The Cat that Walked by Himself

These notes on the text draw on those written by Lisa Lewis for the OXFORD WORLD’S CLASSICS edition of Just So Stories (1995) with the kind permission of Oxford University Press, together with material from the Kipling Society’s ORG. The page numbers below refer to the Macmillan Uniform Edition of Just So Stories.



[Page 175, initial] the marks on the capital “H” have been decoded as runes that read:

I Rudyard Kipling dreu this but because there was no mutton bone in the house I faked the anatomi from memory R.K.

On the crosspiece of the “H” they read: ‘I also urote all the plais ascribed by Mrs Gallup.’ Mrs Gallup, in The Bilateral Cipher of Francis Bacon (1900), ascribed Shakespeare’s plays to Bacon. She based her ideas on an alleged code concealed in variations of the print of the early editions. RK mocks the Baconians in a Shakespeare parody, “The Marréd Drives of Windsor”, as part of “The Muse among the Motors” (Definitive Verse) and also in the story “The Propagation of Knowledge” (Debits and Credits, 1926).

[Page 175, line 2] Hear and attend and listen this phrase is not in the Ladies’ Home Journal.

[Page 177, line 1] ‘Nenni!’ an old French negative that resembles the mild protest of a cat whose owner has displeased it.

[Page 194, lines 14-5] or with all proper Dogs after me this phrase is not in the Ladies’ Home Journal, where the next sentence reads: ‘And he sat down and growled dreadfully and showed his teeth …’

[Page 195, lines 15-6] and when the moon gets up and the night comes this phrase is not in the Ladies’ Home Journal.

[Page 195, lines 18-21] Then he goes out … his wild lone instead of this sentence, the Ladies’ Home Journal has: ‘and if you look out at nights you can see him, waving his wild tail and walking his wild lone – just the same as before.

[Page 197, lines 9-12] Man Friday … Crusoe saw refers to an episode in Robinson Crusoe (1719), by Daniel Defoe (1660-1731). This book was a childhood favourite of Kipling’s [Something of Myself, p. 9].

©Lisa Lewis 2006 All rights reserved