The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

January 10, 2012

January 10, 1900

The Wellesley Club of Rochester, N. Y., will hold a cat show, January 8, 9 and 10. This notice appeared  in the collected issues of The Poultry monthly, (Volume 23, 1901) and, published in Albany NY, which contained other excerpts of interest. For example, scientific conjecture was deemed of interest to poultry farmers:

Whether the European Wild cat is one of the progenitors of the ordinary house cat, or whether the house cat imported North, is the progenitor of the Wild cat, is not sure. This we know, that they are anatomically different, i. e. the intestines of the house cat are nine times the length of the cat; the intestines of the Wild cat are just three times the length of the animal. The origin of many of our domestic animals is lost in antiquity. In the near future, with the attention that is being paid to cats. I hope we shall know a great deal more of existing breeds than we do now, and I think shows and fanciers might... help and not make the confusion worse... 

and some letters to the editor concerned cats:

Mrs. H. V. James, our best Smoke breeder, writes:—"Now that Smokes are coming into fashion so strongly in England and America, perhaps the novice may be glad of a few hints on this charming breed, and a description of a Smoke. English breeders and exhibitors at present strive after the following points: A Smoke should be a shaded cat, entirely without markings, shading from dense cinder color to dark grey. The under coat should be almost white, the mask and paws black and the frill grey, the eyes orange. At present the dark Smokes are the more popular, and I certainly think them more beautiful than the lighter ones, as the contrast between the dark outer and white inner coat, is more marked; but I think the time will come when the light ones will also have a better chance in the show pen. In breeding Smokes, great care should be taken to avoid mating with a Tabby of any kind; if you can find a Smoke sire for your Smoke queen, so much the better. If not and she is light, mate with a good black, or if on the dark side, with a shaded Silver or Chinchilla. Be careful to select a heavily coated sire, as a long coat of true Persian flakiness is very important, so that, as the cat moves the dark coat may divide and show the soft white undercoat..... Smokes are very hardy and love an outdoor life. "Jogram" has lived all his life in an unheated wooden house with a covered run, and has never been ill." I consider his wealth of coat is also due to his out-door life. ....

[and other readers write in]
Sir,—I quite endorse Mrs. Barton Collier's opinion that "the best creams are not bred from creams." For instance, my tortoiseshell "Brunette" had an unmarked cream kitten in her spring litter last year by my silver tabby stud cat "The Judge." This kitten I showed at the Botanic Gardens, and I know that by several breeders it was considered the best there. Unfortunately, its intended pen companion died a few days before the show, so it could not compete, as it was entered in the pair class. "Princess Beauty" (a light sable tabby, a daughter of "Champion Prince Charlie" and Miss Eggett's brown tabby "Cleopatra") had two creams in her last autumn litter by "The Judge." Unfortunately I lost both of them. She has now had another litter by him, and again two creams; they had faint narrow bars when born, but now at a little over a fortnight old, they are nearly unmarked. They are both bonny kittens, and if not gone to new homes before the Summer show I shall hope to exhibit them here. 

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