Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/111

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
101
CATS AND THEIR FRIENDSHIPS.

problems of animal psychology. It has received the name of "the homing instinct" and is regarded by some naturalists as constituting an additional sense. The dog seems usually to be more ready than the cat to follow his master in a change of home, and to reconcile himself to the new place, but this may be because he stands in a different relation toward him. The dog is sure of at least one fast friend wherever he lives, while the cat can not always reckon even upon that. In many families, where she is tolerated, as, according to Buffon, only because she is less objectionable than the rats and mice, she has no one to caress her or show affection to her. In this case, when her situation is barely endurable, she naturally fixes her attachment on the place where she has found cozy retreats and knows all the hunting-grounds, rather than upon persons who have given her no consideration, and of whom she perhaps stands in fear. Whether the cat will in the long run prefer its old home, deserted or inhabited by strangers, to a new home, along with the persons it has been accustomed to meet, may depend very much upon the treatment it has received from those persons. My cat was removed three times in ten years; and, aside from the temporary embarrassment caused by finding herself in a strange place, readily adapted herself to the new quarters, and showed no disposition to go back to the old haunts. Lindsay, in

PSM V37 D111 Finely marked tortoise shell cat.jpg
Fig. 11.—Finely Marked Tortoise-Shell Cat. By permission, from Harrison Weir's Our Cats and all about Them. Published by Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston and New York.

his Mind in the Lower Animals, refers to cases of cats following their masters from house to house, from place to place, and accompanying them on visits to other people's residences, as unconcernedly as a dog. Wood tells of a family on the coast of Scotland who removed to the opposite shore—sailing around instead of crossing the country—leaving their cat with a neighbor. But the animal followed them, and found them in some way, presenting itself after a few weeks at their door, "weary, ragged, and half starved." It had left its old home and gone out into the unknown to seek the family with whom it had lived. A case pre-