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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, October 18, 2018

teddy roosevelt wrangles the pets

Theodore Roosevelt's letters to his children are a pleasure to read (except for descriptions of big-game hunting, at which you chalk it up to the times, wince, and move on).  They are affectionate, funny, thoughtful, and wide-ranging; there is a passage on Dickens as a writer vs. Dickens as a man which is not at all complimentary toward the latter.  The letters are also full of animal news, as the Roosevelt family was fond of pets.  Here's a couple of passages from January 1908 about two of the White House zoo, including a kitchen cat that invited itself to an official reception.
White House, Jan. 2, 1908.
. . . Mother continues much attached to Scamp, who is certainly a cunning little dog. He is very affectionate, but so exceedingly busy when we are out on the grounds, that we only catch glimpses of him zigzagging at full speed from one end of the place to the other. The kitchen cat and he have strained relations but have not yet come to open hostility. 

White House, Jan. 27, 1908.
Scamp is really a cunning little dog, but he takes such an extremely keen interest in hunting, and is so active, that when he is out on the grounds with us we merely catch glimpses of him as he flashes by. The other night after the Judicial Reception when we went up-stairs to supper the kitchen cat suddenly appeared parading down the hall with great friendliness, and was forthwith exiled to her proper home again.

-- from Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919. Theodore Roosevelt's Letters to His Children. New York: C. Scribner's sons, 1919. pp. 217-8.

1 comment:

The Lee County Clowder said...

We hope that kittie at least got a quick snack on the way out the door.