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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 !

Sunday, January 06, 2013

a cat at college

In 1877, a Dr. Hill of Princeton acquired an unusual new friend, as this anecdote reveals.
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. . .grave Princeton College has had a pet, which was also a phenomenon, in the shape of a two-legged cat biped from birth but a most cheerful, healthy, engaging little creature, dark maltese in color, with a white star on her breast. Her fashion of walking was queer, but lively, as the sketch by Dr. F. C. Hill of Princeton will show.  (I couldn't incorporate the sketch but it was engaging, all right - Curator)
Brought from a New York village to this college town, she adapted herself to her new home with the ready-pliability of youth, became everybody's pet in general, her master's in particular, and was in all ways a thoroughly charming, though whimsical baby-cat. Her virtues were all her own, while her faults, like those of other kittens, were doubtless due to there being no kittychism. Such is the reason a modern writer assigns for feline errors, and it carries with it conviction. As the kitten is bent, the cat will certainly be inclined.
Pussy's course in life was destined to be brief as brilliant. In the spring of '77, Dr. Hill was absent a fortnight. He came back to find his small friend dead. He had left her vivacious and merry now she was only " a body." " Poor Kitty," he wrote, " was well and happy while I was with her. I really think she pined and died as much from loneliness as anything else."
To say that she was missed, is idle; it could not be otherwise with so bright and loving a creature. Love wins love, the world over, and where love comes, love follows. Our poor little Pussy's heart was all her master's; it resulted that in his heart was a corner all her own.
Her body was sent, in the interests of science, to Prof. Ward of Rochester, N. Y., and by him the skeleton was prepared and mounted. It is now in the museum at Princeton College : so that Pussy remains as serviceable after death as it was her warm will to be in life.
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I wonder if that skeleton now snuggles in a museum drawer somewhere.  From Eleanor Lewis, Famous Pets of Famous People (Boston: D. Lothrop Company, 1892), pp. 184-5.

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