Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/394

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
380
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ing-trough; and then stepped out, shook herself, and trotted quietly home. She had been accustomed to seeing the fire put out with water every night. Mr. J. Harvey Gibbons's cat, of University College, Liverpool, when indisposed at one time, wandered strangely about the house, with an evident inclination toward the coal-bunkers. They were left open for her, and she went to them at once, and searched among the coals till she found a piece covered with pyrites. She licked this vigorously, and afterward returned regularly to the bunkers for more of the medicine. Some powdered sulphur was given her, and was accepted as a substitute for the pyrites. Under this regimen she recovered her health.

A most remarkable story illustrating this trait is told in the Revue Scientifique by Dr. Cosmovici, of Roumania, concerning his cat Cadi. We may remark that this gentleman appears to have been a keen observer of intelligence in all animals. The winter of 1880 was very cold, fuel was high, and our doctor had to be economical. He was accustomed, therefore, after his morning fire had burned out, to work during the rest of the day wrapped in furs, while Cadi sat at his feet. On one of the cold days, Cadi would every once in a while go to the door and mew in a tone quite distinct from that of his usual requests. Dr. Cosmovici opened the door, and Cadi went half-way out, looking at him the while. He shut the door and Cadi came back and mewed. At last he gave himself up to the cat's desire and followed her. She led him straight to the kitchen, and thence to the coal-box, and got upon it without ceasing to look at her master. He got coal. Cadi next showed him the way to the wood-box; thence led him back to his room, and, once within it, to the fireplace, where she lifted herself up and arched her back. The fire was made, while Cadi looked on, manifesting her approval of the operation by caresses. When it began to burn, she stretched herself before it, satisfied.

 

PREDISPOSITION, IMMUNITY, AND DISEASE.
By W. BERNHARDT.

IT is a generally recognized fact that whole classes and families of animals, as well as single individuals, frequently are liable to succumb to some influence apparently obnoxious to health, while others, although exposed to the same danger, prove exempt from such injury. This experience concerns the action of vegetable and animal poisons, as well as the attacks of the various diseases to which flesh is heir. Destitute of a satisfactory interpretation of these divergences, we have recourse to the expression "predisposition" for explaining the inability of offering resist-