NINETEENTH CENTURY NEWSPAPER REPORTS (1890 - 1892)

THOSE MUMMIFIED CATS
Pittsburgh Dispatch, February 22, 1890

From The London Saturday Review.

An eminent person of science has described the thriftiness of nature: how she stored her vegetable produce for millions of years, put it out to interest in the shape of coal, and finally made manufactures possible, with all the happiness which they bring to miserable mortals. "Keep a thing, its use will come,” and even cats, the least utilitarian of creatures, come in useful if they are only kept long enough. Just as nature had thrift in her mind when she stored coal at an age when nobody wanted it, so the ancient Egyptians had an eye on our necessities when they mummified all their cats. The Egyptians mummified mice, bulls, alligators and animals in general, partly because they were as a rule gods, partly to supply, we presume, the fauna of Amenti, the home of the dead.

Not long ago a modern fellah fell into an ancient cats’ cemetery by accident, and found himself among the rather ghastly feline mummies of 2,000 years ago. Then awoke the modern spirit, chartered two steamers, and carried 20 tons of tail-waggers off to Liverpool. These cats had been divine, all of them children of Pasht. When they died the neighbors cried, the family shaved itself and went into mourning. At a fire the main object of everybody was not to put the fire out, but to keep the cats out of it. “The cats lie covertly in wait," says the old translator of Herodotus, “and sodenly coursing toward the place, mount and skip quite over the heads of the people into the fire, at which chaunce, whenever it comes to pass, the Egvptians are extremely sorrowful. A cat dying is solemnly caryed to the temple, where, being powdered with salte, she is after buried in the city of Bubastis."

If an ancient Egyptian met a friend with no eyebrows, he knew that a cat was dead in the house and behaved with sympathetic solemnity. And now all these hundreds of thousands of cats, which had been waiting hopefully till Osiris came again, are to be made useful. Every one of them was separately and neatly laid out in his tight little shroud 2,000 years ago. To-day they are manure, and the divine bodies, scattered over the British fields, may effect a saving in guano. They fetch £3 13s 9d a ton, and there go to the ton about 9,000 of these minor divinities. Why should not Apis and the dog Anubis be treated in the same manner, and there is no money to be made out of the mummified children of Sebak, the father of crocodiles? Verily this is the last poor plunder of a ruined land.

Each dead cat is worth, at present quotations, a little less than a halfpenny. The sacrilege seems hardly worth the trouble, and we have yet to see how Pasht, the fierce cat goddess of Bubastia, will accept the insult. To speculators we might Bay, “Let sleeping cats lie,” but probably even the sleeping dogs will be shipped off in the same manner if the experiment with the puss of ancient Khem is successful. There may still be a slight prejudice against using human mummies in the same fashion, or, again, Cheops and Chephren may make fat the fields of Europe.

The Times Picayune, March 6, 1890

There has arrived from Alexandria at Liverpool, by the steamer Pharos, a consignment of nearly 20 tons of cats, numbering some 180,000, taken out of an ancient subterranean cat’s cemetery discovered about 100 miles from Cairo by an Egyptian fellah, who accidentally fell into this cats’ cemetery, which he found completely filled with cats, every one of which had been separately embalmed and dressed in cloth after the manner of Egyptian mummies and all laid out in rows.

The Winfield Tribune, March 7, 1890

A second consignment of nine tons of mummified cats from the great Egyptian cat cemetery has been sold at auction at Liverpool. The bulk of it brought £5 17s. 6d. per ton, but some single pieces went for fancy prices, such as 40s. 6d. for a head and 5s. 6d. for a perfect body without the head.

THE VALUE OF PUSS. Globe, 30th August 1890
Mr. Benjamin Carter's cat, of Plumstead, was an excellent mouser, and Mr. Carter's house much troubled with mice. Mr. Carter would not, in fact, have parted with that cat for £5. But that cat had a partiality for pigeons, and was in the habit of killing a good many of those birds, belonging to Mr. James Butterflll’s brother-in-law; indeed, it killed six in one day and four in another. Then the cat disappeared, and no man knoweth its grave unto this day. Mr. Carter has summoned Mr. Butterfill for stealing the cat, and the summons has been dismissed, which seems only fair in all the circumstances.

Incidentally, however, an interesting point was raised. Mr. Carter, we said before, stated that the cat was worth £5 to him. Thereupon Mr. Marsham remarked that “you can get a great many mousers for £S,” and went on lay down the law that the market value of cat is about 10s. We should rather like to know on what ground the magisterial dictum is based. Where is the market situated in which one could expose one’s cat for sale with a tolerably good chance of a finding purchaser at half a sovereign? There ought to be magnificent business to be done in cats if such a market really exists. An energetic person who could capture some of the stray grimalkins of this metropolis might make very handsome income.

As a matter of fact, we doubt very much whether any rule can be laid down as to the market value of a cat. One has only got to go to the Crystal Palace cat show to realise that truth. The price put upon Puss depends almost entirely upon the caprice of the owner. You may see cats there of all sorts and sizes, ranging in price from 5s. to £1,000, while it would be impossible to arrange them by any method of classification so to get any clear idea of the average value of this or that kind of cat. A particularly beautiful Persian, or tortoiseshell Tom will, course, fetch a fancy price; but to the average market value of Felis sausaginea, who can tell it? [Felis sausaginea suggests a cat fit only to be made into sausages.]

EGYPT’S PRESERVED CATS. HOW PUSS LOOKS OVER 3000 YEARS OLD.
Pittsburgh Daily Post, March 8th, 1890

Mummified Felines of the Valley of the Nile Being Transported by Ship Loads to Enrich the Soil of England.

OVER 3000 years ago a race of highly civilized people, the most advanced race of that age in science, letters, and the arts — a race whose attainments in some directions probably excelled those of the world today — took a fancy to make pets of a species of animal now known as the Felis maniculata, the original progenitor of the present domestic cat. After their highly civilized manner of caring for animals to which they had taken a fancy, these people used to embalm their cats after death, just as they did the bodies of human beings, wrap them in multitudinous folds of linen, and lay them away in vaults and pits. Their civilization, too, had reached a point at which there was recognized an impropriety in placing the bodies of animals, however valued they may have been in life, in the same resting place with the bodies of their human friends and relations, so they used to have a separate cemetery for their cats. In the course of time the interments in that cat cemetery came to number millions. A this same time, in another part of the world, a group of all but uninhabitable islands was being roamed over by scattered tribes of naked savages, ignorant, of any art beyond that of killing wild beasts enough to furnish food for the day.

Centuries passed. Uncouth barbarians first destroyed the civilization of the ancient race, and then built up from its ruins another civilization of their own, which, in its turn, was upset by more barbarians from the north, and was succeeded by still another civilization. Meantime the cats lay undisturbed, unless by dreams, wrapped in their spicy cerements, covered up and forgotten in the old cemetery to which they had been consigned. A while agro a half-naked native, little higher in civilization than a rank savage, but the descendant in a probably very indirect line of the ancient race that buried the cats, prowling about for some relic of his ancestors that he could sell, having already despoiled their graves, stumbled upon the graves of their cats and delved among the linen-wrapped bodies as a miner digs into the placer bed in a new gold country. As a result, the poor old cats are now being shoveled out by the hundred thousand, and carried off to those islands where naked savages roamed in the days when the cats carried their tails high, there to be ground up and used for fertilizers. The pampered pets of the Egyptians of 4000 years ago go to enrich the worn-out soil of the Englishman to-day. Not, however, until their long sleep has been ruthlessly violated by the Egyptian of to-day, for every cat is religiously searched before it is sold and thoroughly broken up in the operation, in the hope that there may have been wrapped up with it something valuable, such as a jewel or a piece of parchment. On this account the cats when they reach England and go into the hopper are in a sadly disorganized condition, scarcely one bone remaineth upon another, and, although it was estimated that the last cargo that arrived at Liverpool contained as many as 180,000 cats, it was scarcely possible to find one perfect specimen.

Photographs of some of the most perfect ones that could be found are reproduced here. They show that there were different fashions of doing up the cats, and it is supposed that these were due to the variations of the Egyptian taste in that line from time to time, although there may have been some other significance, not now discoverable, to the varying manner in which different cats were treated. Perhaps there were castes in those days even among the cats, and a wrapping that was good enough for one cat would have been a purgatory for another.

The cemetery from which all these cats have come is at Beni Hassan. Its existence has been known for some time, but it is only within a few weeks that the idea of transporting the bodies to England for fertilizing purposes has been put into execution. The first cargo that arrived at Liverpool created quite a sensation. The cat was domesticated in Egypt certainly 1600 years before Christ, for tablets in the British museum show that at that time it was kept as an inmate of the temples and bore a part in the religious worship of the Egyptians. The goddess Pasht was represented with the head of a cat, and there is a temple at Beni Hassan that was dedicated to her as early as 1500 B. C. The cat cemetery is near that temple. Herodotus alleges that when a cat died in an Egyptian house the inhabitants shaved off their eyebrows, that being an indication of deep mourning.

Modern scientific men, as unholy in their greed for knowledge as the modern fertilizer man in his greed for gain, have joined in the violation of the ancient cats to the extent of subjecting to a chemical analysis some pow[d]ered cat manufactured from the latest cargo to arrive at Liverpool, and they announce that the cats contained 16.63 parts of phosphoric acid, 36.61 parts of tribasic phospate of lime and 5.52 parts of nitrogen, along with 51.54 parts of miscellaneous materials in small quantities. From this they infer that the preparation employed by the Egyptians in embalming the cats preserved the flesh as well as the bones of the animals, and they add this: “The body of a cat or similar animal of the present day, dried until free from moisture, would give a similar analysis to the above.”

CATS AND DOGS IN DEMAND
The New York Times, March 10, 1890

NEW-BRUNSWICK, N. J.. March 9.-Life wlll probably he hardly worth the living at Rutgers College to-morrow morning, for all the small boys ot the city are hunting up oats and dogs to take there as soon as the janitor opens New Jersey Hall. An advertisement asking tor these animals, and offering to pay those who will hive them and show the owner’s consent to the transaction, has been printed in the local papers, and it is because of this advertisement that the wise cat walketh not in dark alleys nor the knowing dog in the lonely places of the city. At the college it was learned than the cats and dogs were wanted by the biologist, Prof Nelson, for experimental purposes. They are guaranteed a painless death.

A CAT SHOW IN NEW BOND STREET. BY AN EXPERT IN CATS. Pall Mall Gazette, 16th May 1890
One of the most comprehensive and unique exhibitions of feline life ever grouped together has opened at the Fine Art Society's Galleries, 148, New Bond-street. The exhibition has all the charm of novelty, the pictures render the "hauteur" of cat life, and the kittens are artless gems. There is no single jarring note in the whole gallery. Puss, no doubt, is, as Pennant says, "a piteous, squalling, jarring lover." The cat of the tile and bootjack brigade, the lean, lank starveling, the suburban nomad, however, is conspicuous by his absence. Madame Ronner has confined this phase of her pets' character to one little Persian kitten (No. 87), who is charming in his exhibition of intensity of feeling.

There are aged cats surrounded by a wealth of silk and satin, kittens lolling about in every variety of pose, half hidden in down and damask cushions; but, whether they are in repose or clawing up curtains or tables, they show the true feline character - depth of expression in the eyes, spontaneous movement of the body - in fact, they live. There is a curious freedom from monotony in the whole exhibition, which extends over many years of work. There are pictures painted years ago, and pictures of yesterday, and one can scarce tell which to admire most, the painstaking fidelity to nature as exemplified in a picture of bantams (49), or the more original and powerful rendering of a hen and brood (72) of mature years; the elaborate finish shown in a pug (8), or the extraordinary vitality of (105) a dog of terrier breed.

No. 9 is a charming brown tabby, the most perfect piece of fur painting, in which Mdme. Ronner excels, of all her pictures; the delicacy of the fur has been studied with tender care, and there is an air of grace and feeling in the contour and foreshortening of the body. Even where the fur is dashed in, as in 65, there is inspiration. Perhaps the most spontaneous expression of life and movement in the whole exhibition is 70. The action of the cat looking at a canary, the half-opened claws, the bend of the body, the droop of the tail and raising of the head, is a perfect rendering of feline character, but, whether you admire her fur painting, her colour, or character painting, you cannot get away from those balls of soft fur, exquisitely and tenderly painted; those artless blue and yellow eyes which meet one at every turn.

Few will realize that the exhibition is practically the result of a life's work, for Mdme. Ronner is in her sixty-ninth year. At the age of five her father, who was a very strict disciplinarian, compelled her to work from morning till night, with the result that she had, to save her eyesight, to work only two hours a day for some years. These habits of industry she has retained all her life. Mdme. Ronner's son, Monsieur Ronner, will tell you that his mother has an extraordinary memory for form and places, so much so that after fifty years she returned to Paris, and knew the room and place on the walls where any picture might be found; that she will put her pets to canvas in a very short time, so unerring is her hand and eye; that all her models are put in a cage with a glass front, the better to study the fur. One cat (67) was put in the glass case, but took it so ill that in a wild and fitful moment of irritation he smashed the glass and ran spitting away. He tells a good story, too, of one of the Countess of Flanders's dogs. The Countess sent four dogs to the studio every day to be painted; the painting of one of them (91), a Skye terrier, was nearly finished when the dog was removed, and the painting placed against the wall. Soon after, the servant brought the other dogs, when one of them, whose portrait (105) is full of life and spirit, and whose every hair bristles, ran snarling and barking up to the painting, then stopped suddenly, startled and frightened out of his life when he discovered his mistake. - Louis Wain.

CAT FOND OF EXPENSIVE PLAYTHINGS
Pittsburgh Dispatch, May 20, 1890

A pet cat owned by a New York family is fond of expensive playthings. The wife of the owner missed a $400 diamond a few days ago, and after notifying the police and advertising largely for its return, the cat was found playing with it on the floor. Whether the cat received any portion of the reward of not the papers failed to state.

KILLING A CAT. EDWARDS V. EADES. Essex Herald, 27th May 1890.
Judgment in the case of Edwards v. Eades, which was tried at the last County Court, has just been forwarded to the Registrar, by his Honour Judge Bagshawe. It was an action in which a shepherd sought to recover 10s., the value of a cat which the defendant, a farm bailiff, destroyed. His Honour has given judgment in favour of the plaintiff for 5s., which he considered the value of the cat. It would be a startling doctrine, he says, that anyone might wilfully kill anyone else’s cat, or, for example, that a visitor to a cat show might kill a prize animal worth, say, £100, and it would need strong authority to induce him to lay down such a doctrine.

WHITE AND DEAF
Various, June 15, 1890.

Mr. Harrison Weir, president of the National Cat club, England, says in his book, “Our Cats,” that a white cat of the long or short haired breed is likely to be deaf. Should it have blue eyes, the fancy color, it is almost certain to be deaf. Mr. Weir, at a cat show, purchased a white cat, a beauty, loving and gentle, for the low price of two guineas. When he got it home, the cat proved to be “stone deaf.” Then the trouble began. If shut out of the dining room, its cry for admission could be heard all over the house, for, being deaf, it did not know the noise it made, though its owner often wished that it could hear its own cry. When it called out as it sat on his lap, it called with ten cat power, and its commanding voice caused it to be named the “Colonel.” One day a friend saw the “beauty,” and admired it so much as to accept it as a gift, even after being told that it was “stone deaf.” A few days after Mr. Weir received a letter from the friend, offering to return the loud voiced cat. “Give it to any one you please, but don't return it to us,” was the reply. The “Colonel” was given to a deaf old lady, and both were happy.

TO TAKE CARE OF CATS
THE CHARITABLE SCHEME OF TWO GENEROUS-HEARTED LADIES.

The New York Times, July 26, 1890

For the homeless, friendless cat, that musical feline which particularly abounds at this season of the year, a kindly, enthusiastic friend has arisen, and if her energetic efforts are successful the aforesaid cat will, before very long, wallow, figuratively conceived, in the lap of luxury. In fact, there are two friends of the maligned animals, both of them ladies of strong purpose and an undivided determination to alleviate the condition of the Summer cat. They are Mrs. G. G. Deridé and Mrs. M. E. Wilson, both of this city. Mrs. Deridé is the moving' spirit in the enterprise and Mrs. Wilson is her enthusiastic co-adjutor.

The condition of facts which led to the conception of the scheme entertained by these ladies is this: Every Summer a large percentage of the inhabitants of New-York City go away for the heated months, and the cat of the household doesn’t, to any extent, enter into the arrangements for departure. A cat is not a thing which can be transported with any degree of comfort, and it is liable to be overlooked in the hurry and scurry of getting ready to leave. The consequence is that there are many purring felines which are left to blush unseen and incidentally to starve to death in the temporarily deserted quarters Where once they feasted on the left-over bounties of the land.

To remedy this evil is the joint object of these ladies. Their idea is to establish in New-York a sort of a home for indigent cats, to be supported by voluntary contributions from the public at large. In other cities in America and in several cities in Europe such institutions exist, and these ladies see no reason why New-York could not or should not support such a one. In Paris there is really a magnificent home for impecunious cats founded by a number of generous ladies in whose eyes even the lives of cats are of value, and in London, Dublin, Berlin, and Florence there are similar asylums. In Boston, Philadelphia, and Providence, in the United States, cat homes are kept up by popular subscription, and have proved to be successes in every sense of the word.

The plan of these New-York ladies is to get some little cheap place in Harlem, perhaps, or in some secluded place where there are no immediate neighbors to be disturbed, and there to fit up an asylum in which stray cats, indigent, neglected, or infirm felines may be taken care of and made to believe that they have at least a few friends on earth. For their support – the support of the cats, that is - Mrs. Deridé and Mrs. Wilson, if all else fails, will beg. They will go about with baskets and ask for assistance. All they want now is a little money to start with, and they confidently predict that before very long the “ homeless cat" will be a figure of the dolorous past, for with their institution all New-York cats will have a home to which they will be heartily welcome.

SIMPLY A QUESTION OF CATS
SHOCKING DETERIORATION OF THE CITY FELINE.
A MOVEMENT TO ESTABLISH A FRESH-AIR FUND FOR THEIR BENEFIT – THOMAS AND HIS COUNTRY COUSIN.

The New York Times, July 28, 1890

A number of Brooklyn women have talked more or less this Summer about establishing a “Fresh-Air Fund for Cats." The need for such a fund has been persistently urged by a Brookliyn old maid who has just come 'back to the city after having spent a. period of eight years in a rural Pennsylvania town. One of the women who has been entreated to interest herself in a movement for the amelioration of the condition of the city cat consented to talk with a TIMES’S representative yesterday after she had received assurance that her name should not be associated with the newspaper reproduction of what she might say. Said this lady:

“ Our agitator, for that is what we call the woman who is doing her best to get some of our Brooklyn old women into this cat scheme of hers, has been up in the Allegheny region ever since 1832, and I judge that she has associated to a very large extent with cats. Her aunt, with whom she lived, never allowed her stock of cats to get below six, and of course there were times when, counting the kittens, she had many more than six.

“ But the aunt’s cats were a mere bagatelle to what another old lady had who lived in a nearby house. This latter person seemed to run to cats. How many she had Miss Agitator does not pretend to say, but she does say that once when the old Woman was asked how many cats she had she gravely answered, ‘ The last time I measured ’em they was jest three barrels on ‘em.

“ I have no doubt that these Pennsylvania cats were all fine creatures - large, strong, handsomely furred, and well fed, and it is not at all strange that, coming direct from the society of such animals as those, Miss Agitator should be deeply penetrated with a feeling of pity for the cats which she saw in Brooklyn.

“ There is certainly a wide difference between the typical city cat and the typical country cat. You know that Lamb used to say that God made the country, but man made the towns. Do you know, I sometimes think, with all reverence, that while God made the country cat, He should not be held responsible for the existence of the horribly-repulsive things which perambulate in rusty, almost worn-out cat skins, the roofs and fences which we view from our hack windows.

“It was years ago that I came to New-York to live with my dear husband, but I have not forgotten how shocked I was at the first view I had of a city cat. The recollection of that cat vision came back no me when Miss Agitator approached me and begged me to interest myself in her Fresh Air Fund movement. She did not have to say one word to persuade me that the city eat was a gross caricature upon the cat of the rural regions, nor to point out to me that, in its own ghastly way, it was continually petitioning for the sympathetic regard of the tender hearted. Yes. Sir, I’m a good friend of the cat, and I told Miss Agitator that I Was. But I also told her that I was not quite prepared to indorse her judgment that a series of excursions should be arranged for, having for their object
the provision of a week‘s sojourn in the country for every Brooklyn cat. It is by no means clear in my mind that the excursion idea is the correct one. It may not be the air of Brooklyn which has caused the decline and fall off of the cat.

“ Brooklyn air does not disagree with me. You will hardly find a more robust woman of my age anywhere, and all of my children, and I have had ten, are strong, vigorous men, every one of them living right here in Brooklyn. So, too, when I look at my friends and at their children, I fail to note that any one of them shows signs that the air of Brooklyn is not a desirable one to live in. And just look at our Brooklyn girls; really, I think that they are the sweetest, wholesomest, most kissable girls in
America.

“ My argument is that air which is vitalizing when breathed by human beings cannot be debilitating when inhaled by cats, and I believe that my position is well taken. I’ll own, though, that I was almost compelled a, few days ago to yield. to the persuasion of our enthusiastic agitator. She did plead the cat‘s cause so well that she actually brought tears to my eyes. But I did not yield - ‘stood her off’ as my boys would say, over night, and when my husband came
home I put the case to him.

“ ‘ What do you think about it, William ?’ I asked. ‘Would you give her $100 or wouldn’t you?’

“ My husband gave me one of those sweet, sweet smiles which only a husband may give, and then he answered: ‘ Why, Sarah, the idea is perfectly absurd.’

“ ‘ But wait till the evening is over,’ my husband added. ‘ I’ve invited some of my old friends in to play whist to-night and will hold a council and discuss the subject, and you may get some light from what the old codgers say.’

“ Six men came in response to my husband’s invitation, every one of them a, well known Brooklynite, and after we had played a. few rounds of whist my husband threw down his cards and said: ‘Look here, gentlemen, I Want
some advice upon a matter of supreme importance.’

“ Then he went on and told the whole story and finally wound up by saying: ‘ Now tell me, each one of you, what you consider is the cause of the degeneracy of the city cat as compared with the cat of the country. I wish to hear
from every one of you.’

“ A man whom I will call Mr. Smith was the first to respond.

“ ‘ I think,' said Mr. Smith, ‘that hard usage explains the “whole matter. The bootjack, the brickbat, the billet of wood, the pistol ball have been used so much and so cruelly against the cat that, physically, mentally, and morally, the race has been injuriously affected. If when the fathers eat, grapes they set the children’s teeth on edge to the second and third generations, why, when the cat is clubbed and stoned and perforated with bullet holes may we not reasonably expect to read the story of his wrongs in kittens which shall go about with melancholic features and with general debility pervading their entire corporeal systems?’

“ ‘ There’s something in what you say,’ said the next speaker, Whom I will call Mr. Brown. ‘ Yes, there is, of course, a great deal in it; but it seems to me that it is more the noise and jar of the city than involuntary contact with projectiles, such as you have mentioned, which has caused the city cat to develop its nervous organization at the expense of its physical strength. Cats need quiet, repose, rest, and that what they never gag in cities. If you go up into the country and there study the habits of the cat, you will find that, after having spent a night in caterwauling, the household pet will sleep through the most of the day, sometimes upon the cushion of the big armchair, sometimes upon the rug in front of the fire, sometimes upon the soft dried grass of the haymow. Now tell me how a cat may sleep in a city in the daytime, with ice wagons, offal chariots, structural iron fiends, and bluefish and banana criers going about the streets ?’

"‘ I sometimes have thought,’ said another gentleman, ‘ that it’s crawling through small holes which keeps the city cats lean and haggard. I’ve actually known a cat to be two days in getting through an opening in a fence. Irresistible desire for the society of his kind induces the cat to crawl into a hole which he can’t get out of at once. He sticks fast; may neither go ahead nor astern. There‘s nothing for him to do but to digest as rapidly as possible whatever he may have in his stomach and then wait for a waste of his muscles and tissues. By and by, he shrinks to such dimensions that he may pull himself loose. As a matter of course he comes out an emaciated thing, and the chances are that he has left the hole pretty thoroughly fur-lined. Does he learn a lesson from his experience? No, indeed; he may not try the same hole another time, but, as likely as not, he will stick fast in a smaller one before a fortnight has gone by.’

“ ‘ Has it never occurred to you,’ asked the next speaker, ' that lack of proper food and indulgence in improper food are hurtful to the city cat ? Milk is the proper thing to nourish a cat with, but he never gets it in Brooklyn. Perhaps he’s like the rest of us in that respect, although we do get something approaching in color to cow’s milk. Why don’t you suggest to Miss Agitator that she had better get up a " Fresh-milk fund for cats” ? That would do them far more good than a “ fresh-air fund." ’

“ ‘ I have nothing to say.’ said the next gentleman whom my husband called upon. ‘ Using a familiar quotation, I will simply remark, " There has been so much said, and upon the whole so well said, that I will not longer occupy your
time." ’

“ ‘ Then we’ll pass to the Colonel,’ said my husband, addressing a. gentleman who has been times in the past a very prominent person in military circles.

“ ‘Suppose,’ said the Colonel, ‘that I give you the views of another Colonel, a friend of mine, who publishes a highly moral newspaper over at the other end of the bridge.’

“ ‘ Col Shepard?’ we all exclaimed.

“ ‘ Never mind. Just say “ Colonel “; that will answer well enough. Well, the Colonel and I were talking on this very subject a short time ago, and he gave me his views with considerable emphasis. “ I think,” said he, “ that it is the terrible immorality of the great city which has left its mark upon the city cat. City life is certainly demoralizing to everything that comes into it. How few of us men, even, have been able to maintain the lofty characters which we brought with us when we came in from our boyhood homes in the country! And may we expect the cat, which has not that help toward correct living which we have had, to withstand the temptations which are constantly thrown in his way? I hold that cats should not be allowed to gad about at night. My own cats, and I have several, are put to bed regularly at 10 o'clock every evening. Nobody can bring the charge against one of my cats of disturbing the hallowed sanctity of the night by hurling cat oaths across lots at the neighbors’ cats, singing caviare cat songs at Marias on the back stoops, dancing immodest can-cans upon the tin roof of the extension or swapping cat Rabelaisisms with some far-off feline for legends from the Cat Decameron. No, Sir, I care for the moral natures of my cats as much as I do for their physical well-being and I see the result of this care when I come to compare them with the go-as-you-please cats of my neighbors.

“When the gentlemen of the whist party had gone home, my husband came up to me, and taking one of my hands in his led.me to a sofa.

‘ Sit down, Sarah; he said, ‘and tell me what you think now.”

“ ‘ Ah, William,’ said I, ‘if I were to sum up the impressions which I have received to-night I would say no more than this, that the cat question is too large a question for a woman of my advanced years to take into consideration.’

“ When Miss Agitator called next day I was out.”

THE DEGENERACY OF CATS
IN DAYS GONE BY THEY RANKED MUCH HIGHER
THE ANIMAL GRADUALLY STRIPPED OF ITS HONORS - IT STILL CLINGS TO MOON WORSHIP.

The New York Times, August 31, 1890

In spite of the feelings of lonely spinsters there are hard-hearted persons who do not adore cats. There are even those who insinuate that the cat is one of the most abandoned of beasts, going out on midnight excursions and returning home, lank and disheveled, with the vendor of milk in the dusk of the morning. The male sex, forgetful of its own delinquencies, is prone to treat the cat with scorn, and to spurn the animal with contempt from the foot of the throne. “ But,” says a. Writer in the London Globe, “ there must have been noble and engaging qualities about the cats who lived and flourished a few odd thousand years or so B. C., or why should armies of spindle-shanked, shaven-headed Egyptian priests have devoted themselves to their service in the stately cities of Memphis and Bubastis ?

“ In that golden age, and in that favored land, it was enough to wear the outward similitude of a cat to live and die happy ever after. How the
cult originated we cannot tell with certainty after this lapse of time. All that we can be sure of is that the breed was under the special patronage of the mighty goddesses Pakht and Bast, who condescended to appear to their votaries in cat heads, whiskers, and green eyes complete, and, as the former deity was venerated at Memphis and the latter at Bubastis, the lucky race had free quarters and provender provided them there in consequence.

"The Greeks had their own theory to account for this predilection displayed by the two ladies. It was not especially brilliant or probable, and it is sufficient to mention that it had some sort of connection with the doings of an old ruffian they called Typhon, who ventured to make war on the immortal gods and came to a bad end in consequence, as may be read in any classical dictionary. But; the Egyptians scouted this theory and held to another, which, however, they declined to make common property, as they had a perfect right to do if they liked. In those benighted days nations, as a rule, managed their own private, affairs themselves, and even the fact of keeping unlimited cats in two important towns was not considered sufficient excuse for diplomatic remonstrance or questions as to the why and the wherefore in the representative assemblies of other powers. They might have been a nuisance to strangers, but it was enough that the Egyptian populace liked them.

“ This was possibly because they were useful, or because they were a bother and people wanted to propitiate them. It may have been cheaper to establish a, State home for unattached cats than to have their larders perpetually cleared. Bubastis is equivalent to Isis, or the name of the moon. Than may have been a reference to the nocturnal activity and vocal abilities of the animal, which the ancient Egyptians wanted to keep within moderate bounds. It may have been a rule of the temples that no sacred cat was allowed out after 9 PM. Or charitable persons may have originally started an asylum for destitute cats of good character whose owners had gone for a. fortnight‘s run up the Nile, and the notion or worship may have come later on. None of these explanations have been suffciently handled by professed Egyptologists, so in the absence of regular authority any will hold good.

“ But, be this as it may, the cats’ life in Memphis or Bubastls must have been sheer paradise from beginning to end. They were treated to divine honors, of course, but that was nothing to the petting, abundance of milk, and hampers of extra superfine sacred food, guaranteed the best quality only and sent up from the sacerdotal factory in patent air-tight tins, that was lavished upon them. We can be positive that no one ever cared to say ‘ Shoo !’ or poke umbrellas at them there. It is related that a cantankerous Roman soldier, a tribune high up in the Army List very likely, whose temper was inflamed with mess-room port, inflicted a kick from his heavy military boot upon a sacred tabby that had dared to scratch his bare legs. The cat curled up and briefly expired, and then the proud Roman found out what it was he had done. The consequences were too terrible. When a picket of his legion had at length quelled the disturbance, all that remained of their unfortunate officer had to be removed in the men’s haversacks. The defunct tabby was embalmed and buried with full honors, as indeed they all Were, and her corpse may have been among the tons of mummied eat which came to England the other day to be utilized as manure. To such base uses has the once venerated beast been turned in these commercial and unromantic days.

“And thus, for no fault of its own, has the unhappy cat been stripped of every shred of reverence and respect and turned loose upon a, cold and unsympathetic world. The glories of Memphis and Bubastis have departed, and any pious pilgrim of the tribe who desired to visit the shrines in which once his like were worshipped would doubtless be chivied and jobbed about the ruins with a stick, and be exposed to the missiles and. had language of the first ill-conditioned fellah it chanced to encounter. But, though their Mecca is no more, you are greatly mistaken if you fancy that the cats have forgotten all about it. For our own part we are firmly convinced that not a few still linger with us able to trace a clean pedigree right up to some sacred forefather who was nursed by a. high priest and reverently stroked by a monarch. And, what is more to the point, the cats know this and are proud of it.

“ What other satisfactory explanation can be given of their secret midnight conclaves, but that they are assembled to keep up the worship of the Moon Isis ? The very time chosen for their gatherings is of itself enough to convince any reasonable person. Their shrill wailing cry is only the remains of some ancient chant with which they celebrate the mysteries and initiate a tyro. Therefore, do not throw old boots or chunks of coal at, them, and if' you meet a cat in the road, do not boot it or hit at it or set the dog on it. Treat it with forbearance, at least, if you cannot be civil, remembering than it is a representative, however fallen, of a race that once bore sway in two of the fairest cities of Old Nile.”

THE REV. J.G. GARDNER ON “THE CAT” Bromley & District Times, 17th October 1890
The Rev. J.G. Gardner, of St. Paul’s Cray, has re-published, in a neat shilling volume, issued by Messrs. E. Clark and Sons, of Bromley and St. Mary Cray, an interesting series of papers on “The Cat,” originally contributed to “Pet Stock.” They are all brightly written, and together they prove a booklet calculated to prove interesting not only to the learned in feline lore, but to all those to whom puss is something more than a mouse-catching animal with a soft coat. When thought of at all, it is humiliating to realise how much less we know about cats than they allow us to think we know about them. Puss was, to the ancient Egyptians, a puzzle scarcely less inscrutable than the Sphinx, and we are no nearer comprehending her than they were. The dispositions, taste, and general character of the dog and the horse we comprehend just as we understand, in a greater or less degree, the tastes and dispositions of most of our friends and acquaintances; but the inner recesses of feline character are to us as a sealed book, the leaves of which pussy unfolds only so far as she thinks necessary - which is not far. Least of all are we allowed to comprehend the great secret of her character. How and why it is that the gentle animal who dozes on the rug during the day, and the midnight imp of fearful aspect and demoniacal behaviour, should be one and the same animal, we have no reliable source or explanation other than that in the famous story of Dr. Jekell and Mr. Hyde. An ancient legend, it is true, has endeavoured to find a solution of the mystery. Persia, whence originally cats came - it is said - being the regular battle ground of Ormuzd and Arimanes, the good and evil principles, the original cat, a mild and inoffensive animal, was chosen to fight about. Sensibly enough, pussy sat on the fence and declined to vote on either side. But the dispute ended, as such disputes often do, in a draw. Thus the cat became the darling of Urmuzd by day, and the fiend of Arimanes by night.

This story has never been proved to be true, though it bears the stamp of probability, and anything which tends to clear up the darkness of tradition which has with the course of years clustered about the abject is to be thankfully received. Therefore on that account alone Mr. Gardner’s book is welcome. Having “a strong affection for all that walks in fur or feathers,” the author owns that his first favourite is “poor puss.’’ The book he now sends out addressed to pussy’s masters and mistresses, the public generally, is therefore, it must be supposed, inspired only by solicitude for pussy’s welfare, a supposition which a glance over its contents will abundantly justify. With this purpose in view, the author writes only from his own experiences, gained during many years companionship with “three, four, or more” on his hands. He is shocked at the ignorance of the subject displayed in high places, and even pokes fun at the Encyclopaedia Brittanica [sic]. Therefore, Mr. Gardner begins the beginning, “at the A.B.C. of the subject,” and goes through the alphabet in a pleasant airy fashion all his own. He “is not the least ambitious that the papers should take the place of or surpass the smallest booklet on the cat now extant,” after which statement he is troubled with no qualms about the matter. He assumes that the reader, being fond of puss, and not knowing much her wishes, like himself, to know more, and without bias for or against anything except a few popular fallacies - which are duly exposed - gives his experiences and opinions for what they may be believed to be worth.

When the book becomes known it will, we think, be admitted by cat lovers that it is more than as a pleasant chat to be read and forgotten. Besides entertainment for the uninitiated there will be found many hints of value to fanciers and amateur breeders. To the latter the author says, just be careful where you buy your cat and don’t buy him from an advertisement unless first sent on approval. As a warning, be gives experience in that direction of a friend: -

A cat was advertised, price £3 3s, age, weight, description, everything that could be desired, and the would-be owner at once started off after the price. For the age stated (six months), it certainly was a fine cat, somewhat out of condition, and it was because of want of room, the dealer declared, he was parting with him; he was over 12lb, as advertised, in fact going on nearer 13 lb. He wouldn’t say a word that was untrue, he continually supplied So-and-so (mentioning one of the best known breeders). That last statement (which, by the way, was untrue) settled the matter. The cat was purchased on the spot and taken home. When brought home the owner felt very uncomfortable; he didn’t know much about cats, but really the tusks and talons (i.e. large teeth and claws) seemed those of a full-grown cat. He communicated his fears and suspicions, but was assured, “No, he is only six months.” He then weighed him, and instead of being nearer 13lbs than 12 lbs, he scaled one ounce under 11 lbs. I have seen that cat, and am convinced it was a full-grown cat of two years or more when purchased and the dealer was aware of the fact.”

Besides this there is valuable chapter on feline ailments, and the best way of treating them; a short discourse on shows in general; and on judging, on feeding; and some suggestions for the benefit of the National Cat Club, of the committee of which Mr. Gardner was for some time a member. There are some curious notes concerning the age of cats, and one cat in particular mentioned, the property Mr. Barker, a much-respected tradesman of St. Mary Cray, which he took as a kitten when he entered his present premises, where he had been twenty years when she died. There seems a sort of freemasonry existing between lovers of animals, and a particularly pleasing instance is given toward the end of the book. The author wrote to ask Canon Liddon, who took special interest in poor puss, [to] join the National Cat Club, and he replied:-

“Dear Sir, - I must thank you for your kind note and proposal that I should join the Cat Club. If I do not, at any rate at once, assent to it, it is solely because anything of the kind tends to correspondence, and I have already more letter-writing on my hands than I can manage. But I am very much obliged to you for thinking of me, and for expressing your thoughts in so kind and welcome a manner.”

Canonn Liddon's death very shortly afterwards disposed of any possibility of a future consent; but the warm corner he kept in his heart for all the feline tribe is well-known to his friends. It is with the hope of creating and strengthening such friends for puss in every class of society that this book has been published. To all appearance it is likely to succeed in its mission.

PURRING PUSS. SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF ONE OF OUR DOMESTIC PETS. HOW THEY WERE FORMERLY ESTEEMED
The Critic (USA), November 5th, 1890

Like Many Persons, the Cat is Judged Too Much by Comparison, Yet It Is An Affectionate Animal. Its Kindness to Its Offspring — How It Procures Its Prey - Not Tractable or Teachable.

The cat belongs to a tribe of animals of a very ferocious character, called by naturalists ‘felinae', which comprehends the lion, the tiger, the lynx and various other creatures of a nature apparently very different from this quiet domestic animal. The title felinae is taken from the Latin name of the cat, felis, and simply because this is the most familiar specimen of the tribe. The tribe is possessed of great muscular power joined to great lightness and agility, having strong claws for seizing and sharp teeth for tearing and devouring such creatures as fall into their clutches. The lion can, without the appearance of effort, strike down a man with one of its paws. Being designed to approach their prey in a stealthy manner, felinae have soft pads under their claws, which touch the ground gently; their eyes are calculated to make the utmost possible use of such light as they may have, and their whiskers being fixed in lips full of delicate nerves, inform them of everything that is near them as they prowl along their dusky paths. The nature of felinae is essentially cruel. They kill far more animals, when numbers are in their power, than they have any use for, and even the tame fireside cat takes a pleasure in torturing its victim before devouring it.

A well-known creature called the wildcat, larger and of duskier color than the tame one, exists In several countries, and naturalists generally represent the latter as descended from it. The domestic cat, however, is probably a distinct species, originating In ancient Egypt, where no wild ones are found, but where the tame one was formerly held sacred, like the Ibis, and even honored with mummification. There are many traditionary tales and ancient laws to prove the estimation in which cats were formerly held, at a time, perhaps, when they were much scarcer than now. In the tenth century, Hoel the Good, King of Wales, fixed the price of a blind kitten at 1 penny, and when it could see, and when proof could be given of its having caught a mouse, the price was raised to 2 pence; but after it had established its powers of mousing, its value was increased to 4 pence, which was no small sum in those days. The domestic cat is now abundantly diffused in almost all civilized countries, and is everywhere found useful in keeping down the breeds of other domestic animals, which would otherwise be seriously mischievous. It Is also esteemed by many for Its quiet, social character.

In treating of the moral qualities of the cat, we are aware that we are touching on debatable ground, says the Philadelphia Ledger. While some bestow upon poor puss all the epithets of treachery, cruelty and ingratitude, others, finding in its disposition kindness, gentleness and playfulness, are warm in eulogies of their favorite. In fact, the character of the cat is judged of too much by comparison, and thus, like many persons in the world. Its stock of really good qualities is thrown into the back-ground, and all its bad propensities magnified. That the cat has not the sagacity, approaching almost to human reason, of the dog — that it has not his devoted affection, his entire self-control and patient submissiveness under the rebuke of his master is not to be denied, nor, from its natural inherent habits, is it to be expected that it should have these qualities to the same extent.

Yet puss is not only the affectionate sharer of the clean and quiet hearth of the lonely widow, but it will be found quietly reposing on the silken covered cushion in the boudoir of the more wealthy; and from the palace to the cottage it everywhere finds its patrons, to whom its gambols and its fawnings, the beauty and the symmetry of it elegant figure and its graceful motions are all circumstances of recommendation. In fact, it is hard usage alone that calls forth the savage propensities of this feline domestic; with gentle and kind treatment it can be as gentle and kind and insinuating as any other animal. It is true, even in its most domestic state, it exhibits a native propensity for prey and hence is derived its usefulness; though fed with the most delicate dainties, it will still prefer as a peculiar delicacy a mouse caught by its own prowess and cunning, and it will revel in the quivering flesh of the yet gasping victim.

Still, nothing can exceed the affection of the cat to those who treat it kindly. This affection is expressed by rubbing its body close on the individual and by the loud purring noise indicative of its satisfaction. It will not, however, bear to be crossed; and though it returns kindness by every expression in its power, it is also prompt to retaliate on the slightest opposition. Neither has it the perception of the dog, in desisting from any action when commanded to do so it will persist in clawing food off one's plate, and has no hesitation in stealing whenever it can. Although the cat can be made to perform some actions at the command of its master, such as leaping and other tricks, yet it does so always with reluctance, and has by no means the teachable and persevering disposition of the dog.

The cat is fond or heat, which seems favorable to the idea of its having been a native of Africa. It likes to bask on window sills exposed to the sun or on soft hearth rugs before a glowing fire, and also to sink amidst the clothes of a bed in which any one la sleeping. Calculating on this peculiarity of the animal, it is said that the Prince of Wales, afterward George IV., once laid a bet with Mr Charles James Fox, as they were proceeding home early on a summer morning, that he would meet more cate on one side of the Strand than his friend would encounter on the other. He accordingly promenaded the sunny side, and, while Mr. Fox hardly found one, the Prince met many, by which he won the bet.

The animal seems to have a pleasure in wondering by night, both within and without doors, which has given rise to the idea that it sees as well in the dark as in the light. In reality, aa already hinted, its eyes are only constructed in such a manner as to see with less light than suffices for most other animals. The male cut, like the male sheep, is a much softer animal than the female, and more good-natured, but, the latter shows a remarkable degree of tenderness for her young.

Her care of her offspring is such as to interest every beholder. She tends the little blind creatures with the utmost solicitude and patience, is indefatigable in supplying them with food, and when any one is carried away to a distant part of the house — as boys will sometimes do, by way of trying her affection — she is sure to come, and, taking it up in her mouth, she carries it off, and softly deposits it beside the rest. Her whole nature seems softened at this period, and she has been, known, when deprived of her own young, to expend her maternal fondness and care with as much zeal upon young hares, and even upon pups, creatures belonging to a species with which she is proverbially at war. The kittens very soon become independent of their mother, but she generally takes care before they leave her charge to give them a little instruction in the art of catching mice by bringing wounded ones for them to spring upon, and showing them how to watch mouse-holes. The kitten is a singularly playful creature, though all its movements seem to bear a kind of sportive reference to the art of catching Its prey.

In the manner of procuring its prey the common cat resembles all the other members of the same great family. It will watch for hours with the utmost eagerness and assiduity the peeping of a mouse from its hiding place, or the motions of a bird on the bough of a tree; and when the proper opportunity arrives it pounces with one sudden spring on the unfortunate object. There is no sort of food that cats show a greater liking for than fish, and this has been a matter of astonishment to many who are led to conceive that in a state of nature cats could not procure such food. It is a well ascertained fact, however, that cats do actually take small fishes from shallow ponds and rivers. Many Instances have been recorded of cats catching fish. A Mr. Moody of Jesmond, near Newcastle, England, had a cat, which had been in his possession for some years, that caught fish with assiduity, and frequently brought them home alive. Beside minnows and eels, she occasionally carried home pilchards, one of which, about six inches long, was found in her possession. She also contrived to teach a neighbor’s cat to fish, and the two were seen together watching by the Uis for fish. At other times they had been seen at opposite sides of the river not far from each other on the lookout for their prey.

In general, however, cats show a great disinclination to moisture, and take especial care to keep their feet dry. They are also extremely cleanly, and take much pains in brushing up their fur, especially about the face. Every one is aware that If a cat be taken into a dark place, and its bask gently rubbed, vivid sparks of electricity will be elicited. These sparks will be stronger in proportion to the dryness of the air and the fur of the animal. In fact, all animals, as well as every substance on the earth, possesses its portion of electric matter, and the reason of its being so visible in the case of the cat is in consequence of the perfect dryness and the soft, silky nature of its fur. Cats, too, like many other animals, seem to be exceedingly sensitive to atmospheric changes, hence the cat has often been styled “the old women's weather glass."

Like all other animals of prey, cats sleep much during the day and roam about at night. They prefer warm situations near the fire In winter, or basking in the sun in summer. When highly pleased the cat emits a sound well known by the term purring; this sound seems to be produced through the nostrils, and is probably the vibration of some membrane about the palate or lower part of the nostril; it is quite voluntary, and can be commanded at the pleasure of the animal. The hunting leopard [cheetah] purrs in the same manner, but we are unable to say whether this power of expressing satisfaction be common to others of the cat tribe.

The mew of the cat is by no means pleasing, and its nocturnal noises and notes of love and war are of the most grating description. Many persons have so singular an antipathy to cats as to swoon away if one happens to be in the room with them. It is difficult to say if this arises from any immediate odor of the animal, directly affecting the senses of such persons, or whether it be not merely the recollection of preconceived antipathies. Cats themselves seem to have some singular peculiarities of the sense of smelling. They have a dislike to many odors, while they are attracted by the scent of the common valerian root with a pleasure almost amounting to fascination.

Mr. Rhind has related several instances of extraordinary sense and ingenuity on the part of the cat, and we believe there are few persons who could not add to the list. The paternal grandfather of the present writer had a cat, which followed him on his morning walks like a dog. Another relation, who resided in the Old Town of Edinburgh, possessed two individuals of the species, each of which performed very remarkable feats. One generally haunted the nursery, where there was a bed approaching very near to the door. When the animal wished to leave the room it mounted the bed and, leaning forward as far as possible, struck down the latch with its paw, so as to make the door fall open. For a long time the family was occasionally annoyed at night by the sound of the knocker, and when the servants went to the door to see who was there, no one appeared.

It was suspected that some idle neighbor had resolved to amuse himself at their expense, and the master of the house at length resolved to watch for the sound, and, pouncing out upon the enemy, visit him with summary punishment. This was done. No sooner had the knocker sounded than out broke the enraged citizen expecting to seize one offender. To his astonishment nobody was there. He watched another night, and the same result ensued. On a third night he took a light, and what was his surprise, on opening the door, to find his cat hanging on the knocker. It was evident that the animal was in the habit of springing upon that object, and causing it to operate, in order to gain admission on her return from her nocturnal rambles.

Cats are remarked to be more liable to form attachments to places than to persons. When a family removes it is often found difficult to make the cat fix herself in the new house. Even though carried in a bag, and to a distance of many miles, puss in apt to find the way back, and become a contented vassal to the new tenants in the place.

CATS.
Why Not Have A Cat Show? Glimpses Of The Felines In History
From the New York Ledger
Indianapolis News, November 24, 1890

We have dog shows; why not cat shows? The cat has been domesticated quite as long as the dog, and is in some respects a more remarkable animal, as the folklore of many nations and the observations of modern savants testify. Although, too, owing to the nocturnal habits of the feline race, it is hard to prevent crossing, and there are, therefore, fewer distinct breeds of the domestic cat in a given country than of the domesticated dog, it would still be possible to compass much interesting variety in a cat exhibition. To say nothing of the best-known type, the familiar tabby, which often reaches a noteworthy size, there is the admired Angora, whose long silky hair is of a dusky white; the Siberian breed, whose hair is red; the Chartreuse, or Maltese which is of a bluish-gray tint; and the Spanish, or tortoise-shell, whose hair displays a mixture of black, white and yellow.

It is not, however, in color only that domesticated cats differ widely. There, for instance, is the gloved cat of Nubia, the Chinese cat with ears turned down instead of up, the twisted-tail cat of Madagascar, the short, truncated tail cat of the Malay Archipelago, and the entirely tailless cat of the Isle of Man.

As regards the remoteness of the period at which the dog and the cat were domesticated, it is true that the remains of the former animal are found in the lake dwellings of Central Europe. On the other hand, we read of the cat in Sanskrit writings, older than the beginning of our era, and we find it pictured on Egyptian monuments of Pharaonic times. Moreover, the cat, being sacred to Isis, was often mummified, and some of the cat mummies date from four thousand years ago. In our day, cats are distinguished for attachment to localities rather than persons; but it may be doubted whether this was so in ancient Egypt, where for ages they were treated with unvarying kindness and even with veneration.

In one particular, feline intelligence surpasses anything exhibited by dogs. Repeated experiments have verified the almost incredible fact that cats conveyed in bags or baskets to distant places can find their way back to the point of departure. According to the well-known naturalist, Mr. A. R. Wallace, this marvellous achievement is due to an extraordinary development of the sense of smell, which enables the cat to take note of the successive odors encountered on the way, and to follow them back in their proper reverse order. It is doubtful whether even this hypothesis will explain all the recorded examples of a cat’s faculty for identifying localities traverse blindfold.

JAMRACH'S ANIMAL EMPORIUM The Strand Magazine, 1891
Jamrach’s [Animal Emporium, Ratcliff Highway, London, England] is the market for wild animals from all the world over, and whatever a menagerie-keeper or a zoological collection may want, from an elephant to an Angora cat, can be had in response to an order sent here. [. . .] A large black panther throws himself against the bars of his cage, and gives voice unrestrainedly. In contrast to these, the domestic cat of the establishment follows the man’s heels, with much tender purring and a sharp eye to any stray fallen morsel. There are other cats here in cages—cats too valuable to be allowed to run loose—magnificent Angoras and Carthusians, who rub their heads against the wires, and, as we approach, extend their paws in an appeal to be noticed and petted.

(In other news reports it was mentioned that the lions and tigers ignored the rats that entered they cages as being too small to bother with, but they killed and ate the cats and dogs that entered the cages in pursuit of the rats. Numerous cats and dogs in the immediate area had gone missing.)

HENS WITH STRANGE PETS.; ONE MINISTERS TO A TRIO OF SPARROWS AND ANOTHER TO KITTENS - CAT SETS FIRE TO BARN
The New York Times, January 18, 1891

LANCASTER, Penn., Jan. 17. -- John Stewart of Columbia owns a clucking hen that is carefully nursing a trio of sparrows, fully grown and able-bodied. Charles Starbaugh of Hanover has a hen that is brooding in a most affectionate way over a pair of kittens.

[...]In the odd case of the kittens at Hanover the situation is similar. The pussies sometimes wander away from the old hen, but she soon hunts them up and gathers them under her wings. They seem content with the hen, except when they happen to get hungry. Then the return to their real mother. She does not appear to be a bit jealous of the interest taken in her children by the old hen.

A Maltese cat belonging to Farmer Howard Murphy of Sadsbury township, over in Chester County, set fire to her master's barn the other day in a novel manner. She had been lying snugly and warm under the kitchen range when one of Famer Murphy's daughters in raking the range inadvertantly let some live coal fall on pussy's back. Pussy's fur immediately took fire, whereupon she ran to the barn in a flaming condition, mewing and squealing piteously. The flames at once communicated to the straw in the barn, and soon the entire structure was reduced to ashes and its contents consumed, although frantic efforts were made to get out the live stock and implements.

CATSKIN FUR
The New York Times, February 23, 1891

From the Dry Goods Chronicle.
The fur of the wildcat, especially that of Hungary, is quite valuable. It is of a brownish gray, mottled and spotted with black, and, being soft and durable, is employed chiefly for cloak linings and as wrappers for carriages. The domestic cat of Holland is bred for its fur, being fed on fish and carefully tended until the coat has arrived at its full perfection, when the fur is frequently dyed in imitation of sable.

A DOG WHOSE MISSION IS THE BEFRIEND CATS
Boston Post, June 1891

A new feature of the cat show is the dog Fannie, a silken-haired terrier, which guided by the same spirit that animates Mrs Boris of the Cat Home on Wren street, Boston Highlands, is devoting her life to the rescue of unfortunate cats. Fannie is reported to have found no less than fourteen homeless kittens in the streets and to have taken them home and brought them up.

CAT CULTURE.
The Evening World, June 8, 1891 There ought to be a good sale for St. George Mivart's book on "The Cat” In the Hub this week. They are holding a cat show there. Boston is enthusiastic and somewhat cosmopolitan. That brainy town must have something on which to spend its ardors, and whatever the fad is the Bostonese go at it con amore. This week it is cats. The Boston Cat Breeders' Association gives an exhibition of felines. The object of this is to improve the cat by careful breeding. They want to turn out cats with a record and a pedigree. The women throng to the show. The men are few. A man always snubs a cat. He thinks more of a little bobtailed yellow dog than of the handsomest Angora that ever purred. But the show ss a howling success, and it is astonishing how many kinds of eats have been brought together. They are even move luxuriously housed than dogs are in a bench show. A cat has a bias towards comfort and luxury. Some day it may be the proudest boast of a woman with a cat to say that it is a Boston cat. Who knows what new laurels may await the Hub in this line?

CATS KILLED BY WHOLESALE
The New York Times, June 8, 1891

ASBURY PARK, N. J. June 7.--The residents of Asbury Park and Ocean Grove are so worked up over the recent horrible death of lawyer Richard S. Bartine from the bite of a mad cat that they have begun an indiscriminate killing of their feline pets. This morning a number of dead cats were found lying in the streets where they had been thrown by their frightened owners, after being smothered, drowned, or shot. The excitement is so intense that the borough and township authorities will be compelled to adopt measures at their next meeting for the wholesale killing of all cats.

BLACK CATS TO BECOME PLENTIFUL
The New York Times, December 27, 1891
From the London Truth.

With regard to the Consolidated Black Cat Company, which is going to breed black cats by the " thousand” on an island in the Pacific, and make (so the projectors say) “ millions ” by the industry. I am, of' course, very glad to think that maid servants and other ladies who ride in omnibuses and tramcars will soon be provided with handsome and fairly inodorous fur garments at reasonable rates; but I tremble when I think of the effect likely to be produced upon the canned-meat trade. Canned rabbit curried (it is very difficult to eat it otherwise cooked) is now a very favorite luxury in middle-class homes. The black-coated working-man devours it in prodigious quantities, finding it a grateful stimulant to a digestion debilitated by double entry [book-keeping]. But it is not to be supposed, it is not within the bounds of possibility, that the acute Yankee Directors of the Black Cat Company will let the " thousands ” of carcasses of skinned black cats rot on their island in the Pacific. It stands to reason that those eats will be canned, unless, indeed, some means can be found of converting them into one of those fashionable and delectable concoctions by the aid of which the civilized Briton is fast turning himself into a sort of pariah dog or natural scavenger.

WOMEN AND CATS
The Ohio Democrat, January 2nd, 1892

Why Most Women Are Fond of Feline Pets
Women, young and old, yes from their babyhood up, love cats, and when they disclaim the soft impeachment, it arises from an ingrain superstition connecting the love of cats with old-maidism, which last condition even the strong-minded of her sex would rather eschew. But, leaving that superstition out of the question, set down as a fact that women love cats, unless they have the accidental misfortune to have been born with an aversion for the same, just as they may have been born with a cherry on the nose or a patch of hair on the cheek. Cats have many traits in common with women, and are not to the discredit of either the cat or the woman. They are invariably loving mothers — more loving than dog mothers. They are emphatically the friendly companions of little children, who, on their part, notice a cat sooner than any other animal. The cat, even a kitten, will bear even very rough treatment from children with invariable patience, always seeming to understand that her little human playmate, no matter how harsh its treatment, does not mean to hurt her. Cats have a great deal of curiosity - we are talking of their traits in common with woman — and especially does this feminine trait lead them to notice and examine everything now about the house, to poke their noses and their paws into every closet and cuddy — yes, and wardrobe and bureau drawer when opportunity occurs, and they will watch and wait for the opportunity. It is purely curiosity and not slyness, which prompts thin close inspection, for cats are not sly, nor are they thieves unless driven by hunger to theft. Everybody knows how cats love a warm corner and a quiet place, and being strongly methodical they like to appropriate the desirable place as their own. The cat will search for such all over the house, and if one is provided her and she is allowed to make it her own she is perfectly content, and shows her appreciation of civil rights by claiming it.

Cats show not only cleanliness but vanity, and enjoy making their toilets quite as much as do their mistresses. They know when they are good looking, and when once they have seen their reflection in a mirror will return again and again to wash their faces lick their coats, turn their tails with slow motion and otherwise pose before the glass. Cats are not difficult to train, indeed it is easy to teach them habits of cleanliness by careful attention when they are young, and without severity or scolding, which they greatly dislike. Like most domestic animals, they will do more from love than from a sense of fear. One single other trait in common with women is very observable in the pet cat; she is always a little jealous of the favor of those she loves, though often she is imbued, too, with that pride which makes her seek to conceal her jealousy. They have also a timidity and shyness which is an endearing trait whether in cats or women. Don’t be afraid then, girls, to make pets of cats, for they will reward you with love and please that sense of aesthetic beauty which is most complete when it has no useful or duty side to present —St. Louis Republic.

IN PRAISE OF CATS
The Illustrated London News, 2nd January, 1892

Cat-fancying and the cult of the cat have made rapid and popular progress during the last few years. We have cat shows, cat societies, and cat clubs (which have nothing to do with “The Kitcat”), and lastly we have Mrs. Graham R. Tomson’s dainty little Anthology of Cats (Concerning Cats: A Book of Poems selected by Graham R. Tomson and illustrated by Arthur Tomson) and Mr. Spielmann’s gorgeous volume in praise of Madame Ronner and her cat pictures IHenriette Ronner, the Painter of Cat Life and Cat Character, . All these phenomena would seem to suggest that long ages of neglect, ill-treatment, and absolute cruelty have passed and are done with, and that Shylock’s “harmless necessary cat” is gaining general favour, not merely as a creature given to us by Providence for the destruction of rats and mice and the consumption of kitchen scraps, but as an animal fitted by beauty and intelligence, devotion and courage to be the companion and pet of mankind.

Mrs. Tomson very properly says in her preface or “foreword” that her anthology “needs neither excuse nor justification.” In these days of anthologies it was inevitable, considering the fresh vogue of the cat, that it should occur to someone to ask, “Why should not a selection be made of what poets have said and sung concerning the mysterious and suspected beast?” It is fortunate for the cat and for the reader that Mrs. Tomson should have been prompted to make the selection; she has the necessary sympathy with cats, and she has herself written graceful verses on her favourites. It is no reproach to her that, in spite of her industry in research and her taste in selection, the result should be comparatively disappointing. For, though the poets have written a tolerable deal about cats, very few of them have set down aught of consequence. It must be sorrowfully admitted that in the past not even poets have fully understood and appreciated the cat; they have usually dwelt on her common or garden characteristics – her irresponsible grace and playfulness as a kitten, the secrecy of her ways, the mystery of her look when grown up, and the persecuted life she leads in maternity. Even Mrs. Tomson seems mainly fascinated with her “sombre, sea-green gaze inscrutable”; and though Cowper (in his “Colubriad”), the neglected Joanna Baillie (who in her heyday was compared to Shakespere’s self), and Wordsworth have written with a certain charm about kittens, they have but expressed at tedious length – Wordsworth has even made the kitten minister to his moral improvement! – what the schoolboy more successfully said in a few words of prose: “A kitten is an animal that is remarkable from rushing like mad at nothing whatever, and generally stopping before it gets there.” Mrs. Tomson gives gray’s delightful “Elegy on the Death of a Favourite Cat Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes,” Calverley’s “Sad memories,” Dr. Garnett’s pretty little “Marigold,” and (in her preface) Matthew Arnold’s admirable elegy on “Poor Mathias”; yet, on the whole, one is compelled to the conclusion that out English poets have not sufficiently studied the cat before writing about her. Besides the Scots “Auld Bawthren’s Song” (which, with its burden of “Three threads and a thrum,” is perfect of its kind), the best home productions are those in the section called “Children’s Cats” – a section which Mrs. Tomson might have made a little more of. We miss, for instance “I love little pussy, her coat is so warm,” “Three little kittens, one stormy night,” and “The old black cat.” It is to the French, however, that we must go for the most sympathetic verses about the cat, and especially to the Romanticists of 1830 and their successors. From these – from Baudelaire, from Joseph Boulmier, and (to be quite up to date) from Paul Verlaine – Mrs. Tomson has called choice examples.

It is remarkable that where the poets have mostly failed the painters have failed too. Where the great masters (as Mr. Spielmann says in his excellent monograph on Madame Ronner) have attempted the painting of a cat “they have usually failed most egregiously.” The cat’s great friend and chronicle, Champfleury, truly declares: “The lines are so delicate, the eyes are so mysterious, the movements are due to impulses so sudden, that to portray such a subject one must be feline one’s self.” But to be feline is not enough, for the cat will surrender her secret to no-one, painter nor poet, who does not lov her much and who does not study her with unremitting attention. The artists who have succeeded in rendering the cat may be counted on the fingers of one hand – the Japanese Hokusai, the Swiss Mind, the English Bartack, the French Lambert, and the Dutch Madame Ronner – and the greatest of these, the one who has succeeded absolutely and all round, is the last, the lady. Has not Champfleury well said “one must be feline one’s self”? The pictures of the industrious Madame Ronner are more than a liberal education in cat life and character – they must be to many a revelation of these. Moreover, the techniques, the manipulation of the paint, is a superb achievement, and thus Madame Ronner’s work gives the supremest delight both to those who are ignorant of art and to those who know what art should be. She represents for preference the most pleasing sides of cat life and character – the simple and amazed gamesomeness of the kitten and the demure satisfaction and anxiety of the cat; the frank mischief infusing the splendid orbs of “Banjo” and the elegant sentiment suffusing the liquid eyes of “Sans Souci”; but, however she sets her cats before us, whether asleep or awake, at rest or in action, all are graceful with the singular feline grace, and all are true – how delightfully true one only perceives by comparing them with the felidae of other artists who have essayed to compass the portrayal of the cat. Mr. Spielmann, in his monograph, has much to say of both critical and biographical interest concerning Madame Ronner, but to artists no item will be of more interest than that about her method of work. “She does not stay to draw her outlines and then proceed to fill them in; she adopts the higher method of regarding the first instance the object to be painted purely as masses of light and shade.” The result is that both the form and fur of cats and kittens (Madame Ronner prefers the long-haired varieties) are rendered in the most masterly manner , as may be judged from the numerous photogravures with which the work is adorned. The volume is published simultaneously in England, France, and Holland in celebration of Madame Ronner’s seventieth birthday, and many a lover of cats would give untold wealth to possess it.
J. MACLAREN COBBAN

DOMESTIC ANIMALS AND THE INFLUENZA.
Pall Mall Gazette, 2nd February 1892

SIR,-I should much like to know whether any other persons can confirm my own experience as to the liability of domestic animals to the contagion of influenza. One or two members of my family have suffered recently from mild attacks, and almost simultaneously with the first appearance of the malady a pet cat showed most decided symptoms of severe catarrh, sneezing incessantly, losing the gloss of its coat, and insisting on lying for several days inside the fender. A week or two later a fox-terrier, the playmate of my children, began to sicken in the same way, but evidently felt less discomfort. He still sneezes and coughs, and has a hot nose, but his spirits and appetite have never flagged. Perhaps it is indiscreet-to mention these facts, for if my unhappy dumb friends are liable to be the prey of bacilli they may also become the prey of vivisectionists.-1 am, your obedient servant, W.J.J., London, Jan. 29.

A PERVERTED PASSION
The Piqua Daily Call, April 21, 1892

Youngstown, O., April 21 – A peculiar case of perverted passion is that of Miss Rachel Jones, of this city, who fell in love with a cat and became insane. Miss Rachel will go to the asylum and the wicked cat has been killed.

CAT FARM
Nottinghamshire Guardian, 23rd April 1892

I have heard of farms of many kinds - poultry farms, bee farms, etc. ; but I must admit that I never heard of a cat farm until a day or two ago. It is kept, of course, by a woman, for the feline race is always especially associated with the female sex, though, for the matter of that, many celebrities of the pass tribe have owned masters, not mistresses. We have all heard of Sir Isaac Newton's cat and kittens, which seemed to have been too much for the great philosopher's understanding, since tradition tells that being disturbed by their coming in and out of his study Sir Isaac had a hole cut in the door for the cat to pass through and a smaller one for the kitten! This notion of the cat hole seems to have prevailed in France in the last century, for General de Marbot, in his interesting memoirs, tells us that when a child of three years old he was nearly killed by trying to get through the cat hole in the door of his father's room. His father used to call him a kitten, and the boy thought he ought to go through the cat hole. His head got fixed, and he was nearly strangled. To return to the cat farm, it is in Scotland, and is kept by a widow, who makes a comfortable living out of it. She rears kittens for sale, tortoise-shell, Angora, Persian, and other varieties. The tortoiseshell are the most costly. The cat farmer asks £6 for a lady kitten, and £4 for a gentleman. This difference seems strange, since I always understood l that a tortoiseshell Tom was a great rarity, and at the cat shows they are very uncommon. The old lady charges only half as much for her Angoras and Persians. They are lodged in a large barn, fitted up for them, with separate compartments for the different families, and the old Scotch woman pays great attention to their comfort and cleanliness. She feeds them on porridge made with skim milk, on which they thrive. She declares that it makes their coats good and keeps them in health.

CAT AND SNAKE
Pittsburgh Dispatch, May 19th, 1892

Carl Sutton, a pumper in the Turkeyfoot oil field, near Steubenville, had a cat and two kittens at the pumphouse, where he fed and cared for them. When he went to work he found the cat in a desperate battle with a huge blacksnake. The reptile had killed the kittens, but was attacked by the mother on her return. She was holding it at bay and had had inflicted several scratches on the snake when Sutton arrived. The snake sprang at Sutton, striking at his throat, but he finally succeeded in killing it. It measured nearly seven feet.

They Dreamed of Cats.
The New York Times, June 25, 1892
From the Portland. (Ma) Argus.

A lady in this city relates a, curious experience in regard to dreams that both she and her father had dreamed several times. She would wake in the morning with the memory of hideous, snarling oats. This happened occasionally for some time, and the same was true of her father. Finally, while traveling as long way from home, she entered a picture gallery and there were the eats of her dream. She recognized the picture immediately, though she had never seen it before and did not know that it existed. Soon after her father saw it and exclaimed: “ There are the eats of my dream !”

PROF HORSLEY’S LABORATORY F0R STUDYING THE LIVE BEAST
The New York Times, October 30, 1892

CATS AND MONKEYS JOLLY WITH HALF A BRAIN APIECE – ABSOLUTE PAINLESSNESS OF EXPERIMENTS – GREAT GAINS TO HUMANITY FROM THE STUDY – FALSEHOODS REPEATED BY MISS COBBE AND THE BISHOPS – A TEN YEARS’ CAMPAIGN OF VITUPERATION AGAINST MEN OF SCIENCE.

London, Oct. 29. -The intense interest roused throughout England by the controversy over vivisection started at the Church Congress has made the subject of experimental research on living animals an all-absorbing topic. During the current week every newspaper has treated the question more or less exhaustively, and the chief contending parties have daily filled the correspondence journals with a constant stream of reiterated assertion. False statements on one side have been followed by contradiction and refutation of these statements on the other. The journals themselves have taken sides editorially in the matter, and for the most part have taken the some side.

Two editors of prominent and old-established periodicals of world-wide reputation have said in the course of the past week in answer to my question: "Yes, we sympathize with vivisectionists, but dare not say so. We are afraid of the old ladies and parsons.” This unquestionably is the condition of public opinion on the vexed question of vivisection. In the present case there is already talk of a Royal Commission to inquire into the actual practice of vivisection, and the suggestion, though probably it will come to naught, is loudly acclaimed by a large and influential section of the community.

And yet the scientist party, i.e., the partisans of experimental research, have had in every way the best of the argument. They have refuted with circumstance every proposition of their opponents. They have dissected misleading statements, and have denounced and disarmed each palpable falsehood. They have endeavored by every logical reasonable means to wean the multitude, whose education is the penny press, from this sentimental contemplation of a bogy, for that outcry is nothing more than a bogie, the loupgarou of our childhood. I hope to be able immediately to demonstrate the fact that to experiments made on living animals by an American dental surgeon the world owes the wonderful pain-saving discovery of ether, at once the most powerful end harmless of anaesthetics. It will serve as a fitting introduction to an interview I had yesterday with Prof. Victor Horsley, the most prominent figure in this embittered controversy.

It was altogether accidental and unpremeditated. I had met by chance Frederick Villiers, the well-known war artist, and learning that he was on his way to visit a surgeon at University College whom we both knew, agreed to accompany him. Arrived at the college, we were directed to the pathological laboratory where our friend was studying bacteriology under Prof. Boyce, whose name is known throughout the scientific world.

We knocked at a big door, and being invited by a shout from within, pushed it open and found ourselves at once in the presence of one of those operations designated by Miss Cobbe and Bishops Barry and Moorhouse as instances of inhuman cruelty. There was, however, no mystery, no secrecy surrounding this much-maligned experiment. Upon a little operating table specially contrived with a view to the size of the patient lay stretched a cat deeply anaesthetized, whose soft regular breathing and gently undulating movement of sides clearly showed an absence of all discomfort. The operator, whom I subsequently identified as Prof. Horsley, though for reasons of professional etiquette I ought not to mention the fact, at once welcomed us without pausing in his work. “l am delighted," he said, “ to afford the public any opportunity to judge for themselves the cruelty of our methods. We invite criticism, but of our open accusers no one comes near us. They dare not gauge for themselves the extent of the lies they spread concerning our work!"

“At the present moment I am engaged, as you see, in removing one half of the great brain of this cat. It is evident to you that the animal does not suffer under the operation.”

“ No doubt,” I said. “the action of the anaesthetic is at present perfect, but what about afterward? Admitting that the animal recovers, it has lost half its brain and has a sevecre wound which must cause it great pain during the process of healing."

The professor smiled.

“Come with me," he said; “I will show you the sick bay, convalescent ward, and menagerie, and you shall judge for yourself."

At one end of the laboratory was a small room, against whose walls numerous cages were ranged upon rows of hot-water pipes.

“ Here,” said the professor, “ are our latest experiments. This cat, operated on an hour and a half ago, is still under the anaesthetic. This other, half of whose brain was removed two days ago, is, as you see, strong, healthy, happy, and purring, ready to lap all the milk we give it. Her in the menagerie are our convalescents. With the exception of a shaven patch on the skull, a partial blindness in one eye, and an altogether abnormal appetite, which necessitates feeding them four times in a day, these cuts are to all intents and purposes the same as others. As to a removal of the brain - I mean so far as pain is concerned - the brain is the least sensitive organ of the human frame, and we have no reason to suppose it is otherwise with animals, while as regards the wound healing, the antiseptic treatment now employed is so rapid and efficacious that I have known cases of the amputation of a man’s leg where the wounded stump healed without any pain or inconvenience to the patient.”

In the menagerie, to which the professor led us were many cats and monkeys, all fat, cheerful, and jolly, playing one with another after their kind. The cats apparently were altogether unconcerned as to the monkeys quite unaffected by the removal of a spinal cord.
“They look so well, so like all other cats,” I said. “ that I am at a loss to understand what you have gained by the experiment. What is the good of it ? ”

“Ah” said Horsley, “that is the point we can never induce people to ask us directly. We are endeavoring to solve some terrible mysteries of disease that have baffled physicians literally for thousands of years. Epilepsy is the enemy we are attacking, an enemy alike of human beings and the lower animals. Already we have been able, by means of these much-decried experiments, to discover the definite seat of disease in certain parts of the brain, and by the removal of those parts have procured the relief of the sufferer. But it is only by a process of exclusion that the certainty of a locality can be assured; hence those operations.”

“Then these animals are ultimately doomed ? "

“Of course they will he anaesthetized deeply, and then, by an injection of absinthe, a perfect epileptic fit will be produced. When this has been accurately observed they will be destroyed while still under the anaesthetic.”

So far the good professor as to the operations conducted under such anaesthetics as ether, chloroform, and morphia.

“ But how about your experiments with curare, the lndian arrow poison, the hellish oorali mentioned by Tennyson? ls it not true that the effect of this agent is to produce muscular paralysis without in any way destroying sensation? ”

" In the first place." said Horsley, " that assertion is utterly untrue. To give you the briefest of all examples, this fact will point out that we have on record in a medical journal an instance of the action of curare on the human being. A servant girl at Nottingham while dusting a trophy of
Indian weapons ran an arrow point into her arm and immediately become unconscious. She was in a condition of coma for several hours despite every endeavor to rouse her, and on partial recovery remained for three days in a state of hebetude. She stated that during the period of absolute collapse she was utterly unconscious of all that went on around her. This should be sufficient answer to those calumniators who vilify us for making use of curare. But, as a matter of fact, we never use curare except in conjunction with ether, morphia, or chloroform,”

“Why then do you use it at all?"

" For this reason. It is of vital importance to our power of dealing with diseases of the nervous system that we should obtain accurate measurements of vessels in their normal state. Ordinary anaesthetics, while destroying sensation, do not affect the reflex action of the muscles. For instance, a man may be so deeply chloroformed as to die, yet until and even after death he may kick and twitch his limbs if the muscles be irritated. It is to annul this reflex action which has the effect of dilating and contracting the vessels and therefore makes accurate measurement impossible, that we employ curare.”

“Would pain have any effect on these vessels?"

" Undoubtedly. They would in all probability be much contracted; certainly they would not be normal.”

“Then may I understand, professor, that if the animal under operation should suffer pain while thus paralyzed the entire object of experiment for which curare was administered would be vitiated? "

“Most certainly that is so. Any abnormal condition might cause complications which would throw our calculations completely out."

“Do animals suffer much when they recover from the effects of these operations?”

“ They never recover, and are destroyed while still deeply anaesthetized.”

[..]"One last question, Mr. Horsley. In your licenses you are granted permission for experimental research on animals with or without anaesthetics. Do you over perform any painful operation on a living animal without the aid of anaesthetics ?”

" Never; neither I nor any of my colleagues!”

THE “MODESTY OF NATURE” IN CATS.
Illustrated London News, 5th November 1892

“The cloud of witnesses"’ who lately filled the galleries of the Crystal Palace to see the Cat Show are sufficient excuse for making the cat text of discourse; but since, as Captain Bunsby has declared, the value of discourse “lays in the application,” it fortunately happens that two little books about cats have been put into my hands to give a particular bent to my remarks.

It was Shakspere himself who, through the mouth of Hamlet, recommended the “special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature.” The special danger that at present attends the new-found interest in cats is that the modesty of nature should be not only overstepped but forgotten. How many artists are there who are content to observe sanely and lovingly the cat and her ways, and to render them with all the skill and fidelity they are capable of? I know but two, and they are foreigners - Madame Ronner and Eugene Lambert. The attitudes and expressions of the cat are so difficult to catch, they are so various and kaleidoscopic, that the artist too frequently, in his impatience and his desire to be popular with little pains, burlesques the creature even to misrepresentation. Such burlesque, “though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve.” It adds nothing to the pleasure taken in the cat by those who love her, and it does not tend to create proper interest in those who have been hitherto indifferent to her. There is a burlesque, however, which is pleasing and instructive even to the judicious; but, as Charles Lamb says in his essay on “The Sanity of True Genius,” it must be “true to the law of Nature's consistency”; it must not be “inconsequent.” Of such an order is “A Book of Cheerful Cats,” by J, G. Francis, an American artist (A Book of Cheerful Cats, by J. G. Francis. (London: T. Fisher Unwin)). When we open the book, we see we are in another world than this, an irresponsible but self-consistent world, dear to the heart of childhood - the same world as that of which Edward Lear wrote in his “Nonsense Verses,” the world in which “the owl and the pussy-cat went to sea in a pea-green boat.” The cats and the kittens of Mr. Francis, whether they are playing tricks on each other or on mischievous little boys, or travelling to the Wagner Festival at Bayreuth (the Bayreuth of Wonderland) in the company of “a desultory Dog, a discontented Donkey, and a proud and sensitive young Fowl,” are steadily and consistently fatuous, and of a smug and smiling idiocy that is very engaging. Of the wrong order of burlesque, on the other hand, was a recent illustrated paper on cats, in one of the monthlies, by a clever practitioner of “the new humour.” Bating a point or two of shrewd and comic observation, it is extravagantly non-natural, and self-consistency turns the absurdist somersaults and becomes lost in the wildest buffoonery. It is an excellent example of how that kind of thing should not be done - if a man would retain his self-respect and the regard of “the judicious.”

It is surely a strange thing that persons of average understanding and imagination cannot get up and maintain a kindly interest in animals without labouring to be assured that they are possessed of human intelligence and moved by human emotions, and that both are made manifest by human expression. Since Sir Edwin Landseer first set the example of infusing a glamour of human sentiment into certain of his pictures of animals, it seems well-nigh impossible for a painter of animals to win wide recognition and reward unless he adopt the trick. Why? Why are the modesty of nature and the variety of nature not good enough for us? Animals have intelligence after their kind, and affections and passions, and looks and tones, and attitudes and gestures, which become them, probably, better than ours do us, and which are at least as well contrived for the ends of existence as ours are; why do we grant them our favour only as we can believe them to be made in our own image? Is it from lack of sympathy, or understanding, or imagination, or what? I have heard people object to cats because it is difficult to teach them such tricks dogs readily perform - sitting up to beg, jumping through a hoop, fetching and carrying a stick, and what not - just as you may hear some critics object to a lyrical poet because he does not write epics or dramas. It is difficult to teach cats tricks - no matter for what reason - whether because they are too nervous, too shy, or too stupid; but why should we wish to teach them? Were we degenerate Yahoos, living under the protection of noble Houyhnhms, how should we enjoy being made to run on all fours, to gallop with bits in our mouths and saddles on our backs? Trick animals of all kinds are a piteous sight, but the most piteous of all is a trick cat: it looks so oppressed and ashamed, and is so reluctant to go through its performance. It a cat has the temper of mind which leads it to practise tricks out of its own head (and some cats have), that is another matter altogether. Let every cat - from its earliest kittenhood - do that which is right in its own eyes, short of stealing the milk or clawing the easy chairs, and it will delight its fond possessor far more than if it could be taught all the tricks of Robert Houdin. Let it be regarded as a cat, that is to say, not as a human being in the form of a cat, and let it freely grow and develop along the line of its own nature, without knowing hunger or fear, and not all the trick cats of all the halls and variety palaces will be equal to it in interest and beauty, in affection and intelligence. There is a spontaneous and inimitable grace and gamesomeness about the cat that is treated with indulgent friendliness which no tutoring can induce upon its essentially wild, shy, and secretive nature.

It is (chiefly) the little book of the Rev. J. G. Gardner which has called forth the last paragraph (The Cat: Being My Experience of Poor Puss, by the Rev. J. G. Gardner. (London: W. Glaisher.)). The reverend gentleman, who is known as an admirer and friend of the cat, and moreover as a cat-fancier, is genial, quaint, and chatty in most that he has to say about his favourite (his little book should be treasured by the cat-lover as a curiosity), but shows a weak, if kindly tendency to yield to the demands of the uninstructed vulgar who wish to cultivate the cat, not because they love her, but because she is becoming, or has become, the fashion. He does not escape the suspicion of having himself a sneaking regard for the cat that has been taught to perform tricks - an admiration unworthy (if it exists) of so excellent and useful friend of poor puss; and his book is certainly tainted - or, considering that his book, after all, is so agreeable, one may say, notably flavoured - with the heresy that the cat is a human being in a feline body. This is the common and, perhaps, natural belief of the ordinary human who takes to admiration and love of the cat; but we look to Mr. Gardner and his friends of the National Cat Club to aid in its correction - not only for the sake of their proteges, but because the proper treatment of cats has an excellent educative effect on the temper and understanding of their masters and mistresses.
J. MacLaren Cobban.

NO CATS OR DOGS NEED TO APPLY THERE.
The New York Times, November 23, 1892

To the Editor of the New-York Times: It was stated in this morning’s edition of THE TIMES that the Henry Bergh Circle of the King’s
Daughters have a pound for cats and dogs at 704 Eighth Avenue.
This is a great mistake. No animals are received at that address, the circle merely having a box there for its business correspondence.

NATURE AND COUNTRY. BY OUR OWN NATURALIST. A VEGETARIAN CAT.
Manchester Times, 13th January 1893

I have recently became acquainted with a cab that for at least two or three years has been at vegetarian. He is a large, beautifully marked tabby, apparently in fine condition, and looks fit enough to take high honours at a cat show. His mistress, introducing him, assured me that since he had been in her possession, with the exception of milk, this cat had not been fed with nor allowed to get at any description of animal food, and at the present time he certainly does not seem to care about it. He gets bread and sugar and milk for his breakfast, and on the occasion of my visit made his dinner with apparent relish on bread and boiled vegetables without being distracted by the savoury odours emanating from a roast sirloin and other meats on the dinner table. I was informed that as a rule he is partial to the soft fruits, and there are few delicacies that he enjoys more than a good tomato. The mistress of this vegetable eating cat is convinced that there is no domestic animal that could not be made perfectly happy and contented on strictly vegetarian diet, and that both dogs and cats would be all the better for it both as regards health and disposition. [Note: a vegetarian diet lacks essential amino acids for cats and in the long run is deadly; raw tomatoes are toxic to cats. To be healthy this cat was probably catching prey out of sight of the owner!]

 

OLD NEWS CUTTINGS INDEX

You are visitor number