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July 21, 1906


JAMA. 1906;XLVII(3):209. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02520030051008

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The cat, it seems, has no legal standing. This has been decided by a Massachusetts judge, who calls it "the worst untamed animal in Christendom." One might suspect, indeed, from the tone of his remarks that he is one of that class so interestingly described by Dr. Weir Mitchell and more or less familiar to every one— the cataphobiacs. The cat, however, does stand in discredit to a certain extent in a sanitary light. The article from which we quote the opinion referred to contains an indictment of the cat by Dr. Hodge (of Clark University?) which may possibly have influenced the judge's decision. Dr. Hodge says that many contagious diseases are common to man and the cat, and the animal is, therefore, a dangerous source of contagion to the human species. Even if the animal itself does not contract the disease, it is one of the most common and

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