SIR,—Have you space for one more cat-story? Many years ago I was living in a house where a hedgehog was kept for the destruction of blackbeetles. I had heard that hedgehogs would eat mice; and one day finding the cat playing with a mouse she had caught, I took it from her and gave it to the hedgehog, who immediately proceeded to devour it. The cat was at first furious, and began to claw at the hedgehog, who, however, only elevated its spines, and quietly went on with its meal, and the cat soon desisted from the attempt to recover her lost prey.
The curious part of the story is what followed. For weeks afterwards, whenever the cat caught a mouse, she went in search of the hedgehog, and did not rest until she found it, and had placed the mouse where the hedgehog could secure it. I cannot say how often this was done, but am sure it was not fewer than half-a-dozen times. Perhaps some of your readers may be able to define the motive which induced these repeated acts of self-denial.—I am, Sir, &c., Joshua Sing.
August 30, 1890.
* * *From Cat and bird stories from the "Spectator," John St. Loe Strachey, editor (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1896) p. 27.