Aldrovandus gives us a picture of a curly-legged Cat, but, beyond saying that it was so afflicted (or ornamented) from its birth, he gives no particulars. Topsell, too, is singularly silent on the merits of Cats; but yet he mentions some interesting particulars respecting them:—“To keepe Cats from hunting of Hens, they use to tie a little wild rew under their wings, and so likewise from Dove-coates, if they set it in the windowes, they dare not approach unto it for some secret in nature. Some have said that cats will fight with Serpentes, and Toads, and kill them, and, perceiving that she is hurt by them, she presently drinketh water, and is cured: but I cannot consent unto this opinion.... Ponzettus sheweth by experience that cats and Serpents love one another, for there was (sayth he) in a certain Monastery, a Cat norished by the Monkes, and suddenly the most part of the Monkes which used to play with the Cat, fell sicke; whereof the Physitians could find no cause, but some secret poyson, and al of them were assured that they never tasted any: at the last a poore laboring man came unto them, affirming that he saw the Abbey-Cat playing with a Serpent, which the Physitians understanding, presently conceived that the Serpent had emptied some of her poyson upon the Cat, which brought the same to the Monkes, and they by stroking and handeling the Cat, were infected therewith; and whereas there remained one difficulty, namely, how it came to passe the Cat herself was not poisoned thereby, it was resolved, that, forasmuch as the Serpentes poison came from him but in playe and sporte, and not in malice and wrath, that therefore the venom thereof being lost in play, neither harmed the Cat at al, nor much endangered the Monkes; and the very like is observed of Myce that will play with Serpents....
“Those which will keepe their Cattes within doores, and from hunting Birds abroad, must cut off their eares, for they cannot endure to have drops of raine distil into them, and therefore keep themselves in harbor.... They cannot abide the savour of oyntments, but fall madde thereby; they are sometimes infected with the falling evill, but are cured with Gobium.”