Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/105

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wade into a small pond up to her shoulders to catch her game. She was "always fond of dabbling in the water." Mr. Harrison Weir[1] tells of a cat which used to go into the water up to her shoulders to bring in the fish which her master drew up with the hook, and which stole out the minnows that had been placed, for safe keeping, in a well of cold spring-water.

The domestic cat is not identical with the Egyptian cat, and, therefore, if descended from it, must have undergone modifications in the process. It is not known whether it has interbred with the wild cat; but it is possible that some of the varieties have originated in that way. The marks of difference between the species are very plain. The most obvious one is the shape of the tail (Fig. 2), which in the domestic cat is long, slender, and tapering, while in the wild cat it is shorter, stumpy, and bushy. The fact that no tendency has been observed in either of these

PSM V37 D105 English tabby cat.jpg

Fig. 5.—Mrs. Scott's English Tabby "Coppa." First Prize at the Crystal Palace Cat Show, 1886.

forms of tail to revert to the other is in favor of a permanent specific difference. The minor varieties of cats are numerous, but the important ones are not many. A line is drawn between the short-haired and the long-haired varieties. Of the former are the tabbies (Figs. 5 and 10)—brown, blue, or silver; red and spotted tabbies—of various colors, with their delicate stripings, cloudings, or spots; the Chartreuse, blue, or Maltese, which has long, slate-colored fur, and a bushy neck and tail; the Spanish, or tortoise-shell (Fig. 11)—white, black, and reddish-brown, mixed, whose

  1. Our Cats and all about Them. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co.