About Me

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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Thursday, January 29, 2015

fantastic cat song list

The Guardian being the excellent online paper it is, they don't just plop a list of great cat songs on the web and leave it at that.  You'll be treated to Peter Kimpton's essay first in which he muses on the nature of cats in general, his own in particular, and what we sing about when we sing about cats.
And then, the list.
A list full of songs of which I have never heard (and some I have - Janet Jackson's Black Cat, anyone?).  It's a Spotify list, but most are findable on Youtube.  Highlights?  Squirrel Nut Zippers, "Fat Cat Keeps Getting Fatter."  Edgar Jones' supercool "Soothing Music for Stray Cats." Elton John, "Honky Cat." (Not strictly about a cat, but a swell inclusion.)
The list, at the bottom of this page.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

a lovely pup pot

The Proctor Stafford Collection, purchased with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. Allan C. Balch (M.86.296.156)
courtesy of www.lacma.org
How satisfying this clay vessel must feel when you pick it up in two hands (it's 6 3/4 x 8 x 10 in.).  This bright-eyed dog from Mexico's Colima culture dates somewhere from 200 BC to 500 AD.  Dogs were believed to guide souls to the land of the dead; the vessel probably held liquid or food offerings for the departed.  Read a little more about your typical Colima dog vessel here at the British Museum.

Monday, January 26, 2015

good luck wall cat

thanks zarateman at wikimedia commons - creative commons 3.0
Found on a wall in the Fuenlabrada district of Madrid.  Don't you feel luckier already?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

drowsy museum weekend

Your friendly Curator has been pulling some long days at work.  This made the weekend feel extra good, and not just for humans:

Although some of the staff were less tolerant of having siesta time interrupted:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

"the patriotic kitten"

From a tiny children's book of kitten poetry published in the 1920's.  Not sure which war the poet had in mind at this time; perhaps she was looking back at WWI?

Our home is patriotic
As every home should be,
But I am just a kitten
So War don't int'rest me.

But looks are quite deceiving
(An adage, very true)
For I look patriotic—
I'm all red, white and blue.

He did it in the garden
With two new cans of paint,
And when I saw what happened
It almost made me faint.

My ears were painted reddish,
(The painting made me wail)
But he made me patriotic
When he put blue on my tail.

But when the family saw me
I knew I'd "make a hit."
They said "Our snow-white kitten
Has lived to 'do his bit.'"

-- Jacobs-Bond, Carrie, 1862-1946. Tales of Little Cats. [33d ed.] Chicago: P. F. Volland Co., sometime in the '20's.

Monday, January 19, 2015

a dog that knows its friends

thanks hathitrust.org (PD)
This morning I really just wanted an excuse to share this illustration from a charming turn of the 20th c book of animal stories.  The attached story's no great discovery, but you need to read it to fully appreciate the picture:

A MASTIFF dog, who owed more to the kindness of a neighbor than to his master, was once locked by mistake in the well-stored pantry of his benefactor for a whole day, where there were, within his reach, milk, butter, bread and meat, in abundance. On the return of the servant to the pantry, seeing the dog come out, and knowing the time it had been shut in there, she trembled for fear of the waste which she was sure her carelessness must have brought about; but on close examination, it was found that the honest creature had not tasted of anything, although, on coming out, he fell on a bone that was given him, with all the greediness of hunger.

-- from Billinghurst, Percy J. Anecdotes of Animals. New York: McLoughlin Bros., 1905, pp. 142-3.  A book full of appealing, Art Nouveau-flavored illustrations.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

gold mine at the guardian

My favorite online newspaper is The Guardian (formerly the Manchester Guardian).  There's many reasons for this (excellent world coverage, a British slant on the arts), but I have discovered an entirely new reason:  the reader-submitted pet features.  Here's Pets with Talent, including Onion, who makes a great card table, and Willow, who helps teach kids to read.  The most recent, Camouflaged Pets, dares you (it's quite a dare!) to find Lily, MimiTotoro, and their well-blended friends.  Or perhaps you'd like Pets Acting like Humans (lay off the bubbly, Pico).    All from the Top Pets feature, so go check it out.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

medieval kitchen implement: cat

thanks discardingimages 
So it's the middle ages and you finally got the pears picked through the sweat of your brow.  Now you've got to see about preserving them for the winter and . . . what are these tiny toothmarks on the fruit? Yuck.  Get the cat.
From Antonius von Pforr, Buch der Beispiele (Book of Examples), Swabia ca. 1475-1482, at the Universit├Ątsbibliothek Heidelberg, Cod. Pal. germ. 84, fol. 232v.  Are you any good at German when it's printed in Fraktur?  You can read an abridged version of this book of fables here at Archive.org.