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Response to Review of The Great Cat and Dog Massacre: the Real Story of World War II’s Unknown Tragedy

I thank Maggie Andrews for her appreciation of my work especially recognising her perception that the book is organised around a convincing argument for the relationship between humans and domestic animals that was later strengthened during the war. I have emphasised this attachment between humans and animals was unbreakable. However, I also argue that it was the very relationship between them that led to the deterred civil servants not creating further restrictions on dogs or cats such as rationing pet food. The civil servants suggested that if they restricted materials for manufacturers of dog biscuits 'people would probably substitute for them other forms of human food'. In addition the Waste of Food Order 'would not be applied to the use of milk for feeding cats'.
   
Like many historians Maggie Andrews is also interested in Mass Observation’s reporter Nella Last. However, Last not only liked Sol her dog, as mentioned by Maggie, but also her 'wild, free cat' Mr Murphy and specifically kept both animals.
   
Indeed the later chapters of the book include the discussion of the broad survival of animals, including the cats living with Winston Churchill – who declared to his minister 'This cat does more for the war effort than you do!'