The Cat, pp.57-58.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]

   MIGHT be called the domestic tiger or leopard; he looks as a species of those wild beasts, brought to and degraded by, domesticity; however tame a Cat may be individually, the race has not yet lost its original habits; and ferocity, cunning, and treachery, still characterize the Cat, even on the comfortable lap, or at the side of his fond mistress. The domestic Cat is of various colours, from white to black, and the tortoise-shell one is reckoned the handsomest, although males of that description are seldom, if ever, to be found. The Cat is a cleanly, neat, and very useful creature, but can never be cured of his thieving propensity. The tongue is uncommonly rough, and the claws, which are sheathed and brought out, as the animal pleases, exceedingly sharp. The Cat lives ten or twelve years, and brings five or six kittens at a litter, which the female educates and constantly drills in all fancyful tricks and useful exercise; far away from her stern and saturnine mate, who would destroy them if they were at his reach. The author of the “Splendid Shilling” gives us the following description of this domestic animal: 

Grimalkin to domestic vermin sworn 

An everlasting foe, with watchful eye 

Lies nightly brooding o’er a chinky gap 

Protending her fell claws, to thoughtless mice 

Sure ruin. 

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