• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Chapter I: Dogs - their varieties...
 Chapter II: Anecdotes of dogs
 Chapter III: Cats
 Chapter IV: Rabbits
 Chapter V: Squirrel, guinea-pigs,...
 Chapter VI: The goat
 Chapter VII: The parrot family
 Chapter VIII: Jay, Jackdaw, and...
 Chapter IX: Redbreast, blackbird,...
 Chapter X: The canary, and other...
 Chapter XI: The turtle dove
 Chapter XII: Pigeons
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Our pets : sketches of the furred and feathered favourites of the young : with numerous anecdotes illustrating their sagacity and affection
Title: Our pets
CITATION PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00066426/00001
 Material Information
Title: Our pets sketches of the furred and feathered favourites of the young : with numerous anecdotes illustrating their sagacity and affection
Physical Description: vi, 156 p., 10 leaves of plates : col. ill. ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Lydon, A. F ( Alexander Francis ) ( Illustrator )
Fawcett, B ( Printer )
Groombridge and Sons ( Publisher )
Publisher: Groombridge and Sons
Place of Publication: London ( 5 Paternoster Row )
Manufacturer: Printed by B. Fawcett
Publication Date: c1870
 Subjects
Subject: Pets -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Domestic animals -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Animals -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Human-animal relationships -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1875
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
England -- Driffield
 Notes
General Note: Date of publication based on binding indicating publication in the 1870's.
General Note: Added title page printed in colors.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
Statement of Responsibility: illustrated with coloured plates by A.F. Lydon.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00066426
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002228290
notis - ALG8599
oclc - 71436685

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Frontispiece
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Chapter I: Dogs - their varieties and uses
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    Chapter II: Anecdotes of dogs
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
    Chapter III: Cats
        Plate
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
    Chapter IV: Rabbits
        Plate
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
    Chapter V: Squirrel, guinea-pigs, and white mice
        Plate
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
    Chapter VI: The goat
        Plate
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
    Chapter VII: The parrot family
        Plate
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
    Chapter VIII: Jay, Jackdaw, and Magpie
        Page 102
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
    Chapter IX: Redbreast, blackbird, and thrush
        Plate
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
    Chapter X: The canary, and other singing birds
        Plate
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
    Chapter XI: The turtle dove
        Plate
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
    Chapter XII: Pigeons
        Plate
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text













5'I


)0 GS.






















Loando


@SM








OUiR PETS;



SKETCHES OF


THE FURRED AND FEATHERED FAVOURITES

OF THE YOUNG.


WITH NUMEROUS ANECDOTES
ILLUSTRATING THEIR SAGACITY AND AFFECTION.





ILLUSTRATED WITH COLOURED PLATES
BY A. F. LYDON.







LONDON:
GROOMBRIDGE AND SONS, 5, PATERNOSTER ROW.













CONTENTS.



PAGE.
INTRODUCTION 1

CHAPTER I.
DOGS, THEIR VARIETIES AND USES 5

CHAPTER II.
ANECDOTES OF DOG 19

CHAPTER III.
CAT 35

CHAPTER IV.

RABBITS.s 55

CHAPTER V.

SQUTIRREL, GUINEA-PIGS, AND WIITE ICE 67

CHAPTER VI.
T E GOAT 83

CHAPTER VII.

THE PARROT FAMILY 87







vi CONTENTS.


CHAPTER VIII.
JAY, JACKDAw, AND MAGPIE 101

CHAPTER IX.
REDBRnEAST, BLACKBIRD, AND TRus 111

CHAPTER X.
THE CANARY, AND OTHER SGrIING BIRDS 125

CHAPTER XI.
THE TURTLE DOVE 145

CHAPTER XII.
PIGEONS 149














OUR PETS.



INT PRODUCTION.

THE first important duty we would impress upon our
youthful readers is kindness to their pets. There
can be no real display of care and attention to any of
our domesticated animals, without its being returned by
an affection that shall amply reward all those who be-
stow it; and as, where there is no kindness to them
there can be no love, so consequently there can be no
interest or enjoyment in their possession. The distin-
guishing gifts which God has granted unto man in the
powers of reason, have been exercised from the remotest
ages upon the animal creation by which he is surrounded,
subjugating, training, and using for his purposes and
his necessities many of those creatures; great and small,
whose natural homes are in the wilderness, the desert,
and the wood. They have been awarded to him by the
Great Creator as a tribute to his conquering mind; their
subjugation is an evidence of man's superiority, and
B






OUR PETS.


their practical utility is the reward of Providence to his
persevering efforts in the amelioration of his own con-
dition.
So frequent, indeed, are the manifestations of affection
and dependence in those members of the brute creation
that man has domesticated, that whole volumes might
be filled with anecdotes illustrative of it. Many such,
drawn from manifold sources, we shall introduce into
our pages; and it will be seen that while these animals
administer to man's comfort and convenience, they are
so adapted by creative wisdom, to be more valuable
and useful to him, according as they require more of
his attention and care. It has been said that "the horse
knoweth not his own strength, or he would not become
a willing slave;" ahd it is just this want of consciousness
of their own powers that subjects the brute creation to
the higher will of man.
A great and beneficent design is shown in the fitness
of animals for their varied usefulness in different quarters
of the globe. Here in our temperate climate, where
there is an abundant and almost constant vegetation,
our chief beast of burden is the horse; he is gifted
with great endurance, he draws our merchandise from
place to place, and is a willing attendant on civili-
zation everywhere. His tractable qualities are so great
that a word will turn him to the right hand or to
the left. On the pathless deserts of Africa his place






INTRODUCTION.


has been supplied by the camel and the dromedary.
There, where hundreds of miles of sandy waste has to
be traversed beneath a burning sun, and where verdure
is so scanty, that for whole days together the traveller's
eye rests upon no blade, or leaf, or vegetable growth
whatever; where often a cup of water would be bought
by a camel's load of wealth; there the requirements of
the animal are so adapted to the conditions under which
he is placed, that he can journey on and on, feeling no
pang of hunger or of thirst, while his lordly superior is
vainly straining his gaze to discover some "oasis" to
relieve him in his tedious march. In India and adjacent
countries of the east, the vast and numerous jungles
have afforded a home and nursery to hordes of pon-
derous elephants, whose great strength and sagacity have
been utilized to the same purposes there. Far up in
the frozen regions of the north, where the brief summer
but for an uncertain period gladdens the landscape, the
swift and hardy reindeer bounds across the icy sea and
over the snowy mountains with the frail sledge which
the Laplander so skilfully guides-away over frozen
slopes, and through glaciered passes, where the horse
could find no footing, he rushes on his headlong course.
The sledge-dog of the Esquimaux, the reindeer of the
Laplander, the Arab's camel and the Indian's elephant,
are but examples in their way of the wonderful aptitude
of animals to their uses and to the conditions under







4 OUB PETS.

which they live, and should be to us accepted tokens
of the design and skill of an all-wise Creator.
We have wandered somewhat from the subject of our
book for the purpose of a lesson; but if we carefully
consider other classes of the animal creation, we shall
discover the same laws of adaptation prevailing through
them all. They deserve well at our hands, both for
their patient endurance and for their faithful attendance
upon us; and we wish our youthful friends to cultivate
a spirit of humane treatment to them, remembering
that-
"All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all."







DOGS.


CHAPTER I.

DOGS-THEIR VARIETIES AND USES.


O F all domesticated animals, both for its utility and
for its capabilities of faithful affection, the dog de-
servedly occupies the foremost place. More than any
other the companion and the friend of man, he has
gained an honourable name for the constancy with which
he serves him, and for the readiness with which he
follows his behests. Varied as possible in his sagacious
aptitude for training, he has been successfully educated
to perform many active services for his master; and the
fidelity with which he performs these offices, often by
the exercise of a wonderful consciousness, and often
contrary to the natural instincts of his race, is attested
by innumerable anecdotes of unquestionable veracity.
Indeed this constancy and fidelity of the dog was made
a theme of song by the poet Homer far 'more than two
thousand years ago; and the power of memory with
which he endows Ulysses' dog "Argus," and the calm
dignity which is thrown upon his death, on beholding
and recognizing his beloved master after so many years
of absence, when not even his most familiar friends
and domestics are able to discover their once dignified







OUR PETS.


lord in the now solitary wanderer, is no license of the
imagination, but a vivid and truthful picture, which
careful observation has fully justified.
Closely allied in family relationship to the fox and
the wolf, the dog exhibits one of the completest con-
quests of the training and subjugating art of man.
The wild species still to be found in southern countries
are characterized by stealthiness of habit and excessive
savageness of demeanour, altogether unlike the depen-
dent and sociable qualities of their more civilized
relatives. In most of the cities of Turkey and Egypt,
he appears in a somewhat half-domesticated state, per-
forming the offices of a scavenger in the narrow and
dirty streets. Here he is never encouraged to any
familiarity, and though mixing with the passengers even
in the most crowded thoroughfares, he is but a skulking,
sneaking animal, snatching and growling over his un-
savoury meal.
Many and widely varied are the uses to which dogs
have been applied. Without their assistance the mountain
shepherd, whose charge so frequently becomes scattered
upon the extensive open lands chiefly appropriated to
sheep pasturage, would be often in a sorry plight.
Wonderful and interesting are the stories related of
this pastoral race. They will sit in patient watchfulness
for hours, as if fully aware of the importance of their
duties. A single utterance from their master's lips
will at once attract their attention, and will often be
interpreted, no matter how peculiar, with a readiness
and a certitude strongly bordering on the exercise of
reasoning. For whole hours they will traverse valley







DOGS.


and peak in search of any missing members of their
flock, and, when successful in their search, they will
evince remarkable cunning and sagacity in transporting
them to their keeper's presence; or they will hold a
vast flock together in a circumscribed position, while
the careful shepherd examines and dresses those which
may be suffering from diseases peculiar to them. From
frequent observation they have been known to distin-
guish particular animals needing medicinal application,
and have forestalled the use of the crook by pinioning
them and holding them on the ground ready for in-
spection. The training of the animal to such perfection
is necessarily in many instances a work of time and
patience; but Hogg, the poet, (known as the Ettrick
Shepherd), relates the history of a dog that he pos-
sessed, which in a very short period had learned his
duty to the highest point of proficiency.
"He was scarcely a year old," his master writes,
"and knew so little of herding, that he had never
turned a sheep in his life; but as soon as he discovered
it was his duty to do so, and that it obliged me, I
can never forget with what eagerness and anxiety he
learned his evolutions. He would try every way de-
liberately till he found out what I wanted him to do;
and when I once made him to understand a direction
he never forgot or mistook it again. Well as I knew
him he often astonished me, for often, when pressed
hard in accomplishing the tasks that he was put to,
he had expedients of the moment that bespoke a great
share of the reasoning faculty. On one occasion, about
seven hundred lambs, which were under his care at







OUR PETS.


feeding-time, broke up at midnight, and scampered off
in three divisions across the neighboring hills, in spite
of all that he and an assistant could do to keep them
together. The night was so dark that we could not
see "Sirrah," but the faithful animal heard his master
lament his absence in words which of all others were
sure to set him most on the alert, and without more
ado he silently set off in quest of the recreant flocks.
Meanwhile the shepherd and his companions did not fail
to do all in their power to recover their lost charge.
They spent the whole night in scouring the hills for
miles around; but of neither the lambs nor "Sirrah"
could they find the slightest trace. They had nothing
for it, day having dawned, but to return to their master
and inform him that they had lost the whole flock of
lambs, and did not know what had become of one of
them. On our way home, however, we discovered a
lot of lambs at the bottom of a deep ravine, and the
indefatigable "Sirrah" standing in front of them,
looking round for some relief, but still true to his
charge. The sun was then up, and when we first came
in view we concluded that it was one of the divisions,
which "Sirrah" had been unable to manage till he
arrived at that commanding situation. But what was
our astonishment when we discovered that not one lamb
of the entire flock was wanting! How he had got all
the divisions collected in the dark is beyond my com-
prehension. The charge was left to himself from
midnight till the rising sun, and if all the shepherds
in the forest had been there to have assisted him, they
could not have effected it with greater promptitude."







DOGS.


Very frequently the duties of a sheep-dog are of a
nature to require that it should be almost proof against
fatigue; but perhaps the most arduous and wearying
exertion is that which is exacted from the sledge-dogs
of the Esquimaux or Greenlanders. From some Danish
manuscripts in our possession, by the venerable Pastor
Kragh, of Haderslev, in Schlesvig, and who was a
missionary in Greenland so long ago as 1818, we gather
a relation of one or two instances of the peculiar
dangers to which these dogs and their burdens are
occasionally subjected.
"There were a great many Greenlanders," he writes,
"with their children, who would accompany me. It
therefore happened that I came with a whole caravan
of sledges to Rittenbank. While I stayed at this
colony the weather became warmer, so that the ice left
the water and the snow on the land was thawed. When
the rain had at length ceased, I hired two sledges to
take myself and my guides over the island of Hukken
to the colony of Klokkenhuk. At first our way gra-
dually ascended, partly over the bare mountain side,
whence the snow was thawed, so that the dogs had
the satisfaction of drawing our empty sledges while we
trudged behind. After five miles of such ascent, we
came up above the low clouds, which now floated like
a thin mist beneath us, while a wide prospect opened
out across the expanse of Disco Bay. But we were
on the island's loftiest point, and should now descend
into a deep dale. One Greenlander seated himself with
his tukken (a long pole which is always carried on
such journeys) in his hand, and glided down. In this







OUR PETS.


manner he speedily :reached the bottom of the dale.
Then followed the dogs and sledges, and last the other
guide and myself. This kind of progression would of
course be impossible in ordinary European dress, but
we were all three clad in seal-skin. The dogs were
again harnessed to the sledges, and we drove along
through almost pathless clefts. In this way we travelled
rapidly on, when suddenly the foremost sledge disap-
peared, and before I had time to consider what I should
do, I (who was driving next) was precipitated, with
dogs and sledge, some twenty-five or thirty feet down
into a gulf. In the descent I fell out of the sledge,
which the dogs began to pull over me; but the fore-
most of the Greenlanders, observing my position, checked
his dogs. Thereupon mine stopped also, and as fortu-
nately no serious injury had befallen me, we soon
resumed our journey. Towards evening we arrived
safely at Klokkenhuk. Another sledge, which the
following day attempted the same journey, was not so
fortunate, but took two days' to traverse the fifteen or
twenty miles, and was obliged to spend the night half
way. When compelled to pass the night in such a
journey, the drivers creep beneath the bear-skin coverings
of their sledges, and lay themselves quietly to sleep, let
the cold be ever so intense, while the dogs crowd in
a close circle around them, and thus contribute to their
master's warmth."
"The warm weather and the rain," (we translate
further from the same authority), "continued some days,
so that I was compelled to remain here, as it was
impossible to proceed. At length one day the air







.DOGS


became clear, and the sea was calm. The merchant
lent me'a boat, with a sufficient crew, whereupon with
my dogs and sledge I was rowed over to the mainland,
which lay some thirty miles distant. My voyage passed
safely, I bade adieu to my companions, harnessed my
dogs and drove away northwards. Across a long
smoothly-frozen lake, I came, after about ten miles
drive, to the innermost part of Jakobshavn Fjord, where
there still was ice; but the coast was high, and fell
abruptly to the fjord. Whenever the Greenlanders of
Disco Bay have to slide down such a precipice, they
place their dogs behind the sledge, that by sliding
themselves they may help to prevent the sledge from
rushing too rapidly down the declivity. I attempted,
therefore, to manage my dogs in this way behind the
sledge, but as at Egedesminde we nearly always tra-
velled over the ice-bound sea, and but seldom over
land, the dogs were not accustomed to this mode of
progression, and would not obey the lash. I determined
to seat myself in the sledge and trust to chance. The
dogs started forward as swiftly as they could, but
speedily the sledge was before them, and bore them
onward with hurrying speed. Meanwhile an ebb had
set in on the fjord, and the ice upon it was six feet
lower than that upon the coast; but it was impossible
to stop, and at full speed I rushed with dogs and
sledge over the icy precipice out upon the fjord. In
the fall I was thrown from the sledge, and struck my
head against a stump of ice, so that I thought my
skull was broken; I felt the wounded place with my
hands to see if the bone was fractured, but was soon







OUR PETS.


satisfied in this respect, the blood, however, streaming
from the wound. Hastily I re-arranged the sledge and
harness, took my place, and drove towards Jakobshavn,
which was not far away. Both Danes and Greenlanders
were greatly surprised at seeing me so suddenly and
unexpectedly among them, for, by reason of the thaw,
all communication by means of sledges had ceased some
days before..... After staying here some days, I set
off again, accompanied by a Greenlander who was well
acquainted with the locality through which I had to
pass. But for his timely assistance I should, imme-
diately out of Jakobshavn, have lost my life by driving
over a rocky precipice. Luckily, however, we arrived
at Claushavn, and afterwards accomplished the remaining
twenty miles from thence to Christianshaab."
The dogs used by these northern people for this
arduous and often dangerous labour, have a wilder and
more savage appearance than any of the varieties we
see in our own country. The wolf-like aspect of their
ears and eyes gives them anything but a pleasant look;
and though skilfully and assiduously trained for their
labour, they do it at best with but a very sullen and
ungenerous demeanour. Indeed, travellers give us many
accounts of disturbances to a whole caravan, occasioned
by the stubbornness and insubordination of a train of
dogs.
More familiar examples of the race, and of which we
need not write at any great length, are daily to be
observed around us. The various classes of hunting
dogs are distinguishable at first sight; but to instance
just a few, we may observe that the foxhound, the







DOGS.


harrier, and the beagle are closely-allied species, which
follow their prey by the exercise of a strong faculty of
scent. They are all dogs of a greater or less degree
of endurance, and they all contribute to the pleasure
of what may be truly called an "English" hunting
scene. In this country, probably more than in any
other, the true capabilities of this class of dogs are
cultivated and exercised to an extent that lacks nothing
of proficiency. Their breeding and training has become
an art, and the production of a good and reliable
"pack" of hounds, of any of these species, may be
certainly estimated as worthy of considerable praise.
Staghounds and bloodhounds are somewhat less familiar
specimens. Possessing keen scent, vast endurance, and
a correct eye, they are most certain in the tracking of
their prey. Many and long have been the miles which
the "lordlie stage" has placed behind him, when
pursued by his relentless foes, to be brought to bay at
last in some thicket which he has sought for the shelter
it seemed to proffer him, or in some rugged dell whose
precipitous sides have afforded even to his sure foot
no means of ascent. Here, mayhap, he has turned his
antlered head upon his pursuers, and in the fierceness
of his wrath has defended himself bravely; but the
pressing charge has been his overthrow, and the "King
of the Wilds" at last has nobly died.
With the uses to which the bloodhound has been
applied in the chasing of runaway slaves, and the
frightful scenes caused thereby, every reader of Uncle
Tom's Cabin, and every one conversant with the history.
of the slave trade will be familiar. We are thankful






OUR PETS.


that the greatest system of this traffic in human flesh,
this bond upon the human mind, has been abolished,
and that consequently the application of the dreadful
propensities of this hound to such a process, at once
disgusting and degrading to humanity, has become
extinct.
It is with pleasure that we turn to dogs of a less
rapacious nature, and capable of a kindlier association
with man. The majestic English mastiff that lies so
solemnly dignified in our picture, is a specimen of the
true watchman type. Usually chained to his domicile
at the kitchen-door, his life is one of monotony, save
that his observant eye scans with a suspicious eagerness
every passer by. He is familiar and friendly with each
and all of the household, will allow them at all times
to pass to and fro in the prosecution of their several
duties, will even make friends with the feathered fami-
lies that flock around his feet at feeding times, and
will often exhibit a patient endurance of petty insults
from his insignificant associates that might serve as a
lesson to the proud and selfish of a higher race.
There he lies in the daytime, his large eyes blinking
in the sunlight, with now and then an observant and
more wide-awake glance provoked at the appearance of
some strange visitor at the door. But as the darkness
falls, the vigilant guard awakes. His quick ear drinks
in every sound, and not a footfall is there but at once
arouses his curiosity and provokes his growl. He is
fully sensible of the trust reposed in him, and every
faculty is exercised to discharge' that trust aright.
Many are the relations of robbers thwarted in their






DOGS.


nefarious schemes by his attentive zeal. Wonderful
stories are told also of the recovery of fallen travellers
from the snow-drifts of the Alps by his sagacious
relatives of the St. Bernard Pass.
The little fussy terrier, looking with such an inquisitive
air over his big relative's back, is in every respect a
true favourite. A little too noisy and romping some-
times he may be, but nevertheless a word of command or
a familiar pat will bring him affectionately to his master's
feet. He is a constant attendant on the little ones of
the household in their walks and gambols, and he affords
no slight amusement to them by his consequential and
prying conduct. Sometimes his taste for hunting may
bring him into disgrace with the gamekeeper or the
neighboring squire, whose preserve of rabbits can scarcely
be passed by without his making a raid upon it; but
he can now and then satisfy his propensities for killing
upon the vermin in the stable-yard or garden, where he
is always known as a terror to the rats and mice. He
is very affectionate to his familiars, and will put up with
unheard-of provocations from his little playmates; he
will not allow them to be disturbed by any strange
intruder without giving them a warning voice, though
he is ever ready to bestow his fawning welcome upon
a well-known friend.
The pretty Italian greyhound is of much slenderer
form and tenderer nature than its English prototype.
A very graceful and slim creature, it requires consider-
able care and attention to keep it in good health and
exercise. It is by no means endowed with the courage
of the English greyhound, but in speed it is scarcely






OUR PETS.


its inferior. Its timid fawning upon its master is almost
exceptional in character, being altogether unlike the
romping and boisterous attention of the terrier, the
sluggish disposition of the mastiff, or the fussy conse-
quential demeanour of the poodle or the spaniel. Our
climate seems, in winter at least, to be much too cold
for it, and hence it must be kept clothed in hard weather,
and during severe frost should be kept altogether a
prisoner within doors. There is no dog whatever, for
symmetry of form and elegance of motion, at all com-
parable to the Italian greyhound, and one of a rich
golden fawn-colour is an animal to be highly prized.
Last and least in our picture come the spaniels. Of
this race of pet dogs there is an almost infinite variety;
our artist has, however, chosen the King Charles as
being the most worthy for his illustration. It is a
pretty little animal, whose weight should not exceed
six, or at most eight pounds, and whose prettily varied
colours and elegant head and ears make it an orna-
ment in the drawing-room of every dog-fancier who is
able to obtain it. It is capable of great intelligence,
and readily learns to be amusing by the performance
of a variety of odd and humorous tricks. The affection
of this little animal, both to its master and to others
of its own species, is noteworthy. Of one of this tribe
of pets Mrs. S. C. Hall gives the following relation,
suggestive at once of their capability both of intelli-
gence and affection:-" She was a meek, soft, fawning
little creature, blind of one eye, and so gentle and
faithful, refusing food except from the one dear hand
that was liberal of kindness to her. Chloe's puppies







DOGS.


were in great demand, and it must be confessed her
supplies were very bountiful-too bountiful indeed, for
out of the four which she considered a proper number
at a birth, two were generally drowned. My grand-
mother thought that Chloe ought not to raise more
than two. Chloe believed that she could educate four,
and it was always difficult to abstract the doomed ones
from the watchful little mother. It so chanced that
once, after the two pups had been drowned by the
stable-man, poor Chloe discovered their little wet bodies
in the stable-yard, and brought them to the live ones
that remained in the basket. She licked them, cherished
them, howled over them, but they still remained damp
and cold. Gentle at all other times, she would not
now permit even her mistress to remove them, and no
stratagem could draw her from the basket. At last
we suppose Chloe felt it was not good for the dead
and the living to be together, so she took one of the
poor things in her mouth, walked with it across the
lawn to the spot where a lovely red-thorn tree made a
shady place, dug a hole, laid the puppy in it, came
back for the other, placed it with its little relative,
scraped the earth over them, and returned sadly and
slowly to her duties."
The Newfoundland dog, so named from the island
whence it has been brought, is one of the most inter-
esting and useful of its race. It is very fond of being
in the water, arid its great strength and skill in
swimming has often been made the means of saving
persons from drowning. Like all the nobler species of the
dog family, it seems to have a particular fondness for
C






OUR PETS.


children, often becoming their friend and playmate. It
appears also to be more observant of people and things
around it than almost any other dog, and has very fre-
quently shown a great power of forethought by doing
many actions of its own free will. Its intelligence is
wonderful; the sagacity which it exercises when in the
water giving assistance to a drowning person, has been
stated -by eye-witnesses to be scarcely credible. One
of this species, kept some years ago at a ferry-house
near Worcester, was so fond of the water that it seemed
to think it a disgrace in other dogs to be afraid of
entering that element, and would sometimes approach
lesser and more fearful members of its family, take them
up in its mouth, and drop them into the river to flounder
about as best they could.
The water spaniel is somewhat of the same nature as
the dog of Newfoundland, but smaller, and gifted with
less strength, though scarcely less sagacity. Its hair is
of great length, and is curly and of a woolly appearance.
To the wildfowl-shooter its services are of great impor-
tance, as no sooner does a dead or wounded bird fall
upon the water or the marsh, than this four-footed game-
keepei dashes off to fetch it to his master. It possesses,
like the Newfoundland and the retriever, a strong memory,
and will fetch from a considerable distance any article
that has been left behind for the purpose of displaying
its ability. This dog seems particularly fitted by nature
for frequent plunges in the water, being an excellent
swimmer, and being provided with an oily and shaggy
coat which speedily becomes dry.







ANECDOTES OF DOGS.


CHAPTER II.

ANECDOTES OF DOGS.

IN our selection of anecdotes of these favourites we
shall not confine ourselves to those of any particular
nature, our purpose being rather to demonstrate how
far they are capable of exercising their sagacity in a
degree bordering closely upon the reasoning faculty,
and to show also to what a great extent they possess
the qualities of affection and observation.
A Swedish writer has recorded of a large Newfound-
land dog, which had been the constant attendant of
its master (who was a captain) upon the sea, that he
could by no means be induced to leave the vessel
when in port at any place except his master's home;
and that, though familiar at all times with every
member of the ship's crew, he was deaf to every
inducement to follow them on shore. His position
every night was by the cabin door, during the hours
when the captain lay asleep; and so familiar had he
become with the routine of duty on board, that he
customarily took a tour round the deck at the change
of watch, and, after seeing the retiring men down
below, he again returned to his accustomed place. Ho







OUT PETS.


appeared to be thoroughly sensible of the necessity of
redoubled carefulness on the occasion of an extra gale
of wind, and during the raging of a storm was as
much on the alert as any of the sailors on board.
He had thus accompanied his master for a period of
seven or eight years, when the ship being disabled
and unmanageable, it was found necessary to abandon
it in the Cattegat. The captain had ordered out one
of the ship's boats, and was standing upon the bulwark
holding by a rope to superintend its lowering to the
water, when a heavy sea struck the vessel, and the
brave seaman, unable to maintain his hold, fell over-
board and was seen no more. The boat was ultimately
launched, and a portion of the crew got into it, and
used every exertion in making search for their com-
mander. It was, however, in vain. During all this
time the Newfoundland dog stood gazing intently upon
that portion of the bulwark over which his beloved
master had disappeared, as if anxiously awaiting his
return. The mate used every enticement to persuade
the dog to follow him into a second boat, but he
would not quit his post, and overcame every effort
made to take him with them. True in every sense to
his assumed duty, he would not leave the deck, and
was left to go down with the already sinking vessel.
A very humorous fact is related by the Rev. J. G.
Wood of a Newfoundland dog, which tends to show that
the intelligence of these animals is such as to lead them
to curious and hasty conclusions:-"One of these animals,"
he says, "belonging to a workman, was attacked by a
small and pugnacious bull-dog, which sprang upon the







ANECDOTES OF DOGS.


unoffending canine giant, and after the manner of bull-
dogs, pinned him by the nose, and there hung in spite
of all endeavours to shake him off. However, the big
dog happened to be a clever one, and, spying a pailful
of boiling tar, he hastened towards it, and deliberately
lowered his foe into the hot and viscous material. The
bull-dog had never calculated on such a reception, and
made its escape as fast as it could run."
In her entertaining work, Our Village, Miss Mitford
relates the following anecdote of a beautiful dog she
possessed, and the anecdote may be specially interesting
to our juvenile readers:-"Poor May, in common with
most pet dogs, generally cared little for the persons
whose duty it was to feed and attend upon her; she
seemed to know that it was their place, and received
their services with calm and aristocratic civility,
reserving all demonstration of affection for her friends
of the parlour. One of her attendants, however, a
lively, good-humoured boy called Tom, she honoured
with a considerable share of her attention, liked his
company, and to the astonishment of the whole house-
hold, certainly liked him, a partiality which Tom returned
with interest, combing and caressing her whenever
opportunity offered. Master Tom was a celebrated
player at marbles, and May was accustomed to stand
at his side watching or seeming to watch the game.
One afternoon she jumped over the half-hatch into the
stable, evidently in search of her friend Tom-no Tom
was there; raced round the garden-still in vain;
peeped into the kitchen-Tom was as much to seek
as ever: the maids, who saw that she had something






OUR PETS.


in her mouth, and were amused by her earnest searching
air, tried to detain her or to decoy her into the parlour,
but without the slightest success. On she went from
chaise-house to wood-house, from wood-house to coal-
house, from coal-house to cart-house, until she caught
a well-known sound from the knife-board, and, opening
a door in the way, darted on the astonished Tom
(whose fright at the apparition cost one of our best
carving forks, which he broke in his surprise) and
deposited in his hand a marble, which, as we after-
wards found, she had picked up in the road, following
up her present by a series of capers and gambols the
most joyous and triumphant that can be imagined."
Sir Walter Scott, whose fondness for dogs is well
known, was the owner of a little terrier, which was
remarkable for the shame it seemed to feel whenever it
was subjected to punishment or to neglect. "If ever I
whipped him," his master wrote to one of his friends,
"the little fellow would sneak and hide himself from
the light of the day in a lumber garret, from whence
there was no drawing him forth, except by the sound
of the chopping-knife, as if chopping up his victuals,
when he would steal forth with humiliated and down-
cast looks, but would slink away again if any one
regarded him."
The following incident, occurring on the prairie lands
of Victoria, is given on the authority and in the words
of Mary Howitt:-"A gentleman living on one of these
prairies, was one morning visited before daybreak by a
woman, the wife of a German, who was settled not far
off, and who came to beg of him to take with him his







ANECDOTES OF DOGS.


dog Fiddle, and help her to seek for her little boy,
who had strayed away the day before. The dog, though
not a regular hound, was remarkably clever in tracking
game. The poor woman had seen him hunting wild
turkeys for his master on the prairie, and nothing would
persuade her but that he could find her child. The
gentleman was quite willing to try what the dog could
do, and on their way to her house she told him that
the day before, having gone with dinner for her hus-
band and a neighbour, who were working at some
distance, she left the child playing at the door, and
when she came back he was nowhere to be found. She
ran hither and thither, and called, to no purpose; her
husband and the neighbour, and the few scattered people
who dwelt about, all came, and men and women sought
far and wide till it was dark. Through the long night
also, she and her husband had remained out calling
the child, and shouting to frighten away the wild beasts.
Morning came, and he was not found; now there seemed
no hope, unless in Fiddle.
"The gentleman had taken his gun with him, which
made the dog suppose that he was going out after game;
laying it, however, aside in the house, he took up some
of the child's clothes, and endeavoured to make him
understand what it was they wanted him to do. But
he had got the idea of the gun in his head, and though
he smelled the clothes as he was told, he then simply
stood looking up in his master's face, as if saying,
'Well, and what next?' A little pair of wooden shoes,
which the child had thrown off in his play the day
before, stood near the door; at these the dog smelt,







OUR PETS.


and it was hoped that by their means he would come
upon the scent, and understand what he had to do.
The child, however, had now been lost eighteen hours,
and it seemed very doubtful whether he could get the
scent near his home, for the whole neighbourhood and
the neighbours' houses had all been searched, and it
was necessary to strike off into the great plain. But,
in the first instance, the dog must be got on the scent,
and as yet, though he had smelt at the little stockings
and the wooden shoes, the poor thing was so perplexed
and troubled by his master leaving the gun behind him,
that it seemed as if no other idea could be got into his
mind. The master carried in his hand the little stockings,
endeavouring to make the dog understand that he was
to find the scent from them. At length the idea struck
Fidele that his master wished him to carry them. He
wagged his tail, he was so pleased; he was ready to
set off with them anywhere. His master was very kind
and patient with him, patted him and encouraged him,
but said firmly, 'No.'
"The poor dog was disappointed, and walked on
sorrowfully perplexed by his master's side. The mother
kept close to the dog, seeming to have no hope but in
him, and yet was sadly troubled that he had not yet
found the scent. All at once, however, he made a
stand, smelt at the ground, wagged his tail, looked up
joyfully at his master, ran hither and thither with his
nose to the ground. He had come upon the scent, and
at once knew what was wanted. The dog was delighted.
He smelt at every tuft of grass, lifting his head and
snuffing in the air, with his eyes ,li-i- -it, as if turning






ANECDOTES OF DOGS.


all his mind inward upon the one thought of finding
the lost child. The poor mother cried for joy.
"From this moment not a movement of the dog was
lost on the mother. The neighbours, who were also
out on the search, now gathered themselves near the
dog. His master feared that so many people might
distract his attention. But no; nothing could now dis-
tract him. On he went, winding and turning, as the
poor child had done, till at last he came upon the print
of a little naked foot in the sand of an old road, which
the buffaloes had trodden on their way to the water.
The hunt was now intensely interesting. The dog,
however, seemed puzzled; now he ran in this direction,
now in that, returned and looked anxiously at his master.
Something was at fault, which he was trying to make
clear. At length off he went at full speed, his master
and the child's parents following, till they came to a
small stream, on the muddy banks of which they not
only saw the prints of his little feet, but of his bare
knees, where he had knelt to drink. Here the dog
paused, but only for a moment; then set off, now no
longer following the scent on the ground, but with his
nose in the air, his neck stretched out, and his eyes
staring. He had caught the living scent, and the mother
ran after exclaiming, 'He has found my child! he has
found my child!'"
The Rev. J. G. Wood relates a singular story of a
long-accustomed propensity being overcome by the un-
wonted daring of a lamb. The dog was one of the
spotted Danish breed, and was particularly fond of
chasing sheep. "He was one day amusing himself in






OUB PETS.


this manner, and making a flock of sheep scatter in
all directions, when a black lamb turned round and
looked him in the face. The dog was quite taken
aback, and remained irresolute, until the black lamb
began to dance about and play with him. This gene-
rosity of disposition quite overcame the dog, and he
slunk away with his tail between his legs, and seemed
thoroughly confused. Presently his new-made acquain-
tance began to challenge him to a game of play, by
cutting all manner of capers round him. By degrees
the dog regained his composure of mind, and accepted
the challenge. Off they went, tumbling over each
other, and playing like a couple, of kittens. They ran
off at such a pace, that the boy who was in charge
of the flock began to be anxious about his lamb, and
went to fetch it. The lamb, however, preferred the
company of his new friend to that of the boy, and
refused to come. The owner of the dog then tried to
assist the shepherd by calling off the dog, but the
latter paid no more attention to his master than the
lamb did to the shepherd. For more than a mile and
a half did these two strange playfellows continue their
sport; and, as they described a large circle in so doing,
the owner of the dog and the shepherd were enabled
to cross a stream, by means of a plank, before the
dog and lamb came up. When they came to the
bridge, the shepherd, after repelling several attempts
on the part of the lamb to force a passage, succeeded
in securing it with his crook, and prevented its escape
by tying it up in his plaid. Finding his companion
thus subducted, the dog reluctantly obeyed the com-






,ANBO-OTES OF 13$OGS.


mands of his master, and slowly followed him from
the spot, while the lamb made every effort to follow
the dog, and tried to gain its point by jumping into
the stream. This adventure had rather a singular
effect upon the dog, for he ever afterwards abstained
from chasing sheep."
Mr. Jesse has recorded many instances of remarkable
sagacity displayed by various kinds of dogs, and from
his Gleanings in Natural History we extract the fol-
lowing:-"I delight in hearing well authenticated
anecdotes of the sagacity and attachment of dogs.
One of these was recently communicated to me by the
late Captain Gooch, one of the elder brethren of the
Trinity House. He informed me that Captain Dance
brought with him from China a native dog. After his
ship was at her moorings in the Thames, he ordered
a chaise, had the dog put in it, and drove with it to
his house near Leatherhead in Surrey, where Bonner,
the name of the dog, was safely made over to Captain
Dance's sisters. The next night, as the Indiaman
was getting under weigh for the docks, one of the
sailors heard a loud barking amongst the rushes on
the Kent side of the river, and immediately exclaimed
that it was Bonner's bark. This was declared by his
shipmates to be impossible, as the captain had taken
him away the day before. The man, however, persisting
that he was correct, a boat was at length lowered, and
on arriving at the side of the river, Bonner was dis-
covered among the rushes and was taken on board.
Here was an instance of a dog being brought to a
strange country, and taken in a carriage to a distance






OUI PETS.


of some twenty or twenty-five miles from the ship he
had just left, finding his way back to it through a
country essentially different from his own-a different
soil and climate-different objects, and different people.
By what instinct he was enabled to do this it is not
easy to define."
Speaking in another portion of his work on this
instinct in dogs of finding their way back again, even
from long distances, Mr. Jesse proceeds:-"The most
amusing fact of this kind that I know of is one that
was related to me by a gentleman on whose veracity
I can place most implicit reliance; and though it may
appear to some of my readers to border upon the
marvellous, I think it too entertaining to withold it.
He informed me that a friend of his, an officer in the
Forty-fourth Regiment, who had occasion, when in
Paris, to pass one of the bridges across the Seine, had
his boots, which had been previously well polished,
dirtied by a poodle dog rubbing against them. He in
consequence went to a man who was stationed on the
bridge, and had them cleaned. The same circumstance
having occurred more than once, his curiosity was
excited, and he watched the dog. He saw him roll
himself in the mud of the river, and then watch for
a person with well-polished boots, against which he
contrived to rub himself. Finding that the shoe-black
was the owner of the dog, he taxed him with the
artifice; and after a little hesitation he confessed that
he had taught the dog the trick in order to procure
customers for himself. The officer, being much struck
with the dog's sagacity, purchased him at a high







ANECDOTES OF DOGS.


price, and brought him to England. He kept him
tied up in London for some time, and then released
him. The dog remained with him a day or two, and
then made his escape. A fortnight afterwards he was
found with his former master, pursuing his old trade
on the bridge."
The following anecdote is given by the same writer,
as serving to display the cunning to which they may
be educated:-"Mr. Knight, the principal landed pro-
prietor at Isleham, in Suffolk, preserved the game on
the manor on which he was lord. One day he saw a
man, with his dog, hunting in the open field for
game; who, as soon as he saw him, made off, being
at a considerable distance when he was first discovered,
and Mr. Knight found it would be useless to pursue
him. He heard, however, a shrill whistle, and imme-
diately saw the dog fall down. He rode up to him,
and found him apparently dead, being stretched out
at length, his eyes closed, and, to all appearance,
breathless. Mr. Knight whipped the dog severely, and
endeavoured to make his horse tread upon him, but
all to no purpose. The animal was immoveable, and
seemed to be quite inanimate. Mr. Knight therefore
left him, half persuaded that he was dead. He kept
his eye, however, upon the spot, and when he had
got to a considerable distance, he saw the dog rise,
look cautiously about him, and, when he found the
coast clear, he set off full speed after his master."
Anecdotes illustrative of the affectionate disposition
of the dog are numerous, and we regret that our
space will only allow us to be brief in our selection







30 OUI PETS.

of them. We must not, however, neglect to record a
few, nor to give prominence to one especially, reported
in a Scottish newspaper some years ago. The body
of a young man in the Isle of Skye was followed to
the grave by his dog, which was with difficulty driven
away when the sad ceremony of burial was concluded.
Frequently it returned to the spot, and it was ulti-
mately discovered that the desolate creature had
scratched its way into the shallow grave, had even
gnawed through its master's coffin, and stood eagerly
looking upon its contents, the very picture of dejectedness
and sorrow.
A dog belonging to a shepherd on the Grampian
Mountains accompanied its master and a child three
years of age on an excursion to one of his distant
flocks. The shepherd, wishing to obtain a more com-
manding view, ascended a lofty peak, leaving his child
below with strict orders not to leave the spot. He
had not been long absent before one of those sudden
storms peculiar to lofty regions burst over his head,
and darkened the air around him. Thinking imme-
diately of his child, he began to descend, but in the
misty darkness he unfortunately mistook his way, and
at length discovered that he was near his own cottage,
and far away from the spot where he had left his
child and the dog. Early next day he started with
his neighbours in search, but they were compelled to
return at nightfall without success. The shepherd,
however, learned that the dog had visited his cottage,
and with a piece of cake had started hurriedly away.
Day after day the search was renewed, and always







ANECDOTES OF DOGS.


with the same result, the dog still continuing during
the father's absence to visit the cottage, and to take
a piece of cake. It was therefore resolved, as a last
resource, to follow the dog. The sorrowing father did
so, and at length, in a cave near to the place where
he had left them, he found his child eating the cake
its canine attendant had brought, while the watchful
and loving animal stood by delighted with its deed.
Among a number of anecdotes illustrative of the
affectionate disposition of the dog, the author of the
Gleanings also relates the following:-"This was com-
municated to me by a gentleman well known as a
diplomatist, and for those virtues which have been
conspicuous both in his public and private life. He
had a small terrier which was much attached to him.
On leaving this country for America, he placed the
dog under the care of his sister, who resided in London.
The dog was at first inconsolable, and could scarcely
be persuaded to eat anything. At the end of three
years his owner returned, and upon knocking at the
door of his sister's house, the dog knew his knock,
ran down stairs with the utmost eagerness, fondled
his master with the greatest affection, and when he was
in the sitting-room, the faithful animal jumped upon
the pianoforte that he might be as near to him as
possible. The dog's attachment remained to the last
moment of his life. He was taken ill, and was placed
in his master's dressing-room, on one of his cloaks.
When he could scarcely move, his kind protector met
him endeavouring to crawl up-stairs. He took him up
in his arms, placed him on his cloak, when the dog






OUR PETS.


gave him a look of affection which could not be mis-
taken, and immediately died. There could be no doubt
that this affectionate animal, in his endeavour to get
up the steps to his master, was influenced by sensa-
tions of love and attachment which death alone could
extinguish, and which the approach of death prompted
him to show."
Towards the close of the year 1804, a young gen-
tleman from Manchester was on a visit in the North
of England, and, being an ardent student of botany, he
made use of the opportunity of pursuing his studies by
rambling upon the mountain of Helvellyn. His sole
companion on this excursion was a little terrier dog,
for, having some knowledge of the district, he thought
it unnecessary to engage a guide. Unfortunately, how-
ever, his knowledge was not sufficient to enable him to
trace his way through the dells and gorges, and amid
the precipitous crags so frequently enshrouded in moun-
tain mists. As he had bid adieu to his lodgings at
Wyburn, his return .in the evening was not anticipated,
his intention being thought to cross over into the vale
of Patterdale or Ullswater, whence he would pursue his
homeward journey to the south. Three months after
the day on which this young gentleman had departed
from Wyburn, a shepherd was clambering high up on
Helvellyn, in quest of a stray member of his flock,
when his attention was aroused by a faint and continued
whining, and immediately afterwards a little emaciated
animal appeared before his sight. The shepherd fol-
lowed the dog for some distance, when from a lofty
eminence overlooking a rugged precipice he observed







ANECDOTES OF DOGS.


the body of a man, now withered to a skeleton. It
was the body of the youthful student, whose faithful
little dog had remained by him, keeping watch and
guard during these three long months, and whose
meagre appearance bespoke the amount of hunger and
suffering it had endured. The incident was sorrowful
enough to evoke sympathy from any heart, and was
made the subject of the following verses by Sir Walter
Scott:-

"I climbed the dark brow of the mighty Helvellyn,
Lakes and mountains beneath me gleamed misty and wide;
All was still, save, by fits, when the eagle was yelling,
And starting around me the echoes replied.
On the right, Striden-edge round the Red-tarn was blending,
And Catchedicam its left verge was defending,
One huge nameless rock in the front was ascending,
When I marked the sad spot where the wanderer had died.

"Dark green was that spot 'mid the brown mountain heather,
Where the pilgrim of nature lay stretched in decay;
Like the corpse of an outcast abandoned to weather,
Till the mountain-winds wasted the tenantless clay.
Nor yet quite deserted, though lonely extended;
For, faithful in death, his mute favourite attended,
The much-loved remains of her master defended,
And chased the hill-fox and the raven away.
"How long didst thou think that his silence was slumber ?
When the wind waved his garments how oft didst thou star ?
How many long days and long weeks didst thou number,
Ere he faded before thee, the friend of thy heart P
And oh! was it meet that-no requiem read o'er him,
No mother to weep, and no friend to deplore him,
And thou, little guardian, alone stretched before him-
Unhonoured the pilgrim from life should depart ?







34 OURI PETS.

" When a prince to the fate of the peasant has yielded,
The tapestry waves dark round the dim-lighted hall;
With scutcheons of silver the coffin is shielded,
And pages stand mute by the canopied pall:
Through the courts, at deep midnight, the torches are gleaming-
In the proudly-arched chapel the banners are beaming-
Far down the long aisle sacred music is streaming,
Lamenting a chief of the people should fall.

"But meeter for thee, gentle lover of nature,
To lay down thy head like the meek mountain lamb,
When, wildered, he drops from some cliff huge in stature,
And draws his last sob by the side of his dam.
And more stately thy couch by this desert lake lying,
Thy obsequies sung by the grey plover flying,
With one faithful friend but to witness thy dying,
In the arms of Helvellyn and Catchedicam."






















































CATS.


E

HI


1







CATS.


CHAPTER ITL

CATS.


SO many curious notions have been held about these
animals by different people, and in different ages of
the world, that they have as it were a classic history.
In ancient Egypt they were held in tfe greatest vene-
ration, being made the objects of religious rites and
ceremonies, and after death were honoured with costly
tombs; and an old Greek historian states that when
one of them died a natural death, the inhabitants of
the house shaved their eyebrows in token of their
sorrow. The killing of a cat was treated with the
same punishment as murder; and even if their death
were occasioned accidentally, the unhappy cause of it
was subjected to severe and summary penalty. The
people of Turkey even in the present day seem to
partake in some measure of this ancient veneration,
and a German traveller gives an account of an hospital
erected at Damascus for the sole purpose of nursing
sick and maimed cats, founded, it is said, in honour
of one of the species belonging to Mahomet, which he
so highly valued that it was accustomed to repose upon
his robe, a portion of which he cut off rather than







OU.B PETS.


disturb his favourite when hastily summoned on some
great occasion to attend his followers. On the other
hand, there have been many evil agencies attributed
to these animals by less enlightened people in super-
stitious times, and indeed we now and then meet with
some of these even in our day. Ill-luck is said to be
foreboded by many of the habits natural to cat life.
Sailors draw long faces in anticipation of a coming
storm, when the cat on board their ship appears in a
more than ordinarily playful mood; and the country
housewife grows fearful of approaching ills when her
favourite "tabby" seems restless and disturbed.
Belonging to the same natural family as the tiger,
the cat is consequently a night prowler, and in this
propensity lies its chief utility in the destruction of
rats and mice, which also choose this time for their
inroads upon the larder or the store-room. It is well
deserving of better treatment than is often bestowed
upon it in some households, where it is kept more
for its use in the destruction of vermin, than for the
love borne to it as a pet.
Cats are not by any means so generally remarkable
for that kind and loving attachment to their masters
which the dog so frequently displays, though many
instances of strong affection are recorded of them,
tending to prove that they are not altogether devoid
of this character. No doubt such instances would be
more numerous if our treatment of them were kinder,
and therefore better calculated to produce a more
affectionate return.
The common wild cat, thought by some writers to







CATS.


be the species from which our ordinary domesticated
animal has been derived, is now but comparatively
seldom met with in the British Islands. Occasionally,
however, it is still to be found in the northern counties
of England, more frequently in the mountainous and
wooded parts of Scotland and Wales, and still more
frequently in Ireland. Wherever it does occur in any
numbers it becomes a very destructive visitor to the
farm-yards and the peasants' cottages, committing
serious depredations among the flocks of poultry. In
size it is somewhat smaller than the domestic cat, but
is similar to it in form, and, though to a less extent,
in the variation of its colours. It is very savage in
its disposition-in fact, a diminutive tiger, and when
aroused in self-defence becomes a perfect fury, as the
following account by Mr. St. John of an encounter he
had with one of them in Scotland will show:-"I do
not know a more harsh and unpleasant cry than the
cry of the wild cat, or one more likely to be the
origin of superstitious fears in the mind of an ignorant
Highlander. These animals have great skill in finding
their prey, and the damage they do to the game must
be very great, owing to the quantity of food which
they require. When caught in a trap they fly without
hesitation at any person who approaches them, not
waiting to be assailed. I have heard many stories of
their attacking and severely wounding a man when
their retreat has been cut off. Indeed, a wild cat
once flew at me in a most determined manner. I was
fishing at a river in Sutherlandshire, and in passing
from one pool to another had to climb over some







OUB PETS.


rocky and broken ground. In doing so I sank through
some rotten moss and heather up to my knees, almost
upon a wild cat who was concealed under it. I was
quite as much startled as the animal herself could be when
I saw the wild-looking beast rush out so unexpectedly
from between my legs, with every hair on her body
standing on end, making her look twice as large as
she really was. I had three small Skye terriers with
me, who immediately gave chase, and pursued her till
she took refuge in a corner of the rock, where, perched
in a kind of recess out of reach of her enemies, she
stood with her hair bristled out, and spitting and
growling like a common cat. Having no weapon with
me I laid down my rod, cut a good-sized stick, and
proceeded to dislodge her. As soon as I came within
six or seven feet of the place she sprang right at my
face, over the dogs' heads. Had I not struck her in
mid-air as she leapt at me I should probably have got
some severe wound. As it was, she fell with her back
half broken amongst the dogs, who with my assistance
dispatched her. I never saw an animal fight so des-
perately, or one so difficult to kill. If a tame cat has
nine lives, a wild cat must have a dozen."
Africa, America, and the Indies have several different
species of wild cats, many of them much larger than
the one we know in Britain, and which, from their
close resemblance to the tiger, both in form and in
habits, are classed under the name of tiger-cats. The
largest hitherto discovered, the rimau, is a native of
Sumatra, and measures sometimes as much as seven
feet in total length, of which, however the tail makes







OATS.


nearly one half. Sir Stamford Raffles, who brought
one of the first specimens of the rimau to England,
states that it was remarkable for its good temper and
playfulness when in captivity, and that it seemed de-
sirous of making friends with all its visitors, showing
the greatest delight when any attention was paid to
it, and often lying down to be stroked and fondled.
"On board the ship," he says, "there was a small
dog who used to play round the cage and with the
animal, and it was amusing to observe the playfulness
and tenderness with which the latter came in contact
with his inferior-sized companion. When fed with a
fowl that had died, he seized the prey, and after
sucking the head, and tearing it a little, he amused
himself for hours in throwing it about and jumping
after it, in the manner that a cat plays with a mouse
before it is quite dead."
The ocelot, one of the tiger-cats of America, is
remarkable both for its size and for the stealthiness
of its habits. In the forests of Mexico, and the
bordering territories of North and South America,
where it is chiefly found, it .finds plenty of subsistence
among the smaller races of animals, and among the
vast tribes of monkeys prevailing there. Monkeys,
you are aware, are very inquisitive creatures, gathering
into assemblies around any object that attracts their
attention; and of this their habit the cunning ocelot
knows well how to take advantage. He stretches
himself out at the foot of some huge tree, o- at the
base of some frowning precipice in the mighty forest,
until the monkeys assemble near him, as it were to







OUR PETS.


satisfy themselves that he is dead. The observant
and formidable cat, however, suddenly arises in their
midst, and speedily makes certain prey of one or
another of the intruders. Very similar to those of the
ocelot are the habits and appearance of the colocola,
another of the tiger-cat species, and an inhabitant of
Guiana.
The domesticated species, though by no means
showing such a fierce and vindictive character as that
displayed by the wild members of its family, has
many habits in common with them. Stealthiness and
cunning belong to it, as to all its race; and when
aroused in self-defence, or greedy in the pursuit of
prey, it exhibits a proportionate amount of savageness
and cruelty. Custom has become to it a sort of second
nature it must be allowed; but the occasions when its
anger is provoked tend to show that, though it has
been a general domestic favourite for some hundreds
of years at least, its first nature has never been
altogether subdued.
Cats have on many occasions shown remarkable
attachments to persons with whom they have been
familiar-to their masters, or to domestics whose duties
have made them their associates; and this fondness
has led them to make great adventures in search of
their favourite companions. Thus there is an old story
from the time of Queen Elizabeth, recording that a
cat belonging to the Duke of Norfolk found its way
to its master, when that nobleman was committed to
the Tower; and again, another, having been conveyed
from Edinburgh to Glasgow in n. closed basket, con-







CATS.


trived to find its way back again to its old home, a
distance of some forty miles, and that with two kittens
it had produced during its absence.
That cats are diligent observers of what is going
on around them, and fully sensible sometimes of any-
thing that may be amiss, the following anecdote,
recorded by Mr. Jesse, will show:-"A family residing
at Newcastle-upon-Tyne went one summer to Tyne-
mouth, leaving their house in the care of two female
servants. One evening, when the servants were sitting
together in the kitchen, their attention was attracted
by a cat, which went up into the laundry over the
kitchen, and then returned to them and mewed. The
cat did this so often, that the servants were induced
to go up-stairs to see what she wanted. When they
got into the laundry, they found a man concealed in
the chimney. One of the maids fainted, and the other
gave the alarm to their neighbours, but in the mean-
time the man made his escape out of the window and
over the roofs of the adjoining houses."
We are so accustomed to see the affection of
animals displayed towards their young, that unless
there be something remarkable in connection with it,
we are apt to pass it by without comment. The
following relation, quoted by the Rev. F. O. Morris in
his Records of Animal Sagacity, is something so out
of the common nature that we are tempted to give
it at length:-"I was on a visit to a friend who had
a favourite cat and dog, which lived together on the
best possible terms, eating from the same plate, and
sleeping on the same rug. Puss had a young family







OUR PETS.


while I was at the park, and Pincher paid a daily
visit to the kittens, whose nursery was at the top of
the house. One morning there was a tremendous
storm of thunder and lightning; Pincher was in the
drawing-room, and the cat was attending her family
in the garret. Pincher seemed to be considerably
annoyed by the vivid flashes of lightning which con-
tinually startled him, and just as he had crept close
to my feet, some one entered the drawing-room, followed
by puss, who walked in with a disturbed air, and
mewing with all her might. She came up to Pincher,
rubbed her face against his cheek, touched him gently
with her paw, and then walked to the door, stopped,
looked back, mewed-all of which said, as plainly as
words could have done, 'Come with me, Pincher;'
but Pincher was too much frightened himself to give
any consolation to her, and took no notice of the
invitation. The cat then returned and renewed her
application with increased energy, but the dog was
immoveable, though it was evident that he understood
her meaning, for he turned away his head with half
conscious look, and crept still closer to me; and puss,
finding all her entreaties unavailing, then left the
room. Soon after this, her mewing became so piteous
that I could no longer resist going to see what was
the matter. I met the cat at the top of the stairs,
close to the door of my sleeping apartment. She ran
to me, rubbed herself against me, and then went into
the room, and crept under the wardrobe. I then heard
two voices, and discovered that she had brought down
one of her kittens, and lodged it there for. safety, but







CATS. 43

her fears and cares being so divided between the kittens
above and the little one below, I suppose she wanted
Pincher to watch by this one while she went for the
others, for having confided it to my protection, she
hastened up-stairs. I followed her with my young charge,
placed it beside her, and moved their little bed farther
from the. window, through which the lightning had flashed
so- vividly as to alarm poor puss for the safety of her
family. I remained there till the storm had subsided,
and all was again calm. On the following morning,
much to my surprise, I found her waiting for me at
the door of my apartment. She accompanied me down
to breakfast, sat by me, and caressed me in every
possible way. She had always been in the habit of
going down to breakfast with the lady of the, house,
but on this morning she had resisted all her coaxing
to leave my door, and would not move a step till I
made my appearance. She went to the breakfast-room
with me, and remained, as I have mentioned, until
breakfast was over, and then went up-stairs to her
family. She had never done this before, and never
did it again: she had shown her gratitude for my
care of her little ones, and her duty was done."
If the foregoing anecdote, however, shows how
grateful these creatures can be for any kindness
bestowed upon them, the author of the Gleanings in
Natural History has recorded one which proves how
they can, on the contrary, remember and resent an insult.
"A favourite cat," he writes, "much petted by her mis-
tress, was one day struck by a servant. She resented
the injury so much that she refused to eat anything







OUR PETS.


given to her by him. Day after day he handed her
dinner to her, but she sat in sulky indignation, though
she eagerly ate the food as soon as it was offered to
her by any other individual. Her resentment continued
undiminished for upwards of six weeks. The same
cat having been offended by the housemc.id, watched
three days, until she found a favourable opportunity
for retaliation. The housemaid was on her knees
washing the passage, when the cat flew at her, and
left indubitable marks on her arms that no one could
ill-use her with impunity. It is, however, but fair to
record her good qualities as well as her bad ones.
If her resentment was strong, her attachment was
equally so, and she took a singular mode of showing
it. All' the tit-bits she could steal from the pantry,
and all the dainty mice she could catch, she invariably
brought and laid at her mistress's feet. She has been
known to bring a mouse to her door in the middle
of the night, and mew till it was opened, when she
would present it to her mistress. After doing this
she was quiet and contented."
That these animals are capable of forming extraor-
dinary friendships there are abundant proofs recorded.
A writer in the Spectator has given a long and in-
teresting account of a cat which she calls "Nero," and
which came into her house one day, seated itself
composedly by the fireside, and at once domiciled
itself there. This "Nero" would seem at first to have
been born with a wandering disposition, and had pro-
bably continued its search until it was fortunate enough
to find a comfortable home. Contrary to the usual







CATS.


habit of its family, it seemed from its first entrance
into the house to seek friendship with the master, and
soon learned to show a preference for his society by
acts of more than ordinary fondness. "Shortly after
he took possession of our hearts and home," the
narrator writes, "we changed our residence. He was
carried to our new house in a basket, and when set
free went direct to his master, with eloquent gestures
and expressions of resentment and inquiry. The matter
was gravely explained to him, for we never presumed
to limit his intelligence to our perception of it, and he
presently acquiesced. He led his master to the door of
every room in succession, deliberately made the tour of
the apartments, was lifted up to each window-sill, whence
he studied the front and back aspects of the house
and the adjacent gardens, taking his time over it, and
then returning to the study, as yet unfurnished, recog-
nized with manifest pleasure a standing-desk he was
in the habit of seeing his master use, gave the little
gasp which meant that he wanted to be lifted up,
was placed upon it, went to sleep, and ever afterwards
took to the new house. He had favourite rooms, and
his especial place in each, and he resorted to them at
different hours with undeviating regularity. If he found
a door shut, he went to the nearest person, made the
sound which we all knew meant that he wanted to be
followed, and then led the individual to the door, and
stood aside until it was opened. If he wanted water,
which he preferred to London milk, he went for a
servant, conducted her to the pantry, and bleated at
the tap. His punctual attendance at meal-times was







OUR PETS.


always secured by the ringing of the dinner bell at
the pantry window, or if his walks abroad led him
down the road, by tapping the lid of a sardine box
with a fork at the front gate. He liked to know how
everybody in the house was engaged, and much af-
fected a commanding position on the stairs, which
enabled him to see what the servants were about in
general, and to observe every one who went in or
out of the sitting-rooms. During his master's absence
he would sit with me a good deal in the afternoon,
on my writing-table, his paws resting on the edge of
my paper, and his eyes and head drowsily following
the motion of my pen. He never upset, or broke, or
spoiled anything; and his taste was fastidious. For
some time an humble jam-pot contained drinking
water for him beside my dressing-table, but one day
I had a red Bohemian glass carafe and tumbler given
me, which, as usual, 'Nero' inspected. Henceforth he
declined the jam-pot, and the red tumbler was made
over to him. However thirsty he might be, in that
room he would not drink out of anything else. He
was condescending to other cats, but not familiar with
them, and the finest of sights was his holding durbar
in the back garden, which had been laid down in
grass for his delectation. A few select animals would
group themselves at a respectful distance, while he
sat motionless in the sunniest spot on the grass-plot,
until the whole affair bored him, when he would rise,
stretch himself, yawn, and saunter in, to seek the
human society, which, strange to say, did not bore
him. He was also condescending to the servants, and






OATS.


in his days of decline grew fond of them, but he was
not familiar with them, and he rarely visited the
kitchen, insisting upon the pantry window being kept
open for his ingress and egress, and utterly disdaining
the area-steps. His breakfast was laid every morning
beside the dining-room fire, a newspaper being neatly
disposed under his own particular plate. Sometimes
his master did this, sometimes the parlour-maid, and
in the latter case, though he was very good friends
with her, he would stand gravely by and decline to
begin to eat until she had left the room.
"He had a strange knowledge of the feelings of
each and all of us, and he regulated his intimacies
by it. He would give a fussy welcome to friends
whom he loved, and be blandly indifferent to mere
acquaintances; and his perception of likenesses was
most extraordinary. His master's brother, visiting
our house for the first time, and arriving during his
master's absence, was amazed to find himself met at
the threshold by a large, beautiful cat, who preceded
him into the dining-room, jumped on the table beside
him, and after gravely inspecting him for some time,
fondly rubbed his face to his, and purred a loud
welcome. A bust, bearing a decided resemblance to
his master, was placed on a table within his reach,
and shortly after its arrival, 'Nero's' master, watching
his proceedings from another room, himself unseen,
beheld him, after long and steady contemplation of the
unfamiliar object, spring upon the table, lay his paws
on the shoulders of the bust, and energetically rub his







OUR PETS.


nose to the face, with the invariable sound sacred to
his caresses of his master.
"His good-breeding impressed everybody. 'Oh,
ma'am, he was such a gentleman!' said our cook,
when he was gone from us; and it was true. But,
remarkable as he was for the sweetness of his manners
and the dignity of his demeanour, it is not to those
qualities I particularly desire to direct your attention.
It is rather to the wonderful loving heart with which
this beautiful creature was gifted, and the way in
which his affections cultivated his intelligence. He
loved us all, and had his different ways of showing us
that he loved us; but above all, and in a totally
separate way, he loved his master. His ear was
quicker to hear his step than the ear of wife or child;
and so well was this known among us, that a glance
at 'Nero' was enough to tell us that his master was
coming. He would jump off his bed and run down
stairs in the night, to be in waiting at the door, long
before we caught the sound of his master's tread in
the stillness of the summer, and the storm and rain
of winter could not whirl it away from his ears. I
might multiply instances and proofs of this great love
of the four-footed for the human friend; but I have
told enough, and shall add only one -more reminiscence
of our 'Nero.' They say that most animals, and
especially cats, creep away into darkness and solitude
to die. He had been ill for a long time, and in spite
of all our care, we knew the end was near, and we
dreaded that this instinct might assert itself. But,






OATS.


when the death agony was upon him, and we were
looking on helpless, he crept close to his master and
bore his great pain with patient courage, responding
always to the encouragement of his master's voice,
and then, having lain for three hours, with his head
pillowed in his master's hand, and the loving wistful
eyes fixed immoveably upon his face, he died, good
and gentle to the last."
The old and frequently-used adage of a "cat and dog
life," would not always appear to be strictly true, for
many have been the instances in which pussy has made
quite a friend of her stronger and sometimes much
larger rival. Thus at Ashton Hall, in Warwickshire,
a cat became the constant companion of a fierce and
terrible bloodhound, following it continually about the
yard, and even eating with it, and sleeping in its kennel.
The most extraordinary instance, however, of which we
have. either heard or read, is that of the attachment of
a domestic cat to a tame crocodile; they were almost
constantly together, and their friendship to all appear-
ance was mutual, and so great was the affection of the
cat, that she used to lay down with the crocodile's
long jaws resting upon her as upon a pillow. We
remember ourselves to have seen a pair of favourites,
which had been educated together from kittenhood
and puppyhood, so inseparable in their friendship that
they could scarcely be induced to leave each other,
lying often upon the hearthrug one over another.
Another favourite cat we recollect also in our child-
hood's home, which made an extraordinary attachment
to a pair of turtle doves. These innocent creatures







OUB PETS.


inhabited an open basket hung from the kitchen roof, and
were from their first introduction to the house at full
liberty to exercise their wings as they pleased. At first
their only cause of terror was. "Tiger," who was indeed
a formidable specimen of his race. "Tiger," however,
though he looked somewhat astonished at their impu-
dence, was too much under subjection to hurt them,
and by degrees seemed rather to court their society
than to be wishful to disturb them. His calm observant
manner soon disarmed them of their fears, and it was
not long before they learned to approach him without
the least alarm. Familiarity led to attachment, and in
the course of time the doves became so reckless as to
perch upon the cat as he lay basking before the kitchen
fire. The sight caused amusement to many a visitor;
and often when "Tiger" had entered the kitchen after
a forage round the yard, he would approach the hearth,
look up to his feathered friends perched upon the edge
of their basket, and mew for them to bear him company
before the fire.
"Tiger" was a famous mouser, and indeed a wonderful
hunter in every sense. On several occasions our family
were surprised at discovering in the morning a rabbit,
dead but not mangled, on the back-door steps. Only
by the cat's sitting by it on some occasions could sus-
picion fall upon him, but the suspicion was at last
proved to be well founded, for some member of the
family rising earlier than usual one summer's morning
observed "Tiger" crossing the road, and attempting
to mount the platform in front of the house with a
burden which proved too heavy- for him to do so.









At length, finding himself foiled in this attempt, he
quietly marched along the edge of the platform and
came upon it at its farthest slope, with a full-grown
rabbit, which was found at the accustomed place by
the back-door steps. It had happened that a heavy
fall of snow fell late one spring, when there was a
goodly number of young rabbits in a preserve some
three or four hundred yards distant from the house.
Many of these had taken refuge in a large and dry drain
running beneath the platform just alluded to, and the
idea had suggested itself to our mind to put "Tiger"
in at one end, and, blocking up with snow, compel him
to pass through, and so force the young rabbits out.
Armed with a stout stick we stood waiting for our inno-
cent victims, and soon "Tiger" seemed to have discovered
and entered into the spirit of our scheme, for out they
came one after another, some getting clear, but others
falling before our blows. Unfortunately, however, for
poor "Tiger," we had calculated upon no accident, and
emerging in the ardour of the chase, he received the
evil reward of a blow also. We put him in again on
several occasions with success, and indeed he seemed
to enjoy the sport with us; but he was sagacious enough
to rush out no more while danger threatened him, and
we were satisfied that our business was each time con-
cluded when we looked in and saw his striped majesty
quietly seated within a foot or two of the end of the
drain. Whether this had been the first incentive to his
taste for hunting we are not prepared to assert, but
incline somewhat to that opinion. After many narrow
escapes from gamekeepers' threats, and the loss of half


CATS.


51 <







OUB PETS.


his tail in one of these escapades, he at last fell a
victim to his penchant for rabbits, being killed by a
railway train in a cutting, whither he often resorted to
have a hunt.
A somewhat similar instance of a domestic cat's
fondness for the hunting of rabbits is recorded by the
author of British Quadrupeds; and the story is all the
more interesting, because it is invested with no little
degree of providential relief.-"In a retired village in
Devonshire, there was living a family in humble cir-
cumstances, the heads of which were numbered among
the pious poor. The eldest daughter was taken ill, and
long continued a sufferer from disease. Her appetite
was, in consequence, very delicate, and at this her
parents were much concerned, as they had no means
of ministering to her wants. Living at the distance of
seven or eight miles from any town, they were beyond
the range of the benevolent visits often made in such
neighborhoods, nor were there at hand any persons to
whom in their extremity they could apply for relief.
At this crisis, however, the gracious providence of God
provided for them by very singular means. A favourite
cat brought one day into the room of the invalid a
rabbit she had caught and killed, without at all injuring
it for food, and thus a grateful meal was provided.
Never was she known to do so before, but now she
did so without variation from day to day, until the
sufferer was removed from the present world, and such
aid was no longer needed. The narrator of the fact
received it from the mother of the invalid, who told it
with many tears when he visited her cottage; she thought







CATS.


of one whom she tenderly loved, and for whom relief
was so singularly found."
The sagacity of the cat has been proved in so many
instances by writers on the subject, and is so frequently
to be witnessed that it seems unnecessary to repeat
instances of it. Some few, therefore, will suffice.
Accounts have been given of their attempts to open
doors, and often of their being successful in so doing.
"Tiger," of whom we have before spoken, could ac-
complish this object when standing on the window-sill
outside, but was never successful, though he often at-
tempted, to open it from within. De la Croix records
the most wonderful instance of feline sagacity that we
have ever read:-"I once saw a lecturer upon experi-
mental philosophy place a cat under the receiver of an
air-pump, for the purpose of demonstrating that very
certain fact, that life cannot be supported without air
and respiration. The lecturer had already made several
strokes with the piston, in order to exhaust the receiver
of its air, when the animal, who began to feel herself
very uncomfortable in the rarified atmosphere, was
fortunate enough to discover the source from whence
her uneasiness proceeded. She placed her paw upon
the hole through which the air escaped,, and thus pre-
vented any more from passing out of the receiver. All
the exertions of the philosopher were now unavailing;
in vain he drew the piston, the cat's paw effectually
prevented its operation. Hoping to effect his purpose,
he let the air again into the receiver, which as soon
as the cat perceived, she withdrew her paw from. the
aperture; but whenever he attempted to exhaust the







54 OUR PETS.

receiver, she applied her paw as before. All the spec-
tators clapped their hands in admiration of the wonderful
sagacity of the animal, and the lecturer found himself
under the necessity of liberating her, and substituting
in her place another."
Another case in which one of these animals displayed
a remarkable forethought we must also record. One
spring, when because of the cold the swallows were
compelled to course very low in pursuit of their insect
prey, a wily cat stretched herself upon the grass-plot,
and lay motionless as if dead; speedily the flies collected
themselves in a cluster about her, and at length the
swallows, tempted to seek their prey in her close prox-
imity, began to swoop close over her. Pussy watched
her opportunity, and with a sudden jerk struck out her
paw at one of the feathered company, and thus secured
herselE a meal.















































* k .


RABBITS.


"~71;






RABBITS.


CHAPTER IV,

RABBITS.

IHILDREN are almost universally fond of keeping
rabbits, but to keep them properly requires so
much care and tact that they should by no means be
left entirely to their charge. Little folks are proverbial
for their short-lived fancies, and poor Bunny would
receive but sorry attention if the greater judgment of
riper years did not now and then direct their treatment.
They may, nevertheless, be kept advantageously, for
there is a fund of amusement in watching them as
their deportment changes from the most comic gambols
to attitudes of serious gravity.
What we see, however, in the confined space of a
rabbit-hutch, and in only a limite- number of these
interesting pets, is but a feeble picture of rabbit life,
compared to what may be seen on a favourable occa-
sion among the multitudes of busy inhabitants that
people the vast warrens in some parts of the country.
Let those of our little friends who have no oppor-
tunities of such a lively sight, fancy themselves
accompanying us on an early morning walk upon the
grassy uplands of Yorkshire or Lincolnshire. It is a







OUR PETS.


warm, delightful summer's morn, the sun has just
begun to lay the dew upon the pasture, and the gentle
murmur of the sea is heard soft and low. We may
almost think, as we walk along, that we are going
into the regions of solitude, for there are but few of
our feathered warblers here to wake the morning with
their gladsome song. But let us go gently over this
rising hill; there we shall see a multitude of the
"feeble folk." Now we have reached the brow, and
all down the slope before us the merry life proceeds.
There sits a knot of tiny little ones in every con-
ceivable attitude, looking just for a moment as solemn
and precise as possible; hastily, however, a fit of
merriment seizes them, and off they rush as if their
very life depended on their speed, their white tails
dancing like silver leaves before an autumn gale.
Then they make a sudden halt: one engages in a
busy nibbling at some tempting blade of grass; another
perches up on end and begins his toilette, washing
his face and rubbing his ears with his tiny little
paws; a third crouches closely in a hollow, as if
inviting to a game of hide and seek; a fourth stretches
himself erect, and gazes round as if jealous of approach.
Again the merry fit comes on; they leap over each
other, and their antics are so ludicrous that we have
to exercise great self-control not to disturb them by
an ill-timed laugh. Here and there we see older and
sedater individuals, who make the best use of their
time in securing their morning meal; but even these
are not averse to having a frolic now and then, and
so all over a considerable space there is enough of







BABBITS.


life and merriment to satisfy us that the little folks
are happy. We give a shout, and the merry tribe
from every point rush forward to their burrows, many
we have hitherto not seen, seeming to spring up from
the earth, and in a moment the whole field is desolate;
but it is not lifeless long, for soon they begin to steal
out again, and after a few moments, if we keep silent
and still, the same busy scene is repeated in a variety
of ways.
Rabbits are timid creatures, but they are taught by
instinct to provide for their safety in a wonderful
manner. They burrow long and winding passages
into the earth, upon some hill-side or bank, in which
they take refuge when alarmed, and where they form
a nest for their little ones, composed of dried grass
or moss, and lined with hair and down from their
own bodies. They understand well enough how to
construct their hiding-places to keep them dry, their
burrows being so contrived that no water shall enter
there. From these burrows they never, or but rarely,
wander to any great distance, for they are wise enough
to establish themselves near to where their food is
plentiful, and in case of surprise or danger their first
recourse is to make off direct to them.
That the common wild rabbit is capable of con-
siderable domestication has been proved in many
instances by various writers, though our own expe-
rience has not by any means enabled us to say that
it can always be accomplished. We have taken many
wild rabbits, at every stage of growth, and confined
them, both in hutches by themselves and in company







OUI PETS.


with tame ones, and have never succeeded in bringing one
to a condition of even partial domestication. We have
bred young ones also by crossing between the two in
confinement, and even these as they grew up uniformly
-exhibited a considerable state of wildness, and it
required our utmost attention to their hutches to keep
them in confinement at all, their propensity for nibbling
being so freely exercised upon every piece of wood-
work within their reach. Those taken when young,
though ever so well fed and tended, were invariably
stunted in their growth. We must confess, however,
that our endeavours to tame them never extended to
a matter of education, or to a display of affection or
tenderness.
Some of the particular and most highly prized of
fancy rabbits are so dissimilar in colour and form to
their wild brethren, that we are not easily persuaded
they have been produced from that source. Their long
and heavy ears, their more profuse covering of fur,
their larger size and more unwieldy frame, render
them less capable of that activity and nimbleness
which are so conspicuous in the gambols so often
witnessed in our fields and woods. In most of their
peculiarities, their food, and their general behaviour,
however, they give abundant evidence of their rela-
tionship, and by a careful knowledge of these, the
treatment of tame rabbits, of whatever variety, should be
ordered.
In the keeping of rabbits in confinement, the great
variety of green food they will readily eat makes it
an easy matter to satisfy them in this respect. But






RABBITS.


we must urge the necessity of a careful selection of
these, because, though the wild rabbit is known to
be almost omnivorous (that is, eating everything) in a
vegetarian sense, yet it must be remembered that those
in confinement are precluded from the free and
abundant exercise which their wild relatives enjoy, and
that they are totally unable to have recourse in their
diseases to the natural remedies which the instinct of
most animals teaches them to use for their relief. They
are, in fact, pampered individuals, and since they are
living in a state of luxury, and not in a state of
nature, their health must be diligently observed, and
their food regulated accordingly. Indeed, when carefully
housed, and kept in a state of cleanliness, nearly all
the illnesses that rabbit-flesh is heir to may be avoided
or overcome by a timely and judicious change of diet,
For such necessary applications some directions will be
given in the course of this chapter.
Perhaps, to speak a little of the keeping of fancy
breeds, the lop-eared varieties are more delicate than
the others, and should therefore have more strict atten-
tion to the dryness of their hutches, more frequent
change of bedding, and a greater amount of corn or
dry food than is usually allowed. Much corn is indeed
necessary for all rabbits which are to be kept in that
sleek and healthy-looking condition so requisite for
show breeds. From our own experience we can say
that we have found all the lop-ears to be more sub-
ject to diseases of almost every description. Colds
are easily produced among them by a sudden change
of temperature, by damp, or by cold draughts, and it







OUB PETS.


is both unwise and unprofitable to think of keeping
any of these tender and often expensive varieties in
ordinary wooden hutches, unless these are also beneath
the protection of another building of brick or stone.
The best situation for the hutches intended for such
is beneath an open shed, where they will have an
abundant supply of fresh and pure air, but the roof
of the shed must be reliable to keep off the wet.
The best aspect also is facing the south, the roof
slanting down to the northwards, as in such a position
they will receive the benefit of the sun a greater
portion of the day, and will at the same time be
perfectly sheltered from the biting north and north-east
winds so prevalent in the spring, when the most
prizeable litters of young are of course anticipated.
It is notably true that the sweetening and life-giving
influences of sunlight are by no means sufficiently con-
sidered in the erection of dwellings for domesticated
animals; if they were, we should not so often be
invited to damp and musty corners, where the smell
is anything but agreeable to us even during our short
visit, but which the delicate nose of the "lop" or
the "smut" has to inhale invariably from day to day.
In many such cases the poor animal is not thus made
a sufferer through the negligence or the greed of its
owner, but through his ignorance of its requirements,
and of the natural laws that would tend to preserve it
in health and activity.
To those who wish to keep rabbits for the table
we should not recommend any of the fancy breeds.
Their flesh is moderately well flavoured, and of irre-







RABBITS.


proachable whiteness; but they lack shape, and present
anything but an elegant appearance before the carver.
For this purpose there is no variety more suitable
than the old-fashioned prick-eared rabbit, generally of
a sandy, sandy and white, or grey and white colour.
It is hardy, well formed, little subject to disease,
easily housed, and speedily fattened; and the does are
such profuse and safe breeders that there is no lack
of young ones for the cook. Indeed, three does, under
ordinary circumstances, with proper care and manage-
ment, will be the means of providing about three
rabbits a week for the table; and where there is a
tolerably large garden, the refuse of which can mostly
be turned to good account in the, way of food, they
will amply repay the cost and trouble of keeping. This,
however, is rabbit-keeping on a large scale, and our
readers ought carefully to consider the trouble it
involves before they commit themselves to it. It
necessitates at least a stock of forty rabbits of all
ages, which, without a considerable amount of food
ready to hand, would be far too likely to suffer from
neglect.
Having satisfied yourself of your resources, the first
thing to be accomplished is the preparation of your
hutches. Let these be placed under the shelter of a
substantial wall, or shed as before observed, not less
than two feet from the ground, so that a current of
air may pass beneath them, and that there may be
room enough to admit of all droppings being readily
cleared away; and let them be sufficiently roomy to
allow the animals to have free exercise for their limbs.







OUB PETS.


Hutches for breeding does should be divided into two
compartments, for the timid creatures prefer making
their nest and depositing their young free from all
observation. The smallest and darkened compartment
should be about three feet square; this will give
plenty of room for the mother to turn herself about
without the danger of treading upon her young ones.
The feeding compartment should be considerably larger,
and should have a plentiful admittance of light, for
here, when the young ones are sufficiently advanced,
they will follow their mother, and speedily begin to
feed a little upon the food supplied for her. Here
also they may be looked at without fear of harming
them; jbut let it be a fixed rule to handle all young
rabbits as little as possible, for there is no telling
what injury may be caused by it. The animals them-
selves dislike it, and we never care to see them
subjected to a treatment that may be all very well and
pleasant for a lap-dog, but which is totally against the
nature and disposition of a rabbit.
Besides the hutches for your breeding does, you
must also provide a far larger one in which to place
the young rabbits as soon as they are ready to be taken
from the mother. This should be of sufficient size to
enable the playful creatures to enjoy themselves to the
utmost; they must have room enough to frisk and
gambol as they please. The floor should be sloped
sufficiently to carry off all the moisture, and by occa-
sional sweeping should be kept in a constant state of
cleanliness. A few old boxes may be turned on their
sides to afford them sleeping places, and these too will







RABBITS.


be found to add materially to their enjoyment when
they are in a playful mood. They break the level
monotony of the floor, and are frequently leaped upon
by the young rabbits as they run about and chase
each other. Here each consecutive litter may be kept
until four or five months old, when they will be ready
to single out and fatten for the table.
In selecting your does for breeding purposes, either
from your own stock or from rabbit vendors, be careful
to choose those that are small and compact rather
than the larger and lankier specimens. A little, stout-
framed doe, with short and active limbs, is by far the
most preferable, and will be the most reliable to pro-
duce well formed and healthy young. If in a good
state of health, she may be fed with a considerable
amount of green food, care being always taken not
to give it to her in a wet condition, and always of as
many varieties as can readily be obtained. The suc-
cession of crops in the garden may be turned to good
account in rabbit-keeping. Parsley, lettuce, pea-pods,
the stalks and leaves of kidney-beans, together with
the prunings and cuttings of almost every species of
fruit tree, will each and all in their season form a
welcome repast. Cabbage leaves, which have a tendency
to scour, should at all times be given sparingly, and
should be accompanied by a plentiful supply of bran
and oats. More than ordinary care must, however, be
bestowed upon the doe for a few days previous to and
after a litter; a handful of clean and sweet hay should
now and then be thrown in to her, but no prying to
see what she is doing should be indulged in, for just






OUR PETS.


at this period she is very jealous, and the least inju-
dicious act may induce her to destroy her young.
The general treatment of the rabbits when taken
from their mother will not usually require the exercise
of any very serious attention. Variety of food, careful
avoidance of any greens that are wet or of a scouring
nature, a tolerable 'quantity of oats, with carrots and
turnips, will be found to satisfy them pretty well.
Should any of them appear to be suffering at any
time from diseases, take them away at once from the
general assembly, place them in boxes, and administer
a change of -diet in the way of drier food, until the
condition of their dung and the glossy appearance of
their fur betokens they are cured. A very little expe-
rience will enable you to act with all these disorders
in quite a systematic manner, and if you study the
habits of these animals, you will find but little trouble
in doing what you take an interest in.
To "make up" the young rabbits for the table,
they should be selected when about five months old,
and should be placed not more than two or three
together in one hutch. Here they should be fed for
a fortnight with as much corn as they can eat, with
a little green food to act as a tonic now and then.
The hutch for fattening should have but little light,
for the rabbits must be induced to sleep as much as
possible, and they will speedily become fat. Breeders
will understand well enough the value of crossing, and
a change of blood should be frequently introduced,
both among the breeding does and bucks. We have
found it specially beneficial for the purpose of the







RABBITS.


table to cross with a wild buck occasionally, the young
rabbits thus derived being most elegant in form, and,
though somewhat dwarfed for a generation or two,
most satisfactory in point of condition and flavour.
All rabbits, but more especially young ones, are very
wastefil with their food, scratching it out of their
feeding-troughs and trampling it under their feet, and,
as they will not eat anything that has become dirtied,
it is consequently lost. To avoid this, and to save
much that would otherwise be wasted, let your feeding-
troughs be made of good size, with a front swinging
by a couple of hinges from above. These can be easily
manufactured, and the rabbits soon learn to push for-
ward the front with their heads, and so obtain their
food. They are great eaters, and it is highly necessary
to economize in every way, or the cost of their keeping
will be very seriously increased.
Much has been written on the necessity or otherwise
of providing rabbits with drink, and experienced rabbit
keepers have given their opinions on both sides of the
question. We think that rabbits, fed with a usual
amount of green iood, will, under ordinary circumstances,
do without drink almost altogether. The vegetables
mostly given to them are of a succulent or juicy nature,
and these will generally afford .-i l:u. moisture to
satisfy their wants in this respect, for, under any cir-
cumstances, they take but little, either of milk or any
other liquid, when offered to them. During the hot
period towards the end of summer, however, when all
herbage is more than ordinarily dry, we should advise
their being provided with a little sweet milk or thin
V?






66 OUR PETS.

oatmeal-water once or twice a day, and immediately
upon littering the does should invariably be offered
something to drink, as they seem at this period to suffer
sensibly from thirst. A little experience will readily
lead you. to form a correct judgment of their wants in
this respect.














ff'.ifl~ ~


o l
4z


AI


SQUIRREL, GUINEA-PIGS, AND "WHITE MICE.


iiI I
1







THE, SQUIRRELzj,


CHAPTER V.

SQUIIEEL, GUINEA-PIGS, AND WHITE MICE.

E LEGANT, nimble, and of unwearied playfulness,
the squirrel is a favourite wherever it is kept.
Its cleanly habits, and the readiness with which it
accustoms itself to any change of circumstances in
confinement, its fond, winning ways, and the graceful
attitudes it assumes when being caressed, are all so
familiar to every observer of our domesticated animals
that we need not to repeat them here.
The great familiarity which it so often shows in
captivity is all the more remarkable, since in a wild
state it is very timid and wary. Every one who has
walked much in the wooded parts of our island must
have had a sight of it, and will know how difficult it
is to approach. Scarce a footfall can sound within its
hearing before the little climber begins to scramble
and leap from bough to bough, or from tree to tree;
and so exceedingly quick are its motions, that the eye
has no sooner seen it perched for an instant upon
some outstretching branch than it is seen scampering
aloft, as though its only motto of safety were "higher,
higher." In woods and plantations, where there is a






OUR PETS.


plentiful supply of cone or nut-bearing trees, squirrels
are sufficiently numerous to be frequently met with.
Here, high up between the forking branches, or in
some decaying hollow, generally of a tall fir, they
build their nest, leaving an entrance just large enough
for them to pass through. This nest is made as
comfortable and snug as possible wi h a lining of wool,
rabbits' fur, and fur also torn from the body of the
mother squirrel.
An instance, however, is related by Martin Curtler
in The Naturalist, when a curious departure from the
usual custom had been resorted to for the purpose of
affording a soft and warm resting-place for their young.
He writes,-"In the woods in the neighbourhood of
Dunkeld there are great numbers of squirrels. Whilst
staying at that place I fell in with a curious character
-a fellow who professed to be ostler at the Duke of
Athol Hotel-and who, from being a good fisherman,
and possibly somewhat of a poacher, had evidently
become in his way a bit of a naturalist. It appeared
he was very fond of rearing squirrels; and he told
me that on climbing up to a nest, which might have
been some twenty or thirty feet from the ground, he
was much astonished at finding in the bottom of it
the body of a full-grown rabbit, which evidently had
not been dead very long; and from the manner in
which it was placed in the nest, he had no doubt
that it had been taken up the tree by the squirrels
to serve for a warm lining for the young when brought
forth." Mr. Knox also relates the story, which a
gamekeeper had told him, of having once observed a







TIlE SQUIREJL.


squirrel carrying a half-grown pheasant up the trunk of
a tree, the bird being at the time alive; a story which
Mr. Knox himself seems to dispute on the ground of
the gamekeeper's b3ing mistaken; but in the light
of the above relation by Mr. Curtler, it would not
seem at all improbable, supposing the squirrel was
about to appropriate the pheasant to the same purpose
for which the rabbit had been used.
The treatment of squirrels in confinement may be
best directed by obtaining a knowledge of their habits
and of their food when in a wild state, and the nearest
approach in every way to these will be the most likely
to please the interesting little creatures. It is customary
to see them confined in circular cages, made to revolve
with the motion of the animal, so that the poor squirrel
cannot exercise its natural liking for climbing without
a continuous circular motion. This is, however, but a
poor sort of imprisonment, and altogether fails to show
the elegant form of this pretty creature to any advan-
tage, and prevents it from assuming the many elegant
attitudes of which it is capable. It must be sadly out
of its element in such a cage, accustomed as it is to
roam at will among the underwood, or to scale the
loftiest trees, and to leap from branch to branch with
daring skill; and it cannot be expected to continue in
health and activity for any length of time under such
conditions. Besides, if the squirrel be captured when
very young, or, better still, if bred in confinement,
there is no necessity to exercise so strict a control
over its motions; for it will then be capable of so
much education as to be entrusted with considerable







OUB PETS.


liberty, and if kindly treated, and abundantly fed, it
will become affectionate enough to prefer the society
of its owner, and will but rarely attempt to escape
from the house. It is sufficiently cleanly in its habits
to justify its being allowed to caper about the house
as it pleases, and its pleasant and diverting antics
about the furniture, and indeed about everything that
offers an available means of ascent, will be a constant
source of interest and amusement.
We have read somewhere the history of one of these
creatures, which had been taken from the nest, and
treated with every possible kindness and attention, and
which in a very little time became so attached to its
captor as to show unmistakable signs of sadness
during his absence. The little squirrel was accustomed
to eat from his hand, to lie upon the table before
him when writing or reading, and even to accompany
him occasionally when out walking, being carried in
the pocket of his master's coat, from whence his little
head would now and then be protruded with a knowing
look, and his glistening brown eyes take a survey of
the landscape around. He became at last so habited
to this mode of transit, that when his master was
making preparations for a walk, he would leap upon
him, and endeavour as best he could to get into the
pocket by himself. This affectionate desire of his
master's society at length caused his death; for being
conveyed in his master's pocket to the house of a
friend, in a moment of forgetfulness he was unfortu-
nately sat upon, and was so seriously injured that he
shortly after died.







THE SQUIRREL. 71

The food provided for squirrels should consist prin-
cipally of the harder and drier kinds of nuts, such as
those of the hazel, walnuts, chestnuts, and acorns, of
the latter of which it is especially fond. A lump of
sugar, a little biscuit, or crust of bread may also be
given occasionally, and if the latter be soaked for a
few minutes in fresh milk it will be found beneficial.
As the squirrel begins to grow old its teeth will be-
come large, and its ability to crack the shells of hard
nuts be lessened thereby; when arrived at this state
its nuts should be cracked for it, and its food should
consist of a greater proportion of soaked bread-crust
and biscuit. Squirrels have a great habit of secreting
what they do not require for their immediate consump-
tion, and when any such collection is discovered, it is
best to appropriate it at once for the next meal, as,
having learned to depend upon being regularly fed,
their memory seems to be but little exercised for the
purpose of discovering it again. They eat but little at
a time, and should consequently be fed many times a
day.
There are several species of squirrels, besides the
one so commonly known to us in England. One of
the prettiest is the HIackee, or Chipping Squirrel,
which is a native of North America. It is but of
small size, its tail being only four inches long, and
the whole length of the animal rarely reaching to a
foot. Its chief colour is a brownish grey, enlivened
with several stripes of black and cream-colour on the
back and along the sides, the throat and belly being
of a pure white. Its chief haunts are wooded places







OUR PETS.


where the soil is of a sandy nature, and, unlike our
English species, it resorts to the earth for its hiding-
places, into which it burrows somewhat after the manner
of the rabbit.
Another species, differing much in habit from the
common one, is the Java Squirrel. One of its pecu-
liarities is that it seldom erects its tail over its back,
as is the usual manner of carrying that appendage in
the other members of its family, but generally allows
it to travel gracefully after it along the ground. The
people of Java show themselves as fond of domesti-
cating this interesting creature as we do in educating
its relative with us, and we are informed that it is
very amusing and playful.

GUINEA-PIGS.-It is hard to say how these animals
have obtained their name, for their native home is in
South America, and they have never been found in
Guinea as their title would lead us to suppose. They
belong to the same family as the rabbit, their manner
of eating and their food being the same; though in
many respects, as in their peculiar cry, and in their
gait, they seem to partake also of the nature of the
mouse. They may be kept in hutches like those
recommended for the keeping of rabbits, and their
general treatment may be considered about the same.
Indeed it was an old notion to keep them together,
as it was believed that the presence of the Guinea-pig
was sufficient to drive away rats, which are known to
be troublesome and destructive visitors when the rabbits
have young; but instead of such being the case, it







GUINEA-PIGS. WHITE MICE.


has been discovered that the rats have devoured the
Guinea-pigs themselves.
The Guinea-pig was introduced to this country from
America, shortly after the discovery of that continent,
and speedily took its place among us as a domestic
pet. It is very abundant in Paraguay, and all along
the banks of the Rio Plata, but in its wild state pre-
sents a far more sober appearance as to colour than
the specimens acclimatised in England. Its smell is
disagreeable, and its voice by no means pleasant; but
it is remarkable for the excessive cleanliness of its
coat. Its food in confinement should be much the
same as that of the rabbit, scarcely any vegetable, in
fact, coming amiss to it. A little milk should be
given to it occasionally, which it will partake of with
manifest enjoyment.

WHITE MICE.-Our readers must not startle at any
uncomfortable suggestions that the very name of mice
may summon forth in their sensitive minds. It is in-
deed not a little remarkable that such a timid little
creature as the mouse should be the cause of so much
terror and disgust as is generally displayed regarding
it. Certainly there can be no argument advanced in
its favour as an uninvited guest within our homes, but
some of the members of the mouse family are so
tractable that they may be made very amusing pets,
and an abundance of stories is on record to prove
the readiness with which they become so.
To describe the common mouse may be considered
altogether unnecessary, as most of our readers will be







OUR PETS.


well enough acquainted with him. He is particularly
fond of domiciling himself with us, though he is not
a great lover of our society; and the freedom which
he takes with our property, and the forages he makes
upon our provisions, are not always lightly to be for-
given. But, after all this, he has his redeeming
qualities; whatever he does, he does it in a shy and
retiring manner; he has none of the glaring impu-
dence of the rat about him, and it seems to be more
for the satisfying of his wants, and with a shrinking
and timid disposition, that he commits those petty
larcenies which circumstances have forced upon him.
Seeking to obtain some knowledge of the habits of
the common mouse, R. F. Logan, Esq., of Doddingston,
kept one of them in captivity for a considerable time,
and he thus communicated his observations to The
Nacturalist in 1853:-"For a short time after its intro-
duction to its domicile it was restless and watchful,
constantly biting the wires with its teeth; and in so
doing, making such a noise, that had its teeth not
been very hard and strong, they must have been
broken to pieces by such violent exercise on so hard
a substance. Now it sleeps away most of its time
during the day, rolled up in a corner like a ball, but
is roused by the slightest noise; and when food is
placed within its reach, awakes to full activity, steals
out of its corner, seizes it in its mouth, and runs
with it generally to the opposite corner, where it
munches it, holding it between its fore feet, and
crouching on the hinder ones, but not sitting erect,
as we see mice frequently drawn. This posture it very







WHITE MICE.


seldom assumes, but does so occasionally when cleaning
its fur, though never, I believe, while feeding. It is
a most cleanly little animal, and always dresses its fur
after a meal; licking its paws quite clean, and then
raising them both together over its head, and stroking
down its face and ears, finishing the operation by
licking its fur as far as it can reach, very much after
the manner of its enemy the domestic cat. When
about to lie down, it generally turns round once or
twice in the corner, like a cat or dog; and laps up
milk, when given to it, exactly in a similar manner.
One day, when I thought it thirsty, I offered it a
drop of water on the end of my pen, which it licked
off with avidity, and followed the pen when withdrawn
for a fresh supply. In sleeping, it frequently tucks
its head right under its body, so as literally to rest
on the crown of it; a most uncomfortable position, one
might suppose, but one which it seems very fond of.
I have never heard it squeak, or utter the smallest
sound since it came into my possession, which is rather
remarkable. As another proof of its disposition for
cleanliness: I had one morning given it some soft
food, in eating a portion of which it rolled it into the
dirt at the bottom of the cage, on discovering which,
it immediately rejected it, and pushing it with its
snout to the farthest extremity of the cage, returned
to its favourite corner, which it swept perfectly clean
in the same fashion, shoving everything aside with its
snout, and then went for a fresh supply."
The remarkable sensitiveness of the common mouse to
the sweet sounds of music has long been known, and







OUB PETS.


some extraordinary anecdotes of the peculiar conduct
of this animal under its influence have been contributed
by observers. Thus, in 1817, Dr. Archer writes, "I
was alone in my chamber, took up my flute, and
commenced playing. In a few minutes, my attention
was directed to a mouse that I saw creeping from a
hole, and advancing towards the chair on which I was
sitting. I ceased playing, and it ran precipitately back
to its hole; I began again shortly afterwards, and was
much surprised to see it reappear, and take its old
position. The appearance of the little animal was truly
delightful; it couched itself on the floor, shut its eyes,
and appeared in ecstasy. I ceased playing, and it in-
stantly disappeared again. This experiment I repeated
frequently with the same success, observing that it was
always differently affected as the music varied from
the slow and plaintive to the brisk and lively. It
finally went off, and all my art could not entice it to
return."
A still more extraordinary occurrence, however, is
related to have taken place on one occasion on board
a British man-of-war lying in Portsmouth harbour. It
was a winter evening, and one of the officers, to
beguile away the time, was seated by the cabin fire,
and began to play a plaintive air upon the violin. He
had not been playing long before a mouse rushed
frantically forward into the centre of the cabin floor.
Its peculiar conduct attracted the attention of the
officers present, and they allowed it to continue its
frantic efforts unmolested. Its exertions varied as the
tones of the air partook now of the plaintive, and






WITIIE MITE.


now of the gay and lively, as though the feelings of
the little animal were influenced by their effect upon
its ear. After putting forth these active exertions for
some time, the little animal at length ceased, fell
motionless, and speedily expired, without any signs of
pain or injury.
We can go still farther into the extraordinary-and
with most excellent authority-and pass from the ap-
preciation and influence of music, to the positive
display of musical ability in this curious little creature.
In his Natural History, the Rev. J. G. Wood inserts a
communication from one of his correspondents, the
Rev. R. L. Bampfield, who gives the following account
of the exercise of a-strong faculty of musical imita-
tion:-"In a former residence of mine some mice took
up their abode behind the wainscot in the kitchen.
From motives which few housekeepers would appreciate
we allowed them to remain undisturbed; and most
merry, cheerful little creatures they were. It seemed
to us that a young brood was being carefully educated,
but they did not learn all their accomplishments from
their parents. In the kitchen hung a good singing
canary, and by degrees the chirp of the mice changed
into an exact imitation of the canary's song; at least
it was so with one, for though several attempted it,
one considerably excelled the rest. I am not sure
that admiration for the music influenced them, for,
from the funny facetious way in which it was done,
I should rather say it was out of mockery, or at least
from a love of imitation. Yet the result was very
pleasing; far inferior to the canary's note in volume,







OUR P.ETS.


strength, and sweetness, it was perhaps superior to it
in softness and delicacy. Often have I listened to it
with pleasure in the evening, when the canary was
asleep, with its head beneath its wing; and more than
once have I observed a kitchen guest glance at the
canary, then look round in some astonishment and
say,, 'Is that a bird, sir, singing?' One trustworthy
person, assured me that he too had in his house a
singing mouse. I have therefore little doubt that if a
young family of mice were brought up from the first
close to a canary, or some other songster, some of
them would learn to sing."
While dealing with mouse stories we must not for-
get to bring before our readers* the substance of an
old German legend called the Mouse Tower:-"It came
to pass in the year 914 that there was an exceeding
great famine in Germany, at which time Otho, surnamed
the Great, was emperor. One Hatto, an abbot of
Fulda, was archbishop of Mentz. This Hatto, in the
time of this great famine, when he saw the poor
people of the country exceedingly oppressed, assembled
a great company of them into a barn, and, like a most
accursed and merciless caitiff, burnt up those innocent
souls, that were so far from fearing any such matter,
that they rather hoped to receive some comfort and
relief at his hands. The reason that moved the prelate
to commit that execrable impiety was because he
thought the famine would the sooner cease, if these
unprofitable beggars that consumed more bread than
they were worthy to eat were dispatched out of this
world; for he said that these poor folks were like to






WHITE MICE.


mice that were good for nothing but to devour corn.
But God Almighty, the just avenger of the poor folks'
quarrel, did not long suffer this heinous tyranny, this
most detestable fact, to be unpunished; for He mus-
tered up an army of mice against the archbishop, and
sent them to persecute him, so that they afflicted him
both day and night, and would not suffer him to take
rest in any place. Whereupon the prelate, thinking
that he should be secure from the injury of the mice
if he were in a certain tower that standeth in the
Rhine near to the town, betook himself to the said
tower, as safe refuge and sanctuary from his enemies,
and locked himself in. But the innumerable troops of
mice chased him continually very eagerly, and swam
unto him upon the top of the water to execute the
just judgment of God; and so at last he was most
miserably devoured by those simple creatures, who
pursued him with such bitter hostility that it is re-
corded they scraped and gnawed out his very name
from the walls and tapestry wherein it was written,
after they had so cruelly devoured his body. Where-
fore the tower wherein he was eaten up by the mice
is shown to this day for a perpetual monument to all
succeeding ages of the barbarous and inhuman tyranny
of this impious prelate, being situate on a little green
island in the midst of the Rhine, near to the town of
Wingen, and is commonly called, in the German tongue,
the Mouse Tower."
The White Mouse, which by reason of its more
attractive appearance is the one most generally kept
in confinement, is only a variety of the common species,






OUR PETS.


and is said by diligent observers to be less hardy and
much less intelligent and amusing than the sombre
brown one. Mice should be confined in a tolerably
roomy cage, with two or three compartments one above
another, as they seem to delight in running up and down
the sloping elevations thus provided. The front of the
lower portion should be wired, to enable the visitor to
have a ready view of the nimble occupants, and the
floors of all the compartments should be kept constantly
clean. No animal can exist long in a state of health
and high spirits if subjected to the scent its presence
must naturally produce in a confined space. They
should also be kept perfectly dry, for the least con-
tinued damp has a serious effect upon them. They
may be fed with a little corn of almost any descrip-
tion, pieces of dry bread, with now and then a small
scrap of cheese, and their drink may consist either of
water or a little milk. Our readers would do well,
however, if they feel desirous of educating any of the
mouse family, to procure for the purpose two or three
very young ones of the common brown kind, and by
careful attention we doubt not but they will be
abundantly satisfied with the result of their skill.
The genus Mus, the name under which naturalists
have placed all the members of the mouse family, pre-
sents us with many species besides the one so tormenting
and tormented. The Long-tailed Field Mouse is some-
what larger than the common species, is a very pretty
creature, of a fine sandy brown colour, with large, fine,
dark eyes, and a white under part. It is he who
commits such depredations among our beds of peas







WHVITE MICE.


and bulbs. His home is in the field or in the garden,
and those who know the country know also how often
he is dislodged by the ploughman or the gardener.
Not so handsome as his neighbour, but withal inter-
esting as to his mode of life, with his curious blunt
nose and his bluish fur, is the Short-tailed Field Mouse.
His home he makes for himself in the meadow and the
pasture, where, beneath a canopy of herbagee, he con-
stitutes a run in almost every direction, but all diverging
from his underground retreat. He adapts his nest most
wonderfully to the circumstances of the place he has
selected for the abode of his family; where the grass
is long, and the surface of the ground not rendered
dangerous by the tramp of grazing cattle, it is generally
placed above the earth, but in ordinary feeding pastures,
where danger may be anticipated, it is invariably
beneath.
The most interesting, as it is the least member of
the family, and indeed the least also of all the British
quadrupeds, is the Harvest Mouse, first brought before
the notice of naturalists by Gilbert White in the year
1767. "These mice," he writes to one of his friends,
"are much smaller and more slender than the middle-
sized domestic mouse of Ray, and have more of the
squirrel or dormouse colour. Their belly is white. A
straight line along their sides divides the shades of
their back and belly. They never enter houses, are
carried into ricks and barns with the sheaves, they
abound in harvest, and build their nests amidst the
straws of corn above ground, and sometimes in thistles.
They breed as many as eight in a litter, in a little







82 OUR PETS.

round nest, composed of the blades of grass or wheat.
One of these nests I procured this autumn, most arti-
ficially platted, and composed of the blades of wheat,
perfectly round, and about the size of a cricket-ball,
with the aperture so ingeniously closed that there was
no discovery to what part it belonged. It was so com-
pact and well filled, that it would roll across the table
without being discomposed, though it contained eight
little mice that were naked and blind. This wonderful
procreant cradle, an elegant instance of the efforts of
instinct, was found in a wheat-field, suspended in the
head of a thistle." Every effort to rear and domesticate
this tiny creature has, we believe, hitherto been a
failure.














I,2I:I~-~-


GOATS.







THE GOAT.


CHAPTER VI.

THE GOAT.

TONE of the animals kept for their use to man have
so much right to be dissatisfied with the treatment
they receive at his hands, and with the neglect into
which they have fallen, as the goat. If we may be-
lieve the old writers and poets, who have frequently
alluded to herds of goats, we cannot but be led to
think of the influence of high farming cultivation on
the numbers of this once useful and valued animal.
Once upon a"time, (as the old story-books would say,)
before so much of the waste land was brought into
fertility, goats were more generally kept than now,
supplying all the necessities which the sheep supplies,
except as regards the wool; indeed in one sense they
were of greater value, for by the production of milk
and cheese they were in many districts a substitute for
the cow.
The goat, however, is not so well adapted for the
purposes to which the sheep is applied, being of much
slower growth, and consequently not equal to its woolly
rival in the way of profit to the farmer. Its natural
home also is the more mountainous tracts of country,







OURI PETS.


where the sheep would find it difficult to travel and
browse with any degree of safety. Thus, amid the
mountain gorges of Switzerland, and those provinces
of France which border upon the Alps, and in many
parts of Sweden and Norway, the goat is to this day
a valued animal, the peasants of every parish each
possessing one or more. In the former of these countries
the goats of each parish are collected into one flock,
under the charge of one or more goatherds, and the
regularity with which their journey is conducted every
morning and evening to and from the mountains on
which they feed, has long been an interesting sight to
travellers visiting the Alps. Upon many of the least
accessible mountains, these flocks of goats are almost
the only specimens of animal life to be observed, and
their presence helps to relieve the solemn aspect of
many a romantic scene.
There is one tract of Europe where the goat is
made use of in an important duty. We are told that
in the spring of every year vast numbers of sheep
are driven from the plains of Arles, and the low flat
lands bordering on the Rhone, to that portion of the
Alpine chain which divides France from Italy. With
every flock of these sheep are a number of goats,
each bearing a bell, marching in advance of the migrant
animals, and leading them by the route they have been
accustomed to travel. They are trained by the shep-
herds for this purpose, and that so intelligently as to
obey the word of command, halting or proceeding on
their way as directed. In the course of this journey,
which usually lasts from thirty to forty days, they







THE GOAT.


have to cross over many streams and rivers, the goats
always plunging into the water in advance of the sheep.
Alluding to a once very common custom, Mr. Bell,
the eminent naturalist, writes:-"Many persons keep
goats in their stables from an idea that they contribute
to the health of the horses; a fancy perhaps not so far
stretched or absurd as at first sight might appear, for
I believe that all animals are kept in better temper
and in greater cheerfulness by-the presence of a com-
panion than in solitude, and the active and good-humoured
goat may in this way really perform the benefit which
has been attributed to it on mistaken grounds. Indeed,
instances of close attachment between the horse and
the goat are not infrequent."
We are not able to indulge our readers with many
interesting stories of the goat. The following, however,
presents an example of romantic attachment, which may
not be out of place. Immediately after the celebrated
rebellion of 1745, when all the active agencies of the
law were put into force to punish the offenders, one
gentleman who had been a strong partisan against
the government, was forced to seek a hiding-place
amid the mountains of the Western Highlands. Here
he took refuge in a cave near to the abode of a rela-
tive, from whose house provisions were to be sent him
from time to time by a servant. On his first entrance
he was somewhat terrified by a moaning sound, as of
some animal in pain. Groping his way, dagger in hand,
to the spot from whence the sound proceeded, he dis-
covered a goat and its kid, the older animal, as he
found by feeling along its body and limbs with his






OUR PETS.


hands, being in intense agony from a broken leg.
Fearing to hazard himself out in the daylight in search
of anything with which he might alleviate the animal's
suffering, he at once bound up the fractured limb with
his garter, and during the succeeding night he crept
from his hiding-place to obtain for it a quantity of
grass, and other herbage afforded by the neighbourhood.
Continuing his attention to her, the goat gradually
recovered, and in gratitude for his services she became
so attached to him as to be a constant and pleasurable
companion in his dark imprisonment. On one occasion,
when a fresh servant approached the cave with a
supply of provisions for the outlawed man, the old
she-goat attacked him so furiously in the narrow en-
trance, that her benefactor afterwards stated it was his
conviction she would have sacrificed her life in his
defence.
It is not necessary to give any special directions for
the treatment of the goat. None should be kept except
where there is abundant opportunity for them to wander
about and browse at will.































IJ,

Atz


CARROTS, MACAW, AND COCKATOO.















CHAPTER VII.

THE PAEROT FAMILY.


IT must not be inferred from the head given to this
chapter that all the members of the parrot family,
(in which we wish to include the macaws and cockatoos,)
are to be universally admitted into the list of talking
birds. The natural notes of all their race consist at
best of but a few harsh screeches, possessing no charm
whatever for the ear, and with the greater number of
them being altogether incapable of improvement with
the' most careful training. Indeed, though they are a
noisy set of birds, yet out of the hundred and seventy
or eighty species recorded by naturalists, there are but
comparatively few which can be raised to the dignified
position of speaking as with the human voice, though
many more might be included in the list of birds worth
keeping for their beauty and interesting manners. Those
of the family which possess the power of so nearly
imitating human speech, are chiefly to be found among
the less gaudy species, in which the tongue is broad,
and flat, and fleshy, much indeed like the tongue of a
noisy little boy or girl.


UrB PABRUT F 421LLY.Y




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs