Death By Witchcraft or Rabies?

This comes from John Latimer’s Annals of Bristol of 1743, citing the Gloucester Journal. It is interesting it seems not to have been reported locally – many such incidents were not reported to prevent copy catting or local disturbances, while rival towns often reported them to show such matters were not happening on their watches. 

A poor cobbler living in Horse (Host) Street .. had imprudently called a woman in the neighbourhood “an old witch” whereupon she sent a cat to his house, which seized his finger while he was attempting to drive it out, and would not loosen its hold until it was squeezed to death. the man was dipped 9 times in salt water at Sea Mills, but the counter-charm was not successful and he died in great agony.

Anyone who can get a cat to follow orders is probably a witch in my book.

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