28 MARCH 1896, Page 15


pro THE EDITOR OF TEE " SPICTATJR.,"1 SIR,—I have long taken great interest in cats. I believe that they, in common with moat other animals, can talk to each other; at any rate, in a. way. Cats have often spoken to me, and although I could not understand their language, a little observation has enabled me to guess the meaning of the sounds I heard. I will give you an instance. There was an old cat in one house I lived in, which had a numerous progeny. She was treated with the greatest respect by all the younger eats. She would punish them (by scratching their faces) if they misbehaved, and they never retaliated. On the other hand, ` Grannie' (for that was her name) was kindness itself to all as long as they were dutiful, especially towards the kittens. She was a real, good old " grannie " to them. Now there was one kitten which was very timid. Whenever

I went to the yard where the cats were kept, this kitten would run away in the greatest alarm ; whenever she did so Granule' would trot after her and evidently try to induce the foolish little thing to return to the yard. I could fancy I heard her say to this great, great, great grand-daughter of hers,—" Come, don't be stupid, that is a very kind gentle- man, he won't hurt you ; look, be does no harm to any of your relations," &c. Grannie ' at last succeeded in putting some confidence in the timid breast of this weakling. One day • Grannie' came and spoke to me, and then moved off. I followed ; there was the kitten lying on a bench in the garden trembling violently. Grannie' jumped up beside her; I saw that the kitten was most anxious to escape, and was only held back by the assurances of the older one. Some repetition of this experiment at last emboldened the kitten to such an extent that she became as tame as any of the others.—I am,