A cat amongst the pigeons

I honestly thought it had got to the point where Charles Darwin couldn't possibly rise any further in my esteem, and then I read this:

When [Darwin's] daughter Etty's cat got into the pigeon loft, he untypically had it killed.

Wonderful! Better still, he had it replaced with a fox terrier (of all dogs) named Polly.

(I am so not a cat person.)

Update 28-Aug-2012: The original Telegraph article which cited this cat-killing anecdote was a review of the book Darwin's Garden: Down House and The Origin of Species by Michael Boulter. If you read my own subsequent review of the same book, you will gather that I am inclined to disbelieve some of the anecdotes it contains. I shall continue to search for a source for the cat story, but, in the meantime, I would advise you to take it with a pinch of salt.

Update 28-Aug-2018: It took me exactly six years, but I did eventually managed to conform the cat story. More here »

Richard Carter, FCD

Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteNewsletterMastodonetc…

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