Letter | Published:

Animal Intelligence

Abstract

ONE night a loud knock was heard at the back door, and as the door could not be reached by any one outside the house except by getting over the garden wall, some alarm was caused. On the knock being impatiently repeated, the door was opened, and the cat (“Mrs. Muffins”) walked in with great dignity. Since then she has never failed to make known her presence in the same way, always waiting after the first knock. Some weeks elapsed before it was ascertained how the knocking was produced, but at length it was discovered that a slip of wood which runs down the side of the door was loose at the bottom; this slip she pulls out with her paw, and then allows it to rebound. She is a very affectionate mother. Some time ago her mistress, by accident, hurt her kitten. “Mrs. Muffins” walked up to her and gave her two or three sharp slaps on the dress. To-day the same thing has occurred; but on this occasion, as the servant was the offender, “Mrs. Muffins” followed her into the kitchen to chastise her. I may also add that she has shown great intelligence in making her wants known to her friends.

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