Henry David Thoreau? Grace Goodman Mauran? Apocryphal?
Question for Quote Investigator: The essayist and transcendentalist philosopher Henry David Thoreau found cats intriguing. He was disappointed that humanity knew “absolutely nothing of the origin and destiny of cats.” Would you please help me to find a citation for this remark about cats?
Reply from Quote Investigator: Henry David Thoreau recorded his thoughts and observations in a multi-volume journal. The entry dated December 12, 1856 contains the following. Boldface added to excerpts by QI:Website: The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau, Online Journal Transcripts, Henry David Thoreau’s Journal, Manuscript Volume 22, Journal Date: December 12, 1856, The Thoreau project is located in … Continue reading
Wonderful—wonderful is our life and that of our companions! That there should be such a thing as a brute animal—not human! & that it should attain to a sort of society with our race!! Think of cats, for instance; they are neither Chinese nor Tartars; they do not go to school, nor read the Testament. Yet how near they come to doing so–how much they are like us! What sort of philosophers are we who know absolutely nothing of the origin & destiny of cats?
Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.
|↑1||Website: The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau, Online Journal Transcripts, Henry David Thoreau’s Journal, Manuscript Volume 22, Journal Date: December 12, 1856, The Thoreau project is located in Davidson Library at the University of California, Santa Barbara. (Accessed via thoreau.library.ucsb.edu on November 15, 2022)|