In The Story of Doctor Dolittle, the author writes,

But the Cat’s-meat-Man wasn’t very rich and he only got sick once a year—at Christmas-time, when he used to give the Doctor sixpence for a bottle of medicine.

Is the implication that the man gets drunk every Christmas and is given treatment for his hangover?

  • 1
    yes, that's the implication
    – verbose
    Nov 23, 2020 at 8:48
  • Was the ‘bottle of medicine’ really a bottle of alcohol (or at least, a medicine which was effectively the same thing), making the purchase the cause of drunkenness rather than a result of it?
    – gidds
    Jan 25 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


I understand this as the Cats' Meat Man giving Dr Dolittle a Christmas present, disguised as a purchase of medicine that he doesn't need.


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