Descriptive Sketches Of All Recognised Exhibition Varieties With Many Original Anecdotes

By Charles Henry Lane, Rz.S

Note: I have only included the sections about cats; including references to illustrations. Also some minor reformatting to aid readability. This work is interesting in including an image of a Mexican Hairless cat "Jesuit" that was exhibited and a description of the "Indian Cat".


LONG-HAIRED White Cat . . . .131
Black Cat . . . 134
Blue Cat . 137
Cream Cat .139

LONG-HAIRED Chinchilla Cat . . . .142
Brown Tabby Cat . . 144
Silver Tabby Cat . . 147
Red or Orange Tabby Cat . 150

LONG-HAIRED Smoke Cat . . . .153
Tortoiseshell Cat . .156
Any Other Variety . 159

SHORT-HAIRED Black Cat . . . .161
White Cat . .163
Blue Cat . . .166

SHORT-HAIRED Red Tabby Cat . . .169
Silver Tabby Cat . . .172
Brown Tabby Cat . . .175
Spotted Tabby Cat . . .178
Narrow Striped Tabby Cat . . 181

SHORT-HAIRED Smoke-Coloured Cat . . .184
Black and White Cat . . . 186
White and Black Cat . . .188
Tabby and White Cat . . .191

SHORT-HAIRED Tortoiseshell Cat . . .194
Tortoiseshell and White Cat . .196
Manx Cat . . . .199
Abyssinian Cat . . . 203
Siamese Cat .... 205
Mexican Hairless Cat . . . 209
Indian Cat . . . .211

SHORT-HAIRED Wild Cat . . . .213
Any Other Variety . . .218

A Few Words on Cats in General . . .220

Anecdotes about Cats . . . . .226

List of Illustrations

Long-haired White Cat "Ch. White Heather." Owner, Hon. Mrs McL. Morrison . .131
Long-haired Cream Cat "Ch. Ronaldkirk Midshipmite." Owner, Miss Beale . . 133
Long-haired Black "Ch. Neptune." Owner, H. W. H. Warner . 133
Long-haired Black Cat "King Lear." Owner, C. H. Lane . . .135
Long-haired Blue Cat "Ch. Wooloomooloo." Owner, Mrs Dean . . 137
Long-haired Blue Cat "Ch. Holmwood Skittles." Owner, Miss Jay . . . .138
Long-haired Blue Cat "Ch. Mabel of Lozells." Owner, C. W. Witt .... 138
Long-haired White Neuter Cat " Laurel Shah." Owner, C. H. Lane .. . 140
Long-haired Chinchilla Cat "Ch. Ameer." Owner, Hon. Mrs McL. Morrison ... 142
Long-haired Chinchilla Cat "Ch. Fulmer Zaida." Owner, Lady Decies . . . .144
Long-haired Chinchilla Cat " Ch. Fulmer Lord Southampton." Owner, Lady Decies .... 145
Long-haired Brown Tabby Cat " Ch. Prince." Owner, Mrs King . . .. . .146
Long-haired Tortoiseshell Cat " Laurel Lulu." Owner, C. H. Lane ... 149
Long-haired Dark Smoke Cat "Ch. Backwell Jogram." Owner, Mrs H. V. James . .153
Long-haired Red Tabby Cat "Ch. Puck." Owner, Hon. Mrs McL. Morrison . . . .154
Long-haired Orange Tabby Cat "Ch. Golden Butterfly." Owner, Mrs Dean . . .154
Long-haired Light Smoke Cat " Laurel Cheeky." Owner, C. H. Lane . . . . 155
Long-haired Silver Tabby Cat "Ch. Abdul Hamet of Dingley." Owner, Miss Leake . .156
Long-haired Silver Tabby Cat "Ch. Thames Valley Silver King." Owner, Miss Derby Hyde . . .156
Long-haired Grey Tabby Cat "Ch. Laurel Leopold." Owner, C. H. Lane . .. .158
Short-haired Black Cat " Laurel Luther." Owner, C. H. Lane ... 161
Short-haired Black Cat " Little Sambo." Owner, C. H. Lane . . 161
Short-haired White Cat" Ch. Ballochmyle Billie Blue Eyes." Owner, Lady Alexander . . .163
Short-haired White Cat " Ch. Laurel Emperor." Owner, C. H. Lane .... 164
Short-haired Neuter Cat " Laurel Leonidas." Owner, C. H. Lane .... 164
Short-haired Blue Cat "Ch. Ballochmyle Brother Bump." Owner, Lady Alexander .. .167
Short-haired Blue Cat " Ballochmyle Blue Queen." Owner, Lady Alexander . . .167
Short-haired Red Tabby Cat" Ch. Ballochmyle Perfection." Owner, Lady Alexander . . .170
Short-haired Neuter Red Tabby Cat " Lord Rufus." Owner, C. H. Lane . . .170
Short-haired Silver Tabby Cat " Ch. Jimmy." Owner, Mrs George Herring . . 173
Short-haired Silver Tabby Cat " Ch. Laurel King." Owner, C. H. Lane . . . 173
Short-haired Silver Tabby Cat " Ch. Laurel Queen." Owner, C. H. Lane . . . . . 174
Short-haired Brown Tabby Cat "Ch. Fulmer Xenophon." Owner, Lady Decies ... 177
Short-haired Brown Tabby Cat " Laurel Quar." Owner, C. H. Lane . . .177
Short-haired Spotted Tabby Cat " Tiddles." Owner, R. T. Babb ... 181
Short-haired Narrow-Striped Tabby Cat " Silver." Owner, Mrs Fossett . . . .183
Short-haired Smoke Cat "Laurel Luke." Owner, C. H. Lane .... 186
Short-haired Black and White Cat " Laurel Rector." Owner, C. H. Lane 188
Short-haired White and Black Cat "Laurel Magpie." Owner, C. H. Lane . .. .188
Short-haired Tabby and White " Laurel Silver Star." Owner, C. H. Lane . . . .192
Short-haired Male Tortoiseshell Cat "Ch. Ballochmyle Samson." Owner, Lady Alexander . . .195
Short-haired Female Tortoiseshell Cat "Ch. Ballochmyle Bountiful Bertie." Owner, Lady Alexander . .195
Short-haired Tortoiseshell and White Cat "Ch. Ballochmyle Otter." Owner, Lady Alexander . .196
Short-haired Male Tortoiseshell and White Cat "Laurel Lothair." Owner, C. H. Lane . . 196
Short-haired Manx Tabby Cat " Ch. Bonhaki." Owner, Mrs H. C. Brooke .. . . . 198
Short-haired Manx White Cat " Lord Luke" Owner, C. H. Lane . . . . .198
Short-haired Abyssinian Cat " Queen Jumbo." Owner, Mrs eorge Herring ... 203
Short-haired Siamese Cat "Ch. Wankee." Owner, Mrs M. Robinson . . . 206
Short-haired Siamese Cat "Ch. Meo." Owner, Mrs Cunliffe Lee ....... 206
Short-haired Mexican Hairless Cat "Jesuit." Owner, Hon. Mrs McL. Morrison .. 209
Short-haired Indian Cat "Indischer Furst." Owner, Mrs H. C. Brooke . .. . .211
British Wild Cat Typical Specimen. Owner, late Lord Lilford . . . 217
Short-haired Narrow-striped Tabby and White "Lord Stanley." Owner, C. H. Lane . .. 219


I think it was in the year 1871 that my respected friend, Mr Harrison Weir, who all his life has been interested in animals, used his influence and valuable help in inaugurating the series of exhibitions of Cats at the Crystal Palace, which have, I believe (I have attended nearly all of them, and taken numbers of prizes there), been continued every year since without a break. For a great number of years he and his late brother, Mr John Jenner Weir, F.Z.S., were the only judges appointed at these shows, and they also officiated at the cat shows held year after year at the Royal Aquarium, Brighton.

Although many others have been held from time to time in different parts of the kingdom, I think these have maintained their position at the head of affairs in the Cat Fancy, and that exhibitors have always valued success at those places more than at any other exhibition.

Since the foundation of the National Cat Club, followed by the Cat Club and the British Cat Club, of course cats have attained a more important position than they formerly held, and not only are they raised in popular favour, but have greatly increased in value, so that specimens of sufficient quality to win prizes in their classes readily find purchasers at remunerative prices, and I know of many persons, of both sexes, who keep well-filled catteries to supply the demand created by the shows.

In the early days, I should say long-haired cats were decidedly in the minority, but for some years past I expect for exhibition purposes more of the long-haired have been bred than of the short-haired. I have usually kept a good many of both sorts, and have taken some hundreds of prizes with them, but I think I have had the best specimens, and taken the highest honours, in the short-haired division. As my readers will mostly be aware, there are not quite so many colour subdivisions in the Long Hairs as in the Short Hairs, and each have their supporters, although some fanciers, like myself, keep both varieties.

In Long Hairs, after the main colours Black, White, Blue and Smoke there are the Tabbies, Chinchillas, Creams and Tortoiseshells ; any others than those named generally come into the category of Any Other Variety. But in the Short Hairs, at large shows there are often classes for Blacks, Whites, Blues, Smokes, Brown, Silver, Red and Spotted, Tabbies, Tortoiseshells, Tortoiseshells and White, Black and White, White and Black, Tabby and White, Abyssinian, Manx, Siamese, and Any Other Variety.

Of all of these I mean to say a few words, as some of my readers may not have given much attention to what cat fanciers regard as important matters of difference between the several varieties, and which make or mar their success at the shows.

I have not the slightest doubt there are hundreds, if not thousands, of cats running about the country quite good enough to win prizes at shows, and to sell for substantial figures if their owners knew their value. This I have proved on more than one occasion by picking up specimens at different times in most unlikely places, with which I have taken prizes at some of our best shows.

To give three instances from my own experience. I remember being in a boot shop some years since when a little brown tabby female Short-Hair jumped on the counter, and made friends with me. The proprietor of the shop, seeing I was interested in cats, told me she had lately had kittens, and that, if I pleased, he would reserve one for me when old enough to leave its mother. I thanked him, and said I would call for it in a month's time. When I went there for it, he said he had an arrival in his own family, and his wife wished to get rid of cat and kitten, so if I would accept it, he would be happy to give me both, which I took with pleasure. Shortly afterwards I was in the same shop again, when the man said he had been tempted to buy a fine cat from a sailor, and, if I liked, I could have it for a sovereign.

This was one of the best black Persians I had ever seen, and I was not long deciding to accept his offer, and never regretted my purchase. As it was in the autumn, some weeks before the Crystal Palace Cat Show, I entered the little brown tabby Short-Hair, and the black Persian, the former taking third prize in a strong class of her own colour, and the latter first prize in the Black class. They both took numbers of prizes all over the country afterwards, and were much admired wherever they went.

Another case was, when I was on my way to a railway station I noticed a young short-haired white cat, of which I liked the appearance, and took the first opportunity of calling at the cottage where it belonged, to inquire if they would sell it. I had some difficulty in getting them to name a price, as they seemed to think it a strange thing anyone should be willing to pay anything for a cat, but at last they said they would be delighted to take half-a-crown for it, which of course I readily paid, and this cat became another Crystal Palace winner, as well as at many other places.

I mention these cases merely to illustrate the fact that there are plenty of good cats about, if they were only looked after.

One of my most celebrated champions was bred by a cottager in the village where I lived, and sold by him not to me for the modest sum of five shillings. Unfortunately he did not come into my possession until his value had gone up considerably, owing to the honours he had taken. He was perhaps one of the best short-haired whites with turquoise blue eyes, ever exhibited, and who during his show career took scores of prizes at the Crystal Palace, Brighton, Bath, Clifton, and all the leading shows. But in this case I must not complain, as he was afterwards sold to someone who took a fancy to him at one of the shows, for three times the price J paid for him.

To any of my readers who may propose to enter the Cat Fancy, I would advise their beginning with Short-Hairs, and get to understand cats and their ways before going into Long-Hairs, as the latter require much more care and attention in keeping them in show form. In Long-Hairs, naturally, the quantity and quality of the coats count for much in their appearance and chances of success at shows ; and to keep them in trim, free from matting knots or felting, necessitates grooming ; indeed, specimens intended for exhibition purposes must have limited liberty to engage in feline amenities with their fellows, or they are likely to suffer, from a show point of view.

Those concerts which sometimes disturb the rest of light sleepers are not generally engaged in by cats in the higher walks of feline society, but are mostly confined to the Ishmaelites of the cat tribe.

There are doubtless at the present day hundreds of cats, which, from the time of their birth, are never off the premises of their owners, and there are many firms who are constantly at work building cat houses and catteries, with runs to them, for the preservation and multiplication of the numerous valuable specimens owned up and down the country.

One piece of valuable advice I may give to intending cat fanciers, and that is, on no account at any time allow your cats to be out at night ; they will soon get accustomed to this, and if used to the practice will come in when called, even when allowed partial liberty by day.



I DO not propose in these sketches to go into the question of the origin of the Cat, as so many books have appeared going into details of this kind, but rather to say a few words of the several varieties seen at our shows, with short descriptions of each, and plain directions as to the qualities to be sought for.

To my mind, the White is one of the most beautiful of the Long Hairs, and when pure in tint, in full coat, and with the pale blue eyes which should be a sine qua non in this variety, is an ornament fit for the palace of a emperor. Unfortunately, cats of this colour have a great tendency to be more or less hard of hearing, many I have met with of my own and belonging to others being totally deaf ; and this is awkward in many ways, particularly if not kept in a cattery, and is such a drawback that I would advise any intending purchaser to make sure of the hearing capabilities of any they may be offered.

Of course these require to be kept scrupulously clean, and must not be allowed liberty to roam at random and will require constant attention to their coats, even to the extent of careful washing, drying before a fire, and combing when sent to a show, and the box, which, when properly ventilated round the upper edges just under the cover all round it, I greatly prefer to baskets, even when lined. It should have brown holland or calico tacked round the sides to guard against any possibility of soiling the coats, and the bedding for them, as indeed for all cats, should either be paper shavings, such as may be got from bookbinders and many stationers, or what is known as reed straw.

The head should be somewhat broad, round and fairly large, short in face, eyes wide apart, cheeks, forehead and round mouth well furnished with hair.

Ears small and well carried, fully supplied with soft fine hair outside, and tufts of hair inside, with points to tips.

Eyes bright and large, nearly round in shape, and as much the shade known as turquoise as possible, and matching each other, odd eyes being a defect often seen. Amber eyes are not a disqualification, but count against a specimen.

Chest and shoulders should have a profusion of long hair forming a mane and frill, greatly adding to their beauty and style.

I do not remember seeing any Russian Long-haired Cats of this colour, but it is frequently met with in Angoras and Persians, the character of the coats of the former is more woolly than the latter, which are softer, finer and more silky to the feel, but each of them should have an abundant coat all over the body, particularly at the sides and thighs.

The feet and legs should be well clothed with hair, even to the feet and between the toes, and be fairly strong in bone.

The tail, which is an important feature in all long-haired cats, should not be long in itself, but covered with very long hair, rather thicker in apparent size than in Angoras, carried gracefully with a curve, but never curled over the back at any time.

The size of males is almost always greater than females, for the former fourteen pounds is a large weight, and may be generally taken as a limit, and females of twelve pounds are quite up to the average of the best specimens usually seen.

Condition, which includes general appearance and shape, is very important, and is a good deal the result of the attention paid to an animal by the amount of grooming, etc., it has received. To render it in as perfect form as possible, the whole of the head, chest, back, sides, legs, feet and tail being gone over with a brush with long bristles, and all knots or foreign matter, such as straw, hay, etc., removed from the hair the last thing before being sent off.

Colour should be as pure white as obtainable, some prefer a little squeeze of the blue bag in the water before washing, to give a blue white tinge like we see in milk, others like a more creamy white, but, at any rate, it should have no tints of any kind in it, but, literally, be as pure as newly-fallen snow.


Head, roundness and breadth, with short face 10 Points
Ears, not large, with tufts and tips . . 5
Eyes, size, shape and colour . . .10
Chest and shoulders well clothed . . .10
Legs and feet, not long, fair bone, and well covered to the toes . . . . 5
Coat, on body and sides, very abundant . 20
Hind quarters and brush, very full . .10
Condition and general appearance . 15
Colour, without tint or shading . . .10
Size, up to about fourteen pounds as a limit . 5

Total 100 Points


In the early days of cat shows, which, as I have said, date back about thirty years, I think it is undoubted that cats of this colour were much more popular than they have been for some years past. I can call to mind many splendid animals being shown by Messrs Warner, A. A. Clarke, and others, which were an object lesson to any fanciers, but there has been, and is, such a decided run on the lighter shades of colour, especially the Reds, Blues, Silvers, Creams and Chinchillas, that the Blacks have been somewhat neglected.

One of the first long-haired cats I ever owned was a Black, and I have always been a great admirer of good specimens of the colour, which often attain large dimensions, and may be described as handsome, as opposed to prettiness in some others.

The head should be in shape and character much the same as in the White, with a dark instead of flesh-coloured nose, and the cheeks well clothed with longish hair.

The ears almost hidden in the hair round them, lined and tipped with soft hair as in last named.

The eyes very large, round and full, and the shade of orange associated with the yolk of an egg ; this I look upon as a very important point, in which a great many otherwise good cats fail.

The shoulders and chest should be well covered with long straight hair, forming mane and frill.

The legs and feet not long enough to make the animal look leggy, or lanky, and fairly strong in bone in large specimens.

The coat should be dense in character and profuse in quantity.

The brush and hind quarters both with abundance of long hair on them, the former carried gracefully below the line of the back.

Condition, should be well rounded in shape of body, without being loaded with fat, and general appearance of dignity and grandeur.

In size, as far as my experience goes, and 1 have had a good many of this colour, of both sexes, the males are usually much larger than the females. I think the best of the former should be up to thirteen or fourteen pounds, in good condition, and that ten pounds, or perhaps eleven, would be about the average weight of the best females generally seen.

As to colour, it is most important this should be intense pure black, as that of a raven, without a speck of white anywhere, or what is also often seen, a rusty tinge on any part of the animal.

Many people speak of a black cat, disregarding the fact it may have a tiny spot of white somewhere, most frequently on the chest, under the chin, on one of the feet, or even on the tip of the tail, any or all of these are, in my opinion, serious defects, and should not be passed over without penalising the specimen, if it appears in the show pen, as a black cat should be black and nothing else.


Head, large and massive with short broad face . .10 Points
Ears, well tipped and tufted with hair . . 5
Eyes, very large, full, and deep orange . .10 ,
Shoulders and chest well maned and frilled . 10
Legs and feet, strong and well boned . 5
Coat, long, straight, abundant and silky . 20
Condition, larged bodied, without fat . .10
Colour, intense, and pure blue black . 15 ,
Size of males to fourteen pounds ; of females to ten pounds . . . . . 5
Brush and hind quarters covered with long hair 10

Total 100 Points


Until the comparatively recent advent of the Creams and Chinchillas, I think there is no doubt cats of this colour have been the most popular of any, and I am not sure, even now, if there are not more of them to be found than of any other variety of long-haired cat. Many of them are exceedingly beautiful, and they lend themselves to such a variety in shades, from the deepest slate blue to the palest lavender, that fanciers can usually find something to suit their taste.

Show committees, from the Crystal Palace downwards, have done much to foster the growth of the favour which has been bestowed on the Blues ; as many attractive special prizes have been offered for the best male, best female, best single or pair of kittens, and probably more valuable prizes have been won by Blues than by all other kinds of long-haired cats together, and for a long time, if not still, there were many breeders and fanciers who kept no other variety.

Where the cats are not divided by sex, I think a large class of Blues is one of the most difficult to judge, as you will often find four or five quite distinct shades of the colour, and, if they are fairly in coat, the running is sometimes very even.

In this variety, I think, more than in most, the females are sometimes better than the males, and I have often seen one of the latter gain the coveted prize, as " Best in the Show," but in these days it requires a good and almost perfect specimen to do that at one of the larger shows.

The head should be large and massive, face short, nose dark, sides of face and neck well covered with hair .

Ears well carried, small, covered with soft hair on outsides, with tufts of hair inside and at tips.

Eye nearly round in shape, large in size and expressive, a sort of yellowy orange in colour.

Chest and shoulders, broad and well covered with long straight hair in abundance.

Coat, dense and long all over the body, nearly reaching the ground at the sides, quite straight and soft in texture.

Legs and feet of sufficient strength without any coarseness, and free from any bars, spots, or markings.

The tail and hind quarters with plenty of long straight hair on them, the former very full and profuse.

The size of males may average to twelve pounds, and of females, nearly approaching that weight, perhaps eleven pounds.

Colour should be some shade of blue, which, as I said before, gives a wide range for taste, but whatever it is, should be pure, without tint or any mark or bar, some failing here and showing a Tabby cross at some time or other.


Head, size, shape, and type . ... . . 10 Points
Ears, small and well carried . .. 15
Eyes, expressive, large and full . . 10
Feet and legs, short rather than leggy .. . 5
Points Coat, long and deep on body and sides . .20
Shoulders and chest, well frilled and maned . 10
Thighs and tail, heavily coated . . .10
Condition and general appearance . . 15
Colour, pure self blue as free from shade or markings as possible . . . .10
Size, males about twelve pounds, females eleven pounds . . . . 5

Total 100 Points


There may be, in fact I have no doubt there are, many who will say this is not long enough established to be constituted a distinct variety, but, as there are many devoting themselves to producing specimens, and these have appeared again and again at various ages, showing that they are being bred true to type, and possess much delicacy and beauty of colouring, I think the Creams are entitled to consider they have proved their right to be as much a distinct variety as several other members of the long-haired cat family.

The head should be of moderate size, broad across the forehead, short in face, and nicely feathered on the sides of neck and face.

The ears small and unobtrusive, but, of course, with the typical tufts inside, and points to tips, as desired in the other colours.

The eyes round, but not too prominent, soft and liquid in expression and matching in colour, harmonising with the coat and a golden yellow in colour.

The shoulders and chest, with mane and frill, well, but not excessively developed, as I fancy animals of their colour do not usually carry so much coat as others or may appear not to do so from their neutral tint.

Legs and feet, fine in bone, and rather short than long. Hind quarters and brush covered with long straight hair, which has the appearance of being more woolly in texture and less silky than in most of the other colours, and the brush not so voluminous in size.

The coat should be long and straight, with dense undercoat of soft, close hair, more profuse on the back and sides.

Condition should be fairly plump, without being big, or any tendency to coarseness, rather inclining to length of body and flatness at sides.

Colour, a sort of pale drab or cream all over, with perhaps, a little warmer tint on the ears, shoulders, upper part of back and brush, but not so as to break the harmony of the whole.

Size, about ten pounds for males, and a little less for females, this, in my view, being a variety which is not improved by attaining great weight.

I am not aware that any scale has been published of the points to be desired for show specimens, so that I give my ideas upon it, with some diffidence, for the guidance of the novices amongst my readers.


Head, rather small than large . . . 10 Points
Ears, decidedly small and unobtrusive . . . 5
Eyes, expressive, rather than bold or prominent . . . 5
Legs and feet, not long, and fine in bone . . . 5
Shoulders and chest, with only fair mane and frill ....10
Brush, and hind quarters, neither very full . . 10
Coat, and undercoat, of moderate length .... 20
Condition, plump, but with no fat or coarseness .....15
Colour, pale drab to be the prominent shade... 15
Size for males, about ten pounds ; females, eight to nine pounds ....15

Total 100 Points



No doubt, the ideal for cats of this colour is the beautiful little animal known as the Chinchilla, a rodent closely allied to the Rabbit tribe, and a native of South America, whose fur has been for many years an article of commerce ; I think almost entirely used for trimmings to female attire, in these and other countries, and probably many of my readers have often seen the graceful little animals in zoological collections, or museums, and so will not require to be told that its fur may be said to be composed of very soft hair, of shades of a delicate grey, interspersed with some black hairs, which give it the effect of a slight ticking on the surface, with lighter shades underneath.

I need not say that cats of this colour, correctly coloured, are very beautiful creatures, perhaps equal to, if not superior than, any others, and they have of late years been much in vogue with exhibitors.

The head is not large, though typical in shape.

The ears also are small, and almost merged in hair of neck and head.

The eyes are large for the size of head, and emerald green in colour, round, but not protruding.

The feet and legs are fairly long, but not strong in bone.

The frill is more developed than the mane on chest and shoulders.

The hind quarters and brush are well covered with soft long hair, but not usually of great dimensions.

The coat is uniformly thick and abundant all over the back and sides.

Condition is important, but quality is the main feature.

The colour is made of greys, light and dark, with delicate black tints on surface.

The size is about an average of nine pounds ; it is not desirable for specimens to be too large, as this variety, as before remarked, is one that pre-eminently lends itself to the display of quality rather than quantity, and every effort should be made by breeders and I have every reason to believe this is being done to guard against any approach to coarseness and mere size, at the sacrifice of the high position and estimation to which the Chinchilla-coloured long-haired cats have attained in comparatively a short time, and for which exhibitors are mainly indebted to the efforts of a few enthusiastic breeders.

As I said of the Creams, so I may say of these, I am not aware of any scale for judging them having been hitherto published, and, owing to the fierce discussion which has long been raging as to the merits and demerits of the various types and shades, favoured by one and the other, I am even more diffident in this case about giving my views as to the


Head, fairly broad but not large . . 10 Points
Ears, small and well placed .... 5
Eyes, round, full and expressive . . 10
Legs and feet, light and elegant in shape . . 5
Chest and shoulders, broad and well clothed . . . 10
Brush and thighs, covered with long fine hair . . 10
Coat, soft, delicate in texture, and voluminous . . . 15
Condition, firm, not fat or heavy ... 10
Colour, pale French grey with dark shadings ...20
Size of males to nine pounds ; females to about eight pounds ....5

Total 100 Points


This variety, a prime favourite of mine, and of which I have had several very good specimens at different times, attains, I think, the greatest size of any of the Long Hairs and when in full coat, and correct in its markings, is a very handsome animal.

The head should be round shaped, broad and massive, well covered with hair at the sides and neck.

I should have said, by-t he-bye, that nearly, if not quite, all the Russian Long-haired Cats I have seen have been of this colour, but they have been less distinctly marked, their coats more woolly in texture, and their tails shorter and thicker than the best Persian specimens, and have not pleased me so much, and I should not advise any of my readers to cross Persians with one of the Russians, for even if they attained increased size, I think it would be more than counterbalanced by coarseness and want of clearness in markings.

The ears should be small for the size of the head, and quite surrounded with abundance of hair on the upper parts of the head, and furnished with fine hair inside, and at the points.

The eyes large, round, prominent and orange yellow in colour, with very dignified expression, conveying a deep sense of self-importance.

The legs and feet large and powerful, but not long enough to give idea of legginess.

The chest and shoulders should be wide and deep, mane and frill well developed on each.

The brush should be very profuse and full, and the hind quarters well covered with long hair.

The coat should be dense and very abundant all over the body, which should be very large and massive, without being loaded with fat.

Condition is always important, and should comprise hard muscular firmness of flesh with well-groomed coat and graceful outlines of form.

Colour. The ground should be deep rich brown striped with black. These markings start from a broadish stripe of black, more or less defined, along the line of the back bone, which is present to some extent in all the cats with Tabby markings ; the tail is covered with bars, or rings of black, and a line of finer stripes of same colour runs from the forehead, through the ears, and down the neck, where it merges in the body coat. One or even two bands of black across the chest are a great ornament and finish. The face is ornamented with flourishes and stripes of black going swirling round the cheeks, which are very effective and peculiar to the Cat tribe, from the tiger downwards ; indeed, a well-marked Tabby has much in common in this respect with his big relation. Size is difficult to define, as I think a Brown Tabby may be as large as you can get him without actual fat or coarseness. I have had them of fourteen and fifteen pounds, and have often seen them much heavier, even approaching twenty pounds, and yet preserving the grace and activity which is part and parcel of the feline race, as we know what wonderful accounts are often given by travellers of the achievements of many of their much larger cousins in foreign climes.

Therefore I will leave the limit of size open, merely saying I think specimens intended for show purposes should be at least ten pounds if females, or twelve pounds if males. I might add that, for those who desire a cat for the house, as a companion and ornament to the domestic hearth, I do not think they can improve upon a Brown Tabby, which is one of the most homely and comfortable looking of the feline race, usually of a happy, contented disposition, and very intelligent and sociable.

This colour, in long and short hairs, has always been a great favourite with artists, and though it is by no means invariable to find painters of animals so successful with cats as with other subjects, in the majority of cases I have seen, when a cat forms part of a picture, a Brown Tabby has been the sort chosen.


Head, roundness, breadth, with short face . 10 Points
Ears, small for size of head, tufted and tipped . . 5
Eyes, large, round, prominent and orange yellow . . . . . .10
Shoulders and chest, wide and deep, well marked . . . . . .10
Legs and feet, well boned and powerful . 5
Brush, very bushy ; hind quarters well covered . . . . . .10
Coat very profuse all over body, with undercoat . . . . . . . 20
Condition, hard, muscular and well groomed . . 10
Colour, rich brown ground, with deep black markings . . . . . . 15
Size, as large as possible, not less than twelve pounds for males,
  or ten pounds for females . . 5

Total 100 Points


This, to my mind, is a very beautiful variety, but another which has suffered from the " booming " of the Blues, Creams and Chinchillas, although there is little doubt it has had a good deal to do with the creation of the last-named colour, and many of the Blues and Creams show traces of a Tabby having been in the family genealogical tree at some time or other.

As a rule Silver Tabbies are not very large, the heads, particularly of the females, being small, but they are usually what are called " pretty cats," and have a youthful, juvenile appearance long after they have passed out of kittenhood.

Their ears are small, and well hidden in soft silky hair round the upper part of the head and neck.

The eyes, which should be soft and expressive and bright yellow in colour, are moderately large, and round shaped.

The chest deep and shoulders fairly wide. As in others of this family, it is a great point to have at least one, I prefer two, stripes or bars of black across the chest from side to side, which gives much character to its appearance, and more frill than mane.

The hind quarters should have plenty of long soft hair upon them, and the brush should be well covered in the same way, but usually not so full as in the other Tabbies.

The legs and feet are fairly long, but fine in bone, as there should be nothing coarse about a Silver Tabby.

The coat should be abundant and straight all over the body, which is longer and more lithe in appearance than some of the others.

Condition should be considered so as to have muscle and activity without too much flesh or approach to coarseness, which would be quite out of place.

Colour, except that the ground should be a delicate tint of pale grey, is the same in its markings as given for the Brown Tabby. The more pure and clear the grey, and the more intense the black markings, the better the specimen will be if good in other particulars.

In size I think ten pounds is a fair average weight for males, and eight or nine pounds for females, but I should not object to a little more in either sex if the specimen did not lose in quality ; but what I said of the Creams I may repeat of the Silver Tabbies, that the best I have seen have not been very large cats.

I have the impression that of late years a club has been formed for this variety alone, and if this be so there will be more encouragement for breeders to bring out high-class specimens, and prevent their being neglected in the rush of other varieties for popular favour.


Head, small, round and well shaped . .. 10 Points
Ears, small, unobtrusive, tufted and tipped . 5
Eyes, round, fairly large and expressive . 10
Chest and shoulders, moderately maned and frilled 10
Legs and feet, fairly long, but fine in bone . 5
Brush and hind quarters clothed with long soft hair . . 10
Coat and undercoat, deep and fairly abundant . . 20
Condition, muscular, without fat or coarseness . . 10
Colour, markings same as for Brown Tabbies on a ground of pure light grey . 15 Size, males, ten pounds ; females, eight or nine pounds . . . 5

Total 100 Points


I think this variety from its colour and appearance is the most like a miniature lion of all the family of domestic cats, and is often a very handsome animal. The males especially attain considerable size, and have much style about them. I do not think they are as a rule so friendly with strangers at any rate as the other Tabbies, and are rather disposed to be masterful in their disposition towards their comrades.

Sometimes they are seen almost entirely without any Tabby markings, and I think some breeders are trying to produce a strain of this kind, which they term "orange," but I am not sure this has yet been quite accomplished so that they could be relied on to breed true to type, though I think they would be very attractive.

The head should be very large, round, and furnished with much soft hair at the sides and neck. The ears fairly large, often a deeper tint of red than the surroundings, with large tufts inside, and well tipped with soft feathery hair.

The eyes should be very large, round, gold colour tinted with green, and very leonine in expression.

The chest and shoulders broad and deep, well covered with long, straight, soft hair, forming abundant mane and frill.

The legs and feet fairly long, strong in bone, and covered to the toes with soft fine hair.

The brush should be very full and bushy, and the hind quarters clothed with long straight hair, nearly reaching to the knees.

The coat should be deep and profuse all over the body, which should be large and muscular in its proportions.

The condition should be hard and firm, without mere fat, and the appearance graceful and stately, with a good deal of grandeur about it.

The colour may be defined to be a pale yellow, with stripes and markings disposed as that described for the Brown Tabby, but of a rich red orange hue. Of course, in those mentioned as " orange cats," the markings are absent, and the prevailing tint is the red orange only, but these are certainly not so often seen as the Red Tabbies, from which they no doubt originate.

In size the Red or Orange Tabbies frequently are seen as large as any of the long-haired varieties, and specimens scaling fourteen and fifteen pounds are by no means uncommon I mean the males, as the females are not usually so large.


Head, large, round, massive . . .10 Points
Ears, fairly large, well tufted and tipped with hair .... 5
Eyes, very large, round, gold with green tint . . 10
Chest and shoulders, wide and deep, well frilled and maned . . . . . .10
Legs and feet, strong in bone and muscular . . 5
Hind quarters well clothed, brush large and full . .10
Coat, long and deep all over, with thick under coat .... 20
Condition, not fat, but hard and muscular . .10
Colour, clear and distinct Tabby markings of rich red on a pale yellowish ground . 15
Size of males to fifteen pounds ; of females to eleven or twelve pounds . . 5

Total 100 Points



THIS variety, which personally I admire very much and have had many of them at one time or the other, may be subdivided again into Dark and Light, as there are some which almost look black until their coats are examined, and others that look a greyish blue, but belong to neither of those shades.

I suppose it is admitted all round that although they now breed pretty true to type, even if Dark and Light be found in one litter, it is one of the manufactured varieties, and that this is probably the reason I have never yet seen in any book about cats a definition of what constitutes a " Smoke," either Short or Long-haired Cat, or any standard for their judging.

But, as some of my fellow rabbit fanciers may say I have not hesitated to give my ideas of some varieties of their pets which have not appeared before in any book on rabbits, so I will endeavour to convey to my readers amongst cat fanciers my ideas as to what Smokes should be.

Head, large, round with plenty of hair on the cheeks, face short and moderately broad, neck well covered.

Ears, rather large, tufted inside but with nothing prominent in the way of tipping, and the colour of the dark parts of the body.

Eyes should be very large and prominent ; orange in colour for the Dark, and orange yellow for the Light shades of Smoke, lustrous and expressive.

Shoulders and chest covered with abundance of long straight hair, forming profuse mane and frill.

Legs and feet moderate in length, but muscular and strong in bone.

Brush very full and bushy ; hind quarters muscular, large, and clothed with plenty of long straight hair.

Coat voluminous all over, reaching nearly to the ground at sides when in full feather, with dense undercoat.

Condition, hard, firm and muscular without superfluous flesh ; body not so long or flat in appearance as in some varieties perhaps cobbiness would express my meaning.

In size there is usually much difference in the sexes, for while the males often approach twelve to fourteen pounds, the females may average from eight to ten pounds, but I think rarely exceed the latter weight.

Colour is of much importance in this variety, for though some may fancy a bad black is a Dark Smoke, and a bad blue a Light Smoke, this is not my view.

I think each is made up of two distinct shades, the Dark being almost black on the surface with a shade underneath, easily seen by blowing or parting the hair, of real smoke colour ; and the Light is almost blue on the surface, and a delicate light grey of the shade known as French grey underneath. All the points or extremities, such as face, ears, legs, feet and brush, should mainly appear of the darkest shade of the coat.

The general effect of these cats is very pleasing at least that is my view of them and they, particularly those entitled to be classed as Dark Smokes, always give me the impression of bearing a strong resemblance to a sheikh, in the picturesque contrast those Eastern folk offer in their peculiar garb ; and I remember how much I was fascinated with the first specimen of the variety which came under my notice at a show many years since, where I was an exhibitor and I was pleased to see the judge, whose name I do not remember, give him first prize in a large mixed class of all kinds of long-haired cats.

One of my Crystal Palace winners is given as an illustration of this variety ; also, a well-known Champion.


Head, large, round, with short, broad face .10 Points
Ears, rather full and open, tufted, but not much tipping to the points . . . 5
Eyes, prominent, large, round and intelligent ; orange for Dark, yellow orange for Light . . 10
Chest and shoulders, broad, deep, and the former of the lighter shades of coat . . 5
Legs and feet, not long, but powerful and well boned . . . 5
Hind quarters, muscular and long-haired; brush, very large and profuse, partaking of both shades . .. . . . 10
Coat, profuse all over body, coming well down over sides with long soft hair in abundance . . . 20
Condition, hard and muscular, not flat-sided . 10
Colour, nearly black outside, light smoke under in the Dark, and pure blue out- side and pale grey under in the Light . 20
Size, males, twelve to fourteen pounds ; females, eight to ten pounds, in both shades . . 5

Total 100 Points


Many contend that this is not a proper colour for a long-haired cat of any kind, and that it is never seen in the countries from whence they originally came.

I am very much inclined to believe in the truth of this contention, but the fact remains that we have the cats, and I must plead guilty to having owned and taken many prizes with cats of this colour, but I am not much enamoured of them all the same, and I think every one that I had were presents from friends who wanted to find homes for favourites they were unable to keep.

Although I have not tried the experiment, I have been told by breeders that they have bred excellent Blues from a Tortoiseshell dam with a Blue sire ; but though I have bred good Whites from a Black dam, and many Blacks of pure colour from a Tortoiseshell dam with a Red Tabby sire, I should have thought to attempt Blues in same way with a Blue sire would be rather speculative.

Be this as it may, I am assured it is a fact that some breeders keep Tortoiseshell females entirely for their use in breeding operations.

As such a thing as even a long-haired Tortoiseshell male is rarely seen, my remarks on what I think they should be must be taken to apply to the females only.

The head should be only of moderate size, fairly broad across the forehead, and fringed with soft hair.

The ears rather full and large, with tufts inside, but not much feathering at tips.

The eyes large, full, lustrous in expression and orange in colour.

The shoulders and chest well provided with long mane and frill of soft straight hair, and wide and deep in themselves.

The legs and feet rather long but fine in bone and elegant in shape.

The brush fairly full and bushy, but not very large, and hind quarters covered with long hair.

The coat plentiful all over, but not of great length ; more so at the sides than on the upper part.

The condition firm, but lithe and active in general appearance, without great muscular power.

The colour should be as like a tortoiseshell comb as possible, made up of yellows, blacks and reds in due proportions, neither predominating too much, but the whole giving a pleasing effect.

The size should be from eight to ten pounds. I think the latter will be found the limit weight.


Head, round, not too large, and fairly broad . . 10 Points
Ears, rather large, and with open carriage . ... 5
Eyes, full and large, round and orange yellow . . 10
Chest and shoulders, wide and deep, well covered . .. 5
Legs and feet, fine in bone, and rather long . . 5
Brush, not very large ; hind quarters, fully clothed . . . 10
Coat, profuse over body, more so at sides . . . 15
Condition, plump, without being fat, and lightness and elegance a prevailing feature . . 10
Colour, mingling of the three prescribed shades, without any white at all ... 25
Size, from eight to ten pounds, latter rarely exceeded . . . 5

Total 100 Points


As I have dealt in the foregoing sketches with all the colours for which classes are provided at even the largest shows, those remaining to be noticed will be some of the same, varied with white markings. These will be Black and White, Blue and White, Tabby and White, and Tortoiseshell and White, of which the Tabby and White are by far the most numerous, as they include Brown, Silver, Red and Grey, Tabby and White. It will not be necessary to say anything about the formation of the animals, as in each case that will be the same as for the main colour in the coat.

Uniformity of markings is very important, and the general rule as to this may be described as follows :

The upper part of the head should be of the main colour, while a white blaze should run up the face between the eyes and comprising the mouth and chin, with white chest, fore feet, and the lower parts of the hind feet. No spots or splashes of white should be in the main colour anywhere.

Attention should be paid to the character of the main colour of each specimen ; that is, the Black, White, Blue, or Smoke should be pure, and whole coloured, not patchy or smudged, and the Tabbies and Tortoiseshells should be good of their several varieties. Of course it will sometimes happen that specimens make their appearance, spotted, barred or striped, not coming strictly under any of the above descriptions, but in such cases they must be judged on their merits after comparison with the other competitors.

I am not much inclined to favour any of the cats with white markings for exhibition purposes except perhaps Tortoiseshell and White, which are often very pretty and I know many breeders will not have them at any price.

I think those having the best chance at a show are the Red Tabby and White, and the Tortoiseshell and White, both of which are often very pretty animals. Next to them come perhaps the Brown and Grey Tabbies and White, and the Silver Tabby and White ; then the Black and White, though I have seldom seen specimens of this variety correctly marked ; and lastly the Blue and Smoke and White.

Unless the Self Whites, all cats, in my opinion, are more valuable either for sale or exhibition if entirely without white markings.


Head . 10 Points
Ears ... 5
Eyes . 10
Chest and shoulders . . . . .10
Legs and feet . . . . . 5
Brush and hind quarters . . . 5
Coat . . . . . . 20
Condition and appearance . . . .10
Colour and uniformity of markings . .20
Size, following main colour . . . 5

Total 100 Points



CONTRARY to the popular opinion, what I should call a real black cat is not by any means an everyday specimen to be met with. Scores of times I have been told of grand black cats, which when they came to be handled were not all black, but had a white speck somewhere, either on the neck, chin, chest, or one of the feet, and even at the tip of the tail. Numbers of the colour fail in their eyes, in respect of size, shape, and especially their colour. I think I am not overstepping the mark if I say not one black cat in a hundred is perfect in this point.

One of the best I ever saw belonged to a friend of mine, a well-known fancier ; it was a stray, " come by chance," of whose previous history nothing was known, but when it was offered to him my friend planked down five sovereigns for it without any hesitation, though I expect it was the highest price ever reached for a short- haired black cat, and I saw it again and again with first and special prize cards on its pen.

Another point in which this variety is often defective is the tail, which should be moderately long and fairly substantial ; a thin, lanky tail is an abomination, and should be avoided ; I think it is more often met with in female specimens, but is most objectionable in either sex.

The head, especially in the males, should be fairly large, round, and broad across the forehead, not too long in face nor mean in muzzle, well cheeked, and with a dignified bearing.

The ears should be fairly large and broad where they spring from the head, and carried erect and open.

The eyes are of more importance than in most varieties, as they are so often seen a pale yellowish green, but should be a deep orange, or yolk-like yellow, large, round, and imperious in expression.

The body should be well-knit and powerful in shape, combining strength and activity.

The neck rather short and strong, with wide shoulders and broad chest.

The legs rather long and well boned, with small round feet.

The tail of moderate length and of tapering thickness from the root to the tip.

The coat should be deep and close lying, soft to the touch and shining to the eye, perhaps sleek is an expressive term for it.

The colour should be pure glossy, not sooty black, with- out a spot or mark anywhere, having almost a bloom on it.

Condition should be hard and muscular, without fat, and general appearance of activity and alertness.

Size of males to twelve pounds ; females, to eight pounds.


Head . 10 Points
Ears ...... 5
Eyes ...... 15
Body ..10
Legs and feet . . . 5
Tail . ... . . : . . 10
Coat . ... 10
Colour . . 20
Condition and general appearance. . . 10
Size . .. 5

Total 100 Points


This is a great favourite with the writer, who for some years had probably the best team of the colour, with the desired blue eyes, ever seen in the possession of one owner, and they took prizes wherever shown.

He also had a neuter of the same colour, a very fine specimen, scaling fifteen pounds when in form, who took first prize in his class, five years in succession, at the Crystal Palace Cat Shows ; and was so perfect in other respects that, but for his eyes being amber colour, instead of blue, would have been

I always fancy I can tell by their countenance if they have this affliction, but it is well to make sure before purchasing, as a deaf cat is often a nuisance, and seldom much good as a mouser.

The head should be fairly big, very rounded in shape ; not very short in face ; broad across the upper part of the head, and deep in muzzle.

The ears, rather large, and wide at base, very open to the front, and carried bolt upright.

The eyes, which should match in size and colour, should be large, full, very intelligent and wide awake in expression, and of turquoise blue in shade.

The body should not be very long, but moderately thick in shape, with rounded sides and limbs.

The legs should be longish and fairly strong in bone, with round small feet.

The tail rather thick than lanky, and carried with a curve below the line of the back.

The coat should be short and deep, fine and glossy in texture, with dense undercoat.

The colour should be pure flake white, without any tint or shade in it.

The condition should be firm and compact, with a comfortable general appearance and aspect.

Size of males to ten or eleven pounds ; females, seven to eight pounds.

I should have said, in my experience I have rarely met with a bad-tempered cat of this colour, they are usually very sociable, and make charming cats for the house, and, as a rule, keep themselves wonderfully clean.

Of course, for exhibition purposes they may require extra attention, but generally it will be found that a good drenching of the coat with fine flour, which may be done with an ordinary kitchen dredger, and afterwards brushing it carefully out, will give all the cleansing required, and give less risk of cold by washing, which is often a very troublesome operation with cats.

The illustrations to this sketch are Champions Ballochmyle, Billie Blue Eyes, Laurel Emperor and Laurel Leonidas, the latter both belonging to the writer, and winners of numerous prizes at all the best shows. The last named was one of the largest white short-haired cats ever shown.


Head 10 Points
Ears. . 5
Eyes. . . 15
Body ........ 10
Legs and feet ...... 5
Tail . . , 5
Coat . . . . . 10
Colour 25
Condition and general appearance . . 10 Points
Size . . 5

Total 100 Points


I think there is no difference of opinion that this variety came originally from Russia, but it is now quite acclimatised, and breeds freely in this country, though I should not consider it common. It always strikes me, both in its colour and ways, as having more of the wild animal about it than any other of the domestic cats. It is usually very quiet and undemonstrative in manner, and not particularly sociable, but I have not found it bad - tempered, more what I should call reserved.

A well-shaped, even-coloured specimen of this variety generally gets into the first three, in a class of all kinds of short-haired cats, and also stands a good chance in a class for Self-coloured Short Hairs, or Short-haired Foreign Cats.

At many of the larger shows classes are provided for Short-haired Blues, when it may be observed how many different shades there are of this very neutral colour, and, unless divided by sex, how much smaller the females are than the males.

I have known more than one instance of blue kittens, being born to British bred and born cats, without any known trace of Russian blue blood in their veins, but I always think they fail in type, though fairly correct in colour. They are often mean and pinched in muzzle, and with a different expression of countenance, to that noticeable in those whose ancestors were imported specimens.

The head should be round, fairly large in males, but much smaller in females, broad and well-filled-out cheeks, and rather short face and dark nose.

The ears rather large, full and open, wider than most of the Short Hairs.

The eyes should be large, round, rather sleepy in ex- pression, and orange yellow in colour.

The body should be closely knit, compact and rounded in its outlines, not very long, and without flat appearance at the sides.

Legs and feet rather short than long, and muscular.

The tail inclined to be short and substantial.

The coat should be short, dense and close lying, giving a sleek appearance.

The colour should be a slaty plum - coloured blue, and should be even all over, without tints or marks ; in very light-coloured specimens the eyes may be yellow.

Condition should be hard and workmanlike, and the appearance always conveys the idea to me of a diminutive specimen of the Puma.

Size of males, eight to ten pounds ; of females, about six to eight pounds.


Head . .... 10 Points
Ears. . . .. 5
Eyes . . ..10
Body. . . .10
Legs and feet .... 5
Tail . . . 5
Coat ...... 20
Colour . . 25
Condition and general appearance . . . 5
Size . . . 5

Total 100 Points



THIS variety is remarkable in two ways : the males are usually the only mates available for Tortoiseshell and Tortoiseshell and White females, for those desiring to perpetuate either of those two colours ; and females of this variety free from white markings are considered more scarce than those of any other kind of female short- haired cat.

For some reason, which I have never heard explained, the best short-haired Tabbies Red, Brown and Silver seem to have emanated from the North of England, Lan- cashire, Durham and Yorkshire in particular, and many of the greatest prize-winners of the past, as well as most of the best known now, appear to have come from these counties. A really well-marked Red Tabby, in good form, is a very handsome animal, and worthy of admiration.

The illustrations to this sketch are Champion Ballochmyle Perfection, the property of Lady Alexander, and probably one of the best ever exhibited ; the other, Lord Rufus, a great winner, was first exhibited at a small show in Wiltshire, where he was claimed by the Rev. D. G. Truss, and some time afterwards came into the possession of the writer, who had him for some years.

The head should be fairly large, well rounded in shape, not long in face, and tolerably strong in muzzle and throat.

The ears should be rather small, carried erect, with a forward turn, not very wide at base, clean cut and neat.

The eyes should be large, round, bold in expression and yellow in colour.

The legs and feet : the former should be rather long and well boned, the latter round and small.

The body should be deep in chest, but lengthy in barrel, and rather narrow across the back and hind quarters.

The tail should be long, but not thin, tapering towards the tip, and marked with rings throughout.

The coat should be fine, dense and sleek, not long anywhere, and have a glossy appearance.

The colour is composed of a rich creamy yellow ground, barred and striped with rich red, sometimes nearly as deep as chocolate, and disposed in much the same way as on the Bengal tiger, which may be looked upon as the c< Emperor of Tabby cats."

The ground colour and the markings should each be as clear and distinct as possible, and unmixed with any other shade or tint, and the difficulty of obtaining this is the reason high-class specimens of this variety are so scarce and valuable.

Condition should be firm as to flesh, glossy as to coat, and appearance that of an active, alert animal.

Size varies a good deal in the sexes ; for while males of twelve pounds and over are not uncommon, the females may not average more than from eight to ten pounds, and probably the majority will not exceed the first-named weight.

I consider both sexes of this variety are keen vermin killers as a rule, not confining their attention to rats and mice only, but engaging with weasels, stoats, and even polecats, if they come in their way.

They are all right with people they know, but I have not found them very sociable with strangers, nor are they disposed to be friendly towards other people's cats who may trespass on what they look upon as their domain, and a word followed by a blow is generally their order of battle ; and it takes a good warrior, of any variety of cat to


Head . . . . . . .10 Points
Ears . . . 5
Eyes . . . . . . . 10
Body ..10
Legs and feet ...... 5
Tail . . .5
Coat ..10
Colour . . . . . . . 25
Condition and general appearance ... 15
Size ........ 5 ,

Total 100 Points


Although it is very rare to see specimens of this variety attain great size, I think they are very pretty animals, and generally admired.

I think I have had more of them than anyone else I remember, in the South or West of England, and for many years could bench or pen the best team of the colour probably ever seen in the possession of one owner, comprising a champion of each sex, and three or four runners up. I won scores of prizes with those at all the best shows, and there were no short-haired cats better known ; one of them, a female, own sister to Mrs George Herring's Jimmy, was, I should imagine, the best female short-haired cat ever exhibited. Her brother was a very handsome cat, took numerous prizes, and was the only cat I remember taking the Gold Medal of the National Cat Club, at the Crystal Palace Show, as c< best Cat, Long or Short-haired," in the show. On several occasions his sister was put over him, and it was always a close thing between them, but they were both so good, it was almost a case of condition.

Miss Moore had a nice female, Jenny, who was put over mine once or twice, I think they were aunt and niece, but she was nothing like so correct in points, nor did she show herself off so well.

I think Champion Jimmy, Miss Moore's Jenny, and my own Laurel King, who was her son and a champion like her- self, were the only three "in the same street" with Champion Laurel Queen, who had the grace and style of her mother, Jenny, that came to me from the late Herbert Young of Harrogate, who was quite an enthusiast about cats, and a very skilful breeder of them, and he told me he had her from Mr Sugden of Withnell, near Chorley, Yorkshire, and her beautiful colour and clear markings she took from her sire, Champion King of the Fancy, of whose offspring I never saw a bad specimen, but I think he was seldom shown. Laurel Prince, Laurel Silvie and Silver Star were others of high quality, who took numbers of prizes, but with three champions of the variety well to the fore, and all often shown, they had not that chance of getting to the top of the tree which has been afforded since. I hope to give, with this sketch, reproductions of the portraits of Champions Jimmy and Laurel Queen, brother and sister, and Champion Laurel King, son of last named, as representative specimens of the variety.

I believe it is not only unique in the fact that the three champions were closely related, brother, sister, nephew, and had taken more and better prizes than any three short-haired cats living or ever seen, but that it was the only instance on record where there were three champions in existence at the same time of any variety of short-haired cat ; and I do not remember a case since, but I am not positive about this. I have owned and seen many Silver Tabbies since, but none quite as good as those three, in all of which it was much easier to point out a beauty than to find a defect.

There is nearly always much difference in the sizes of the sexes, and while the males are fairly big cats, the females are mostly on the small side.

The head should not be large or coarse, fairly short in face, not pinched in muzzle, and with rounded cheeks.

The ears of medium size, narrow and rounded at top, broader below.

The eyes round shaped, rather full and brilliant, very intelligent in expression, deep bright yellow in colour.

Legs and feet longish, fine in bone, and feet small and neat.

Body rather long in barrel and flat in sides, fairly deep in chest, but not wide across shoulders.

Tail longish, but not too thin.

Coat, short, fine, glossy, and soft feeling.

Condition and general appearance, firm and compact, with no superfluous flesh, muscular and lithe, giving promise of great vivacity of temperament and activity.

Size, perhaps twelve pounds would be a high average for males, and about eight pounds for females. I have seen males of this colour closely approaching twenty pounds, but in all such cases they have lost by being coarse, and were generally fat ; but I never remember seeing a female exceeding ten pounds, and I am sure they rarely come up to that weight.

I should perhaps add that where so many Silver Tabbies fail is in their ground colour not being clear and pure, free from any tint, and the black markings not intense enough.

I have left the speaking of the desired colour to the last ; the ground should be a sort of pale lavender shade of French grey, all over, with Tabby markings of pure black on the face, head, chest, back, sides and tail, precisely as set out for the other Tabby marked cats ; the ground between the stripes should be broader than they are, or they will appear too dark in colour, and the marks on face, forehead and chest should be distinct and clear.


Head . . . 10 Points
Ears .. 5
Eyes. . . .5
Body and shape . .10
Legs and feet . .. 5
Tail . . 5
Coat . . . . 10
Size . . . 10
Condition and appearance . . . 15
Colour and markings . . . 25

Total 100 Points


Everyone thinks they know, and have often seen, a specimen of this variety, and many fondly fancy "they have one at home, quite as good as the one that has taken a prize at the show," for I have often heard them say so, in quite a loud voice, at the show, but did not believe it any the more for that !

In fact, real Brown Tabbies are comparatively rare, and when you find one good one, you will discover at least fifty not up to the mark.

I think the best Brown Tabby that has been brought out for many years was the late Champion Xenophon, the property of Lady Decies, and I have always thought I did a foolish thing in refusing the offer of him, long before her ladyship ever heard of him, when I could have had him for less than a quarter of the price for which he was afterwards sold to a friend of mine.

It so happened, I had a lot of cats, some thirty or forty I think, at the time, and was not anxious for more, and so missed my chance ; and although, whenever they met, whether at the Crystal Palace, or any other large shows, my Brown Tabby, Laurel Quar, who was really a better brown in colour than he, but lost to him in size and general appearance, had to play second fiddle as long as he remained in the band ; it would have been more satisfactory to have owned both, when I could have made each a champion, as I held the winning cards, with two champions in Whites and the same in Silver Tabbies, which were the only two varieties to be much feared.

I am pleased, however, that Xenophon got into good and appreciative hands, in both his late owners, and that he had a thoroughly good time.

I am glad to give the reproduction of a capital portrait of him, as I think, taking him all round, he was the best specimen of the variety I can call to mind ; I mean with less faults and more beauties ; and when in form I would have taken him in preference to anyone else's cat (of course, not including my own) in the show, although, that is what our American cousins would call "rather a large order/'

Now, to give my views about this variety. As long as it is not coarse, I like the head large and massive, well rounded at sides, fairly long in face, strong in muzzle, and broad across forehead.

Ears of medium size, wide at base, narrowing and rounded at tips.

Eyes very full and brilliant, orange yellow in colour, with a glint of green within ; very expressive.

Body large and powerful in build, being long and deep, with broad chest and shoulders.

Legs strong and with plenty of bone ; feet not large, and round shaped.

Tail long rather than short, but very thick at root, with gradual tapering towards the tip.

Coat should be moderately long, dense and close, with a glossy appearance to it.

Condition should be hard, fine and muscular. Appearance that of an active but powerful animal, with a due sense of self-importance about it, and a great deal of style.

Size, males up to twenty pounds ; perhaps twelve to fifteen pounds a good average ; females, from eight to eleven pounds, more to be seen within than exceeding those limits.

Colour to be as rich in the brown colouring of the ground as possible, and the black stripes, bars and curves

to be as intense in shade as obtainable, the one or two stripes across chest, forming the Lord Mayor's chain, in particular should be much in evidence.

When one has the opportunity of seeing a downright first-class specimen of this variety, it is a thing, in the words of the late Captain Cuttle, " to be made a note of."

The illustrations to this sketch are portraits of Champion Xenophon and the writer's Laurel Quar, two of the best specimens of the variety seen for many years.


Head ..10 Points
Ears ..5
Eyes ...... 10
Body and shape ..... 10
Legs and feet ..... 5
Tail.. 5
Coat.. 10
Condition and appearance . 10
Size ....... 10
Colour and markings .... 25

Total 100 Points


As far as my experience goes, this is by far the least common of all the Tabbies, and correctly - marked specimens are very rarely seen. I am bound to say they do not receive much encouragement, as at very few shows indeed do they have classes provided for them, and even then nearly always have to be shown all together.

The title of each depends on the ground colour of the coat. There are Brown, Grey, Silver and Red- Spotted Tabbies, of which I fancy the last is most often seen, but generally fails in the brightness and distinctness of its spots, and the ground is often a washy pale yellow, which gives a blurred look to the coat.

A really well-marked Spotted Tabby, especially that called Silver, is a very pretty animal, but too rarely seen.

The head should be small, medium in size, neither short in face nor pinched in muzzle.

The ears standing well open to the front, rounded at tips and not too wide at base.

The eyes round, full, and intelligent-looking, and in colour follow the rules laid down for the several Tabbies.

The body rather long and flat-sided, not heavy limbed, but light and active in build.

The legs rather long than short, the feet small and compact.

The tail long and gracefully carried, tapering to the end, but not thin or skinny-looking.

The coat should be short, fine, close lying and glossy in appearance and feeling soft to the touch.

The condition should be firm, moderately muscular, and the general aspect elegant and graceful in outlines.

The size of males may average ten pounds, and of females about eight pounds, but I do not object to a little more in each, provided type and quality are present.

The colour is of course very important ; whatever the ground may be, all the markings everywhere should be mainly composed of distinct and well-defined spots, which, except in the case of the Spotted Red Tabby, when they are a deep rich red, should be nearly black, and the more they approach this shade the better will be the general effect.

A great many specimens may be seen with stripes and spots, but these are not what are wanted, and probably arise from the inter-breeding of striped with spotted cats. The only approach to a line or stripe of colour in a Spotted Tabby is the trace running along the back, and even this, to be quite in order, should be made up of a number of spots from the back of the neck to the root of the tail, which should also be marked with spots from one end to the other.

I have usually found this variety of a placid and amiable disposition, perhaps not so playful as some, but with no disagreeable characteristics.

Of course the colour is a matter of taste, but to my mind the Silver Spotted Tabby, with dense black spots on a pale lavender ground, which shows them off well, is the prettiest of all.


Head ....... 10 Points
Ears . .5
Eyes to follow ground colour . . .10
Body and shape . . 10
Legs and feet . . . 5
Coat . . . 10
Condition and general appearance ..10
Size ...... 10
Colour and markings .. 25
Tail. 5

Total 100 Points


There is one other Tabby variety of which I should like to say a few words, the more so as, although by no means rare, it is perhaps not so often seen as the other members of the family. It is essentially a Tabby, and, unless restrictions are specially made at any show, can fairly be shown in " Tabbies Any Colour " Class. As a rule it has a dark iron grey ground colour, but the stripes, which are narrow and should be black, run down each side, starting from the black trace along the spine, somewhat in the fashion of the stripes on a tiger.

There is a good difference in the sizes of the sexes, for, while I have often seen quite large males of this variety, I never remember seeing more than an ordinary-sized female.

As far as my experience goes, it is very seldom you see markings of this particular type on a light grey or silver ground, or on any specimen of the Red Tabby colour ; so that although I have never seen a class provided for them, and have always met them either in Mixed Tabby or Variety Classes, I think they are as much entitled to be considered a distinct variety as Spotted Tabbies, and believe there are plenty of them about if they were looked after and brought to the front.

Many I have seen were very handsome specimens, and well worthy of notice, and I have little doubt if taken up by some careful breeders a good deal might be done with them.

The head should be round, strong in muzzle, short in face, and with well-filled cheeks.

The ears rather small, with rounded tips.

The eyes large, round, lustrous and orange yellow, with a look of green in them ; intelligent expression.

The legs rather short, strong in bone ; feet round.

The body moderately long and deep, broad across the shoulders, back and hind quarters, cobby more than lanky.

The tail thick and strong, carried in a curve, marked with the body colours in rings from end to end.

The coat dense, but not long or coarse, sleek and soft.

The condition muscular, firm and hard, and general appearance tiger-like and stately.

The size of males to twelve or thirteen pounds ; of females, to eight or nine pounds.

The colour to be shades of iron grey all over for the ground, with Tabby markings on face much as in the other Tabbies, but the body markings to be made up of narrow black stripes running downwards from the spine.


Head ... 10
Ears .... 5
Eyes . . 10
Legs and feet . 5
Body 10
Tail 5
Coat 5
Condition and general appearance 10
Size . . . . . 10
Colour 30

Total 100 Points



THIS, which is not to be confounded with the Russian Blue, to which at first sight it bears some little resemblance, is by no means a very common variety. I have had several specimens at different times, and am rather partial to them.

They nearly always, as far as I have noticed, have some faint Tabby markings on the body, so much so that I know they are called by some people Black Tabbies, and it is quite possible they originated from the mating of a Black and a Blue, but I think they are now an established variety, although they never have classes provided for them at any shows I have attended, and I have always exhibited mine in the Any Other Variety Short Hairs, and never, I think, without gaining honours with them.

Although I am sure some of this variety have been produced by the union of other colours, I think two Smokes may be relied on to reproduce their own shade of coat, and I am rather surprised they have not received more encouragement. I have never seen this variety even mentioned in any book on cats, but will give my views about it.

The head should be fairly large, well rounded, with moderately short face and strong muzzle.

The ears should be rather wide at base, with rounded tips, and carried erect, well open to front.

The eyes should be round, bold and full, orange yellow in colour, and alert in expression.

The body well-knit and compact, not long or flat in barrel, and muscular in build.

The legs should be rather long, and feet round and small in shape.

The tail should be fairly thick at root, tapering to the tip, and of moderate length.

The coat should be dense, short and smooth, more abundant on the shoulders and hind quarters than on other parts of the body.

The condition should be hard, muscular, and giving promise of power and activity.

The size should average about nine to ten pounds, for males ; and from seven to eight pounds for females.

The colour should be nearly black slate, of a dull almost sooty hue. I do not consider faint Tabby markings, if they are hardly perceptible except in strong lights, are a drawback, as specimens good in other respects are so seldom met with free from them.

The illustration to this sketch is a portrait of the writer's Luke, winner of many prizes at the Crystal Palace and elsewhere, a very perfect specimen.


Head . . . . . . 10
Ears . 5
Eyes. . . 10
Body and shape . . . . . 10
Legs and feet . . . . 5
Tail . ..... 5
Coat. .... 15
Condition and general appearance . 10
Colour . . . . . . 25
Size . . 5

Total 100 Points


This variety, correctly marked, is not so common as the outside public may suppose ; in the course of a long career as breeder and exhibitor, I do not think I have owned more than three or four I considered good enough to exhibit.

Almost all the cats of different colours, I think more especially amongst the Short Hairs, have some peculiarities or characteristics which seem to belong to themselves, and I always fancy there is a solemnity, gravity, and clerical aspect about Black and White cats ; so that, if you met with one in a Bishop's Palace or a Deanery, you would feel it was quite in keeping with its surroundings.

They are usually very demure and placid in demeanour, and I never remember to have seen one of this colour taking part in raids on the chickens in the poultry yard or the nocturnal scrimmages in the back gardens so often heard. They seem to preserve an air of perfect respectability in accordance with their appearance, and act up to it!

The head should be large and well rounded, with well- filled-out cheeks and fairly strong muzzle on a face of moderate length.

The ears somewhat large and full, carried very erect, well open in front, tips pointed.

The eyes round, full, with placid expression, rich yellow with a green glint in them.

The legs and feet : former strongly made with plenty of bone in them, fairly long, but not leggy ; the latter small and compact.

The body thick and plump rather than long or flat-sided, and the shape somewhat cobby.

The tail thick and strong at base, tapering to the point, but not long or mean-looking.

The coat very dense with a gloss upon it, and not long anywhere.

The condition should be hard and muscular rather than fat, and the appearance that of an active, but con- tented and comfortable-looking animal.

The size should be about ten to twelve pounds for males ; and from seven to nine pounds for females.

The colour is most important. Black is the prevailing shade, and should be as dense as possible all over, except the mouth, chin, lips, parts of the cheeks, whiskers and chest, and all the four feet, which should be pure white ; the white on face running up between the eyes in a blaze, something like that seen in a Dutch Rabbit.


Head ...... 10
Ears 5
Eyes .10
Body and shape ..... 10
Legs and feet ..... 5
Tail 5
Coat 10
Condition and general appearance . 15
Size ....... 5
Colour ...... 25

Total 100 Points


I consider this variety in marked contrast, in point of character and disposition, to the last named, as those I have known have been of the light-hearted, happy-go-lucky temperament, the first in a scrimmage or scuffle and the last to leave off ; demons for vermin and very sporting in their tastes. This accounts for their being often found amongst the victims of the gamekeepers' attention to trespassers, either really, or supposed to be, in pursuit of fur and feather in the woods and plantations.

They are more often leggy than not, and have usually a long, rather lanky, tucked-up appearance, with more muscle than flesh, but giving the idea of any amount of activity and energy, and seeming more to enjoy an out- door life at a cottage or farm in the country, than to be cooped up in a warm room and made much of as a domestic favourite.

I have not found them bad-tempered or unsociable, but do not consider they care about a lot of handling or pulling about ; there is something eminently workmanlike about them as a rule, which precludes the idea of their being petted very much.

As might be supposed, specimens of this variety differ much in their markings, which should be quite pure black, unmixed with tabby or white hairs, and the more they harmonise in evenness and uniformity, the better they are, but two are not often seen exactly alike ; one may have black ears, feet, tail, and a spot or two on body ; another may be all white except markings on head and tail, and another with head and tail white and markings on body and legs only.

I hope, as illustration to this sketch, to give a portrait of one of my own, whom I called Magpie, and whose colours I rather liked ; he was nearly all white, except black on head and tail, and four large spots on his body. I shall say something of him hereafter in my anecdotes.

The head should be small, very round, rather long faced and lean, with longish neck, and narrow shoulders and chest.

The ears very erect in carriage, rather large in size, and very open and wide-awake looking.

The eyes are very round and staring, greenish yellow in colour, and with a smart alert expression.

The legs are long and fine in bone, with small round feet.

The body long, flat-sided, and rather lean than plump, very lithe and active-looking.

The tail long, moderately thin to the point, and carried gracefully.

The condition muscular, firm and hard, and the general appearance denoting much muscular vigour.

The coat short, fine, and shiny, very close lying to the skin.

The size not differing much in the sexes, averaging from eight to ten pounds, perhaps rarely exceeding nine pounds.

The colour to be white in predominance, with black markings, as uniform as possible, distributed all over, from head to tail, with a preference for some on both the last named.


Head . . ... . . .10 Points
Ears 5
Eyes . . .. . 10
Body and shape . . . . . .10
Legs and feet ...... 5
Tail . . . . . . .5
Coat 10
Condition and general appearance . . .15
Size . . 5
Colour . . . . . . 25

Total 100 Points


This variety really comprises the several Tabbies with white markings, and although they do not receive the same amount of favour at the hands of either fanciers or judges usually accorded to those without white, many of them are, in my opinion, very beautiful animals.

You see Red, Dark, Brown, Grey and Silver Tabbies and White, and it is a matter of taste which is the prettiest. I incline to the Dark and the Silver, but have had specimens of them all at one time or another. Of course, there must be uniformity and evenness in the markings for show purposes ; a cat all white, with the exception of some blotches or spots of tabby about it, would not stand much chance of a prize in a good show.

Tabby must be the predominant feature, and plenty of it, the white being disposed uniformly and unmixed with the tabby anywhere. What I like to see in them is a body all tabby, with four white feet. I do not mind the hind feet being a little more white than those in front, if they are alike.

The face, chest and chin white, with a blaze up the forehead between the eyes ; and the under part of the body also white.

The head should be round, not very large, and with a moderately long face.

The ears small, well placed and erect in carriage.

The eyes should be bright and round shaped, follow- ing the colour of the Tabby in shade.

The body, fairly long, but not lanky or flat-sided, and muscular in build. ,

The legs rather short than long, to avoid any legginess, and the feet round and small ; both well boned.

The tail strong at root, tapering to base, and not of great length .

The coat short, close and dense, but fine and soft to the touch.

The condition hard, firm and muscular, not fat or coarse, and the general appearance graceful and active.

The size should be from ten to twelve pounds for males, and from seven to nine pounds for females ; a little more may be allowed to each sex, provided there is a general sense of quality rather than coarseness.

The colour, to be ideal, should be tabby all over, except the white blaze up face between the eyes, white chest, belly and the four feet, no spots to be allowed on any of the white markings, nor any white on any part of the tabby markings.

Such a cat as described is not as often seen as may be supposed, but is a very pretty creature.


Head . . .. 10
Ears ...... 5
Eyes ...... 10
Body and shape . . . 10
Legs and feet . 5
Tail 5
Coat 10
Condition and general appearance 15
Size ...... 10
Colour and markings . 20

Total 100 Points



ONE marked peculiarity of this variety is the great rarity of males ; I should think there is not one male to be met with to several hundred females. I have never heard any reason given for this being so, but I have not the slightest doubt about it. In all my show experiences I do not think I have seen a dozen Tortoiseshell male cats, and never seen more than three at any one show.

My friend, the late Mr Herbert Young, of Harrogate, was very sanguine he had discovered a plan for breeding the males as well as females of this colour, but if so he died without divulging the secret, as I remember only one appearing from his cattery.

The black red and yellow making up the colour, of which, as a rule, the black is the most prominent, give rather a sombre appearance to them, and they are not admired much by the general public.

As I have said in another place in these sketches, the females are usually mated with Red Tabby males, and I have found excellent Blacks, Whites and Red Tabbies in some of these litters.

Of course, it is important there should be no Tabby markings mixed in with the Tortoiseshell, and this is where I notice many of them fail, as each colour should be quite pure and distinct.

They are usually of rather small size, but keen vermin hunters, and make good mothers. I do not think any variety of domestic cat is possessed of more spirit and courage, and they will seldom turn their back to any foe, when fairly roused.

I like them as house or stable cats as well as any. I have had some of them about the place for very many years, and found them sociable and affectionate and with less timidity or nerves about them than almost any other variety.

The head should be of moderate size, very round in shape, with a short face, and rather long neck and narrow shoulders.

The ears small, carried very upright and open, with general idea of alertness.

The eyes brilliant, full and large, round in shape and orange yellow in colour ; very intelligent expression.

The legs rather long than short or cloddy, fine in bone, and the feet round and small.

The body long and narrow, with sloping shoulders, more muscle than fat everywhere.

The tail should be rather long, not thin or lanky, as they often are, and marked with the three colours.

The coat should be short, fine and shiny, and very sleek and smooth to the touch.

The condition should be firm, hard and muscular, the general appearance denoting grace and activity.

The size of males need not be given, as they are so seldom seen, but I should like them up to ten or twelve pounds, if possible, and females up to eight or nine pounds.

The colour, composed of black red and yellow, in patches all over from the nose to tip of tail, and the more distinct each is the better.

The illustrations to this sketch are Lady Alexander's Champions Ballochmyle Samson and Ballochmyle Bounti- ful Bertie, probably the best specimens living of this variety.


Head . . . 10
Ears . . . 5
Eyes ... 10
Legs and feet . . . 5
Body . . . 10
Tail .... 5
Coat . . . 5
Condition and general appearance . . 15
Size . . . 5
Colour . . . 30

Total 100 Points


In the eyes of the general public this variety is much prettier than the last, and I have owned and seen many I have greatly admired. For some years I had a male of this variety, which took a great many prizes, and they are only second in rarity to the Tortoiseshell males. I hope to give his portrait as one of the illustrations to this sketch, and a champion of Lady Alexander's as the other.

To be ideally marked, the tortoiseshell should be the predominant feature, but in very many we see at the shows and elsewhere, there is a great deal too much white, which takes off from the rich appearance of the colouring, and seems to diminish the size.

I have found them quite equal to the Tortoiseshells as vermin killers and mothers, and very docile and gentle in their manners. I think they are more inclined to attach themselves to their owners than most varieties, and very playful and fond of fun long after they are adults.

Several that I have had have been most friendly with some of my dogs, and delighted to have a thorough romp on the lawn with them, always taking to the trees when the play became too fast and furious for them.

The head should be small, round, and with a short face, but not too pinched in muzzle.

The ears rather large and open, with erect carriage.

The eyes wide open, round, lustrous and sharp- looking, orange yellow in colour.

The legs long, without giving a leggy appearance, and not strong in bone ; the feet small and round shaped.

The body and neck inclined to be long, shoulders and quarters rather narrow, and somewhat flat at sides.

The tail should be long, moderately thick at base and tapering to the point, not mean-looking.

The coat should be glossy, fine and- short, lying closely to the skin.

The condition should be muscular, hard and firm, with an active, graceful general appearance.

The size might average eight pounds for females, though many are seen much less males, as much more as obtainable without fat or coarseness.

The colour should be tortoiseshell all over, except white blaze up face, on each of the four feet, the chest and belly ; the more distinct and pure the patches of yellow black and red are, the better the specimen will be in regard to colour, and no Tabby markings should appear mixed with any of the colours, but they are often seen in the red or yellow patches, denoting a Tabby somewhere in the pedigree.


Head . . . 10
Ears . . . 5
Eyes ... 10
Legs and feet . . . 5
Body . . . 10
Tail .... 5
Coat . 5
Condition and general appearance 15 Size . . . 5
Colour and uniformity in markings. . . . 30

Total 100 Points


This variety, to the best of my knowledge, information and belief, does not include any long-haired specimens, and, as far as I have heard or seen, does not comprise all the colours usually associated with other short-haired varieties. I have reason to believe white specimens are very seldom seen, and the first I ever had of the variety was of that colour. I will give his portrait to illustrate this sketch, as he was one of the most typical specimens I have seen, and winner of many prizes while in my possession, and also a portrait of Mrs H. C. Brooke's " Champion."

I may at once say that it is a mistake to suppose that any cat that had lost its tail might be taken for a " Manx," or would have any chance of notice at a show, if the judge understood the variety, as the make of the animal, its movements and its general character are all distinctive.

I have proved the truth of the late Mr Herbert Young's assertion as to half-bred Manx Cats having tail-less progeny, and can go a step further, as, during the time I kept the variety, I found some of the females of other short-haired breeds were liable to produce kittens with short, and, on some occasions, no tails. This was really the reason why I determined to give up keeping Manx, although the only male of the variety in my possession was not allowed to be at large, or mated with any but his own species.

Any of my readers who may desire to take up the variety, which is quaint and interesting and I found all the specimens which have come under my notice docile, good-tempered and sociable if they take my advice, will either keep no other variety of cat, long or short-haired, or quite isolated and out of sight of the Manx, or they may suffer in the same way as I did.

At comparatively few shows are classes provided for this variety, which has therefore usually to be entered in the " Any Other Variety Short Hair," where it does not stand much chance of getting into the first three, unless exceptionally good in size and markings.

It is curious that the colours in this variety seem somewhat limited, as although I have seen a great many of them, I never remember to have seen any but tortoise- shell, and very few of that shade ; white, and that only my own male ; black, perhaps the most numerous of all as far as my experience goes ; black and white, and grey- striped Tabby. I am not prepared to say that no others are ever seen, but that I do not remember seeing them either in Manx or Any Other Variety classes.

Many of those shown fail in their tails, some having an inch or more, whereas the tail proper should be absent and represented by only a tuft of hair at the extremity of the spine, though some, I believe, pure bred have had a tiny thin apology for a tail without bone.

I may perhaps mention that I have bred a great many of the Old English sheep dogs, which I am glad to see have now become so deservedly popular, and have had litters with nearly the whole of them born without a particle of tail, proving that although some of their ancestors (as I happen to know has been done with even some of those that have taken the highest honours at shows as genuine Old English sheep dogs) had their tails docked, many are born entirely without those useful appendages.

My ideas about the Manx Cat are as follows :

The head should be of moderate size, round, not very short in face, but long in neck, with sloping shoulders, and rather wide and deep in chest.

The ears very erect and open to the front, large rather than small, with rounded tips.

The eyes large, round, rather staring and prominent, coloured according to the body colour.

The fore legs straight, well boned and strong ; and the hind legs much longer, very well boned and muscular, with powerful hind quarters ; in action the Manx seems to hop, or jump along, more with the movements associated with a hare than of a cat, and must be seen to be properly appreciated.

The body should be well knit, rather lengthy, inclined to be flat-sided, not, as a rule, very bulky, but strong.

The tail should be absent, but, as I have said, there is sometimes a little gristly thin ending to the spine, in a tuft of hair, where the tail would be in other varieties.

The coat should be short, fine and close lying to the skin, soft and smooth to the touch, perhaps a little more abundant on the shoulders, chest and hind quarters than any- where else, but not so as to take away its sleek appearance.

The condition should be firm, hard and muscular, with no superfluous fat about it ; and the general appearance that of an alert, active animal of much power and energetic character.

The size of males from eight to ten pounds, and of females from six to eight pounds. I have rarely seen these weights exceeded, and have seen many that would come under them.

Colour is, of course, a matter of taste. I think white is the least often seen ; some of the largest specimens I have met with have been black, and the smallest black and white. I have seen many good tabbies and one or more tortoiseshell. In all of these the markings and eyes should follow the rules laid down for similar colours in Other Varieties of Short-haired Cats.

I am not aware that any standard has ever been given for judging this variety, but my views about it are as follows :


Head and neck . . . . . .10 Points
Ears . . . 5
Eyes . . 10
Fore legs and feet . . . 5
Hind legs and feet . . . . 15
Body and shape . . . . . .10
Tail, or rather its absence . . . . 15
Condition and general appearance . .10
Coat . . . . . . 5
Size . . . . 5
Colour . . 10

Total 100 Points


I am not sure if this is not absolutely the least frequently seen of any variety of domesticated cat in this country, which leads me to think it has never become popular, either with fanciers or the public.

I have not heard its title to the name Abyssinian disputed, and have every reason to believe the first specimens which appeared were imported from that distant land. In fact, it is asserted by some who profess to have gone deeply into the subject, that this is the same variety as was held in such reverence by the Egyptians in past ages, and of which shiploads of their mummies, or rather embalmed bodies, were discovered a few years since, and created a profound sensation in scientific circles. If this idea proves to be correct it will considerably alter the position of the variety in the eyes of the breeders and fanciers of cats, pointing it out as lineal descendant of the ancestors of the short-haired cats of Europe, which, as I have said in another place in these sketches, are supposed, with the single exception of the native Wild Cat, to owe their origin to the short-haired cats imported from Egypt.

Another name by which this variety is sometimes called is the Bunny Cat, given I think on account of the ticked grey colour of the coat, which has much the same aspect as that of the wild rabbit.

As far as I have seen of both varieties, there is no other of the Short Hairs domesticated in this country, which is so much like our native Wild Cat, as this, except that there is almost entire absence of even the slight Tabby markings, which appear on specimens of the latter, and it is not so short and thick in shape of body and tail, the latter with the rings very faintly indicated upon it, which are rather a feature in the native Wild Cat.

Contrary to the usual supposition that the progeny of imported animals are larger than their parents, it is asserted by breeders that those which have undoubtedly come to this country from Abyssinia are larger and finer specimens than those born here, and more free from any markings, except the dark trace down back and the tickings peculiar to the species.

The head should be fairly large, round, not very short, but full in face, with dark red nose, shortish, strong neck, deep chest, and shoulders rather wide.

The ears moderately small, dark brown in colour, laced and tipped with black, carried very erect.

The eyes round and full, deep yellow, with a glint of green in them, and intelligent in expression.

The legs fairly long and well boned, with small round feet.

The body, rather compact and cobby, than long ; well rounded at sides, not tucked-up looking, and with strong hind quarters.

The tail, thick at base, tapering to the tip.

The coat very dense and soft, but not long anywhere.

The condition hard, firm and muscular ; general appearance of an active, powerful animal of compact build.

The size of males, eleven to thirteen pounds ; of females, eight to ten pounds.

The colour deep brown, with black tickings all over, with as little other markings as possible, except a black line from nape of neck to the end of tail.

The illustration is a portrait of a specimen shown some years since by my friend Mrs George Herring.


Head . . . 10 Points
Ears . . .5
Eyes . . .10
Legs and feet . . . 5
Body and shape . 10
Coat ..... 15
Condition and general appearance . . .15
Size ..... 5
Colour 20
Tail 5

Total 100 Points


Although some of the varieties mentioned in these sketches are rare, and seldom seen except occasionally at shows, I think that description applies to none more generally than to the Siamese.

I don't remember to have ever seen one roaming at large, and I believe most people who saw one would be doubtful if it really was a cat, as the colour is so much in accord with the ideas of a pug dog. Some I have seen with a short twisted tail, something like a badly-carried pug's tail.

There seems to be no difference of opinion that this variety is correctly named, the first specimens seen here being imported from Siam, where they are held in much esteem, the King of Siam being reputed to take consider- able interest in keeping the breed pure ; so much so that it was in the early days of the fancy a difficult matter to obtain specimens, and many of the males were not allowed to leave the country, to be available for breeding purposes ; but as a great many have been bred in the United Kingdom of late years, I presume those regulations have either been relaxed or evaded.

Occasionally specimens are seen with coats of chocolate colour, but I think the ordinary and most popular shade is fawn, pale drab, or light silver grey ground colour, with all the extremities as nearly black as obtain- able.

They are said by those best acquainted with them to make very interesting pets, but with more of the ways of dogs than cats, attaching themselves warmly to their owners, and liking to accompany them from room to room, or about the garden or grounds, and will become very friendly with the dogs about the place, but not so sociable with cats, and well able to take care of themselves in any differences of opinion with the latter.

They seem to like an outdoor life and do best in places where they can go in and out and do a little hunting after " fur and feather " on their own account.

The food which seems to suit them is fresh fish, boiled with rice ; but where this is not available, they will readily eat bread and milk, particularly if given lukewarm, the milk being boiled before being mixed with the bread ; they also like the fragments of game and chicken left from the table.

Unless they have been reared in the country, so as to become fairly hardy, they are rather delicate, and the kittens liable to mortality before they grow up, but it is not wise to attempt to breed them in the autumn or winter, the best time being about April or May, so that they may have the warm weather before them.

At first the kittens show very little of the characteristic markings, being nearly white when born, with just a shade of lacing on the ears, and do not attain their adult colours until about twelve months old.

One of the most fatal complaints from which they suffer, and which carries off many kittens and even adults, is worms, but I should think if taken in time by administration of some form of vermifuge, in small doses, this might be overcome ; it is also a cause of much trouble with dogs.

A friend of mine who has had some experience of the variety, says they are much in their habits like other cats, but that strangers notice a peculiar wild animal odour about them, like I have observed with the Russian Blue Short-Hair Cats, and that most of the kittens have a kink in the tail, not always in the same place, being sometimes at the end, at others near the body or in the middle.

The mothers are fond and devoted to their young, and usually will have three or four litters a year if allowed to do so, but I should think it better not to exceed two. It is said the males take a warm interest in the litters, which is rarely the case with other varieties.

The head should be small rather than large, with re- ceding forehead, broad between the eyes but narrowing between the ears, rather long in face and somewhat pinched in muzzle.

The ears rather large, wide and open to the front, nearly bare of hair inside.

The eyes should be a bright but pearly blue, placed slanting slightly downwards towards the nose.

The legs more short than long, and the feet more oval in shape than is usual with cats.

The body long but slightly made, not indicative of much muscular power.

The tail rather long and tapering, often with a kink or small knot in some part of it.

The coat very short and fine, and much like that of a pug dog, seeming to combine wool and hair in its texture.

The condition should be firm and hard, without fat or coarseness ; and the general appearance active and grace- ful, with an air of refinement.

The size might be set down as ten pounds for males, and about eight pounds for females.

The colour should be uniform all over, a pale fawn or drab, except the ears, muzzle, legs, feet and tail, all of which should be as nearly black as possible. Although the coat should be very close and smooth, it is never glossy or shiny, but just the dull hue of a pug's coat.


Head 10
Ears . 5
Eyes. . . . . 10
Legs and feet . 5
Body and shape . 10
Coat ...... 10
Condition and general appearance . . .10
Size ...... 5
Colour and markings . 30
Tail . 5

Total 100 Points


Since writing the foregoing I have seen an account of the above-named variety, which, as far as my experience goes, is the most rare of any species of domesticated cat. The article appeared in Animal Life, to whom it was supplied by my friend, Mrs H. C. Brooke, of Welling, and from her photograph the illustration to the succeeding article on the Indian Cat has been reproduced, which, I am sure, will be interesting to many of my readers.

Mrs Shuick, of Abuquerque, New Mexico, describes them as follows : " These cats were obtained from Indians, a few miles from here. The old Jesuit Fathers say they are the last of the Aztec race, and known only in New Mexico.

" They are marked exactly alike, with mouse-coloured backs, the neck, stomach and legs a delicate flesh tint ; their bodies are always warm and soft.

"In the winter they have a light fuzz on the back and ridge of tail, which falls off in the warm weather.

" They stand the cold as well as other cats, their skin is very loose.

"Nellie, the female, has a very small head, large amber eyes, and long whiskers and eyebrows; her voice now is a good baritone, when young it sounded exactly like a child's.

" Nellie weighs about eight pounds, and Dick ten pounds.

" Dick was a very powerful cat, and could whip any dog alone ; his courage, no doubt, was the cause of his death.

" He was a sly rascal, and would steal out, and one night he got out and several dogs killed him.

"His loss was very great, and I may never replace him. The Chicago Cat Club valued him at 1000 dollars.

" I have sent all over the country and endeavoured to get a male for Nellie, but I fear the breed is extinct."

I believe the above-named and following varieties of cats have not even been mentioned or illustrated in any previous work on domestic cats, nor do I remember seeing more than one specimen of the former exhibited in this country, but I hope it may prove they are not quite extinct, as they are different from any other variety with which the writer is acquainted, and so rare as to be exceedingly valuable to all students of natural history, irrespective of their interest to cat lovers.

The illustration is a portrait of one belonging to the Hon. Mrs McLaren Morrison, the only specimen I have been shown in this country. [Note: this would have been "Nellie" who was sold as a pet and exhibited in Britain]


This is another cat very rarely seen in Europe, but I think the following short account of it, and the accompanying illustration, may be interesting to my readers. For both I am indebted to my friend, Mrs H. C. Brooke, who is well known for the interest she takes in animals not usually kept as pets.

Some of the varieties of the domestic cat occasionally seen in India, are apparently derived from crosses with some of the smaller wild breeds found in that country.

From which particular variety the Indian cat is derived, I have no positive information.

The colour of the upper parts of the body is a pale chestnut red, passing through grades of yellowish shades to almost white on the under parts of the body.

The forehead is puckered or wrinkled ; the head somewhat long, pointed and narrow in shape ; with legs long and fine in bone ; and the tail unusually long and tapering, and carried with a curve.

The coat is thick, but quite short ; its ears are large but thin, with rather a forward carriage, very erect.

The eyes are not particularly large, of rich amber colour, and very brilliant in expression.

The colour on the sides is freely ticked or pencilled, but on the legs and thighs appear slightly-marked stripes, and on the tail are rings of the same colour.

In tone of voice it is more like the Siamese than any other cat with which we are familiar, and it is found to vary in this respect at different times.

Except in point of colour, it is more like what we know as the Abyssinian or Bunny Cat than any other variety seen at exhibitions in this country, but there is no reason to suppose it is a variety of the same animal, being thought to be a native product of India, and not found in any other country.



ALTHOUGH seldom seen amongst exhibition cats, and even then always entered in the class for "Any Other Variety of Short-haired Cat," I think some of my readers may like to have a few lines about the above- named, which is a native of the forests of Europe, and still to be found in its original state in some of the northern counties of Britain.

It is much larger than the common domestic varieties, the head is larger and flatter in shape, the limbs are more powerful, and the tail is a good deal shorter and thicker, with less tapering to the extremity, ending abruptly, as if the last joint or so had been removed.

In colour it is usually of a greyish brown, with dusky streaked markings merging into black, one or more black stripes or bands down the back from the neck, and stripes of similar shade down the sides, but not disposed as we see in the domestic Tabbies.

The tip of the tail is usually black, and all the rest of it is marked with alternate rings of the body colour and black. The lips, nose and pads of the feet are all dark coloured.

I think they are now more often seen in the wildest and most retired parts of the Highlands of Scotland than anywhere else. In other parts of Europe the colour of the Wild Cat varies to a deep tawny, with brown or deep black streaks ; or sometimes a pale grey, with black and brown markings.

The Wild Cat is quite the Ishmael of the feline race, and all the specimens which have come under my notice at shows, or in the hands of collectors of natural history subjects, have been more remarkable for their ferocity than their beauty. It is chiefly to be found in very retired places amongst woods, and especially where stunted underwood grows, in and about rocks and crags, in the caves and crevices of which it lives and rears its young, producing four or five in a litter.

Of course it is pre-eminently a beast of prey, and lives upon birds, leverets, rabbits, and such like small game as it can lay its claws upon, and has been known to kill lambs, kids and young fawns, so that one of its most deadly enemies is the gamekeeper, who will tell you, as poor Artemus Ward said of the North American Indian, " It is downright poison wherever you find him."

Some naturalists call it the British Tiger, and it has certainly all the characteristics of that animal, both in form and habits, but, being so much smaller in size, is not capable of doing so much mischief.

Although numerous instances have occurred of domestic cats escaping to the woods, and taking up a wild life there, and even breeding with the native Wild Cats, I think it is a mistake to suppose they are the same animal only in a civilised form. I believe the ancestors of our short-haired cats came from Northern Africa, probably Egypt, where we know the cat Felis Maniculata was held in high reverence, and scores of the mummies of embalmed cats have been brought over here from that interesting country, and evidently of very great age.

The European variety of Wild Cat, Felis Catus, is said to have never been found there, and it is unreasonable to suppose that it would have produced the Egyptian Cat of such an early period of the world's history.

In the early times of British history domestic cats were certainly extremely rare and highly valued. In the tenth century, about A.D. 948, Hoel or Howel, the great King of Wales, fixed the price of a blind kitten at one penny ; and when it could see, and proof be given of its having caught a mouse, the price was doubled to twopence, and after it had established its reputation as a mouser the value was again doubled to fourpence, which represented a good deal in those times. We are told, too, that anyone who destroyed or stole the cat which guarded the Prince's granary or store-house for grain, was liable by law to a fine of a milch ewe, her fleece and lamb ; or to deliver to the aggrieved owner as much corn as would reach to the tip of a cat's tail when held up by that organ, with the point of the nose touching the ground.

Wild Cats are sometimes taken in traps, but, perhaps, more often by shooting, in the latter mode it is dangerous to merely wound them, for they have been frequently known to attack the person who injured them, and their strength and courage are so great as to render them rather formidable antagonists.

At a village called Bainborough, situated between Bainsley and Doncaster, in Yorkshire, there is a tradition of a serious conflict which once took place between a man and a Wild Cat. The inhabitants relate that the fight commenced in an adjoining wood, and was continued from hence up to the very porch of the village church, where it is said to have ended fatally to both combatants, for each died of the wounds received. A rude painting in the church commemorates the event, and the natives of the place profess to show marks of blood stains on the stones in the church porch, which no amount of washing has been able to remove.

I should have said that another argument against the idea that the Wild Cat is the original of our Felis Domestica, is that, at that period when the former were most plentiful, and to be met with in most of their likely haunts, the present variety of domestic cat was almost unknown in this country, and was evidently an animal of foreign importation, and, as I have before stated, so highly esteemed for its vermin-destroying qualities as to form the subject of royal statutes for its protection and preservation.

That there are hundreds, if not thousands, of cats living in a state of nature in the woods and dense parts of the forests of Great Britain (but, strange to say, none are related to have ever been found in Ireland corresponding to what we look upon as the Wild Cat, Felis Sylvestris, or Catus), I have not the slightest doubt, as I have seen them scores of times ; although some, or perhaps many of them, may have mated with the real Wild Cats, and so produced hybrids, in some measure resembling the original variety.

I think the domestic cats so well known to us, did not originate from the Wild Cat, and that the two varieties are quite distinct, and where they are seen together the points of difference would at once be apparent.

My friend, Harrison Weir, F.R.H.S., perhaps the highest living authority on the subject, and whose charming book on cats will be well known to most of my readers, writes a very interesting article on the Wild Cat, and seems to confirm my view that it is anatomically different from our domestic variety.

In rather a quaint old book of mine, with many quite astounding illustrations, called A New and Complete System of Natural History, published by Alexander Hogg, as the Act directs, at the King's Arms, N o. 1 6 Paternoster Row, London, about 1763, I find it stated, that King Richard II. granted a Royal Charter to the Abbot of Peterborough, by which he was authorised to chase the Fox, Hare, and Wild Cat, but whether this was a general license to the genial ecclesiastic, to hunt those wily quadrupeds wheresoever he might meet with them, or only in certain specified districts, is not stated. In Daniel's Rural Sports we are told that Wild Cats were formerly objects of sport to huntsmen ; but it was not for diversion alone that this animal was pursued, for the skin was much used by nuns in their habits, as a fur one of the reasons why the skin of cats was used on cloaks and other garments for trimming, being, that it showed humility in dress and adopted by some priests, as well as nuns, when wishing to impress others with their deep sense of humility in all things, even to their wearing apparel.

In the course of the foregoing sketches I have been, so to speak, cutting the ground from under my own feet, leaving but few materials for the above subject.

I have endeavoured to give a separate notice of all the recognised varieties of short-haired cats either usually, or unusually, met with ; but, of course, in the case of an animal subject to many variations of colour, specimens will occasionally be seen which admit of no absolute classification, and will therefore, if shown at all, have to be entered in a class headed somewhat after the manner of this sketch.

I do not mean what I may call deformed specimens, with three legs, two legs, extra toes to their feet, or such like, which, although they might be deemed worthy of attention and curiosity if included in an exhibition of freaks of nature, I consider are quite out of place in a cat show.

But animals of some peculiar or unusual colour, such as a black cat with a white head and tail ; a blue cat with similar misplaced markings ; a yellow cat without Tabby markings or white ; a smoke cat marked like a black and white ; a white cat with one or more spots of Tabby markings ; or a cat all tortoiseshell except a white head and tail, all of which, in the general way, would be eligible for entry in this class.

I have just mentioned a few of the variations, most of which I have occasionally seen, but of course there are many others possible to arise, particularly with an animal like the cat, which in probably the majority of cases is left pretty much to its own devices in the way of mating, and consequently the variations in the colour of the offspring are many and great.

In dealing with such a mixed class as suggested, the judge should endeavour to select for prizes those coming nearest in formation and colour to what the variety it misrepresented should be, but these are always unsatisfactory classes, both for judges and exhibitors.

I have set forth my views, and given the result of my experience, on some of the matters connected with exhibition cats, which I venture to hope may be of some assistance, at least to novices amongst my fellow fanciers ; and if they are the means of calling up or increasing interest in the domestic cat, of whose intelligence, affection and many good qualities I have a high opinion, one of my objects in penning these sketches will be attained.



"I would give nothing for that man's religion whose cat and dog are not the better for it." DR NORMAN McLEOD.

I THINK I cannot commence better than by quoting the words of Mark Twain, in his amusing book called "Puddin-headed Wilson" where he says :

" 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 ? "

The cat of the household is not so much respected by some as she deserves to be.

It is true everyone admits she is useful for killing mice, etc., and so most people keep a cat, but do not always let her have her due regard in return.

Yet a cat, well cared for, is a very affectionate, pleasant member of the household brigade, and possessed of far more intelligence and sagacity than usually falls to her credit, besides often being an ornament and pleasing addition to the fireside, as we are so fond of saying, " quite English, you know."

Many persons make the cruel mistake of supposing that a cat will be a keener and better mouser if not sufficiently fed in other ways, but the contrary is the case, as I have abundantly proved by experience.

Those cats that are best fed and considered in their comforts make the best vermin hunters ; while those starved, or half fed, have not the spirits or activity to trouble about mousing, any more than human beings would, in like circumstances, take much interest in any kind of sport.

Cats should be well and regularly fed, like other pet animals, and always have a pan of clean water within reach, they will then have less craving after milk, and many will take water in preference.

As regards food, some like bread and milk, not wet but squeezed tolerably dry, with some milk, which is better if first boiled, poured over it.

Most cats and dogs are fond of vegetables, such as potatoes and cabbage, and which are good for their health (as well as access to grass, which they take medicinally), mixed with any scraps and gravy from the table. Occasionally fish heads and other fish scraps boiled with or without rice, and broken up into pieces of suitable size with some of the liquor in which they have been boiled, will make a nice change and be much relished.

Many cats are fond of a little oatmeal porridge some- times, particularly in the colder months of the year, as it is rather heating in its nature ; they will enjoy a bone to pick, but game and chicken bones should not be given, unless the larger ones, as there is a danger of any small pieces or splinters causing internal injury, to which the small intestines of cats make them rather liable.

Of course kittens, when weaned, should be fed at least three or four times a day ; porridge, bread and milk, a little finely-minced meat. Ridge's food made as for children, are all good materials, changed as the animals are found to get tired of any one kind.

Milk should always be boiled, whether given alone or mixed with other things, as otherwise it is thought liable to cause worms, and they are very troublesome, and probably bring about the deaths of more kittens and puppies than any other cause.

If a number of cats are kept it is best to have a room, or building, entirely for their occupation, and if an outside run can be provided, wired in and protected at the top from the weather, it will be all the better for the health of the inmates, which can be let out there alone, or not, as their sexes and tempers will permit. If an aspect can be chosen, the south-east is preferred to any other, cats being fond of a sunny situation.

Means should be provided for heating the building in severe weather, either by hot air or water, or by some kind of stove, not enough to make the place hot and stuffy, and there should be plenty of ventilation round the upper parts of the building, but protected from draughts, frost and damp, which are very injurious to kittens and adults.

I have found cheese boxes make excellent sleeping places, and prefer oat straw to any other material for bedding, with some disinfected sawdust sprinkled on the bottom of the box beneath it, changed as often as required.

A small shallow tin or box, with dry ashes, or earth, should be included in the furniture of each pen ; if this is done regularly and the pens cleaned every day, no disagreeable odour will be observable, and I have had fifteen or twenty cats so kept in a building, the floor of which (tiles or stone for choice) was sprinkled occasionally with some of the many disinfectants now procurable, and a stranger coming in could not be aware there was a cat in the place. I do not believe in the indiscriminate use of disinfectants in the pens, as it is apt to get into the food or drink ; and I have seen many cases, at shows, where cats have been quite ill from its effects by being carelessly used, thrown all over everything in the pen.

Cats, although naturally nervous, timid animals, are fond of notice. They do not shrink away from those who are kind to them, and are pleased to meet with their friends wherever they are ; when I have any at shows they often recognise me before I come to their pens, and are not satisfied until they have been made much of. When judging them I can usually tell what sort of home they come from by the way they behave, and those are few and far between I cannot get on good terms with in a short time ; as cats and dogs too are much like children, who can soon tell whether a stranger is interested in them and likely to be worth cultivating as an acquaintance.

Many people have a habit of turning their cats out of doors at night, this should never be done under any circumstances, summer or winter, even if there are sheds and outhouses they can creep into. Not only does it make your cat a nuisance to your neighbours and yourself, but they are naturally fond of warmth and comfort, and are sure to suffer in their health and appearance from the exposure.

A well-fed, well-housed animal, whether horse, dog or cat, should look sleek and glossy in coat and be a credit to its owner, which night-prowling cats are not likely to be.

There is no doubt the long-haired varieties are more delicate and require greater care and attention than the short-haired.

One thing they are apt to do which is very injurious in preening their coats, as all the cat family, large and small, are in the constant habit of doing if in good health, is to lick off with their rough tongues some of the loose hair of their coats, and this often causes serious internal troubles by forming into pellets and balls.

To guard against this as much as possible, they should be brushed gently and regularly with an ordinary hair brush, with rather long bristles. I prefer cleaning the coats with fine flour, to washing, which is not natural to cats, and generally much resented by them.

Although I remember, when I first obtained the white Manx Cat mentioned in my sketch of that variety, he took up his residence for a day or so in one of our chimneys, and was in consequence so much the colour of a sweep that we were obliged to wash him, and I was surprised to find he made much less of the affair than we did, so that in all probability it was not his first experience of the process.

Kittens should be left six or seven weeks with their mother before being weaned, even if they can lap and feed before that time, as they will be all the better for the warmth and care of their mother. All should never be taken away at once ; any which are not wanted should be drowned by being placed in a bucket or pail of water, and another pail put into it to keep them from rising, which will cause a speedy painless death.

Keep up the mother with good feeding, and rub her teats gently two or three times a day. A little fresh butter or vaseline rubbed into the teats will assist in taking away the milk, which otherwise may cause suffering to the cat.

I have had cats live with me for nineteen or twenty years, and they are not naturally short-lived animals when well cared for.

I believe that, at any rate in this country, cats are now more appreciated and of greater value than they have been in the remembrance of anyone living, and I am in hopes that the detailed particulars given in these sketches may be useful to some of my fellow fanciers, and perhaps cause some of my readers to take more interest in an animal with which I have had much to do, and whose few faults many are disposed to be eloquent upon, while ignoring the many fascinating qualities it possesses.



DURING a long career as an exhibitor I had many amusing experiences, one which was not at all amusing at the time was as follows :

At one of the London Cat Shows the promoter was anxious to have a large entry, because some persons who were interested in what was to some extent a rival undertaking were trying to prevent its being a success, and as I was quite a " freelance " not pledged to any clique or party, he wrote me that he hoped I would make as many entries as possible.

Accordingly I sent more than usual, some fifteen or twenty I think it is long since it happened and I cannot be sure of the number and took a great many prizes.

For some reason or other, probably a dog show some- where that I had entered for, I had to leave the show before its close, as it was a two or three days' affair. This was not in accordance with my usual custom, as I like to see all my animals not only packed but delivered to the railway carriers before I leave.

The day after the show I sent my cart twice to our station but hearing nothing of the cats, wired to the manager of the show with reply paid.

Back came a wire apologising for the delay and saying :

"Your cats leaving by next train, sorry they were overlooked."

The cart went to the station and returned triumphantly with a lot of boxes and baskets.

I may mention here, as it may be a wrinkle for some of my readers who are exhibitors of rabbits, cats or cavies, that I used boxes of my own design for sending my stuff to shows. Each of these contained four compartments, about two feet square each, with a separate hinged lid to each, fastened by a leather strap and buckle so that any one could be taken out by itself at a time. Battens of wood were fastened to the bottom to keep it off wet platforms, etc., and they were impervious to rain, etc.

There was a strong handle like those on trunks and boxes to the lid of each box to move it about with. My initials, and the name of our local station were painted plainly in white letters on a black ground to show where it belonged.

In the few cases where I used baskets, these were covered with strong canvas at sides and top to avoid draughts, and provided with open wickerwork inner lids to prevent an animal jumping out when the basket was opened.

Of course the boxes had holes about the size of a sixpence each bored all round the edges, just under the lids, to give plenty of ventilation but no draught, and I have sent rabbits, cats and cavies in this way all over the kingdom without any difficulty.

To return to my story, when the boxes were opened, to our intense astonishment, there was not one cat in the whole of them, the boxes were all empty.

At that time I had certainly some of the most valuable cats in the show world, comprising four or five champions and others fit for any show, and was somewhat dismayed at the state of affairs.

Before I had decided whether I should return to London to inquire what had become of the missing cats, another telegram came from the manager of the show, saying :

"All your cats safe. Discovered the empty boxes sent off in error. Sending them by special messenger to Paddington, reach you to-night."

So the cart made another journey to the station, and this time really brought the travellers with it, they were each packed in a separate basket, and made a good cartload.

I heard afterwards that all my boxes were stacked together, and when the manager ordered them to be sent off, his deputy did not open any of them , but took it for granted the cats were inside, and so the mistake arose, which was found out after the boxes were gone by seeing a number of cats still in the pens.

I have had such things occur with dogs more than once when I have not been there to see them despatched, but I think that was the only thing of the kind I remember with cats, at any rate where there were so many left behind at any show. The manager and his deputy have often referred to this incident and the trouble it gave them.

My friend, Mr Louis Wain, whose sketches of cats are so well-known, writes as follows in Living Animals of the World:

" The black cat has many of the characteristics of the tortoiseshell, but is essentially a town cat, and is wont to dream his life away in shady corners, under ground cellars, in theatres, and in all places where he can, in fact, retire to monastic quiet. The Black Cat of St Clement Danes Church was one of the remarkable cats of London ; it was his wont to climb up to the top of the organ pipes and enjoy an occasional concert alone. A christening or a wedding was his pride, and many people can vouch for a lucky wedding who had the good fortune to be patronised by the Black Cat of St Clement Danes, which walked solemnly down the aisle of the church in front of the happy couples.

" My old pet, Peter, was a black and white cat, and, like most of his kind, was one of the most remarkable cats for intelligence I have ever known. A recital of his accomplishments would, however, have very few believers, a fact I find existing in regard to all really intelligent cats. There are so many cats of an opposite character, and people will rarely take more than a momentary trouble to win the finer nature of an animal into existence. Suffice it to say, that Peter would lie and die, sit up with spectacles on his nose and with a postcard between his paws, a trick I have taught many people's cats to do. He would also mew silent mews when bid, and wait at the door for my home-coming. For a long time, too, it was customary to hear weird footfalls at night outside the bedroom doors, and visitors to the house were a little more superstitious as to their cause than we were ourselves. We set a watch upon the supposed ghost, but sudden opening of the doors discovered only the mystic form of Peter sitting purring on the stairs.

" He was, however, ultimately caught in the act of lifting the corner of the doormat, and letting it fall back in its place, and he had grown quite expert in his method of raising and dropping it at regular intervals, until he heard that his signals had produced the required effect, and the door was opened to admit him. Watch your own cat, and you will see that he will change his sleeping quarters occasionally, and if he can find a newspaper conveniently placed, he will prefer it to lie upon before anything, perhaps except a cane-bottomed chair, to which all cats are very partial. If you keep a number of cats, as I do, you will find them very imitative, and what one gets in the habit of doing they will all do in time. For instance, one of my cats took to sitting with his front paws inside my tall hat and his body outside, and this has become a catty fashion in the family, whether the object be a hat, cap, bonnet, small basket, box or tin."

I remember when Mr Harrison Weir's charming book, Our Cats, came out in 1889, I was much struck with the account he gave (p. 87) of a cat belonging to a granary at Sevenoaks, in Kent, where the distinguished author then lived, catching two mice at once, and I really thought his informant had " drawn the long bow."

But some time afterwards, when I was living at Laurel Bank, Downend, Gloucestershire, on going into the stable, accompanied by a white and black cat, Magpie, whose portrait illustrates my sketch of that variety in this book, before I noticed what he was after, made a dash like lightning, and I saw mice flying in all directions, and on looking closely at Magpie, who was standing stock still with his front paws firmly placed on the ground, I noticed he had part of a mouse hanging out of each side of his mouth and one held under each front claw.

So, as seeing is believing, I withdrew my doubts as to the former story, and the next time I saw Mr Weir told him of the confirmation it had received with one of my own cat's doings.

This Magpie was the most inveterate vermin killer I ever saw. It was quite a mania with him, he entirely freed our premises from all rats and mice, and afterwards I gave him to an old servant of ours who had married a corn dealer, as she told me they were overrun with rats and mice, and Magpie so distinguished himself by his exploits amongst them that he was a valuable acquisition, and ended his days as a treasured member of the com- munity, finding ample opportunity for the display of his talents.

An instance is given by Smellie of a cat that was in the habit of frequenting a cupboard, the door of which was fastened by a common iron latch ; a window was placed near the door ; when the door was shut the cat suffered no uneasiness, so soon as she was tired of the cupboard she mounted on the window-sill, opened the latch of the door and came out this practice she continued for years.

I think I can beat this story with one of my own which applies to two different cats, both short hairs, one a red tabby known at shows as Lord Rufus, but with the private name of Fritz, whose portrait appears in this book, and the other a black female who had the faculty of generally including one pure white kitten in her litters, although she had not a white hair upon her, and had won many prizes in the classes for black females.

Both these cats had acquired the accomplishment of taking the round door handle in their two paws and turning it to open a door ; many a time when they have been shut in the kitchen of a night have I known them do this, when they wanted to come into the room where I was sitting.

Lord Rufus, the red tabby, was fond of outdoor life, and spent the days and early part of the nights about the place searching for rats, mice and birds ; he would go after the latter when roosting in the ivy on some of the garden walls, with much success.

Laurel Tiddles, the black, had a habit which would be trying to nervous persons, but, fortunately, she nearly always selected me for its exercise. If she caught sight of me walking 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 vigour of her expressions of delight at her feat. I am afraid she was stolen, as she disappeared one day and I could never obtain any tidings about her. One who had seen the performance mentioned he had observed a cat seated on a table make several efforts to put her head into a long narrow vessel containing milk. Finding the aperture too small to admit her head, she reconsidered the situation, and at last dipped one of her fore paws into the milk, licked it carefully with her tongue, and con- tinued to help herself in this way till her appetite was satisfied.

I remember when I was in lodgings in London, my landlady, who was an inveterate cat lover, had a large red tabby long hair with several accomplishments, such as jumping through her hands, sitting up like a dog, "walking like a gentleman," which consisted in strutting along on the tips of his toes in a sort of mincing gait, with his large tail held straight up in the air.

As a reward for this he was always given some milk in a little jug, and he used to drink it in the way mentioned above, by dipping in one fore paw after the other, and then licking them dry.

I read an account in the Monthly Magazine of a cat that was the means of identifying murderers :

"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 cup- board, 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."

It has been affirmed that the cat has no individual attachment to man ; yet instances occur every day to contradict this assertion.

A cat frequently recognises that individual in the family who shows it the greatest kindness, and instances constantly occur where it will follow persons about the house and gardens like a dog.

We know a cat which was so much attached to a young lady that it followed her even when out on horse- back.

Pennant mentions that when the Earl of Southampton, the friend and companion of the Earl of Essex in his fatal insurrection, was confined in the Tower of London, he was surprised by a visit from his favourite cat, which it is said obtained access to its master by descending the chimney of his apartment.

Lawrence, in the History of the Horse, relates an anecdote of the attachment of a black cat, for the celebrated Arabian horse, Godolphin.

These two animals were friends for many years, and when at last the horse died, the cat had to be removed by force from his dead body. She crawled away with extreme reluctance, and was found dead in a hayloft some time afterwards.

There was a hunter in the stables of His late Majesty King George IV., at Windsor, to which a cat was so attached, that when he was in the stable she would never leave her usual seat upon the horse's back ; and the latter was so pleased with her attention, that to accommodate his little friend, he slept, as horses sometimes do, standing.

This, however, was thought to affect his health, and the cat was at length removed to a distant part of the country.

The cat readily associates with other domesticated animals. It is no infrequent thing to see the cat and dog of the house asleep on the rug in each other's embraces.

A French lady taught her dog, cat, mouse and bird to feed together from the same plate ; and we know how often in the happy families, occasionally seen in our public streets, one or more cats are included in those miscellaneous gatherings of animated nature.

A tame fox, belonging to a correspondent, not only shares his meals with a neighbour's cat, but makes no objection to the saucy sparrows, and even sometimes pigeons, who descend to pick up any unconsidered trifles remaining from his repast.

Cats are known to have an especial talent for finding their way back to a home for which they had acquired a liking. I have personally known many such cases, but I will relate one I believe to be perfectly true :

The late Mr Shortreed, Sheriff-Substitute of Roxburghshire, once sent a cat from the neighbourhood of Jedburgh to a friend in Liddesdale.

She was put into a bag, and despatched by the carriers'

* cart. Thus mewed up, it is quite impossible she could from observation have acquired any knowledge of the geography of the country, and yet she contrived to find her way back to her old home, a distance of nearly thirty miles, long before the return of the carrier.

My own idea is, that cats when at large explore the surrounding country, probably for many miles, particularly those cats which are allowed out at night, when few people are about, and by this means become acquainted with the leading features of the locality they are in, and, in case of being Sent away, turn their knowledge to account should they desire to return to the old home.

Nothing can exceed the affection of the mother cat, for her kittens, she tends them with the utmost care and is always on the watch to supply them amply with food.

If she fancies any danger threatens them, she is often seen to carry them, one by one, to a place of safety, and, if any are taken away from her, makes every effort to discover and restore the missing offspring.



A SINGULAR instance of the provident anticipations of a cat expecting a family is thus given in the Library of Entertaining Knowledge :

" A short time before a cat produced kittens, she was observed to hoard up several mice and young rats which she did not quite kill, but lamed to prevent their escape.

" One day after dinner, when our informant was sitting with a friend, the cat bounced into the room in eager chase of one of her maimed prisoners, a young rat, which had, it appeared from the report of the servants, been some days under surveillance in a back court.

" The rat sprang up the window curtains for safety, but being unable to retain its position there, was soon re-captured and borne away by his conqueror."

The taking away of her kittens should never be done wholly or at one time, as it invariably causes much suffering to the mother from the milk provided by nature for the nourishment of the kittens. This is no doubt the cause, or one of them, why cats are sometimes found suckling young animals of quite a different race to themselves.

Innumerable instances are recorded of this kind:-

In White's Natural History of Selborne, the author says :

" My friend had a little helpless leveret (young hare) brought to him, which the servants fed with milk in a spoon, and about the same time his cat kittened, and the young were despatched and buried. The young hare disappeared and was supposed to be gone the way of most foundlings, killed by some dog or cat.

" However, in about a fortnight, as the owner was sitting in his garden in the dusk of the evening, he observed the cat, with tail erect, trotting towards him and calling with little short notes of complacency, such as they use towards their kittens, and something gambolling after, which proved to be the leveret that the cat had supported with her milk and continued to nourish with great affection." In the notes to a late edition of same work, instances are given of cats transferring their attentions in rearing, and tending two young ducklings, a young lark, etc.

Mr Brodrip mentions the singular circumstance of a cat that had been deprived of its young adopting and nursing the young progeny of a rat.

The following is given on undoubted authority from a work already quoted :

" A cat and bitch belonging to a lady chanced to have young at the same time. The cat not liking the place assigned to her for her kittens, carried them, without having been noticed to do so, into a drawer containing clothes, etc., which was soon afterwards pushed in and the kittens imprisoned in it. In the meantime, the bitch, having gone out of doors, was either stolen or killed, as she never returned to her pups. These were found out and adopted by the cat. A day or two after this singular adoption, the kittens were discovered in the drawer so nearly starved that they all died, except one, within a week. The cat, however, continued to nurse both this one and her adopted pups till they were able to do without her attention "

There is probably no kind of food that cats show a greater liking for than fish, and many instances have been recorded of their catching them alive.

Mr Moody, of Jesmond, near Newcastle, had for some years a cat in his possession that was skilful in catching fish, and frequently brought them home alive.

Besides minnows and eels she occasionally captured pilchards, one of which, about six inches long, was found in her possession. She also contrived to teach the cat of a neighbour to fish, and the two were often seen by the river's side watching. At other times they were seen on opposite sides of the river, not far from each other, on the look-out for their prey.

The following still more extraordinary account of a cat fishing in the sea appeared in the Plymouth Journal:

" There is at the Battery on the Devil's Point, a cat which is an expert catcher of the finny tribe, being in the constant habit of diving into the sea and bringing up the fish alive in her mouth, and depositing them in the guard- room for the use of the soldiers. She is now about seven years old and has long been a useful caterer. It is sup posed that her pursuit of the water rats first taught her to venture into the water, to which it is well known cats have a natural aversion. She is as fond of the water as a Newfoundland dog, and takes her regular peregrinations along the rocks at the edge of the seashore, looking out for her prey, ready to dive after them at a moment's notice."

We also recollect a cat who spent the greater part of her time on the banks of a stream, living on small fish which she caught there, but she also, in the first instance, seemed to be attracted by the water rats, whom she used to pursue into the water.

My old friend and neighbour, Dr William Murray, with whom I have spent many a pleasant hour, and whose wife was a sister of the well-known dramatic author and novelist, J. M. Barrie, told me that when he was a young man he lived in a small place in Dumfriesshire, and was in the habit of going to fish and sometimes to bathe in the River Annan. At that time he owned a large white- haired cat called Beelzebub, not from his disposition, which was amiable and affectionate, but on account of his appearance, which was peculiar, his colour being pure white all over with a black spot or smudge covering his head, face and ears, which gave a most sinister appearance to his countenance.

This cat was a constant companion on his master's visits to the river, and on one occasion, when the doctor was bathing, he was surprised to see the cat plunge into the river, swim towards him and spring on his shoulders, as he frequently did on land, and in that way was borne to the bank.

Ever afterwards the cat was observed to visit the river on his own account, and swim after the small fry, driving them into shallow water, catching and making a meal of them, and never seemed troubled with the natural aversion generally felt by cats to water, but would plunge boldly in and swim about like a dog.

In confirmation of my expressed opinion that cats possess affection for people even more than for places, the doctor told me that when, after a long absence, he returned to the house, where he had left his old favourite, the cat came into the room, and at once jumped on his knee and showed delight at their meeting by every means in his power, and, when the doctor left the house, accompanied him as far as the bridge over the river, which was evidently associated in his mind with their former fishing and bathing experiences.

Most of us are familiar with the legend of " Puss in Boots," but I think " Puss in Spectacles " is still more strange and unusual.

The Deoptic and Ophthalmometric Review, certainly not a likely source for fairy tales or throwing the hatchet, is responsible for the following, and as the periodical referred to is the organ of the British Optical Association, it may be taken as thoroughly reliable :

" A well-known lady who possesses a pet Maltese cat recently found her cat's eyesight begin to fail, so she took him to an oculist.

"By means of a modelled representation of a mouse, the oculist carefully ascertained what was the matter, and was able to fit his interesting patient with suitable glasses, the lenses were set in gold frames specially made for the purpose, and the result was so satisfactory that the eye-sight of the cat became as good, or better, than before."

I have known cases of artificial limbs being fitted to cattle and dogs, and false eyes and teeth supplied to the latter, but I think it so unusual for artificial aids to vision being supplied to any animals, that I think the above worthy of mention in these pages relating to cats.

Amongst my many pets was a large and handsome long-haired red tabby, who rejoiced in the aristocratic name of Marmaduke when at shows, where he won many prizes at different times, but when at home was known as Yellow Boy, and was a sociable, amiable fellow with human beings, but somewhat aggressive with his own species.

I. was rather amused one day when I met one of my nearest neighbours, who owned a large short-haired tabby and white male, that had the reputation of being a " bit of a boxer," and he said to me, " That yaller cat of yours is a hot 'un, and no mistake." " How so ? " I asked. "Why," he said, "he came into our garden yesterday, and I'm blessed if he didn't pitch into our cat, and give him a downright good hiding, on his own ground never seen such a thing in my life ! "

I endeavoured to offer some apologies for the misdoings of my "yaller cat," but I firmly believe he had considerably raised himself in my neighbour's opinion by successfully carrying his warlike operations into the enemy's camp, and that his own cat, the larger and heavier animal, had gone down in his estimation at not being able to resist the daring intruder within his gates.

The following were related to me by Mr Gosney, of Leeds :

A cat belonging to Mrs Wood, an aunt of Mr Gosney 's who resided at Hunslet near Leeds, was so devoted to its mistress, that when her death took place she refused all food or consolation, and was shortly after- wards found lying dead, stretched out on the grave of her mistress.

A black cat of Mr Gosney's formed a strong affection for the wife and daughter of her owner, but for none else. On the occasion of their going on a visit to Harrogate, she was restless and disconsolate until their return, when she showed her joy by every demonstration in her power.

The same cat had a great aversion to children, some of whom used to come on Sunday afternoons to visit their grandparents, and at such times the cat was nowhere to be seen, but would make her reappearance immediately after the children had taken their departure.

When I moved to my present residence, I took over from the last tenant a large short-haired black cat we called Lord Sultan, who lived with us until his death, a few years since. He spent most of his time about the place out of doors, even in wet or cold weather he seemed to prefer life in the open air.

He had a great objection to being taken up, and though not bad-tempered at other times, if he thought he was going to be lifted, as was occasionally necessary when he was wanted for any show, would throw himself down on his side and be ready with all four sets of claws to lay hold of anyone attempting to touch him. He was very jealous of any other male cats on the place, and had several pitched battles with Silver Star, a handsome silver tabby I had at that time.

This Silver Star was rather a character in his way, and the terror of all the torn cats in our neighbourhood ; he was let out for exercise and recreation twice a day, morning and afternoon, and usually devoted most of his leisure to seeking for, and polishing off, any of the cats in the surrounding district, so that when I heard any unusually piercing feline cries, the first thing I asked was whether Silver Star was at large, as I knew he would be in the thick of any fight that was going on ; but if within sound of my voice he would come back when called, often in a very excited state from his recent exertions to uphold his position as champion. He was a handsome cat, and took many prizes during his show career.

I do not know whether other breeders have found silver tabby short hairs, especially males, more inclined to stand on their dignity than others, but I have had several that were decidedly very warlike in their disposition.

One in particular, whose private name was Victor, but in public assumed the title of " Champion Laurel King," and as his father was " Champion King of the Fancy/' and his mother, my " Champion Laurel Queen " (said to be the best short-haired female cat of any variety ever shown, and own sister to Mrs George Herring's celebrated " Champion Jimmy," who probably took more first prizes and specials than any other short-haired male cat ever brought out), he was of the most aristocratic pedigree obtainable.

Whether, when he was at large, his pride of race was too much for him, or whether he was short-tempered as well as short-haired I cannot say, as he was always most gentle and amiable with us, and I have never heard any complaint of his behaviour at shows, where he was so often to be seen amongst the prize-winners, as on the few occasions when he was beaten, it was usually by his own mother, if shown in a mixed class ; but he was dictatorial and aggressive with all sorts and conditions of other cats, and if he caught sight of one would dart after it with all speed, and literally make the fur fly in his deter- mined attack on his adversary, seeming to consider he combined in himself not only a recognised champion of short-haired cats, but of the race of domestic cats, when- ever he found them.

In consequence of this peculiarity, I was obliged to keep him in much more restricted liberty than any other of my cats, as he was too valuable to be risked and did not object to going long distances to meet with a foeman worthy of his steel. His portrait, that of his mother and uncle, appear in my sketch of the Short-haired Silver Tabby Cat, and I hope will give my readers a good idea of that beautiful variety, which I think has no superior.

The following will show how one of the many silly prejudices which exist in the minds of those who really know little or nothing about the animal, caused the destruction of the cat :

" A cat which had long been remarked as one of the wildest of those frequenting a barn belonging to a farm on the borders of a wood in Argyllshire, so wild, indeed, as to be seldom even seen by any of the people about the place, was observed on several occasions during a severe frost to pass and repass into the adjacent farmhouse, which caused no little surprise, as it had not for some years been known either to enter or even approach the premises.

" Had it not been the best season for catching birds and abundance of rats and mice about the place, it might have been inferred that it was impelled by hunger.

"But on one of these stealthy visits, it was found snugly coiled up in the infant's cradle, to the horror of the mother, who imagined, in accordance, with a popular idea amongst ignorant people, that it had come with the object of * sucking away the baby's breath.'

" All that could be said to persuade her of the impossibility of the cat doing this, and that it had merely selected the cradle for its warmth and softness, was of no avail, and orders were immediately given to all the servants on the farm to kill the poor cat wherever she might be found.

" Her caution and agility were long successful in saving her, and though the persecution she suffered rendered her, if possible, much wilder than before, yet she was not thereby deterred, not even by the showers of missiles which assailed her on every appearance, from paying constant visits to the cradle, because it was the warmest place within her knowledge, and she considered warmth as indispensable as life.

" She persisted thus in venturing to the cradle, till she was at last intercepted and killed."

One of the most remarkable properties of the domestic cat is the anxiety with which it makes itself acquainted not only with every part of its usual habitation, but with the dimensions and external qualities of every object by which it is surrounded.

Cats do not at once readily adapt themselves to a change of residence, but I have watched the process usually adopted by those whose attachment to the family is assured in reconciling themselves to such a change.

Every room in the house is surveyed from the garret to the cellars, if a door is shut waiting patiently until it is open to complete the survey ; ascertaining the relative size and position of every article of furniture, and when this knowledge has been acquired sitting down contented with the new situation.

It appears to be necessary to a cat to be intimately acquainted with every circumstance of the position, in the same way that a general first examines the face of the country in which he is to conduct his operations.

If a new piece of furniture, if even a large book or portfolio is newly placed in a room which a cat frequents, it walks round it, smells it, takes note of its size and appearance, and then never troubles itself further about the matter.

This is probably an instinctive quality, and I have no doubt that wild cats, and as I have before said domestic cats also that enjoy much liberty, take a survey of every tree or stone, every gap in brake or thicket, and every road or path within the ordinary range of their operations.

The whiskers of the cat, as in the cases of lions and other large cats, enable them to ascertain the space through which the bodies may pass without the inconvenience of attempting an impossible passage.

A correspondent relates a case where a boy brought him three young squirrels which he had taken from their nest in a tall fir tree. The little creatures were placed under a cat that had recently lost her kittens, and he found that she at once took to them and suckled them with the same care and affection, as if they had been her own progeny.

At Elford, near Lichfield, the Rev. Mr Sawlay secured the young leverets from a hare which had been shot. His cat, which had just lost her own kittens, carried them away one by one in her mouth, intending, it was supposed, to make a meal of them ; but it presently appeared it was maternal affection, not hunger, which impelled her prompt action in the matter, as she suckled them with the utmost care and attention, and brought them up as their mother.

Many of my readers will have heard of and perhaps seen cats which were said by their owners to be more than a match for any dog. One I remember as a boy belonging to a man with I think the uncommon name of Bones, who kept a barber's shop in Nicholas Street, Bristol, before it was widened out and made the important thoroughfare it has since become.

It was a trick with its owner to stand at the door of his shaving saloon in his leisure moments with the cat on his shoulder, and sometimes if he saw a dog coming along, particularly if alone, to let the cat down on its back ; in nineteen cases out of twenty the dog, thus taken by surprise, would run away howling, but one day he made a mistake in his customer, jerked the cat on to a well-bred bull terrier that was passing, who at once threw it off its back and killed it in a few minutes.

The barber found out the owner of the dog and sued him for the value of his cat, but it was proved not only that the cat was the aggressor, but that it had been done many times before, and the case was given against the barber, with costs.

I remember my friend, R. H. Moore, the well-known animal painter, telling me of an incident which occurred to him.

He was out in his own neighbourhood, and being, as one can see from his pictures, a keen lover of animals, had one of his dogs, a Scottish terrier, with him.

When he went into a shop the woman said he had better look out for his dog, as her cat was a terror to all the dogs in the district. My friend told her he was not at all anxious about his dog, who would take her own part in the general way.

Presently the cat made a rush for the dog, and jumped on her back ; she looked rather nonplussed for a moment as the attack was unexpected, but then she quickly reversed the order of affairs, the cat was on its back and the dog standing over it, and its days would have been ended then and there but for my friend's interference.

He kindly gave me the rough pencil sketches he made at the time, and which I greatly value, of what I call " Turning the Tables."

I had an unpleasant experience of something of the same kind with almost the first dog I ever bought with my own money ; this was a Mustard Dandie whom I had proved to be a good rat killer, but was not aware she had an aversion to cats, until one day when she was out with me, and saw one bolt down the area steps of a house in a fashionable crescent, the bitch darted after her, and before I could stop her, as the gate was locked, she had settled the cat on its own threshold.



I REMEMBER a friend of mine getting into trouble in somewhat the same way. He was out with a bull terrier, who ran after and killed a stray cat before he could get to them : and a policeman coming along just then, he was summoned and fined for cruelty to animals, although he was quite powerless to prevent what took place.

Cats sometimes get into difficulties on their own account. I remember one of mine, a black tabby, or short-haired smoke, apparently having fallen into a tub of whitewash or some such stuff at some buildings which were being put up in our neighbourhood.

We cleaned off every portion of it possible, but it had the effect of removing all her hair, and she was as bare as those hairless dogs we sometimes see, and a most pitiable object, even to her tail.

Her body was dressed all over with an oily mixture to nourish the coat and exclude the air, and we had the satisfaction of seeing her make a complete recovery, with a better coat than before ; she was an old favourite, and we did not like the idea of having her destroyed, and she lived to a good old age.

The same cat formed a close friendship with a cockatoo and a brindled toy bull terrier, which then formed part of our household ; although the dog was a sworn enemy to any other cats, he and this cat would lie together on the hearth-rug, and when the cat was foraging at the stand forming the base of the cockatoo's perch, for anything to her liking dropped by the bird, cockie would slide down her pole and caress the cat with her beak, and it was a favourite practice of hers on these occasions to take hold of the cat's tail and run it through her beak, doing it very gently, and as a sort of friendly recognition of the relations between them.

We lived for many years at Laurel Bank, Downend, in Gloucestershire, where we had seven or eight acres about the place, and our nearest neighbour was a Mr Samuel Rogers, who kept a number of prize-bred poultry, principally Black Hawburghs, Bantams, and Silkies, which used to be running in a paddock adjoining part of our grounds. Amongst our cats, at that time, was a very large and handsome black Persian, a great winner of prizes, and whose private name was Gipsy.

I suppose there must have been something irresistibly fascinating about the chickens of the poultry I have mentioned, as on several occasions Gipsy made his appearance with one of them in his mouth, to our intense annoyance, as we felt there were likely to be "strained relations" in consequence with our neighbours.

I went in, taking back the chicks, which were always quite uninjured, explained the state of the case and entered into a compact with them, that Gipsy should be let out for exercise and recreation twice a day, and before his release a big bell (like as is seen at railway stations) should be rung, to give warning of the approach of the enemy, when they shut up all the smaller birds, and we never had any more trouble about the matter.

Gipsy never troubled about adult birds, and I think caught the others more for fun than anything else, as he never attempted to eat them, or objected to their being taken away after he had shown his cleverness in catching them.

In speaking of Short-haired White Cats I mentioned a large specimen we had called Sam that took an immense number of prizes and always kept himself in the height of perfection, although except at night he was rarely indoors, no matter what the weather was, and never seemed affected by cold, as he would go out in the snow at any time.

Although it would be supposed his noticeable colour would be greatly against his success, he was the most adroit bird catcher I ever saw, never catching less than one or two every day, and I firmly believe he mainly got his own living in that way, as he was one of the smallest eaters of all our cats, but a big-bodied animal and never seemed to get out of condition.

He was immensely popular with us but most unsociable with strangers, although never bad-tempered, but reserved in the highest degree.

The brown tabby, Laurel Quar, I spoke of in the sketch of that variety, was purchased by a stone-cutter in our district, of a boy who had been ordered to drown him in the pond in a quarry, hence his name, and after he came into my hands he took many prizes at our largest shows, and was one of the best really brown tabbies I have seen for many years, so many of that supposed colour being greyish where they should be brown.

About five years since there was a man who went under the name of Leonidas, who had been very success- ful as a trainer of performing dogs and cats. The following are some of his experiences of the latter :

" I train my dogs and cats by kindness and patience, oh ! so much patience.

" The main thing is to get them to understand what you want them to do, and then they do it quickly enough ; I am sure dogs and cats reason up to a certain point.

" They can reason sufficiently to understand what I want them to do. It isn't imitation, because I never show them what I want done, but explain what I wish, and tell them to do it.

" Dogs have more reason than cats, and are far easier to train.

" Cats are capricious, and must be coaxed all the time ; if you let a cat know you are trying to make it do a thing, it won't do it ; one must always be kind to them.

"To teach them new tricks, I tell them what I want done, and flatter them into doing it. For instance, when I wanted to teach Mimisse, the cat, to climb up a rope the full height of the stage, open and enter a basket attached to a parachute, which I let loose, I hold her on the rope and say, ' Up, up, up ! ' petting her all the time.

" Soon she knew that it would please me if she would go up, and up she started. When she got to the top, I told her to open the basket and get in.

" She understood what I meant, because she is accustomed to open the lid and enter a basket, held in the mouth of one of my performing dogs.

" I let the parachute down very gently at first, but after she had done the trick several times I could bring it down as suddenly as I pleased.

" The time required for learning a new trick depends, both on the nature of the trick itself and upon the individual intelligence of each one of the pupils. The things which look hardest to the audience are often the simplest of the whole performance. I never dare to punish the cats at all, they are too contrary in their disposition ; I believe if I struck one of them, it would never act again.

" It takes a long time to get an idea into a cat's head. When I was teaching my company the circus act, 1 almost gave up in despair. The dogs act as horses and the cats as riders. A dog trots round the ring, passing under a chair on which sits a cat ; as the dog comes out from under the chair, the cat springs on his back, and jumps back on the chair when the circuit is completed.

" It is very hard for the cat to get a good grip, especially on short-haired dogs, and they used their claws at first to keep them from falling off. This, of course, hurt the dogs, and they would shake the cats off.

" It took me months of patient instruction to teach the cats that they must hold on by the pressure of their legs and feet, and not use their claws at all. These things require much time, patience and flattery, if success is to be obtained."

" A correspondent of a once popular weekly journal, under the initials R. D., and who had evidently never heard of Manx cats, writes as follows :

" In the parish of Peniswick, Hamlet of Shepscombe, there was some time since, and most probably there is now, a singular breed of cats.

" I had an opportunity of seeing one of them in the house of Mr Neville, the clergyman. These cats have no tails whatever, being like some shepherd's dogs, guileless of the shadow of a tail. But what is still more extraordinary, they neither walk nor trot across the room, all their movements are precisely those of the rabbit. Thus, instead of walking they hop, whether at a slow or fast pace. With the exception of a deficiency in the caudal appendage, the animal is in all other respects a perfect cat. I could not, though I made diligent inquiry, learn anything satisfactory as to the origin of these animals, which have so much the resemblance of a cross between bunny and grimalkin."

The above paragraph elicited a reply in a subsequent number of the periodical from a correspondent, giving the initials M. R., and ran as follows :

" I have much pleasure in answering an inquiry relative to a race of cats without tails, one of which is stated to have belonged to a clergyman at Shepscombe, Glo. :

" Having lived many years in that locality, and possessed one of the tailless cats, I can give you every particular on the subject.

" Mr Neville first brought a kitten without a tail from the Isle of Man ; she became on growing up the parent of numerous progeny. One of the kittens was given to my mother, and a more gentle, amiable and affectionate little quadruped never acquired the affection of a household.

" Her fur was light tortoiseshell in colour, and remarkably soft. She was somewhat more delicate than many of her grimalkin neighbours, and as regards her tail, it was about half an inch long, merely a little tuft.

" But we did not observe that the want of that natural rudder prevented her from running in a straight line, or climbing trees most admirably.

" Her movements were remarkably graceful and cat- like in all respects, and I never observed in her actions or mode of progressing the slightest similarity to those of the Rabbit family.

" One or two of her kittens were nearly, if not quite, without tails occasionally she had long-tailed kittens ; her mother, as I have said, came from the Isle of Man."

From the foregoing I have no doubt that the cat described by R. D. was a pure Manx, and the one in the paragraphs above a half-bred Manx, taking after the dam in tail but with the action of its long- tailed sire, and the fact that such specimens are occasionally exhibited in Manx and Variety Classes is my reason for saying in my sketch about Manx cats that all cats even born without tails are not necessarily pure-bred specimens of the variety.

The following extract from the Animal Biography, published in 1805, although of course antiquated in its language, is not without interest to the readers of the present day :

" Instances are very common of cats returning of their own accord to the places from whence they have been carried ; though at a distance of many miles, and even across rivers where they could not possibly have had any knowledge either of the road or the direction that would lead them to it.

" This may perhaps arise from their having been acquainted in their former habitation with all the retreats of the mice and the passages and outlets of the house, and from the disadvantages which they must experience in these particulars by changing their residence.

"No experiment can be more beautiful than that of setting a kitten for the first time before a looking- glass.

" The animal appears surprised and pleased with the resemblance, and makes several attempts at touching its new acquaintance, and at length, finding its efforts fruit- less, it looks behind the glass and appears highly astonished at the absence of the figure. It again views itself and tries to touch the image with its foot, suddenly looking at intervals behind the glass.

"It then becomes more accurate in its observations, and begins, as it were, to make experiments by stretching out its paw in different directions, and when it finds that these motions are answered in every respect by the figure in the glass, it seems at length to be convinced of the real nature of the image.

" The same is the case with dogs at an early age.

" The sleep of the cat, though generally very slight, is, however, sometimes so profound that the animal requires to be shaken pretty briskly before it can be awakened.

" This particularly takes place chiefly in the depth of winter, and on the approach of snowy weather. At such periods, as well as at some others, the cat diffuses a fragrant smell somewhat like that of cloves.

"It has been remarked that the eyes of cats always shine with a bright light when they are in the dark.

"It is generally supposed they can see in the dark, but though this is not absolutely the case, it is certain they can see with much less light than most other animals, owing to the peculiar structure of their eyes, the pupils of which are capable of being contracted or dilated in proportion to the degree of light by which they are affected.

" In the day time the pupil of the cat's eye is perpetually contracted, and sometimes into a mere line, for it is with difficulty that it can see by a strong light ; but in the twilight the pupil resumes its natural roundness, and the animal enjoys perfect vision.

"It appears somewhat singular that on plunging the head of a cat into water, although the animal be exposed to a very bright light the pupil should become immediately expanded to all its width.

"This, however, is to be accounted for on optical principles."

When the late Mr Baumgarten was at Damascus he saw there a kind of hospital for cats.

The house in which they were kept was very large, walled round, and was said to be quite full of them.

On inquiring into the origin of this singular institution, he was told that Mahomet, when he once lived there, brought with him a cat which he kept in the sleeve of his robe, and carefully fed with his own hands.

His followers in that place, therefore, ever afterwards paid a superstitious respect to those animals, and supported them in this manner by public alms, which were very adequate for the purpose.

The patience, vigilance, craft, utility and cleanliness of the cat have also obtained for it the highest degree of protection in the Eastern mythology ; so far, indeed, that it is there esteemed the noblest species of its tribe.

A curious fact in the natural history of the cat is related of one belonging to Dr Coventry, formerly Professor of Agriculture at Edinburgh, which was born perfect in all its parts, but lost its tail by an accident which took place when it was a youngster.

It had many litters of kittens, and in every one of these there was one or more that was wanting in tail, either wholly or partially.

The following is related by a correspondent, who knew the parties concerned, the circumstances and the cat, and confirms my opinion that when kindly treated cats attach themselves to persons more than to places.

The cat in question was sent when a kitten from Bath to Evesham, in Worcestershire, and formed a warm friendship with one of the sons of her master's opposite neighbour, who was an intimate friend and often at the house.

The young man left Evesham, but on his returning there he referred to his little friend the cat, whose owner had left the place and resided some ten miles off, and said he would go and call on her owner and see if the cat was still in the land of the living, and whether it would remember him.

Accordingly he made out his visit, and on his arrival the delight of the cat was so great that her owner con- sented to his bringing her back with him, that she might enjoy his company for the rest of his visit at Evesham, and she was so perfectly happy at being with him that she remained on the best of terms with the pet animals and birds at the strange home to which she was taken, and none of them ever exhibited any annoyance or jealousy at the introduction of the visitor.

She would sit on her friend's knee, and rub herself against his shoulders and face, purring loudly all the time. At meal times no choice morsel would tempt her from his side, and at night a snug bed was prepared for her and carried into her friend's bedroom, but even that would not satisfy her until some article of his clothing was placed in the basket for her to lie on. During his absence in the day time she would trot about the house, seeming quite at home, and, when tired of looking for her friend inside the house, would go into the garden and take up a position in one of the trees overlooking the road, and there patiently await his return. Once he was in sight she was happy.

Strange as the affection of this animal was, it was none the less extraordinary that she should come to a strange house, where all except one was quite new to her, yet never for an instant appeared lost or perplexed.

She made herself a favourite with one and all, and at the end of her friend's visit was sent back to her master's house, where she at once fell into her old habits, probably living in hopes some day again of seeing her old friend.

The following is an extract from an interesting article which appeared on cats in an old number of the Illustrated London News, and shows not only that there are grades in cat society, but that they can, as I have often noticed amongst dogs, recognise days and the voices of people in whom they are interested :

" A not uncommon phrase in households is that of the " parlour cat " and the * kitchen cat,' and I believe it to be an undoubted fact that there are differences in the character of the creatures, which somehow prompt the one to seek the cheerful light and talk of a sitting-room, and the other rather to brood and nestle in the gloomier but warmer regions below.

" The one is always seen conspicuously on the rug or stretched upon the footstool ; the other making casual appearance on the stairs and flying like a spectre on the approach of anyone but the cook.

" The one creature seems to have a sort of aristocracy in its nature, and it is all but uniformly the handsomer cat of the twain ; the other is most probably a vulgar plain plebeian with its original shyness still strongly present in it.

"Of my three cats two I reckon as parlour cats, and the third has been by kind usage and encouragement coaxed into a degree of the same familiarity. Still, however, the natural timidity seems unconquerable. If you make a rapid motion towards the creature she bounds away like a wild thing. Her two comrades, on the contrary, are frightened at nothing.

" The room, the occupants, the whole locality seem their own special sphere and natural dwelling-place ; and the only period of the day when the three appear to be merged into a common character, is as the hour for the visit of the cats' meat man approaches, when they are sure to be waiting at the door, and set up their sweet voices as soon as they hear that of the vendor of the food.

" It is to be remarked that they take not the slightest notice of the daily cry of a rival practitioner who perambulates the street at nearly the same time, and that on Sundays, when no such visit takes place, they never appear to expect the weekday ceremony, but are perfectly aware of a double quantity of their accustomed food being stowed away in a certain cupboard, round which they cluster with arching backs and waving tails."

People sometimes complain that kittens are pretty playful things, but that they lose the gentleness and piquant prettiness of their youth when they mature and grow into adult cats.

The complaint is most unreasonable, for the fact is that the playfulness of kittenhood (particularly with healthy good-tempered cats) can be partially kept up by a little encouragement even when they have grown into " potent, grave and reverend seigneurs," and can be induced to skip, roll and tumble in the most absurdly awkward mimicry of the small fry, which in the words of the late Mr Micawber have not "ceased to derive nourishment from nature's font."

The following account of a cat and dog friendship is related by a correspondent at Tottenham, who was an eye witness of the scene described :

"A few days ago I was present at a pretty and interesting scene at the house of a near relative.

" He is the owner of a King Charles Toy Spaniel named Hoppy, and a fine tabby cat known as Toodles.

' ' This frisky pair began their games shortly after my arrival and continued at intervals during the whole after- noon and evening. Never did I see cat and dog so thoroughly enjoy themselves Hoppy sprang on Toodles, who caught him by the neck and floored him.

"Then the order was reversed, Toodles being down. Now a regular wrestling and both down together. Up again, roll over each other. He making a grab at her tail finds her too quick for him and is caught by his own brush.

" She takes up her position with her back to the fender, and as he makes his spring she throws him. He now takes up the opposite position to her and the four paws of each of them move with wonderful rapidity.

" The most perfect good-humour prevails ; she never lets her claws be seen. There is no angry growling or barking. Such thoroughly good-tempered play I never before witnessed between a dog and a cat, and others besides the feline race might take a hint from what is here recorded."



SOME years since I saw a paragraph in that popular fanciers' paper, Fur and Feather^ giving short particulars of a cat which had taken to quite a novel recreation, being that of 'mountaineering, and its doings were duly chronicled in some of the local Swiss papers :

" The cat came upon the scene suddenly and no one knew from whence. It had already reached months of discretion when it took up its abode and profession in the mountain hospice, and was then to be seen most days at the foot of the Dent du Midi, not far from Salfaufe.

" Here this remarkable tabby came to meet the mountaineers on their start and followed them c like a dog ' ; only dogs do not, as a rule, show any fancy for the high Alps.

"It accompanied them to the very summit, and shared the climbers' frugal fare. Indeed, it is supposed to be for the sake of the broken fragments that this Alpine cat makes its daily ascent.

" Times had been bad for man and beast in the pouring rains, which had very much damped the autumn joys of the Swiss tourists in the Valais.

" Perhaps even cats found it hard to make an honest living, but surely a daily ascent of 3185 metres for the sake of a scanty lunch is to take life too seriously ; or is it that in lordly contempt of the canine race, the animal meant to emulate the St Bernards ? "

The two following are taken from the same paper and may interest some of my readers :

" There is a gambling house in Queen's County that has a cat different from the kind usually found in such places ; it is about seven months old and spent nearly all its life in the gaming establishment.

" From its first day in the gambling saloon the kitten showed great interest in the roulette wheel, the spinning ball and the whirling disc had apparently great fascinations, and it never tired of watching the game being played.

"While the croupier was whirling the ball, the cat occupied a position behind the duprack, where the ball could be watched, and the animal did not lose sight of the ivory pellet for a moment. None of the eager players watched it with more interest or attention. When the roulette game doses and the ball was placed in the little depression at the top of the spindle the cat began to enjoy itself. He knocked the ball off the pedestal, pulled it up to the edge of the wheel and sent it spinning round the groove. He gave the disc a whirl in the opposite direction and intently watched the wheel until the ball dropped into a pocket.

" The cat then stopped the wheel, pulled the ball out, and repeated the operation.

" This was continued for hours, and each time the ball and wheel were watched as closely as if one of the cat's proverbial nine lives depended on the result."

"A remarkable curiosity of natural history is re- ported from Swanage; a cat belonging to Miss Vincent, of the Victoria Royal Hotel, was the proud mother of four kittens, which she was rearing in a cow shed.

" One of the servants on going to the shed was surprised to find a rat suckling with the kittens, the cat nursing the rodent with as much solicitude as her own progeny.

" The interloper was remarkably tame, and it had to be forcibly removed from its comfortable nest, where it appeared to be on the best of terms with its feline foster mother."

The following is from a correspondent, a keen lover of animals :

" Some time since, calling at one of the bird shops existing at that time in Great Andrew Street, Holborn, to make a purchase, we saw running over the counters three of the prettiest squirrels we had ever clapped eyes on, quite young and very tame. Hot in pursuit of them was a young black and white cat about six months old, who pounced upon and caught the little creatures, one after the other, in her mouth.

" The whole party was in a state of the greatest delight and rushed helter-skelter into a large cage, the door of which stood open the owner of the shop closed the cage, which had wooden sides with wires front and back.

" It was most interesting to watch the motherly kindness of the cat towards her unusual playfellows. She fondled them one after the other ; licked them carefully all over with her rough tongue, and turned complete somersaults over their heads. They too were full of antics and did much the same with her ; never have we seen a prettier sight.

" Then they would all lie down tired together and curl themselves up, either on the cat's back or beneath her fore paws, which she raised to receive them. This cat, be it observed, is an excellent mouser, which makes the above-mentioned friendship all the more surprising, and these gambols are of daily occurrence.

" The mother of the young cat referred to had just kittened when we were there, and we advised her owner to associate them with the squirrels from the first ; running about together in a house in the country they would afford endless amusement ; as for their tricks and gambols, they would be indescribable."

My friend, Mr W. Isbell, of Clifton, who is not only a keen lover of all kinds of animals but is skilful in portraying their features in water-colours and oils, has sent me the following amongst other of his experiences :

" When we were living at Lydney, in Gloucestershire, we had a favourite female cat with one kitten, and as the latter was found dead with evidently the marks of teeth upon it, we supposed the mother had tired of her maternal cares and restrictions, and considered the shortest way to bring them to an end was to remove the cause. She was accordingly strongly suspected and severely scolded for her unnatural behaviour, but no punishment was administered.

" Very shortly afterwards, the cat made her way into the dining-room, bearing in her mouth the body of a fine freshly-killed stoat, clearly for the purpose of vindicating her maternal character by the production of the actual murderer of her kitten, whom she had just caught and despatched.

" Some cats are very fond of exhibiting to their owners the results of their prowess. A large neuter cat of ours used frequently to catch chickens and young pullets and bring them in alive in his mouth to prove how clever he was, though they were always taken from him and restored to the fowl-yard.

" For some time we had a tame pigeon we called Anthony, who shared the kitchen hearthrug with a cat and her kitten, and if the latter mewed when the mother was absent, Anthony would go in search of her and drive her to the kitten by sweeping her towards it with his tail in the way pigeons are observed to do when driving a hen to her nest."

I may add a note of my own experience to the above. When we lived at Long Ashton, in Somersetshire, many years since, we had a large female short-haired black cat, and our next neighbour was Farmer Keedwell, whose barton adjoined our orchards, and had a number of ricks of hay, corn, etc., which probably afforded a fine hunting ground in the way of rats and mice.

It was a common practice when I was leaving home in the mornings to find Topsy in the front garden awaiting my departure with the results of her latest efforts laid out for my approval, consisting of one or more dead rats ; and this occurred on so many occasions and always in the same place in the garden which I must pass on my way to the gate, that I am sure it was done for the purpose of showing she was doing her duty. This cat, which by his particular desire I left behind me when my friend, Mr Thomas Davy, took the place off my hands, was the mother of the black tabby I before mentioned as falling into the whitewash, as he kindly sent me the latter, knowing what a high opinion I entertained of her mother's qualities. One peculiarity of the daughter I omitted to mention was her utter fearlessness with dogs, and she had many hair-breadth escapes with the number I kept.

I remember one occasion when I lived at Cedar Lodge, Downend, and had twelve or fifteen out at exercise on the lawns. At that time most of them were Dandies, Skyes, Fox Terriers and Sheepdogs, with a few Bulldogs and others. I was alone with my kennelman only, when suddenly I noticed Lunatic, the name I gave to the black tabby, sitting calmly in the centre of one of the lawns quite surrounded with dogs !

I was horrorstruck for a moment, as I knew if she moved she would be torn in pieces, so shouted to Hale to call off the dogs while I slowly approached the cat, picked her up, and shut her in the greenhouse.

I am pleased to say she survived all her risks and died of old age in her nineteenth year, and was well and active till a few days before her death.

Mr James Kilpatrick tells a wonderful tale of a cat's reasoning powers :

"I have a cat that is a great bird hunter; a few days ago, while sitting in the porch of my house, I noticed her digging industriously in one corner of the garden.

" This was an unusual proceeding, so I kept my eyes on her to see what was her object, and 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."

Mrs Margaret Peete, of Brooklyn, is the legal guardian of a cat named Pinky, who is nine years old, and came into her possession by the will of her late mother, Mrs Amelia Van Vleck, who died some eight or nine years since.

In her will, Mrs Van Vleck set aside 200 dollars (40) per annum for the maintenance of her cat.

Under the watchful eye and care of her guardian, Pinky has grown sleek and fat, and has managed to consume the proceeds of her allowance every year. Tender chops and all the delicacies of the season are her daily fare.

I am indebted to the Animal's Friend for the following :

4 ' A young man at Eastbourne, not yet twenty-five years of age, is in the last stage of slow decline, having been ill for the last seven years.

"About a year ago a very small kitten entered the house and was turned out again, but persisted in her efforts, and was allowed to stay. It attached itself to the invalid and became his constant companion. Shortly afterwards a copy of the Children's Supplement was sent to him with the picture of a kitten greatly resembling his favourite. His mother cut out the picture, framed it, and placed it on the mantelpiece. The invalid was much pleased with it, and asked to have the picture placed in his coffin when he died.

" This will be done, and so this little stray kitten has been the means of affording pleasure and interest to the last days of the invalid, and the cat has become a valued member of the household with which she was so determined to associate herself."

The following is from that popular paper, The People :

4 ' It is, of course, a well-known fact that animals teach their young what they have learnt by experience, and there can be but little doubt that those which have been educated by man will at times endeavour to impart their knowledge to their less accomplished brethren, amongst whom it frequently happens that apt pupils are found, who become so proficient as to surpass their teachers in the arts.

" This, however, does not appear to be the case with the kitten of the next-door neighbour of one of our correspondents, whose educated Pete was endeavouring to put it through the facings of one of his great accomplishments, as the following will show.

" Pete, the torn cat, was sitting at the back door, side by side with the neighbour's kitten, which he has taken under his protection.

"Presently we saw him sit up on his hind quarters, an accomplishment commonly called begging, which he has been taught, and does to perfection.

" He repeated this several times, all the while looking at the kitten, which, in its turn, was staring at Pete with all its might, until, probably frightened at such extraordinary behaviour, it suddenly escaped over the wall of the yard.

"It is permissible to infer that Pete wanted to teach the kitten his accomplishment."

"The Animal's Friend" that rightly-named paper, is responsible for the following on the vanity of cats :

" We have heard the story of the mare who was being ridden along Birdcage Walk and nearly threw her rider by stopping to look at her reflection in a pool of water.

" The late Dr Romanes tells an interesting story of cats who used to regard themselves, or their reflections, in looking-glasses, and at last convinced themselves of their being illusions."

Now, we know that cats like to be taken notice of, and the more attention they are paid the more effusively patronising they become, until there is scarcely any part of your anatomy they do not crawl over and test their claws upon.

A writer in Science Gossip says he is satisfied that an intelligent cat of his, on looking in the mirror, satisfied himself that it was in some way his own image.

" Even if my deduction be wrong, the first part of his proceedings was so singularly like those in Dr Romanes' accounts that it seems a uniform law of cat nature to act in this way, and so far it may not be altogether un- interesting. I put the cat on the table in front of a small toilet mirror. After looking at his reflection for a short time, he went behind the glass, then he returned to his seat in front and watched it attentively.

" After a few moments he dashed rapidly behind it ; he again returned to his place in front of the glass, and while retaining his seat and keeping his eye fixed on the image, he struck about behind the glass with his paw in different directions.

" His next action was, I think, suggested by seeing the image apparently strike with its paw also.

" Keeping his seat and retaining his eyes fixed on the image, he proceeded to, if I may use the term, posture in front of the glass. He raised his paws alternately, licked them, touched the glass, moved his head, etc.

" I have tried to simply describe the facts and, so far as possible, avoid drawing conclusions."

The following has been told in confirmation of the idea that cats have some presentiments of evil :

" The morning before the recent accident to H.M. Destroyer Salmon, that vessel was lying alongside of H.M.S. Sturgeon.

" Upon the former vessel dwelt two cats, the special pets of the crew, and who had never been known to show the smallest inclination to leave the ship.

"But on this particular morning, in spite of being chased by the crew and worried by the dogs, the cats never faltered in their determination to get off the Salmon and on to the Sturgeon.

"And when the first-named destroyer had weighed anchor for what was to prove the disastrous voyage, the cats made one last spring as the vessels separated, and landed themselves on the deck of H.M.S. Sturgeon."

The following account of a ship- wrecked cat appeared in the Animal's Friend :

"When walking home from chapel one Sunday morning, I observed in front of me a boy and girl, and from the arm of the former something was hanging down which looked like a cat's tail.

" I overtook them and found the boy had a dark tabby cat in his arms, so asked them about such an unusual proceeding on a Sunday morning.

" They told me their father, who was the captain of a vessel, had sent them to fetch the ship's cat, thinking it might feel lonely on board while the crew had all gone on shore.

" It appeared that when in the Indian Ocean some months before this, they had come across a raft, from which every human being had disappeared, and the only living thing on it was this cat, so she was taken off by the sailors and made a great pet on board.

" No doubt, if she had the power of speech, that cat could give some thrilling accounts of what she went through while alone on that raft in the ocean."

We often hear of animals saving the lives of human beings, but not nearly so often of men who have risked their lives to save those of animals.

A pleasant sight was seen in Dublin some short time since, when a large building was in flames.

All the human beings had been rescued by the exertions of the firemen, who worked with their wonted devotion to duty, when the attention of the crowd was attracted by the piercing cries of a cat, and on looking up they saw a large black cat pacing up and down outside one of the upper windows, showing signs of the greatest distress.

The leap to the ground was too great for it to attempt, and the flames inside the room were burning fiercely. Each moment the people below expected to see it fall and be dashed on the pavement.

They were greatly delighted and excited to see one of the gallant firemen run the fire escape across the road, place it against the burning house, run up it, and bring the poor cat safely down in his arms.

A hearty round of cheering greeted the couple, as the brave fireman and the cat stood once more out of danger.

We have heard of boxing kangaroos and pumas, but it is something quite out of the common to read of the experiences of Mr Arthur Head, F.Z.S., as recounted in Pearson s Magazine, with a performing specimen of the above-named great cat.

It seems that for the last eight years the artist in question has been engaged in drawing from nature the eyes of every kind of animal in the cause of science.

This perilous work has been undertaken to assist Dr Lindsay Johnson in a new method of classifying the animal kingdom.

Many adventures have befallen Mr Head in his dealings with wild animals ; not the least amusing of which were his experiences with a puma, thus related :

" I happened to hear that a travelling showman was exhibiting a tame puma at Mitcham Fair, and as I had to take every opportunity to obtain my drawings, I hastened off to interview the beast.

" I found he was advertised as a Champion Boxing Puma and that he had been trained to fight in the most approved style.

" The owner was most obliging when I told him I wanted to draw his pet's eyes, and fastened boxing gloves on his fore feet so that he should not scratch me with his claws, and then made him sit up on some boxes in the darkened tent.

"Thinking no harm would come of it, I put my ophthalmoscope to my eye, and began to examine the puma's eyes.

" A moment later a terrific blow fell on the side of my head, and I was sent flying backwards.

" The brute thought I wanted to have a boxing match with him ; he not unnaturally associated the gloves with fighting, and as soon as I put my head close to his, he struck out.

" His master scolded him, and when peace had been restored I made a second attempt, this time on the lookout for the attack.

"But I had only just settled down to work, when up went his paws again, and I scarcely dodged in time.

" Now the brute entered into the fun with a whole heart ; he rained his blows at me, ducking his head in the finest style whenever I tried to capture it.

" His defence was faultless and his right-paw swing terrific.

1 could not get near him, try as I might, and the more I tried the more fiercely he sparred, and so at last I owned myself beaten.

" By this time, a large crowd had assembled outside the tent, hearing the noise of my attempt to fight the boxing puma.

" So the showman insisted on arranging a special performance for my benefit, and, setting me on a throne of honour, he opened his tent to the crowd, charging double price for admission, and reaping a rich harvest thereby.

*' When I saw the puma boxing with his master, I realised what a dangerous feat I had attempted !

" I am still on the lookout for a quiet puma, who will allow me to draw its eyes in the cause of science."

I must apologise for including the above amongst my anecdotes, but it so strongly reminded me of the performances of ordinary cats under similar circumstances that I have sometimes seen take place with trained troupes of those animals, that I thought it might be interesting although the great cat in question is not found amongst its relations at the shows.

The following account of a Cat Fair appeared in the paper called Travel :

" A very ancient fair, dating back a couple of centuries, is held every year at Sartilly in France, and the origin of its name is said to be derived from the circumstance that a small farmer in the district, being behind with his rent, found himself unable to pay the sum of a hundred francs due to his landlord, and the latter agreed that the cow of the tenant should be sold at the fair, and to accept in discharge of his claim the amount produced by the sale of the cow.

" The farmer accordingly proceeded to the fair accompanied by the cow and his household cat.

" To all inquirers as to the price of the cow, he told them he wanted ten francs for her and a hundred francs for the cat and would not sell one without the other.

" At last a purchaser was found for the singular pair of animals, and the landlord who also attended the fair, to learn for himself the result of the deal, was so amused at the ingenuity of his tenant, that he accepted the ten francs with good grace, and gave him a receipt in full discharge of all claims for rent. Ever since the annual gathering has been known as the Cat Fair."

A correspondent of the popular paper, Our Cats, gives an amusing account of the vagaries of a cat with kittens in a recent number :

" I should like to explain an experience I had with a Persian cat. Her first kittens were taken away as they were no good ; the second time she had kittens we could not trace them anywhere, so we watched her very carefully, and at last we heard a noise like cats in the roof. We then had the roof examined, and found six beautiful kittens. She got to this place in a very remarkable way, down a water-spout."

In an article on clever cats and dogs in same paper lately appeared the following :

" My aunt had a cat which the servants conspired to kill because they thought her a witch. On more than one occasion she drew her mistress's attention to dishes, which had been broken and hidden by the girls, by pulling at her dress, running to the place and mewing. Once when she had a great many kittens my aunt said to her, ' Annie, you have too many kittens, you must give me one ' no sooner said than done Annie trotted off, reappearing in a few minutes with the strongest, which she laid at my aunt's feet. ' There, now you've got it, keep it,' she said in cat language, for she would have nothing more to do with it, and when put beside her, took it in her mouth and laid it again before my aunt. Accordingly it was brought up on the bottle, and grew into a splendid fellow in course of time."


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