let fly at the fence with all his might. there was an awful noise as the large coal struck the wood. The cat jumped about 10 feet into the air, and a female of the Christiensen family soon after put her head out of the window and said something in Dutch. Mr Lunt replied in vigorous English, asserting that he would “kill her cats if she didn’t keep them out of the garden.”

The upshot of this threat was a series of amusing complaining epistles to Judge Kilbreth, and the summoning to the Yorkville Police Court yesterday of Mr Lunt and his neighbor, Mr W Haas, of No 120 East Seventy-eighth-street, to answer for disturbing Mr Christiensen’s peace of mind and domestic comfort. The complainant was as solemn as a veritable” melancholy Dane.” The court and the proceedings, however, were the most amusing farce. Christiensen not being able to speak English fluently, presented his case to the court through the medium of pen and ink, as follows:

Mr JUDGE: I do not know if I have done right, but I have here put some of my thoughts of the matter down. I wonder why men who have family to provide for and perhaps business to attend to besides other lofty ideas in their heads in a single moment will drive cats away that they may think they (the cats) may come back so soon the chase is over. The only person in the 2 houses whom after my sisters statements have shown common sense and a feeling for what is right in Mr Haas serving girl she have several times restrained the children from offence. The circumstances bid us like other people to keep a cat and the law do not forbid it. A cat after my opinion is a evil, but rats and mice is still worse. A cat like other living beings cannot always be kept imprisoned in the house without cruelty to the animal. Our cat is always put to duty in the night, me inside the house. if the honored court will take notice of our wise the man may receive a warning. May each of the men receive and carry off their parts of the specimen. hoping Your Honor will kindly excuse my hurried writing, I remain wery respectfully, M CHRISTIENSEN

His collateral evidence was unfolded in a towel It consisted of bits of coal, brickbats, stones, and billets of wood. Judge Kilbreth smothered a laugh, and asked the defendants if they recognized any of the exhibits. They did not. The complainant could not identify the defendants as those who had thrown the missiles. The court then confiscated the exhibits and discharged the defendants, amid a great roar of laughter. The missiles thrown at the mimics of the business harp accordingly disposed of, the defendants asked what was to be “done about the cat?” The court could not tell. The concert of felines arose once more upon the night air in the square last night, and the well-to-do residents resolved that it was their turn to go to court. they will do so in a few days.

The Graphic, 13 July 1878

The aim of the artist in this picture, or rather series of pictures, is to show that the dog is a much nicer animal than the cat, and that the Chancellor of the Exchequer ought to reverse his present fiscal arrangements, and lay a tax on cats, allowing dogs to go scot free. He contrasts the good deeds of caninity with the evil deeds of felinity. In the centre a Newfoundland dog is saving from drowning a child who has tumbled into the water while trying to get his boat ; while all around are depicted the misdeeds of Pussy, such as the nocturnal symphony, poaching, breaking china, stealing cream, wrecking flower-beds, and preying on goldfish and canaries.

This picture, we suspect, will cause some considerable indignation among the Pussophils, who will stigmatise it as very unfair and one-sided. Let us then, take a brief on their behalf, and defend the cat against his detractors. Even the good deed depicted in the centre can only be justly attributed to one or two breeds of dogs ; the majority of dogs are as unlikely to save a child from drowning as a cat, being equally destitute of the physical strength, or the aptitude for swimming. Then, as for Pussy’s misdeeds, can they not all be matched by the canine tribe? When a dog makes night hideous by baying the moon it is quite as disagreeable to an uneasy sleeper as when a tom cat serenades one or more of his sweethearts on the house¬top, Do dogs never worry sheep, catch hares and rabbits, or chase fowls and ducks about ? As for cream-stealing, a prudent dairymaid is quite as careful to keep a dog out of her domain as a cat.

Judging from our own experience, dogs do quite as much harm in gardens digging holes as cats ; and, as for mischief, a puppy is quite as troublesome and far more clumsy than a kitten. We admit that dogs do not meddle with singing birds and goldfish and that cats occasionally do, but may we not place against this the vast services rendered by cats in keeping down the pest of rats and mice? Some dogs will kill rats readily enough, but they will not be at the trouble of lying in wait for them as cats will. When we add to this that you cannot approach many houses without being saluted by a snarling, yelping brute of a dog, and that some of these pets give out a very offensive odour (a fact of which their owners never seem aware), and that that frightful malady, rabies, is originally developed in dogs not in cats, we think we, who, personally, are lovers of both dogs and cats, have said enough to prove that, if cats can be a nuisance, dogs are sometimes a still greater nuisance.

The New York Times, August 18, 1878

From the Philadelphia Times. About 10 o’clock last night a Haddington car swung around the corner of Forty-first-street into Haverford, and drew up in front of the Market-street Passenger Railway Depot.

“Hello! Stop!” came up from the street and down the street ran a short, fat man, clad in a linen suit. He carried a small, flat market basket in his hand which issued “me-ow-ow-ow,” at every step he took. He reached the car and took a seat in the corner. Another corner already held a young girl about 12 years old, at whose feet was a larger market basket. The car started on, and soon a young man came running around the corner, also bearing a basket, a longitudinal affair of black and red willow, with two drop-lids. This also gave forth “me-ow-ows.” By and by, when the car got to Forty-third-street, a middle-aged man stepped inside handling a dainty willow contrivance, and settled himself in the remaining corner, leaving the conductor as the sole man unprovided with an angle in which to insert himself in this interesting game of “pussy wants a corner.”

Pretty some the rolling, jolting movement of the almost empty car stirred up the tenants of the willow-ware, and faint moans began from the little girl’s basket. This struck a responsive chord in the fat man’s basket, in the tall man’s basket and in the young man’s hamper. The fat man looked at the little girl, the little girl at the young man, and he at the tall chap, who attempted t look unconcerned, but gazed at all three of the other baskets with the air of conviction that something was wrong inside of those receptacles. The conductor laughed to himself with the quiet air of one who could not be imposed upon by the deceivers, and, as the sounds became more and more undoubtedly feline he laughed aloud. The young man caught his eye and followed suit in the most undisguised manner, and this breaking the ice, all hands indulges in ‘the most hilarious merriment for several minutes. Then the fat man mopped his glowing, red face, and said to the young man, “Got a cat inside, eh?”

The response in the affirmative served to throw him into another cacchinatory spasm. “Goin’ t Haddington?” “Yes.” “I’ll bet we’re all goi’ out to Haddington, and have all got cats in these baskets to lose out there; ain’t it so?” he said, looking from one to the other, and receiving an affirmative shake of the head from each in turn. Then they all laughed am chorus and agreed t release the cats at one point in Haddington. They went around with the car through Haddington to the point where the cars return eastward. Here the basket lids were raised and the captives freed. The little girl released a horribly-ugly yellow tom-cat, the young man a black a and whit Thomas, the tall man a tiger-striped feline, and the fat fellow a sort of composite cat. The four cats looked around in a sort of dazed way, then each struck out in a different direction, inspire by the hiss-s-s-s of the party. Just then a tall Haddington darky came up. “What in thunder ye bin doin’? Fetchin’ some mo’ o them dam cats out yer? We’s got moah now dan we know whal to do wid. Ev’ry house seems to have three or fo’, and dey’s runnin around out heah, wild, worse’n squ’ls. Sumfin’l have to be done about it. Kan’t make dis a dumpin’ groun’ for all de refuse cats o’ de city!”

The New York Times, November 3, 1878

From the Sacramento (Cal) Union. A resident of Sacramento County, who has a peculiar faculty for training animals, has educated three cats to serve the purpose of dogs, as retrievers. When he takes up his gun and calls them from the house the follow with a grand rush, mewing and whining excitedly. When a bird is shot the enter upon the liveliest kind of a race to retrieve it, and, if it is not in sight, hunt the ground thoroughly, never omitting to slap at one another viciously whenever they come within reaching distance. No matter which of the trio finds the bird, the carrying to the shooter is generally done by a patriarchal Thomas who “plays roots” upon the others very cunningly, and scratches and bites if one of the other cats gets the game first and does not surrender it on demand. he carries the bird to his master, and stands guard over it until it is taken from him and bagged.

The New York Times, November 3, 1878

From the San Francisco Alta. We are satisfied that cats generally could be trained, not only as retrievers, but also to catch game for their masters. A lady of this city, when living in the country several years since, seeing her cat bring a quail to her kittens, took it from her, caressed her, and gave her a piece of fresh beef. The cat understanding then for the first time that her mistress wanted quail, brought one to her the next day, and frequently afterward, once three in one day. Previously she had caught them for herself or her kittens. it is well-known that cats are expert bird-catchers, and the question whether their skill cannot be used for the benefit of their masters deserves attention.

The Graphic, 30 November 1878
The Island of Tristan D'acunha, in the South Atlantic, which is rarely touched at by vessels, has been visited by the Government vessel Emerald, on her way to Western Australia. The little colony, consisting of the Governor, Peter Grant, and his ninety subjects, were well, and delighted to greet their visitors, and a supply of books and newspapers, but they were less enthusiastic at the present of a score of cats which the Government had sent out, hearing that the island was impoverished by swarms of mice. It appears that cats are as plentiful as mice in Tristan d'Acunha, and while the mice destroy every green blade on the island, the cats live on friendly terms with their hereditary enemies, and scorn to eat them, preferring to catch chickens and young sea-birds. The inhabitants are accordingly obliged to trap the cats by hundreds.

‘The New York Times, December 14, 1878
(An item laden with sarcasm)

There is somewhere in the Southern Seas an unfrequented island called Tristan d’Acunha. As it belongs to the Empire on whose dominions the sun never ventures to set, it has of course a Governor, and his name is PETER GRANT. there are also some ninety colonists on the far-off isle. What induces MR GRANT to be a Governor in those uttermost parts of the sea passes conjecture, and why ninety persons to whom the privilege is not absolutely denied of living where there is a sufficient foothold for Christian civilization should choose to pass their days in the lonely seclusion of Tristan d’Acunha, is one of those puzzling questions that do not admit even a “wide solution.” But there seems to be some impulse planted in the human breast, for the purpose of securing a distribution of population, which makes people live everywhere. The most inveterate and eccentric traveler, who visits out-of-the-way places which he may be irreverently disposed to pronounce “God-forsaken,” is continually astonished to find human beings living there, and the wonder ever grows that they or their ancestor should have sought out such a spot or finding it, by accident, should not have taken their earliest opportunity to get away. But strange as it may be, people persist in living wherever they can find a spot on which to rest the soles of their feet, and so it happens that the Island of Tristan d’Acunha has inhabitants, and inhabitants of English origin too. They can offer the world no sufficient inducement for trading with them or making visits to their distant abode, but at long intervals one of her Majesty’s ships on the way to Australia has orders to call on GOV PETER GRANT, and see how he is getting on. The good ship Emerald has but just returned from a voyage to the antipodes, during which she made one of those angel visitation to the forlorn little colony. When she set out last Summer, she took good store of books and newspapers and other reminders of civilization which must have been a blessed boon to the islanders, if they have not forgotten how to read.

They also took out another boon that failed of appreciation. by some inscrutable means -perhaps it was an inherited tradition - it has come to be understood in England that Tristan d’Acunha was overrun with mice, the vast vexation of its scant population, and, remembering the glory of DICK WHITTINGTON and its origin, the officers of the Emerald brought along twenty cats. They no doubt thought to make the island glad with the prospect of relief, and to be blessed as its benefactors in after years, possibly to have a monument built to their memory and their names forever linked with the history of a humble but grateful colony of Great Britain. But to their dismay they found that remote speck of earth overrun with cats also.

The people of Tristan d’Acunha were doubly afflicted and the would-be messengers of relief mocked them with a hair of the dog by which they were bitten. They regarded an addition to the feline population with nothing less than consternation. If traps or shot-guns or deadly poison had been brought, they might have had ground for rejoicing, but cats! There was a plague of cats upon them already, and there was not even an assortment of boot-jacks, cakes of soap, or empty bottles on board, where-with to solace them with hopes, at least, of invigorating, if futile, midnight exercise. How the cats came there is not explained, but it is probably that a single pair, the survivors of some shipwreck - for cats always survive, and nothing but the final cataclysm can be relied on to destroy them - got ashore on a dark night and set about peopling the place with their kind. At all events, they had not only increased and multiplied to an alarming extent, but had entered into a treaty of amity with the mice which previously had possession, by which it was agreed that they should abstain from eating their new friends and should unite with them in harrying the human inhabitants. As a result of this agreement, of which there is no actual record, but whose existence is sufficiently proved by events, the mice devote themselves to devouring all the vegetable productions of the place, and the cats regale themselves on chickens and the young sea-birds that are found among the crannies of the rocks.

If there is an unhappy people on the face of the earth, it must by the ninety misguided mortals who cast their lot on the Island of Tristan d’Acunha. Think of a little settlement on a far-off sea-girt isle, scarcely visited once a year by a passing vessel, remote from traps, small shot, vermin-exterminators, and other appliances of civilization, with fields and dwellings infested with predatory mice, and hordes of cats sitting complacently on the fences and refusing to raise a paw in its behalf. But not only do the cats, with a treacherous indifference that was to be expected of them, permit the mice to pursue their iniquitous way unmolested, and even encouraged, but they indulge without restraint in their own peculiar viciousness. It is evident that the people, in their forlorn situation in mid-ocean, are utterly helpless to resist the tyranny of the tom-cat. The reckless felines in the most unfeeling manner, carry things with a high back. They prowl about o’nights at will, plundering chicken-coops, stealing whatever they can lay hold of, and concocting schemes of mischief with the mice; and then such concerts as they must hold in the back yards and on the roofs of the intimidated settlement! What are ninety men, women, and children against a colony of cats that has had a few years in which to raise their forces? As the numbers of the enemy increase, as increase they will, overcoming all effort to keep them in subjection, what will be the fate of that unhappy colony? Unless an expedition is fitted out for their relief, years hence, when one of her Majesty’s ships call to enquire after the well-being of GOV PETER GRANT and his little charge, she will find but a wretched remnant of the once ­promising colony, a few raving maniacs and driveling idiots, utterly broken and in complete subjection to their fate, while the cats hold undisputed possession of the island and lord it in all her habitations.

The New York Times, February 6, 1879
(From the Meriden (Conn) Republican, Feb 4.

Mrs Lemuel J Curtis had a cat "ever since it was a kitten" until Monday, when it breathed its last. The cat lived to the remarkable age of 21 years. For some years past it was on the retired list, having lost all its teeth. Its sight was somewhat impaired, and it was deaf. Death was the result of old age. There are other old cats in Meriden, but none that we hear of have reached the age of the one owned by Mrs Curtis. Mrs John Dreher, on Crown-street, has two cats aged, respectively, 18 and 14 years. The elder one wabbles about like an aged human invalid. Both are great pets, and well cared for. Mrs Merrit D Smith has a cat 14 years old. it is almost toothless, but ages seems to make no improvement in its docility, for it can scratch a stranger with as much pleasure as it could a dozen years ago.

The New York Times, April 20, 1879

The law prohibiting the throwing or depositing of any offensive matter, or anything whatever, in Croton Lake should be amended by Legislature so as to include Croton River, its branches, and tributaries. The sources of the City's water supply suffer constant pollution, and this to no inconsiderable degree. Sewage matter from several towns, the deposits of the numerous privies which adorn the banks of the streams of northern Westchester, dead cats and most other dead animals of the smaller size, decayed matter taken from the cellars, all cheerfully combine to make the water of the much-lauded Croton palatable to the tastes and bracing to the systems of the denizens of the Metropolis (....) J W M. PEPPENEGECK CROSS RIVER, Wednesday, April 9, 1879

The New York Times, July 17, 1879

An old German bachelor named Ferdinand Armried lived alone, with 20 pet cats, in a back-room on the first floor of the tenement No 139 Forsyth-street. He had resided there in that peculiar companionship for so many years that the German residents of the neighborhood long since ceased to give any heed to his oddities, and allowed him to go on in his queer way unmolested. He was known as "the old bachelor," and he had no associates but his pet cats, of which he took the best of care. He made a good living by acting as an agent for a tea company. During the greater part of Tuesday night the miseries of the sleepless neighbours, who lay tossing about in the sweltering heat, were greatly aggravated by the unusual cries of Armried's cats, which kept up a dismal and diabolical howling all through the night and morning, and until 2 o'clock in the afternoon. As their savage noises seemed to grow more furious every moment, Mr August Scheslan, a resident of the tenement, lost all his patience and went up to Armried's door to tell him that he must either keep his cats quiet or move out of the house. Scheslan rapped vigorously at Armried's door, but go no answer except from the cats, which howled at him fiercely. After some reflection the idea dawned up Scheslan that the trouble among the cats was caused by the thoughtlessness of Armried, whom he conjectured, had gone away after locking his cats up in the room without food or water. Impressed with this idea, Scheslan's heart softened toward the imprisoned felines and he determined to climb up and open the transom over the door and liberate them. He opened the transom, peeped into the room, and then fell suddenly to the hall floor. Picking himself up, he ran as fast as he could to the Tenth Precinct police Station, where he cried out to Capt Allaire, "Old Bachelor Armried is layin' dead in his room and his 20 cats was eatin' his body all up!" The Captain at once sent two policemen to the place. they broke in the door of Armried's room and were met by a stench that for a moment drove them back into the hallway. Returning , they found Armried's dead body lying on the floor much decomposed and covered with great holes, which the cats had eaten out, having evidently lived upon the remains for many hours. At the approach of the officers the cats crept close to the body, and while some of them set up a most dismal moan, others actually ate of the flesh. The beasts could only be driven from the body with clubs, and the officers had great difficulty in beating them from the room, as many of them fought savagely, and even then they secreted themselves in the dark corners of the hallways and continued their blood-curdling screeching. It was found that Armried had been dead over 24 hours, that he had died in the closed room, surrounded by his pets, and that, there being nothing else in the room for them to eat, the cats, when they became hungry, fell upon their master's corpse, tearing from it great quantities of flesh, which they devoured. The body was removed to the Morgue by order of Coroner Woltman, and the room was thoroughly disinfected.

The New York Times, June 12, 1879
From the Lewiston (Mc) Journal, June 10

A family in this city had a pet kitten which made itself at home about the premises. For some time past an old cat belonging to a neighbor has made her home in the stable and associated with the kitten. The owner of the kitten tried in vain to drive away the cat, and the other day tried to get rid of her by putting a bullet through the cat. The cat was wounded, but not killed. The other day she returned to her old haunts and took her revenge by killing her former companion, the kitten.

The Detroit Free Press, August 8, 1879

About a week ago a citizen on Adams-avenue East, who owns a handsome Scotch terrier dog - the mother of three handsome puppies - took the young canines away and sold them, to the great grief of the mother. At that time a cat owned by the neighbor was carefully raising a litter of four kittens under the floor of a barn owned by the master of the terrier. last Tuesday it was noticed that the terrier was very deeply interested in the kittens, and earnestly watched the movements of the feline mother. Wednesday morning the cat left her family, and during her absence the terrier carried her kittens one by one, with the greatest care, to the basket nest once occupied by her puppies. With the utmost tenderness she cuddled herself into the basket with the kittens about her and awaited the return of the mother cat. When she did come back she was wild to find her nest robbed, and was not long in tracing them to the terrier's basket. Then there was a fight, which was ended by the interference of the owner of the dog, who restored the kittens to their mother and soundly punished the dog for the theft. All day yesterday the cat remained by her kittens, while the terrier busied herself hunting around or food, which she carried to the cat's nest, and which, of course the kittens could not masticate. This difficulty was overcome by interested observers, who placed milk at their service, and while the kittens supped the terrier stood guard, successfully repulsing all efforts to interfere with their repast.

From the Elmira Advertiser (reprinted by The New York Times, August 17, 1879)

A gentleman on this city who had been away with his family for several weeks, returned home on Saturday evening. On Sunday morning their boy went into the barn to look for anything new that might have turned up. In his travels he came across a nest containing three young kittens, which to all appearances were dead. A grave about a foot deep was made, and the three kittens were buried. In the evening, a neighbor's boy called at the house and was informed of the fact. The two decided to go to the grave. The grave was opened. The three kittens that had been buried 10 hours were taken up, and to their great surprise it was discovered that one of them was alive. The kittens was taken to the house and provided with a good supper, and in a short time was as lively as only a cat can be.



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