In Paris
At the author's home, 41, Quai des Augustins,
And in Brussels
By Jules Gay, editor, 22, Rue de l'escalier.



The Publisher's Cat


The cat and the opinion, by Guyot Desherbiers.
Parts of Moncrif.
Letter from a Calotin rat to Citron Barbet; by Montgrif.
Gallant and entertaining letter
Minet, poem, by Madame Levesque
Sermon of Hermione to her newborn cats
Sermon of Dame Fleur-d´Empoules
Reasoned Treatise on the Education of the Domestic Cat, by M. Raton
Appreciation of the Cat, by Buffon
Extracts from the works of Madame Deshoulières
Benserade, rhyming bits
The Cat. Extract from an article by Timothée Trim
Extracts from Delille
History in slippers.
Dogs and cats Dog and cat, by Louis Leroy
Mouse fed by a cat
The Clock, by Charles Baudelaire
The adventures of Mademoiselle Mariette, by Champfleury
Animal Instinct, by Brasseur Wirtgen
Fragment of the History of the Gods of India
Richard whittington
Paragon of news
Santeuil, victim of love
Judgment and observations on the life and works of Rabelais
Fables by Le Bailly
Extract from the notes of the Desherbiers cat poem.Epitaph of Lirot, cat of Mademoiselle E ... D ...
Extracts from the 18th Century Encyclopedia, by Diderot and d'Alembert
Emile, or About Training, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
From The Earth To The Moon, by Jules Verne
Story of a Gibelotte, by Charles Deslys
On The Death Of A Favourite Cat, by Jean Gay
The Death Of A Favourite Cat, by Prosper Blanchemain.
Verse, by the Chevalier de Beauveau
Sonnets from Flowers of Evil, by Ch. Baudelaire
The Knight Duvet, poem, by Étienne de Lafargue


Famous cats





We are happy to recognize the following contributors to this work, who provided numerous and curious pieces of information: Messrs. Gustave Brunet, from Bordeaux; Paul de Musset, for communicating the notes and poem of The Cat by his grandfather, Mr. Desherbiers; Jules Choux; H. Vienne, lieutenant in the 3rd cavalry; Paul Lacroix, curator at the Arsenal library; Gallien, editor of the "Courts Gazette"; Ravenel, curator at the Imperial Library, and others. We take this opportunity to again express our sincere gratitude.




She was born in Paris at the beginning of 1862. Sixth in the litter, she was saved from drowning thanks to her pretty black-and-white coat, and especially to the beautiful sideburns made her look like a male. Alas! she never looked like one, and, in the spring of 1863, she clearly demonstrated that she was not liable for that operation which gives male cats supreme tranquillity.

How pretty she was in her childhood! She pranced here and there like a big ball of fur. She is not a purebred Angola. Her long silky hairs cover a kind of short, warm wool. Her back and the top of her head are black, but at the end of the bushy tail, the animated end of which has not been cut off, is a charming tuft of white hairs. The white fur on her chest goes up to her neck like a pretty ruff. Her eyes are green, her nose is pink, and her black ears are adorned inside with pretty white curls.

Mademoiselle Bibiche loves gentlemen in suits, and she flees from men in overalls. It is not that she is haughty, but she was almost killed by the brutality of a man in overalls and she retains a vivid memory of this.

Bibiche should be the happiest of cats; but, like many decent girls, she is the victim of the unbridled luxury of our time. Just as the scale of crinolines scares husbands away, the comfortable houses of the new Paris deprive Bibiche of the opportunity to meet suitors. No more long corridors, fewer many nooks and crannies, no more large attics with easy access and overlooking a long series of roofs; no more gaps under doors through which to slip stealthily to go and sing her part in a romantic duet! In vain she shows her torment through expressive mimicry and tender little mrou, mrouou, but no tomcat worthy of the name can answer the call.

Mademoiselle Bibiche therefore deserves the nickname of the valiant warrior maid of Orleans.




Maternal grandfather of Messrs. Alfred and Paul de Musset.

Often, the mere multitude
Surpasses one's instinct
In the combinations studied.
There are indistinct meanings
In the Great Book of Nature,
Which is not always without deletions
For Pliny or Buffon.
The curious mind of man
Wants everything to be straightforward;
We need this, sensible or not,
We need some sense. And that's how
The few physicist people
Created the magician Cat.
In what seems unbelievable,
He grips the claw of the devil,
If he does not see the finger of God.
The dogma of witchcraft
Introduced in due course
After that of idolatry.
Not that I pretend to make you impious
And believe in the fact of magic,
Doubtless he is a sorcerer,
And the Cat is one of his familiars.
In theology, we teach
That hell must have no orgy,
And that the Saint John sabbath
Must have Master Cat preside.
When in the Holy Office at Goa,
Was in conflagration
For our edification,
Some makers of witchcraft,
Saw the lights of an auto da fe
Monseigneur took his coffee,
We know that the devout ladies
The misbelievers saw souls -
Inasmuch as a soul can actually be seen -
Pass through the infernal manor
In the guise of a Black Cat.
From the great Baldus of Bartole who
Maintained and even increased the school,
I will tell you a sad story.
Knowing everything apart from magic,
With the greatest scientist of Cats,
He learned astrology!
One day they were in discord
(And it was Baldus who was wrong),
And to warn him his cat bit him,
And ink smeared the edge
Of his inaccurate tablature;
We do not know if the cat
With Belzebub had a pact,
But Baldus firmly believed it;
He saw his salvation in danger.
The supernatural criticism
Stormed his grave brain.
In the depths of his veins he felt,
With the poisons of the tooth,
The infernal aftermath,
And he became obsessed
With the spirit named Legion.
Now he reads without method
Digest, News and Code.
From this known syllogism,
Whose master was recognized,
He can no longer find the trail;
Finally, the doctor,to have
Incurred disgrace from a cat,
Lost meaning and knowledge.
Therefore the Cat, the world over,
Is sometimes god, sometimes necromancer,
Constantly able to maintain
His haughtiness of character.
One point of universal faith
(The illustrious traveller Pythia
Attested, at the seven hundredth chandelier),
It is that always the Cat that held
The seals of destiny over oneself,
That Fortune has chained itself,
To the talisman of his favour
And that by a victorious charm,
All its supporters attract
All the magnetism in the heart.
As proof that I speak without laughing,
Let us go no further, dear sister,
I find the effect on yourself
And that sweet and sacred power
That made you, by force or by will,
That heard, saw and loved you,
Can it not be said
That the knot of this supreme love
Unites us with the Cats?

(1) The poem is dedicated by the author to his sister-in-law, Mme Denoux.

The legislator of Asia,
Happy soldier, inspired priest,
The love of his tabby cat
Was his dearest fancy.
Carrying his Cat with him,
Wherever this hero fled,
Together they founded the Hegira,
Eternal date to his empire.
In order not to disturb this friend,
Venerated, admired and currently asleep
In the silky folds of his sleeve
With a generous blade he cut away
The large part of his coat
On which she made her bed.
The mitred tyrant of France,
Richelieu, who with an iron hand
Held the balance in Europe,
Found a heart of flesh
When with his miaowing brood.
In these rare and short moments
When politics tormented him
And he needed a break,
A basket of lovely kittens
Diverted His Eminence;
And in some small way
Perhaps they have, more than once,
Had revenge on their barbaric master
For the death of Montmorency.
Rival of Virgil and Homer
(Someone named him the winner),
Tasso unburdened his heart
To a young Cat and its mother.
"Alas! Bitter is Fortune,
And she beats me," he told them,
"So I seek solace with you,
As a storm-beaten sailor,
Carefully navigating,
By the Great Bear and the stars
Seized the flashes of lightning
Through the clash of the clouds."
Think thoughts of pain and flattery,
In my poverty and disgrace,
With just two Cats to console poor Tasso!
So it's up to these perfect beings
That Helicon owes your portraits,
O magnanimous Sophronie!
Tender Armide! sweet Herminie!
And you, Clorinde, another Pallas,
Who, fully armed, and so beautiful,
Like a miracle, you darted
From his inventive brain,
By the glow of cat's eyes!
The lover and brilliant genius
Who put an end to an ignorant cacophony
in Ausonia
The long and dark night, which,
Finding his art in childhood,
Led him into middle age
Without going through adolescence ...
Petrarch wrote sweet sonnets
To his connoisseur Cat.
The faithful poet implored
God to grant the divine power
To soften the heart of Laure,
And he did not implore in vain.
Whether he sang of sweet martyrdom,
Or he sighed in despair
At the death of his beloved,
He heard his favourite cat
Faithfully raise up its cry
In tune with his lyre.
In Vaucluse, when two lovers
Go to the wandering River Sorgue
In search of the languid sounds,
That echo on its banks,
Sometimes an attentive ear
Distinguishes the sad strains
Mingled with the cat's plaints.
For seven hundred winters,
The Child of the Muses visit Argua,
To kiss Petrarch's marble
And to see the remains of his dear Cat;
And all in Italy admire him -
Now immortalised in myrrh, -
The Apollo of so many beautiful verses.
The ruthless decay of the ages
Has respected the body;
His beautiful soul seems to live on
In the flame of her green eyes.
It is merely a scarecrow
To those irreligious cattle
Who would like to pen books
About this harmonious poet.
Thus the glorious Cat
Shares the temple with Petrarch!
Encouraged by this example,
I timidly hope that the god,
In whose honour
I sing my weak rhymes
Would grant me sublime fortune
And immortality.
By a necessary contrast,
A thousand woes to the mortal
Who by some natural disaster
Cats make their adversary!
Their former weighty contempt
Became the mark of anathema
To the last of the Valois,
Our penultimate Henry
Most vile of all the kings,
Their just disapproval
Became a frightening example!
See how that half-man faints
Before the majestic Cat,
Meditate on his deplorable end,
And his even more miserable life!
He took an unsteady throne
And made it a bed of vice;
Goes from the scoundrel to the chalice,
On the Night of Assassinations
Craven witness, cruel accomplice;
Without doubt the gaze of a Cat
Became his first torture.
And now, O potentates!
Worship justice from the cat.
For soon will his propitious cult,
From the ancient Italian Peninsula,
Be reborn in our region?
And when our young republic
Has consolidated its states,
O Liberty! you will produce
More than one Zeuxis, more than one Orpheus!
They will repay you, heavenly godmother,
Your companion will be the wandering cat,
That Gaul loves with you,
And certainly that living portrait
Suits you better than the bonnet
Our artists have put on your head...!



born in Paris in 1687, died in 1770.

He came from an honest, but not very well-off, family and it was only through his labours that he reached the position he attained. The work that made him most famous is, without a doubt, his "A History of Cats." It earned the author deserved praise. At that time, scholarly works were rare, inaccurate and, moreover, were scattered in private collections where few people were allowed to consult them.

The 1st edition appeared under the title: "Cats in VIII Parts ... Paris, Quillau, 1727, in octavo, with 9 engravings by Coypel. Another edition was published in Rotterdam, at J.-D. Beman, in 1728, in octavo. Another bears the title "Philosophical Letters on the History of Cats," (Paris), 1748, in octavo, comprising 220 pages and boards.

The work has also been published in the 4 volume "Works" of Moncrif. Paris, 1764, in duodecimo, illustrated with portrait. And in Paris, 1791, 2 vols in octavo, illustrated.

We believe we should give the table of contents of this book so that people who do not have it can get an idea of this curious work.


(1748 Edition.)

A ballet of great novelty.
A very pretty woman compared to cats
Abailard, less loved than a cat, who experienced the same misfortunes.
Abbot of Baigne.
Advantage of cats' eyes over ours.
Allains and the Vandals had a cat in their coats of arms as a symbol of freedom.
Ancient monuments representing the Cat god.
Annibal, on what model he behaved.
Arion, inventor of the dithyramb.
Army destroyed for having no cats.
Batrachomyomachie, fragment translated into French verse.
Black she-cats are the most piquant in the eyes of tomcats.
Bouffard, king of the frogs.
Brachmane, rival of a cat.
Brinbelle, Asiatic pussycat.
Bubaste, city dedicated to the burial of cats.
By what charm the lady of Fayel inspired a great passion in the Lord of Coucy.
Cat astrologers.
Cat declared army general.
Cat funerals costing huge sums.
Cat god Cat, called Elurus.
Cat god playing the sistrum.
Cat goddess, regarded as the goddess of love.
Cat goddess, represented as a beautiful woman, seated in an armchair
Cat possessing great big assets.
Cats are an excellent remedy against the vapours.
Cats embalmed after their death.
Cats forming the body of most moral axioms.
Cats from past centuries, comparable to Alcibiades and Helena.
Cats in parallel with the Brahmans.
Cats invited to feasts.
Cats miscarrying when their tomcat dies.
Cats Opera.
Cats take over the town of Peluse.
Cats useful for music, even after death.
Cats very advantageously organized for song.
Cats, example of conduct for magistrates.
Certain and very desirable event.
Children devoted to cats.
Concert formed of pigs.
Coquetteries that took place in the ark, according to an Ottoman tradition.
Death of Marlamain.
Deified cats.
Devendiren, king of one of the seven heavens the Indians aspire to.
Dialogues between two feline lovers.
Egyptian ladies flattered to look like the Cat goddess.
Egyptian lovers prove their tenderness.
Egyptian priests.
Epitaph of the illustrious Marlamain.
Fable by M. de la Mothe.
Fainting that proves nothing.
Festivities of the Pamylians.
First Black Cat Medal.
Flying cats.
Foresight, a troublesome virtue that cats do not need.
Forty-eight million goddesses having twenty-four million gods for husbands.
Genealogy of famous cats.
General Sabbath.
Germanicus declared enemy of roosters.
Gutters, admirable schools of education.
Happiness of cats, as opposed to the sadness of the skeletons of the Egyptians.
Homer speaking of cats.
Honourable treatment given to cats during their lifetime.
Horses considered very eloquent.
How cats always fall on their feet.
How each nation is the cat of the other.
How easy it is to be right.
Idyll about cats, translated from Arabic.
In praise of donkeys.
Indian penitent, famous for his cat.
Institution of Phallus.
Isis called Myrionyma, goddess of a thousand voices
Isis, who is the same as Diane, transformed into a cat.
Killers of cats in Egypt abandoned to the secular arm.
Kind of eclogue.
Living barometers.
London Stock Exchange building, monument to the glory of cats.
M. Bayle's dissertation on the pupil of the cat's eye.
Madame Beyond Sablière feels the trade in cats is appealing.
Mademoiselle Dupuy, harp player, instructed by her cat.
Maneros, son of King Malcander.
Mares from Greece.
Marlamain, cat of Madame la Duchesse du Maine.
Marot borrows the features of the portrait of Venus from cats.
Monastery where an army of cats was kept.
Monsieur de Fontenelle, brought up to hate cats, shakes off this prejudice.
Montaigne, admirer of the merits of cats.
Moral scratches.
Mr. Locke discovers the sources of unfair prejudice against cats.
Music of cats, infinitely more extensive than ours.
Names of cats, in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Italian, Celtic, Spanish, German, English, Dutch, Arabic and Maldives.
Natural cats, glorious titles of the kings of Turquestan.
Observations of M. Lemery on the eyes of cats.
Ophiade, desert island.
Origin of the cries that cats make when they rendezvous.
Orpheus transports the cult of the Cat god from Egypt to Greece.
Paphos reduced to being called Bafa.
Parabaravarastou, king of the deities of India.
Parisadam, flower of the Indians.
Patripatan, Indian cat whose memory is greatly honored.
Perfidy of boilermakers.
Perycilacism, law against dogs.
Phosphoresence found in cats.
Pleasure houses for cats.
Popular song at Egyptian suppers.
Portraits of cats carried in triumph.
Preeminence of cats in Egypt over all other animals.
Priest of Jupiter, called Flamen dial, would not suffer the approach of a dog.
Proper names.
Psicharpax, rat prince.
Pussycat more tender than Heloise.
Pythagoras, a delicate connoisseur of music.
Quintus Curtius, imitator of the cats of Egypt.
Ratillon from Austrasia, third husband of Brinbelle.
Relations between cats and the moon.
Relations between cats and the stars.
Ronsard ranks cats as oracles
Rule of cats prevails over Roman power.
Sannacherib, king of the Arabs, defeated through having no cats to defend himself.
Schabé-Schah, prince of Turquestan, defeated through his resemblance to a cat.
Sea cats.
Sentiment of Father Mallebranche on the repugnance that some people have against cats.
Shape of cats.
Sistrum, musical instrument decorated with several figures of cats.
Slandered cats.
Sleeping on your left side.
Sleeve cut off so as not to interrupt a cat's sleep.
Solemn mourning by Egyptians at the death of cats.
Song imitated from the Egyptians.
Source of the ascendancy that proverbs have over spirits.
Story of a cat from the Hôtel de Guise.
The god Pet.
Troupe of cats, admirable subject of eclogue.
Unjust judgments on pussycats.
Usage of Greek renewed in Mirebalais.
Velvet paws.
Verse of a great princess in honour of her cat.
Verses by M. de Fontenelle on brown-hairs.
Very curious observations of Aristotle and Pliny on the position of cats when they mate.
Very fortunate physiognomy of cats.
Very indecent homage paid to the Apis Bull by the Egyptian ladies.
Wales, priests of Cybele, having less modesty than cats.
Wet-nurses; they are the source of the most unjust prejudices.
Whittington's only legitimate claim is a cat, which becomes a great lord.
Wills in favour of cats.
Worship of the Cat god.

As soon as Moncrif's work was published it attracted criticism. The poet Roy quickly read a few epigrams running; Moncrif, deeply stung, waited for the satirist, and regaled him to blows from the flat of his sword; Roy, on receiving them, said: "Velvet paws, kitty!" ["Play gently"]

Moncrif was much loved by the Count of Argenson. One day, the man of letters said to the minister: "My lord, you are the master of giving me the position of historiographer [official chronicler] of France." Unfortunately Mr d'Argenson remembered the history of cats too well, "Historiographer?" he replied, "that is impossible, historiogriffe [Chronicler of claws] you mean!" (1) Almanach litt., 1778, p. 111 .. "

A rare and rather curious brochure entitled "Lettre d'un rat Calotin" [Letters of a Rat of the Order of the Calotte], is attributed to de Segrais the author of " A History of Rats;" it was followed by two other letters, printed in the Neological Dictionary, for the use of the wits of the century (by Abbé Desfontaines), Amst., 1728, in duodecimo. Finally there appeared "A History of Rats to serve Universal History," from Ratopolis.

Moncrif did not give up over such little things; his cats would follow him to the Academy, as can be seen from these verses, taken from the "Collection of Maurepas."



On M. de Moncrif, elected as one of the forty of the French Académie.

The fine wits will teach us
Which of them should have the upper hand;
They have rats, they have rats;
And they need someone to catch them;
So they'll choose the author of the cats.
If you don't choose Moncrif,
Clermont will show you his claws;
But when Moncrif will be received
Apollo will show the [backside]

A parody of Moncrif's speech at his reception, now a very rare piece, appeared in 1734 under the title of Meow; it is attributed, undoubtedly wrongly, to J.-B. Rousseau, because it is ponderous, unspiritual and badly written, and, as we know, from 1712, Rousseau still lived abroad and weighed down with troubles. Of the various criticisms made against Moncrif, we will therefore confine ourselves to reproducing the Letter from a Rat of the Order of the Calotte.



Price 8 sols. From Ratopolis. At Maturin Lunard, printer and bookseller of the Regiment de la Calotte. M DCC. XXVII. With the approval and privilege of the regimental staff.

As Table Companion at the House where you live when you are Burgess of Paris, I take the liberty, dear Citron, to disturb the rest you enjoy in your master's Castle in the Country. When you know the attack committed against Dogs, your most worthy Confreres, you will not be surprised that I address my complaint to the most sensible and faithful of the Barbets. Even though I once was one of the most reported Rats of the Calotte Regiment, do not believe that the observations you will read are less accurate. I am a Rat Philosopher, who has several lodgings in Paris, who sometimes rests at the Cafe de Marion, and from there I go to the very good houses, where I learn to reason and debate. I even go three times a week to the Âcadémie Françoise to learn in detail the news of the Court and the City, and from time to time to the Opera, and to the other Spectacles, where I have a frank entrance; All this formed my tastes and made me a rather charming Rat.

You must know, dear Citron, that a History of Cats has just been printed at Paris, in which Dogs are extremely badly treated. The author is far from having the due impartiality required by history; he is a Panegirist rather than a Historien nothing: he gives himself the title of the Livy of Cats, when he is only the Pliny. As for me, dear Citron, do not imagine that my pen is driven by passion, and that I follow in my reflections only the constant antipathy which has reigned between Rats and Cats since their stay in Noah's Ark. No, only my interest in the truth animates me. Perhaps the gallant Historiographer will blush at having made himself a little censor of my kind. It must not be forgotten, however, that the most respectable writers of antiquity sometimes had to deal with Antagonists whom audacity alone, rather than equality, made them rivals. Whatever it is, to a good Cat a good Rat.

Do not expect me to load this letter with European and Asian quotations; it is not that I could not very well do so and, like our historian, borrow from science, and feast on Hebrew notes and pieces of Algebra, at the expense of whom it belonged to. What would that do? I would bore you, I would knock you out and you would not believe me any more. Perhaps even, by giving you a sample of my Arithmetic, I may be wrong in my calculation. [1. Lett. p. 28. note. 1. where we find a missed calculation.]

I was walking yesterday in the library of a lady of the neighbourhood, who prides herself on having only learned books. A smell of new morocco attracted me and I wanted to see what it was. I found a neatly bound History of the Cats, its pages were stuck together, testifying that it had not yet been read[1], although it was a present from the Author. I opened the book - its title struck me. I had the courage to go through the Work, and I was very scandalized to meet a thousand learned quotations in a Modernist work, which clearly proved by its style, that the Author strongly esteems that of progressiveness [Neologue], and that he has the greatest taste for it. There is the lightness and the naturalness of the new Fables; but one can only look at it as an ignorant-scientific Phenomenon, tatters of Latin and Greek confused with Dissertations modelled on the designs of this glorious Reviser of Homer.

[1] Book pages were folded concertina style, not with cut pages, and it was up to the purchaser to slice apart the pages.

In truth, dear Citron, I cannot condemn too greatly the project of an Author who chooses a subject as uninteresting as Cats to entertain the public. It is true that this author cites the example of Lucien; perhaps he has his playfulness. He further cited the Poem on the War of the Rats and Frogs; perhaps he also has the sublime talent of Homer. This can be verified from the very first page of the first Letter.

I will not amuse myself, like the Author, in quoting a hundred volumes which I have never read, to answer those who are induced to aid the glory of the Cats. I will content myself with one verse of la Fontaine, which perfectly characterizes these accursed animals; it is in the Fable of the Monkey and the Cat, where it envelops them in the same definition, and says in speaking of these two domestic rascals, who were preparing to draw Chestnuts from the fire:

They saw in this the chance for double profit,
Firstly their own good, and then the harm to others,

I may pile up here a few verses of new Fables which treat them no better: but I want to quote only from books I know and have read, except that of the History of the Cats which I cannot help quoting extracts sometimes, to make my observations more palpable.

The so-called Historian thinks nothing of exalting the Pussycat Nation, when there are Dogs in the world. Has he forgotten the youth and the lightness of the Greyhounds, the sagacity of the Pointers, the kindness of the Spaniels, the goodness of the Danes, the courage of the Dogues, and finally, the fidelity and constancy of the Barbets? We could collect such illustrious and interesting facts if we considered composing the Annals of Dogs! The merit of the Dogs does not resemble that of the Cats; he shines in places other than attics. Go and see the most august Monuments, the Tombs of Kings and Heroes and you will see the Statues of the Dogs, symbols of the most pleasing virtues. The Cats with their cunning tricks and dangerous claws could only decently appear at the Mausoleum of a Procurator or Clerk

Yet their Panegirist thinks he has established their excellence, by reviving the ridiculous worship which was affected to them by the Egyptians; but he has so much desire to display his erudition, that he displaces it, and it goes against his intentions. He degrades his idols in trying to raise them up. Does it really do honour to the Cat God to the God Cat, to mention him at the same time as Pet, the God of Farts?

It is not only by looking for titles in Antiquity that the Author makes contradictory reports. He falls into such a trap by quoting a single Modernist; it is Monsieur de F. . ., whose praise is judiciously mingled with that of the Cats. We read in the first letter with which he commences his History [Lett. 1, Pag. 7], that Monsieur de F... "Confessed that he was raised to believe, that on the eve of St. John there was not a single Cat in the Cities, because they went on that day to a general Sabbat;[2] what a glory for them!" (the ingenious Flatterer adds) "And how satisfying it is for us, to think that one of M. de F. . .'s first steps in the path of Philosophy was to rid himself of a false prejudice against Cats and to cherish them!

[2] Cats were burned on that day.

In the seventh letter he stated that Monsieur de F. . ., "said a few days ago, that as a child he had a Cat, which amused him greatly." Here is the consequence of this confession; a consequence that you will not guess, though it seems very natural in the eyes of the Author, "It is that in childhood the taste for cats can be regarded as presaging higher merits," (p. 102.) So when we speak to you about a celebrated Captain, a profound Politician, or rather when we speak to you about a triple Academician, Poet, Erudite and Algebrist, we boldly conclude that he loved the Cats from the time he wore a bib; and when you see a child having this noble inclination, we say there is nothing to fear, he will one day make at least an elegant Clerk of the Mathematical Tribunal.

Let us return to the Author and what he has to say of Monsieur de F... because we still have in this narration an omen of his rare talents, which have been forgotten; "in the other games that Monsieur de F. . . invented as a child, he pretended to make speeches which he composed on the spot." This parenthetically invincibly demonstrates that he must one day become a great speaker, and speak regularly in the Academies; this is the forgotten omen that I promised you, an omen that has been all too well justified by the playful collection of funeral Oraisons printed by Brunet.

"Not getting the attention of the other children who had to listen to him, and unwilling to do without an audience, he took his cat and placed it in an armchair, and made it a Spectator, etc." [The Author no doubt meant Listener, but perhaps he meant some ingenious malice in the term Spectator?] But the Cat ran away etc. In truth, that was a bad omen, and if M. de F. . . had been at all superstitious, he would never have become mixed up in anything other than compiling observations on Physics.

I am skipping over the rest of this, although it is serious and conclusive for the Cats. What I propose is enough to form a very embarrassing question. I am very sorry to know how Monsieur de F. . ., who had been raised to believe the Cats were invited to the Sabbat, was able to choose them to be the Spectators of his eloquence, which would one day celebrate so nicely the Algebrists and Physicians [Physicists]. In what time did this graceful Philosopher take his first steps on the path of Philosophy? How did he become acquainted with those Actors of the Sabbat and how could he have done this without undoing the prejudice, instilled in him while he was still in short trousers, and, although a child, be unsophisticated enough to lecture his Cat? The author will no doubt explain this difficulty in his second edition; for though his work does not take a rigorous approach, it does not prevent it from being reviewed and corrected. For the rest we are very obliged to him for the anecdotes of the Life of the Illustrious Monsieur of F ... May he give us others along those lines. We do not doubt that, if they anything like that one, they were unlikely to restore his glory. It is apparently for this reason that he consented to be so well celebrated in the History of Cats, for I suppose that the name of such a great man, an intimate friend of the Author, was not there without his consent. People with a more delicate decorum were a little scandalized. For me, I rejoiced, consequently at the eulogy of our Harlequin Signor Tomasini, deemed worthy by the Author to be the Priest of the Cat God.

The consequences that the Author derives from the Divinity of Egyptian Cats are also contradicted by himself. He reports that in the time of the Gods' stay on the banks of the Nile, where they all changed their shapes to avoid the anger of the Giants, chaste Diana took the figure of a cute She-cat. [Lett. 1. Pag. 12] "Are we not very reasonable," says the author "to find a relationship between Diana and her metamorphosis, and to conclude that the Egyptians had only imagined it because they knew She-cats had decent qualities appropriate to the priests of this Goddess?"

This is what he gallantly presented in the first Letter, in which he sets up all the She-cats in as many Lucreces, but in the fifth Letter he quoted the words of Aristotle, who did not expect the honourable mention made of him in a most Modern Work. Listen to the dethroned prince of Philosophers when he says [Lett. 5. Pag. 82] "She-cats, being more temperamental than Toms, far from having the strength to hold their austerity any longer, are eternal flirts – shameless, incautious, immodest, to the point of violence, if the Tom's ardour seems to be failing." Does not this passage, which has been invoked in the case of rebuttal, seem very favourable to our Dianas of the drainpipes, and isn't the author a man of substance?

With regard to drainpipes, the dogmatic Author proposes they be substituted for Colleges and Academies; that's where he claims that [Lett. 6. Pag. 86] "it is on the roof-gutters that we would do well to go for education; it is there that we should find admirable examples of activity, of modesty, of noble emulation, and a hatred for sloth. When Hannibal, not allowing himself to rest, incessantly watched Scipio in order to find a favourable chance to conquer him, what model had he before his eyes? He was watching his enemy like a Cat watches a Mouse." What nobility, pleasure and justice brought together this admirable comparison! Isn't Hannibal well represented by a big Rominagrobis [Tomcat], and Scipio, the great Scipio, that wise and brave Roman General, the terror of the Carthaginians, isn't he a hundred times better represented by a little trembling runaway Mouse?

What the Author does well is his desire to be pleasant does not detract from his soundness. He is by no means the same, and his sadly bantering style almost never dies. With what force of logic does he prove the admirable superiority of Cats over men in the way in which they envision mutilation [castration]? A generous Tomcat, deprived of the hope of perpetuating his race, keenly feels the affront he has received, and for the rest of his life he resigns himself to a profound sadness: an Italian castrato singer, on the other hand, proudly survives his disgrace and far from blushing at his fate, he cuts out the importance of the fop, and he even boldly plays that part of a man lucky with women.

But since we are talking about Musicians, it would not be out of place to teach you that the Author is quite entertaining in the Chapter about Musical Cats. He equates these charming Tomcats with Nightingales: "the Egyptians admitted Cats to feasts where they delighted everyone present with their charming voices." They were the Thévenards and the Mureres. The Lullis and the Campras[3] of that time did not compose Music which approached that of the Cats. What a misfortune that their songs are nowadays no more flattering than those of the Swans so improperly boasted about by ancient Poets! But can't we find something of their songs in our Cantatas, and don't some of the new Composers of Operas seem to have been led by their Cats in their recitative?

[3: Gabriel-Vincent Thévenard - a French operatic baritone; Madame Murere – French theatrical singer; Giovanni Battista Lulli/Jean-Baptiste Lully – Italian-born French composer; André Campra was a French composer and conductor. Swans, which generally honk, were supposed to sing beautifully before they died.]

It is said that such a music was worthy of Scanderberg, in an Opera which was being prepared, but which has lately been rejected, and of which we may say in advance, as in the modern Iliad:

Die, your Name is your Judgment.

I will not dwell further on the contrariness of facts and reasonings which is found in the History of Cats; I will not remind you either of all the Proverbs inferred therein. If this Book is so rare in your Province in Paris, you can look for these Proverbs in the Dictionary compiled by Richelet, and that of the Academy, where they are placed in the same order and with the same grace. In spite of these defects, the History of the Cats has five or six Adherents in the world. The famous Poûmons have brazenly advocated it in the Cafes, and even I know that in good Company it has been praised twice; the first was in the spirit of contradiction, and the second, by acknowledgment. For myself, who thinks like the Public, and who is not celebrated in the Work, I cannot praise the learned Apologist of Kitties; I cannot suffer insipid trifles, frivolous banter, and fictions that lack allusion, that lack morals, and lack salt.

If, among the Cats, he has found himself a Marlamain, worthy of amusing an illustrious Princess, this does not authorize a writer to indiscriminately praise all the cats of the universe, and to drive his pen to the Indies [write at such length]. A Cat made to be loved, is a Phoenix that proves nothing in favour of other Cats. I flatter myself, dear Citron, that some lover of the Canine People will respond to the immoderate praises of the Cat Republic. But if this just Defender of your illustrious species wants to be heard, he must wait until the History of Cats charges a little, for I don't know how it has been done, but so far I am assured that the small number of copies that have been read have cost the public nothing. May the ignorance of the century flare up well on this occasion! Can we so strongly neglect a work stuffed with science, one where erudition is sown with so much prodigality, that we could say it flows from its source, and that the Author has expended it. I strongly believe that our very illustrious Calotte Regiment, which honours merits independent of vulgar prejudices, will liberally reward the Author, and his zeal and shining eloquence, by pleading the cause of the Cats, and will incessantly register next to Pantalon-Phoebus in the Tableau illuminating the Lawyers of Paradoxical Causes, until he is judged worthy to be the brother of Messire Christophie Mathanasius, a new member of a body as illustrious as heterogeneous .

I will finish by telling the story of what I heard these days say, passing by a learned Misanthrope in a loft, where I occasionally make selfless visits to him.

"Is it not a pitiful thing," said he, "to see a man of good intellect, capable of good studies, lose five or six years in compiling, from Greek and Latin authors, all that could have been said good and bad; of true and fake, about Cats?

"If the prodigious erudition scattered in the book in question is not borrowed, it must have cost him at least a considerable time. For the sake of his honour, I still prefer to say that he worked on collections and on a jumble, that some Pedant communicated to him. It is his desire to make a Book, and not just a simple Brochure, on this miserable subject that has led him to insert in his Work so much childishness on the account of Monsieur de Fontenelle; the base, flat and gross scene of Sieur Hotereau; the foolish and extravagant tale of Patripatan (which, however, a learned and judicious character of this time has told him) the silly and impertinent relationship of the Pigs' concert: that host of low Proverbs that he gives us for beautiful Sentences; those rude details of a lascivious banter about what is going on in the roof-gutters between She-cats and Tomcats all mixed with a pretty pedantry which is not at all original, and which appears to have been stolen from the working men's Hero of the Alleys. It is obvious at least that it is this mad desire to publish a book of nothing, which has made him gather together in his work so many Pieces known to everyone, such as the delicate Verses of Monsieur de Fontenelle about Brunettes, and all the Pieces of Madame des Houllieres, about Grisette and Tata that makes up a good part of the Book.

"If the author were a scholar like myself, he might be forgiven for two or three dozen barbarisms and Solecisms against the French language, in which he seems too little versed to get involved in writing, but without going into each detail of these solecisms, I ask him what it wants to say at playing with such frights, that's to say, to pretend to be afraid. What German, or what impertinent noblewoman has ever spoken so? Won't you stop bombarding us with jargon, and wanting to set yourself up as a great wit with your bizarre and senseless language?"

Decide for yourself, dear Barbet, if I were happy with this hypercritical speech? What will become of me, and all the other Rats who love books, (we call ourselves Rat Bibliophiles) if the Booksellers did not care to supply us from time to time with the Books of this genre? Because you know that it is for us that these Books are printed, and for our subsistence that they decay in Booksellers' shops, or in the Cabinets of the fools that buy them. I hope that the History of Cats, which was at first as expensive as Bread in 1725, and which has now become very cheap thanks to the goodwill of the public, will always give me an excellent meal. What a pleasure for a Rat to eat "Cats"! Farewell, dear Barbet, I have other ridiculous news to impart to you, but I dare not write it to you and I beg you not to publish my Letter. The Community of Cats, which has credit with those in Power, and which is cunning and vindictive, would make a cruel war against me.

It is said that a Publisher at the Quai des Augustins, prints the History of the Monkeys and Guenons, that a young bookseller of the Rue S. Jacques prints that of the Cockerels, another prints that of the Asses, and yet another that of the Owls. I want to compose that of the Rats.



Paris, la veuve Valleyre, 1739, rue de la Huchette, in the town of Riom, with approval and permission.

Charming and admirable Friolette, the just subjects of the complaints you tell us to have against Cabriole, the young cat you have honoured with the glorious title of your dear and beloved tomcat, would have made us descend upon the places that you live, to correct the misdeeds and improper conduct of said disloyal fellow already; but our particular interests do not allow us to leave our hold, or permit us to give any respite to the prey we have been pursuing for some considerable time, which is to say a company of fashionable rats, that is to say proud, inquisitive, insolent, unwelcome, ambitious, ungrateful, reckless, greedy, shameless, and generally bad rats, we have, to your clear consideration, most amiable Friolette, just signified to the evil one and all his consorts a regulation of life and customs, emanating from the full power and authority of we cats of Spain, who hold our ordinary sessions in the guttering of different provinces of all the kingdoms of the world. Our cousin Claws-Drawn is responsible, as chief clerk of our sabbaths, for having everything carried out according to its form and content, as is more fully supported by the said regulation below, dated December 20 1738, by Rominagrobis seated on a drip pan in the open guttering, assisted by Pot-Licker, his ordinary bailiff; Soup-Slurper, dean and curator of his archives; Sweet-Talker, guiding captain for his nocturnal actions, in addition to those of the sixty of the most ancient and venerable tomcats who regularly attend the Sabbatical Assemblies held by his orders at the waning of each moon.

Signed: Rominagrobis;
And below,
By the great Mitis,


The famous Rominagrobis,
The worthy leader of all Mitis,
Considering the consequence
Of stopping the excessive license
Some very inconsiderate cats,
Made the following regulations.
December one thousand seven hundred and thirty-eight.

I. All well-mannered cats must get up in the morning, give themselves two or three turns with their paws with open claws, clean their muzzles and their ears, in order to appear shiny and polished.

II. After having lunched with soup, pate, tripe and other foodstuffs to which they will be accustomed, they will rub themselves around the bed or chair of their master or mistress, make a few gambols and turns, and will humbly submit to caresses.

III. May he never bare his claws with birds, rabbits, spaniels, leverets, barbets and bichons, but on the contrary must show a great deal of complacency, keep claws sheathed in velvet paws, and make little or no use of the teeth.

IV. May he never be bold enough to uncover the pot, or eat the roast on a spit, because this outrages the public and our integrity suffers.

V. It is necessary to add to all these previous rules that of exact cleanliness; by appropriating, in the different houses where they are located, a corner to serve as their convenience.

VI. May they wage a good war on the rats and mice, with whom they must never make peace or truce under any pretext and consideration whatsoever.

VII. May they never let anger, or similar emotion, make them light-headed, in order to be better able to attack and defend themselves against their quarry, which they should share generously with their disabled or aged colleagues.

VIII. All this is necessary to restore our reputation, and to silence all those who accuse us of being too licentious, and at the same time to see dogs and bitches sent out of all the good houses.

For these and other causes, with all things considered, it is necessary that you know, dear friend Cabriole, that you must follow these good and beautiful regulations point by point, so as not to expose yourself further to incurring the disgraces merited by your follies. So hold back your fond tongue, be clean, cheerful, gracious and well-disposed, gentle, affable to humans, clever, cunning, and even a little dissembling with our common enemies the rats and mice, which you are allowed to make a meal of, by crunching fur, skin, flesh and bone: above all, love our beautiful and wise Friolette; do not act the fool or the popinjay, because the serious Roussin, as well as Claws-Drawn, our representative and cousin, must hold their paws to all this. You know that they never scratch for no reason, but that would treat you as delinquent despite your parentage, and they could well land you right in the streets.

TO THE TUNE OF: de Joconde.

If you follow, you gentlemen cats,
This equitable ordinance
From the tribunal of our sabbaths
With zeal and prudence,
Your wisdom will shine
In all the alleyways;
It's necessary if you're to be believed
In the homes of maidens.

Read and approved by the censor for the police, this January 15, 1739.

Given approval and permission to print. In Paris, January 23, 1739. Hérault.



(Paris, 1736, in duodecimo - Amsterdam, at the Crowned Tomcat, 1738, in duodecimo, - Library of the Arsenal, no 18323. B. L. - Imperial Library Y. 5424.)


O you who presides over the greatest minds,
Diana, kindly receive my writings! ...

A noble, famous cat, a most fortunate Minet,
To shine a just light on his destiny,
In a merry township, by the river
A great castle rises, which even from the courtyard
Offers the eyes of passers-by laughter, games, love.
In this brilliant palace reigns a financier,
Who was once beautiful, and now a dowager ...

A runner, valets to give her nobility;
Our beauty had these to establish her position,
But none made her shine as much as her cat!
On an embroidered sofa, Minet evidently
Spent whole days like a French baron,
Then at the head of the table he would come and sit,
And with a disdainful air he ate until he burst ...

Twenty times he has been saved from the gates of death.
How attractive he was in convalescence!
His little slanting look, his sweet nonchalance
Delights all hearts; but what emotion
When he looked at you guardedly!
The friendship of this cat is worth that of a prince.
His talents caused a stir, even in the provinces.
This accomplished object, to live healthily
Sleeping after dinner, snoring moderately:
He finally awoke by the light of candles;
Through surveillance he saw the games begin,
Then he went down to the kitchen on a mission,
To taste the stews, and see if they are ready;
And with an eager air, meowing with joy
He came skipping to let his mistress know.
Most amiable Minet! said this beauty,
Your transports are so lively and full of novelty!
Ah! said a contractor, on that vile species
Do you have to lavish so much delicacy?
Hey! Minet, go to the attic and catch some rats.
And stop soaking your tail in our dishes.
What is the use of stroking such a treacherous animal?
When the Sabbath returns, perhaps it will happen
That he will strangle it: that will be its part.
What my cat on the Sabbath, you madman!
Said the lady in anger. Know, race of ignoramuses,
That cats once were among the Lares:
That Diana, seeing Tiphon's attack,
Known how to hide her crescent in the shape of a cat.
And in its eyes we recognise the sign ...

During this interview, Minet, hustling about
The enemy contractor tears his sleeves ...


But the amiable Minet, darling of the assembly,
Seemed to despise this easy victory ...

When an author thus sings his praises ...

Finally, charming Minet, I'll establish your glory,
By making a memorial of the feats of your peers;
And those who applaud him will pass for the learned,
Just as did the illustrious Lesdiguiere,
The love of a Cat is a great-hearted love,
And this love carries with it heroic honours.
It was thanks to a cat that a veritable no-one,
As the English will tell you, became mayor of London. (1),
Another man almost wound up in prison, (2)
But his little cat's tricks paid off his ransom.
But, interrupts the author, witness the cuteness
Of this noble animal, see its suppleness;
Better than a dancing master, he performs an entrechat.
Sometimes it is a matter of fighting a fight
Without the help of neighbours, he courts revenge:
Support and rescue offers dependence.
Who does not envy the cat in his tranquillity!
A philosopher never had so much gravity.
Nothing distracts him from what he's doing;
He does not advance if he's not sure to please:
But watch especially when he's wooing you
How gallant he is. It seems that love is in the air
And love is place keenly in his eyes.
This praise is perfect, cried the mistress ...

However, this tomcat that we considered so uncommon,
Although mild at first, had strange moods;
He was full of cunning and duplicity,
And was always insolent in prosperity.

(1) Whittington.
(2) Petit-pied.


Let us now return to my first subject;
We have seen Minet's happiness so far;
But can such prosperity be sustainable? ...

The exiled contractor decided to feign.
That perfidious artist plotted his betrayal,
He saw the financier, begged her forgiveness,
He flattered the tomcat, overwhelmed him with praise -
Low hearts often resort to very strange things.
Can we hide hatred and disdain this way?
He had at least one vicious fang in store for her.
Here's how he did it: near his home
There lodged an unskilled lawyer
Who subsisted bearing products of the palace:
Thus this orator lived at little expense.
The contractor went to see him, in two words declared
That he would give him a very rare animal,
The most beautiful cat to be seen in all Paris.
For his charms he would bring such a price
That would do him – and his kitchen - honour.
Almost living on fresh air despite his good looks,
At last, if he took this, he would be happy.
The lawyer agreed, the barbarous contractor
Surprised our hero who was sleeping quietly,
He took Minet in his stockings, carried him to the city ...

Robin's wife, looking at its presence,
Said: We know people of consequence
He will consume us to maintain his condition;
Most attentive neighbour, take away your cat.
But, said the contractor, if his appearance pains you
Drown it - you are the mistress ...

Minet's exploits were no longer shared.
No more tiles, beds, sophas, what a storm!
To find oneself fall so quickly
From the bosom of abundance to a beggar.
Yet that wasn't all, we find his fur
Something to protect him against the close cold:
The skin of that beautiful cat must be his mantle ...

Unfortunate Minet, changed, sad, distraught,
Must now live like a lost child
We no longer see in him the velvety, lustre
That once saw him named a famous cat ...

A window panel shaken by noise
Detaches itself; Minet jumped, swore and ran away.


Our hero, gone without asking for his rest,
Showed that beauty can be a fatal gift.
But without thinking too much about the danger
He looked in Paris for someone to take him in;
He soon found it by following the footsteps of a nurse.
A famous medical doctor had fallen ill;
Minet entered nonchalantly into the house.
Wondering if this was safer than being unhappy?
He climbed onto the bed of that great character,
Closed his eyes, fell asleep. Oh what a happy omen!
The doctor cried, let's take advantage of his aid,
This cat was surely sent to save my days;
It must be deprived of its life while it sleeps,
And I'll use it to cure my pleurisy.
How can you propose such an inhuman project?
Said the nurse, I'd rather you turned your blows on me ...

This uncouth speech inflamed him with anger,
He was about to get up when his bitter bile,
Burst in long waves through agitation,
Fortunately, this removed his indigestion.
Thus, out of danger we find him more docile;
He agreed that Minet, safe and sound, and quiet,
May stay in his home, there to be cherished,
Honoured, respected, well bedded, well fed ...

One day, wishing to surprise the birds,
He made soft eyes, but his heart was hard,
But a young beauty's revenge came suddenly
And with a roguish gaze his heart was stolen
By the favourite cat of a worthy dame.
Looking for some tomcat to visit her,
She approached Minet, told him in her own way:
What are you doing here, beautiful cat? What do you say?
They say, replied Minet, that I will love you to distraction
That, ah! I challenge you! ..

Minet watched her closely, worried, agitated.

Dissatisfied with the price of his constancy.
He feigned indifference to test it
And leaving the guttering, stayed beside his patron
Soon becoming a faithful servant,
Concerned in her turn, the she-cat called him back, ..

She offered her paw, and this faithful couple
Became the very model of perfect partners ...


I will try to sing of the excessive pain
From our financier when a thief,
By taking her cat, stole away her happiness ...

This persistent sorrow became a recurring fever;
They ran to the doctors, but they were mystified.
Finally, by some unguessable coincidence,
Minet's master visited the patient;
At first, he made a show of a few Latin words;
Words that he used to get out of embarrassment
It was said that even he did not understand them.
No matter, that scholar questioned the lady ...

... She finally admitted the torment that bothers her,
The doctor smiled: To end your sorrow,
You lost one cat, I will bring you two.
He ran to fetch Minet and also Minet's lover,
And returned to the castle. Here is the cure
For the evil that torments you - open your curtains,
The cat you cry over has never looked so good.
Scornfully she followed his prescription,
By what illusion do I see the resemblance?
Is it you, dear Minet? Ah! This is to die for!
Come and let a hundred kisses show my pleasure.
The tomcat tired of this excess of tenderness,
In turn, his claws and teeth caressed her:
He escaped her bed and went to find his sweetheart
Who was snacking from a bowl of milk
And Minet did not scruple to imitate her.
Oh fatal greed! ridiculous compound,
There was so much emetic in this milk
It was a fatal poison for those lovers ...

Minet's ways having left the game,
The lady in her bed murmured a little;
After appropriately judging him,
She wished to see her guilty beloved once more;
Wanting to right that wrong,
A servant ran there, and seeing him dead
Shuddered with horror and froze in place,
So you would only see a faded image ...

O! my dear mistress, oh unwanted turn of events!
Your beloved Minet will scratch no more.
Your church warden suffered a fit of passion
Requiring fifteen grains of emetic today,
But Minet and his sweetheart both drank the potion,
And both died from its ingestion.
What do we make of this story? We fall fainting;
Disgrace, in fact, appears unheard of;
She shows enough that it is necessary to become
Moderately attached to that which seems charming to us.
Thanks to the fortunate aid of Carmelite water,
The lady opened her eyes and bathed in tears.
Let us face our unkind fate, she cried,
Find me sculptor, bring me Ducreux
Let his art preserve for posterity,
My grief for the cat I was so charmed by;
Let a superb tomb, placed under a laurel,
Immortalise both the cat and the craftsman.



A heroic-burlesque poem
By Sir C *** L ** M ***

(In Nancy, at Jean de la Rivière, bookseller. M. D. CC. XXX.
With approval. In-octavo, 70 pages.)


We, the undersigned, doctors in the art of biting rats and mice, great visitors and exterminators of coverts, gutters, drains, ditches, etc., certify that we have seen, read, minutely examined, and considered the learned Harangue of the incomparable Hermionne to her little newborn cats, in which we have found nothing unsuitable for the education of infants of our species; thus, after having carefully considered the whole, we judged it not only worthy of being published, but also we invite those who want to raise and keep our race at home, for their usefulness, to provide this for the good of their homes and the education of their tom-cats and their she-cats. In witness whereof, assembled for this purpose in an attic, we have signed these provisions with our own claws, and had this countersigned by our first clerk and secretary, so that our full approval may be added. In the year of the famous battle of the cellars with the rats, fifteen hundred and seven thousand.

Signed on the original,
And as clerk and secretary,

To the very high and very valiant and very generous Seiqneur Dom Rominagrobis, Marquis of Grippetout, Count of Patte-Alerte, generalissimo of the army of cats, etc.



Alas that, to have this fine state of motherhood,
I must court danger and suffer misery!
When I think about it now, I still tremble with fear,
And the mere memory makes me shudder in horror;
Did I jump the walls and bend the fence
To choose from among a hundred favourites,
A cat favourable enough to be my husband?
Because to give birth to you and give you a father
Who was worthy of you, worthy of your mother,
I have, with a thousand lovers and tender meows,
Made cats come to me from all quarters ....

I always remember a lovely falsetto,
Like the violin that vibrates under the arch,
Whose soprano sounds, by their delicacy,
Express the tenderness of the musician cat:
This cat, the best of all, declared his ardour to me.
Meowing so sweetly and languorously
That his sad accents moved me to pity.
Even a marble cat would have been touched.

I love this beautiful cat, and if I dare say it,
He does not tell me in vain about his martyrdom
But a disagreeable neighbour, believing it inappropriate
That our songs bother him and disturb his rest,
Made us flee suddenly into the darkness ....

I paid no heed to slanderous speeches,
I did not disdain the crowd of gallants,
And to gather them for whole nights,
I travelled the roofs and all the gutters.
And with several assemblies at the same time.
I had more freedom to make a worthy choice ....

But that cruel monster we call jealousy,
Mortal enemy of peaceful love,
Soon created quarrels and rifts
In the throng of lovers from every nation ....

Shall I tell you how auspicious fortune
Saved me a hundred times at the precipice's edge
When I went to look for kind mates,
On slippery roofs made treacherous by rain?
How often alas! climbing with difficulty,
To give you life I risked losing mine!
And for the joy of seeing you in the cradle,
How often I risked putting myself in the tomb!
Often tremble from the cold, and all night long,
Running roof to roof, from cottage to cottage,
Rarely resting, feverish with the heat
Of a heartsick cat, sometimes ignoring the scorn,
Other times becoming – I know not for what crime -
The miserable victim of an odious tomcat.
Ah! poor little cats, whose life is so dear to me,
How much pain must you cause your poor mother? ....

I can't understand how one could follow without crime
The barbarous example of those carefree mothers
Who leave their young after birthing them,
Entrusting others to nurture and suckle them;

The poem revolves around the war of rats and cats, or the exploits of Rominagrobis; there is, in our opinion, nothing out of the ordinary that deserves to be cited.



Widow after the death of her cat Mitouard through her good gossips.


The world is well eaten up by rats, for the lack of good cats. If the king Pepiol, last of the race of the good Krakus, who built the great city of Krakaw in Poland, had a couple of good cats for his bodyguard, the rats emerging from the rotten carcases of his uncles, whom he had poisoned, would not have made a fricassee of him, as they did. If the Archbishop of Mainz had managed to die in his palace, the rats would not have made an anatomy of his miserable and avaricious body in revenge for the many poor village people whom he had burned in a barn during a famine, boasting that he had only killed rats in that rat-trap, and saying that those poor people were only good for gnawing the grain. If the inhabitants of Abdera (the land of the scoffing Democritus) had fed each one in their own house as carefully as they had always been fed in Egypt, where they were worshiped, or in Rome, they would not have been forced to abandon their homes, their city, their property and their country at the mercy of this vermin. Now everything is full of rats, attic rats, cellar rats, who want to be the masters. These are Scythian or Sarmacian rats, whose skins which were formerly used, as Justin testifies, as good and precious furs, and that we now dared to call Sable Martens. They are short-haired rats, poisonous rats, who consume the labour of others, who live and do nothing, who are so thirsty that they drink the oil from the lamp in Minerva's temple, and so bold that they come and bite the nails of our big toes when we sleep. Who is the cause of this? For lack of good cats, lack of vigilantes and lack of force of labour: for whoever does not feed the dog and the cat will necessarily feed the thief and the rat.



It was not today that I realized, my good and dear ladies, that nothing is long-lasting. Man's labours are long and boring, the misfortunes are perpetual and the quarrels that relentlessly plague us night and day, are eternal. But over time I found that the consolations of puny mortals seem to me very short; as transient as a gust of wind. Death grabs hold of the most excellent, whom it shrouds and murders, half by force, half by craftiness, and it leaves the wear and tear of this life to the wicked and the lazy who live longer than Tithonus, longer than Nestor, than Priam, longer than the Sibille, while on the contrary, those who could do much with their good fruits seem to die almost as soon as they have been born. The far-sighted gods, seeing that I could be melancholy living alone, made me a present of a beautiful and kind-hearted cat, but the troubling death of my darling in such a short time took it from me, much to my regret.

My cat gave me a thousands and thousands of pastimes, and just to give me even more, I saw last year he ripped off his tail ...

I was turning the spit-roast for him and if only he hadn't dared to look out of the corner of his eye to touch it! He still held the keys to the expense ...

He never wronged anyone, he never took anything from another, rather he died of a raging hunger or from eating onions, the flesh of which cats are not very fond, than to eat something he had been warned about ...

How many offers have I refused that would have made me a merchant of great means, and several barons of high chivalry would have my kitten escorted, plump, inlaid with small spots very pleasant to the sight ...

(Extract from the Facetious Regrets and Pleasant Funeral Speeches of Sieur Thomassin, on the Death of Various Animals. Dedicated to Gautier Garguille. Rouen, D. Ferraud, 1632, in duodecimo, pages 117 and following.)


Preceded by its Philosophical and Political History and Followed by the Treatment of its Diseases.
By M. RATON, Former Canon.

(Paris, Raynal, 1828. In duodecimo 112 pages.


(This is a serious work on the education and treatment of cats, written like Moncrif's in letter form, except that Moncrif's letters are otherwise an important work in the history of cats.

This work is divided as follows:
Precise history, etc., addressed to the Mother Superior of the Visitandines convent.
Treatise on education. Chap. I. On the wild cat and the domestic cat.
Treatise on education. Chap. II. The loves of cats.
Second letter to the same. Chap. I. Cat education
Second letter to the same. Chap. II Diseases of cats.)


"Cats, in the order of creation, are our elders. The one who, through his words, brought the Universe into being, gave them freedom to run in the fields and provided for their existence, and they cruelly abused this privilege. Born with voracious tastes, naturally unruly and clever, they refused to be bound by either social habits or any particular alliance. They spread in the forests, declared war to the death on birds and small four-footed rodents, and they soon became famous for murder and robbery."

"Locked up in the ark with the other animals, they gave themselves up, as usual, in that asylum of salvation, to appalling disorder; they bit some, scratched others, plucked the birds, skinned the rabbits, pursued the rats, and finally they did so much nonsense that, having provoked the wrath of the good patriarch, he exiled them to the ship's deck during the greatest downpour of the deluge. That would have been the end of them if the tender and sensitive wife of the ship's captain had not energetically shown him that it was cruel. Finally, they were only made to receive the waters of the celestial gutters for a few hours. From that moment, gratitude returned to their souls; they were sensitive and devoted to Noah's wife and vowed an eternal attachment to her. This feeling of friendship in the original race of cats was so strongly imprinted on their souls that it became hereditary."

"Each country has its own cats, in Tobolsk the cats are red; in the Cape of Good Hope, they are blue; in China, they have hanging ears (1); in Japan, they are straight; in India, there are flying cats and cats with a pouch on their sides in which to put their young; Pallas recognized a species, in Russia, with a small, pointed muzzle, and a tail six times as long as the head."

(1) This species, unique among its kind, is found in the province of Pechy-Chily.



[Translated from French to English 1781 by William Smellie]

That celebrated writer said: "The cat is an unfaithful domestic, and kept only from the necessity we find of opposing him to other domestics still more incommodious, and which cannot be hunted; for we make no account of those people, who, being fond of all brutes, foolishly keep cats for their amusement. Though these animals, when young, are frolicksome [sic] and beautiful, they possess, at the same time, an innate malice, and perverse disposition, which increase as they grow up, and which education learns them to conceal, but not to subdue. From determined robbers, the best education can only covert them into flattering thieves; for they have the same address, subtlety, and desire of plunder. Like thieves, they know how to conceal their steps and their designs, to watch opportunities, to catch the proper moment for laying hold of their prey, to fly from punishment, and to remain at a distance till sollicited [sic] to return. They easily assume the habits of society, but never acquire its manners; for they have only the appearance of attachment or friendship. This disingenuity of character is betrayed by the obliquity of their movements, and the duplicity of their eyes. They never look their best benefactor in the face; but, either from distrust or falseness, they approach him by windings, in order to procure caresses, in which they have no other pleasure than what arises from flattering those who bestow them. Very different from that faithful animal the dog, whose sentiments totally centre in the person and happiness of his master, the cat appears to have no feelings which are not interested, to have no affection that is not conditional, and to carry on no intercourse with men, but in the view of turning it to his own advantage. By these dispositions, the cat has a greater relation to man than to the dog, in whom there is not the smallest mark of insincerity or unjustice."

Good god, what a diatribe against these poor cats, so gentle and so modest at the same time as independent (here is the great grievance), and what a burnt offering in favour of the canine species.


Letter in verse of M. Deshoulières, 1677.

Come back from the astonishment
You feel at such a compliment.
I love, 'tis; but thank God that
My love is for my little Cat.

My pretty little Grisette
Her name is widely known;
But sometimes she makes me fret
Far more than I have shown;
So believe this Chansonette
Which round the world has flown.

Deshouillieres is just an ingrate
For her whose lovely eyes are caught;
And her heart caught like a Rat
Is captured by a Cat.

We have the following series of pieces by the same author, reproduced in Les Chats, by Moncrif.

Letter from Tata, Tomcat belonging to Madame the Marquise de Monglas, to Grisette, she-cat belonging to Madame Deshouillieres. Octobre 1678.
Grisette's Response to Tata.
Blondin (1), cat of the Jacobins of the rue Saint-Honoré, to his neighbour Grisette; on the rhymes of the previous piece.
Dom Gris (2), cat of Madame la Duchesse de Bethune to Grisette.
Mittin (3), Miss Bocquet's cat to Grisette.

(1) The cat Blondin gave us a lot to think about the behaviour of she-cat Grisette in these four lines taken from the play.

"They say you meow too freely
After the amorous washerwomen,
Finally, your tomcat neighbours
Are a little too sober for you."

(2) As for Dom Gris, I leave it to other judges to assess it:

"A cat that fortune constantly accompanies,
Who is admired by she-cats in the yard,
This is what you need, not this wild cat,
This Tata, who languishes in the midst of pleasures,
Who could not, at most, go for banter,
Who could never satisfy your desires."

(3) Mittin gives us this portrait of Grisette, he describes for us her eyes

"The charming softness and the shine."

Regnault, cat of A. . . . to Grisette.
Tata's response to Grisette.
Grisette to the Marshal Duc de Vivonne, who pretended to believe that Madame Deshoulières had made a bad rondeau which went around the world.
Epistle of Cochon, M. le Maréchal de Vivonne's dog, to Grisette.
Grisette's response to Cochon.

Grisette's genealogy:

It was the supple figure of a female cat
That the Queen of Lovers chose to wear.
In feline form she was a comely Princess,
And to avoid earth-bound ennui,
She found contentment in the embrace
Of a lusty cat o'ercome by her beauty,
And after a while that glowing Goddess
Produced kittens in quantity.
It is from this source
That I, Grisetter, draw my origins.

And her coat:

In a pretty grey, much finer than
That the little grey rabbit ....

And sometimes, as a gallant kitten,
Your stood on your feet to reach the mirror:
For the pleasure of seeing yourself there ....

In love, you have the most beautiful manners;
You do not go, with scandalous cries,
To walk on the roofs in the shame of your fires,
Nor give yourself up to the cats in the gutters.

La Death of Cochon, Marshal de Vivonne's dog, a tragedy:

The Theatre opens, and represents a flat terrace level with the guttering.

Grisette - Madame Deshouillieres' She-cat, in love with Cochon.
Mimy - Madame Deshouillieres' Tomcat, in love with Grisette.
Marmuse - Madame Deshouillieres' He-cat, Mimy's Confidante.
Cafar, Cat belonging to Minimes of Chaillot, Deputy of the Village Cats.
A Troupe of Neighbourhood Cats.



Bits of rhyme on Madame Deshoulières' chat, inserted in Moncrif.


I never say a word and I look good
But make bad sport since that unhappy day
When my ability to love was cut away,
The finest flower of cat-dom's lost manhood.
Thus Moricault must now complain and rage
Against the hand which did him such a turn,
That made him cold where once his ardour burned,
He once was busy, but is now a joker made;
No longer brave, he's now a coward and a fool;
Who lurks among the chimneys of the roof;
Once talented in realms of sweet romance
It makes his Seraglio so heartily enraged
To see him reduced to this sad and slothful state -
One cut has made the knight lay down his lance.



(Inserted in the Petit Journal, Tuesday, September 6, 1864)

We have just published, in foreign newspapers, a will made by an Englishman in favour of a cat, to which he assures £100,000 income which must be spent on its personal well-being.

For me, the cat is an authority in a house. While the dog remains in its kennel in the garden, the cat is on the mistress's knees or stretched out on cushions in the sun.

A porter's cat is as aristocratic as a senator's ... And whether the furniture is walnut or rosewood, it still falls asleep in its ermine with the gravity of a parliamentary advisor.

We cite Fourier's cat, who seemed to understand his master's abstract theories, and who would have preserved the dreamy phalanstery [commune] from rats.

We remember Guignol's cat, who remained a silent and impassive witness of the eternal duel between Pulcinella and the commissioner, not even taking sides with the authority figure.

Or remember the sparkling-eyed, lightning-laden, skittish-leaping tomcat Murr that the dreamer Hoffmann placed in his most fantastic tales.

We esteem the great post office cats of Paris, attached to that immense administration, and who defend the letters and archives against rats.

But nothing is said about Richelieu's cats. - Now, I found in an old newspaper the details below that are important to recall for history.

Between two galleries was the chamber of Cardinal Richelieu, adorned with extreme magnificence. There was an adjoining study with a few other offices, one of which was used for the cattery. We know the cardinal's mania for cats; in the morning, when he got up or when he was ill, he always had a dozen around him or on his bed, frolicking or fighting with courteous claws.

Two people were in charge of the cattery; they resided not in the palace itself, but in the precincts. These two attendants to feline upbringing were named Abel and Teyssandier. It was they who came morning and evening to feed the cardinal's cats.

Each of those quadrupeds had a specific name. Here is the condition of the troupe when the cardinal died, and the character notes for each tomcat, she-cat, or kitten. This account, which is kept in an autograph collection, is signed with the name of Bois-Robert, poet and quasi-buffoon of the cardinal.

At the time of Richelieu's death, he had fourteen favourites, namely: Mounard le Fougueux, Soumise, Serpolet, Gazette, Ludovic le Cruel, Mimie Piaillon, Felimare, Lucifer, Lodoïska, Rubis sur l'Ongle, Pyrame, Thisbé, Racan, and Perruque.

The cardinal, on his death, left pensions to all his cats: to some, £20; to others, £10. Abel and Teyssandier also had £150 pounds each to continue caring for them.

But look at the human vicissitudes: all those cats who, for a long time, had only lived on chicken breast pate, ended up miserably in the world. One night they were taken in part by the Swiss drummers, who ate them in stew at the Hôtel du Boudin Genereux, located in the Rue des Poulies.

Nowadays, gentlemen I warn the cats that they have enemies, that the great painter of animals, called Toussenel, shoots them with a rifle, that Nadar winces nervously when he sees them open and retract their nails, that Buffon accuses them of loving the hostel better than the host, the home better than the inhabitant . . .

On the other hand, our good and melodious Adolphus Adam often had one or two around his piano when he was composing. And one of the greatest poets of this period, Théophile Gautier, has a remarkable collection, from the wild cat that goes looking for birds by climbing to the tops of trees in his garden, to the patrician Angora, softly wrapped in its precious fluff.


(Extract from DELILLE: The Country Man.)

Leave to the collections of cities and kings
Those bodies where nature's laws were violated,
Those monstrous foetuses, those double-headed bodies,
That mummified corpse disputing death' conquest,
The bones of the giant, and the hideous runt
Demanded by being and oblivion alike.
But if some dear bird, a dog, or a faithful friend,
Distracted your sorrows, reward him his zeal,
Instead of giving him the honours of a coffin
Rotting in the tomb and desecrate by mourning,
Make the simple apotheosis in those places:
May he rest in your Elysium with grace!
This is where we want to see it; where you would live,
O you, whose attractions La Fontaine would have praised,
O my dear Raton, who, rare in your species,
Had the grace of the cat and the tenderness of the dog,
Who, proud with gentleness and fine with kindness,
Ignored the selfishness imputed to your race.
There I would like to see you, as I saw you then,
In your elegantly dressed soft fur,
Affecting the distracted air, playing the sleepy air,
Spying on a fly or on the enemy rat,
So fatal to authors, whose reckless teeth
Gnaw indifferently on Dubartas or Voltaire;
Or as you come, simpering artfully,
To ask for your share of my frugal dinner;
Or, with arched back and waving tail,
You offer your soft ermine to my caressing hand,
Or cheerfully disturb, by a thousand diverse leaps
The pen and the hand that addressed this verse to you.



How we love the dog, but not so the cat;
Wayward subject, cold friend, ungrateful guest,
Defiant, cunning, selfish servant,
Keeping your sly and sad air with us,
Playing mercilessly with your bloody booty
Staying by habit and not by friendship.
But whether we judge the man or the rest of the world,
On the exceptions on which truth is based:
Just as in humans, the various moods,
Inclinations and customs of animals change.
More than one cat knows how to love, and stroke and please;
I myself have extolled his character;
For a long time he shared the lot of his poet;
I celebrate his life and lament his death.

DELILLE. (The Three Kingdoms.)



(Article inserted in The Press, September 14, 1862, signed: DE L'ESTOILE.)


A strange heresy was printed here, last Sunday, by Xavier Aubryet. For the benefit of the dogs, he dared to manhandle the cats.

According to Mr. Xavier Aubryet, the cat is Caïn, Richelieu and Lacenaire; he divides mankind into dogs and cats; according to him, the good guys are dogs and the bad guys are cats. He says the dog is the friend of the house. The cat is much more: he is a citizen in the house, while the dog is only the slave.

By beating the dog, a man learns to despise his fellows; if he wants to beat the cat, he must learn to respect them.

The dog is a man's friend, you say; but the dog, which licks the feet of the master who beats him, is not the symbol of friendship, it is the symbol of bondage.

I love cats, I have a dozen who are all brothers, and I haven't found a Cain yet. They live happily under the same roof. Some are white, others tiger-striped; they are all mittened because I like well-dressed cats.

To talk about the ingratitude of cats is too much like reprinting a ready-made phrase.

Do we want cats to herd flocks or save drowning men? After all, if there is the regimental dog, isn't there the Zouave's cat? - A brave person, that one, who fed his master and who has been put on the agenda! [Zouave: member of a light-infantry corps in the French army, originally of Algerians and long retaining their oriental uniform.]

When I am bitten by one of my twelve cats, I am not afraid.

- Can you say the same for your dog?

- The core, you say? Listen to this story:

Mme ***, a famous woman living on Empress Avenue, had too many friends to have room for a dog or a cat; however, from time to time, on winter days, when she shut herself up in her small living room to paint, she found an alley cat, a plebeian cat, a cat without hearth or home, which came to nestle between the andirons and the screen. Though she wanted to chase him away, he regarded her with big green eyes so intelligent that she gave him hospitality.

When she fell ill the cat, who had never ventured into the bedroom, went there every day. On his first visits, he was just passing by. Little by little he stayed for an hour and, finally, he didn't want to leave her. On her last night, he spent the whole night under the dying woman's bed. As soon as she expired, he ran away crying. The next morning he was found hanging from the forked branch of a chestnut tree!



(Article by Louis Leroy, inserted in the Charivari of November 3, 1865.)


Moumoute, the Dubois' cat, lying nonchalantly on a soft stool, his nose in his tail, his eyes half-closed, daydreams about everything that can embellish and charm the life of a cat ...

The point is, he's charming; he looks like a well-fed child. The household lacked a dog and now here is one in full force. A heart-rending cry is heard: Moumoute's paw has come into direct and sudden contact with Black's nose.

The Dubois couple are outraged by their cat's brutal behaviour. He is shamefully kicked off his stool and goes to think under the piano about the dangers of reacting too fast.

Moumoute's reflections are no less bitter; Alas! he said to himself, my position is lost. A moment ago I was alone, enthroned, ruling over my masters, and lo and behold a palace revolution topples me from all the padded seats. Oh! miseries of power! That little ball of black hair without a tail or a head, is going to cut the meat from under my paw ...

Everything wears out eventually. Eight days after this painful scene, the dog and the cat are still unhappy together, but we can now leave them alone in the same room ...



(Extract from a letter written to Mr. D.L.R. by Mr. A.C.D.V.D. on 19th January, 1731)

Regarding the event that we reported to you several times while passing and repassing through our town when you visited Normandy, and that you reminded me of in your last letter, please note all the circumstances; this event, I say, is very certain, and occurred exactly as I relate it to you.

In the year 1664, in this town of Evreux, a cat had given birth to her young at the Dupuis household in Rue Trienne. At the same time, the Dupuis found a nest of mice in his house, which he took to his cat. She ate them all except one, which happened to be hidden underneath her. The little mouse sucked the milk which dripped from the kittens' as they suckled from their mother. No sooner had the mouse tasted the she-cat's milk, than the cat was stripped, so to speak, of its ferocity and natural antipathy towards it; she caressed the mouse and fed it alongside her kittens. Some old men of that time certify the event as eyewitnesses. We find it described in much the same way in the Memoirs of the late M. Ruault, a lawyer in Evreux, the most knowledgeable, most curious and least credulous man in our province, who left a number of historical memoirs, and whose reputation and children you know. Here is how our illustrious compatriot's narrative on this singular event ends:

"Almost the whole town went to see this mouse being fed by a cat; I went there myself, and I saw an individual take the mouse from under the cat and put it in the middle of the room. The cat soon left the place where she was, took the mouse in her mouth, carried it back to her kittens without causing it any harm and caressed it remarkably."

Once again, this event, which I have heard of all my life and which we still has living witnesses, can be found exactly as I have just it, in the Memoirs of a true scholar, recognized as such and incapable of impressing it on the public. He even made a few reflections as a physician on this, and particularly on milk which has, he says, produced an effect so contrary to the nature of these two animals; but I am omitting both the reflections and the consequences that he read from them in relation to mothers and wetnurses, to leave our modern physicians complete freedom to contemplate and to explain themselves about such extraordinary milk.




One day a missionary walking in the suburbs of Nanking realized that he had forgotten his watch and asked a little boy what time it was. The boy of the Celestial Empire hesitated at first, then, turning his back, he replied: 'I will tell you.' A few moments later he appeared, holding in his arms a very large cat, and, looking at the pupil of the cat's eyes, he said without hesitation: 'It is not quite midday yet.' Which was true.

For me, when I take in my arms my extraordinary cat, which is at the same time the honor of its race, the pride of my heart, and the perfume of my mind, whether at night, In the full light, in the depths of her adorable eyes I always see the hour distinctly, always the same, an immense solemn hour, great as the space without division of minutes or seconds, a motionless hour which is not marked on the clocks and, however light as a sigh, quick as a glance.

And if some intruder came to disturb me while my gaze rests on the delicious dial, if some dishonest and intolerant genius came to tell me 'what are you looking at with such care?' What do you look for in the eyes of this stranger? Do you see the hour, mortal prodigual and lazy? I would answer without hesitation:

Yes. I see the hour; He is eternity!"

(Poems in prose. Fantastic review, Volume 18. 1st November, 1861.)


(Paris, 1863, in duodecimo. - Extracts.)


That day we received a gift from friend Thomas, who was seeking reconciliation by sending Mariette a pretty black cat with big green eyes. A letter was attached, which noted the genealogy of the little cat.

This gift gave great pleasure to Gerard, whose childhood had been spent among cats, who seemed to have drawn physical and character traits from this intimacy. The resemblance came from long, stiff, sparse whiskers, which no brush or comb had been able to reduce to the state of a man's moustache. Is frequent blinking of his eyes made people believe that Gerard was slyly studying foreign figures while closing his eyelids.

Mariette shared Gérard's tastes, so the little black cat was treated as a friend. And from then on, he played a great part in the household: he was accustomed to play quietly and not leave the room. In the morning, they took him to Luxembourg to get him some fresh air.


Gérard's mother was recovering when he arrived; he stayed only four days, finding the time long, the city sad and the inhabitants more sullen than ever. But not knowing how to occupy these long days in the provinces, he put in order a few notes in memory of the cat, the memory of which never left him.

"June 15, 184... - I say dreamer, observer and idler, but I will never achieve the dreams, the observation and the laziness of the little cat. His observations began at the age of five months ... Cats do not easily communicate their impressions. What superiority separates them from the dog, that rowdy animal who is never able to keep the fruit of his observations secret! ...

"July 2, 184... - The cat costs me dear ... I'm not talking about his food ... A penny of milk in the morning, two pennies of slack for the day ...

"February 19, 184... - My friend studied cats for a long time; he stops them in the street, enters the shops where the cat meditates crouching on the counter, caresses and mesmerises them with his gaze.

"March 10, 184... - I was reading what he wrote (Buffon) on the feline race. The little cat often sat down, while I leafed through the volume, on the corner of my desk ... the cunning creature suspected the accusations that were spread in abundance in the book against his breed. Under the pretext of climbing out of the window, he jumped into the inkwell and splattered in the blackest way the works of M. de Buffon, proof of calculated perfidy, for the little cat was never clumsy in his life ...

"April 20, 184... - The Parisians, who do not shrink from any crime to satisfy their pleasures, perform on cats the procedure followed in Spain for pigs, in Italy for singers, at Le Mans for chickens... This custom affects cats a few months after birth; it is only weakly explained by the small size of the apartments, the absence of attics and cellars. We want a cat for itself, a domestic cat, calm and serious."



(Excerpts inserted in the newspaper Le Siècle, October 5, 1865)

After having read the article on cats in M. de Buffon's work, aren't we tempted to do bad things to those cats that surround us? But still from his sceptical point of view, how could M. de Buffon have struck the tomcat and the she-cat with the same anathema, for intelligence and affection are infinitely more developed in the female than in the male?

In winter, how pleasantly our sight rests on this neat companion, gracefully swaddled in ermine, whose warmth she is always ready to share with us! Seeing the nonchalant grace, the soft abandon that reigns in her walk and even in her slightest movements, are we not led to establish a rapprochement that does not offend our ladies?

It is in this seductive state, and without any spirit of coquetry, that the cat often presents herself to her master. If he is in the mood to take her upon him, she'll sit in the chair closest to his. Beautiful and silent, her clear gaze will seek his gaze, and as long as that man is not less intelligent than the beast, their eyes will exchange the most charming things. A silent, easy, tender conversation will take place between them, without the obligatory search for wit and in which the heart will feel naturally drawn.

In those gentle head rubs that the cat happily gives, doesn't she ask for an exchange of affection from us? When she comes to our knees to knead them while accompanying her treading with the noise of a spinning wheel, her purring, doesn't she express all the happiness that direct contact with her master brings her?

In short, if my cat teased me, I also had my demands, and since there was an easy exchange of good manners between us, things were at their best.

I liked to see the skill with which she carried her young. If she was away, I would put them in a distant place. But as soon as she returned she brought them back, one by one, so as to remain close to her master.

When the offspring were sufficiently developed to trot and tumble cheerfully far from the maternal home, her heart then turned back to me, undivided; excessively jealous, she would no longer allow me to hug them.

My reading, which isolated us by thought, made her badly disposed towards my books; sometimes her little head would come out on the page I was browsing; she seemed to be looking for whatever was so charming that it absorbed my attention; she probably did not understand that happiness could dwell beyond a devoted heart, when it is present.

Her concern was no less evident when she brought me rats or mice: acting this way just as if I were her son. Sometimes she dragged huge rats, still twitching, to my feet; her logic, no doubt, was to offer large game that suited the size of her consumer, because she never presented such large things to her young.

But this devotion was followed by disappointment: after having placed the products of her hunt before my eyes, she seemed very troubled by my indifference to such good morsels.



An Indian king named Salamgam had at his Court a Brahmin and a Penitent, both famous for their virtuousness. Between them there arose between them a rivalry and a dissension which often resulted in many marvellous events.

One day, as these illustrious Champions disputed before the King over which of them was most virtuous, the Brahmin, outraged at seeing the Penitent share the Court's esteem with him, declared loudly that his own virtue was so acceptable before the God Parabaravarastou, who in India is King of the First Order of Divinities, that he could instantly and at will transport himself into any of the seven Heavens to which the Indians aspire. The Penitent took the Brahmin at his word; and the King, whom they had chosen to judge their disputes, ordered him to proceed to the Heaven of Devendiren, and to bring back from it a flower from the Parisadam tree, whose mere odour conveys immortality.

The Brahmin bowed deeply to the King, rose upwards, and disappeared in a flash. The Court waited in astonishment, but did not doubt that the Brahmin would lose the wager. The Heaven of Devendiren had never been accessible to mortals. It is the residence of forty-eight million Goddesses, whose husbands are one hundred and twenty-four million Gods, of whom Devendiren is Sovereign; and the flower Parisadam, of which he is extremely jealous, is the chief delight of his Heaven.

The Penitent took great care to point out all these difficulties, and was already applauding the impending shame of his rival, when the Brahmin suddenly reappeared with the famous flower which he could only have picked in the gardens of the God Devendiren. The King and the whole Court fell to their knees in admiration, and the Brahmin's virtue was exalted to the highest degree. Only the Penitent refused to give tribute. 'King,' he said, ' and you, too easily deceived Court, you regard the Brahmin's access to the Heaven of Devendiren as a great marvel. It is only the work of a common virtue; understand that I send my Cat there whenever I please, and that Devendiren receives it with all sorts of friendliness and distinctions.' Without waiting for a reply, he made his Cat 'Patripatan' appear and said a word in its ear. The cat rose up, and in full sight of the rap Court, was lost in the clouds, pierces through them into the Heaven of Devendiren, who took him in his arms, and gave him a thousand caresses.

Up to that point, the Penitent's project went marvellously; but the favourite Goddess of Devendiren was struck, as though by a thunderbolt, with such a fancy for the amiable Patripatan that she was determined to keep him.

Devendiren, to whom the Cat had first explained the subject of his embassy, opposed this. He argued that Patripatan was awaited with impatience at the Court of King Salamgam; that the Cat had left there risking the reputation of a Penitent, and that the greatest affront one could do to anyone was to steal his Cat. The Goddess would not listen, and all that Devendiren could get from here was a promise that she would only keep Patripatan for two or three centuries, after which she would faithfully return it to the awaiting Court. Salamgam, however, was becoming impatient when the cat did not return, and only the Penitent kept his composure. Eventually they waited for three whole centuries without any invonvenience except impatience, for the Penitent, by the power of his Virtue, prevented anyone from growing old.

When this time had elapsed, the skies suddenly became beautiful and from a thousand-coloured cloud emerge a throne formed of various flowers from the Heaven of Dvendiren. The Cat was sitting majestically upon this throne, and when he arrived in front of the King he presented to him, with his charming paw, an entire branch of the tree bearing the flower of Parisadam. The whole Court proclaimed his victory and the Penitent was universally congratulated, but the Brahmin, in his turn, dared to dispute the Penitent's triumph. He argued that the virtue of the Penitent had not achieved this great success on its own, and that everyone knew of the great liking which Devendiren and his favourite Goddess had for Cats, and that doubtless Patripatan, in this marvellous adventure, deserved at least half the glory. The King, struck by this judicious reflection, dared not decide between the Penitent and the Brahmin, but all opinions were united in admiration for Patripatan, and after this event the illustrious Cat was the delight of the Court, and dined each evening seated on the Monarch's shoulder.

The authentic, handwritten report was in the possession of Fréret, of the Académie of Inscriptions and great literature. Moncrif reproduced it in his fourth letter about cats.


(1) That Whittington lived, no doubt can be made; that he was Lord-Mayor of London, is equally true; but as to his Cat, that, gentlemen, is the gordian knot to untie. And here, gentlemen, be it permitted me to define what a Cat is. A Cat is a domestic, whiskered, four-footed animal, whose employment is catching of mice; but let Puss have been ever so subtle, let Puss have been ever so successful, to what could Puss's captures amount? no tanner can curry the skin of a mouse, no family make a meal of the meat; consequently, no Cat could give Whittington his wealth. From whence then does this error proceed? be that my care to point out!

The commerce this worthy merchant carried on, was chiefly confined to our coasts; for this purpose, he constructed a vessel, which, from its agility and lightness, he aptly christened a Cat. . .

(The great Whittington, and his no-less-eminent Cat, extract from the Nabob, a comedy by Foote).

[Samuel Foote (1720-1777). The Nabob; a comedy, in three acts. As it is performed at the Theatre-Royal in the Haymarket. London: Printed by T. Sherlock, For T. Cadell [etc.] 1778.]

Son of a poor haberdasher from London and passionate about sea travel, he presented himself as a passenger to embark on a ship. He was asked how he expected to subsist during the journey, and replied that he had no wealth except for his Cat, and the desire to make a name for himself. They were touched by the noble frankness with which he stated his situation. Whittington and his Cat were received on board ship, and the vessel set sail. When they were in the seas around India, a tempest took them by surprise, and drove them aground on a coast where the ship and all aboard it were seized by natives. The young Englishman, carrying his treasure in his arms, was taken with the others before the King of these people; and while they were at this audience, they noticed an immense number of Rats and Mice running throughout the Palace, and even swarming over the King's throne, causing great annoyance. Whittington recognized the voice of fortune calling to him. He simply let his Cat loose and instantly a world of Rats and Mice were strangled and the rest were put to flight. The King, charmed at the thought of finally being delivered from the plague that was laying waste to his States, entered into transports of gratitude which he could scarcely express strongly enough. He embraced both his feline liberator and the young Englishman, and to accord them both worthy marks of his great gratitude, he declared Whittington his favourite, and he gave the marvellous Cat the title of Generalissimo of his Armies.

Whittington married the daughter of this monarch, ruled that kingdom wisely for several years, and finally, overcome by the love of his own homeland, he was granted freedom to return there. The monarch, in exchange for the cat being left to him, gave him a ship laden with riches.

Scarcely had the young Englishman returned to England when he was elevated to the office of Lord Mayor of London and was re-elected a third time in 1419, during the reign of Henry V.


(Brussels, Mertens and Gay, 1866 in-12.)


[Note: This is the story "The Three Sons of Fortune" (German: "Die Drei Glückskinder," a German fairy tale which can be found in compilations of German folktales by the Brothers Grimm, from the 1819 second edition onward.]

"There was an old fellow who had three sons and who died leaving them only a cockerel, a scythe and a cat, and yet it happened that these children became rich. The elder had the cockerel, the younger the scythe, and the youngest the cat. The three young men set out in three different directions, to seek a country where their inherited goods were unknown, in order to make advantageous use of them.

"The elder arrived in a kingdom where the cockerel was unknown; he had himself introduced to the king and offered him his cockerel, a marvellous beast which had a horned beak, a fleshy beard, the cry of the devil, and the walk of a thief. It has moreover, he said to the king, the merit of announcing the day. To ascertain this, the monarch had the young man sleep in his room and around midnight, hearing the cockerel crowing, he asked him what it was saying. It says, replied the cockerel's master, that we comb our hair. After two hours the cockerel crowed again. What is he saying this time? Let the horses be saddled. After four hours, it crowed again. And this time? He is announcing the coming of day. Finally, at five o'clock the cockerel having crowed again, this time it announced daybreak. Then they opened the windows and saw that it was a fine new day. The king, amazed at such an animal, showered the boy with presents and honours.

"The younger son arrived in a country with very little industrial knowledge where the scythe was unknown; the inhabitants, being amazed at such a convenient tool for harvesting, got together and bought the scythe for a high price.

"Finally, the third son arrived in a country ravaged by rats and mice, where the cat was unknown. He had himself introduced to the king and offered him his cat, which showed its talents in front of its new master by destroying all the rats found within its reach. The king showered the youngest brother with presents and the young man returned to join his brothers. The cat remained in the country or as long as it had rats and mice to kill, but afterwards, the king and his courtiers wanted to kill the cat in order to get rid of an animal that was regarded as evil. The poor cat was forced to leave the kingdom and we do not know what became of it."

Wouldn't that be one of the origins of Puss in Boots?


(In Paris, year VI.)



Beauty who is fonder of the cat,
You must know that I am a rat
But a rat with a lovely figure,
A veritable rat among mice,
Who has never had an equal
Among all the rats in Paris.

What cat would ever dare to approach
The places where I nestle myself?
I am only being, only courage,
I let the biggest cats flee,
While the cats that go to the cheese
Dread my righteous anger.



Paris, Laurent d'Houry. 1699, in duodecimo, work attributed to Bernier, author of the History of Blois..

Page 213.

All this does not have the piquancy of this epitaph made for the cat of M. L. D. D. L.

Here is a pretty Cat:
His Mistress, who loved nothing,
Loved him to the point of madness;
Why would you ask? It's plain to see.

This quatrain is reproduced in "Les Chats," by Moncrif.


A peasant who forgot to lock up his cheese
Had a young cat, Raton, who lived in the house
To keep it clear of rat and mouse,
No apprenticeship did Raton need
To know his job; but 'cat' also means 'thief.'
It does not advertise its dual nature
So when Raton-the-thief stole the meal of his master,
The man was astonished upon his return
To find Raton had already dined without him.
He saw the hypocritical beast
Lurking near the hearth in a humble pose.
"You play the innocent in vain,"
The peasant shouted , "but I know you too well:
Your father was an out-and-out scoundrel
Greedy, crooked, and – to keep this brief -
Hanged for his crimes; now his son is a thief!
You follow in his footsteps, and you, too, will pay,
I'll dash your wicked brains out right away!"
"Is the crime that great?" retorted the creature,
"You're a reasonable man, so it's said;
So why are you blaming me for my nature?
Why punish me for your own negligence?
In front of my eyes you left things that tempt,
So in truth, I do not see any sense
In whipping me for such an occurrence:
Have you ever known cats practice abstinence?"
Raton spoke truly, the man was unwise
And would learn a lesson from this:
Don't leave tempting treats in front of a cats' eyes
And always remember to lock up your cheese!



A peasant had put a cheese in his pantry,
When, through a slit, he noticed a rat.
Quickly he let his cat in there with it,
To prevent damage, that's what he believed,
But the animal, always on the look-out
First ate the rat, and then ate the cheese.



In 1683, a young lady cried hot tears for a beautiful cat that had been stolen from her. To console her, it was decided to send her a sonnet, the rhymes of which consisted only of the names of towns and provinces. This invention was new.

Iris, amiable Iris, honour of Burgundy,
You cry more for your cat than we do for Philisbourg (1);
And were you, I think, in the depths of Gascony,
We would hear your cries from there as far as Friborg.

In your eyes his fur was fine fur from Poland,
For him you'd have expelled Titi (2) from Luxembourg;
He would be an ornament of a convent in Cologne;
But why take him from you? Well, we took Strasbourg (3)

To act so for your loss, Iris, like those of Sienna
Foolishly pierces the throat of Vienna (4)
We would need to have our brains in Antwerp.

In my house I've a beautiful cat, I tell you, my Bonne, (5)
Worth less than an orange would be worth in Narbonne.
And less than a common drink is sold in Nevers.

(1) Strong position lost by France in 1672.
(2) Miss d'Orléans' favourite dog.
(3) Strasbourg was surrendered to the King of France in 1681.
(4) In Dauphiné the sword blade was held greatly esteemed (original "devienne" [became] plays on "de Vienne" [of Vienna]).
(5) Bonne – play on words, it also means housemaid in French.



On which Mademoiselle II ... stepped without thinking.

Below lies Lirot, this cat was esteemed
For his spirit and his beauty,
But Philis's foot by a lamentable blow
Rushed him under this marble gravestone.

O you! strange cats passing through these places,
And who behold the marks of his glory,
With some tender, religious meow,
Remember to honour Lirot's memory.

(Diverse poems by Sir D***. S. L. 1718.)




... Domestic cats differ a lot from each other in colour and size ... they have only twenty-eight teeth, namely, twelve incisors ... four canines ... and ten molars ... The nipples are eight in number ... There are five toes on the front feet and only four on the back ones ... In Europe cats usually come into heat in January and February, and they are on heat almost all year round in the Indies. It is claimed that females are more ardent than the males ...

... Females are pregnant for fifty-six days, and each litter usually has four or six young, according to Aristotle; however, in this country they often have fewer. The female takes great care of them, but sometimes the male kills them. Pliny says that cats live six years; Aldrovande claims they live up to ten ... There are many examples of cats and kittens who, without being castrated, have lived for well over ten years.




"See a cat enter a room for the first time. He tours it, he sniffs, he does not rest for a moment, he does not trust anything until he has examined everything, is familiar with everything. So does a child when beginning to walk and when entering, so to speak, into the space of the world. "



(Novel serialised in 'Journal des Débats,' 2nd November, 1865.)


Into this lovely bombshell, which closed with a screw-on lid, first a large cat was introduced, then a squirrel. . . The mortar was loaded with one hundred and sixty pounds of powder and the bomb well positioned in the room. We fired. . . Barely five minutes had passed from the time the animals were shut in and the time the lid of their prison was unscrewed. . . No sooner had the shell opened than the cat rushed overboard, a little bruised, but full of life. But no squirrel. We searched. There was no trace of it. It was then necessary to acknowledge the truth: the cat had eaten his travelling companion.

[From the English version of the book:

Within this shell were shut up a large cat, and a squirrel . . . The mortar was charged with 160 pounds of powder, and the shell placed in the chamber. . . . Five minutes did not elapse between the moment of enclosing the animals and that of unscrewing the coverlid of their prison. Hardly had the shell been opened when the cat leaped out, slightly bruised, but full of life, and exhibiting no signs whatever of having made an aerial expedition. No trace, however, of the squirrel could be discovered. The truth at last became apparent–the cat had eaten its fellow-traveller!]



(Serialised in Petit Journal, 6th November 1863.)


"I lived, I grew up, I was perhaps born in a canvas shack, living between the Father of Resources and Frise-Poulet.

"As for Punch, he was soon forgotten. I had another friend; this friend was the Gibelotte! ... He was a big red and greyish cat, unctious and cuddly. Frize-Poulet, who had often coveted the poor beast in the days of meagre meals had thus baptized this cat 'the Gibelotte.'

"Falling from a roof gutter, he had lost his left eye, which made him look funny and shamefaced. Because of this infirmity, Father of Resources had changed the staging of all our plays; for Gibelotte was an actor, and what an actor, sir! ... How he played the scene of the commissioner! with what kindness he received the blows of Punch's stick! "

The poor cat had to look for his own food, because nothing was given to him.

His master one day received two sous so he ran to buy the cat lungs to eat. On returning and not finding the cat, he put the lungs on a table and when he returned, holding the animal in his arms, he found Frise-Poulet busy cooking the lungs in a pan, and the cat was deprived of that little treat.

The Gibelotte grew old and was replaced on the stage by a dog; his master tried to console him. Meow! ... answered the cat, to show his sorrow.

The Gibelotte remained alone for a while with Frise-Poulet; the latter took it and cooked it with bacon and onion seasoning. Such was the end of the poor Cat.



by Thomas Gray

'Twas on a lofty vase's side,
Where China's gayest art had dyed
The azure flowers that blow;
Demurest of the tabby kind,
The pensive Selima, reclined,
Gazed on the lake below.

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 purred applause.

Still had she gazed; but 'midst the tide
Two angel forms were seen to glide,
The genii of the stream;
Their scaly armour's Tyrian hue
Through richest purple to the view
Betrayed a golden gleam.

The hapless nymph with wonder saw;
A whisker first and then a claw,
With many an ardent wish,
She stretched in vain to reach the prize.
What female heart can gold despise?
What cat's averse to fish?

Presumptuous maid! with looks intent
Again she stretch'd, again she bent,
Nor knew the gulf between.
(Malignant Fate sat by, and smiled)
The slippery verge her feet beguiled,
She tumbled headlong in.
Eight times emerging from the flood
She mewed to every watery god,
Some speedy aid to send.
No dolphin came, no Nereid stirred;
Nor cruel Tom, nor Susan heard;
A Favourite has no friend!

From hence, ye beauties, undeceived,
Know, one false step is ne'er retrieved,
And be with caution bold.
Not all that tempts your wandering eyes
And heedless hearts, is lawful prize;
Nor all that glisters, gold.]

(Episodes, etc., and other plays, translated by A. G. T. Br. Paris, Annual vii, p. 36.)



It was in a gay formal garden,
Where roses, those daughters of spring,
Embalmed the bright skies with sweet perfume
With the headiest scents the earth brings.

Trilby gambolled in that garden,
Playing with all things he found,
With herbs, with gravel, with roses.
Until he arrived near the pond.

At first, he walked round the pool's edge,
And then, cautiously he approached,
Fled, then returned, then leaned over,
With the recklessness of his youth!

He met an incredible marvel
Walking forward he saw every time,
Silently coming toward him,
A companion that could be his twin.

Indeed it had his appearance,
And his gentle but audacious air,
His gracefully rounded forehead,
And also the same mobile ears.

It was wearing the same silky fur coat,
Striped with his shimmering lines,
And wore his long shiny whiskers,
And also had emeralds for its eyes.

He looked and shuddered with joy;
Raised his back with love for that cat;
And the waving curve of his tail
Extended, rolled up, folded back.

At the slightest movement he made
The enchanting vision he saw
Seemed to return his affection
He slowly crept forward once more.

Leaning forwards, his balance was lost,
And finally pushed by bad fate,
Into deceptive waters he slipped,
And that vision evaporated.

Vainly three times on the waves
He raised his damp head to skies,
Invoking the pool's nereid
Who remained deaf to his cries.

In the middle of the fragrant grass
See him now frozen in death;
The impassive waters yield up,
Than his remains without life or breath.

His eyes will not open again;
His mistress call from the shore
Plaintively crying in vain
Her superfluous moans for the loss.

Forever, farewell tenderness
That amused you every day,
Goodbye to his velvet paws
And the sweet joy that he gave!

You'll never see him again,
Flaunting his flirtatious grace.
Nor will your legs be caressed,
By his now silent face.

Your light balls of soft silk
Will henceforth not be toys;
He'll never make them again
Into subjects of his games and joy.

How much has been lost in in one day!
So much beauty and so many charms,
Madam, hold back a few tears,
Your joyful Trilby has gone.





To both ends of the earth,
Brilliant's attractions are known.
Amourette, you are the source,
You are the Venus of cats.
From your enchanting grace
All is charmed that's spoken of here:
Luxembourg is your mistress,
Why not my mistress as well!




Ardent lovers and austere scholars
On reaching their mature years both love
The strong and gentle cat, pride of the house,
Who like them are sedentary and sensitive to cold.

Friends of learning and of sensual pleasure,
They seek the silent fearful darkness;
Erebus would have them as his shadowed steeds:
Were they not too proud to condescend to bondage.

When they dream, they assume the noble attitudes
Of great sphynxes reclining in deepest silence,
Seeming to sleep in endless dreams.

Their fertile loins dusted with magic sparks,
And particles of gold, like fine grains of sand,
Sparkle faintly in their mystic eyes.

Come here, my lovely cat, onto my loving breast:
With your claws in soft paws restrained,
Let me plunge into your eyes, become lost
In metal shine mixed with agate.

When my fingers caress you at leisure
When I stroke your head and elastic back,
And my hand becomes drunk with the pleasure
Of feeling your body, electric,

Then I see my lady in spirit. Her glance,
Is like yours, sweet creature,
Deep cold slits that pierce like a dart,

From her feet to her head I can sense
A subtle atmosphere, dangerous scents,
That hover around her brown body.


There walks about within my brain,
At home as though in his own chambers,
A lovely cat, strong, sweet and charming.
And when he mews, I barely hears him,

For his tones are so discreet and soft;
An whether this cat purrs or growls,
His voice is always rich and deep,
And that timbre is his charm and secret.

That voice forms into droplets, trickling,
Seeps into the depths of my being,
Filling me like harmonious verse
Gladdening my soul like a love potion.

It lulls to sleep the sharpest pains,
Holds within it all ecstasies,
And though it speaks in longest sentences,
It has no need of words,

There is no bow that plays upon
The perfect instrument of my heart,
Making its most vibrant chords
Soar and sing more gloriously

Than your voice, O! mysterious cat,
Seraphic cat, extraordinary cat,
In whom, as in angels, all is
As subtle as it is harmonious!


From his brown and yellow fur
Comes such sweet fragrance that one night
I was perfumed with it because
I caressed him, though only once.

It is the familiar household spirit;
He judges, he presides, he inspires
Everything within his empire;
Maybe he's a faerie, or he's God?

When towards my beloved cat
My eyes are pulled magnetically
I turn around obediently
And I look within myself,

I see with astonishment
The fire of his pale pupils,
Clear lanterns, living opals,
Contemplating me fixedly.




(Printed in 'Mixtures of Literature and History,' Paris, 1787. In octavo, book 1, pages 154 & 168.)


God of the day, lend me these verses
In which a muse (1), delicate,
Tenderly sings of a pussycat
Less worthy of your beauteous concerts.
If you'll allow it, let me request,
One more favour can you grant,
Give me that secret talent
Through which Gresset, painter of the Graces,
Sang of his immortal parrot's sad disgraces.
I implore you on behalf of a subject
Less criminal than Gresset's parrot Vert-Vert.
This beautiful cat deserves rhymes,
I'll portray Chevalier Duvet ...

The precinct of this abbey
Was the cradle of my hero...
When Chevalier Duvet was born,
Spring had barely reappeared ...

This cat, in his third year,
Was a giant among tomcats.
He has brilliant blue eyes.
His huge head is adorned
With whiskers like those that adorn
The sacred face of a moufti (2}
And is less round than square.
His long coat is a burnished grey,
Even softer than the silk
That the Genoese use in their velvets.

Just as in the land of Mahomet
Rivals are out of fashion,
The Chevalier Duvet
Does not tolerate neighbouring tomcats.
He's like a proud cockerel in his anger.
Tall as a cedar on his feet,
Harshly treating the she-cats
By banishing all other tomcats ...

Thus gone in the blink of an eye,
The race that populated the abbey
The rats there were in mourning ...

Can we pretend after that action,
That alongside all his qualities
This cat no single vice?
In a place like this
We can have some caprices.
What crime can he be accused of?
It's true, the little rascal
Scratched the Venerable Sisters,
And does his less welcome desires,
Slowly and in his own fashion,
But he keeps his claws sheathed with the Novices,
Whose age makes them more conducive ...

I have twice in two years, myself,
When transported to these distant places,
Proven his extreme softness,
By caressing him with my hands.
But I've seen other, nastier, hands,
Offer to stroke him,
And under deceptive appearances
Stroke his fur against the grain.
And they force him to change his tones,
He starts to go fu! .. fu! .. fa! .... (3)

He delights a thousand laps.
Especially sensitive to your caresses,
He kisses you, my canonesses,
But with propriety, it's a pleasure.
He is ingenious in his exploits,
When he wants to entertain you.
He plays dead, hr seeks, he retrieves,
He offers his paw like a dog.
He knows very well how to close doors,
And knows when the discussion
Of your lovely retinue turns to him;
We are surprised at his poise.
How skilfully he plays his role.
And how modestly. In summary,
The only thing lacking is speech
He's as clean as a rabbit.
In gaiety his humour abounds.
He is sensitive, he is charming.
He would rightly be placed
Among the wonders of the world
Rising earlier in the morning than a novice,
He often he attends the service, etc.

(1) Mme Deshoulières.
(2) High Priest of the Turks.
(3) Allusion to the swearing noise of an irritated cats.


This pretty piece, extremely rare and practically unknown, as it was only included in a collection which is now almost impossible to find, was communicated to us by the obliging bibliophile Jacob. It is due to an esteemed lawyer of the Parliament of Pau, Étienne de la Fargue, born in Dax in 1728, author of several good works due to which he was admitted, successively, to the academies of Bordeaux, Caen and Lyon, and died in 1795.





Hecate, also known as Proserpina, queen of the underworld, was, according to Greek mythology, Diana on earth and the Moon in the heavens, and was worshiped among the Egyptians under the name of Isis.

Hecate, created a cat in the image of the lion. Apollo, in derision, made a mouse appear, but the cat, jealous of his mistress's honour, jumped on the mouse and crunched it. (Extract from the Hieroglyphs, by Pierius, book XIII, chap. 38).

An Arab fable tells us that the rats multiplied in the ark, and without any discretion gnawed the food of the other animals. Noah resolved to destroy them, and finding himself with the lion, he gave him a slap; this insult caused the lion to sneeze, and out of the sneeze came a beautiful cat.
(Murtadi, Treaty of Wonders, translated into French, by Valtier, 1665).

Moncrif, in his History of Cats, recounts the following anecdote, which he says he takes from Mulla, a minister of the Muslim religion, who accompanied the ambassador of the Porte to France.

"During the first days that the animals spent shut up in the Ark, astonished by the ship's movements they each remained in their own quarters . . . The Monkey was the first to get bored of this sedentary life; he proceeded to tease a young Lioness . . . The affair between the Monkey and the Lioness resulted in the birth of two Cats, one male and one female."



Pietro della Valle maintained that wild cats similar to those of our country were found in the New World. He reported that a hunter brought one to Christopher Columbus; this cat was of ordinary size, it had grey-brown hair, and a very long and very strong tail. Desmarets maintained that there are no wild cats originating in the New World, and said that this mistake, which he himself made in the first edition of his Dictionary of Natural History, came from the word "wild cat," which the Anglo-Americans give to the lynx.



Fox, the famous English minister, one day bet the Prince of Wales, later George IV, that while walking the length of Regent-street, him on one side and the prince on the other, he would see many more cats than His Highness. The bet was agreed and the Prince of Wales was invited to choose the side of the street that suited him best and took the shady side since the heat was oppressive. What Fox had foreseen happened, the prince saw no cats, while the minister saw one at almost every door.


Mistress Herbert arrived very sad in front of Mr Selfe, judge at the Westminster Police Court: she had lost her cat! not that the animal was lost, but the matter was much more serious- he was viciously killed by a neighbour.

Mr. Selfe: What are you asking?

Mistress Herbert: The punishment of a man who has strayed to the point of committing a crime.

Mr. Selfe: Oh! Oh! Here is something serious - what crime did he commit?

Mistress Herbert: He killed my little cat this morning! ...

Mistress Herbert, to the judge, who asks her if she wanted the accused sued for damages: Money! money for my cat! a trial of commercial value! no, no, never! What I want is resounding revenge and to punish this man for his cruel behaviour towards my cat.
(Court Gazette, 15th November 1865.)


An old lady, accompanied by a pretty King's Charles spaniel, walked into a pastry shop. A cat, hidden in the back of the store, jumped on the dog; his mistress flew to its aid and, in her haste, knocked down and broke a table. The lady was summoned by the pastry chef to appear before the judge to pay for the damage. In defence, she alleged that her favourite had been in danger. But the judge, a modern Solomon, decided that the cat was within its rights, since it was in its own home, while the dog was an intruder. The old lady was therefore forced to pay for the broken table, still happy to think that this was the price of saving the life of her faithful dog.
{La Patrie, 23 Nov. 1865.)

Here is a fact reported by an English newspaper, which contradicts the generally accepted opinion that cats care more about the house than their owner.

"An individual named Marsh Allen, residing at Willoughton, and in very delicate health, went to Hull five weeks ago for medical treatment. He left his cat, who was not yet a year old, at Willoughton. Allen had been living in Hull for some time when he thought he saw a cat on a courtyard wall behind the house he was living in, 33 Osborne-street. He casually began to call Pussy (that was his cat's name). Imagine his astonishment when the animal threw itself up from the wall onto his shoulders, rolled on his chest, licked his face and gave every sign of the greatest affection!

"It was his own cat that he had left behind in Willoughton. The poor beast's claws were worn out from walking, and he appeared to have suffered tremendously from fatigue, hardship, and hunger. How had he crossed the Humber River and travelled all the way from Willoughton to Hull, a distance of about 50 miles? This was not explained."



The cat likes to be cuddled, flattered, caressed; he is proud and conceited from beinge cosseted by his mistress, which made Régnier say: "I grew as proud as a cosseted cat.


Charles-Antoine Bertinazzi, so known by the name of Carlin, harlequin of the Italian Comedy, born in Turin in 1710, was very fond of cats and was always surrounded by them. He called them his teachers, and in his gestures you could recognize the traces of that school. He did everything with his stick that the cat did with his tail.


Cailhava recounted in his "Theatre," published in 1780, that, in a rehearsal for the "Fooled Tutor," an actor was delayed for an hour and a half. "He arrived with the air of a man overwhelmed by the weight of the laurels he had just plucked. He didn't sleep a night; he had completely forgotten the rehearsal. He made a slight apology to his comrades and read his part in a faint voice. Miss Hus, placed next to him, did not hear him and asked him to repeat the sentence. "Ah! you can't hear me! that is very pleasant: and we must repeat this beautiful sentence? What! this sublime sentence! What! ..." He sulked, threw himself into an armchair at the back of the room, and was about to fall asleep, when a character much more interesting than me came to capture the attention of my judges. It was a cat. The new actor, decked out in beautiful white fur and a bushy tail, showed off on a roof by a window. Suddenly the assembly was in the air, so was my sleeper. - "Puss, Puss! - So-and-so, here's your scene. - I'm there. - How pretty! - Over to you, miss. - How his masters will regret it! - Yours. - Yes, for my beautiful role which does not have twenty lines. - And mine, which has twenty pages, is much worse. - Puss, little one, little one! ..." Puss, more happily than I, escaped. Finally half cat, half fur, half tail, half role, we finished the rehearsal."


Théophile Gautier, in his Jeunes-France, said: "The pashas like tigers; I like cats; cats are the tigers of the poor devils. Apart from cats, I do not like anything, I don't want anything, I just have one feeling, and that's that I'm cold and I'm bored."


The great Colbert, minister of Louis XIV, always had little cats frolicking in his study.


The Marquis de L ... having obtained the favours of the Grandi, dancer at the Opera, asked her what would please her. She spoke of kittens, who would sit beautifully with a collar she had on. Two days later, Mademoiselle Grandi received a basket full of little cats. When Sophie Arnould saw her colleague again, she said to him: "I am not surprised by what is happening to you, my dear Grandi; your SOURIS [means both "mouse" and "smile"] must attract CATS. (Arnoldiana, p. 239.)


The Duc de Lévis, in his "Souvenirs," recounts the love of Madame de Mirepoix, one of the greatest ladies of the court of Louis XV, for cats. "They were the prettiest in the world; they were a breed of grey Angoras, so sociable that they would sit in the middle of the big lotto table and paw, with their usual grace, at the tokens that came within reach. I have often had the advantage of playing their part. "


"Turkish women show little attachment to the law of Mahomet; they do not consider themselves obliged to do anything ordered by a man who preferred his cat over them by putting it in paradise, while excluding them. It is because they ignore or pretend to be ignorant that this venerable Cat was a virtuoso, that is to say, a holy personage. Here is a feature of his story. One day the Prophet's kitty was lying on a sleeve of its master's coat, and it meditated so deeply on a passage of the law that Mahomet, at the hour of prayer, dared not disturb its rapture and cut off his sleeve rather than disturb it. On returning from prayer, he found his Cat, who was awaking from its ecstatic asleep, and on seeing Mahomet's cut away sleeve beneath it, recognized its master's intention for him. It stood up and bowed to him, raised its tail and arching its back to show him more respect. Mahomet, who understood perfectly what this meant, assured the holy man of Cats a place in paradise. Then, thrusting his hand three times over the cat's back, his touch gve the cat the virtue of never falling on that part; hence Cats always fall on their paws. I have often heard venerable Turks tell this tale so seriously that it would be dangerous ridicule it in their presence."


This is the recital of this anecdote found in 'The Cousin of Mahomet,' a work which, although it is only a novel, is well informed on matters of the East. Tournefort, in his 'Voyages in the Levant,' confines himself to alluding to this story in a few words. "Mahomet," he said, "one day, being consulted on some point of religion, preferred to cut off the lining of his sleeve, on which his cat was resting, rather than wake him up by getting up to go and talk to the person who was waiting for him."


Among all his followers, Mahomet having placed the most intimate confidence in Abderrham, wanted to honour him by giving him a striking title, so he nicknamed him Abuhareira, that is to say, Father of the Cat. (Life of Mahomet, by Prideaux, pages 127 and 128.)


Montaigne was amusing himself studying his cat's actions. (Moncrif, History of Cats, letter 7.)


Petrarch, after the death of his Laura, had retired to Arqua, near Padua, where a cat was his sole charm in his solitude. On the wall of his retreat there are still verses written by Quarengo, composed in memory of this fact. The skeleton of the animal is kept in the Museum of Padua.


The friends of Madame de la Sablière, who had spent part of her life amongst dogs, were very astonished to find the dogs all exiled and to see in their place a troupe of cats. They asked her the reason for this change and she confessed that having experienced being passionately attached to dogs, which seemed unreasonable to her, she had decided to have only animals whose trade did not lead farther than one wants. So she chose cats, and black ones moreover. The opposite of what she wanted happened: at first she made fun of them, but in the end the only ones she was willing to admit into her private life were her cats and La Fontaine, who became her only company until her death.


Tasso, in one of his moments of destitution and misery, having no candle to write by, begged his she-cat, with a pretty sonnet, to lend him the light of her eyes during the night.


Zoe, wife of Constantine Monomachus, Emperor of Constantinople in the 11th century, had a cat which had its own place at the imperial table, where it dined from a golden service. (Zonatas, lib. 17.)



I was walking down the alley that forms the boulevard at the end of the village when I heard a plaintive moan that seemed to come down from the trees. I looked up and saw, clinging to the very top of one of the youngest poplars, a tiny cat. How did he get there? Climbing like a reckless youth. And, no longer daring, no longer able, to descend or move, he let out such painful meows that I felt consumed with pity. Fruitless pity! I couldn't get so high. Suddenly, running out of the woods, a child of about twelve years old and with a face that goes to my heart. He hears and sees the poor little patient, and he rushes up to the tree.


He seized the poor little creature with his right hand, while, balancing sixty feet up and holding firmly to the trunk with his left hand; then, so as to descend freely, he placed the rescuee on his shoulder, very close to his neck. Suddenly there was a shrill cry, but this time it was no longer the animal that was crying, it was the child for, in its fright and to grip tighter, the cat had clung to the child's neck and dug its ten clenched claws into it. Anyone else would have got rid of the animal and thrown it to the ground, but he, after that first cry, showed no sign of impatience. He descended slowly, and holding his neck a little more bent so that the animal, feeling more securely seated, was less afraid and clung less tightly. Arriving at the bottom, he gently unhooked it from his neck and, while caressing it, said only:

- Ah! my little cat, you hurt me prettily! (Extract from the Almanac of Animals, Paris, 1863, p. 52.)


Jean Owington, an English traveller, reported that there was a hospital richly founded by the Banians in Surate to take in cats that are injured, sick or afflicted by old age. - The French newspaper 'Europe,' which is published in Frankfurt, gave, in its issue of August 5, 1865, the very interesting account of a traveller who visited the house of refuge established for cats at Florence, and in which they were admitted and lodged suitably, while waiting for some cat lover to come and offer them more pleasant circumstances.


Yesterday, at ten o'clock in the morning, some kids, one of whom was holding a young cat in his hands, approached the sewer located on rue Feydeau, at the corner of rue Montmartre, and threw the unfortunate animal down there.

A neighbour saw this barbaric act from the window. She came down too late to prevent it, but immediately busied herself organizing a means of rescue. A rope, at the end of which hung a basket, was lowered through the manhole. Stunned, soaked by the waters that fell at intervals from the street, not daring to venture into the darkness of the underground passage and not daring to cling to the liberating basket, the cat remained at the edge of the sill.

His protector was not discouraged; she asked for help from passers-by, she implored the town sergeants; she responded to the meows of the victim with exhortations; she braved the taunts of the sceptics, who shrugged their shoulders, and walked away, saying, "So what! it's just a cat!"

This pathetic scene did not end until eight in the evening. With the permission of the police superintendent and the help of two workers, the persevering lady unsealed the stone covering the manhole, and the cat was saved.

The workers who were requisitioned refused any kind of salary. (Le Siècle, Sept. 18, 1865.)

Yesterday evening, says La Patrie, as the omnibus from the Madeleine to the Bastille rolled along the damp pavement of the boulevard, meows were heard in the interior of the car. The driver asked which traveller had brought a ca along with him. Nobody's answered. Suddenly, one of the traveller gave a cry; he had felt something furry getting into the pocket of his overcoat – it was a little cat coming out of a lady's sleeve. It had been drawn to the traveller by the smell of a succulent slice of ham he had just bought. Its mistress confessed that, having to make a long trip, she had brought her cat with her in the omnibus for a few days to get her used to the movement of the car.

The other travellers laughed a lot at this little "domestic" scene, and the cat lady resigned herself to getting off the omnibus immediately.


Everyone knows that Théodore Barrière loves cats. He always has half a dozen between his legs.

- Well! his friend Lambert Thiboust told him recently, why the devil do you surround yourself with cats like a doorwoman? - My dear, replied the author of 'Woe to the Vanquished,' it's ever since I have known men.
(Le Figaro, March 11, 1866.)


A gentleman from the pretty town of Brighton, who had lost his cat, suspected a neighbour had taken it from him. He knew she loved these animals so he obtained a search warrant against her. The inspector of police, armed with the warrant issued by the magistrate, went to see the lady last week. He noted in his report that among the one hundred and fifteen cats and fifteen dogs who meowed, barked, frolicking in a brotherly way in this lady's apartments and yard, he did not recognize the stolen cat.
(Belgian star, March 19, 1866.)


According to the Medical Union, the demolitions which have just taken place for the extension of the Rue Lepelletier have left, between Rue de la Victoire and Rue Olivier, a large empty space, where once stood several beautiful houses. When leaving their homes, the inhabitants of those houses abandoned their cats. The meows of the unfortunate beasts suffering from hunger and thirst were heart-breaking. A poor neighbourhood concierge was touched by it; every evening she left her lodgings, carrying in her hands a large terrine filled with mash. At her familiar voice, the good felines, raised their tails, arched their backs and climbed onto the shoulders – and even the head - of the good woman, testifying to their gratitude by significant purring. Another similar event occurred in the location of houses demolished by the routing of Rue Lafayette, at the corners of Rue Cadet and Rue Bleu. What was most touching was that these two poor, compassionate women were both registered with the charity office. One was the concierge of the house at number 68 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre; the other was Mademoiselle Filliet-Reynaud of number 8, Rue Rochechouart.
(Le Voleur, Nov. 26, 1863.)


The famous traveller Pietro Della Valle enriched Italy with cats from Isfahan [in Persia], a country renowned for the beauty of these animals. Maynard, the famous poet, brought a cat of this type back from Rome, and on its death he wrote this sonnet:

It's a shame my puss has passed,
Into the country of the dead;
From her swift paws no Rat was fast
Enough to 'scape her when it fled;
She was a Roman matron lovely,
A daughter of the noblest blood,
My lackey took her, without gloves, he
Found her near the Temple of the Gods;
Memory of her in me burns bright,
Of plush fur in black and white.
Much admired by all her met her,
(Except cruel Dame Cloton's attitude)
And in my house, with Mice took pleasure,
Which she did with solicitude.



Henry III hated cats; the very sight of this animal made him faint.


Michel de Montaigne, in his Essays, book 1, chap. 20, says the cat's eye infects the bird it stares at and poisons it.


There was a law in the Kingdom of Aragon that punished thieves by whipping them with a cat tied around their neck. (Reasoned Treatise on the Education of the Domestic Cat, p. 17.)


The Court Gazette, of December 13, 1838, relates that Lerat, driver of a sewage collector's cart, was accused of killing a cat and of having responded to the complaint made by its owner: "Your cat is done in, mon brave man; Caesar (his dog) wrung his neck. There are far too many cats in Paris."


A shepherd from the village of Alshmanshoff, a league from Erlang, Germany, was tending his flock and his wife wished to take him his dinner at the usual time. She had a nine month old child; she tucked it safely in its cradle and left the house, also locking the cat in there. This carelessness soon cast her into the deepest despair. On her return, she found her child dead and the cat which, having eaten the child's left cheek and nose, was making a start on its right cheek.
(The Hermit's Harvest, 1813, p. 314.)



[Note: A collection of extracts from songs that mention, or allude to, cats.]

'A good cat, good rat.' Pochade, by Miss Eugenie. Paris, Devigo (1864).

'Good cat, good rat!' Quadrille; by P. Bouillon. Paris, Bousquet (1862).

The Abbé de Marolles sang the graces of the she-cat of a young lady from Gournay.

'Love me like you do your animals.' Words by Pierre Lachambeaudie.

3rd VERSE:
Raising his tail and his ears,
Purring at you he sings,
He skips as only cats do,
And curls himself up in ring.
If you knew what pain you cause me
When I see your two muzzles touch!
Love me like you do your beasts,
Your dog, cat, and your little birds.


'Lovers and cats, songs.'

At night, from my poor attic,
God knows the things that I see,
When I look furtively
In attics and on the roofs.
I see the groping Nicette,
I see him chasing Minette;
And sometimes I hear
Frust, Frust. ...

'Ribaldry [Les Egrillardes]' by Louis Festeau. Paris, 1842, in-32.


Sometimes the cat's claws are treacherous,
However, don't we see today
When it comes to selfishness and false affection,
All around us there are people worse than him? "
Louis Protat.
(Song: The Love of Animals.)


'Bertrand and Raton,' song by Charles Chaix. Paris, 1846.


'To Brillant, she-cat belonging to Madame la Maréchale of Luxembourg.'
TUNE: Vaudeville, by Epicurus.

To both ends of the earth,
Brilliant's attractions are known.
Amourette, you are the source,
You are the Venus of cats.
From your enchanting grace
All is charmed that's spoken of here:
Celimene is your mistress,
Why not my mistress as well!

(Mr. le chevalier de Beauveau.)

[Celimene in 'The Misanthrope' a flirt who pays much attention to social appearances and points out the flaws of everyone she meets behind their backs.]
Le Petit chansonnier françois, t. 2. [The Little Songbook, vol. 2]


'Cadet-Roussel,' song.

9th VERSE:
"Cadet Roussel has three beautiful cats,
Who never catch rats;
The third has no pupil,
He goes up to the attic without a candle.
Ah! ah! ah! but really,
Cadet Roussel is a good child.


'It's the cat,' printed in The Convent Rounds; by Marcellin Moreau, Paris, p. 61.

Everyone will brag to you
About Laure's wisdom.
Believe it if you will,
But for me I still doubt it.

We do not replace
What we cut from the cheese
But the cat, in this case,
Will answer for the crime.

Near the macaroons
Kitty is on the prowl;
And breaks the bottles,
While making its raids.

Ah! if the cat could
Say whatever he's thinking!
But he's so discreet!
I'll imitate his silence.


'The Cat' (by Philippon de la Madeleine).
AIR du Petit Matelot [The Little Sailor].

1st VERSE:
To feeling and to tenderness,
The dog attaches loyalty.
The cat pleases with its kindness,
His grace and his agility.
In her eyes shines a character
Both pleasant and fine:
In the art of amusing the stalls
He is Carlin's master.

2nd VERSE:
The dog launches itself on the plains,
Chasing peaceful creatures,
The cat gives even better service
Against pests and vermin
His services would have no price,
If beings full of pleasures,
Worshipped him despite his caprices,
He'd still take all the rats and mice!

This song has 5 verses.
(Le Papillon, or Recueil, 2nd year. Paris, 1804, page 82.)

'Goguette.' Paris, Garnier, 1849.

'Puss in Boots' told by a parrot; lyrics of Adolphe Joly. Paris, Cartereau (1863).

'Puss in Boots,' words by Adolphe Joly, music by L. Bordèse. Paris, Schonenberger (1864); price 5 fr.

'Puss in Boots, or Riquiqui in good fortune,' song, by Maxime Geoffroy.
TUNE: Cadet Roussel.

In the days when animals spoke,
Lived a miller with three sons.
One day their father sadly died ...

He left them as an inheritance:
To one three shirts at the laundry,
To the other a razor,
To the third, a handsome black cat.

However, this third son, who
Was named Mr. Riquiqui,
Seemed very unhappy with his lot ...

"Don't rebuff so hard,"
Said the cat who was not dead ...
"I'm a very cunning tomcat,
"And not as dumb as you think.
"Put my talent to the test
"I'm eager to prove my worth ...'

We can see from these few lines how the song runs, after all, it is only an arrangement of Perrault's Puss in Boots.


'The Corrected Cat,' a fable in song by J. Lagarde (Caveau, 1852, p. 71).

'The Cat by Mam'zelle Rose,' song by P. Urbain (Paris, 1862).


'My Neighbour's Cat,' song by Justin Cabassol; (Caveau, 1850, p. 268)
TUNE from the Curate of Pomponne.

On my gutters one day I saw a good looking cat
Who, without busying himself with the mice,
Mewed silently, Ah! He will remember me,
La-ri-ra, my neighbour's cat


'My Neighbour's Cat,' song by Patez (Paris).

My neighbour is a young girl,
With whom myheart is truly in love; ...

But what often teases me,
It's her cat, gentle whiskered one! ...
Which she calls 'Little Bichon.'

While with her white hand
She caresses her cat,
He holds his tail high like a trumpet,
Making many a tender meow ...


'Madame Chopin's Cat,' burlesque song, by R. F. Boutin (Paris, Hengel and Co).

Madame Chopin, it's disagreeable,
What your cat does, it has no name!
What an intolerable animal!
It devours everything in the house,
It devours everything, it devours everything in the house.

Madame Paquette, who love turtle-doves,
Has already rematched them three times
When your cunning cat decided to dine upon
The males of those faithful couples...

When the passions of that terrible beast
Make him run in the attic,
His voice is truly terrible!
I thought you were at the last judgment ...


'The Cat and the Old Rat,' medley on a fable by La Fontaine, words by H. Maignand (Paris, widow Lemoine).

TUNE: It is King Dagobert.

Once upon a time
Was a cat, a most wily cat.
An awful crook
Named Rodilard
Had his three meals
Of mice and rats ...

TUNE: Malbrouk is Going to War.

All mouse-kind and rat-kind,
Fearing that Cerberus
With murderous mouth,
Dared not leave their hole.
They were all at the end of their rope,
And were talking of cutting his throat.
But the worst of the matter,
Was to find, la-la-la,
A good bunny to shave
The beard of that tomcat, meow!


'The sick cat rescued by the rats,' fable.

My Abandonments, songbook, by Antoine Dida. Paris, 1813.
TUNE: Treating with Pitiless love [Traitant l'amour sans pitié]

Learn from a master cat,
Who suffered an illness,
And was ready to lose his life
Deplored his sad state.
Rats seeing his distress,
Were interested in his fate,
But the eldest however
Advises on the dying.
He slaughtered our fathers
And several of our colleagues,
So should we be indulgent?

TUNE: But You can't hope for anything. [Mais Ton ne peut espérer rien.]

We deliberate heatedly,
Pity hangs in the balance ...

TUNE: Of the Adopted Son.

I am, said Ambassador Rat.
Charged by the grandees of the empire
To bring you, poor sire,
For a nice present this little dish;
We forget, alas! the carnage
What you did in the past ...

AIR: In Two Halves, they say, the Fate [of the Young Mother). [En deux moitiés, dit-on, le sort (de la Jeune mère)]

I receive precious gifts
Which I was far from expecting;
Enemies so generous
We may well claim peace...

TUNE: One Day in a Pretty Boudoir.

We often think of Bichon,
They make him eat well;
Soon he is convalescent,
And regains his normal strength;
He lets it be known that he wants to prove
Recognition of the most beautiful,
For this purpose, he took them all
Into a candle store ...

AIR: One Day the Unfortunate Lisandre.

Seeing them all lined up
Oh great God, he said, how fat they are!
I would have an excellent meal ...
Yet they saved my life ...
Thinking this way is madness,
No qualms, come, let's crunch.
Hardly had he started the battle,
Till blood reddened the earth,
Without mercy for little ratties ...


'The Cats and the Rats,' lyrics by Nitet St-Gilles, music by Ludovic Maithuat; spoken and sung, in which we find the following words:

[This is a play on the French word "chats" – cats - so I've given the French and English and explained the pun]

Je recherche les chats-moi.
[I am searching for chamois.
"Chats moi," vs "chamois"]

J'ai trente-six chats, parce que je veux vivre dans l'entre- chat.
[I have thirty-six cats, because I want to live between cats. "Entrechat" dance move vs "entre chats" = "between cats"]

Quand mon chat-pond, je garde les petits.
[When my cat produces, I look after the little ones.
"Chat-pond" = cat produce vs "chaperon" = male chaperone.]

Les Arabes ont des chats-meaux.
[The Arabs have camels.
"Chats meaux" = cats faux pas vs "chameaux" = camels]

Les modistes des chats-peaux.
[The milliners of hats.
"Chats peaux" = cat skins vs "chapeaux" = hats]

Les architectes des chats-piteaux.
[The architects of capitals.
"Chats piteaux" = cat mercy catsvs "chapiteaux" = capitals]

Les boulangers des chats-pelures.
[The bakers their breadcrumbs
"chats-pelures" = cat-peels vs chapelures = "breadcrumbs"]

Les chanoines des chats-pelles.
[The canons their chapels.
"chats-pelles" = cas shovels vs "chapelles" = chapels]

Les chapelains des chats-pelets.
[The chaplains their rosaries.
"chats-pelets" = cats pellets vs "chapelets" = rosaries]

Les voyageurs des chats-rabans.
[The travellers their charabancs
"chat-rabans" = cat ropes vs "charabancs" = motor-coach].

Les marchands des chats-lands.
[The merchants their barges.
"chats-lands" = "chalands" (barges)]

Les savants des chats-cals.
[The scholars their jackals.
"chats-cals" = "chacals" (jackals i.e. critics)]

Les militaires des chats-kos.
[The soldiers their shakos.
"Chats-kos" = shakos (a military cap)]

Je ne veux pas qu'on me chat maille.
[I don't want to be bickering.
"chat maille" = chamaille (bicker)]

Ni qu'on me chat-grine.
[Nor that it grieves me.
"Chat-grine" = "chagrin" (grief)]

J'ai des chats plein la gorge. Vous ne me guérirez pas de matoux, malgré vos chatteries.
[I have cats in my throat. You will not cure me of my cough, despite your tickling.
"matoux" (tomcats) = ma toux (cough), "chatteries" = chatouillis (tickling)]

Mon défunt ivrogne doit être passé dans le corps d'un chat, car la nuit les chats sont gris.
[My deceased drunkard must have passed into the body of a cat, because at night [I cannot find a correct pun].
ivrogne (drunkard) = (ron)ron (purr); chats sont gris (cats are grey) =???]

Voilà mon vieux pa-chat qui fait des siennes avec mes chats; l'un d'eux s'appro-chat, sans qu'il l'effarou-chat: il l'atta-chat, le ca-chat, l'empo-chat, l'embro-chat, l'éplu- chat, le tran-chat, le ha-chat et le mâ-chat, ce qui me là-chat....
Here is my old pasha up to his usual tricks with my cats; one of them approached, without frightening him: he tied it up, hid it, pocketed it, skewered it, peeled it, sliced it, chopped it and chewed it, which made me snap ....

Le juge cra-chat, se mou-chat, se pen-chat et me dit: Quand vos chats sont dehors, on peut les mettre dedans.
The judge spat, snorted, leaned down and said to me: When your cats are outside, we can put them inside [us].
[A play on "-chat" as a past tense suffix]


'Melodious Cats,' an amusing serenade, by W. Moreau; vocal music (Paris, 1863).


'The She-Cat' (by Béranger).
AIR: Little Cinderella.

1st VERSE.
You've woken your mistress,
Minette, with your long cries.
Is it hunger that worries you?
Can you hear some mice?
You want to run from my room,
To go I know not where.
Mia, mia-ou! What does Minette want?
Mia, mia-ou! it is a tomcat.


'The White Cat,' quadrille on the designs of Alb. Grisar, by J. Strauss, for piano (Paris, Colombier, 1862).

'The Marvellous Cat,' song by Désaugiers. Paris, Delahays.

'The Marvellous Cat,' comic opera in 3 acts and 9 tableaux, words by Dumanoir and Dennery, music by A. Grisar. Solo piano sheet music. Paris, Colombier (1862). Music only - 10 fr., With song - 15 fr.

'The Marvellous Cat,' by Grisar. Souvenir for piano. Paris (1862) 6 fr.
The same work. Fantasy by E. Ketterer. Paris, (1862), fr. 7-50.
The same work. Polka arranged by E. Desgrange. Paris (1862), 4 fr.

'Dog and Cat,' song by Désaugiers, Paris, Delahays.

'The Key to Dreams and Nocturnal Visions.' Ditties by Frédéric de Courcy. Paris, A. Cotelle.

To dream that one falls signifies downfall;
Mountain, that means elevation.
To dream of battle means arguments;
Of a river, that means inundation.
To dream of a dog means treachery,
To dream of a cat means loyalty.
Dreaming of a crow is sickness,
Dreaming of rabbits is good health ...


'Council of the Rats,' song by Prosper Massé.
TUNE: La Farira Dondaine.

The Rat Council
Assembled one fine day ...

An eloquent rat
Asked for the floor;
The president, gravely,
Said: I give it to you ...

We are in danger,
Gentlemen, I say this
A foreign cat
Is there watching us.

It is quite certain
That one of our kind;
By this miserable creature
Was crunched alive ...

I say we must hang
A bell round her neck ...
The noise it will make,
When she tries to surprise us,
Will give us warning
We must not wait about.

Well done! they cried,
The idea is sublime!
Let us vote on the plan.
The result is unanimous ...

But, the president resumed,
Let's see, quite openly,
Who'll be the good fellow

Who wants to do this deed?


'Crunch Mice' [Croq' Souris] in the collection of songs in patois from Lille; by Th. Desrousseaux. (Contemporary, p. 81, 2nd vol.)


'Elegy for Magdelon'
TUNE: The Hanged.

7th VERSE.
A big tomcat came out of nowhere
With not a pennyworth of fur
Of fearful face and dreadful size,
Touched her generous sympathies;
He came her at her lunchtime snack,
She said: What do you want, poor cat?

8th VERSE.
The other, a starving beggar beast,
Miaowed at her repeatedly;
Kindly she bent down, spoke gently and
Stroked him with her white hand,
Then she gave that disgusting cat
Her bread roll and hot chocolate.

9th VERSE.
In the town the gossip spread
How she gave her daily bread,
But she'd've given her simple feast
To any Christian, not just beasts
Tending to the needs of beggars,
She would laugh at those of lovers.
(The French Chansonnier ... IX Collection.)


Tourquennoises and Lille New Year's Gift [Étrennes tourquennoises et lilloises]. In the true dialect of Lille and Tourcoing. Lille, Vanackère, in sixty-fourmo, figures s. b. original.
This curious collection was composed by the famous François de Cottignie, known as Brule-maison, born 1679 in Lille and died in 1740.

Song about a Tourquennois (1) who had his pigeon hidden (joined) by a tomcat to have wild animals.
(1) Tourquennois is, for the inhabitants of Lille, equivalent to Pontoise for an inhabitant of Paris [a suburb on the city outskirts].

[Sadly I can't translate this historical item because it is not just French, it is patois i.e a local dialect that does not use standard language.]

Mon Dieu! qu'on voit dans ce monde
Ben des tours plaigeans!
De pu d'chens lieues à le ronde
Eun pari' de gros Jean:
Car il voloir avoir
Des biettes sauvages.
Come hear the story
I will make you wise..

Che Tourquennois faut entendre
Che maître des sots,
Avoit poursoris prendre
Un biau cat (chat) macot,
Et un coulon (pigeon) gavu,
De biauté sans pareille,
Un té qu'on n'a jamais vu,
Chetoit eune merveille.

Che biau coulon en parure
S'pourmenoit partout,
Par-dessus chel couverture,
Faigeant routoucou;
Et quand l'cai l'approchoit
Pour li arracher ses pleumes,
Le biau coulon s'envoloit
Comme de couteume.

Che Tourquennois en li-même,
Aussi lourd qu'un viau,
Court vite dire à se femme:
No gros cat est caud;
Y pourmèneà fachon,
Che qui n'a n'en de catte;
Il veut cauquer no coulon,
Je le vuis à ses pattes.

Mais tout chen qui me désole,
Cat'laine Duprés,
Ché que mon coulon s'envole
Quand l'cat est tout près:
Si se laichoit cauqué,
Men coulon n'est n'en sage,
J'arois des jones marqués
De poils et plumages.

Che sroit de biettes sauvages
Qu'on n'da jamais vu;
J'irois de villes en villages,
Et partout chés rues,
Au son d'un tamburin.
Criant d'une voix nette:
Qui veut pour un escalin
Vir des étranges biettes?

Pour venir à se n'atteinte
Y a pris s'en coulon,
Et se l'a loyé sans feinte
Au d'bout de se majon;
Afin que son gros cat
L'aroit cauqué à s'nage,
Pour avoir après chela
Des biettes sauvages.

Che coulon dessus chel'loge;
Se sentant loyé
Batoit se z'ailles à grand' forche,
Et s'mit à crier;
Le cat l'a entendu,
A wuidié par l'ferniette,
Sa rué à corps perdu
Su chelle' pauvre biette.

Le cat s'enfuit à la hâte
Tout épouvanté,
Il étoit loyé par l'patte,
N' l'a seu emporté;
Mais che cat sans fachon,
Sans faire un moment d'halte
A étranné (étranglé) sen coulon
Tout comme eune ratte.

Sitôt dit à Pierre Delegauque:
Vient vire tout près;
En vérité, v'la qui l'cauque,
Il l'tient par l'toupet,
Le Tourquennois a dit.
Ya fait l'affaire bonne,
Devant quinze jours d'ichi,
J'arai des biaux jonnes.

Sa femme li dit tout en rage:
A biette que te!
V'ià un biau dial de cauquage,
Il l'a étranné.
Le Tourquennois d'abord
A monté par adraiche;
Quand y a vu sen coulon mort,
Y a queu en faiblaiche.

Chetoit eune pitié de vire
Le mère et le z'enfans,
Braire tout com' des martyres
En se lamentant;
Digeant: Nous n'verrons pu;
Ah! queulle mort étrange.
No beau gros coulon gavu.
Roucouler d'sus no grange.

Song of a Tourquennois who tortured his cat to make him confess if he had taken a piece of meat. [Again, in dialect which I cannot translate.]

V'la eune histoire sans pareille,
Arrivé dedans Tourcoing.
La chose est vraie et réelle,
Sur che sujet je n'vous mens point
Dessus che point,
Et chose certaine,
Ch' tour là com' vous l'entendre
Est arrivé.

Un Tourquennois tout en n'aire,
Un jour qu'il étoit crêvé
Avot eune bielle pièche de chair,
L'avot mit sur sen mettié,
Tout préparée
Pour l'cuire tout entierre;
Mais on lia jué den che jour
Un drôle de tour.

Deux u trois hommes de se sorte,
Familiers de sa majon,
Ont pris sans miséricorde
Sen morciau de chair sans caution.
Queulle invention!
L'homme non pu que l'femme
N'savoient rien de tout chela,
Non pu que l'cat.

V'là ch' l'bomme qu'étot ben en rage
Quand il apprit tout cela;
N'en faut point d'mander davantage.
Ché encore men diable de cat
Qu'a fait chela;
J'briserai tout l'ménage,
U bien j'ferai imbrochié
Mon cat sorchié.

Y a couru à perde haleine,
Pour attrapé che minou,
A l'cour et a l'basse-cuigène,
Et au grenier tout partout.
L'a pris par l'cou.
Avoue eun caine,
A eune broche enrouillié
L'a imbrochié.

Et tenant che cat à se mode,
Il dit: T'est un cal perdu;
Y n'ia pu d'miséricorde,
Je m'en va te gêner devant ch'fu,
Sans nul z'abus;
Tu ne peux pu m'morde,
Je veux te fair'confessic
Si t'est sorchié.

Il a mis chel'pauvre biette
Dessus deux balons en crox,
Ses quatre patte et se tiette.
Et se queue qu'elle fertillot
Comme un batot;
Aveuc eune baguette
Temps en temps y tappot dessus
Devant ch'grand fu.

Che cat est mort sur les gennes
Après deux heurs et demie;
V'là che Tourquennois en peine,
Y avoit peu que s'euch'dit:
Le merquedi,
Et chose certaine,
J'ai composé chell' canchon
Dessus ch'luron.


Complaint of the inhabitants of Lille on the death of Brûle-maison... [in dialect]

Brûle-mojon par ses grimaches
Etot connu tout partout,
Dans les bourgs et les villages
D'un bout jusqu'à l'autre bout...

Quand qui cantoit dessus l'plache
Les samedis et merquedis,
On couroit vir ses grimaches,
Ses morgues et ses singeries ...

Quand il avoit lait ses morgues,
Après cha coupoit sen nez,
Aveuque un cat y jouoit d'zorgues,...

N'y avoit un des princh ipal,
Qu'un appelle Mathieu Colas;
Il leux a lait un régal,
Aveuque de bons gros cats,
Dodus et gras;
Queu soupe frugal,
L'za accommodé à fachon
Aveu d'zoignons!

Comme y mengeoient sans fourchettes,
Croyant que chétoit du lapin;
L'un a attrapé une tiette,
Il le mettoit dessus sen pain
En ayant faim;
Mengeoient comme des biettes,
Sans songé que den che plat
Chétoit du cat.

Den chel fricassé friande,
Un a trouvé une soris,
Bien poiluse, bielle et grande:
Sitôt la compagnie
Tout ébahie,
Sans faire de demande,
Ont vu qui avoient mengé là
Tertous du cat....


'Aesop's Fables put to songs,' by Dugrandmesnil (Paris, in 64mo format).

The Fox and the Cat
TUNE: The Sultan Saladin.

The fox and the cat
Were in a great debate,
About sharing
What Mother Nature observes,
By distributing property:
From yours
To mine
Cannot be equal in any way,
Said the chicken cruncher
And God preserve me.
I have tricks in my bag,
And all the Gascons
Have nothing near my skill ...

The cat responded early
To the imprudent Gascon:
I only have one trick,
And it never refuses
To help me out ...

Be careful in everything
This is science.


'The Cockerel and the Cat.'
TUNE: Babet m'a su charmer.

A rooster did business
With a hypocritical cat
Who crunched it
Like a mouse right away ....

The cock aske the cat this:
"What have I done to you, sir? ...

The cat answered him: ...

"Your cursed throat
Only hurts us,
And all night long
You make such a noise ...
You were always nasty ...
And you corrupt morals ... "

"It's really necessary,
Otherwise we'd be a long way
From having enough eggs."

The cat answered him:

"You have fun talking,
Your cackle makes me dizzy,
Your excuses are in vain ... "
And the cat no sooner spoke
Than he ended the cock's tricks ...


'Friquet and Matou.' Simple story. Words by Léon Quentin (Paris, Gauvin).

Guillaume had in his household
A little brown-feathered sparrow,
Piou piou, piou piou,
And his neighbour Mathurine,
Had a big tomcat in her kitchen,
Meow! meow!...

One day Friquet came out of his cage
To stroll about the neighbourhood ...
In case the bird had broken out ....
Without further ado, kitty grabbed it ....


'Frou! frou!' Gaudriole, words by Léon Quentin (Paris, Gauvin).

Grisette and the artist were neighbours,
Morning to night made eyes at each other ...
And meanwhile we could hear on the gutter
The tailor's tom and the doorwoman's cat
Making frous frous,
The tomcat making frous frous:
Meow! meow!
Frou! frou! frou! frou!. ,,.


'The big gray cat.' Words by Charlemagne Deulin. (Paris, Ikelmer and Ce.)


1st VERSE.
Once, Minette el Minou
Made such a beautiful marriage,
That the taste for marriage,
Came to each tomcat.
Said kitty, said the coquette ...

2nd VERSE.
If Minou fell asleep near Minou,
With a flick of her paw
His delicate wife
Awakened her ill-mannered spouse ...


'There once was a sheperdess,' a childish round.

There once was a sheperdess,
And ron, ron, ron, little patapon;
There once was a sheperdess,
Who kept some sheep,
Ron, ron.
Who kept some sheep.

She made some cheese
From the milk of her sheep.

The cat looked at her
With his rascally air.

If you put your paw there,
You'll have a pole,

He didn't put his paw there,
He put his chin there.

The angry shepherdess
Killed her little kitten.

She went to her father,
Asked him for forgiveness.

My father, I blame myself
For killing my kitten.

My daughter, for penance,
We'll embrace each other.

Penance is sweet,
We will do it again.


A song in 6 verses, written in 1689.
TO THE TUNE: The cat has eaten my cheese.

The first two lines are:

He took only one rat in my gutter,
The ugly tomcat (1), says Sévigné ....

(1) The Count of Grignan.
(Collection of Maurepas. Leiden, 1865, book 1, p. 143.)


'My pussycat,' by J. la Garde, printed in Le Caveau, 18th year. (Paris, p. 382.)
TUNE: The little word for laughs.

I have in my home ....
A perfect pussycat,
Beautiful head, superb eyes.
Her hair is long, and soft and silky ...
Her dress is a beautiful colour ...

She scratches me at times,
But cuddles me often ...

At night, in the time of black wintery weather,
She tucks herself under my sheets ....


'The Tax on Cats' Song played by Ch. Blondelet, words by Blondelet, music by Delisle. Spoken and sung comic song.


"It's Mother Michel ...."
[Note: Another set of word games]

I seem to see him when he was sitting on his little bottom [beau temps – good times?]... My neighbour the student said to me: Leave your chat-si [chassis - frame], your chat-la [chaleur – heat], your chat-loupe [chaloupe – row-boat], your chat-au d'eau [chateau], take care of the chats-teignes [chataignes – chestnuts] ...! At the prefecture they tell me:

Est ce un chat-let? [chalet]
Ou un chat-ron? [charogne – carcass]
Ou un chat-peau noir? [chat-peau noir = chapeau noir = black hat]
Ou un chat-pron?... [chaperon = chaperone]

Yes quick to scratch you ...
I'll write to the chief constable
Let him make a law expressly for this
It would be only fairness
To pay for his dog, for his cat;
Why should there be any preference?
I'm making a proposal:
Give me back my cat, I'll give to France
A pension of ten francs per year
. . . . . . . . . Because
My 'cat pleases' everyone. ['chat plait' – chapelet (rosary)]
It's not a 'slow cat' ['chat-lent' – chaland – customer]
Nor a 'cat-pointer' ['chat-braque' – chabraque – saddle blanket]
It's not like in Turkey,
Where we know that 'cats blow their noses.' ['Chats-se mouchent' = chasse mouche – hunt flies]


[Note to modern readers: "Le Chat de la Mère Michel" is a children's song already popular in the 1820s. The earliest tune is attested as early as 1721. There are different lyrics, but the theme remains the same. Father Lustucru probably refers to the imaginary satirical character of Father Lustucru. Today there are mainly two melodies, with variations. The oldest is a vaudeville tune called "Grand Duke of Savoy, what are you thinking" or (other name) "Ah! If you had seen Monsieur de Catinat", who sang the praises of Marshal Nicolas de Catinat in the 17th century.]

'Mother Michel,' song

It's old ma Michel who lost her cat,
Who's yelling out the window, who will bring it back?
It's old pa Lustucru who answered her:
"Come on, old ma Michel, your cat is not lost."

It's old ma Michel who asked him:
"My cat's not lost, you found it then?"
It's Old pa Lustucru who answered her:
"Give a finder's reward, it'll be returned to you."

Then old ma Michel told him: "It's settled
If you give my cat back, you'll get a kiss."
But old man Lustucru who didn't want one
Said to her: "Your cat will be sold as a rabbit!"


'The Loves of mother Michel and father Lustucru,' by Alex. Marie (Stahl Reports, p. 593).
TUNE: The Town Drum.

Mother Michel, at her window one day,
Cried aloud in a tone of despair:
Alas! My poor cat, where can he be?
Ah! give back to me my black cat Bibi...

A kindly neighbour saw her tears flow,
Tenderly, Father Lustucru,
Told her: I swear it to you by your charms,
Mother Michel, your cat is not lost ...

Dame Michel, I hope for a reward,
See here is the item you lost;
A soft kiss isn't too much, I think.
My dear neighbour, I owe you a kiss ...


'Mother Michel's Cats,' in imitation of the Oxen of Pierre Dupont.
TUNE: I have two large oxen in my barn [J'ai deux grands bœufs dans mon étable]

I have two big cats, very lovable,
One pretty white and the other is red.
Supple, and cuddly and pleasing ...

Do you see these poor beasts,
From morning to night on the roofs,
Braving the rain and the storms,
In hot weather, in cold weather ...

He is handsome, he is agile!
My big Bibi, the white sheep;
And how gentle and how docile,
That good apostle of Raton! ...


'Mother Michel has lost her cat,' prose and verse, composed by G. H. Froyer, former soldier (Paris, June 19, 1848). - Manuscript belonging to Mr. B ...

All for Tity, Tity, Tity;
For Tity all, all, all,
All, all, all, for Tity,
Let's do all for Tity.

These four lines may give a sufficient idea of what this piece is.


'Mother Michel and Father Lustucru,' mishmash-tragi-comic scene, words by Adolphe Joly, music by Léopold Bougnol.

I love you, condescend to hear me,
Just as we love flowers and melons;
Like young lads
Love young lasses,
Just as kids love macaroons.
As you love with tender love
Your cat ... and he loves bacon.

Ah! I loved this cat so gentle,
Soft, just like a little sheep.
It seems to me that I still hear it
Make his charming ron-ron-ron.
He ate neatly from his plate
A gift of spleen and lungs.
Mia, meow, my poor kitty;
Mia, meow, my poor tomcat.

She did not mourn the loss of her five husbands as much as she mourned the loss of that ugly cat. [cat-laid = chalet]

MOTHER MICHEL (with joy).
Ah! what do I see?
He returns to me!

(She calls Moumoutte.)

LUSTUCRU looks backstage, then he comes back and says mysteriously:

Hush! ... hush! ... He is looking for his knife in the ashes! Let us not disturb his meditations.
[Note: The cat is digging in the ash-pan for his ablutions]

'Widowed Mrs Michel,' words of L. C. Durand.

Mother Michel is a widow,
Is a widow of her cat.

This cat lost his life
The day he passed away.

It's the fault of a fishbone
That he swallowed too quickly.

Mother Michel very quickly
Gave him a remedy;

But alas the nuisance object
Remained stuck in his little body.

That was what made the poor beast
Expire on the spot.

All the cats in the village
Now mourn for their daddy.

On the rooftops and the gutters
You can only hear this cry:
(Spoken) Ah what a pity!
(Album des Chansonniers, 2nd volume, 13th installment.)


'Pot-pourri of Mother Michel' (Paris, Gauvin, ed.).
There are only the first four lines of the song, the rest are irrelevant to us.


'The Resurrected Cat' (sequel to Widow Michel), song by Augustin Beaumester Jr.

Mother Michel is in tears
Badadzim, boom, boom;
Mother Michel is in tears,
She sighs for her cat!
[Spoken) Ah! what happiness!
When to her sweet surprise,
His little tail moved.
A little sprig of Eau de Cologn
Immediately revived him.
Immediately the poor beast
Jumped to its four feet;
And behind his ears
He washed himself.
Happy mother Michel,
Kissed him on his nose.
To see her puss-cat again,
And her tomcat ran off to the roof off.


'Min, Mia, Mia, oh!' or 'that's how my cat does, a meowing round.' To answer the barking round of Mr. Armand-Gouffe, by Belle-Aine.
TUNE (from the second part): Din, din, don, don (from the Family of the Innocents). - 1812.

When hunger troubles my cat,
How pleasant he becomes!
To eat directly from the platter,
Unashaed, he jumps on the table:
"Mia, mia, oh!"

And there, like a skilful lover,
What he is denied he just takes.
My young cat pleases me madly;
I like his cunning and light-heartedness;
I especially like the harmonious tones
That he takes when, in turn,
It is night and day:
"Mia, mia, mia, oh! mia,
Mia oh! mia, mia oh!
Mia, mia, mia oh!"
Because that's how my kitty
Rings the bell
"Mia, mia, mia oh! "

Care is taken to meow at the end of each verse, and especially so as to express the animal's desire.

"Mia, mia, mia oh! mia, mia, mia oh!
Mia, mia, mia oh! mia, mia, mia oh! "
Rings the bell
"Mia, mia, mia oh!"

In the cellar is he locked,
His sadness is complete;
All thoughtful and eyes shining,
With such grief he repeats:
"Mia, mia oh!"
A girl condemned to celibacy
Can be no sadder than my cat.
My young cat, etc.

When he catches a mouse,
What skill he deploys!
In front of surprised spectators,
He knows how to express joy:
"Mia, mia oh!"
The gourmand who sees a good dish,
Isn't happier than my cat.
My young cat, etc.

Do we want to have fun for a while?
Someone bring a poodle to me:
On its back my cat nimbly leaps
Immediately launched from his niche:
"Mia, mia oh!"
A jealous cock'rel, when it fights,
Is less angry than my cat.
My young cat, etc.

In the fire if he see a chestnut,
He advances, then he retreats,
And does this awhile, poor cat,
He removes it and burns his feet:
"Mia, mia oh!"
An author, when he falls flat,
Isn't so ashamed as my cat.
My young cat, etc.

In the gutter, during the night,
When he sees his kitty so fair,
He leaps with hope and delight,
And he lovingly he calls out to her:
"Mia, mia oh!"
The devil who leaps from the sabbat
Is no less nimble than my cat.
My young cat pleases me madly,
I like his guile ...


'Mi-a-ou,' polka des Chats, music by Arban (Paris, Gérard, 1801). - 3 fr.


'Minette,' comic song, words by M. Frederic de Courcy, music by Clapisson.

I have a companion in my home
A charming creature,
Adorable with her grey eyes,
Her grace and her perkiness.
She is very friendly, Minette,
She is proud and arches her back ...
More lazy and flirtatious,
She doesn't interrupt her rest
Except to dreamily wash herself;
Such a scandal for the neighbour
Sometimes without any grief
She leaves at night, unconcerned,
And the next morning, returns....
She is very friendly, Minette,
But I would complain, despite this,
Someone whose wife goes in secret
Has much the same character.
[Album of Ménestrel, 5th vol, 18th installment.)


'Minet and Raton;' song by Ant. Dida.
TUNE: My Belle is the Belle of the Belles,

1st VERSE.
With your little cat, my beautiful,
I have often braved boredom well;
He never plays the rebel
When I want to play with him.
If his sweetness is unparalleled,
For him, I am far from being ungrateful:
Ah! although he is deprived of his ears,
How pretty is your little cat!

[Note: to prevent cats from wandering to hunt game animals, their ears were cut off. It made it hard for them to locate prey by sound and if rain got into the ears it was uncomfortable, so they learned to stay at home.]


'Let's not wake the sleeping cat;' song by P.-A. Léger (Paris, Lécrivain and Toubon).
Only the title relates to our subject.

'Don't wake the sleeping cat;' songs by Justin Cabassol and Jest, printed in the Lice chansonnière (1831-1842).

'Let's not wake the sleeping cat,' by Mazabrand (de Solignac). New songs, Paris, in-32.
TUNE: from Calpigi.

There is only this one verse that has some relation to our subject:

After creating men,
God says: While we're at it
For their pleasures and for their ills,
Let's also create the animals!
Since this remarkable action,
The donkey brays, the cat scratches,
The snake hisses, the dog bites ...
Let's not wake the sleeping cat!


'At night all cats are grey,' vaudeville-proverb, by Armand Gouffe, printed in the Last Ball, or Collection of Songs. Paris, 1812, in octodecimo, p. 74 and following.
TUNE: vaudeville from Rémouleur.

Leaving a logogriph tonight
That in my head I was rolling,
On the animal which has claws
I felt the need to scratch a poem;
If, alas, my verse is censured,
It wasn't I who wrote them;
No, it's the cat ... I assure you,
And ... at night all cats are grey.

I was a dreamer on my bunk
When I thought I saw, that night,
My Fanchette's pretty cat
Make its way to my recess;
So I kept it until dawn;
When I saw what I had taken
'Twas Eleonore's old white cat ...
But ... at night all cats are grey.

I'm going to put a bunny on a spit,
Said a wily caterer,
Who, to sell us a cat in a sack,
Had just hunted the rooftops;
His wife opens his game-bag;
My black cat! She cried loudly.
My love! I hunted without light,
And ... at night all cats are grey.

[Note: A logogriph is a type of word puzzle.]


Le Parrot (song).

7th VERSE.
A little starveling cat.
Held out a velvet paw to me,
His meow, nice and friendly,
Speaks the jargon of love;
But I don't feel at ease
When my parrot tells me: kiss,
Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss
Nice parrot.
(The French Chansonnier ... IXe Collection.)

[Note. The word used is 'baise' which I've translated as 'kiss' but it can also be 'sex' or 'f*ck,' – quite possible considering that parrots are taught the swear!]


'The little cat;' song by Emile Debraux.
TUNE: When you take it so politely. [Quand on s'y prend si poliment.]

1st VERSE.
In your room at last, darling
Having entered in spite of you,
Your nice menagerie
Yesterday appeared before me.
Your treasury, kind Rosine,
No doubt lacks not for brilliance;
But the prettiest, my cousin,
Is for sure, your little cat.


'The little gray cat,' song by J.-A. Sénéchal.

Say, neighbour, let me show you the shopping
Of a little cat that I call Cheri.
His shining eyes devoured my cutlet,
He is so good at nabbing mice.


'Little Minet;' words of J. Bertrand; music from Chantagne. Paris, Gérard (1801), fr. 2-50.

5th VERSE.
A very young and unsubtle mouse
On the advice of a certain little cat.
Was instructed to cleverly flee,
For Minet took the mouse for a rat.
Momus, I saw Zephire, and I swear,
Luri, luri, luri
The pill is already working,
Lera, lera, lera.

6th VERSE.
A rascally cat, although well fed,
Will steal from the neighbour's plate;
Piece of bacon that he quietly crunches -
More piquant than the finest roast meat.
Flirting husband! is my fable too obscure?
Luri, luri, luri.
Lete your wife explain it,
Lera, lera, lera.

[Note: Momus was the personification of satire and mockery. Momus Fabuliste, a 1700s French farce, revolved around Momus's mockery of the deities in the classical pantheon, leading to the betrothal and wedding of Vulcan and Venus.]


'Whittington and His Cat' is an English variation of our Chat Botte (Puss in Boots), and the refrain found in it, that the bells of London flung at him as, discouraged, he was about to give up the game:

"Turn again, Whittington.
Thrice lord mayor of London."

in fact one of those deeply national traditions which nurtures a spirit of propriety and enterprise in the lower classes, a love of independence won by work, of noble passions to which England owes her glory and prosperity. Whittington's song is titled:

'The Advancement of Sir Richard Whittington.'


'Mr. Vautour,' or 'the Owner under seal.' A vaudeville in 1 act.
Varieties. - Brunet created the role of M. Vautour.
TUNE: All along the river.

Charge four hundred francs
For a room open to all the winds,
Where all summer it gets the sun,
Where all winter my body shivers,
Where I hear a thousand cats
Climbing, running after rats ...
I hear them all night long
All along, along the guttering.



BELAUD, cat belonging to the poet Joachim Du Bellay. His master wrote him a most remarkable epitaph of which we reproduce the first verses:

These days, living vexes me;
And do you know why, Magny,
Know why I feel so morose?
No, it is not because I've lost
My rings, my money, or my purse;
I have suffered something worse
Three days ago I lost such treasure -
I lost my love, and thus lost pleasure.
When I recall what death has taken,
I can feel my sad heart breaking,
And when I speak or when I write,
I feel the wound of lost delight;
Belaud, my small gray cat, deceased.
Belaud – nature's finest masterpiece,
Wrought in flesh, fur and form of cat;
Belaud, the deadly scourge of rats
Whose beauty was such, 'tis true to tell,
He was worthy of being immortal.

First of all, I must say
That Belaud was not entirely grey,
Not like French cats bred here at home,
But more like those we find in Rome -
Silvery grey with lustrous shine,
Like richest satin, smooth and fine,
Lying like waves upon his spine,
And white beneath, just like ermine;

The piece is in the 'Works of Joachim Du Bellay;' in the 1st book of the 'Muse Folastre;' in the 'Philosophical Letters on the History of Cats,' by Moncrif; in the 'Poetic Buffon,' pages 84 and following, and in many other collections.

BLONDIN, Jacobins cat, illustrated by the verses of Madame Deshoulières.

BIBI, BIBICHE, names given to many cats.

BRINBELLE, or the new Héloïse.
The amiable Brinbelle, a cat from the Hotel de Guise, had married Ratillon of Austrasia for a third time; never have married couples felt a keener and more lasting fondness for each other.

Our Cats loved each other from the first meeting, and the more they knew of each other, the more they loved each other. There was not a single roof where they did not demonstrate a union so worthy of envy and meow their loves. A neighbour of rather savage manners, did not enjoy their lovers' talk interrupting his sleep, so he lured the young Tomcat with feigned caresses; the young cat allowed himself to be caught [and castrated]. The pain in the she-cat was so strong that she remained, it is said, ever faithful to him.

CAFAR, Minimes de Chaillot's cat; Mme Deshoulières speaks of it in 'The Death of Cochon.'

DOM-IRIS, cat belonging to the Duchess of Bethune, see the works of Deshoulieres.

FELIMARE, a cat belonging to Cardinal Richelieu. He was all yellow and his leaps resembled those of the tiger.

GRISETTE, Madame Deshoulieres' favorite she-cat.

GAZETTE, a she-cat belonging to Cardinal Richelieu.
She was a very indiscreet little cat who was not bothered by anything. The cardinal was also very fond of her despite her faults. One evening, when she had forgotten herself in Bois-Robert's slipper, the latter administered a correction to her which caused him to be reprimanded by the cardinal.

Bois-Robert, in revenge, put a little black satin bag on the cat's bottom. The Cardinal, having asked for Gazette to play with her, saw the creature whirl around as if it had been poisoned. However, he couldn't help laughing at Bois-Robert's idea.

LUDOVIC THE CRUEL, cat belonging to Cardinal Richelieu, nicknamed for his cruelty to rats.

LUCIFER, Cardinal Richelieu's cat, was as black as jet.

LODOÏSKA, Polish cat belonging to the cardinal.

MARMALAIN, illustrious cat belonging to the Duchess of Maine, to whom her mistress did the honour of addressing a rather remarkable piece of verse.

Here are the first four:

If I want to paint a picture of my kitty,
I would need an excellent brush.
To sketch such great kindliness:
Such fine charms, such sweet suppleness ...

De la Mothe and Moncrif have written some rather curious epitaphs for this cat.

MARMUSE, MIMY, Mlle Deshoulières' cats.

MENINE, Mme de Lesdiguières' cat. We have a sonnet about her, of which here are the first four lines:

Menine of golden eyes, her fine fur grey,
Charming Menine, unique among her kind,
Loved by an illustrious Duchess, could we find
Mortals who would not envy such a destiny?...

After her death, a mausoleum was erected for him.

MIMIE-PAILLON, Angora cat, belonging to Cardinal Richelieu.

MINET, MINETTE, MOUMOUTE, MATOU, MIAOU, MINON, MINOU, MOUTON, names given to a crowd of feline celebrities.

MITTIN, Miss Rocquet's cat, illustrated in the verses of Mme Deshoulières.

MOUNARD LE FOUGUEUX, cat belonging to Cardinal Richelieu, reputed to be quarrelsome, capricious and worldly, especially in March.

NINA, FANFAN, MIMI, BEAUTY, TOM, Miss Topping's cats; see his will.

PYRAME AND THISBE, cats belonging to Cardinal Richelieu, so named because they constantly slept on each other's paws.

PERRUQUE, little cat who was born in a wig belonging to Racan, gazetteer, academician, the most absent-minded man in France.

Racan had a cat he liked very much, and which one day gave birth to in his wig. Despite this nest, comprising two kittens, he nevertheless put on his false ftopknot and went to visit the cardinal, who had summoned him to consult him on a staging of his tragedies.

No sooner was he in Richelieu's presence than Racan, troubled by the movement of the two kittens, began to scratch himself.
- What is the matter, Racan, said Richelieu, that you keep on scratching the back of your head?

Racan, besides several other little ridiculous things, also had a speech defect; he could not pronounce either 'R' or 'C' and this made him grimace horribly.

Racan replied to the cardinal:

- Monshignol, fo' qualtel of an houl, I have had plickling in my head.

- It's not surprising, continued the cardinal, chuckling mischievously, you've put on your wig very badly, because you wear one, I believe.

- My wig ish ashkew. Ish that ashtounding? ... It'sh tlue, nothing ish more tlue, he said, trying to accommodate the chief.

As he tried to make his hairstyle as harmonious as possible, it happened that the two kittens fell at the feet of the cardinal, uttering cries.

Much against his habit, Richelieu, in the presence of such a distraction, could not stifle a burst of laughter and, so that Racan did not take the two kittens, he kept them, naming one of them Racan and the other Perruque in memory of the incident.

RATON, ROMINAGROBIS, names of several famous cats.

ROUGEOT, BLANC-BLANC, GRIS-GRIS, NOIROT, names of many white, grey, black, red or red cats.

RUBIS SUR L'ONGLE, Cardinal Richelieu's cat.

SOUMISE, very soft and very cuddly she-cat; she was Richelieu's favourite and often slept on his knees.

SERPOLET, a young cat who only lived on the casement in the sun; he had taken a dislike to the cardinal because the latter made him cry out by squeezing his two flanks at his hip joints. The cardinal's pressure was sometimes slow, sometimes jerky, so that the cries of the cat sounded like the declamation of a Chinese tragedy. "'Here, Bois-Robert,' said the cardinal, 'Serpolet is declaiming the tragedy of El Cid."

TATA, cat belonging to the Marquise de Montglas; quoted in Mme Deshoulières' verses.


CAT OF NINE TAILS. Whip with which Negroes in America were punished, and even today used on soldiers in the British army.

The PERCHED CAT game is a variation on hide and seek. One of the children stands aside so as not to see his comrades; they, once hidden, cry: 'Cat!' If the child being chased can climb up on any object at the moment of being caught, once on it, he says: 'Perched Cat,' and remains free.

CHATRE; castrated.

"A youngster who is both wild and domestic at the same time, who has an intelligent eye and graceful movements, keeps claws sheathed and purrs, and yet has very nasty little claws which it launches at one's face when one irritates it; - it likes sweets, cakes and sometimes sits on one's knees."
(A. VEIMAR. Dictionary of Love, 1859.)

LITTLE SHE-CAT, "Funny girl who plays with men's hearts like a real cat plays with a mouse - in Henri de Kock's slang ..."
(Alfred Delvau, Dictionary of Slang, 1866.)

COQ-A-L'ANE. [literally: 'to go from the cockerel to the donkey,' meaning 'to talk in non sequiturs,' can refer to riddles.]

What is the difference between a queen of France and a she-cat?
- The she-cat has gros dos [arched back] and the Queen of France has a dos fin (Dauphin [pun]).

Which facial expressions do cats like the most?
Answer: souris [mouse – pun on sourire - smile]
(Polissonniana, Brussels, edition of 1864.)

One day when Auguste Vestris was playing Emilie de Cinna, a cat in the room began to meow. "I bet," said Sophie Arnould, "it's the Vestry cat. "(Arnoldiana, p. 226)

SAINVILLE: Could you make a cat bark? [aboyer = to bark]
LEVASSOR: Very easily. Place a cup of milk in front of him; if he is thirsty, he will drink it [la boira].
(Liège Almanac, 1866.)



The ancients are divided in this regard. One has claimed that it is the effect of the cat's claws, which, through excess zeal, holds her too strongly (1); another (2) attributes it to another gallant cause. Those who follow ancient Philosophy claim that it was the precise moment when her Lover triumphed over her weakness. It is true that this belief is founded upon the opinion of Aristotle,(3) who maintains that She-cats, being more temperamental than Toms, far from having the strength to hold their austerity any longer, are eternal flirts – shameless, incautious, immodest, to the point of violence, if the Tom's ardour seems to be failing.

Moncrif (4) said on this subject: " Be that as it may, a Mouse appeared, and here our gallant takes off in pursuit of it. The piqued She-cat, as you may well imagine, thought of an expedient so she never again experienced such an affront; this was to shriek from time to time whenever she tete-a-tete with her lover. These cries never failed to carry a long distance to frighten away the mice, which no longer dared come and disturb their rendezvous.

"This precaution appeared so wise and so loving to all the other She-cats that ever since then, whenever they are with their favourite Tomcat they affect to spread these clamours, etc. "

(1) Pliny enters into very curious details on the conduct of cats in their love affairs.
(2) Elian, book 6, cap. 27.
(3) De Mirabilib., book I.
(4) The Cats, 5th letter.



On February 18, 1781, seals were affixed to the personal effects of the late Mr de Château-Blanc, inventor and maintainer of the Paris lighting. When the lawyers had withdrawn, the cries of a cat were heard. A miserable cat was not considered worth the cost of summoning commissioners, prosecutors and witnesses necessary to open the cupboard in which he was locked. The seals were finally removed on March 14, and they were greatly astonished to see a young Rominagrobis [nickname for a tomcat], very thin, but very much alive after its imprisonment and a twenty-four day fast.
(Secret anecdotes of the 18th century. Paris, 1808, p. 71.)

Boyle reported that, in London, a large rat mated with a female cat, and that this mixture resulted in little ones that looked like the cat and the rat, and which were raised in the king of England's menagerie.

The cat is very dextrous, very clean; it spends whole hours cleaning and licking itself, it is delicate and refined in its tastes, he needs fish, birds, little mice, milk, etc. However, he gets used to eating everything; and thus he manages to eat salad, chestnuts, potatoes, cooked carrots and coffee with milk.


Léon Gozlan, in 'The Castles of France, Marquisate of Brunoy,' makes the following assessment: "These cats were well filled in their silky fur, brushed with happiness, and sleeping on the edge of thatched roofs, etc."


A struggle of the most curious and certainly the rarest kind, took place these past days, says 'Sport' (December 1865), near the Bois de la Taille, in the territory of Nivillac, between a fox and a wild cat. What was the reason for the quarrel? No-one could say, but what was easy to say was that there was no death. According to an eyewitness, the fox fled from the battlefield, missing one eye and with innumerable claw strikes, and the cat hurriedly sought refuge in a high oak tree, where it was seen busily cleaning the wounds it had received.

The cat was shot dead some time later, and it was then found that one of its legs was broken and that its hindquarters had been laid open by a series of bites that had been dealt by its antagonist.


The cat and dog that accompanied Sir Lunardi on his aerial journey were objects of curiosity to the city of London, which imposed a levy on them of more than four thousand guineas!
(Extract from the Considerations on the Order of Cincinnatus... By the Comte de Mirabeau. - London, 1783, p. 550, note.)

We know that ENTRECHAT is a kind of movement that is done in the high dance, where the dancer crosses his legs several times while he is in the air. This word probably originates from the movements that cats make in the middle of somersaults, interlacing their paws, to regain or maintain their balance.


We read in the 'Pacific Echo,' December 1865: "About a month ago, a car loaded with cats and chickens, arrived at the mines of Boisee (California). To say that this shipment found a good and quick outlet, is superfluous, to judge: the cats sold for ten dollars a head and the chickens for five dollars apiece, from the start; but we let them go at the end at $36 a dozen. While for the birds the decline was felt, for the feline breed, on the contrary, there was a strong upward trend. Squirrels and field rats are so abundant that not all the cats of the Pacific Coast would be enough. As for the dogs, they were quite depreciated on the spot."


Aristotle wrote to Alexander that a narrow back denotes a discordant mind, and that a man so conformed is to be compared to apes and cats.
(Caricature in antiquity, by Champfleury.)


Is it serious? They are talking about putting a tax on cats. Perhaps we are wrong to talk about it, because the idea of this tax could come to those who do not have one. It is indeed the case to say: Let's not wake the sleeping cat.
(Gazette de France, February 3, 1866.)


DEATH TO CATS! Such is the cry uttered by Mr. Honoré Schaefer.

Game numbers are decreasing every year, but it is not because the number of hunters increases each year. Small birds are becoming rarer and rarer, but it's not the little rascals who find egg nests that should take the blame. Neither the poacher nor the marauder are guilty of the famine that grows every year in inverse proportion to the care that the animal protection society brings to the conservation and well-being of animals.

It's the cat! It's that ravenous predator that causes all the harm. - Death to the cat! and I can prove it.

There are six million rural houses in France. Every house has at least one cat. So let's inscribe: Cats. . . . 6,000,000.

Should each cat treat itself, during the year, the pleasure of crunching only one pair of young rabbits and as many young leverets . . . . 24 million items.

To each a dozen young partridges, and that's just a few of them, we will arrive at the figure of 72 million partridges.

As for larks, skylarks, ortolans and other young birds, assuming only one a day, we reach the fabulous figure of 2,190 million items.

It is no exaggeration to believe that these country cats that the peasant purposely does not feed so that they rid him of mice, each consume in a year:

365 small birds
12 partridges
2 young rabbits
2 leverets
Totally 381 pieces each.

We are not asking for a massacre of these six million cats to remedy the evil that Mr Schaefer points out, but it would be good to advise the peasants to feed their domestic animals a little more.
(Extract from Charivari, December 3, 1865. Article on the Academy of Sciences.)



The difference between cat and man is that the former, full of vices by its nature, corrects itself through training; we see him bow to our quirks and whims and do everything he can to please and charm us. By raising them well, they become sober, gentle, quiet, stop being thieves, and even forgo the pleasure of cunning and skilfully catching mice and rats. Man, on the contrary, often acquires knowledge and education only to abuse it and take advantage of all the wickedness in the world.

The cat's training makes it less cruel and less voracious, while that of the dog often only gives it fierce, barbaric manners. Dogs are raised to rend, destroy and devour the sweetest animals of the forests, those most peaceful on earth and least harmful to man.


Near Paphos, later called Bafa, is a famous spit of land at the tip of the island of Cyprus; it is called the Cape of Cats. The legend goes like this: There was a monastery whose monks kept a certain number of Cats to wage war on the serpents that laid waste to the country. The cats were perfectly disciplined, and at the sound of a certain bell they all went to the abbey for their meal, and then returned to the country, where they continued their hunting with admirable zeal and skill.
(Extract from Debrèves, Voyage in the Levant.)


At the last scene of the 'Magical Dahlia,' or the 'Blue Dwarf,' a spectacular at the Comte theater, the hero of the play circled the stage in a chariot drawn by sixteen living cats. This hardly agrees with what Ch. Baudelaire says in his sonnet on cats:

"Erebus would have them as his funereal steeds
If their pride would let them bow to servitude."



Most of the merchants in Paris still took a cat for their sign in the last century; this habit has continued to this day, and today we still see a good number of trading houses having as their sign: The Black Cat; The Fishing Cat; The Cat Which Rolls Up; to the Shah of Persia [pun of "chat de Perse" – Persian cat]; at the Puss in Boots; at the Cat's Paw, etc.

The Sessa, printers in Venice in the 16th century, adopted a cat for their brand. Sometimes the animal is shown holding a mouse in its mouth; sometimes it sits majestically and looks around it sharply. Dibdin deemed this mark worth reproducing in his 'Bibliographical Decameron.'



It would have been astonishing had the idea of a cat show not occurred to anyone, and since we are on this subject, here is a letter addressed to us by a lady who signs herself Maria Marini:

"Paris has examples of the feline race that would shame even the illustrious cats of the city of Angora. Why should these charming but treacherous animals not have the honour of appearing in the Jardin d'Acclimatation, just like hunting hounds, greyhounds, sheepdogs, Newfoundlands, and King Charles spaniels to whom their mistresses would tenderly take their milky coffee and brioche?

"Where can we find an animal prettier or more graceful than a cat, from the big Angora bundled up in its long fur and sleeping in a lethargic repose, to the alley cat with the smooth and shiny coat, running cheerfully looking for a she-cat among her friends?

"How can the cat adored by the Egyptians not have the right to be exhibited with us!

"I, who write to you, have two cats, two jewels, one black as hell, the other white like the ermine, and see how 'the habit does not make the monk': the black cat, who has the air of a follower of Satan, and who would be worthy to adorn the side of a witch and accompany her to the Sabbat, whose intense black fur and dazzling green eyes give him a mephistophelic appearance, the black is sweetness itself, kindness in person, while the white, who by the way, is a she-cat, is delicate creature who looks at you with the air of a dying person, who meows as though she was without stain, is the most treacherous, most stealthy and most thieving of the kitties. Watch out for the hand that caresses her or the sideboard whose door is not properly closed. She ruthlessly scratches one and she devastates the other without remorse!

"You understand that I'm dying to exhibit these two wonders, especially now that black and white are all the rage, and I'm counting on you to call for a cat show for the month of March or April next, for it is then that their voices have the most brilliance, their rolling is sweetest, and their beautiful eyes shine more phosphorescent. "

We have deleted from the preceding letter several malicious observations which makes us believe the veracity of the Postscript: "I beg you to believe that, although I love cats, I am neither old, nor ugly, nor a door-woman," which make us wish, if a cat show took place, that the animals on display are not separated from their owners.
H. de SAINT-BRES. (Le Petit Journal, Nov. 29, 1863.)



THE CAT ... SERVES AS A SUN DIAL FOR CHINESE PEOPLE. - We have quoted what Father Huc said, according to a Chinese naturalist, about the disappearance of swallows during the winter. Subsequently, he reports a singular means used, in several provinces of China, to tell the time by examining the eye of the cat (p. 338 of the edition, in-octodecimo).

"Our obliging neophytes . . . brought us three or four cats, and explained to us how a cat could be used as a watch. They made us see that the pupil of its eye contracted gradually as noon drew near; that at noon it was like a hair, or an extremely thin line, traced perpendicularly on the eye; after midday the pupil began again to dilate. When we had attentively examined the cats in the place we concluded that it was past noon; the eyes of all presented an exactly similar appearance."
(L'Intermédiaire, 1864, no. 16, p. 256, col. 1.)



Its horror of slavery and anything that tends to shackle its will is so strong that the punishment it most fears is being forced to obey. In discomfort, the cat pines away. Lemery, after putting a cat in a cage, made mice pass through it. The cat, far from hurting them, looked at them unconcernedly. The mice, reassured, began to annoy the animal, but it did not deign to respond.



MOUSE HUNTING. - When a cat notices a mouse hole, it first sniffs it to be certain it is frequented. If its nose reveals to him the existence of mouse nest, it does not take care of it during the day, but as soon as the night arrives, it creeps and crawls near to the hole, and there, in silence and without discernible movement, it waits patiently for its prey. It always puts itself at a certain distance in order to be able to launch itself without inconvenience. After a few hours of watching, if the mouse does not appear, it moves away, not out of impatience, but to go and make a round of the apartment, and inspect all the corners. When it sees that everything is quiet, it returns to its place until dawn. It continues the same business every night, until finally the mouse has fallen into its clutches.


At the beginning of the month, the inhabitants of Rouen who left for the hunt locked up a cat, by mistake, in a cabinet. On their return, after an eighteen day absence, they found the poor beast who, as soon as she heard people in the house, began to meow for someone to come and open it. She was very thin, but still vigorous. During her captivity, the unfortunate creature had had young; but they were not found; gone mad with hunger, like Ugolino, she had eaten them. They could also see that she had eaten the bottom of the window curtain. What is odd is that when she was offered food after this terrible fast, she barely tasted it and had the wisdom to resume food only gradually. Animals have always been our instructors in hygiene.
(Le Petit Journal, October 1, 1864.)


Madame Dupin, the daughter of Samuel Bernard, wife of a common farmer, had up to twelve Chats at a time, each of whom had its special role and treatment. One was admitted on her knees, another was allowed on the bed; another to the entrance of the apartment, or limited to the antechamber, or to the office, etc. All diligently guarded their posts, without letting anyone drive them out, and the most piquant thing was that their manners and characters were in conformity with the post they occupied. Madame Dupin had a favourite Cat named Bibi, a Methusaleh among Cats, who lived twenty-five years. A centenarian like his mistress, he went to die on her grave, two days after her. All these details were confirmed, by eyewitnesses, to Mr. Desherbiers.


A great traveller, Lt. Col. W. Wright of the Royal Navy recently had to leave Plymouth because of promotion. On Saturday December 30, 1865, a favourite cat was carefully placed in a basket and transported by rail from Plymouth to Portsmouth, where it was received in the Colonel's new home. The cat spent Saturday night there, but on Sunday he disappeared.

On Wednesday, January 3, he was seen in the garden of his master's former home in Plymouth. This house is currently unoccupied, and the cat has since been fed by a corps officer who lives in the vicinity. The animal is a beautiful one-year-old cat; he was born in the Colonel's house in Plymouth and had never left town before his rail journey. It is difficult to explain how he managed to find his way back to his native place, and to cover such a great distance in such a short time (1).

(1) This anecdote reminds me of a cat belonging to my aunt, Madame Coste de Montri, who lived in rue Vieille du Temple. She moved and came to live in rue Sainte-Marguerite Saint-Antoine. After two days, the cat disappeared, and about fifteen days later, my aunt, going to see a former neighbour in rue Vieille du Temple, found her cat there, it had found its way back through the thousands of houses in Paris. (Editor's note.)


Verses sent by Madame d'Houdetot to Madame Prevot, her friend and neighbour:

Pretty Eglé, you like cats.
They are accused of being ungrateful;
With a lot of spirit, they have a light mood,
The flighty and insincere heart;
But, they say, we take a lot
From those we live with,
Kind Egle, if it may please you,
This cat next to you will keep his spirit,
And will change his character.
(LaHarpe literary correspondence, volume II, letter 160.)



The city of Rome is swarming with cats. Every day, at a certain time, we see butchers going around the streets. At their cries, which they recognize perfectly, the cats come out of the houses, to each receive their share, maintenance for which the owners are required to pay a small pension.

Besides, all parts of the cat are, in Italy, regarded as universal remedies. The afterbirth of cats is worn around the neck, to strengthen the sight; their blood is drunk against epilepsy; their skin heals colds in the stomach; their urine treats deafness, and their manure treats gout. Burnt cat liver powder is recommended for gallstones and bile. The animal heat of the ears is considered an effective remedy against whitlow [an acute infection of the finger or toe].
(Les Chats, by Paul Klotz, article inserted in the newspaper Le Soleil, January 2, 1866.)



Pliny said cats live for six years; Aldrovande said ten years old. But they often live for up to twelve and even fifteen years.



Hurtrel's Arboval, in his Dictionary of Veterinary Medicine, discussed cat diseases and their treatment.

We cite several epidemics, one in Westphalia, in 1673, which killed almost all the cats in the country; another, in 1779, killed some of the cats in France, Germany, Italy and Denmark.

Of 228 cases of rabies that have occurred in ten years, statistics attribute only one to foxes, 13 to cats, 26 to wolves, and the remainder, i.e. 188, to dog bites.
(Rabies in dogs, by Doctor Patin, 1863.)

Mattioli believed that cats' breath can cause phthisis in those who breathe it. This author reported several examples. Mattioli, book vi, in Dioscorid., c. 25, quoted a convent where all the nuns perished from rabies transmitted to them by their cats.



We read in the Journal of Granville (April 1864):

EIGHT LEGGED CAT. "This little monster was born to a she-cat owned by Mr. I. Lenoir, and lived for a few hours. It had only one head; it was black as ebony; the four front legs were arranged in the opposite direction: that is, there were two in the air, from the shoulders, and two in the normal position. This double animal, which measures about 25 centimetres, is divided in two from the ribs to the hindquarters, which are absolutely ordinary and each one has two legs and a tail. The amazing thing is that one of the cats is male and the other is female. This is an accurate description of this phenomenon, which the owner will have stuffed and which cannot fail to arouse great curiosity."




"A good cat, good rat," is equivalent to: A deceiver, deceiver and a half; or Deceit against deceit.

"Buy a cat in a sack." Conclude a deal without seeing the merchandise you are buying. [Buy a pig in a poke.]

"Buy a cat for a hare" is equivalent to the previous one.

"Call a cat a cat." Name things by their name. [Call a spade a spade]
"I call a cat a cat and Rolet a rogue." (Boileau, Satires.)

"To have played with cats." Dealt with traitors.

"Have a cat in one's throat." Said of a singer who experiences some embarrassment in the throat. [Have a frog in one's throat, or Cat got your tongue.]

"Give the cat by the paws." Present a thing by the most difficult place to grasp.

"It's a mouse's nest in a cat's ear." It's an impossible thing.

"A scalded cat fears even cold water." A deceived person is careful not to be deceived a second time, and therefore distrusts everyone.

"A scalded cat does not come into the kitchen." Equivalent to the previous one.

"Chattemite." Old burlesque word meaning flattering, hypocritical, sneaky:

"Long live Sister Marguerite
"For the sake of the chattemite."
(Anonymous poet.)

"Become as proud as a coaxed cat." Becoming very confident as a result of the caresses or the flattery that one has received.

"As soon as the cats are shod." Early in the morning.

"Carry off the cat." Get out of a place without saying goodbye.

"Clearly hear cat, without being told kitten." Hear half a word.

"As clean as a cat bowl."

"Lock up your cheese or the cat will eat it."

"Be natural as a cat." Always fall on your feet and know how to cope with all embarrassing situations.

"Make porridge for cats." Work unnecessarily.

"He passes over it like a cat on embers." Said of a man who quickly glides over an honourable feat.

"Throw the cat at the legs." Accuse someone unfairly.

"Let the cat go after cheese." Said of a young girl who lets herself be seduced.

"At night, all cats are grey." Many things cannot be assessed at night.

"The lights [lungs] is for the cats." The thing that is best for the individual.

"Cat music." Music where the voices are sharp and discordant. [Equivalent to the English saying "a cats' chorus."]

"Don't wake a sleeping cat." Leave alone those who can harm you. Don't recall a past matter which could revive a quarrel, or cause more new inconvenience ["Let sleeping dogs lie."]
Are you not wrong
To awaken the sleeping cat?
(Scarron, Virgil travesti.)
[Note: Virgile travesti (Travesty of Virgil) is a parody of the Aeneid written by Paul Scarron in 1648.]

"You can't hold back the cat when it has tasted the cream." It is very difficult to correct someone who has become used to something.

"Pay in cats and rats." A deadbeat who only pays with a promise.

"Potron-Minet." The break of the day. ["Minet" = "kitty"]

"Magistrates never forget their presence is necessary to restrain the presence of the people, when they have learned that rats promise each other at ease, where there are no cats."
(Extracts from illustrious new and historical proverbs, ... 1665, book II, p. 199.)

"Use the cat's paw to pull chestnuts from the fire." Expose someone to risk to take advantage of their simplicity.

"To love each other as a dog and a cat." To hate each other.

"To be annoyed like a one-eyed cat." Expression used in Tales of Eutrapel, book II, p. 203. "She is annoyed like a one-eyed cat, pretending to snore and doing the chiabrena well. . . " ["chiabrena" is a medieval insult, roughly "shit-shit"]

"Trot like a skinny cat." Go fast.

Encor que ton gat sie layroun.
Non lou cassez de tu maisoun.
Quoique ton chat soit larron,
Ne le chasse pas de la maisoun.

Quan lou gat es hors de la maisoun
Murguetter rats en leur temps è sasoun,
De l'houston deou gai,
Nez iamés sadou lou rat.

[This dialect rhyme means even though your cat is a thief, don't chase him out of the house. If your cat is outside, the rats will run riot. I.e. When the cat's away, the rats will play!]




"Eine Katze has." [A cat has.] A cat has nine lives like an onion has seven skins.

"Der Katzen scherz..." [The cats are joking] A game for the cat is death for the mouse.

"Er gebt herum.. " [It's going around.] He turns around like a cat beside a bowl of hot milk.

"Es sind so gute Katzen... " [They are such good cats] Cats that chase mice are as just good as those that catch them.

"Schmeichler sind katzen... " [Flatterers are cats.] Flatterers are like cats licking from the front and scratching from behind.

"Wer nicht ernahren... " [Who does not feed] Whoever does not want to feed cats must feed mice and rats.

"Er ist zo viel van einer Katze... " [He's too much of a cat ] It is too much to expect a cat will stay beside milk without trying to drink it.

"Versengte Katzen... " [Scorched cats ] Scalded cats live a long time [i.e. because of cautiousness].

"Wer sich mausig macht... " [Who makes himself mousy] Whoever makes himself a mouse will be eaten by the cat.


There is no cat so sweet that it has no claws.


A scalded cat fears even cold water.
They agree like cat and dog.
When cats are out, all cats are grey.


"A su amigo el gato siempre le déjà senalado." [His friend the cat always leaves him singled out] The cat always leaves its mark on its friend.

"Buen amigo es el gato sino que rascuna." A cat is a good friend except it scratches.

"El mur que no sabe mas de un horado, presto le toma il gato." The mouse which only knows one hole is soon taken by the cat.

It is also said as: "Raton que no sabe... " - The rat which only knows

"Quien ha de rechar el cascabel al gato?" Who will tie the bell to the cat?

"Vanse los gatos, y estiendense los ratos." The cats are out, the rats are having fun. [When the cat's away the mice will play.]

"Al gato por ser ladron, non le eches de tu mansion." Although your cat is a thief, do not chase it out of your house.

"De casa ciel gato non va harto el rato." The rat does not come well sated out of the cat's house.

"Como perros y gatos." Like dogs and cats.

"Haber gran prisa a echar gatos." To hurry to throw cats. Said of people who give bad reasons for their delays.

"La mano del gato." The hand of the cat. Said of women who are washing themselves. [Allusion to cat washing its face with a paw.]

"Non hacer mal a un gato." He wouldn't hurt a cat. Said of a good-natured man.

"Quien ha de llevar el gato al agua?" Who will carry the cat to the water? Who will solve the difficulty?

"Vender gato por liebre." To buy a cat for a hare. [To buy something sight unseen – a pig in a poke.]

"Con hijo de gato no se burlan los ratones." [The son of a cat does not make fun of mice] Rats don't play with a cat's son.

"La gata de Mari Ramos." [Mari Ramos's cat.] Expression which indicates a person who seeks to achieve some goal slyly, while feigning indifference.

"Gato maullador, nunca buen cazador." [A meowing cat is never a good hunter.] The one who talks the most hardly acts. [Empty vessels make most noise.]

"Hasta los gatos tienen romadizo." [Even cats get snuffles.] This saying applies to people who boast about qualities they do not have.
[Note: A loose equivalent is "Even a blind pig can sometimes find an acorn" - Even people who are usually wrong can be right sometimes, even if just by accident.]

"Gato escaldado del agua fria ha miedo." A scalded cat fears even cold water.


"Bij nacht zijn aile katten graauw." At night all cats are gray.

"Die jaagt met katten vangt maar ratten." Whoever hunts with cats will only catch rats.


"La gatta di Masino che serrava gli occhi per non veder i toppi." Masino's cat who closed her eyes so as not to see the mice. There is no worse blind man than the one who does not want to see.

In B. Bolla's "Thesaurus proverbiorum" [Thesaurus of Proverbs] (Frankfurt, 1605), we find the following proverb, cited by M. Delepierre: Macaroncana andra. London, 1862, p. 57:

"Egli è innamorato come un gatto. – Est amorosus ut felis." (He's in love like a cat.)

"Vieni qua che t'insegnerà qual mese choua le gatti." Come, let me teach you in which month the she-cats are pregnant.


When your wife is unfaithful, you shouldn't stroke her cat, that's probably to say that you should despise anything that touches, directly or indirectly, the woman who has cheated on you. (Communicated by M. Léon de Rosny.)


"The devout cat says his prayers." Said of a religious hypocrite who pretends devotion the better to deceive the world.
(Oriental Review, book III, Paris, 1860.)


"Bom amigo he o gato, seraô que arranha." A cat is a good friend except it scratches.

"De noite todos os gatos saô pardos." [At night all cats are brown] At night all cats are grey.

"Gato escaldado da agoa fria hà medo." A scalded cat fears even cold water.

"Quando en casa no està o gato estendese o rato." The cats are out, the rats are having fun. [When the cat's away the mice will play.]

"Palabras de santo y cenhas de gato." Words of a saint and claws of a cat. In Spanish the expression is: Cara de beato y unas de gato. [A blessed face and a cat's nails.]


Games for cats, tears for mice



The cat is extremely suspicious; anything new frightens him and makes him hide. But he is also very curious, and as soon as that first moment of fear has passed, he cautiously returns to take stock of the thing that frightened him. He never eats or drinks without sniffing it first.

He can only be fooled by something once in his life; he is armed with great distrust, not only against whatever has deceived him, but also against anything that gives rise to the idea of deception.



A person was murdered in his house by a relative who wanted to enjoy his estate. The justice went to the home of the deceased. A large cat rushed to the top of a wardrobe and threw itself into the middle of the crowd onto a man whose face it clawed most furiously. On a hunch, the surgeon exclaimed "Surely that is the murderer; I demand that you arrest him." At these words, the unfortunate man, covered with scratches and very bloody, tried to escape but he was arrested. Filled with terror, he threw himself at the feet of the magistrates, and publicly confessed his crime. The doctor was nicknamed Martin-Chat.
(Dictionary of anecdotes, book II, p.274, Paris, 1820.)



The cat has a very delicate sense of smell, excellent hearing, is a very light sleeper, and if a mouse is imprudent enough to come and scratch or walk around it, it is always ready to seize it.



The philosopher Mercier says:

"Of all animals, the cat is the one with the most expressive accent. It tears at the heart while revolting the ears. He makes plaintive sounds in his courtship, which have a singular energy ... "

Le Clerc, selected library, book I, p. 293 and 291, of Grew's Sacred Cosmology, and Moncrif's work on Cats, argue that: "Cats are most advantageously organized fot Music; they are able to give various modulations to their voices and use different tones to express the different passions that take hold of them."

Moncrif says "our own Music, to our modern ears, is limited to a certain division of sounds which we call tones, or semi-tones, and we are sufficiently limited in ourselves to suppose that this same division comprises everything that can be called Music. Hence, we unjustly call those sounds whose intervals and admirable relationships, at least among their own kind, escape us through being outside of our self-imposed limits, as bellowing, mewing, whinnying etc.... The Egyptians had probably studied the Music of animals; they knew that a sound is neither right nor wrong in itself... "

Valmont de Bomare saw cats making music at the Saint-Germain fair. These animals, he said, were placed on tables with a piece of music paper in front of them, and in the middle was a monkey. At a given signal, the cats made sad and pleasant cries and meows. This concert was announced to the people under the name of miaulique.



The cult of cats in Egypt dates back to the dawn of time. The Egyptians believed that Diana, wanting to escape the giants, hid in the form of a cat. The Cat god was called Elurus; he was sometimes represented with human features (Montfaucon, Antiquités, 11th book of the supplement, plate 44). Isis, in the form of a cat, ruled over hearts. Lovers invoked her to acquire the gift of awakening love. (Moncrif, History of Cats.) Children were dedicated to cats and carried the portrait of the cat to which they had been dedicated. (Diodorus Siculus, p. 74.)

Cambyses, king of Persia, wished to seize the city of Peluse (formerly named Avaris, and previously Triplion, according to Manetho) and knowing that the city's garrison was composed entirely of Egyptians, put at the head of his troops a great number of Cats: his captains and his soldiers each bore a cat as a buckler. For fear of confusing these cats with their enemies, the Egyptians surrendered without firing a shot. (Polienus, book 3; Herodotus, book 2; Diodorus Siculus, book 1; Prideaux, History of the Jews, book I, p. 303).

It was this same Cambyses who first attacked this cult in the streets of Memphis by whipping one of the cats that the city adored. This profanation caused great consternation in the city.

In Egypt, the cat was both a god and the avenger of other gods. Ochus, king of Persia, not content with having devastated Egypt, dismantled the cities, looted the houses and the temple archives, and then wanted to kill the god Apis i.e. the sacred Apis bull worshipped by the Egyptians. To avenge themselves for such behaviour, the people chopped Ochus's dead body into small pieces and fed it to the cats. (V. Diodorus of Sicily, Plutarch, Justin, Quinte-Curce, Rollin, the Memoirs of the Academy of Inscriptions, etc.)

Anyone who had the misfortune to kill a cat, even accidentally, was punished with death. Diodorus of Sicily reported having seen, in Alexandria, a Roman slaughtered by the populace because he had killed a cat; neither fear of the Romans, nor the solicitations of envoys from King Ptolemy himself, could protect the man from the fury of the people.

People would die of hunger during a famine rather than touch the flesh of the cat-god; and when a cat died of natural causes, all the inhabitants of the house where the disaster had occurred shaved their eyebrows in mourning. (Theological curiosities. Paris, 1861, p. 202.)

The Egyptians perfumed cats and gave them sumptuous beds to sleep in. They employed all the secrets of medicine to treat and preserve those born of a delicate temperament. Early on, they gave each cat a suitable husband, attentively observing the relationships of taste, temperament and form. When a cat died in a fire, they mourned solemnly, then the women, forgetting their own beauty, smeared their faces, and ran through the city dishevelled and completely inconsolable.

When a cat died, the magistrates ceremoniously took the body. It was embalmed with fragrant oils, cedar oil and various other spices suitable for preserving it, and it was transported to Bubastis (1) to be buried in a sacred place there. (Plutarch; Herodotus, second book.)
(l) In other words, Æluropolis, the city of cats.

The overturning of the cat altars appeared to be during the 4th century CE. Even today the cat is honoured in the East and particularly in Egypt. The Louvre Museum in Paris, as well as several rich collections in Europe, have mummies and statuettes of Egyptian cat-gods.

Arabs worshiped a golden cat. (Pliny, Lib. G, cap. 29, de Fele, sive carto animali).

The devil (Lucifer) is the figure of light. Eve lost her place in heaven on earth for letting herself be tempted to bite the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. After Eve, isn't the cat the animal most subject to divine curse? He is curious and tries to investigate everything, so it should come as no surprise that he was considered a heretical figure.

A 14th-century preacher compares the cat to heretics. Saint Dominic, the great converter, who burned everything he did not convert, used to represent the demon in the form of a cat to his audience.

Vincent de Beauvais, son disciple et son historien, rapporte ce fait.

Cats were burned in the Saint-Jean fire at the Place de Greve, in bags or barrels. This cruel custom is spoken of in the violent satire directed against Henri III, "The Martyrdom of Jacques Clement" (Paris, 1589, p. 34). A letter from Abbé Lebeuf (Journal of Verdun, August 1751), relating to the Saint-Jean fire, gave details of this custom, which is also alluded to in a very rare pamphlet "The Mirror of Contentment" (Paris, 1619, in-duodecimo, p. 4):

A cat, who, with a brief run,
Went up the fire of Saint-Jean-en-Grève;
But the fire did not spare it,
And made it jump up and down.

In this regard, each year at Metz there is a ceremony that is very shameful to the intellect: The Magistrates come gravely into the public Square and reveal some Cats in a cage placed on a Pyre, which is set on fire with great formality. At the frightful cries which are uttered by the poor Beasts, the people believe that they are also hearing the suffering of an aged Sorceress who is supposed to have metamorphosed into a Cat on the occasion when they were going to burn her. (Moncrif, History of Cats, Letter 9.)

The Almanac of Dreams, Paris, 1864, in the "Cat" article: "Subtle thief, betrayal of a close relative. - To dream that you are fighting a cat means that you will arrest a thief. - Eating a cat, means that you will have the spoils of the thief that robbed you. - To be scratched by a cat, means sickness and affliction. – A furious cat jumping on someone: An attack by thieves, etc., etc."

Among the Hindus, if a cat passes between the teacher and his pupil, the study must be suspended for a year and a day. (Theological Curiosities, p. 216.)

Formerly a cat crossing your path was regarded as bad omen. Sejanus was killed after a cat had crossed in front of him, while receiving the salutes of the beginning of the year. Valer. (General dictum, by Cesar de Rochefort.) Lyon, 1685.

Fontenelle says he was brought up to believe that on Midsummer's Eve there was not a single cat left in the towns, because they attended a general Sabbath that day. (History of Cats, by Moncrif.)

From the Pleadings of a Parrot, a Cat and a Dog: "Those poor cats! As if their tricks and continual thefts are not enough: credulity and superstition still oppresses them. How many women would like to be with the great devil but have only a big black cat themselves! How many tales about people very attached to cats, who were strangled or suffocated by them! There are few evenings in the village, where the mysterious black cat does not play a role. And then there's the famous story of a cat whose mistress let him eat and sleep with her! One day, when in high society she dared not grant him the same favour, the discontented cat said to her: Mistress, why are you rejecting me? You will regret it. What on earth would have happened had the priest, with his clergy and holy water, not come to exorcise the room?"

We find many people cannot stand the sight of a cat, because their mothers were frightened by those animals while pregant.
(Research of the truth, by Father Malebranche, Vols I and II, p. 189 and p. 175.)



An architect could not build the Beaugency bridge. He had succeeded in building almost all the arches, but as soon as he finished the last arch it always fell down. This had happened three or four times and the poor architect did not know which saint to turn to. Finally, he called on the devil for help. The devil took charge of the work on condition that he could claim the soul of the first person that passed over that arch. The architect consented, but once the arch was built he made up his mind to deceive the devil by sending a cat across the bridge. Satan became enraged and did everything he could to destroy his work; he gave it such a kick that he bent a buttress, which always rests out of balance, but he did not succeed in destroying the bridge. For want of anything better, the devil decided to take the Cat, and the latter, as malign as they come, tore his hands and face and scratched him horribly. Satan, notwithstanding all his courage, could not stand up to the pain and let the poor animal escape, who, at one stroke, took refuge in a division in Sologne. Because of that memorable event, that place gained the name "Chaffin" (Chat fin). A hundred paces from Chaffin is a tumulus called the mound of Moque-Barre and Moque-Souris; it is said that this last name comes from the fact that in this is where the Cat of Beaugency made a frightful rout of field mice, weasels, rats, house mice, etc. Since that time, the inhabitants of Beaugency have been called Cats. The tradition of the architect, the devil and the cat is still found in Pont-de-l'Arche, in Normandy, in Brittany, in St-Sulpice-de-Foriere, about the church, and in several others places.
(Leroux de Lincy, Book of French Proverbs, 1842, Vol. 1, p. 209.)

A tradition pays homage to Satan for the construction of the stone bridge of Saint-Cloud. (Theological curiosities.) This is a repetition of the Beaugency bridge.

On March 26, 1782, a rich gentleman, very jealous of his pretty, young wife, had the bizarre whimsy of going to consult the famous Count Cagliostro. Arriving at the doctor's home, he told him that he was sick with jealousy, and that having heard the doctor's universal science praised, he came to ask him to judge whether or not he was being cuckolded. Count Cagliostro, wanting to amuse himself with this eccentric, replied that nothing was simpler or easier to find out, and that he would give him a vial of liquor that he should drink when he got back to his wife and it was time to sleep with her. If you are being cuckolded, he told the man, you will be transformed into a cat. The husband, back home, told his wife about the count's sublime talents. She wanted to know the reason for his visit, entreated him and finally he gave in to her strong urging and explained the infallible means to find out if she was faithful. They both laugh at his credulity and he drank the fateful drink and then they are both in bed. The woman, like a good housewife, got up first in the morning and let her husband rest, as he needed it. At ten o'clock, however, seeing that he was still not getting up, she went to wake him, but to her great astonishment, instead of her husband she saw a big black cat! She cried out loudly, called for her husband, kissed the cat, and in the first outpouring of her pain, she spoke thus to it: "Thus must I lose the best of husbands, for I have been unfaithful only twice! Ah, cursed advisor! I did not want it, but you seduced me .... Oh dangerous lieutenant! with your heroic air, your stories of combat, your cajoling, your vows and your tears! you know how much I resisted ... You turned my head, you took advantage of a moment of weakness to ...
(Secret anecdotes of the 18th century. Paris, 1808, p. 10.)



Of adultery among the ancient Germanic peoples (article on Cats, by Paul Klotz).

About love: Freya, goddess of love among the Scandinavians, has her chariot drawn by two cats.

Of independence, among the ancient Germanic peoples (article on Cats by Paul Klotz).

Of Justice:
Folklore represents Saint Yves as always accompanied by a cat. Henry Estienne observes that this animal is the symbol of people of the judiciary.

Of betrayal:
In the frontispiece of the crimes of the popes, at the foot of the Pope is a cat as a symbol of hypocrisy, betrayal and perfidy.

The he-cat is to the kitten what the ox is to the calves, that is, his uncle.

Like the ox, the horse, and other animals, it gives its name to its species; so we say "cat" to designate both tomcats and she-cats.

The Dictionary of Slang, Comparative Parisian slang; by Alfred Delvau. Paris, 1866, in-duodecimo.
In the article: Cat, jailer, in thieves' slang:
- Chat-fourré (stuffed/filled cat), in the slang of the suburbs where we don't like men in black robes, this means: Judge, clerk. Gutter rabbit, term for cat in the slang of those who persist in believing that cats cost less than rabbits and that rabbits are only used exceptionally in the gibelottes [fricassee of game in wine]. Cat - Sudden hoarseness that prevents singers from singing well, and even makes them hit wrong notes.



Cat names in various languages:

The Hebrews call it Chatoul, or Katoul, or Schanar. It would be from the Hebrews, according to Menage, that the various names for the cats in the nations must later have come.

The Greeks gave it the name of KATIS, catis became cautus or catus among the Latins, from which came the adjective cautus, cautious, which was later the attribute of the Catons family.

Italians call him Gatto.
Spaniards, Gato.
English and Portuguese: Cat, Pussy; Kitten for its young.
Germans: Katz.
Illyrians: Koozka.
Modern Greeks: Kattes.
Russians: Kotta.
Negroes: Kit.

And the French: matou - tomcat; female - chatte; neuter chat; when young, chaton and minet.

Loredan Larcher, Eccentricities of Language. " 'Chat,' 'guichetier' (Vidocq). - Alludes to the guichet, a real chatière behind which the prisoners see his eyes shining. " ["chatière" was originally a ventilation tile, but now means cat flap; "guichet" means wicket, small door.]

CAT. pet name. "The little names most often used by women are my dog or my cat" (Ces dames).


CHAT, CHATTE (Extracts from the National Dictionary of Bescherelle, 1864):
Section of the suborder of carnivores, order of carnassiers, digitigrade series. These animals are divided into three genera: cheetahs, true cats, and lynxes.

The genus of True Cats contains a large number of ferocious animal species found in various parts of the world. This genus and all of its species are known as the feline race.

The Domestic cat is an animal of a shy character; it becomes savage out of cowardice, defiant out of weakness, cunning out of necessity, and a thief out of need. It is never mean except when it is angry, and never angry except when it believes its life is threatened ...

Some mammals have received the name of cat. So the bizaam is the civet-cat; the musk cat is the civet; the Constantinople cat is the genet cat or common genet; the thorny cat is the coendou [a type of porcupine]; the flying cat is galeopithecus [the Colugo] and the taguan brown flying squirrel]; the Indian black-banded wild cat is the striped genet; the cervier cat is the Canadian lynx; the maned cat is the cheetah. Rabelais called the marten the March cat; the marine cat is a species of seal; the sea cat is the name of some seashells.



Drexelius, in his Forerunner to Eternity, says on page 241: "that he saw a woman who left her cat five hundred crowns by will, to keep him in good food. (Choice of Wills by Peignot, Vol I, p. 374.)

In March 1828, an Englishwoman made her cat an annual annuity of 5 pounds sterling (125 francs) in her will (Choice of Wills by Peignot, Vol II, p. 228.)


Bayle (1), on the occasion of the recognition that we owe to animals for the services they provide, recalls the will of a young lady Dupuy, a very sensitive testimony to the obligations she believed she had to her cat. This person was known to be a very good harp player and it was to her cat that she owed the attainment of her superior talent. He listened to her intently whenever she practiced her harp, and she had noticed degrees of interest and affection in him as she performed with varying precision and harmony.
(1) Dict. art. Rosen, C. remark, p. 2485. Rotterdam 1720.

By studying this she formed a style which had acquired her a universal reputation. At her death, she made a will in his favour, bequeathing him a very pleasant home in the city and one in the country. She added an income more than sufficient to meet his needs and tastes, and so that this well-being might be faithfully procured for her, she bequeathed at the same time large pensions to several persons of merit on condition that they would watch over the income of her cat, and that they would go a certain number of times the week to keep him company. This will was challenged, and the most famous lawyers of the time pleaded in this case.

De Neufville, dean of lawyers, in Nuremberg, who died in 1784 at the age of 80, made a will in favour of half a dozen of these creatures.

Patris de Breuil, in his Parallel of the Wills of the Brothers Pithou, Grosley, etc., 1816, p. 17, tells us that Grosley had always had a special affection for cats. In his youth, he had been painted stroking a little cat. He intended to dedicate one of his last works to Mimi, his favourite cat, and he had even composed the following dedication: "To whom better can I dedicate this last work, than to the inseparable companion and the sole confidant of my work? To offer it to you is to make a sacrifice to beauty, to enhanced graces of which litheness, caprice, sweet pride are the most piquant. "

Pierre-Jean Grosley, in 1785, bequeathed an annual annuity of twenty-four pounds to the person responsible for caring for his two cats, until the death of the last survivor.


(Extr. From the Gazette des Tribunaux, February 24, 1843.)

(Testament made by Miss Topping, April 3, 1837.)

"This is my will:

" I want capital to be deducted from most of my assets, the interest of which can amount to an annual income of eight hundred francs, which annuity will be paid from three months to three months to certain people whom I will name in a codicil, or, failing to have done this, who will be chosen by my executors (the testator herself has designated the person in a codicil), to be responsible for feeding and caring for my three favourite cats known by the names Nina, Fanfan and Mimi, or others I may have at the time of my death.

"This annuity will last as long as there is a single one of these pets alive. My executors may, in the event of negligence or cruelty, withdraw them, as well as the pension, and choose another person as guardians. Some details of the care I require are attached.

"The person who will be responsible for feeding and caring for my cats will have to stay on the ground floor. There will be a convenient exit to a walled garden, of which they will be assured enjoyment.

"These animals usually eat lights and mutton hearts or raw or cooked meat. Give enough milk twice a day, sometimes mixed with starch or rice flour; the meat also given twice a day, which makes four regular distributions. They sleep in the house, and you have to keep them there after their supper, at nine or ten in the evening, apart from the tomcat who does not want to stay in there, but who comes home early in the morning, which you must watch out for.

"In the event of their death, they are to be wrapped in new, clean cloth, placed in an oak box and buried deep in an enclosed area.

"P.S. If I die before I have put in the ground a certain tarred oak box containing the bodies of two of my cats (Beauty and Tom), take care to put them in a very deep hole, from which they are not liable to be removed, and in an enclosed place."



Presided over by Mr. RICHARD, justice of the peace.
(May 15, 1865.)
Judgment of cats.

The house of Mr. E ... was invaded by the city cats who indulged in antics and disorder of all kinds on the roofs of the house, in the garden, and even in the interiors of the apartments,.

After having made futile efforts to repel this invasion, M. E ... thought it necessary to resort to more energetic means to get rid of these inconvenient guests; he turned to a ranger who set traps, and, following these measures, fifteen cats fell victim to Mr. E ...

The city of Fontainebleau has certain ladies who adore cats in general and theirs in particular, the fifteen executions of which Mr. E's garden had been the scene were reported by these sensitive matrons as crimes which demanded exemplary punishment.

The public authority, represented by the police commissioner, was moved; a report was drawn up, and the guilty were brought before the criminal justice division of the Justice of the Peace.

Due to the nature of the facts, the multiplicity of executions and the culprits, this case, as we can easily understand, was to assume considerable proportions. The Justice of the Peace understood this, as is attested by his sentence, detailed at length and in which the nature and habits of cats, dogs and poultry, the opinion of Cambaceres, the principles of law, and the Legislative texts are set out and discussed with a breadth and depth that the gravity and circumstances of the case sufficiently explain.

Here is the text of this remarkable sentence which, we are certain, will be read with interest:

"The Tribunal,

"Herewith the parties in their words, behaviours and conclusions;

"With regard to article 479 of the Penal Code and article 1385 of the Napoleonic Code;

"On the existence of contraventions:

"Whereas science and jurisprudence recognize several species of Cats, notably the Wild Cat, a nuisance animal for whose destruction a bounty is granted, and the Domestic Cat, a household pet like the Dog, in the eyes of the legislator;

"Whereas the domestic cat is not res nullius [an unowned thing], but is the property of a master, who has the duty, as far as possible, to supervise, and at the same time the right to protect the animal which belongs to him;

"Whereas the Cat, by its nature and instincts, escapes full-time surveillance; such that it is impossible in this respect to assimilate it to other domestic animals, docile to the bit and to the yoke, or easily deprived of the liberty of going or coming;

"Whereas the Cat, notwithstanding the little sympathy which it inspires, on account of his character and the inconveniences to which his presence exposes us, is none the less of unquestionable utility, destined to purge not only the dwellings, but also the adjoining lands, of dangerous and inconvenient rodents; that the services rendered do not stop at the residence of his master, and that it is therefore very equitable to have leniency for an animal tolerated by the law and useful to all, either directly or indirectly;

"Whereas the Cat, even a domestic, is in some sort of a mixed nature, that is to say, an animal that is always a little wild, and having to remain so by reason of its very purpose, so that he can render the services expected of him;

"Then for this reason the greatest discretion should be left to the judge in the assessment of alleged faults, which, more often than not, are attributable only to the carelessness or even negligence of those who complain. Man has his reasoning and experience to protect himself, if not against any damage, at least against the larcenies of the Cat;

"Whereas the house of Mr. E is closed by a doorway of iron, the bars of which are 9 centimetres apart with a base of only 53 centimetres;

"That this door thus offers an easy passage, and perhaps only during the night, in the neighbourhood, to any cat continuing along the street, and that failing to repress the murders and mutilations of Cats, under the circumstances in which they were produced, could result in undesirable consequences in more than one way;

"Whereas the law does not want one to do justice oneself;

"That article 1585 of the Napoleonic Code grants an action for damages to the injured party so that he may sue through the courts for compensation for the damage he has suffered;

"That, finally, if the law of 1791, Title XI, Article 12, permits, in effect, the killing of birds, the attempt to put the cat in the same category as poultry is not correct since poultry are destined to be killed sooner or later, and in the main they are held sub custodia in a restricted and completely closed place, while the same cannot be said of the Cat, no can he be kept under lock and key if he is to obey the law of his nature;

"Moreover, the law of September 28th, 1791, requires a concurrence of conditions which are lacking in the present case, in particular the flagrante delicto [caught in the act], and that, finally, this being strictly criminal law, it is impossible to reason by analogy and to apply to the urban police, as a result of a benevolent but dangerous interpretation of the provisions of a law entitled the Rural Code of 1791;

"Whereas, if the defence holds that the Cat-killing took place in consequence of an imperious necessity, this obligation has yet to be proved, for neither larceny, damage, flagrante delicto, nor anything that would constitute a case of self-defence or force majeure, with respect to a particular Cat, has been established all;

"Whereas arguments based on common sense, fairness or necessity must never lead the judge to lose sight of the fact that in any litigation, no matter how small, its sole task is to state the law and apply it, especially in the presence of the clear and formal text of article 479 of the Criminal Code;

"Whereas the arguments drawn from the observations of the Council of Cambaceres at the Council of State, notwithstanding the great authority which always attaches to such a celebrated name, are never the expression of individual opinion, albiet a very respectable opinion, but an opinion without force of law;

"That, besides, the alleged right to kill, in certain cases, the Dog, an animal dangerous and quick to attack without provocation, cannot, by consequence, give one the right to kill the Cat, an animal quick to act and one which is certainly not of a nature to cause fear;

"Whereas evidence of any alleged damage is incumbent on the complainant, and despite of the difficulty of proving such matters, and quite separate from the injury caused, nothing in law allowed the accused to lay down traps, especially after the fact, in such a manner as to attract, by the confession of the accused, innocent cats from the whole neighbourhood as much as guilty Cats;

"Whereas, at last, no one ought to do something to another's property that he would not wish done to his own property; that all the goods, according to Article 516 of the Napoleonic Code, being either movable or immovable, the result is that the Cat, in accordance with Article 528 of the same Code, is undoubtedly a piece of furniture protected by this law and others, and that consequently the facts complained of fall directly under the application of Article 479, sub-section 1, of the Penal Code, which punishes those who have voluntarily caused damage to the property of others;

"As for Ranger G ...:

"Whereas G acknowledged having participated in the destruction of the Cats, in executing, he said, an order of M. Inspector of Forests; but, since the proof of this assertion has not been made; and that, besides, even if he had proved it, a subordinate is not bound to blindly obey an order given outside of authority, especially when this order does not have, and evidently cannot have, the authority of a council;

"Whereas, finally, in the matter of contravention, the law does not recognize any complicity, and therefore the accused G is solely responsible to answer for his acts and gestures;

"Whereas G ... further stated at the first hearing that he had set traps in Mr. E's garden ... for the purpose of taking Cats, traps which he said had cut off their legs and muzzles in order to claim a bounty, in view of the impossibility of being able to distinguish whether the legs of the animal thus mutilated came from a Domestic Cat or a Wild Cat;

"As regards the accused, female B ..., a domestic servant:

"If obedience is the first duty of a subordinate, it is none the less true that a servant, whatever he may be, is not a completely passive being, who must inevitably submit to any command that it please his master to give him, whether right or wrong;

"Whereas it is impossible to argue that, by slaying with a hammer the Cats caught in the traps, the accused B obeyed a force majeure which she could not resist;

"That guilt is aggravated by the plurality of executions of this kind;

"Regarding the accused woman E ...:

"Whereas it appears from the circumstances of the case that it has not acted ab irato [in anger], but on the contrary has taken a direct part in the destruction of the Cats with a rigour which has not been the effect of a single instant;

"With regard to the accused E ...:

"Whereas he acknowledged at the first hearing, that his house being gravely inconvenienced by the Cats, one had the right to act as they had done;

"Whereas today he even admits to having taken a direct part in the destruction of the Cats, six in number, while the ranger G. only recognizes three contraventions to his charge, while the servant B. declared that he had killed seven Cats, and that the Public Prosecution recorded fifteen contraventions of the same kind;

"Whereas the contraventions attributable to G ... are six, according to the very statement of Mr. E ... and that seven contraventions, with respect to the other three indictees, remain alone perfectly established by the very statement of the accused B ...;

"As for B, the husband of the accused:

"Whereas under section 7 (II) of the Act of 6 October 1791 the husband is civilly liable for the offenses committed by his wife, this provision is special to the rural police and, in consequence, does not apply by extension to the urban police;

"Whereas, moreover, if the husband is not, as a general rule, civilly liable for the offenses and quasi-offenses of his wife, not being presumed to have given her a mandate to delinquency, the same rule must certainly apply to contraventions committed by the wife, apart from any pecuniary interest appreciable for the husband, and moreover without his fault and without his knowledge;

"With respect to cumulation of penalties:

"Whereas the system of cumulation of penalties, as regards contraventions, is accepted by the legal system; that this system is rational and equitable; that it is also inscribed in the law of 22 March 1841, article 12, and in that of 17 March 1850, article 8;

"But, whereas, after all, that the public prosecutor was the first to insist on the admission of extenuating circumstances on the part of the judge, in accordance with the provisions of Article 483, in brief, and 463 the Criminal Code;

"Whereas, finally, the unsuccessful party must be condemned to bear the expense of the proceedings;

"For these reasons,

"Judging in the presence of all parties involved, and as a last resort,

"Dismisses B ..., husband of accused B ..., of the prosecution against him, as civilly liable, and relieves the four accused in question of eight contraventions out of fifteen; but detains them for seven, where they were the co-authors of the contraventions, with the exception of a single offense against the discharge of the accused G, who did not take part in it,

"And condemns the defendants not jointly and severally, but by body (articles 56 and 467 of the Penal Code), namely:

"Firstly, the forest ranger G ..., with a fine of 1 franc for each contravention, to a number of six;

"Secondly, the servant B ..., with a fine of 1 franc for each contravention to the number of seven;

"Thirdly, the accused husband and wife E ..., with a fine of 1 franc each for each violation, seven in number;

"Fourthly, and finally, all the accused, jointly and severally, for all costs of the proceedings."

This case of Cats gave rise to an appeal gainst the sentence of the police court, as we find mentioned in the newspaper "Le Droit," which gave an account of the hearing of 25 August 1865. Here are the terms in which he relates in his columns the reversal of the judgment:

"Our readers have not forgotten the sentence of May 15, by which the Justice of the Peace of Fontainebleau condemned four persons of that city to fines for the murder of seven Cats.

"This judgment was appealed by the convicted parties.

"Georges Lechevalier, of the Paris Bar, their lawyer, after paying tribute to the learned Justice of the Peace, who, with regard to a question which appeared to be of little importance, found means of recalling all the great principles of law and social order, recounted the facts on which the trial took place.

"At the beginning of this year, M. and Mme. Escalonne saw their garden become the rendezvous of all the neighboring Cats. One day one of them carried away the thigh of a roe deer; the next day an ornamental tree was broken; and finally every night became an infernal din, and M. Escalonne could say, like Boileau:

And what an annoying demon, the whole nights through,
Gathers together cats from all the gutters in this place.

"What to do? The neighbours were informed, those to whom ownership of the devastating animals was ascribed, by asking them to keep the night-prowlers at home a bit more; but the visits of those indefatigable dissolutes continued.

"It is necessary to advise: some traps were placed; six or seven Cats were taken or killed. Right away there was a public stir, a general hue and cry of M. Escalonne's neighbours against this murderer of the companions of their solitary old age:

And the number of Cats, in the retelling,
Grew from mouth to mouth,
And before the end of the day,
It was more than a hundred.

"It was in these circumstances that the prosecutor of the police commission and the sentence of the Justice of the Peace intervened.

"The attorney read this judgment and found that never, without even the exception of 'The History of Cats' by Sieur Moncrif of the French Academy, has the legal position and the social importance of these interesting animals been so compendiously exposed. "

"In entering into the discussion, the lawyer says that if the Justice of the Peace had not so scornfully rejected in a judgment 'arguments drawn from common sense,' he would have merely recalled what, in a similar process, Racine causes his Little Jen of the Litigants to say:

As for me I don't know how to do so much
As to say that a mastiff has just taken a capon.
There is nothing your dog does not take;
And here he has eaten a fat capon of Maine;
And the first time I catch him doing it,
His trial is finished, and I'll knock him out!

"But, to the Justice of the Peace, common sense being of no value to resolve this question, it was necessary to examine it more closely.

"Escalonne evidently had the right to defend his property against these destructive agents. What could he do? In the past he might have put the animals themselves on trial, and might appeal to use to spiritual weapons against them, as did the inhabitants of the bishopric of Autun in 1522, according to the president of Thou, when they solicited and obtained a sentence of excommunication against all the rats. But this is no longer possible, and history does not tell us whether it is effective.

"What could they do? Pursue lawsuit to the owners of the Cats, as the Justice of the Peace indicates? But they would have to know who the owners were, and first of all would have to establish the identity of the Cats. Now, according to the proverb, at night all cats are grey, making identification a difficult matter. Therefore, there remained only the means employed.

"But is the cat, 'that unfaithful servant,' as Buffon calls it, really worthy of all the interest shown by the Justice of the Peace? According to Toussenel, it seems that Cats do not fulfill their social mission very scrupulously; the spiritual writer tells us that he attended the spectacle 'of a group of Cats and Rats on friendly terms, fraternizing at the expense of man, and shamelessly sharing the entrails of young pigeons and cabbage-eating rabbits.'

"And M. Toussenel added that for his part, 'he never encountered a marauding Cat in the woods or in the plain, without doiong the honour of shooting it.' Well! M. Escalonne has only surrendered himself to that destruction of Cats, in which M. Toussenel gloried to contribute as much as possible, but M. Escalonne was constrained by necessity and therefore he can not be condemned.

"Imperial Procurator Delapalme referred to the wisdom of the Tribunal, which ruled as follows:

"The Tribunal,

"Whereas it is an established fact that Escalonne tasked Grossac with placing traps in his garden;

"And besides, it is certain that several Cats were caught in those traps and killed;

"But whereas the witness Berger, a gardener who maintains Escalonne's garden, testified before the trial judge, as is apparent from the notes of the hearing, that he had found damage to the garden plants and flowers, damage caused by the Cats, and he finally added that ornamental trees in the garden were damaged by these animals;

"That from then on Escalonne found it necessary to take measures to defend his property;

"Moreover, Article 479 of the Penal Code punishes only those who have wilfully damaged the movable property of others, and that, consequently, there is nothing to established who owned the animals destroyed, or even if they were owned by someone, so it follows that that article cannot be applicable;

"I pronounce that he was misjudged, his appeal is valid, and I annul the verdict on appeal;

"Sentence quashed:

"Appellants are discharged from all convictions against them." (Law.)


A country home-owner once sued his neighbour for having killed his cat. The neighbour had found it in a field, and claimed it was game; the other claimed it was a cat. "What is considered game?" said the first, "it's whatever has fur or feather. Didn't this animal have fur? So it's game." "We don't eat cats," replied the second. "On the contrary," cried the first, "the proof is that I ate it." The court ruled that the cat that had been killed in a field and then eaten was game.
(Satires and stories, by Boucher de Perthes, Paris, 1833, p. 24.)


Extract from the Gazette des Tribunaux, January 8, 1862:

"Mrs. Delaloge, a concierge, having brought a complaint against Brancheri, her tenant, who had killed her cat, the latter is called before the bar of the court to answer for the murder of this animal, a lovely Angora cat whom she was greatly attached to. The defendant maintains that he killed it unintentionally.

Presiding judge. - What! without intention?
The concierge. - The monster! ... without intention!
Presiding judge. - Ah! madam, try to be quiet and let the defendant explain himself.
The concierge. - I know his explanation, it's fake.
Presiding judge. - Well, the court doesn't know it. (To the accused.) Give your explanations.
The accused. – Your Honour, this old woman is as nasty as scabies; I wanted to play a simple prank on her. Madame's cat having entered my home. .
The concierge. - Oh!
President. – Be quiet, madame.
The concierge. - Sir, my cat despised the accused too much to enter his home.
Presiding judge. - I'll put you out.
The accused. - He had come to my house; then I tied him by his four legs and lowered him thus from my window which looks out just in front of the lodge; the cat, naturally, starts to meow ...
The concierge. - But, you monster of nature - you tied it up by the tail.
The accused. - By the legs; so that Madame, seeing him, goes out shouting and goes to catch her cat; I then pull the rope so she cannot reach it and she starts to scold me and yell at me; I let the rope down again, she rushes to pick up the cat, I pull it up again ...
President. - Come on, shorten those details.
The accused. - Well, sir, finally the rope broke, and the cat fell on its back and killed himself.
The concierge. - Dead at my feet, poor little beast, looking right at me! ... Ah! gentlemen, what a look! I still have it in front of me.

Let's not dwell on this debate, or rather the discussion, which could not even interrupt the deliberation of the court, and let's just say that the result of this deliberation, after a defence presented by Mr. Rogelot, lawyer, was the sentencing of Mr. Brancheri to a fine of 50 fr. {Gazette des Tribunaux.)


Messrs Gerard, Lecourt, Belot, Lechef and Molin, mechanical workers, are on the bench of the 7th chamber, where they are charges with theft.

Complainant to Presiding Judge: Well, sir, these five thieves stole my cat! ...
Presiding Judge: Have you seen them?
Complainant. No, unfortunately! ... If I had seen them, either they or I would not be here ... I would have had their life or they would have had mine ... I have been a soldier for twenty years, gentlemen, since 1810 until 1830, and I would never have taken up arms for a cause that interested me more ... A cat that I had brought back from a hundred leagues away!
Presiding Judge: Why did they steal your cat from you?
Complainant. To eat it, of course! ... cannibals! ... When they saw how worried I was about my cat, they told me they would bring him back, and they took me half a day beyond the perimeter where I sank in mud up to my ankle.! ... But all this is nothing, it is my wife that must be seen! ... You would not recognize her, you've never seen her. . Would you believe that she went so far as to offer Sieur Lecourt 20 francs if he brought back her cat? But it was eaten ... was this how he had to die ... the ignominious death of a rabbit?

The court, in the absence of any evidence against the defendants, dismissed the complaint against them.

Complainant: Oh great! ... all you have to do is kill one another like savages.
(Extract from the Gazette des Tribunaux, December 12, 1839.)



Last Friday, N ..., rue de Sèvres, aged 64, was kneeling on his prie-Dieu [prayer bench] when his laundress came in to give him the laundry; N's maid ... entered at the same time, holding in her hand a piece of cooked meat which she intended for her master's tomcat. N ... noticed this and cried angrily, "Why are you feeding meat to my cat on a Friday? Be careful not to commit such a serious error in future, or I will drive you out of my house." The maid wanted to answer, but N ... committed some assault on his maid, who immediately went to lodge a complaint with the commissioner of police.
(Gazette des Tribunaux, January 20, 1834.)


Extract from the Gazette des Tribunaux of November 1, 1833:

Since the trial of the great killer of cats, whose misadventure we recounted some time ago, the gutters of the good town no longer resounded with the plaintive meows of the widow and the orphan and the nation of cats was beginning to enjoy some tranquillity under the regime which protects all properties, all beings in general and cats in particular, when cries of distress were once again heard in the rue de la Huchette and surrounding areas. The police set out on a campaign, all the houses were watched, and the lady Onesime Lepage was soon arrested in flagrante delicto.

"She came out early in the morning, a basket under her arm. Her progress seemed suspicious to the city sergeant placed on surveillance duty. He walked over and saw traces of blood under the basket. He guessed the crime and grabbed the culprit. Her basket contained the still palpitating corpses of three recently slain cats."



Three robust emptiers appear in front of the criminal police court.

Policeman. Making my usual rounds, between two and three in the morning, I heard a cat uttering desperate cries and I said to myself: He's courting, maybe, but never mind, I went to see, and I found an unfortunate cat that a big dog had just throttled. The dog obviously belonged to that gentleman (he points to the defendant).

The accused. It's true. It was a new dog that I had for my safety, ignorant of his fierce nature; but I punished him well because I hanged him.
Presiding judge: But you didn't have to wait until after he had throttled seven cats, which you hung from your waggon like a trophy. Did you want to exterminate all the cats in the neighbourhood?
The accused. It was never my intention; thank goodness I have a nice piece of bread to eat in my little book!
(Extract from the Gazette des Tribunaux, August 18, 1834.)

Presiding judge. - Your first and last names?
Widow Bahu, crying. - My good sir, I have lost my cat.
Presiding judge. - It's not your cat.
Widow Bahu. - And I did not find him ... Poor Finet ... as long as he fell into good hands!
Presiding judge. – Tell me your name.
Widow Bahu. - Sebastienne Colifart, wife of Nicolas Bahu, lantern lighter in the city of Paris during his lifetime... now dead for seventeen years. My poor Finet!
Presiding judge. - You filed a complaint against this woman, Gornaud?
Widow Bahu. - Oh! the Viper! She's been my neighbour for ten years, Your Honour.
President. - Explain your complaint.
Widow Bahu. - A superb Angola, steeped in intelligence, who understood me like a real person, and who would have answered me if he had had speech ... Poor Finet! That was all he lacked.
Presiding Judge. - But you are not accusing the Gornaud woman of having taken your cat?
Widow Bahu. - Oh! no, sir, because she could not endure it ... Poor Finet! ... She would rather have killed him ... Oh Holy Virgin, if I knew that, I would attack her like a murderer!
Presiding judge. – So tell us, what are you complaining about?
Widow Bahu. - I was out of my mind, my good sir. I ran up all the stairs calling Finet ... Poor Finet! It was he who consoled me for the loss of my deceased; for twelve years he had not left me. I found myself on the stairs face to face with Madame Gornaud, who had just fetched her milk ... "Tell me, neighbour, I say to her, have you seen Finet?" I was wrong to ask her this, the viper, since I knew she could not abide Finet, that she said the poor beast always looked askance at her canaries ... made fun of her canaries, poor Finet!
Presiding Judge. - So get to the point of your complaint.
Widow Bahu. - She could have said no, okay? Instead, she laughed at me and started singing to me:
It's mother Michel
What has lost her cat! ...
A horrible song, Your Honour.
Presiding judge. - Continue then.
Widow Bahu. - So I told her that she must be lacking both liver and gizzard ... With that word, she calls me an old cooking-pot, an old cauldron, an old pot without a handle. I wanted to reply to her, but she shut my mouth with a punch: blood came out of it, and I lost a tooth ... it was the penultimate, Your Honour... though no wonder, at seventy-two.
The accused. - That's fake!
Widow Bahu - Fake! .... (Here the widow Bahu pulled from her pocket a small filthy piece of paper, and she pulled out an old stump which she showed triumphantly to the tribunal and the audience.) See if it is a fake ... A beautiful and good tooth ... A canine, in fact!
The accused. - Oh grief! ... It is you that I called a fake ... an impostor.
Presiding judge. - It's not likely that this good woman came and complained for no reason.
The accused. – What do I know, me. Ever since she lost her cat, she no longer knows what she is doing ... Ten times each night she goes out to the square and wakes up all the neighbours, calling "Finet! Finet!" ... Even the landlord gave her notice.
Widow Bahu. - I was the one who gave notice. . . I don't want to stay in the house where I lost Finet; I would die there for sure ... I want to go and end my days in Gonesse where I was born.
Presiding judge, to widow Bahu. - Do you have any witnesses?
The complainant. - I have my tooth ... I think that's enough.

The Gornaud woman was sentenced to 16 fr. fine and costs for all damages.
Widow Bahu, under the weight of her obsession, left the room calling Finet! (The Sun, 20 Oct. 1865.)



Two close friends, Miss Adèle M ... and Eulalie P .., each had the idea of training an animal. Adèle chose a cat, Eulalie adopted a crow; the studies began on both sides, and thanks to the constant zeal of the teachers, soon the cat made a thousand feats of skill, and soon his fellow student spoke with nineteenth-century eloquence.

Adèle and Eulalie conceived the project to entertain in the country some people they knew, and to crown the meal with a performance in which the cat and the raven would show off their talents.

They did indeed meet; they dined, and for dessert the two artists were introduced. They first questioned the black orator but the latter, timid or capricious, maintained an obstinate silence. Miss Adèle, probably as a joke, ordered the cat to throttle its rival, and the animal, too biddable, immediately obeyed. Mr Raven, mortally wounded, survived only a few moments at the claws of Raton, and the latter, to avoid speedy justice, prudently took to the roofs.

Eulalie returned in haste to Paris, and had a summons issued, under the terms of which she demanded that Miss Adèle pay her a sum of one hundred francs. The tribunal reduced the sum to seventy francs, and the two old friends were reconciled.
(Extract from the Gazette des Tribunaux, May 5, 1826.)


On December 31, for his New Year's gifts, Guille broke a coffee cup on his wife's face in the following circumstances:

She said "After dinner, I said to my husband: Would you like some coffee? - I wanted him to answer me. So I started making it. While this was being done, I went to the bedroom to look for some thread, and the cat started to follow me. Seeing this, my husband took a stick to hit the cat. I said to him you didn't want to hit the creature, did you? - Yes, he told me. So I went to prevent it. He told me to go away or the law would pay for the cat. Finally we bickered, and he hit me in the eye with a coffee mug and I thought he had gouged my eye out.

Presiding judge. - Well, Guille?
Guille. – Your Honour, my wife is lying; you don't know its false.
Presiding judge. - You never beat your wife?
Guille. - No, Your Honour, it was the cat ... (audience laughter), it was the cat that wanted to go to the room, where we have a turtledove; so, as it always hurts the turtledove ...
Presiding judge. – All of this is unnecessary; do you deny having beaten your wife?
Guille. - On God and my blood!

The court didn't believe a word of it, and sentenced Guille to fifteen days in prison.
(Extract from the Gazette des Tribunaux, Jan. 8, 1862.)


A STOLEN CAT. - Rouen Criminal Court.

... One of the witnesses heard in the investigation was none other than Rominagrobis's [kitty's] mother's owner, who well and duly recognized the cat, through family resemblance, as the fruit of his own cat's womb. Besides, there was little mistaking this, said this witness, because, both physically and in character, Rominagrobis resembled her mother marking for marking, quality for quality.

Let us say, moreover, that it was open to the court to ascertain the veracity of the witness, because the mother and daughter had been brought to Rouen, and were, at the time of the hearing, deposited in a comfortable hostel in town.

The court, by application of articles 401 and 463 of the penal code, condemned the Mr Doudemont to three days of prison and to 50 francs compensation and interest.
(Extract from the Gazette des Tribunaux, May 25, 1843.)


- We read in the Gazette des Tribunaux:

Madame Bouquet, concierge at the Villette, had a cat which delighted her and her son, a charming child, according to her, the pearl of the Brothers' school, already an altar boy and the hope of future singers of the parish. The beloved cat had a magnificent coat, clearly marked with alternating yellow and white stripes.

Sadly, a few doors along lived another concierge, Madame Patin, who also had a charming child, also At the Brothers' school, also an altar boy, also the hope of future singers of the parish, but who had no cat. - "That's not fair, is it? said Edouard to his mother; the Bouquets have a cat, and we don't. - Certainly it's not fair, replied Madame Patin, it makes Mrs Bouquet proud that her son is more prized than you at the Brothers' school, and that she has a cat. - Well, mother, what if we take it from them, their cat? - Impossible, my boy, the cat is used to them, he will always return. - What if they kicked him out, if they didn't want him anymore, could we keep him? - Would they ever kick their cat out? They love him too much for that, they're too proud of it. - Leave it to me, replies Edouard, I have an idea; tomorrow the cat will be with us. "

The next morning, there was great desolation in the Bouquet household because the cat had disappeared. They had looked for him everywhere without finding him, and they were still looking for him, when, towards evening, a cat appeared at the door of the lodge, meowing a well-known refrain. Mother and son rushed forward and opened the door, but they both stepped back in disappointment: it was not their handsome Bibi, their pretty cat with yellow and white stripes; this cat was striped black and gray. Consequently, it was treated like a stranger, pushed not only out of the lodgings, but out of the house, the door of which was closed in his face. The poor cat, unaccustomed to this sort of reception, frequently looked at his masters, but they ignored him. But was this cat really the Bouquets' Bibi? Without a doubt, the artifice and talent of young Edouard Patin, with his coloured paints, had transformed Bibi's coat: yellow stripes became black stripes, and white stripes became grey. How, after that, could anyone recognize the cat! Cats were not like deer hinds, always recognizable, whatever their markings.

However Bibi, whose change of coat had not changed his heart, made daily attempts to get into the Bouquet lodgings, but he was always repelled like an intruder. However, his borrowed glaze was weakening by the day; black turned to yellow, grey turned to white. One morning when he had found the Bouquet lodge open, he had entered it stealthily, and had resumed his old habits: he went to greet the caged canary, visited the corner where his food was usually found, the other corner where his ashes [cat litter] had been kept for so long, and had gone to snuggle up on a certain stool, the seat of long sleeps and the happiest purring of his childhood. From a neighbouring room, Auguste Bouquet had seen this ploy and, no longer having any doubts, he called his mother: "Mother, mother! come quickly," he shouted to her, "It's Bibi, I recognize him now; see, he's almost returned to his original colours! Give me some soap and water, you'll see. "

The test could not fail to work, and a few minutes later the soap had restored Bibi to his original colours and to the love of his masters.

Bibi's story caused quite a stir in the neighbourhood, and as everything turns out in this world, the agent of Bibi's temporary metamorphosis was figured out and named. Hence the incessant quarrels between Edouard and Auguste, and between Mrs Bouquet and Mrs Patin, quarrels which one day degenerated into a brawl which the correctional police court was called upon to hear today.

The brawl had started between Edouard and Auguste. The latter had called the first "Cat thief!" the latter had replied with a punch. When the struggle began, the two mothers had intervened, and a general melee ensued, in the midst of which there were falling hats, caps, hair and much name-calling.

On the reciprocal complaints of the two mothers, debates were heard and the provocation deemed to be responsibility of the painter Edouard, who was sentenced, in the person of his mother [he was a minor], to a fine of 25 fr. and the same amount of damages.


Mme Gibou, in Mlle Pochet's old wedding romance, takes care to include a gibelotte [game cooked in white wine] among the dishes that made up the wedding meal, a meal which, she said, was very satisfactory with all kinds of vegetables, and in which there were five real rabbits whose heads she was made sure she had seen. This was the observation of a fact, knowing that at the gates of Paris they made gibelottes with meat from species other than domestic rabbits, and that to conceal the fraud they were careful to remove the heads of animals used in the making of fake gibelottes. What until then had been a vague rumour, undoubtedly treated as slander by the burgers of the suburbs, will now be proven true to those who read the proceedings of the trial against Mr. Bezony.

Bezony was accused of selling dead cats to taverners to be made into gibelotte. One hundred and twenty-five cat skins were found at his home. Fifteen bloody heads recently removed from the body, and fifteen skinned and headless corpses, were so many accusers which made any denial impossible. Bezony confessed everything.

Presiding judge. - We seized from you fifteen dead cats and one hundred and twenty-five cat skins?
Bezony. - Since 1858 I have been preparing cats for the kitchen; I am not fooling anyone: I deliver these cats to the tavern keepers as cat.
Presiding judge. - That's not likely. Who are the restaurateurs to whom you sold cat to make stews?
Bezony. - I don't want to name them; it could hurt them.
Presiding judge. - We can imagine that consumers ...
Bezony. - That is a mistake, Mr. Chairman, or rather it's prejudice. Cat is very healthy meat. I have the secret of preparing it in such a way that it is indistinguishable from rabbit. I didn't see fit to take out a patent for this. But you, Mr. Chairman, I want you to eat a cat prepared by my method. (Long hilarity.)
Presiding judge. - How did you get all these cats?
Bezony. - I bought them from the ragpickers. They do considerable trade in this, and no stomach ever complained about it. I only prepared good quality cats. (Laughter.)
Presiding judge. - As a result, consumers were deceived as to the nature of the goods sold to them, and that they were eating cat thinking it to be rabbit.
Bezony. - With the price of rabbit, it is impossible that consumers could have believed they were being served so large a portion for so little money. A rabbit is worth 3 francs, I gave a good cat, a top quality cat, for 75 cents (Laughter.)
Presiding judge. - So that consumers did not have to complain about being deceived, instead of 'excellent gibelotte of rabbit' your restaurant owners should have put on their signs 'excellent civet [stew] of cat.' (Long bursts of laughter [civet also means a wild cat].)
Bezony. - No one complained; I was also warned about the visit of the Police Commissioner and I didn't hide anything. I thought I was doing something permissible, and I was working completely safely.

The court sentenced Bezony to fifteen days in jail. (l'Evenement, February 6, 1866.)



In Constantinople, cats are treated with the same consideration as children in a household. We see nothing but foundations made, by people of the highest regard, for the upkeep of cats who want to live independently. There are open houses where they are politely received and can spend the nights there. (Voyages in the Levant, by Tournefort, of the Academy of Sciences.)



'A Good Cat, a Good Rat,' comedy in 1 act and in prose; by Mme Durand. This piece can be found in the 'Plays of Mme Durand, or Comedies and Proverbs in Prose,' Paris, Claude Barbin, 1699, in-duodecimo and in the 'Voyage in the Country' by Mme la comtesse de Murat, book II.

'A Good Cat, a Good Rat,' comedy prov. in 1 act and in prose; by Miss Marie Deraismes. Parys, Amyot, 1861, in-duodecimo, pp 47; 2nd ed. in 1862.

'A Cat may look upon a King' London, 1652, in-duodecimo; Amsterdam, 1714, in-octavo - Violent satire against the various sovereigns who successively reigned in Great Britain. It has been reprinted in the 13th volume of the 'Collection of Miscellaneous Pieces (Tracts ...)', written by Somers; 2nd edition, 1809-1813, revised by Walter Scott.

'Almanac de Belgique,' 1863. At p. 176, it contains an anecdote titled: "A Well-advised Cat."

'Almanac of the Muses,' 1779, p. 89, moral fable (82 verses), by Berenger:
"Minette, eh! what, you're only a beast,
You whose wit is always surprising me, etc. "

'Amphitheatrum sapientiœ socralicœ.' We find in this collection by Dornavius: 'Floriœ vita et oratio funebris in felim.'

"Descriptive and comparative anatomy of the cat, type of mammals in general and predators in particular"; by Hercule Straus-Durckheim. Paris, 1845, 2 vol. in-quarto, and atlas of 25 folio plates.

"The Anvari Sobaili," Indian collection, published in Calcutta, in 1803, contains, fol. 18, "the Old Woman and the Skinny Cat," which is the 108th fable of Babrias and the 121st of Furia.

'A Defence of the Chat,' by Lemesle. Paris, 1823, in-duodecimo, 24 pages. Extract from the Physico-Economic Library.

Arnault, fabulist: "The Dog and the Cat." - "The Greyhound, the Cat and the Mastiff." - "The Cat." - "The Cat, the Dog and the Master."

Aubert, fabulist: "The Cat and the Cat." - "The two old Cats." - "The Poet's Dog and the Abbot's Cat."

'The Adventures of Dame Trot and her Cat' (Early Childhood Library.)

Babrius, or Babrias, author of Greek Fables: "The Cat and the Cockerel." - "The Chicken and the Cat."

"Baldo's Aesopian Fables," published by M. E. du Méril; "Unpublished Poems of the Middle Ages preceded by an Essay on the Aesopic fable" (1854, in-octavo):

"De Mure and Gatto." (The rat and the cat.) This fable was included with a different ending by John of Capua in his 'Directorium humanœ vitœ,' chap. 8; it can be found in Doni's 'Moral Filosofia ', folio 83.

'De lepore, catto et pardo.' (The hare, the cat and the leopard.) 'This story is found in collections of Indian ('Poutcha-Tautra,' chap. 3, p. 152) and Arabic ('Caliluh and Dimnah,' chap. 5, fabl. 5) moral fables.

Bergeyret lou Nebou (Bergeret nephew). 'Fablos causidos tremudados en Berses Gascouns.' Paris, 1816: 'Lou gat e lou bieil rat' (after La Fontaine). - 'Lou gat, the belète e lou rabbit' (after the same).

'Bertrand and Raton,' song by Ch. Choux. Paris, 1846, in-octavo.

'Beware of the cat.' London, 1584, in-duodecimo. Satirical poem directed against the Church of Rome. We know of only a single copy (even though the title is imperfect) which appeared at the Roxburghe and Heber auctions successively.

Mr. Seyffarth indicated in his 'Beytrage zur œgyptischen litteratur kunst,' etc., an Egyptian papyrus kept in the Museum of Turin, in which animals are represented imitating the actions of men. Cats are holed up in a castle and attacked by mice armed with bows and arrows.

"Blanc-blanc, or Miss Cliton's cat," to Father C ...; heroic poem divided into four songs. Lyon, 1780, in-octavo, 23 pages. (Catalogue of the Lyon library. Listing no. 17,298.)

'The Poetic Buffon,' Paris, 1832, in-duodecimo. See pages 80 and following.

"This and that," by Theophile Gautier.

"- Hop! Mariette, open up to cats, and cook me lunch.

"Mariette, like the mistress-servant she was, was not too quick to obey; at last she opened it, and three or four cats, of different sizes and coats, took their places without ceremony in the bed, next to the passionate Rodolphe; for, after women, animals were what he liked best. He loved them like an old maid did, like a devotee whom even his confessor no longer wanted, and I can assure you that he put a cat infinitely above a man, and immediately below a woman. Albert had tried in vain to supplant Tom, the big tabby tomcat, in Rodolphe's affection, but he had only been able to attain second place; I even think he would have hesitated between his little white kitty and the M***'s brunette madam."

"Mariette brought lunch. Albert sat down by the bed, and all the cats' heads, like weathervanes in the same gust of wind, simultaneously turned to the same side. Albert ate like a pack of mastiffs, Rodolphe a little less, for he was worried about the fate of his piece of verse, and he distributed almost all of his meat to his furry parasites."

"... When Rodolphe returned home, he heard his cats meowing in the most pitiful tones in the world: Tom in a drone, the little white cat in contralto, and his Angora cat with a respectable tenor voice that Rubini would envy."

"They came to him with an air of ineffable contentment, Tom' big green eyes shimmering, the little cat with an arched back, the Angora cat carrying its tail like a plume, and they welcomed him as well as best they could. "


'The Cat,' a poem in six songs, by M. Guyot-Desherbiers, former director of the Civil Legislation Committee under the Directorate, member of the Council of the Five Hundred and that of the Elders. Born in 1745, died in 1828.

There are two manuscripts of this poem, one written on vellum; the other, accompanied by notes, written on paper. Both are from the author's hand.


'The Cat' (Fair Theatre). Parade, manuscript in-quarto. (Catalogue La Vallière, part 1, no. 3505 19.)

"Puss in Boots"; by Charles Perrault.

'Puss in Boots', a fairy tale of Vanderburch (Comte Theatre).

"Puss in Boots, or the Elastic Shoemaker." Book advertised in l'Ane Promeneur [walking fool], Pamplona, 1786, in-octavo, but never done.

'The Cat of Spain,' short story (by J. Allius). Grenoble, 1669, in-12.

'Mother Michel's Cat and the Fatty Ox in 1852.' Paris, the author, 1852, half a sheet in-quarto.

"The Doorwoman's Cat," vaudeville in one act; by Louis Huart and Alberic Second (Dramatic Follies, 1838). This piece, although much hissed during the first performance, has been performed fifty times. The public ended up laughing and even applauding him (Journal l'Événement, December 12, 1865).

"The Old Woman's Cat," by G. F. de Grandmaison y Bruno. Paris, 1832, 2 sheets in-32mo.

"The Gloved Cat." Pamphlet against the Bourbons (Leber, volume IV, p. 238).

'The Cat and the Maid of Issoudun,' cited in the Dictionary of Novels, 1819, p. 22.


Hoffmann (E.-T.-A.).
Fantastic Tales: The Contemplations of Tomcat Murr. Has also been translated under the title: Tomcat Murr, or the Angora Philosopher, 4 vols.

This tomcat, having succeeded in mastering his budding passion for the beautiful cat Mina, remained indoors and no longer visited any roof, cellar or attic. His master seemed pleased, and allowed Murr to sit behind him on the chair when he was studying, and to look, with outstretched neck, at the book he was reading ... This reading, which distracted Murr a lot, gave him a great impetus in his mind, and even inspired hims to write his own memoirs.

"Perhaps the author who best grasped these relationships is the famous Hoffmann, in his manuscript of 'Le Chat Murr,' a work full of philosophical contemplations on life. This Murr was a superb, fat tomcat; the polite, sensitive and witty companion of his master, who, like Locke's cat, rested on his table while he worked and, like this one, sometimes answered his master, when he addressed himself to the cat in his fantastic reveries. Its wise meditations, its sublime ideas, its spirit of independence and its sentimentality, dominated at intervals by instinctive savagery, present to us such a striking and ingenuous picture of the character of the species, that all natural history must be left behind. (Excerpt from the article on Cats, by Paul Kloz.)


'The black Cat,' by Edgar Poe. Novel.

'The Cat Lost and Found.' Comic opera by M. de Carmontelle, music by Mr. de la Borde. Performed in society in 1771.

'The Cat Who Wrote.' A work quoted by Countess d'Aulnoy, in her 'White Cat.'

'The Cat all in Velvet,' by Mme Melanie Dument. Paris, Mulo, 1869, in-quarto, illustrated with 8 lithographed figures in 2 shades, coloured figures, 1.50 fr.

'The Cat Trott.' Roman, by Champfleury.

"The Flying Cat from the City of Verviers," true story (by Baron de Walef). Amsterdam, Jacques le Franc, at the sign of the booted cat (Liège), 1727, in-12. It's a satirical poem.

"Cats in VIII Letters" (by M. Paradis de Moncrif). Paris, Quillau fils, 1727 in-octavo, with 9 figures by Coypel. Reprinted several times.

'The Heroic Cats.' Grand opera. The scene takes place in Paris, in the rue Lepelletier. (The theatre represents a roof and a gutter. It is night.) Satirical piece in verse, printed in 'Satires, stories and ditties,' by Boucher de Perthes. Paris, 1835, pp. 215 and following.

'The Republican Cats.' Paris, 1832. Political brochure, in-octavo.

'The White Cat,' fairy-tale in three acts and 22 tableaux, preceded by 'The Black Rock,' prologue; by Cogniard brothers. Paris Michel Lévy, 1852. National Theatre (former Circus, August 12, 1852).

'The White Cat,' by Countess d'Aulnoy. Charming fairy tale. Often published separately and in 'Faerie Cabinet.'

'The Marvelous Cat,' comic opera in 3 acts; by Dumanoir d´Ennery, music by Albert Grisar. Paris, Michel Lévy, 1862, in-duodecimo, from 70 pp. (Lyric Theatre, March 18, 1862.)

"The Cat Metamorphosed into a Woman" is obviously of Indian origin. This is Nivelet's 172nd fable, the 27th in the collection of Rinicius; this is certainly the subject of the fable that Julien, letter LVII [57], p. 173, attributed to Babrius, in citing the 1st verse.

"The Cat Metamorphosed into a Woman." Operetta in 1 act by Scribe and Melesville, music by J Offenbach. Th. Des Bouffes Parisiens, 1864-65.

'Dog and cat'; by Achard.

'Dog and cat'; by de l'Estoile, included in La Presse newspaper, 14 Sept. 1862.

'The Dog and the Cat,' article in Le Soleil newspaper, October 19, 1865.

"The Dog and the Cat" or 'Abbot Grégoire and Abbot Maury.' Paris, 1790, in-octavo.

"The Dog and the Cat," or 'The Two Mirabeaus.' Leber, volume IV, p. 224. [Mirabeau: French revolutionary prominent in the early days of the French Revolution.]

'Dog and Cat,' vaudeville in one act and with two characters. A play (Wolf, 1862, p. 223) performed at the Comte theatre has this title.

'Dog and Cat,' article by Louis Leroy, in Charivari, Nov. 3, 1863.

'Dog and Cat, or Memoirs of Captain and Minette, a true story," translated from English and illustrated with 45 vignettes, by Bayard. Paris, L. Hachette & Company, 1863, gr. in-16mo, from 246 pp. (Rose library illustrated.)

'Dog and Cat. Memoirs of Captain and Pussy, story based on real facts.' Paris and Strasbourg, widow Berger-Levrault, 1862, in-duodecimo, from 110 pp. illustrated. 1 fr.

'The Advisors of Albert Durer.' by Louis Barré. Paris, in-octavo. - "On these two small pieces of furniture lay two domestic animals which seemed to be the favourites of the cell's inhabitant. These were a beautiful white angora cat and a little black barbet.

"Now this cat was a she-cat. Murra, that was her name ... Half asleep and lying limp by the hearth, the happy proportions of her limbs was already revealed by the harmony of her pose; the gaiety, the liveliness of her mind, by the brilliance of her eyes which opened from moment to moment; by the the evenness of her mood, by the breathing which successively swelled and depressed her delicate flanks; finally, by the purity of her manners and the wisdom of her conduct, by the decency of her demeanour, by the polite and exquisite cleanliness of her spotless white dress.

"... Whenever Murra saw her master willing to consider her games, she would frolic on his knees, glide all around him on the wide bench, jump on the arms of the chair, or seemed to take flight to the top of the backrest. I say flight, because among the elite of the feline quadrupeds there is something of the bird: the specific lightness of their bones and the muscles of this animal is such that each movement seems to be executed effortlessly; it runs, without ever getting out of breath, it rises as if by some interior upwards force, and seems supported by this same force when it descends from a great height without increasing speed, without properly falling and without impacting on the ground; even when the cat falls, though we do not see them, we can tell that it has wings. - I would add that cats have been slandered by saying that they do not stroke their master, but that they stroke against him. Murra, at least, had in all her ways an air of modest reserve, in her games an indifference which clearly showed that she was not frolicking solely p0for her own pleasure ...

"If Murra seemed to be the good genie of the painter, Schwartz, the ugly barbet, could appear the demon which, in a fatal moment, he had allowed near him ..."


"Animals of the Apartment and Garden," by F. Provost, in-32mo, 46 figures, 1 fr. in the text, with coloured figures, 2 fr. - Birds, fish, dogs, cats. Paris, 1861.

'Two short stories and one play, based on the works of Ludwig Tieck,' and translated from German by Fulgence Fresnel: 'Love and magic,' Egbert the Blond; 'Puss in Boots.' In-duodecimo. Benj. Duprat, 1863. 4 fr.

'Diatribe medico-seria de morbis biblicis, [Serious Medical Diatribe on Biblical Diseases] etc., to Christiano Warlizio.' Wilembergæ, 1714, pet. in-8 °, pp. 386-389. The author asks: "Cur feles fœminœ in congressu tam vehementer ululent?" [Why do female cats howl so violently during sexual congress] And then: Cur feles de nocte clariùs videant?" [Why do cats see more clearly in the night]

'Dissertation on the pre-eminence of cats, in society, over the other animals of Egipte (sic), on the distinctions and privileges they have enjoyed personally, on the honourable treatment they were given during their life, and monuments and altars that were erected to them after their death with several curious pieces related to them.' Rotterdam, 1741; and Amsterdam, 1767, in-octavo, with curious figures. This is the work of Moncrif.

'Eulogy to Minette Ratoni, the Pope's cat during his lifetime and first soprano of his small concerts.' Felisonte, 1795, 26 pages in-quarto. This booklet, printed in 15 copies, is attributed to Rivarol. It aims to justify the extraordinary attachment of Princess Albertine Wiska to a superb slate-grey cat, supposedly the great-grand-nephew of the favourite of Pope Benedict XIV. (Solvet, Studies on La Fontaine, 1812, page 74.)

"The Satirical Sword," contains "the death of a parrot that the cat ate."

'New farce, very good and very joyful, of Jeninot who made a king of his cat, by bankrupting another companion, crying: The king is drinking! And climbed on his mistress to take her to mass, to three characters, namely: the husband, the wife and Jeninot ". (No. 17 of volume 1 of the Old French Theatre, Elzevirian edition by Jannet.)

'Favola di due Gattic della scimia' (Fable of the two cats and the monkey). Florence, 1730, in-octavo.

'The Daughter of Puss in Boots'; by Alexandre de Saillet. III. of 8 engravings in 2 shades. Paris, Courrier, 1862, 72 pages in-octavo. (Youth Library.)

Florian: 'The Two Cats.' - 'The Cat and the Glasses.' - 'The Cat and the Mirror.' - 'The Cat and the Sparrow.' - "The Cat and the Rats." - "The Dog and the Cat."

J. Foucaud, "Fables in the Limousin dialect." Lou Cha e lou Renar (after la Fontaine).– Lou Cha, le Beleto e lou piti Lapin (after the same). – Lou Cha e un viei Ra (after the same).

Furetière "The Cats and the Rats" (fable 10). - "The Cat and the Rat" (fable 31).

"The Passions of Mother Michel, a burlesque tragedy in one act and in verse," by C. Stellier. Paris, Mifliez, 1864, 16 pages in-octavo.

"Galéide or nature's cat," a poem followed by notes, a summary and a judgment on Mantouan, with the translation of several pieces of the Eclogues of this poet, etc.; by Moutonnet, French citizen, of the free society of sciences, letters and arts of Paris, sitting in the Louvre (by de Clairfons). In Galeopolis (Paris), at Galéophile [Cat Lover], rue des Chats [Cat Street], at the sign of Matou [sign of the Tomcat], Year VI (1798).

An engraving depicts a cat climbing a tree after a bird. At the end of the volume is a piece in verse, 8 pages, paginated separately, and entitled: 'Nature's Cat.' There is a vellum copy of this work, which contains the original drawing of the engraving and a proof before the letter of this engraving. Sold in 1823, Chardin catalog, no. 1673.

'Galeomyomachia' [The Battle of the Rats and Cats], tragœdia græca sic dicta, cum præfatione [a so-called Greek tragedy with a preface] gr. Arisobuli Apostolii hierodiaconi, s. 1. n. d. (v. 1494), pet. in-quarto of 10 f. 1st edition at the Mazarine Library, Askew Catalogue, No. 1818. Audin reprinted it at Florence, in 1842, gr. in-octavo of 12 f. 50 copies.

'Galomyomyomachia' was often reprinted, either with 'Batrachomyomachia' or with the fables of Aesop.
(Brunct, Handbook of the Bookseller.)


Lope de Vega composed a poem entitled 'La Gatomaquia' (The War of the Cats). It is included in the collection of his works and it has been given a separate edition. Madrid, 1826, small in-octavo. This burlesque epic is also found in full in the Manual of Spanish Literature (in German), by Louis Lemcke (Leipzig, 1855, book II, p. 449-499). It is called one of the most precious pearls of Castilian literature. The work begins as follows: "I who in times past sang of the forests clad in lofty trees and the meadows covered with flocks and flowers; I, who once celebrated the arms and laws that maintain kingdoms and kings, today, making use of a less serious instrument, I sing of the loves, anger and disdain, the successes and the setbacks of two valiant and illustrious cats. Muses who accompany Apollo, come to my aid, assist me in this noble enterprise!" The two heroes are called Marramaquiz and Mizizuf and they are fighting over the heart of the beautiful Zapaquilda. A great mythological erudition is displayed in this composition and the most famous figures of Greek and Roman history are invoked there.

Against this light background Lope has cast, with great taste, the most graceful idioms of the beautiful Castilian language; the Gatomaquia will always be read with pleasure.


Gauldrée de Boilleau, fabulist (1814): 'The Cats' Ball.' - 'The Cat.' - 'The Cat and the Young Mice.' - 'The Cat and the Goldfish.' - 'The Cat and the Swine.' –'The Parrot and the Cat.'-'The Mice and the Cat.'

Gay (John), English fabulist. We have the following fables from him: 'The Rat-Catcher and the Cat', f. XXI. - "The Old Woman and her Cats", f. XXIII. - "The Man, the Cat, the Dog and the Fly."

'The Fables of J. Gay,' translation from English, by Madame de Keraglio, London, 1759, in-duodecimo. - There is also a translation by Joly, in 1811, in-18mo.


Ginguene. "The Young Rats and the Cat," fable.

Grécourt (abbot of), fables: The Cat and the Cockerel. - The Cat and the Shell, - The He-Cat and the Pussycat. - The Cat and the Lamprey. - The Ant and the Cat. – The She-Ape and the Young Cat. – The Cat, addressed to M. le Chevalier d'Orléans, erotic tale. - The Cat, a fable. - The abandoned Cat, an erotic tale. Origin of the cry of cats when they celebrate, story.

Green (Mathieu), English poet, died in 1737. One of his best jokes was a request from the cats of the Customs, from whom someone wanted to remove their allowance of money allocated for their food. Their request prevented this removal. Dict. (Peignot.)

'Surprising cure operated by Don Bertrand and Dame Minette,' by A. Maugars, 8 engravings. Paris, in-16mo obl. of 32 pp. 1861.

Guerle (J. N. M. de): Various works. Paris, 1829, in-octavo - The Old Cat, fable, ending as follows:

A muzzled villain makes a velvet paw,
He speaks of humanity, justice; the hypocrite!
Good people, beware of the cursed claw!
He who was a cat will always be.

Hellius (F. Victor): 'Phellina.' Paris, 1562. Extremely rare (Catalog Courtois, no. 1708).

'Story of a she-cat written by herself.' Paris, 1802, in-duodecimo, illustrated (Gouin Catalogue, 1865, no. 14.)

Houdetot (Madame d ').
Verse to Mademoiselle P***, on sending her a cat. (Printed in the 'French Anthology'); Paris, 1816, p. 32.

Jauffret: The Cat's Lent Fast. - The Electrified Cat. - The Old Cat and the Magpie. - The Cat and the Rat. - The Cat, the Rat and the Pug. - The Cat and the Monkey. - The Cat and the Mole. - The Cat and his African parents. - The Cats and the Financier. - The Two Cats. - The Cat in her last moments. - The Serin and the Cat. - The Mole and the Cat.

'Journal of entertainment, literature and the arts.' It contains, dated 20 Nivose, year VII, a very curious article, signed Simplex, on a cat. [Nivose: the fourth month of the republican calendar, December 21/22 to January 20/21)]

When and why did the Swiss adopt the cat as a symbol?
See, on this question asked about Bouillet's error, three interesting passages from the Intermediaire (1864, pages 198 and 239, and 1865, column III).

'Kokoli, or Dog and Cat.' Dramatic play performed at the Comte theatre.

Kriloff, Russian fabulist: The Pike and the Cat. - The Cat and the Cook. - The Man, the She-Cat, the He-Cat and the Falcon.

Lachambeaudie: The Cat and the Dove. - The Cat, the Mouse and the Bird. - The Two Cats and the Mouse. - The Old She-Cat and Young Cats. - The Young Girl, the Cat and the Goldfinch. – The Man and the Cats.

La Fontaine (Jean de). This author uses the cat as a model of cunning, deceit and hypocrisy. His fable, 'The Cat Metamorphosed into a Woman' has given birth to many dramatic pieces. This author is credited with: The Mewing of the She-Cats, a verse tale published for the first time (in France), undated and no location, by the king's grace dated 1667, 2 part, in-duodecimo. His fables are, moreover, in the hands of everyone.

Lamotte: 'The Cat and the Mouse,' fable.

Lavalette: Fables, 1841, in-octavo. – The Seafarer Cat. - The She-Cat.

'Historical letter on the death of a canary and a tomcat,' Paris, 1748, in-12.

Lidener: Fables printed in Nantes, in 1840, 3 vol. - The Coachman and the Cat. - The Child and the Cat. - The Dog and the Old Cat. –The Cat and the Eel.– The Cats and the Rats. - The Man and the Cat. - The Fox and the Cat. - The Cat and the Little Birds. - The Dog and the Cat. - The Angora and the Landlady. - The Rat and the Cat. – The Young Chicken and the Old Cat. – The Cat.

'The Cat'. Lokman's fable. This is printed in Arabic in the edition of the moral tales executed by the Royal Printing Office. Paris, 1846, in-18mo. As it is very short, we believe we can reproduce it here:
"One day a cat entered a blacksmith's shop, found a file on the ground and began to lick it. His tongue bled and he swallowed the blood, believing it came from the file, until finally his tongue was worn away and he died. - This fable concerns someone who spends his property unnecessarily, and who, not having calculated his expenses, throws himself unwittingly, into misery."


"Magasin Pittoresque": Vol VIII, 1840, pp. 11 and following. "Physiognomy of the cat" by J. Granville. Very intriguing article and drawings. Twenty sketches. Sleeping, waking up, philosophical reflections, astonishment and admiration, great satisfaction and a laughing idea (Minet has just made a witty remark, made some mischief), simple longing, digestive calm, gaiety with self-fulfilment, anger mixed with fear, etc.

Grandville observed 75 different expressions on the face of the cat, all having some similarity with the signs of those passions which constantly modify human physiognomy. These expressions can be subdivided into even more nuances.

'Memoirs of the Academy of Sciences,' article by Fontenelle. Paris, 1700. See page 156
A relative is the author of a 'Physical Study of the Cat,' included in the 'Memoirs of the Academy, 1700. The 18th Century Encyclopedia' gives a detailed analysis in the article CAT.

'Memoirs of a Little Cat;' by Mrs. Chevalier-Désormeaux. Paris 1863, Fontenay and Peltier, in-duodecimo, from XI – 308 pp., 2 engravings.

'Dissertation on the use of cats in musical art, and the process of striking their tails so that they meow in concert. In Utremifasola,' year 913, in-quarto. Quoted in M. Gust's Bibliographical Fantasies. Brunet. Paris, Jules Gay, 1864, page 8, in the "catalog of singular books that no bibliophile will ever see."

'Memoria sull'attuale epidemia de'Gatti.' [Recollections on the current cat epidemic] Pavia. 1798, in-4 °, 26 p.

'Memoirs of Madame de Staal.' She relates that being locked up in the Bastille with her pregnant cat, she had several kittens which let her pass the boredom of her captivity pleasantly. (See his Memoire, Vol II, p. 126, 1755 edition.)

'The Meow or very learned and very sublime Harangue meowed by Lord Rominagrobis' on Dec. 1733. By Chatou, chez Minet, 1734, 8 pages in-octavo.

'Mother Michel,' comedy-vaudeville in one act and in verse; by Alexandre Martin (Amateur theatre). Belfort, Clerc impression, 1864, 31 pages in-octavo (miss from the Imperial Library).

Blue Kitty and the Wolf Cub; by Mme Fagnan, fairy tale in the Library of genies and fairies.' Paris, Duchesne, 1765, 2 vols. in-duodeimo, in volume XXXV of 'Cabinet of Fairies,' etc.

Monmorran: "The Spaniel and the Angora," fable, 1863.

Moore (Edward), English fabulist: 'The Farmer, the Spaniel and the Cat,' fable IX.

We know that an Italian literary man had fun composing eight short stories in Latin which he presented as an unpublished production by the storyteller Jerome Morlini, and many connoisseurs were deceived. A French bibliophile has had just a few copies printed of these new items. The first was entitled: "De monacho cujus priapum felis arripuit." - Morlini had moreover dealt with a similar subject, but with some differences, in the 38th of his short stories: "De fele quœ unguibus priapum domini arripuit."

'Moumoute and Carnage' by Eug. Nyon. - Paris, Ducrocq, 1864, in-duodecimo, 344 p. and 20 drawings, 2 fr.

Fuerroni's 'Novelle galanti' [Gallant Novels], Paris, 1801, contains a short story titled: 'The Dog and the Cat.'

"Oracion is convinced ..." (A speech demonstrating that it is better to tolerate rats than to have cats in your home). Madrid, 1779, in-quarto. Dinaux Catalogue, part 2, no. 284. Pithy joke.

Privat d'Anglemont (Alex.). In his Paris-Anecdote, 1854, 530 pages in-18mo. We find "The Exterminator of Cats," and "The Porridge for Cats."

'The Cat's Paw.' Conte zinzinois (by Cazotte, Paris), 1741, in-duodecimo.

'The Heartbreaks of an English She-Cat' (attributed to Honore Balzac), in-18.

"The Little Latin Treasury of Laughs and Joy," dedicated to the Reverend Fathers of Melancholy. London, 1741, in-duodecimo, illustrated. - The 4th edition is augmented by 'Battle of Dogs and Cats,' which can be found at the end of the volume.

'The Little Cinderella or the Marvellous Cat.' Comedy-vaudeville in one act, by Desaugiers and Gentil (1810). The cat in this piece is called "Fairy Minette."

"The Little She-Cats of These Gentlemen," by Henry de Kock. Paris, Ach. Faure, 1863, in-duodecimo. This work has no other relationship to our subject than its title.

'Pleadings of a Parrot, a Cat and a Dog.' Paris, 1803, in-18mo, with figures; and Paris, G. Mathiot, 1810, in-18mo, 126 pages and frontispiece.

Madame Eusiebine, disgusted with the world, made her only company a parrot, a cat and a dog. When she died, she made a will in favour of these three companions of her retirement from public life, bequeathing fifty crowns to one, one hundred francs to the other and fifty francs to the third, but without designating who should have the highest sum. Each claimed the first legacy and claimed to have rights to it. The competitors chose lawyers to plead their case, and a judge to rule on their dispute. The cat's lawyer is full of praise for the services rendered by his client:

"The titles on which the fairness of my party's claims are based are most incontestable and obvious. Mimi knew how to please, Mimi knew how to be useful. It is by this virtue of the double advantage of approval and utility that he requests the first legacy; could we, without injustice, refuse it? etc., etc." Unfortunately, the judge's decision was not in his favour: the cat only gets the smallest sum, for being a thief and having a wicked heart.

"The Poems of Marie de France.". . . Paris, Chasseriau, 1819, 2 vols. in-octavo. Here, translated into prose, is one of her fables which was versified by La Fontaine.
A cat and a fox had teamed up together to travel. "If we are attacked," said the cat, "what ruses do you have to defend yourself?" "My bag is full of them," replied the fox, "but I will only open it when needed." "For me," the cat said, "I only have one." As he spoke, two dogs swooped down on the travellers. "Here is my trick," said the cat, and immediately he climbed a tree. The fox, less nimble, is torn apart by the dogs. "Hey! why don't you open your bag?" the cat shouted at him from the top of its branch. "They didn't give me time," said the fox, nearly expiring. "I see now, but too late, that on the occasion all you need is one trick, as long as it is good."

The fable of La Fontaine bearing the same title is the 14th in the 9th book. Here is the place where he followed his model the closest:

"Do you know as much as me?" I have a hundred ruses in my bag.
"No," said the other, "I only have one trick in mine,
But I maintain that it is worth a thousand. "


'The Trial of the Cat or the Will of the Cobbler,' vaudeville, by M. D ... T ... (Taconet?). Ph. D. Langlois, 1767, in-8 ° (Soleine catalogue).

"Programme of Puss in Boots," pantomime, by M. Arnould. - In the "Collection of festivals and spectacles given to S. M. at Versailles, at Choisy and at Fontainebleau, during the year 1772-73." Paris, Ballard, 1772-73, 3 vols. in-octavo, Nyon catalogue, no. 18281.

Rabelais: Pantagruel, book IV, chap. LXVII. How Panurge betrayed himself for fear; and of the huge cat Rodilardus, which he took for a puny devil. - Book V, chap. XI. How we passed through the wicket inhabited by Grippeminaud, Archduke of the Furred Law-cats. Chap. XII. How Grippeminaud propounded a riddle to us. - Chap. XIII. How Panurge solved Grippeminaud's riddle. - Chap. XIV. How the Furred Law-cats live on corruption. - Chap. XV. How Friar John of Entommeures talks of rooting out the Furred Law-cats..

The French Proprietor, chap. 14, XVIIIth book, contains a nice description of the cat.

'Raton in the Underworld,' free imitation and in verse of 'Murner in der Hoelle,' by Frédéric Guillaume Zacharie, followed by the literal translation of the poem. In Geneva and Paris, Dubois, 1774, in-octavo.

The 'Collection of Memoirs of the Academy of Sciences,' years 1704, 1709, 1710 and 1712, includes curious memoirs on the physical study of the cat, by Meri and de La Hire. An analysis has been included in the 'Encyclopedia of the 18th Century,' article CAT.

Thomassin: 'Facetious regrets, and pleasant sermons on the deaths of various animals.'

Richer, fabulist: The Cat and the Weasels. –The White Cat and the Black Cat. - The Cat and the Little Dog. - The two Dogs and the Cat. "The Child and the Cat. - The Man and the Cat. - The Sheep and the Cat. - The Rat, the Mouse, the Cat and the Dog. - The Fox and the Cat. - The Monkey and the Cat.

'The Sabbath, or the Cat escaped from his mistress, poem in V books,' in-quarto, manuscript 151 leaves on paper (Chardin, 1825, no. 1669).

"Literary scene in France during the 13th century, or research on the situation of the arts, sciences and great literature, from the year 1200 until 1301," by J. de Rosny; Paris, 1809, in-octavo. This work contains a passage on the 'Cult of the Cat.'

'Complete treatise on the physical and moral education of Cats, followed by the art of curing the diseases of this domestic animal,' by Catherine Bernard, concierge. In Paris, at the author's, 1828, 80 pages in-duodecimo.

Madame Catherine Bernard, declares at the top of her work, that any counterfeiter will be prosecuted according to the full extent of the law, and she exposes articles 425 and 427 of the Penal Code, where it is said that any reproduction in whole or in part is an infringement; then she reproduces, under the title of Introduction, Moncrif's In Praise of Cats, and Deshoulières's lyric tragedy 'Cats.' This is the best part of the volume, of which we will however give the table of contents:

Chapter 1. Which one is better a he-cat or a she-cat? The he-cat is more loving and more cuddly; the he-cat more independent, but more skilled at handling mice. - Chapter II. Characteristics of Cats, distinguished by their coats: Grey cats take mice well; fawn cats are very loving; blacks are great runners; pied cats are very fertile; tabby cats very alert; reds are hypocritical and whites are lazy. – Chapter III. Cat food: Hot milk, milky coffee, thin soup, abstinence from meat. - Chapter IV. Training the Cat; Cats are likely to learn tricks that you want to teach them. - Chapter V. Operation of castration, which makes he-cats get fatter, while men who are subjected to it lose weight. - Chapter VI. When necessary to cut cats' tails (1, Absurd practice conducted in France by ignorant classes.), an operation that reduces the intensity of their disease. - Chapter VII. About diseases of cats and the remedies to administer. - Chapter VIII. Stoves, heaters, etc., are contrary to cats. – Chapter IX. Kitties in heat. They should not be denied the means to satisfy their need to become mothers. - Chapter X. Cats warn of rain: When the cat, after licking its paw for a long time, passes it over the ear again and again, it is a sign of rain. - Chapter XI. Contradicting the proverb (to get on like dog and cat). Cats and dogs that live together get along, but in other cases, especially if the cat is in heat, these two animals don't get along. - Chapter XII. On stuffing cats.


Triller, fabulist, 1763 (in German): the Cat and the Fox. - The Cat and the Young Mouse. - The Congress held unsuccessfully by the Rats against the Cats.

'Vengeance Against Yourself' and The Amorous Cat,' tales in verse (by Madame Durand). Paris, 1742, in-duodecimo. The first piece has no relation to our subject, the second is below mediocre.

Verdie (fables, Bordeaux, 1819): The Two Cats and the Rat. - Cat. - The Woodcutter and the Cat.

Viennet, fables: The Cats in a trading company. - The Cats and the Cook. - The Monkey, the Squirrel and the Cat. - The Macaw and the Cat.

Fabulas de Tomas de Yriarte: fab. 21. El Raton y el Gato. – Fab. 42, El Gato, el Lagarto y el Grillo. [Fables of Tomas of Yriarte; The Mouse and the Cat; The Cat, the Lizard and the Cricket.]



Raton [Pussy] was not, like Master Bertrand, the cunning diplomat, so often portrayed for our painters, our sketchers, our caricaturists; he did not get under the skins of the Magots of Teniers, the Antiquaires of Chardin and the Cuisiniers of Decamps; but we nevertheless meet his moustached face, appearing here and there to flesh out some satirical composition and to play his role of sidekick in human comedy - on paper. One cannot speak of cats without evoking the name of Paradis of Moncrif, Marie Leckzinska's reader, the historian of the feline race; his work, 'The History of Cats,' which was a bit of a double-edged sword, attracted sarcasm towards him. After his death, a small portrait of him was engraved with this address: "Weep, Muses, the Alexander of the cats lies under this column." This portrait is independent of three others of the same Moncrif, engraved by Cathelin, Duflos and Ingouf.


When the Constituent Assembly had made the farmer generals [king's tax collectors] disappear, caricature did not fail to exploit such a windfall, and we see Master Raton coming to make fun of the collapse of the 'Cellar Rats' in a series of satirical pieces:

Funeral of a farmer general [funeral of a king's tax collector]. - The quarrel between the cats and cellar rats. - Recipe for killing cellar rats, etc., etc.


A year or two later, we see the hallowed cat taking the place of a saint in the expurgated Republican calendar:

"Calendar of the Republic for the 3rd Year," by Queverdo, in two sheets; on the first sheet, portrait of Chalier and Barra; on the second, Lepelletier St-Fargeau and Marat; instead of the saints, we read: Grape, Saffron, Donkey, Turkey, Dog, Cat, etc.


In a caricature of 'Vivant Denon,' [Dominique Vivant, Baron Denon] no doubt made on his return from Egypt, Master Cat receives, in the company of various other animals, the incense of the future director general of the museums: 'Denon exalting the Apis bull, Ibis, Cats and Macaques.'


A few years before the revolution, at the time of the general enthusiasm for the first balloon ascents, the impudent Minet [Kitty] took the figure of an abbot, thanks to a bad play on words: in Luxembourg, on July 11, 1784, the abbot Miolan and the colour engraver Janinet publicly undertook an experiment of ballooning which turned to their confusion. Details on this fact can be found in the 2nd volume of the 'Memoirs' of the engraver J. G. Wille. They were, from that day and for some time, put in the hot seat by the satirical pencil of an anonymous cartoonist Miolan enters the fur of Minet, Janinet becomes Janot, and the cartoonist peddled, among other pieces: The honest retreat of Minet and Janot. Minet, physician, or the colic of these gentlemen, etc.
{Miolan – the pun is miaulent, mewing.]



No 263 of the booklet. - "A little girl teaching her dog to read," by Godefroy, after Madame Chaudet.

AIR: The Small Montagnards.

Madame Chaudet was the first,
To paint this portrait and this dog;
The girl is more like the pupil,
And the teacher is rather the dog.
But enough, without further blame,
Just a smack of the paw for the dog;
Because madame's pretty cat
Stops me from beating the dog.


Verse from the final round on the huge quantity of women's portraits at the Show of Year IX:

A woman is holding needles,
A role model for girls.
Then again Madame Chaudet
Shows one with her Kitty.

Extract from: 'The Paintings of the Museum in Vaudeville,' a work dedicated to Mr. Frivole, by C. Guipava. Published in Paris, by Brasseur, year IX. 124 pages in-18mo.

King Don Fernando of Portugal, a talented draftsman and etcher, drew several subjects from Hoffmann's 'Contemplations of Tomcat Murr.' In a drawing reproduced by the Gazette of Fine Arts (no. 27), engraved on wood, tomcat Murr is represented writing his 'Biographical Essay,' a sabbath of garlanded cats in fantastic dances, the main subject of My Lord Murr. - At the top, the illustrious angora triumphs in starry glory. He was engraved a plate on the same subject for him (issue of February 1865).


Murr is lying on his back on a stretcher; a cat, seated on an overturned tank, delivers the funeral oration, one paw in the air, surrounded by many mourning friends.

I also note the following print in the engraved work of the king:

'A Cat Eating a Mastiff's Soup,' after Champmartin, engraved at San Tolmo in 1856. The original belongs to the Duke of Montpensier.

"The Holy Family," called the Virgin with Cats, by Baroche, was sold for 10,500 francs in London at the beginning of 1799; it came from the Italian series of the Orleans gallery sold, in 1792, for 700,000 pounds by Philippe Egalite. This series was acquired successively by Walkers, a Belgian banker (700,000 pounds), by Laborde de Mereville (900,000 pounds) and lastly by Bryan (1 million 75,000 francs), the front man of very rich English amateurs, was sold in London in the two rooms of Pall Mall and the Lyceum, from December 26, 1798. In 1865 (May 31), at the sale of the collection of Morny, the little boy with the cat, painting by Drouais, was sold there 20,100 francs.

We often find this animal in the work of Francois-Hubert (1727-1775), the second of the three Drouais:

At the sale of the Marquis de Menars (Abel Poisson), 1782: A young designer from Drouais and his counterpart: Young girl playing with a cat; his bent head is covered with a hood lined in pink (canvas 18 inches by 22), were sold for 1,220 pounds. According to Drouais, Marie-Louise-Adelaide Boizot also has two similar hangings: Young boy making a house of cards; young girl making soap bubbles and playing with her cat. These small paintings by François-Hubert were partly exhibited at the Salon of 1771.


In Moncrif's 'Cats,' Quillau edition 1727, in-octavo, we find thee illustrations;8 plates engraved by the Count de Caylus, the last three after Charles Coypel:

1. The Cat God, - a small Egyptian monument. Height 139mm, Width 80mm. page 10.
2. The Cat God, small bas-relief. Height 139mm, Width 80mm, Page 12.
3. Two Egyptian sistrums with figures of cats, and a figure of the Cat God with a sistrum, same dimensions, page 14.
4. Figurine of the Cat God with a human body, same dimensions, page 25.
5. Three figurines of the Cat goddess with a female body, same dimensions, page 26.
6. Tomb of Madame de Lesdiguières she-cat, after Ch. Coypel. Height 135mm, width 79 millmm, page 104.
7. Madame Deshoulières' tomcat and she-cat in theatrical costume and playing an opera on the roof, after Ch. Coypel. Width 158mm, Height 139mm, Page 117. This is undoubtedly the play cited by Robert Dumesnil (volume II, page 224) under the title: Tragedy played by cats.
8. Mademoiselle Dupuy, famous 17th century harpist, lying down, with her cat on her bed and dictating her will, in favour of her cat, to two notaries, by to Coypel: width 159mm, Height 139mm, Page 139.

The Amateur's Manual classifies another piece under number 474 of Caylus's work: Testament of mademoiselle Dupuy in favour of her cat. I do not know if there is a duplication with the previous one already described under no 321- or if the subject is treated differently.

Robert Dumesnil (II, page 224) also quotes, after Heinecken, Huber and Rost: Three pieces from Madame la Marquise du Deffant's 'the history of the cat,' he says they were engraved by the Comte de Caylus and not by Ch. Coypel, as claimed by the latter.

'Good Cat, Good Rat' by Regnier, Bettanier and Morlon, by to Madame Tiercy. Paris, lithograph Lemercier.

The Eagle and the Cat. Engraving by Francis Barlow (English engraver, died 1702). This print relates to a fact that the artist witnessed an eagle, having carried a cat into the air, was defeated and fell to the ground with his enemy who had gouged out his eyes.

Friends of the house; by Cel. Deshays.

Lithograph:' The Cat Rolled into a Ball.' Width. 28 by 35. Paris, Dusacq.

'Entertainment of Youth,' engraved by N. Dupuis in 1762, after F. Eisen senior. Children blackmailing a cat.

'The favourite Angora of Miss Elisabeth-Sophie Cheron, the famous portrait painter, married to Mr. Lehay at the age of 60.' Print in-quarto, engraved with a burin [engraving chisel] by Misses Anne and Ursule de la Croix, nieces of the artist. The cat is on the shoulders of the chambermaid.

'Porridge with cats.' Print engraved by J. B. Muet.

'The tip of the ear and the tip of the tail.' Paris, photo. Chardon junior, Bulla (1861).

'The Symbolic Cage.' Painted by Lepeautre, engraved by Fessard.

'Casanova'. A series of 18 engravings was made in Germany to illustrate the memoires of this famous adventurer. One of them represents the visit of the Venetian to the old tragic poet Crebillon, whom he finds seated in an armchair and surrounded by a dozen cats.


'The Cats' Tea-Party and Grand Ball.' Merriment series, and sister lady-Bird's series. London, Dean and son, published in-quarto with 8 coloured figures.

On the frontispiece we see an immense table surrounded by cats in very varied attitudes and expressions. The service is done by dogs in full livery. A playful little kitten is behind her mother cat, who looks at him indulgently. A series of 8 engravings represents the various amusements of the company:

The ball, the game room, the table covered with albums leafed through by the guests, the arrival of new guests received when leaving their carriages by a dog in livery, the supper, the ball that continues afterwards with monkeys for musicians in the orchestra. A daddy cat makes his two little children dance. Further on, one of the guests, a simpering she-cat, is taken ill; everyone is rushing around her, but the husband, a philosophical cat, reassures the company: I'm used to this, he said, do not be afraid, she is not dead, she has only fainted. The last drawing represents the departure of the ill lady cat; a feline housekeeper carries one little kitten and holds the hand of another, while old Peter, in true English, says to the cat: Goodbye, Miss White Skin, you appear a little unwell, take a little pill.


'The Hunt.' Lithograph by Miss Aita. Young cats. Paris, Delarue. Hr 27 out of 35.

'Cat Hunt.' by Durant, after Hoterman. Paris, lithograph Lemercier; Goupil (1861); and photographed by Goupil (business card size). Paris, 1865.

'Cat.' Paris, lithograph Becquet, Testu and Massin. (1862).

'The Cat at the Cheese.' engraved by Dupuis, after Chardin. Little girl pulling a cat's ear to prevent it from eating her cheese. This composition is not by Chardin, but made by junk engravers around the middle of the 18th century; in the presence of the successes of the real Chardins, engraved by Cochin, Filleul, Lépicié, Lebas, counterfeiters, such as Dupin and Charpentier, had set to work, exploiting the name of the master.

'The Convalescent Cat.' Paris, photo. Thiébault (1864).

The Angora Cat and his Family,' engraved by Schmitz, by Huet.

'The Cat Unwinding the Garter,' engraved by Boilly.

'The Sick Cat,' engraving by J. L. Lietard, by Antoine Watteau. At the bottom, 16 lines; a beautiful piece. Charge against the doctors. A woman asks science for a cure for her sick cat; a doctor feels the pulse of the animal, which seems to lend itself readily to this hoax. Sold on April 11, 1859, 100 francs. The Magasin Pittoresque, volume 25, no. 25, gives an ingenious description of this print. See G. Duplessis, 'History of Engraving in France,' p. 303.

'The Solicitor Cat.' Print published around 1820.

'The Cat transformed into a woman,' by Picou. Paris, photograph. Bingham (1864).

'Cats,' lithograph by Albert Adam. Paris, Dusacq and Company.

'The She-Cat,' engraved by Smith, by Miss Gérard. Miniature in folio, mezzotint.

'Monsieur's She-Cat.' Lithograph by Régnier, Bettannier and Morlon, by Linder. A beautiful white Angora cat accompanies a pretty woman, Monsieur's mistress.

'The Parisian She-Cats.' Caricatures by Damourette. Printed in black and in colour.

'The Cat Concert.' Print engraved by Jacques Dassommerville (engraver in the second half of the 18th century, height 3 inches by 2 inches 9 lines). Eight characters take part in this rustic concert: three play, one plays the accordion, another the oboe and the third the violin, while a fourth does his part by pulling the tail of a meowing cat; at the bottom right, other figures are singing, laughing and drinking. Unmarked piece, as described in Robert Dumesnil (Vol. I, pg 176). It is a counterpart to a piece by the same engraver described under the name 'The Rat Trap.'

'Concert of Cats,' by Breughel, engraved by Couché. Paris, printed by Chardon senior (1864).

'Dame Bantry and her Cat,' London, Doan and son, miniature in quarto, colour figure.

'Dame Wiggins of Lee and her Cats,' London Dean and son, miniature in quarto, colour figure.

'Death and burial of the three little Kittens,' miniature in quarto, colour figure.

'The Defeat of the Cats.' - Wonderful battles of cats against rats, etc. Very curious satirical piece on the capture of Arras in 1640. See: Capture and general defeat ... A proof of this print was sold for 25 fr. 50, at the 2nd sale of Doctor Wellesley, in January 1862.

'The Empire of Beauty.' Engraved print, by Beurlier, by Desrais. Lady playing with her cat.

'Childhood.' Cochin, inv. and engraver. Two young children give porridge to a cat.

'The Child with the Cat.' Paris, photograph Collin, (1864).

'Children Sleeping Near a Cat,' by Boucher (Alph. David Catalogue, 1859, No. 1547).

'The Child and the Cat.' Print engraved by Miss Marguerite Gerard (niece and pupil of Fragonard), in 1778, at the age of 16. Described in the 'French engraving painter continued,' by de Baudicour (I, 307).

'Study of Cats,' by Barye (Alph. David Catalogue, 1859, no. 412).

'Study of Cats.' Drawing by Gericault.

'Example of Mothers,' painted by Jeaurat, engraved by Lucas.

'Madness holding a cat with one hand, and pulling its ear with the other.' 'Fatuo ridemur in uno,' engraved by Alex. Voet the younger, according to J. Jordaens. Piece of very great effect. Baron Ch. De Vèze, 1855, p. 69. - Le Chevalier and J. Camberlin, 1865, no. 3812, 1st condition proof, before the address of 'Gaspar de Hollander.' The same subject, with this inscription: 'Tis om te lachen' (It's to laugh.) Small in-folio. - Baron Ch. De Vèze, 1865, p. 69. - The same subject: 'Cunning Cat and Dangerous Fool,' by Molien Petit in-fol. 2 proofs, one with the address of Rognié, the other with that of Major (Baron Ch. De Vèze Catalogue in 1855, p. 169).

'The Cats' Fort besieged by rats and mice,' where in ancient times more than eighteen hundred thousand rats died, and the cats, commanded by Rominagrobis, won a great victory over them, having lifted the siege (from Arras), and having constrained them not to appear again. Undated, small in-folio. - Satirical and burlesque play on the same subject as the 'Capture and the general defeat of the cats of Spain, etc.' this 'revenge of the Spanish cats' is much rarer than the part won by the 'French rats.'

'The Family of Cats.' - Study drawn and lithograph. by V. Adam. Paris, Delarue.

'The Birthday Cake.' Young cats eating a cake; by Miss Aita. Lithograph. Paris, Delarue (height 27 x width 35).

'Big Cat's Head,' with this title: True portrait of the Grand Duke of Moscovic's cat. 1661, in-folio in height.

'War and Peace,' 2 lithographs by Miss Aita. Young cats. Paris, Delarue, (height 27 x width 35).

'The Happy Cat.' - J. B. Huet pinx. Bonnet sculptor. Colour piece.

Huber (Jean), famous painter and naturalist from Geneva, who died in 1790, has been nicknamed the Raphael of cats.


'Russian imagery.' Collection of figures published in Russia, in the prints room, at the Imperial Library, T.f.[?] 47, folio volume. - One of these engravings shows a dead cat, lying on a sled dragged triumphantly by rats. - Another represents the same subject as the previous one, the rats and the ornaments being made in the manner of hieroglyphics. - Others offer analogous subjects, for example, 'cats dancing and refreshing themselves,' and 'a cat facing a lord in front of a monarch and his court.' - These items were collected by Mr. Paul Lacroix.


'Household interior,' pen drawing washed with bister [brownish-yellow pigment]; by Ph. Caresme. (Width 8 inches by 7 high.) A standing woman cuts food for two cats, who wait impatiently at her feet; a young child teases them with a stick (no. 3787 of the Paignon Disjonval catalogue). We do not know if this drawing was engraved.

'Never in agreement,'; painted by Lawrence, engraved by Denargle. Two ladies, one holding a dog, the other a cat.

'I like my dog. - And I prefer my cat.' Paris, lithograph Rock; Codoni (1862).

'Young woman holding a cat.' Sepia enhanced with white; attributed to Chardin (Vigneres catalogue, no. 215).

'Young girl playing with a cat.' Lithograph by Julien from Brochart (height 49 x 32 width). Paris, Delarue. photographed by Goupil (1862).

'Young girl holding a cat.' Engraved by Ardell, by Ph. Mercier.

'The little kittens alive and well again.' London, Dean and son, printed in-quarto with 8 coloured figures. Three torsos of wide-awake kittens leaning on the edge of a box in the attitude of well-behaved children.

The story of their birth follows: there were nine; three lived, the others were buried. - 1st drawing: the three kittens, dressed as gentlemen, pay a visit to the cemetery; they see three kittens appearing lightly dressed in their shrouds; they take off their macfarlane coats [the original says "Inverness" coats] and cover them, then take them away; there is great joy in the house at the resurrection of the three kittens, a ball is held to celebrate it; etc.
[Gay's summary is inaccurate – there were not nine kittens, the three she-kittens had nine lives.]

'The Cat Merchant.' Photographed by Villeueuve. Paris (1863).


"The Marriage of the three little kittens". London, Dean and son, small in-quarto with 8 colour figures. On the frontispiece, three elegant young cats offer their arms to three modest young she-cats. In a series of eight pages with coloured headers, we see the mother cat accompanying the three she-kittens on the doorstep as they go for a walk. They are met by three young cats who, after complimenting their mittens and their grooming, end up offering them an arm which they accept; they go for a walk two by two, during which the young cats propose marriage: "You must ask papa," say the kittens.

The 5th drawing shows the old father cat receiving the marriage requests of the three grooms, and answering them: 'Take them, I have seventy more.' [The original English says "seventeen more," but Gay mistranslates as "soixante-dix" – seventy.]

The she-kittens jump joyfully at the news announced to them by their three suitors, wagging their tails, and, like well-styled housewives, they take off their mittens and begin to prepare the wedding meal. We see them, in the following drawing, dressed as brides and presiding over a long table, surrounded by he-cats and she-cats with glasses in their hands. At the bottom of each page, written verses with the refrain 'meow, meow,' explain the story painted at the top of the page.

Mignon (Abraham). A vase filled with various flowers is on the verge of spilling through the effort of a cat knocking over a mousetrap. (Lafontaine sale, in 1810, adj. 302 fr. To M. Henry.)

'Minet on the lookout,' by Debucourt. In black and in colour. (Alph. David Catalogue, 1859, no. 226l.)

'My little Minet,' by Fantin-Latour. Photograph 8 cm x 12 cm. Paris, Dusacq and Company.

Monginot (C.), contemporary painter. We have a nice painting by him representing a family of six little cats.

'Mosaic of Dogs and Cats.' Photographed by Weyler. Paris (1863).

'The Pet Bird,' engraved by Bonnet, by J. B. Huet. Young woman in Louis XVI costume, playing with her canary and her cat. Colour engraving.

"Velvet Paws," by Miss Aita. Young cats playing with cherries. Paris. Delarue, lithograph. 27 x 25)

"Poor Minet, why am I not in your place!" By Janinet, from N. Lawreince. Colour print.

'Fishing.' Lithograph by Miss Aita. Young cats trying to catch fish in a bowl. Paris, Delarue.

'Little Minet,' pretty woodcut, from a watercolour by L. Thomas, in the January 27th edition of the Illustrated Universe, 1866. Two children hold a little cat, and one of them tickles its ear with a bit of straw.

'The Little Jesters,' by Cathelin and F. Eisen senior. Children making a monkey and a cat dance. Catalogue of M. V *** of Antwerp, in 1856, no. 299).

'The Little Cats,' by Levilly. Lithograph. Paris, Fagard.

'The Little Cats;' German engraving, photographed by G. Schauer, (1863, Paris).

'Portrait of children;' by François-Hubert Drouais. The youngest of the children is dressed in a blue dress and carries a cat in her arms. This painting, which was part of the H. Didier collection, appeared at the Boulevard des Italiens Exhibition in 1860. (Burty Catalogue, no. 126.)


'The Capture and General Defeat of the Spanish Cats by the French Rats, in Front of the Town and City of Arras.' Paris, Jollain (1640), engraving in-folio. Satirical print, very rare, representing the city of Arras, and in the foreground, a fight between the French and the Spaniards, the latter distinguished by the heads and tails of cats, the former by the heads and tails of rats. The governor cat, with a noose around his neck, is followed by two enormous rats, who prepare to hang him. Harduin, in his Memoirs on Artois, pp. 240-244, points out the rarity of this piece, which he describes; he reports the inscriptions in French verse. Above one of the city gates, through which the Spanish garrison left to make way for the victor, we can read this famous saying:

When the rats take the cats,
The French will take Arras.


"Who strokes it, gets pricked by it;" by Miss Aita. Young cats playing with roses.

"Raton and Minette," interior scene, canvas painted by Miss Marguerite Gerard, pupil and sister-in-law of Fragonard. (Fouquet sale, in 1804, auctioned for 534 fr.)

'The Monkey Barbers,' by Teniers, engraved by Boel. Two cats being shaved by monkeys; very pleasant composition.

"The Cat's Head," engraved by Wenceslas Hollar, by Francis Barlow. Tall engraving. One of the most beautiful and sought after of Hollar's works. Two titles: one in Bohemian, the other in German; 1646.

The Brussels Museum, no. 328, has a curious painting by David Teniers the younger, representing a cat dressed in red brought as a prisoner of war before a martial tribunal made up of monkeys.

Title of the work of Mr. le Chevalier de la Vieuville, dedicated to Madame la Comtesse de P***, 1728, with four circles containing a lathe-turner cat, a chemist cat, a botanist cat, and a draftsman cat. - Baron Ch. de Vèze Catalogue, 1855, p. 131, no. 191.

"Grooming Little Brother," by Miss Aita. Young cats playing with each other. Paris, Delarue, lithograph.

"The Triumph of Minette," print engraved by Vidal, by Miss Gerard.

"A child holding a swaddled cat in his arms," while another child rejoices at the poor creature's embarrassment. Painting by Fragonard, exhibited at the Salon of 1779.

"A Cat Holding a Mouse Between Its Paws;" engraved by Cornelius Bloemaert (designer and burin engraver, born in Utrecht, in 1603; died in Rome in 1680).

'Wenda, Pauline and Emma,' daughters of Prince Severin Potocki; one of them is holding a cat. Copia sc., by Isabey. Tall oval print.


Corneille Wischer, born in Holland, circa 1610; a very skilful draftsman and engraver with etching and chisel.

"The big cat." A crouching cat facing right; in the background, on the left, we see a rat. This print shows the ease with which Corneille Wischer knew how to handle the burin [engraving chisel]; we find in the hair the remarkable suppleness of the cat's fur.


"The Little Cat." A cat crouching on a towel, facing left. The animal's head is very true to life, but the same cannot be said of the rest of its body. It is also noticeable that the rest of the work is very harsh, which must make one think that the board was destroyed without having been finished. It is so rare that it is found in very few collections, so this little print is very valuable. It comes from the cabinet of Jonghe, Rotterdam, and was bought for 500 fr. A similar proof was in Revil's cabinet, sold in 1830; it was then acquired by Mr. Standish; in 1852 it was bought by M. Thorel, and when it was sold in December 1853 the price rose again to 500 fr. - See nos. 147 and 148, 'Description of the prints exhibited in the gallery of the Imperial Library, Etc.' by J. Duchesne the elder, Paris, 1855.



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