Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/106

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closer resemblance than that of the others to the Egyptian cat has suggested that the animal may have come to Europe by way of the Strait of Gibraltar; and the Manx (Fig. 6), a curious variety, says Wood, on account of the entire absence of a tail, the place of which member is only indicated by a rather wide protuberance. "It is by no means a canny animal, for it has an unpleasant, weird-like aspect about it. . . . A Manx cat, with its glowing eyes and its stump of a tail, is a most unearthly-looking beast." The manner in which its peculiarity has been perpetuated has not been accounted for. The long-haired cats include the Persian PSM V37 D106 Manx cat.jpgFig. 6.—Manx cat. (Fig. 7), a gray-blue and silky animal, having a tail of great length and covered with hair six inches long, which it carries arched over its back like a squirrel's; and the Angola, a beautiful animal, and knowing it—"gorgeous in its superb clothing of long, silky hair and bushy tail." It is one of the largest of domestic cats, and one of the heartiest eaters. Then there are the Chinese cat, large, with fine, glossy hair and hanging ears; the royal cat of Siam (Fig. 8), clear tawny or buff, with black muzzle, face, ears, and feet, suggesting the figure of a pug dog; black cats, which belong among the tabbies; and white cats, concerning which the belief prevails that if they also have blue eyes they are deaf. This connection has been accepted by Mr. Darwin as an instance of correlated variability, and is explained by Mr. Lawson Tait—the white color or albinism being regarded as a result of arrested development—by the fact of the common origin in the epiblast of the three structures affected—the fur, the iris, and the tympanic membrane.

The bent of the cat's mind was pleasantly defined a few years ago by a writer in the London Spectator, who said there could be no doubt as to the view Puss took of the philosophy of nature and life. She is quite satisfied that the world and everything in it were made and exist for cats. This appears in all that well-bred and cared-for cats do, and in every accent and tone of their voice. Puss possesses herself with the air of a proprietor of the best place and the best food; expects to be waited upon; demands a share of every dish; and looks upon us as at once her Providence and her servant.

Cats are not demonstrative like dogs, and do not submit to training like the horse. The dog has been credited with unbounded affections, and the horse with almost human sagacity;