Bibliotheque de la Chasse Illustree
[Illustrated Hunting Library]

L' Attila, the scourge of rats! – La Fontaine
Paris, Librairie Firmin-Didot and Company, 56, Rue Jacob, 56

To Jean-Jacques Percheron,
My dear child, you love animals - I dedicate this book to you. To you I dedicate this work in which I have tried to correct some of the injustices committed towards a good animal by writers, who, I am sure, would have treated it differently if they had had a deeper knowledge of it. The cat is a misunderstood animal. It can be, as is well known, a friend to man, as gentle, affectionate and faithful as the dog. This is what I am saying, and this is what I would like repeated with me.
Gaston Percheron, Paris, 31 August, 1884.


Summary: A Friend of the Pharaohs. – The Cat God; the Cat in Death. – The Temple of Cats. – Its Mysteries. – Cat Mummies and Tombs. – Writings of Herodotus and Diodore of Sicily. – Cat Effigies. - Where the Cat Gave Way to the Weasel and the Ferret. - The Cat According to the Latin Agronomists. - A Petition to the Emperor Augustus. - Geographical Considerations. – Cat Dispersion Area. - Sung of by Homer, Praised by Plato. - The Prophet's cat. - The Hospital of Bab-el-Naer. - The Cat in the Middle Ages. - Incarnation of Sorcerers. -The Cat in Modern Times. - A Friend of Great Men. – A Curious Epitaph. - A Protective Law. - Indian Legend.

Summary. - The Cat is the Carnivore Par Excellence. - General Characteristics. - Dental System. - A Terrible Weapon. - A Bad Runner. – An Intellectural Peculiarity. - The Sensory Organs. - Two Perfect Senses: Hearing and Sight. – Cats Learly Ex=plained. – The Genus Catus.. - Physiological observations.

Summary. - The "king of creation" and the animals who rallied to him. - By raising the beast we do not demean man. - Descartes and his niece. What philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries thought of the beasts. - Bossuet and Leibniz. - Montaigne, Gassendi, Condillac. - The voluntary and involuntary faculties. - The role of the nervous system. - Intelligence and brain size. - A rehabilitation test. - A series of anecdotes. – Cats’ concert. - Future music. - More anecdotes. - A study by J.-J. Granville. - Still more anecdotes. - The biography of Prett. - Conclusion.

Summary. - The strongest and most carnivorous of mammals. - How the an animal’s anatomy regulates its actions. - A philosophical page. - Force takes precedence over right. – A bad runner, but an agile animal. – An animal that always falls on its paws. - Lacking courage, but defends itself heroically. - A true weather constitution. - Clean and pretty like no one else in the world. – A wise observation. - A slander.

Summary. - A few words on the classification of felines. - A difficult undertaking. - Three main sections. - Classification of Cats clearly given. - Wild races. - Domestic breeds.

Summary. - The Black Footed Cat. - The Obscure Cat. - The Golden Cat. - The Manul. - The Caffre Cat. - The Gloved Cat; ancestor of the domestic cat according to some naturalists. - Evidence to support it. - An observation from Ruppel. - Another observation by Brehm. - The Bengalese Cat . - The Rusty-Spotted Cat. - The Wild Cat, other ancestor of the domestic cat according to other naturalists. - Other evidence in Support. - His behaviour. - How it is destroyed. - Its gradual disappearance.

Summary. - Many varieties. - Difficulty in distinguishing them. - A quite extraordinary mating. - The Domestic Tiger Cat. - The Angora Cat. - The Spanish Cat. - The Chinese Cat.- The Tailless Cat. - The Chartreux, or Cat of the Carthusians. - Tobolsks Cat. – Khorassan Cat. – Roumanian Cat. - Cape of Good Hope Cat. – Cyprus Cat.

Summary. - Paleontology: its history. - Cuvier and his followers. - Felis antiqua. - Felis spelea. - Felis Arvernensis. - Felis pardinensis. - Felis megantereon. - Felis issiodorensis. - Felis brevirostris. - The Felis aphanista. - Felis prisca. - Felis ogygia. - Felis antediluviana.

Summary. - Character of domesticity. - The opinion of Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire on this issue. -The last animal domesticated by man.- Where we show that the cat has not yet lost its original savagery. - He is more attached to the habitation than to his master. - A famous verse. - Comparison between dog and cat. - A fable of circumstance. - Aspiration towards free life. - A way to prevent the cat from deserting the house. - Rehabilitation by Dr. Jonathan Franklin. - Habit is second nature.

Summary. - Felines are essentially carnivorous. - They do not tolerate any hunting competition. – How natural controls their proliferation. - The favorite food of the domestic cat. - A fisherman when greedy. - A curious account from the Plymouth Journal. - A proverb that does not lie. - A beast that loves nothing but fresh flesh. - How the cat is better than his reputation. – Resistance to indigestion. - A singular way of drinking. - A thirty days’ fast. – An cat fed too well makes a bad hunter.

Summary. – Loose morals. – Night-time battles. – A bad wife, but a good mother. –An unrivalled wetnurse who does not dispute her infants’ wishes. – A curious example of suckling. - How to dry up the milk of a lactating cat. - Weaning the young.

Summary. - All players! - A portrait of "Grippeminaud" after La Fontaine. -Products of love and chance. - A barbaric mutilation. - Heloise and Psyche. - A lamentable state. - Another barbaric mutilation.

Summary. - Three main phases. - Growth. - Stasis. - Decline. - A poetic comparison. - Indications from height and weight. - Indications from the sexual development. - Indications from the coat - Indications from general body condition. – Dental signs. – Dental wear. – Indications from certain organs.

CHAPTER VI. USES AND PRODUCTS. Summary. – Down with the plunderers! - Their natural enemy. - The biography of Mylord Cat. - The experiments of Lenz. - Snake hunter. - Cats on the isle of Cyprus. – Still useful after its death - Unfair competition.



Summary: A Friend of the Pharaohs. – The Cat God; the Cat in Death. – The Temple of Cats. – Its Mysteries. – Cat Mummies and Tombs. – Writings of Herodotus and Diodore of Sicily. – Cat Effigies. - Where the Cat Gave Way to the Weasel and the Ferret. - The Cat According to the Latin Agronomists. - A Petition to the Emperor Augustus. - Geographical Considerations. – Cat Dispersion Area. - Sung of by Homer, Praised by Plato. - The Prophet's cat. - The Hospital of Bab-el-Naer. - The Cat in the Middle Ages. - Incarnation of Sorcerers. -The Cat in Modern Times. - A Friend of Great Men. – A Curious Epitaph. - A Protective Law. - Indian Legend.

The domestic cat came to us from Egypt; it is convincing enough to read Herodotus, Aristotle, Pausanias, Diodorus of Sicily, etc. At about the time of the thirteenth dynasty, nearly three thousand years before the Christian era, the land of the Pharaohs appears to have received this animal that seems to have come from the countries of the Upper Nile. From then on, it was adopted as both a sacred animal and a household pet. It was placed among the gods, and altars were erected to it. After death, it was embalmed and buried at Bubastis, where it was venerated as a divine being. The monuments of ancient Egypt are testaments to this veneration.

It should be noted that the animal of ancient Egypt was quite different from the domestic cat found in most European countries today. Our familiar cat is undoubtedly descended from the wild cat of our forests, Felis catus. It has been established, as Ruppel demonstrates (Research on the Ancient History of our Domestic Animals (Annals of Natural History, XVII)), that the ancient Egyptian domestic cat descended from Felis maniculata, a species still encountered in the wild in the Egyptian Sudan.

The cat god was a god of music. Why this divine office rather than another? TWe cannot explain this as the cat’s meow has never been melodic. The feline goddess was chosen - needless to say – as the goddess of love. Both divine offices were always represented by a cat’s head on the body of a man or woman; the cat god holding a sistrum in his hands. In addition, female beauty was even more appreciated as it seemed to be feline in nature. It is doubtless for this reason that Egyptian statuary always represents women with slightly flattened faces and noses. The remains of a temple dedicated to the goddess Pasht can still be found in Beni-Hassan. It is surrounded by cat burials that were consecrated to the goddess.

According to Cammas and Lefevre: "The dried mummies of all the heroes of this race who were perhaps unworthy of divine honors are strewn on the ground. Their masters would have done much better to skin them first and use their furs; but they would not have thought they were paying a sufficient homage to the protectors of their granaries, to the friends of their houses. Cats are the living representation of the Penates and Lares [household gods]; they resemble the gods, for they love caresses and do not return them; there is in them something celestial and mysterious: they see at night as at day and their clear eyes seem reflections of the stars; their whole body reveals a light that appears at night when they pass their hand on their backs. Hence the law of emblems gave the head of a cat or a lioness, and phosphorescent eyes to Bubastis, the sacred name of the light which does not come from the sun, a luminous and nocturnal goddess; this is why cats are devoted to him. Thus the pontiffs shared their care between the statue of Pasht and a race of cats climbing the altars, or sleeping on the knees of the goddess. No gesture or action of these happy beasts remained unanswered: oracles were founded on their frolics and meowings, as elsewhere on the flight of the ibis or the vulture; it was the priests of Pasht who first recognized the imminence of rain, when the cats passed their paws over their ears. " ( H. Cammas and Lefèvre, The Nile Valley, Paris, 1862)

It is these mysteries, says La Fable, which Orpheus later revealed to the pontiffs of Greece, and it is to them that old Ronsard alludes, when he says:
But above all domestic animals,
The cat has the prophetic spirit,
And the ancient Egyptians did well
To honor it

Herodotus (430 BC) says of the cat, which he called Aioluros, meaning tailwaver, "If a fire breaks out in an Egyptian home, people pay little attention of the fire and think only of their cats. They stood around and watched and if one of them, unfortunately, escaped and threw itself into the flames, the Egyptians uttered loud cries." He went on to say: "When a cat dies naturally, all the inhabitants of the house shave their brows in mourning. The dead cats are placed in sacred apartments, embalmed and carried to the town of Bubastis. "

According to the classification of mummies, we supposed that there was a hierarchy among those representatives of the feline species. Some were wrapped in strips covered with more or less laudatory hieroglypics, while others were buried together as a family in a single wrapping. Unfortunately, the perfumes that impregnated the mummies have not fully preserved their remains, and grave-robbers have ransacked these hypogeas [tombs] so that we must reconstruct the honors and past dignities from the funereal and sacred remains of this vanished religion.

Diodorus of Sicily (30 years BC) writes: "He who kills a cat in Egypt is condemned to death, whether he committed the crime voluntarily or not. The people throw themselves upon the murderer, and kill him in the most cruel torments." It was thus that a Roman, having had the misfortune to accidentally kill a cat, was torn to pieces, and neither authority of King Ptolemy, who had sent his guards to save him, nor the respect of the Roman name, could rescue him from the furious mob who rushed upon his house. The same Diodorus of Sicily relates that in Memphis children were dedicated to the cat, just as today they are dedicated to the Virgin or to the blue or the white. The children thus consecrated wore a medal bearing the effigy of the cat of the temple where the vow had been pronounced.

This veneration of the Egyptians for the cat was exploited by Cambyses, king of the Persians, in circumstances worth repeating. This monarch came to lay siege before Pelusium, which, being situated at the mouth of the Nile, was, so to speak, the key to the empire of the Pharaohs. The garrison resisted valiantly, until he had the idea of making an assault by sending in soldiers each with a cat in his arms. The Egyptians, afraid of wounding or killing any of the cats, dared not use weapons, and the city was taken without a blow, thanks to the novel shields with which the king of Persia had armed his soldiers.

We have mentioned the medals given to the children, and our national library also has a medal stamped in honor of the cat. But this is much more recent. It reads “Black Cat 1st, born in 1725,” and on the reverse it says, “Knowing whom I like, know what I am worth.”

What is curious is that the habit of raising cats remained confined to Egypt for a long time. Thus the domestic cat is not mentioned once in the book of Moses; it is not known whether it even had a name in the Hebrew language. Nor do the texts and monumental figures of the Babylonians and Assyrians provide any trace of its existence among those peoples. Nor is it one of the domestic animals which the Aryas possessed before their separation into several branches.

As for the Greeks, they knew it only as a wild animal of the forests, and they regarded it as an evil beast to be hunted and destroyed and which was only good for its skin. The cats image does not appear in any work of Hellenic art. The Greeks were not ignorant of domesticated cats in Egypt where, as already mentioned, Herodotus wrote that they were sacred. Long before they knew the Egyptian cat, its place had been taken in Greek dwellings - according to two scholarly commentators, Dureau de la Malle (On the cat of the ancient Greeks. (Journal of Anat, 1868, Vol. II)) and Professor Rolleston (Atlas zu den Reisentm Nordlichen Afrika, p. 2.), - by the white-breasted weasel which was given the role of killing mice and rats. This species of marten was called “galé,” the name still used in modern Greece, and, if that name was later applied to the cat, it is the fault of Byzantine writers in the Middle Ages, who did not think it necessary to change the name even after the cat had completely supplanted the marten as protector of households against small rodents.

While the Greeks refused to adopt the cat, the Etruscans, a maritime people, who had received some cats from Egypt via Carthaginians, with whom they had important trade relations, introduced these animals, which were sought after as a distinguished luxury. The murals of several Etruscan tombs depict cats living in homes, and running under the tables and the beds of the banqueting-rooms, sometimes holding a mouse in their mouth. The type of cat depicted is always that of the ancient Egyptians.

But what is quite singular is that, except for of the example of the Etruscans, the Romans were very late to adopt the cat as a domestic animal. On the other hand, they were prodigious importers of lions. Sylla, during his praetorship, arranged fights with up to a hundred males at a time; Pompey six hundred and Caesar four hundred. We no longer find lions in such numbers in the whole of Africa. Referring again to the literary texts, until the end of the first century of our era, it was the mustela, identical with the gale of the Greeks, that was raised in Roman houses for the destruction of the rats and mice.

For example, the fable of Phaedra (Liv IV, fable ii.), entitled “Mustela et Mures” says

“Mustela, quum annis et senecta debilis
Mures veloces non valeret assequi,
Involvit se farina et obscuro loco
Abjecit negligenter, etc. “

The Weasel and the Rats. “A weasel weak with age and infirmity could no longer catch the agile rats. She covered herself with flour and threw herself into a dark recess as if abandoned, etc." La Fontaine, as we know, imitated this fable, but his version involved a cat using the ingenious stratagem.

This is not to say that the inhabitants of the Latin world did not know the cat, which some – such as Varron and Columelle – called Felis; and others - such as Palladius - called Catus; but it was not admitted into the intimacy of man, and was feared as a ferocious beast.

In fact, here is what Terentius Varro - the most learned of the Romans, in the judgment of Cicero – said in his treatise on agriculture: “Quis enim ignorât septa e maceriis ità esse opportere in leporario, ut tectorio tacta sint et sint alta? alterum ne felis, aut melis, aliave qui bestia introire possit^ alterum ne lupus transilire . . .” - "Who does not know that a park must be surrounded by well-crafted walls to prevent the cat, the marten and the other beasts from penetrating, and high enough so that the wolves can not cross them?"

In his turn, Columella, a pure agronomist said in his book De re rustica (Book VIII.): "For the rest, we shall observe the precepts we have given in relation to other species of chickens, to prevent them from feeling the breath of a snake or a ferret, as well as that of a cat or even a weasel, because these pestilential animals commonly make a frightful carnage of these birds when they are young. "

They did not speak of it as a pet.

So it was the weasel alone that, at that time, had all the honors of the house. We hear the same from Favis as we do from La Fontaine:

The nation of weasels,
No less than that of cats,
Wishes no good to rats.

The weasel, which Aristotle called by that name, and which Pliny called “viverra,” was also used against rabbits. Strabon relates that those rodents had multiplied so much in the Balearic Islands that the inhabitants asked for help from the Emperor Augustus, who sent them some weasels which were dropped into the rabbit burrows from which the weasels chased the rabbits, which were captured in nets. Hence, perhaps, the name of the African cats was given to the marten, ferret, and polecat by ancient naturalists.

It must be added, however, that at this period some patrician houses owned Angora cats which had been brought at great expense from the East, but this species, it need hardly be said, is not connected in any way with the Egyptian cat; it descends from a variety which the Aryo-Indians naturalized after they landed on the banks of the Ganges and the Indus. A well-preserved mosaic in Pompeii represents one such cat seizing a pigeon to devour it. The same variety of cat is found on a bas-relief of the Capitoline Museum, standing on its hind legs, and batting at a chicken suspended from a rope which it tries to reach while a lyre-player regulates its movements in cadence.

About the time of Augustus we see the cat appear in the fables of Babrias; but most of these fables are of Syrian origin. In the second century of our era, Elien remarked that the cat is liable to attach itself to the persons who care for it, or to the houses where it is well treated; but he only seems to know of domestic cats in Egypt. It is not until the fourth century that the cat seems to have been accepted by the Romans as a domestic animal, and then it is referred to as catus, later passed on as ?at?? in the great Byzantine. It is thus by the Romans, as Pictet points out, that the domestic cat was brought to the West, after they had adopted it at a time when eastern customs were becoming established in the Eternal City.

But the eminent linguist goes even further, and shows that the word catus, which derives from the Syriac qaio, indicates the country from which the Romans had derived the use of the cat in the domestic state. From Egypt the cat spread very slowly into Europe. It arrived in Italy only after passing through Arabia and Syria, and appeared in Western Europe only around the tenth century of our era. Today it is found almost everywhere that man has settled and has spread considerably in America since the discovery of that continent.

According to Albert the Great, when the Arabs arrived in Spain, they found only a large number of domestic ferrets called furos by the natives. The ferrets were used for killing mice and rats. It is from the type of cat that that the Arabs introduced there that our domestic cat descends, a race which, as we shall see later, has produced a number of varieties. Like the Egyptians, the Arabs had deified the cat. According to Pliny, they worshiped a golden cat. It is perhaps due to a remnant of idolatry that they continue to regard the cat as a clean animal, while rejecting the dog as an unclean one. We know, moreover, that the cat was the favorite of the prophet, as shown in the following tale:

The cat of the Muslim lawmaker once settled on one side of his robe and appeared to meditate so deeply that Mahomet, in a hurry to get to prayer, but not wanting to wake the cat from its ecstasy, preferred to cut off the part of his garment on which the cat rested. When the prophet returned, the cat, awaking from its slumber, bowed to him to thank him for such consideration. Mahomet understood what this meant and assured the cat, which purred and arched its back, a place in paradise. Then he stroked his hand over the haunches of the cat three times, and by this touch he gave it the power of always landing on its feet.

The followers of the great lawmaker have inherited his love for this favorite animal of the Egyptians, and in Cairo, near the gate of Bab-el-Nazr, there is a hospital where wandering or sick cats are taken. Every day, many women or children take food to the cats.

We have said that the cat only appeared in Western Europe about the tenth century AD. But we admit that he was not as highly esteemed by the Christians as by the pagans and the infidels. It was believed that cats danced with witches in their Sabbats and that the devil chose to take the face of a cat when it took his fancy to mingle with humans. These facts are attested to very gravely by Bodin in his book on Demoniomania. It was that sorcerers most often took the form of cats when holding their infernal courts.

It is these absurd beliefs that earned the cat atrocious torture at certain times of the year during the Middle Ages. In Paris, they played a cruel game with him in the fire of Saint John. This custom of lighting up the summer solstice with joyful fires comes from the Orientals, who saluted the return of the New Year with fire. The custom was adopted in the west in the Middle Ages with the addition of the immolation of the cat, which was regarded as the torture of sorcerers, and the ceremony continued almost into the current day, although it had long since lost its meaning. It was celebrated with great pomp, and history tells us that from Louis XI. To Louis XIV the French kings honored it by their presence and even by their help. A contemporary author gives these details of the feast of 1573:

In the middle of the Place de Greve stood a wooden structure sixty feet high, from which spread wooden cross-pieces, to which all kinds of rockets were attached. At the foot were piled ten sections of thick wood and a lot of straw; at the top of this was a basket or a cage, containing two dozen cats, and, extraordinarily, “a fox to give pleasure to His Majesty.” In the midst of noisy music, Charles IX, followed by the provost of the merchants and the aldermen, set fire to this pyre with a torch of white wax, adorned with a handful of crimson velvet. The crowd, eager for the spectacle, could hardly be kept at bay by the archers; but when the prince had retired, the crowd rushed to the ashes, replacing the now silent bands and the artillery with a thousand voices.

The purpose of this solemnity was to celebrate the joyous election of the King's brother to the kingdom of Poland. Until the end of the eighteenth century, an equally barbarous ceremony was celebrated each year at Metz. The magistrates and clergy, in festive costume and accompanied by a marching band, brought a huge iron cage filled with cats to the public square. This cage was placed on a pyre raised by the populace, and then the faggots were set on fire. The unfortunate beasts cried, twisted, and convulsed amidst the joyful shouts of the pitiless crowd, and who only departed when the cats and the faggots had become a single heap of ashes.

According to legend, these horrible rejoicings were celebrated in memory of a sorceress who had been condemned by ecclesiastical justice to perish at the stake. The sorceress changed herself into a cat and saved herself as she was being taken from prison and transported to the ordeal. Less credulous people believe that the young and attractive witch had seduced the prelate presiding over the court, and that she preferred the episcopal bed to the faggots of the public square so to satisfy public opinion, a living cat was roasted in her place. Since then, no anniversary of this execution passed without immolating some cats on a pyre provided by the population.

But let us leave these inhumane horrors and occupy ourselves with some men who have made friends of the cat, “the apologists of the cat,” for its name is honorably associated with the memory of several distinguished personages.

Thus Petrarch, whose name shone on the fourteenth century, had a cat who knew how to dispel sadness and charm his solitude. Tasso, the greatest poet of modern Italy, reduced to such poverty that he lacked even light for writing his famous verses, wrote a pretty sonnet asking his cat to lend him the torch of its eyes at night. The illustrious Genoese mariner, Andre Doria, was buried with his cat Marignan, a present from the Duchesse d'Etampes. Montaigne, the moral philosopher, confessed that the games and the caresses of his cat were a most agreeable recreation for him. The implacable Richelieu was fond of cats; history tells us that he caressed with one hand a family of these animals which played on his knees, at the same time as signing the order of execution of Cinq-Mars and his unfortunate friend de Thou.

The great Colbert was relieved of his ministerial fatigues by playing with a troop of young and cuddly kittens which had access to the cabinet from which so many of this nation’s useful laws have come. Fontenelle had a marked predilection for cats. It is said that one day, as a young man, he placed one of his favorites in an armchair and began to make a speech to him in order to practice public speaking. The cat, not at all seduced by his beautiful oratory, fled at full speed and did not return. More attentive to his master was the cat of a certain young lady, Dupuy, mentioned by Moncrif, the famous biographer of cats. This young lady, who was very talented on the harp, thought she owed her artistic excellence to her cat when it came to her. This animal, she said to those who wished to hear it, listened with the utmost attention whenever she practised on the instrument. She had even noticed certain signs of tenderness in it that emphasized the most expressive parts of the piece. Thanks to the tastes of her favorite listener she had developed a talent which had earned her both a fortune and a reputation, and she wished her animal to continue to be properly cared for, and bequeathed to it an income more than sufficient to satisfy to all its desires.

Madame de la Sabliere’s house, from the cellar to the attic, was filled with cats of all kinds. The Duchess of Maine composed a rondeau on the merits of Malarmain, her affectionate cat. Madame de Lesdiguières erected a marble mausoleum with this epitaph to the memory of her female cat:

Here is a pretty cat
Her mistress, who loved nothing,
Loved her to the point of madness.
Why do you say that? – You can see it clearly.

Madame Deshoulières, said of her own cat: "When my husband goes away, Grisette is enough for me."

Hoffman made his tomcat Murr the main hero of his Fantastic Tales. Having had the misfortune to lose him, he felt such profound grief that it is believed it shortened his life, for he did not outlive his favourite by long. On November 30, 1821, he sent his friend Litzig the following letter: "During the night of November 29 to November 30, he fell asleep to live again in a better life, after a short, but violent illness, my beloved pupil, tomcat Murr, in the fourth year of his life, full of hope, which I never fail to tell my protectors and friends. Those who knew the one I mourn will understand my pain and will respect it - by their silence!” - Hoffman.

Fourrier liked the cat as much as he detested the dog.

To this long enumeration of names we can add those of Theophile Gautier, Leon Gozlan, Alberic Second, Paul de Kock, Sardou, Baudelaire, Champfleury, Clovis Hugues, etc., writers who testify in prose or verse of the great affection in which they held cats. Besides, if we are to believe a certain philosopher of the last century, it appears that this marked affection of the man for the cat is always the first sign of superior merit.

Among the poems inspired by this animal we shall quote the most recent, that of M. Clovis Hugues, the poet-deputy, entitled “The Little Cats.”

I was smoking a good cigar and plucking rhymes from the blue,
When I heard a strange cry from the thick grass near a wall,
Where the airy campanula bells tinkled in the vermillion summer,
Hanging full of sunshine at the tips of the stems.

Astonished, I bent my head towards the narrow path full of flowers,
Searching for the strange creature That possessed that strange cry.
But I saw only the thick grass where beautiful glistening butterflies
Fluttered around the flower I had loved since twelve years old.

Once again I heard in the grass that cry that had startled me,
Like the cry of a cricket, trapped under the shower.
That almost human cry I guessed was the dying call
Of some beast barely born, life had received badly.

I followed the trail of sounds that came one after another,
And discovered in the grass two little abandoned cats.
They were there, dragging their paws and breathing the stifling air
Their hair thin, their spines sunken, no bigger than a child's fist.

They crawled with closed eyelids, blind and broken, with heavy flanks.
Showing their fine pink tongues like pieces of red velvet,
Just like a slithering snake. They stretched out their necks,
Inflating their small smooth bellies, that dragged on grass and the pebbles.

I lowered my head again and cursing the arrogant man
Who, in the cry of the beast, dDoes not hear the cry of the child;
Then, leaving the stanza sought, my sublime or banal dream,
I took away the poor brood in the folds of a serious newspaper
In which, in order to scare men, a respected publicist
Told the country that we are nothing but fools and blood drinkers.

January 1878.

Let us conclude this historical account by noting that the Egyptians were not the only people who protected cats. The Code of Wales contains a provision introduced by Howel the Good about the middle of the tenth century. This provision sentenced all those who tormented, wounded, or killed a cat to heft fines. The value of the cat was fixed according to the services he was likely to render. A young cat, which had not yet caught any mice, was of lesser value than the one who had already killed a few of those walking menu items [gent trotte-menu]. The one whose reputation as a hunter was widely established was worth twice as much. Other provisions regulated the sale of cats.

The purchaser, for example, had the right to demand that the eyes and claws were well formed, and, finally, that the animal was a good mouser. If the animal bought was deficient in any of these points the buyer could claim a refund of one third of the purchase price. Moreover, anyone who killed a cat on the estate of the prince was forced to give the necessary quantity of corn "to cover the dead cat completely, suspended by its tail so that its muzzle touched the ground."

The enactment of these measures has a scientific value which cannot be disregarded. It proves that if the domestic cat, which was regarded as a valuable assistant, really was descended from the wild cat, as certain authors assert, it would have been very easy to procure a cat as they infested the forests of England. What could be easier than capturing young wildcats, raising them and taming them?

In this respect, let us express the regret that the legislators of the year XII, who introduced a special law to regulate the trade in dometic animals to correct the abuses connected with this kind of transactions - a law later revised by the House of Peers in 1838 - have thought it necessary to remove two of our most useful assistants - the dog and the cat - from the code.

More practical and grateful were the ancients, particularly in regard to the dog, which, referring to the writings of the Latin agronomists, when sold, enjoyed the same advantages and the same guarantees as the flock he guarded. With the dog and the cat, as with other domestic animals, a buyer should no longer be a victim of fraudulently disguised defects. But as this is not the place to address this question, let us content ourselves with pointing it out. These historical considerations would be incomplete if we did not conclude with this curious Indian legend about the origin of the cat:

In the first days when the animals were confined in the ark, astonished at the movement of the boat and their new dwelling, they remained in their own quarters without asking what was happening with their neighbours. The monkey was the first one who got bored of this sedentary life and he went to make a few jokes to a young lioness nearby. This example, copied immediately, spread a spirit of merriment in the ark, which lasted throughout the whole voyage, and which some animals retained when they landed. A number of unbelievable infidelities between different speciesgave rise to previously unknown animals. A male and female cat resulted from a love affair between the monkey and the lioness, but in marked contrast to the other animals born of similar affairs, the cats were not sterile and were endowed with the faculty of reproduction.

Such is the legend. It has, as we see, a way of explaining the theory of transformism, which is somewhat less complicated than the theory of the illustrious Darwin.

Summary. - The Cat is the Carnivore Par Excellence. - General Characteristics. - Dental System. - A Terrible Weapon. - A Bad Runner. – An Intellectural Peculiarity. - The Sensory Organs. - Two Perfect Senses: Hearing and Sight. – Cats Learly Ex=plained. – The Genus Catus.. - Physiological observations.

The cat belongs to one of the most imposing families of the order of the carnivorous mammals:. that of the Felines. This family is composed of species destined to eat live prey, even more exclusively than dogs. We shall briefly summarise its distinguishing characteristics.

The felines, considered in general, have a rounded muzzle, formed of two short jaws, which are remarkably powerful and terribly armed. They consist of 28 to 30 teeth, namely: 6 incisors in the upper jaw and the same number in the lower; 2 enormous canines above and below; plus 8 molars in the upper jaw and 6 only in the lower. These molars are small, compressed, sharp and serrated like a saw. Instead of engaging each other by their crown, they engage by their faces much like the blades of scissors, which is because the lower jaw is much narrower than the upper. The molars which cover both sides of the latter are subdivided in the following manner: two principal premolars and four posterior molars. The premolars are relatively small. The principal molars, much larger, are topped by triangulars crown with a slightly pointed summit in the middles.

The first posterior molars, also known as superior carnassials, are distinguished by their exaggerated development. These are the biggest of all and their configuration deserves a more detailed description: they are formed of a sharp point with a conical lobe at the anterior base, and, at the rear, another lobe, much larger, like a a sort of sharp wing. The second posterior molars are distinguished, on the contrary, by their small size. They are arranged transversely and each of them has a tubercular shape with a two-lobed crown.

The lower jaw consists of two principal molars and four rear molars. The two main molars are slightly triangular, compressed with a basilar heel forward and a much larger and almost bilobed posterior heel. The first posterior molars differ little from their corresponding upper molares. The second, or inferior carnassials, are thin, fairly high, and formed almost entirely by two sharp lobes separated from one another by a strong indentation.

The canines are barely curved, but they are large and strong and protrude beyond all the other teeth in length. The incisors are unremarkable.

We have said that the jaws of all animals of the genus felis are very short; therefore, the muscles that operate them are remarkably strong. It is the development of these muscles and of the zygomatic ridge, where they have their point of insertion, which give the characteristic width to the head of all felines, and the rounded muzzles which distinguish them from other mammals.

The foot is broad and rounded; it is lined on its plantar face with thick, elastic bumps that make the animal's walk soft and silent and allow it to fall from above without injuring itself. It has five toes on the front limbs and four on the hind limbs. The toes are equipped with long, sharp, powerful retractile hooked nails which constitute the main weapons of the felines. They are used to seize and tear prey, to defend the cat or to attack and for grip, to prevent the cat from slipping.

The phalange at the base of each toe has an interesting layout which it is worth describing. It is shorter than it is high and has a deeply indented posterior margin. By this anatomical configuration it can rotate on its head to extend the tip of the upper phalanx. Attached to the tip is a very strong elastic ligament which holds up each of the nails during walking and does so without causing muscular fatigue. The nails are also protected by a fold of the skin. It follows from this provision that they can not wear out or even become dull at each step the animal takes. But when he wants to use the claws, he contracts the flexor muscles, stretches out his fingers, raises his sharp claws and thus presents a most terrible weapon. As soon as the muscle contraction ceases, the claws rise naturally to hide under the fingers.

The cat’s tongue bristles with hard, horny, backward-pointing papillae, giving it the feel the sensation of a grater. The surface of these is so hard that the animal can remove the skin of its prey by licking it. It follows, that cats are essentially carnivorous, preferring to eat flesh so fresh it is still quivering. This is very different from the dog, who likes to feast on putrefying meat. The cat’s nose ends in a small snout with the nostrils opening below the tip of the snout and and to each side of it. The ears are small, straight and triangular. The legs are short and remarkably supple.

The vertebral column comprises twenty thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, two or three false vertebrae, and sixteen to twenty caudal vertebrae. It is very flexible, which prevents all animals of genus felis from being good runners; on the other hand, they can bend, climb and stretch with the greatest ease, and although they progress only by leaps, these leaps are often really prodigious.

The intestine, which is relatively short, is three to five times the length of the body. The brain is small and depressed laterally, so that its width projects in the area corresponding precisely where Gall places the “protuberance of murder.” The male organ bristles with small horny papillae, which in some species makes mating quite painful. "In venere semper certat dolor and gaudium," said Seneca [“In love, grief and joy are always certain”]. There are no pockets or follicles in the vicinity of the penis. The female usually has eight breasts: four pectoral and four abdominal.

If we now proceed to the study of the senses, we find curious peculiarities. The senses of hearing and sight are undoubtedly the most developed. What is especially striking when examining the skeleton of cats is the excessive size of the eardrum. In the same way, the outer ear tells us, by its structure, by its remarkable appendices and by the quantity of hair which protects its interior, that this organ is greatly important and the hearing is exquisitely sensitive. Cats can perceive the smallest sounds at greater distances.

Although less acute than its hearing, the cat’s sight is nevertheless highly developed. Its eyes are remarkable for the development and extreme responsivity of the iris, which, by dilating or contracting, allows the animal to see equally well during the day and night. Light makes the pupils contract and appear only as narrow slits, while in the dark they expands and becomes rounded so that the slightest glimmer can gather at the back of the eye where it is reflected by the retina.

Touch is also fairly well developed; moreover, in these animals the whole body is sensitive, as it were. But the main organs of tactile sensation are the whiskers around the lips and above the eyes. If these long hairs are cut, the animal becomes confused, even stunned, and only resumes his usual appearance once they have grown back.

"Outside circumstances," says Brehm, "greatly influence cats, and cause them to feel discontent and affect their well-being."

Caressing them by stroking a hand over their silky coat, almost always pleases them; they show, on the contrary, displeasure if they get wet or ruffled. It might be supposed that the rough surface of the mucous membrane which covers the upper side of the tongue removes the sense of taste, but this is not the case. Cats are no less sensitive to all the stimulation of the palate caused by spicy, salty or sweet foods. Let us hasten to say, however, that it is true that their delicacy of taste is limited because most cats do not chew their food, but swallow chunks of flesh torn from their prey.

Of all the senses the sense of smell is the least developed. In order to stimulate it, a cat must encounter the most penetrating odours, such as those of certain vegetables e.g. valerian or germander. It is a curious spectacle to see cats approaching these plants and rolling over them in a veritable frenzy.

Apart from the five senses discussed here, it may be said cats, along with most animals, have another sense which can be rightly considered as a sixth sense. When we see an animal, dog or cat, returning home in a short space of time, through a country unknown to him, or by a road which he has never followed before, is it not necessary to suppose that he has a complementary sense - a sense of direction or orientation - which enables him to rise entirely above the limits of the other senses? This faculty, as Ch. Bastian remarks, is only found in a rudimentary state in so many races, that it makes the corresponding sense, so well developed in some animals, seem to be a new and mysterious faculty.

"The degree to which traces of this faculty exists in us, varies greatly among different individuals. Some city-dwellers, who are otherwise very intelligent, are almost incapable of finding their way through intersecting streets, until they see a landmark to guide them. Others, on the contrary, set out with a correct notion of their destination and arrive there without difficulty, traversing a whole labyrinth of previously unknown streets (Sensations and Intelligence in Animals. 1881). "

However, this faculty of keeping in mind a sense of direction despite a great number of changes of direction, exists in a much higher degree in some savage or half-savage races. Thus, according to Darwin, Von Wrangel has related the marvelous manner in which the natives of northern Siberia are capable of "maintaining an exact direction towards a particular point, though traversing considerable distances on the ice of the kummocks; obliged, consequently, to incessant changes of direction, and without having anything to guide them in the sky or the icy sea." The Indians of North America show a similar facility in finding their way in the midst of immense mountainous areas, so densely wooded that it is impossible to see further than a few yards, or in the wilderness without prairie roads, where the landscape is drearily uniform.

The perfection of this faculty in savage or semi-savage peoples, whose lifestyles give serious cause for cultivating it, suggests that practice may, in this respect as well as others, perfect the faculty. But what particularly distinguishes a large number of animals is that they seem capable of possessing this initial notion of direction, under circumstances which would be of little benefit to the savage or half-savage men mentioned above.

We can support this by the story of a blind cat told just recently by M. Flovey. The cat first collided with the furniture, but little by little he began to run without touching the obstacles, as if he could see perfectly. One day he was taken very far from home. After a few plaintive meowings, the cat made up his mind and went in a straight line towards the house. Being blind, it is clear that he could not recognize the path to follow; gifted with a mediocre sense of smell, he could not be guided by his nose, since he returned by a different route from that by which he had been led astray; besides, the ground was covered with snow.

The preceding summary account of anatomical characteristics belongs to all felines. We shall now examine the peculiarities which relate to true cats [catus genus]. They have thirty-two teeth. The upper carnassial has three lobes and a tall middle spike; the lower has only two sharp pointed lobes and lacks a heel. The jaws are very short.

The cat- (catus) genus, in particular, is distinguished above all by size; it contains only the small cats; also by the ear, which is uniformly hairy throughout its circumference, and by the tail, which is about half the length of the body. In addition, the last lower molar tooth has two points and the pupil is vertical and split longitudinally; this provides a complete depiction of characteristics that differentiate the genus catus.

A physiological remark to close this chapter: Cats have very fast circulation and very active breathing and are easily asphyxiated.


Summary. - The "king of creation" and the animals who rallied to him. - By raising the beast we do not demean man. - Descartes and his niece. What philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries thought of the beasts. - Bossuet and Leibniz. - Montaigne, Gassendi, Condillac. - The voluntary and involuntary faculties. - The role of the nervous system. - Intelligence and brain size. - A rehabilitation test. - A series of anecdotes. – Cats’ concert. - Future music. - More anecdotes. - A study by J.-J. Granville. - Still more anecdotes. - The biography of Prett. - Conclusion.

The fact that the Creator has given man a superior moral nature which, to use poetic language, makes him "the king of creation," does not give him the right to deny animals their share of intelligence in the general distribution. Their intelligence is too limited for it to overshadow his own. This is why it is surprising to see certain philosophers refer to the few intellectual faculties which nature has given to the animal as "unconscious instinct". One can say, without hyperbole, that this way of thinking stems from excessive vanity and a lack of observation. In raising the beast, we do not reduce the status of man.

While man by his body and the arrangement of his organs is an animal, and in particular, is a mammal, he has characteristics that set him so completely apart from all other living beings that there is an abyss between his great intelligence and the rather limited intellectual faculties of the rest of the animal domain. But however limited those faculties may be, they express, albeit in a limited extent in animals, the phenomenon of comprehension.

All the subtleties of the philosopher Descartes, who saw their functions as automatism, could not prevent his niece from maintaining that his warbler had feelings. Once in the intimate discussions provoked by this topic, the father of Cartesianism, had his arguments undermined by the girl’s common sense, and remained open-mouthed, unable to find any philosophy argument that would allow him to victoriously refute his little antagonist.

At a time when animals were regarded as machines, we are grateful to Bossuet, who can be said, in spite of his enthusiasm, to have the highest degree of genius and common sense in granting animals the same sensitibilities that are found in humans: pleasure, pain, sensations, passions, sensible ideas. “This point of view," he said, "appears all the more probable, inasmuch as, by giving animals feelings and their consequences, it gives them nothing which we do not experience in ourselves and, moreover, it perfectly preserves human nature by reserving reasoning as a human faculty."

This was also the opinion of Leibniz, although it asserted itself less positively. The illustrious metaphysician, speaking of animals, said: "Bound to association and to the memory of ideas, they are incapable of generalisation. They do not reason, but move from one image to another, and at an encounter that appears similar to a previous one, they expect them to be related in reality because they are linked together in their memory. "

And yet Buffon, so true in his paintings of animal behaviour, so exact in his description of their actions, intelligence and industriousness, was, can you believe, one of the greatest detractors of animals: "The animal," he says, "is a purely material being which neither thinks nor reflects, yet acts and seems to determine itself. We can not doubt that the principle of the determination of motion is in the animal a purely mechanical effect and absolutely dependent on its organization." Further on he adds: "The inner sense of animal is, like its external senses, a purely material sense, etc."

The exposition of this theory earned the great naturalist a superb riposte from one of the most remarkable philosophers of the eighteenth century, Georges Leroy, author of the article ‘Instinct of the Encyclopaedia.’ "We witness a series of actions in which the actual sensation of an object is compared to a remembered sensation, an alternative impulse which is a clear sign, a marked hesitation, and finally a determination, since there follows an action which would not take place without these things. But we explain something so simple and consistent with our own experience as incomprehensible mechanical actiions? Assuredly we don’t know what produces sensation in ourselves and in other animate beings. There are many other things which we are ignorant; but once the phenomenon occurs, we know its products. It seems to me impossible to confound them with the results of mechanics, as many suppose. "

But let us leave this metaphysical digression, which is already too long, and return to the original question. In animals, as in man, the faculties proceed from the brain. Some of these faculties are voluntary, others are involuntary. The first, exceedingly limited, constitute what is called the animal’s "intelligence," and the other, remarkably developed, is called "instinct." These faculties are dependent on the nervous system. The nerves, as has been said, are the repositories of all sensibility, and are consequently the fundamental framework, and very root of animality. The degree of perfection of an animal is, therefore, in direct proportion to the development of its nervous system. Animal life can not exist without nerves; they alone give sensibility and motion, and without them we have only repose and inertia. Such is, for example, the vegetable kingdom. It is, therefore, due to his intelligence that man has been able to subdue the beast and bend it to all his needs.

"Less powerful than many animals, lacking the powerful weapons possessed by most of them, humans dominate the whole world by the superior intelligence, and human destiny is different from that of the rest of creation.” (Paul Gervais, Zoologie.).

We have said that the degree of intelligence is measured, in all organized beings, by the volume of the brain. Let us add that in cats this organ is sufficiently developed to give these animals a certain amount of intelligence. It must be admitted, however, that this organ is proportionally less voluminous in them than in dogs; which is certainly due to the small space available in the cerebral vault due to the prodigious development of the two jaws and the jaw muscles.

Generally speaking, it can be said that intelligence is the bond that connects the different domestic species to man. Among these, the species to which the cat belongs does not hold the least good place, and many people, as we have previously seen, prefer it to the dog. On the other hand, others accuse cats of treason and malice.
“. . . The cat does not deserve
Either the excess of honor or that indignity. “

The cat belongs to a vilified race which actually has much goodness, is useful, and whose qualities outnumber its faults. By painting a black picture of the cat, Buffon tried to make it into a foil for the beauty of the dog, his preferred animal whose qualities he eloquently extolled. As a result, disfavour extends over all the feline species. However, the dog's merits do not exclude those of the cat. We do not wish to establish here any parallel between these two animals, which are very different in their natures and so opposite in character, but are both precious due to the services they render us. Compelled to live in the intimacy of his natural enemy, the dog, the domestic cat, already suspicious by nature, iseven more wary, and this earned him the reproaches of that illustrious naturalist, reproaches that are not entirely justified.

The cat is essentially independent. Because of this, she has character defects: she is savage through cowardice, suspicious through weakness and a thief by necessity. But if her position as a household pet is improved, all these defects disappear and it follows that the cat may be, as we will see, a friend as gentle, affectionate, and faithful as the dog. We wish to emphasis this: its character is modified through its relationship and interaction with its master.

This is not a rehabilitation. The animal whose history we describe does not need a lawyer. The immense service which it renders daily speaks highly for it; and it may be said, without exaggeration, that they have made of "Master Mitis" a precious beast in more than one respect. When one has so many qualities, one has the right to have some defects.

"The cat," says Ernest Menault (The Intelligence of Animals), "has always been considered a clever character, a being always to be reckoned with. Our greatest geniuses paid homage to his intelligence."

Nothing is more true. In fact it seems that La Fontaine, that observant and sophisticated spirit, identified himself with his character, when he gave us the portrait of Rodilard, the Alexander of cats, Attila the scourge of rats, who, in order to deceive those walking morsels, devised this malicious stratagem::

“From the top of a shelf the gallant plays dead,
The cursed beast suspended, hangs down his head,
All the while holding tight with his back paws and claws
To some strategically positioned cords.”

The mice smell a trap and are hesitant, but the old campaigner plays his role of dead cat so well that they end up being caught out by his trick:

“The hanged one springs to life and lands his feet,
Catching the slowest and laziest to eat,
Swallows them down, he says “For sure,
I know more than one trick in this endless war.”

What does that say to us, that "we know more than one trick?" Isn’t it a characteristic of this cautious, cunning, thoughtful, and observant animal to always find new ways to trick and trap its prey? Finesse, cleverness, concealment, nothing is lacking in this four-footeds Machiavelli on all fours, to this furry Talleyrand [an untrustworthy person] of the village!

"To judge him in all his intelligence, watch him spying on a bird, as he creeps up stealthily, watching right and left, as if no-one has seen him. Then, with his ears stretched out, his eyes wide open, he watches his prey, sometimes miaowing so gently that one feels he wants to attract and deceive the bird. Then, when all his measures are well planned and his thoughts well done, with the rapidity of an arrow, with a bound, he falls straight on his game, and rarely misses it (Ernest Menault (loco citato))."

And what is most remarkable in this creature is the grace with which it does all this. Each of his movements is charming, and his agility is truly surprising. Let us hear what a remarkable observer, Lenz, tells us of the cat:

"I have often observed," he says, "a cat on the look-out, amidst several mouse-holes; it could have placed itself to observe and dominate all of them, but never. If he took up position in front of one hole, the mouse would know this and and either would not come out or would retrace his path. The cat therefore places himself between various entrances and listens to the side where there is movement; he places himself in such a way that the mouse has his back to the cat when leaving. The cat sits absolutely immobile, even his usually mobile tail is completely still. A mouse comes out in front of the cat and is immediately seized; it it leaves behind the cat, it is also quickly under the cat’s claws. In the latter case, not only does the cat know that the mouse has come out, but he knows, as well as if he saw her, where she is, and he turns abruptly and efficiently catches her. "

"I knew," said Vosmaer (An Exquisite Collection of Rare Animals, Amsterdam, 1804), "a cat who knew how to open a small kitchen cupboard where the meat was kept, and which was closed by a small wooden latch. He took the latch between his paws and moved it until it unlatched. In the region of my cousin, there was a cat who, in the evening, wished to come indoors but found the door closed so it knocked distinctly at the door. The first time I heard it and I was told it was the cat I did not believe it; but when I noticed it on another evening I was soon convinced of the truth. The front entrance of this house, was enclosed by the steps of a double-staircase, under which the servants entered by a low door, having descended a few steps, and supported on each side by a wall. This low door had an ordinary knocker. When the cat wanted to go indoors in the evening, it lifted the knocker and let it fall, repeating this action at intervals until the door was opened. "

Besides this, the cat can be taught to do tricks, to dance in rhythm, jump through a hoop or jump over a stick.

"Around 1750," Buffon reports, "the public attended a concert of cats at the Saint-Germain fair. These uniformed animals were placed in stalls whith a musical score in front of them. In the midst of the virtuosos was a monkey that beat the measure. At an agreed signal, the cats uttered cries or rather meowings, the diversity of which formed sounds, more shrill than low, which was quite laughable. Some violins accompanied this discordant music. A great number of persons, among whom were some very serious individuals, repeatedly sprang up for a few moments at this singular spectacle. " [Note: this refers to a katzenklavier, the cries being caused by pulling or pricking the cats, tails]

According to two scientists, Grew and Leclerc, cats are fairly well organized for music: "They are able to modulate their voices to some degree and express different feelings by different tones.” If this is what is called a musical organization, it follows that most mammals are as gifted in this respect as cats, for many of them “express different feelings by different tones.”

This is better: "No nuance is unknown to them, from the purring treadle, to the highest fortissimo, and passing through all the transitions of the music of master composers. It is probable, almost certain, that the more dissonant sounds which annoy us are real beauties, whose beauty escapes us because we lack sufficiently developed musical intelligence. Perhaps it is the music of the future, perhaps that of the prehistoric past, when the delicacy of human organs was probably developed on a different scale. Are not the arts subject to great revolutions? Consider the Asians people: our music seems ridiculous to them, and, in turn, their music makes no sense to us. (Grand Universal Dictionary of the XIXth century entry for ‘cat’.)"

As for us, we would tend to believe that it is the music of the past. We only want only to prove the deification of the cat by the Egyptians. We have seen that the role of Apollo, god of music, in the empyrean of the Greeks is played by the cat in Egyptian theology. This musical organization even persists after the death of the cat, since its intestines are used to make the best musical strings, especially the sonorous violin strings.

We may be accused of excessive effort, but we have tried to avenge the cat for the injustice of public opinion. We must therefore provide our readers with all the illustrative proofs that demonstrate the cat’s intelligence. Lenz says that a resident of Walterhausen had a cat who was accustomed to not stealing anything on the table. One day a new greedy dog came to the house and climbed on the chairs and tables to satisfy its gluttony. At first the cat kept looking at badly behaved dog with an irritated expression, and then he placed himself near the table, and as soon as the dog jumped on a chair the cat jumped on the table and gave the thief a well-aimed smack with a paw.

Champfleury, a cat lover, gave another example of their sagacity: "Every day, after breakfast, I made it a rule to throw a bit of bread into an adjoining room, as far off as I could, so as to induce my cat to run after it as it rolled away. This custom I kept up for several months, and the cat always regarded that piece of bread as the tit-bit of its dessert. Even after it had eaten meat, it would await with attentive interest the minute when it was to start in pursuit of the morsel of soft bread.

“One day I held the coveted scrap in my hand, and swung it about for a long time, while the cat eyed it with a kind of patient eagerness, and then, instead of throwing it into the next room I threw it behind the upper portion of a picture which was slightly inclined forwards from the wall. The surprise of the cat, who, closely following my movements, had observed the direction in which I threw the bread, and its disappearance, was extreme. The uneasy look of the animal indicated its consciousness that a material object traversing space could not be annihilated. For some time the cat considered the matter, then it started off into the next room, evidently guided by the reflection, that, the piece of bread having disappeared, it must have gone through the wall.

“But the bread had not gone through the wall, and the cat returned, disappointed. The animal’s logic was at fault. I again attracted its attention by my gestures, and sent a second piece of bread to join the first behind the picture. This time the cat jumped upon a divan and went straight to the hiding-place. Having inspected the frame on both sides, it began to manoeuvre so dexterously with its paw that it shifted the lower edge of the picture away from the wall, and thus got at the two pieces of bread.”

Isn’t that sagacity doubled by observation and reasoning?

J.-J. Granville, the observer who so spiritually "humanized" many types of animal, found the cat had no fewer than seventy-five different facial expressions, all of which were similar signs those provoked in humans by feelings.

These theories, formerly mentioned by the painter Lebrun, are not in vain. Indeed, in animals as well as men, we can admit that the face is the reflection of the soul. Thus J.-J. Granville argues that the closer the animal is to civilization, the more intelligent its facial expression and the more likely its face is to express different feelings, though he confesses that in order to be completely certain of this, it would be important to carefully observe the feelings associated with free life on the faces of wild animals.

He said that he never thought to go into the forests to pursue his philosophical investigations; he confined himself to tormenting his cat in his studio, to oblige him to pose before him, and the feeling most often expressed by the poor creature was, alas, boredom! But we lose nothing by letting this animal psychologist speak. The following lines are as sensible as they are spiritual:

"Minet is asleep. What is he dreaming about? Dogs bark in their dreams, pursue quarry or threaten thieves. Does Minet dream of she cats? Does he dream of battles and gutters? His jaws loosen, his ears quiver, his legs stiffen, he arches his back. He awakes with no idea whether good or evil still prevails.

"With his eyes fixed on the earth, he is absorbed in his thoughts. Is he trying to pierce the veil which separates his species, like all those of inferior beings, from human perfection? Would he meditate on this axiom of a contemporary philosopher: ‘Man is an essence which grows; man is an essence that does not change.’ Or does he recall vague memories of the depths of the woods from which his race has came, in order to soften himself to his sweet and idle servitude? Or, finally, does he just think of his good supper the day before? But a slight noise brings him back to real life, his face lights up, his eyes become animated, it is because a fly is buzzing in front of the windows; it is because a light touch has imitated the gnawing, trotting rat; his eyes are wide open, fixed and radiant; they let themselves to be penetrated by all the light they can receive; they contemplate the sky or the birds in the sky, or the young mistress dressed for the ball in a satin dress that mirrors the candles.

"You are a scoundrel, puss; you just want a compliment, or to make mischief, or have a pretty hand stroke your fur. What a difference from your bad hours, when your eyes darken, your brows furrow, your cheeks, whiskers and lips sag with boredom! But why do you have to change your mind so suddenly, or why is the food not always full of meat?

Miss Betty crosses the yard with a sad meow. Miss Betty is hungry; her milk has not arrived; the cook is late and will be bullied with your justified and touching complaints. On the other hand, here is a little master cat whose witty spiritual face shows a deep concern. He was suddenly interrupted in the midst of his games by the sound of a kitchen basin or by a foreign voice; he is ready to run and jump.

"The gentle steam of a cup of warm, sweet milk is a voluptuous the smell to this little scrap. Doesn’t he look just like one of those fond guests, who both thank you and apologise as they fill their plates to the brim? He advances slowly and sniffs with attention; his ears are raised, his eyes wide open and express desire, his impatient tongue licks his lips, stroking and tasting the desired object in advance. He walks cautiously, his neck extended. But takes possession of the balmy fluid; his lips touch it, he savours it; the object is no longer merely desired, it is claimed; the feeling of this object awakens his senses, seizes his whole being; the little cat then closes his eyes, considers himself, arches his back and trembles voluptuously; his head retires gently between his two shoulders; one feels that he is trying to forget the world, now indifferent to it.

"Naïve covetousness, both curiosity and desire, is triggered by the sight of the mouse’s tail or a ball of paper pulled along on the end of a string by the child of the house.

"Without a doubt, it is after a hearty meal that this veritable thief lands squarely to take his nap. He blinks, his cheeks puff, nothing troubles him.

"What mother caresses her son and uses the washcloth with more grace or more love, and what child, in such circumstances, is as patient as the cat’s child? Attention, desire, surprise, these all compose new nuances of the expressions studied previously. What about the look of a cat before whom a closed basket is placed. Does he suspect a mystery? Is he delighted at the surprise prepared for him? What about satisfaction and drowsiness? This delicious state of tranquility is probably caused by the softness and warmth of a good bed. This cat reminds us of the archduke of well-fed cats spoken of by La Fontaine:

A cat living like a devout hermit,
A cat making a humble face,
A holy man of cats, well furred, large and fat.

"If you raise a hand or a stick to it, the cat, like a schoolboy under his teacher’s ruler, is afraid: but sometimes he wants to resist, sometimes he submits. Perhaps he feels guilty, but of what crime? He will shed hair on the armchair or torn a curtain. We pamper, we caresse, we tickle this epicurean; his eye is moist, his lips are half open showing the edge of his pink tongue; his gaiety flourishes. Now his life is sweetness and laughter! Sad or anxious thoughts are far from his mind! No doubt he has great contempt for any philosophy which is not that of pleasure, for he does not believe in misery or long suffering. Now let us imagine the most terrible accidents to explain the fright contracted by that other cat-figure. Is the unfortunate animal fascinated by the snarling mouth of a tomcat? Does the man with the hook and the hood want to make a sleeve of his skin, a stew of his flesh?”

All this can be seen! Just as we sense in all these miniature portraits the hand of the observant artist who ‘does nothing fancy,’ but, on the contrary, reproduces the minutest details in order to produce the most true-to-life reproduction of his model.

This evidence of the cat's intelligence could be multiplied to infinity, for we have an embarrassment of choice; but we ought not to abuse even the best arguments and will instead be content to cite two or three anecdotes told by authors worthy of belief. Wood, whose name remains famous among naturalists across the Channel, and whose testimony can be accepted unquestionably, recounts the following fact (The Illustrated Natural History. Mammalia, London) [I have used Wood’s original rather than re-translate Percheron’s condensed translation]

“Only a short time ago, died one of the most accomplished and singular Cats that ever caught a mouse or sat on a hearth-rug. Her name was “Pret,” being an abbreviation of “Prettina,” a title which was given to her on account of the singular grace of her form and the beauty of her fur, which was soft as that of a chinchilla. Her colour was a very light grey tabby, and she was remarkable for an almost humanly expressive countenance, and an exceedingly long nose and tail. Her accomplishments were all self-taught, for she had never learned the usual routine of feline acquirements. “Pret” was brought when quite a kitten from the Continent, being one of a rather peculiar breed of Cats, remarkable for the length of their tails and the softness of their fur. She accompanied her mistress in rather a lengthened journey, and finally settled down in England, not very far from the metropolis. Her mistress kindly sent me the following account of “Pret’s” conduct during a severe illness:-

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

The most marvellous part of the matter was, her never being five minutes wrong in her calculations of the true time, even amid the stillness and darkness of night. But who shall say by what means this little being was enabled to measure the fleeting moments, and by the aid of what power did she connect the lapse of time with the needful attentions of a nurse and her charge? Surely we have here something more than reason.’

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

No animals seem to require human sympathy so much as cats, or to be so capable of giving sympathy in return. “Pret” knew but one fear, and had but few hates. The booming sound of thunder smote her with terror, and she most cordially hated grinding-organs and singular costumes. At the’ sound of a thunder-clap poor Pret would fly to her mistress for succour, trembling in every limb. If the dreaded sound occurred in the night or the early morning, Pret would leap on the bed, and creep under the clothes as far as the very foot. If the thunder-storm came on by day, Pret would jump on her mistress’ knees, put her paws round her neck, and hide her face between them. She disliked music of all kinds, but bore a special antipathy to barrel organs; probably because the costume of the organ grinder was unpleasing to her eyes, as his doleful sounds to her ears. But her indignation reached its highest bounds at the sight of a Greenwich pensioner, accoutred. in those grotesque habiliments with which the crippled defenders of the country are forced to invest their battered frames. It was the first time that so uncouth an apparition had presented itself to her eyes, and her anger seemed only equalled by her astonishment. She got on the window-sill, and there chafed and growled with a sound resembling the miniature roar of a small lion.”

As a counterpart to the story of this cat, and to make it clear, as Wood claims, that the cat is capable of repaying the affection that is shown to it, we cannot do better than include this account from the pen of G. de Gherville, an animal writer who writes his observations without frills: "In a provincial town, an old woman who had fallen gravely ill, was taken to the hospice on the stretcher of the poor. The only companion in her hovel was a cat that she was sorry to leave behind. Two days later, in the middle of the night, she was awakened by a purr that made her tremble; her cat jumped on her bed and rubbed his face against hers. How could this animal have found the place where his mistress had been taken in the midst of a town of 25,000 inhabitants a kilometre distant? This is a secret of their instincts which remains mysterious. The good woman died some time afterwards and the sisters of the hospice tried to keep the cat, whose attachment had touched them; they succeeded for two days, during which time he remained constantly on the bed which his sick mistress had occupied. When the bed was given to a newcomer, the cat disappeared and was never seen again in the hospice or in his old home.” (The Beasts in a Dressing Gown, by Firmin-Didot and Company, Editors.)

As a child, Bernardin de Saint-Pierre one day found a wounded cat in the drain of a brook, where it was uttering heart-rending cries, and was close to death. He picked up the cat, carried it to his attic, made him a bed of his clothes, and took food to it every day. The cat soon recovered and once cured it rushed out onto the roofs, eager for liberty, chasing all the rats in the neighborhood. The author of Paul and Virginia recounted this event from his youth, and added that his protege, who was an angry enemy of the human race, who had been reduced to near death, retained its implacable hatred of men in general, but for Bernardin it maintained absolute gratitude, and allowed itself to be approached and caressed by him alone. "The first time I told this little adventure to Jean-Jacques Rousseau," said Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, "he was touched to tears, and I thought for a moment that he was going to hug me."

This is a treatise that reflects a singular recognition. How many men could offer so much! Here is a story of malice reported by Eugene Muller in his Famous Animals:

"We have all heard of the pneumatic machine. It is an apparatus formed of a glass bell jar connected to a pump body so that the air inside the bell jar can be extracted leaving only emptiness behind; this emptiness is called a vacuum and animals can no longer breathe in the vacuum.

"One day, a certain physicist, to demonstrate this to his students, caught a young cat in his house and placed him in the bell jar. The animal became agitated in this glass jail, and jumped, and struggled; but the apparatus was solidly mounted and escape was impossible. ‘You will see,’ said the physicist, ‘that as I pump, the air becomes scarce in the bell jar and the animal will have more and more difficulty breathing. If I then continue to work the pump, a moment will come when there will be terminal asphyxia, but we shall stop before that point and let the air return into bell jar so that cat will regain its vigor. ‘

"He does he says. The poor cat, astonished at the uneasiness it feels, becomes unco-ordinated, falls over, and gasping, thinks his last hour has come. But, afterwards, he breathes easily again, he is reborn and gets up with no trace of inconvenience. And he, no doubt, is looking for the cause of his sudden and strange discomfort, while the assistants are applauding the perfect success of the exxperiment. The cat is let loose, and God knows that he is getting away quickly, swearing to himself, that he won’t be caught again.

"They recaptured it, however. The physicist, wishing to repeat the demonstration, searched out the cat and once again the unhappy animal is stuffed under the bell jar where it again becomes ill.

‘You will see, gentlemen, "the professor began again, while the listeners watched the cat’s expression, "you will now see. . .’ But nothing is seen except the young tomcat, who, while the professor began working the pump to extract the air from the bell, quietly put its paw over the opening of pipe as the air was being extracted and removed its paw from the pipe when it felt the air returning. This happened on several occasions, so much so that they gave up on the experiment. "

Who was more successful that day? It was the cat much more than the teacher, for having understood the mechanism of the physics instrument that had failed to take his life on the previous occasion. Another novelty, no less celebrated, is recounted in the same work:

"In the good old days, as we like to say, the cook of the Carthusian monks of Paris, was going to serve the monks’ dinner, but found that one of the portions he thought he had prepared was missing. To tell the truth, someone had rung the door bell and he had been obliged to go and open it, and, as a result of this interruption, he had probably miscounted. Having put right this mistake he thought nothing more of it. Next day, when everything was ready for the meal, the door bell rang. The cook ran and opened the door, looked to the right and to the left and found no living soul there. Someone had rung it by mistake or for mischief. He returned to the kitchen and again found a portion missing. The same happened the next day so it was necessary to solve the mystery:

"Dinner is set up. The bell rings. The cook pretends to leave, but in reality he stays on the lookout. He immediately sees the monastery cat rush to the table, take one of the portions and quickly scamper away. Thus was the thief discovered, but ran the bell? You have probably guessed already. It was the same individual who had noticed that the noise of the bell drew the cook away, and who first pulled the bell rope and then went to take advantage of the disturbance it caused. "

History tells us that the monks were greatly amused by their cat’s cunning and the chapter decided that in order that the cat no longer had to commit the sin of theft, it would each day have his daily portion served alongside the brothers. The story adds that when the Carthusians wanted to laugh, they deliberately forgot to serve the cat's portion and it immediately rang the door bell.

But what will you say of this patriotic cat, whose conduct was narrated throughout, after the Terrible Year, by an Eastern newspaper? In one of the principal houses of Nancy there was a cat who had vowed a violent vhatred against the Prussians. In the past, this cat was sweet and affectionate towards for everyone; he played games with the children, he joined in their caprices, stoically enduring their teasing and boisterousness, and he never allowed himself to scratch them.

Since the war, this cat had become gloomy, and the sight of a Prussian soldier made him furious: his hair bristled, and he blew a fuse at the mere smell of a German in the air. The inexorable housing tax had brought into this hostile cat’s home an enemy officer who received a most terrible reception upon his arrival. His masters, polite and resigned, felt an intimate satisfaction at seeing their tomcat spring at the puffed up chest of the officer and try to bite and scratch the man’s long sallow face with its claws.

The officer was all the more affected by this reception, which did not change, as, like many of his compatriots, he loved cats, and before this aggression, he was prepared to establish friendly relations with the cat and an exchange of good conduct.

He tried vainly to get into the good graces of the animal who, ignoring the example set by his masters, as soon as his keen nose smelled a whiff of the Teuton, rushed down the stairs to openly wage war on this Prussian cat-lover. Things came to such a point that, in order to be able to live in peace, the officer had to demand that his enemy should be kept in private quarters. And in spite of all the attempts at conciliation made by him or by his countrymen, or rather by men in the same uniform, peace could never be made between this French cat and the enemies of France.

We could go on to tell many more tales like this, but, as Horace says, the very language of the talkative Fabius would renounce it as there are so many: “The rest of this genre - there are so many more - weary of the talkative Fabian”

Every cat lover has a curious fact or tale to tell about him. And so, after all the proofs of affection and intelligence which we have already mentioned, telling more would not strengthen our cause, so here we will close the already long list of the intellectual prowess of the cat. In short, it is clear from all these facts that this animal deserves the friendship of man, and that it is time to repudiate, once and for all, the falsehoods, unjust appraisals, unfavorable prejudices, and slander that is told the whole world round about him.

Summary. - The strongest and most carnivorous of mammals. - How the an animal’s anatomy regulates its actions. - A philosophical page. - Force takes precedence over right. – A bad runner, but an agile animal. – An animal that always falls on its paws. - Lacking courage, but defends itself heroically. - A true weather constitution. - Clean and pretty like no one else in the world. – A wise observation. - A slander.

When studying feline anatomy it is easy to convince ourelves that these animals are, without doubt, organized to be the strongest and most ferocious among the carnivorous. If we examine the prodigious development of the cat’s jaws, and the conformation of the teeth, we see that the anatomical disposition of both is perfectly correlated with his behaviour and habits. We have previously discussed the composition of its dental system and the particular form of its component parts; we have also discussed the power of the jaw muscles, so we will not return to these points.

"Give me the tooth of an animal, and I will tell you its behaviour and its structure," exclaimed the illustrious naturalist whose genius has brought back to life a whole vanished world. In fact, thanks to his magnificent labors, it is now easy to judge the size of an animal by the size and volume of a tooth; from the configuration of that tooth, to appreciate whether it is made for tearing flesh or crushing vegetables. And, as everything is coordinated in nature, the rest of the structure can be divined. Thus, the dentitiion corroborates not only the arrangement of the stomach and the intestine, but also whether the foot is made up of claws or hooves. Thus, we can see in the anatomical-physiological constitution of each animal the reason for its actions.

The cat’s sharp teeth could not, like the sheep, grind grass for food. It is not possible for his simple stomach, membranous, and watered with irritant juice, to reduce and assimilate grass. We can prove this by the way in which he rejects accidentally ingested plants without digesting them. Hence, the cat’s organization imposes upon it blood-thirsty instincts, which form a striking contrast with the Pythagorean life of the herbivore, its natural prey [note: Pythagorean philosophy included avoidance of meat].

"The more intelligent and sensitive animals are, the more their destruction by others seems to be accompanied by cruelty and injustice; but can we say that the lion and the vulture are guilty? Does not nature justify their actions by their organization and their need to live by flesh and blood? Do animals owe anything to each other? Are they bound by common bonds of brotherhood? Do we not see around the world the reign of force, not equity, even among the most civilized nations, and has not this horrible abuse of power existed from the earliest ages? If rage and war are the only laws recognized by either the animals between them or the men who resemble them, what abominable world have we been thrown into? But perhaps the counterpoise and the balance between all the beings of creation could only be established by these means; for we see that each individual, equally pursuing his own interest, recognizes nothing superior to his independent nature. "

This beautiful philosophical page, pierced by bitterness, is from J.-J. Virey, a leading author on the Behaviour and Instincts of Animals.

It is impossible to deny its correctness, especially when, as recently, it has been seen that nations which call themselves civilized put this monstrous axiom into practice: "Force overrules law," "When nature is observed, says Darwin, that illustrious naturalist, whose great mind gave birth to the theory of the origin of species, it is absolutely necessary to always bear in mind that every living being around us should be regarded as striving , to the full extent of his power, to multiply his species; that each individual lives only because of a struggle which has taken place at some great point in his life and from which he has emerged victorious, and that a law of inevitable destruction decimates either the young or the old in each succeeding generation or only at periodic intervals. "

It is this great principle of the universal struggle for life that results in natural selection, the theory upon which rests the whole system of Darwin, a system which decides by a mixed solution the controversial question that has been insoluble in the terms in which it has been posited up to now; the question of the plurality, or multiplicity, of the original types of all species in general, and of the human species in particular.

But, let’s not get too distracted. Let us return to understanding the aptitudes which predominate in the animal whose behaviour we are studying. Although gifted with great vigor and a lot of agility, the cat is bad runner. This is understandable: his limbs and spine are so flexible that he cannot, without great effort, give them that rigidity required for racing. Also, the lion and tiger never force their prey. Walking silently, they crouch in ambush, usually near a stream or a spring; there, they wait silently for an animal to come to quench its thirst, and, with a bound, they land upon him. Sated, they retire to their den, waiting in a deep sleep until hunger again forces them to go out.

The cat only runs when chased or frightened; his gait is is transformed into a series of powerful bounds, which easily put him out of reach. Moreover, it climbs with the utmost ease on the trees, the walls, the gutters, the roofs, etc. It twists, bends, and stretches without difficulty, which is why his walk is infinitely graceful. One can say that each of his movements is charming. When he walks with the softness and delicacy peculiar to the cat, his claws tucked into their velvet sheaths, he treads on the ground so gently that no sound betrays his presence. When he falls, he lands on his feet. It is not uncommon to see cats in Paris fall from a third, a fourth, and even a fifth floor and be on their feet by the time they reach the pavement of the street.

"I have never succeeded," said Brehm, "in making a cat fall on his back, even when dropping it from a very low height, above a table or a chair."

Schettlin, who has studied the cat a great deal, speakings of him thus: "If we look upon one of the principal faculties of the cat, its extreme mobility is the most striking. What agility he has when turning in mid-air to avoid falling on the back, even when the height is only a few feet! The feeble resistance of the air is sufficient to give the cat, as it does to birds, the power of turning. "

Could we not explain that a cat directs its fall by using his tail as a rudder? We raise this question in passing, leaving it to more competent men to resolve the issue.

"In physique as in morals," continues the author, "the cat always aims higher; he is not affected by vertigo; his nerves are proof against everything. He climbs to the tops of the tallest fir trees without worrying how he will get down; yet fear is not unknown to him, for he sometimes gets stuck at a great height and asks for help, not daring to descend, and when he finally decides to return to the ground, he does so backwards. He always endeavors to reach the highest possible level, to perfect the art of climbing, but he is aware of the danger he runs, only the inferior animals are careless. When one tries to make him fall he clings to everything around him." Nothing could be truer than that depiction.

Surely the cat, being powerfully equipped with offensive and defensive weapons, should be brave in every way. It is not. Compared to the dog, the cat is not brave. In fact courage comes from intelligence, and, in order to assert itself, courage must necessarily dominate the instinct of self-preservation. For this reason man is the most courageous of all animals, as he is the most intelligent. Sometimes, however, stupidity can take the place of courage, either by preventing the full extent of danger from being noticed, or by exaggerating the danger, as it does for cowards, who then have the courage born of fear.

This is not to say, however, that the cat is a coward. If he can not immediately escape danger, he soon takes his part and prepares himself for battle. First of all he protects his backs by keeping against a wall, for example; then, back arched, fur bristling, and eyes glittering, he bravely waits for the enemy, with all his claws extended. Cats have been seen in this position standing up to several dogs at once and forcing them to call off their attack.

An animal experienced in all these physical exercises must know how to swim. In fact, the cat is an excellent swimmer; but it has to be said that he uses this faculty only when unavoidable. He never goes into water unless forced to do so, in fact he avoids water. He even finds rain disagreeable. Is it due to his fear of water that he has, so to speak, weather-forecasting abilities? We cannot dismiss this idea.

There is hardly any more impressionable creature in the entire animal world. Each gesture he makes, every attitude, indicates a change in the weather. If it is fine, and he insistently wipes his paw over his head, bad weather is on the way; if it rains, on the contrary, and you notice the same behaviour, you can expect a clear sky. Is the cold getting severe? Will there be gales? Immediately, you see him laying down his hair to concentrate his heat and leave nothing for the north wind to ruffle. On the other hand, if he senses warm weather, you see him raising his hair to let the heat out and decrease its normal temperature. Where else can we find faculties more in keeping with the logic of things?

Despite his hatred for the liquid element, a cat driven by hunger will suppress its natural aversion to water and hunt the fish he covets. In the same way, when threatened by danger or pressed by fear, he will not hesitate to jump into the water to escape.

"I myself saw," says Jonathan Franklin, "in real life a cat swim a little river to rescue its young, who were caught in the current. She took them one after another to the shore, after having seized them by the neck with her teeth. "

Like the dog, the cat sits on his behind, leaning on the two front legs. When he sleep, he wraps himself up and lies down on his side, taking care to find a bed as soft and warm as possible, but, in all circumstances, he likes to sleep uncovered. We have seen, in a preceding chapter, that touch, sight, and hearing are the best developed senses in the cat; we have also seen that taste and smell are, on the contrary, rather limited. There is no need to further discuss these issues.

The cat has an excessive love of cleanliness. See what care he takes of his coat! He licks it smooth all the time, using his hard tongue like a brush. It is simply not acceptable if one hair sticks out! In order to clean his face he repeatedly wipes it with his paws which he has wetted beforehand with saliva. He doesn’t just groom himself once a day, he does it ten times, twenty times, - that is to say as many times as is necessary to polish or prettily arrange his silky fur, or to remove any dirt, however slight it may be.

This extreme cleanliness extends to everything. Watch him scrape the ground before depositing his excrement, which he then carefully covers with earth. If there are some cinders or charcoal within reach, he prefers to go there, for, as the author of The Spirit of Beasts has pointed out very wittily, the cat discovered the disinfecting properties of coal long before they were even suspected by modern chemists.

This instinct of cleanliness is also traditional in cats. Pliny pointed this out, and du Bellay celebrated it in the naturalistic epitaph he composed for the grave of his cat Bélaud:

He had the honesty
To hide under the ash
That which he was obliged to give up.

The cat has a sense of distances. Watch when he is on the point of leaping from one roof to another; he pauses, reflects, compares, tests himself, and at last, full of vigor and skill, he leaps. Then after this hesitation he will in future repeat this leap without showing the slightest apprehension.

He has a sense of places more than any other domestic animal, because his nature is essentially that of a prowler. As soon as he takes possession of a new habitat, he visits the whole house from the cellar to the attic; no corner escapes his investigations. Then he explores the neighborhood. That is why it is said of him, with good reason, that he is a purely local animal.

He also has a sense of time: he knows perfectly the time of the meals and he never leaves when he knows that it is time to sit down at the table. And he has a sense of sounds: he recognizes with little difficulty the inhabitants and the familiar guests of the house by the sounds of their voice and footsteps.

The cat is an essentially modest beast. He does not rejoice more in victory than he shows himself ashamed in defeat. With a brazenness that nothing removes, he never loses his composure. We cannot frighten him suddenly like the dog; we can only chase it away.

Is he guilty of some misdemeanor, of stealing some roast meat or some cheese, to speak like the Fabulist, you may think that he fears punishment. Stop. When he has been well scolded and suitably told off, he runs away and shakes himself, and thinks nothing further of it. Then you will see him return a few minutes later as though nothing had happened, having completely forgotten the correction you have just inflicted on him.

“The cat,” said Rivarol, who was a skeptic; “does not caress us; he caresses himself on us." This somewhat hazardous assertion has alone done as much damage to the cat as all the reticence and the bittersweet descriptions of M. de Buffon.

In fact the cat is very sensitive to the caresses that are lavished on him, and he demonstrates his affection in many ways to the people he loves. During his effusions of friendliness, he continually expresses his contentment with that peculiar purring noise which is known in Paris as the sound of spinning.

It is not only in the domestic cat that "purrs," this sound is peculiar to all cat species, even the larger ones. In the same way all cats growl by blowing out and baring their teeth in order to threaten, although their voices vary greatly from one species to another. Thus the lion roars in a hollow voice like that of the bull; the panther utters a cry resembling that of a saw, the jaguar barks like a dog; and as for the cat – he miaows.

Summary. - A few words on the classification of felines. - A difficult undertaking. - Three main sections. - Classification of Cats clearly given. - Wild races. - Domestic breeds.

“Without a method,” says Lesson, “no point of science, no elder’s knowledge can be passed down to his successors.” This is why I think it useful to present the whole classification of the species which forms the genus Felis. This classification, like all classifications, presents some difficulties, for up to now it has not been possible to precisely identify the characterization of all species which make up this genus.

This can be done only on the basis of certain secondary peculiarities of the teeth and skeleton, nor the length of the tail, bristles of the hair inside the ears and, finally, on the various colourations of the coat. We have adopted here the classification in d’Orbigny’s Dictionary of Natural History. She separates the true cats into three sections:

The First Section comprises the Old World Cats. These are :

Lion (Felis leo to naturalists, Asad in Arabic, Gehad in Persian)
Panther ( Felis pardus , Lin. Nemr in Arabic).
Leopard (Felis leopardus, L. ; Felis pardus, G. Cuv. ; Felis varia, Schreb ; Engoi in Congolese).
Ounce according to Buffon (Felis unicia, Schreb. ; Felis panthera, Erxleben).
Serval [Felis Serval, L. ; Cape Cat according to Forster, Pard Cat according to Perrault; Servol according to Buffon; Felis Galeopardus, according to Desm.).
Black-footed Cat (Felis nigripes according to Burchell and Griffith)
Golden Cat (Felis chrysotrix to naturalists; Felis aurata according to Temminck)
Obscure cat (Felis obscura. According to Desm; Cape Black Cat according to Cuvier)
Caffre Cat (Felis cafra, according to Desm)
Gloved Cat (Felis maniculata, according to Rupp.)
Bengalese Cat (Felis bengalensis, according to Desm.; Felis torquata according to Fr. Cuvier; Nepal Cat)
Rusty Spotted Cat (Felis rubiginosa, according to Geof. Saint-Hilaire)
Domestic Cat (Felis Catus, Linnean classification).
[Note: Percheron omits the Tiger (F. tigris, Lin. Royal Tiger according to Buffon and Cuvier, Radja-houtan or arimaou bessar in Malay, Madjan-gede in Javanese, Lau-hu in Chinese), he also omits Pallas’s Cat (manul) from the list but mentios later in the text]

The 2nd Section is composed of the New World Cats. These are :

Jaguar {Felis onca, Linnean classification; Tigris americanus, Bol ; Onza, Portuguese; Tlatlangui Ocolot according to Hernandes; Yaguarete according to Azara).
Cougar (Felis puma, Traill. ; Felis concolour, Linnean; Lion puma according to the Spanish; Red Tiger according to the inhabitants of Cayenne; Mitzeli according to the Mexicains; Pagi according to the Chilians ; Guyacuarana according to Marcgraaf).
Unicolour Cat (Felis unicolour, Traill.).
Jaguoarundi {Felis Yaguoarundi according to Desm.).
Chalybe (Felis Cholybeata according to Herm.).
Spotted Stomach Cat (Felis celodigaster, Temm.).
Ocelot (Felis pardalis, Linnean.; Chibigouazou according to Azzara).
Fettered cat (Felis catenata, Smith).
Le Tlatco Ocelot (Felis pseudo-pardalis, Hamilton Smith).
Necklaced Cat (Felis armillata, F. Cuvier).
Oceloid Cat (Felis macrousa, Tem.).
Chati (Felis mitis, Cuvier; Wredii according to Schintz)
Guigna (Felis guigna, Molina)
Colocollo (Felis colocollo, Molina)
Margay (Felis Tigrina, Linnean; Cat of the Carolinas according to Collinson)
Elegant cat (Felis elegans, Linnean).
Negre Cat (Felis nigritia, G. Cuvier)
Cat of New Spain (Felis mexicana, according to Desm.)

The 3rd Section refers to the cats from the Asiatic Isle and the Indian archipelago. These are:

Arimaou (Black Panther according to naturalists; Felis melos, Per.).
Kurwuc (Felis javanensis, Desm.; Java Cat according to Guy.; Servalin according to others; Felis minuta, Temm.).
Diard’s Cat (Felis Diardii, G. Guv.).
Clouded Cat (Felis macrocelis according to Temminck; Wavy Tiger according to P. Cuv.; Foxtail Tiger according to Horsfîeld; Felis nebulosa according to Griff.).

Of course not included in this already very extensive nomenclature are the other genera that complete the Feline, such as the genera Lynx and Cheetah. The only animals which interest us, and which we wish to discuss here, belong to the first section, that is to say, the Old World cats. For ease of description we will treat them as two distinct groups under the titles of:
1st – wid races
2nd – domestic races.

It must be said that these two groups are closely related as the first group includes the Wild Cat and the Gloved Cat, both of which scholars have considered the ancestor of the domestic cat. We look at this question of descent later, it is so obscure that in spite of the evidence furnished on each side, it is not yet known which of the two has the right to undisputedly claim this flattering paternity. But before we look at the behaviour and characteristics of the wild and domestic races, we shall present their classification.

Scientific Classification of Small Cats.

Wild Races:
1 Black-footed Cat.
2 Obscure Cat.
3 Golden Cat.
4 Manul.
5 Caffre Cat.
6 Gloved Cat.
7 Bengalese Cat.
8 Rusty-spotted Cat.
9 [European] Wild cat.

Domestic Races
1 Domestic Tiger-marked Cat [Tabby].
2 Angora.
3 Spanish Cat.
4 Chinese Cat.
5 Tailless Cat.
6 Chartreux.
7 Tobolsk.
8 Khorassan.
9 Roumanian.
10 Cape of Good Hope Cat.
11 Cyprus Cat.

Summary. - The Black Footed Cat. - The Obscure Cat. - The Golden Cat. - The Manul. - The Caffre Cat. - The Gloved Cat; ancestor of the domestic cat according to some naturalists. - Evidence to support it. - An observation from Ruppel. - Another observation by Brehm. - The Bengalese Cat . - The Rusty-Spotted Cat. - The Wild Cat, other ancestor of the domestic cat according to other naturalists. - Other evidence in Support. - His behaviour. - How it is destroyed. - Its gradual disappearance.

The true cats, as shown in the preceding chapter form different races, some wild and others domestic. Without wishing to give too much attention to the former, we will briefly describe them. Here is a list, accompanied by their main distinguishing characteristics.

1 Black Footed Cat (Catus nigripes. Linn. - Felis nigripes according to Burchell and Griffith).
It lives in the forests of the Cape of Good Hope and the southern part of Africa. It is the size of a domestic cat. Its coat is red tan coloured and dotted with black spots. In the older animals, the markings on the upper part of the body becomes dark brown, while on the contrary those on the lower part are a more intense black. The undersides of the feet are completely black, hence its name. Its ears are oval, blunt with the front edge lined with very long hairs. The tail is red and dotted with black markings. It climbs trees to hunt birds and small rodents.

2 Obscure Cat, Dark Cat (Catus obscuras. Lin.; — Cape Black Cat according to Fréd. Cuv.)
It is reddish black with transverse bands of a darker black. Its tail is marked with seven rings. It is smaller than the ordinary cat. It has a very gentle nature. An individual brought from Cape Town by Percy, and given to the menagerie of London, lived there some time in private. Calling for fuss from visitors, one could often see him rubbing his neck or back against the bars of the cage which held him prisoner.

3 Golden Cat (Catus auratus. Lin.).
Under this classification, naturalists describe a species which, it seems to us, ought rather to be transferred to the Lynx. According to the description given by some naturalists, the golden cat is about two and a half feet long excluding the tail. The tail is only half the length of the body, but, curiously, it has a brown band extending all along the mid-line and its extremity is entirely black. The ears of the golden cat are short, rounded, black outside, and reddish within. Its coat is very short, shiny, and coloured vivid red-brown with no spots on the upper parts, but some small brown spots on the flanks and belly. The belly is reddish-white and all four legs are a golden red. His range and behaviour are still unknown.

4 Manul (Catus manul, Lin.)
This cat stands higher on legs and is much more vigorous than the domestic cat; its height sometimes even exceeds that of the fox. Its coat is a mixture of light tawny hairs and brown hairs. Its head is covered with black spots. The ears are short, broad and blunt. The tail is long, bushy and covered with long hairs. It lives in the mountainous regions of the steppes of Tartary and Mongolia. It was discovered and described by Pallas. Some naturalists consider it the ancestor of Angora cats, but this ancestry seems questionable to us.

5 Caffre Cat (Catus cafrus, Lin.).
This species inhabits the Cafrerie, from which M. Lalande reported it. It is one-third larger than our wild cat. Its coat is tawny gray above and whitish below. The throat is encircled by three black collars, and on the flanks there are twenty brown transverse stripes. The front legs are encircled by eight black bands, and its hind legs by twelve black bands. The tail is long, marked with four rings and has a black tip.

6 Gloved Cat (Catus maniculatus, Lin.).
This cat is about the size of the domestic cat. The coat is a darker tawny yellow on the posterior part of the head and on the mid-line of the back, while it is lighter on the flank and the belly. On the head there are seven or eight black narrow, curving stripes. The tail is long, tawny yellow above, whitish below and black at the end with two rings of this colour. The trunk is marked with narrow blurred transverse bands; these can be seen more clearly on the legs. The outer surface of the front lower leg is marked with four or five small transverse bands of blackish brown and the inner surface with two large black spots. The soles of the feet are completely black. This cat, which is also called the Egyptian Cat, inhabits Egypt and the northern part of Africa.

Many naturalists consider this race to be the ancestor of the domestic cat. This opinion seems quite acceptable, since Catus domesticus, i.e. the domestic cat, appears to be a native of this region, but it must be admitted, and this is not impossible, that the type has been slightly modified by the influence of climate and domesticity. The Gloved Cat was discovered in Nubia by Ruppel. It is to this species that best matches the figures depicted in the stone bas-reliefs of the monuments of Fantic Egypt. Many cat mummies have been found, as we have mentioned previously, indicating that at that period he lived as a domestic animal in the land of the Pharaohs.

"Perhaps," said Brehm, "the priests brought the sacred animai of Meroe from Southern Nubia into Egypt. From there he passed through Arabia and Syria, later into Greece and Italy, and thence into western and northern Europe. In more recent times the Europeans, in their continual migrations, spread his range even further.

"The observations which I made during my journey into Abyssinia give some weight to these conjectures. I have noticed that the domestic cats of the inhabitants of the Hymaea and the Arabs of the west coast of the Red Sea are identical in colour to the gloved cat and have the characteristic grace of that animal. In this country, the domestic cat has an entirely different fate with us; we take little notice of it, and he is entirely left to find his own food; but these are certainly not the reasons for his piteous appearance, for a carnivore always finds food in these countries. I believe that the cat of north-east of Africa is closest to the original form, that is to say, is least changed by domestication. The colour of the African domestic cat is closest to the wild species. However, in this country, though rare, there is a variety: the tricolour cat, which is coloured white, black and red yellow "

"I had a gloved cat for a while, and tried in vain to tame it a little. It had earlier been caught in the steppes of eastern Sudan and was brought to me in a cage, the solidity of which indicated the nature of the prisoner. I was never able to get him out, as he didn’t allow anyone to go near him, and he began to scream, raging with anger and trying to attack. All corrections [whippings?] were useless. I cannot say," adds Brehm, "whether the young coming out of the nest are tame, having never had any my disposal."

7 Bengalese Cat (Catus bengalensis).
This cat, as the name suggests, originated in Bengal. It is about the same size as the ordinary cat; its coat is fawn-gray, darker above than below. On the forehead are four brownish longitudinal strips and two more on the cheeks. It also has a necklace under the neck and another under the throat. The back, the feet and the belly are spotted with brown, the tail is brownish and circled with inconspicuous rings.

8 Rusty-Spotted Cat (Catus rubiginosus).
This is smaller than the domestic cat. Its coat is reddish gray above, and whitish on the flanks and belly. The back is marked with three longitudinal lines and the sides are dotted with rust-coloured spots, also arranged in longitudinal lines. Its tail forms about a third of the body-length, is the same colour as the coat and is unmarked. The belly, on the contrary, is dotted with blackish spots arranged in irregular transverse lines.

9 The [European] Wildcat {Catus ferus).
We quoted above a passage from Brehm which gave the Gloved Cat the honour of being the ancestor of our domestic cat. Tschudi claims this honour for the wild cat:

"We are inclined," he said, "to consider the wild cat as the primitive ancestor of the ordinary cat, because all that is essential in their organization is preserved in both types, and it is impossible to positively attribute any other origin to our cat, which, it must be confessed, also lives in southern France and has been found embalmed in Egypt. It is in the Middle East, and not at home, that we find the strain of our domestic animals. Also, some people wanted to see, in the little Nubian cats, the ancestor of our domestic cats. But that species is far from being sufficiently studied and may differ from domestic cats as much as the Wild Cat. It is well known that m ore than a thousand years of domestication and a change of food modifies animal forms. "

We see from the above that opinions are very divided as to the origin of the domestic cat and that this important question is a long way from being settled. But who is to say that the domestic cat isn’t the result of crossing the two races and this has produced the drift?

Let us continue our zoological description. The Wildcat is larger and stronger than the ordinary cat, with a long, thick furry coat. The male is blackish gray and the female is yellowish. From the front, which is yellowish red, there are four parallel black bands which pass between the ears, continue the length of the neck and unite and extend in a line which continues along the back, to the rump, and onto the upper part of the tail. This line serves as the axis for a large number of transverse bands which run downwards towards the belly. The belly is usually yellowish and spotted here and there with small black markings.

The tail is ringed with black bands which are darker closer to its end. The legs are yellowish and are marked on the outside with transverse black bands. The whiskers are longer, the teeth stronger and sharper than those of the domestic cat, but its gut is shorter that the domestic cat. This latter is physiologically explained by its essentially carnivorous habits.

The wild cat is a formidable enemy for all creatures of the plains and parks. It attacks the hare in its nest, the partridge on its eggs, and the bird on its branch. It inhabits the great woods and the dark forests, but especially the forested mountains, for the cracks of the rocks provide more secure and impenetrable retreats than the highest trees. It was formerly very abundant in all the forests of Europe. These days it is thankfully becoming rather rare.

The Registry of the Royal Hunts found at the Tuileries, after the days of July, records that only one was killed in the forests of Rambouillet, Fontainebleau, and Compiegne, from the Restoration to 1830. According to Tschudi, in Switzerland, "Hardly a year passes without one being killed some place of or another. Lately several of them were killed in the canton of Zurich, among them a male weighing fifteen pounds." One still encounters the wild cat in the Jura, especially in the districts of Nyon and Corsonnay.

"It is quite common - according to Brehm - in the forest of Thuringia that some time ago one could kill sixteen in one year (twelve adult individuals and a three-month-old individual), wound one and and take three young in the nest. "

It is almost certain that its geographical distribution does not extend beyond Europe. Pallas unsuccessfully searched for it in Asiatic Russia. Everything indicates that the Wildcat has not crossed the chain of the Ural Mountains. Nor is it found in northern Europe. On the other hand, the lynx is quite common in those countries.

Relative to its size, the wild cat is a most dangerous predator. It lives alone and stays hidden all day and begins hunting only when the shadows of the night have fallen on the great woods. Its main food comprises of mice, fieldmice, moles, voles and small birds; which does not prevent him from tackling a hare, rabbit, or even a squirrel when the opportunity arises. Some authors believe that it will also attack fawns and small deer, but this assertion is in great need of confirmation. On the banks of ponds, lakes and rivers, he is perfectly able to observe fish and harpoon them with a claw.

It is especially feared in winter when he becomes bold and hunger drives him into the villages and wreak carnage in the the poultry houses and pheasant-houses which it quickly depopulates. We must not always accuse the wild cat of these killings as the domestic cat sometimes abandons the farm granaries and turns to poaching; we have seen them quit the household to go to the depths of the forests to live a wild life. "In this case," said Mr. Sauvey, "the fugitive domestic cat adopts the same behaviour and becomes even more formidable than the wild cat itself, because it has more cunning and more effrontery to attack animals on the roadside. "

The wild cat is not hunted [chased]; he flees as soon as he hears the lightest noise, and immediately hides himself in thickets, in the hollows of the rocks, or up in the trees. It is mainly killed using firearms.

Traps can be set for him using meat or a bird as bait, but his natural distrust him avoid these out most of the time. There is a bait which is said to be infallible; this is valerian, a strong-smelling plant that cats are very fond of and which they love to roll on. In some circumstances it is very dangerous to hunt wild cats. We have seen wounded Wildcats that were not afraid to turn their fury against man. It is best to hunt them in the snowy when it is easier to follow their path and find their concealed lairs. Fortunately, this four-legged brigand is continually driven out by civilisation and is gradually disappearing. No-one will complain.

Summary. - Many varieties. - Difficulty in distinguishing them. - A quite extraordinary mating. - The Domestic Tiger Cat. - The Angora Cat. - The Spanish Cat. - The Chinese Cat.- The Tailless Cat. - The Chartreux, or Cat of the Carthusians. - Tobolsk Cat. – Khorassan Cat. – Roumanian Cat. - Cape of Good Hope Cat. – Cyprus Cat.

There are many domestic races around the world, but the characteristics that distinguish them from one another are sometimes so poorly defined that it is often difficult to describe them accurately. It is even probable that certain varieties - especially those found in Asia - are only hybrids, while specific types remain unknown.

The domestic cat - as we know - mates with all the other cats. Some reliable naturalists even believe that it mates with the marten and produces offspring that resemble that creature fairly well in their coat colour. This is how they explain dropping ears of the Chinese cat which contrast so strongly with the traditional forms of the species. Whatever the truth of this assertion may be, and it seems a very bold in our opinion, we shall briefly describe the different domestic races found in various countries aroundthe world, beginning with the most common: the Domestic Tiger Cat, or Tabby Cat.

1. Domestic Tiger Cat, or Tabby Cat.
This is, so to speak, the "Collas reduction" (scale model) of the tiger. [Achille Collas (1795–1859) was a French engineer who developed a machine to copy sculptures at a smaller scale, the so-called "réduction Collas.]

It is quite common, especially in the countryside where it is found on most farms. It usually has a greyish fawn coat with a light tawny underside, nose, muzzle and soles of its black feet. Its head has small, curving, narrow black bands; its tail is long and has rings of black right to the tip; the dorsal stripe is is black; the legs are ringed with transverse black bands, and there are also five or six black bands on the thighs. Besides the tabby-patterned domestic cat there are other varieties in white, gray or black. None of those colours are hereditary and a single litter may contain as many different colours as there are kittens.

The white forms are the albinos of the species; they are generally delicate and prone to infection. White cats with blue eyes are always deaf. On the contrary, black and gray cats are vigorous animals. It is not uncommon to see these different colours mixed together on the same animal: some have the coats containing only two colours, the other have three-coloured coats. Individuals with three-colour coats are inexplicably rare and always female.

2. Angora Cat

This is one of the most beautiful cats found. It is remarkable for its large size and for its long, fine hair, especially around the neck, where it forms a large ruff, and on its belly and tail. The pure Angora is a rare animal, and most of the specimens we encounter originate crossing the Angora with other types. The productsof such crossings are called half-Angoras [demi-Angoras]. Its coat is variable; it is generally white or, more rarely, yellowish or greyish. The soles of the feet, the nose and the lips are pink.

It is a very intelligent and sociable animal, but at the same time it is somnolent, lazy, and comfort-loving. In addition, it does little services as a mouser. It is obviously this type of cat that posed in front of the great Lafontaine when he wrote “This holy man of cat, well furred, large and fat,” whose type has remained legendary.

3. Spanish Cat. (Catus hispanicus according to de Linnaeus).

Although originally from the Iberian Peninsula, this is now found throughout Europe. It is distinguished by its short, brilliant coat, which is either entirely fawn, paler on the flanks and belly, or fawn marked with white, black, and red patches. Its nose, lips and the underside of its paws are pink. It is usually gentle and affectionate. An interesting feature is that the male always has patches of only two colours, not three. This variety is fairly widespread in France.

4. The Chinese Cat
The Chinese Cat has long, silky hair and ears that hang down like those of the badger. Its flesh is highly esteemed by the inhabitants of the Celestial Empire. Like the dog, it ishe object of great solicitude on the part of certain feeders and fatteners of that country and when it has been fattened up it appears beside swallows nests on well-served tables. It is true to say that in this respect the Parisians have nothing to envy the subjects of the son of Heaven. At least over here, the cat only appears on some menus under a pseudonym. [Note: a reference to the siege of Paris when the starving citizens resorted to eating “gutter rabbit.”] The Chinese Cat is also the object of a fairly important trade. Brehm writes "This animal is sent to the country of the Kiliaques as an article of exchange and exportation. The tribes of Asia, according to the Manchoos, who trade considerably in these cats, sell only the young tomcats to the Kiliaques without ever giving them any females. In that way, they always have a market for their products. The cats are generally traded for the furs of martens and sable”.

5. The Tailless Cat
This variety, which the English call the May's Cat, inhabits the island of May [sic] in the Irish Sea. It has spread throughout England, where it is common enough. The only sign of a tail of the May's cat is a simple stump. This phenomenon, which can also be found in dogs, has not been satisfactorily explained until now. It may be assumed that the origin of this peculiarity was the amputation of the tail over many generations until the anomaly became fixed and then became a race characteristic through hereditary transmission. Thus deprived of its finest ornament the cat of May is nonetheless beautiful and as it is generally all black it resemble the legendary cats essential to witches’ sabbats. Nevertheless, it is quite sociable and is an excellent mouser.

6. Chartreux, or Cat of the Carthusians.
This cat is quite large. It is distinguished by its coat which is long, cottony and uniformly gray with bluish reflections. It is a beautiful animal, but somewhat inclined to laziness. It is believed to be a native of Syria.

7. Tobolsk.
This also has long, woolly coat, but of a reddish colour. Apart from its colour of the dress, it is mostly analogous to the Chartreux.

8. Khorassan
This is found throughout Persia where it is quite common. It resembled the Chartreux in the woolliness and coluor of his fur.

9. Roumanian.
The Roumanian cat, also known as the Cat of the Caucases, has a long, thick, cottony coat and is greyish brown in colour.

10. Cape of Good Hope Cat.
The Cape of GHood Hope Cat is little known. Its fur is red and bluish.

Cyprus Cat.
This cat is light gray, and the undersides of the lower legs are black. The monks formerly used this cat to destroy snakes.

Summary. - Paleontology: its history. - Cuvier and his followers. - Felis antiqua. - Felis spelea. - Felis Arvernensis. - Felis pardinensis. - Felis megantereon. - Felis issiodorensis. - Felis brevirostris. - The Felis aphanista. - Felis prisca. - Felis ogygia. - Felis antediluviana.

Paleontology, the science of studying creatures whose remains have been buried in the depths of the earth for thousands of ages, is quite modern. We cannot,refer to the ancient explorers, who made isolated observations, as paleontologists. The science of paleontology awaited its messiah through a meeting of botanists Sténon and de Jussieu, and zoologists Marsili and Donati, when the great Cuvier came to the institute in 1796 to read a memoir on the fossil elephants at the Institute which had just been founded, and to inaugurate its opening session. The old world seemed to be reborn from its ruins, and a new one, saluting with lively enthusiasm this splendid exploit which had yielded up the secrets of so many vanished ages, soon saw a host of eager young men throwing themselves in his footsteps to fathom the arcana of this new science which had been foreseen some centuries earlier by the great minds of Leonardo da Vinci and Bernard Palissy. And Brongniard, de Blainville, Blarcel de Serres, Croizet, Deshayes, Orbigny, Richard Owen, Kaup, Lund, Pictet, etc., were so anxious to lay the foundations of this new scientific edifice, and worked with such ardor that in less than half a century they had revealed the story of many thousands of ages.

Caves, obscure breccias, soft strata and upper tertiary terrains revealed, thanks to this research, the existence of several species of fossil cats. Cuvier described two: one, Felis antiqua, almost as large as the panther, and Felis spelea, whose skull conformation resembles that of the lion and, therefore, most naturalists refer to that fossil species as the "cave lion." These great cats were contemporaries of a huge-tusked elephant and of a species of rhinoceros with septated nostrils, and like those two beasts, they constituted two distinct and lost species.

They are found in the caverns of France, Germany, England, and Hungary; they are, as it were, the representatives of that great quaternary epoch known by geologists as “Diluvium,” [ante-diluvian] because it appears to be the true expression of that dreadful cataclysm referred to in profane and sacred books as “The Great Flood.” These species have been described by G. Cuvier with a power of exactness belonging only to such a genius. Since then, other palaeontologists have given us descriptions of more new species. (Abbé Croizet and Jobert the Elder: Research on the fossil bones of the Puy-de-Dôme.) These are:

Felis Arvernemis, the size of the jaguar.
Felis pardinensis, the size of the cougar.
Felis meganteréon, one third larger than the previous one.
Felis issiodorensis, the size of the Canadian lynx.
Felis brevirostris, the size of the Euroean lynx.

M. Kaupp (Fossil Bones of the Darmstadt Office) described four species from the tertiary sands of the Rhine. Those are :

Felis aphanista - the size of the panthere.
Felis Prisca – as large as the lion.
Felis ogygia - smaller than the previous two.
Felis antediluviana - even smaller than the previous ones.

Finally, M. Lund (Fossil Fauna of Brazil) gives the description of three other species: one larger than the jaguar; the other smaller than the cougar, and the third one smaller than the other two.

The extinction of all these species is not certain, but this is not the place to discuss this issue. We have made Fossil cats an additional chapter only for the sake of noting them and to more completely describe the different races of cat.


Hygiene - the Greek word health - is the science that deals with keeping healthy, or, to put it better, the science that teaches us how to regulate our way of life so as to also ensure the regular exercise of the various functions of our body and the complete development of all our faculties. At least that is the true definition of health in human medicine, but in animal medicine this meaning widens to include the study of the rules by which we breed, raise, train, maintain, preserve, and improve the different animal species which we keep as domestic animals. Of these, the cat is undoubtedly the one which gets least attention in this respect.

The cat is a free spirit rather than our servant, he pursues an independent life, mating at random and according to instinct. Nevertheless, we will try to give some advice to our readers by devoting to this branch of medical science some chapters on the following topic: Domesticity, Reproduction, Diet, etc.

Summary. - Character of domesticity. - The opinion of Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire on this issue. -The last animal domesticated by man.- Where we show that the cat has not yet lost its original savagery. - He is more attached to the habitation than to his master. - A famous verse. - Comparison between dog and cat. - A fable of circumstance. - Aspiration towards free life. - A way to prevent the cat from deserting the house. - Rehabilitation by Dr. Jonathan Franklin. - Habit is second nature.

The defining characteristic of true domesticity is not the possession by man of a few supposedly tame individuals, but the possession of a whole species with all the races that comprise it. It can then be said that the conquest of the animal is complete and indefinitely assured. It is thus that past generations of man has domesticated certain animals and obliged them to surrender themselves and their offspring to man. He has given the next human generations not examples and instructions, but also the end results - the products of his industrious care.

To enslave any animal species is to hold in one’s hands the power of breeding it when and where one wishes. For, as Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire has stated authoritatively: "The differences in climate, the strongest natural barrier against the indefinite expansion of a species, cannot stop man in the gradual propagation of a domestic race through slow and cautious care of successive generations."

The domestication of the cat is not very old. It was common among the Egyptians, but was almost unknown to the Greeks and Romans. Until the Middle Ages, as we have already said, our fathers used only the weasel and the ferret to defend their households against the depredations of small rodents.

Nowadays, the cat is widespread, not only throughout Europe, but throughout all countries where European colonies exist. Despite many centuries of domesticated existence, the cat still retains its original savagery. This savagery, moreover, is also exercised against other members of its own species. None among the individuals of the cat genus [meaning small cats] lives in society; only love succeeds in uniting the male and the female and then only during the short moment of desire and of the conjugal act.

Let us hasten to repeat, however, in defence of the domestic cat, that he becomes attached to his master, in the very literal sense, even though the latter does care or caress him or provide sufficient food. Left to his own devices he is more attached to houses than to their inhabitants, to localities much more than to persons. It is reminiscent of his behaviour in the primitive state. "Our domestic cats," said Dupont de Nemours, "are little tigers. When very well fed they rarely attack our chickens; but reduce them to poverty which, in the opinion of Solomon, is a bad counselor, and you will see the change. Relieve this misfortune and you will see him change again. Beneficence and malfeasance each bear their own fruit."

This passionate observer of animals reports the following in support of his thesis: “At the Botanical Gardens, an old cat of great stature, which had doubtless lost his master and had fallen to thievery, found insufficient resources in the botanical gardens. He could hardly keep his claws hidden in his dried up paws; his eyes were wide and haggard, he was frightfully thin and had a generally hideous appearance. Near to the kitchen of M. Desfontaines, the professor of botany, the cat established a household ambush. At the least negligence, he entered the house with the audacity of despair, seized the first prey he could find, and slipped away in three leaps. The householders chased him with brooms: shoo cat! shoo cat! They didn’t even wait for his attackes, they shooed him away as soon as they saw him, and as soon as he saw someone he fled. Their guard was good and his fear so great that he could not catch anything. He was dying of hunger.

One day Monsieur Desfontaines, sitting at his window and alone in the house, saw the unhappy cat tottering and dragging itself on the nearby wall, so feeble it was ready to fall down. He pitied it and went to fetch a few pieces of meat which he threw to it one by one. The cat caught the first piece and ran away; then, seeing that he was not pursued, he came back a little closer, took the second piece, and ran away again. On the third occasion he ventured closer, and, taking the meat, he paused a little, to look at his benefactor. Half an hour later he had entered M. Desfontaines’ bedroom through the window, and peacefully laid himself down on the bed. He had said to himself: "He is not pitiless.” The cat had had observed in his previous campaigns that M. Desfontaines was the master of the household, and in his judicious gratitude he had said to himself: "My misfortunes are over; I have a protector."

We have said that the cat sometimes reverts to his primitive behaviour. It sometimes happens that he leaves completely, quitting the house to take refuge in the depths of a wood where he lives the wild life. Men become indifferent to him when he does not try to run away completely. It is especially in aging that cats feels a desire for independence, like a desire to return to its original free life. Sometimes even those who have been well treated succumb to rebellious impulses, an instinctive urge to shake off the yoke of man.

Is it not the case to repeat with the Latin poet, this verse become banal by dint of being cited: “Naturam expellas furcâ ianien usque recurret?” [You can drive nature out with a pitchfork, but she always comes back.] Overcome somewhat by his natural distrust, he wants in spite of himself to escape the influence and control of his master.

In the relationship between man and cat, unlike man and dog, the cat is not instinctively attached to the person who nourishes and caresses it. Most cats lack that sense of worship that keeps dogs subservient to their masters, the providers of their necessities of life, linking their behaviour to his facial expressions, gestures and gaze. This type of attachment tends to weaken the fear instinct which would otherwise cause it to flee, and it gives rise to constant, harmonious relations between the animal’s instinctive urges and all the objects which belong to its master. Also, while the dog, - stupid beast! – is saddened by the rebuffs and the ill-temper of its master, the cat consoles itself like a true philosopher; witness the following fable:

A dog sold by his master broke his chain and returned to the house where he was born. Look what became of him when, for the price of his faithfulness, he was driven back out out of his house by a stick and and sent back towards his new home. An old cat, his companion, seeing the dog’s extreme surprise, said this word to him in passing: "You poor fool! You that he loved you for yourself? "

For it is often found in the cat that this attachment, which even the wildest animals acquire towards the persons that care for them them, is dictated only by the need for self-preservation.

Indeed, in animals which possess a cerebral nervous system, everything produces more or less vivid impressions in their brains, more or less deep, more or less long-lasting. These impressions are further conserved if they have been followed by a lively pleasure, or by intense pain; pleasure or pain which is renewed either by the presence of the objects which caused the impression or by other circumstances associated with the event. This is the physiological explanation for the phenomenon which sometimes forces an elderly cat to desert the house. Only castrated males lack this unfortunate tendency.

In the alpine forests of Switzerland cats become wild and settle in rock crevices and wage war on birds and the mice. "The mountaineers," says Tschudi, "for whom the reduction in mice is much more important than the abundance of birds, generally protect these cats." They are, however, obliged to hunt them whenever the trout spawn, for the cats do great damage in streams and rivers at that time.

In Paraguay, cats often exchanged the domestic life for an independent existence. However, the return to the wild state is not complete, for at the time of the rains, always very abundant in these countries, they areturn to their homes, and shelter there with the kittens they had during the fine season, since any cats that remain exposed to the rigors of winter invariably perish.

"In Surinam," says Brehm (Animal Life), "and in neighboring establishments where cats, because of the prodigious quantity of rats infesting the sugar houses, are extremely useful, the colonists are obliged to cut the cats’ ears at the level of the head, to keep the cats at home. This method has the desired result in good weather and in the rain. In the first case, the leaves and branches tickle the inside of the ears; in the second, the rain is gets into the ears: two inconveniences which makes the cat sacrifice its freedom to avoid. "

In our large towns the cat is less tempted to seek independence. He can not easily indulge his vagabond tendencies, and, except for roofs and gutters, he has scarcely a free field to frolic in. This makes him a generally good companion who willingly silences his aspirations for a life on the open road.

Among all the races, the Angora cat is the most sedentary. It has a gentle and lazy nature and individuals of this race generally divide their time between the siesta and the table. It is not uncommon, in spite of everything, to see cats showing their master as much attachment as a dog, and like the dog they solicit caresses; if their master rises, they follow him; if he is absent, they repeatedly call out for him, and if he is absent for a prolonged period they become depressed and lose their appetites.

We have, already given numerous examples of this sort of attachment in one of our preceding chapters (Chapter 5 - Instinct, Intelligence). As Delille said:

The truth is founded upon exceptions,
As they do in man the various humours,
Change the wishes and manners of creatures;
More than one cat knows how to love and to please;

I myself have had such a character;
For a long time he shared the lot of his poet,
I celebrated his life and I mourned his death

The cat’s affection for his master can attain a point which only the dog can also reach. I want to prove this using a tale borrowed from Eugene Muller's “Famous Animals: "A certain abbot, who lived in the very intimate company of a good fat cat, died suddenly one day. After exhausting all possible means of reviving him, and after observing an interval beyond it was established to be an accidental death, the doctors declared it time to proceed with the burial of the body which the abbot’s soul had abandoned.

"For two days since the time of the abbot’s death, everyone had noticed that the cat of the house had constantly and stubbornly remained, as was no doubt his habit, at his master's feet. This obstinacy was such that when the abbot’s body was taken out of the bed and placed in the coffin, the faithful animal at once fot into the coffin and settle in its customary position. The final preparations had doubtless been entrusted to mercenaries, who lacked the simplest notions, and who lacked hearts – would you believe it that they found it pleasing to reward the stubbornness of the faithful animal by locking him as a prisoner in the casket with the remains of his dead master.

"Anyhow, the poor creature let herself be nailed inside and there wasn’t the least sign of her until the religious ceremony finished and they were preparing to lower the coffin into the open grave. It was only then that the assistants, who knew nothing of the evil trick played on the cat, heard a roaring voice from the silent depths of the biere, a great number of them fleeing, and the rest getting a surprise close to terror. The boldest tried to explain the cause of this unexpected noise. They listened and perceived that the screams of the animal resembled a human voice. Some were still scared away, but the remaining two or three brave men hurried to life the lid of the coffin. The frightened tomcat escapes in a series of great leaps, but the dead man also rose up, draped in his shroud, and also made a mad dash across the fields.

"One of the assistants exclaimed that it was a miracle. They followed the man and waited on him to speak and explain everything.

"The abbote was not dead, he was in a coma. The unhappy man was perfectly aware in the coffin; he was completely aware of the rites of the dead being performed on his supposed corpse, he understood that he was carried away from the church, he had judged the moment when he was to be lowered into the earth, and, being always powerless to give any signs of his existence, he thought he was about to suffer the appalling fate caused him by premature burial. Suddenly, however, he became conscious of a sensation of warmth in his hands which were crossed on his breast; he could move his fingers and felt something furry so he gripped it with all of his restored strength. What he had grasped was the cat's tail. Being uncomfortable at the abbot’s feet, the cat had crawled up to the chest of his master, whom he had warmed with his body, and who made him cry out in pain ... We know the rest of the story. "

This is how the cat’s extreme affection for an abbot saved the man from being buried alive.

But let us return to our former study:

The cat possesses, to the greatest degree, a sense of location; it is for this reason, perhaps, that when it is completely domesticated, it becomes more attached to the house than to the people who live there. Meanwhile, Dr. Jonathan Franklin, in his “Lives of Animals,” relates that he had moved home several times and his cat never tried to return to a former abode. "Wherever I was," said this excellent friend of animals, "he was at home, and after having shown a natural curiosity, mixed with distrust for a new place, he soon became accustomed to it. Once, however, I thought I had lost him. He disappeared for three days following a move and installation into a new residence. Around midnight I went down into the courtyard, and my cat, who had remained invisible the whole time because of the noise and the movement of the workmen, jumped familiarly onto my shoulder. "

From this we can conclude that the cat’s attachment to his master is in direct proportion to the care which the latter lavishes on him, for one thing that cannot be denied is that this animal possesses, to a fairly high degree, a sense of gratitude.

Distrust, as is well known, is the most marked feature of the cat’s character, and one that domesticity never succeeds in erasing completely. Even though he seems to have given himself completely to man, any circumstance is enough to bring out his natural suspicion. This occurs as direct result of being frightened, or fearing some surprise or some danger.

"It would seem," said the illustrious F. Cuvier, "that he judges things for himself much as we judge for ourselves. "

However, habit finally makes him confident, and this confidence, as we have seen above, is liable to change into a true affection.


Summary. - Felines are essentially carnivorous. - They do not tolerate any hunting competition. – How natural controls their proliferation. - The favorite food of the domestic cat. - A fisherman when greedy. - A curious account from the Plymouth Journal. - A proverb that does not lie. - A beast that loves nothing but fresh flesh. - How the cat is better than his reputation. – Resistance to indigestion. - A singular way of drinking. - A thirty days’ fast. – A cat fed too well makes a bad hunter.

Cats, as we know, are essentially carnivorous and as far as possible eat only living prey. For this reason, they are solitary by nature. In fact, a cat requires a certain range that provides him with food. He is hostile to any others of his kind that could dispute this territory or that try to share the spoils of his hunt. It is to such a point that tigers and lions, prompted by the need to mate, meet mistrustfully, afraid that their females will compete for their prey. It is only in the paroxysm of passion that they forget this hunting instinct which makes them hostile to other members of their own species. They only tolerate the females during the mating season, at that sole moment when they can overcome their rivalry. Nothing is stranger than this mixture of passion and hatred, which can only be explained by the marvelous harmony of nature which sets cruel and harmful animals against one another, in order to prevent them multiplying out of control.

Due to the structure and layout of its dental system, the cat has difficult chewing. Its teeth are designed for tearing foor, not for grinding it; but it has a tongue with a rough grating surface that helps the jaws by tearing the tissues.

The domestic cat’s preferred diet consists of mice and small birds. In households he is given all kinds of food, both raw and cooked animal material, and also vegetable material. However, it most often sticks to a uniform diet, such as the offal, the liver, the spleen or the heart. The cat soon develops a preference for one or the other of these viscera, which the owner gets from the butcher every day and then cuts into small pieces with scissors. He is content without getting bored of this ordinary everyday diet.

He likes fish very much, and his greed for fish overcomes his aversion to water when it comes to catching his prey in its liquid element.

"I watched, one day," said Jonathan Franklin (Loco citato) "the attempts of a cat who was watching with grave attention two goldfish swimming around a fishbowl. He dipped his paw into the water and shook it. He started again and stopped again, caught between two feelings: his hatred of water and his appetite for fish. His love of food eventually prevailed over his hatred for the obstacle and the two goldfish, plucked from the water by an inescapable claw, went to garnish the stomach of that carnivore. "

"It is not uncommon," says Roulin (Natural History and Travel Memoirs.), "to find in miller’s [i.e. at watermills] cats who are skilful in such exercises, and it is not through necessity that they have developed that skill."

Some even fish for the pleasure of it, Marquis de Carabas’s cat, when that man became a nobleman, and some even bring home the fish they catch.

Let us quote, in this respect, this curious tale from the Plymouth Journal (January, 1828.): "There is now," says this English newspaper, "at the battery on the Devil’s point, a cat, which is an expert catcher of the finny tribem, being in the constant habit of diving into the sea, and bringing up the fish alive in her mouth, and depositing them in the guard-room, for the use of the soldiers. She is now seven years old, and has long been a usefulcaterer. It is supposed that her pursuit of the water-rats first taught her to venture into the water, to which it is well known puss has a natural aversion. She is as fond of the water as a Newfoundland dog, and takes her regular peregrinations along the rocks at its edge, looking out for her prey, ready to dive for them at a moment’s notice.”

But, above all things, milk espececially excites the cat’s greed. He would commit much villainy for milk, hence the proverb: Happy as the cat who drinks the milk [Happy as a cat that’s got the cream.]. In households, this precious liquid usually constitutes the cat’s morning meal and this is a good thing in a sewdentary animal because milk corrects what could be a too fortifying and too stimulating diet exlusively of fish. On the other hand, he hates sugar and sweets; a small piece of offal is much better for him.

In the fields, besides the small rodents, it still preys on fairly large animals such as hares and partridges. Like the big cats, the lion and the tiger, who “want to feast only on those they have conquered” he eats the animals he has killed himself; for his prey must be fresh, even bleeding, for him to touch it. He finds carrion is repugnant. In spite of such refined tastes, however, we have seen lions which, for want of anything better and driven by hunger, have eaten putrefying flesh. This is why, in Constantine, we often see sentinels shooting and killing lions that prowl the city at night, in order to eat the refuse thrown outside the walls; but these are exceptional cases.

Cats do not eat their prey on the spot. After killing it they drag it away to eat at leisure. They are generally less cruel than most small carnivores, against which we don’t make this accusation. They attack only when hungry, and kill only what they need to satisfy their hunger. It is quite different with the marten, weasel and fox, all of whom seem to kill for the pleasure of it, and who, when they enter the middle of a hen-house, do not leave until there is no bird left alive.

Like the dog, the cat is rarely afflicted by indigestion. The anatomo-physiological disposition of his stomach allows him to get rid of any excess weighing heavily in that organ.

Cats drink very little; they get sufficient moisture from their animal food to quench their thirst.

The manner in which he drinks is curious. He does so by lapping, that is, by plunging his tongue into the water then abruptly withdrawing it by curling it into a spoon-shape, so as to throw the liquid into the back of his throat. He is abstemious and can withstand the deprivation of food for a relatively long time. Professor Colin (of Alforl) cites the example of an animal that lived without food for thirty days. In the society of the man who provides for all his wants, the cat loses some of the art of hunting and catching its prey; so if he intended to hunt mice in the home care is needed to not overfeed it, and even to fast it at times, so that it does not completely shirk the services expected of him.


Summary. – Loose morals. – Night-time battles. – A bad wife, but a good mother. –An unrivalled wetnurse who does not dispute her infants’ wishes. – A curious example of suckling. - How to dry up the milk of a lactating cat. - Weaning the young.

De tenero meditatur ungui
(Horace, Book III, ode vi).
[She dreams of love while yet a child.]

"In all creatures the faculty of reproducing is the pinnacle of their existence and perfection; it takes place only when the creature is fully developed (J.-J. Virey, loco citato.). "

The female cat enters heat twice a year, in spring and autumn. Due to her pornocratic instincts [loose morals, need to prostitute herself], she is more ardent than the male, whom she seeks and calls; her anxiety, her loud cries, the meowing she utters, all of these announce the intensity of her desires. She wildly and indiscriminately pursues all the tomcats, not even shrinking from the most powerful tomcats, provoking them with gesture and voice, spreading dread throughout the whole feline population of the neighborhood.

"The female," says Toussenel, "holds top position in this species. The world knows the male only in the neuter state: fanciullo o soprano [child or soprano]; the world has never known a husband of Ninon of Lenclos or Marion Delorme. The female cat is basically opposed to marriage. She accepts a lover, two lovers, three lovers, slaves as long as one permits, but never accepts a tyrant, and if civilization denies her the right to free love, she will seek it elsewhere in the wild and will return to the forest. "

[(a) Ninon de Lenclos: Anne de Lenclos, born in Paris in 1620. She was determined to remain unmarried and independent. She was a popular figure in the salons, encouraging and discussing the literary arts. Much against the morals of the time, she had a succession of notable and wealthy lovers.
(b) Marion Delorme, 1613 – 1650. A French courtesan known for her relationships with the important men of her time. Her salon was one of the most brilliant centres of elegant Parisian society. Her ‘death’ in 1650 may have been staged to avoid arrest for providing a meeting place for the disaffected, allowing her to disappear.]

Has anyone not witnessed, on a moonlit night, one of those infernal serenades given to a single tomcat by several females together and not formed an idea of the horrible uproar which results from it? While the latter, proud of igniting such passion, tenderly listen to his bass voice, the "suitors" sing the tenor, the alto and the soprano alternately with an accompaniment of slaps to the face and scratches which makes one think to the sabbatic delirium of the Valpurgisnacht in the legendary tales.

The meowings, at first contained, are soon heard more distinctly, then they increase, redouble, and the noise is reaches its climax. And, in spite of oneself, one repeats the verses of the author of the Embarrassment of Paris:

And what an annoying demon, the whole nights through,
Gathers together cats from all the gutters in this place.

And when there are several males at once, what battles we see! How many of these four-legged Don Juan returning at dawn with bloody faces and torn fur! They appear repentant and eager to be more sensible, but scarcely have their wounds healed, than they return to the life of adventure.

The cat is pregnant for fifty-four to fifty-six days, and gives birth to four to six kittens which she carefully hides, carrying them into a hole when she fears that a male will devour them - which often happens. For we do her justice, because she knows how to redeem her errors by a passionate sentiment which atones for everything: maternal love, that pleasure which, according to the Fable, made the divinities of Olympus themselves jealous of poor Niobe! We must say, however, that there are some examples of domestic male cats being sufficiently attached to their offspring to give him the most delicate and assiduous care.

Kittens are born with their eyes closed and only begin to see clearly on the ninth day. Suckling lasts one month. After this time, the mother goes hunting for her kittens and brings back rats, mice, small birds, etc., in order to accustom them to eating flesh, for it cannot be too often repeated that she cares admirably for her young. Does she fear they are in any danger? If so, she quickly moves her nest. She carries each of her children in turn by the skin of the neck, but only with her lips, and so gently that the small creatures do not even feel it, and hides them in a safer place.

She only leaves her nest to look for food for them and for herself. When a foreign dog, or even another cat looks about to approach, her maternal instincts makes her run unhesitatingly at the enemy. Some mothers do not even tolerate their master or members of the household approaching the young family.

What is really curious is to see is a nursing cat sometimes lavishing her affection on infants of other species. It is not uncommon for mother cats to adopt puppies, baby rabbits, leverets, etc. as her own infants. G. White (Natural History of Selborne, Letter XXVI) tells us that one of his friends had received a leveret, about a week old, as a present from a peasant, and that at the same time his cat had produced six kittens. [I have used White’s original version.]

“ My friend had a little helpless leveret brought to him, which the servants fed with milk in a spoon, and about the same time his cat kittened and the young were dispatched and buried. The hare was soon lost, and supposed to be gone the way of most foundlings, to be killed by some dog or cat. However, in about a fortnight, as the master was sitting in his garden in the dusk of the evening, he observed his cat, with tail erect, trotting towards him, and calling with little short inward notes of complacency, such as they use towards their kittens, and something gamboling after, which proved to be the leveret that the cat had supported with her milk, and continued to support with great affection. Thus was a graminivorous animal nurtured by a carnivorous and predaceous one!

Why so cruel and sanguinary a beast as a cat, of the ferocious genus of Feles, the murium leo, as Linnaeus calls it, should be affected with any tenderness towards an animal which is its natural prey, is not so easy to determine. This strange affection probably was occasioned by that desiderium, those tender maternal feelings, which the loss of her kittens had awakened in her breast; and by the complacency and ease she derived to herself from the procuring her teats to be drawn, which were too much distended with milk, till, from habit, she became as much delighted with this foundling as if it had been her real offspring.”

Captain Marryat tells a similar tale (Olla podrida.). [I have used Marryat’s original version]

“I do, however, know an instance of misplaced affection in a cat, which, although it does not add to the moral character of the race, is extremely curious for more reasons than one, and as it happened in my own family, I can vouch for its authenticity. A little black spaniel had five puppies, which were considered too many for her to bring up. As, however, the breed was much in request, her mistress was unwilling that any of them should be destroyed, and she asked the cook whether she thought it would be possible to bring a portion of them up by hand before the kitchen fire. In reply, the cook observed that the cat had that day kittened, and that, perhaps, the puppies might be substituted for her progeny. The experiment was made, two of the kittens were removed, and two puppies substituted. The cat made no objections, took to them kindly, and gradually all the kittens were taken away, and the cat nursed the two puppies only. Now, the first curious fact was, that the two puppies nursed by the cat were, in a fortnight, as active, forward, and playful,as kittens would have been : they had the use of their legs, barked, and gambolled about; while the other three, nursed by the mother, were whining and rolling about like fat slugs. The cat gave them her tail to play with, and they were always in motion; they very soon ate meat, and long before the others they were fit to be removed. This was done, and the cat became very inconsolable. She prowled about the house, and on the second day of tribulation fell in with the little spaniel, who was nursing the other three puppies.

"O ho!" says Puss, putting up her back, "it is you who have stolen my children."
"No," replied the Spaniel, with a snarl, "they are my own flesh and blood."
"That won't do," said the cat, "I'll take my oath before any justice of peace that you have my two puppies."

Thereupon issue was joined, that is to say, there was a desperate combat, which ended in the defeat of the spaniel, and the cat walking proudly off with one of the puppies, which she took to her own bed. Having deposited this one, she returned, fought again, gained another victory, and redeemed another puppy. Now it is very singular that she should have only taken two, the exact number she had been deprived of. Does this not prove to a certain extent the power of calculating numbers in animals? and does not the precocity of the two puppies brought up by the cat, infer there is some grounds for the supposition that with the milk is imbued, much of the nature and disposition of the mother? A few experiments made on these points would be interesting, and we should have a new science, that of lacteology, to add to craniology, in our nurture and rearing of the species.”

Accounts of substitution of nurslings abound. We recall having read in a natural history book, published in England, that a cat had adopted as her own a nest of young rats which a child, who wished to give the cat a feast, had put in the basket from which they had just removed all the kittens to drown them. We do not guarantee the authenticity of the account. All the same, this story is acceptable as part of this inventory.

We give more credence to the next account as it comes from a man whose name has become justly popular among writers who have made themselves historians of the animal race. This is, of course, Brehm, the interesting author of “Life of Animals,” whom we like to quote whenever we find the occasion:

"I gave," he says, "to a cat that I had bred, a little squirrel still blind, the sole survivor of a whole nest, the others having died in spite of all my care. To save this one I tried to entrust it to my cat that who had just given birth for the first time. She responded completely to my expectation; she tenderly accepted the poor little orphan in the midst of her own little ones; warming him up as best she could, and nursing him from the very start with maternal tenderness. The little squirrel prospered with his new brothers and stayed with his adoptive mother, even after they were separated.

"The cat seemed to lavish all her affection on the squirrel. Relations were established as intimately as possible. The mother and her adoptive child understood each other admirably; the cat meowed, the squirrel responded in her own way. Soon he followed his nurturing mother through the whole house and then into the garden. Following his natural instinct, the squirrel climbed a tree, and the caty looked at him in amazement and astonished at the action of the little scatterbrain, and followed him as best she could. The two animals played together; the squirrel was a little awkward, but their friendship did not suffer, the mother being so patient that she always started the game again "

We would not finish if we keep telling more stories of this kind one after the other. So, let's move on and see how young cat are trained.


Summary. - All players! - A portrait of "Grippeminaud" after La Fontaine. -Products of love and chance. - A barbaric mutilation. - Heloise and Psyche. - A lamentable state. - Another barbaric mutilation.

What charming and graceful creatures kittens are! They are so restless that, even while blind, they are not afraid to venture out of the nest, and their mother, worried by their escapes, is always forced to bring them back to the nest. Scarcely have their eyes opened to the light, scarcely are they able to distinguish objects around them, than they immediately begin to play with anything that stirs, rolls, slips, or flies. Their instincts as hunters of mice and birds already begin to awaken.

Schettlin made a charming image of their games, and says: "They play continually with their mother's tail and with their own, as soon as it is long enough for them to be able to grasp it with their paws; they also bite it and do not notice that it is part of their body, just as our children bite their fingers, which they consider to be something foreign to them."

For them, everything is a pretext for amusement; but they already have the instincts to distinguish good men from bad men, friend from the enemy. If a dog arrives in the midst of their games, whatever its size and strength, they immediately put themselves on the defensive by arching their backs. They are like little lions. A little later their mother teaches them the art of hunting and teaches them to chase and catch mice.

Mesnault said "Anyone who takes the trouble to follow the movements of the cat, in this exercise, will still be convinced that one day the young cat will become a real ‘grippeminaud’ who will in his turn perform the story of the cat, the weasel and the little rabbit:”

[La Fontaine “The Cat, The Weasel and The Little Rabbit”]
Grippeminaud said to them, "My children, come near,
Come closer, I’m deaf, due to my advancing years
Both then approached him, with nothing to fear.
As soon as he saw the contestants come close,
Grippeminaud - good apostle – played out his ruse,
Threw his claws to both sides in one single move,
And made the litigants agree by crunching them both!

At fifteen months the cat is considered an adult, at one year it can reproduce. His existence, almost independent, abandons each individual to his reproductive instincts, in such a way that cats almost always reproduce without human intervention.

As we have said, the cat is an adventurous and licentious fellow; hence the heterogeneous products of chance affairs and the many varieties of domestic sub-races which that can be found all over the place. When a sub-race breeds true over several generations, maintaining its purity through thoughtful breeding, we can say that chance alone presided over these liaisons.

In order to avoid the unpleasant smell of the tomcat urine, many people impose castration surgery upon him. This operation must be performed at about the three months old; it is very simple and poses not danger to the animal. The manual operation usually employed is a single incision made into the scrotal sac, and each testicle is withdrawn in turn and is detached by twisting the cord that supports it. A little starch powder quickly stops any bleeding and the wound usually heals after a few days.

Formerly the high priest of the temple of Cybele gained only respect after being subjected to this mutilation. This is not the case with the "neuter" cat, which, on the contrary, is the object of scornful and contemptuous mewings, not only of tomcats, but also of the females who are far from having the philosophical resignation of Heloise who proclaimed "The heart is everything, the rest is nothing." Instead I would agree with Psyche [wife of Eros/Cupid]:

“Still, even if I didn’t know half of your charms,
And I've seen them all, I've got those weapons
That make you victor.”

The female does not always escape this operation, but, in her case the consequences are dangerous because it can cause peritonitis, so the female operation is very rarely practiced.

But that's not all. There is another mutilation inflicted on cats - that of amputating the extremity of the tail, shortly after their birth. According to those who commit this barbarity it rids the young animal of a small worm, the presence of which causes strong itching, and consequently compels the cat to chase and catch its own tail. This is a false interpretation of the facts. There is no such worm. Anyone who claims to see a worm in the tendinous tail-tip must be admitted to have put a lot of effort into it.

As for the fact of the cat chasing and catching its own tail, it is very natural and it is sufficient explanation to refer the reader to earlier comments about the frolics of the kittens.


Summary. - Three main phases. - Growth. - Stasis. - Decline. - A poetic comparison. - Indications from height and weight. - Indications from the sexual development. - Indications from the coat - Indications from general body condition. – Dental signs. – Dental wear. – Indications from certain organs.

The series of periods which constitute the course of life, and are indicated by successive changes in the state and functioning of the organs, are termed ages. These changes occur over time and in a graduated manner. Thus we can recognize three distinct principal phases in the evolution of the animal.

Firstly, the period of growth, during which all the barely-formed organs of the new creature, grow, develop and flourish in order to reach full function.

Secondly, the period of stasis during which all the organs and systems are at the peak of their development and function.

Thirdly, the period of decline during which this functional activity is halted to a greater or lesser extent by gradual weakening. This is manifested by various changes to the tissues, which, after a longer or shorter time, leads to senility and death.

The poets of antiquity compared these three phases of life to the three parts of the day: morning, noon, and evening. In the cat, the indicators of these main phases of life may not be easily discerned, but we must not dismiss them completely. Thus it is that one can take some clues from the general appearance of the animal during its life. These are:

1 – Right from the beginning, size and weight are important indicators. The cat reaches its maximum size around the tenth month and its maximum weight around the sixth year.

2 - Development of the genitals. In the first phase of life these organs are poorly developed; a little later, sexual development occurs: this is the age of puberty. It occurs in cats from the eighth to tenth month; and it evidenced in the female by a uterine hemorrhage analogous to menstruation, and called heat, or oestrus. A litter later in life, the reproductive function is completely developed, marking the period of fertility. This is always lasts longer in the male than in the female. Later, and finally, sexual activity diminishes and the sexual organs wither and atrophy.

3 – The fur. The fur is initially short, woolly and faded in colour. The hairs that constitute the cat’s coat grow longer, silkier, more brilliant and develop more noticeable tones. At a later stage, grey flecks appear at the temples, the nose and the eyes, and then the fur becomes wholly white. The point of the elbow and point of the hock becomes hairless and callused. Sometimes this loss of hair can be found throughout the back and loins, the skin becoming hardened, wrinkled, cracked, and covered with greyish scaly matter.

4 - The general shape of the body. The muzzle becomes enlarged, the belly becomes smalleer, and even appears retracted; the joints become prominent. Then, during the decline of life, this thinness becomes more noticeable and the animal falls into profound listlessness.

5 - Dental signs. While the teeth provide very clear signs in horses and other herbivores, they provide much fewer useful indications in carnivores, especially in the cat. The division of the sockets, and the formation and ossification of the dental follicles are characteristic of foetal life. When the kitten is born it already carries some of its milk teeth and the other erupt a short time after. At aout two or three months the incisors and neighbouring teeth are shed and are replaced by the permanent, or second, teeth.

At about five or six months, the remaining milk teeth are lost, and the young cat has its adult teeth. When the dentition is fully formed we can work out the cat’s age, but, my must emphasize, only in an approximate manner, by the wear of the teeth. The destruction of the enamel, the appearance of yellow or blackish spots, the atrophy of the gum, the looseness and falling out of the teeth, followed by the closure and disappearance of the tooth sockets, constitute a whole series of useful signs.

Thus from the tenth month until the twelfth month the mouth is fresh and youthful, but after this time wear begins to set in. At fourteen months the lower fangs are already completely short. At eighteen months the wear of the neighbouring teeth begins. At two years the upper fangs are starting to wear; the teeth become dull and yellowish. At two-and-a-half years wear affects the middle teeth of the upper jaw and the fangs begin to turn yellow. From three years to four years, the teeth of both jaws are fully worn. From this period onwards, the clues from inspecting the jaws are vague and uncertain. Only the examination of the cusps can still provide some information. As the cat grows older, they turn yellow, become dull and wear out on their points of friction.

According to Lassaigne and Bibia, the chemical composition of the teeth in advanced age is similar to their composition in the first days of life; the organic matter being increased. They found adult humans 29% organic matter and 71% inorganic matter; the proportions in a child were 35% and 65%, and in an old man of 81 years were 33% and 67% .

At a very advanced age, we see some changes to the jawbones. These become elongated, while their edges become thinner and worn away.

6 - Finally, the action of the sense organs gives a number of particular clues. The eyes lose their limpidity, their transparency, and their ability to focus: the retina and the lens develop a yellowish tint, and are sometimes infiltrated by fat, and finally the transparent cornea is surrounded by that greyish circle that doctors call a senile arc. The sense of hearing gradually dulls to complete deafness.

The early rapid circulation found in very young animals decreases until it reaches adulthood, where it remains unchanged, and then increases again. Respiration also undergoes the same series of changes. In older cats, the rib-joints lose their flexibility as the cartilage becomes ossified and the lung tissue changes. All of these organic changes means that animal breathes less deeply which reduces the amount of inhaled into the lungs.

These are – albeit reviewed only in brief - the signs by which the cat’s age can be determined to some extent. Unfortunately, in cats, unlike in humans, it is not possible to keep track of its exact age, but by careful examination one can always distinctly distinguish the principal stages of life. Moreover, this question is, from the point of view of this treatise on cats, only of relative importance. In spite of that, we could not ignore it.

CHAPTER VI. USES AND PRODUCTS. Summary. – Down with the plunderers! - Their natural enemy. - The biography of Mylord Cat. - The experiments of Lenz. - Snake hunter. - Cats on the isle of Cyprus. – Still useful after its death - Unfair competition. Attila the scourge of rats! – La Fontaine Who has never cursed these domestic thieves, both brazen and bold, whose movements in a house can cause great damage? Let us discuss mice and rats, the only members of the rodent family that have spread with man - without his permission, of course - over the surface of the earth and have followed him into all latitudes. There are no successful precautions against those importunate past masters of all bodily exercises - they run, swim, dive, climb, and dig with equal skill. Well, the only way to really put an obstacle in the path of their depredations is to appeal to their natural enemy: the cat!

The cat, one of our most precious domestic animals, is one of those who not only deserves our consideration and care, but also our friendship and gratitude. Who has not heard the story of this young Englishman who made a colossal fortune in the Indies with the aid of his cat? Let us remind you of it:
One of the richest marajahs, along with his subjects, had long been tormented by a plague of rats, whose raids were relentless. It must be observed that the persistence of these rodents increased as they realised that man can do nothing against them. They were so bold that one would be tempted to admire their foolhardiness if one did not hate them for the most serious reasons.
Absolutely powerless against these implacable enemies, the marajah and his Indians would be forced to surrender to those marauders, found only in those latitudes, and to inevitably accept the society of those inconvenient guests, when our Englishman and his cat came ashore. The cat set to work without delay and showed its prowess. Every rat within reach soon bit the dust, and those enemies, previously, began to let take flight. Overcome with gratitude, the Indian monarch immediately opened his coffers to the cat’s owner and let him take what he wanted.

In truth, such service could not be overpaid. History does not say what reward the cat was given. I would not be surprised if the Indians have repeated the tradition of the Egyptians and roughly carved its features in stone to place beside their idols. As for the Englishman, he returned to his country, prodigiously enriched, and founded the present stock exchange in London. His name was Richard Whittington, but in memory of his adventure, he was known in the great capital as Mylord Cat, a name he kept and which became his family name.
The number of rats and mice a cat can destroy is truly prodigious. It would be hard to believe if the numbers were not there to testify.

The German author Lenz, who has devoted much attention to this question, writes: "To know what a cat can do by way of destroying mice, I used the year 1857 which was extremely fertile in those small animals. On the 20th of September I enclosed two small half-Angora cats, with brown tiger stripes on a fawn background, and aged forty-eight days, in a small box arranged for such experiments,. I gave them daily bread and milk, and in addition I gave them four to ten mice, which they never failed to devour completely. After fifty-six days, I only supplied them with milk and in this interval fourteen adult or at half-grown mice. The young cats ate everything without rejecting anything, doing very well on this diet, and having the same appetite the following day. Soon afterwards, the mouse eaters in question having been released, I locked up a young half-Angora cat, aged five and a half months, at about nine o'clock in the evening and I gave him nothing to eat for the night.The young animal initially showed sadness at finding himself shut up and deprived of his youthful frolics. The next morning I gave him, for the whole day, a mixture of equal parts milk and water. I had a supply of forty freshly killed mice, and from time to time I gave him a number of them.

“At nine o'clock in the evening, and consequently after twenty-four hours of captivity, the prisoner had eaten twenty-two mice, half of them mature, and the others half-grown. The animal rejected nothing, and continued to do well. During the whole of the year my cats were occupied night and day in catching and eating mice, and nevertheless each of them ate a further seven mice on the 27th of September, in the space of half an hour, which I gave them in addition.

"From these experiences I admit in a positive way that in the years when there are many mice, every half-grown cat eats on average twenty mice per day - that is, seven thousand three hundred mice a year. In the years when those small rodents are less abundant, I estimate this same total at three thousand six hundred and fifty, or an equivalent in rats instead of mice "

This does not surprise us, and in support of these lines we will quote again the testimony of Tschudi (Loco citato), who reports that he found the remains of twenty-six mice in the stomach of an individual of that species. Moreover, the flesh of mice is not easily assimilated, that is to say, they are not very nourishing, which explains why animals that live on a diet of these rodents can eat such enormous quantities. This can be verified as the same phenomenon is observed in other animals that prey on small rodents; we are speaking of nocturnal raptors, such as the owl, the harrier, etc., which can also devour considerable quantities of mice.

In some countries, for example, in the United States, cats are employed by the government to defend paper and archives from these rodents. We must add that they are public functionarie and they have salaries and odgings, the same as those cats that are charged with defending the immense stores of the French navy.

"It is easy to guess," says M. Eugene Mouton in his Moral Zoology, "that in order to arrive at such a situation, it took as much cunning as intelligence, much patience, a flexible and indefatigable will and ‘previous history’. If not for his unfortunate ‘past history,’ the fox would have had the job; but he has a detestable reputation and moreover he is wild. Apart from him, there was only the cat. Not that the dog wasn’t up to the job in question, but the dog is neither ambitious nor cunning, and the cat, whose character cannot be contested, but whose intelligence and dexterity are indisputable, has taken the position, and it is a permanent fixture in that position, or at least one hopes it is in these trouble times since its functions are not a political one.

"The navy has found no better way to defend its supplies against the depredations of rats than to maintain a certain number of their most intimate enemies: it is a four-legged marine infantry. From then on, they form a staff to be nourished, supervised, preserved, and whose presence must be registered as part of the naval corps; the corps is therefore administered since it gives rise to an expense; the expeense is therefore inspected since it is necessary to justify the use of the sums allocated to this part of the service. The cat is part of the budget and is subject to the jurisdiction of the French Audit Office."

M. Eugene Mouton adds that after a visit to the arsenal with one of his friends, who gave him all these details, meeting several cats, he saw them in a new light: One talked of them as officials entering their office!"

The cat does not only destroy mice and rats, it also eats pests, such as grasshoppers and beetles. It is only the snake that it attacks and kills, but does not eat.

"More than once in Paraguay," says Reugger, "I have seen cats chase rattlesnakes at places where the soil was sandy and grassless, and harass them until they were dead. They slap the reptile with instinctive skill, and throw themselves aside to avoid the enemy's strike; if the snake rolls itself up the cat waits for a long time without attacking it, walking around it until the evil reptile grows tired of turning its head in all directions to follow the cat’s movements. At that moment, the cat slaps it again and springs to the side; if the snake tries to escape, the cat takes it by the tail as if to play with it. In this way, by a series of repeated paws, the cats usually succeed in killing the snake in less than an hour, but they never eat their flesh. "

This feline hatred against the reptile was used by the monks of the Isle of Cyprus, who, being infested with serpents, let loose a troop of cats that completely purged the island in a short time. From morning onwards, the doors of the monastery were opened to the cats, and they spread out into the country in their campaign of extermination, returning only for supper at the first chimes of the bell of the Angelus. This monastery, situated near Bafa (formerly Paphos), stood on a spit of land still known as the Cape of Cats, despite the total destruction of the convent by the Turks.

Surely these are serious services, and the cat should be entitled to count among the most useful of our domestic animals, even among the most indispensable? But that's not all!

When he dies, he leaves us his good and beautiful fur which advantageously replaces the furs of more expensive animals, and its guts are used to make the best violin strings. We will not speak of the culinary services he renders under the fanciful name of "gutter-rabbit." Let’s not dwell on the very irregular manner in which cats appear in the guise of rabbit stew under the niches of some city wall restaurants. Let’s say, however, that the cat’s flesh is rather fine and delicate, and that it was not unpopular during the siege of Paris, when they were obliged to consume certain animals which had not previously been treated as edible.


We have said, in the preceding pages, how much the cat is worth in our households. Now let’s express our regret that such and eminently useful and devoted animal is prone to so many diseases thanks to the state of domesticity we impose on it. As yet no-one has studied the ailments inevitably caused to the cat by his servitude, much less the most proper means of preventing and remedying them.

There is a gap here. We do not pretend to fill this gap. We shall only give, in the manner of interested parties, the observations which practice has taught us, and we will be happy if we find followers to complete our work. In order to remove all scientific pretensions from this work, we present, by in alphabetical order, the various afflictions to which the interesting subject of our study is disposed. But before describing these different morbid states, it is sensible to first state the general signs that indicate that a cat is in good health.

1. - General signs of good health.
The fur of a healthy cat is supple, shiny, glossy and lying flat; the tip of the nose, constantly lubricated by a special liquid, is moist and cold; the mucous membranes of the eye and the inside of the jaw are pink, the pulse rate taken at the level of the heart or at the artery of the forearm or that of the thigh is 95 to 100. But all the lively emotions: anger, joy, fright, etc., can accelerate or decrease the heartbeat. Breathing is equal and regular, and in the range of 18 to 20 respirations per minute, except in elderly or very young cats, which take fewer breaths. In addition, the animal is cheerful, often arches its back, stretches, washes its fur with its tongue, purrs and has a good appetite.

2. - General signs of disease.
An ailing cat, on the contrary, has a reduced appetite or loses it entirely; it is depressed and anxious, and looks for dark places to hide in; if it has a high fever it looks for cold drinks. At the same time, it loses its vitality and its energy. It no longer takes care of itself and loses interest in everything that happens around it. The fur because spiky and lustreless. The pulse and the respirations are irregular and fewer. It voids its waste irregularly, etc.

Having said this, let us examine the symptoms of the different diseases in turn.


An abscess is the name given to a build-up of pus deposited in a small, random place. On the contrary, when pus collects in a natural space, such as one of the body cavities, for example the abdomen or chest, this is called an effusion. Several types of abscess are described. They are said to be:
Warm or phlegmonous when they follow an acute inflammatory state.
Cold, when the pus is builds up in the tissues without any prior fever.

Symptoms. The symptoms of abscesses are variable; however, there are some easily recognised signs. First, they cause a certain swelling of the surrounding tissue; then those parts become painful to the touch; they often pulsate; the skin is warm, red, taut, shiny, and forms a sort of prominent lump, the center of which is soft and depressible; around this lump one notices a fluid-filled engorgement which retains the shape of a fingertip when one presses on it; finally, when the hand is pressed on one side of the tumor, and a small blow is given with the tip of the finger at the opposite side, one feels an ebbing and flowing movement due to the presence of the liquid inside the lump.

Treatment. It is difficult to prevent the formation of abscesses. Poultices, blisters [preparation applied to the skin to cause a blister] and leeches are the most widely used treatments, but their effectiveness is far from certain. As soon as an abscess develops, we must hasten to open them. The aperture must always be widely drilled, in order to discharge the pus as completely as possible. Next apply poultices and, if necessary, make a wick out of tow (flax fibres), which is introduced into the opening to prevent it from closing.

N. B. - Hot abscesses are quite rare in cats. Most of the time, abscesses are due to the presence of a foreign body: needle, pin, fish bone, etc., which the animal has swallowed while playing, and which tends to emerge outside through the formation of a purulent deposit. As for cold abscesses, they are quite common, especially in white cats. We have said, moreover, that the latter are particularly lymphatic.

ANAEMIA. This term describes two different states of the blood, one characterised by a modification of the elements of this fluid: fibrin, colouring matter, salts, iron, etc.; the other characterised by the loss of circulatory fluid, such as happens after a haemorrhage. Anemia is not uncommon in the cat. Treatment. It is principally treated by means of a good diet, pure air, and with the help of bitter tonics and ferruginous preparations. This treatment is effective unless the anaemia is a result of a grievous wound.

APHTHE Aphthe are small ulcerations which appear inside the cheeks, on the tongue, on the soft palate, the tonsils, etc. Symptoms. At first, small, red, raised dots form, which soon whiten at their summit, while their base thickens and hardens. The small points then burst and exude a thick, whitish liquid. This leaves behind a small superficial andvery red ulceration, the bottom of which is filled with an exudate that hardens into a small crust and comes out with the saliva. This soon heals. Treatment. - Have the cat take a light purgative (castor oil, 20 gram) and inject the following liquid into the mouth:
Plain water 100 grammes.
Alum 30 grammes.
Honey 40 grammes.

Asthma is very common in old cats. The symptom of this condition is difficulty breathing, which returns at defined or indeterminate times. In some cases it is independent of any lesion of the organs, whilst in others cases it is due to some particular morbid condition of the lungs, heart, or large blood vessels. Asthma always manifests itself in bouts. The cat feels an overpowering need to breathe fresh air and makes great efforts to expand its chest to breathe in as much air as possible. Breathing in is always easier than breathing out. It coughs frequently; sometimes it feels that it is suffocating and shows indescribable distress: its eyes project from their sockets, its fur stands on end and the visible mucous membranes develop a bluish tinge. At the end of a shorter or longer time, it finds it easier to expand its chest and it coughs out, and snorts out, gobbets of clear thin mucus. The asthma attack then ends, only to recur some time later.
In old cats these attacks are often caused by the accumulation fur in the stomachl the cat ingests this fur while grooming itself and smoothing its fur with its rough tongue. It then makes all sorts of efforts to expell the hairballs and that is often when an asthma attack occurs. Treatment - As soon as the attack is over, administer, without losing any time, a vomiting agent (0.03 centigrams of emetic dissolved in a little warm water), then give successively, at intervals, spoonfuls of water sweetened with a few drops of ether or ammonia. Ammonia or chlorine may also be inhaled.

Bronchitis is the inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bronchi. It is most frequent in young cats and is commonly referred to as a cold. Symptoms. - Bronchitis can be acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis is characterized by a straighforward inflammation and by the regular and rapid progress of the symptoms which accompany this. It begins with a more or less painful cough, a more or less abundant mucous discharge, and by a more or less intense pain in the throat and walls of the chest. This ailment, when it is not accompanied by any other symptoms, is generally benign. Intense bronchitis is more serious. It involves a dry, hacking cough, which tires the animal, feverish movements preceded by chills, a small appetite, and a most intense thirst. If there are no complication, the fever reduces, the respiratory discomfort disappears, and the cough and snorted mucus becomes thicker and greenish in colour. The disease then either disappears or becomes a chronic condition.

Chronic bronchitis is characterized by the irregularity of the course of the disease. It is also referred to as pulmonary catarrh, because expectoration is, so to speak, the main symptom. This type of bronchitis particularly occurs in kittens and in old cats. While it is generally not very severe in adults, it generally coincides with the decline of life, and is a grave symptom which soon leads to fading and death in the unhealthy.

Treatment. - Very early on, before the disease becomes intense, gummy drinks are sufficient treatment. But as soon as symptoms appear more serious, it becomes necessary to fast the cat, then to apply large poultices to the chest walls, and to administer the following potion:
Decoction of ipecac root. . 0.30 centigr. in water .... 100 grams. Tincture of nux vomica. . 10 drops. Simple syrup. . . 20 grams.

Chronic bronchitis requires other means. On the outside, paint the walls of the chest with iodine, after taking care, of course, to first cut away the fur, and concurrently, on the inside, bitter and aromatic substances, such as quinine, sage, lichen, and the like are used.

Burning is defined as any action produced on the tissues by concentrated heat. When the burning is slight, the skin hardly blushes, and if any blisters are formed, they disappear on their own after a short time. However, when the flesh is seriously affected, the damaging effects of the burn must be addressed with appropriate medication. Treatment. - Cold water is an excellent calming agent. Wet cloths are applied to the injured parts, or the parts may be dipped in water if this is possible. It is also possible to use cotton to good effect bu spreading it over the whole extent of the burn, taking care to apply several layers on top of each other. It is also possible to treat burns using a mixture of oil and lime water in equal proportions.

CEREBRAL CONGESTION. This illness is characterized by congestion of the vessels of the brain and its surrounding membranes. Symptoms are: headache, dizziness, redness of the eyes, drowsiness, aberration of sight and hearing. This state may last for several days, and then resolve itself, but in some cases it ends in an apoplectic fit. These attacks may recur from time to time.

Treatment. – Protect the animal from violent emotions, the action of the sun etc. As soon as the congestion makes itself known, apply compresses of cold water or a bladder full of crushed ice to the cat’s head; but in order to avoid the dangerous effects of sudden changes, these refrigerants should be removed only gradually by eplacing them with successive compresses of slightly warmer water until the successive reach the normal body temperature. Internally, administer frequently repeated enemas and give aloe pills, 50 centigrammes dose, hourly.

CHLOROSIS (IRON DEFICIENCY ANAEMIA). This is the most common affliction in cats. It is characterized by lose of colour of the skin and mucous membranes, a more or less pronounced debilitation and some functional disorders. The skin is dry, the hair dull and spiky, the flesh is soft and flabby, the animal is a prone to lethargy; sometimes the lower limbs become puffy and retain the impression of a finger pressed into them. The appetite is reduced, erratic and capricious; there is often stubborn constipation. This affliction usually occurs in female cats that are forced to live sedentary lives, and are denied the right to reproduce. Treatment. The most rational treatment is to satisfy the desires of the patient, and at the same time to give her tonic medication and a heary diet.

COLIC. Colic refers to a more or less intense pain in a certain point in the belly and accompanied by a feeling of tugging. It is almost always the sign of an intestinal disorder. Worms, hairballs in the intestine, inflammation of the intestinal mucous membrane as happens in Diarrhea or Dysentery (see these entries), stones in the liver ducts, intestinal gas etc., are the most common causes of Colic. From this description we see that colic is not in itself a disease, but is a symptom of some other ailment. Therefore, the reader should refer to the descriptions of the various diseases that are normally accompanied by colic.

CONSTIPATION. Constipation is very common in cats that live a sedentary life. Most often it is caused by the faeces remaining in the large intestine for a prolonged period of time when the animal cannot freely satisfy its need to expel the faeces. This material then becomes quite hard, resulting in violent efforts to evacuate the bowel. Sometimes - but more rarely - constipation results from a mechanical blockage such as a hernia, or from a tumor compressing the intestine.

Treatment. In the case of simple constipation, it is sufficient to combat it, generally successfully, by administering 15 grammes of castor oil, and a few enemas using sulphate of soda (Glauber’s Salt). At the same time, to avoid relapses, give the cat a refreshing diet, such as dairy.

Consumption is commonly found in cats. Its signs are generally misunderstood so that, in the absence of precautions that might halt its progress, it makes rapid and substantial progresses in a short time. It is characterized by a dry, stubborn cough that seems to come and go at regular intervals without being attributable to any definite cause. This cough is usually accompanied by loose, clear phlegm, and is later associated with a few globules of pus and blood. The animal loses weight and strength each day. The breathing is shortened and the fever is most accentuated in the evening.

There is persistent diarrhea, and digestion becomes painful. In the more advanced stage, all these symptoms are exaggerated: the cough becomes more frequent, there are coughing fits that last for whole hours and prevent sleep; the phlegm becomes more abundant, yellowish and mushy, sometimes mixed with dried cheese-like matter or organic fragments which seem to be lung tissue.

The fever continues uninterrupted, the diarrhea and suppuration exhausts the patient. He then falls into a state of malnutrition and listlessness, and succumbs. Consumption can last for six months, one year, two years, though rarely longer. Even the most assiduous care and carefully followed treatments are mostly ineffective, and illness continues its progress, almost always leading to death.

Treatment. – The most important treatment is hygiene. A warm, steady and constant temperature is best. Food, too, needs special attention. As for the medicines, noe are effective although many have been tried.

Contusions are injuries caused by the impact or pressure from a hard body and without breaking the skin. When the skin is broken, it is called a contused wound. The severity of a contusion depends mainly on the region where it is situated. The direct effect of any contusion is an effusion of blood, which escapes from ruptured blood vessels, and its dissemination into the skin’s pores or into the cellular tissue (bruising); pain caused by the crumpling of parts affected with vermin, and in some cases paralysis, a direct consequence of wounds incurred by nerve-fibres. These symptoms may disappear gradually by themselves, or they may become worse and be followed by abscesses, blood blisters, etc.
After two or three days, by removing the fur, one will see the skin of the contused part is purplish-black and raised by the leaked blood. If there are no complications, this discolouration will soon disappear and the skin will return to its normal colour.

Treatment. The medications used are the simplest. The first is to promote the resorption of the blood effusion into the tissues. To do this, it is sufficient, if the contusion is recent, to simply apply frequent cold water compresses; a little later, make a lotion with camphorated eau-de-vie, or with any of these spirits commonly called Vulnéraire [a herbal remedy].
If the contusion is painful, stop the cold compresses and spirit resolvents and use topical emollients (poultices) instead.


The term ‘convulsion’ means any involuntary and instantaneous contractions in the muscles of a living animal, with or without loss of consciousness. Convulsions are particularly seen in young cats. Dental problems are the most frequent cause; but intestinal worms, skin eruptions and the onset of certain serious diseases, often cause convulsions. Hence it follows that convulsions are not in themselves a disease; they are always just symptoms, the meaning of which, however, can be entirely variable.

Sometimes they result in a very mild condition, but at other times these disorders affect the entire system at once. The eyes become fixed, the face muscles contract, and the jaws are clenched, the body is rocked by with irregular jerking, the limbs twist, the eyes roll in their sockets; then, after these somewhat confused movements, there will be a period of weariness or prostration known as coma. Convulsions are always a serious thing, because if they occur repeatedly they may result in death. Treatment. - Immediately administer an emetic, then a strongly purgative enema and apply poultices to the four extremities. A little later, in order to prevent new crises, administer the following potion hourly:
Infusion of orange lime - 100 grammes. Cherry laurel water -15 drops. Syrup of ether - 10 grams. Poppy syrup – 10 grams
F. S. A.

CORYZA [NASAL CATARRH] This is the inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the nose. The malady begins with sneezing; the tip of the nose is dry, then there is a very abundant and colourless discharge. This disease is usually benign as long as it is not the prelude to bronchial or lung inflammation, and is cured in a few days. Treatment. - Fumigation with elderflower.

This term refers to numerous and abundant intestinal evacuations accompanied by abdominal pains, swelling and tension. The cat is depressed, loses its appetite, hides in corners or under the furniture etc, and becomes weakenr in proportion to the amount of diarrhoea produced. This disease is generally not serious unless it accompanies an organic disease such as pulmonary tuberculosis or wasting disease. Depending on the nature of the faeces expelled, the diarrhea is classed as bilious, serous or mucous. It is generally found in greedy cats following a bout of stubborn constipation.

Treatment - For mild diarrhea, fasting, rest, gummy and mucilaginous drinks are sufficient. In the case of intense diarrhea, narcotics should be used: opium, belladonna, etc. We recommend the following formula:
Linden/lime water - 80 grams.
Aqueous extract of belladonna - 10 centigr.
Diacodic [opium] syrup - 10 grams.
One teaspoonful every two hours.

While fractures are rare in the cat, dislocations are common. By dislocation we mean the displacements of the osseous parts which make up the joints. A falls is the best known cause and no creature is more exposed to these than the cat. Other causes are impact, exaggerated muscular effort, etc. Dislocations are characterized by deformity of the articulating joint, the lengthening or shortening of the limb, and a change in the relationship between the articulating surfaces.

We have already mentioned that dislocations are more coomon than fractures in cats. This is explained by the cat’s remarkable elasticity and suppleness. When it falls, the ligaments become over-stretched, the articular surfaces are displace, and nine times out of ten the cat suffers a dislocation rather than a fracture.

Treatment. – The dislocation must be immediately decreased, but only a skilled person can reposition the dislocation. In the meantime, it helps to apply soothing compresses of cold or salty water to the joint.

This disease is characterized by a compelling need to evacuate the intestinal contents. Whenever the animal tries to defecate, it experiences a more or less violent discomfort and its efforts are either fruitless or insignificant. Dysentery in cats is generally caused by poor quality food or by living in a damp, poorly ventilated environment laden with putrid miasma [bad air].

The faeces is initially gelatinous, then yellow and liquid and bloody; finally bloody diarrhoea is passed in variable quantities each time. At first, the faeces has little odor; but if the illness is prolonged they become intolerably fetid. At the same time, the cat become depressed and emaciated. It has dry, rough skin and bristly fur. It has an intense thirst, but after it drinks every sip of swallowed liquid immediately produces a new urge to defecate. If the disease continues, the legs cool, the belly swells and the general body temperature sometimes decreases until death ensues.

Treatment. Complete fast, washes of starchy water to which a few drops of laudanumare added. Poultices on the belly. The following potion has always been very successful:
Tannin - 1 gram.
Cherry laurel water - 10 grams.
Orange tree flower water - 20 grams.
Distilled water - 40 grams.
Ratanhia syrup - 25 grams.
One teaspoonful every two hours.

This refers to certain skin conditions that result in scaly or scabby eruptions that are more or less damp (eczema). These conditions, which seem to be the expression of a general state of health, are often resistant to any treatment - especially when the patches are long-standing. They are commonly found in cats. They are mainly found on the back and on the limbs. They initially appear as red patches, more or less extensive, glossy and oozing, which quickly harden into large crusty plates.

Treatment - External: sulfurated glycerine, alkaline ointment, alkaline lotions. Internal: granules of arseniate of soda at the rate of half a milligramme (two per day).

The only notable eye diseases in the cat are conjunctivitis and ophthalmia.

Conjunctivitis. This is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, which will be seen to blister and form a red and protruding circular fold all around the cornea. If the disease is not intense, it may be sufficient to apply eye-lotion made from plantain water, melilot (sweet yellow clover) water or rose water. If it is violent, it is necessary to refer to the practitioner’s knowledge because if it is not treated correctly, it may, in a few days, produce such complications that the sight is permanently altered or compromised.

Ophthalmia. This is inflammation of the entire eyeball. On this subject, we need only repeat what we have said about conjunctivitis.

Fever refers to a state in which the pulse and natural heat of the body are altered with a greater or lesser degree of function. The nose, deprived of its ordinary moisture, becomes dry and warm. The hair immediately loses its luster. At the same time, the cat develops an intense thirst and its appetite is reduced. Fever precedes and accompanies all acute diseases.

FOREIGN BODIES. It is not at all rare to find, in the cat’s throat, foreign bodies. Some are soluble and disappear after a certain time e.g. sugar, bread, and food in general. Others are hard, reistant, and insoluble, which may cause asphyxia by compressing the respiratory tract too much, or result in death by perforating or cutting off large blood vessels e.g. in the first case, a ball, a ball of lead, or a coin, etc., in the second case ; a piece of glass, a needle, a pin, or a bone etc. It is always a cause of worry and is even dangerous if a foreign body is stuck in the esophagus. Even if it is not immediately considered a serious problem, there is always the risk of complications, for in the long run it may cause irritation, inflamation or even perforate the organs.

Treatment - Immediately try to remove the foreign body with small tweezers by trying to pass a small dry sponge underneath it, tied to the end of a string, or even by using a metallic handle which can easily be made by folding a knitting needle in two, an instrument which can be improved by bringing the two folded sides together along their length folding them, a little above their curve, into the shape of hook.

If these attempts are unsuccessful, induce vomiting. If all these means still do not produce any results, and if suffocation is imminent, we may use this old method, however empirical it may be, which consists of taking a leek, cut of at the root, and introducing it into the esophagus, pushing towards the stomach. If none of these means succeed, an oesophagotomy [creation of an artificial opening into the oesophagus] must immediately be performed - this is practitioner's work.

Cats rarely suffer from this affliction. When they do, it is generally accidental and caused by a blow, a fall, poisoning, or the presence of foreign bodies, such as hairballs which commonly occur in cats’ stomachs. A cat with gastritis loses its appetite and vomits frequently. Its tongue is red and dry, the papillae which cover the tongue are violently congested are hard and bristling. The vomit is sometimes bilious, sometimes bloody; there is also alternating diarrhoea and constipation. The pulse is shallow, hard and fast, urine is scarce, the skin becomes dry and the hair becomes prickly.

Treatment. - If poisoning has occurred, induce vomiting immediately; on the contrary, if the illness is not due to poisoning, prevent vomiting as far as possible, and give the patient to a refreshing diet, milk, linseed water with honey, etc.

Internal haemorrhages are counteracted by cold, vinegary, astringent drinks, by Rabel’s water and iron perchloride. Compresses impregnated with iron perchloride, or cauterization with a red-hot iron are often sufficient to stop superficialexternal haemorrhages. If large blood vessels are open, plug these, or try a ligature.

[Rabel’s water: developed by an charlatan alchemist exiled from France in 1686 after a poisoning scandal. Compositiion: 300 parts 95 proof alcohol, 100 parts sulphuric acid, 4 parts poppy petals macerated for 4 days in the liquid. Now classed as hazardous and withdrawn from homeopathic use.]

In almost all cases indigestion is the result of overeating or poor quality diet, or disturbance of the stomach function due to a chill or violent exercise straight after eating. Strictly speaking, indigestion is not an illness in itself, but it is a state close to illness which may, at certain times, become the cause of moreor less serious accidents or illnesses. It causes general discomfort, refusal to eat, dryness and numbness of the mouth, nausea and vomiting.

When the indigestible food has passed into the intestines, there is also colic, rumbling bowels, flatulence, and production of acrid and putrid faeces.

Treatment. The first thing to do is to make the cat vomit and empty its stomach of the indigestible matter. Once the food has been expelled, give 10 or 15 grams of Sedlitz salts and then an enema to which is added three or four teaspoons of olive oil. [Sedlitz powder is a laxative containing tartaric acid, sodium potassium tartrate, and sodium bicarbonate, given dissolved in water.]

This is a common condition in the cat. It is characterized by an intense cough and general depression. The cat lowers his head and drools a sticky, viscous saliva from its mouth, while abundant snot, sometimes mixed with blood, flows from the nose. In addition to these general symptoms the cat becomes prostrated and anxious; its hair becomes dry and bristly, and it suffers fits of violent coughing.
Treatment. - Decongestant teas sweetened with diacode (opium) syrup, emollient enemas, complete or partial fast depending on the case, keep the patient warm.

Leucorrhea is a discharge of mucus from the uterus and vagina. This disease is very common in old cats. It is characterized by the discharge of liquid similar to egg white and sometimes mixed with yellow or greenish pus. When this flow is abundant, the animal soon falls into a complete state of exhaustion.

Treatment, - Pills of iron, quinine; astringent injections with a decoction of walnut leaves and oak bark (10 grams for 250 grams of water).

Neuralgia, or nerve pain, is fairly common in cats. It could not be otherwise with a beast so eminently nervous, so remarkably impressionable. If it is possible to detect the presence of neuralgic pain, it is almost always impossible to recognize the site of the pain. We shall therefore only discuss this ailment for the record, contenting ourselves with indicating the treatment best calculated to combat them.

Treatment. – Make the patient inhale a few drops of ether or ammonia and rub the sensitive part with camphorated brandy or essential balm. Internally, the following potion can be administered:
Turpentine - 1 gram.
Mint tea - 25 grams.
Sulphuric ether - 1 gram.
Syrup of Gum - 10 grams.
One teaspoonful every hour.

Essentially lazy by nature, the cat is very prone to obesity. If it is only a little overweight, it is a sign of health, but, on the other hand, accumulations of fatty tissue within the organs can result in a number of diseases. There are circumstances in which fat accumulates in considerable quantity in certain regions. This is not uncommon in cats, particularly in the case of the castrated males.

Treatment - If the animal is still young, it is possible to stop the condition by regulating its food properly, but if it is old, nothing can cure obesity.

Palpitations are heart beats that are more frequent, larger, and more violent than normal. Palpitations are most often caused by serious lung or heart conditions. Sometimes, however, it an accidental circumstance such as excessive fear, violent emotion, or running too fast, causes erratic heartbeats. These are distinguished from true palpitations in the sense that they last only a brief time before the heartbeat returning to normal.

Treatment. Curatives vary according to the cause of the palpitations. In general, rest and a few drops of ether in a little sugared water will suffice to calm palpitations.

Cat scabies is caused by Sarcoptes catii mites. These first attack the head and ears, then the limbs and from there spreads to all the parts of the body. Young cats are particularly predisposed to this condition. Small fluid-filled pimples appear; these cause considerable itchiness. The pimples soon disappear, leaving bald patches. These patches are isolated at first, then join together into crusty and scury patches.

This affliction is hard to get rid of; it is initially limited to the head and ears, but it spreads bit by bit and eventually invades the entire thickness of the skin. The cat becomes depressed, loses its appetite, loses weight and sometimes dies of malnutrition.
Treatment. - Rub the diseased parts, three times a day, with the following ointment:
Sulfur - 10 grams.
Axonge [Adeps suillus] - 30 grams.

Wash the worst affected areas with water strongly saturated with sulfuric acid after having previously rubbed them with a hard, dry brush to break the vesicles. Then dip the animal in baths of Bareges water [water from the Bareges spa] or sulphurous water.

Remark. – This disease is extremely contagious from cat to the cat, and is also contagious from cat to man.

SORE THROAT [Angine] Several kinds of sore throat are distinguished according to their location and nature. According to their location, they are laryngitis, or pharyngitis sepending on whether it affects the larynx or the pharynx. According to their nature, they are called simple or specific.
1. Simple Sore Throat – This is called tonsilitis. The ancients called it quinsy.
Symptoms - The cat is depressed, loses its appetite, carries its head low, and makes frequent movements of the head on the neck. Its mouth remains half open and drools a slippery mucus which it finds hard to detach from the back of the throat. If the jaws are held apart, the tongue is seen to have a pasty coating and the back of the mouth is strongly congested. When the disease is very intense, it is not uncommon to find an abscess in this region which opens due to the cat’s efforts to cough up mucus or to vomit. Treatment. – A vomiting purge (0.03 centig of emetic mixed in a little water) is often enough to stop this ailment at its beginning. Bleeding, purgative enemas, injections into the throat with fig water and alum are the most commonly used remedies.

2. Specific Sore Throat. - This is analogous to diphtheria or croup in human.
In addtion to the symptoms described for a simple sore throat is the presence at the back of the throat of greyish white membranes which form rapidly and sometimes extend into the mouth and nose. This disease is serious and often fatal. Treatment. – Coat all the diseased parts two to three times a day with a mixture of three parts water to one part hydrochloric acid using a paintbrush. It is also possible to use of the powdered alum, which is carried to the back of the cat’s mouth by blowing it vigorously.

This affliction is dependent on youth. It is characterized by the presence of yellow crusts, more or less thick, which form on the head, around the lips and nose, behind the ears and on the inner thighs. These crusts are produced by small water-filled or pus-filled blisters; soon the vesicles burst, the liquid escapes, and they dry out and become hard. When the crusts are numerous, they cause a very abundant discharge, and a sickly odour.

These are often accompanied by other symptoms: catarrhal inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, which is characterized by a period of purulent mucus and by a frequent wet cough. This complication is most serious. It is from the sixth week to the fourth month that strangles usually occurs in young cats.

Treatment – Apply an ointment composed of equal parts of well-crushed axonge (Adeps suillus] and cress to all affected parts. Purge, from time to time, with manna [crystallized tree sap] diluted in milk. If there are respiratory complications, administer, every two hours, a teaspoonful of the following linctus:
White linctus - 100 grams.
Kermes mineral [a compound of antimony trioxide and antimony trisulphide] - 5 centigr.
Poppy syrup - 20 grams.

This disease is peculiar to dogs, but can be transmitted to the cat by inoculation (bite).

Symptoms. - At first the cat is depressed and anxious and unable to stay in one place. Soon, this anxiety is exaggerated and turns into extreme irritability. The eyes become wild and staring; the animal is gripped by an urgent need for freedom and leaves the familiar house to take refuge in some deserted place. If it cannot do this, it huddles to die in an abandoned corner, for the general excitation is followed by prostration and weakness, and death follows due to paralysis.

Treatment - As soon as the disease is suspected, it is necessary to kill the animal.

It must be remembered that in a rabid cat the claws are just as dangerous at the teeth because, by licking its paws, it impregnate them to some degree with its poisonous saliva.

This disease is peculiar to young cats, in particular white-coated animals. It generally starts in the extremities; we see the limb-bones bend, then the belly distends and the joints may become double their ordinary state. If the disease is not stopped in time by appropriate treatment, there are complications with serious changes that can result in death.

Treatment: - When the cat is very young, it is possible to reverse the disease with good food and a tonic diet. The specific drug for this condition is cod liver oil.

Scurvy often affects cats. It is, as it were, a wasting, characterized by multiple haemorrhages, a peculiar softening of the gums, and general weakness. A cold and humid temperature, filth, poor quality or inadequate food, are causes of scurvy.

Symptoms. When the lips are opened, the gums are seen to be red, soft, swollen, and they bleed at the slightest contact. The breath is fetid and the animal sinks into a state of apathy and depression. At a more advanced stage, more serious symptoms occur: the lower extremities swell, and the lips become covered with ulcers with hard, puffy edges, and ooze with a blackish, fetid, and bloody liquid. The strength fails completely and the cat soon succumbs.

Treatment. – The cure is partly based on hygiene: cleanliness, and a dry and well lit living area.

We do not wish to review all the nutritive alterations known as tumours, so we shall content ourselves with pointing out two which are commonly found in the cat. The first is adenoma, the glandular tumor of the mammary gloands, so frequent in old female cats, and which presents as an increase of parts of the normal gland. This tumor is sometimes firm and resistant, at other times soft and vascular, but is not cancerous.

Treatment. The only treatment for this tumor is to remove it.

The second tumor which we must deal with here is the carcinoma of the lips. This is true cancerous tumor, and is sometimes found on the upper lip, and other times found on the lower.

Treatment. - Excise the tumor in layers with a scalpel, then cauterize the wound with a red-hot iron.

Like all cancers, carcinoma of the lip in the cat is liable to recur sooner or later.

Ulcers are the common name for unpleaasant sores that are a reservoir of infections and must always be vigorously treated in order to reduce the inflammation around them, and consequently prevent infection invading other tissues.

Treatment The following ointment may be effective:

Camphor powder - 4 grams.
Activated charcoal - 15 grams.
Cinchona [quinine] powder - 40 grams.
Basilicum ointment - 30 grams.
Three applications per day.

The cat, like other domestic animals, harbours in certain internal organs parasites known as helminths (worms, entozoan). It is thus that one encounters in the stomach: Ascaris mystax and Dochmius tubaeformis both belonging both to the class of nematodes; In the small intestine one finds Taenia elliptica and Taenia pseudo-elliptica, the latter first reported by Professor Baillet of Toulouse; Taenia crassicolis, and finally Botriocephalus decipiens, described by Diesing, all belonging to the class of cestoids [tapeworm]. In the liver we find Pentastoma denticulata, first described by Van Beneden, who considers it a crustacean rather than a worm.

All these entozoa are found particularly in young and lethargic animals, and more rarely in adults. Their presence in the body causes a series of functional disorders, more or less marked, according to the age and temperament of the animal, and according to organs infested. The main signs of the presence of worms are: sudden lethargy, vomiting (ascarides), colic, nausea, increased appetite, dilated pupils, irregular pulse, and in some cases epileptiform convulsions (taenias).

Treatment. – 4 pills of Santonine, 20 centigrams, given over two days, and Kousso [antihelminthic derived from the flowers of Hagenia Abyssinica] administered under the same conditions, are the best deworming agents that can be employed - the first against the roundworms - the second against the taenias and the botriocephalus. Cornmeal should always help the action of these drugs with a small dose of castor oil (15 to 20 grams) given two hours after the last pill.



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