Book of Cats cover

Book of Cats

Charles Henry Ross (1835-1897)

1. Chapter I. Of the reason why this Book was written, and of several sorts of Cats which are not strictly Zoological
2. Chapter II. Of some Wicked Stories that have been told about Cats
3. Chapter III. Of other Wicked Stories, with a few Words in Defence of the Accused
4. Chapter IV. Of the Manners and Customs of Cats
5. Chapter V. Of Whittington’s Cat, and another Cat that visited Strange Countries
6. Chapter VI. Of various kinds of Cats, Ancient and Modern
7. Chapter VII. Of some Clever Cats
8. Chapter VIII. Of some amiable Cats, and Cats that have been good Mothers
9. Chapter IX. Of Puss in Proverbs, in the Dark Ages, and in the Company of Wicked Old Women
10. Chapter X. Of a certain Voracious Cat, some Goblin Cats, Magical Cats, and Cats of Kilkenny
11. Chapter XI. Of Pussy poorly, and of some Curiosities of the Cat’s-meat Trade
12. Chapter XII. Of Wild Cats, Cat Charming, etc.: Part 1
13. Chapter XII. Of Wild Cats, Cat Charming, etc.: Part 2
14. Chapter XIII. Conclusion

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One day, ever so long ago, it struck me that I should like to try and write a book about Cats. I mentioned the idea to some of my friends: the first burst out laughing at the end of my opening sentence, so I refrained from entering into further details. The second said there were a hundred books about Cats already. The third said, “Nobody would read it,” and added, “Besides, what do you know of the subject?” and before I had time to begin to tell him, said he expected it was very little. “Why not Dogs?” asked one friend of mine, hitting upon the notion as though by inspiration. “Or Horses,” said some one else; “or Pigs; or, look here, this is the finest notion of all:— ‘THE BOOK OF DONKIES, BY ONE OF THE FAMILY!’” Somewhat disheartened by the reception my little project had met with, I gave up the idea for awhile, and went to work upon other things. I cannot exactly remember what I did, or how much, but my book about Cats was postponed sine die, and in the meantime I made some inquiries. I hope I have not been very prosy, and I hope, in the somewhat large collection of Cat anecdotes here brought together, “the only one worth the trouble of relating” has not been omitted. If this has been the case, allow me to assure you it has not been because I have spared any trouble in gathering together my materials. (C.H.Ross)