It can scarcely fail to have been remarked by those who have perused the preceding pages with moderate attention that the species of cats described in them, including the largest and most formidable of the whole genus, are exclusively natives of the Old World, and confined to the hot and burning climates of Southern Asia and of Africa. A second and more numerous class, of which, however, no example exists at present in the Tower Menagerie, and which, consequently, it does not fall within our province to illustrate, occupy the colder and northern regions of both hemispheres. These belong principally to the same subdivision with the Lynx (being, like him, distinguished by the pencils of long hairs which surmount their ears), and to that which comprehends the domestic cat; and are all of diminutive size and trifling power when compared with those monstrous productions of the torrid zone, the Lion, the Tiger, and the Leopard. The reader is not, however, to imagine that the smaller species exist only in the vicinity of the pole and in the temperate regions of the earth: he will find, on the contrary, that many of them are natives of more southern climes, and commit their petty ravages under as fierce a sun as that which fires their more dreaded competitors in the career of rapine and of blood. Of one of these, the true Lynx of antiquity, we shall have occasion to treat in a subsequent article.
The individual figured at the head of the present article is a female; a fact which was proved by the remarkable circumstance of her producing in May last, after having been more than two years in the Menagerie, a cluster of eggs, fourteen or fifteen in number, none of which, however, were hatched, although the mother evinced the greatest anxiety for their preservation, coiling herself around them in the form of a cone, of which her head formed the summit, and guarding them from external injury with truly maternal solicitude. They were visible only when she was occasionally roused; in which case she raised her head, which formed as it were the cover of the receptacle in which they were enclosed, but replaced it again as quickly as possible, allowing to the spectator only a momentary glance at her cherished treasures.