The cat related to the lion, etc.
Cats have been tamed from early times.
Pretty animals, kept as pets.
Chief use, to catch mice.
The character of the cat.
The cat is related to such fierce wild animals as the lion, the tiger, the leopard, and the panther, which are all large cats. In fact, all these animals belong to one family, which is called the cat tribe. So we may say that the tiger is a large cat, and the cat a small tiger.
Tigers and lions can never be really tamed, though some are kept as prisoners in cages for show. But cats have been tame animals from the very earliest times. Cats were kept as pets even in ancient Egypt, thousands of years ago; and the Egyptians worshipped a goddess with the head of a cat.
Cats are kept chiefly as pets. They are pretty animals, covered with soft fur, of different colors. Some cats are black, some white, some grey with pretty black markings. These last are called “tabby-cats”. Kittens, or young cats, are very playful and will play for hours with little balls, fallen leaves, or bits of string.
The chief use of tame cats is to catch and kill mice and rats. Mice and small birds are the natural food of cats, which are very clever in catching them. Like their big cousins, lions, and tigers, cats can see in the dark, and hunt at night: and in the night the house-cat will watch near the mouse-holes, and catch the mice when they come out. Mice are a great pest in the house, but a cat will soon kill them or drive them away.
Cats are very different from dogs in character. They w dogs love persons, but cats love places. A faithful day will follow its master everywhere, but a cat loves the comfort of the house and stays at home. They are rather selfish animals and think of their own comfort more than anything else. They love to sit on soft cushions by the fire, or to lie and bask in the sun Cats are very independent, and will do nothing they do not want to do, to please anyone. Their love is what we call “cupboard love” —that is, they will be very nice to people simply for the sake of the food they give them.