10 JANUARY 1931, Page 13

Country Life


A new theory of what constitutes a domestic animal is suggested by the latest traffic regulations. If a motorist kills or damages a dog or goat he is under obligation to report the mishap to the police. On the other hand he may, it seems, run over as many cats as he pleases. At any rate the cat is excluded from the specially protected list. On what theory ? Cats doubtless are peculiarly astute in avoiding cars while dogs are the easiest victims. I have seen a car barely avoid an errant spaniel, by violent application of the brakes ; and thereafter experience difficulty in restarting because the spaniel wished to jump into its enemy. He thought the car had stopped on purpose to take him up. Most dogs, indeed, so delight in travelling by car (though they are sometimes far from well) that they have trouble in regarding it as a danger. Is not the car called in Kipling's latest dog tale a kennel on wheels, on the model of the West Australian native's description of the first train he saw in motion ? He ran down the street shouting that a blooming blacksmith's shop was running away with the town !