The Scrutineer and Berrima District Press Wednesday, August 3, 1898

This Article is titled: Man and Cat Fight. 



Sportsman's Park, the great resort of the Cuban population of Ybor City and Tampa, Florida, was recently the scene of a fight to a finish between a 15lb. wild cat and a Jamaica negro, known only as Sam. The negro was promised $40 if he succeeded in killing the wild cat inside of thirty minutes
with his bare hands and no kicking. Sam took the money.  At least 500 people witnessed the battle, which was bloody from beginning to end.

The cat had been starved for several days, and had also been teased and tortured until it was in a frenzy. The negro stepped into the enclosure wearing brown canvas overalls and jumper. The cat was let out of the cage inside the ring, and running to one side stopped and began looking at the negro who was advancing toward it. The cat was furious with rage, and when Sam was within 10ft. leaped directly for his throat. The negro was expecting this, and jumped quickly to one side, but struck the cat with his fist as it went past him.  In a second the cat came back with a rush, and this time fastened its claws in Sam's right thigh, tearing the canvas trousers and bringing the blood.  Sam caught the cat by the throat, but he let go with a howl of agony as a Strip of flesh was torn from his arm by the of the hind foot of the cat. With a spring quick as lightning, the cat was on the man's shoulder, clawing his face and chewing his right ear.

Then the negro got angry and tried to tear the enraged cat from his shoulder and neck. In the struggle, Sam fell, and the cat leaped from him. The crowd cheered and urged Sam to go on with the fight. He was half blinded by blood, but he made another dash for the cat, and after a short chase, was stooping to pick up the animal. When it leapt directly on his head and began clawing. Sam struggled in vain to pull the cat from his wool, and at last over his head and then made for the fence to crush the cat by butting. This didn't work, as the cat crawled down his 'back, tearing his canvas jumper bringing the blood every scratch. Sam caught the cat by the throat and fell to the ground. The cat's claws were at work, and Sam's arms, breast, and thighs were badly scratched and clawed, but still Sam hold on.  He succeeded finally in getting one knee on the cat's head, and, in spite of the struggles of the victim, held him down until life was extinct. Sam staggered to his feet, but just as the crowd gave a great cheer he fell to the ground in a faint from loss of blood and the terrific strain to which he had been subjected.  He was given the $40 but says he never wants to fight a wildcat again.

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