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How to get your cat pregnant... without a male cat

其孕也兩月而生,一乳數子,恆有自食之者。俗傳牝貓無牡,但以竹帚掃背數次則孕。或用斗覆貓於灶前,以刷帚頭擊斗,祝灶神而求之亦孕。此與以雞子祝灶而抱雛者相同,俱理之不可推者也。

A cat goes into labour after two months’ pregnancy, giving a litter of several kittens. It is common [for the mother] to eat her own kittens. It is a popular belief that, if a female cat finds no male cat, [one can] get her pregnant simply by sweeping her back several times with a bamboo broom. Alternatively, [one can] also get her pregnant by turning a hopper upside down, with the cat in it, in front of the stove, hitting the hopper with the end of a broom, and praying to the Stove God. This is the same as getting chicks by praying to the stove with eggs: both cases are beyond the power of reasoning.

 


“Zimumao” 子母貓 by Zhao Yong 趙雍 (1289-1369)

Image credit: National Palace Museum


 

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