Curious Long-Haired Cat. Picture
Picture

The above engraving and description of a very peculiar animal is from Daniel's "Rural Sports," 1813 :

"This Cat was the Property of Mrs. Finch, of Maldon, Essex. In the Account of this Lusus Naturæ, for such it may be deemed, the Mother had no other Likeness to her Production, than her Colour, which is a tawny Sandy, in some parts lightly streaked with black; She had this, and another Kitten like it, about two Years since. The fellow Kitten was killed, in consequence of being troublesome, to the Mistress of the House, where it was presented. This is a Male, above the usual Size, with a shaggy Appearance round its Face, resembling that of the Lion's in Miniature. The Hair protruding from the Ears, formerly grew, like what are termed Cork-screw Curls, and which are frequently seen, among the smart young Water-men, on the Thames; the Tail is perfectly distinct, from that of the Cat Species, and resembles the Brush of a Fox. The Mother, has at this time (1813), three Young ones, but without the least Difference to common Kittens, neither, indeed, has she ever had any before, or since, similar to That here described. The Proprietor has been offerend, and refused One Hundred Pounds for theis Animal."

Picture

This was either a cross with the English wild cat, which sometimes has a mane, or it was an accidental variation of nature. I once bred a long-haired rabbit in a similar way, but at first failed entirely to perpetuate the peculiarity. I think the above simply "a sport."