25 JULY 1931, Page 12


The developing instinct of a certain London cat ought to interest Mr. Morrison, as well as our biologists. It has learnt the laws of traffic control. Whenever, as often, it crosses the road in front of its residence, it looks carefully left for the first half of the way and as carefully right for the second half. It has perhaps realized that it must protect itself, for in the latest laws for motor cars you are not allowed to run over a dog without giving notice, but may treat a cat as you please. Dogs vary strangely in such perceptions. I had one spaniel that held up a car, and when it stopped tried to get in ; and I have watched with much interest the varying perceptions of many dogs in regard to the direction of a river current. Some " tumble " to the fact at once and never forget it Directly anything is thrown into the stream they at once run along the bank to get below it. Others never seem to shake off the wonder that dead objects should swim away from them. We know a good deal about the dog's mind, but extremely little about the cat's. It remains, if I may confuse the genera, a dark horse. How much intelligence does its self-centred

character conceal ? * * * *