In which Lord Eldin (I'm pretty sure we're talking about this man) actually reads his apartment full of cats the Riot Act. Then, when it doesn't work, he starts whipping on them. I'm not entirely sure about those decision-making skills, but it's an interesting story. . .
* * *We would not, of course, propose any such ridiculous association and discipline of cats as that which, for a time at least, was practiced by the late Lord Eldin the Scotch Judge. He had a numerous colony, to whose general accommodation he devoted a large apartment, and had them duly fed and attended, endeavouring to make them a happy as well as an orderly society. Civil wars were, however, constantly breaking out, among them, to the disturbance of the neighbourhood; and at last they became so noisy, that, at a late hour one evening, he went in person to enforce the necessity of observing the king's peace, even on the part of his quadruped subjects. The Toms and Tabbies, for the whole colony were up in arms, paid not the least attention to the presence or admonition of the learned gentleman. He retired, sent for his clerk, and desired him to fetch the riot act from the library. This being obtained, the two proceeded to the territory of the conflicting cats, the clerk with the riot act, and the barrister (which Eldin then was) with a horsewhip. After proclamation duly made, the riot act was read with the necessary solemnity, and the cats warned of the consequences if they did not return to an orderly deportment before the expiry of the statutable time. That time passed without any abatement of the riot, upon which, the governor bolted the door, and bestowed on them a hearty discipline with the whip; but whether that tended to the restoration of tranquillity is not mentioned. The rest of the story, however, is strictly true.
-- from Charles Frederick Partington, The British Cyclopaedia of Natural History, vol. I (London: Orr & Smith, 1835), p. 740. By the way, if you find you DO need to whip out the Riot Act, here it is:
Our Sovereign Lord the King chargeth and commandeth all persons, being assembled, immediately to disperse themselves, and peaceably to depart to their habitations, or to their lawful business, upon the pains contained in the act made in the first year of King George, for preventing tumults and riotous assemblies. God Save the King!