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 !

Friday, October 17, 2014

a jolly reminder

thanks wikimedia commons.  (PD)
During WWII in Britain this is what handy Post Office reminders looked like.  (This one created by the design partnership Lewitt-Him.)  If only the PO would go back to having actual artists make posters!  I'd pay attention to them then.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

on dogs, particularly those wiry-haired aliens

In which some literary gent has a lot to say about those accessory-sized doglets (see, it's not a modern thing to have a tiny dog in your purse):
...the whole variety of French Shocks, and family and single Lap-dogs are obnoxious to my high opinions of dogs in general. I can never feel any thing but a bitter biped indignation when I see a wealthy and wellinformed woman lavishing that fondness on those ugly quadrupeds, who are thought handsome, which if bestowed on some little friendless orphan, whom they might comfort at less expense, and adopt and keep at little more than is wasted on those wiry-haired aliens. When I meet one of these fat and pampered animals waddling and wheezing it's panting way after it‘s fashionable mistress, l am much perplexed which to despise; but as I venerate all petticoats, I usually satisfy my spleen with despising the dog instead of his mistress. And when I have seen a tall manly fellow of a lady's lacquey hoisting one of these white enormities under his arm, and dogging the heels of his superior, I have felt something like indignation, that even a man in a livery should be degraded to so vile and unmanly an office. But when I have met, in the Mall some fair spinster hugging one of these monstrous affection-stealers to her fair bosom, I have, at the moment, wished myself bitten by a mad dog, that l might run about the Parks and polite places in an unsuspicious shape, and bite every dog’s tail that was caught dangling down from the dexter bend of a fair spinster’s elbows...
Original spelling and punctuation kept, as usual.  "Lacquey" - lackey; "dexter" - left side.  A "shock dog" is a very bushy-haired one.  From "On Dogs" from The New European Magazine, published in The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Volume 1 (London: 1823), p. 72.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

wordless vintage wednesday

from the museum collection, dated "may 28 1940"

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

pride in a proud pet

thanks wikimedia commons {PD:US}
This rooster is splendid and he knows it.  His human, a young girl in what is no doubt her simple best, knows it too.  In her plain but crisp green and white dress, which becomes her as a young maiden, she provides the perfect backdrop to the razzle-dazzle of her fancy-feathered pet.  Also, look at her modest expression: she is happy in the sheer joy of her rooster, while he has all the prime rooster arrogance in how he sizes us up.  This Girl with a Rooster is, I think, a take on the male vs. female principle in a most likable way, painted circa 1650 by the Dutch portrait and landscape master Jacob Gerritszoon Cuyp.

Monday, October 13, 2014

a dog teaches us to beware greed

thanks wikimedia commons.  PD:US
In the ancient Indian collection of animal fables known (among other things) as Kaliliah wa Dimnah, the story of the dog who lost his bone to greed is mentioned.  It seems to be related to the fable by Aesop, in which a dog trots along with a bone in his mouth, but when he nears the water he sees a reflection of himself.  Thinking it's another dog with a bone for the taking, he opens his mouth to snap - and plunk goes the bone, leaving our covetous fellow with nothing to show for his aggression.  I did not find any source info for this image, though it's clearly from an illuminated manuscript.  I'm sharing it anyway as it's a perfect example of how dogs provide illustration of a cultural lesson, and besides, it is graceful and beautiful for a Monday.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

a saturday snap from the museum

It's a beautiful fall morning out here at the Museum.  And since Ronnie insists on going outside (she still has a strong streak of the feral yet), well, nice of her to provide such a seasonal photo op.

Friday, October 10, 2014

tubby puddy tgif

thanks vintageprintable.com. believed PD-US in good faith
Ready for Friday?  I sure am...and cats always are.  Here's Eduoard Manet in 1861 with a drawing of "A Cat Resting on all Fours, Seen from Behind."  Make time to relax, and if you've forgotten how, ask a cat.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

a humorous remembrance of a college cat

In which Sir Frederick Pollock (this one, I'm betting) honors the memory of a four-legged academic colleague ("the Senior Fellow" and "Tom" of the poem) with good judgement.  Starts slow, but stay with it; it's warm hearted and will bring a smile.


THE Junior Fellow's vows were said;
Among his co-mates and their Head
His place was fairly set.
Of welcome from friends old and new
Full dues he had, and more than due ;
What could be lacking yet ?

One said, "The Senior Fellow's vote !"
The Senior Fellow, black of coat,
Save where his front was white,
Arose and sniffed the stranger's shoes
With critic nose, as ancients use
To judge mankind aright.

I for 'twas I who tell the tale
Conscious of fortune's trembling scale,
Awaited the decree ;
But Tom had judged : "He loves our race,"
And, as to his ancestral place,
He leapt upon my knee.

Thenceforth in common-room and hall
A verus socius known to all
I came and went and sat,
Far from cross fate's or envy's reach;
For none a title could impeach
Accepted by the cat.

While statutes changed, and freshmen came,
His gait, his wisdom were the same,
His age no more than mellow ;
Yet nothing mortal may defy
The march of Anno Domini,
Not e'en the Senior Fellow.

Beneath our linden shade he lies ;
Mere eld hath softly closed his eyes
With late and honoured end.
He seems, while catless we confer,
To join with faint Elysian purr,
A tutelary friend.

-- from Cook, T. Andrea (ed). (1902). An Anthology of humorous verse. New York: Brentano's. pp. 283-4.