To Athénaïs Michelet 23 May 1872
Down, | Beckenham, Kent.
May 23 1872
I am much obliged for the honour of your interesting letter; & it will give me much pleasure to do any thing that you wish, as far as lies in my power. I wrote immediately to a gentleman who had served as one of the judges at the Crystal Palace, for the dates of the reports, & for information about any books on cats.1
I heard from him this morning that he was just starting on a journey, but that he wd write to me in a week’s time.2 As soon as I hear I will endeavour to get what you desire, & send you any publications which I can procure. I do not know of any works exclusively on the larger Feline animals; perhaps as good an account as any will be found in Brehm’s Thierleben, which I believe has been translated into French.3
I am much obliged for your information about the fertility of crossed Angora & common cats. It is not believd by physiologists that the characters of two fathers can be transmitted to one & the same individual; & experiments on plants seem to negative any such belief. But I was reading the other day a paper by Fritz Müller which seemed to render this belief in some degree probable.4
I thank you for the kind present of your book, which I shall have great pleasure in reading when I receive it.5 Possibly I may find something about the expression & gestures of cats under different emotions; & this is a subject which much interests me.
I have the honour to remain with much respect | yours faithfully | Charles Darwin
Discusses books about cats and crosses in cats. Thanks her for her book on cats.