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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, September 03, 2015

dog phrases

thanks reusableart.com. PD

From an 1898 dictionary of phrase and fable:

DOG in phrases:
A dog in a doublet.  - A bold, resolute fellow. In Germany and Flanders the boldest dogs were employed for hunting the wild boar, and these dogs were dressed in a kind of buff doublet buttoned to their bodies. Rubens and Sneyders have represented several in their pictures. A false friend is called a dog in one’s doublet.
Between dog and wolf.  - The hour of dusk. “Entre chien et loup.”
St. Roch and his dog. -  Two inseparables. “Toby and his dog.” One is never seen without the other.
They lead a cat and dog life. - Always quarrelling.
To lead the life of a dog.  - To live a wretched life, or a life of debauchery.

- E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

an affectionate alligator

By Charles Briton (1841-1884) (Design by Charles Briton via [1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
(The above illustration was a costume design for the Mistick Crewe of Comus's 1873 participation in Mardis Gras.  Something to behold, n'est pas?)

This creature is similar in habits and appearance to the crocodile. It is found only in America, and is most abundant in the tropical regions. The anecdotes which display its ferocity are numerous; but we choose one which exhibits it in a different character. Mr. Jesse had one which he made so perfectly tame, that it followed him about the house like a dog, scrambling up the stairs after him, and showing much affection and docility. Its great favorite, however, was a cat; and the friendship was mutual. When the cat was reposing herself before the fire, the alligator would lay himself down, place his head upon the cat, and in this attitude go to sleep. If the cat was absent, the alligator was restless; but he always appeared happy when puss was near him. The only instance in which he showed any ferocity was in attacking a fox, which was tied up in the yard. Probably, however, the fox had resented some playful advances which the other had made, and thus called forth the anger of the alligator. In attacking the fox, he did not make use of his mouth, but beat him with so much severity with his tail, that, had not the chain which confined the fox broken, he would probably have killed him. The alligator was fed on raw flesh, and sometimes with milk, for which he showed great fondness. In cold weather, he was shut up in a box, with wool in it; but having been forgotten one frosty night, he was found dead in the morning.

Poor fellow! This charming anecdote is found in:  Goodrich, S. G. 1793-1860. (1849). Illustrative anecdotes of the animal kingdom. Boston: Rand and Mann.307-308.

Monday, August 31, 2015

florence nightingale and the dog

According to this snippet from a biography of worthy women, Florence Nightingale showed her healing instincts early. . . 

. . .Florence Nightingale's great work began with her great heart. Even as a child, she could not bear to see people or animals suffer, and a pretty story is told of her saving "Cap," a faithful old sheep dog whose leg was broken. As he was useless he was about to be hung, when Florence interceded with the herder, went for the vicar, who said the leg was not broken, only bruised, and began treatment immediately.
She took off her red flannel petticoat and tore it into strips, bandaged the leg tightly, and fomented it steadily with hot water until poor Cap's sufferings were measurably relieved. She attended him faithfully until he was well and found her reward in the old dog's lifelong gratitude. Even when he was on duty, guarding the sheep, and could not leave his post, he never failed to recognise her by an eager whine and joyous waggings of his tail.
 - from: Reed, M. (1913). Happy women. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons. 106-7.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

books. cats. say no more

elizabeth fearne bonsall - 1903 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
An illustration from The Book of the Cat, 1903.  The artist, Elizabeth Fearne Bonsall, was a student of Thomas Eakins.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

ode to an office kitten

From a book of poetry primarily having to do with life at Oxford:  the littlest member of the office staff gets their very own poem.  (Lucky them to HAVE an office kitten, I say.)

To the Office Kitten.
Little Kitten, badly bitten,
With a craze for exploration,
Full of wond'ring, ever blund'ring
Into some queer situation,
Well-nigh past all extrication;

How unstable! now the table,
Now the fire, attracts attention;
How uncertain! now the curtain,
Now the blind, requires ascension—
Now your tail needs circumvention.

Little Kitten, deeply smitten
With that tail's intrinsic merits,
How you race it, face it, chase it,
Always in the best of "sperrits,"
Eye as keen as any ferret's.

Now the fringes, tassels, hinges,
Cause you visible commotion;
Bits of paper make you caper;
Boots you gaze on with devotion—
Now you've upset all that lotion!

Little Kitten, e'en a Lytton
Could not word-paint your vagaries;
Now you're lapping, now you're tapping—
Taps as light as Mother Carey's
Chickens, or the steps of fairies.

Prince of friskers, take your whiskers
From the inkpot's black embraces,
Or, I fear, Sir, I shall hear, Sir,
That you've marked with inky traces
All the ladies' snowiest laces.

Little Kitten, true-born Briton,
Probing ev'ry nook and cranny,
Perspicacious and sagacious
As your own old feline granny—
Really you are quite uncanny!

Fluffy midget, how you fidget!
Ev'ry moment you grow bolder;
Saucy urchin, now you're perchin'
On the summit of my shoulder,
Toying with my pet penholder!
* * *
Little Kitten, I have written
Sev'ral stanzas all about you,
But in future you must suit your
Ways to mine, or I shall "clout" you—
Work's done better, Puss, without you!

-- from Pigott, M. T. (1893). Common-room carols: and other verses and parodies chiefly relating to Oxford. Oxford: Alden. 84-85.

Friday, August 28, 2015

"dog talk"

courtesy the british library. PD
. . . is the title of this poem by E. D. Farrar, translated from Latin.  The voice is that of some puppies, telling humans what it is to be young dogs learning dogcraft, unable to speak, but well able to understand.

THE younger brethern of your House,
We guard the door ;
And serve our elder godlike kin
With hard-won lore.

Your human speech we cannot frame—
You call us dumb—
Yet eloquent the eye and ear
That know you come.

For love can bridge the gulf that yawns
’Twixt us to-day,
And bid us share each other’s joy
Each in his way.

Parson, J. (1912). The friendly dog: an anthology. London: K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & co., ltd.. 70.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

kat von slumber

Here's an evening snap for fans of the Kat Von D...

Now I lay me down to sleep,
The king-size bed is soft and deep...
I sleep right in the center groove
My human can hardly move!

I've trapped her legs, she's tucked in tight
And here is where I pass the night
No one disturbs me or dares intrude
Till morning comes and "I want food!"
-- from "The Cat's Prayer," by anonymous

How's about a closer look at that smug sleepy mug? Cat-hance: