Sir Walter Scott was a Scottish historical novelist, poet, playwright and historian. His works are classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature. One of his famous titles is The Lady of the Lake. He lived with a cat companion who he gave the extravagant name ‘Hinse of Hinsefeldt’. Hinse and Feld are real names. ‘Feldt’ means dweller in the field in German.
According to Dr Desmond Morris in his book Cat World, Hinse “was a tyrannical tom-cat”. He is said to have terrorised the author’s huge dogs. During dinnertime Hinse had the habit of “clouting any hound that got in his way”.
Sadly, in 1826 he met his match. He tormented a bloodhound called Nimrod too much, and once too often, and Nimrod struck back. His patience and temper had been tested beyond his limits. He retaliated violently and killed Hinse in a ghastly fight.
Sir Walter Scott appears to have been as bemused as a lot of people are today by the mentality of domestic cats in saying:
Cats are a mysterious kind of folk. There is more passing in their minds then we are aware of.
We have learned more about cats
So Walter Scott’s died on 21 September 1832 at the age of 61. Since the date of his death we have learned a lot more about domestic cats. I’m sure with our current knowledge Sir Walter Scott could have avoided that fatal fight. One possibility would have been that nowadays we have cat and dog food and the animals are fed separately. I sense that Sir Walter fed his cats and dogs with human scraps which caused them to fight over it. Hinse ruled the roost until an otherwise passive dog had had enough. In his era, there are no purebred cats as we understand them. It was before the cat fancy had started in the late 1800s. Commercially prepared dog food started in about the 1860s, once again just after Sir Walter’s life.
Hinse was a tabby-and-white random bred cat.
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