Wednesday, July 10, 2013

How to Train Your Cat to Do Tricks, 1809

"Cats may be taught to pull a bell-rope, to fire a pistol and a multitude of similar tricks... A bit of cloth may be attached to the string communicating with the bell, to afford the cat something convenient to seize hold of. It will be easy to induce her to seize it by holding it near her, or by aggravating her a little with it. When she does so, and causes the bell to ring, reward her... Firing off a pistol may follow this, taught in the same way, a piece of cloth being attached to the trigger, and the pistol being secured in a stationary position. Merely snapping the trigger will do at first, then caps may be used, and finally powder."
Haney's Art of Training Animals (1809)
If only the great age of ill-advised animal tricks had coincided with the YouTube era.


  1. Cats are dangerous enough as it is, I think teaching them to use guns might result in them taking over the world once and for all.

  2. Craig Ferguson has said more than once "If you die in your house, your cats will eat you." That's fine with me, as long as I die of old age. Teaching my cats to fire pistols would, I believe, lead to my untimely death.