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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 !

Friday, February 15, 2013

cat curiosities in the news, 1822

From the same collection of chatty musings that brought us Neapolitan dog-suckling, here's some kitty news of the world:
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In the Mercure Galante for July, 1678, we read of a famous lawsuit, relative to a cat of Madame de Puis, a celebrated harp player. This lady's will, in favour of her cat, made a great noise at the time, and a suit was carried on to set it aside. Messrs. Maurice, Vautier, and de Ferriere, all famous lawyers, displayed their genius and abilities, the former in defending it, and the two others in pleading against it. The pension which the deceased lady settled on her cat, and the visits which she ordered should be paid every week, were the circumstances most inveighed against.
And we read, also, how Mr. Peter King, who died at Islington in 1806, had two Tom Cats, that used to be set up at table with him at his meals; and it further appears that, as Mr. King was a great admirer of fine dressing, in clothes richly laced, he thought his cats might like them too; the grimalkins (old term for cats - curator) were accordingly measured, and wore rich liveries, until they departed for the paradise of brutes, which some eccentric authors have maintained is provided for them. Should there be an elysium of this sort, we may observe that hackneycoach horses should be the first and best provided for, living such a miserable life here. . .
. . . A tortoiseshell male live cat was sold, within this fifteen years, according to newspaper report, for the enormous sum of two hundred and thirty-three pounds. It is clear, therefore, that cats are looking up, as the stock-brokers say.


-- from an article named "Cats," in The Recreative review, or Eccentricities of Literature and Life, volume 2 (London: J. Wallis, 1822), p. 366.

1 comment:

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