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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Sunday, September 26, 2010

table manners of a society cat

Here's a couple of tables at which I would dearly have loved to sit. . .

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Robert Liston, who, as everyone knows, was the leading London surgeon in the middle of the nineteenth century, was passionately attached to his cat, and used to introduce it to his guests at the dinner parties which, according to the custom of a past generation, he gave his medical friends. On these occasions the cat would gravely walk round the dinner table during dessert to be admired by the guests in succession, and it once happened that the top of its tail got into the wineglass of Dr. Anthony Todd Thomson, Liston's famous colleague at University College Hospital. This man promptly struck the animal. Liston was so enraged that he started from his seat and denounced his guest in language more forcible than elegant.

Jeremy Bentham, who introduced by their names to Lord Brougham the cats seated on chairs round his table, deserves honour, not only as the foremost of modern jurists but also because, in his "Principles of Morals and Legislation," he had expressed better than others the claims of brutes to kind treatment.

-- from Miss Frances Simpson, The Book of the Cat (London: Cassell and Company, Limited, 1903), p. 11.


Katnip Lounge said...

Dr. A. T. Thompson would NOT be happy dining at my house...just saying!

curator said...

Then we won't invite him, right!?