The Animal Story Book - online children's book

Edited By Andrew Lang And With Numerous Illustrations By H. J. Ford

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

from St. Andrews to Perth, even as the crow flies. There are also two big rivers which must be crossed, the Tay and the Eden, or if the cat preferred coming by train, at least two changes have to be made. So you have to consider whether, granting it an instinct of direction, which is remarkable enough in itself, the animal was sufficiently strong to swim such large streams; or whether it was so clever that it managed to find out the proper trains for it to take, and the places where it must get out. Any way, home it came, and was only two days on the journey, and there it is still in St. Andrews, for its mistress had not the heart to give it away a second time.
Trains seem to have a special fascination for cats, and they are often to be seen about stations. For a long while one was regularly to be seen travelling on the Metropolitan line, between St. James's Park and Charing Cross, and a whole family of half-wild kittens are at this moment making a play-ground of the lines and platforms at Paddington. One will curl up quite comfortably on the line right under the wheel of a carriage that is just going to start, and on being disturbed bolts away and hides itself in some recess underneath the platform. Occasion­ally you see one with part of its tail cut off, but as a rule they take wonderfully good care of themselves. The porters are very kind to them, and they somehow con­trive to get along, for they all look fat and well-looking, and quite happy in their strange quarters.
Of course cats are not the only animals who have what is called the ' homing instinct.' Sheep have been known to find their way back from Yorkshire to the moors north of the Cheviots where they were born and bred, although sheep are not clever beasts and they had come a round­about journey by train. But there are many such stories of dogs, and one of the most curious is told by an English officer who was in Paris in the year 1815. One day, as the officer was walking hastily over the bridge, he was annoyed by a muddy poodle dog rubbing up against him,
Previous Contents Next