EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY NEWSPAPER REPORTS (1900 - 1905)
THE DOMESTIC CAT
The Kinsley Mercury (Kansas), 12 May 1899
The Tully Times, Saturday March 24, 1900
The Record-Argus, 13 July 1906
(an advertisement in several papers)
The prominent attention lately bestowed upon the domestic cat by fashionable society and the great success of several cat shows, have induced Mr. John Diehl, the well known authority on domestic animals, to prepare a handy little volume under the above title. It carefully describes the different breeds and varieties, and states how to keep and rear cats; how to recognize their various diseases and how to treat them. The publishers' price for the book is 50 cents, but the Associated Fanciers, 400 N. Third St. Philadelphia Pa will mail a copy of it on receipt of 25 cents to any subscriber, of this paper.
The Holton Recorder, February 15, 1900
Studying all sides of the question with impartial eyes, it really seems as if the wealthy American father would fare better by presenting his daughter with an Angora kitten than by buying her a titled husband. The kitten and count both come high and cost little money to keep, but the kitten has a chance to take prizes at the cat show, while the nobleman even win out in a speculation.
THE CAT SPOKE FRENCH
Los Angeles Times, 25th February, 1900
A French lady, well known in Philadelphia, tells a pathetic little incident which occurred at a cat show recently held in one of our large shops. Among all the proud, beautiful Angoras that were being admired and petted by the throng crowding the show was one forlorn little cat sitting dejectedly in a comer with its head against the wall. It was the object of much sympathy and inquiry among the visitors, and the lady learned that this cat had come from France. Wondering if this could be so, she called to it in her native tongue. Instantly the little creature raised its head and came forward. Then, as the lady continued to talk to it in French, the cat began to purr, and walked up and down, rubbing against the wires of the cage with the most evident delight.
The people who had witnessed the incident gathered eagerly around, and, embarrassed by the publicity of her position, the lady retreated until the crowd should have dispersed.
Returning & few moments later, she found her little protégé once more in his comer, as homesick and dejected as before. When she called him again the cat at once forgot his loneliness and ran forward to purr and be petted as before.
Then the situation became known to the bystanders, and several other people with knowledge of French began to talk to the little foreigner. When the lady left he was still being well entertained, and was perfectly happy under the impression that he had been suddenly transported across the ocean and was once more at home in France. It was the most amusing sight, and the only thing that bothers the lady now is whether, after all, a French family bought it; whether the lonely little thing is learning English. [Philadelphia Press]
FAMOUS ANGORA CAT IS DEAD
The Inter Ocean, March 17, 1900
"Granny” was an Angora feline, or what is commonly called a “London Smoke.” Her coating was a jet black, with an underlining of white fur. “Granny” made her home at Mr. Ebert’s drug store. No. 426 State street, for sixteen years, and her most intimate companions were "Bismarck," a large Newfoundland dog, and "Bobby," a Yorkshire terrier. She was a model mother and an indulgent grandmother. It is related of her that when her daughter once neglected her young “Granny" took entire charge of the kittens, and if the mother ever failed to give the young felines nourishment she hunted her up and compelled her to return to them and satisfy their hunger.
At the Chicago cat show in 1898 “Granny" took the prize for being the oldest feline on exhibition.
POST OFFICE NAMED FROM BREED OF CATS
Special to the New York Times; The New York Times, April 1, 1900
WASHINGTON DC, March 31 - Cat Fanciers in Lincoln County, Ore, have obtained the consent of the Post Office Department to the christening of their Post Office by the name of Angora. The first Postmaster of Angora, appointed to-day, bears the surname of Tom. It was, indeed, an April Fool item.
CAT IS JOE PATCHEN’S MASCOT.
Chicago Daily Tribune, April 8, 1900
THE great pacer, Joe Patches, eats and sleeps with a mascot, a black and white cat — a miserable enough stable cat when it first found its way, frightened and spitting, into Joe Patchen's stall after a long race with a dog. Everywhere Joe Patchen goes “pussy” goes along in the special horse car, carefully cared for by the " swipe,” as the attendant is called, and given almost as much consideration as the black horse that strides around a track so fast. The reason for this care is that Joe Patchen won the day the cat scampered into his stall just before the race, in which it had been feared Patchen would lose to John R. Gentry — another pacing king. The cat was such a wretched, hungry-looking creature at first that most of the grooms wanted to throw it out. But a stable boy who was superstitious enough to think the cat’s arrival was a “sign” of good luck championed it, and in the hurry when the harnessing bell rang the cat was forgotten and went peacefully to sleep in Joe Patchen's straw.
When the grooms, in an ecstasy of delight, rushed in for blankets after the race, with the judge in a distant stand shouting through a megaphone that Joe Patchen was the winner of the big race for a big purse, they found the black and white cat in his stall and immediately attributed the victory to the “mascot.” So ever since then pussy has lived day and night with one of the greatest horses that ever lived and has been watched with keen eyes that it should not slip away and take with it the god luck which it seemed to have brought. — Exchange.
ORIGIN OF THE WHYO CAT.
Chicago Daily Tribune, April 8, 1900
New breeds of either cats, dogs, or cattle are rare. The history of the greater portion of them extends over a long period of years, and includes many trials of crossing and recrossing of breeds, always the best, and of failures without number.
Here is a story of the development of a breed of cats that has taken prizes at the show every year since the establishment of the institution. Where the breed began cannot be said further than that a poor, half-starved cat was once rescued from death at the hands of street boys. No apparent effort has been, made to develop the breed, and wherever there is a cross of any kind deterioration follows. The Whyo cat has been crossed with Maltese and other kinds, but where the breed is pure, and only so, there results a cat «at is best of its kind.
At the time the famous Whyo gang was flourishing on the East Side, John Mulqueen was then in politics in the Seventh Ward, saw a cat which was being annoyed by a gang of boys. They had perpetrated the usual boyish trick of tying a tin can to the animal's tail and throwing stones at it as it ran.
Mulqueen was a lover of cats. He loved all animals, but cats in particular, and would pick them up everywhere and bring them home, where he adopted them, caring for their infirmities or injuries until they were well enough to be given away to some kind-hearted neighbour. This cat in particular was the most woe-begone and wretched of its tribe. It had evidently been living on nothing but abuse for a long time, and had not found much that was fattening in this diet. Mulqueen rescued the cat and took it to his home. The string to which was attached the tin can has been so tied that it nearly severed a portion of the tail, and an amputation was necessary. In other words, the tail had to be cut off instead of the string.
Mulqueen became fond of this cat, and owed him everywhere, showing in this nstinct of a dog. Mulqueen named the cat Whyo, after the famous gang that had defied the police for years and which was still notorious on the lower East Side. He did not know then that the name and breed of this wretched feline would exist long after the Whyo gang was a thing of the past.
In 1895 Whyo, then an old cat, was entered in the cat show in Madison Square Garden. She won a prize in her class. Every year since then the Whyo breed has been represented, and every year it has been a prize winner.
The Whyo cat is a large tiger. The original Whyo weighed fourteen pounds. The size has been so developed that now a good Whyo weighs sixteen pounds. It is heavy in the front, with a chest expansion like a bulldog. To follow out the resemblance the front legs are bowed and the face is flat, with a broad mouth. Four white stockings, a somewhat remarkable feature, are one of the characteristics of the breed. The ears are lynx, with heavy fuzzy hair at the edges rising high, and with a “bouquet” (tuft) at the points [of the ears]. — New York Journal.
PUG DOG’S REGARD FOR A CAT
Chicago Daily Tribune, April 8, 1900
A man who lives in Eighteenth street will make oath to the following: “My cat. Sissy Fits, is the sweetheart of a pug dog, Kew, that lives across the street from my house. The two were not brought up together, either. Both had attained their majority before they ever met. They showed a fondness for one another from their first acquaintance. The strange part of the mutual admiration society is that Kew calls on Sissy Fits on Sunday. He is given his freedom out on that day and as soon as he gets it he comes over to my door und whines to be admitted. As soon as he gets into my apartment he and the cat have a romp until both are tired, and then I show Kew the door and he trots off to his home. Several times he has been turned out during the week as a test, but he comes to see Sissy Fits only on Sunday.”— Nev York Sun.
WATCHES FOR A SHIP’S RETURN.
Chicago Daily Tribune, April 8, 1900
If by chance you should wander down to pier 39, North River, and see on the edge of the wharf a big black and white spotted cat, all scarred and weather beaten, looking longingly out to sea, don’t cry “Scat!" for that cat, despite his disreputable appearance, has the faith of a martyr of the middle ages.
Three weeks ago the big Atlantic transport liner Manitoba left pier 39. The cat got left. This is how it happened. “Sailor Tom," as the cat has been dubbed by the wharf hands, came ashore a few minutes before sailing time to get a little fresh water. He had hardly put foot on shore when a big dog rushed at him and he was compelled to take refuge on one of the high pier stakes. The wharf hands laughed, the sailors were unheedful, and the vessel sailed.
The dog left, in time, and the wharf hands have treated the cat with respect — nay, more, they have treated him with unusual kindness, sharing their homely midday meals with their dumb companion, and often stopping in their work to give him a pat of sympathy, but the cat will not be comforted. Still he longs for his home on the sea.
He sits and watches all the day long for the return of the Manitoba. He gazes with listless, uninterested eyes at the different sailing craft as they pass, but watches with lively interest every steamship that passes, and when one heads toward his pier he prances about in a perfect fit of nervous excitement. If it chances to land at pier 39 Tom is wild. He runs up and down outside the pier inclosure, and when the drawbridge is let down the first one aboard is Tom — Tom, with moving tail and buoyant spirit. Straight he runs to the cook’s gallery. But, alas! strange scenes meet him at every turn, and he comes back down the gangplank with drooping tail and ears — a different cat from the one that went up a few moments before.
The Manitoba is due in a few days, and faithful Sailor Tom will reap his merited reward — New’ York Herald.
“FRITZ ” A SAN FRANCISCO PET.
Chicago Daily Tribune, April 8, 1900
The biggest and handsomest cat in San Francisco is probably “Fritz,” a great Maltese belonging to a Kearny street druggist. In weight he easily tips the scales against any animal of his kind, his glossy coat is without a blemish, and his noble head, with calm, masterful topaz eyes, is almost leonine in its dignity. No one who has seen and admired Fritz will be surprised to be told that he is a cat with a history.
He was not reared to the confusion and tumult and the indiscriminate association of a down-town life. When a wee kitten he was brought, along with a small black and tan puppy, to a lovely home, where a mother sat mourning the loss of a little daughter who had lain on a couch of suffering for four long years and had gone away, leaving the house empty. The scrawny blue kitten gave no promise of its present magnificent growth, and the sad woman found occupation in coaxing the delicate creature back to life and health. The cat and dog grew up and became fast friends, and their funny capers brought a semblance of joy and lightness to the household. When the master left the house both of the animals would follow him to the street door, and the moment it closed behind him, with one accord would dash up-stairs and to a front room, where, by jumping to the top of a sewing machine standing in a window, they could watch him until he disappeared from sight down the street. When he returned they were always watching for him. If the mistress of the house, as sometimes happened, went out without her latchkey, and, coming back, had difficulty in gaining entrance, the pair of four-footed friends would first run to the closed door, then rush back and forth through the house like panic-stricken children.
Once a week both of them were regularly treated to a bath, but they held a mutual and invincible prejudice against this ceremony, and when they saw the little tub and towels brought forth the dog invariably set up a dismal whining, while Fritz betook himself to the most cunning hiding place he could discover, and, after a long search, would be detected cowering in the depths of a closet or high up on a shelf.
At night, no matter how soundly the cat might be sleeping curled up in a knot, whenever the master laid down his paper and quietly remarked, “Well. Fritz, I am going to bed now,” the big ball would instantly uncoil and an animated mass of fur would spring to his shoulder, to be borne off In triumph to the upper chamber, where a soft bed was prepared for him on the floor beside the master's. The cat had many another pretty trick, invariably answering with a friendly cry whenever he was spoken to, and obeying orders given in the most matter-of- fact tone and without any explanatory gesture. To the desolate pair he seemed only a little short of being another human being, sympathizing with their moods and offering them every consolation and diversion that lay within the power of cathood.
Yet even this season of peace was of short duration. Death again entered the home and claimed the husband, and the despairing little mistress went into cheerless lodgings where animal pets are not tolerated, and, as she could not keep them with her, found comfortable homes for them elsewhere, so that Fritz became a drug store cat. — San Francisco Examiner.
CAT HAD DIPLOMATIC TRAITS.
Chicago Daily Tribune, April 8, 1900
It was not his size or his beauty which made him remarkable, though his possession of these attributes of feline superiority easily made him prominent among the cats of the neighborhood with whom he waged unrelenting warfare, but the fact that he possessed a controlling mind and a strategic ability that would have made him a great commander had he been born in a more exalted sphere of life. For this cat, with true diplomacy, made friends with the dogs of his particular domain and went forth to battle attended by a bodyguard whose appearance inspired respect and assisted him in his combats. An English mastiff, a bird dog, and a small cocker spaniel shared his meals, and later enabled him to gain victories over his hated rival, the gray cat across the street.
This cat had had many a contest with that gray cat, but the combat always resulted In a draw because of the guerrilla tactics of his wary opponent, who preferred a short fight and a rapid dash to safety to a prolonged conflict where the superior weight and fighting ability of the cat with the controlling mind would have a decided advantage.
The thought that victory, undisputed, had never yet perched upon his banners vexed the soul of the diplomatic feline and embittered his milk and beefsteak with the wormwood of vengeance long delayed. But at last diplomacy triumphed and retribution overtook the gray prowler and disturber of midnight slumber.
One day in a fatal hour the gray cat invaded the precincts of the feline Bismarck when the allies of the latter were at hand. When he struck a sudden blow and ran, a smile of ineffable joy parted the whiskers of the cat with the controlling mind, and with him the three dogs joined the chase.
Because of their superior numbers the dogs easily caught and brought to bay the gray cat and then formed a ring about him while the avenger entered the arena and began the battle. Continually driven back into the ring by the three dogs, the gray cat was unable to pursue his favorite tactics, and the result, after one of the prettiest “cat scraps” that that ward had ever seen, was complete victory for the cat with the diplomatic inclinations. Only when the gray cat, by a flying leap over the heads of the dogs, escaped, did he let up in the work of righteous retribution. Then, in the consciousness of victory, the conqueror returned, accompanied by his allies, to his repast of milk and beefsteak, lord of his own domain. And the surrounding neighborhood as far as three blocks owned his undisputed sway. — Grand Rapids Herald.
AGAINST CATS AND DOGS; West End Association on Record as their Bitter Foe
From The New York Times, May 8, 1900
Trees, dogs and cats were the three important topics of discussion before the meeting of the West End Association last night. The attendance was large and the discussions were unusually earnest. (After a discussion on the increasing number of dogs in the area, and of 165,000 put down by the SPCA, and the issues of fouling, barking, hydrophobia and fleas ....)
"Yes, sir, and fleas," thundered the speaker, "stalking through our streets and houses. What I want is the dog tax increased from $1 to a figure so high that it wall drive every dog out of the west side. I move that this matter be referred to the Committee on Legislation, laws and School, with the instructions to endeavor to secure the passage of an ordinance increasing the dog licenses and otherwise suppress dogs."
"And cats," said Joseph R Dillon. "I offer an amendment to include cats. I found seven in one vacant house near my home, and I urge that several thousand be legislated out of existence."
The amendment proposition was received with approval.
FOOD PRESERVATIVE FATAL. Formalin, Used to "Keep Milk from Spoiling," Kills Cats.
The New York Times, May 17, 1900
"Take two kittens for instance, two healthy cats of the same age and size. We would feed one kitten on pure milk and the other on milk which had been doctored with preparations of Formalin. The result," he said, "was invariably the same. The kitten which was fed on pure milk grew fat and hearty; the other kitten began to droop, languish and lose strength. Soon it would fall sick; in two of three weeks it would die."
STYLES IN ANIMALS
Frederick Boyd Stevenson – Phillipsburg Herald, May 17, 1900
Now that [Chicago] women are through discussing spring bonnets, they are turning their attention to the new summer styles in cats and dogs and other animals that are idolized as pets. Styles change every season among the animals, just as they do among dress patterns, hosiery, shoes, carriages and a few other things, animate and inanimate, of more or less importance. The animal that was fortunate enough to be in full favor last season may be tabooed as utterly passe this season.
Cats are more fashionable than ever. There are two cat clubs in Chicago, and the membership in each is increasing very rapidly. In the Beresford club — named after Lady Beresford — there is a membership of over 200, and in the Chicago Cat club of nearly 100. Then, of course, there are hundreds of women who are cat fanciers that are not connected with either of these associations. Some of the most valuable cats in the world are owned here. There is Mrs. Clinton Locke, who has two Siamese cats — there are only three all told in this country — valued at $500 each. She is also the owner of the celebrated black Persian cat, St. Tudno, worth $600. Mrs. Mattie Fiske Green, of the North side, is the possessor of a blue Persian which $500 would not purchase. Mrs. Leland Norton, of the Drexel kennels, has tortoise shell Angoras worth $200 each, and Mrs. Charles Lane has a number of Persians of a variety of colors. These are only a few of the fine cats owned in Chicago. Good authorities say that a better display was made here at the last cat show than in any other city in the United States.
AESTHETIC PERCEPTIONS IN CATS AND DOGS.
The New York Times, May 20, 1900 (Reprinted from The Spectator.)
With regard to color, both cats and dogs appear to have little aesthetic perception. We have heard of a dog appearing to prefer scarlet to blue, but it is difficult to eliminate the effect of association in dealing with a single instance. Cats, however, seem to show a definite, aesthetic perception of texture - aesthetic, for it is not ordinary bodily comfort which rules. They may like to sleep on velvet, but they revel, waking, in the feeling of crackling paper. or texture of still silks, and there is a well-authenticated story of a cat which goes into the garden to like the under sides of foxglove leaves, and cannot be kept from trying with his tongue the texture of flannelette. But the keenest aesthetic pleasure for a cat lies in the region of smell. The dog uses smell merely as a medium of information, but the cat revels in it. She will linger near a tree trunk, smelling each separate aromatic leaf, for the pure pleasure of it, not like a dog, to trace friend, foe or prey. If the window of a close room is opened the cat leans out, smelling the air; new dresses are smelled, partly perhaps, for future recognition, but also apparently for pleasure. A strong smell, above all a spirituous smell, is not only disagreeable but absolutely painful. Lavender water may please a tiger, but it will put a cat to flight.
A CHANGE IN GERMAN FEELING FOR CATS
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 20, 1900
It is a curious fact that while the Germans are great friends of the dog, they are no lovers of cats. You will find more varieties of dogs and more styles of dog-worship in Germany than in any other country that I know; but I cannot remember, after a residence of nearly nine years, that I have ever seen a cat in a German household. Some Germans must have them; a table-companion says these are all old maids. “Why, you have a cat!” I remarked to an American lady the other day. “Yes,” she answered, “some German lady gave it to my daughter.” Which only goes to illustrate my point again that Germans are no lovers of cats. But a reform movement in favor of the cat has just been inaugurated here. An international cat-show, at which only some sixty or seventy specimens could he gotten together, was recently held in Berlin; and as an outgrowth of that exhibition an organization called the “Society for the Protection and Improvement of Cats” has just been effected here. At this meeting, which seems to have been in the hands of some humane old maids, a piteous tale of the sufferings of the German cat was told. One elderly Fraulein said: “I keep nightly feeding-places for cats. By day they lie hidden in their holes and corners, but at night between 11 and 1 o'clock they come to me and eat three pounds of fresh beef, finely hacked. Many have lost their natural characteristics and have settled down near me." She was referring to the poor, ownerless cats that make up the chief cat population of Berlin. For these friendless cat-waifs the society will build a cat-asylum. Some ten acres of land for this purpose have been bought in the vicinity of Berlin; and it is proposed, through the assistance of the police, to gather all the ownerless cats together and show them what a cat-paradise on earth looks like. Societies like the Berlin society have been established in several other large German cities, and in the fall it is proposed to hold the first congress of the societies for the protection and improvement of cats.
DOGS, CATS, AND MUSIC.
The Spectator (reprinted in The Richmond Dispatch, June 24, 1900)
Neither the cat nor the dog can compare in musical susceptibility with the parrot, who is shaken by storms of emotion, but we have known a cat show very marked pleasure in a whistled tune. It is common to find dogs who “sing,” following, to some rough extent, high or low notes of music, but one doubts if such imitation is conscious, or based at all on enjoyment. The dog appears depressed with lowered head and tail, or uncomfortably excited, and a kind of thrill precedes the sounds. On the other hand, both cats and dogs appear to be unconscious of the sounds they utter until experience or definite teaching has shown them the result. To make a dog utter sounds voluntarily is often very difficult, and those who can “sing” to order seem to exercise a painful tension of will. Again, excitement will strangulate the voice of a dog, like that of a shy girl at a singing lesson, so that his strongest impulse to appeal is mute. So, too, cats often silently open their mouths when they demand food.
The facts seem to point to the conclusion that the noise is not purposely produced, and that though sounds may give warning or guidance to the other animals, the utterance is dependent on physical impulse. When the impulse is imitative it may depend ultimately on such sensation as is felt by some people in the throat when a Bourdon stop is on the organ, and by most people when they hear, for instance, the cheering of a large crowd. If this is so, we are on the wrong tack in comparing the sounds of animals varied and specified though they are, to language, and should rather compare them to weeping and laughter, which provoked an imitative response, or even to the sounds of a man who has early become dumb through deafness. For, in such cases, It is not purpose but efficient cause that must be the subject of inquiry.
(REVIEW) A BOOK ABOUT CATS
IN The New York Times, July 21, 1900
CONCERNING CATS: MY OWN AND SOME OTHERS. By Helen M Winslow, editor The Club Woman. Cloth, octavo, gilt top, decorated cover, rough edges. Pages 284, with 32 full-page photographic illustrations of famous cats. Boston; Lothrop Publishing Company, $1.50)
Grimalkin, resting securely and serenely upon the fence of a city back yard, and with feline joy and certain limitations carelessly running the chromatic scale with astonishing crescendo passages upon the upper registers, is not a soul-inspiring object. She is rather provocative of boot-jacks, stones, missiles of any and all kinds that, fired with energy in the direction of the ear-splitting sounds produced, by chance may happily do the execution intended and ring down the curtain upon the performance. it is not, however, from such a point of view that miss Winslow has chosen to consider her subject.
The seamy side of cat life is entirely ignored, and the landscape presented is a quiet and peaceful one, in which bees hum, birds sing, fountains play, a soft and luxurious perfume is in the air, and all is happy and joyous. Tibert. the cat, in the pages of the present book, is not by any means a stranger and a waif. Tabby is rather the admired and petted friend and close companion of certain women and some men who cherish and patronize the animals as is often somewhat similarly the case with men and dogs.
A cat having a value of $5,000 as is the instanced case with a French Angora owned by Mrs Charles Weed of Woodhaven, NY, is not by any means to be too lightly considered. Richelieu, the great Wellington, and Mohammed again having been fond of cats, it is easy for ordinary peopled to follow in paths blazed by them. What if Prof Shaler, in his interesting book on the intelligence of animals does give the cat only the merest mention? The Egyptians of antiquity saw the sacredness of cats and gave them a deserved place along with their mummified crocodiles and apises favoured by the Egyptian gods and goddesses. In the venerable story of Dick Whittington and his cat we may catch glimpses of the glorious possibilities for fame and fortune that lie easily within the reach of all those who, having a cat, walk in Whittington's footsteps. "Puss in Boots" is another notable example of how easy it is to succeed when you have success - and a cat, like the hero of that tale.
That there must be something of fascination about cats has frequent demonstration, otherwise Julia Marlowe, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Mary E Wilkins, Edmund Clarence Stedman, Mrs Louise Chandler Moulton, and the New York Sun office would find, in this great world, other things at whose shrines they could pay homage. There is a charm about a domestic cat that is unobtrusive and beautiful, as is the case with many a cat. We must all have pity for those who can ready without kindly emotion and sympathy such a description of a cat as following:
"How many times have I rested tired eyes on her graceful little body, curled up in a ball and wrapped round with her tail like a parcel; or stretched out luxuriously on my bed, one paw coyly covering her face, the other curved gently inwards, as though clasping an invisible treasure. Asleep or awake, in rest or in motion, grave or gay, Agrippina is always beautiful; and it is better to be beautiful than to fetch and carry from the rising to the setting of the sun."
The book has not a little that is serious in it. We may learn from it, if we will, of the growing appreciation of the Angora Cat and of the place the Persian Cay has made for itself. There are many who will realize for the first time on reading the present book that the Siamese cat differs essentially from those who are native with us. The same is true of Russian, new Mexican, Burma, Paraguay, African, Manx, Crimea, and many other varieties. In some cases hair is wanting, in others tails, so that what seems so common and so simple is found by a little study to have so much that is rare and complex.
Some cats eat at table with the family. They have inspired artists and poets. They have done their part in the world, and they have in recent years been rewarded by having hospitals and refuges established for their benefit, where, after fitful lives, it may be, they may pass their declining years in rest and quietness. In London there is a well-patronized cat cemetery. With all these things and with Miss Winslow for a chronicler and a historian, the cats are certainly to be envied by many of the human race who know not the comforts and the luxuries that they many times enjoy. The characteristics for cats, their origin, their kittens, their language, their diseases, their treatment, and much else in regard to them, finds a pleasant place in the present volume, and well repays perusal. The author's treatment of her subject has been comprehensive and happy.
IN PRAISE OF CATS
Chicago Daily Tribune, July 21, 1900
“Concerning Cats.” By Helen M. Winslow. Lothrop Publishing company.
That there is much concerning cats that is not known to the general public, and that affection for these pets is deeper and more widespread than is supposed are facts amply confirmed in this volume. Perhaps the attitude of most people towards these animals is expressed in the words quoted from Judge Robert Grant; “My feelings toward cats are kindly and considerate, but not ardent.” And many can say with Charles Dudley Warner: “I never had but one cat, and I when he departed this life 1I did not care to do as many men do when their partners die — take a second.” Yet even the most lukewarm cat lover must acknowledge that there is no animal so graceful as a cat and none so deliciously playful as a kitten. As to their intelligence, there has not been so much said, but this author gives many convincing proofs of knowingness upon the part of her pets and shows how they have been jealous and fond, quite in a human way. And not only about her own pets, but about the histories of those of her friends does she write. The reader is surprised to learn how many geniuses have loved and owned cats, and how much of poetry and great Literature has been inspired by and dedicated to these domestlc animals.
Cat clubs have been in existence In England for a number of years, but they are of recent growth in America. One of the most successful of the United States clubs is the Beresford Cat club, whose President, Mrs. Clinton Locke, was one of the first American women to start a “cattery” in this country. What comprises a cattery and what are the especial charms and attractions of certain members of these select bodies the author explains at length, and she devotes some delightful chapters to these and kindred subjects. In fact, there seems to be nothing concerning cats, their origin, varieties, habits, and characteristics that this writer does not know. And she has put her knowledge in so entertaining a form that the cat lover cannot fail to find interest in the book, while even he who openly confesses to a repugnance for such pets must admit that there is more in the subject than was dreamed of in his philosophy. The volume is full of the most piquant and irresistible portraits of feline subjects.
MISS MARY E WILKINS'S CATS (From St Nicholas)
The New York Times, August 12, 1900 (it refers to an image, but this hadn’t been scanned)
Miss Mary E Wilkins is a great admirer of cats. "I adore cats," she said to me. "I don't love them as well as dogs because my own nature is more after the lines of a dog's; but I adore them. No matter how tired or wretched I am, a pussy cat sitting in a doorway can divert my mind. Cats love one so much - more than they will admit; but they have so much wisdom, they keep it to themselves. Miss Wilkins's "Augustus" was moved with her from Brattleboro, Vt, after her father's death, when she went to Randolph, Mass, to live. He had been the pet of the family for many years, but he came to an untimely end. "I hope," says Miss Wilkins, "that people's unintentional cruelty will not be remembered against them." At Randolph she has had two lovely yellow-and-white cats, Punch and Judy. The latter was cruelly shot by a neighbor, but the right-hand cat, with the angelic expression, still survives. "I am sure," says Miss Wilkins, "he loves me better than anybody else, although he is so very close about it. Punch Wilkins boasts one accomplishment: he can open a door having an old-fashioned latch, but he cannot shut it."
ADMIRERS OF CATS
Freeman's Journal, 14th August 1900
Mr William Dean Howells says:-"I never had a cat, pet or otherwise. I like them on general principles, hut know nothing of them.". Colonel Higginson confesses to a great fondness and admiration for cats; while those who are familiar with Charles Dudley Warner's "My Summer in a Garden" need not be reminded of the cat "Calvin" and his interesting traits. Mr Edmund Clarence Stedman is a genuine admirer of cats, and evidently knows how to appreciate them at their full value. At his home near New York he and Mrs Stedman have "Babylon," a fine large Maltese, who attracted a great deal of attention at the New York Cat Show of 1895. Their “Kelpie" took a prize at that show, and is a handsome, long-haired blue cat. Babylon, like many other Maltese cats, is remarkably intelligent, and is looked upon as quite one of the family. "He thinks he knows as much as any of us," Mrs Stedman says. "He despises our other cats, but be is very friendly with human beings, and makes friends easily with strangers He is always near the dinner table at meal times, and expects to have his share handed to him carefully. He has his corner in the study, and has superintended a great deal of literary work." Miss Mary E Wilkins also is a great admirer of cats. "I adore cats," she said to me. "I don't love them as well as dogs, because my own nature is more after the lines of a dog's; but I adore them. No matter how tired or wretched I am, a pussy cat sitting on a doorway can divert my mind. Cats love one so much more than they admit; but they have so much wisdom they keep it to themselves." Miss Sarah Orne Jewitt is a cat lover, and the dear old countrywomen down in Maine, whom one loves to encounter in her stories, usually keep a cat though theirs are only the farmer’s plain, useful cats.
CAT FLED FROM WILLIE BRYAN
The Inter Ocean, August 19, 1900
Mike, the Auditorium cat, returned to her luxurious home in the hotel Wednesday night, after an absence of nearly four days. In some cats this would not be remarkable, but Mike never before has been known to leave her home voluntarily in the six years and a half that she has lived at the Auditorium, except on the occasion of her forced exhibition at the cat show, two years ago.
The failure of Mike to get along peaceably with William J. Bryan, Jr., was the cause of her desertion of her home. After a short acquaintance she refused to live longer under the same roof with the son of the Democratic nominee for President, and quit the house abruptly. W. J. Bryan, Jr., who is 12 years old, displays all the vivacity of American youth. Pulling the tails of pets gives him the same joy that it gives to other boys, and Mike possesses a tall which offers peculiar advantages in the pulling line. Being a cat of haughty disposition, she carries her tall aloft in such a manner that it was not necessary for Willie even to stoop in order to get a firm hold. He discovered this the first time Mike appeared on the fourth floor, where the Bryan suite was located. Taking a good run down the carpeted hall, Willie grabbed the uplifted tall on the fly, and before Mike realized what had happened she was carried several yards and landed on her back without a particle of her usual dignity. Mike rolled on to her feet and escaped down the long hall, but thereafter she was not safe a minute. Whenever Willie saw Mike, whether in the lobby, the parlor, or the upper floors, it was a signal for a stern chase, often not ending until several floors had been traversed, and Mike had escaped to the wine cellar or the tower.
Now, nothing so offends Mike's dignity as to have anyone take liberties with her. Although undoubtedly a Democratic cat, for she first entered the hotel in the wake of the County Democracy, she, could not put up with the pranks of the son of the Democratic candidate, and after a day of constant dodging she disappeared. For four days Mike was missing. She did not even appear in the grillroom or the kitchen for her meals. From baggage-room to tower word was passed to look for Mike, but all search[ing] was of no avail. The Bryans had not been gone from the hotel fifteen minutes Wednesday night, however, when Mike walked across the lobby floor with impressive dignity. Her tail was again carried proudly, and she seemed instinctively to know that there was no longer any danger from the boy terror of the Platte.
FED MOTHER'S CATS, DEMANDS $100
The New York Times, October 16, 1900
KINGSTON, NY, Oct 15. - For feeding his mother's cats, Ernest Hutchings of Esopus, administrator of his father's estate, credited himself with over $100 in paying her a three-hundred dollar legacy, in the Surrogate's Court to-day. There were five cats, and he says he boarded them for about three years and should be allowed 10 cents a week. The account will be contested.
HOSPITAL FOR CATS. MRS. LELAND NORTON’S UNIQUE ENTERPRISE IN CHICAGO
Wilkes Barre Times leader, October 24, 1900
No longer will the wail of the homeless and desolate pussy rend the air of Chicago’s back yards. When such a sufferer is discovered, he or she will be taken to Mrs. Leland Norton’s cat hospital and there will be tenderly nursed. For several years Mrs. Norton has given her love for cats full scope by keeping the finest kennels in this country. These Drexel kennels, as they are called, contain the expensive Angora pets of rich women who are traveling and who wish to make sure that their darlings receive the most luxurious cafe and treatment. The place is run on an orderly basis, too, and certain rules prevail which the cats themselves are expected to observe.
“I never punish the kitties in any other way than to scold a little and isolate them from their companions,” says Mrs. Norton. “They are like children and forget the punishment quite as quickly. I have to train them to stay in the inclosures and not scale the partitions and run away. It takes a long time to get some of them into the routine of the kennels, but once they attain it they are apt to follow the same course week in and week out. They are, as a rule, shy of strangers, but occasionally a woman will come in, and one or more perhaps of the cats will begin to purr and rub their noses against her skirt. Then I know a cat lover has arrived. One day Robin Hood fairly flew toward a pretty woman who came in to visit. He insisted upon putting his paws at either side of her throat and showed his pleasure by fairly singing. I never saw him greet any one like that before. The visitor said she had always been credited with personal magnetism, but she didn’t know before she could charm cats.
Among the inmates are Toots, Miss Willard’s famous Angora; Bengalore, a long haired rajah from India, and Mascot, a stunning eentleman puss, jet black in color and newly arrived from Persia. Toots was transferred from Rest Cottage at Evanston to the kennels at the time when Miss Willard went to England to aid Lady Henry Somerset in the temperance work there.
But now the aristocratic personages are to have plebeian neighbors. The suffering pussies of the gutters and house tops are to be assured of at least one saucer of milk and a night’s shelter. No fewer than 200 cats will be accommodated in the hospital, and a corps of nurses will take care of them. Mrs. Norton is the great authority on the care of cats, and she is a practical veterinary, so all the ailments of the inmates are sure to be treated with promptness and thoroughness.
CHAMPION SHOW OF THE NATIONAL CAT CLUB
The Sketch, 24th October, 1900
This week great excitement reigns in Pussy-land, for the ninth great opened yesterday (Oct. 23). Nowadays, not only may cats look at Kings, but Kings look at cats. A Royal lady, Princess Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, is Patroness of the “N.C.C.,” while the President is that most enthusiastic of cat-lovers, her Grace the Duchess of Bedford.
Those benighted people who regard the harmless, necessary cat as something of a nuisance will, perhaps, be surprised to learn that nowadays even kittens not infrequently change hands at enormous prices, while splendid trophies and challenge-cups are awarded to the happy owners of valuable cats and kittens, as well as money prizes. “Woman’s best friend,” as pussy has long been styled, owes not a little to Lord and Lady Marcus Beresford, their cattery being perhaps the most perfect in the world. At Bishopsgate some of the leading champions have been bred, and, with, perhaps, the exception of the Duchess of Bedford — who was a cat-lover long before cats became the fashion— no cat-fancier owns a finer set of the Siamese breed, most of them being the descendants of Romeo and Juliet, two sacred Temple cats—the only pair brought to this country—which were the gift of the King of Siam.
Clergymen have always been devoted to cats. Canon Duckworth, whose Canonry is one of the most charming houses in the Westminster cloisters, and who is an ardent pussophilist, is the owner of “Tim,” of whom I give a portrait. According to his master, “Tim” is a cat of rare intelligence and considerable taste. Lady Knollys’ pet cat, “Snowball,” is a lovely Persian presented to her by the Princess of Wales. Lady Knollys has always made a point of making her various pets live in amity together, and “Snowball” is on the best of terms with a beautiful dachshund. The Duchess of Sutherland, who is a lover of all animals, is also devoted to cats, and has a number of pretty pussies; her cattery, however, does not rival that of the Duchess of Bedford. Her Grace is not only interested in prize specimens, she is a genuine lover of poor pussy, and one of her chief favourites, “Fritz,” was found a sad, neglected, homeless kitten in the London streets. She is also a generous supporter of the various Cats’ Homes.
The question of cats and pounds, shilling, and pence is not without its fascination both to those who possess feline favourites and to those who intend to set up a cattery. A lady fancier not long ago paid sixty pounds for a Champion named “Lord Southampton,” this peerless cat’s son, quite a young kitten, shortly after selling for fifty pounds. A very ordinary price for a good, long-haired, pure-bred Persian is five pounds, while ten pounds will buy a good Siamese.
SOME FAMOUS TOPEKA CATS
The Topeka Daily Capital, October 28, 1900
Beautiful Angoras Which Are Worth Far More Than the Ordinary Feline.
This is a story of cats—Topeka cats. It is also a story of Angora cats. There are a few fine cats owned in Topeka—that is, really fine ones. Perhaps the finest are those belonging to the Misses Nina and Ella Peacock at 517 West Eighth street. Pictures of the feline beauties belonging to these ladies are shown herewith. The most valuable of these cats—as far as money goes, at least—is “Roscoe,” the two-year-old Angora, whose register number in the Beresford Cat club stud book of Chicago is 118. Roscoe is a pure Angora, valued at $200. His mother was Rosylys the Second who, as a kitten of the champion Beadle, has taken many prizes. Roscoe is a brother of the famous cat, Paris, owned by Mrs. Ames Colvern in Chicago, who has taken many prizes.
Nixoline, whose picture is also shown, is like Roscoe, a registered member of the stud book. No. 205. Both the Misses Peacock are members of the Beresford Cat club, of which Mrs. Clinton Locke is president. The cat, Nixoline, is Persian and Angora, looking more like the Persian side of the family. Just at present Nixoline is weighed down by the cares of a family of seven beautiful kittens.
Flossie is an Angora. She is now eight months old and weighs six and one-half pounds. Her father is the imported cat, Lord Gwynne, belonging to Mrs. Clinton Locke. Her mother is Wendella, a daughter of the famous Persian cat, Wendel. Lord Gwynne and Wendella both received' prizes at the last cat show. At the cat show held in Chicago last January, Roscoe’s mother and grandfather, the Beadle, took many prizes, as also did Nixoline’s brother, belonging to Mrs. William Penn Nixon. Neither Roscoe, Nlxoline or Flossie has ever been exhibited at any show.
Roscoe’s picture was taken when he was nine months old. He is now two years old and weighs twelve pounds in his summer coat. Nixoline was one year old when the picture was taken and is now two and one-half years old. Flossie’s picture was taken a week ago. Rosalind and Prince Hilo are kittens of Roscoe and Nixoline. The picture was taken when they were two months old.
These cats are gentle and affectionate and are, moreover, very intelligent. They understand perfectly what Is said to them and can do many tricks. The power of imitation is particularly strong in Flossie. She has noticed in living about the house that when the members of the family are in bed they tuck the covers about their chins. Now, a favorite position with Flossie is under a rug or cover of some sort with nothing but her head outside. A favorite amusement among the family members is to have Flossie jump for a spool tied to a string and swinging backward and forward like a pendulum. One day Miss Peacock tired of doing this, and so laid down string and spool and went about her work. She was amazed a moment later to see Flossie up in a chair with the string in her mouth and swinging the spool back and forth while with her fore paws she was making frantic clutches at it.
Mrs. William Green has been the proud possessor of a beautiful gray thoroughbred Angora cat, but about four months ago it died. The Angora cats, by the way, are sensitive to the heat. They come from the mountainous districts of Persia and Asia Minor and are peculiarly adapted to cold weather. Another Topeka Angora is Mrs. Sutton's famous cat, Prince, which is now being kept by Mrs. H. L. Robinson. Prince is a pure Angora, five year old with a handsome ruff of silky white hair.
UNION LEAGUE TOM A FAMOUS FELINE
The Times (Philadelphia), November 21, 1900
Tom, or, as he is better known, Union League Tom, is a cat who has no long ancestry, nor is he noted for his great beauty. He is famous for his remarkable intelligence and for his associations. He was born seventeen years ago in the Union League and has never been away from his present home. He is no wanderer. He is a great student of character, and all who desire to become members of the Union League must first pass under the scrutiny of Tom. The story is told that his actions faithfully foreshadow whether the member is to be blackballed or not. If Tom manifests signs of friendliness toward the newcomer he can rest assured of his membership. Another characteristic of this famous cat is that whenever he passes the restaurant he will only stop at the tables at which game is being served. Just what would be done by the members of the League without Tom is hard to say, for they have depended upon his superior judgment in the matter of membership, and he is a general favorite with all. Tom will not be exhibited at the cat show.
“TOM,” UNION LEAGUE’S PET CAT, IS DEAD
The Times (Philadelphia), December 13, 1900
“Tom" is dead. His place in the Cat Show and his luxurious apartments at the Union League are vacant, and his hosts of admirers are in deepest mourning. They are womewhat cheered, however, with the knowledge that “Tom” was a good cat, and if there is a feline heaven he must have inherited a generous backyard fence, where, free from bootjacks and other missiles by vulgar hands directed, he can vocalize to his heart’s content. He was 16 years old. A complication of cat diseases, chief among them gout, was the cause of “Tom's” demise. The end came at 9.15 o’clock Tuesday night, when, surrounded by friends both human and feline, he crossed the great divide.
OLD TOM’S PLACE FILLED The Times, December 15, 1900
One of the surprises of the evening was the presentation of the Kindergarten Club to the Union League of the handsome full-blooded Angora cat "Brother Ben.” This magnificent specimen was bought yesterday morning at the oat show, where it had taken first prize in its class. The animal will take the place of the famous Union League Tom, the last of whose nine lives flickered out a week or so ago.
“TIX” AND HIS THREE CLEVER COMPANIONS
The Times, 18 December, 1900
One of the most conspicuous and well-known sights which greet the visitors to Green’s Hotel is the famous Angora cat “Tix,” which is always either dozing on the counter in the office or seated near the register, welcoming regular patrons by purring and rubbing its silky coat against them or gazing with a dignified silence on strangers. The Intelligence of “Tix" is remarkable and visitors who have been absent from the city for months are instantly recognized by the cat. Sometimes a stranger teases him by pulling his ears or tail and is in consequence avoided by the cat for months.
“Tix" is well known all over the city and has been the mascot of the hotel for several years. He follows his master, M. W. Newton, around the hotel, coming downstairs with him in the morning and retiring with him at night. By a remarkable instinct “Tix” knows when Sunday comes and does not come downstairs until late in the day. He precedes Mr. Newton to the breakfast table and occupies his chair until he arrives. Immediately upon the arrival of "Tix“ in the dining room the waiters prepare Mr. Newton’s breakfast, knowing that he will soon appear. "Tix" is a large tiger-gray Angora cat and is five years old. He was born in Camden, Maine, and was bought by Mr. Newton when only two months old. “Tix" is conceded to be one of the finest breeds of Angora cats and won the first prize at the Cat Show recently. Mr. Newton recently refused $1,000 for him.
There are three other large Angora cats belonging to Mr. Newton which frequent the hotel. Of these “Whitey," a large white Angora, took the second prize at the Cat Show. “Mike" is usually found seated on the cashier’s desk in the ladies’ cafe and is widely known to visitors of the fair sex who inquire for him when he is missing from his post. "Beauty" is black and is usually found with "Mike.” The pair make a handsome sight and many an admiring glance is cast at them.
AN ACCOMPLISHED CAT
The Record Argus, December 21, 1900 (from the San Francisco Chronicle)
“Wuzzy” Has Been Trained To Retrieve Game. He Is As Good As Any Hunting Dog – How His Master Taught Him To Retrieve, Follow And Stand Fire – Has Acquired Some Canine Habits.
Uncommon among cats is Wuzzy, the son of Mutz, for Wuzzy goes –hunting. He does not hunt as all cats do, but, instead, goes with hunter and gun and retrieves game, the accomplishment coming partly from heredity and partly from long, patient and careful training.
I became the possessor of a beautiful Auatralian tiger cat who responded to the name of Mutz. Mutz was affectionate and of good disposition, and I began training her to hunt while she was a kitten. It was a most difficult undertaking, and when I had reached a point in her education where she would follow me a short distance from the house and pick up birds that were shot she became the mother of three kittens. Two of them were consigned to a bucket of warm water at birth, but the third was so beautifully marked that he was saved. Some one remarked that he was "a wuzzy little cat,” and “Wuzzy” he was named.
The coming of family duties effectually stopped the further education of Mutz, and the effort was transferred to Wuzzy. Wuzzy’s father was evidently a disreputable old fellow, but the son’s markings were even more perfect than those of his mother, and now he is a miniature tiger In all but disposition, for a more lovable and loving cat it would be difficult to find. The nomadic instincts of his father, combined with the training of his mother, made Wuzzy an ideal subject for experimentation, and as soon as he could play I began teaching him to retrieve.
After Wuzzy had learned to retrieve he was taught to follow at request — not command — and then to come to shoulder. A dog is taught to come to heel, but Wuzzy preferred my shoulder and would climb there and remain perched during the long walks. Now came the most important and delicate part of his education. He would retrieve and would follow; would he stand fire? Would he retrieve birds? Beginning with a small rifle, which made but slight sound, I gradually accustomed him to the discharge until he would sit on my left shoulder while I fired a shot from the right.
The next lesson was to combine the sound of the gun with the idea of retrieving, and on firing I threw the ball with which he was accustomed to play and he quickly associated the gun and the ball. Then the ball was displaced by a dead bird, a linnet or sparrow freshly killed, and it took but a few lessons to teach him to retrieve the bird as readily as the ball. The next lesson consisted in hanging the bird to a limb and dropping it as the gun, was fired. He soon learned to watch the motion of the gun, and his keen eyes detected the bird before the shot. His eagerness and expression of expectancy showed his impatience and the trigger was scarcely pressed before he was off for the fallen bird.
Having sufficiently inculcated into his mind the sequence of events I now put his lessons in practical operation and took him on his first hunt. He followed me readily for about a quarter of a mile and then showed a desire to return home. Calling him to shoulder, I shot a linnet. He watched the motion of the gun with evidences of delight, and as the bird fell he sprang to the ground and brought the bleeding trophy to my feet. This was sufficient for the first day, and we returned home, where he received the bird as his share of the day’s sport.
Every day for a week I continued to take him further and further from home until I felt that his education was about complete. A tramp of three miles and back had no terrors for him, and his bright golden brown eyes were often first to discover the hidden bird. Like, all of his kind, he had an antipathy for water, and will not venture in after birds that fall in streams.
The details of our most recent hunting trips are typical of his work and will serve to show to what extent Wuzzy’s education has been carried. I started out one evening and gave a peculiar whistle, which the cat has learned to recognize as his particular call. He came sleepily around the corner of the house, as if half inclined to resent interference with his nap, but when, he saw the gun his resentment passed and he was all life and action. He frisked about, like a dog, running up and down my clothing, climbing trees and scampering along the top of the fences for a few hundred yards, when he settled down to business and began casting about for game. Espying a dove on a dead limb, he crouched and began lashing his long tail in perfect tiger motion. Thus he lay until I sighted the bird, flushed it and brought it down, when he was off, swifter than a dog, and grasping the fluttering bird almost as soon as it touched the ground.
I was first to sight the next bird, and flushed and dropped a meadow lark while the cat was looking in another direction. Instantly on the sound of the gun Wuzzy was alert, and noting the aim of the gun, he was off like a shot after the bird, which be found by circling like a true hunter, Thus the hunt progressed until we reached a spring about three miles from home just at sundown, the time when, doves delight to drink, and then came what I consider the brightest achievement of the cat.
Hiding beside a scrub oak I called Wuzzy to shoulder. His bright eyes were constantly watching, and when a dove appeared flying swiftly toward he spring, the cat was trembling with excitement until the bird alighted for its evening drink, then he bounded from my shoulder to a near*by rock and stood, lashing his tail, while the frightened bird flushed and swiftly winged its way to fall by a shot. Retrieving the bird he waited patiently until the next appeared and the performance was repeated, until the approaching darkness drove us home.
As a sequence to his training Wuzzy has picked up, of his own accord, certain habits that are usually considered to belong especially to the dog. He objects to being left at home when any member of the family goes visiting, and will follow to the neighbors, and if the visit happens to be a long one he will give most reproachful yowl from the front porch until the hint is taken and the visit cut short. Occasionally when we have spent the evening at a neighbor’s, we have been followed by Wuzzy, and we were always sure to And him curled up at their front door when we started home.— San Francisco Chronicle.
CATS IN THE NAVY YARD; Vigilant Protectors of Government Property. Their Warfare on Rats -- The Pioneers of the Force -- One Teaches Her Kittens How to Catch Mice.
The New York Times, December 23, 1900
It was learned yesterday that probably the first official recognition ever taken of a cat as a regular member of the United States naval forces has been made by Naval Constructor Bowles of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He has intimated to the men under him that none of the cats which prowl about the yard are to be annoyed or interfered with in any way. According to the workmen in the yard, this recognition of the cats is no more than their due. The cats do not cost the Government a cent. They are fed by the men at the dinner hour, and come for the scraps of food saved for them at the various shops as soon as the bell sounds at noon. In return for this, they save Uncle Sam tens of thousands of dollars yearly by keeping rats and mice away from the sheds and shops.
Eight years ago there was not a cat to be seen anywhere about the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The place was overrun with rats instead. the officials had tried all sorts of poisons and traps for years in an effort to get rid of the rats, but in vain. They seemed to make sport of the traps and to grow plump and sleek on the poisons. The Government's outlay in its war on rats is said by the officials of the yard to have been considerable. Every year almost every dock in the yard needed overhauling to repair the places where it had been gnawed by rats, and the losses in rigging, spare sails, and other stores were even greater. About seven years ago, however, the first cat was allowed to enter the yard, and the rats began to leave. Previous to that, dogs had been brought into the yard in the hope that they might banish the rats, but the dogs were no match for the big and ferocious rats. They usually shirked an encounter, and, when the rats showed fight, fled from the yard in terror. The cats, however, are more than a match for the biggest rats, and now there are more cats than rats in the place.
TWO VETERAN RATTERS - The oldest cats in the yard are Tom and Minnie, who do the policing of the electrical department. Large quantities of oiled silk and other insulating materials are kept there, and formerly it was impossible to preserve it from the rats. Ever since the arrival of Tom and Minnie, however, the oiled silk is safe from being gnawed. Tom is a very large black cat, while Minnie, who is also black, is by all odds the smallest cat in the place. According to the workmen, she is the best ratter in the navy yard. "The best ratter in the navy yard!" exclaimed one of the workmen when this remark was made, "she's the best ratter in the United States, or in the world, for that matter. She has the run of the machine rooms, and she knows every wheel and strap there." As the man spoke a small black cat, scarcely larger than the ordinary kitten, appeared dodging about the among the whirring belts and wheels in the machine room with the greatest coolness. She ran up to the man and rubbed against his leg, purring softly. "See that," he said, "she wouldn't go near a stranger, but she's the friend of every man in the place. She can tackle a rat as big as herself, and the rat never gets away when she does tackle him. She can make a jump of eight feet easy. I've seen her jump done a flight of stairs after a rat and land plump on its back. It's sure death for the rat, for she never misses her spring. She deserves a gold medal for preserving the property of the United States Government."
Next to Tom and Minnie, Jerry, who is official rat-catcher in the rigging loft, is the oldest cat in the navy yard. He has been there almost seven years. A little over three years ago he was joined by another cat, who responds to the name of George Dewey. Up to Jerry's arrival the rigging loft was infested by large rats and an immense number of mice. Sailmaker Cowan says that at present the loft is as free of rats and mice as any place he has ever been in. "You have no idea of the change that has taken place there," he said, "The mice used to be awful. They were so bold and fearless that they would come scampering over our hands while we were working at the rigging here. I never saw anything like it. I've had mice run over my feet and try to climb my legs in the middle of the day, when all the men were working here, and the place was as noisy as a boiler factory. It meant a lot more work for the men, because the damage they did to the rigging kept some of us busy repairing it all year round.
Jerry is the only cat at present in the navy yard who has ever been on a cruise. He has been on two trips with United States fleets. his last was on board the Monongahela with the Asiatic Squadron. Jerry is in the habit of taking long trips away from the navy yard on his own account. About a month ago he was taken away against his will a considerable distance from the yard by a workman who tried to domesticate him at his own home. The cat appeared at the yard as usual the next day. The workmen declare that he must have traced his way back to the yard by listening for the tolling of the big bell there. About once a month Jerry disappears. He always returns just when the mice are beginning to show themselves again in the rigging loft, and for the first few days after his return he works overtime. A big black cat presides over the blacksmith's shop, but she has not much to do there. She appears about once a month and after killing of any rats or mice that may have taken refuge there during her absence disappears again for another month. Bob Duke, who is employed in the Construction and Repairs Department of the navy yard, is acknowledged to be the best posted cat fancier in the place. He has a cat named Jennie in Building No 20 and he asserts she is the most expert ratter in existence.
A LESSON IN RAT CATCHING. - "I've seen cats all over the world," he said yesterday, "but I never saw anything that could hold a candle to Jennie. She litters every three months, and her kittens have been taken all over the world by the warships they have been presented to. They are at a premium in the navy because they are all such corking good ratters. When they are little she gives them a lesson in rat catching every day at noon. A look of incredulity came over the faces of some of the listeners at Bob Duke's last statement, and he noticed it. " Come along," he said, "and I'll show that I'm giving you straight goods."
He led the way into Building No 20. As he entered a tortoise-shell cat ran into an open space in the middle of the room. She deposited a dead mouse on the floor. She returned a moment later with a very small tortoise-shell kitten, and the lesson that Bob Duke has promised began. While the kitten watched attentively, Jennie gathered herself in a crouching position at some little distance from the dead mouse, pounced upon it with a sudden spring, and began to worry it, growling fiercely all the while in imitation of anger. After this movement had been repeated several times, Jennie drew to one side and allowed the kitten to follow her example. Although the little cat was somewhat unsteady on her legs and was able to take only a very short jump, her movements were such a good imitation of her mother's that she was greeted with a shout of laughter from the spectators. "What did I tell you?" said her owner in triumph: "that little cat knows just as much as any of us. She's as wise as a Christian."
J A Cook of the ship's carpenters' department has a white cat named Joan of Arc, which, he says, is every bit as good as Jennie. "She's a Republican and comes from Omaha," he said, "but she can smell a rat just as quick as if she were a Democrat and came from Cat Hollow." The workmen in the ship carpenter's shop say that Joan of Arc knows the time of day without hearing a clock strike. "Why, we set our watches by her," said one of the men. "She comes here every day at five minutes before 12 as regularly as the sun rises and sets. All she is looking for is a little milk and a few scraps of meat, and she generally knows where she can get it."
The general equipment and ordnance departments an all the other buildings in the yard have their officially recognised cats. besides the regular cats in the navy yard, there are a number of guerrilla cats, who come at intervals to hunt for rats and mice.
STORIES ABOUT ANIMALS.; Cats Which Performed Auto-Tracheotomy and Swim
From The London News (reprinted in The New York Times, January 20, 1901)
I wonder that Greeks are so fond of cats -- the National type in Greece being so clearly birdlike. Now, as we all know, Aristotle held that every human being resembles one or the other of the animals. And there is a National face, with its human-animal type. Greek men are often eagle-like; Greek women, mostly parrot-like, or finch-like. [...] The French, who are in the main bird-like, are not conspicuous cat lovers. But in Greece, the family cat is often nothing short of a personage. The owners, in their pride of their puss, tell many stories to prove her great qualities of head and hart. Here is such a true history:
A beloved tabby swallowed a strong fish bone which stuck in her throat. The cat could neither eat nor drink, and swelling of the lacerated parts soon increased so much that the poor creature was gasping for breath. Her mistress tried to take out the bone, but it was so firmly fixed in the throat that the attempt only tortured the cat, who fled and hid herself. Every possible search was made for the poor thing, but without success; and the owner felt sure that Tabby must have died of suffocation, if not of starvation, when she was found - alive, but very weak - in a wood cellar.
There had been a course of medical lectures in the place, and Tabby's mistress gave this account of the matter: Puss "had performed tracheotomy, neatly shaving off a circular patch of hair on her throat, and cutting the windpipe - oh! wonderful animal! below the part where the bone still stuck." Puss "was breathing when found through the orifice that she had herself made." The happy owner now easily removed the bone, "treated the wound antiseptically," as she said, and nursed the cat back to health. To tell that lady that her pet had merely scratched herself to pieces in her pain and breathlessness would have simply been to arouse the lady's contempt for the speaker, for "why was there no torn skin above the place of the fish bone? Why was all done with the art of a trained surgeon?" she would have said.
[...]Polly [a parrot in the Channel Islands] has for her neighbor a cat which swims. She takes to the sea , in the wake of a fishing boat. "So remarkable are her performances," said Poll's owner, "that there has been an account of the swimming cat in the island newspapers." But the cat is no "giant gooseberry" of local journalism. I have the account of her prowess in the water (at second hand) from Puss's owner's daughter. The cat will swim to meet the fishing boat, as well as follow it some way out to sea.
UNNATURAL CATS. That seems rather an unnatural cat! So does the mother puss in a friend's family. This feline has two kittens now. For fifteen months she and the pointer have been play-fellows. now, as soon as the dog joins his owners in the morning, he straightaway pays his respects to puss and her babes. She welcomes him, allows him to sniff at the kittens to his heart's content, and even permits him to pick them up delicately by the backs of their little necks. Then she fawns on him - perhaps to ensnare his kind treatment of her offspring. When the pointer is rambling about near the house, if her maternal instincts permit, puss jumps upon the windowsill to watch her play-fellow's movements. Her interest is shown in the changing expression of her eyes, her head movements, and the cocking of her ears. On his return, she rushes to greet him, flashing down the staircase at express cat speed. When it was cold, they nestled close together in any attainable patch of sunshine. Their owners say; "This is against all cat-and-dog traditions"
A FAMOUS CAT.
Detroit Free Press, January 20, 1901
Went Through the Battle of Santiago but Couldn’t Stand the Chicago Cat Show.
“To Good Americans. Treat me kindly and give me food, aa I am a prisoner of war from the Cristobal Colon being forwarded by my captors, the crew of the Oregon, to their gallant commander. Captain Charlea E. Clark, whose brave efforts forced the Colon to surrender July 3, 1898
This unique placard concerns the career of a noted cat that has a war record as brilliant as many military men. During the Hispano-American war he was aboard a Spanish cruiser, and his ship formed part of a contingent that lay for several days in the harbor of Santiago. The memorable engagement there resulted in an exciting chase after the Cristobal Colon, in which the Oregon and Brooklyn were disting¬uished participants. The Colon, as is well known, was badly wrecked, and when part of the crew of the Oregon boarded her to care for the wounded and collect such relics as they could find, they discovered a pair of cats that soon became very popular pets. One of them was presented to Capt. Evans, of the Iowa, and the other to Capt. Clark, commander of the Oregon. When the steamer reached New York the cat was shipppd to the captain’s brother at St. Joseph. Mich. Naturally “Cristobal,” as he was named, created a genuine sensation. He was transported in a traveling basket placarded as above, and received much newspaper notoriety, some of which was entirely undeserved. One paragraph stated that Cristobal was a pet of Admiral Cervera, which was not true.
The feline prisoner of war passed a very pleasant time at the lake city, where he was frequently interviewed by reporters and photographers, who reproduced him in all sorts of poses. Charitable people of Indianapolis, who had planned a “military tea,” heard of Cris and they persuaded Capt. Clark to allow him to be the feature of the show. He was the reigning sensation in that city for a time, the newspapers giving elaborate accounts of his appearance, his experiences and his charming manners. His popularity netted a goodly sum for the Indianapolis free kindergarten. After his experience there Capt. And Mrs. Clark decided that he should travel no more, but in response to an appeal from Chicago, where a cat show was to be held, and in which several of Cris’s shipmates on the Oregon were interested, the captain al¬lowed him to go there. That was Cris' last appearance in public. He was attacked with some peculiar malady and died very suddenly, to the great distress of his master and mistress. The medal that he won at the Chicago show will be sent to the crew of the Oregon, as a memorial of their feline shipmate.
BUYS CONSIGNMENT OF CATS.
The New York Times, February 07, 1901.
ST. LOUIS, Feb 6.- For the first time in the history of the Merchants' Exchange a consignment of cats was sold to the highest bidder on the floor while the session was at its liveliest. W. A. Colby's announcement that he had a consignment of fifteen cats from a country trader which he would sell to the highest bidder the merchants in the grain pits thought was a joke, and when he showed the bill of lading they only laughed the more and said he had made good preparations for the ruse. D. J. Bushnell, who happened to hear the offer, took it seriously and offered 40 cents each for the cats. The offer was snapped up at once. Bushnell explained that his store and seed warehouse is overrun with rats and that he will turn the whole batch loose in the place. He says he has been buying cats from boys, but that the urchins sold him cats that went away and never came back, because they were pets in the homes of his neighbors.
CITY HALL CAT SHOW
Democrat and Chronicle, February 10th, 1901
The large tiger cat that bit Thomas Mur¬phy, of Griffith street, and which Health Officer Golor says is suffering from furious rabies, was viewed by a large number of people at the health office yesterday. The cat yowled almost constantly, and acted like a tiger of the jungle in its cage. If given the liberty of a back yard fence it would be able to make things interesting for an entire neighborhood at night. The Dog Owners’ Protective Association did not notify the health authorities whether it wished to take the animal for experimental purposes, and it will probably be dissectce by the health officer when it dies.
WHY NOT TAX CATS?
The New York Times, February 20, 1901
To the Editor of The New York Times: While our lawmakers are casting around their Argus eyes searching for something more to tax, one cannot but ask why it is that the cat always escapes their notice, while the faithful dog is so persecuted. Because in rare instances some one of his tribe has been seized with hydrophobia, he must be tagged and muzzled. The cat also is capable of contracting and communicating this dread disease, yet who ever heard of an ordinance compelling a cat to be tagged and muzzled? And because a few other members of his tribe have gone out and killed some sheep, he must be taxed. In the meanwhile, the favored cat can sally forth, slaughter chickens and devour our song birds at every opportunity, climbing the trees in the darkness and destroying the parent birds and their whole brood at one fell swoop, and no protest is heard, even from those who are raising the hue and cry against the woman with a bird on her hat.
But all this is as nothing compared with the nocturnal caterwaulings that disturb our rest and deprive those afflicted with insomnia, invalids, and perhaps dangerously sick of the little sleep they might otherwise obtain. One cannot but wonder why it is that these sufferers patiently endure this evil and never seek to have it abolished. There is no doubt far more misery is occasioned, in the aggregate, to the human race from this cause than ever results from the bite of the dog. Let our lawmakers give the savings banks a little rest and proceed to the business of taxing the cat. They will thereby secure a neat little sum, for those who have this animal are not apt to be satisfied with one, but usually have several, and some families, to my knowledge, have half a dozen. - L. New Baltimore, Feb. 16, 1901.
TRAITS OF THE SIAMESE CATS
The Inter Ocean, February 24, 1901
Siamese cats, with their curious markings and loud, discordant voices, are now favor¬ites with fashionable women in England. In many respects the animals of Siamese breed are unique among cats. They follow their owners as a dog would; they are exceedingly affectionate and insist upon being nursed, and they meow loudly and constantly, as If try¬ing to talk, and to a deaf person at that.
They have more vivacity than usually falls to the lot of cats, and less dignity. In color they vary from pale fawn through shades of brown to chocolate. There are two varieties, the temple cats and the palace cats; about the only difference between the two varieties being that the palace breed is darker in color.
The only sacred-temple cats that ever left the land of their birth were given to Dr. Nightingale as a mark of special favor by the King of Siam. They were named by their new owner Romeo and Juliet, and are now the property of Lard Marcus Beresford. They are very expensive, moderate specimens sell¬ing for $50 and finely marked ones bringing from $75 to $300.
Now that many ladies of rank in England have catteries, the price of high-bred cats is constantly increasing. Champion Lord Southampton, a white Persian owned by Mrs. Greenwood, was sold for $350, and $250 was refused for Zaida, a former cat-show champion.
CELLAR FILLED WITH CATS.; Janitress of a Flathouse Has Appealed to the Board of Health.
The New York Times, March 4, 1901
Mrs. L.J. Watts, the janitress of the big flat-house 141 St. Ann's Avenue, Borough of the Bronx, has, she confesses, a soft heart. She also has, she regrets to add, some sixty or seventy cats. A combination of the two has led her to the Health Board, but they say they can do nothing for her. And so the cats are still with her. Several months ago Mrs. Watts let in a purring stranger and fed it in the cellar. This she did out of the kindness of her heart. Tramp cats like tramp men have their means of letting each other know of anything good that may exist for all. The morning following, Mrs. Watts found three cats, all of whom she fed in the cellar. That night, the three disappeared after the way of cats, and the next morning some ten were added thereto. So it went. Mrs. Watts could not bring herself to turn them away. But within the last week the number has so increased that the janitress has felt compelled to heed the grumblings of the tenants of the house. The fiat went forth. Either the cats left or they did.
"Grand opera is bad enough," the women on the third floor complained, "where they sing in a different language every night, but this polyglot performance sort of continuous Tower of Babel style can't go on any longer."
Regretfully and with some misgivings of conscience, Mrs. Watts went to the Health Board. "Take them by ones, take them by twos, take them in baskets, wagons - only take them," she petitioned. But they told her they could do nothing for her. She was directed to apply to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. To the Society she wrote.
"Bring them to One Hundred and Seventh Street and East River and we'll prevent any further cruelty," they wrote her. But Mrs. Watts has no means of transportation for her company of artists to One Hundred and Seventh Street and East River. Consequently they remain in the cellar still fed by the kind-hearted janitress, it is declared.
In some mysterious way the cats have learned of their immunity for the present and hence resent any liberties taken with them by strangers. Boys passing have got into the way of throwing a stick or a stone through the cellar window, with a view to disturbing the concert of nations. It was tried the other day. There was a quick scurry, a deep growl, and Henry Bergman of one Hundred and Forty-third Street and St. Ann's Avenue was in flull flight pursued by some thirty cats. There was also a deep series of scratches on the hand of Henry Bergman, aged fifteen. Henry got home a few minutes before his mother expected him. Other boys fared likewise. Meanwhile one nervous woman on the third floor has found out that cats breed tuberculosis. On that ground Mrs. Watts has again appealed to the Health Board to do something for her as she fears tuberculosis will devastate the Borough of the Bronx.
The Missouri Sharp Shooter, March 8th, 1901
In London and Paris cats are more highly prized than in the United States, and there are frequent sales there of tabbies at £250 each. Some choice cats, with rare “markings” and “points,” are disposed of at $300 each. One of the most famous cats in America is Ajax, owned by D. W. Stevens, of Westfield, Mass. His actual value has been estimated at from $100 to $300, yet it is doubtful if the owner would take several times the larger sum for him. The famous cat Nicodemus, which won the first prize for beauty at a New York cat show, cost its owner, who pur¬chased it of a street urchin in Hester street, New York, the sum of ten cents. After the close of the exhibition the gentleman received a dozen offers of $1,500 for it, and one woman bid $2,100. A lady who controls a cat farm in Cal¬ifornia paid $1,000 for a cat in Paris and considered it a bargain. — Philadelphia Press.
CAT SUMMONED MAID TO OPEN DOOR
The Saint Paul Globe, March 20, 1901
A wonderful cat attracted the attention of everyone yesterday passed up or down Eighth street on the west side between Locust and Spruce. Pussy was pure white. She was standing upon the step railing of a house which was just high enough to enable her to reach the electric button with her paw. She manipulated this so vigorously that the door was soon opened by a servant who picked pussy up, took her in her arms, entered the house and closed the door. It was the sentiment of all who witnessed the trick that Maria, or whatever her name might be, was a bright cat. – Philadelphia Evening Telegraph.
TO RAISE BLACK CATS.; Connecticut Concern Being Organized with $1,000 Capital.
The New York Times, March 21, 1901.
WINSTED, Conn, March 20. - A company is being organised here, with a capital stock of $1,000, to raise black cats. Edward A. Nellis, High Sheriff of the county; H. Mac D. Allen, a stock broker, and Burton F. Moore, a real estate dealer, are the promoters of the enterprise. The skins of black cats are quoted at 50 cents, and, there being no law to protect felines and the fact that they are not subject to taxation, has led the promoters to believe that a good profit can be realized in breeding them. An Angora cat company, capitalized at $20,000, has just been organized in Winsted, and it is possible that the two companies will be merged.
HOUSE CATS SPOIL HUNTING.; Maine Trappers Have a Poor Season Because of These Cats' Activity.
The New York Times, April 06, 1901.
BANGOR, Me., April 5 - The experience of trappers at Holbrook's and Eddington Ponds during the past Winter has demonstrated the fact that the common house cat will, when turned loose in the woods and left to its own resources, become as wild in the course of a month or two as any bobcat. It is the custom of cottage owners at the ponds to take cats to their places in the Spring to drive out the mice that take possession of the cottages during the Winter, and in the Fall, when the cottagers return to town, these cats are usually forgotten and left to shift for themselves. Trappers just returned from the ponds report that their season has been a failure because the wild house cats have robbed the traps, tearing into shreds the mink and muskrats that were daily caught and feasting on their flesh. Every morning around the traps the hunters found evidence of feasting by the cats and of fierce battles between the cats and animals caught in the traps. Recently a dozen of the wild cats have been shot, but the woods are full of them, and so long as they remain there will be no profit in trapping.
DOG WORLD AND ANTI-CAT REVIEW TO BE ORGAN OF THE CANINE SPECIES.
The Inter Ocean (Chicago), 11th April, 1901
LONDON, April 10.— Unfeline is the one word which will describe the Dog World and Anti-Cat Review, which will make it first appearance on April 5 next, and will appear not more than once a century thereafter. Unfeelin’ seems to be the one word which will describe the attitude of its editors toward the whole cat tribe, for the Dog World and Anti-Cat Review is frankly described as a newspaper “written by dogs for dogs. In an attempt to discover the editor a correspondent visited Barking, the Isle of Dogs, Catford [. . .]
SAY CATS HAVE DIPHTHERIA
The Inter Ocean, May 14, 1901
Health Department to Investigate Reports of Epidemic of Disease
[Note: At the time of this report people thought cat flu was diphtheria. Later investigations found that cats do not transmit diphtheria to humans.]
A report that down-town cats are victims of an epidemic of diphtheria has cause Chief Medical Inspector Spalding to decide on an investigation. Albert E. Ebert, a State street druggist, has prescribed Vaseline for outward application to the throats of the animals, and the fumes of sulphur to kill the disease germs by inhalation. Mrs Leland Norton, president of the Chicago Cat Club, says the disease is tonsillitis and is not contagious. Dr. Spalding says that cats frequently have diphtheria [Note: this was not correct] and children are peculiarly liable to contract it from them because of the freedom with which they fondle the pets. “There is probably no great danger in this case,” he said, “There is much more danger when a child gets diphtheria, for often the little one insists on having its cat or dog on the bed with it. The germs are thus carried from the sickroom in the fur of the animals.”
DIPHTHERIA ATTACKS CATS.; Chicago Felines Said to be Dying by Wholesale of the Disease.
The New York Times, May 14, 1901
CHICAGO, May 13. - The cats of the First Ward have throat disease and are dying fast. Whether they will give the disease to persons who fondle them is still undecided. So far as is known no such case has occurred. Stricken with the disease which many insist is diphtheria, pussy eats and drinks less and less. Finally she crawls away into some lonely corner and dies. it is believed that the tendency of the pets to seek seclusion will greatly minimize if not entirely prevent the danger of contagion to those who feed and caress them. Dr Frances Dickinson lost a prized pet at the Harvey Medical College by contagion last week. "There seems to be no doubt it is diphtheria," said Dr Dickinson to-day. "The throat is extremely sore, the cat loses strength and cannot eat or drink except with much pain."
CAT SHOWS OF RECENT ORIGIN
Meade County news, May 16, 1901
Cat shows do not date from more than a decade and a half; dog shows have at least an existence of three-quarters of a century. The foremost European galleries contain hundreds of pictures of dogs; there are not a score of great artists who have devoted their talents to the pictorial representation of the cat.
The Palmyra Spectator (Missouri), June 12, 1901
Mrs. C.C. Layne has the premium cat ranch [meaning a multi-cat household in this instance] of the village, having at present no less than sixteen members of the feline tribe, of all ages, all sizes and all colors.
ROYALTY AND CATS
Northants Evening Telegraph, 14th June, 1901
According to “Our Cats,” a journal devoted to the interests of the feline tribe, Queen Alexandra, whose partiality for dogs is so well-known, is not altogether lacking in interest for cats, and possesses at the present time a beautiful Blue Persian, registered as Sussex Bunny, presented to her by Miss Patterson. Bunny keeps company with a handsome cat given to her Majesty by Lady Walter Gordon-Lennox. Both pets have been installed in comfortable quarters at Marlborough House. Another admirer of the Blue Persian is the patron to the N.C.C. Princess Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, whose Blue Girl, a recent acquisition, is attracting attention and admiration from everyone in the household at Cumberland Lodge.
“PUSSY IN THE TREE-TOP” IS THE GAME HE LIKES TO PLAY
The Weekly Gazette (Colorado Springs), October 8, 1901
One of the oddest places in Colorado Springs is to be found at No. 2 East Boulder street at the home of Mr. W. B. Clark. One of Mr. Clark’s all-absorbing passions is his love for cats. The lawn on the east side of Mr. Clark’s house is fitted up with every known and unknown comfort and convenience for his feline friends, and these are known as his “cat-kennels.”
Three of his cats are the beautiful Persian Angoras, the other three are the ordinary house cats, but the Angoras are not more dear to him, with their pecuniary value and their pedigrees, than the plain, starved pussies that escaped the dogs and the boys in the neighborhood and found shelter and a home with Mr. Clark.
The largest of the Angoras is a beauty in light brown, with markings of black and white; its back is two feet long and its breadth is one foot as it lies on the ground, and when it is picked up it is one mass of soft, beautiful fur. The prettiest and withal the most affectionate cat of the collection is the gray and white Angora, which looks for all the world like a Scotch collie, with the same faint suggestion of tan through the gray. This one Mr. Clark will hold suspended in the air, by his bushy tail, and with the other hand will tickle him with a whip. Apparently this is rollicking sport for Tabby, instead of cruelty to animals as one would naturally think.
However, the rarest one is the immense glossy black Angora. He is not as playful as the others, and sits apart under his roof with a singularly sinister aspect. The black Angora is really the prize of the collection, as there are only a very limited number in this country. Mr. Clark has no white Angoras, as he says it is practically impossible to keep them clean for the dust.
The cats live for the most part out of doors, and have various amusements erected for them. One is a large branch of a tree in the ground, with the limbs cut short. Mr. Clark has little boards nailed to the limbs, and has trained them to jump from perch to perch. Another conceit is a pole fastened in the ground, with a see-saw pole at the top; from each end is suspended a rope, with a cone-shaped arrangement of canvas at the end. The bases of these cones are about six inches from the ground, thus affording the cats an opportunity to play, hide and climb at their will. They will romp at the slightest turn of the whip [opportunity] and do not seem to tire.
One of his home cats, of which he is very fond, is a sleek black one, that is never still, but insists upon playing at all times. Then there is his large gray one, which has unusual black markings for an ordinary cat, and which he insists is by far the most intelligent. Mr. Clark tells that this cat will bring back a paper which he has thrown, just as a dog will do. Mr. Clark obtained his Angoras from Mrs. Leland Norton, of Chicago, and from Mrs. Clinton Locke, who have large kennels there.
Mr. Clark does not raise tabbies to sell, but keeps them for his own amusement only, and it is certainly unusual to see with what pleasure and tenderness he speaks of his pets. He is obviously conscious of his own eccentricity in this regard, for when called on by a Gazette representative he evinced no great surprise, but admitted that he thought sooner or later the papers would call on him. He is very modest and is averse to notoriety, but says that in this case the publicity is not his and that he does not object to his cats appearing before the public. Whether the neighbors have formed as deep an attachment for them has not been ascertained.
In a talk with the owner, he lays great stress on the fact that unless extraordinary care is taken it is impossible to keep them in this climate. There is a disease prevalent in this city from about the first of July to the first of October, which, he says, is, with but a very few exceptions, fatal. During this period he keeps his cats strictly within doors, and thus has escaped the disease.
In naming his cats, Mr. Clark has adhered strictly to the names of the 12 apostles: the big black one is named for Philip, the brown tabby carries the name of Paul very gracefully, and the beautiful tabby in gray and white bears the name Colonel Bartholomew modestly and with impressive dignity. The other cats are named, in turn, Thomas, Peter and John. Altogether, they make quite an interesting collection and are well worth the care, if one has the time, to indulge in pastimes.
THE MOST POPULAR CAT
Dallas Weekly news, November 16, 1901
The most popular cat today, said a fancier at the London Cat Show to an Express interviewer, is the blue Persian; and it is so not entirely through the vagaries of fashion as from the fact that it is the only variety in which perfect succession of breed is certain.
CATS ANCIENT AND MODERN
Democrat and Chronicle, November 16, 1901
Ancient History That is Made Timely by the Forthcoming Show.
The past few days have been the busiest yet for the cat show committee. The secretary has been almost constantly busy either handing out or receiving entry blanks, and there is now no question that the local exhibition will be very much larger than that of last year. Everyone is talking about cats these days, and interest is passing from the particular cats that will be at this show to the subject of cats in general. One of the promoters of the coming show makes this interesting contribution to cat literature:
“Very little is known of the history of the domestic cat. Some maintain that it "has developed from the wildcat species, others that it is a descendant of the Egyptian cat, which is known to have been domesticated in Egypt thirteen centuries B. C. One argument against the derivation of the common cat from the wild species may be drawn from the extreme scarcity of the former in the early ages of our history. In the time of Hoel, the good, King of Wales, who died 948, laws were enacted to preserve and establish the price of cats and other animals remarkable for being alike rare and useful; and forfeits were exacted from anyone who should kill the cat that guarded the king’s granary.
“This would seem to indicate that domestic cats were not originally natives of England, but were introduced from warmer countries of the East, and that they required for a time considerable care and attention to preserve the breed. This would scarcely have been necessary had the original stock been found prowling in every thicket of the country, as the wildcat undoubtedly was in those distant days.
“The theory of the Egyptian origin is the one most commonly believed. It would not be strange if Egypt, a land so remarkable in the early civilization of the race, should have contributed one or more domestic animals to the human family, and that the taming of the mouse-loving pussy should have taken place in the ‘granary of the ancient world’ would seem quite the fitting thing. Moreover, of all the ancient nations of which we have any record, Egypt is the mast noted for its appreciation of the cat. They held it in the highest reverence. Temples were erected in its honor; sacrifices were offered to it, and it was customary for the family in whose house it died to shave their eyebrows as a sign of mourning. The persecuted back-fence specimen must find its present life quite a contrast to this original ideal state. A dog would probably find the excitement of the cat’s modern existence rather exhilarating, but the more peace-loving pussy must often look back with regret to the days of the more appreciative Egyptians.
“From Egypt the cat species spread through Europe even before the Christian era, though scarce at first and confined to those who could pay a high price. In the Middle Ages they were often kept in a nunnery, which may account for their traditional association with old maids.
“The cat is generally said to be of unsociable habits and of self centered, not overconfident disposition, but it is well known that many of them are of most affectionate nature. At any rate, they have many admirers who are looking forward to the exhibition to begin next Wednesday afternoon in Fitzhugh hall.”
THE CULT OF THE CAT IN ENGLAND
– The Scranton Republican, November 16, 1901.
From the Pall Mall Gazette.
The cult of the cat, in this country, is assuming remarkable dimensions, I do not, of course, mean to say that it has permeated all classes. Indeed, the way in which the average man in the street conducts himself toward the animal is there to prove the contrary. But there are certainly people who, so to speak, are entirely wrapped up in cats. A neatly typewritten intimation reached me, a couple of months ago, conveying an offer to provide for the well being of my cat, in a healthy northern suburb, during my absence from town. I found that I was by no means the only unlikely recipient of the offer. It seemed all fair and square, but the tariff must, have been altogether remunerative. Sheer cult, I look it to be. As a rule, no doubt, the cult is more discriminating. Every cat is not the object of it. The worshipped cat must have a pedigree, and all the points. It must be of the Persian order, all white, or all black, and with a tail at least as large as the rest of it. Or it must be all of a grayish blue with a peculiar sort of emerald eye; or its coat must suggest the “real Russian sable” exhibits of the cheap draper. If it fulfill these conditions, its lot is simply Egyptian. It is sacred, and round its reposeful cushion a crowd of devotees gathers, about the hour of vespers, when the teacups are beginning to tinkle. Perhaps, though, if you have a mind to see the cult of the cat in its highest state of development, you should watch the proceedings at a cat show. Being a most intelligent animal, the cat is perfectly aware that the inclosure, luxuriously upholstered in which it finds itself temporarily confined on these occasions, is not a cage, but a shrine. It comports itself accordingly. It is as recondite as the cat of Thotmes. It is a cult, and it knows it. And, if I may judge by what recently came under my personal observation, it has not only a more cultured, but a much more charming, set of worshippers than the Thotmes cat could boast of.
Sunday Washington Globe, December 1st, 1901
The Danger Resultant Therefrom — The Big Cat Show in Philadelphia the Present Month.
In the case of a cat bite, the danger comes from the little unclean crust which forms on the teeth of all animals, unless they are cared for, and it is this which causes the blood poisoning. If the bite is properly cleaned and cauterized, the danger of the bite may be avoided.
The snake-like hissing of cats is thought to be a survival of the times when cuts adopted the means» of making other animals who would invade their den believe them to be reptiles. A cat will do the most frightful acts of cruelty, not only to other animals of other kinds, but to other cats. We have known cats to devour kittens alive and a sick and weak cat is a mark to a stronger cat that wishes to enjoy a little cruelty without fear of reprisals.
A more positive danger in the presence of a cat comes from the fact that they carry the germs of disease from sick rooms and communicate them to other cats which in turn carry them to their homes. There is a case on record where the greatest havoc of life was caused by a cat carrying small pox germs from one family to another, nearly fifty persons dying from being inoculated with the germs carried by the animal, after coming a distance of over two hundred miles.
Notwithstanding their treacherous qualities, cats have never been so popular among womankind as they are at the present day. The Ladies' Kennel Club, one or the smartest and most exclusive organizations in England, of which Queen Alexandria is president, has lately ordered an annex to its building for the housing of handsome and pedigreed cats. A large cat show held in Windsor Castle, to raise money in aid of Princess Christian's nurses home, over 200 specimens of such magni[fi]cent specimens of cats were exhibited. Princess Christian’s daughter, Princess Victoria, of Schleswig-Holstein, had on exhibition three splendid maltese. Lady Marcus Beresford was another successful exhibitor, and several prizes were taken by some handsome Siamese cats belonging to Lily, Duchess of Marlborough.
A big cat show will be held In Philadelphia on December 28th, at the Philadelphia museum, at which the best known Philadelphians will place their favorite pussies on exhibition.
SHAKESPEARE ON CATS
The New York Times Saturday Review of Books and Art, December 07, 1901.
Whoever wrote the excellent, amusing and raedable criticism on Miss Repplier's "The Fireside Sphinx," is a little faulty in memory as to Shakespeare. Does not Shylock say, "the harmless, necessary cat"? And what finer choice of adjectives could be made than these? Every one finds something for (to) himself in Shakespeare, and as a cat lover I remember this, and probably "there are others," also. - E.D. BRADFORD. New York, Dec 2, 1901.
CATS ATTACK OFFICERS
The Inter Ocean, January 5, 1902
Constable Kruckstein and His Assistants Have Exciting Encounter.
Constable Krucksteln of Justice Severson's court was confronted by a small army of cats when he called at the home of Miss Henrietta Tice, 560 Fulton street, yesterday to eject Miss Tice from the premises for not paying her rent. The house was filled with kittens that were just beginning to be playful, huge Angoras, fierce-looking Tom cats, black cats, white cats, and tortoise-shell cats.
On every chair and table rested a feline pet. Miss Tice refused to leave, and the constable proceeded to carry the contents of the house into the rear yard. Procuring a broom, he tried to sweep the animals out of the place, but several veterans of back-fence battles offered vigorous objections to being disturbed. A huge black Tom cat raised its back in defiance, and then sprang at Kruckstein. Half a dozen other animals joined in the attack, and for a time Kruckstein and his assistants had a fierce encounter with the animals. The cats leaped upon the backs* and heads of the men, scratched their faces, and for a few minutes the room was an exciting scene of struggling, angry hump-backed pets.
Finally, after the last animal had been chased from the premises, the furniture and other belongings of the woman were piled in the yard and the doors and windows were nailed up. Upon emerging from the house Krucksteln came face to face with so many cats that he was unable to count them. He then returned to Justice Severson’s court, but an hour later he was again summoned to the house to find that Miss Tice and her family of cats had regained possession of the rooms. During his absence the woman is said to have forced the boards from the doors and windows and moved all her belongings back again. The result was that the tired and perspiring constable was compelled to perform the job over again, but this time an assistant was left behind to see that the persistent woman and her cat family did not again enter the house.
CAT RANCH IN CITY BUILDING BASEMENT
The Elwood Daily Record, Friday January 10th, 1902
Mr. Editor - Some time ago I noticed in the local press a complaint from the janitor of the city building, that hoodlums were guilty of gross misconduct in the basement and the cause is known to the man in charge, but no complaint is made, nor does be make any attempt to remedy the matter despite the fact that the nuisance is being complained of by the occupants and patrons of the building every day. In the basement corridors the stench it something fierce, and if it is possible to remedy it, the matter should be attended to at once. Our city building is entirely too fine and cost too much money to be used as a cat ranch. If a city employe desires to embark in the feline industry he should go out to the garbage plant. - A Citizen.
A CAT TELEPHONE
The Morning Post, January 10th 1902
There was a Banquet in Chicago not long ago to which one of the guests, a lawyer, had taken his office cat, a feline being the emblem of the organization that gave the dinner. The banquet was given in the Great Northern Hotel, where the cat the lawyer had taken to the dinner became lost. The next day the lawyer called up the hotel on the telephone and asked if they had his cat yet. He was told that the bell boys had hunted all around among the cats kept as rat catchers in the hotel and that they had finally selected four cats, one of which they felt sure belonged to the lawyer.
“Well,” said the lawyer, “I haven’t time to come over and pick my cat out. Just hold those animals one by one up to the telephone received and pinch their tails and make them yowl.”
One of the bell boys dutifully held up the cats to the telephone and made each one of the felines give a good resounding wail. The lawyer dismissed each cat until the third cat was put up to the receiver. It gave one yowl, when the lawyer enthusiastically exclaimed:
“Yes, all right; that’s my cat. I know the voice. Send her ever right away.”
So the cat was sent over to the lawyer’s office and turned out to be the missing pussy.
DOGS AND CATS TO BE KILLED.; President Fisk of Plainfield Board of Health Thinks They Spread Contagion.
The New York Times, January 19, 1902
PLAINFIELD, N.J., Jan 18 - Believing that domestic animals, such as dogs and cats, are liable to spread disease, President Charles J. Fisk of the Board of Health has ordered that all cats or dogs found about houses where contagious diseases have appeared shall be killed. Yesterday two cats that were running about the Isolation Hospital, in which are four cases of small px, were killed by direction of the Board of Health. Traps have been set about the hospital for the purpose of catching rats before they spread the disease. Where it is suspected that dogs have been exposed to the disease they are also to be made away with.
KING EDWARD AND THE RATS AND CATS
Oakland Tribune, January 25, 1902
Very quietly and slowly, but nonetheless surely, during the past thirty years a hobby has grown up in our midst – a hobby indulged in almost exclusively by gentlewomen – a hobby in which a great deal of skill, patience and sympathy is essential, a hobby to which much of their time and interest has to be devoted. Ever since the day when Harrison Weir, now an old man, organized the first cat show ever held in the world, at the Crystal Palace, in 1872, the keeping, breeding and exhibiting of high class cats has formed a pleasant pastime for a large number of women. The buying and selling of cats and kittens has supplemented many a scanty income. But it is only during the past few years that the cat has made any bold bid for general popularity or achieved distinction by securing august patronage and recognition. King Edward, on being asked to patronize a society for the protection of cats, replied that he would willingly consent, but that if he did so he might the next week be asked to support a society for the protection of rats, and so find himself in an awkward predicament.
CATS FOR THE WHITE HOUSE
The Evening Times, January 25th, 1902
BOSTON. Mass,, Jan. 21. — The Hon. Perry Collier, former mayor of Beverly, Mass., has forwarded six of Beverly's finest cats to President Roosevelt to rid the White House of rats. When Mr. Collier learned that the Executive Mansion was overrun with rats he visited friends and called upon them to offer up their felines for their country. Over a hundred were offered, and the six with the best records were selected.
The "ridders” are named after Beverly's past and present mayors — “John I.,” for the late John I. Baker; “Captain,” for the late Charles H. Odell; “Freeborn,” for Freeborn Cressy; “Perry,” for the donor; “Bennie,” for Benjamin D. Webber, and “Sammie,” for the present mayor. Samuel Cole.
How the mayors, past and present, will take this honor does not disturb Mr. Collier. He bought six yards of dainty white ribbon, and in the centre of each strip has printed the name of the cat. The ribbons were tied in big bows and the cats locked really fetching as they were exhibited before shipping. With the box of cats, Mr. Collier sent a letter to the President, stating that Massachusetts cats are unequalled as rodent hunters and, provided they are not overfed, will clean the rats out of the White House in short order. He tells the President that he hopes the result will be as decisive and the extermination as thorough as in the late war with Spain.
The half dozen rat-destroying felines from Beverly have not yet arrived at the White House. The rats in the cellar of the historic mansion still fear only the White House cats and the steel traps which Col. Theodore A. Bingham, Superintendent of Public Buildings and Grounds, has purchased to aid in the diminution of the rat census.
Evidently Mayor Collier’s rodent eradicators are still en route from Beverly, inasmuch as not even his letter telling of their transmission has been received at the White House. The impression that the White House is sorely overrun with rats is rather erroneous. The watchmen can walk through the corridors of the basement at night with absolute impunity. The slumbers of the President are undisturbed by the scampering of rats between the walls, or the gnawing of their teeth on the century-old rafters.
The contents of the Presidential larder are never bothered. In fact, the White House is no more afflicted with rats than any other old building in Washington. The impression has, however, gone abroad that the White House is rat-ridden and a deluge of rat remedies is looked for there.
THE DESIRABILITY OF BREEDING FIRST CLASS ANIMALS
The Age, February 1st, 1902
If competition is the soul of trade, it should certainly result in immense improvement among our domestic pets. Here in Melbourne our dogs are far too apt to be "just dog” and our cats “just cat.” And yet, as “horsemen” say, a good looking, well bred animal costs no more to keep than another. The theory that it is the mongrels that have the brains is long since exploded, and one might just as well expect breeding to count for nothing on the turf as to look for the intelligence of a well bred dog in every nondescript canine quadruped. Much the same applies to cats, and that the desirability of breeding first class animals is recognised in England is illustrated by the fact that the entries at the last National Cat Show totalled a thousand. Blue Persians formed one of the largest classes, though Siamese and Chinchilla cats were well represented.
THE OLD LADY OF THE RATS -Extraordinary Tastes of a Paris Ragpicker, Who Hates Cats.
London Daily Mail, January 30, 1902; The New York Times, February 16, 1902; Star (New Zealand), 15 March 1902; Wanganui Chronicle, 24 March 1902 (and others)
PARIS, Jan. 29. -- In the unlovely district of St. Ouen lives an old ragpicker, well known to her neighbors on account of her aversion to cats. Her name is Louise Maritzman, but every one knows her as Mother Matou. She was very unclean in her habits, and the old cabin where she lodged was in a filthy condition. For some time past, however, the odor from her dwelling has been growing worse every day, and finally the inhabitants asked the police to interfere. Yesterday morning the Commissaire, accompanied by an Inspector, called on the old woman and found her seated in a chair in the centre of her hovel, surrounded by over 500 rats.
"Come in," said the old hag; "you have just arrived at lunch time." And as she spoke she cut up in small pieces an enormous chunk of horseflesh and threw it to the rats, whose number increased every minute. The rats paid no attention to the strangers, but greedily devoured the meat and tumbled over one another in their anxiety to get the last morsel.
Suddenly Mother Matou called out "Toto!" "Lulu!" and a couple of enormous rats, bigger than any two of the others, came from the corner where they had been concealed and jumped on the knees of the old woman. One had a red ribbon round its neck, and the other a blue one.
"These are my children," said the rag-picker; "are they not nice? Unfortunately, I have lost others whom I loved quite as well, killed by the cursed cats. They are in the cemetery now. Come and see." She led the way into a cupboard where, hanging from the roof were thirty dead cats and on the floor were the corpses of nearly 200 rats, all laid out side by side.
Ultimately a workman stopped up all the crevices, a basin of sulphur was set alight, and in a little while not a rat remained alive.
THE CRAZE FOR CATS
Daily News Democrat, February 1st, 1902
Fashion has turned its attention to cats; not the “Weary Willie” specimens of the feline species that sit on back fences and sing in the moonlight, but real aristocratic cats that have pedigrees extending back to Noah’s original invoice. Like most other fads this one comes from overseas, where the cat craze has been raging for lo, these many years» patronized by everybody from the queen of England to the well-to-do green grocer’s wife.
A recent article published in an English magazine, the Ladies’ Realm, says: “No creature has been more popular as a pet than the cat, and certainly in no branch of the animal ‘fancy’ have ladies been more successful than in that which has been honored and graced by her majesty the queen, the princess of Wales, the duchess of Bedford and those renowned artists and naturalists, Mr. Harrison Weir and Mr. Louis Wain.”
Looking over other English publications the advertisement of Her Royal Highness Princess Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein is found in February, 1901, offering for sale several fine kittens. Prominent among other royal personages of England who are cat fanciers are the countess of Aberdeen, the duchess of Beaufort and many others.
The London Institution for Lost and Starved Cats is advertised as being under the patronage of her majesty the queen, Princess Ludwig, five duchesses, two marchionesses, a dozen countesses and as many more lords and ladies. When royalty gives itself so completely to the cultivation of the cat those of humbler walk socially may be sure to be found enthusiastic also.
In the United States the breeding of pedigreed cats has taken a firm hold, and to-day there are as fine specimens of beautiful cats produced in this country as can be found anywhere. The Persian and Angora types are most popular and bring the highest prices. There are many colors in these varieties. The white Persian or Angora with blue eyes is much sought after, and a good specimen from ten months to a year old often sells for $100, while half that amount is almost an every-day quotation for the same sort of kitten three or four months old whose parents and grandparents are pedigreed animals. The fancy for finely born, finely bred cats has become so strong in this country already that a registry has been established by the “Beresford Cat Club of America,” the parent body of the Cincinnati organization.
A great number of finely pointed cats are raised and sold every year which have not been registered. These, of course, do not bring such good prices as the animal who can boast a number in either the National Cat Stud book of England or the Beresford Cat Stud book of America, the two recognized associations of the world. The annual cat show has now become as much of a fixture in many of our larger American cities as it is in England, and few will long remain without this most fascinating of all pet animal exhibitions. — Cincinnati Enquirer.
SAY ANIMALS SPREAD GERMS.; Dogs and Cats of Pennsylvania Township Killed on Account of Smallpox.
The New York Times, February 8, 1902
WILKESBARRE, Penn., Feb. 7. - At 9 o'clock this morning the butchery of every dog and cat found loose on the streets of Plymouth Township commenced. They are being killed because it is believed they are responsible for the spread of smallpox, of which there are several cases in the township.
A KITTEN'S INTELLIGENCE.
Prof. E.L. Thorndike
The International Monthly, February 9, 1902.
A hungry kitten was put into a cage, the door of which would fall open when a loop of wire that hung in front of the cage was pulled down an inch. The kitten tried to squeeze between the bars, clawed and bit at them, thrust its paws out between the bars, and clawed at various loose objects in the cage. It clawed the loop several times, but not with enough force to pull it down. After 160 seconds of such activity, it happened to claw the loop hard enough, and so escaped. After it had eaten the food outside it was put into the box again. There was a repetition of the same activities, but the successful movement came this time after 30 seconds. On the next trial, general activity for 90 seconds was required before the kitten escaped. With repeated trials the association between the interior of the box and the act of clawing at the loop became fixed, so that finally the kitten would do it in a few seconds - that is, as soon as it was put into the box. This progress is shown in the times taken in the different trials. They were 160, 30, 90, 60, 15, 28, 20, 30, 22, 11, 15, 20, 12, 10, 14, 10, 88, 8, 5, 10, 8, 6, 6, and 7 seconds.
WOMEN START MOVEMENT FOR THE TAXING OF CATS.
The Chicago Tribune, Sunday, February 9th 1902.
THE common house cat is threatened with a tax. The incipient crusade is being started by the protectors of song birds, who declare that the back doorstep Tabby is the greatest enemy of the birds and is each year reducing the number of songsters. The Women's club of Kenosha is the organization which is considering the taxing of cats in order to protect birds. The question was first considered at the request of Edwin F. Owen of Maine, who wants all untaxed cats to become legitimate prey for the municipal cat catcher, and urges the women to secure the introduction of a tax bill in the Wisconsin Legislature.
This threatened action has stirred members of the Chicago Cat club to the defense of their wards. “No more reason to tax cats than to tax birds,” they declare. The champions of the house cat say that cats do more good than birds, and that the Legislature might better arrange for the general feeding of cats to take the edge off their craving for a bird diet than to cause the payment of salaries to innumerable cat catchers.
At the last meeting of the Kenosha Woman’s club the cat taxing proposition was advanced. The club, which recently gained fame through its efforts to entice song birds to Kenosha, was asked to further a project for the protection of the birds. In a letter to the club Mr. Owen of Maine says: “I do not approve of the Kenosha club's method of attracting song birds to the door yard while the house cat is allowed to do what it can to exterminate the birds. Birds are farmers’ friends, and whatever helps the farmer helps every one. On account of the depredations of the house cat I hope that some remedy may be applied before it is too late. I would suggest that a bill be introduced in your Legislature providing for a tax of $1 on each cat”
The members of the Kenosha club have not decided definitely to take up the fight against the house cat. It is estimated there are 4,000 cats in Kenosha, and while the revenue would prove advantageous, it is thought the law might not be popular even if it were passed.
“The whole plan is absurd,” said Mrs. Leland Norton. “Cats are just as useful as birds. A cat will always pay for its keeping. If a tax were put on all cats it would result in greater damage to birds than is now the case. The people who are now barely able to keep a cat would turn their pets out. Then the cats would run wild, increase rapidly, and be forced to forage as never before. The birds would consequently suffer and the cat’s usefulness would be impaired. I don’t know why cats eat the birds, but they do if they are not so well fed that they do not have to forage.”
TO LICENSE CATS.; Provisions of a Bill Introduced in the Massachusetts Legislature.
The New York Times, February 16, 1902 (reprinted from the Boston Globe)
As sponsor for the bill before the Legislature to require the licensing of cats, Representative Moody Kimball of Newburyport finds himself locally famous. But Mr Kimball is satisfied that the proposition is a good one. He seriously believes, notwithstanding the gibes of the flippant, that the bill is in the interest of public health, and is also a thoroughly humanitarian measure, and will he does not make the claim that the idea originated with himself, he is very glad of the opportunity to stand back of the proposition.
The petition which accompanies the bill contains some seventy-five signers, most of whom live in Haverhill or Groveland, that latter place being the home of the woman with home the idea originated. This was Mrs George W. Rodigrass, who is neither a fancier of cats nor against the breed, and she received the inspiration from Helen M. Winslow's book on "The Cat." That is the reason that Helen M. Winslow, author and clubwoman, appears as the chief petitioner in the list. Mrs Rodigrass came to the conclusion that the state ought to protect cats, and she asked Mr Kimball to introduce the petition and bill that all cats shall be licensed.
Mrs Rodigrass found many who agreed with her that there were altogether too many unkempt, uncared-for, and starving cats in almost every community in the State, and the signers of the petition agreed also that some way should be provided to legally put out of the way the abandoned cats which infest every neighborhood of any considerable size. Latterly it has also been demonstrated that cats carry infectious diseases, and Mr Kimball says that in some of the States the authorities have been killing off stray felines on that account.
The bill is a long one. It contains eight sections, and has been referred to the Committee on Probate and Chancery. This committee has not yet assigned a day for a hearing, but Representative Kimball believes that there is a great deal of public interest in the subject, and that if anyone cared to give up the time to further work up public sentiment the committee room would be crowded by those in favor when the bill came up for consideration.
The first section of the bill, which embodies the principle of the legislation asked, is a s follows: "Section 1. The owner or keeper of a cat, except as hereinafter provided, which is three months old of over, shall annually, on or before April 30, cause it to be registered, numbered, described, and licensed for one year from May 1, following, in the office of the Clerk of the city or town in which said cat is kept. The owner or keeper of a licensed cat shall cause it to wear around its neck a collar distinctly marked with its owner's name and its registered number. The owner or keeper of a cat after May 1 which is not duly licensed, and the owner of a cat which becomes three months old after April 30, in any year, shall, when it is three months old, cause it to be so registered, numbered, described, and licensed; provided, however that the owner, keeper, or proprietor of any home as a refuge for animals shall not be subject to above requirements."
The license fee is fixed at 50 cents. The bill provides that in all cities and towns a record shall be kept of all licensed cats, and that whoever keeps a cat contrary to the provisions of the act shall forfeit $5, one half of which shall be paid to the complainant and one-half to the city or town treasury. Annually, within ten days after the 1st day of July, the Mayor or Chairman of the Selectmen shall issue a warrant to one or more officers to kill or cause to be killed all cats which are not licensed.
A BILL TO LICENSE CATS.; One Drawn to a Woman Before the Massachusetts Legislature.
The New York Times, February 18, 1902.
BOSTON, Feb. 17. - A bill for the licensing of cats now before the Legislature is provoking much good-natured pleasantry and is sure to draw forth a funny debate when it comes up. It is the work of Miss Helen M. Winslow, a newspaper woman living in Boston. Miss Winslow's bill provides that Assessors of all cities and towns shall enumerate all the felines in their Bailliwicks on or before May 1 of each year and that death warrants for all unlicensed cats shall be issued on each July 1. The owners of every cat of at least three months old shall obtain a license for his pet, paying therefore the sum of 50 cents, and each animal so licensed shall wear a collar inscribed with the owner's name.
CATS. How to Care for them in Health and Treat them in Disease. (1902)
ILLUSTRATED. 48 pages. Cloth, 50 Cents. BOERICKE & TAFEL, Publishers.
"This little book should be in the hands of every cat lover and breeder, especially the beginner. It is simple and clear in style, and symptoms and remedies so arranged that the novice in catology should have no difficulty in following the suggestions. The chapters on 'Early Symptoms of Disease' and 'General Care, Food, etc.,' are particularly to be commended. We believe all cat lovers will thank Mrs. Neel for her labor of love on behalf of the cat." — The Cat Journal.
The Times, 22 February 1902: "Cats: How to Care for Them in Health and Treat Them When III," by Edith K. Neel, is issued by Boericke & Tafel, of this city. It is the third book with the cat as a subject that has been recently published in Philadelphia. The title is explanatory of the contents; and the little volume may be regarded as a sort of supplement-to Miss Repplier's "The Fireside '"Sphinx" and Mrs. Patteson's "Pussy Meow." - The Philadelphia Times.
"The Aristocracy of Cats" really treats of, all classes in the feline .world, from homely house-pet Tom to the blue-blooded puss with a high- sounding name and a suite of rooms in a palatial cattery. It is by Virginia has attracted- national' attention these and other features - San Antonio Light (Newspaper) - February 7, 1909, San Antonio, Texas
Former Chariton Girl an Editress Of the many people here who have seen the February number of Everybody's Magazine we wonder how many there are who know that Virginia Roderick, the writer of the very interesting and instructive article on "The Aristocracy of Cats," is a former Chariton girl, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Roderick. Mr. Roderick, it will be remembered, was the pastor of the Methodist church. He died here of diabetes. Miss Roderick's given name by which she was known here was Stella. For several years she has been on the staff of Everybody's as special writer and literary critic. - Chariton Patriot (Newspaper) - February 4, 1909, Chariton, Iowa
WOULDN’T THIS JAR YOU?
The Salina Daily Union, March 11, 1902
A California Cat Ranch Thinks Cats Are Scarce In Salina. The Cat Ranch, of Fresno, Cal., writes the ‘Union’ as follows: "There seems to be a scarcity of cats in Salina. I believe we could ship you some and do a paying business. We have white cats with yellow heads and yellow cats with all kinds of heads. Do you know of anyone who would like to go in partnership? Address, Cat Ranch, Fresno, Cal., dealers in cats, pug dogs, Belgian hares, etc.
CAT CLUB MAIL GOES WRONG
Chicago Daily Tribune, March 29, 1902
Presidents of Two Local Clubs Entitled to Say “Scat” to Faulty Service.
The mysterious disappearance of a brush and crumb tray mailed to Mrs. Leland Norton, President of the Chicago Cat club, and, according to the Postoffice records delivered at the home of Mrs. Clinton Locke, chief executive, of the Beresford Cat club, is puzzling Inspector Stuart’s detectives. The crumb tray and brush were sent to Mrs. Norton as a present from her nephew, Asa Hale, of Birmingham, Ala., last Christmas. Mr. Hale addressed the parcel to his aunt's old residence at 4011 Drexel boulevard, which has been vacant for two years. How the addresses of the two cat club executives could have been confounded by carriers has not been explained, but Mrs. Locke, at 2825 Indiana avenue, received a package which her maid remailed to Mrs. Norton’s correct address, This package Mrs. Norton again failed to receive.
TO LICENSE ALL CATS.; Bill in Massachusetts Legislature Substituted for Adverse Report.
The New York Times, April 8, 1902.
BOSTON, Mass., April 7. - There was considerable amusement in the House of Representatives this afternoon over the Cat bill. This is a measure proposing that cats be licensed as dogs are. The authorship of the movement is credited to Miss Helen M. Winslow, a well-known newspaper woman resident in Boston, though her name does not appear in connection with it. The committee gave the customary hearings, and reported "Ought not to pass."
This afternoon Representative Brigham of Marlborough moved to substitute the bill for the adverse report. Mr Kimball of Newburyport seconded the motion.
"All those in favor," called the Speaker. With a stentorian "aye," the House replied and the bill was substituted.
"Those opposed!" There wasn't a sound. It was a unanimous vote and there was a roar of laughter.
Mr Kimball tried to have the rules suspended and the bill put through all the stages, but Speaker Myers wouldn't have it.
REFUSED TO LET IN FIREMEN
The New York Times, April 10th, 1902
Door to Mrs. King’s Home Finally Forced – her Valuable pet Cat Escaped.
Persons passing the four-story brown-stone private dwelling of William King, at 1,541 Madison Avenue, between One Hundred and Fourth Street and One Hundred and Fifth Street, shortly after 10 o’clock last night saw smoke issuing apparently from the roof, and, thinking the house to be on fire, turned in an alarm.
It wasn’t long before Capt. Dougherty with Engine No. 53 from East One Hundred and Fourth Street arrived on the scene, and his men tried to get in the basement, but found their way blocked by a locked iron gate. An attempt was made to open the windows, but with no more success. Finally they went to the front door and rang the bell. After a delay of several minutes a woman, who turned out to be Mrs. King, cautiously opened the door and asked the fireman who had rung the bell and what he wanted. He told her that the house was on fire.
“Well,” she said, “we will look after the fire. You can’t come in.”
The men persisted, but Mrs. King finally shut the door in their faces, saying something about having to look after her silverware if they came in. Capt. Dougherty, however, thought that the fire might prove dangerous, so he ordered two of his men to burst in the door. This they did and found that the fire was only a burning chimney.
Mrs. King, in the meantime, became much excited, and when she had got the last fireman out of the house she announced that her $1,000 pet cat, which had taken three first prizes at the Cat Show, had escaped shortly after the firemen broke in the door.
FIREMEN’S UNUSUAL EXPERIENCE
Democrat and Chronicle, April 14, 1902
When firemen rang the front door bell of a Madison avenue brown-stone dwelling last night to let the occupants know that the house was afire, they were not a little surprised when the owner answered with considerable asperity that they “couldn’t play any tricks on her so as to get in and steal the silver.” Then she slammed the door in their faces. Someone had seen smoke rising, apparently from the roof, and had turned in an alarm. After futile attempts to break through barred basement windows and door, the fire captain bethought himself of the more regular procedure of asking admittance. To the persistent demands of the firemen to open the door, the voice on the other side replied that if there was any fire in the house she “would look after it herself.” It didn’t take long to burst in the door and find a burning chimney, whereupon the lone woman sat down and went into a fit of hysterics. After the excitement had subsided, the silver was found intact, but the $1,000 pet family cat, that had taken several prizes at the cat show, had disappeared.
NATURE MARKS CAT “I.C.”
The Inter Ocean, April 25, 1902
Mattoon Daily Journal, April 29, 1902
William T. Buck, contracting freight agent of the Illinois Central railroad, is puzzled over the value of a cat. The animal in question has been offered for sale, and the price asked is $300. Mr. Buck wants the cat, not on account of its ancient pedigree or its aristocratic blood, but because on its sides are the letters “I. C.” in white fur, on a dark gray ground. It is owned by a South Water street commission firm. The letters are birthmarks, and have attracted much attention. The cat is 6 months old, and not of aristocratic origin, none of its ancestors ever taking a prize at a cat show. Its five brothers and sisters have no claim to fame. The Illinois Central is to put on a fast freight train from St Louis at 4 o’clock in the afternoon and arrive in Chicago the next morning at 5. Mr. Buck thought the cat's picture would make a good trademark for the new train — “Quick as a Cat” he intended to call it—and he would keep the cat as a mascot.
But the owners of the cat refused to part with it for less than $300, and Mr. Buck hesitated, declaring the price to be extravagant. He is still hesitating.
THE CHEVALIER AND HIS CATS.; He Grieves Over a Neighbor's Complaint and Plans a Summer in Hoboken for His Pets.
The New York Times, June 6, 1902
The Chevalier Alberto de Bassini, a Court singer to the late King Louis of Portugal, tenor of La Scola in Milan, and leading singer with Mme. Patti and Mme. Albani, appeared in the Seventh Municipal District Court in the Yorkville Police Court building at 10 o'clock yesterday morning in answer to a summons procured for him by an Inspector of the Board of Health. He keeps six or seven cats - the chevalier does not know just how many - which he feeds and takes the best care of, and he also feeds all other visiting cats, sometimes to the number of a score or more. This annoys his neighbors, and one of them made a complaint of it to the Board of Health, resulting in the summons. The Chevalier is very anxious to know who made the complaint, but the Health Department authorities refuse to tell that. The case was adjourned for a week.
Chevalier De Bassini resides at 171 East Ninety-first Street. His midday meals for homeless cats and for his own felines, the number of which neighbors cannot guess, have become noted in that vicinity. It is said that there would not be any grieving were it not for the desire of the cats to see if more meals are coming, which requires a tarrying on the premises of the Chevalier and the neighbors. Night brings duets and quarrelings. Chevalier De Bassini, who is a member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of naples, Italy, said: "I should so like to know the name of the person who does not like the cats. Perhaps they will not be disturbed, my neighbors, this Summer, as I think of spending my vacation in Hoboken. I shall, of course, take my pet cats with me."
When a suggestion that mme, De bassini might be able to explain the source of the complaint was brought to the knowledge of the singer he said: "It is try that my wife does not like cats. She is an American, we being married in New Orleans nineteen years ago, and I am an Italian. She recognizes the Code Napoleon, and would not date to have me brought to court, only in case she was seeking a divorce. It is impossible to suspect her of doing anything of the kind."
“WHO SAID CATS”?
St James’s Gazette, 2nd August, 1902
In the Chancery Division yesterday, before Mr Justice Farwell, the case was mentioned of Louis Wain, caricaturist, against Dean and Son, booksellers and publishers, which was a motion by the plaintiff for an injunction to restrain the defendants from further making, selling, publishing, or offering for sale copies of the book, “Who Said Cats?” which was alleged to be an infringement of the plaintiff’s rights. Counsel stated that the defendants had agreed to give an undertaking not to further sell or publish the work until the trial of the action, the plaintiff giving the usual undertaking in damages; and on this footing there was not order made on the motion except that the costs be costs in the action.
THE CAT MANUAL,” BY DICK WHITTINGTON
The Scotsman, 6th October, 1902
“The Cat Manual,” by Dick Whittington, a tiny volume which comes from Messrs. George Newnes (Limited), will be found exceedingly serviceable by all lovers of the feline race. Advice of all sorts is offered as to the breeding of cats – advice which may be regarded as all the more reliable in that the author writes, as he says, from experience. The manual gives illustrations of many of the most famous cats in the country. Messrs Cassell & Co. have issued the first part of the “Book of the Cat,” by Frances Simpson, to be completed in a year. The number gives promise of an interesting history of this domestic pet, it being observed at the outset that “the origin of the cat has puzzled the learned, and the stock from whence it sprang is still, in the opinion of some, a mystery for the zoologist to solve.”
TAXATION OF CATS.
The New York Times, October 14, 1902
In Austria, as in Massachusetts, a bill has been introduced in the legislative assembly for the taxation of cats. The idea is not new. It has been the dream of every man who pays an annual license fee for a dog that the owners of cats should contribute to the municipal revenues. The dog owner argues that cats do more than toothache to promote insomnia; that nothing else is as nerve-racking as the cat's marvelous counterfeit of a woman in mortal terror or of a child in the throes of midnight colic. He maintains that cats are wholly useless, having long since ceased to war on rats and mice; that they are not less liable than dogs to attacks of rabies, (a malady as to the existence of which the cog owner is skeptical,) and that they more often carry about the germs of infectious disease. he repeats the tradition that they are incapable of affection, and he contrasts with their intractability the readiness with which the dog obeys those who feed him. Even the pestilent and fugacious flea, he avers, of the canary bird, which the cat is forever alert to devour, can be more easily trained to pleasing tricks than the cat. Therefore, affirms the dog man, it is unjust and against a sound public policy to exact a fee for the dog while the cat is allowed to swell an untaxed tail and voice in the midnight air. In short, the dog owner finds the same pleasure in the suggestion of a cat tax that the married man extracts from the proposition to tax bachelors.
However, it is not the dog owners who are responsible for the Massachusetts bill, but the very lovers of the cat. That there has been no such impost has been charged to a survival of ancient superstitions. In a public square in Athens a gilded Tabby of heroic proportions sat on a pedestal forty feet high, and the curious diggers about the sites of buried cities often find the relics of statues raised in honor of the sacred animals. At this time in parts of the Orient cats are as secure against violence as are the scavenger buzzards of Charleston. Still, it is not true that there is any such absurd superstition among civilized peoples. Many a stray cat carries a broken leg as proof of the American boy's intellectual emancipation and of his skill in throwing stones. Indeed, it is partly to shield the feline hoboes from this skill that humane Massachusetts women urge the license system. The bill provides that all unlicensed cats shall take the pleasant gas line to cat heaven, where there are broad acres of evergreen catnip and miles of back fences and shed roofs, but never a boy, a dog, or a hurtling bootjack.
NEWPORT'S ANIMAL HOUSE.; Incorporated Society to Take Care of Deserted and Suffering Dogs and Cats.
The New York Times, October 17, 1902.
NEWPORT, Oct. 16. - the movement for a Newport animal refuge is taking shaped and the refuge will soon be incorporated, Senator George Peabody Wetmore and ex-Mayors John hare Powel, Daniel B. Fearing, and Frederick P. Garrettson being among those interested. Others who have consented to serve as honorary or active officers are Mrs. Amory Codman, Mrs A. Livingston Mason, Miss C.O. Jones, Mrs Wetmore, Mrs R.C.Derby, Mrs. F.E. Chadwick, Mrs. F.P. Garrettson, Miss M.C. Cosman, Mrs. D.B. Fearing, the Rev C.E. Gilliat, the Rev. Emory H. Porter, Miss E.H. Storer, and Mrs. T.A. Lawson. If sufficient encouragement is given immediate steps will be taken to engage a suitable home where animals deserted by the owners on leaving the city can be taken and humanely cared for, that branch of the work being chiefly for cats and dogs. It is hoped that another branch of the work may be added in the form of a home for horses, like the one carried on at Acton, England.
A LUCKY COON CAT – Akron Daily Democrat, 12th November, 1902
Miss Alice Roosevelt to Furnish a New Pet For the White House.
Washington, D. C., November 13. — Miss Alice Roosevelt is in spirit with the renovations going on at the White House, and will do her part by furnishing a new pet. There have always been divers and sundry cats in the historic mansion, tabby cats, black cats, tortoise shell cats, Maltese cats and any old kind of mongrel yellow cats, but the small army of worn men, with their incessant hammering made life a burden to the poor pussies, and one and all, like the Arabs, silently stole away, but in the cat world, as in the human, the departed are always superseded by others who fit in their places, and so in this case, the White House will not be catless, for a little coon kitten is soon to be domiciled within the new struc¬ture.
When Miss Roosevelt was visiting in Lincolnsville, Maine, this sum¬mer, she became enamored of a little kitten of the coon species, which is a native of Maine. Coon cats, like An-goras, have long hair and bushy tails, but their heads are flatter. The fur is gray. This little kitten lived with its mother’s family and a family of pigs in co-operative housekeeping style, but the President’s daughter wished to take it home with her. One of her friends purchased the little animal, and it was torn from the maternal bosom, but, as usual, "the cat came back" to the family, and to mother, to remain until it was a little older. The day came when it graduated from the nur¬sery and was returned to the Presi¬dent’s daughter, a very proud pussy-kins, for it is not every kitten born and reared in a pig sty that ends its career In the Executive Mansion of the United States as this cat undoubtedly will. At any rate it is to be a factor there this winter.
LITERARY GOSSIP FROM LONDON
The Courier Journal, November 15, 1902
(Correspondence of the Courier-Journal)
London, Nov. 5 – One of the brightest of Richard Harding Davis’s later short stories has just been amusingly paralleled in "real life” over here. The American author’s story was about a dog and the hero of the true romance is only a kitten, but the rather striking similarity of the veracious to the imaginary story as well as the importance of at least one of the people concerned in the former makes the little tale worth telling. In the Davis story called “The Bar Sinister,” a stray bulldog having, quite by accident, fallen into the hands of a wealthy dog fancier, turns out to be a blooded animal and finally wins the blue ribbon at the New York dog show. The black kitten “Charcoal,” wich is now enjoying a nine-days’ celebrity by reason of having won a “first” at the National Cat Show last week, originally was found starving by Lord Decies. When spied by the eye of the wealthy baron, “Charcoal” was walking dejectedly along the gutter in front of Lord Decies’ house. His lordship picked up the wayfarer and carrying him inside commended him to the attention of his wife. Lady Decies, who is a “cat lover,” showered attentions upon poor little “Charcoal,” who throve under them so amazingly that his aristocratic mistress determined to enter him at the show where, besides his first prize he has won much attention.
The Pittsburgh Press, November 16, 1902
Lord Decies, a baron in the British peerage, whose family name is William Marcus De Le Poer Horsley Beresford, is as lucky as he is rich. Going home one night a year ago he found a poor half-starved kitten in the street near his house. He took it home, being a kindly peer, warmed it and fed it. Yesterday the foundling cat showed its gratitude by winning a first prize at the National Cat Show at Crystal Palace. There is no end to some men’s luck!
DEPEW’S CLEVER CAT.
Asheville Daily Gazette, December 2, 1902
Trick Performed by Tom, the Senator’s Wonderful Feline. Among the cats that may compete in the cat show to be soon held at Washington is a handsome gray fellow belonging to Senator Depew, says the New York Times. The cat bears the name Tom. It is not known whether or not he is named for the senator’s distinguished colleague from New York, but it can be said that Tom is clever and tricky and devoted beyond measure to his master and mistress. That Tom can think can scarcely be doubted. He is very sagacious and frequently outwits his master. It is said he has learned to smile at the senator’s jokes.
Tom has learned a trick that is often shown to guests at the Depew home. Under the dining room table is an electric bell for the purpose of summoning a servant. Whenever Tom is fastened up in the dining room, he immediately jumps on this button and pushes it with great vigor until someone arrives and lets him out. Whether by accident or otherwise, Tom learned that whenever the button under the table was pushed someone entered the door, thus opening it.
The Washington Bee, December 6th, 1902
Music surely hath charms when it brings to the surface from their burrow three handsome skunk kittens. This, says the Hartford (Conn.) Times, was the case on Sunday afternoon at Riverside park while the band concert was being rendered to thousands of people. The country boy may be green; he may be given even the title of “hayseed,” but he knows a thing or two about skunk kittens. Not so with the young helper in a Main street drug store. He was lacking the wisdom of the farm boy on this particular occasion. He wandered about the park in his Sunday clothes, and he was decidedly smart in appearance. As he meandered along the edge of the grove a little way apart from the crowd he espied three little skunk kittens - “regular beauties.” He thought they were young Angoras, and he immediately picked them up and started for home.
The kittens were quiet for a while, but that was caused more by fright than by natural instinct. As he struck into Morgan street a smell reached his nostrils that he recognized but couldn’t locate. It seemed to be in his neighborhood all the time, and before he got to Front street the citizens and noncitizens of that locality were scattering in different directions, and all eyeing him in open-mouthed astonishment.
When he got to his place of business the proprietor took in the situation at a glance, and, plainly speaking, "fired out” the young man and his three skunk kittens, telling him what he had rolled in his arms at the same time. He dropped them outside the store, and it was then he came to his senses. The kittens were killed and then the young man turned to his employer and piteously asked: “What will I do?” The reply was:
“Go bury yourself.”
THE WOMEN OF KANSAS CITY ARE GOING TO HAVE A CAT SHOW
The Salina Daily Union, December 22nd, 1902
The women of Kansas City are going to have a cat show. The cat promotors say the feline can be educated. I hope so, but very few cats need educating. I can't think of a single cat in this town that needs it — not as long as the shotgun is in good order. My neighbor tried to educate one to keep off his back roof a few days ago. The rock hit the next neighbor's window and it cost him three dollars for ventilating the man’s room without permission, and the cat jumped into his cistern and died - deliberately died — to get even with the man. Of course, some cats know a good many things that men don’t for they will climb up a second story window and look in.
I know cats that have been killed at least six times but they will yet bow up their backs and spit at the moon when they see it coming up over the wood shed. A cat-shredder would pay well in some localities. What? Never saw a cat shredder? It’s a thing to take the back off of them. A good shredder don't leave a thing of the cat but the electricity which is placed in a storage battery. A battery of this kind can whip a Mexican cougar. Modern cats are not used for catching mice anymore. They have been bred out of the beastly habit. The manx cat is a “brute” and has more lives than the Russian raglans, with whiskers all over his face. But the lives are said to be shorter. His caterwaul is lovely, almost as good as a whole church choir — whiskers on that too. A fog horn has no chance in a contest with the voice of manx cat.
SHADES OF MY GRANDMOTHER’S DEAR OLD TABBY ….
Various, 28th January, 1903
Shades of my grandmother’s dear old tabby, let me not forget the Cat show, which, for a week has been a well-spring of delight to the lovers of cats and the haters of mice. "Say nothing ill of the dead.” I don’t exactly know why; grandmother’s tabby has been dead-many years, and I harbor no ill will against him though he cost me many a bottle and my best bootjack when I made him a target while roosting on the fence. It was a blue ribbon show all through and the number of fine ladies who were present with their cats made it evident that, in the Cat show at least, Grimalkin was not without friends. The weather has not been favorable to cats who have no regular boarding house, but that kind of cat was not admitted to the Cat show. Yours truly, Broadbrim.
A WOMAN’S CHARITY
Daily News Democrat, 3rd January 1903
Chicagoan to Get a Fortune Because of Kindness to Animals - Rich Uncle of Mrs White Hears of her Home for Stray Cats and Fogs and Immediately Makes Her His Sole Heir.
Half a million dollars is the reward that Mrs. C. A. White, president of the Home for Friendless Dogs and Cats, of Chicago, is to receive for her kindness to the four-footed waifs. The news of her benevolence reached the ears of her bachelor uncle, Capt. H. Launder, of Washington» and he has named her as sole beneficiary in his will. Mrs. White and the other members of her family had not heard of her uncle for many years. A few weeks ago, however, a picture of Mrs. White appeared in a Chicago newspaper in connection with a story of her benevolence. This reached her uncle, and soon afterward he wrote her that because of her kindness he had named her as sole heir to a fortune of more than $500,000.
Capt. Launder is well known in Washington. He was a warm friend of the late President Harrison, and through the letter’s solicitation he went to the capital to live. He is now 70 years of age and said to be in feeble health. Mrs. White attempted to keep the matter a secret, but could not resist telling one or two friends. These told others at the cat show and soon the story became public property.
BATHING CATS AS A BUSINESS
Daily Capital Journal, 13th January, 1903
Miss Virginia Smith, of New York, bathes cats for members of the Four Hundred who take to feline pets. At one cat show all but one of the prize winners were her clients, and she is prosperous.
THE LATEST THING IN PHILANTHROPY
Various, 14th January, 1903
There was a time when to be a philanthropist was to be unique. Originality in benevolence is growing rarer every day. Endowing chairs in universities and giving million-dollar gifts for libraries has become so commonplace that it has ceased to arouse in the public more than a mild degree of interest. A Chicagoan of benevolent tendencies has varied the monotony by offering a cash prize to the boy or girl who shall exhibit within a given time the handsomest stray cat rescued from alley or highway and care for until in fair condition, the animal to be placed upon exhibition at the cat show.
Without doubt the offer will stimulate the powers of observation of many children who never before considered a stray or alley cat as a matter of interest unless it had appended to it a tin can. It will encourage them to discover beneath the dusty, dishevelled exterior, the marks of true feline gentility. It will, we trust inculcate in them sentiments of pity and respect where only contempt has heretofore been felt and will enable them to see possibilities of development in many a “stray” if restored to its former cozy-corner privileges, with a saucer of cream three times a day. Not only the cats, but the children, will be the better and happier for the experiment.
While it is to be regretted that patrician cats of aristocratic tendencies, boulevard cats and suburban cats, should ever retrograde and become, through evil associations, strays or alley cats, civilization might not come to a standstill if these evil things were to continue [article then discusses rescuing and rehabilitating homeless children].
NO SLAUGHTER OF MICE.; Connecticut Cat Club Scratches Field Event for Kittens -- Only a Joke Anyway, Members Say.
The New York Times, January 17, 1903
STAMFORD, Conn., Jan. 16 -- The Connecticut Cat Club will have its first annual show in the armory here next week, as planned, but there will be no slaughter of mice. The field event for kittens and rodents has been scratched owing to the opposition to such a demonstration that developed. It was at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Cat Club over a week ago that the Presidnet, Mrs Homer S. Cummings, said she would offer a cup for the kitten which killed a mouse quickest. A member of the club had a notice of the proposed event printed in a local paper. Then there was considerable adverse criticism.
Mayor Charles Henry Leeds sent a communication to Mrs. Cummmings, saying he considered the poroposed field even cruel, and would suggest that it be dropped. Mrs. Cummings sent a characteristic reply, inviting the Mayor to come along and try to stop it. Then several prominent persons in Stamford and elsewhere took steps to stop the affair. John P. Haines of New York, President of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, wrote to President Love of the Connecticut Humane Society to endeavor to stop it. Mr Love wrote to Mrs. Cummings to-day making formal objections to the field trial. A score or more of Stamford people also wrote Mayor Leeds that they indorsed his action, and some rather sharp criticisms wer made of the promoters of the affair. The decision to drop the mouse feature followed. Members of the Cat Club are saying tonight that the entire affair was an advertising dodge on their part. This, however, is not so, as originally the suggestion for a field trial was made in all seriousness, and it was dropped as soon as it was ascertained that there was objection to it.
CATS AND MICE.
The New York Times, January 25, 1903
Now that the incident of the proposed mouse-killing contest for pet cats at Stamford is closed to the satisfaction of all in interest, the cats and mice included, there remains just a suspicion that the estimable women who were credited with the purpose of putting the vermicidal capacity of their pets to the test were perpetrating a joke upon those who took them quite seriously. Assuming that they know as much about cats as the average small boy has learned from experience, especially as to their temperamental idiosyncrasies, they must have known that cats have at least one distinctly and characteristically feminine trait, in that when they will they will, and when they won't they won't.
Any one who has ever taken a cat to a strange place and "put it up to her" to do something peculiarly in her own line of business has invariably found that the cat had something else to think about just then and could not be induced to do what, in other circumstances, she could not be restrained from doing. The lad who has corralled a rat or mouse in some place from which it could not escape, and brought the family cat with a well-established reputation as a valiant and puissant mouse to slay it, hoping to have one ecstatic moment of making believe that he was a spectator at a Roman arena ever so long ago, has had the disappointment of his life. The cat has squatted in one corner like a brooding Buddha and the mouse in another. If dislodged with a stick the mouse's safest refuge at the moment was under the cat. No doubt if left together long enough the cat's instinct as a hunter would triumph over her nervousness, closely corresponding to stage fright, and she would stalk the mouse in good style; but rather than gratify a morbid curiosity to see her perform she would let the mouse die of the complaint which killed the fox the day after a Meadow Brook hunt - fatty degeneration of the tissues due to lack of exercise. It is safe to say that the Happy Family of childish memory, with its congregation of normally antipathetic animals, was less free from sanguinary conflict about feeding time than would be a pit in which mice and cats were reluctantly foregathered under observation.
The Stamford ladies are playful, or else they have so much to learn about cats that a local cat club is a necessity.
SAW IMAGINARY CATS AND GAVE AWAY STOCK.; Jersey City Merchant Says Faith Cure Changed His Views, and He Recovers His Property.
The New York Times, January 24, 1903
A case in which hypnotism, Christian Science, and faith cure were mixed up was heard before Vice Chancellor Stevenson in Jersey City yesterday. Jacob Hosbach of 475 Grove Street had brought suit against William J. Devoursney to compel him to surrender $5,000 of stock in the Hosbach Dry Goods Company, which it was alleged he had obtained without rendering any equivalent. Hosbach testified that he kept a dry goods store at the address given. Some time ago his mind became impaired, he said. He imagined that he saw cats, which scratched his back, and that an invisible hand at times painted his face with a brush. He was advised to take cold baths, and which he did so he imagined that the water was so hot it scalded him. he consulted several medical experts and spent $2,000 without obtaining relief. Then he tried Christian Science and found that a failure. But when he went to the Faith Cure Church, the advocates of that cult laid hands on him and he was cured almost immediately, he declared. [Devoursney contested the case, but was ordered to surrender the stock because he'd taken advantage of Hosbach being mentally unsound.]
THIS LITTLE BOY SHOT CATS.; Justice Morgan J. O'Brien's Nephew a Prisoner in Children's Court - Recent Air-Gun Achievements.
The New York Times, February 4, 1903
Two big policemen, with a small and badly frightened boy between them, marched to the rail in the Children's Court yesterday. The culprit was paul O'Brien, thirteen years old, of 57 West Ninety-first street, a nephew of Supreme Court Justice Morgan J O'Brien. No accusing witness appared against him, but a complaint duly served and attest by Catharine May, a servant in the home of Mrs Marcus of 72 West ninety-first Street, set forth that he "did annoy and molest the deponent and other people residing in the said neighbourhood by discharging small bullets from an air or parlor rifle from a window at his house and did strike a cat belonging to deponent." "Did you shoot that cat?" asked Justice Wyatt.
"Yes, Sir; but I didn't mean to do any harm, and I won't do it again."
"A complaint to the boy's parents would have stopped the trouble at any time," said an agent for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, "and i think it was a mistake that he was ever arrested at all."
"Discharged," said the Justice.
"I took to shooting about a year ago," said young O'Brien later. "The other day I found out it was good practice to shoot cats, because they don't stand still. Clothes on the lines are nice marks too. I suppose I've killed about five cats, maybe six, and one dog and some birds. I'm going to quit now till we go down to Long Beach for the Summer. That's a bully place to shoot."
Laundresses in the fashionable residence block bounded by Ninetieth and Ninety-first Streets, Central park and Columbus Avenue, have been puzzled for several weeks by mysterious little round holes which appeared without apparent reason in the weekly wash when it was hung out in back yards, and there have been some strange soundless catastrophes to quadrupeds. On Friday, Mrs Marcus's cat, which she had owned for nine years, was watching the maid working at the clothes line. Suddenly it emitted a howl and rolled over, wounded. A policeman was called in and ended the cat's misery with a single bullet. The girl went to the West Side Court and got a summons from Magistrate Breen, and a policeman served it yesterday morning as the little boy was on his way to a private school.
MR. STEVENS'S BUSY TIME.; Baby Rabbits, Baby Chickens, Baby Kittens, and a Baby Boy Follow Each Other in His Home.
The New York Times, April 17, 1903.
FISHKILL LANDING, N.Y., April 16 - Mr and Mrs John Stevens of Lincoln Avenue, Matteawan, within a few days will address a joint letter to President Roosevelt telling him of a series of interesting events which have taken place in their home since April 5. On that day, Mrs Belgian Hare, who makes her home with the Stevens family, became the proud mother of five little Hares. The curiosity and delight attendant on that addition to the household had hardly subsided when, on the following Tuesday, thirty-six white chicks were hatched out in the incubator, which had been Mrs Stevens's special care.
All these responsibilities were added to on Good Friday morning, when Mrs Tabby Cat, also a Stevens house resident, carried two coal black kittens triumphantly into the dining room. One was named Black Friday by the appreciative owners. The best surprise was kept to the last, and was a ten-pound baby boy. the parents will name him Theodore Roosevelt Williams Stevens, and in their letter to the President will inform him fully of the recent doings in Lincoln Avenue, Mattteawan.
CANINE VERSUS FELINE
Abilene Daily Reflector, 26th February , 1903
Some Points in the Contention as to Which is the Superior Animal.
It is time that the controversy concerning the superiority of cat or dog should be discussed on some more general ground than that of British feeling or human egotism, says the London Spectator. The case in prejudged, if we are to weigh the cat's merits on practical grounds, for the cat is essentially dramatic; or if we are to estimate her character from the western point of view, for the cat is an oriental; or, finally, if we are to consider the moral qualities of the cat solely in relation to the desires of the human being. In all such cases the vulgar estimate of the cat would be the true one, and, according to this vulgar estimate the cat is a domestic, comfortable animal, usually found curled up like an ammonite, essentially selfish, essentially cruel and, apart from these two drawbacks, essentially feminine. “The cat is selfish and fi the dog is faithful.” This sums up a judgment founded on willful denseness and gross egotism. In respect to what is the dog faithful and the cat selfish? The judgment rests on this - that the human being is a very little portion of the cat's world, but it Is the all-absorbing object of the dog. Here, plainly, Greek meets Greek, and we had better let the accusation of egotism alone.
Aesthetic sensitiveness seems more developed in the cat than In the dog. The keenness of a dog’s Intelligence, combined with the inferiority of nature that lies behind it, makes the employment of the senses almost entirely utilitarian. Among aesthetic sensibilities the enjoyment of music is the keenest and most common, and the perception of color perhaps the rarest. Neither the cat nor the dog can compare of course in musical susceptibility with the parrot, who is shaken by storms of emotion; but we have known a cat show very marked pleasure in a whistled tune. It is common to find dogs who “sing” following, to some rough extent, high or low notes of music; but one doubts if such imitation is conscious, or based at all on enjoyment. The dog appears depressed, with lowered head and tail, or uncomfortably excited, and a kind of thrill precedes the sounds. On the other hand, both cats and dogs appear to be unconscious of the sounds they utter until experience or definite teaching has shown them the result. Facts seem to point to the conclusion that the voice is not purposely produced; and that, though sounds may give warning or guidance to other animals, the utterance is dependent on physical impulse. When the impulse is imitative, it may depend ultimately on such sensation as is felt by some people in the throat when a Bourdon stop is on the organ, and by most people when they hear, for instance, the cheering of a large crowd. If this is so, we are on the wrong track in comparing the sounds of animals, varied and specific though they are to language, and should rather compare them to weeping and laughter, which provoke an imitative response, or even to the sounds of a man who has early become dumb through deafness. For in such cases it is not purpose, but efficient cause, that must be the subject of inquiry.
With regard to color, both cats and dogs appear to have little aesthetic perception. We have heard of a dog appearing to prefer scarlet to blue, but it is difficult to eliminate the effect of association in dealing with a single Instance. Cats, however, seem to show a definite aesthetic perception of texture - aesthetic, for it is not ordinary bodily comfort which rules. They may like to sleep on velvet, but they revel, waking, in the feeling of crackling paper or texture of stiff silks. And there Is a well- authenticated story of a cat which goes into the garden to lick the under sides of foxglove leaves and cannot be kept from trying with his tongue the texture of flannelette. But the keenest aesthetic pleasure for a cat lies in the region of smell. The dog uses smell merely as a medium of information, but the cat revels in it. She will linger near a tree trunk, smelling each separate aromatic leaf for the pure pleasure of it; not, like a dog, to trace friend, foe or prey. To the cat a strong smell, above all a spirituous smell, is not only disagreeable, but absolutely painful. Lavender water will put a cat to flight.
This apparent power of aesthetic enjoyment in the cat is counterbalanced in the dog by a quality we are wont to rank highly, yet not without a haunting misgiving. The dog has a rudimentary sense of humor. It is the commonest thing in the world to see a petted dog try to laugh off a scolding. If he is encouraged, if his fooling is successful, he will repeat it again and again with growing exaggeration, will roll with wide mouth and absurd contortions or fly at one's face to lick it. On the other hand, he will recognize that teasing is a humorous proceeding, and, when he begins to get bored, will try to stop it humorously. Now, the cat is solemnity incarnate. To punish it is to cause instant offense, to tease it is to outrage its dignity. The better bred a cat is the more easily it is offended. But the "sense of the ridiculous" is, after all, a gross quality; and the humor of one age seems vulgarity to the next. A cat is never vulgar. The old Egyptians said that a cat reasoned like a man, and the root of the matter is there. In the dog there is a quicker intelligence, a greater adaptability and more facility in planning. But a dog cannot, as a cat can, determine its own end and purpose and live its own life. He is, after all, the kinsman of Br'er Fox, but the cat is a scion of royalty.
The Inter Ocean, 1st March, 1903
The accompanying portrait is one recently taken of Peter Jackson, a cat that is the especial pride of its owner, Mrs. Fred Pelham, president of the Hull House Women’s club. Peter has grown to his present dimensions from klttenhood in Mrs. Pelham's care, and his present fighting weight is eighteen pounds and six ounces, weighing in at ring time—figures which may give some idea of his imposing physical development.
Peter Jackson received his name partly by reason of his Intense blackness and partly, perhaps, because of his superior fighting abilities. There is not another cat in the neighborhood of the Ravenna apartments, where the Pelhams live, that does not elevate its tail and run when it sees Peter approaching.
Peter’s preference for the charms of the prize ring rather than those of social gatherings was evidenced very strongly at the recent cat show, when he persisted in sitting with his back contemptuously turned to the spectators. Wearying even of this sort of scrutiny, he finally rose in wrath, pried open the bars of his cage, and secured a refuge beneath a heavy iron safe, from which it was necessary to dislodge him with poles. Even after this faux pas his physique proved so admirable in the eyes of the judges that they were compelled in equity to award him a cup.
At home Peter is of a docile disposition enough, though he has distinguished himself by making one bitter and inveterate enemy, namely, the Hon. Sam Davis, comptroller of the state of Nevada. Colonel Davis never fails to visit the Pelhams while in Chicago, and, as Peter dislikes Colonel Davis as heartily as Colonel Davis scorns Peter, there is no love lost between them. As a consequence of this mutual hatred, there has lately arisen between the Nevada Colonel and the fighting cat a somewhat brisk correspondence. Peter Jackson dictates his correspondence to Mrs. Pelham, who forwards it to the Colonel, and the Colonel replies to Peter direct. None of Peter’s letters, unfortunately, is obtainable, but the Colonel’s last letter to his black enemy contains a verse that is worthy of reproduction. Here it is:
To Laura Pelham’s Black Cat:
Thing of repulsive mien and stealthy stride.
Methinks your heart is blacker than your hide;
You need not come and cringe about my knee—
I hate you through and through!
For when your mistress should converse with me.
In a letter which accompanied this masterpiece of feline versification there was:
She talks, instead, to you!
Perhaps, as severe an arraignment of Peter’s personal qualities as that truculent quadruped ever received. Peter was informed by the Colonel that he possessed no moral character worth speaking of; he was requested not to write often, and told that he (Colonel Davis) hoped to see him (Peter) very soon — stuffed and in a glass case. The writer added that he knew the illustrious prize fighter Peter was named after, but that there both the relation and similitude ceased. The exact cause of the feud is not known, but if Colonel Davis and Peter Jackson ever meet after this interchange of civilities, the battle will be worth going miles to see. And the fact remains that Peter has not yet lost a fight.
SOME FAMOUS MEN AND THEIR PET CATS
The Atlanta Constitution, 31st May, 1903
Spinsters of uncertain ages and tempers are not the only lovers of cats. Alphonse Daudet, Edgar Allen Poe, Richelieu and the stern Von Moltke made pets and companions of feline Thomases. Charles Dudley Warner found the fellowship of a thoroughly respectable middle aged house cat very soothing in his hours of composition, and J. M. Barrie declares himself quite dependent upon his big blue Persian cat for comfort and companionship. Mr. Barrie’s cat lies upon the broad desk while his author master writes and upon his knee when he talks. In the garden, pussy paces solemnly at his owner’s heels and eats upon hearth when the Barrie family dine and lunch. Recently in Paris gold medals were won at the cat show by the superb pets of two gentlemen, M. Roux and M. Peraldi exhibited the one a white silky Angora, the other a domesticated tiger cat of the Congo. Both animals gained their prizes by virtue of the fact that they were the finest specimens of their kind ever seen in Paris.
FRANCE’S CAT TRADE
Harrisburg Daily Independent, 3rd June, 1903
In France cats are the basis of a very profitable industry, which has been carried on for two or three centuries; indeed, the French have long supplied the markets of the world with the finest specimens of the long-haired variety, although England is more famous as a general market. Dealing in Angora cats is a very profitable industry, in which almost any one may successfully engage.
The Angora, being rare, has attained a correspondingly high position in the esteem of those able to afford such luxuries, says “The Pilgrim.” This cat, as its name indicates, comes from Angora, in western Asia — a province which is also celebrated for its long-haired goat. This breed is in high favor with the Turks and Armenians, the best commanding a great price. The prime points of excellence are a small head, with nose not too long; large full eyes of a color in harmony with that of its fur; ears rather large pointed, with a tuft of hair at the apex — the size not showing, as they are deeply set in the long hair about the head and neck. This latter should not be short; neither should the body, which should be graceful and elegant, and covered with silky hair with a slight mixture or wooliness.
The cats of Pegu, Burma and Siam are Malay cats. Their tails are but halt the ordinary length. There is found on the western coast of Africa the Mombas cat. This pussy boasts of stiff, bristling hair.
The royal cat of Siam, that cat of quality, has a large head, tapering toward the nose, the forehead is flat and receding, and the body long. This kitty is a true Chinese, for her eyes — beautiful blue or amber eyes, which glisten at night - are very slanting, like those of her human owner. However, unlike her brother’s pigtail, her tail is thin and rather short, and often has a decided kink. The body is a bright, uniform color, while the legs and tail are usually black.
The orange cat of Venice «has a color all of its own; it is bright orange, sometimes almost red, showing obscure stripes. As for the Maltese cats, sometimes called Archangels, they come from the island of Malta. Their shades of blue vary. There is the Russian blue, the Spanish blue, the Chartreuse blue. But of all, the lilac blue is the most valuable.
What a lonely sort of a place a country would be without any cats! Yet formerly there were none in Australia, New Zealand or New Guinea, until the Siamese cat was imported. Today Madagascar is a catless region.
Those who deal in cats give great attention to feeding. The animals are supplied with fresh milk, as well as meat, and a variety of other food. Many cats are fond of asparagus, celery, corn, bananas and will eat raw potatoes and other vegetables. A cat should have meat occasionally in small quantities. Liver is not a good diet, and should only be given boiled. Cooked meat or fish cut up into small pieces is good. A chicken or fish head will give them great pleasure, and they are also fond of cooked chicken. Meat diet is heating, and causes the skin to become hard, and the hair to lose its luster. Angoras are good ratters, and if rats or mice are plentiful will get enough meat in that manner. A dish of water should be left where the kitty can always get at it.
There certainly has been a remarkable development in the relations between the human race and the purring pets of the fireside. The world has been ransacked for new varieties and the feline kind, and they are being bred with care and intelligence.—London Mail.
SEVERAL KINDS OF CATS
Harrisburg Daily Independent, 4th June, 1903.
It is said that in China there is a cat that has drooping ears. The Mombas cat of the west coast of Africa is cov¬ered with stiff, bristly hair. A Para¬guay cat is only one-quarter as big as the ordinary cat of this part of the world. It has a long body and short, shiny hair. In South America there is a race of cats which do not know how to meow.
LONELINESS MADE HER STEAL.; Old Boston Woman, Pining for a Friend and Tempted by Neighbors' Cats, Took One.
The New York Times, June 14, 1903.
For some time the old woman had confided to the landlady her desire for the companionship of somebody, and lately these confidences have been revelations of her passionately yearning for a cat. On May 25 the landlady was surprised to see Mrs Snyder go out for a walk, and still more surprised to see her come back, cheerful and happy, carrying a beautiful Angora cat. She seemed a different woman from that day, and the landlady congratulated her on her acquisition. Meanwhile David W Fowler of 218 Saratoga Street was ransacking the city and sending out general alarms for his valuable Angora cat, Rex, who had mysteriously disappeared. he finally traced the cat to Mrs Snyder, and when he confronted her there was a painful scene. The old woman fought to retain her pet and Fowler was finally obliged to call in a policeman of large proportions.
In court to-day, Mrs Snyder pleaded guilty and told of her loneliness in a heartbroken way. She said she had watched Fowler's cats day after day until the temptation to take one became too strong for her. Judge Clary, in view of all the circumstances, suspended sentence.
A PLEA FOR THE CATS
New York Times, June 21, 1903
To the Editor of The New York Times: I see in your columns many letters in defense of dumb animals. I write this hoping it will be read by persons who will interest themselves and others in the matter. For the past four or six weeks there have been an unusual number of cats killed and thrown into the streets. In most instances two or three, and sometimes more in a pile together. it is not due to accident, but brutal intent. People complain that cats fly at one and bite and scratch. I wonder what we humans would do if we were starved and hunted to our death continually.
A cat decently treated and fed will prove as faithful and intelligent as many dogs. We have a cat that has gone out all around the streets for two years and has never been molested, but now we dare not let him out. For the last week or two the streets from Madison Avenue to Third, from Oned Hundred and Second to One Hundred and Tenth, have been almost strewn with the dead cats. Are there no humane men and women who will look into this business and punish the offenders?
How far in either direction thise whole sale and cruel slaughter extends I do not know. One case was witnessed on St. Nicholas Avenue and One Hundred and Twelfth Street, where six large gray cats lay in a heap. The Board of Helath can substantiate what I say, for they must have in every case been called upon to remove the bodies. The cats of the city in many cases are fully able to pick up a living if only allowed life and liberty. L.C. New York, June 20, 1903.
CRUELTY TO CATS AND DOGS
The New York Times, June 21, 1903
To the Editor of The New York Times: I am a lover of animals, and should like to call attention to the brutal manner in which stray dogs and cats are treated in the tenement districts. I work for a business house located on the west side, between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, and have had occasion to watch the actions of the neighborhood for the last three years. During all that time i have not seen one that would indicate kind feeling towards animals, but, on the contrary, have witnessed almost daily some act of cruelty.
Especially this is true of the children, who, astonishingly enough, seem to have a natural instinct to torture animals. Could not something be done to prevent this wickedness? The class of people I refer to are ignorant and often depraved. Why are animals, unloved and without homes, allowed to roam about, only to be kicked and abused? Cats are the cheif sufferers, and it is pitiable to see these gentle animals so neglected and tortured. I recently saved one poor kitten from being kicked to death and telephoned the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to come and get it, but they replied that they could not call for it for two or three days, so I sent the kitten to them.
Is there not something wrong about this society, so noble in its object, that it does not respond more promptly? I have a grerat respect for the society and I believe it does an immense amount of good, but I have noticed this lack of interest and activity a number of times. I am a constant reader of your excellent paper, which I highly esteem, and if you will publish this letter I shall be gratified. if it does not good, at least it can do no harm. A.P.C. New York, June 19, 1903.
A DETECTIVE CAT
Shoreditch Observer, 4th July, 1903
An extraordinary story of a cat’s sagacity, quoted from a monthly magazine, is given Mr. C. H. Lane, F.Z.S., in his book on “Rabbits, Cats, and Cavie”: A physician of Lyons, France, was requested to inquire into the circumstances of a supposed murder, that had been committed, of a woman in that city. In consequence of that request, he went to the house of the deceased, where he found her extended, lifeless, on the floor, weltering in her blood. A large white cat was seated on the cornice of a cupboard, at the far end of the apartment, where it seemed to have taken refuge. It sat motionless, with its eyes fixed on the corpse, its attitude and looks expressing horror and affright. The following morning it was found in the same station and attitude, and when the room was filled with officers of justice, neither the clattering of the soldiers’ arms nor the loud conversation of the company could in the least degree divert its attention. As soon, however, as the suspected persons were brought in, its eyes glared with increased fury, its hair bristled, it darted into the midst of the apartment, where it stopped for a moment to gaze at them, and then precipitately retreated under the bed. The countenances of the assassins were disconcerted, and they were now, for the first time during the whole course of the horrid business, abandoned by their atrocious audacity.
OUR PETS.; C.H. Lane's Book on Rabbits, Cats, and Guinea Pigs with Some Stories About Them.
The New York Times, July 4, 1903
AS a breeder, exhibitor, and judge of rabbits, cats, and cavies, (guinea pigs.) Mr. C. H. Lane is a leading authority. There may be a certain fondness for rabbits in the United States, but rabbit culture as an art is hardly in vogue [...] but who said "cats?" and added to that word an opprobrious "pshaw!" It was the maiden aunt who heard him, and the consequence was that when her last will and testament was read she had cut him off with a shilling. That is a depressing English story. If you are of the masculine gender and have never enjoyed the friendship of a cat you have missed a great deal. Cold and indifferent creatures they are not. Think now of Laurel Tiddles as Mr Lane knew her, and this is one of his stories about the lady: "If she caught sight of me running anywhere about the place she would run at top speed and spring on my shoulder from behind, and usually knocked off my hat with the vigor of her expression of delight at her feat."
Beginning with the long-haired white cat, Mr Lane thinks her the handsomest of her family. This cat must have blue eyes. There is one peculiarity about this cat, and it is its tendency to deafness. Should you have the ambition to be master of a "cattery" look out for this. Cat culture has developed all kinds and colors of cats, with coats of various lengths. These are, then, long and short haired pussies. Ignorant people call their cat black. Bear in mind that a single white spot on a so-called black cat spoils all the chances of its winning the blue ribbon. There are some astute people who will use hair dye on a white spot and feel no compunctions of conscience. Is a white cat made any whiter by dipping her in a mild solution of bluing? There are true blues and creams and browns, oranges, reds, tortoise-shells, striped, Manx, Siamese, Mexican, Indian, and the mixtures of all kinds. The male ought to weigh some twelve pounds and the female ten.
The Manx cat will always remain a mystery. Why has the Manx no tail? No one has ever answered that question. The Manx is always short-haired. You may breed this special kind of cat, the father and mother being apparently of the proper stock, without caudal appendage, and the progeny may have tails. When the Manx has to be judged, the want of a tail tells in his favor to the scope of 15 in 100 points. The Siamese cats must be "perfectly lovely." They are not often seen. Imagine a cat with all the peculiar markings and the color of a pug dog. The Siamese cats seem to have come from Siam, where they were the pets of the King. What seems to be a rare cat is the Mexican hairless one. These animals look very much like dwarfed pumas. A specimen shown, we believe in Chicago, was valued at $1,000.
Bear in mind what Mark Twain says about the cat: "A home without a cat, and a well-fed, well-petted, and properly revered cat, may be a perfect home, perhaps; but how can it prove its title?" Only be good to your cat, and you will have the most affectionate of friends, but your obedient servant he will never be. Respect the cat, then, for his love of liberty. Many interesting stories in which cats figure are to be found in the volume under notice. The friendship between cats and horses is well known. That great horse, the Arab Godolphin, was beloved by a black cat. "The two animals were friends for many years, and when at last the horse died the cat had to be removed by force from the dead body. She crawled away with extreme reluctance, and was found dead in a hayloft some time afterward." Dogs and cats often become intimates. There are instances of cats becoming expert fishermen. of all the stories of animal intelligence, this one seems to be the most remarkable. There was a cat who was a great bird hunter. Once she was seen scratching into the ground of the garden. She made quite a hole. An eye witness writes:
"I was surprised to see her drag out a nice fat worm from the hole. She dug out a couple more, and then carried the wriggling bunch in her mouth to the centre of the garden, where she dropped them down and glided back to a place of concealment. In a few minutes a group of sparrows spied the tempting worms and swooped down on them; that was the cat's chance. She pounced upon them like lightning, and nabbed one of the party at the first jump."
[The review then moves on to cavies]
TABBY THE FIREMAN
Various July, 1903
“Tabby” is the name of a pet cat which rode to the scene of a fire on Oliver street beside the driver of tower wagon No. 2 Tuesday night. Something like six or seven years ago “Tabby” strolled Into the repair shop on Bristol street, near fire headquarters, looked around, appeared to like the surroundings and made herself at home in one corner of the shop. It was a cold, blustering afternoon, and the workman who had charge of closing the shop didn’t have the heart to put the cat out into the storm when he went home. Since then “Tabby” has lived at fire headquarters and is considered an attache of the department.
“Tabby” has no long pedigree, and has never won blue ribbons in cat shows, but for intelligence firemen are willing to wager their month's pay that there is no cat show feline who deserves higher marks. She knows every man attached to headquarters, and almost every superior officer in the department. Like firemen and horses, she has learned to count the alarm bells which ring in the station, and is said by firemen to know the boxes to which tower wagon No. 2 responds. Lieutenant Porter has charge, and she looks upon him as her master. She will obey commands from him, but has been known to ignore firemen in his squad.
The Oliver street blaze was the greatest that “Tabby” ever witnessed, and the distance was the longest she ever traveled on a fire wagon, but It was by no means the first fire she had been to. Firemen tell stories of the cat following the tower for blocks a year ago, not daring to mount the driver’s seat for fear of being driven back to the station, and having remained under the tower until the fire was out. During the past few months she has been to a number of fires and ridden beside the driver.
Tuesday evening the excitement was so intense in fire circles that “Tabby” almost lost her head. It was the night when seven bell alarms were sounded inside of two hours and firemen were kept on the jump. The constant ringing of bells caused “Tabby” to run back and forth in the station and cry to go out.
When the bell came for the tower company to start “Tabby” made a leap for the driver’s seat. She was there before the horses had left their stalls. The driver knew that a big fire was in progress, and that there was some distance to travel. His first thought was to tell “Tabby” that she couldn’t go. He pushed her off the seat with a command to remain behind. But “Tabby” was not to be left behind. She seemed to realize that something out of the ordinary was going on and wanted to be at the scene.
Just as the tower was leaving the house “Tabby” once more leaped to the driver’s seat. This time she remained, because the driver had his hands full taking care of the horses. She rode to the fire with her fore-paws on the driver’s knee and her head between his arms. When the tower was in use she remained on the seat, notwithstanding the fact that the tower was located close to the burning building, where the smoke was the densest and where sparks were falling frequently.
“Tabby” got back to the station unharmed. She appeared to have enjoyed herself so much that in the future she will not be molested when she expresses a desire to accompany the tower to a fire.
J. G. FRANCIS'S "CHEERFUL CATS."
The New York Times, August 1, 1903
That jolly, laugh-provoking volume, "Cheerful Cats," by J. G. Francis, is to be brought out in September by the Century Company, in a new edition, enlarged and generally fixed over. In response to a letter of inquiry Mr. Francis recently told how he came to make his cats. He says that the young man who made the drawings, about twenty years ago, did them for the love of it. He never took any instruction in drawing. "The cat and some other creatures served him for a vocabulary to express some fantastic ideas. He wanted to get out some life and happiness in picture form." These pictures, he continues, were all done in State Street, Boston, in one of the few old office buildings, and the room was free from the confusion and bustle of the lower ones. "I had time to think, and the very contrast made the picture life more real. And then, later on, other things interested me, and I let the pictures go."
AN HEROIC CAT.
The Tatler, 12th August 1903
A Sagacious Cat. - Cats have many household uses, but they seldom appear in the light of life-preservers. The cat whose photograph appears on this page enjoys the unusual distinction or having saved two lives. A short time ago a fire occurred during the night at the "Warren House" Inn near Woking. The landlord, Mr. Bailey, was sleeping soundly when he was aroused by a curious feeling on his face and an equally curious noise: the curious feeling was the cat's paw gently touching his cheek and the noise was a wailing mew. Mr. Bailey, as soon as he was awake, at once realised that the house was on fire, and throwing on some loose clothing ran to his sister-in-law's room and carried her downstairs into the road. The house was then so well alight that nothing could save it, and but for the cat, which, by the way, always sleeps outside his master's door, there is no doubt that Mr. Bailey and his sister- in-law would have lost their lives.
The New York Times, August 24, 1903
The conduct the other day of a butcher's cat on "the lower east side," setting forth qualities not harmless and unordinated activities quite unnecessary, invites a word of comment and perhaps of warning to the owners of other cats in that and other neighborhoods. It had shown queer symptoms all day, set down to melancholy - "I am melancholy," says Falstaff, "as a gib-cat." - and when it began to yowl in the back room after dinner the good housewife remembered that it had not been fed and proceeded to bring it a saucer of milk, in accordance with her familiar evening custom. But the animal rejected the offering and made a fierce attack on the lady, sinking its claws and fangs in her face, her screams the while mingling with the sound of the shattered saucer and bringing her husband immediately to her side. Had his professional cleaver been at hand he would no doubt in his excitement have beheaded both cat and wife at one fell blow, with due penitence thereafter and tears in streams and beer in gallons to expiate his precipitancy; but there was nothing of the kind within reach, so he was forced to clutch the unfuriate animal as he could and hurl it against the kitchen wall, no doubt expecting the concussion to take all the fight out of it with no chance of its rallying and coming back for another round. But it did nothing of the sort.
The bristling and clawing object, with no intermittency of yowls, simply rebounded from the mural surface against which it had been projected, and this time came for the husband, who managed to protect himself at the expense of a torn coat sleeve and some superficial clawing in the region of the submaxillary glands and whiskers. After this bout the animal made a flying circuit of the front room, leaving its limited and select assortment of bric-a-brac in ruins, and then took refuge in the kitchen, when the door was closed upon it and a policeman called in.
After he had unlimbered the revolver and cautiously edged his way through the kitchen door, the cat proceeded to play herself on him "off her own bat," if a term from the baseball field may be employed to describe her trajectory, but he dexterously caught her in mid-air and his own projection of her bristling bulk against the refrigerator had an official energy which left that of the butcher "hull down," so to speak, and brought all the nine lives of this disorderly grimalkin to a sudden and final close. Following this, he fired three shots into the remains, by way of testimony that for cats of that kind there was punishment after death, and this closed the incident, the bereaved household giving no public sign of any immediate intention to advertise for a new cat.
The rude police diagnosis of the case that the cat had "taken on a jag" of rabies, having very likely been bitten by some yellow dog of a region abounding in such, is probably the correct one, the habitually innocent and friendly pussy being in no wise immune from that dangerous disorder. A more careful observation of her symptoms by those who have her under protection is probably called for, and the monition given by such a case as we have recited is one which should not pass unheeded. When pussy sulks, refuses milk, is torn inwardly with suppressed yowlings; when its fur bristles with no cause of wrath or fear apparent, and other symptoms of illness encompass it, it is the part of wisdom to call in the cat doctor or an emissary from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals without delay. In that way after-consequences too appalling to be dwelt on may be averted, as the cat's ill fame as a carrier of rabies is second only to that of its fellow-domestic inmate the dog, both requiring careful watching when they are out of sorts, and much reserve in the matter of sympathetic caresses whereto their possessors at such times are often heedlessly and perilously prone.
DOGS AND CATS AND LITTLE BACK YARDS.
The New York Times, October 11, 1903
To the Editor of The New York Times: I walked behind a young woman yesterday who was leading on the sidewalk two good-sized dogs by a leash. Those dogs were not fit to be on the sidewalk, and loitered so that when i had reached the next avenue and looked back they were still near the further end. I thought their place was certainly in the street, and the young woman should have been obliged to keep them there, herself on the edge of the walk. In such a street, not crowded, it would be easy to do so, and in a crowded thoroughfare, where that could not be done, they should not appear at all, as it would be still more necessary to keep the sidewalk decent.
I would rather endure a great deal than give up animals altogether, (and I think I have,) but it seems as if some ordinances might be made that of necessity would lessen the number. I feel even more, if possible, against cats, although in some ways they are charming animals, and I should miss the little conversations I endeavor to hold when I pass one in the street, and if I speak she runs beside me and tells some of her grievances in a language that I am sorry not to comprehend. But their apparent connection with the skunk family makes them most obnoxious. There are times when the air seems full of them, and last Winter, especially, if we opened our rear windows, the house was pervaded with a poisonous odor, and this was so for weeks.
The high fences of our back yards prevent the circulation of air, and are not agreeable to the eye in themselves. As our yards are so small, I think it would be a good plan if some blocks would make a beginning and take them down altogether, substituting in their places low iron fences. There would be many advantages, and perhaps fewer inconveniences and less destruction of privacy than we imagine, for we can see all there is on looking down from our windows now. Tthe climate of these hollows is now either either damp and cold or burning hot, and in ours the stagnant earth is in a condition not pleasant to deal with. If some persons who notice these things would make a beginning we might find that there is no necessity fo boxing ourselves up in such a cramped space.
The change might also disgust the prowling cat. Meantime, it would be a great benefit if the Board of Health could devise some means to make those animals almost as rare as on the Polynesian Island where Loti saw them led about with ribbons as curious pets. - L.P. Chairman Committee on Parks, Woman's Municipal League, New York, Oct 9, 1903.
WHERE CATS ARE HANDY
The Daily Republican, November 14, 1903
“Got a great new game up our way,” said the gentleman. “Beats golf, ping-pong or automobiling all hollow. What is it? Well, for lack of a better name we call it ‘cat chucking,’ and, as this name suggests, an important element in the game is felines.
“No spot in the wide, wide world is so replete with cats as Washington Heights. Some of these pussies are valuable and are highly prized by their owners. But the swarming and yowling majority is not, and so when it comes to playing a game of ‘cat chucking’ the participant usually captures stray animals, else surreptitiously borrows his neighbors’.
“About once a month a lot of us get together for a game. We meet at the upper end of Manhattan, where the woods are a trifle thick, each of us bearing a thick paper bag in which is confined a tabby or Thomas, according to taste. These bags are deposited at the foot of a tree and then all hands bolt for home.
“The bags are but insecurely fastened, and the imprisoned animals have little difficulty in breaking their bonds. Once released, where do they go? Why, each dashes off at once, as a rule, for the home of the ‘cat chucker’ who has brought it to the foot of the aforementioned tree. The ‘cat chuckers’ have had time to reach their places of abode long before the felines have solved their various and intricate problems of direction, and that player whose animal is first to arrive is declared winner.
“When first we began to play a man might enter the same cat time and time again, but it was soon discovered that two or three old and experienced pussies were coming in first every time (fine household pets they were, with superior education and training), to the exclusion of other pussies which had been picked up at random and installed in the homes of the players but a few days, merely for ‘chucking' purposes. So now each player must enter a feline that has been in his possession no more than ten days, or two weeks at most, in order to compete.” - New York Herald.
DOG ADOPTS ORPHAN KITTENS. Cur Resents Interference with Her in Discharge of New Duties.
The New York Times, December 5, 1903
James Johnson of 115 Jefferson Street, Jersey City, in going home at noon yesterday found his pet cat, Tabby, lying dead in the snow in front of the house. She had been run over by a truck, his wife told him. Mr. Johnson was greatly concerned for the fate of six kittens Tabby had brought into the world on Wednesday. When he went to the woodshed to look after the infantile Tabbies he found that the kittens had obtained a nurse in the shape of a cur, which vigorously resented Mr. Johnson' attempts to handle the kittens until apparently satisfied that he meant them no harm. As to where the dog came from or what had become of her progeny mr. johnson could get no information, although he questioned all the boys in the neighborhood. None of them had ever seen her before. Mr. Johnson promptly christened the foster mother Tabby and allowed her to remain in charge of the kittens.
COURT HOUSE CATS – The Princeton Union, 17th December, 1903
Janitor Clark of the court house has made a comfortable home for two stray cats. One of them he found crawling out of a snow drift one cold morning as he was sweeping the snow off the court house steps. The feline was almost dead from cold and hunger and he took it in and made it at home. It soon picked up, and became one of the “gang” at once and now knows all the warm and cozv corners of the court house. A few days ago some of the school children found a kitten on court house square and thinking that it was the court house cat took it in and left it, and it, too, now has a home at the court house and the two cats are pards [friends]. So much attention is being paid to them that they are becoming fat and lazy. They are not very handsome and would not pass as beauties in a cat show but they are cute and playful.
POULTRY AND CATS AT THE GARDEN
The New York Times, December 26, 1903
The fifteenth annual exhibition of the New York Poultry, Pigeon and Pet Stock Association will be held at Madison Square garden from Jan 5 to 9 inclusive. The management has been liberal in its offer of prizes, and had arranged the classes so as to attract the finest collection of poultry, pigeons, and pet stock that has ever been exhibited under the auspices of the association. the pet stock department will have a large number of rabbits and cavies. On Jan 6, 7, and 8, in the concert hall of the Garden, the New York Cat Show, under the direction of the Atlantic Cat Club, will be a part of the poultry exhibition. The prizes offered and the interest in the competition for the Nofstra [sic] Challenge Cup, given by the President of the club, has resulted in the receipt of many entries.
PASSENGER ATE THE CATS.; Steamship Was Overdue, the Cats Were Fat, and the Italian Was Hungry.New York Times, January 17, 1904.
Philadelphia, Jan 16. - Mrs Dooley, stewardess of the Red Star liner Noordland, had two cats of the purest Persian strain, but they are no more, though they bore the names of Salome and Hadee.
Five days overdue, the Noordland reached here yesterday. Those five days hit the steerage hard. Emigrants were short of food, while the cats were sleek and fat. Last Wednesday, Mrs Dooley noted the absence of her pets and a search was ordered. Under a bunk occupied by an Italian passenger two silky skins were found - and that was all. The Italian explained that he had run out of provisions, the plumpness of the cats tempted him and - he fell.
"I shall stuff them," said Mrs Dooley sorrowfully. "They remind me so of that dear Countess Ecklein, who gave them to me."
The Italian agrees with Mrs Dooley that they were very, very good cats.
CHICAGO'S POULTRY AND CAT SHOW
The New York Times, January 26, 1904
Chicago, Jan 25 - More than 3,500 entries have been received for the eighth annual exposition of the National Fanciers and Breeders' Association, which opened in the Seventh Regiment Armory to-day, and will continue all week. [1700 pigeons, 1500 poultry and] 200 cats and dogs. Entries have been received from every state in the Union, as well as from England and Germany. More than $10,000 will be distributed in prizes.
CAT QUESTION IN STAMFORD.; Mrs. Cummings Tells of Pussy's Graces and Her Services to the Human Race.
The New York Times, January 27, 1904
STAMFORD, Conn., Jan. 26. -- Mrs. Helen W. Cummings, the President of the Connecticut Cat Club, daughter of Commodore James D. Smith, and wife of ex-Mayor Dorner S. Cummings, the Connecticut member of the Democratic National Committee, gave out a spirited defense to-day of the cat show and of cat fanciers generally. In an article in a local paper W. W. Gilespie had criticised the cat show of last week, and expressed his disgust at seeing a woman kiss a cat.
Mrs Cummings reminds him that thousands of chinchilla cats are raised yearly for the purpose of yielding to the fur market the beautiful and expensive chinchilla [note: the chinchilla of the fur trade is a rodent, not the cat breed of that name!]. The black and white short fur, she says, is also largely used in trade both in wearing apparel and for mechanical toys. The strings, too, that respond quiveringly to the violinist's bow represent a part of Mistress Tabby to the musician's art [note: also untrue - catgut comes from sheep].
The cat has graces and beauties peculiarly her own, she writes further, and appeals to the aesthetic eye and the human affections. They whom Gilespie saw kissing the cat may not have exhibited good taste, she admits, but then her conduct would have been still more obnoxious if, for instance, she had caressed Gilespie.CATS AND FINNAN HADDIES.
A Third Street grocer, from whom housekeeper ordered a finnan haddie [type of smoked haddock], felt it his duty to warn her to keep it out of the reach of cats, and mentioned the fact that a woman had been asking to have stray cats impounded because one had stolen a haddie from her. The grocer said the cat was not to blame, as finnan haddie possessed a magnetism for cats they could not resist. He produced, in proof of his statement a fragment of a haddie, and said that the night before he had put a cover on his box of haddies and had placed a heavy weight on it, but in the night the store cat had succeeded in pushing aside the cover and had eaten nearly a whole fish. As haddies are rather an expensive food for cats, he was advised to train his cat to live on peanuts, which are cheaper and are consumed by cats with avidity, when they become accustomed to them.
CAT AND MONKEY.
The New York Times, March 13, 1904
Since DARWIN propounded the theory that we are descended from the monkeys such occasional evidence of the intelligence of that animal as may have turned up has been received with satisfaction as giving token of the superior mental powers of our ancestor. [...] The creature seems always about to so something showing a good standard of rationality, but always comes just short of it.
Thus the other day a Jersey City monkey which had seen a chicken plucked by the housewife in preparation for the family dinner embraced the hasty generalization that it would be a good notion to try the same proceeding on the house cat, an experiment no sooner conceived than entered upon with none of the delays and pedantries of studying out the probable result.
What was in one moment the glossy fur overcoat of Grimalkin became in the next a cloud of hair which darkened the kitchen and floated out through the areaway accompanied with strains of vocalism to make a policeman on his adjacent beat in paroxysms of distraction pound the pavement for reinforcements. The rapidity with which entire baldness overspread the cat hardly allowed that animal to bring into action all its resources of astonishment, but relief came with equal speed, the housewife's broomstick being thrown into the scales of conflict.
CATS AND DOGS SPREAD DISEASE; Dr. Darlington Wants Health Board, Not Cruelty Society, to License Them.
The New York Times, March 16, 1904
Albany, March 15 - Assemblyman Ellis to-day introduced in behalf of the New York City administration a bill transferring from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to the City Health Department all jurisdiction over the licensing of cats and dogs in the City of New York. The bill was prepared under the direction of Dr Darlington, head of the Health Department of New York City. it is to be supported by arguments citing the growing belief that the suppression of the vagrant dog and cat nuisance in cities is a matter more vital to the health of the people that it is from the viewpoint of cruelty to the animals, and that contagious diseases are believed to be carried from house to house by cats.CAT AND DOG LICENSES.
To the Editor of the New York Times: I am glad to know that the Legislature has interested itself in behalf of the long-suffering community on the dog and cat nuisance. I have tried unsuccessfully to have legislation passed by the city authorities to eradicate this pest. My contention has been all along that the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is entirely inefficient and utterly unable to enforce the present city ordinances relative to the subject matter. And the bill introduced in the Legislature is a proper one. Louis A. Cuvillier. New York, March 18, 1904.
CAT SUMMONED MAID TO OPEN DOOR
The Saint Paul Globe, March 20th, 1904
A wonderful cat attracted the attention of every one who yesterday passed up or down Eighth street on the west side between Locust and. Spruce* Pussy was pure white. She was standing upon the step railing of a house which was just high enough to enable her to reach the electric button with her paw. She manipulated this so vigorously that the door was soon opened by a servant who picked pussy up, took her in her arms, entered the house and closed the door. It was the sentiment of all who witnessed the trick that Maria, or whatever her name might be, was a bright cat. — Philadelphia Evening Telegraph.
WANTS TO KNOW WHAT HIS CATS SAY.
The Springfield Republican, March 28, 1904
there is a man in a Maine town called Unity, who has elected an eremitic life with cats as his family, and he is getting records of their utterances by means of phonographs. He says he has worked out their system, and he goes out at nights when his toms are particularly musical, and talks to them, in their own language. After all, why not? What the monkeys or hens or cats say can be of no possible importance. That they understand it among themselves is sure.
CAT NEARLY KILLS A CHILD.; Animal Has to be Shot -- Specialist Looking for Hydrophobia Signs.
The New York Times, March 31, 1904,
Millburn, N.J. March 30. The six year ol son of John Hynes of Passaic Avenue, Millburn, was nearly killed yesterday afternoon by a ferocious cat which attacked the child at the rear of his father's shop. People in the neighborhood were attracted by the screams of the child, and on investigating found the youngster lying on the ground with the cat scratching and clawing at its throat. Several men tried to drive the animal away, but it returned to the attack every time, and it had to be shot. A physician was summoned, and spent a long time patching up a number of cuts and lacerations in the boys face and throat. The boy was playing in a field at the rear of the shop, when the cat with a snarl jumped on him. The head of the animal has been sent to a specialist for examination to determine whether the cat was affected with hydrophobia.
THE CULT OF THE CAT
Dundee Evening Telegraph,2 April 1904
It is curious the fascination which cabs seem to have exercised in all ages on certain types of mind. They were the household deities of ancient Egypt. They have been the pets of great men from Newton to Pierre Loti. They have been the best abused or the most caressed of all domestic animals. Buffon gives the following unflattering picture of the animal: "The cat unfaithful animal, kept only from necessity in order to suppress less domestic and more unpleasant one; and although these animals are pretty creatures especially when they are young, they have a treacherous and perverse disposition, which increases with age, and is only disguised by training. They are inveterate thieves; only when they are well brought up they become cunning and flattering as human rascals." Chateaubriand resented this picture and attempted to whitewash" the maligned cat, declaring that he " hoped to make her appear tolerably good sort of beast." In the recently published sumptuous "Book of the Cat" one finds all these things retold about pussy in very attractive fashion by Miss Frances Simpson, who is the laureate of the cat in literature, as Louis Wain and Madame Henriette Ronner are in art.
CAT CAME BACK 337 MILES.; Mountains and Deserts Traversed by "Tom" of Salt Lake.
The New York Times, April 11, 1904.
Salt Lake, April 10. - Travelling a distance of 337 miles, climbing mountains, and crossing stretches of desert, a cat came back. This feline adventurer is red and is known by the name of Tom. he belonged to John M. West of Salt Lake. Three weeks ago Tom stole a flounder. West put him into a bag and concealed him under a seat in a day coach on the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad. The cat was discovered and turned loose at Caliente, Nevada. To-day, weak and emaciated, he appeared at the West house and begged for food. he got it.
RAT WORE DIAMOND COLLAR.; Cat Recovered Lost Ring by Catching Gem-Decked Rodent.
The New York Times, April 20, 1904
Mount Holly, N.J., April 19. A cat belonging to Uriah J. Allen of New gretna this morning killed a rat under the barn floor and dragged it out. Mr Allen's son picked up the dead animal to hurl it away, when something bright in the fur attracted his attention. Investigation showed there was a diamond ring about the neck. The rat's head was cut off and the ring taken off. It proved to be one lost about two years ago by Miss Margaret Adams, to whom the ring was returned this afternoon. It apparently got round the rat's neck when the rodent was young, and as the neck enlarged the circlet caused a malformation into which the ring fitted.
DYING -- ONLY DUMB BRUTES ABOUT; Goshen (N.Y.) Woman Denied Herself to Care for Cats and Dogs.
The New York Times. April 22, 1904.
GOSHEN, N.Y. April 21. Mary Clark, an aged woman, was found last night in her home where she lived alone. Neighbors broke in the door and summoned two doctors and the Rev. P. J. Mahoney, who administered the sacrament to the dying woman. Her death occurred a few hours later. When the door of the house was broken open it was found that the woman had broken her hip by a fall. She was surrounded by a number of dogs which were pulling at her clothing. Poormaster James Scott to charge of the premises and to-day killed sixteen dogs and nearly thirty cats, with which the place was overrun. Mrs. Clark denied herself the necessities of life to care for the animals.
CAT PECULIARITIES AND CAT STORIES
By Alberta Platt
Winnipeg Tribune, 28th April, 1904
YOU know, no doubt, that a cat has five toes upon each of her fore feet and only four toes upon each of her hind feet. It is close observation of small things that makes the successful natural. You have noticed, too, that when this animal walks through a puddle of water it leaves in its tracks the print of every one of those toes, showing they are all firmly set upon the ground each step. Pussy is therefore said to walk upon her toes. Then, too, you know that when a cat is lying at rest all her sharp clawed toes are drawn back into the fur of her feet so that they scarcely show at all. This is to protect the claws from injury. The cat in a wild state depends on these long, sharp claws to capture and hold the creatures that are its food. If any accident should happen to the claws, therefore, pussy would be in danger of starving. The cat belongs to the carnivorous, or flesh eating, animals.
The great family of felidae includes all animals of the cat kind, the lion, tiger and leopard as well as gentle, purring, snoozing old tabby. A characteristic of all felidae is that they hate worse than anything to get water upon them. I suppose that is the reason why pet cats are never bathed. The tiger of India sometimes swims after his prey, and in India there is also a fishing cat that catches its own food in rivers and lakes. But these are exceptional cases.
There is an untamable wildness even in the most docile cat. Try to lead a cat along the street by a string as dogs are led and see the result. I once saw a woman trying this with a pet Maltese. Evidently she did not know much about cats or she would not have tried It. Pussy pulled and clawed and made dives this way and that, every way but the right way, till its mistress gave up the attempt, A crowd of people gathered about to watch the performance, and how they did laugh!
It is supposed a cat cannot be taught so much as a dog because it is less intelligent, yet it seems sometimes wise almost beyond what is natural. A gentleman has a large, handsome red male cat called Tom. A cat is born with a propensity to steal and kill, however wicked that may be. Handsome Tom stole from the gentleman's kitchen a fish that was to be served for dinner. A cat likes fish better than anything else. The theft was proved on Tom. “Now he’ll be catching my chickens next,” said his master. And he decided to get rid of Tom.
The man could not bear to kill his pet, however. So he put Tom into a bag and slyly slipped the bag under the seat of a car that was going a thousand miles westward. Nobody noticed the bag until poor Tom had been carried 337 miles away from his home to a place he had never been in before and of whole existence his poor cat brain could not have conceived. The bag was untied and Tom was let out.
Well, what would you guess happened? This: Three weeks afterward that identical red Tom no longer big and handsome and strong, but very weak and thin, appeared at the old home from which he had been shipped for stealing a fish. He had crossed two mountain ranges and many miles of desert where there was nothing for him to eat, yet there he was. The gentleman though this so remarkable that he forgave the thief, and the first thing he did was to give Tom a good dinner after that tremendous journey.
But how do you suppose Tom found his way? It is more than I can tell. Many animals, cats In particular, have a peculiar sense that man does not possess and knows little about.
Our common domestic cat originated in Egypt ages ago. Egyptians worshiped the cat because she ate mice and rats that destroyed their grain, and they seem to have been the first people to tame the wild little felidae. This required more centuries than we know about. When pussy became gentle and attached to the house, members of her tribe were taken to Greece, thence to Rome and finally to England and western lands. There are scores of varieties of the domestic cat, among them the not very handsome tailless Manx or Isle of Man kind. The queerest of the cat tribe is the hairless variety found in New Mexico. Among the handsomest ones are those from Persia and the long, silky haired white and blue gray Angoras from Asiatic Turkey.
TAKES CAT LANGUAGE IN A PHONOGRAPH
The Kansas City (Mo.) Journal.
Reprinted in the New York Times, May 8, 1904,
Caleb Johnson of Unity, a college graduate, believes cats have a language. For the purpose of learning their language, he keeps forty-eight cats, whose caterwaulings he records on a phonograph, and he claims that by having the phonograph talk to his felines he has been able to find out what sounds they make when they want food or drink and on most other occasions. he claims he has got so expert in distinguishing their remarks that he can tell when they want milk and when they want water.
OPPOSE WAR ON CATS.; Party Organized in Washington to Champion Homeless Felines.
The New York Times. May 14, 1904.
Washington, May 13. - A pro-cat party has been organized in Washington for the purpose of antagonizing the movement in favor of legislation by Congress to require owners of cats to take out licenses and then impound and kill all ownerless felines. Petitions are being circulated to get the names of those who are opposed to the war on homeless cats, and prominent citizens are from day to day being interviewed for the purpose of creating sentiment for the cats. The District Commissioners are said to be in favor of exterminating all feline mavericks throughout the city.
The New York Times, May 15, 1904
A Kansas experimenter is engaged in registering in a phonograph the accents of cats by way of finding out something about their language. The voice of the instrument addressed to the living cat is found to bring out responses showing a familiarity with the dialect, but so far precise interpretation of the colloquy and knowledge how its terms dovetail with each other elude the efforts of the experimenter and are matters of more r less plausible conjectures. But he thinks he is making progress, and will presently have a cat syllabary and vocabulary which will let everybody into the secret of the language. It is quite possible that it covers a wider range of meaning and a more difference signification than most people suppose. That is what the investigator is trying to find out, and he hopes that the phonograph will aid him in his search.
Everybody is interested in cats more or less, and a wider familiarity with their mental and emotional processes would no doubt tend to increase our sympathy with them and our general admiration of the feline character. To know exactly what kitty was saying to herself in her soft purr on the rug by the fireside or in her mistress's lap or what she was saying to the other cat in her midnight colloquy on the back fences would admit us into a new world of language and sensibility beyond any possibility of exploration. If the instrument with its wiry repetition of the feline dialectic assists us in this direction it may take up the case of other animals as well, and by critical comparisons throw some light on what they mean by the various familiar sounds they make and which have been generally considered to carry a somewhat sterile monotony of implication. correctly interpreted, they may mean a good deal which we have not hitherto surmised. [...] if all these sounds and others like them have been the vehicles of various meaning like the language which men and women employ when they address each other the fact would be an important one to find out, and any assistance which the phonograph may afford in this direction will widen the field of its usefulness considerably beyond the limits of expectation.
CAT CALLED DOG'S BLUFF.; The Pup Had Hurt His Tail and Only Barney Knew He Wasn't Mad.
The New York Times, May 21, 1904
It was a happy home-coming crowd that landed from the Astoria ferryboat at the foot of East Ninety-second Street in the rush hour late yesterday afternoon, and it is interesting to note that no one saw the little black dog that had his tail squeezed in the ferry gate until the pup took pains to make his presence known. it would be difficult to tell just what did happen after that. Certainly none of the men and women who hopped and kicked and ran and screamed will ever forget it, but none of them was able yesterday to tell the story in detail. However, though the dog was a little chap, he had an adult voice. When he barked the echo of it sent a chill along the spine of the biggest man in the crowd. When he snapped the women became hysterical and tumbled over each other in an effort to escape. And he barked and snapped more vigorously when he found that he was taken seriously. Yes, he was almost human.
Policeman Christ of the East Eighty-eighth Street Station, who was on duty near the ferry house, heard the women screaming and forced his way through the crowd, expecting to see a monster bloodhound. he had his hand on his revolver. As he approached it, the dog got into an open space and ran around in circles as if anxious to get hold of his injured tail. When he saw the policeman he took a straight course and darted away toward Avenue A. As he ran he snapped at the legs of children playing on the sidewalk. In trying to get out of his reach many of them fell. The policeman ran after the pup, followed by several men with clubs. The dog turned into Avenue A, toppled over two children, and finally ran into a saloon at 1,743 Avenue A, scattering the highball crowd at the bar. Barney, the cat, was the only one who couldn't be bluffed. he tackled the intruder with the promptness born of feline insight. When Barney alighted on the pup's back the latter admitted that he was four-flushing. His savage bark dwindled to a whine, and with Barney in pursuit he made for the street. There the policeman awaited him. One shot did the business and there was one less bluffer in Avenue A. Barney the cat was much disappointed.
CAT REVOLVES FOR FIVE HOURS
The London Telegraph,
Reprinted in the New York Times, May 29, 1904.
Officials of the Blackburn Corporation Electricity Works, says our correspondent, tell a cat story. It is not placed in competition with either angling anecdotes or golf yarns, but as a veracious account of what the ordinary domestic cat is capable of whould be hard to beat. This is it:
"A cat living at the power house was asleep in the rim of a fly-wheel when the engines were started, and for five hours pussy was whirled round at the rate of sixty miles per hour. When at length the engines stopped, the cat jumped down from the wheel, staggered about confusedly for a few seconds, and then walked quietly to its corner, none the worse for its extraordinary experience."
CATS ON THE BILL AT THE PARADISE GARDENS
The New York Times, June 19, 1904
Oscar Hammerstein has a dozen cats on his bill this week. They have come over from Europe in the care of their trainer, Techow, especially to appear at the Paradise Roof Gardens this Summer.
SHOOTING CATS, HITS WOMAN.; Preacher Misses Aim and Fatally Wounds Neighbor on Back Porch.
The New York Times, June 19, 1904
Richmond, Va., June 18. - The Rev Decatur Edwards, pastor of the Falmouth Baptist Church, while shooting at cats in his back yard at Fredericksburg to-day, accidentally shot and mortally wounded Mrs. Lucy Mann, who was standing on her back porch in adjoining premises.
THE CAT TORPEDO
The New York Times, June 25, 1904
The warm nights we are now experiencing disincline the family cat to come in doors when locking-up time is reached. To open the door leading into the back yard and call: "Puss, puss, puss," is as futile, unless it rains, as for the farm watch-dog to bay the moon. Puss may hear the call, but has no more idea of responding than the moon has of answering the bark addressed to it. She is securely hidden in some shady and secluded corner waiting until the chief of her clan shall raise
"- the pibroch of his race -
the song without a tune."
To that summons she is never indifferent. There are politics to be discussed, neighborhood gossip to rehearse, old grudges to settle, enemies to chastise, and sundry other social duties to be performed, all of which are more attractive than dozing in-doors in front of a cold range, or even reposing in state upon the dough set to rise. Besides, she may sleep all day if so inclined, and so to waste a dry night in that way were to deny herself the chief pleasure in life.
Unfortunately for human beings who want to sleep, cats are most in evidence in the season when she must have the windows as wide open as possible. Hence the vociferous altercations of those which assemble beneath one's windows in the still watches of the Summer night - contentions having no interest for one who does not know what it is they quarrel about, and cannot feel a partisan interest in the issue, as me may in the case of the Russo-Japanese war - leave one no recourse but to lie awake and speculate as to what items of portable property can best be spared if, by parting with them, an adjournment to some place further off and haply out of hearing may be induced. As the rule, the average bedroom is not well supplied with available projectiles of a kind unlikely to be missed in the morning. Time was when the boot-jack answered very well and might sometimes be repleined unbroken by the early riser; but boots are not now worn by dwellers in cities, and the boot-jack is no longer and item of bedroom equipment. The glass and mug from the wash-stand are effective as missiles, but they must be replaced at some trouble and expense. The same is tru of shoes and slippers, and neither shoes nor slippers are much dreaded by cats of experience, who have learned to dodge them and know that when they have landed their power for injury is ended. The pistol and shotgun, to be effective, require that the object against which they are trained should be visible and within range, and, incidentally, that the person employing them shall be a good shot, which most dwellers in towns are not.
In meeting this need of suffering humanity the makers of fireworks have rendered a service that merits recognition. They have given us the cat torpedo, which bears about the same relation to the torpedo of our infant memory as a columbiad is to a pop gun. Its function is to go where it is thrown or dropped, and when it gets there to explode with a report which no self-respecting cat with the usual complement of nerves could possibly regard as tolerable. it requires only to be aimed in a general way in the direction whence the noise proceeds, so that a woman may use it effectively - unless, indeed, she makes the mistake of dropping it behind her, as she will sometimes do with a stone. If it lands anywhere near a cat which is trying her voice and for the moment thinking of nothing else, its effect is all that can be desired. It produces a cataclysm "in her midst" - as she might say if prone to fall into human colloquialisms. it is not something afar off, safely remote and unterrifying by reason of its obvious identification with what cannot reach her. it has arrived without warning and brought its seismic potentiality with it, so to speak. No cat stops to investigate when such a message comes her way. She sails over fences like a hunter over hedges, does not stop until she has put a safe distance between herself and the intangible and whole unfamiliar danger which menaces her, and does not come back until daylight restores her confidence.
The cat torpedo is a great thing. It solves a problem as old as civilization, and probably somewhat older. We commend it to those who have need of it. For ingenuity it is comparable to the office safe lately patented for the discouragement of burglars, having an inner and outer shell with a filling of dynamite between, so disposed that with the first stroke of the cracksman's sledge it will explode and distribute him in small fragments throughout the adjoining counties.
BARK OF THE FOOL DOG.; Far Less Conducive to Repose Than the Cat's Song of War.
The New York Times, July 01, 1904,
To the Editor of the New York Times: Your editorial on the "cat torpedo" is specious. A volley of explosives would certainly arouse a neighborhood to greater wakefulness that the cry of a cat. I would sooner live in the vicinity of fifty cats than one fool dog with a hog master. Cats will stop some time, when the get through with the scrap. But a fool dog will bark from 10 P.M. to 5 A.M. without a break. There is a cadence to the cat's cry, but a dog's bark is as monotonous as hammering on a board fence. A cat never cries without a reason; a fool dog will bark for pure cussedness. - E.S. New York, June 25, 1904.
MUSTN'T KILL NOISY CATS.; Slaughtered Pussy Kept Janitor Awake, but He Was Held.
The New York Times, July 16, 1904
Magistrate Cornell, in the Jefferson Market Court yesterday, decided that it was not justifiable to kill a cat which had disturbed a neighborhood by its cries. He held Patrick McCrane, forty years old, the janitor of the flat houses at 15, 17 and 19 Abingdon Square, in $300 bail for trial in the Court of Special Sessions, charged with cruelty to animals."It's this way, your Honor," said Mrs Hermione Klix of 75 Bank Street, the complainant, "I was looking out of my back window, watching my two little boys playing in the yard. Our yard backs up on the yards of the flat houses on Abingdon Square. While I was looking, I saw a big black cat trying to jump through the light of a window at 19 Abingdon Square."
"The what?" asked the court.
"The light," returned Mrs Klix.
"She means the pane of glass," explained Patrolman McGurkin.
"The cat tried and tried to jump through," continued Mrs Klix, "but the glass was too strong. Then I saw this man," indicating McCrane, "take a big iron bar and hit the cat with it until the cat was dead. 'Jimmie,' I hollered to my oldest boy, who was sitting on the fence watching the whole thing, 'Jimmie, go see what that brute' - that's just what I called him - 'is doing to that cat. Jimmie jumped of the fence and went into the cellar. The janitor was putting the dead cat into the furnace and starting to light the fire. I called up the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and they sent Officer Lambert and the man was arrested."
The prisoner said that the cat had been howling since 2 A.M. and hadn't allowed him any sleep.
SHIPWRECKED TARS SAVE CAT.; Crew of the Steamship Aldborough Bring Agnes to Port.
The New York Times, July 19, 1904
The Atlas Line steamship Altai, running to West Indian ports, and which arrived here yesterday, brought Capt. Brewis, Mates Cole and Brown, and twenty men of the foundered British steamship Aldborough. One of the sailors said yesterday that the story would not be complete unless the ship's pet was mentioned in it, so they brought along Agnes, the cat.
The Aldborough met disaster on July 6, early in the evening. She was bound from Daiquiri, Cuba, with 3,000 tons of iron ore for Baltimore. As she was proceeding off the Fortune Islands in a haze she struck a submerged reef, which tore a big hole in her bottom. The crew did all they could to save the ship, but when it was seen that she would sink in a short time the men took to the boats. The sailors had not made a hundred strokes before they saw the last of the steamship. To prevent becoming separated, the two boats containing the crew were joined by a line. The men rowed almost constantly during that night, and on the afternoon of the next day a landing was made on one of the nearby islands. Once during the trip to land one of the boats touched a submerged reef and came near to being wrecked. On July 8 a passing fruit steamship was hailed and the men were placed by her on the Altai. They saved most of their personal effects. Capt. Brewis said that the Aldborough went down in deep water and is a total loss. She hailed from London and was of 1,518 tons register.
SCHEME TO TAX CATS.
The London Mail. July 20, 1904
At a meeting of the Church Society for the Promotion of Kindness to Animals held in London the other day, Mr. Aflalo, the Secretary, presented the following conundrum: "If four out of every eight hours sleep is spoiled by cats, how many cats are kept by 10,000,000 inhabitants of the United Kingdom? Roughly speaking, some 6,000.,000 cats must exist in this favored land. Allowing some 2,000,000 cats for leakage, including those disposed of in the lethal chamber, 4,000,000 cats remain which might with advantage to themselves and the community be taxed at 2s. 6d. per head."
Three thousand years ago Puss sat under the shadow of the Pyramids in her Egyptian home and received the worship of the faithful. Today she prowled the streets a pariah - forlorn, diseased, and homeless - making night hideous with the recital of her wrongs on the house-tops. Tax her, with chloroform as an alternative.
Up sprang a lady, angrily. "Drawing-room cats - dining-room cats, forsooth. What of the cats of the poor?" She told many moving tales of the cats of poor slum families, and of a certain maltreated kitten found on her doorstep and carried into her study on a tea tray by a tender-hearted footman, the kitten afterward developing such aristocratic traits that she was known as Lady Lucinda. In passing she flouted the mover of the resolution as a man absolutely without knowledge of animals. (Mr Aflalo is a Fellow of the Zoological Society.)
Finally the motion was put to the meeting and carried.
LONG DISTANCE WALKER WILL TRY TRIP WITH A SEVEN-TOED KITTEN
The New York Times, July 23, 1904
NEWARK, N.J., July 22. - Peter Deighan, the pedestrian who started on a walk to Albany, Ga., on a wager returned to his home in Belleville yesterday, having abandoned the trip on account of losing his dog, Ike Snyder, which was captured by a dogcatcher at Camden. Deighan went as far as Elkton, Md,, but the lonesomeness without his dog and the excessive heat forced him to return to Belleville. He says that he will attempt to win the wager with his seven-toed kitten later in the Fall.
TABBY'S TWO YEARS IN A THREE-INCH PRISON - Went In a Kitten and Came Out a Compressed Live Cat.
DOES THE LOCKSTEP NOW - Fell Between Walls of Two Houses and Tenants Fed It - Cowboy to the Rescue
The New York Times, July 23, 1904
After nearly two years of entombment, a striped cat, which wore no blue beauty ribbons, but which ought to have a medal for determination to live, was pulled out yesterday from its prison between two walls little more than three inches apart, still alive, but pressed into such a slimness of body as its narrow home required. The prison which it occupied so long is between the two buildings 163 and 165 East Fourth Street. The crevice between the two buildings is closed front and back, and even closed partly on the top by a tin roofing which once covered the chasm, but which was partly torn away when the cat, then a kitten, went down, and still remains partly open at the top. The depth of the chasm is the height of the four-story buildings between which the cat was caught. The effort which the kitten made again and again during the early days of its imprisonment to climb up these slippery walls, only to fall back, were watched with sympathy by the neighbors, and they became divided into two factions, those who thought that the kitten ought to be killed and relieved of its misery, and those who held that while there was life there was hope. It goes without saying that this faction fed the cat. The others tried to feed it too, on poisoned liver.
The cat liberated has proved as interesting as the cat imprisoned. The love of prison life is still with it. Hardly had it been revived from the choking it got by being pulled out of its prison when it made a dash to get back into the chasm. Then, when it was carried to the flat immediately below the roof and placed on the floor it immediately started its lock-step promenade, forward and back, which it has kept up ever since.
It is not quite clear whether the cat, which the neighbors long ago christened “Holey” because of the hole it was in, owes its two years' imprisonment to some mischievous boy or to its own clumsiness as a kitten, for nobody knows precisely how it got down to the bottom of the chasm. When the cat went down, on Sept. 1; 1902, there lived on the top floor back of the building at No. 163 John Poppelauer, with his wife and family. A new little Poppelauer arrived on that day, and the father, solicitous about the safety of his baby boy decided to isolate the kitten upon the roof. Only the kitten knows what happened there.
Once down in the hole, the kitten was not long in making its predicament known. What it lacked in lung power it made up in endurance, and it howled by night as well by day. For days and nights after that the roof was filled with men and women who tried to pull up the kitten in one way or another, but all to no avail. Poles were put down to the bottom of the crevice in the hope that the kitten would try to crawl up on it, and pieces of meat fastened to strings were lowered down in the hope of catching the cat like a fish. Despite the arguments of those who believed that the kitten should be allowed to starve, others threw food down to it.
Meanwhile the kitten grew, and as it grew it voice developed. The cat’s predicament finally got to the notice at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The agent who came to investigate was for killing the cat. The women almost mobbed him for his cruel point of view. He suggested shooting it, but the cat's friends argued that he might thus jeopardize the safety of the occupants of the two houses. , He tried the poisoned liver scheme, but the cat, though excluded from contact with its fellow-felines had its instinctive wisdom. The agent finally gave up. Many wondered now the cat lived without drink There is a secret about that that not everybody knew, for when all was dark and still upon the roof one of the women in the house nightly lowered a can full of water to the prisoner.
The cat’s predicament came to the notice of a former cowboy, who had learned in the West the use of the lariat. At 7 o’clock yesterday morning he went upon the root of 163 and in less than half an hour had caught the cat by the neck. It got a strangling, but also liberty if the door to the roof can be kept shut.IT WAS NOT A MOUSE - TWO BROADWAY KITTENS GET AN OBJECT LESSON IN ZOOLOGY
A man with forked whiskers and a derby hat that rested on his ears took his stand in Broadway just below Eleventh Street yesterday afternoon, and, opening a grip swinging over his shoulder, produced a variety of mechanical toys, which he wound up and put in operation on the sidewalk. The toy to which the vendor devoted most of his attention was a big tin bug, which, on having its spring tightened, moved in a circle on the pavement, opening and closing its wings. The man had no novelties in his stock, and interest in his display was limited to that shown by two small boys and a colored billposter, who with his paste bucket and brush in hand, watched the display in amazement. It was new to him, and he was new to Broadway.
While the little group followed the movements of the figures two coal-black kittens strolled out on the doorstep of the St. Denis hotel. Their coats were glistening and their necks were decorated with bands of blue silk ribbon. In an instant their eyes lighted on the bug, circling on the flagstones, lifting and lowering its wings of yellow cand green. Together the kittens assumed a crouching attitude. Tails waving slowly and lithe limbs working tense in suppressed excitement, the pretty animals prepared to spring. Some passersby noticed all this and paused to watch developments. The sidewalk merchant, intent on maintaining his exhibition, saw nothing except his moving stock. The billposter had no eyes for anything except the gorgeous bug.
Like two flashes of black, the kittens leaped across the pavement. They converged at one point, and the gaudy bug was there when they landed. There was a flurry of black, green, and yellow, some whirring of disarranged machinery, and then the kittens jumped back in astonishment. Their victim was not what they had expected, but they had done what they expected. The bug lay on its back with twisted wings and broken legs. The owner viewed the wreck and screamed: "Demon liddle cats! It viss not mices you have killed! My bug is on der bum!"
The billposted shared the merchant's wrath. He said no word, however, but lifted his brush from his paste bucket and with two dexterous movements changed the kittens in color from shiny black to dirty cream. They rushed back into the hotel, the negro ran around the corner, and the merchant, kicking his lamented bug into the gutter, set out for more promising fields of endeavor.
CAT AERONAUT KILLED EMULATING SQUIRREL; 'Twas a Flying Squirrel Bound Out the Window.
The New York Times, July 28, 1904
'Twas a Flying Squirrel Bound Out the Window And 'Twas Three Flights Up
Hector Dare to Deathby His Rival, Santos-dumont - Burial by Night Follows.
Because Hector, the big black cat of Mrs. Mary Gehring, who lives on the fourth floor of 109 West Thirtieth Street, thought he had wings and could fly across the street as well as Santos-Dumont, the flying squirrel of the same household, Hector now lies under three feet of Tenderloin sod.
The squirrel was named in honor of the inventor of flying machines. It reached the Gehring household about the time that the French inventor's air vehicle was being sliced into threads by unknown enemies. Santos-Dumont had not joined the family ten minutes before hector began to show ill-concealed signs of jealousy and animosity. Every time, though, he made a spring at Santos the wily little flyer winged his way speedily to the top of a bookcase, a wardrobe, or some equally inaccessible piece of furniture. Then Hector always emitted an ill-tempered growl much bigger than his body and eyed his enemy maliciously.
This kept up a long time, and the Gehrings could not make peace between the pets. Hector got more bad tempered every day, and Santos more cooly impudent in his trespassing on the cat's territory. The flat was kept in a perpetual state of excitement by thefts by the winged squirrel and unsuccessful attempts at revenge on the part of Hector. Last night the feline warrior made his last leap.
He saw Santos-Dumont in a corner near the window and crept up toward him, silent and determined. The squirrel was gnawing on a piece of hard bread, forgetful of everything else in the world. Just before Hector got in reach of him he looked up from his meal and saw the danger. Taken by surprise Santos turned to the open window, rose from the floor, and fluttered softly out into Thirtieth Street.
Quivering with suppressed rage, Hector, the black giant, saw his little enemy elude him for the thousandth time. With a snarl he sprang, regardless of consequences, straight through the window. The Gehring children buried Hector in the backyard.
THIS HEN ADOPTED KITTENS.
The New York Times, August 14, 1904
This white leghorn hen has adopted as her charges four frisky kittens which were abandoned by their own mother. The kittens have become the objects of all the hen's maternal affection, while her own chicks have been driven off by her to wander in the barnyard and shift for themselves as best they can. The kittens follow the hen about by day and at night they nestle under her soft warm wings and enjoy the comfort and protection which should fo to her discarded chicks. The hen will allow no person to handle the kittens when she is near. All who attempt to do so are savagely attacked by her. She is owned by Joseph Hockberger of York, Penn.
HE CALLED HIS CAT LUCK.; But It Didn't Fit, and There Was a Transformation.
The New York Times, August 7, 1904
Charley Nielson, the Williamsburg cigar man whose establishment in Broadway near Gates Avenue is the resort of politicians of note in Brooklyn, recently acquired a black cat and named him Luck. The cat had only been in the place a day when a little sky terrier owned by Justice Maddox of the Supreme Court spied him and chased him up a wire partition, knocking down a dozen boxes of cigars and doing much damage.
"Just my luck," said Nielson, as he proceeded to pick up the broken cigars.
"Yes," replied Deputy Sheriff Bob Hill, "It was your Luck, and not the judge's dog that did it."
On the following day the black cat found a drawer open in Nielson's safe and, pawing at a package of postage stamps, got the stamps out on the floor and tore them in strips.
"That's my Luck again," remarked the cigar man. "That cat is a Post Office robber."
Yesterday morning when Nielson arrived at the store he found the cat chewing a bunch of banknotes. Nielson then recollected that he had forgotten to close the drawer of his cash register on the previous night. After figuring up that he had lost $6 he remarked: "Just my Luck again."
Then when the cigar man's friends laughed at him he picked up the cat and hurled him into the back room shouting: "You black cat, you, you are bad luck!"
"Here, bad! Here, Bad!" shouted Nielson's three-year-old boy, running from behind the counter and chasing the cat. "Here, bad! Here, Bad!"
But Luck had fled, and as the men watched, a self-possessed white kitten strolled in at the open door.
"My! hasn't my Luck changed?" said Nielson, and the crowd agreed with him.
SACRED CAT OF SIAM A LONG WAY FROM HOME; Satsuma Arrives Here with King Chulalongkorn's Pet.
The New York Times, August 22, 1904
After narrowly escaping being sent to the bottom of the Gulf of Pechili by a floating Russian mine, and with the sacred cat of King Chulalongkorn of Siam, for the return of which a reward of $1,000 is outstanding, on board, the New York and Oriental Steamship Company's liner Satsuma reached this port yesterday. Chief Officer Hodges, the guardian of “Siamese Jane,” says there would be high doings in the Siamese King’s Court if it were known that his precious pet has brought into the world five more sacred cats, all of which are enjoying perfect health and may be seen any day gambolling on the deck of the Satsuma.
“It was just this way,” said the chief officer, “and I don’t want you to doubt for a moment anything I am about to tell you, for the whole story is as true as the stars, and the records are on file in Siam to prove it. We left Hongkong on June 11 and arrived at Singapore on the 25th. We did not dock at Singapore, but anchored in the harbour, and received our cargo from lighters and junks. We noticed at the time that a lot of Government vessels were about, closely scrutinising all the craft in the harbour, especially such small vessels and junks as came down the river from Bangkok. We of course were interested in these strange proceedings, and inquired what it was all about, and were surprised to learn that King Chulalongkorn’s cat was missing, and that a big reward was offered for her return and the capture of her abductors. The Satsuma was simply overrun with rats at that time, and we were on the lookout for a good cat, and did not care a white whether she belonged to the sacred or everyday tramp species. It was a little before sundown, and we were getting ready to sail, when a junk came alongside and a Chinaman asked us if we wanted a fine cat. We replied that we did, and asked him what he wanted for it. He said 50 Fents, and when we agreed to the terms he climbed on board with her. At a glance I saw that it was no ordinary cat, and asked the Chinaman where he got her. Then he took me aside and and asked me for the sake of all the Chinese deities to keep quiet.
“It was the King of Siam’s cat, he whispered, and it was because the agents of his Majesty were putting up such a relentless chase that he decided to dispose of her. About that time a Government craft came alongside and asked us where we were going. I replied New York, and added that we had just arrived from Hongkong. That convinced the sleuth who was looking for the cat that we did not have her on board, since it would have been impossible to get her at Hongkong as that port was eleven days out of Singapore, and the cat had then been missing less than a week. You want to know why I did not tell King Chulalongkorn’s men that we had the animal? Well, it was for the very good reason that if we did the whole bunch of us would have been jailed, and it would have taken the British Consul General a week at least to get us out. Yes we are going to take the cat back, but we will keep her out of sight when we touch at Singapore. Don’t doubt that.”
ENGLISH LADIES’ FAVORITE PETS
The Weekly Gazette, September 22, 1904
London, Sept. 17. — Pet animals were never more fashionable than they are now, according to a writer in the Boudoir, from whose article is compiled the following list of favorite pets kept by leading members of society:
The Queen — Silkies, a Yokohama fowl, and doves.
Duchess of Bedford — Trumpeter swans, a pony and two cats [she was a noted cat lover and became the third President of the National Cat Club].
Duchess of Marlborough — Falcons.
Duchess of Buckingham — Dutch canaries.
Lord Hamilton — Birds in general.
Lady Decies — White donkey [Lady Gertrude Decies she was a noted cat breeder and cat fancier].
Lady Muriel Digby — Canaries and foreign finches.
Lady Cathcart — Barbary doves.
Lady Moore — Poodle and a pair of monkeys.
Lady Alexander — Wolf cub, dogs and cats[she was a noted cat fancier and breeder].
Lady Constance Richardson — Boa constrictor.
Ladies Hope — Shetland ponies.
Hon. Sybil Amhurst — Egyptian pelicans.
Alfred de Rothschild — Japanese spaniels and gazelles.
Miss Alice de Rothschild - Hindoo bulls, llamas and zebras.
Countess of Warwick — Monkeys, marmosets, elephants and giraffe.
Baroness Burdett-Coutts — Goats, Archangel pigeons and parrots.
Evelyn Lady Alington — White Austrian turkey, white zebras, goats, guinea pigs and mice.
The New York Times, September 24, 1904
Miss Sarah E Trueblood has just published, through J B Lippincott Company, a book about cats. It deals with cats of every kind with the exception of the aristocratic kind of the bench show - fireside pussies, the kitchen cat, and the back-yard fence cat, as well as the feline of the sitting room cushion. The volume is illustrated with miniature cat portraits.
CAT TURNED ON THE GAS.; Young Man Killed -- Father Found Unconscious and May Die.
The New York Times, September 18, 1904
Newark, Sept 17 - Edward Whalen Jr., twenty-two years old, was found dead in bed in his home at 421 Third Street, East Newark, to-day. He had been suffocated by gas. His father, sixty-two years old, was found unconscious in the same room. He is in critical condition and may die. Two valves of a gas range in the kitchen adjoining were open. It is supposed that the cat, playing about the range, opened them.
OLD CAPT ACKERMAN TO QUIT.; With His Cats and Chickens He Kept Tarrytown Light Twenty-one Years.
The New York Times, September 12, 1904
Tarrytown, NY, Sept. 11 - Capt. Jacob Ackerman has resigned his position as keeper of the Tarrytown Lighthouse and will retire on Oct 1, when he will have completed twenty-one years of service. He holds the record for length of service along the Hudson. He says the duties have become too heavy for him, and as he will be seventy-eight on Nov 1, and as his wife is over seventy, he thinks he will retire and live ashore for the rest of his life. [...] The Captain was very fod of pets, and he had a family consisting of three cats, a dog, and two dozen chickens [...] One of his cats is thirteen years old, and has spent her lifetime in the lighthouse.
MAKES A DEAD CAT RECORD.; New Policeman Finds Plenty of Reporting to Do.
The New York Times, September 5, 1904
Patrolman Joseph W Buck joined the Police Depart of New York yesterday and started in to make a good record for himself. He listened attentively to the Captain when he read off the duties of patrolmen and he heard him say that dead cats in the street must be reported. So he hurried to his post on Tenth Avenue, from Fifty-third to Fifty-sixth Street, where there are mischievous boys. The first thing that the patrolman spied was a dead cat in front of the house at 352 West Fifty-sixth Street. He hastened back to the station and reported it, and was rewarded with a "Very good."
Buck lost no time returning to his post and was very joyful when he spied a dead cat in front of 410 West Fifty-sixth Street. He hurried to the station house and reported his find to the Sergeant. "Very good," remarked Sergt. Mulcahill encouragingly.
Buck made for his post again, but at 411 West Fifty-third Street was a little surprised to find a dead cat. He did not notice some boys near. He once more repaired to the station house to make an official notification of the incidengt which was duly recorded in the annals of the Police Department. A fourth time did Patrolman Buck go forth the post, and a fourth time did he find a dead cat. A lot of laughing small boys were about. This occurrence he reported. The boys may tell him to-day that it was the same cat all the time.
DRUNKEN CATS IN STATION.; Follow Prisoner Weiss, Kind Catnip Dispenser -- Hosepipe Routs Them.
The New York Times, September 13, 1904
Magistrate Ommen lay back in his judicial chair in the Essex Market Court yesterday morning and gasped. "This is the most extraordinary thing I ever heard of," he said to Special Policeman Levy of 118 Suffolk Street.
[Levy gave] a side glance at Joseph Weiss, who was looking into space with a quizzical expression. "I was walking through Fifth Street on Sunday evening," continued, "When I saw a crowd of people at the corner of Avenue B. In the circle was this man, with a circle of all sorts and conditions of cats sitting around him. The special officer went on to say that Weiss was sprinkling catnip on the pavement and the cats were assimilating it with an enthusiasm that presently manifested itself in their legs. Presently Weiss, having collected a goodly number of cats, who came to the catnip from every gutter, roof, and basement in the vicinity like rats to the pipes of the Piper of Hamelin, started to lead his feline army along the avenue toward Houston Street. Although Weiss walked steadily, the cats staggered like the Bowery after midnight, and emitted a maudlin caterwauling that led a few temperance advocates - and they were very few - in the crowd to protest to Officer Levy that it was a shame to lead the poor cats from the path of abstinence. They said that Weiss ought to be arrested.
When Levy did arrest Weiss he found that he had to take the cats along also, for when he and his prisoner started from Union Market, the cats roiled along, too. They weren't going to desert the good fellow who had bought them their lovely jag. After Weiss was locked up in the Union Market [Police] Station, the cats infested the place. The doorman found them in the cells, wailing Bacchanalian chants, and spent most of the rest of his tour of duty chasing them off the roof with a mop, lest a shower of acrobatic cats disturb passers by. At an early hour yesterday morning, Capt. Handy was sitting up in his bed with his head in his hands, while Sergt. Casey was scouring the roof with a bootjack and howling for the reserves and ball cartridges. It was the doorman who eventually sobered the cats with a hose pipe. The Grand Feline Army of Weiss then dispersed into the gray remorseful dawn.
Weiss, who lives at 257 Third Street, told Magistrate Ommen that he was innocent of intent to intoxicate, and that some friends had told him that he could hypnotize cats with the catnip powder, but he was reprimanded and fined $5.
WHO WANTS TO ADOPT A PEERLESS KITTEN?; Prof. Norchese Can Accommodate Searchers for the Unique.
All He Wants Is $2,000.
His Pedigreed Natalie Has Perfect Maltese Cross - Only Financial Stringency Prompts his Action
If there is a man or woman of stainless reputation within the confines of New York who is yearning to adopt a "Maltese female tiger kitten of unique beauty," the yearning may be assuaged for only $2,000. S. Lamberti Norchese of 77 Perry Street, who prefixes his name with "Professor," offers the opportunity, insisting only that the applicant for the honor of rearing the kitten and enjoying its society after it reaches cathood possess a character above reproach and a home in Manhattan. The Professor took the public into his confidence yesterday by means of the following advertisement which appeared in an afternoon paper:
FOR A CONSIDERATION OF NOT LESS THAN two thousand ($2,000) dollars I would give away, to a nice party, for adoption only, my thoroughbred Maltese female tiger kitten, of unique beauty, seven weeks old; agents or dealers need not apply.
A reporter found Prof. Norchese yesterday in the basement of the Perry Street house, where he conducts a barber's shop. He was engaged in washing the windows, and mildly resented interruption. When questioned as the advertisement he was positively indignant. "My announcement," he declared, severely, "speaks for itself. There is nothing more to be said until I have seen your references. I have the little tiger cat, and if you can satisfy me as to your moral qualifications and oblige me with the $2,999 you may adopt her, provided that you live in New York. I could not permit her to be taken to any other city, and I warn you that you need not think of buying her outright. I would not consider such a thing. I have never sold a pet, and could not now, but my financial situation at the present moment so embarrassing that I am forced partially to disregard my desires and agree to part with Natalie. Agents and dealers, however, are barred. I will not tolerate them. She must have a private home."
The professor paused and carefully combed out a few kinks in his great mustache. Finally he walked to the rear of the shop and took an enormous butcher's knife from a drawer. He ran his finger along its edge, testing its keenness.
"Are you an agent or a dealer?" he demanded of his visitor, as he began to whet the weapon. A denial was hastily entered, but he whetted all the harder. Natalie, the $2,000 tiger kitten, appeared.
"It is her dinner bell, the sharpening of the knife," he explained. "I always feed her on raw liver. Meat would be too heavy for her little stomach. She was asleep. She always sleeps between 2 o'clock and 4 in the afternoon. It is her custom, and I did not like at first to wake her. She does not look her best when suddenly aroused from slumber. She is not bright of eye not lithe of movement." The professor put his knife away.
"Two thousand dollars," he continued, "is a ridiculously small figure to fix for giving Natalie up, but I must have money. There is not another cat in all the world so beautiful as she. There is the regularity of the tiger markings to the smallest detail. There is the perfect cross of Maltese upon her back. She is peerless. Would that I might keep her always, but my finances are terribly depleted. I must sacrifice my feelings. She is pedigreed, ah! how nobly! Had I not another kitten I would never consent to give her up. The other kitten is not a tiger kitten. She does not eat like a tiger, and she has not the cross of Maltese on her back, but she is a good mouser."
The professor then excused himself to groom Natalie for visitors."
HOMELESS PETS ARE A NUISANCE
The Labor World, October 8th, 1904
ROCKWAY BEACH, L.I., Oct. 5 — The residential sections at Hollands and Hammel sections are overrun with homeless dogs and cats, which prowl around and make nights hideous with their howls and cries. These conditions exist each fall, after the summer residents have left for their winter homes. Dogs, and cats, which were housed and fed as pets of children during the summer months, are turned out and abandoned when the families return to the city in the fall, and these homeless animals become a nuisance to the community.
There are probably several hundred of these tramp animals in the Hollands and Hammels sections, and the police are powerless to act in the matter of ridding the community of these nuisances. In former years the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has sent its ambulances and wagons down here and gathered in all the stray dogs and cats, but thus far this year the society has failed to do so.
People who have communicated with the society in the matter have received no satisfaction. They have been told that if they would gather in the tramp dogs and cats and take them up to Far Rockaway to a certain veterinary the animals would be humanely disposed of, but the residents do not propose to act as dog catchers and then spend railroad fare in order to carry these homeless curs to Far Rockaway to have them disposed of.
CAT A BURGLAR ALARM.; Runs and Meows for Neighbors When Thief Takes Master's Coat.
The New York Times, October 27, 1904
Matthew O'Brien of 746 Ninth Avenue went to the West Forty-seventh Street Station last night and told the police that during the afternoon his apartment had been broken open and that had it not been for his large Angora cat "Sharp" the thief would have got away with his overcoat. O'Brien stated that late in the afternoon his wife left the house, leaving the cat in the kitchen. About half an hour later the cat was heard scratching on the door of the apartment across the hall, and Mrs Mitchell, the tenant, went to the door. She saw a man just coming out of O'Brien's apartment with an overcoat over his arm. Mrs Mitchell told him to put it back in the O'Brien apartment, which the mad did. He then made a hasty retreat down the stairs. O'Brien told the police that the cat always notified the family when noises were heard.
CLEVELAND IMITATES NEWPORT; Society People Drive Rats, Cats, and Geese in a Race.
The New York Times, October 30, 1904.
Cleveland, Oct 29 - Society cast aside dignity to-day and, attired in odd and comical costumes drove rats, cats and geese in a race. The Country Club, composed of the wealthiest people in the city, gave a gymkhana on the beautiful lawn in front of the club-house, and 200 men and women were in attendance. There were pig chases for women, pig hunts for both men and women, and egg and spoon races for the women. Benjamin Crowell and Max MacMurray were the ringmasters, and J B Perkins, Martyn Bonnell, and H H Brown were the judges.
HOW TO BRING DEAD CATS BACK TO LIFE; Ask Dr. Gwathmey Who, Witnesses Say, Has Done It. FIRST KILL THEM PROPERLY With Chloroform and Oxygen, That Is -Then Induce Respiration and Rub the Fur Backward.
The New York Times, October 9, 1904
Before the Academy of Medicine, Friday night, appeared Dr. James Taylor Gwathmey to read a paper entitled "Experiments to Determine the Value of Oxygen in Combination With Different General Anaesthetics." Accompanying Dr Gwathmey were a number of small boys and a number of cats, both to be used as subjects in the demonstrations that followed, the cats directly, and the small boys, indirectly, by the cats.
The object for which Dr Gwathmey, the small boys and the cats were working was to demonstrate that when oxygen was mingled with any general anaesthetic, such as chloroform, the results were considerably less disturbing to the patient than when the chloroform was administered in the usual way, in mixture with air. It was through the cats that Dr Gwathmey was able to come to this conclusion, and, he told the Academy of Medicine, he had sometimes gone so far as to kill the cats entirely, just to see what could be done. He was gratified to add that while there were a full hundred notches in the handle of his faithful inhaler, he had in some instances been able to bring deceased cats back to life, when oxygen had been intermingled with the chloroform that killed them.
Therewith he presented a table of statistics showing the behaviour of several cats under chloroform, noting that when twenty-six cats were killed with chloroform and air the average time was nine minutes, or one minute per life per cat, whereas when thirty-eight cats were killed by chloroform and oxygen the average time was twenty-one minutes, or three-and-a-half minutes per life per cat. This, Dr Gwathmey and his listeners agreed, showed the advantage of mixing chloroform and oxygen, unless one desired to kill the cat in question on behalf of an outraged neighborhood instead of science.
Then the command was given to the small boys "Bring on the cats," and small boy No. 1 struggled up with a protesting Sir Thomas, over whose eyes the death cap had already been adjusted. A few minutes later a very much scratched small boy had gthe cat safely tied to the table and a mixture of chloroform and oxygen was administered. After fifty-one minutes an examining committee pronounced the cat dead in all its lives. Then Dr Gwathmey began to induce artificial respiration, and at the same time had one of his assistants agitate briskly the cat's fur in the direction opposite to that in which it used normally to grow. The combined indignities at last became too much for the cat, even it its decease, and after some ten minutes, according to eye-witnesses, it struck out with one hind leg at the small boy who held it, then again, and soon was scratching its captor as vigorously as before its demise.
Several other small boys and several other cats were operated upon similarly and then, after a favorable discussion of Dr Gwathmey's demonstration by Drs. Robert T Morris, Frederick Holme Wiggin, and William Seaman Bainbridge, the Academy adjourned to bind up the wounds of the small boys. It was not stated whether a human being killed by chloroform and oxygen had ever been brought back to life.
CHICKEN AND CAT SHOW ON BROADWAY; Poultry and Pet Stock Compete for Blue Ribbons.
The New York Times, November 29, 1904
Fowls, fluffed and feathered like a lady costumed for the opera, and of high degree, who could look with pride upon a polished incubator and call it "Mother," clucked a welcome last night at the annual show of the Association of Poultry and Pet Stock Breeders. The show is held in the Herald Square Exhibition Hall, Thirty-fourth Street and Broadway. it is the first show of the new Association, and the number of entries is much larger than has ever been attained at any similar exhibition. The grand total is 3,754 divided as follows [...] cats, 110. [The remainder of the piece is about poultry breeds.]
FLOOD OF ILL-TIMED CATS.; Somebody in Rutgers Advertised for Supply for a German Class.
The New York Times, November 23, 1904.
New Brunswick, Nov 22. - An advertisement appeared in a local newspaper last night to the effect that any person or persons who called this morning at room 1, Queen's Building, on the Rutgers campus, with healthy cats would be reimbursed at the rate of 50 cents per cat. Once before Prof. Julius Nelson of the Biological Department, who helps along science by the occasional cutting up of cats, had procured all he wanted by the same means.
Room 1, however, is not occupied by Prof. Nelson, and Prof nelson knew nothing of the advertisement which appeared last night. Room 1 was filled this morning with the expectant class of Eugene Howard Babbitt, and instructor in German, who hates cats. Hardly had the class begun its serpentine career through a German verb when a negro appeared at the door with a wriggling bag.
"I got three dollars' wuth hyuh, Suh," explained the negro, his smile filling up the doorway.
"Three dollars' worth of what?" roared Mr Babbitt. The answer was a shout from the class and the precipitate retreat of the negro.
Two minutes later a freckled youngster arrived with a Maltese, for which, he explained to Mr Babbitt, he was willing to accept 50 cents. Just then the Maltese escaped into the classroom, and the result was a melee in which students piled one another up on desks in their wild pursuit. A great quantity of stones, sand, and ashes which came from some mysterious source littered up the floor. Mr Babbitt tried hard to understand the situation, but he probably will request the assistance of the Faculty in clearing it up.
BIG BLACK CAT SOUGHT TO PACE ELEVATED TRAIN; Soon Vanquished, but Unwilling to be Dragged at Victorious Wheels. LEAPED TO THE STREET BELOW Policeman Tried to Save Its Nine Lives, but It Had Suffered Mortal Hurt in Its Fall.
The New York Times, November 22, 1904
A big coal black eat ventured on the elevated tracks of the Sixth Avenue structure at Thirty-third Street yesterday afternoon and for a few moments led a strenuous life, pacing a south-bound seven-car train. Soon vanquished and unwilling to be dragged at the heels of the victorious train, he cat jumped to the street below and suffered mortal hurt.
A gang of men at work installing an escalator at the down-town Thirty-third Street Station was thrown into a panic in the late afternoon when the cat, eyes ablaze, hair on end, its tail like a fox's brush waving in anger, and spitting, as one carpenter declared, "like thirty devils," appeared suddenly among them. A shower of hammers and planes finally caused the unwelcome feline to bolt out on the platform, and its only escape from the well-aimed missiles was the track.
Down Sixth Avenue from tie to tie the big black cat started, at first with such caution as the unusual exigencies permitted, and every yard or two of progress was marked with a defiant yowl. The cat had gotten bout half way to Thirty-second Street, when a train pulled into the station he had left behind. The cat gave no attention to the vibration of the structure at first, and the train had started again and was well up on the cat before the race really began. The motorman had turned on all the power and the train was going at a good rate. Suddenly fearing peril the cat increased its leaps, first to two ties and then to four, and as the train caught it up it made leaps which were prodigious. But there could be but one termination to such an uneven contest, the cat finding the open ties hard to negotiate.
Just as the train was almost upon it the cat made a final wild leap, cleared the third rail, and over the protecting side railing, down to the sidewalk. The crowd was dense, but by some strange bit of luck the cat landed between two women, missing their heads by the merest trifle. The women fled in alarm. The unfortunate animal was unable to move, and its cries were pitiful. A policeman carried it into the police patrol stable at 103 West Thirtieth Street, intending if possible that such a plucky cat should be saved. But it had to be shot.
DIDN'T SEE DECEASED CAT.; 'Twas a Gray Cat and Matched the Pavement, Says Policeman Callahan.
The New York Times, November 12, 1904.
Five patrolmen, attached to the West Thirtieth Street Station, were up for trial yesterday at Police Headquarters, charged with failing to report a dead cat on their post from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4. They were William S. Donnelly, Peter Durfield, Martin L. Tohey, Hubert Callahan, and John S. McKeever. Deputy Commissioner Lindsley presided. Howard Van Sinderen of 14 West Sixteenth Street was the complainant, and stated that a dead cat had remained in front of his residence for five days, and that he notified the patrolman on post, who took no action. Finally the witness said, he was compelled to write to the Commissioner.
"The man who has the best story may give his reasons first," said Mr Lindsley.
Patrolman Callahan stepped up and said: "Your honotr, this was a gray cat, the color of the paving blocks was the same and the cat was close to the pavement. The street was being repaired at the time, your Honor and the cat was not visible on the north side of the street."
Callahan did report the cat on the 3d day after Mr Van Sinderen had called his attention to it.
Patrolman Toohey said that he never noticed the cat, as he was only on that post one night. Mr Lindsley said that Callahan had told the best story, but he found them all guilty, and fined each one half a day's pay, except Toohey, whom he reprimanded. After the trial Mr Van Sinderen offered to pay the fines of the men, but Capt. Cottrell told him that he could not do so.
EXCITED CAT SCARES HOTEL.; Small Boys Start It on Mad Dash Into Marlborough.
The New York Times, November 8, 1904
When the Marlborough Hotel corridors, writing room, and cafe were crowded last night, an agitated cat came bouncing into the hotel from Thirty-seventh Street and ran back and forth. The cat mewed savagely. Then somebody shouted: "Look out! The cat's mad!" and scores of people jumped upon chairs or ran into Broadway. Passersby were attracted to the commotion within and the appearance of excited men tumbling over each other to get out. The street became blocked and it took some time and effort to convince scores of curious folk that it was nothing more extraordinary than a cat.
After upsetting the peace of the hotel, the cat made its way to Broadway through the cafe entrance on the corner, and turned back again towards whence it had appeared on Thirty-seventh Street. There it ran off the sidewalk and under the wheels of a hansom, which crushed one of its legs. Patrolman Wickman of the West Thirtieth Street Station ended its misery with a bullet. It developed later that the cat's mad dash was started by some bad boys.
A BOOK ABOUT CATS.
The New York Times, November 5, 1904
A book of instructions for illustrator, entitled "How to Draw," will be published by the Harpers on Nov. 10. The author is Leon Barritt, the cartoonist, and it is said that the work was inspired by the letters he received from miscellaneous persons desirous of making pictures for books, newspapers, and the like, but ignorant of the way. The volume diagrams and reproductions of drawings by successful artists - illustrators, cartoonists, comic draughtsmen - and covers a wide field of the subject with an eye always to the practical.
FEDERAL CATS CELEBRATE GEORGE COOK'S BIRTHDAY; Chief of Post Office Basement Police Gives Banquet. SIXTY GUESTS AT HIS TABLE Liver au Naturel and Kidneys Non Brochette the Menu -- History of the Force.
The New York Times, November 6, 1904
George W Cook, eighty-one years old yesterday.
Two Sergeant cats.
One bow-legged, brindled Roundsman cat.
Fifty-seven able-bodied patrolman cats.
In the basement of the building, promptly at half after two o'clock in the afternoon the celebration was begun. The menu was simple, tho' not cooked at all. First came calves' liver au naturel, and then lambs' kidneys non brochette. Heaped high in four great piles, on as many sheets of clean white paper, the food was served. In orderly array around the board sat the furry guests. Each helped himself or herself with nature's implements.
With the vanishing of the solids came the flow of soul, at which stage Cook, as master of the feast, showed strong. As the loud purrs of applause that greeted him subsided, he recounted something of the history of his force and of the discipline that he has built up among the Post Office cats. Shrill blasts from a whistle summon big cats and little cats to their duties and their meals. No idle and gluttonous cats will Cook have around. Not one moment can such fellows remain in the governmental service. Incontinently and without trial they are cast forth, for Cook is a stern and relentless albeit self-constituted arbiter of the feline civil service.
Telling these and many other things about his cats, Cook got back to the ancient days when he brought one lone tabby from the old Post Office to the present one way back in the ’60s. " That darned low critter would never stay on post," he said amid the scornful purrs of the company. “ I tell you, mister, in a few months there were more cats in this office than letters. Every corner I turned, I vum, it seemed as if I stumbled on a nest o’ kittens. By gum! there wan’t no race suicides then. Well, Major Williams, the Superintendent o' Mails, you know, he hit on a plan. Says he to me one day,; says he, “ George, get me six strong mail bags. New ones mind ye.” Oh! I tell ye, the Major war a smart man. He just stuffed them air bags full of big and little cats and registered them, yes mister, an’ sent 'em to a little Post Office in Jersey. Gosh! I wonder what th’ feller said when he got ’em."
Warned by bitter experience in the past. Cook, some time ago inaugurated his civil service system. From that day an aspirant for the force has had to present external evidence of good moral character; to satisfy Cook that he is a willing and obedient rat catcher; that he respects him-self and his surroundings, and that his early education has not been neglected. Especially must he conduct himself at table as beseems a police cat and a boarder of the greatest Government on earth.
First and last, the duty of the cat police is to prevent all damage to the mails by thieving rodents. The two boss cats are the sergeants of the force. The bow-legged brìndle is the wardman. The two platoon system is now in vogue. Seven years ago, the three platoon system was tried. The test of its efficiency came when a cheese house sent out samples of its most powerful limburger. This mail was attacked in force by a strong battalion of rats and a riot ensued which the tour of cats on duty were wholly unable to quell. Under the three platoon system only four eats were on reserve and serious damage was done to the mails before the members of the cat force in the outlying precincts could be summoned. Cook at once reinstated the two platoon system which still prevails.
At the close of yesterday’s feast. Cook went upstairs and received the congratulations of the Acting Postmaster’s staff. His service antedates that of Acting Postmaster Morgan, who has worked for Uncle Sam forty-seven years.
ROYALTY IS AT THE CAT SHOW – Democrat and Chronicle, November 18th, 1904
[A satirical report from feline perspective.]
“Truly we did entertain our brother of Portugal and his queen right royally last night — right royally, doncher meow.”
Albert Edward looked complacently across an aisle at Saratoga Lady Lola who occupied an apartment directly opposite his Majesty at the Rochester Cat Show in Fitzhugh hall yesterday afternoon. Saratoga Lady Lola was proud to have so distinguished a place at the show opposite the blue-haired Britain [Briton]. Now to be addressed by him! She was quite beside herself with gratification.
“Meow-w-w!" she gasped. “It must have been really - oh, superb. Weren’t you nervous when you toasted King Charles?
“Oh no.” said Albert Edward, weariedly; “I have my speeches all on file, doncher meow, and they just have to be worked over a little.”
Queen Alexandra, whose cage was next to that of Saratoga Lady Lola, was becoming restless. At this point she interrupted the dialogue between her august lord and Saratoga Lady Lola.
“You weren’t at the banquet?” she observed coldly.
“Oh, no — oh, dear, no,” Saratoga Lady Lola replied in confusion — “really, I hadn’t anything to wear — that is, my dressmaker — they're so outrageously slow.”
“Got an invitation, I suppose?” said Madison Major Independence, from his place along the line to the right. He spoke in a creamy, dreamy tone, in which it was hard to detect the unpleasant suggestion.
“It isn’t your butt in,” snapped Saratoga Sir Robert, and his great black eyes were fixed viciously on Madison Major Independence.
“Dry up, old man,” advised Prince Chubb, “If you don’t use greater discretion, my dear Major, you’ll find yourself on the black list with me, jolly quick.”
Prince Chubb winked at the Major and lay down. Princess Victoria stared at him frigidly.
"If I were not a princess,” said she icily, “I should say you were too fat.”
Finding the conversation unpleasantly personal, Albert Edward here interposed. “My dear Victoria,” said he, “contain yourself, my dear. It was indeed a magnificent spectacle,” he added, again addressing Saratoga Lady Lola. “Her Majesty and I, doncher meow, met their Majesties of Portugal in the middle of St. George’s Hall, and there I gave my arm to Queen Marie Amelia -”
Here there was a most unsaintly interruption, sad to chronicle. Miss Bob White, a little white thing with golden eyes, who had been dissipating for some days, awoke from a heavy sleep, and piped up anything but musical tones: “Ame—lia, I’d like to ste—al yo’; “Ame—lia, I lo - ”
There was a general protest from all the members of nobility and aristocracy. Dorothy V. Wells threw herself against the side of Miss White’s cage, which jarred the latter into something approaching a sane mind.
“I suppose you had a swell spread,” said Saratoga Lady Lola, coming np in the nick of time with her native wit.
“Oh, yes,” Albert Edward replied, with assumed equanimity — for his temper was ruffled, indeed — “but I don't seem to enjoy anything I eat any more.”
“I do,” interrupted Prince Chubb, “I’d like a nice juicy mouse right now.”
“You’re a beefy glutton,” Madison Major Independence observed sententiously.
"Do you know you’re making an exhibition of yourselves?" inquired Saratoga Sir Robert, fiercely.
Albert Edward turned about three times in his disgust.
“Dear me,” came in a suppressed will from Saratoga Lady Lola, “I haven’t heard about the dresses and the jewels yet.”
“So like a woman,” purred Madison Major Independence.
“If you'll pardon me,” said Albert Edward, “I’ll take a nap. How I do hate those foreigners!” he added with emphasis.
Although Albert Edward spoke low, all the republican cats and foreign cats - the Siamese pair and the Manx pair and Madison Calif — heard him, and throughout the hall rose a most dolorous meow, which led Prince Chubb to make some sage remarks to Madison Major independence as to the woes of royalty.
Madame Folly, an expert fortune teller will unveil the future at the cat show to day.
An old pair of chums at the show are Dickie, a crow, and Black Beauty, a short haired cat. The crow was taken from the nest at the B five months ago and was adopted by the cat, it is said. They are owned by Reginald Guernsey Symons. A performing cat will do its tricks to-day.
BETTY’S MORNING CHAT – Pittsburgh Daily Post, 2nd December, 1904
At a cat show one year I found a cage occupied by a tiger kitten that was curled up in a tight little ball when I paused before its resting place. I stirred it up to discover what right it had to a place among felines of high degree and finding no answer in its appearance consulted a catalogue to find it listed as the only one of its kind. As a class by itself it won a prize, and from the woman who became the owner of the kitten I learned its story.
On a fiercely stormy evening, a man muffled to his ears in comfort felt something brush against his legs and looked down to see a miserable, wet kitten, astray on a business street where there was little hope of its rescue. He picked up the shivering mite, tucked it inside his coat, where it purred with contentment, and took it to his room for one night only, since animals were banned in the house. He began to wonder what would do with it till a bright thought struck him. There was a forthcoming cat show and by paying an entrance fee he could secure a week’s care and comfort for his protege.
The kitten took to its new home, grew sleek and brushed up its fascinating manners, and thereby won over the judges, who awarded it a prize of double the entrance fee and caught the fancy of a woman who gave it a good home.
An old cat owned by one of my friends was given away and taken a long distance, where she was to pass the remainder of her life in clearing a storehouse of rats. In six weeks she reappeared at her former home, gaunt and tired, and there was no doubt that she had spent almost the entire time on the road. She got the reward of her persistence, as she lived out her days where she pleased. – Betty Bradeen
THE UNFASHIONABLE FELINE – The Morning Post, 11th December, 1904
The feline cannot be said to be fashionable in New York. There was a cat show here last week, and it was in striking contrast to the horse show and the dog show of the weeks previous. Horse and dog must needs have Madison Square Garden as their show-place, and Madames and Madamoiselles must don velvet and lace to inspect and applaud the prize-winners. But the cats have their exhibition in one end of a big: hall on the ninth floor of Macy’s building, and society does not go near it. Women in plenty do go, but they are chiefly owners of catteries, or interested friends. Occasionally, you see among the crowd a genuine, non-commercial cat-lover, and she strokes and murmurs over the Persian beauties, and asks the price.
But there are few fashionable folk on hand. Evidently Tom and Tabby are not sporty enough for the swells. But they are rising in importance. They boast long lines of ancestors, and in some of the blue and pink lined cages a± the show there were tacked up at the side an impressive family chart. One big gray fellow, nine months old, who, when curled up asleep, looked like a gorgeous chinchilla muff, was tabulated as the grandson of the “late” somebody — noted in cat catalogues! And their monetary value! One big Persian, a descendant of “Silver Sultan" annd “Smoke,” brought $500 in cold cash.
The poultry show was in another part of the same building, and one rooster in the lot brought a thousand dollars. No wonder he looked over at the cat cages and crew [crowed] so loud. But little cared Tom and Tabby. A good snug place is all they care for in this life. And those Persian and Maltese beauties have it, you may be sure.
HERFORD’S PERSIAN KITTEN
The New York Times, December 17, 1904
One of the most agreeable of our Christmas visitors is a Persian kitten of most attractive personality. It is introduced by Oliver Herford, and its views of life, which are rational, are set forth in quatrains of the form employed by Edward FitzGerald in his version of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Mr. Herford, who is a draughtsman of unique skill as well as a poet with a style of his own, and a student of human nature with a broad knowledge of cats, illustrates the verses with some lifelike pictures. The kitten itself, in many moods, the birds and mice and goldfish in which it is interested, the looking glass which bewilders, the toothsome sole which tempts it, the fox terrier which incurs Its scorn, the large, forlorn tomcat which teaches it philosophy, are all admirably portrayed. “ The Rubaiyat of a Persian Kitten” Is published by the Scribners, ($1.) The stanzas are coherent and their philosophy unassailable; as, for instance:
Myself when young did eagerly frequent,
The backyard fence and heard great argument.
About it, and about, yet evermore
Came out with fewer fur than in I went.
BOY GAVE HIS KITTEN FOR TEACHER’S CHRISTMAS
One of Many Gifts in the East Side Public Schools
The New York Times, December 24, 1904
In the public schools on the lower east side yesterday many of the women teachers were the recipients of Christmas gifts from the children, who evidently had not informed their parents of the surprises they had in store. In one of the schools a boy six years old walked up to his teacher carrying a box containing: a live kitten. He explained that he had found the kitten in the cellar of a neighbor’s house, and “had been saving it up ” for the teacher for two days. The boy had placed the kitten in a cigar box and bad hidden the box in the cellar since Wednesday. The kitten, thin and scarcely showing signs of life, was tied In a pasteboard box, bound by a piece of dingy blue ribbon. On the outside of the box this inscription appeared: “ Marry Chris Moss."
GEWALT! THE CAT!
Tramp’s Back at 112 Broome After Being Thoroughly Drowned.
New York Times, 1905
The news that the tramp cat had been dumped into the river was welcomely received in the tall tenement at 112 Broome Street last night. Some of the tenants went into the neighboring houses to tell about it. It would not be necessary now to go armed with knives and clubs, they said. Far up on the house tops and on the fire-escape balconies, groups of men and women told the story of the tramp cat. They told how the tramp cat had arrived on Thursday last, how he had bitten the landlord, Jake Schoenberg, and sent Jake to the hospital, and how he had attacked Mr. Cohen, the second-floor tenant, on Saturday.
They told how the cat hid when the S.P.C.A. wagon came around for him, and how he was finally captured on Sunday by ten men armed with swords, guns, and clubs. They told how the men took the tramp to the North River and dumped him overboard near Washington Market. And everybody was glad that the cat had been taken away.
Mothers told their children they need I not worry now, and the children told their companions imaginary stories of how the cat had been killed. While all of Broome Street was talking about it a Jewish woman ran from the doorway of the big tenement into the street, screeching: “Entlois! Entlois! Der Katzkommt!”
Then from the housetops the warning was echoed: “Gewalt! Gewalt! Der katz ist vidder du!”
The cat came back. That was what they meant. They shouted “Der katz ist vidder du!” until all the men in the neigh-borhood had gathered with clubs, pistols, and bars of iron. The women, too, armed themselves, for they had seen the tramp cat go into the hall of the big tenement. After some of the excitement had passed away the men planned a flank movement to attack the cat, but the cat got away to the roof. No one would volunteer to go there after him, so he was still there at midnight, with the tenants wildly gesticulating and shouting: "Der katz ist vidder du!”
Many instances of curious animal friendships have been recorded, but not many are stranger than that which a correspondent of the Field relates of a kitten and a peacock in his own grounds. The kitten was a half-wild one, living in the shrubberies near the house. All its brothers and sisters had been destroyed or taken away, and the kitten must have felt very lonely when there were none of its own kind to play with. Being very young and playful, it felt that it must have a friend and playmate of some kind, and it looked round to find one. There was a handsome peacock in the grounds, and pussy admired him very much, and thought she would like to play with him. So she tried to form an acquaintance, and, as the peacock was not half so vain as he looked, she succeeded very well. They were soon so friendly that pussy could rub against him and box his ears with impunity; she even tried to scramble upon his back. He took all her play in good part, and seemed to enjoy it quite as much as she did. Perhaps he was flattered by pussy's admiration, or perhaps he felt a true friendship for his strange companion. Whichever it was, he always looked out for his little playmate, and was evidently pleased to see her. --W. A. A.
THE CAT LIKES TO SEE SIGHTS
The New York Times, January 2, 1905
From The Boston Herald.
The Kansas City woman who took her big gray cat shopping on her shoulder understood the feline character. Cats enjoy seeing things. They have the trait of curiosity largely developed, and, besides, this Kansas City cat undoubtedly had Christmas presents to select for the family. The other day I met a young woman on Boylston Street carrying a sweet; black kitten in a black bag, all tucked behind her muff, and in the glimpse I had of those topaz eyes I read a world of appreciation of the situation. Lucky cat!
CATS - St. Louis Post Dispatch, 6th January, 1905
The cat show is being held these days, bringing into mind the fact that puss is a “queer" animal and is not always what she seems, especially at New York cat shows, where one “Nicodemus” took first prize in the “gentleman’s” class in the afternoon and became the mother of four kittens that night.
On the general subject of cats the Globe says that “heretofore the dominating idol of the organized cat lovers has been to develop what may be called the cat aristocrat. No attention has been paid to the cat democratic — she of back yards and cinder heaps. Nothing: has been done, or even attempted to be done, for the rank and file of catdom — the submerged tenth has been forgotten, there has been no adequate reflection on how this other half lives. Humanitarianism, being the watchword of the century, it is proposed by a large element in the Atlantic Cat Club to advance the welfare of the democratic many rather than the aristocratic few. Although respect must be felt for the worthiness of the motive, truth shows that evolution works in all things except in cats. Puss was in ancient Egypt; she is now. As the witty Frenchman said, ‘She is a creature whether of the parlor or of the ridge pole, which seems by delicate design to devote her days to civilization and her nights to barbarism.’ The cat aristocratic and the cat democratic even more than ‘the colonel’s lady and Judy O’Grady are sisters under their skin. The wild music, the pibroch of the race comes from the one as the other. All the ages she has been unchangeable, and as culture at the top has not modified, so culture at the bottom would not.’
The New York Times, January 13, 1905
The meeting of the Atlantic Cat Club just closed at the Madison Square Garden brought forward the fact of much public interest that there are other cat clubs in the country, in fact, a very considerable number of them, standing as the attestation of a lively popular interest in the animal. No register of all the cat clubs in the country has, so far as we know, been yet attempted. Some of them may be small neighborhood affairs just taking in the kitty-loving spinsters of a commune or a shire town; but there are obviously a goodly number of more extended societies having in view the protection of all the interests of catland and the periodical exhibition of the outward and celebration of the inward graces of its softly mewing inhabitants.
On the hearthrug, caressing with velvet paw its whiskered nose, the cat is perhaps as fit an emblem of peace as could be found among all the animals that went with NOAH into the ark, or which subsequent processes of evolution may have added to them. But when it is made part of a show and enters the lists of competition, it seems, without any malicious intention of its own, to become at once a breeder of strife and the origin of official heart-burnings without end. Thus at the meeting just closed a furious warfare raged around the Secretary of the society, who loved cats, and that is why he was there. He had given his days and nights, and his substance as well, to their and the club's welfare; but even this generosity of varied service could not shelter him from the animosity of an up-State female cat breeder, who got up and left the room every time he entered it and in other ways “put rancors in the vessel of his peace” till the club as a body took the matter up and voted as a unit for her expulsion.
As kitty is a universal favourite — it would be a perverted nature which did not love the gentle and graceful and useful animal, full of all kinds of soft, unobtrusive friendships and pretty little amicable and propitiatory ways — it seems unfortunate that she should become on any occasion the storm centre of strife, as she did at the recent club meeting referred to. To have such gatherings break up in mere midnight back-yard yowlings, or torturing echoes of the same, will not help along the cat business in any of its branches, the annual shows of the animal least of all. No doubt there are acute competitive jealousies between the exhibitors, and that all ladies ranged among them front the firing line under the bannered motto, “Love me, love my cat,” but such rivalries are an incident of all such shows, and women who enter on them are expected to sustain their conditions with as much fortitude as men, and with no surplusage of squealing beyond the measured but still liberal amount which custom, having no choice in the matter, allows.
SHOT WIFE INSTEAD OF CAT.
The New York Times, January 22, 1905
ST. JAMES, L. I., Jan. 21. — While trying to kill a cat, Ludwig Weisse, sixty-six years old, shot his wife, Ernestine, sixty-five years old, at their home near here yeterday. The woman lived less than an hour. Weisse had built a large hennery, in which his wife kept fine fowls. The hennery had been invaded several times recently by cats. About 9 o’clock yesterday morning Mrs. Weisse looked out of the window and saw a big cat go to the chicken house. She told her husband and asked him to kill it.
Taking his rifle, Weisse entered the hennery, but in the poor light he had trouble sighting the animal. Meanwhile Peter Gratzfield, whom Weisse had employed to clear up some timber land called for his tools. Mrs. Weisse went to the chicken house, and, standing outside, called to her husband. Weisse replied that just as soon as he killed the cat he would come in. He thought she returned to the house.
Just about this time the cat jumped on a barrel in the corner of the building and Weisse raised his gun and fired. He missed his aim, and the bullet plowed its way through the side of the building and lodged in the body of Mrs. Weisse just below the heart.
The cat escaped through a small-opening and Weisse opened the door to see his wife sinking on her knees. She exclaimed: "Oh, Ludwig, you have shot me.”
District Attorney Livingston Smith ordered the arrest of Weisse, and the duty fell on the man's own son. Coroner Gibson released Weisse and gave a permit for the removal of the body.
CAT WAS TIMMY; TEDDY A LOSER
Democrat and Chronicle, February 19, 1905
Williams-Dent Suit Decided For Plaintiff. Angora Must Come Back. Judge Hebbard Files Decision In Famous Case, And Court Employees Are Joyous – Defendant May Keep Her Pet For $75
The famous cut replevin case that has agitated the public mind in no inconsiderable degree since the time it was tried in Municipal Court was ended yesterday morning, when Judge Hebbard filed his decision in favor of the plaintiff, Mrs. Stella Williams, awarding her possession of the coveted Angora, with costs of the litigation. When the verdict was received the court employees who for a fortnight have been answering ‘phone inquiries regarding the case, drew breaths of relief that echoed and re-echoed in the corridors of City Hall.
Not only the novelty of the suit, but the determined fight made by both sides for the cat, gave widespread interest to the case. The defendant is Mrs. Augusta Dent, a Main street west milliner who employed George Haines in her behalf. The plaintiff, who owns a bird store in that vicinity, was represented by Frederic Remington. Thirty-three witnesses gave testimony in the trial, which attracted assemblages of spectators second in size only to those drawn by a murder ease.
The Court's decision reads: "Judgment in favor of the plaintiff, that she have and retain possession of one solid Maltese Angora cat called Timmie, described in the complaint, and in case possession cannot be had, that she have judgment for $25 therefor and costs.”
The question as to there being a possibility of the plaintiff not being able to gain possession of Timmie arises from the failure of the constable to get hold of the cat at the time of the beginning of the suit. Usually in a replevin action the property contested is held until the ownership is decided.
Constable Michael Ulton, who served the papers on Mrs. Dent, was unable to find the shifty Angora. Otherwise the Court might have become the custodian of the feline and the annual cat show put out of business by the City Hall competition. But these bright possibilities were put to flight, by Mrs. Dent's failure to deliver the goods until the concluding day of the trial.
Mrs. Dent, the defendant, produced testimony intended to prove that the cat came to her last August, at that time a sickly, half-starved kitten with a "flag" tail. She took it in, fed it and cared for it, and in due time christened it Teddy. Mrs. Williams testified that her Timmie was a full-grown Angora at the time he chose to wander from his own fireside last September. In addition, the cat that never came back could be led by a string at will and was an enthusiast on the subject of tansy, for which he had an unlimited appetite.
All the lore about cats to be gathered in many days’ reading was absorbed by the attorneys and on the trial they showed themselves thoroughly conversant with their subject from the time cats were held in higher honor and venerated by the Egyptians of old down to the decadent taste of the present day and generation and its marked aversion to the nocturnal feline prowler. Counsel went into the details of the case with zeal, even to the part where Timmie’s fair name was under a cloud, when he played the part of gay cavalier one night and was seen in company with cats of the gentler sex at a decidedly late hour.
The fact that a solid gray Maltese cat is a freak and that there are only two or three specimens in the city appears to have been taken into consideration by the Court, who seems to have scouted the idea that two cats of this variety were lost at about the same time. The testimony as to the wonderful growth of Teddy from a kitten to a twelve-pounder in five months apparently had little effect on the Court. Ever since the trial of the case Judge Hebbard has been ill, last Friday being the first day he was able to be about the house. His first judicial step on recovery was to file his decision, in the hope of stopping further inquiries, which even pervaded the sick room.
There are several families that will rejoice or do otherwise upon the payment of the wagers made upon the outcome of the case. A well-known attorney must take his family to a theater, while another West Side man who was positive as to the outcome of the suit must keep his walks clear of snow instead of leaving the work for his son. Court employees say the case interested more people than any other in the court in years.
The costs in the case will easily amount to $50 and if the defendant wishes to keep the cat, Teddy will stand her in $75, which would seem to make him a somewhat expensive luxury.
WILL GIVE PARTY FOR HER KITTY – New Castle Weekly Herald, 1st March, 1905
“When you are three years old, Alice Roosevelt, I will give a fine birth* day party for you if you are a good kitty.”
This promise was made by Mrs. Beverly H. Hitchcock of East Wallace avenue a short time ago to her favorite Maltese cat, a large black one, with blue blood in its veins. She had just recovered her pet after “Alice” had been lost for three days and now the promise is to be made good.
All the residents of the North Hill district who have fine Angora and blooded Maltese pet cats are deeply interested for invitations are being sent out for the event. Neighbors whose cats have been slighted so far are watching the mails for cards, the date of the “cat party” being an early one.
“When I found Alice she had been away for three days, said Mrs. Hitchcock. “My knowledge of her whereabouts was gained by inserting a lost ad in The Herald. “LOST, a young cat. Blooded Maltese with fine black fur. Answers to the name of Alice Roosevelt. Reward if returned to Mrs. B. H. Hitchcock of East Wallace avenue.”
“A little girl who had seen my cat, recognizing her from the description in the paper, came and told me where she was. I found Alice hidden under a barn in an alley away up the street. It took some coaxing to get her to come out for she was badly scared at having gone so far from home. But when 1 called her she knew me and came. On reaching the open she fainted, overcome with joy at the sight of me.
“Since then, everyone in New Castle knows Alice Roosevelt. The children stop to see her on their way to school. She gets letters in her own name, care of my address and on St Valentine’s day she received three pretty valentines.
“There’s Alice,” said Mrs. Hitchcock “and the cat beside her is Prince Henry. They were born on the day of the launching of the German battleship which Alice Roosevelt christened for which occasion Prince Henry made a visit to this country.
“My cats are proud of their names. They know them and always come when called. Alice dear is a beauty. I love her so. Last summer Alice was sick. I thought she had been poisoned so I called.Dr. Bittles, the veterinary, he prescribed for her and she got well.
“They have a fine cat hospital at Chicago, and only recently a cat show was held at Cleveland where cats worth $2,000 were exhibited. I have had cash offers for Alice but I would not sell or part with her for money.
“It was at Boston the society ladies I recently held a cat party. They had a fine menu. My idea is to have a buffet lunch. This is the menu: “Oysters. Braised Beef. Custard. Milk.” And a few side dishes will be served. Mrs. Harry Lehr had a fine dog party at Newport last Fall. My party will not be on so elaborate a scale but will be a social function of note, I think. The ladies will come with their cats. I expect there will be from 20 to 25 cats present for there are a large number of cat fanciers in New Castle, as there are in other cities [of] this size throughout the country.
CAT BITE PROVES FATAL
The New York Times, March 19, 1905
ST LOUIS, March 18. – The bite of a pet cat nine months ago, caused the death to-day by hydrophobia, of nine-year-old Henry Pflasterer.
AGED CATS- The Galveston Daily News, 28th March, 1905
Some curiously interesting facts concealing the age of cats are given by the pres[id]ent of the German Cat Club. He writes: "An old and loyal member of our club, living on the verge of poverty, but sharing; every meal with an Angora cat, has had this animal for fourteen years. Another member has a cat 15 years old, which is still a- good mouser; a cat belonging to a village inn is 19 years old, and has had 150 kittens. My own grandparents had a cat which lived to be 27 years old, and In a sawmill In Alsace-Lorraine a cat has lately died, which, its owners used to say, had been through the Franco-German war. At the recent cat show at Breslau, a white Prussian cat, 29 years old, was exhibited, and the only sign of old age in this case was that the creature had lost its magnificent long fur, and had now the look of an ordinary white cat. My own ’Fritz,' the pride of many a cat show, is just 16 years old, and his fur is still as glossy as ever.”
QUEER CHARACTER IS GONE
The New York Times, March 31, 1905
MILWAUKEE, Wis., March 30. - News was received here to-day of the death, at El Paso, Texas, of James F. Wardner, widely known as a mining- prospector and an eccentric man. Among Wardner’s most celebrated schemes were “The National Candy Bank,” operated in St. Louis, and “The Consolidated Black Cat Company, Limited,” with its ranch for raising black cats in the State of Washington [note: both hoaxes]. Other pursuits to which Wardner by turns addressed himself included such widely different occupations as hog raising in California and gold mining in Arizona. He was connected with several large mining deals, his operations extending from the Klondike to the Isthmus of Panama, and at the time of his death he was the owner of a quicksilver mine in Mexico.
A TALK WITH MARK TWAIN’S CAT, THE OWNER BEING INVISIBLE
The New York Times, April 9, 1905
MARK TWAIN had lost his cat. Consumed with an attack of wanderlust, Bambino had fled from home and roamed for a day and a half. The humorist had offered a reward of $5. Then his secretary, Miss Lyon, had met Bambino on University Place and haled him home.
It was all in the papers. Failing to understand why it shouldn’t be in the papers some more, a woman from The Times had called at the Clemens mansion, 21 Fifth Avenue. A man with china blue eyes and a white waistcoat opened the door for her. He opened it just half way. Upon her request to see Mr. Clemens, he gave a start of surprise, frowned, and I said:
“Mr, Clemens is asleep.” It was then 1:30 In the afternoon.
“When can I see him?” asked the woman.
“I will find out,” said the servant, and shut the door upon her while he did so. By and by he reopened it. “He may see you,” he told her, "if you come back at 5 o'clock.”
It was a beautiful sunshiny day, but the woman went home, stayed indoors to rest up for this interview, and at 5 O'clock again sauntered toward the Clemens mansion. The same man appeared. He wore the same waistcoat. He had, likewise, the same blue eyes.
"Mr. Clemens is not in now,” he said, “but his secretary might see you.”
"Very well,” responded the woman, and Stood outside the shut door once more while he searched for the secretary. As she gazed upon Fifth Avenue, gay in the sunshine with automobiles and carriages and people enjoying themselves, she wondered vaguely if thieves were in the habit of infesting the Clemens mansion; if that was the reason they were so particular about the door. Then it opened cautiously and the servant said:
“You may come in.”
Precious privilege. The woman went in and stood in the hall as if she were a book agent. There were chairs, but she was afraid to sit down. Presently the secretary, a nice little woman with brown eyes and old-fashioned sleeves, came down the stairs and asked her what she wanted.
“I want to see Mr. Clemens about the cat,” replied the woman.
“Mr. Clemens never sees anybody – I mean any newspaper people. Besides, he is not at home.”
“ Then,” said the woman, “ may I see the cat? ”
“ Yes,” nodded the secretary," you may see the cat,” and she ran lightly up the long stairway and came down soon with Bambino in her arms, a beautiful black silent cat with long velvety fur and luminous eyes that looked very intelligently into the face of the woman. The secretary and the woman then sat down on a bench in the hall, and talked about the cat. The cat listened but said nothing.
“We were terribly distressed about him,” cooed the secretary. “ He is a great pet with Mr. Clemens. He is a year old. It is the first time he has ever run away. He lies curled up on Mr. Clemens’s bed all day long.”
“ Does Mr. Clemens breakfast at five o’clock tea and dine on the following day? ” asked the woman.
“ Oh, no. He does all his writing before he gets up. That's why he gets up at 5 o'clock. Bambino always stays with him while he writes.”
" I should consider it a great privilege,” smiled the woman, “to breathe the same atmosphere with Mr. Clemens for about three minutes. Don’t you think if I came back at 7 you might arrange it? ”
"I will try,” promised the secretary, kindly.
At 7, therefore, the woman again totted up the dark red steps and rang the bell. The china-eyed man with the white waistcoat opened the door, disclosed one eye and the half of his face, said abruptly, “ Mr. Clemens doesn't wish to see you,” and slammed the door.
The woman walked slowly down the red steps and looked up Fifth Avenue, wondering whether she would walk home or take a car.
Fifth Avenue was very beautiful. Purplish in the dusk, it was gemmed with softly gleaming opalescent electric balls of light. It was, moreover, admirably bare of people. She concluded to walk home. She was about to start forward when she became aware of a furry gentle something rubbing against her skirts. She looked down, and there was Bambino, purring at her, looking up at her out of his luminous cat eyes. The man at the door had shut him out, too! She took him in both hands and lifted him up. He nestled against her shoulder.
“I don’t like to prejudice you against the people you have to live with, Bambino,” she said. “ It seems they will make you live with them. But they weren’t so nice. Were they? They might have told me at the start he wouldn’t see me. They needn’t have made me lose all the sunshine of to-day. You can't bring back a day and you can't bring back sunshine.
“You wouldn’t have treated me like that, would you? ”
Bambino purred musically in his earnest assurance that he would not.
“ I suppose you heard it all,” she went on, “ and you sympathized with me. You are awfully tired yourself. I can see that. If you were a Parisian cat we’d call it ennuie, that expresses it better, but we’ll let it go at tired. You are. Aren't you? Or you wouldn’t have run off.”
Bambino sighed wearily and half closed his eyes.
“ It’s a pretty rarefied atmosphere, I imagine, for a cat,” she reasoned. “I don’t blame you for wanting to get out with the common cats and whoop it up a little. Any self-respecting cat would rather run himself in a gutter or walk the back fence than sit cooped up the livelong day with, a humorist. You can't tell me anything about that. It's a deadly thing to see people grind out fun. I used to know a comic artist. I had to sit by and watch him try to match his jokes to pictures!”
She clasped Bambino closer and caught her breath in a sigh.
“ I don't blame you one bit for running off,” she reiterated.
“ I can imagine what you must have suffered. Shall we walk along a little on this beautiful street that's so wide and empty now of people? ” politely. " I get as tired as you do sometimes of people, Bambino. They are not always so nice. There are a lot of times that I like cats better."
Bambino curled himself up in her arms and laid an affectionate paw on her wrist by way of rewarding her. She walked on, fondling him.
“ I've the greatest notion,” she confided presently, “ to run off with you and paralyze them. It would serve them right. How would you like, Bambino, to come and live with me in my studio? ”
Bambino raised his head and purred loudly against her cheek to show how well he would like it.
“Now. I want to tell you exactly how it will be. I want to be perfectly fair with you. If you come with me you must come with your eyes open. Maybe you won’t have half as soft a bed to lie on, but you won't have to lie on it all day long. I’ll promise you that. In the first place, it masquerades as a couch full of pillows in the daytime, and in the second place I’ve got to get out and hustle if I want to eat. Not that I mind hustling. I wouldn’t stay in bed all day long put of the sunshine if I could. And you mayn't have as much to eat either, but if you get too hungry there are the goldfish — and the canary wouldn't make half a bad meal. I am pretty fond of both, but I am reckless to-night somehow. You’ll be welcome to them.”
Bambino licked his chops preparatorily.
" There are a good many little things you are apt to miss. The studio isn’t as big as a house by any means, but you'll have all out doors to roam in. I’11 trust to your coming home of nights because you’ll like it there,” she concluded confidently. “And you’ll be rid of the man at the door for good and all. Tell me, now, doesn't he step on your tail and sic the mice on you when they are all away?”
Bambino groaned slightly, but he was otherwise noncommittal.
“ I knew he did. He looks capable of anything. He’s not as wise as he looks, though. He may not know it, but I push the pen for the tallest newspaper building in the city, the tallest in the world, I think. I’ll take you up to the top of that building of mine, and let you climb the flag pole. Then if there should happen to be another cat on the Flatiron Building, there’d be some music, wouldn't there, for the rest of the city? And they couldn’t throw that flatiron at you any-way, could they? Want to go?”
Bambino put both paws around her neck, and purred an eloquent assent.
“You talk less than anybody I ever interviewed,” remarked the woman, “ but I think I know what you mean."
She pressed his affectionate black paws against her neck and hurried up the avenue, looking back over her shoulder to see that nobody followed. She almost ran until she got to the bridge over the yawning chasm near Sixteenth Street Then she stopped. Bambino looked anxiously up to see what was the matter. She turned deliberately around. Bambino gave a long-drawn sigh. He looked appealingly up at her out of his luminous eyes.
“ I reckon I won’t steal you, Bambino,” she concluded, sadly. “ I'd like to, but it wouldn’t be fair. In the morning he'd be sorry. Maybe he couldn't work without you there, looking at him out of your beautiful eyes. You don't have to hear him dictate, too, do you, Bambino? If I thought that! But no. There is a limit. He's had his troubles too, you know. He's bound to be a little lenient. The goose hasn't always hung so high for him. Of course you don't remember it, but he had an awful time establishing himself as the great American humorist. Couldn’t get a single publisher to believe it. Had to publish his ‘Innocents Abroad' him-self. Just said to the American public, ‘Now, you've got to take this. It’s humor,’ and made them take it. Held their noses. That was a long time ago. Couldn’t do it to-day. Not with ‘Innocents Abroad.’ The American public is getting too well educated. Whoever reads 'Innocents Abroad' now? Not the rising generation. You ask any boy of to-day what is the funniest book, and see if he doesn’t say ‘ Alice in Wonderland’?
Still, for an old back date book, that wasn't half bad. He has never written anything better, it must give him the heartache to see it laid on the shelf. I, suppose you must hear these things discussed, but not this side of them, perhaps. No. Naturally not. They don't make you read their books, they can’t, but you must have to hear about them.
Life is hard! But I must take you back. We mustn’t do anything at all to hurt his feelings.”
Bambino was fairly limp with disappointment. He had set his heart on the top of The Times Building flagpole, he had almost tasted the canary, to say nothing of the goldfish. He hadn't the heart to purr any longer. His paws fell from the woman's neck. She had to carry him like that, all four feet hanging lifeless, his head drooping.
“ And there's another thing, Bambino,” she continued, as they went along. " I don’t want anything I said about his having to establish himself as a humorist to disillusion you or make you more dissatisfied than you are. All humorists are like that. They have to establish themselves. Why, wasn't I in London when Nat Goodwin produced his 'Cowboy and the Lady' at Daly's? Couldn’t I hear people he had planted all over the audience that first night explaining that he was a humorist, and the play was intended to be funny? Certainly. But it didn’t work that whirl. Those English people are more determined than we are. They wouldn’t stand for it. He bad to take the play off.
Your master happened to catch us when we were young and innocent. He deserves a lot of credit for bamboozling, us. You ought to admire him for it. I do.”
They were nearly home by now. Bambino managed to emit another purr. It was like a whimper.
“Don’t you cry, Bambino,” she soothed. “We all have our troubles. You must be a brave cat and bear up under yours,” and she tiptoed up the red steps and set him at the door where they could find him when they missed him.
He sat there, a crumpled, black, discouraged ball, his eyes following her hungrily. She ran back to him.
“Bear up under it the best you can, Bambino,” she implored; “but if it gets so you can’t stand it again, you know where to find a friend.”
There was a sound of approaching footsteps in the hall. She pressed her lips to Bambino's ear, whispered her address to him, and fled.
ORANGE (N.J.) CATS HAVE DIPHTHERIA.
The New York Times, April 15th, 1905
ORANGE, N. J., April 14. — The Orange Board of Health is preparing to iInvestigate the cats in the city with a view to preventing the spread of diphtheria. A number of cats are known to have the disease. Many of these animals are the pets of children. Dr, G. Herbert Richards, President of the Board of Health, said to-day that he would advise all householders owning cats that have sore throats or apparently have difficulty in breathing to consult a physician at once.
TIGER CAT GAVE THE ALARM.
The New York Times, April 19th, 1905
BLOOMPIELD, N.J. April 18. - According to Joseph. H. Tryon it was the intelligent promptness of Toby, a big tiger cat, that saved his family, himself, and his house, which caught fire early this morning. The cat usually sleeps down stairs, but last night Mrs. Tryon forgot to leave the cat on the first floor, and is now glad that Toby remained in her bedroom.
It was l o’clock this morning when Mr. Tryon was awakened by something brushing against his face. He keeps a revolver under, his pillow; and as he felt for the weapon he heard a familiar war cry and recognized the voice of Toby.
“Scat, Toby!” he said.
Toby refused to scat, and kept clawing at the bedclothes. Mr. Tryon pushed the cat off, but it returned and again tried to pull the covers away from him. Mr. Tryon seized the animal and threw him on the floor in no gentle manner. Toby, however, leaped back on the bed, and this time scratched his master’s face.
Mrs. Tryon told her husband to get up, as Toby had never acted that way before and something must be wrong. Mr. Tryon got up to put the cat out of the room, and when he opened the door leading into the hall a dense volume of smoke greeted him.
He aroused his two sons and Miss Van Riper, a visitor from Upper Montclair, and, preceded by Toby, hurried down the front stairway to a door which opens into the kitchen. When Mr. Tryon opened the door he found one corner of the room in a blaze. The others in the meantime had followed him down, and after a hard fight the fire' was extinguished.
TRIED TO SAVE THE CAT.
The New York Times, April 27, 1905
Inspector Richard Walsh of the Third Inspection District tried to save a stray cat that was being torn to pieces by two dogs at Park Avenue and Sixty-seventh Street yesterday, and, though his interference came too late, he arrested a boy who, the Inspector said, was urging on the dogs, and sent the dogs to the Bergh Society. The Inspector was on his way to his office in the East Sixty-seventh Street Station, when he came upon the cat, which, though overmatched, was still bravely fighting for its life. Lewis Grimaldi, fourteen years old, of 339 East Sixty-fifth Street, a delivery boy employed by a Third Avenue butcher, was encouraging the dogs, the Inspector says, which were owned by his employer. Walsh took the boy and the dogs to the Yorkville Court. Grimaldi was paroled for an adjourned examination on Monday.
ONE CAT AND ONE DOG.
The New York Times, April 30, 1905
Somebody’s dog met Mrs. Mary Albert's at Thirtieth Street and Second Avenue yesterday afternoon. The dog eyed the cat and the cat resented it, for she insulted him openly. For two minutes they fought on the sidewalk. Then the dog fled into the tenement house and into the second story apartment where Mrs. Albert lives.
After the dog went a streak of infuriated fur. The cat was fighting on its own ground and had the best of it from the start. The dog tried strategy, getting on the table, which was laid for tea. But the cat knew a trick worth two of that, clung to the side of the table cover and dragged cover, dog and tea things to the floor. The dog then retreated to the shelves where Mrs. Albert keeps her dinner set. The cat knew another entry to the back of the dinner set and effected it. But there was no room for two — and the dinner set.
The fight then was a running affair to the roof of the tenement and down the fire escapes. In the street below there were war correspondents galore. When the dog reached Mrs. Albert’s fire escape and met Mrs. Albert and a rolling pin, he hoisted a truce to the heavens in a heart-broken yelp. But the cat was relentless. They wrangled on the fire escape and the air was filled with yelps, growls, caterwauling, and spitting, not to mention the resonant "clang! clang! clang!” of the rolling pin as it hit the fire escape.
At last the dog jumped to the street. It landed on its back, and, covered with blood from many scratches, rushed along Second Avenue, yelping in misery.
“Mad dog. Mad dog,” yelled the crowd.
Policeman Rooney, stood in the path-way of the dog. He fired five shots, one of which is believed to have hit the dog, for it died.
FETE TO BENEFIT ANIMALS.
The New York Times, April 30, 1905
To-morrow afternoon there will be a May Day féte at the Waldorf, including a dramatic entertainment in a pastoral setting. Miss Marguerite Hall, the Misses Hoyt, Miss Cecelia Loftus, Mrs. Mabel McKinley Baer, and others will take part. Mrs. Minnie Maddern Fiske has contributed a handsome fan to be awarded by vote to the most popular actress. The féte is for the benefit of the Bide-a-Wee Club, of which Mrs. H. U. Kibbe is President, and whose efforts are directed to the protection of animals.
PHYSICIANS IN CONVENTION
The Kearney Daily, 17th May, 1905
Dr. Mitchell Reads Paper on a Study of the Fear of Cats.
Washington. May 17. — The twentieth annual meeting of the Association of American Physicians began here and was attended by a large number of well-known members of the profession from all over the country. Many papers were read, largely on technical subjects. One of them out of the ordinary was that of Dr. S. Weir Mitchell on study of the fear of cats and the power to recognize their presence unseen and unheard. He gave accumulated evidence received in letters from all parts of the world on the susceptibility of men and women to the presence of cats, showing that many persons of nervous nature feel and invariable repugnance to the presence of a cat in the room. After reading the paper Dr. Mitchell declared that through what he considered indisputable evidence he had been converted to believe in mind reading.
CATS, AS MIGHT BE EXPECTED, ARE AMONG THE DAINTIEST OF ANIMALS ....
Boston Evening transcript, Aug 5, 1905
Cats, as might be expected, are among the daintiest of animals. They never seize food, unless it be a living creature, such as a bird or a mouse, but sniff at it in a most provoking and critical manner. Probably this is very useful to them in a wild state, for it enables them to reject unwholesome food. A shrew-mouse, for instance, though killed, is sniffed at, but never eaten. Neither do cats, so far as the writer knows, ever eat putrid flesh of any kind, though the tiger, in view of a careful collection of evidence made by the late General Hamilton and published after his death in "Sport in Southern India," seems rightly accused of doing so. But in a tropical climate the " kill " of the previous night is tainted before the tiger revisits it next day. This probably leads to a taste for carrion. Cats are so fond of sardines that their medicine is often given them wrapped up in this fish, and there are some who hold that they discriminate between a "British" sardine and the genuine article. A writer in the Ladies' Field recently mentioned the discrimination shown by a couple of cats as to the quality of the milk supplied to them in London and in the country. In town, though they shared the milk supplied to the human members of the family from a well-known dairy company, they despised milk. But when in the country for their holidays, where there was a home farm and the milk was fresh and entirely without preservatives in it, they drank it in large quantities and with every mark of genteel satisfaction.
ARE WOMEN CATS?
The Evening World, 8th September, 1905
By Nixola Greeley-Smith.
“In short, what the weaker of her own sex call a cat.” Thus Bernard Shaw summarizes Anne, his latest heroine.
Are all women eats? If so, what makes them so? I do not believe In the universal feminine feline. All women are not cats, except that they possess in common with the soft-coated tribe a wonderful capacity for landing on their feet, wherever they tumble from. Sometimes, to be sure, they may land on the toes of someone else in their haste, but that they can scarcely be blamed for, since someone else gets in the way.
There are, to be sure, women who seem to be an exception to this rule. But so there are cats who surprise and grieve us by falling out of a window or a tree and breaking their necks instead of rising gracefully, smoothing their fur and possibly taking a quiet nap at the foot of the escaped peril.
All women and all cats have claws, but under good treatment neither will ever show them. Another quality they have in common is their love of places rather than people. A cat is said to love the house its mistress inhabits better than its mistress, and there are many women who love their homes better than their husbands, and daily sacrifice the latter’s comfort to their sofa cushions. Another point of feminine-feline resemblance is their lack of intelligent interest in food. Both have to reach the starvation point before displaying what to a man would seem mere evidences of normal hunger.
The average well-fed house cat languidly lapping a saucer of cream and the average well-fed woman lunching on chocolate eclairs display a nonchalant indifference in the presence of real food that is both exasperating and incomprehensible to the epicure. There is one point on which cats have the advantage of the comparison. They are cleaner.
There is no pavement pussy so forlorn that we may not view her making her morning toilet as carefully as the blue ribbon winner of a cat show. This cannot be said of women, many of whom unfortunately seem to regard poverty and squalor as Siamese twins.
But though the feminine feline likeness is certainly marked, there is no reason why it should be considered uncomplimentary to either, since both are sleek, soft, graceful animals, who never show their claws unless provoked, and who would be most insipid and uninteresting if they didn’t have them.
Banbury Advertiser, 12th October, 1905
When the late Queen of Denmark was preparing the trousseau for her daughter, now out Queen, she took great pains to have a very fashionable outfit, and it included a cloak lined with cat-skins for travelling. At that time there was a good trade done with America and Denmark in cat-skins, but the idea was new in England, and the cat cloak was scarcely valued as it ought to have been. The older Ameer of Afghanistan did a good trade in furs, and annually sent large quantities to Europe. Each consignment contained about 7,000 skins, and the journey of the agents who collected them and shipped them took three or four years, so that the Ameer had been in his grave long before the bargain was completed.
The Emporia Gazette, October 17, 1905
A great grief has befallen Mrs. C. S. Cross. In addition to raising Hereford cattle, she makes a specialty of Angora cats. She had a prize beauty which she was getting ready to enter a cat show, but one day while looking for a comfortable place to take a nap, the beauty lay down on a sheet of sticky fly paper. Mrs. Cross has worked a week with the cat, since, but as yet has been unable to get the gum out of his fur.
A HARMLESS NECESSARY CAT
The Emporia Gazette, 17th November, 1905
St. Mary's Hospital fund is being swelled by the efforts of Mrs. Carl Ballweg in undertaking the disposal of a pure bred Persian kitten, donated to the Sisters of St. Francis by Mrs. C.S. Cross. The kitten is four months old, is pure white with blue eyes, blue eyes being the most sought after in white cats. It is of long lineage, coming from a line of Persians imported by Mrs. Clinton Locke, of the Beresford Cat Club of Chicago. Miss Helen Winslow in her fascinating book "Concerning Cats” gives in the chapter "Concerning High Bred Cats in America” the place of honor to Mrs. Locke's cats, saying "her stock is probably the choicest in America” and "the cat lover who obtains one of Mrs. Locke’s cats is fortunate indeed."
Mention is made of a famous pair of whites, Lord Gywnne and Wendelld, sire of Mars who is owned by Mr. W. R. Goodwin, president of the American Cat Club Association. Mars, himself a prize winner, sired the best pair of whites, the champion blue eyed kitten and others in Chicago cat show last January. Miss Winslow also mentions a famous pair of black cats. St. Ludno and Black Bird, sire and dam of Frills, now in Mrs. Cross’s cattery. Frills is grandmother of the St. Marys kitten which is sired by Mars. At a year old the kitten should be worth twenty-five dollars or more and it is hoped that fifty may be realized, for the hospital, by the sale.
The kitten is gentle, affectionate, house-broken, and will be an ornament to any home, or a constant source, of pleasure to the child who wins it. After Saturday morning Mrs. Ballweg will have it in her care and will be very glad to add many more names to her list of subscribers.
The Indianapolis Star, 25th November, 1905
The question of what really constitutes value has always been a hard one for political economists to determine. For instance, one of the prize winners in a recent cat show in London is said to be "worth" $6,000. It may be that this cat belongs to a breed that makes unusually fine violin strings.