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Marie-Antoinette and cats
http://forum.marie-antoinette.org/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=1416
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Author:  Délicate fleur [ Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Marie-Antoinette and cats

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Author:  Hellou_Librorum [ Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Marie-Antoinette and cats

Louis did indeed shoot at cats on the roof top. You could hear them meowing in the gutters, hissing and fighting.

Author:  Hellou_Librorum [ Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Marie-Antoinette and cats

Madame Vigée-Le Brun wrote:
However many kitties there were, I cannot imagine wanting to harm one... :cat: This seems so unlike Louis XVI, since he was so gentle and kind. I think I read somewhere that he disliked them because one scratched him as a child.


Yes to elaborate on this he was getting up from his seat and a cat was sleeping. The cat woke up and scratched poor Louis on the bottom!

Author:  Brittany [ Sat Mar 07, 2009 3:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Marie-Antoinette and cats

Here is an excerpt from Versailles: A Biography of a Palace by Tony Spawforth concerning the cat situation.

"Under Louis XV Madame du Barry seems to have been one of the few inhabitants of the palace, apart from royalty, to benefit from a civilizing invention imported to eighteenth-century France from England, the water closet. The bowl was flushed by tap water supplied from an overhead tank, and the waste was piped to a cesspit. In 1738 Louis XV had one of these "English places" (lieux à l'anglaise), as they became known, fitted up in a small room (garde-robe) off his new bedchamber.
The great advantage of this new device was the absence of smell. A luxurious installation of marble, porcelain, and mahogany, the king's was kept so clean that Louis XVI once sat down without noticing an enormous angora cat curled up contentedly in the perfumed bowl. When events galvanized the cat into attacking the sovereign from below, a adazed Louis XVI fled, stockings in hand, "ringing all the bell-pulls." Hézecques heard this story from the footman who ran to the king's rescue."

Author:  Rosalie [ Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Marie-Antoinette and cats

:rainbow: :D
It's not hard to believe it...cats go everywhere, even in bathrooms!

Author:  jolie_blon [ Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Marie-Antoinette and cats

Hilarious!!!!! :shock: :roll: :lol:

Author:  History Detective [ Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Marie-Antoinette and cats

Brittany wrote:
Here is an excerpt from Versailles: A Biography of a Palace by Tony Spawforth concerning the cat situation.

I love this story, Brittany--thank you for posting this! It made me laugh so hard. I have three cats of my own, and I can just picture this scene. Any idea what year this little event might have occurred?

I have not read in my books so far the account of Louis shooting the cat on the palace's roof, so I'm not sure if he knew the cat was a pet or just believed it (mistakenly) to be one of the feral cats that were the nuisances. My suspicion is that he didn't know it was the woman's pet, and that he was probably mortified when he found out--hence buying her another to take its place.

On the subject of shooting, I come from a region where people shoot--at a lot of different things besides deer and the other types of usual game. Crows, squirrels, starlings, marmots--not always to protect one's garden, but usually with the mindset that they are considered pests and therefore make excellent targets for a little fun at practice shooting. I can't understand this myself. I love critters of all kinds. But, these same people might also weep if they accidentally hit a deer or other creature with their car, or if they find an injured animal of any kind that needs help. It is quite possible, from the information you all have provided here about the nuisance that these cats were in Louis XVI's time, that Louis just considered them pests and thus available for a little fun at target practice.

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