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( Originally Published 1928 )
DR. W. GORDON STABLES affirms that the popular fallacy that cats become more attached to places than to persons, had its origin in the days when they were kept for use only and not as pets. The following is quoted from his book "Cats."
"Are cats more attached to places than to persons? I am happy to find that the opinion of all cat-lovers, nearly all cat breeders, and the large majority of people who keep a cat for utility, is that cats are as a rule more attached to their owners than to their homes. This question then must be considered as set at rest, and a stigma removed from the name and character of our friend, the cat. The popular fallacy, that cats are fonder of places ,than persons, first took its origin in the days, long gone by, when cats were kept for use only and never as pets; and it only obtains now among people who look upon pussy as a mere animated rat-trap, and who starve, neglect, and in every way ill-treat 'the poor thing. Although of a nature not so demonstrative as that of the dog, still a cat is capable of loving its master or mistress with a love equally strong, if not stronger.
'My own cat,' writes a lady correspondent, 'although greatly petted by its master, appears quite wretched whenever I go on a visit. After mewing at my door for a day or two, it leaves the house, often remaining away for weeks; but his delight at seeing me when I return, his fond rush towards me and his song of joy are very pretty: The same lady gives an account of a venerable old tortoise-shell puss who goes to sea with its master, an officer in an East Indiaman, and keeps watch with him by night or day in all weathers. No wonder he is fond of her.
I know an instance of a cat that was very strongly attached to a boy. When this boy was sent to a distant school, pussy, after mourning for him several days, took to the woods and never returned.
Six years ago, an intimate friend of mine, who `loveth all things great and small,' went to reside for a time with a family in town. A fine blue cat was an inmate of the same house.
'The cat,' said the mistress, 'belongs to the family that lived here before; it has been five times removed, and always comes back.
My friend only remained there for six weeks, when he changed his residence for a house he had taken only a few streets off; but when he left, that bonny blue cat trotted by his side all the way home, and it has not returned yet.
Stories are told of cats who have left the house altogether and in some cases have died apparently of grief after the departure of some person to whom they were especially attached.