THE ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF CATS - BREED DESCRIPTIONS, BREEDING, CARE, FEEDING AND DISEASES OF CATS
BY JEAN BUNGARTZ
With 21 illustrations printed in the text
Publishing house Paul Parey
Publisher for Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry
SW., HedemannstraŖe 10
The cat, one of our oldest pets, enjoyed a high, almost idolatrous reverence among the ancient Asiatic and Egyptian tribes, which has partly survived to this day. In the course of time, the cat, once loved and revered, was persecuted and neglected, but in spite of this it has remained among humans thanks to the favour of high and gifted people. Over the centuries, it had also had to undergo some changes in legal regulations. Once are persecuted, and now protected by legislation, the domestic cat has a well-earned good reputation among the majority of animal-loving people as an unsurpassed and useful enemy of destructive mice and rats.
As a cat-lover, encouraged by long-standing observations and real affection for them, I have tried to give a picture of their life and behaviour, so that other fans of this most useful pet will find everything worth knowing described in simple terms in this book. For the sake of completeness, I have included pictures of various breeds and varieties which will certainly be enjoyed by the catís numerous fans.
I hope this work will help to restore the reputation of this much-maligned mouse-destroyer and combat the prejudices against him, showing his usefulness in the home, on the farm and in agriculture. Finally, I hope to fight the persecution of the cat that is carried out in some places. Let us give the domestic cat the same fair treatment and favour that we unhesitatingly grant to our other domestic animals, for the cat also deserves the full protection of man.
Lechenich, Rheinpruessen, in September 1896
THE CAT IN MYTH AND LEGEND
THE CAT IN PROVERBS
THE EVOLUTION OF THE HOUSECAT
THE GLOVED CAT (FELIS MANICULATA)
THE EUROPEAN WILD CATS
THE MANUL, OR STEPPE CAT (FELIS MANUL)
THE GENET-CATS (VIVERRA GENETTA)
THE DOMESTIC CAT, ITS BREEDS AND VARIETIES
The Wild-Colored or Grey And Black Striped Domestic Cat
The Blue-Grey Striped Domestic Cat
The Black House Cat
The White Domestic Cat
The Masked (Black-and-White) Cat
The Black-Headed or Moor-Headed Cat
The Tabby Cat
The Tortoiseshell or Spanish Cat
The Cyprus Cat
The Chartreux or Carthusian Cat
The Icelandic or Kumanian Cat
The Angora Cat (Felis Maniculata Domesticus Angorensis)
The Chinchilla Cat
The Khorassan or Persian Cat
The Chinese or Lop-Eared Cat
The Siamese Cat
The Manx or Stump-Tailed Cat (Felis Maniculata Domestica Ecaudatus)
The Cat of South Vietnam (Cochinchina)
The Madagascar Cat
The Icelandic Cat
The Siberian Tobolsk Cat
South African Cats from The Cape Of Good Hope
Central American Cats
Selection of Breeding Animals
PREGNANCY AND BIRTH
REARING, WEANING AND TRAINING KITTENS
FOOD AND FEEDING
THE CATíS SENSES
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CATS
Comfort and Tranquility
Friendship with Other Animals
Training and Tricks
THE USEFULNESS OF CATS
THE DESTRUCTIVENESS OF CATS
PROTECTORS AND PATRONS OF CATS
AMUSING AND SERIOUS INCIDENTS OF CATS
The Cat In The Italian Parliament
A Cat Has An Audience With The Queen Of England
The Prince Of Wales And Cats
A Clever Cat
A Natural Wonder
Cats As Advertising
The Catís Revenge Of Her Murdered Mistress
Be Careful When Handling Cats
GREAT CAT LOVERS
The Testament Of A Cat Friend In England
Cat Asylums And Hospitals
LEGAL RULES ABOUT KILLING CATS
Rabies (ďThe RageĒ)
Distemper, Also Called Feline Plague
Mange Or Scabies
Bites And Wounds
Tapeworms And Roundworms
DIRECTORY OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Fig. 1. Egyptian cat-mummy
2. Skull of the Wildcat
Fig. 3. Skull of the domestic cat
Fig. 4. Skeleton of the cat
Fig. 5. Gloved cat (Felis maniculata)
Fig. 6. Wild cat (Felis catus)
Fig. 7. Genet cat (Viverra genetta)
8. Wild or tabby domestic cat
Fig 9. Grey domestic cat with white marking
Fig. 10. Black domestic cat
Fig 11. White domestic cat
Fig. 12. Head of the cat
Fig. 13. Spotted domestic cat
Fig. 14. Cypress cat
Fig. 15. Carthusian cat
Fig. 16. Angora cat
Fig. 17. Persian cat
Fig. 18. Chinese or Lop-Ear cat
Fig. 19. Siamese cat
FIG. 20 Man or stump-tail cat
FIG. 21. Cattery
The worship of animals which were regarded as sacred was developed into a complete religion by the ancient Egyptians. While certain animals were held sacred throughout the country, some provinces had their own sacred animal, and after the Apis bull, the cat was probably one of the most worshipped beings.
According to Ebers in his book "Egyptian Princess," that the cat was probably the holiest of the many sacred animals that the Egyptians worshiped. While other animals were only idolized, the cat was holy to all the subjects of the pharaohs. When a house is burning down, attempts to extinguish the fire will continue until the cat has been saved, and if a cat dies, people will shave off their hair as a sign of grief Anyone who deliberately killed a cat would be executed. Diodorus was an eyewitness when the Egyptians attacked an unfortunate Roman who had killed a cat, although, for the sake of the feared Romans, the authorities did everything possible to calm the mob. The bodies of cats were carefully mummified and buried, and out of all the embalmed animals we find, the most common were mummified cats carefully wrapped in linen bandages (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1. Egyptian cat-mummy
The cat-headed goddess Pasht or Bast had her chief sanctuary at Bubastis in the eastern delta. The mummified cats were usually taken there, but they have also been found in other places, especially at the Serapeum. According to Herodotus, the Bubastic goddess was equivalent to the Greek goddess Artemis. According to Stephanus of Byzantium the cat was known as "Bubastos" in Egyptian, but they were more usually called "Mau-Mie". The cat was also worshipped as a symbol of fertility and childbirth, and after the translation of the Dendera temple inscriptions by DŁmchen, it appears that Bast also had certain aspects of Astarte, Or Venus-Urania.
In Thebes as well, the cat was one of the temple deities. Champollion, for example, reports in the first of his Egyptian letters that the Artemis grotto mentioned by the Greeks was carved into rock opposite Beni-Hassam-el-aamar, and contained an effigy of the bestowal and the tombs of cats. In front of the sanctuary, a series of cat mummies were found wrapped in mats, and there were two reliefs of cat mummies, two feet high, covered with sand, between the door and the Nile, in a desolate area. The Egyptian cat graves are said to be so numerous that the discoverers were thinking of using them as fertilizers.
G. Michel, who studied the Egyptian cat cult and has great knowledge of the subject, writes about the cat-goddess Pasht, sometimes called Acheron in Greek, saying she was frequently represented in manlike-like form, a peculiar phenomenon often interpreted as the catís affinity with the moon. Plutarch says that she represents the moon, because of the colour of her coat, her activity at night, and her fertility; for she produced first one kitten, then two, three, four, and five, and seven at a time, eventually bearing a total of twenty-eight, the same number as the days of the lunar month. In addition, the pupil of the catís eye became full and wide during the full moon, shrinking and becoming less lustrous as he moon itself grew smaller.
According to Horapollon, the temple at Heliopolis was consecrated to the cat because the size of the pupils of the catís eyes followed the course of the sun. When a cat died of natural causes, the inhabitants of the house mourned and shaved off their eyebrows. Preserved with precious spices, she was buried under Bubastis. these burials were often carried out at great cost and cost, and Diodorus gives the cost of a feline burial in Egypt at 9,000 marks. Animal-worship, says Michel, influenced the actions of the Egyptians, and according to Diodorus, prayers were made in those cities where the animals were worshipped, parents donating the equivalent weight in silver of either their childís whole head of hair, or a portion of it. This silver was given to the priests to care for a cat. The sacred animals were nursed in sanctuaries, given warm baths, the finest food, and were anointed with the best ointments. It was regarded as a special honour to take over the maintenance of the sacred cats. The image of the holy cat, says Michel, was worn on his chest, and citizens were so respectful that they sometimes bowed right down to the ground in front of these people .
The extent of this piety towards cats is best illuminated by the war against Cambyses. This violent and ambitious ruler did not campaign in Egypt until he was in the possession of Pelusium (the former Avaris). Because of its strong fortifications, this was regarded as impregnable. After many failed and repulsed attacks, Cambyses made a genius war plan. Knowing that the city garrison consisted only of Egyptians, and knowing about their veneration of cats, his army carried cats on the next attack. Each soldier bore a cat instead of a shield. Rather than use their swords against the cats, the Egyptians surrendered to this wily victor without counterattacking.
However, over the course of time, the Egyptian worship and respect of the cat diminished greatly because, according to Prisse d'Havannes, an Egyptian women condemned to death after being found guilty of adultery were sewn into a sack with a cat and drowned in the Nile.
The cat also enjoyed the respect of other peoples. Indians worshiped the white cat as the symbol of the moon, which hunted the grey mice, the shadows of the night. Among the Persians, the cat found success in the following case. King Gormus had to defend himself against the invasion of Prince Schebe-Shah, who threatened the Persian empire with 300,000 soldiers. A venerable old man told King Gormus that he would be a victor if he were lucky enough to find a man among his subjects who had the head of a wild cat. After a long search such a man was found in the person of Baharam, known as ďKuminĒ, from the family of the Princes of Rei, who governed the province of Adherkigin. Kumin was given chief command, and on seeing the face of their commander, his twelve thousand men defeated their far superior opponent.
The cat was particularly popular and revered by the Arabs. According to Pliny, in the city of Nabata, they prayed to a golden cat. Mahomet is said to have cut off the tip of his mantle in order not to disturb his catís slumber. He also gave the title of "Abuhareira", the father of the cats, to his most faithful and popular follower, Abdorroham.
In the case of the Romans and Greeks, the cat must have been a latecomer, since it was not until the fourth century that their writers mentioned it. However, it does not appear to have been unknown in Roman religion. In the Metamorphoses of Ovid, Book 5, "when the gods fled before the giants, Diana took the form of a cat, and her chariot was drawn by cats." The killing of a cat was strictly forbidden by the Romans and was punishable by death.
The Vandals mention the fact that in their warfare and raiding they attached a catís head to their banners. The cat is also represented in the mythology of the old Germans. Here she was the favorite animal of the goddess Freya (wife of the sun god Baldur, goddess of the cheerful seasons, marriage, birth and protector of domestic happiness) whose chariots are pulled by wildcats. In the Middle Ages, the reputation of the cats was at an all-time low. They were regarded as the assistants of wizards witches, with whom they were burned in public during this superstitious period. Until the last century they were still being executed in Paris and Metz under solemn ceremonies.
In the English principality of Wales, in the tenth century, a law was enacted according to which anyone who killed a cat in that kingdom would be fined one milch-ewe, or the amount of grain that covered the dead cat when held by its tail so that its nose touched the ground. A similar sentence existed in the Saxon peasant traditions. In the 14th century, monastic rules dictated that nuns were not allowed to keep animals other than cats. According to the constitution of Saxony, people who killed their parents, children or spouse could be sewn into a sack with a cat and drowned.
After the cat became more and more a pet, its former importance gradually disappeared, and it was only occasionally glorified thanks to important or celebrated persons.
THE CAT IN MYTH AND LEGEND
Itís not surprising that such an important animal, which was revered in many cultures, should become surrounded by mythical references over the centuries. It appears in the folklore of various cultures and many things were attributed to it. This was due to the enigmatic character of the cat, its luminous eyes that shone at night and its nocturnal lifestyle.
In Indian, Egyptian, Roman, Greek, and German folklore, the cat occupied an excellent position. In most cases, she was associated with a goddess of fertility, marriage, birth, and protector of domestic happiness. This was the case with the Egyptians who associated her with Bubastis, the Greeks who associated her with Artemis and her association with Freya in German folklore. Anyone who kept and loved cats could hope for divine protection and blessings in love and marriage.
In his cat letters, Michel tells the following fable: "When the world was being created, the sun and the moon both wanted to take part. The sun created the lion, and the moon created the cat. The cat did not equal the lion in courage or beauty, nor did he copy him like the moon had copied his sun-brother. This blunder caused mocking laughter among their audience and indignation on the part of the sun, which was irritated by the presumption of the moon in trying to equal her creation, the lion. As a sign of contempt the sun created the mouse created. The moon, stirred up by the mockery of those around it, put the ugliest of all the animals - the monkey - into the world. This was met with endless laughter which greatly irritated the moon. To avenge itself it created immortal hatred between the lion and the monkey, and the cat and the mouse."
In the time of the Egyptian gods, we encounter different representations of the cat. It was sanctified in the sun-temple of Heliopolis because the pupil of the catís eye follows the course of the sun. The cat-goddess Pasht was often portrayed in human form as a female figure with a cat's head, holding in her hands a rearing cobra (uraeus) and a kind of sceptre; she was also represented with a man's head in her hand - a symbol of control over menís hearts. The Indians thought of the moon as a white cat, and their term for this was "M‚rg‚ra," meaning ďthe cleaning catĒ, because she was also a cleaner of the night, who protected the innocent in the form of a white cat and who pursues the moon in the form of a black cat. In the fourth fable of Hitopadeca, the cat "Dirghakarna" (long-eared) approached the bank of the Bagirathi where the vulture "Jaradgava" lived in a hollow in a fig tree. Due to an adverse turn of fate Jaradgava was blind and the birds nesting in the fig tree took pity on him and gave him some of their food. When Jaradgava heard the birdsí uproar at the approaching cat he asked who was there. The cat sought the vultureís hospitality under preposterous pretensions and through an exchange of moral expressions, so the vulture let it rest with him in the hollow of the tree. Day after day, the ungrateful cat took the nestlings into the hollow of the tree to eat. When the birds discovered the bones of their children in the tree hollow they killed the vulture as the supposed miscreant while the cat managed to sneak away.
The cat appears as a judge in a dispute between a sparrow and a hare. The cat appears under the name "Dadhikarna" in the Pantschatantra. A hare named "Sighragu" illegally takes possession of a cave in the absence of it occupant, the sparrow "Kapinjala." Since neither can agree over ownership, they decide to ask a lawyer for judgment . They asked the cat Dadhikarna, the hard-of-hearing, who lived on an island of the Ganjes in penance, mortification, and holy devotion, to decide their dispute. After listening to both sides of the argument, the cat went to the riverbank, holding a handful of sacred grass with the twelve sacred spots. He stood, facing the sun, on two feet with one eye closed and his arms raised over his head and recited several slogans. The two disputants, now trusting the apparently praying cat, approached more closely. At that moment the cat grabbed one of them with his claws and the other with his saw-like teeth and ate them both.
There is an interesting fable about a penitent cat in the Mah‚bh‚rata. On the banks of the river Ganges, the cat gained the trust of the birds, which gathered around to worship it. After some time, the mice follow the birdsí example and put themselves under the protection of the cat. Each day, the cat persuades some of the mice to follow it to the holy stream, where it makes a meal of them. Seeing the diminishing number of mice, a white mouse decides to follow the cat unseen to the sacred stream, but clever penitent spots the white mouse and strangles and eats it. At las the rest of them notice that they have a hypocritical protector, and quickly leave that dangerous place.
In Roman legend, the cat first appears as a symbol of independence. In the Temple of Liberty, erected by the efforts of Tiberius Gracchus at Rome, stood the white-dressed goddess, holding a sceptre in one hand, a cap in the other, and a cat at her feet as a symbol of independence.
In the Germanic mythology, Thor was supposed to lift a black cat out of the ground in his competitions with the giants, but he was only able to lift a hind leg. This made the giants tremble because the cat was the enchanted world-sea which was already threatening to flood the earth . In Lapland the black cat is considered a house-spirit (the transformation of a deceased ancestor) and an oracle, without whose advice nothing is done.
In the folktales of the Upper Palatinate the cat was called "Wana" (Teufelswana), probably in connection with the Nordic half-gods, "Wanen". In Oldenburg , according to legend, if a feverish patient takes a cat to bed, the fever will go down; but if the animal is pitied, the fever will return. If a ghostly white cat ("the milk kitten") appears outside the window and purrs, there will soon be a death; the same thing is presaged by a black cat in Germany.
In Hungary, witches supposedly ride on cats and cats can be freed from this by making a cruciform cut into their fur. Likewise, witches ride black cats on Walpurgisnacht at Brocken. In Tuscany, there is the belief that when a person dies, the devil stands on the bed in the form of a black cat.
In general, the black cat plays an important role in survival; it possesses magical power and was a lucky charm, bringing wealth. It was also the inseparable companion of old women soothsayers who made money from the gullibility of others. During the inglorious and unfortunate witch trials conjured up by the madness and zeal of past centuries, cats were burnt together with alleged witches on the pyre.
In Sicily, if a cat meowed while sailors were praying their rosary, it was believed that their journey would meet with adversity.
When a cat washes itself, there will be rain, if it hunches its back, guests will visit. If it walks with its paws over her ears, there will be a rain shower.
If she leaves bread crumbs, there is cheap grain. A three-coloured cat is lucky and protects the home from many misfortunes; A fire can be extinguished by throwing a cat into it. If you bury a cat under someone's door, it will bring misfortune into their house, etc. No other animal possesses such an abundance of beliefs as the cat of the cat, and there was an unshakable confidence in the virtues and magic powers attributed to cats.
In heraldry the cat is seen as a symbol of independence and freedom; The Romans, Greeks, and Vandals had cats on their flags, and they were often found on helmets and shields, etc.
The cat often has the leading role in fairy tales in various countries. The best known is puss-in-Boots, the white kitten (in the north German tales of Kuehn and Schwarz); it also has a leading role in in AsbjŲrnsenís Norweigian fairy tales, and in those of Madame d'Aulnoy in La Chatte, and Gagliusoís Italian stories.
Victor Scheffel gave the cat a magical part in his "Ekkehard" about "King Etzel and his cat", while in Shakespeare's "Macbeth" the cat is mentioned in connection with the witches and their spells.
It would take far too long to mention the innumerable fairy tales that exist in various countries, but these samples show the poetic tradition of folk lore made a magical creature out of the now mocked, disregarded and persecuted common cat.
THE CAT IN PROVERBS
Thanks to its nature and peculiarities, the cat is a conspicuous and enduring presence in the proverbs of various cultures. Most proverbs show the inventiveness of people, expressing moral truths and experiences using the characteristics of animals in an intuitive way. German literature is particularly rich in meaningful expressions of meaning about cats, and Wander alone has collected more than 1,000 sayings about the cat in his dictionary of proverbs. Most of the terms he collected are finished and ancient, giving renewed proof of the popularity and reputation of the cat in earlier times, when minstrels and fiddlers sang stories about it.
A small selection of the best-known proverbs are listed here to give an insight. The complete repertoire of proverbs collected by Wander must be omitted, as are the most commonly used ones.
"Devout kittens [young women] become nasty cats."
"Cats and women have seven lives."
"Cats who have eaten look around them."
Hans Sachs says of a wicked woman: "When she was also a wet cat, and gave the clippers a place."
"Whoever plays with cats, must expect to be scratched."
"A true cat flatters first, then scratches."
"A scalded cat shuns even cold water."
"Sheís a wet cat."
"A cat has nine lives, an onion and a wife has seven skins."
"When the cat is out of the house, the mice dance on the benches."
"When the cat isnít at home, the mice are the men of the house."
"When the cat isnít at home, the mice have parishioners."
"When the cats are gone, the mice are masters."
To ďhave a cat in the throat" means to talk dirty.
"He has to drag the cat through the stream." (Referring to an earlier punishment)
"Cats and gentlemen always fall to their feet." (Extract themselves from unpleasant situations.)
"The cat drops the light and runs after the mouse." (Meaning the characteristic of not denying something.)
"Young cats learn from old cats how to hunt mice." (Skill)
Luther says: "The catís fun is the mouseís death".
"A cat can look at an emperor." (Can be impertinent.)
"A cat doesnít stop hunting mice." (A sign of incorrigibility.)
"The cat will still be hunting mice next year."
"Whoever doesnít like cats wonít get a beautiful woman."
"Do not wake a sleeping cat." (Do not unnecessarily irritate a dangerous man.)
"No one wants to tie the bell to the cat."
"He's eating at the cat's table." (Heís being punished and eating alone.)
"Donít buy a cat in a sack." (Donít buy or promise something sight-unseen.)
"Get the cat out of the sack!" "I wonít buy a cat in a sack."
"To go like a cat around sweet mash." (to be indecisive, hesitant)
"To agree like dog and cat." (to be contentious, incompatible)
"I will not be the catís-paw to get his chestnuts out of the fire." (I wonít burn my fingers for other people.)
"He lands on his feet like a cat."
"A blind cat rarely catches a mouse.
"If the cats wash themselves, it will rain."
"To write like a cat." (to write illegibly)
"Cats like to catch mice."
"This doesnít make the cat hunch its back" (doesnít please the cat)
"Hunch-backed cat" (pleased or smug cat)
"Something is worth cat-shitĒ
"Lock the cat in the bacon."
"A cat life." (Meaning a tough life.)
"You cat face!" (Swear word)
From this small selection we can see the various ways in which the cat has been used to characterize virtues and vices, and how apt and striking this characterization often is.
If, in earlier times, the cat had not lived so closely with us, it would not have been so highly respected and loved and it would have been impossible for popular tradition to include it so extensively. No other pet, even the dog, enjoys such a high preference in this direction as the cat. But it is not only German popular tradition and German proverbs that show this rich collection; such proverbs are repeated in various variations among the French, Italians, Spaniards, Greeks, Turks, Croats, Czechs, and even among the native tribes of Africa.
The domestic cat differs from the European wild cat both anatomically and physiologically, and therefore they belong to different species, which also proves that the wild cat cannot be the ancestor of the domestic cat. Anatomically, the distinguishing features between the two types are as follows:
(Fig. 2 and 3): In the wild cat, the nasal bone protrudes further back between the frontal bones, such as the upper jawbone; in the domestic cat, on the other hand, the nasal bone does not penetrate so far back between the frontal bones as the upper jawbone. In the wild cat the palate-holes at the posterior margin of the inter-maxillary limbs (the legs of the jawbone) are roundish and longer than they are broad, while the domestic cat these are narrower and more elongated, at least twice as long as they are broad.
Dentition: In wild catís upper jaw, the posterior half of the second carnassial protrudes as far out as the anterior half of the fang, whereas in the domestic cat the front end of the carnassial does not project any further outwards than the fang. Further, in the wild cat, the tip of the upper fang turns outward so as to protrude outwardly beyond the direction of the second gap and the tooth. In the domestic cat, on the other hand, this tip is directed so far inward that it does not pass over the direction of the tip of the fang and second carnassial. With respect to dentition, mention should also be made that the low cusp on the upper carnassial is inward in the domestic cat over the direction of the two cusps of the posterior half of this tooth. Although this characteristic in the wild cat is worn down over time by wear and tear, it is visible in the comparison with the skull of the domestic cat given here.
Fig. 2. Skull of the Wildcat
Fig. 3. Skull of the domestic cat
The dentition shows 30 teeth in both species, of which two to four, and indeed the first and last cheek teeth are almost regular. Among the predators, therefore, the cat bite has the smallest number of teeth.
As regards the skeletal structure, Fig. 4, there are no significant differences, since both cats have 7 throat, 13 back, 7 lumbar and 3 cervical vertebrae. The tail can be regarded as a distinguishing feature between wild and domestic cat; in the wild cat, the tail is half as long as the body, and evenly thick and hairy to its extremity, while the tail of the domestic cat is a little longer than half the body-length and tapers at the tip.
Fig. 4. Skeleton of the cat
There is also a considerable difference in coloration, even in comparison to a "wild" domestic cat (feral cat). The basic colour is always reddish-grey in the wild cat, whereas the domestic cat always appears as ash- or blue-grey. Let us consider the unmistakable colouring characteristics of the wild cat: these are the yellowish-white spot on the throat, the yellow colour on the paws and on the inside of the hind legs, and the dark-coloured, almost black soles of the feet.
It is also worth mentioning that the intestinal canal of the domestic cat is five times as long as the body while that of the wild cat is only three times as long as the body. Both the formation of the teeth and that of the internal organs indicate that cats are generally carnivorous. In the case of herbivores, their digestive process consists mostly of breaking down their food, but in the case of exclusive carnivores, on the other hand, digestion is followed by a decomposition process. The greater length of the domestic catís intestine can be explained by it eating a more mixed diet compared to the exclusively meat-eating wildcat.
Of particular importance is the structure of the phalanges and the nails, which in cats Ė like other predators - are kept upright when at rest. This serves to preserve the claws, so that the tips are not worn out and are kept sharp. The claws are hidden in special folds of skin, and the cat's foot appears full and round and shorter than it actually is. The power of a blow from the paw and its rapid movement is made possible by strong, sinewy ligaments, allowing the cat to strike deep and serious wounds through the combination of this power and the sharpness of their claws. In cats that are less active, you can often see them clawing and scratching on various object to keep their claws and ligaments in practice.
The overall musculature of cats shows a great uniformity rarely seen in other mammals. Their leg muscles are particularly strong and fleshy, developing their greatest thickness in the middle. This gives cats their a considerable turn of speed, but they have little stamina. The chewing and neck muscles are also particularly strong; the strong neck muscles give them the ability to carry quite heavy prey in their mouths over fairly long distances.
The cat's body appears slightly compressed on the sides, the abdomen hangs slightly down and its chest is narrow. When viewed from above, this makes the cat look rather thin. The catís outward appearance is well-known and I will only touch on this briefly.
In its general appearance it has a regular physique, combined with daintiness and grace. Its head is quite round, flatten at the top, with a short, protruding muzzle, small jaws, a small angular nose set forward of a slight furrow. Its eyes are large, round and have the ability to see things at night because of a widely dilating pupil. The ears are upright and triangular with a rounded tip, the hair inside the ears is longer than that on the outside of the ears. The head is set on a strong, round and muscular neck.
The cat has a long, somewhat narrow body with a somewhat pendulous belly. Its body is set on medium-high, strong legs. Its paws are round and pale, the same as the other feline predators. The toenails are sharp, pointed, retractable claws. Its feet have fleshy soles with long hairy between the toes, allowing it to creep silently. Its tail is long, evenly furred and ends in a moderate taper. With respect to its coat, the hair is short and soft, and can be various colours. This short description refers only to the domestic cat (Felis domesticus), and we will return later to its different varieties.
As for physiology, itís worth mentioning that wild and domestic cats will mate in captivity and produce offspring. These hybrid offspring are generally barren if the mate among themselves, and even if they do manage to produce offspring, the offspring are usually not viable.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE HOUSECAT
The assumption that our domestic cat is derived from the wild cat (Fells catus) has long since been refuted thanks to the research of RŁppel. This researcher discovered the gloved cat (Felis maniculata) from Nubia near Ambukol on the western side of the Nile, a low-lying rocky and scrubby steppe, and, on the basis of thorough comparisons and measurements, he established that this was as the main parent of the domestic cat.
Comparisons with cat mummies found in Egyptian ruins and tombs, and with the type of cat depicted in Theban monuments, shows an almost complete correspondence with the gloved cat. In particular, the formation of the skull leaves us in little doubt, the only difference being in the thinner bones of the gloved catís, a characteristic which is observed in all wild animals compared to their domesticated relatives.
The gloved cat is, therefore, the cat which was kept and bred by the ancient Egyptians as a domestic animal, and from which, over the course of millennia, our present domestic cat, with all its varieties, has emerged through breeding, climatic conditions, and change of lifestyle. The researchers who followed RŁppel later found the gloved cat throughout the whole of Sudan and Abyssinia, even in the interior of Africa and into Palestine, and this justifies the assumption that Egyptian priests brought the sacred cat from southern Nubia into Egypt from where they eventually spread over Arabia and Syria, then into Greece and Italy, and then to western and northern Europe. Michel also writes about the ancestry of the domestic cat:
"It can be assumed, with much certainty, that the house cat is the same species which was tamed by the ancient Egyptians, and indeed the cat has something Egyptian in its essence, its secretive nature, its quietness, the feelings which, according to Hegel, are characteristic of many animals can be found especially in the cat. To conquer this animal so completely, to make a pet of it - only the earnest and long-suffering Egyptians could succeed in this, and it was the work of centuries. Over many generations, through the influence of loving and cautious care, the Egyptians bred the domestic cat from the shy, wildcat whose race seems the least tameable. We can therefore assume that this great expenditure of strength and endurance on the part of the Egyptians, and the scarcity and usefulness of the cat, were the cause of their sanctification, and thus religious and superstition would have benefited culture, instead of harming it, as is often the case.
But it was fortunate that the Egyptian cat continued to spread even before the end of the Roman Empire, and before the invasion of the Islamic attacks, or the extermination of the whole of Egypt and the destruction of its religious ideas and customs, would also have been the extermination of this irreplaceable pet. "
The spread of the domestic cat was greatly helped by the immigration of Roman around Asia and the general migrations of people, but it only became better known in Europe towards the end of the Crusades. In Northern Europe, the was said to have been little known in the tenth century, and in a bill of Wales at that time, a provision of Howell the Good indicates that the value of a young cat that has not yet caught a mouse is two pence, but was four pence for a cat that catches mice. At that point in time, this was a very high price.
Brehm also mentions that the domestic cat of the Yemenites and Arabs on the west coast of the Red Sea was strikingly similar in colour, slenderness, and temperament with the gloved cat, and it is from these cats, in all likeliness, that the domestic cat was distributed northwards by wandering Europeans. Schweinfurth adds another reason, stating that the gloved cat of the Njam-Njam is more common than in any other part of Africa, and he concludes that this catís real home is the deep interior of that dark continent, hence that would be the centre of their circle of spread. The Njam-Njam do not possess any truly domestic cats, but they are content with half-tamed or completely tamed cats, which are captured by boys and taken into their homes where they become tame in a very short time. Once they become accustomed to the natives' huts, they eagerly catch the catch the mice that are found in large numbers in those dwellings.
THE GLOVED CAT (FELIS MANICULATA)
Fig. 5. Gloved Cat (Fells maniculata)
The Gloved Cat inhabits the most varied regions of Africa, eastward to the interior and also well into the south. In its appearance it is similar to the house-cat. Its body length, including the 25 cm long tail, is 75 cm; both in physique and in markings it reminds us of some variety of domestic cat. Its fur colour is pale yellow or pale grey from the back of the head backwards, is somewhat reddish and lighter coloured on the sides, fading to whiteness on the belly. On the trunk there are narrow, faded dark transverse strips (i.e. at right angles to the spine), the stripes are most prominent on the legs, and there are eight narrow longitudinal bands on the top of the head and the neck. its tail is pale yellow on the upper part, white on the under part and ends in a black tip preceded by three wide black rings around the tail.
In general, the gloved cat is quite slender and slightly leggier than the domestic cat, and is extremely agile and nimble. The young can be tamed if taken from the nest, and they become very attached to their carers. Nevertheless, this cat rarely reaches Europe, and I have seen only a single one in a larger pet shop in Hamburg. It was probably still young as it did not display the temperament of a caged wildcat, hissing, slashing or biting, but rubbed against the bars of the cage, with a pleasant pur and let its fur be fondled.
In terms of lifestyle, gloved cats are no different from their wild relatives. Like them it is extremely cautious and cunning, and is just as eager to kill prey. She stalks her prey from downwind, silently getting close to it in order to spring on her victim at the right moment and strike it down with a powerful blow from her paws. It snatches its prey in just the same way as the large feline predators. The impact is made with the whole force of the body, a blow from the paw is sufficient to stupefy the prey, then with a hiss and a snarl, the cat takes the prey in its mouth and quickly bites it a few times. If the cat still detects life in its tormented prey, it immediately slashes its throat and then devours its prey at leisure, calmly and contentedly. Their sprints and hunts seem to be carried out mostly on flat ground, and they are less inclined to clamber or and climb like the European wildcat. The gloved cat is mostly a steppe and desert animal.
The gloved cat really makes a pleasant impression and itís a pity that it rarely appears on the European animal market, as it would certainly find fans willing to tame it and breed it.
THE EUROPEAN WILD CATS
Fig. 6. Wildcat (Felis catus)
The wild cat, which has not yet been wiped out in our own country, is quite different from the domestic cat. It is approximately the size of a fox, has a cobbier head, a more compact body and a shorter, fuller tail that is blunter at the end than that of the domestic cat. In addition, it has a yellowish-white throat, dark-coloured or black soles on its feet, and distinctive black ringed markings on the tail. Everything else has already been mentioned under "natural history".
In Germany it inhabits the wooded central mountains, such as the Harz, Thuringian, Franconian, Bohemian, Oden and Schwarzwald, as well as the Erzgebirge, the RhŲn, the Hessian and Rhenish mountains. From there it often travels great distances into the forests of the plain where it has a devastating effect on the wild game there. It is more common in the south, and is not uncommon in the Alps and in Austrian, as well as in the Balkans. To the north, its range includes Scandinavia and Russia, but it is entirely absent from the far north. Its preferred habitat is dense, contiguous and rocky forested areas because these areas are isolated and can escape into safe hollows among the rocks, in badger-setts, fox-earths and hollow trees at any sign of disturbance. She also builds her nest there and gives birth to her young safely out of sight. As long as she can hunt smaller game: rabbits, squirrels, mice, birds, etc., she seldom attacks larger animals, but they are by no means safe from the wildcat and many hares, many wild calves, etc., have become its prey.
During severe, prolonged winters, it tries to get into the barns of the farms near woodland, and make a winter larder there. Then it is woe to any unprotected doves and chickens! The catí regular, nocturnal visits will deplete the stock in a startling manner.
Hunting for wild cats is usually a random affair; occasionally it is driven out of bushes by hunters, but more often when its tracks are found in freshly fallen snow and can be followed to its lair. It can skilfully evade the pursuing huntsman for a long time, for it understands how to control itself. When hunted by dogs and finding itself corners, it goes up into the trees and proceeds in leaps, jumping from tree to tree, ahead of the dogs. If, on the other hand, it finds it impossible to escape from the dogs, it will ferociously defend itself, often successfully. Their tenacity of life requires them to be shot.
They must be finished off with an accurate and effective shot because there are known instances where a wounded wildcat has attacked a hunter. Because of their extraordinary caution, traps are rarely successful and only occasionally are they caught in them.
In a well-kept game park, especially one with pheasants, the wildcat is definitely one of the most damaging predators in our country.
When captured young, the wildcat can be tamed to a certain degree, but it can never be trusted; but with older captive wildcats trying to tame them is a waste of time.
To the cat lover, it is always attractive, when in the chance possession of young, helpless wild cats, who are incapable of surviving on their own, to take pleasure in their rearing and development and in their later behaviour in captivity.
The raising of young wild cats is not only an interesting task, it is a very difficult one, as, in spite of all the care and painstaking attention they are given, they are a challenge throughout. You can never entirely remove their wild character, and can only tame them to a certain degree. On the other hand, as the mature, all their natural wickedness and savagery will come out, and not even the carer is safe from being bitten and clawed. It is therefore always a difficult undertaking if you wish to raise and tame young wild cat. In only a very case is there complete success, yet the vicious but comical things always provoke fresh attempts.
Two years ago we got hold of a pair of young wildcats (by which I donít mean feral domestic cats), which a gamekeeper acquaintance had taken out of the nest in a hollow trunk during the absence of the parent while the young were still blind. The parents whose nest had been robbed, were soon shot near the nest. The little wildcats were bottle-fed in goatís milk by the gamekeeper, they took to it well, and thrived, and afterwards, when their eyes had opened and they began to creep around, they were weaned onto venison. At the age of about six weeks the two young wild cats came into our possession. We acquired them in the expectation of making interesting studies of them. They were named "Kunz" and "Miez" and installed in a spacious cage in the dog kennel. A box filled with hay served as a bed and in order to enable climbing attempts, a strong tree branch was installed in the cage. So they were well provided for in terms of accommodation. Feeding them proved more troublesome. Milk in a cup was gladly accepted, but they would not approach common meat so mice and sparrows had to be procured. There was great excitement whenever they were given a mouse or a sparrow, and they showed their true wildcat nature immediately. With ferocious snarls they each tried to snatch the prey from the other, the otherwise amicable brother and sister attacked each other, struggling with claws, dragging at each side of the prey, until the more clever one won the contest and congratulated himself by leaping onto the branch. Then the loser rubbed against the mesh of the cage, muttering and crying, until given a piece of prey.
While "Miez" turned out to be quite easy to win round, "Kunz" turned out to be a malicious character from the outset, he would grudgingly allow himself to be touched, then he would bit and scratch the very hand that nurtured him so that you could never trust him. "Miez, on the other hand, allowed a certain degree of intimacy, and was often almost friendly; when cage was barely opened she came out miaowing and purring, and wanted to climb into her guardianís lap, and, often in a very obvious manner she tried to convey her affection with paw smacks or cuddling. "Kunz, on the other hand, wanted absolutely nothing to do with our displays of tenderness, and always show the unfavourable side of his predatorís nature. Despite the fact that he had been hand-fed on shot sparrows and trapped mice, and to some extent allowed this approach, this always had to be done with great caution. Slowly, insidiously, hissing, and with ruffled hair, he purred at the proffered morsel, in order to suddenly snatch it away and quickly press himself back into a corner. With his eyes glittering and steadily purring and hissing, he crouched over his stolen booty, which he did not bite into until one had taken several steps away from the cage.
As the two wildcats reached adolescence, their malice and viciousness increased and finally reached the point where one had to wear a thick glove in order to put a hand into their cage. All attempts at kindly persuasion and patience were sorely tested, all efforts to resume harmonious relations proved useless, their wild character grew increasingly intense so we had to abandon further attempts as being useless.
At night, they hunted like mad in the cage, sweeping round its walls, leaping onto the branch and then back to the ground again, and their cavorting, hissing, and screaming sounded like a witch's Sabbath. In the morning, they were quieter, and during the day they mostly curled up, like domestic cats, asleep in their hay. As time went on, it got more and more difficult to get hold of sparrows and mice to feed them on; the sparrows soon realised they were in danger, as soon as they spotted the rifle in the courtyard of saw the rifle barrel poking out of a window, they took off into the air in a trice and it was tricky to get one of those cunning common birds within range. Weíd also caught all the mice and now had to keep domestic pigeons for the young cats.
Wow! It was such a drama when one of those poor pigeons flew around the catsí cage! It flew over the heads of our little savages like some Greek Fury until all you could see was a single mass rolling around on the ground. Their unbridled predatory nature was clearly seen, pigeon feathers came pattering down like snowflakes, and the cats did not rest until they had torn the pigeon to pieces and each had secured part of the prize. During this drama we could study all the nuances of feline nature Ė the thrill of the hunt, their unrestrained bloodlust, the climax of the hunt when they finally caught their prey, and then their contented purring once satiated, their cleaning and preening, and finally their peaceful tranquillity gave us an interesting picture of the predator's life. As a result, we only gave them live pigeons a few times, because of the suffering, and generally fed them on ones we had already killed.
But feeding them on pigeons became too expensive in the long run, and we started to feed them on offcuts of meat. This change of menu wasnít particularly welcome, as the saying goes "hunger is the best sauce" and the eventually accepted it. One day, in the absence of anything else, we gave some calf-brain to "Kunz" and "Miez", and as this seemed to their taste we gave them more. But this proved to be the undoing of our two wildcats. They developed diarrhoea which steadily worsened and since they could not be made to take any medication, but only a little lean meat, their condition became more and more serious.
ďKunz" had previously been a wild, unpredictable captive, but his behaviour now changed conspicuously. Almost reduced to a skeleton, a helpless invalid barely able to stand, he willingly endured everything that happened around him. Warm towels seemed to bring him some relief, but he would not tolerate any medicine and with all his powers he thwarted every attempt to medicate him. The end approached. One morning we found "Kunz" lying motionless beside "Miez" and in such a state we knew that the end was near. We placed them in a basket beside the stove, gave them warm milk with raw egg yolk stirred into it, to which a few drops of opium tincture were added. They also took occasionally took a little finely chopped raw meat, and we thought we were going to get them through this illness, and ďMiezĒ had become very receptive, but one morning we found them both dead.
Thus ended the lives of our wildcats, reared with great effort, great care, and great patience, giving us opportunities to study and observe them, as compensation for all our hard work, and from whom there much was learned and is still to be reported. But for now, the foregoing will suffice to show that young wild cats can be raised with some caution; but the can be no assurances that they will live up to expectations.
THE MANUL OR THE STEPPE CAT (FELIS MANUL)
The wildcat is related to the Manul found in the rocky regions or steppes of Southeast Siberia, Tartary, and Mongolia. This variety is representative of the wild cat throughout Siberia, is a similar size to the domestic cat, and is frequently kept in the home.
Wildhagen in his work "The Hunting Animals of Russia" gives us the following description of the Manul.
The Steppe Cat is, as its name implies, a dweller in the steppes, where she represents the wild cat (Felis catus), from which she can be distinguished by the following features:
1. In outward appearance it has a more robust physique, a relatively large head, and longer fur;
2. It is smaller in size, as can be seen from the following comparison of the ratios of the different parts of the body:
Body length of Wildcat 23", of Steppe Cat 19" 3 lines
Head length of Wildcat 4 "1 line, of Steppe Cat 4 "6
Means 4 inches 6 lines, in todayís measurements approx. (4 * 2.54cm) + (6 * 0.2cm) = 11.36cm
Tail length of Wild Cat 11" 6 lines, Steppe Cat 9Ē (Without end hair)
3. By its bluntly rounded ears;
4. By the number of tail vertebrae; the wild cat has 22 tail vertebrae, whereas the Steppe Cat has only 20;
5. By the construction of the upper jaw, which is substantially different from the wildcat: the maxillary bones do not extend as far back as the nasal bone; the extensors of the frontal bone also do not come into contact with the intermaxillary bone, and the palate-holes are smaller and elongated.
In its external appearance, it has much in common with the Bobcat (Felis lynx), because of its robust and strongly-made limbs, and is intermediate between this and the European Wildcat. Similarly, it is resembles the Bobcat in the reduced number of tail vertebrae.
It has are irregularly scattered black spot dotting the top of its wide head. The whisker-pads either side of the nose are yellowish, and the nose itself, along with the lips, are black. It has four rows of thick curving whiskers, which, with the exception of two long black ones, are white in colour. It has narrow slanting eyes with black-rimmed eyelids. The area around the eyes is thick-set, creased, and black. The set of the eyes, the slitted pupils and the pinkish tint of the iris gives it a permanent scowl. Above each eyebrow is a yellowish bump set with eight pale bristles; either side of these two yellowish bumps it has distinct vivid black stripes of long bristly fur. Beneath the eyes there is a pale longitudinal stripe, and two almost parallel black lines running backwards. The ears, which are markedly pale yellow in colour, are shaped quite differently from the ears of the European wildcat; they are not only shorter and broader, they are also more rounded and blunter than those of the Wildcat. The interior of the ear is hairless, but contains a tuft of fan-shaped whitish hair, which springs from its base. The upper part of the body is covered with either long reddish-yellow or reddish-grey hair, and young individuals sometimes show darker stripes, though these are barely visible. The fur on the back is black-tipped, that of the throat is white and on the breast it is ash-grey. The paws are reddish-yellow on both sides, and are covered with black, shaggy hairs, which extends to the leathery paw-pads. The toes are covered with long russet-colour, similar to the Tree Marten and the Sable, a sign that the animal is adapted to live in a cold climate. The underside of the toes is black with a streak on either side of the callus of the central paw. The retractable claws are whitish; The tail is uniformly thick along its length and, like the body, is pale yellow; it has a broad black tip and nine clear black rings, the middle ones being farther apart than the rest. The deep black tip and the three glossy black rings that precede it are connected together by a stripe, while the other dark rings are not joined together and are duller in colour.
The Steppe Cat, as already mentioned above, inhabits the Asiatic steppes; it is spread over a large region of over 200,000 square miles, making its distribution zone considerably larger than that of our European wildcat. It is most frequently found in the mountainous regions of the steppes, such as the southern foothills of the Urals, as well as in the rocky mountainous area of Mongolia and the Tartar steppe, as well as in the Altai and the Dawuric or Transbaikal Alps. The boundaries of their distribution are: the Volga on the west and on the north the start of the forested region, but the eastern and southern frontier lines have not yet been precisely determined due to insufficient study. In any case they reach as far east as the Amur and as far south as the Himalayan mountains. During the daytime, the Manul may be found in caves, hollows or in Marmot burrows. During the summertime it is to be found in the thickets of the valleys, living in desolate areas where it does not come into contact with man. It hunts during the night, probably to avoid wolves, which are almost its only enemies, but nevertheless its most dangerous foes. A single wolf cannot harm a Manul because it defends itself fiercely with its long sharp claws and strong teeth, but if it is attacked by a pack of wolves in the open it is overwhelmed.
In terms of lifestyle, the Steppe Cat is only a little different from the Wildcat. It has the same sense organs as the Wildcat, but those who have spent a long time hunting them say that they are murderous and take far more animals than they need to satisfy their appetite; it eats only the better and tastier parts of the prey and buries the rest, though it rarely returns to the buried parts since the larger rodents, which forms the majority of its diet Ė hares and pikas (Lagomorphs) and jerboas (dipus), are quite numerous in the steppe regions. Because of its destruction of these rodents it is, in certain circumstances a very useful animal, which would be particularly easy to conserve. The abundance of its prey means, wherever the habitat is favourable, such as rugged terrain and rocky regions, it proliferates greatly and becomes quite numerous.
As with the Wildcat, the mating season is between February and March, when there are bloody battles between the males as they compete over a single female; during the night their caterwauling is very audible, just as in other cat species. After a nine-week gestation period, the female dens in a hidden and hard-to-reach place, where she has two to three offspring. She carefully guards these from wolves and from her own mate as he would eat them as a delicacy during their first fourteen days . As soon as the young are old enough to be able to play in the open, they are fed by both parents, and they may be given live prey so that they can learn to catch prey for themselves. Later on, the adults take their offspring with them on the nightly hunt to teach them how to stalk and catch animals in the open. This family life, like that of the Wildcat, lasts only until late autumn, where the young become independent and able to fend for themselves. Manuls then live solitary lives outside of the breeding season.
In their outward appearance, particularly with regard to its long hair, the Steppe Cat resembles the Angora cat, which is often kept as a pet in the south of Russia. Competent observers tell us that it will mate with the Angora, but there is as yet no information on whether the hybrids between these two are barren, like those of the German domestic cat and the European wildcat.
THE GENET CATS (VIVERRA GENETTA)
FIG. 7 Genet Cat (Viverra genetta)
Spain and southern France are home to a distinct and attractive sub-genre (Genetta) of cats, which also exhibit the behaviour and characteristics of domestic cats when tamed and kept in captivity. Its actual area of distribution is the Atlas region, but it is also resident in suitable parts of Spain although it rarely seen because of its extreme cunning and caution.
Although the Genet Cat is found both in treeless and wooded terrain, as well as rugged mountains, it prefers to stay close to streams where it finds its prey. The colour of its fur against the earth enables it to be almost invisible, and therefore it is rarely seen even by observant and skilled hunters. It has a nocturnal lifestyle which makes observing it even more difficult.
It is an expert at using ground cover as it winds its long body through the scrub and grass, and between rocks and boulders. With the nimbleness of a fox, it silently sneaks through its territory, clinging to the ground at every suspicious sound, so that even a practiced eye has difficulty spotting it. Its silent movements, and the agility and flexibility of its slender body, make it possible for her to ambush and kill her victim quickly in an unfailing and lightning-fast leap. When the Genet Cat is stalking, its body and tail form an almost straight line and its legs are far apart, so that in this sprawling style of movement it takes on a roll-like shape.
The Genet Cat, as already mentioned, has a nocturnal lifestyle, and only after the dusk is completely gone, is it observed and shot by hunters. When stalking its prey, it displays its amazing dexterity and agility, this high degree of speed and agility as rarely seen in other predators.
Silently, with its body stretched out, its tail horizontal and its legs far apart, it slinks over the ground, as supple as a snake, and at the right moment it makes an accurate leap, ambushing its unsuspecting victim with lightning speed. Murderous and bloodthirsty, the Genet Cat she spares no beast that it is capable of overpowering. Growling, it hastily consumes the ambushed prey, and it will take rodents, birds and even insects. It delights in the slaughter. Its climbing skill also makes it a highly efficient nest-robber, and it will take eggs and young birds alike. In a badly kept hen-house or pigeon-loft, it will slaughter all the poultry it can. Its preferred food, however, is mice and rats, and they are diligent hunters of these creatures, which makes them valuable in their native habitat.
In spite of its murderous nature, the Genet Cat can become somewhat tame if captured young and treated with kindness, gentleness, and understanding. Even captured older Genet Cats can become tame with caring treatment and when they get used to their carer, they can be stroked and touched, without bringing out their wildcat nature. They are generally sleepy during the day, and become lively and active only when darkness falls. If the Genet Cat were easier to catch and seen more often on the pet animal-market, its breeding is certainly to be recommended, not just because of its pleasant character, but also for its great passion for catching rats and mice, something it does with even more proficiency than the domestic cat.
The body of the Genet Cat is disproportionately long, in contrast to others of its race, and it has comparatively short legs and its tail almost as long as its 50cm body. Its head is small and wide at the back and ends in a long muzzle. Its ears are short, broad and bluntly pointed. Its eyes are similar to those of the domestic cat, and the pupil of the eye appears narrow during the day. The ground colour of its short, dense, smooth fur is a clear light grey. On the sides of its body it has four or five longitudinal rows of irregularly shaped, black or reddish-black spots. On the upper neck it has four stripes which break into irregular spots at their ends. A lighter streak runs from its dark brown snout over the nose, above each eyes there is a small spot. The tips of the upper jaw are white, and the throat and neck are light grey. The tail is ringed with seven or eight white rings and ends with a black tip.
In spite of its prevalence, little is known about the life of the pretty and graceful Genet Cat in the wild state, because their nocturnal lifestyle, and their cunning and caution, makes them very difficult to observe. They reproduce well in captivity and can live together with their own kind.
THE DOMESTIC CAT, ITS BREEDS AND VARIETIES
Regarding the development of breeds, the domestic cat has been quite able to keep on being independent and has changed little. With all other household pets we find a number of races and varieties, but just a very few distinct races among domestic cat. Their footloose and fancy-free lifestyle, desire for freedom, independence, and self-love did not permit breeding according to the current rules of breeding because pressing cats into these constraints is very hard and any transformations they go through can only be seen and identified in the colour and structure of their hair. The way their body is built has stayed the same, and you can only observe real changes in specific body parts in the lop-eared cat from China and the tailless cat from the British Isle of Man.
Fig. 8. Wild-Coloured or Grey and Black Striped Domestic Cat.
The physical characteristics of the domestic cat have been described in a previous section and it only remains to describe some of the established colours and the foreign races and varieties.
Firstly, the attractive colouring of the wild-coloured or grey-and-black tabby variety of the domestic cat (Fig. 8) from which all other colours were developed. This cat approximates the wild cat in its colour and can be confused with a particularly large and strong domestic cat except for the unfailing distinguishing factor of the longer, more pointed tail of the domestic cat.
Fig. 9. Grey Domestic Cat with White Marking.
The basic colour is yellow-grey, yellowish on the legs and chest, sometimes extending somewhat to the face. The body is marked with dark black-grey stripes and spots. Cats which have large markings instead of the crosswise longitudinal stripes are highly prized. The eyes are greenish-yellow, the nose, lips and often the soles of the feet are black or are marked with black. This variety is also usually wild in nature and one of its characteristics is its greater instinct of self-preservation - they go wild more easily and will mate with Wildcats; Wildcats will accept them as mates if they abandon their mastersí homes and roam wild outside. It is generally believed that tabby cats are the best mousers.
Fig. 10. Black domestic cat.
Another very popular variety is the more bluish-grey hued cat (Fig. 9) which usually has white markings on the face, chest, feet and tail.
Black cats should be very pure in colour, without any hint of rustiness nor any white markings and they have beautifully yellow eyes. This is considered the most beautiful and also the most rarely found type. Apart from size, it resembles a black Sunda panther. Usually the black colour has, in sunlight or bright light, a brownish tint; and then the dark transverse markings are faintly visible to the eye, and these catsí eyes are not the preferred beautiful light yellow colour. Really black cats without even the smallest white patch, are wonderful and much sought after animals and fetch high prices.
The white variety is very common and is considered soft and not as resilient as the previous cat described. Although white cats with blue eyes, are quite graceful animals when their fur is clean, one rarely sees them in this condition in the cities. Usually the hair is thin and dull, nevertheless, careful grooming could do a great deal to make the coat more substantial. Many white cats are either completely deaf or have poor hearing and are consequently inferior mousers. A pretty white kitten, well-cared for and kept clean, always stands out from others.
Fig. 11. White Domestic Cat.
The Masked Cat is usually jet black with a white snip between the eyes; the lips, cheeks and chest (sometimes as far as the throat) are also clean white. The belly and paws and sometimes the tail-tip are also white. The eyes of this variety are bright yellow with black rims. Regular and sharply defined white patches produce the most beautiful Masked Cats which have many admirers.
The black-headed or Mohrenkopf (Moor-headed) cat (Fig. 12) must be clean white, with contrasting colour on its head and tail. Consistent specimens of this variety are extremely rare and it can probably be regarded as one of the most peculiar colour patterns of the domestic cat. The colour of the head and tail can be either black, grey, blue or yellow with no white hairs except those regularly showing up on the head. As previously mentioned, cats with good and correct markings are highly valued.
Fig. 12. Black-Headed Cat.
Mouse-brown or pale-grey, yellow and spotted varieties (Fig. 13) are commonly found and the colour gradations and patterns are very variable, so that no firm standard can be set.
Fig. 13. Spotted domestic cat.
Purely mouse-brown cats or pale-grey and yellow cats without white markings are still attractive cats, and even among the spotted cats there are some quite pretty animals. The ground colour is white with irregular coloured patches over the head and body. Those cats where a coloured mask covers only one side of the head are rather ugly. These patched varieties account for most of the mixed type domestic cats and they occur in a wide palette of colours and design that is almost indescribable.
The three-coloured or Spanish cat. The term "Spanish" does not mean that this variety is restricted to the Pyrenean peninsula and it is difficult to describe why it got this name when pushed for an explanation. It is less common than the varieties described previously and outstanding beauty is not its main characteristic, however there are some which make a favourable impression due to their good colour and regularity of markings. The background colour is white, on which mixed patches of brown, yellow or grey are scattered over the body. It is generally says that this pattern is only found in female cats, and that three-coloured tomcats are very rare. Since the female sex predominates in this cat, this may not be surprising, all the more so as the three-coloured variety can turn up in any litter. These cats are nonetheless beautiful when the markings on the face and body are regularly distributed. Unfortunately the markings are all too often mottled and run into each other which makes the individual colours hard to make out. Also, if the face is unpleasantly or unevenly marked and has a large mark on one side, but not on the other, it makes the cat rather unattractive.
Fig. 14. Cyprus cat.
The Cyprus cat (Fig. 14) is yellow grey with black stripes and appears to have been carefully bred on the island of Cyprus. According to Michel, at Villamont on the Cap della Gatte (Cape of Cats) in Cyprus there was a monastery which was destroyed by the Turks; living there were cats that waged a very effective war on the large numbers of snakes in that area. Michel said of the snakes on the island "they are black and white, at least seven feet long, and around six to eight inches thick and they are hunted and killed by the monastery cats. At noon the monastery bell calls these bold hunters to the meal, but as soon as they finish their food they resume anew their pursuit of their enemies."
In all probability the Cyprus cat has been preserved in its original colour and form. But not all yellowish-grey, black-striped cats are genuine Cyprus cats, unless their ancestors come from this island.
Fig. 15. Carthusian cat.
The Carthusian cat (Fig. 15) is a self-coloured blue variety with long fine hair, black lips and black soles to its feet. The blue colour varies from bluish ash-grey to bluish-black. If the colour is pure-bred and the hair is in good condition, then the Carthusian is considered a most magnificent animal, but its character is somewhat phlegmatic, a characteristic it shares with other longhair cats such as the Angora, the Persian and the Chinese cat.
The Icelandic or Kumanian cat, and similarly named cats, are almost identical to the previous variety. The distinctive feature of the Icelandic cat is its beautiful bluish-grey colouring; the Kumanian cat, originating from the Caucasus, on the other hand, has thick white, black or rust-red fur and flesh-coloured lips and soles of feet.
Fig. 16. Angora cat.
The Angora cat (Felis maniculata domesticus angorensis) (Fig. 16) is the most beautiful, most precious and best known of the foreign cats. This splendid, noble animal originates from high Asia, and Pallas believes the Manul is the ancestor of Angora, an opinion shared by Fitzinger. Brehm, however, thinks it more likely that it is just a breed whose characteristics are due to the climate of the mountainous regions in which it developed. Radde, in the south of Siberian, apparently saw only beautiful grey or blue-grey Angoras.
Chinchilla cats. In the small town of Tjumen, a little east of the eastern slopes of the Urals, he first met with these and more were to be found in the Russian settlements, but there were less common that the normal house-cats.
Whether Angora really is the homeland of this elegant and aristocratic cat, canít be proved with certainty; but we are inclined to think so because of the longhaired Angora goats and rabbits that are found there. Either way, this cat is considered a distinct race because it passes on its characteristics reliably. A well-maintained Angora cat, resplendent in full coat, is undisputedly the most attractive of cats.
Outwardly it resembles the lion since a full mane hangs from its face, neck and chest. The hair of its back and sides is especially long, as is that on the tail, which appears longer and bushier than it really is. The hair inside the ear is long and tufted and that on the paws is shorter. The hair itself is silky, glossy, soft and has a slight curl. The white and silver-coloured varieties are the most popular, followed by blue, black, grey-striped and isabelline (cream). Other colours suggest the influence of foreign blood. Crosses with ordinary domestic cats do not show the full, rich, silky hair.
Angora cats seem to be very aware of their beauty, and their great intelligence make them sensitive to flattery and they love to be admired. They possess a calm, nearly phlegmatic temperament and are laid-back, but they have pleasant manners and a noble, aristocratic bearing. Because the Angora loves to be close to her human family, it is a popular salon animal which likes to do nothing more during the day than lie about on soft cushions, so it is always among human company. It is praised for its devotion and wisdom and it seems that she always wants to keep an eye on her master or mistress as she follows purring in their footstep, demanding to be petted. She is, in the truest sense, a pampered child a precious possession.
If we gave our other cats the same care and loving treatment then we might assume all the usual house-cats would have trained themselves to become more companionable.
If you own, care for and breed Angora cats, you must take great care of their long rich hair as this requires careful treatment. If you donít take proper care of it the hair becomes matted, especially in the moulting season when the new coat is growing through. If you donít, the Angora loses its good looks and turns into a horrible tangled mess. It needs to be regularly combed with a blunt-toothed comb, otherwise the clumps of hair can be torn out and cause pain. The cat generally attends to its own tidiness, thanks to its innate cleanliness, and it will groom and wash its fur all day. Its eyes can be wiped clean each morning with a soft sponge and lukewarm water. Anyone who has a real and beautiful Angora cat will be enchanted by its noble beauty and its good manners. It demands much and gives little in return, seldom catching a mouse even if one walks right in front of it, she is a soft and pump creature that likes to loll about and be fed on the choicest titbits. But all this cannot disguise the fact that it is a pleasure to own such an indisputable beauty among cats.
Fig. 17. Persian cat.
The Khorassan or Persian cat (Fig. 17) seems to be a variety of Angora cat. Its hair is somewhat woollier and curlier, but, like the Angora, is particularly long. In colour it is slate-grey. In terms of beauty, she is quite close to the Angora cat, but is far less common.
The Chinese or Lop-Eared Cat (Fig. 18) is most interesting, because it demonstrates that by continual disuse of an organ, the organ atrophies. So it is with the Chinese cat that both its hearing and the ears themselves have deteriorated. Michel says that the Chinese not only admire the cat in porcelain, but also value it for culinary reasons. The cats are regarded as special titbits and are chained and fattened up on rice."
Fig 18. Chinese or Lop-Eared Cat.
This cat is bred particularly for the purpose of meat production, and is a preferred Chinese titbit; this is not unusual if one considers that the Chinese consume many things that would turn the stomach of a European. The poor creature is locked up in small bamboo cages and, much like a kind of goose, they are fattened with plentiful portions. Extensive trade in these poor pussycats is carried on with other parts of Asia and the prudent Chinese will not export any tomcats to ensure there is no interference in this lucrative trade.
Due to the restrictive conditions that deprive this cat of its usual role, its hearing has deteriorated because its predicament means it no longer needs to find its own food. With no need for vigilance, it had no need of sharp hearing to listen for hidden prey so its sense of hearing became dull and, as a natural consequence of this, its ears lost their upright nature, gradually become lower and becoming the hanging ear that is now the distinctive trait of the Chinese cat.
When you first see this cat it has a comic look, but this impression is lost upon closer examination. If you ignore its lop ears, you will see a beauty similar to the Angora cat: a long, close coat of hair, albeit less rich than the Angora, covers the body. Its fur is silky-soft and shining and is usually a light yellow (isabelline) or a dirty yellowish-white in colour, although some have the colouring of common house-cats. It is much larger than common house-cats, is more robust and has a tendency to run to fat. Its ears entirely hang downwards, like those of hunting hounds, and are large in relation to those of other cats.
Although the Chinese cat is bred in large numbers in its homeland, it rarely turns up in European animal markets. Only one such cat has reached us in the flesh; we acquired this some years ago when a sailor returning from China brought it into Hamburg. The accompanying illustration is based on this living specimen.
In character it is even lazier than the Angora cat, to the point of being almost lifeless. It prefers to spend its time by a warm stove, is not very receptive to attention, has poor hearing and is at its most animated when it sees milk or food. Apart from its unusual ears, it does not have any really attractive characteristics and its peculiar appearance makes it a strange example of the house cat.
Fig. 19. Siamese cat.
The Siamese cat (Fig. 19), originating from Siam, is a rare and beautiful animal and is characterised by its short, smooth, close-lying hair and its peculiar colouring. The fur of its torso is isabelline (light yellowish-white) while that of its face, ears, legs and tail is black-brown. Keller writes that these are particularly nimble animals, which are kept in palaces in Asia and fed with fish. This housecat might be one the most beautiful and most expensive, second only to the longhaired cats, because good specimens often fetch more than 200 Marks. Unfortunately it rarely arrives in Europe and is still little known here.
Fig. 20. Manx or Stump-tailed cat.
The Manx or Stump-tailed cat (Felis maniculata domestica ecaudatus) (Fig. 20) one comes from the Isle of Man. Keller wrote the following description in his cat book Supplement to the Animal Market) concerning the tailless cat: "The feral cat of Cornwall and on the Isle of Man (off the north-west coast of England) is a distinct race and usually has only the slightest suggestion of a tail. There are however part-tailed cats also, probably taking after the father. They come in different colours and they also have rather long paws ". The Manx cat is no ordinary-looking animals due to the absence of a tail and its greatly elevated hindquarters; the hind legs are disproportionately long and therefore the cats stand higher at the back. This design allows it to safely jump enormous lengths from branch to branch; it is an excellent tree-cat and a great danger to birds.
According to Brehm, who saw Martens on the Sunda Isles, and saw cats with different tail gradations on several occasions in Japan, and Kessel told Weinland that in those areas, in particular on Sumatra, the catsí original tails died and dropped off as the cats grew up. The Manx cat occurs in different colouring.
The cat of Cochinchina is to have only a short, curled tail and the Madagascar cat has atwisted, knotted tail.
The following cats are very similar to the common housecat and differ only in their colouring. For example, the Icelandic cat is a beautifully bluish grey, the Tobolsk cat from Siberia is red or fox-coloured, and those from the Cape of Good Hope are blue or red.
The Frankfurt zoological garden received a pair of cats from Central America, which were distinctive because of their size, their silky-woolly hair and their dark ash-grey, black-striped colour.
While we have rich knowledge of the breeds and varieties of other domestic animals, the different varieties of cat are only poorly reported and not very well described. This is all the more surprising when you consider that the cat was one of the oldest domestic animals and was historically a favoured animal. In this article I have tried to draw together information I have found in literature along with my own observations and studies. The illustrations in this section are, as far as possible, reproduced faithfully from life to give the esteemed reader and cat-lover an accurate representation of the races and breeds described.
You can scarcely talk of breeding cats because their unfettered love of freedom means you canít control their mating and they mate with whom they choose and when they choose. Yet selective breeding is carried out in various places to produce prizewinning cats, but it is hard to believe that even in these cases it follows strict breeding rules, such as careful selection of suitable parents etc. In most zoological gardens where some of the rare breeds can sometimes be found they are cultivated as pure-breds. It should also be noted that the beautiful Angora cat has been successfully bred in Vienna where it has a number of fans.
The whole lifestyle of the cat, with its unrestrained wandering and its elusive and hard to control nature, presents breeders with almost insurmountable difficulties, but with a degree of perseverance and expert knowledge it would be possible reliably develop breeds of different colours which are currently only random and donít breed true. But this would be a difficult undertaking for even the most serious cat lover because firstly, to breed cats successfully, it would require roomy cages, placed in semi-darkness, and this would be both expensive and take up too much space. Secondly, the price of the offspring would only cover part of the expense of the operation. Where aristocratic breeds such as Angora, Persians, etc., are involved and people are willing to pay often high prices, it is worth making the attempt to breed them.
The breeding cage (Fig. 21) should be appropriate for housing the breeding animals. It should have the following dimensions: 2 metres wide, 1 1/2 metres deep and 2 metres high. The sides, floor and the roof should be made of boards, which must not too thin and which must securely fit into each other. The front of the cage must be secured either with strong wire mesh or with closely spaced iron bars. At the lower end of the front, a flap (a) needs to be installed so that the breeder can clean the cage floor by means of an iron scraper (b) and can push in drinking water and a feeding bowl. On the left side there is a lockable door giving entry into the cage when required. The cage floor, in order to ground, in order to prevent it rotting from the caustic and pungent urine, needs several coats of carbolineine paint, this also serves as a disinfectant. A sturdy section of tree trunk with some strong, short branches to allow the cat to scratch, climb and exercise needs to be fixed in the middle of the cage. In one of the rear corners, set up a sleeping box Ė this will also serves as a maternity bed. Cover the floor of the cage with a thin layer of sawdust to soak up any urine. To maintain scrupulous cleanliness, the penetrating odour must be taken care of, and it is advisable to remove the soiled material every morning using the scraper and to replace it with fresh sawdust. If the floor slopes slightly towards the front of the cage, and a gutter of zinc-plate is placed at the front (see Fig. 21), the urine can be drained away. Because cats prefer semi-darkness, place the cage in a room which is not too light, but which can be easily ventilated and draught-free, and which can be kept uniformly warm by a stove in winter. It is particularly advisable to provide heating during the colder season if you are raising one of the exotic breeds as they are more susceptible to cold than the ordinary domestic cat.
Fig. 21. Breeding cage
Selection of Breeding Animals
If several breeding females are kept, one tomcat will be sufficient, but they must all be housed separately i.e. one per cage, especially during the mating season and while the kittens are being raised, because keeping them together at these times would lead to fighting. Only when you want them to mate should you put a female in with the tomcat for a few days. In this respect there should be no problems with breeding cats, but it is important to take great care when selecting breeding animals.
For example, suppose you want to breed Angora cats. First of all, avoid mating blood-related animals together as inbreeding adversely affects the size and the quality of the fur, and the offspring will inherit defects and degenerate. The state of health must also be considered; do not breed from any weak or sickly animals. The breeding animals should be vigorous, have no obvious physical defects and should not be too young. The tomcat should be 1 1/2 years old and the female at least 1 year old. Always avoid mating a cat that is too old with one that is too young; it is advisable to select cats that are around the same age. The best offspring are obtained from animals in full vigour. The eyes of the mother must be clear, and her skin free of rashes or scabs. If the parents are healthy then the same can be expected of their progeny.
It is also advisable to breed on the basis of colour and to only breed cats of the same colour together. If a kitten of a different colour unexpectedly appears in a litter (a throwback to the ancestors of one of the parents), then they are not suitable for breeding for the chosen colour. You should, therefore, breed white to white, grey to grey, etc., and by this process you should obtain cats that breed true for colour after a few years. It should be noted that you have to change the tomcat after the first year and to use a different stud in order to bring in fresh blood.
If you breed aristocratic cats according to these brief instructions, as they are bred in England, France, and America, you will not only enjoy breeding these valuable domestic animals, you will also cover your costs because they are sought after and command good prices.
However, such an undertaking remains a costly and extravagant hobby which is bothersome and time-consuming and also places a significant strain on the purse. But if you have good stock and yu are a true cat-lover you might indulge yourself in the certainty that breeding cats is a pleasantly entertaining occupation for free hours and it offers numerous opportunities to observe the catsí characters and provides a rich source of study.
In contrast to the dog, the cat can be described as a blushing creature because carries out her liaisons with her beau in private places and not right in front of people in the middle of the street like dogs do. This is one of the tasteful properties of the cat. It modestly cat withdraws from our sight and carries out its romantic encounters in the dark of night with only the moon as a witness.
While this act is hidden from our eyes, our ears must pay twice over! Can there by anyone who has been sleeping like a baby on a peaceful moonlit night, who has not been rudely awakened by the discordant, shattering catsí concert that is said to "drive men mad?" In his fables (Wien, 1870, p. 49) Lichtwer brilliantly describes such a concert in the following verses:
Animals and people are soundly sleeping,
Even the household priest is silent,
When a crowd of guests come creeping,
And climbing to the eaves and ridges.
Above the rooms of the wealthy they ascended
Where these suitors sang such a song
To melt the stony heart of their intended,
All the while driving men mad.
Above Hinz, the Murnersí father-in-law,
They wailed their lamentation,
And two tomcats, much scarred by war,
Sang like tormented souls .
And then the horde of cats were howling,
Crashing about the roofs and screaming,
Hissing and wailing, scratching and howling,
Until the householder woke up.
He leapt from his bed, seizing his staff
Blundering around the dark hallway,
Striking the mirror, which fell with a crash,
Overturning a dozen bowls,
Then, stumbling over a pile of wood chips,
He knocks over the hall-way clock,
Breaking two rows of teeth as he slips;
He discovers that blind rage is painful!
From countless throats, in all keys, comes a cacophony of squawking, screaming, snarling and agonised wailing, like the sound of tormented spirits being unleashed from hell. Your ears are immediately stunned by the deafening, unholy chorus. Then there is a pause, but this is deceptive - the long-tailed singers in this concert are merely exhausted. Then the lead singer begin to play the second movement, and the others gradually join in again. Soon the chorus is in full voice again, rich in tones, trills and runs, Pianos, Fortes, and Allegros, becoming quite unbearable to anyone who needs their sleep.
All the neighbourhood cats join in with nocturnal love songs from surrounding roofs; every tomcat around trying to seduce his sweetheart with particularly affectionate love-songs, and Kitty answers them in soulful soprano tones. Anyone haunted by the musical performances of these nocturnal, long-tailed, velvet-pawed, pampered disturbers of the peace, swears bitter vengeance on the evil creatures.
On these occasions, there are often murderous fights between the rivals, because just like minstrels in the Middle Ages, they are striving for the attention of a beautiful womany!
All these solicitations make it an exciting time for Kitty and she often strays from home for a few days, sometimes for a whole week or even longer. But well-behaved and well-kept cats remember their social graces during the mating season and they return home from time to time to eat a meal. In general, they rest completely after about 8 - 14 days. The urge to mate is quite obvious in female cats because they become restless and are driven by unconscious impulses to display unusual coquetry, such as fawning on strange objects, rolling around on the floor, and often leaving the house - contrary to her usual habits Ė straying further afield than usual, and pursuing any wandering tomcat in the vicinity.
Her passion brings out the inner excitement in any tomcat she encounters, he wanders silently and restlessly, spraying evil-smelling urine everywhere in a frankly annoying manner. He skips meals even though he is normally punctual, he scorns human affection and loses interest in food. Only when the mating season nears its end does he return home Ė unkempt, emaciated and ravenously hungry. It takes several days of rest and sleep to restore him back to his old self.
PREGNANCY AND BIRTH
The pregnancy of the domestic cat lasts 55 - 56 days. In the first period of pregnancy there is scarcely any change, not even in her habits; but in the last eight days she becomes decidedly unpleasant, shunning your affection and seeking out private places. She loses her appetite and eats less, occasionally drinking from her milk bowl. Well-cared-for cats, who are accustomed to their ownerís affections, enjoy company towards the end of their pregnancy, but timid and shy cats avoid contact with people and look for quiet secluded places such as haylofts, barns, etc. Regardless of temperament, they all need peace and quiet, a room that is not too bright, and a soft bed where they can give birth.
We once had a cat that always made her birthing bed in the stable with the dogs. She then brought the kittens into the house one by one and the little family set up camp in a suitable place. She has never deviated from this habit. A neighbour's cat, on the other hand, who was very accustomed to the house, always raised her kittens in the barn even though she had a lair in a space behind the stove. She wanted to remain absolutely unobserved.
We have always been cautious with expectant mother cats, and provided them with a large, shallow box filled with soft hay, in which they tended to make themselves a nest. Nearby we placed a bowl of warm milk, to which was added of a few drops of good olive oil, and they made extensively use of this.
Usually the birth is uneventful and straightforward; new mothers sometimes have difficulties with their first litter, but they usually know how to help themselves. After giving birth, the mother is visibly tired and needs to be left in peace for several hours. During that time she thoroughly licks and cleans her young, bites off the umbilical cords and suckles them.
The number of offspring varies according to the age of the cat. Young cats usually have 2 - 3, older cats have 2 - 5 or even more. They give birth twice a year, usually at the end of April or at the beginning of May, hence the name "Aprilkatze or Maikatze" and towards the end of August. There are exceptions, but these are the normal times of the year for giving birth.
Kittens are born blind, and the cares for them and keeps them clean, making sure that the weaker ones are not completely ousted by the stronger ones. The young kittens suckle until satiated and then digest their meal while sleeping. This is largely the pattern for the first 8 days. The watchful mother supervises a large litter by arranging her clumsy offspring on her milk-filled breasts so that each one gets a fair portion; she also keeps the nest clean and eats their waste products, a behaviour found in almost all predators and in dogs.
During this time, she only leaves the nest to eat and relieve herself; after satisfying these needs, she quickly returns to the nest so her little ones donít get chilled. During this time she needs abundant food, especially milk and milk-forming food, so that she can produce enough milk for her kittens.
If you donít intend to raise the whole litter, then you should remove and kill the selected unwanted kittens during the first three days, when the mother is out of the nest to eat or relieve herself. No caring person will kill one of the youngsters in the presence of the adults. You must kill them in a humane and painless manner. It is decidedly barbaric to simply throw them into water Ė this is an agonizing death. If you cannot dispatch them with a strike to the nose or to the back of the head, pack them in a not-too-thick cloth, so that the water penetrates quickly, weight this down with a stone and submerge this completely in the water. If there is no stream or river nearby, a deep bucket of water will suffice for carrying out this unpleasant act. If the killing occurs after the first two or three days, or when the kitten has reached eight or fourteen days old, it will cause great anguish to the mother, and a more painful death to the better-developed kitten.
Around the ninth day, the kittensí eyes are starting to open; at first only a narrow slit is noticeable, which widens until the eye is fully open. The mother tries to speed this process by diligently licking the opening eyes; if this does not succeed it is necessary to gently wipe the kittensí eyes with a soft sponge and lukewarm water, but take care not to make it too wet as this will cause inflammation. The wet sponge must first be squeezed out, and only then should it be used to moisten the eyelids. At first the kittens are unaccustomed to the bright daylight and remain listless and dull, but after a few days they become animated and their eyes become more mobile, losing the fixed stare. At birth, the kittensí ears are very small and nearly motionless at birth, but they begin to stiffen at around eight days, by which time they have grown considerably, and they are more mobile as they react to sound. As soon as their eyes and ears have opened, the amusing creatures try to creep around in the nest, but at this stage they are still awkward, though they are getting much livelier, even when suckling. They suckle furiously, accelerating the milk flow by kneading their motherís teats. Their stomachs requires greater amounts of milk now that they are growing fast. To support their growth and raise strong kittens, the mother needs an abundant supply of good food. Only then can she feed her hungry family without suffering herself.
REARING, WEANING AND TRAINING KITTENS
How long the young cats should be kept with the mother depends only on her milk supply. If she continues to produce ample milk it is advisable to keep the kittens with her until her milk begins to dry up because there is no substitute for motherís milk. However, there are sometimes cases where her milk dries up at an early stage, or where doesnít produce sufficient milk to properly feed the kittens. If that happens, it is necessary to come to her aid and make up the deficit by artificially providing milk if the kittens are still too young to drink on their own. You need a small baby-bottle fitted with a small rubber teat; place the artificial teat into the kittenís mouth and will start to suck at once.
Weaning is a difficult time for kittens; they can get stomach upsets due to the withdrawal of their mother's milk and the change of diet. During the first week of weaning it is advisable to give them a little sweetened cow's milk during the day, until they become accustomed to the change of food. Incidentally, it doesnít matter if they continue to use their milk bowl and it is advisable not to take this away during their first six months. Once their growth is well advanced and they are sufficiently strong should the milk be progressively diluted with water.
In the fifth to sixth week, their milk-teeth have developed sufficiently that the kittens are able to chew solid food, and this is the best time to begin the weaning process. Weaning must be a gradual process, otherwise it could be disastrous for the young animals. They must be encouraged to try other foods; the best weaning food is lukewarm milk with white bread soaked in it. If the mother still allows it without protest, let the kittens to suckle as well. If you follow this process for a few days, the kittens will be safely weaned. The mother is the best judge of when it is time to push the kittens away from her nipples, this will be when their needle-sharp teeth make it too uncomfortable for her. After this, she will probably try to catch some mice, not just to entertain her offspring, but also to give them the opportunity to try out their teeth and claws.
Now the antics of the young cats start to become interesting. The now well-developed kitties romp around clumsily and comically as they awkwardly try to catch the already mangled mouse that their mother has brought them. Each of them wants to be the first to catch the preys, and in their enthusiastic attempts to do so, they lose their balance. They leap round here and there, rolling around and crowding together, until the most accomplished kitten finally succeeds in catching the now almost-dead mouse near the end and shoves his siblings aside with a smug purr.
In this first attempt at hunting, they little devils already show the catís true nature. The doomed mouse attempts to escape and, eyes sparkling, the kittens make repeated attacks on it. Thwarted, the victim is dragged around until it shows no sign of life. Their mother watches the hustle and bustle with pleasure, stepping in when the mouse threatens to escape from the practising kittens. She gives guidance on how to grasp and catch it, in short, she often gives observers the impression that she is directing and regulating her kittensí play.
Everything attracts the attention of the small, curious kitties, everything has to be investigated, and everything they find provokes them into high spirits. It might be a piece of straw, a scrap of paper, a rag, a piece of yarn, and the like, which amuses them and which they bat back and forth with their paws, and when any object starts rolling the fun never ends. The whole group romps and chases after it, jumping over each other, jumping onto and biting each other, until they tire out and return to the den.
After a short time, the kittens lose their clumsy nature, and their suppleness and agility increases. Their eyes become more expressive, the baby-blue colour has turned into yellow-green, and their little ears start to give them distinct facial expressions. Even in the nest, the mother gets no rest, she has to put up with their exuberance and let it all go over head.
The motherís tail is regarded as a particularly attractive toy, and she can keep them occupied as they wrestle with her twitching tail. . With imperturbable calmness, she patiently lets everything pass over her; if get too cheeky and annoying, she tells them off with a smack on the nose.
It is absolutely delighting to watch the comic antics of a cat family; no other pet, not even the dog, gives such tender and affectionate care to its young as a mother cat.
Truly no other animal, especially none of our domestic animals, does the mother show such profound, tender, nurturing, and self-sacrificing maternal care as cat. She shows great tenderness towards to her young; her devotion to them is unsurpassed. She carefully licks and washes her little ones, attending closely to their well-being, she thinks only about her family. She is completely absorbed in carrying out her maternal duties and pays little heed to anything else; even her affection for her owner does not for one moment eclipse her devotion to her brood. She is perfectly content when she rests in her nest, surrounded by her kittens, and even when they have grown quite a bit larger she remains devoted to their care.
She regards her growing offspring with obvious pride, and is often the initiator of their high-spirited games and excuses, teaching them the skills they will need when they have left childhood behind. If the young leave her for any reason, she sinks into indescribably misery. For days she cries mournfully for them and goes out searching, and if this does not bring them back to her she returns again and again to the same places, hunting for them to bring them back the nest. If, on the other hand, you leave one of them with her, she will be content and lavish all her affection and attention on it. When she plays with her kittens, she acts like a kitten herself.
There are plenty of cases on record where a mother cat whose kittens have died or been taken away, has accepted and raised the young of another animal as lovingly as if they were her own, even if they would normally be her prey. Brehm tells of a cat that nursed a young squirrel. When this young cat had her first litter, she was given a baby squirrel, the only survivor of a litter that he had hoped to raise. The other siblings of the cute little rodent had died despite his care so he decided to see if the cat would accept the little orphan. The cat fulfilled the trust placed in her. Right from the outset she tenderly raised this foreign child as her own, suckling it and keeping it warm and giving it motherly love. Under her care, the squirrel flourished with his stepsisters and remained with his foster mother after they had already been given away. After that she displayed twice as much love towards the creature. They formed a relationship as intimate as was possible. The cat mother and her foster child understood each other perfectly, though the cat used ďcat talkĒ and the squirrel replied in a growl. Soon he followed his nurse all around the house and later followed her into the garden. Following his natural instincts, the squirrel climbed easily and nimbly into a tree. The mother cat blinked up at him, apparently puzzled by this greenhornís precocious skill, and she inelegantly clambered up behind him. Both animals played together, and even when her squirrel played too mischievously their mutual affection continued and the patient cat never tired of their games. Later on, this same cat nursed young rabbits, rats, and puppies of large dogs, and her own progeny became splendid mothers and likewise became foster mothers of other orphaned creatures.
It is said that a female cat will even accept a young mouse if she has no other nurslings, though it is hard to imagine that a young mouse can hold onto the catís nipples to suckle.
My own experience is further evidence of a catís great care. Our Fox Terrier bitch "Thora" whelped nine pups and at the same time our "Kitty" had two kittens. To see whether Kitty would adopt a young puppy, we placed one of them into her nest and to our great surprise she accepted it and let it nurse as though it were one of her own children. This prompted us to give her two more puppies and these were also accepted readily. All three puppies thrived wonderfully and grew up to be on the best of terms with their step-siblings and their foster mother. Even when they had grown into young dogs they were closer to their foster mother than to their real mother.
The following case comes from a hunterís tale told ďHubertus.Ē To begin with, Herr Baron von LŲwen or GršfenbrŁck in ThŁringia received a new-born rabbit. The motherless infant seemed to be on its last legs already and he tried to raise it by bottle-feeding. His attempts proved unsuccessful. Their housecat had just had a litter so her own offspring were at once taken away from her and the young wild creature was pushed under her. At first she was puzzled about this false state of affairs, but soon the old cat allowed this changeling step-child to nurse. By now this isnít some miracle of animal life because such cases are not without precedent. But a comical intimacy developed between the foster mother and the child usurper developed into a powerful ďHopalongĒ thanks to her fortifying motherís milk.
The adult cat gave her foster child a mouse she had just caught and tried to teach him to catch mice in a way that was as "psychologically" interesting as it was side-splittingly funny. When her pupil proved too clumsy she hissed at him and boxed his ears. But all this loving trouble was in vain. The horrified mother forgot these lessons in mouse-catching when she found her pupil eating grass. However, her natural enmity towards grass-eaters in no way reduced her maternal tenderness. Just as before, the foster mother played tenderly her rogue changeling child. Every day she brought him a pilfered piece of meat or a snatched mouse in as proof of her maternal affection. The rabbit became as large and tame as a spoiled lapdog. When he heard the landlord call, he went at once to be petted along with the dogs. He also remained on the best of terms with his old foster mother.
Such cases where a cat, in the absence of its own kittens, adopts and becomes a devoted foster-mother to other young animals, is not uncommon and I could describe many more such cases.
Gieble, says Brehm, declared such evidence of maternal love and adoption to be as follows: "At this time, Kitty,Ē i.e. the time when the cat has her own young, "entirely puts aside her normal predatory instincts and will even nurse rats, mice, rabbits, hares and dogs, when these are put to her breast. Even though the foster-mother shows great attachment, this is not truly love, it takes the fosterlings only to satisfy the urge to nurse that comes from her mammary glands and teats ". But Brehm believes that this interpretation is not entirely accurate, and he states: "it is said that a mother catís urge to nurse young, once their own kittens have been taken away, is so strong that they will let older kittens nurse again, or even abduct other infants such as puppies, baby rabbits, young rats and the like and place these on their overflowing nipples. However, to me, this does not decide the argument because there are known cases where the kittens have not been taken away and where the nursing mother will accept and nurture another speciesí helpless orphans. It is not solely about alleviating the discomfort caused by swollen teats, but their maternal love for their own children awakens their good nature, or even charity, because their predatory urges are abolished at this time. If Kitty is robbed of her kittens she is even more eager to adopt others, but I also believe the mother cat harbours affection towards all baby animals. If, there is any animal that unmistakably exhibits what we term ďmother loveĒ it is surely the cat. To doubt or quibble this shows a total lack of understanding of the expression of her soul. You should watch a mother cat with her children, and you will certainly reach a different opinion."
FOOD AND FEEDING
Both its dentition and its lifestyle ranks the cat as a carnivores, and its preferred diet is likely to be wild prey. In the wild, cats eat mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, from the smallest right up to the largest size they can cope with.
The domestic cat is a pronounced carnivore, even if it accepts vegetable food. If it is completely deprived of meat, it becomes weak and will look for every opportunity to get hold of meat. As a result, if a household cat is deprived of meat, or is not given sufficient meat in its diet, it will compensate by resorting to thievery or will take matters into its own hands by catching birds.
The main prey of a well-bred housecat is rats and mice; many eat their catch while others get great satisfaction from catching and killing rodents, but spurn its flesh. Either way, they catch them with enthusiasm and often bring their catch to their masterís feet. We had a cat that regularly brought us each mouse or rat she caught into the house, mewing, she put these at our feet then went off to catch more. There were often dozens of killed mice in the kitchen.
Apart from rats and mice, the cat consumes lizards, frogs, snakes, beetles and grasshoppers. Fish seems to be a special treats and for this this favourite food she will put up with anything, even salted or pickled herring is included, from which the term ďkatzenjammerĒ (kitty-whine or "hangover") may have originated. Cats have even been observed to be skilful at fishing, but I donít know to what extent the following story, from the "Plymouth Journal" (1828), is based on truth. "In the Devil's Peak Fort (in Plymouth) lives a cat who catches fish very efficiently. Fishing has become a regular habit for her. Every day she dives into the sea, catching fish and carrying them in the mouth to the sailors room where she sets them down. This cat is now seven years old and has always been a good mouser, and one suspects that hunting for water rats has taught her to dive after fish. The water is now as essential to her as it is to the Newfoundland dog and she takes daily walks on the rocky shore, ready to dive into the sea to catch prey at any moment. "
During a ten-year stay in Hamburg we have had almost daily opportunities to observe how the cats followed the fish-wives through the streets in the hope of receiving scraps. Early in the morning, when the loud-voiced women are hawking fresh sea fish from the newly arrived fishing boats, the cats are already out of their homes by the dozen, ready to snatch the severed heads and entrails of plaice, tongues etc. You normally buy fish after the head and entrails have been removed so these are freely given to the ever-numerous housecats.
Our own observations regarding the preference for fish meat and the skill of the cats in fishing comes from observing them take goldfish, veil-tails etc. from the indoor aquarium. We have never encountered a fishing cat out of doors.
Reliable reporters have told us of the public feeding of cats in Rome, London and Paris, but during a short stay in London we saw nothing of the kind though we are assured that cats are publicly fed in several districts.
Michel has reported the following:. "Even today the Romans love cats very much and they are fed in a special way in Rome. The knacker, or certain men who buy the flesh of fallen animals from the knacker, carry poles draped with meat at both ends through the streets. Hearing the distinctive cry of these men, cats congregate from all corners and sit in the doorways and the meat is thrown for them. The catsí owners have to pay a small monthly fee for this service. The same is done in Geneva, where street cats are as numerous as dogs in Constantinople (now known as Istanbul). The most spectacular is the catís meat business in London. Each week 200,000 pounds of meat is used for this purpose (dogs are also fed). A pound of meat costs an average of 2 1/2 pence, meaning £2,000 sterling used for maintaining cats each week. Mayhew estimates there to be a thousand meat dealers involved in the cat and dog food trade, earning £50 sterling per year. The number of cats living in London he estimates at approximately 300,000 ".
Milk for cats is always a treat and you should never withhold it otherwise they will snack, as they are fond of sweets of all kind. Milk and bread, vegetables and meat, sweet soups, etc., should be fed to cats regularly and served in clean bowls. A well-fed domestic cat always gives a better impression than a neglected one, and is grateful for good care and kind words. As a rule, well-kept cats are still good exterminators of rats and mice, while neglected cats become avid bird hunter. For information about feeding young cats see the section on "Breeding etc."
After finishing her meal the cat, like other animals, likes peace, and she curls up, purring, in her bed to care for herself. If you allow her this rest during the day she will be a more diligent hunter of vermin at night.
THE CATíS SENSES
Cats have highly developed vision, which is true of all animals that pursue a largely nocturnal lifestyle. The catís eye is quite large and the pupil of the eye is able to contract and expand depending on the amount of light. This is thanks to the highly developed sensitivity of the iris, which makes the pupil contract to a very fine vertical slit in bright daylight or sunlight, and allows it to expand to a large circular hole in the darkness. The catís retina is very bright, similar to that of the night-time birds: owls, etc., and you could say of the cat's eye, "It glows like a coal." The Chinese use this peculiarity of the cat's eye to tell what time of day it is.
As for the colour of the eyes, this is pretty varied , especially in domestic cats. In his book "Life of domestic cat" Martin writes as follows: "In the wild species of cat the eye colour is generally similar to that of the surrounding hair, something that speaks of a certain adaptability. For example in the lion, its hair is almost the same colour as the iris of its eye, which of course is mottled with finely-grained lines. Similarly, the tiger, the cougar (Puma), Panther and the wildcat are all similar to our normal-coloured domestic cat. However, abnormal fur colour also causes abnormal eye-colour. Even in these seemingly arbitrary colours nature sets down and follows rules which we will now consider in more detail.
Letís be clear on one point and start with the infants - all young cats, like almost all other young animals, are born with consistently blue-grey eyes. This is because the iris of the newbornís eye (and human beings are no exception) still lacks pigment and this gradually forms down during later development. As the body develops, the blue-grey colour soon disappears. On the other hand, where the body has little or no pigment, as with most white cats and dogs, geese, etc. and with light blond people who usually have blue or blue-grey eyes. There are exceptions and white cat have yellow eyes.
Darwin, in Variat. II, p. 436, states white cats with blue eyes are almost always deaf. If, however, the kittens has even the smallest spot of colour on the fur they will have normal hearing. If only one eye is blue the cat will not be not be deaf. White cats with non-blue eyes are never deaf. This applies to English, Persian, Danish and French cats.
Martin thinks it would be strange if the observations of the otherwise sharp-eyed Darwin was not applicable to German blue-eyed white cats with blue eyes he says that he has seen many such cats and none were deaf. However, he had noticed that such cats were always extremely weak and ill-tempered due to other weakness linked to the lack of colour pigment . He was willing to be taught a lesson, if he had made a mistake in his antipathy to white cats.
Personally, I have always had a certain preference for white cats, particularly Angoras, and know of two cases where blue-eyed white cats were totally deaf while others had weak hearing and some could hear normally.
The blue or blue-grey colour changes with age into yellow or brown or is entirely absorbed into a yellow to yellow-green colour. The iris of a normally coloured, grey-striped cat, is closest in colour to wild cats, according to Martin, being green-toned greyish-yellow, while the beautiful blue tabby cat has a more yellow eye, the solid grey cat has lighter yellow eyes than piebald and tortoiseshell cats. Finally the solid black cat has beautiful bright yellow eyes.
After sight, the catís hearing is one of the most highly developed senses and these senses work together when stalking the prey with both being equally important. There is no doubt that the structure of the eye enables the cat to clearly even in complete darkness and this is undoubtedly greatly supported by its acute hearing. Due to its sharp sight, the cat is able to stalk its prey from an elevated position. The catís attention is attracted by things that are far distant and in young cats that are watching flying birds, it is quite obvious that they can still see these when they have long since vanished from human view.
We donít believe that the cat's gaze has anything wrong with it or is unsteady. Anyone with much experience of cats believes its gaze of intimacy and attention towards their kind carer to be beyond comparison. Its entire soul is reflected in its gaze. When a person stares at them they gaze back without flinching whereas the dog will quickly lower his gaze. Unlike the cat, the dog cannot maintain eye contact.
The cat's highly-tuned hearing apparatus is due to the developed petrous part of the temporal bone, and, as with all high-bred animals its ear produces a lot of earwax and in healthy animals the whole ear is moistened with this. In sick cats the wax produced by the glands dries out, and in cases of severe disease this results in deafness or noticeably reduced hearing.
Regarding the acuity of the catís hearing, Lenz gives the following account: "One day I settled down to read on a bench in the warmth and quiet of my courtyard, in the shade of some trees when there came purring and wheedling from my kitten who clambered onto my shoulder and head as was his usual habit. This disturbed my reading so I put a cushion on my lap especially for him, gently placed my kitten onto it and after ten minutes he seemed to be fast asleep, while I read quietly and birds sang around us. Suddenly he cat jumped backwards with a start. I watched him in astonishment. A little mouse ran noiselessly across the smooth pavement from one bush to another. I measured the distance, over which the kitten had heard the mouse - it was a full 14 metres."
Martin mentions an even greater distance. "The distance over which a cat's ear can hear the skittering of a mouse, is determined by the surrounding noise or quietness. Distances of 30 to 40 steps have been observed, and this be even further in the silence of night-time."
Furthermore, during the breeding season, it appears that cats can hear the screams and shouts of their comrades over quite a distance back and answer them immediately.
The sense of smell is probably the least developed of the catís senses because it has a short nose and its olfactory nerves do not wind over a long distance inside the nose. In spite of this, its sense of smell is not completely suppressed and a cat is well aware of the smells coming from a nearby kitchen and pantry and can enjoy the attractive odours of their contents. Valerian (Valerianum officinalis) and Cat Thyme (Teucrium Marum) always drives them mad. According to Blasius in his book "The Vertebrates of Germany": "If you lay a few stems or leaves of these plants somehere, you can be sure that cats from all over the neighbourhood will turn up arrive from the neighbourhood will soon turn up to roll around in this herb."
Regarding this preference for those scents, Martin continues: "This is completely correct and it is very amusing to watch the mad activity as they fall upon it and do not stop until they are completely intoxicated and fall into a kind of stupor. "
The catís sense of taste, at least that of the domestic cat is not sophisticated, but is good enough that they can tell the difference between the foods served to them. The tongue is covered with a lot of backwards-pointing hooks or horny warts, giving it a very rough texture. In the larger wild cats, such as the tiger, lion, etc, their tongues are so rough that it can shred meat from bones and can lick hairless skin until it is bloody. Strong-smelling meat that dogs consider a treat is left untouched by cats, as is sour milk and prepared foods, a sign that her sense of taste is not completely dulled. On the contrary, the cat is a picky eater, very clean in her eating habits and also loves dainties.
The sense of touch needs to be extraordinary in such a highly developed predator as the cat, and it finds its climax in the whiskers or bristles of her moustache. The lips are also very sensitive. The whiskers are rooted tissue well-supplied with nerves and can feel the slightest touch. A cat deprived of its whiskers becomes miserable and does not regain its full zest for life until they have regrown. It has fifteen whiskers on each side; they are arranged in four regular rows and the middle ones are the longest.
But itís not only the whiskers that are highly sensitive, the catís whole fur, so to speak, every single hair shares this sensitivity, and when accidentally touched with some object, the catís whole skin twitches. Its extremely mobile ears are remarkably sensitive to strong drafts, dripping rain, and the like cause discomfort. Even the naked soles of its feet shy away from any unpleasant touch.
It is also known that when you brush against a cat in the dark its hair gives off electrical sparks. Martin says, "We can only guess what extent the electricity in the fur is associated with feeling as we have no direct experience, but in any case the cat gets a great sense of wellbeing from lying in the sun for long periods of time and the fur collects a large amount of electricity which you can hear crackling when you brush fur that has been puffed up in the sunís heat. It is noticeable that black cats show this most intensely - they practically sparkle when you stroke fur the fur of a still warm black cat backwards and forwards. You canít perform this experiment for very long because even very friendly cats quickly become impatient at such treatment.
On hot, stormy days, cats become very uneasy and ill-tempered, they are frightened of every flash of lightning and clap of thunder, their fur stands on end and they look for hiding places.
In his letters on Calabria and Sicily of 1791, Bartels wrote about catsí reactions during the terrible earthquake of 1783: the cats arched their backs, their hair stood bristly, their eyes watered and were bloodshot and they screamed horribly. Two cats in Messina tried to dig through the floor before the first shocks struck, repeating their futile efforts a second and third time. As soon as the door was opened they ran out into the city and tried conceal themselves in the earth. Then the shaking started kicks and many houses collapsed, including the house belonging to the Kaufmanns, to whom the two cats belonged.
It is interesting to see how, in the past century, catsí hair has been used in electrifying machines; instead of resin-sulphur or glass cylinders, cat hairs were cylindrically stretched, and were used to make the electric force. Hairs from black cats were best for this purpose.
Humming and purring is a peculiarity of cats and is caused by the formation of the larynx. This consists of five pieces of cartilage: the shield, the ring, two canal-like cartilages, and the epiglottis. There are two small wedge-shaped cartilages at the margin of the larynx in the mucous membrane. These cartilages are connected by fine membranous ribbons; the upper ones form the so-called vocal cord. Beneath these cords are two fine membranes which are responsible for the well-known "hum" and "purr." Sometimes a cat doesnít purr, or it just makes an indistinct rattling sound, due to some malformation, but the ability to purr is generally present from an early age, and young nursing kittens express their well-being by purring. As they grow older, and also if they grow obese, they gradually lose their purr and it becomes more muffled.
Angora cats, which are highly valued, are fed and looked after carefully and are tend to become fat and lazy, purr less and their purr is not as expressive as that of the ordinary domestic cat. Ill cats, on the other hand, are rarely heard purring from which we can conclude that the cat purrs vigorously and continuously when it is in the peak of health.
CHARACTERISTICS OF CATS
Cleanliness. Domestic cats are definitely one of the cleanest animals, since healthy cats attach importance to their toilet and are eager to keep themselves tidy. A cleaning cat is probably the most graceful picture of feline life. This activity is usually carried out in a seated position; first she licks one fore-paw, and then the other, with her rough tongue, and starts behind her ears and brushes the paw forward across her face until she has groomed these to her satisfaction. Once she has finished grooming her head and face she starts on her chest and the rest of her body. These are groomed, polished and smoothed down until everything seems spotless. Cats never rush their grooming, they proceed in a leisurely and through manner.
With respect to grooming cats, their cleaning and washing has led people to caller her a "weather prophet": "When the cat is getting dressed, there will be rain," but this does not make her a reliable weather forecaster!
Unwell cats clean themselves less or not at all, depending on their condition.
The catís cleanliness is also shown in its personal habits; for it always tries to cover up its waste with sand, earth, etc. Young cats are easy to train to use a shallow crate containing sand or ashes for their lavatory. Young cats learn to use this facility in a few days and you no longer need to worry about them messing in the room or even on furniture and beds. A good education helps greatly in this respect, and no a cat lover or a cat lover will shy away from this small task.
Cosiness and Tranquillity. After a cat has enjoyed her meal, she succumbs to a pleasant rest, and, in order to enjoy an undisturbed rest, she usually seeks out a sunlit area or, if allowed, the warmth of the stove. She usually curls up to doze, more rarely lying on one side. But she often stretches out straight to allow the sunís warm rays or the warmth from the oven to sooth her body. At night, on the other hand, when she is not out mousing or meeting suitors, she likes to bed down in her hay-filled box or some other den, and neither are available she will settle down in a suitable spot.
After waking up, or if merely tired of lying down, she first stretches and straightens. She curves her back upwards and rubs herself against the legs of tables and chairs etc. After she has now paid a brief visit to her milk bowl she starts to wash herself. Without any hurry she licks her coat, smoothing it down, and after she has put it in order, she heads straight to the house and yard.
We must allow the cat to rest and not disturb it without good reason because they need peace and quiet to ensure good health.
Attachment. The cat, like all animals that are treated lovingly when young, exhibits affection when interacting with humans. Abandoned animals, cast out and ill-treated have no attachment to, or confidence in, the "Lords of Invention." Those feelings are completely transformed into fear, mistrust and shyness. Anyone who has ever owned cats and cared well for them cannot deny their attachment and affection.
Many cats remain tenaciously attached to the dwelling they have grown up in. There are plenty of examples of cats that have moved to a new home, but have not settled down there and they have returned to their old dwelling. We have several accounts of this, even among highly-bred animals. Why cats remain so attached to their old home isnít known and it will probably be difficult to investigate and understand this. Cats will even cover long distances through unfamiliar territory in order to return to their familiar home. On such hikes, the cat develops a great sense of direction and, even in the most difficult situation she overcomes any obstacle in her path. She will overcome streams and rivers, forests and mountains, not letting anything stand in her way in her struggle to get back to her old home.
Cats are wrongly accused of falseness. "False as a cat" is a popular saying, but is quite untrue. Of course, we only have well-behaved animals before our eyes, and not those which, due to mistreatment at the hands and man have developed unpleasant qualities. When you observe a cat raising her young, when you see her devotion to a loving caretaker and how she accompanies him around the house and yard, how she follows his wishes and commands and accepts and returns his affection, you will surely learn differently and form a better opinion of her.
Elisabeth von Berge expresses this very well in her work "On Proverbial Sayings from Animal Life" (Animal Exchange 1896):
"It is generally said, to the point of becoming dogma, that cats are deceitful, while dogs are faithful. False, I ask you! No animal is false, or can be false, because falsity requires greater thought than even the most intelligent animal possesses. So what is this about the deceitfulness of the cat? I am told it is quite obvious: if you want to stroke a cat, she often strikes out with her paws, which is true. Only those cats who have been badly treated by people and who donít trust them do this. They donít know whether the will abused again so they defend themselves straight away. Does man not distinguish his friends from his enemies? If you pay a little attention, you will see that well treated cats never react that way.
If a dog growls at or bites a stranger, it is considered natural or justifiable, but if a cat does the same thing under the same conditions, we call them false. Is that fair? Certainly not, nor is it logical."
We canít deny that the cat is intelligent as she knows how to help herself in different situations, demonstrating careful thought and calculation. Brehm, in his "Animal Life", gives the following examples of the catís intelligence:
"Some cats give remarkable proof of their intelligence, and those belonging to bird-fancier are wise enough that they do not harm there masterís feathered friends.Ē Giebel observed that his beautiful tomcat, Peter, frequently brought a wagtail from the yard into the researcherís room, carrying it unharmed in his mouth without harming it when the bird tried to escape. I have heard the same thing from my home village, where a bird-fancier friendís cat brought a gift to her Ė this was a robin that had been sorely missed for several days, which the cat had not only recognized, but had captured in order to give joy to her master! The following story is also based on true facts. A cat lived on friendly terms alongside her masterís canary and put up with it sitting on her back and positively playing with her. One day her master noticed that his cat suddenly grabbed the canary, gripping it in her teeth and growling as she climbed onto the desk. He first shouted at her to let the bird go, and then noticed that a strange cat had entered the room. He then understood Pussyís intention. She had wanted to protect her friend from her sister whom she did not trust."
Friendships between cats and other animals are often observed, and from our own experience we can confirm that several of our cats lived together with dogs and poultry, visiting visited the feeding dishes together, and not interfering with each other in any way. The dogs, when brought up with cats from a young age, become accustomed to them and donít regard them as their mortal enemies. Chickens are not afraid of cats if they become accustomed to them from a young age, and the feisty cockerel knows how to deter cats from approaching his harem with staunch determination. Occasionally the mediating hand of a human being sometimes has to intervene, but these diverse characters can be educated live together peacefully even they donít form genuine deep friendships with each other. We have owned cats that not only ate with the dog from its food bowl, but also shared their den and lived peacefully and harmoniously together.
How often have you read that cats are very friendly with dogs and other animals, that they will adopt orphaned animals and raise them with as much care as they give to their own kittens? Cases are known where cats have nursed young hares, rabbits, squirrels, and even rats! An animal with these qualities, one that develops and manifests such self-sacrificing love cannot be false or evil, Just as the cat offers love, it also asks for it, and if it treated with affection by people it becomes one of the friendliest pets. Brehm also mentions that cats befriend other animals. There are many examples of the most intimate friendships between dogs and cats, which completely contradict the common proverbs about them. It is said of one cat that she liked her friend, the dog, to carry her to and fro about the room in its mouth. From others it is known that cats have helped their dog friends by biting, and also that they have been protected from catfights by dogs. Pechuel-Loesche had a cat which lived in friendship with an old Grey Parrot that called her by her name "Izabad"; she never took offence when the parrot woke her from sleep with a bite, and she always showed comical amazement when it mimicked her voice. They both sat together in the window, looking out into the street.
Training and Tricks. The opinion that a cat cannot be trained or do tricks is common, but is incorrect. Even though she is too independent and strong-willed to achieve the high level of training seen in a clever dog, it is possible to train a loving and well-behaved cat, and it is not particularly difficult to teach them some tricks. The main thing is patience and more patience, and absolutely no physical punishment. The cat will not tolerate punishment, and if she is put under any pressure she will resolutely resist being trained. Force will not teach her anything- she will only do it out of love for her caretaker. We once had a grey cat, that from childhood took pleasure at all gimmicks and that learned to perform some tricks perfectly. So she jumped through outstretched arms, through a hoop, over a stick, etc., as often as she was asked to do. She deftly caught pieces of meat or other delicacies, or jumped up high if you held these overhead. She retrieved like a dog, played "dead" and did various other things.
Pechuel-Loesche had a cat that, on command, retrieved thrown objects, jumped with pinpoint accuracy from the sofa-cushion over chairs, onto the table and then onto the shoulder where he stopped dead.
THE USEFULNESS OF CATS
Think about the dry, hot years when a plague of mice devastate the fields and meadows, and they wreak havoc on orchards and garden-fruits so that the farmer gets only a poor yield from his acres to store in the barn. If he is to preserve even part of it from the grey rodents that swarm into his barn at the beginning of autumn, what would he do without the help of the cat? In such years the cat is a real blessing to farmers, and they appreciate its usefulness, and at least view it with tolerance.
Poisoning is no use, besides which it can be disastrous to pets and livestock, and as long as they can find other food, the cautious rodents will avoid the poisoned bait and wonít go near any traps that are set for them; it seems that they warn each other of these. This is where the cat comes into its own. Anyone who has ever seen a cat in the barn as it watches and waits for the chance to cut short the lives of a number of these grey rodents will be fully convinced of the catís usefulness, even if she does catch the occasional incautious bird. Brehm, in his "Animal Life" (p. 440), gives an accurate account of the cat's tireless crusade against its favourite prey.
"It is astonishing what a cat can do in the extermination of the rats and mice, and to give an idea of numbers I will give the results of Lenz's investigations and observations: To know how much a cat does in the way of exterminating mice I have used the mouse plague year of 1857. I locked two light-yellow, tiger-striped half-Angora cats, aged 48 days, into a small stable furnished for such trials, giving them milk and bread every day, as well as 4 - 10 mice, which they devoured each time. When they were 56 days old, I gave them only milk and 14 adult or half-grown mice. The kittens ate everything, threw up none of them, were in excellent condition, and had their usual appetite the following day.
Shortly thereafter, when these known mice-eaters were released, I locked a tortoiseshell 5 1/2 month-old half-Angora cat in the same stable at 9 pm, and gave it no food for the night. The animal was miserable at being imprisoned and separated from its childhood playmates. The next morning I gave it a mixture of half milk half-water for its daily ration. I had a supply of 40 field mice and gave it a number of these at intervals. When, in the evening, the clock struck 9 p.m., that is, after 24 hours of imprisonment, it had eaten 22 mice, of which 11 were adult and 11 were half-grown. It did not throw up and was very well ...
That year my cats were busy catching and eating mice, but on the 27th of September, each of them ate 8 mice in the time of 1/2 hour, from which I extrapolated some figures.... After such experiences, I can assume that in mouse plague years, cats that are half-grown consume a daily average of 20 mice, thus throughout the year they consume 7,300 mice. In average mouse years, I estimate they consume 3,650 mice or an equivalent amount of rats ... By the way, from these observations , as well as observations be made in owls and buzzards that are given mice, it appears that mice provide very little nutrition, otherwise they could not be swallowed up in such large quantities without ill effect."
But the cats also have other uses, says Brehm; They eat harmful insects, and also kill poisonous snakes, not just vipers, but even the fearsome rattlesnake. Renger reported that more than once he saw how the cats in Paraguay hunted and killed rattlesnakes on sandy and grassless ground. They dextrously slapped the snake with a paw and then jumped out of the way of the striking rattlesnake. If the snake coils up, the cats donít attack it, but walk around it for a long time until the snake gets tired of turning its head towards the cat. But then they gave it another slap and again jump out of its way. With continued slaps they usually kill the snake within an hour, though they never eat it.
They are also passionately fond of hunting brown rats, field rats and water rats, and they track down their hiding-places, and lie motionless in wait for their prey to appear in order to jump on it at just the right moment and kill it with a strong bite. Eyes sparkling, purring and hissing, the huntress lies on her still twitching victim, revelling in its death throes, a picture of pure murder-lust.
In many places, the cat is eaten with great enjoyment, and wicked gossips claim that "Hinz" and "Kunz" are served in the restaurants of larger cities to unsuspecting guest in place of rabbit. As the saying goes, "what you donít know wonít hurt you!" But there really are people who prefer cat flesh over everything else and claim that it is unequalled for flavour. We did not try it! It is clear, however, that the enjoyment of cat flesh is more common in cities and many a well-loved Tommy or Pussy disappears without a trace.
The Parisians learned to appreciate roasted roasted cat during the siege, and the well-known Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire says that "cat-cutlets" were quite delicious for a midday meal during the siege of Paris. The white meat is said to be delicate and reminiscent of cold veal.
Cat skins are highly sought after and there is a lively trade in them. In particular, the winter skins of you young animals are greatly coveted. The most popular skins are those of black cats, and Holland is the best supplier of these, followed by Holstein, Pomerania, Bavaria, Switzerland, Salzburg and Styria, and even Russia forms a good part of this market. The various coloured skins are mostly dyed and processed into all kinds of fur. Depending on the colour and quality of the pelt, the price varies from 1 to 7 marks. Thus the cat is not only beneficial because they exterminate the agricultural vermin and household pests, but they contribute through their flesh and skin, and this is why cats deserve our charity and protection rather than mindless persecution.
THE DESTRUCTIVENESS OF CATS
The harmfulness of the domestic cat is generally exaggerated and opinions are very much divided in this respect. It is impossible to deny the fact that tramp cats are capable of causing damage, and this becomes a sensitive issue in the country because all cats have an innate tendency to wander.
The chance to go easily into the garden or field to hunt the birds there is just too tempting, and even a true cat-lover canít deny that when the cat has been seen roaming outdoors, she becomes a dangerous hunter. Cats, accustomed to an independent life, soon go wild, often get lost in the forest and lead a half-life. This an established fact, and it was generally well-known in earlier times, as various police ordinances satisfactorily demonstrate.
Such as that of the Archdiocesan Stentum and Elector's College, Coel, Hunting, Forestry, and Fishing Order of 1759, Part I, paragraph 32:
"After the daily experiences: As a result of the constant depredations of cats invading fields, and meadows, destroying young pheasant, field-hens and hare and ruining the hunt, all the subjects in our Archdiocese, without exception, shall crop their catsí ears flat to its head, upon pain of punishment by a fine of a Goldgulden, so that during dewy or rainy weather they can no longer run into the fields and meadows to eat the pheasants, and other small game.
That everyone shall be inspected monthly, and for every cat found with an ear, there will be a fine of a quarter of a Goldgulden, and in exchange for his duty the civil servant, coming from another parish, will be rewarded by 6 Stuber for every kitten found with an ear. In order to avoid disgrace each month, and continually resisting, there will be a proper register of all cats found with ears, with the names of their owners, ordering them to pay the above-mentioned fine, and to ensure no-one is excused through ignorance of this present prohibition, the relevant documents will be properly publicised to every elector in a proper place.
Certificate of this
May 12, 1747.
Clement August, Elector. "
Similar ordinances had previously been published everywhere; they aimed to keep cats from wandering in the fields by cutting off their ears. The disfigured animals especially shunned dewy and rainy days, as the ingress of water droplets into the unprotected ear caused them pain and discomfort. Such ordinances, however, seem to have gradually disappeared; at least they will probably not be in effect anywhere at the present time.
But the action of the so-called anti-cat clubs, which call for the complete destruction of the cats, is exaggerated. A much better contribution would be made by these associations, if they were to give instructions to the public, by means of pamphlets, etc., on how to properly treated and care for cats in order to raise them as pleasant domestic animals, to stop them breeding excessively. This would surely be a better service than their ruthless extermination crusade is directed against the poor mouse-destroyers in many places. The payment of premiums for handing in catsí tails undoubtedly attracts a dubious sort of person that support this barbarity and is not afraid to pursue this business in the most reprehensible manner, in order to earn some easy money.
Mr. Fr. von Kronoff expresses his righteous indignation in the following words: "Fin de siŤcle, we say, shrugging, in the face of adventurous inventions, Baroque fashion excesses, and hyped-up life extenders, and certainly not without justification, but our century (the 19th) must be in the final act, at the end of his skill, if an abomination can be made under the smokescreen of bird-friendly endeavours, such as reported from Munster in the morning of March 7, 1896. "The Anti-Cat Club, a club for enemies of the cat", held its General Assembly here on Friday, stating that the cat-killing movement has now taken on an almost international character: in the past year the Anti-Cat Club of Westphalia brought in 7,354 cat pelts. The sale of these pelts made a decent amount for financing numerous feeding places for birds during the winter, for hanging out nesting boxes and for procuring cat traps. With a triple "Hail valerian!", the chairman concluded the assembly. The "international importance" of the cruel principle Iím bigger than you!Ē did not need to be substantiated by the activity of these over-sensitive bird-lovers. The fact that none of the attendees seems to have recognized the miserable conclusion of the assembly as an embarrassing sign of foolishness, is a miracle of our time.
There must be sentimental people, so untroubled by atrocities, as they canít be thought of as ales than abominations, who are happy to spread food for the dear birds in the forest and fields. The fact that in this case the "end justifies the means" is doubtful because the above Annual Report has sparked a storm of protest, and from far and wide reports are piling up about the grisly effects of this Anti Cat Association, which has become the college of the latest strolling sport. There are idlers everywhere who, for the sake of easy money, are only too willingly lure the poor animals to them using valerian, and killing them in the most sophisticated ways possible. If the miserable victim succeeds in escaping his unscrupulous tormentors, the sight of the mutilated, wounded, blinded, battered, half-paralyzed creature is so horrible that you are tempted to curse that subtlety of human character that preaches only delusion and leads people down the wrong path.
We do not, therefore, appeal to those "sensitive bird-lovers" with an urgent request for the protection hopelessly persecuted cat; that it would be a pointless endeavour. Instead it urgently needs legal protection and for animal welfare associations and all good and noble people from all classes to stand up together for this. We especially turn to families at the approach of the summer holidays, whose weeks or months of absence make their loyal pets homeless, and condemn them to a life of roaming, poaching and running wild, and condemns them to certain ruination. Perhaps sooner or later some blessed person can discover a way to eradicate this weird cruelty-sickness, or discover an infallible method of implanting love and mildness into human nature. But until that great moment everyone wishing to combat this cruelty should work in his place and in his constituency according to divine law and right, otherwise the fin de siŤcle will be even worse than its reputation, and mercy will not triumph over those madmen whose road to prosperity is marked by bloody footprints! "
Any sentient animal-lover will agree with Mr. von Kronoffís indignation, and will thank him for his respectable advocacy against the senseless persecution of cats. I also want to clamp down on the despicable practices of the so-called "anti-cat clubs" and record my revulsion and opposition to this aberration. Mockery of their despicably activity, which goes against every sentiment, may, of course, result in threats.
As long as people preach hatred towards cats rather than educate and instruct people, the intolerance and the persecution of cats will not go away.
Now what harm does the cat really do? Itís true that some cats pester birds in the garden and fields and occasionally catch and eat birds, but it is hard to believe Ė and it is not proven - that they wreak havoc in this respect! Their harmfulness is however, fully offset by the undeniably great benefits they provide, especially in mouse-plague years and against the proliferation of rats.
Who is to blame for any harm that cats do? It is undoubtedly the owner because he did not take the trouble to raise and train the cat properly. If a cat is given the same treatment with respect to housing and feeding given to other pets, its harmful traits would diminish and would perhaps become less and less over the course of time. But too often it is chased away, tormented, kicked and is given no peace anywhere; it is hounded and ill-treated in all manner of ways by youths wherever it goes, there is no trace of loving treatment, it is ill-fed and not given enough to eke out an existence. This is too often the fate of thousands of ill-treated and misunderstood domestic cats. ďThey should catch mice!Ē is the order of the day, and when they are so hungry that they catch a sparrow or some other bird, even just once, we hear outcries of murder.
If you feed the cat properly, treat it properly, allow it indoors, give it a good sleeping place, punish it when it transgresses (but do so justly), then the cat can be trained and will become attached to the person who treats her lovingly and cares for her. If you would just make an effort to train a cat, you would be amazed at how easy it is to get her to do what you want and how conscientiously it will comply with your wishes.
If you donít breed more cats than necessary, and you painlessly kill any excess kittens straight after they are born, then the complaints about cats murdering the birds will soon diminish and show up he behaviour of so-called "anti-cat clubs" than what they really are: "a crude aberration of like-minded people who hide behind the pretence of being bird- and animal-lovers".
Only in this way is it possible to effectively oppose their incitement to violence and give the beneficial cat proper protection.
But where genuine poaching cats roam in the field and forest, we are also of the view of ruthless extermination, because once they become accustomed to this way of life, they will continue to indulge in it, and the damage they do will outweighs any limited advantage of them catching the occasional mouse.
From our own experience we can be assured that you can deter cats from bird-hunting if you start as early as possible. Even the well-known ornithologist, Dr. Baldamus, has spoken to this effect to the Coburg Animal and Plant Protection Association, stating that it is easy to wean cats off of birding. Dr. Baldamusís method has been tested many times and found to be infallible, so we will share it here. Take a bird (perhaps a cage-bird if you canít get hold of a sparrow) in your hand and lure the cat that you want to train to stop poaching and let it be repeatedly pecked on the nose. A cat treated in this way, according to Dr. Baldamus, never again gets close to a bird with any predatory intention. This is the process to stop a cat hunting birds. Instead of a living bird, get one that is stuffed and had something strong and sharp for its beak and peck the cat hard on its sensitive nose. After several sessions, the cat will give the bird a wide berth and not dare to attack it. Parrots protect themselves from being pestered by cats, especially young cats which, in their playfulness feel the need to pester the parrot, climbing up to it, walking on the cage and reaching its paws through the wires. The little shy "Lori" or "Joko" pecks at the outstretched paws or nibbles the bare soles of the catís feet as it climbs on the wires, and these painful lessons will teach the cat to leave the bird alone. It will shyly watch the talkative exotic birds from a respectful distance.
In Hamburgís bird trade, cats are always kept because scores of mice are attracted into the cages by the bird food, but the cats never lay their paws on the birds.
Last year the bird-seller Gust. Voss in Cologne had some blue cats that wandered around day and night between the birdcages and chased mice, but they never attacked any of the birds.
Thus, it is entirely up to us to train cats so that they do no harm, but few people the sense and inclination to do so, and it is necessary to spread the word in this sense, to end the incitement against it and give a correct balance between its benefits and the damage it does.
PROTECTORS AND PATRONS OF CATS
From time immemorial, diverse animals have enjoyed the patronage of royalty and of famous personalities and a whole book could be written about this alone, but here we will give only some notes that relate to the cat.
It is known that Muhammad, the great founder of Islam, had a special affection for cats that bordered on reverence. The Sultan El-Daher-Beybars (1260) left a testament with instructions to found a garden for stray and needy cats near Cairo, and a cat shelter can still be found there today.
Stein, Cardinal Wolsey, Lord Chesterfield, which left his cats and their descendants pensions, then Washington, Peter the Great, and others are mentioned more as friends and protectors of cats:
The Shah of Iran, Nassr-ed-din, who was recently cut down by fanatical murderers hand, had over 3,000 cats, of which a beautiful Angora cat ( "Babr-Kahn") was even allowed to eat from her masterís bowl and share his meals.
The Duchess of Maine devoted a Rondo (a piece of music) to her cat; Cardinal Richelieu and the great finance minister Colbert King Louis XIV were always surrounded by cats when they were working. Among the friends of cats we can count Pope Leo XII who gave the French ambassador Ch‚teaubriand, an enthusiastic cat-lover, a gift of a cat as a token of special favour.
Chief among the famous personalities were poets and artists who, misunderstood by the people, kept the company of animals.
The English national poet Ebenezer Elliot reputedly said he did not know to live without dogs and cats. Hoffmann had a tomcat "Murr" whose death filled the ailing poet with despair, and Lessing even forgave his favourite cat after it spoiled the manuscript of "Nathan" and with the restraint of a sage he began work anew.
Tasso and Petrarch loved and revered their cats; when the former came to Paris he lived in an attic room in the Latin Quarter with a cat as his sole companion. The French fabulist La Fontaine glorified the cat in a rather exaggerated manner, while his colleague, Ronsard, was an opponent of them; the famous French naturalist Buffon was not a great fan of cats and he judged them harshly.
Kellen reported among other things that the philosopher and historian Taine, who was a rather sober man, was so enthusiastic for his three cats that he wrote four sonnets for each of them although he normally wrote prose. Sometime after his death ďFigaroĒ published the poems, which caused a great sensation and were discussed in all the French newspapers. For example, "Evťnement" (March 22, 1893) published a long article about "The Cats of Mr Taine".
The French seem to be great fans of the cat, because among recent French poets we find Thťodore de Banville, Bandelaire, Pierre Loti, Paul ArŤne, Thťophile Gautier, Champfleury, Paul de Kock and others, all of whom deal affectionately with the cat. Othe well-known cat lovers are the poet Sardou and the composer Massenet.
Among Americans, the famous humourist Jerome K. Jerome is a great fan of cats and dogs.
Eduard MŲricke, the Swabian poet who had a great affection for animals and flowers, is said to have shown a particular fondness for cats in his advanced years. Thus, when Moritz von Schwind visited him, the famous painter lay down to the usual after-lunch nap. The poet's cat, "Weissling", looked at the wide belly of the slumberer as a comfortable resting place and suddenly jumped up. The somewhat hot-blooded of Schwind, at this rude awakening, did not hold back on invective.
The well-known composer of "Postillon of Lonjumeau" Adolf Charles Adam is said to have composed this lovely opera in a most curious way. It is said that after he ate, he lay down on the sofa, pulled his eiderdown up to his nose, even in the heat of summer, with one of his large cats at his head and the other at his feet. In this suffocating position he found the lovely melodies that still delight us today.
Among the artists, Gottfried Wind, known as the ďCat RaphaelĒ is notable, he has contributed greatly to the glory and popularity of cats through his sensitive, unequalled paintings. Windsí love of cats was so great that when there was a feline epidemic where he lived in Bern, and the authorities killed over eight hundred cats, he was unspeakably unhappy and by all sorts of efforts he managed to save his favourites from the slaughter.
Michel tells the following comical anecdote about the painter, Beret:
Barett had two cats, one large and one small, for which he had cut two openings at the bottom of the door. When a friend visiting his workshop asked about the purpose of these openings, Barett said they let his cats come in and out. "But," said his friend, "wouldnít one opening have been enough?" - "You clever dick" replied the painter, with a superior smile, "how would the big cat get through the little hole?!" - "Well," said his friend, "couldnít the little cat come through the large hole?" - "Honestly," cried the astonished Barett, "she surely could, I had not thought of that!"
Among the Dutch painters of the old school are Bloemart, Vischer, Hollar, Breughel, Teniers and Brouwer, who have produced some pretty good cat pictures which they have painted with affection for their subject. Teniers mostly portrayed the cat in musical production. The most famous paintings include half a dozen cats sitting around a table, earnestly trying to sing from an opened musical notebook, on the upper edge of which sits an owl; a glum-looking cat is peering in through a window and two monkeys sit in front of the table and play the flute. Another work depicts a barber's shop and a Civil Guard played by monkeys.
This small selection shows the cat in a favourable light, which means they canít be as dangerous and harmful, as ignorance and stupidity would generally suggest. If it was really so harmful it would not find such favour from important men and intellectual heroes.
AMUSING AND SERIOUS INCIDENTS OF CATS
Cats have frequently caused for joyous experiences, but theyíve also caused a similar number of serious and alarming incidents, and the gentle reader may be interested in some accounts of these.
The Cat in the Italian Parliament. On March 21, 1896, the Italian Chamber of Deputies was the scene of an extraordinarily funny scene. In the house, a full five minutes of serious debates on the African loan were forgotten, and everyone laughed, without any distinction between the parties. It went like this: Cavalotti had given the Cabinet a preliminary vote of confidence, when suddenly a large grey Angora cat appeared at the ministerial table and settled with grandeur next to the Marchese de Rudini. Chamber and benches erupted in a whirl of laughter. Some shouted ironically "meow meow". Parliamentary staff went hunting for the interesting animal, while the meeting was adjourned. At the same time, ďHinz,Ē retired from the tribune and made his retreat without the help of the cat-callers. Agnini the socialist manages to arrest ďHinzĒ and held him up to roaring applause to the air, after which the Parliamentary session was resumed.
A cat in audience with the Queen of England (Kellen). For a cats to have an audience with the Queen might be without precedent, though this was recently the case at Windsor Castle. Queen Victoria had a number of feathered favourites flying around freely in her study, landing on her hand, head, and shoulders at her call, and often following her every move and footstep. For the sake of these darlings, everyone was strictly forbidden from keeping cats in the royal household. To his indignation, Sir Cowell learned that one of the housekeepers at Buckingham Palace had ignored this prohibition and had an Angora cat. She was instantly commanded to remove the cat. But the woman was too fond of her cat to part with it and took the next train, went to Windsor Castle, and asked for an audience. She presented her petition in moving words, but it was rejected by the Queen.
"Your Majesty! If you only saw the animal," cried the woman, "You would surely not banish her". "Where is the animal?" asked the queen, quite obviously amused. "Out here in the waiting room," was the answer, and the woman hurried out to fetch it and reappeared immediately with a basket from which she triumphantly took the lovely kitten.
The queen was defeated, and allowed the cat to remain under the condition that it would be carefully confined on the few days on which the Queen and her feathered favourites stayed at Buckingham Palace.
The Prince of Wales and the cats. On a hot summer's day, Fox and the Prince of Wales strolled through a London street. Fox suggested a wager to the prince: he would see most cats before the end of the road, although the choice of road would be left to the prince. The prince agreed to the wager, but lost, because at their goal Fox had seen 13 cats and the Prince had seen none. "How did you do it?" asked the prince. "Your Royal Highness," said Fox, "chose, as I knew he would, the more pleasant shady side of the street and so I had to walk in the sun, which is where the cats like to hang out."
Military cats. The Magdeburger Zeitung published a notice that the commander of a train battalion in a Prussian provincial capital had received an official request from the Accounts Department Overseer, for 5 pfennigs daily for milk for the train depotís cat, while only 3 pfennigs were requested for the Provisions Store cat. The commander's official report read: "The Provisions Store cat feeds on mice, which have grown fat on grain and flour, but the Train Depot cat eats those that eke out a life on the leather supplies, etc., hence a daily supplement of two pfennigs-worth of milk is required for the latter. " "This explanation must have been sufficient for the train commander, for the depot catsí milk rations remained unchallenged from that point onwards.
A clever cat must have been a reader of the "Daily Review," which tells the following cat story: "There are cases, and these are not uncommon where an animalís intellect outdoes that of a human being. This recently happened with my cat when I was busy pounding beef steaks in the kitchen. "Pussy", who recognises this sound because it is associated with occasional meat scraps for her, soon appeared on the scene and looked hopefully at me. I obstinately ignored all her loud and gentle pleas so she finally gave up and watched me calmly. It struck me that her face gradually assumed a certain thoughtful expression, and after a short time she disappeared and I got on with my work, forgetting about her, when she suddenly began to scream at the front door at the foot of the stairs, which is the sign that she wants to be let out. I immediately hurried downstairs to open the door, but I barely had the latch in my hand when "Pussy" suddenly turned back and bounded up the stairs and straight into the kitchen, which is at the top of the stairs. I now had a sense of misfortune and hurried up the steep steps as fast as I could manage considering my wide girth, only to see the miscreant merrily take off with my beef steak in her mouth. "
As a kind of natural wonder, writes the "DeutscheTageszeitung" (Berlin) on April 16, 1896, a large yellow cat has been stuck up a tree for eight days in Unter den Linden, having set up its airy domicile at the top of a tall tree on the first Easter holiday in front of No 62/63 Hiller. Since then it has living there day and night. What this new Hiddigeigei is reflecting on while up there, he has not told anyone, but whatever it is, whether it is something cheerful or serious, he is taking seriously, for in all of those eight days he hasnít left his post, and hasnít had a bite to eat. This is confirmed by constables, who are always suspicious, and by other earnest men, such as the doormen of neighbouring houses. A During the day you can regularly see him at the top of the lime tree. But who is to say with any degree of certainty that he does not make journeys during the night, perhaps into Hiller's kitchen, and in the manner of some two-legged ďfasting artist,Ē deceive his faithful followers? Even policemen donít see everything and even doormen sleep at night. Perhaps a special committee has been formed for monitoring him!
Translatorís note: I have provided this Song of the Tomcat Hidigeigei for readers unfamiliar with the German poem.
The Songs of the Tomcat Hiddigeigei (Scheffel)
At the end of his days
Stands tomcat Hiddigeigei,
And lamenting, he thinks,
That quite soon he might die.
From his wealth of great wisdom
He would gladly teach others,
Give their unstable lives an anchor
Enriching many cats' futures
For the path of life is rough
Such a rocky terrain,
On which we old ones have tripped,
Our legs frequently sprained.
Our lives contain unwanted woe,
And we are wounded by strife,
And many a black cat
Has needlessly lost his life
But what's the use of age-old sorrows?
I hear laughter from the young,
As they act yet more foolishly
Only their mistakes give them wisdom.
They won't learn from history,
Let them manage as best they can
And Hiddigeigei's instructive songs
Shall now remain unsung.
Cats as advertising. In the summer of 1892, the Nobless-Garden Theater in New York madea high point in advertising. The managing director of this establishment tried to buy 5,000 cats by means of newspaper advertisements, and requested them to be delivered to the theatre building at 11 am the next day. The advertisement did the trick, for long before the appointed hour, the theatre entrance was besieged by hundreds of people, mostly children, who brought with them the desired specimens of the genus Felis in sacks, baskets, rucksacks, hats etc. At 11 o'clock exactly, Mr. Stern, the ingenious theatre-manager, came to receive the cats. These cats were taken without any regard to gender, colour, age, etc. and for each one he paid either 10 cents or gave an entrance ticket to the theatre gallery, and double this reward for particularly large and beautiful. In total, Mr. Stern received about 2,000 cats which he locked up in the ground floor hall where these "truanting guests" immediately performed the well-known cat concerto that could "soften stones and drive people mad" and the theatre staff feared the wrath of heaven. After the crowds, which had been attracted to the curious spectacle of the cat's arrival, had reached unprecedented dimensions, the theatre manager fixed a notice around each animalís neck; the notice was an announcement that the usual Christmas pantomime would begin that week. Then all the creatures were let loose and driven out into the street, where they scattered in all directions, meowing horribly (A. Kellen). Really American!
But the cat has often given rise to serious and alarming cases which have led to more or less strict regulations.
The cat avenges her murdered mistress. Miss Kneight, a companion of the Princess of Wales, tells the following story in her notes: A few years ago, a woman died in Ireland, leaving all her property to her nephew. During her lifetime she had a cat, which was very devoted to her, and which could not be separated from her mistress, even after her mistress was dead. The heir arrived at the funeral, and, after the will had been read to him in the adjoining room, he wanted to go to his auntís body. Her cat leaped at his throat, biting him, the moment he opened the door and it could only be removed with great difficulty. About 18 months later, the man died, but he first confessed to murdering his aunt to get her property.
A drunkard mistreated his wife and had knocked her to the ground in a fit of drunkenness and was about to strangle her. The house-cat, probably attracted by her mistressís cries saw the womanís plight and threw herself upon the man, tearing his face with teeth and claws, so that he was compelled to ask his wife, whom he had just assaulted, for help (Michel).
Caution when handling cats. The following is reported From Lothringen, from the 9th of April, 1896,: In a village a lonely bachelor kept a cat to keep him company. This otherwise well-behaved cat nibble him recently and her own saw fit to smack her. The affronted cat suddenly jumped at her master's face and bit off his nose, then jumped out of the window with it. Cat and nose were never seen again.
Angry cats. The following was written from Berlin in 1895 about a rare accident: The adult daughter of a scholar in a suburb of Berlin suffered a rare accident. For no reason, the young lady was attacked while walking on the street by an angry cat. The furious animal tore the lady's dress with its claws, bit her arm, and scratched her face. So far, no serious consequences have arisen as a result of these injuries. The unruly animal, which was said to have previously committed a similar disorderly offence, was captured and "eliminated".
Cat Destruction. A similar incident was reported from Switzerland (1893) and resulted in a strict police order. In Pruntrut (Switzerland) the Directorate of the Interior ordered all cats to be killed. There, in the previous week, a 13-year-old boy, a little girl and a cooper had been attacked and bitten by a cat. A maidservant who had also been attacked by the animal, was lucky to escape injury. The cooper was finally able to grab the cat and kill it. Medical examination revealed it was most likely rabid. The bitten persons travelled to the Pasteur Institute in Paris.
Fortunately, such incidents are rare and exceptional among cats, and it is certainly unjust to condemn and condemn the whole cat race based on such rare occurrences.
In conclusion, a story told in the "Illustrated Entertainment Book," shows how an enterprising person attained great wealth because of cats.
In 1719, the great province of Mato Grosso, situated in the interior of Brazil, began to be explored, and gold was discovered in the sands of some of its streams and rivers. Pasqual Moreira Cabral and his companions also met local Indians whose women wore crudely worked golden ornaments. When these facts became known, a great number of adventurers of all kinds went into that remote wilderness, where they mined a great deal of gold. The news soon reached the populous east. The inhabitants of the coastal cities made arrived in their thousands in the Eldorado of Mato Grosso.
The cleverest of these speculators was Antonio d'Almeida, who, in 1727, visited Cuyaba. Fazenda left the gold mining to others, and established a plantation or ďfazendaĒ on a river bank where had discovered wild-growing sugar cane. He harvested this crop and from the sap he produced sugar and distilled some very good rum. This drink was so coveted that initially every bottle was paid for with a gold coin. Antonio Maisfelder also set up in farming, and he had lovely herds of cattle. He sold his agricultural products at an astonishingly high price to the gold-miners and soon became one of the richest men in the district.
Suddenly the misfortune beset Maisfelder and the other Fazendaros in the form of a plague of mice, which invaded the fields of corn and sugar cane. A type of snake, which was effective in exterminating mice in other provinces of Brazil, was unfortunately absent from Mato Grosso. If the plague wasnít quickly brought under control there would be famine. Don Antonio casually learned from an innkeeper in Cuyaba that near Santa Cruz, a small village about halfway down the coast, there was a resident who had a pair of cats of the best breed, and who was sure to sell some young cats for a good gold piece.
Accompanied by a few slaves, d'Almeida immediately set out to find Luiz Artigosa, a poor devil who had just drowned five kittens. After a great deal of haggling, Don Antonio offered Artigosa a whole pound of gold for the pair of adult cats, and Artigosa, as much as he loved his cats, could not resist the splendid offer, and sold the animals.
Several years later Luiz Artigosa sold his small property at Santa Cruz and went to Rio de Janeiro to carry out some speculative transactions. He wasnít lucky in his endeavours was soon close to ruin. Then he came up with the idea of moving to Mato Grosso and speculating with cats because he had already done a brilliant business with them. He bought forty beautiful cats and kittens, put them in suitable baskets and loaded them carefully. Then, with his living cargo, he went to Cuyaba, to get lucky with his caravan.
Luiz Artigosa was greeted warmly by his old acquaintance Antonio d'Almeida, as well as by the other Fazendaros and by the population of Cuyaba, which had greatly increased by then. He was widely praised as the greatest benefactor of the region, as his cats had ended the mouse plague. A banquet was held in his honour but, though this was very flattering, he was unable to do any trade in cats because all the settlers already had cats descended from his original pair. The cat speculation opportunity was missed, and he took his baskets into the open fields, opened them, and let forty cats and kittens run off. Then he went back to the city. He had not the slightest idea what consequences which his imprudence would have.
Later, Artigosa became a goldsmith and diligently searched the sand of the brooks for gold. For a long time he had no luck with his prospecting, but one day, after wandering a long time in the wilderness, he discovered a reddish patch of ground in the dried-out bed of a forest brook, where a beautiful black cat slept comfortably on the warm sands. Curiously Luiz Artigosa joined the cat. The cat meowed happily and the pair recognized each other again. "Ha," murmured Artigosa, "this cat looks well-nourished and contented, and if the other 39 do as well, the dear little creatures have every reason to be grateful to me for bringing them here with such great care," and he bent down to fondle the cat, who was now pawing happily in the reddish sand.
Glittering gold grains appeared in the sand, which the catís good friend gathered eagerly. He had discovered a rich gold deposit in a strange way. He exploited his find silently and returned with his wealth to Rio de Janeiro where he bought several houses and so speculated so successfully that he soon became a millionaire. Fifteen years passed, when a friend from Cuyaba visited the capital and met Artigosa. When Luiz Artigosa asked him things were in Cuyaba, his friend replied, "My dear fellow, do not go to Cuyaba, they would kill you because you released forty cats who multiply so greatly a that the cat plague was much more annoying than the mouse plague had ever been, and every day you are damned and cursed by the residents there." "Well I'd better stay at home," replied Artigosa. "But Iím not sorry that I took the cats there; if I hadnít done so, I wouldnít have met my black cat in the wilderness, and would not have discovered the rich gold mine, to which I owe all my happiness."
It was only after many years that Cuyaba's farmers finally overcame the plague of cats. The story of Luiz Artigosa's cat business is told there to this day.
GREAT CAT LOVERS
Legacies. Legacies left by wealthy animal lovers in their wills were not a strange idea to ancient peoples, and they gave eloquent testimony to the love and veneration offered to individual animals.
We have mentioned earlier that Sultan El-Daher-Beybars (1260), in his will, made provision in his will to set up a cat asylum.
To this day, other animal lovers have followed his example. For example, in September 1895, the late London magistrate, David Sheriff Jackson, left the following bequests in his will: to the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals 200,000 Marks., to the Dublin Animal Protection Association 40,000, to the "Lost Dogsí Home" In London, Liverpool and Manchester 40,000, 20,000 and 20,000 Marks, to the "Cattle Trough Associations" in London and Manchester 40,000 Marks each, and finally to the "Retired Horsesí Home" in London 40,000 Marks.. To the credit of this animal lover, it must be mentioned that this noble benefactor did not forget human suffering.
The will of an English cat-lover. English law does not oblige the deceased to leave certain relatives a certain percentage, at least, of their wealth. They have absolute liberty in this respect - except for the possession of land - and this why we hear of so many extraordinary last decrees of English people, especially of English women. A will of this kind was left by an elderly spinster, Miss Raine, who had considerable possessions in Oxfordshire. In addition to several bequests to religious societies, she left eight favourite cats to her servants, and for the maintenance of each cat she made provisions for 240 Marks annually. How long will these kitties reach? The "rest of her cat family" passes into other hands for 3,000 M annually as long as one of the cats is still alive, but "this provision is not intended to relate to any new cats born". This limiting addition was fortunate for the heir of the principal property, which, estimated at 170,000, would scarcely have been sufficient for maintaining all the offspring of this cat colony. Miss Raine left this handsome sum of money to Lord Randolph Churchill in recognition of his political genius. The will must have been made a few years ago because Lord Churchill has also died since then.
MadEmoiselle de Puis (I, 1678) bequeathed a boarding house to her cat and demanded that her heirs visit the cat every week. The court ruled on the process for the benefit of the cat court, but lifted the requirement for the heirs to make house-calls on the cat.
The famous Lord Chesterfield also left a pension to his cats and their descendants. Such bequests are often contested by the testator's relatives and Michel tells us that years ago, the famous lawyer, Cremieux, had to defend the cause of a cat in court; and did so with great skill and warmth, earning him the respect of all cat lovers.
Cat Asylums and Cat Hospitals. At the beginning of this book, we mentioned one of the oldest cat shelters, which can still be found in India, Cairo, Constantinople (now Istanbul, the Hrg), and other places in the Orient. The people of the Orient have always shown a greater tolerance towards animals since in their religious beliefs and customs they generally worshiped divine beings in animal form. It is, therefore, easy to explain why we find an almost touching care towards animals among the peoples of India, Egypt, etc., though in other respects they remain deep in barbarism.
In Florence there has been a cat shelter for several centuries in a monastery belonging to the church of San Lorenzo. Whoever wants to get rid of a cat can send it to the brothers at the monastery; if you wish to get a cat, you need only make your desire known at the monastery gate, and the monks willingly fulfil your request in regard to its coat, colour, age and sex.
In the American state of Pennsylvania, Michel writes that a cat hospital has been established for many years and its owner has made it her profession to provide shelter for all ill-treated and unfortunate cats. The owner is the daughter of a rich and highly respected farmer and after her love for cats became the reason for the separation from her husband, she has lived for more than 30 years with 60 to 70 favourite cats. She has used all of the income from her considerable fortune, and she has bequeathed her entire property, after her death, to the founding of cat shelters.
Some time ago in Barcelona, according to A. Kellen, the cats were a great curiosity. The number of world-famous cats at the cathedral had grown so great because, according to tradition, a pension had been established a long while back for feeding them. The cats were solemnly condemned to death some time ago because the church-council could no longer endure the awful stench the cats caused in the temple. From now on, the people of Barcelona can no longer dispose of thieving or vicious cats by taking them to the church for the chapter officials to take care of. The cathedral cats were thrown mercilessly into the water, from the first to the last.
The well-known author Frfr. Franziska von Reitzenstein-Nemmersdorf (pseudonym Franz von Nemmersdorf) was supposed to have founded a great cat shelter in her house at Munich, based on the model of the English Countess Mary de la Torre, for which the grateful neighbourhood gave her the vulgar nickname "The Cat Baroness". [Translatorís Note: de la Torre was a notorious cat hoarder.]
England is likely to have the most cat shelters, followed by North America, and according to the news in one newspaper, Paris is also to have a cat hospital. It can be said that cats are becoming increasingly popular and pampered in the French capital.
In our German cities, Animal Protection Associations take care of neglected cats, nurturing them until cat lovers adopt them, or killing them in a painless manner. The Berlin Animal Protection Association in particular takes care of the much neglected and ill-treated cats. This Association has issued a public warning against cruelty of domestic cats. In its leaflet it is stated, among other things, that too few people attach importance to cat-ownership and they rarely feed them regularly. This means cat need to become hunters leading to them being persecuted. There was a terrific increase in cases of school-children torturing cats. Every day complaints about the cruelty was loudly voiced, and mutilated and severely injured animals were taken to the Animal Protection Association by compassionate people. At the end of the leaflet, animal lovers were exhorted to take unclaimed, unwanted or sick cats to the Association to be humanely destroyed. It has set up veterinary consultation hours when its members and impoverished people can take their pets for free medical examination and advice. Such endeavours deserve the fullest recognition and the widest support, not only because it prevents animals from suffering, but also because it counters the brutality of youngsters.
LEGAL RULES ON KILLING CATS
The regulations on killing and slaughtering the cats in gardens, fields, and forests differ across the German states, and even the verdicts of the courts are inconsistent. If you want to learn about this subject in detail, we recommend "The Law Regarding The Right To Kill Dogs And Cats In Germany,Ē compiled and edited by Josef Bauer, publisher by J. Neumann in Neudamm, price 75 Pfennigs. In this brochure, any interested party will find everything worth knowing about this subject.
It would greatly exceed the scope of this book, if we were to deal with this topic in detail, and that is why we will confine ourselves to drawing on some of the judicial findings here, showing the extent to which you have a right to kill a cat that is causing damage .
In 1886, the Supreme Court stated that "gardeners are entitled to attend to and kill cats that enter the gardens in pursuit of songbirds and other poultry." In exercising this right, the garden owner in question may not ignore any police regulations relating to "shooting in the garden", "shooting close to dwellings", "shooting in the vicinity of something flammable," all of which differ in the various districts of our fatherland. You may be entitled to kill a cat, but not to shoot at the same time. - (Cat Trap) - Liebe's Ornithol. Journal.
The different views on the admissibility of killing or harming cats are, are shown by the following judicial findings on this matter: The magistrateís court cleared a merchant from BrŁhl of a charge of material damage. One day the neighbour's cat had stolen a sole from the defendant's yard. When the animals was seen a few days later on the garden wall, the merchant shot the fish-thief with a Flobert-Fox without causing great injury. In an appeal hearing in the Trial Court in Cologne on 20 June 1893 in Cologne, on the other hand, the merchant was given the minimum fine of 3 Marks.
In general, there is the principle that the animalís owner is liable for any damage it causes. If the owner evades this obligation, the injured party may kill or capture a trespassing cats in order to protect his property, but if he exploits its fur and meat, he may be prosecuted over handling stolen goods. In the criminal court hearing held at Limburg on May 18, 1893, the criminal case was brought against the businessman Robert Waldhausen of Lindenthal near Cologne, a tenant of the hunt in the municipality of Fluterschen near Alkirchen. On September 17, 1892, while hunting there, his dog flushed a cat, which Waldhausen then shot dead. The cat belonged to the teacher in Fluterschen, who sued Waldhausen for material damage in the criminal court. After a preliminary hearing before the magistrate's court in Altkirchen, the sentencing of the accused resulted in a fine of 30 M and possibly 6 days' imprisonment. The appellate court ruled, among other things, that, according to Community principles, the killing in the field of non-huntable animals by a huntsman should only be permitted under the application of the common laws of self-help, insofar as this is necessary in the circumstances of the individual case to protect the actual game from the depredations of these animals, that is, it only permitted the killing of poaching cats, but not the killing of cats that entered the field to hunt mice. In the case in question, the cat was only 250 metres from its home, and was sitting in sight of its home so it could not be regarded as a poaching cat. Waldhausen made an appeal against this verdict, and the Criminal Court at Neuwied rescinded it and acquitted the defendant, justifying this judgment by the fact that (among other things) even if the cat had returned home, it had been in amongst the game animals, and that every hunting tenant had the right to protect his hunting rights by killing trespassing cats. This judgment was, in its turn, revoked by the Supreme Court on the revision of the prosecutor's office at Neuwied, and the matter was referred back to the court of Limburg for further consideration. This court concurred with the decision of the first judge and upheld the original sentence of 30 marks. The defendant was also charged with all the costs incurred by all the authorities, a sum amounting to 500 marks.
To this the "Deutsche Jagerzeitung" (the German Huntsmanís Newspaper) made the following remark: It is not necessary to declare that a cat following mice into the field is a feral. Moreover, the legislation of the civil code, Article 1382, which otherwise favourable in terms of the killing of dogs and cats, fails here, since the cat had not been hunting, nor had the game been endangered. Thus, the right to kill it fails the principle of self-help. On the other hand, it should not have been possible for the judgment of the Second Instance to be annulled by the Supreme Court, since the High Court was competent.
From this example you can see that the killing of cats is not allowed without good reason, and that the person who kills one without good reason is subject to punishment under the law.
We should not close this section without mentioning a case of how our legislation iprotects the much persecuted cat, and especially punishes cruel torture.
On 26 May 1896, a thirteen-year-old schoolboy Friedrich Paul KŁhne stood before the magistrates court charged as an accessory to the ill-treatment of a cat, at the request of the schoolboy Opitz.
The above-mentioned Opitz, the main animal abuser, was not yet at the age of criminal responsibility and therefore could not be judged by the magistrate's court! Opitz had taken some of the children who were playing with a cat near the Prince's Square and took them to the windmill hill, where he and KŁhne dug a hole in the ground and put the cat, which had previously been badly mistreated, into it. The two boys then buried the cat under sand and soil, and so that it could not escape, they put more stones on the grave. After much effort, the poor creature succeeded in digging its way out, whereupon it was beaten to death by KŁhne with a pointed granite stones. The hopeful offspring had simply wanted to have some fun and had did not believe that they had committed an offence. KŁhne was been informed by the presiding magistrate, Bockwitz, in no uncertain terms, that he should refrain from such brutality in the future. The boy was sentenced to a week in detention for public animal cruelty, said the chairman complained that the law did not permit the boy to be flogged. This would surely have been the place for such a punishment.
With proper treatment, appropriate feeding, and sanitary conditions, the cat is rarely ill and is afflicted by fewer diseases than other pets. However, it is more difficult to treat a sick cat, especially for internal disease, since they stubbornly refuse to take medicine to stubborn. For completeness we must not forget to mention the most frequently occurring diseases and the usual remedies for these.
The headstrong and stubborn nature is even more pronounced in sick cats and they almost completely resist medication; only rarely is it possible to administer any medicine as they resist and thwart all such attempts by scratching and biting. Where the disease does not give serious cause for concern, the cat usually gets better on its own, and its tenacity means it is better than dogs when it comes to surviving an accident. In cases of severe illness or injury they are lost causes and only death will save them from suffering. Any sympathetic cat-lover, if he sees that a sick cat is beyond help, will free it from suffering though a painless means of death.
According to the senior medical officer Dr. Hering, most cases of rabies are caused by the bite of a mad dog or an angry cat, and it has been shown that people bitten by such cats developed hydrophobia and died. Because cats usually have free access to the human homes, they are far more dangerous than mad dogs as the latter can be locked away in time if they become infected; Moreover, a cat bite is more dangerous because of its long and pointed canines. The only recourse for an animal with this disease is to immediately kill it.
Distemper, also known as catarrh, is a common symptom of disease in young cats and is similar to that seen dogs. In mild cases, it is usually mild and short-lived and there are no long-term adverse effects. But many young kittens fall victim to more serious cases, and those who survive the disease usually have a long-term paralysis of the spine or extremities which is manifested by nervous twitches. The course of the disease is, as mentioned above, almost the same as that in dogs.
The best cure for this treacherous disease, which requires a great deal of sacrifice, is prevention, and this entails cleanliness, dry quarters, warmth and good natural food. Diseased animals must be strictly quarantined from healthy ones because the distemper is contagious and easily spread. In difficult cases, and if it is at all possible, giving the kitten small doses of quinine is often effective. It is better to consult an experienced veterinarian since the layman is less likely to recognize the complications of distemper.
Coughs caused by colds or as a result of recovering from another disease such as distemper, etc., can be treated by warm attitude and non-irritating food; also we have given Salmiak (sal ammoniac) pastilles in small doses dissolved in warm milk, given regularly several times with good results.
Diarrhoea is caused by cold and unsuitable food and from eating too much fat; it most frequently occurs in kittens after weaning when receiving other food. This is why the transition from mother's milk to solid food should be a gradual process. Cats with diarrhoea become emaciated and can easily die of exhaustion. Hot stock, careful feeding, carefully chosen food such as rice cooked in milk, and lean boiled mutton can help in many cases, but often the diarrhoea is so severe and persistent that all these efforts appear vain. In stubborn cases administer castor oil, adding 2 to 3 drops of laudanum if the cat is in great pain - which can be seen from its distorted expression.
Cats suffer greatly from poisoning. Whether this is because they ingest poison bait set out for crows and other vermin, or because malicious people have set out poison bait especially for cats, such as toadstools fried in butter, meat chunks laced with strychnine poison, or, in an unguarded moment, a prepared bird laced with arsenic; in all cases if the poisoning is not immediately recognized and treated with an antidote, it is absolutely deadly. If itís possible to make the cat vomit at once, by giving it something like warm milk with oil or butter, you can expect it to recover. It is advisable to add a pinch of Magnesia to the milk.
Mange or itch mites is caused by a tiny parasite (Sarcoptes Cati) and is easily recognized by the catís shaggy, lacklustre hair, reddened skin and the formation of pustules and boils. Since mange is easily transmitted to other cats and also to dogs, you must keep the infected cat quarantined from other animals while it is ill. If you spot mange early, then, if the cat allows you to treat it, wash it with warm water to which Kreolin (1: 100) has been added. In advanced stage, take green soap and fresh, unsalted lard in equal parts, add of powdered sulfur (1/3) and enough Kreolin to turn the ointment a slightly brownish colour. This ointment should be rubbed firmly onto the skin and after 24 hours bathe the cat with warm soapy water. The soap used must be soda-free. This method helps in most cases.
Bites and wounds kind require no special treatment, you must just take care to keep them clean; the cat will hasten the healing process by diligently licking the wound. Bathing the wound with water, to which tincture of arnica has been added, often proves beneficial.
Fractures do not often occur in cats less frequently and the well-known stubbornness of cats means it is hardly effective to nurse them. If it is a broken leg and the cat permits treatment, splint the fracture after the leg has been set in the correct position (with 2 small pieces of wood) and then wrap the splinted leg with a linen napkin. It is also possible to try a gypsum cast.
Fleas also infest cats, and even well-kept cats are not immune from these if they come into contact with neglected cats during the breeding season. An effective repellent for insect vermin is to sprinkle a few drops of turpentine on a brush and then brush the cat thoroughly. Fleas cannot tolerate the penetrating odour and quickly leave the scene of his activity. The rest is all down to cleanliness.
The aforementioned Senior Medical Officer, Dr. Hering wrote the following about Tape and roundworms in cats: It is not uncommon to find the cat tapeworm (Taenia crasticollis), called the thick-necked tapeworm in the small intestine of the cat; it reaches 30 cm or more in length, while the width of the segments is 4 mm to 8 mm. Next after this Taenia, and more common, is a much smaller species called Taenia elliptica, which is thin and fine and only 2.5 to 7.5 cm long.
The Taenia similar to the human Broad Tapeworm (Botriocephalus latus) is also sometimes found in the intestines of house cats; it is up to 1.50 m in length; the width of its segments is 8 mm in the middle and only 4 mm towards its end. It has been shown by experiments that the thick-necked Taenia arises from a larval cyst that lives in the liver of mice and forms a cyst from the size of a vetch up to the size of a pea, with the tapewormís head at its front end. If the cat eats the infected mouse liver, the parasite develops in catís gut into the thick-necked tapeworm, whose eggs are sometimes eaten by mice and develop into the larval cyst (Cysticercus fasciolaris) which is the first stage of the tapewormís development.
Apart from the abovementioned, the cat suffers from some smaller types of worm, but they rarely cause any problems. On the whole, intestinal worms donít seem to bother cats much or often, and donít adversely affect its health unless present in very large numbers (i.e. roundworms) or very long length (i.e. tapeworms).
To rid the cat of worms, the following is recommended: powdered areca nut, the insides of rosehips and Kousso flower (Hagenia abyssinica). Before these are administered, the cat must be hungry, because the remedy is only effective on an empty stomach.
As they grow older, cats are prone to senility, they lose their teeth and are no longer able to chew their regular diet. Digestion stops and they are carefully kept going with soups, but even with the best care they become thin and debilitated, and turn into invalids if you do not humanely end their lives.