"The fireside sphinx," the pet of the children, the admired habitué of the drawing-room or the salon by day, may become at night a wild animal, pursuing, striking down and torturing its prey, frequently making night hideous with its cries, sneaking into dark, filthy, noisome retreats, or taking to the woods and fields, where it perpetrates untold mischief. Now it ravages the dovecote; now it steals on the mother bird asleep on her nest, striking bird, nest and young to the ground. In the darkness of night it turns poacher. No animal that it can reach and master is safe from its ravenous clutches.
In justice to the cat it should be said that it cannot be blamed for following the natural propensities of the Felidae, the carnivorous family of animals to which it belongs. Man brought it to this country, and the disturbance of the balance of nature caused by its introduction is man's fault, and occurs because he failed to control his own pet and protégé. We are more to blame than the cat for its wide-roaming, bird-and-game-killing propensities. Many cats naturally are indolent and sedentary, and would not stray far from their homes unless driven by necessity, but the neglected one must bestir itself to live.