100 Cats Who Changed Civilization: History's Most Influential Felines
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100 Cats Who Made a Difference
If you don’t believe that one cat has the power to alter civilization, then you’ve obviously never heard of Tibbles (p. 12), the cat who single-handedly wiped out an entire species. Or Ahmedabad (p. 61), a Siamese kitten who sparked riots throughout Pakistan. Or Snowball (p. 14), the cat who helped to convict dozens of murderers and criminals. Or Felix (p. 155), the first cat to explore outer space.
These are just four of the 100 Cats Who Changed Civilization, and this book honors their extra-ordinary contributions to science, history, art, government, religion, and more. You’ll meet a cat who filed a lawsuit (p. 66) and a cat who was slapped with a restraining order (p. 75). You’ll meet cats who have inspired great works of literature (p. 90) and classical music (p. 102). You’ll even meet a cat who telephoned the police to save the life of his owner (p. 162). These beautifully illustrated true stories are a tribute to the intelligence, bravery, and loving nature of cats all over the world.
From the Hardcover edition.
arrived, they brought stowaway rats on their ships—rats that quickly invaded the local ecosystem. The wrens, completely helpless against the sudden onslaught of such a powerful and ruthless predator, were quickly exterminated. Their last rat-free redoubt was Stephens Island, a roughly one-square-mile spit of rock off New Zealand’s northern coast. That’s how matters stood until 1894, when a lighthouse was established there. Its keeper, David Lyall, brought along his cat, Tibbles, for company. One
meow rather than a roar, the incident faded away. “Amateurs will never understand how much can turn on the name of a kitten,” an amused Galbraith wrote. SMUDGE THE CAT WHO JOINED A UNION In Europe, it can be very hard to get ahead without belonging to a union. Such was the case for one beleaguered employee of the People’s Palace, a museum and indoor conservatory located in Glasgow, Scotland. The worker in question was a former stray cat named Smudge. From 1979 until her retirement in
feline. When Lear tried to take one, the big orange cat jumped out of his master’s arms just before the shutter clicked. Lear loved Foss so much that, when the artist built a new home, he made it look exactly like his old one, so as not to upset the cat. And when Foss passed away in 1887, he was buried in his master’s garden under a large memorial stone. Lear himself died only two months later. Today pictures of Foss can still be seen in collections of Lear’s nonsense poems. But there’s
on his hands. He instantly christened the cat Pepper and put her to work. Her career spanned the late 1910s to the late 1920s. As it turned out, she was much more than a furry, purring prop. Capable of learning complicated tricks, she convincingly played checkers onscreen with comedian Ben Turpin. Over the years she contributed to a long list of comedy shorts with titles such as The Kitchen Lady, Never Too Old, and Rip and Stitch: Tailors. She also worked with a truly stellar list of costars.
interrogation), Joan Flower possessed a spirit familiar called Rutterkin, which manifested itself in the form of a sinister-looking black cat. The feline was their weapon of choice when casting spells. One favorite tactic was to steal gloves from members of the Earl’s family, boil them, prick them full of holes, and then rub them along Rutterkin’s back. According to court proceedings, this odd-sounding bewitchment accomplished the death of the Earl of Rutland’s son, Lord Ross. And what did the