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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, January 19, 2008

a cat most loyal

Tower of London, 1601:
Henry Wriothesley, third earl of Southhampton, sits in his cell awaiting his death for conspiring to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I.

Meanwhile, back at Southampton House, where the Earl would have been snugly at home, his cat Trixy wants to know where daddy is. After a while, the distraught cat leaves home and strikes out for the big city, finds the Tower, and finds the Earl, where she hung out with him for two years until a change in rule frees the Earl - and his cat.

True story, thought it's very possible Trixy got some help getting to the right cell. I got this story from 100 Cats Who Changed Civilization, by Sam Stall (2007: Quirk Books). After his release the Earl had a portrait done of himself and his staunch cat. (Thanks, Elizabethan Geek. Coolness.)


Radcliff, Allie, Luna & Ozzie said...

Maybe it's just us, but Trixy looks annoyed, even angry in that picture. More symbolism, maybe?

curator said...

Nah, I agree. She looks pretty badass. "Are you telling me I can't make it to the Tower?" That must be what kept the Earl in such brave spirits.

parlance said...

I checked out the portrait to see whether the Earl was one of those cute guys that Elizabeth was always tossing into the Tower. I reckon he could have been goo looking enough if you go by the fashions then. Did Elizabeth surround herself with nice-looking men? I reckon so.

curator said...

Hey Parlance - She totally did. It's really interesting how she socially engineered that situation. The last gasp of the great courtly love tradition, I suppose.