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Newton never married and cultivated few friendships, but he did make room in his life for cats and dogs. Sources vary on exactly how this relationship played out.
Some contemporary historians label him an animal lover, while other accounts tell doubtful tales regarding a pet dog named Diamond. Some historians even doubt he owned pets at all.
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The story goes that at the University of Cambridge Newton's experiments were interrupted constantly by his cats scratching at his office door, so he summoned the Cambridge carpenter and had him saw two holes in his door: a large hole for the mother cat and a small one for her kittens. Newton's cat had just had kittens, and the joke was that this great genius had cut another hole in his door for the kittens, not realizing that they could simply follow their mother through the larger hole.
What a dummy!
Most people say that the story was made up, although some people claim that a door at one of Newton's residences does show signs of having two cat holes in it. Whatever the actual origin, it's interesting to see how it changed with the times. When Newton was alive, or a recent memory, people laughed at how stupid a smart person could be. As time went by, and he was semi-deified, suddenly the legend shifted to make Newton seem even smarter than he was. Image: Mathias Erhart. The A.
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Esther Inglis-Arkell. Filed to: secret history Filed to: secret history secret history science legends isaac newton inventions urban legends cats. Share This Story. In his book " The Pawprints of History: Dogs in the Course of Human Events ," Coren describes one fateful day when Newton was working on his theories by candlelight, with the Pomeranian by his side, when he was drawn away by a knock at the front door.
The feisty little dog, left alone in the study, excitedly ran about in response to the surprise visitor, sparking disaster:. On one circuit of the room Diamond apparently collided with the leg of Newton's small writing table, and the shock of her collision caused the burning candle to tip over, directly onto the manuscript. In the resulting fire there was actually little damage to the room, but the manuscript that Newton was working on was completely destroyed.
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Despite the incredible loss of months of work, the famed British scientist was surprisingly understanding.
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