De Murilego. ca. 76.
THe Cat is called Murilegus, & Mu∣sio, and also Cattus, & hath that name Murilegus,* for he is enemie to mice & to rats, and is commonly called Cattus, & hath that name of rauening, for he raui∣sheth mice and rats. Or els he hath that name Cattus of Cata, that is to sée, for he séeth so sharply, that he ouercommeth darknesse of the night by shining of the lyght of his eyen, and the name Cattus commeth of Gréek, and is to vnderstand slye and wittie, as Isi. saith li. 12. And is a beast of vncertaine haire & colour: for some Cat is white, some red, some black, some skewed and speckled in the féete, and in the face, and in the eares, and is most like to the Leopard, & hath a great mouth, and sawie teeth & sharp, and long tongue & pliant, thin & subtill, & lappeth ther with whē he drinketh, as other beasts do that haue the nether lip shorter than the ouer, for because of vneuennesse of lips, such beasts sucke not in drinking, but lap and lick as Ari. saith & Plin. al∣so: & he is a ful lecherous beast in youth, swift, pliant & merie, & leapeth & réeseth on al thing yt is before him, & is led by a straw, & plaieth therwith: & is a right he∣uie beast in age & full sléepy, & lieth slily in waite for mice, & is ware where they be, more by smell than by sight, & hunt∣eth & réeseth on them in priuy places: & when he taketh a mouse, he plaieth ther∣with, & eateth him after the play, & is as it were wilde, & goeth about in time of generation, among eats. In time of kind is hard fighting for females, & one scrat∣cheth & renteth ye other grieuously with biting & with clawes, and they make a ruthfull noise & gastful,* when one prose∣reth to fight with another: & is a cruell beast when he is wilde, and dwelleth in woods, & hunteth then smal wild beasts, as Conies & Hares: and falleth on his owne féete when he falleth out of high places, & vneth is hurt, when he is thro∣wen downe off an high place. His durte doth stink•ful foule, & therfore he hideth it vnder earth, & gathreth thervpon coue∣ring with féete & clawes: & when he hath a faire skin he is as it wer proud therof, & goeth fast about, & when his skin is burnt, then he bideth at home, & is ofte for his faire skin, taken of the skinner and slaine.
(*The propertie of cats is to climbe trées for birds, as also to kill mice; and being néere warrens, for sake the house & become wild, praieng on rabits & birds.