Might be called the domestic tiger or leopard ; he looks as a species of
those wild beasts, brought to and degraded by, domesticity; however tame a Cat
may be individually, the race has not yet lost its original habits; and
ferocity, cunning, and treachery, still characterize the Cat even on the
comfortable lap, or at the side of his fond mistress. The domestic Cat is of
various colours, from white to black, and the tortoise-shell one is reckoned the
handsomest, although males of that description are seldom, if ever, to be found.
The Cat is a cleanly, neat, and very useful creature, but can never be cured of
his thieving propensity. The tongue is uncommonly rough, and the claws, which
are sheathed and brought out, as the animal pleases, exceedingly sharp. The
Cat lives ten or twelve years, and brings five or six kittens at a litter, which
the female educates; and constantly drills in all fanciful tricks and useful
exercise; far away from her stern and saturnine mate, who would destroy them if
they were, at his reach.
-- From Adventures of the beautiful little maid Cinderilla, or, The history of a glass slipper : to which is added, An historical description of the cat (York : Printed and sold by J. Kendrew, Colliergate [1820?]).