Cats in 20th Century History (Part 2-Kiddo, Fifi, Whoopsy and Patsy)

As in all man’s endeavors, the cat was destined to accompany him in flight as well. Kiddo, the stray hangar cat, was the first feline to cross the Atlantic in 1910.  Taken aboard the dirigible America at Atlantic City, New Jersey, Kiddo was meant to serve as a good luck charm, to enable the flight to […]

Cats in the 19th Century (Part 2 – First Cat Show)

Society as a whole began to change because of the taming and acceptance of domestic pets, and with it came many firsts.  The first public aquarium opened in London in 1875.  The first cat show was held in London’s Crystal Palace in 1871, and in 1895 New York’s Madison Square Garden welcomed the first national […]

THE CAT IN SHAKESPEARE

The cat is referred to in many of Shakespeare’s 37 plays, albeit always negatively.  And it was Shakespeare who borrowed the name Tybalt from the fable Reynard the Fox, and used it in his play Romeo and Juliet, wherein Mercutio insultingly remarks that Tybalt is a “rat catcher” and the “king of cats.” He also […]

Cat Poems – Sacrifice to the Cat that Scared all the Rats, Mei Yao Ch’en (1002-1060AD)

During the latter part of the T’ang and Sung Dynasties (618-1279 AD) Chinese cat poems and paintings became popular. Here Mei Yao Ch’en (1002-1060AD) writes a heartfelt poem to his dead cat.   Sacrifice to the Cat that Scared all the Rats When I had my Five White cat, The rats did not invade my books. This […]

HISTORY OF THE CAT IN THE MIDDLE AGES (PART 13, THE CAT IN STRANGE INVENTIONS)

The Cat in Medieval Inventions: Not only were cats inspirations for paintings, but they also became the models for strange tortuous inventions.  In 1549, a cat organ was made in honor of Philip II of Brussels.  A large bear played the organ that contained up to twenty cats perched in separate compartments.  The parts of […]

HISTORY OF THE CAT IN THE MIDDLE AGES (PART 7)

Representations of the Cat in Middle Ages Manuscripts, the Moralia of Job and other books.     Other miscellaneous religious books such as the Moralia in Job, written in the latter half of the 12th century, also include portrayals of the cat.  In an initial letter a spotted cat claws a mouse and holds one in its […]

HISTORY OF THE CAT IN THE MIDDLE AGES (PART 3)

Jews‘ Association with Cats: Often depicted with the heretical symbol of the cat in the Bible Moralisée, the church considered Jews heretics.  In one illustration two clerics devoted to the church read a book and pray, while two bearded men (Jews) shun the church. One of whom holds out a money bag to a seated […]

HISTORY OF THE CAT IN THE MIDDLE AGES (PART 2)

The Black Cat as the Devil in Christian Sects: The Waldenses Many different Christian sects began to flourish during this time.  One of the first was the Waldenses, founded in 1170 by Peter Waldo.  The Waldenses believed that the individual could communicate directly with God.  This of course threatened the church, as the pope and […]

HISTORY OF THE CAT IN THE MIDDLE AGES (PART 1)

OVERVIEW HISTORY OF THE CAT Social and religious strife plagued The Middle Ages.  The world  suffered through 9 crusades from 1096 to 1272.  Muslims, Jews and non-believers alike would be the victims of the wrath of the Christian church in its goal to secure its pervasive control over all. “The powerful Christian authority structures of […]

HISTORY OF THE CAT IN THE DARK AGES (PART 10)

The Cat in Japan: The cat reached Japan from China in the late 900’s during the Edo period reign of Emperor Ichigo (986-1011).  At first only the rich could afford such a rare pet, and so the cat became popular amongst royalty.  The young Emperor loved his cats, and when on the 19th day of […]