Cat Project Archives for January 25-29, 2016.
25, 2015 - "Cats are notoriously sore losers. Coming
in second best, especially to someone as poorly coordinated
as a human being, grates their sensibility." - Stephen
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Yeah, just what I always wanted."
Mewvie: Cats do things.... differently.
Street Art: (I have no idea.)
Historical Museum is cat's meow
By Mary Ann Breckenridge
Depending on where you stand, the Feline Historical Museum, in Alliance
Ohio, is either nirvana or a nightmare.
It's cats and more cats. And even more cats.
Cats in frames. Cats on film. Glass cats. Porcelain cats. Cats, cats,
Curiously, there are no real cats, unless you happen to show up on a
day when a breeder friend of museum manager Karen Lawrence brings some
Maine Coons to show.
"Well, you know, I travel too much," said Lawrence, who traverses the
globe as a cat show judge.
Who says cat ladies are crazy?
The museum is operated by the Cat Fanciers' Association Foundation, a
nonprofit created to preserve the history of cats and the people they
control. The foundation opened the museum in 2011 in an imposing granite-clad
building that once housed Midland-Buckeye Federal Savings and Loan.
The S&L went belly-up. The cats persevere. This should surprise no
Everywhere you look in the place, there are depictions of cats. Cat artwork
and calendars cover the walls. Cat figurines fill display cases. Tributes
to pets who have gone on to the big cat condo in the sky populate a memorial
"Miss you, Mean Kitty," one is inscribed by what must have been a forbearing
owner. Another honors a cat named Epidermis, which was, appropriately, hairless.
Among the museum's prized possessions is a red cat house designed by
one of Frank Lloyd Wright's proteges for the Tonkens family, for whom
Wright designed a human house in Cincinnati. "Residents for Felis
catus," the accompanying architectural drawing is labeled. Spelling,
apparently, was not a priority in Wright's firm.
An entire room in the museum is devoted to maneki-neko cats, the perpetually
waving Japanese talismans. Dozens of examples are on display, each with
a paw raised in everlasting greeting: a cat that inexplicably resembles
a poodle, a cat with a clock in its belly, a set of cat nesting dolls,
a cat in the shape of a teapot, its beckoning arm outstretched to form
the spout. A ceramic pea pod is filled with pea-size cats, a set of chopsticks
poised creepily within reach.
Another room honors the Siamese cat, a breed introduced to America by
President Rutherford B. Hayes. He wasn't the only famous Siamese fan:
A computer screen shows members of the regal breed being stroked by celebrities
ranging in renown from Laurence Olivier and Jimmy Stewart to Willie Aames
of Charles in Charge.
Even the bathroom is decorated with cat memorabilia - Chinese prints
of cats on the wall, a cat figure peeking into a mirror on the window
ledge, another peering into a small fishbowl.
Virtually everything in the museum was donated. Lawrence has 19 boxes
of books for the library, waiting to be unpacked. She's used to hearing
visitors say, "Now I know what to do with my cat collection."
The museum displays the sublime in the form of cat figurines by such
celebrated manufacturers as Waterford, Royal Doulton and Lalique; a bronze
sculpture that is the only cat created by famed artist J. Clayton Bright,
better known for his horses and dogs; and an ancient, exquisite ceramic
likeness of a warrior on a cat's back that once decorated a roof in China.
And then there's what some might consider the ridiculous, a collection
of cat dolls that occupies what was once Midland-Buckeye's bank vault.
There are cats dressed like kings and queens, cat brides and grooms,
a feline Cinderella in a wedding-cake gown and a few cats that resemble
a young Laura Ingalls Wilder, clad in calico and bonnets.
They may constitute the oddest acquisitions of a museum that capitalizes
on the quirky.
"Some of those cat dolls are pretty weird," Lawrence allowed. "They're
But they're cats.
And hence, they're superior.
26, 2015 - "Cat said, 'I am not a friend, and I am
not a Servant. I am the Cat who walks by himself, and I
wish to come into your Cave.'" - Rudyard Kipling
Gratuitous Kittiness: Loafing in the canopy.
Mewvie: Tiggers, I mean, tigers love bubble baths.
Feline Art: Russian post
27, 2015 - "No one shall deny me my own conclusions,
nor my cat her reflective purr." - Irving Townsend
Bearrix Potter story discovered... about a cat.
By Sarah Laskow
In 1914, Beatrix Potter was working on a new story featuring her cast
of mischievous animals. It was called the "The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots," and
it featured "a well-behaved prime black Kitty cat, who leads rather
a double life," Potter wrote to her publisher.
The cat would go out on hunting, in the guise of Puss in Boots, but ends
up in a trap. Peter Rabbit (older now, and tubbier) was there, too, along
with other characters who made Potter famous.
But the kitty's tale (Kitty called herself "Miss Catherine St Quintin," according
to Potter's story) was never published. There was World War I, and work
on the sheep farm Potter had purchased. Potter had drafted the story,
and started sketching illustrations for the book, but she never quite
A few years back, though, a publisher happened to read a reference to
the story in an old biography of Potter. She went to the Victoria and
Albert museum archive, where Potter's papers are kept, and searched through
them. There she found notebooks filled with the story, and one color
illustration. It still needed some editing–Potter had admitted
as much–but the story was all there.
The story, reportedly "full of incident and mischief and character," will
be published in September, and after many decades, the world will finally
learn about the adventures of Miss Catherine St Quintin.
28, 2015 - "The smart cat doesn't let on that he is." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: Those devilish eyes.
Mewvie: This happy little guy was originally found
frozen in the snow.
German postcard. "Cat with Accordion" by Rudi Hurlzmeier.
29, 2015 - "If you want to be a psychological novelist
and write about human beings, the best thing you can do
is keep a pair of cats." - Aldous Huxley
lion unveiled in London to highlight big cat plight
LONDON - The four bronze lions of London's central Trafalgar Square got
a temporary addition on Thursday, with a clockwork sculpture of the animal
unveiled to highlight the plight of big cats.
The statue, made of clockwork mechanics, will stand in the square for
just a day before being auctioned off to raise money for National Geographic's
Big Cats Initiative, which says it aims to halt the decline of big cats
in the wild.
According to the initiative’s website, there are likely some 30,000
lions in the wild. Among their threats are poaching and loss of both
prey and habitat.
" I think most people don't believe actually lions are in danger," said
Jeff Ford of television channel Nat Geo Wild, which during Feb. 1-7 hosts its "Big
" I think they think there's a lot of them about. But just last month they
were put on the endangered species list."
Sculptor Iain Prendergast, whose works have appeared on television show "Game
of Thrones" as well as in artist Banksy's "Dismaland" theme
park, said the statue's body was made to look like "the inner workings
of a clock".
Clock hands make up the lion's mane while the eyes were made with small