Mexican Hairless Cats Picture

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MEXICAN HAIRLESS CATS.

A most extraordinary variety, of which next to nothing appears to be known, is the hairless cat, and we cannot do better than quote in extenso the description given by the owner of what, if his surmise should unhappily prove to be correct, was the last pair of these peculiar animals, a portrait of which we give.

Albuquerque, New Mexico,
February 3rd, 1902.

MR. H. C. BROOKE.
Dear Sir, - Yours of January 20th is at hand. In answer would say my hairless cats are brother and sister. I got them from the Indians a few miles from this place. The old Jesuit Fathers tell me they are the last of the Aztec breed known only in New Mexico. I have found them the most intelligent and affectionate family pets I have ever met in the cat line ; they are the quickest in action and smartest cats I have ever seen. They are fond of a warm bath, and love to sleep under the clothes at night with our little girl. They seem to understand nearly everything that is said to them ; but I have never had time to train them. They are marked exactly alike - with mouse-coloured backs ; with neck, stomach, and legs a delicate flesh tint. Their bodies are always warm and soft as a child's. They love to be fondled and caressed, and are very playful ; will run up and down your body and around your waist like a flash. "Nellie" weighs about eight pounds, and "Dick" weighed ten pounds ; but I am sorry to say we have lost "Dick." We have never allowed them to go out of the house, as the dogs would be after them. They were very fond of our water spaniel, and would sleep with her. "Dick" was a sly rascal, and would steal out. One night last year he stole out, and the dogs finished him. His loss was very great, as I may never replace him. The Chicago Cat Club valued them at 1,000 dollars each. They were very anxious for me to come on with them for their cat shows, but I could not go. They were never on exhibition ; as this is a small city, I feared they would be stolen. I have made every endeavour to get another mate for "Nellie," but have not been successful. I never allowed them to mate, as they were brother and sister, and I thought it might alter "Nellie's" beautiful form, which is round and handsome, with body rather long. In winter they have a light fur on back and ridge of tail, which falls off in warm weather. They stand cold weather same as other cats. They are not like the hairless dogs, whose hide is solid and tough ; they are soft and delicate, with very loose skin. "Nellie" has a very small head, large amber eyes, extra long moustache and eyebrows ; her voice now is a good baritone, when young it sounded exactly like a child's. They have great appetites, and are quite dainty eaters - fried chicken and good steak is their choice. Have never been sick an hour. The enclosed faded picture is the only one I have at present ; it is very lifelike, as it shows the wrinkles in its fine, soft skin. "Dick" was a very powerful cat ; could whip any dog alone ; his courage, no doubt, was the cause of his death. He always was the boss over our dogs. I have priced "Nellie" at 300 dollars. She is too valuable a pet for me to keep in a small town. Many wealthy ladies would value her at her weight in gold if they knew what a very rare pet she is. I think in your position she would be a very good investment to exhibit at cat shows and other selected events, as she doubtless is the only hairless cat now known. I have written to Old Mexico and all over this country without finding another. I would like to have her in some large museum, where she would interest and be appreciated by thousands of people. - Trusting this will reach you in safety, I am, very truly yours, F. J. SHINICK.

We can only add, whilst deeply regretting that Mr. Shinick did not mate his cats, the earnest hope that we may hear that he has discovered the existence of other specimens. Should it prove that a parcel of street curs are responsible for this curious variety becoming extinct, even such confirmed dog lovers as ourselves are almost tempted to acquiesce in a universal and everlasting muzzling order! It is to be regretted that no information is given as to whether the dentition of these cats was abnormal and imperfect, as is the case with the Mexican hairless dogs.