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February 8, 1909


Black Stray Called "Tom," Does Cir-
cus Stunts.

Policeman Patrick Boyle, shortstop at police headquarters, feels certain that by accident he has come into the possession of a trained cat. Some weeks ago, according to Boyle, he found at his back door a coal black male cat, which he promptly called "Thomas." The feline appeared hungry, and seemed to state that fact in a manner different from any other cat Boyle had ever seen.

"Thomas, like all other stray cats," said Boyle yesterday, "proceeded to make his home where he was getting his bread and butter. Some time ago I happened to be out in the yard -- and say, that cat follows me everywhere I go. I was stooping over picking up some rubbish. While in that position, noticing Thomas close at hand, I said: 'Come on, Tom,' just for fun, you know.

"Well, sir, that cat made a leap and jumped right through the open space made by my arms. Before I could realize what he was about he turned and jumped back. That seemed funny to me, so I gave him all of that he wanted and he made the leap every time I gave him the chance.

"Then I set about trying him on other tricks, sitting up, walking on his hind feet and so on. Thomas can make a few strides on his front feet now and Lord only knows what he can't do."

Boyle seems proud of "Thomas," and said he hoped soon to have him doing tight and slack wire work and making high dives. The cat is also a ball player, Boyle says. That is, he is half a ball player. He will catch a soft ball, but he hasn't learned yet to throw it back. It is Patrolman Boyle's opinion that Thomas must have escaped from some vaudeville or circus troupe. When he gets Thomas trained up to the proper standard for intellectual cats, Boyle intimated that he would either take the cat onto the vaudeville stage himself, or sell him for a "neat sum," or "a bunch of crisp greenbacks."

He has arranged to give a special performance for the benefit of the members of the police department the end of this week.

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