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 !

Saturday, September 20, 2014

ornament gatto

thanks discardingimages.tumblr.com

I could look at this all day. It's a decorative element from Nicolaus de Lyra super Bibliam, Italy ca. 1402.  (Manchester, John Rylands University Library, Latin MS 29, fol. 252v)  Don't you wonder how the book artists achieved such saturated and fresh color?  I think I found out a little on Wikipedia.

Friday, September 19, 2014

a little cat science

This Friday I thought I'd post a couple of things about cats that lean toward the scientific, thanks to the fun I've been having reading livescience.com:
- Six secrets to unlocking your cat's personality:  which leaves me wishing I'd known anything about Elizabeth's dad
- I may have posted this before but it's worth a second look:  The world through a cat's eyes
- In the the not-exactly-news department: Cats do control humans, study finds
- And we may not be helping the matter any
- Toxoplasmosis: an unexpected source of fearless mice?
- And this one is because I love tigers - but three of these subspecies are extinct, so don't go here if that makes you sad.  Too late for me, I went already.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

the uses of the hedgehog

A great reason to have a pet hedgehog: it annoys the cat.

. . . But the commercial practicality of our civilization looks askance at the hedgehog. We do not eat it. No one milks a hedgehog, and it never lays eggs. Formerly the Romans, indeed, employed its spiny cuticle for ''hacking" hemp, and farmers on the Continent still place it upon the muzzles of weaned calves (?? - Curator); but with us even these insignificant titles to commercial value have been taken away by the adoption for those purposes of mechanical contrivances of leather and iron (Oh, it must keep them from nursing - Curator). Albertus Magnus used to recommend a hedgehog's right eye fried in oil for those who wished to see as well by night as by day; but no specialist of note recommends it now. The only sphere of possible utility still open to the hedgehog in the nineteenth century is the domestic circle; for a tame hedgehog has its uses. It annoys the cat and quenches blackbettles (sp). Occasionally it gets under the grate and walks off with a red-hot coal upon its back, filling the house with the odor of a brush-maker's manufactory on fire. This, however, is only an error of judgment on the urchin's part, as is also its occasional disappearance down a drain, thereby causing considerable inconvenience to the household. But there is one great blot upon the hedgehog's moral character; for, like the Reverend Stiggins, its "particular wanity" is rum. No one, however, need pander to its low tastes; and in many respects the hedgehog might be found as useful as the dog. At the Angel Inn, at Felton, in Northumberland, one specimen used to act as turnspit as well as the dog that bears that name; and if it cannot bark at thieves or run after the carriage, still the hedgehog, as an article of domestic furniture, has many good points. This a burglar with his boots off might easily find to his cost. . .

Phil Robinson, in the Gentlemen's Magazine; excerpted in  Fur Trade Review, vol. 19 no. 2 (September 1, 1891) p. 390.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

a summer evening

thanks wikimedia commons (PD:100)
As I write this here in the Pacific Northwest in mid-September, there are not too many warm summer evenings left.  Here is one caught forever:  Summer Evening at Skagen, The Artist's Wife and Dog by the Shore, painted in 1892 by Peder Severin Kroyer (Danish, 1851-1909).

Monday, September 15, 2014

wall cat sightings, portland


Seen around town on a beautiful weekend in Portland OR.
Above, the fuse box (?) next to City State Diner.  (breakfast all day! especially fantastic when you are with one of your favorite people, and I'm talking to you, Jill A.)


The coffee pickup counter at Powell's Books had this sign hand chalked. Cathance below.  (Also with one of my favorite people, and I'm talking to you, Candace.)


Saturday, September 13, 2014

three fine mice

thanks wikimedia commons (PD:US)
Carl Reichert (Austrian, 1836-1918) was best known for paintings of dogs and cats, often cutesy to the point of saccharine. Such was the taste back in his day.  I was pleased to find this Reichert watercolor/crayon work of Mause (Mice) today, because it's a plain but kind look at three creatures doing their mousey thing.  The mouse in back is a little bulky, unless he's supposed to be way bigger than the other two, but I like the elegant and delicate portrayal of the other two's whiskery faces.  I think watercolor and colored pencil are the perfect media for mice portraits.

Friday, September 12, 2014

more cats of wwi

thanks wikimedia commons (PD: US)
I'm cheating with the image - that's Pooli up there, a war veteran of WWII, celebrating her 15th birthday on 1959.  She served on an attack transport and earned four battle stars.
Now for WWI:  Jane G C, the human belonging to late and much-loved blog friend Whicky Whuudler, sent along a link full of excellent photos.  Some you'll have seen before, but I'll bet you haven't seen Ching of the HMAS Swan shaking hands with a sailor, or Pincher of the HMS Vindex parked on a very early seaplane.
Those and many more are here.  Enjoy!

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