Russell Craufurd was an actor of the late 1800's. I can't find out much about him except that he married an actress named Annie Poole, who played "Jelly" in W.S. Gilbert's Princess Toto in 1881. In 1909 he decided to publish his memoirs, from which I took the pleasant words excerpted below about a black kitten. What really sold me was this passage from his Introduction: ". . . I only write for persons of average intellect. Touching myself, I have lucid intervals." (Oh, I'm going to hell, says your friendly Curator.)
* * *
My daughter brought a black kitten up here, a tiny waif that she found on the doorstep in New York. It was astonished and delighted with its rural surroundings, and made great friends with my neighbour's more mature pussy. One day the kitten climbed up a tree and could not get down again without assistance. His feline friend was in great grief and consternation, and sat at the foot of the tree miauwing pitifully. I had put a saucer of milk for it on the veranda. My neighbour has a retriever dog, he came over, drank the kitten's milk, and carried away the saucer in his mouth.
He is a kitten of peculiar habits; he brings frogs and large grasshoppers into the house and hides them in corners of the room, whence they suddenly emerge and startle you. He brought in a small field mouse the other day, and laid it at my feet with great pride. For an absolute embodiment of happy life commend me to a kitten. If you can't make a human being happy, try an animal; as I am writing he comes up and scratches my leg to attract attention."Yes," I say, " I am writing about you, you little black devil." I sometimes turn up his innocent little face and say to him, " I wonder how much you know."
-- from Craufurd, Russell. The Ramblings of an Old Mummer. London: Greening & Co., Ltd., 1909. pp. 282-3