в мире можно поделить на две группы- тех, кто держит собак
и тех, кто предпочитает кошек. И первые неодобрительно относятся
ко вторым. Историки полагают, что коты стали жить с людьми
позднее собак. Эти изящные грациозные животные служат украшением
наших домов, но отношения с ними у нас особые. Коты не повинуются-
они всегда независимы. Как выразился Р. Киплинг, кошки гуляют
сами по себе, и не позволяют никому менять свои привычки.
И все же мы не можем обходиться без этих замечательных утешителей.
После неприятного разговора найдите своего кота, спящего где-нибудь
в одном из своих укромных местечек, и погладьте его какое-то
время. Ваш стресс скоро будет снят, а если вы нагнетесь, чтобы
послушать, как мурлычет ваш кот, то можете услышать, как он
говорит: "Успокойся, успокойся, успокойся..."
"Английский круглый год"
Facts about cats.
* * *
Whether your kitty meows or
roars, it is a descendant of the Felis silvestris species,
which is divided into the African wildcat, European wildcat
and Steppe wildcat.
* * * Domestic cats purr at about
26 cycles per second, the same frequency as an idling diesel
engine. A domestic cat hears frequencies up to about 65 kHz,
humans up to 20 kHz. Its sense of smell is about 14 times
stronger than that of humans.
* * *In the rear of a cat’s eye is a light-reflecting layer called
the tapetum lucidum, which causes cats’ eyes to glow at night.
This reflecting layer absorbs light 6 times more effectively
than human eyes do, allowing a cat to see better than humans
* * *There are more than 3000 types of domestic cats, but only
8% are pedigree. And, unlike other cats, they are found all
over the world... in abundance. In the US, there are more
cats than dogs, and people annually spend more on cat food
than on baby food.
* * *Domestic cats - or any other cats - do not have nine lives.
They also do not always land on their feet. It is said that
a cat that falls out of a 20-story building has a better chance
of surviving than when falling out of a 7-story building because
it takes a cat at least 7 stories to co-ordinate itself to
land on its feet.
* * *Cats step with both left legs, then both right legs when
they walk or run. The only other animals to do this are the
giraffe, camel and the maned wolf.
The dog and the kittens.
The dog lives in the yard. A box stands in the
yard. The dog has two little puppies in this box. The cat
lives in the same yard. A basket stands near the box. The
cat has three little kittens in this basket.
One day the cat goes out of the yard and does not come back.
"Where is our mother?" ask the little kittens. And
they cry and cry. The dog comes up to their basket. "Don't
cry," says the dog. "I want to help you." And
the dog takes one of the little kittens and puts it into the
The little kitten looks at the puppies. The puppies look at
the little kitten. The dog goes to the basket again, and again
takes one of the little kittens and puts it into the box.
Now two puppies and two kittens are in the box.
The dog goes to the basket again and takes the last little
kitten. It puts the kitten into the box, too. "Now you
are my children," says the dog, "I am your mother,
and these puppies are your brothers. Play with them."
And the kittens do not cry. Now they have a mother and two brothers.
Dick Whittington and his cat.
(An English folk tale)
In the reign of King Edward the Third there lived in a small
country village a poor couple, named Whittington, who had
a son called Dick. His parents dying when he was very young,
he could scarcely remember them at all; and as he was not
old enough to work, he was for a long time very badly off,
until a kind but poor old woman took compassion on him, and
made her little cottage his home. She always gave him good
advice, made him industrious and well behaved, and he became
quite a favorite in the village.
At fourteen he had grown up to be a stout, good-looking
lad, and the good old woman dying, he had to look out for
himself. He had heard much about the wonderful city of London;
and he felt very curious to go there, and see it with his
own eyes; hoping in so great and wealthy a place he should
get on better than he could in a poor country village.
On a fine summer's morning he boldly started on his journey,
with but a trifle of money in his pocket. When he had walked
on for some hours, he felt extremely tired, and was rather
alarmed as to how he was to get over the long journey. Soon
a heavy wagon advancing along the road to London was overtaken.
Dick, without much ado, told the wagoner his plan, and begged
him for a lift until he was sufficiently rested to allow him
to walk again. This was agreed to, and so, partly by riding,
and partly by walking side by side with the wagoner, Dick
managed to reach the great city.
His heart beat with joy at being really in London, but he
was a little disappointed. He had fancied a grander and richer
sort of place than it first seemed to him. A very common mistake,
After Dick had parted with the wagoner, he had only a groat
left of his money; a night's lodging and a scanty meal exhausted
this, and after wandering for a whole day, and feeling so
weary and faint from fatigue and hunger, he threw himself
down in a doorway, and slept soundly until morning. On awakening
and observing on the door above him a curious-looking knocker,
he thought there could be no great harm if he lifted the knocker,
and waited to see who should appear.
The house belonged to a worthy merchant of the name of Fitzwarren,
who had a daughter called Alice, of about the same age as
Dick. A sour-looking, ill-tempered woman opened the door,
and seeing it was a poor wornout-looking country lad who had
disturbed her breakfast, she began to abuse him roughly and
to order him away. Luckily, Mr. Fitzwarren, who was a benevolent,
courteous gentleman, came up to the door at this moment, and
listened attentively to the poor lad's story; and being struck
with its truthful aspect, he kindly ordered Dick to be taken
into the house, and cared for until he should be able to get
his living decently.
Alice overheard all this, and did all she could to save
Dick from the ill-will and harsh treatment of the cook. Her
parents agreed Dick should remain in the house if he would
make himself useful. This, however, was not easy, for the
cook never liked the boy, and took every opportunity to spite
him. She made him sleep on a wretched hard bed, in an old
loft, infested with rats and mice. Dick dared not to complain;
so he bore with this trouble as long as he could, and resolved
at length, when he should have money enough, to buy himself
A very few days from this, a poor woman passing by the door
offered to sell him a cat for a penny. Dick took his prize
up to his loft, and kept her in an old wicker basket out of
the cook's sight, as he feared she would do the cat a mischief.
Now and then he would take Pussy with him when he went out
on errands, so that they soon became great friends. Pussy
was a capital mouser, and very soon got rid of the rats and
mice, and was very clever and quick in learning many tricks
that her master taught her.
One day, when Dick was amusing himself with her antics,
he was surprised by Alice, who became as fond of the cat as
Dick was himself. This young lady always remained the poor
lad's friend, and cheered him up under the hard usage of the
cook, who oft-times beat him severely. Alice was not beautiful,
but, what was of greater real value, she was truly amiable
in disposition, and had the most agreeable manners. It was
no wonder, then, that Whittington, smarting under ill-treatment,
should regard his kind young mistress as an angel; while the
modesty of the youth, his correct conduct, his respectful
demeanor, and his love of truth, interested Alice so much
in his behalf, that she persuaded her father to let him be
taught to write--for he could already read. The progress he
made in this, and in acquiring further knowledge, was astonishing.
Mr. Fitzwarren was a merchant; and it was his custom whenever
one of his ships went out, to call his family and ask them
all in turn to make a little venture or speculation under
charge of the captain. Poor Whittington was absent when this
next happened; he, poor fellow, felt ashamed that he possessed
nothing of value to send as his venture. But he was called
for, and told that he must produce something--no matter what--to
try his luck. He then burst into tears, from very vexation
and shame, when Alice whispered in his ear, "Send your
cat, Dick," and forthwith he was ordered to take Pussy,
his faithful friend and companion, on board, and place her
in the hands of the captain. The mouser's good qualities were
made known to the captain, so that he might make the most
of her for Dick's benefit.
After his loss Dick felt rather sorrowful, and this was
not lessened by the taunts and jeers of his old enemy, the
cook, who used to tease him constantly about his "fine
venture," and the great fortune he was to make by it.
Poor fellow! She led him a miserable life; and as his young
mistress, besides, was soon after absent from home on a visit,
he lost heart entirely, and could no longer bear to live in
the same house with his tormentor.
So he resolved to quit Mr Fitzwarren's house, and started
off accordingly one morning very early, unobserved by any
one, and wandered to the foot of Highgate Hill. Tired and
wretched, he flung himself upon a large stone by the roadside,
which is called Whittington's Stone to this day. He presently
sank into a sort of doze, from which he was roused by the
sound of Bow bells, that began to ring a peal, as it was Allhallows
Day. As he listened he fancied he could make out the following
"TURN AGAIN, WHITTINGTON,
LORD MAYOR OF LONDON."
A hope was awakened within him as he kept repeating theSe
words after the bells. So distinctly did they appear be addressed
to him, that he was resolved to bear any hardships rather
than check his way to fortune by idle repining. So he made
the best of his way home again. Luckily he got into the house
without his absence having been noticed.
He exerted himself now more than ever to make himself useful,
especially to his worthy master and young mistress, and succeeded
beyond his expectation; almost everybody saw that he tried
to do his duty, and to excel in all he attempted to do. Alice
was more and more satisfied, and heard with pleasure of the
great progress he was making in his studies. But the cook
continued as surly as ever.
Mr. Fitzwarren's ship, the "Unicorn," was all
this time slowly pursmng her voyage to Africa. In those days
navigation was but little understood, and much greater dangers
were recurred through ignorance than is now the case. The
"Unicorn" was unlucky and met with much foul weather;
and was so tossed about that she lost her reckoning; but what
was worse, owing to her being so long away, her provisions
were nearly exhausted, and all on board began to despair of
ever returmng to England. All through this dreadful period
Whittington's cat was kept alive and well, and this no doubt
was owing to the great care taken of her by the captain himself,
who had not forgotten the interest Ahce had expressed to him
about the cat. Pussy was thus preserved from death and contrived
to bring up a little family of kittens during the voyage:
their funny tricks greatly diverted the sailors, and helped
to keep them in good humor when they began to feel discontented.
One day land was descried and proved to be a wealthy kingdom
of Africa. The inhabitants, who were copper-colored, were
hospitable, and much pleased to be visited by the ships of
white men. The King, as soon as he heard of the arrival of
the "Unicorn," sent some of his great men to invite
the captain and a few of his companions to visit his Court,
and to dine with him and his Queen.
A grand dinner, in the fashion of the country, was provided;
and great good humor and cordiality prevailed until the dishes
were placed on the table, when the white visitors were astonished
at the appearance of rats and mice in vast numbers, which
came from their hiding-places, and devoured nearly all the
viands in a very short time. The King and Queen seemed to
regard this as no uncommon event, although they felt quite
ashamed it should occur at this time.
When the captain found that there was no such animal as
a cat known in the country, he thought of asking permission
to introduce Whittington's cat at Court, feeling convinced
that Pussy would soon get rid of the abominable rats and mice
that infested it. The royal pair and the whole Court listened
to the account of the cat's qualities as a mouser with wonder
and delight, and were impatient to see her talents put to
proof. Puss was accordingly taken ashore, and a fresh repast
having been prepared, which, on being served up was about
to be attacked in a similar way to the previous one, she sprang
in a moment among the crowd of rats and mice, killing several,
and putting the rest to flight in less than the space of a
Nothing could exceed the satisfaction caused by this event.
The King and Queen and all the courtiers did not know how
to make enough of Pussy, and they became more and more fond
of her when they found how gentle and playful she could be.
The captain was much pressed to leave this valuable cat with
his black friends, and he, thinking that they would no doubt
make a right royal return for so precious a gift, readily
acceded. The Queen's attachment to Puss knew no bounds, and
she felt great alarm lest any accident should befall her,
fearing that in that case the odious rats and mice would return
more ferocious than ever.
The Queen had a tender heart, and when she had heard from
the captain all the particulars of Whittington's story, and
of the poor lad's great regret at parting with his cat, she
felt quite loth to deprive him of his favorite, especially
when Pussy's kittens, which had also been brought from the
ship, were found to be quite able to frighten away the rats
and mice. So the cat was taken on board again. The gratitude
of the King and Queen for the important services rendered
by Pussy and her family was manifested in the rich treasures
they sent to Whittington as the owner of the wonderful cat.
The captain, having completed his business and refitted
his ship as well, took leave of his African friends, and set
sail for England; and after a very long voyage safely arrived
in London. When the captain called upon the merchant, the
latter was very curious to hear of the perils encountered
and the strange sights witnessed by the cap.tain. Alice, in
particular, wanted to know what had be.fallen Dick's cat,
and what was the success of his venture. When the captain
had explained all, he added that Whittington ought to be told
very cautiously, otherwise his good luck might make him lose
his wits. But Mr. Fitzwarren would hear of no delay, and had
him sent for at once.
Poor Dick at that moment had just been basted by the cook
with a ladle of dripping, and was quite ashamed to appear
in such a plight before company. But all his woes were soon
forgotten when the merchant told him of his good fortune,
and especially when he added that it was a just reward granted
by Heaven for his patience under hard trials, and for his
good conduct and industry.
When the boxes and bales containing the treasures given
by the King and Queen to the owner of the cat, and marked
outside with a large W, were displayed, the astonished youth
burst into tears, and implored his master to take all if he
would, but continue to be his friend. But the merchant would
touch none of it, declaring it to belong to Whittington, and
to him alone.
Before the captain took his leave, he said to Dick playfully,
"I have another present for you from the African Queen,"
and calling to a sailor, ordered him to bring up Puss, which
was done to the great joy of her former master; and right
happy was she to see him again, purring round him, and rubbing
her head against his face when he took her up in his arms.
For the rest of her days she continued to live with her grateful
Dick made a liberal and proper use of his wealth. Mr. Fitzwarren
constantly refused Whittington's earnest wishes that he would
accept at least some of his great wealth, but he agreed to
become his guardian and the manager of his property until
he should be of age. Under his prudent counsel Whittington
grew up to be a thriving merchant, and a wise and good citizen.
With all this success he never lost his old modesty of behavior;
and deeply as he loved Alice, he for a long time delayed to
make his secret known to her father; but the kind merchant
had long suspected the fact, and at last taxed Richard with
it. He could not deny it, but found he had no cause to regret
having opened his heart to Mr. Fitzwarren. On Whittington's
coming of age, he was rewarded with the hand of Alice, who
fully shared his love, having long secretly regarded him with
Whittington rose in eminence every year, and was universally
esteemed. He served in Parliament, was knighted also, and
was thrice Lord Mayor of London; thus fulfilling the prophecy
uttered, as he had fancied, by Bow bells. When he served that
office for the third time, it was during the reign of Harry
the Fifth, just after that great king had conquered France.
Sir Richard entertained him and his Queen in such great style
that the King was pleased to say, "Never prince had such
a subject!" to which it has been said the Lord Mayor
loyally replied, "Never subject had such a prince!"
At this entertainment the King was much pleased with a fire
made from choice woods and fragrant spices, upon which Sir
Richard said he would add something that would make the fire
burn more brightly for the pleasure of his sovereign, when
he threw into the flames various bonds given by the King for
money borrowed of the citizens to carry on the war with France,
and which Sir Richard had called in and discharged, to the
amount of sixty thousand pounds--to the admiration of all
who witnessed this act of patriotic generosity.
After a long life, this good man, who nobly distinguished
himself by public works and acts of charity--by many of which
he is still kept in memory--died, universally regretted, having
survived Alice, his wife, about twenty years.
Kitty wants a box - a short illustrated story by Carol