Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/107

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CATS AND THEIR FRIENDSHIPS.

97

but the cat still suffers under the bad character that Buffon—who can not have been acquainted with any reputable specimens of the race—gave her. She is said to be selfish, spiteful, cruel, crafty, treacherous, loving places and not persons, and in every way unworthy of fellowship in the household. J. G. Wood answers these accusations by saying that the cats with which he has been most familiar "have been as docile, tractable, and good-tempered PSM V37 D107 Persian cat at the crystal palace cat show 1886.jpgFig. 7.—Mrs. Valance's Persian, "Fluffy II." Crystal Palace Cat Show, 1886. as any dog could be, and displayed an amount of intellectual power which would be equaled by very few dogs, and surpassed by none." To all persons who have given their confidence to Puss and received hers in return, they need no answer.

Numerous traits of the sort that make all the world kin appear in the cats—human-like qualities and affections that bring them into sympathy with their masters. Such traits will be made manifest to any one who even partially takes Puss into fellowship; and whoever puts himself on good terms with her will find his association marked by wonderful examples of intelligence and affection, and will be ready to declare that there is no cat like the particular one with which he is dealing. The declaration will be true in a measure, for individuality is one of the most conspicuous traits of the species. A considerable literature has been written in demonstration and illustration of the more pleasing aspects of feline character, on which I have drawn for incidents from works that will be mentioned in course; and more freely from articles on animal intelligence in Nature and the Revue Scientifique, and from a Cat Competition, organized several years ago by the Republican Journal, of Belfast, Maine, in which many contributors gave the stories of their pets. Evidences are afforded in these observations of the habitual exercise by cats, in the ordinary course of their lives, of such qualities as recognition of their friends and attachment to them, capacity to form friend-