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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 !

Thursday, February 26, 2015

on the cruelty of the cat, 1916

. . . Romanes says that the feelings which prompt a cat to torture a captured mouse are apparently delight in torturing for torture's sake. So far as he has been able to discover, the only other animals manifesting such feelings are man and the monkeys. This cruelty, however, is not peculiar to Felis domestica; probably other small cats have similar habits. Foxes also have been known to "play" with their prey. Moreover, such habits cannot be considered blamable except in man, the most viciously and knowingly cruel of living creatures. The cat evidently cannot realize as man can the poignant pains and terrible sufferings of its victims. Universally, the cat seems to take delight in torturing its prey, but this seems to be its means of developing the use of its fore limbs, and it acquires a more perfect control over them than is possessed by any other domestic animal. . . 
-- I'm not entirely sure that passage was really about cats. But I found it in The Domestic Cat: Bird Killer, Mouser and Destroyer of Wild Life; Means of Utilizing and Controlling it, by Edward Howe Forbush (Wrigth & Potter, 1916), p. 15.

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