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 !

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

happy birthday paul klee

Today's Google doodle honors Paul Klee.  Longtime readers know that I have a great deal of affection for Klee, not just as an artist but as a person, not least for his deep affection for cats.  Because many of the works I would love to show you are still under copyright, and everyone else has posted "Cat and Bird," I'll give you some links instead:
The adorable Tomcat's Turf
A Pride of Lions (Why not?)
A Kind of Cat
Cat Staring at the Moon

Do read his Diaries if you ever have the chance.  They are so curious, full of wonder, and also full of references to the family cats.

Monday, December 17, 2018

feeling warm

wikimedia commons (PD) - Yoshitoshi [CC0]
1888, Japan:  get a kotatsu stove, enough quilts, and a handy cat, and finally you'll be "Feeling Warm" like the title of this print by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (Japan, 1839-1892).  In his later years this great ukiyo-e woodblock artist suffered severely from depression, yet was able to create this snug and peaceful scene.  Look how perfect that splash of crimson sleeve is, just enough not to overpower the scene, providing a spark of heat.  Lovely.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

cats on the page

Oh boy!  The British Library's "Cats on the Page" exhibit is up through March 17, 2019!  Read all about it here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

in which alexander pope appreciates his dog

From a letter the poet Alexander Pope (1688-1744) wrote to a friend, identified as "H.C. Esq.":
...Now I talk of my Dog, that I may not treat of a worse subject which my spleen tempts me to, I will give you some account of him; a thing not wholly unprecedented since Montaigne (to whom I am but a Dog in comparison) has done the very same thing of his Cat. Dic mihi quid melius desidiosus agam? (This seems to mean something like "How can I do any better and I'm lazy anyway" - curator) You are to know then, that as 'tis Likeness that begets affection, so my favorite dog is a little one, a lean one, and none of the finest shap'd. He is not much a Spaniel in his fawning, but has (what might be worth any man's while to imitate from him) a dumb surly sort of kindness, that rather shows itself when he thinks me ill-used by others, than when we walk peaceably and quietly by ourselves. If it be the chief point of Friendship to comply with a friend's Motions and Inclinations, he possesses this in an eminent degree; he lies down when I sit, and walks when I walk, which is more than many good friends can pretend to...
-- from Letters of Mr Pope, and Several Eminent Persons, from the year 1705, to 1711, Vol. 1 London: Printed and sold by the booksellers of London and Westminster, 1735. pp. 112-3.

Monday, December 10, 2018

no cats allowed

Have you heard about the gatecrashers at Hiroshima Onomichi City Museum of Art?  The security guards have had to turn two of them away multiple times.  They're very persistent, but they simply cannot come in.  They haven't bought tickets, and - oh, right - they're cats.  Ken-chan, and the ginger copycat Go-chan, stroll from their nearby homes to the automatic doors of the museum, wait for them to open, and make a break for it.  So far the staff have caught them every time - and often on video, where you can see their hijinks on Twitter.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

greek and roman household pets

Today I'm going to send you to a fantastic article I've found, dating from 1949: "Greek and Roman Household Pets," by Francis D. Lazenby.  There you'll find a treasure trove including:

- Supposedly Ajax had a pet snake that followed him like a dog
- Quails were a favorite pet of patrician boys
- The ancestor of our domestic cats may well be the cream-colored Nubian cat
- Cats and weasels are most often interchangeable in ancient sources (that is, you can't really tell what animal exactly they're talking about)

Don't be put off by the footnotes and quotations - there's so much here!  Read it now.