pseudopodium
. . . Topsell

. . .

The Cat according to Edward Topsell:

It is needelesse to spend any time about her loving nature to man, how she flattereth by rubbing her skinne against ones Legges, how she whurleth with her voyce, having as many tunes as turnes, for she hath one voice to beg and to complain, another to testifie her delight & pleasure, another among hir own kind by flattring, by hissing, by puffing, by spitting, insomuch as some have thought that they have a peculiar intelligible language among themselves. Therefore how she beggeth, playeth, leapeth, looketh, catcheth, tosseth with her foote, riseth up to strings held over her head, sometime creeping, sometimes lying on the back, playing with one foot, sometime on the bely, snatching, now with mouth, & anon with foot, aprehending greedily any thing save the hand of a man with divers such gestical actions, it is needelesse to stand upon; insomuch as Coelius was wont to say, that being free from his Studies and more urgent waighty affaires, he was not ashamed to play and sport himselfe with his Cat, and verily it may well be called an idle mans pastime. As this beast hath been familiarly nourished of many, so have they payed deare for their love, being requited with the losse of their health, and sometime of their life for their friendship; and worthily, because they which love any beasts in a high mesure, have so much the lesse charity unto man.

Therefore it must be considered what harmes and perils come unto men by this beast. It is most certaine that the breath and savour of cats consume the radicall humour and destroy the lungs, and therefore they which keepe their cats with them in their beds have the aire corrupted and fall into fever hecticks and consumptions. There was a certaine company of Monkes much given to nourish and play with Cattes, whereby they were so infected that within a short space none of them were able either to say, reade, pray, or sing, in all the monastery; and therefore also they are dangerous in the time of pestilence, for they are not onely apt to bring home venomous infection, but to poyson a man with very looking upon him; wherefore there is in some men a naturall dislike and abhorring of cats, their natures being so composed, that not onely when they see them, but being neere them and unseene, and hid of purpose, they fall into passions, fretting, sweating, pulling off their hats, and trembling fearefully, as I have knowne many in Germany, the reason wereof is, because the constellation which threatneth their bodies which is peculiar to every man, worketh by the presence and offence of these creatures; and therefore they have cryed out to take away the Cats."

. . .

So then I says to her, I says... a peculiar intelligible language

Perhaps because so much of my life centers around no one knowing what the fuck I'm talking about, I've always enjoyed the company of animals who attempt conversation.

My favorite dog, an elegant Sheltie bitch named Foxy, used to mimic human speech with a complex set of muffled ladylike coughs -- sounded like Mimi in Russian....

And at present I live with a plush and cobby black cat, Emma, who'll exchange declamations and outraged kvetches pretty much as long as I care to keep 'em coming. Who needs Slashdot?

. . .

so much the lesse charity unto man

Resentment toward PETA seems to be widening; myself, I thought they went as low as they could go with the "Laura Palmer" campaign and then just broke out their lounge chairs and stayed there. There's something so pure about using a sexually enticing naked dead woman to publicize animal rights... I bet the PETA folks were really teed off that Hustler came up with the model-in-a-hamburger-grinder idea first: "The Other White Meat."

American politics isn't built of coalitions but of flash cards; we're willing to abandon any previously maintained sense of morality to scramble to the new high ground of focus. But when it comes to violent imagery, give me frustrated lust over self-righteousness any time....

Your rabbit's happier
"Brenda Starr" panel by Fradon & Schmich

. . .

take away the Cats

Il gatto
photo by Christina La Sala
The feral cats I saw in Tuscany and Umbria seemed unusually healthy and well-fed; several times I saw old ladies bringing food to a colony, and I was told that these gattare were funded by the state in gratitude for the cats' usefulness in plague prevention -- an explanation both quaint and sensible, but apparently not true, at least not in Rome.
From "The Cat in Law," North American Review, February, 1895, Gertrude B. Rolfe reporting:
"A certain citizen of Baltimore stole a fine Maltese cat from a neighbor, who had him arrested for theft. When the case came up for trial the prisoner's counsel entered the plea that it was impossible for anyone to steal a cat, as that animal is not property, and that to take forcible possession of a feline, even though it be a pet one and wear a ribbon and answer to its name, is not a legal offence. The judge held this argument to be good, and the Attorney-General, to whom the case was appealed, agreed with him. The latter in his formal opininon, declares that the cat is really nothing but a wild animal, that it is of no use to man, and that the taking of a cat without the consent of its owner is not an indictable offence."

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Old Style New Yorker Typo Corner:

"Here," the Israeli veterinarian added, "the situation is the opposite, because the reservoirs for rabbis are the wolves, jackals and hyenas." - San Diego Jewish Press-Heritage
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want....

 

Copyright to contributed work and quoted correspondence remains with the original authors.
Public domain work remains in the public domain.
All other material: Copyright 2015 Ray Davis.