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The Flinders papersletters and documents about the explorer Matthew Flinders (1774-1814)
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FLI/11 Matthew Flinders' biographical tribute to his cat Trim 1809 (FLI11) Page 6

natural history of small quadrupeds, birds and flying fish, for which he had much taste. These with his remarks upon men and manners, if future leisure should enable me to put them into order, I may perhaps give to the world; and from the various seas and countries he has visited, joined to his superior powers for distinguishing obscure subjects, and talents for seizing them, these observations may be expected to be more interesting than the imaginary adventures of your guineas, shillings, or half-pence, and to possess more originality than the Turkish spy.
      Trim was not only a stranger to England, but also to a house and to the manner of living in it: The king of Bantam's ambassador was not more inexperienced in these matters than he. I took a lodging for him at Deptford, placing him under the guardianship of the good woman of the house, who promised to instruct him in the usages of Terra Firma; but she knew not what she had undertaken. He would go out at the sash window to the top of the house, for the convenience of making his observations on the surrounding country more at ease; – it came on to rain, – the sash was put down. This would have been an invincible obstacle to other cats, but not so to Trim: He bolted through the glass like a clap of thunder, to the great alarm of the good hostess below. "Good God Trim", exclaimed she on entering the chamber, "is it thee? They said thou wast a strange outlandish cat, and verily I think thou art the divil [sic] : I must shut thee up, for if thou go'st to treat neighbours thus, I shall have thee taken up for a burglary. But come, I know thy master will pay the damage: hast thou cut thyself?"
      Woe to the good woman's china, if Trim got into her closet. Your delicate town bred cats go mincing in amongst cup and saucers without touching them; but Trim! If he spied a mouse there he dashed at it like a man of war, through thick and thin: the splinters flew in all directions. The poor woman at first thought an evil spirit was playing his pranks in her cupboard; – she opens the door with fear and trembling; when, to her infinite dismay, out jumps my black gentleman upon her shoulder: she was well neigh dead with fear. Seeing how much mischief was done to her dear china, the pride of her heart, she seized Trim to beat him soundly; but instead of trying to escape, the droll animal rubs his wiskers [sic] up against her chin and falls to purring. She had no longer the heart to strike him; but after a moment's hesitation, she heaved a sigh and picked up the pieces.
      I took him up to London in the stagecoach, and as there were no fine ladies to be frightened at the presence of a strange cat, he was left at full liberty. He was not in the least disconcerted by the novelty of his situation; but placing himself upon the seat, and stretching
out his white paws, conducted himself ^ reasonably like any other passenger, to the admiration of the two gentlemen who did not cease to make inquiries concerning his education, manners, and adventures, during the whole way to town.
      A worthy acquaintance in London took Trim into, his family, but he soon requested me to take him back, for "such a strange animal", said he, "I never saw. I am afraid of losing him: He goes out into the streets in the middle of the day, and rubs himself against the legs of people passing by. Several have taken him up to caress him, but I fear some one will be carrying him off." I took him on board the Spyall to make a second voyage to the

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