As cats are so much petted, a breed bearing the same relation to other cats, that lapdogs bear to larger dogs, would have been much valued; and if selection could have been applied, we should certainly have had many breeds in each long-civilised country, for there is plenty of variability to work upon.
We see in this country considerable diversity in size, some in the proportions of the body, and extreme variability in colouring. I have only lately attended to this subject, but have already heard of some singular cases of variation; one of a cat born in the West Indies toothless, and remaining so all its life. Mr. Tegetmeier has shown me the skull of a female cat with its canines so much developed that they protruded uncovered beyond the lips; the tooth with the fang being .95, and the part projecting from the gum .6 of an inch in length. I have heard of several families of six-toed cats, in one of which the peculiarity had been transmitted for at least three generations. The tail varies greatly in length; I have seen a cat which always carried its tail flat on its back when pleased. The ears vary in shape, and certain strains, in England, inherit a pencil-like tuft of hairs, above a quarter of an inch in length, on the tips of their ears; and this same peculiarity, according to Mr. Blyth, characterises some cats in India. The great variability in the length of the tail and the lynx-like tufts of hairs on the ears are apparently analogous to differences in certain wild species of the genus. A much more important difference, according to Daubenton (1/99. Quoted by Isid. Geoffroy 'Hist. Nat. Gen.' tome 3 page 427.), is that the intestines of domestic cats are wider, and a third longer, than in wild cats of the same size; and this apparently has been by their less strictly carnivorous diet.
HORSES AND ASSES.
HORSE. DIFFERENCES IN THE BREEDS. INDIVIDUAL VARIABILITY OF. DIRECT EFFECTS OF THE CONDITIONS OF LIFE. CAN WITHSTAND MUCH COLD. BREEDS MUCH MODIFIED BY SELECTION. COLOURS OF THE HORSE. DAPPLING. DARK STRIPES ON THE SPINE, LEGS, SHOULDERS, AND FOREHEAD. DUN-COLOURED HORSES MOST FREQUENTLY STRIPED. STRIPES PROBABLY DUE TO REVERSION TO THE PRIMITIVE STATE OF THE HORSE.
ASSES. BREEDS OF. COLOUR OF. LEG- AND SHOULDER-STRIPES. SHOULDER-STRIPES SOMETIMES ABSENT, SOMETIMES FORKED.
The history of the Horse is lost in antiquity. Remains of this animal in a domesticated condition have been found in the Swiss lake-dwellings, belonging to the Neolithic period. (2/1. Rutimeyer 'Fauna der Pfahlbauten' 1861 s. 122.) At the present time the number of breeds is great, as may be seen by consulting any treatise on the Horse. (2/2. See 'Youatt on the Horse': J. Lawrence on the Horse 1829; W.C.L. Martin 'History of the Horse' 1845: Col. H. Smith in 'Nat. Library, Horses' 1841 volume 12: Prof. Veith 'Die naturgesch. Haussaugethiere' 1856.) Looking only to the native ponies of Great Britain, those of the Shetland Isles, Wales, the New Forest, and Devonshire are distinguishable; and so it is, amongst other instances, with each separate island in the great Malay archipelago. (2/3. Crawfurd 'Descript. Dict. of Indian Islands' 1856 page 153. "There are many different breeds, every island having at least one peculiar to it." Thus in Sumatra there are at least two breeds; in Achin and Batubara one; in Java several breeds; one in Bali, Lomboc, Sumbawa (one of the best breeds), Tambora, Bima, Gunung-api, Celebes, Sumba, and Philippines. Other breeds are specified by Zollinger in the 'Journal of the Indian Archipelago' volume 5 page 343 etc.) Some of the breeds present great differences in size, shape of ears, length of mane, proportions of the body, form of the withers and hind quarters, and especially in the head. Compare the race- horse, dray-horse, and a Shetland pony in size, configuration, and disposition; and see how much greater the difference is than between the seven or eight other living species of the genus Equus.
Of individual variations not known to characterise particular breeds, and not great or injurious enough to be called monstrosities, I have not collected many cases.