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Rat, Cat, and Puppy Pies
From ???? Letter in the Troy Times]
In Canton we visited a restaurant where cats, rats and dogs were served as food. Dog steak, fried rat, or cat stews were to be had at any hour. It has been often denied, and many affirm that it is only one of the old Peter Parley stories that the Chinese eat these things. But it is true. I saw a whole puppy stewed in a large kettle. We saw a table full of men satisfying their hunger with dog meat, and they ate with a hearty relish. We saw cats and pups put in cages for sale, and rats hung up waiting for purchasers.
The dishes looked savory, and the price of the meal was “dog cheap,” but we did not indulge in any “bow wow” soup or feline steak, or rodent potpie. We weren’t hungry just then. The Celestials will tell you “rat number one good eatee,” and show you rats dried, rats skinned, rats salted, rats hung up by the tails, and rats strung on strings. If you doubt the genuineness of the article the proprietor will show you the meat with the hair and skin attached for identification. Rat meat is said to be a fine tonic, and cat is good for bald-headed men. Puppies and kittens are generally preferred; old dogs and tomcats are apt to be rather tough.
Black cats are supposed to be more nutritious than white ones, hence the following advertisement seen in a shop window:
“Black cats served at all hours; also snakes, rats and dogs.”
The Atchison Globe (Atchison, Kansas) Feb 9, 1883