CATS AND THE CAT FANCY IN NORTH AMERICA 1897 TO 1901 (4a)
Currently there are no cuttings for 1897.
[CHICAGO] CATS TO BE ON SHOW. Felines of Proud, Birth Will Compete for Prizes. FELINE SOCIETY FORMED
Mrs. Leland Norton an Enthusiastic Supporter of the Idea for Breeding Angora Cats For Their Birth and Pedigree.
The Inter Ocean, 26 January 1898
Chicago is to have a cat show, a most exclusive organisation, whose membership is limited to owners of felines of high birth and noble pedigree. Mrs. Leland Norton, the recognised Western authority on catology, is the founder of the club, which was formally organised yesterday afternoon at her home. No. 4011 Drexel Boulevard. Among the Chicago women owning rare cats who were present were Mrs. A. O. Spalding. Mrs. Edward M. Hale. Mrs. Virginia Evans. Mrs. Josiah Cratty. Mrs. H. K. Bucklen. Mrs. W. E. Colburn, Miss Gertrude Estabrooks, Mrs. Wm. Penn Nixon. Mrs. L. S. Grant, Miss. Ella F. Sheppard, Mrs. Anna U Harner, Mrs. C. E. DeWitt. Mrs. C. F. Smith. Mrs., G. B. Matham, Mrs. Dr. Perekham, Mrs. McRae Carr. Mrs. Clarence Ayers, Mrs. George R. Neville, Mrs. John. K. Hollowell, and Mrs. William E. Rotherwell. Miss Frances Wlllard and Miss Anna Gordon will also be starter members of the Chicago Cat club. The following officers and directors were elected: President, Mrs. Leland Norton; vice president. Dr. E. M. Hale; board of directors, Mrs. Josiah Cratty, Mrs. E. F. Shppard, Mrs. George Neville, Miss Gertrude Estabrook. There are only two other cat clubs in existence, a London club, called the English Cat club, and one In New York city, known as the American Cat club.
Object of the Organisation. The object of the Chicago Cat club is to encourage the. raising of good stock; bring up the market value of the animals; give them definite classification, such as is enjoyed by horses and dogs; to secure better treatment for the ordinary house cat; arrange ways and means for providing for homeless and stray cats, and to prepare for the annual cat shows such as are held In New York city, England, and other places. A register will be opened immediately, and prize stock and thoroughbreds of any class will be entered and an accurate record of their pedigrees will be kept. Any one wishing to become a'member of the cat club can do so by sendlng name and address, with a description, of her cat, to Mrs. Norton.
Early in the spring Mrs. Norton will go to Denver and the Pacific coast in search of rare specimens of Angoras which have been brought from abroad by eailors in trading vessels. Few women have so comprehensive a knowledge of catology as Mrs. Norton. She knows all their points and discusses them learnedly. She thoroughly understands the treatment of sick felines and in her cat hospital many a valuable pussie has been restored to health. From a long experience she has evolved the proper food for motherless or forsaken kittens, the formulae being four table spoonfuls of fresh blood to one of wine. As a newly born Angora kitten is worth a hundred dollars this receipt will be greatly appreciated by cat fanciers.
Mrs. Norton is mistress of the famous Drexel kennels and has the largest number of Angora eats of any society woman in this country. Her kennels contain eighteen magnificent Angoras, and it is one of the sights of the century to see these splendid creatures holding high carnival in the specious parlors. The patriarch of the procession his Tootsle." Miss Willard's famed Angora, who for years was one of the chief attractions of Rest cottage. Among the other white beauties are Dixie, Royal Norton, King Quito, Perley, Madge, Mannett, Kitsey. and Persia Norton, not to mention light, snowy kittens who have not yet been christened. Mrs. Norton's "luck" kittie Is a Jet black Persian named Munna, a beautiful creature, who is all the blacker by contrast with, her snow-write comrades.
There are two famous names circled with a mourning band in the roster of the Drexel kennels Echo, whose life-sized oil portrait stands on an easel In the drawing-room, and Ripple, who died last summer, when her blue-eyed King Quito waa born. He is an exceedingly rare cat. for. In addition to his brilliant blue eyes and dazzling white coat, his hearing Is perfect, which Is uncommon, as they are generally deaf. But of all her feline family Mrs. Norton's favorite is Dixie, the famous bicycle cat, who is equal to a century run. Indeed, had he kept tab on a cyclometer he would already be the proud possessor of a slender bar of gold.
The organisation of this club marks an important epoch in the history of Western cats, and during the coming year it is confidently expected that the Chicago Cat club will hold a cat show that will eclipse any feline exhibition ever held. "
CHICAGO’S CAT CLUB.
These paragraphs drawn from a number of Chicago newspapers in January and February 1898, evidently based on a letter or press release from the club.
Connoisseurs of High-Bred Tabbies Organise to Boom the Fad. Cat clubs are by no means common. London has one, there is another in New York, and Chicago, not to be outdone by other big centers of civilization, has recently acquired a similar organization. The members of the club re not the tabbies themselves, but their owners. Not every-one fancies cats, but few people can help but admire the beautiful, high bred Angoras which have lately become the fad. There are many of these in Chicago, most of them owned by women who have become cat connoisseurs.
Among the Chicago women owning rare cats who were present were Mrs. A. G. Spalding. Mrs. Edward M. Hale. Mrs. Virginia Evans, Mrs. Josiah Cratty, Mrs. H. E. Bucklen. Mrs. W. E. Colburn, Miss Gertrude Estabrook, Mrs. Wm. Penn Nixon, Mrs. L. S. Grant, Mrs. Ella F. Sheppard, Mrs. Anna L. Harner, Mrs. C. E. DeWitt, Mrs. C. F. Smith, Mrs. G. B. Matton, Mrs. Dr. Perekham, Mrs. McRae Carr, Mrs. Clarence Ayers, Mrs. George R. Neville, Mrs. John K. Hollowell, and Mrs. William E. Rotherwell. Miss Frances Willard and Miss Anna Gordon will also be charter members of the Chicago Cat club.
The following officers and directors were elected: President, Mrs. Leland Norton; vice president, Dr. E. M. Hale; board of directors, Mrs. Josiah Cratty, Mrs. E. F. Sheppard, Mrs. George Neville, Miss Gertrude Estabrook. Dr. E.M. Hale will be asked to serve as honorary Vice President. Mrs. Josiah Cratty of Austin, who presided at to-day's meeting, will serve as temporary Secretary.
There are only two other cat clubs in existence, a London club, called the English Cat club, and one in New York city, known as the American Cat club.
These cat fanciers have got together and organized. The objects are to bring together the owners of thoroughbred animals, to work for better breeding and to see that Chicago has a cat show once a year. Mrs. Norton attends every exhibition of thoroughbred tabbies held in the United States and declares that Chicago’s cats can knock the “ruffs,” “knickerbockers” and “tassels” off any collection of cats she has yet seen. And the club has been organized to give the local pet a chance. Mrs. Norton’s parlors were filled early in the afternoon, and while 17 great white Angora beauties romped in the kennel below, the women in the rooms above talked and planned for the creature comfort and welfare of the feline aristocrats.
The rules of the new club will not be ironclad. Men who can show a certificate of ownership of a Persian or an Angora kitten will be admitted as honorary members. Meetings will be held at the houses of the members. Upon such occasions coffee will be provided for the women and milk punch and spring lamb for the cats, except the famous Toots, who, as the result of a long residence with Miss Willard at Rest Cottage, draws the line at any drink or diet more stimulating than catnip tea and umbrella plant.
The object of the Chicago Cat club is to encourage the raising of good stock; bring up the market value of the animals; give them definite classification, such as is enjoyed by horses and dogs; to secure better treatment for the ordinary house cat; arrange ways and means for providing for homeless and stray cats, and to prepare for the annual cat shows such as are held In New York city, England, and other places. A register will be opened immediately, and prize stock and thoroughbreds of any class will be entered and an accurate record of their pedigrees will be kept. Any-one wishing to become a member of the cat club can do so by sending name and address, with a description of her cat, to Mrs. Norton.
Mrs. Leland Norton, the recognized western authority on catology, is the prime mover in this new departure. Her famous Drexel kennels are the home of 18 magnificent Angora and Persian felines. The late Frances Willard’s celebrated Tootsie, whose weight is 24 big, round pounds, is now a guest there. Cats of fame and pedigree are Dixie, Royal Norton, King Quito, Perley, Madge, Mannett, Kitsey and Persia Norton. The kennels just now boast of two new families of feline babies.
There are two famous names circled with a mourning band in the roster of the Drexel kennels — Echo, whose life-sized oil portrait stands on an easel in the drawing-room, and Ripple, who died last summer, when her blue-eyed King Quito was born. He is an exceedingly rare cat, for, in addition to his brilliant blue eyes and dazzling white coat, his hearing is perfect, which is uncommon, as they are generally deaf.
Dixie is the much written about tabby who has developed into a bicycle enthusiast. He rides on the boulevards on summer evenings in a wicker basket attached to his pretty mistress’ wheel. Dixie is equal to a century run. Indeed, had he kept tab on a cyclometer he would already be the proud possessor of a slender bar of gold.
Few women have so comprehensive a knowledge of catology as Mrs. Norton. She knows all their points and discusses them learnedly. She thoroughly understands the treatment of sick felines and in her cat hospital many a valuable pussie has been restored to health. Prom a long experience she has evolved the proper food for motherless or forsaken kittens, the formulae being four tablespoonfuls of fresh blood to one of wine. As a newly born Angora kitten is worth a hundred dollars this receipt will be greatly appreciated by cat fanciers.
At the first meeting of the Chicago Cat club, which took place at Mrs. Norton's home January 25, 1898, Mrs. Norton was elected president. Dr. E. M. Hale, who is a devotee to the shrine of aristocratic pussies, but who is very modest, will be asked to serve as honorary vice president. Early in the spring Mrs. Norton will go to Denver and the Pacific coast in search of rare specimens of Angoras which have been brought from abroad by sailors in trading vessels. Mrs. Norton’s “luck” kittie is a jet black beauty called Munna who when frolicking with her snow white companions looks like a little pickaninny lost in a kindergarten of white babies [this reflects the social attitudes of the day].
The organisation of this club marks an important epoch in the history of Western cats, and during the coming year it is confidently expected that the Chicago Cat club will hold a cat show that will eclipse any feline exhibition ever held.
CHICAGO CAT CLUB - The Inter Ocean, April 10, 1898
A meeting of the Chicago Cat club was held yesterday at the home of Mrs. Leland Norton No. 4011 Drexel boulevard. It was very poorly attended, and no business was done. Plans were made, however, for attending the coming pet show, which is to be held April 16 in Milwaukee, and entering cats therein. The next meeting of the club will be held in May. It is not expected that much can be accomplished until next fall, when the club intends to go to work in earnest. –
[SAN FRANCISCO] FINE CAT RAISING THE NEW FAD. The San Francisco Call, September 11th, 1898.
There is going to be a cat show here in San Francisco at an early date, so that society can show its prize feline beauties. Here are a few cats that have already gained great local fame and have aroused the envy of less fortunate owners.
Ever since the long past time when Harrison Weir exposed himself to ridicule by deciding to give a public exhibition of beautiful, rare, or otherwise interesting specimens of the feline race, and won for himself no little celebrity by carrying his novel plan to a most successful conclusion, cat shows have been popular in the larger cities of most of the world’s civilized countries.
San Francisco is a little slow at times about falling into line and taking up the fads of older cities, but at last she has made up her mind to give her citizens an opportunity to display their cat treasures.
There are three regular “catteries,” or “cat kennels,” which are run by San Franciscans at the present time, and all of these are devoted, because of the popular demand for members of this particular breed, to the raising of Angoras. All the long-haired cats are comprised in the four varieties previously mentioned [not actually mentioned!] and were formerly known under the generic appellation of “French cats,” as they were originally imported into England, and thence to the United States, from France, where they were, for many years valued as pets before the English people awoke to a sense of their real beauty and desirable qualities.
A San Francisco gentleman, the proprietor of the Alameda County Kennels in Fruitvale, was the first one in this vicinity to recognize the fact that cat raising can, if managed intelligently, be made a profitable business. The first female cat that he owned was the celebrated Lady Tatters, one of the gems of the Johnson collection, and Beauty Boy, a fine silver gray, was brought across the continent for a mate. Marvel, a silver blue beauty two years old, is a granddaughter of this couple, and is almost a perfect likeness of her grandsire, who was unfortunately accidentally killed before he had been long on the coast.
Leon, son of the famous Duke Hawthorne of Walnut Ridge farm, in Massachusetts was sent for to take his place, and his kittens are in great demand among Western cat fanciers. He is a pure white cat with blue eyes and a magnificent coat, ruff and tail, and is one of the largest of his kind.
Lady Tatters is a tortoise-shell Angora, and outside of her multiplicity of “points” is especially noted for her love for kittens. The share of philo-progenitiveness which has fallen to her lot altogether exceeds the demand made upon it by her own numerous offspring. She is never contented with the number of kittens which fate bestows upon her, but makes a practice of adopting every litter from which she can manage to drive the rightful owner. Very recently she added two different families of three kittens each to her own four and cared for the whole successfully. At the present time she is mothering four of her own ten days old and three of Marvel’s who have blindly stumbled through only forty-eight hours of existence.
Lady Tatters has fine manners, as becomes her aristocratic lineage. She is the owner of an elegantly carved high chair, presented to her by some of her numerous admirers, in which she sits at mealtimes on a silk cushion with a bib tied about her neck, and eats her food daintily from a china plate, sipping milk occasionally the while from a china cup placed beside it.
There are about thirty cats in this establishment, of which the most notable, besides those already mentioned, are Valentine, Esau, Royal and Dandy of the white variety, Trilby, with jet black fur that almost sweeps the ground, and Topaz, a handsome colored cat with Tabby markings and eyes that just match his coat.
H. McCracken of the Presidio Bernard Kennels is not only fond of cats, but recognizes their commercial value and is making arrangements to add to his breeding establishment in the very near future by importing a famous cat from Europe. Among his present stock is specially noticeable Cinderella, a Chartreuse blue Angora, whose grandfather, Duke Hawthorne, cost the small fortune of $1000 and took first prize at the Crystal Palace cat show on his first public appearance. Cinderella is now attending to the wants of the six pure white male kittens, of which she is the proud mamma, and Apollo, a handsome blue eyed, white furred creature, is the coldly indifferent father.
Apollo and Daphne, who is also a pure white pussy with all the characteristics which mark the Persian-Angora, are the parents of six-months-old Dewey, a round ball of swan’s down, for which $50 has already been offered and refused. In the opinion of those who are authorities on such subjects, Dewey is certain to be a “big winner” when he has the opportunity to exhibit his perfections in public.
The only woman who has yet gone into the business of cat breeding on a wide scale is Mrs. A. H. Hoag, who has a large establishment on Ellis street entirely devoted to the raising of the much-prized long-hair varieties. Mrs 'Hoag's two-year-old White Muggins is acknowledged to be the largest Àngora on the coast and he is as beautiful as he is sizable. Sweetheart, his mother is a very large female and is noted not only for her personal attractiveness but for the number of kittens which she presents to her beloved mistress at least three times a year. Seven kittens in a family is no uncommon thing for this enterprising feline, and when one realizes that none of her little ones ever sell for less than $15 each her value as a source of income becomes very apparent.
Among Mrs. Hoag’s other white cats are Adelina Patti, Trixy, Pet, Jack and Bijou, the latter a lovely snowy little creature whose father is White Muggins and mother Friskerina. Pet’s father was Prince Poniatowski’s famous Blue Tom, a London prize kitten. Brown Muggins is a tiger cat strikingly marked and with magnificent lambent yellow eyes. His father is Mr. Paxton’s well-known and highly valued Black Tom, who is said to be one of the finest tiger Angoras in the country. Friskerina is the dean of the establishment. She is also a “tiger” and is the daughter of Mrs. Johnson’s almost priceless Captain Jinks.
Three little orphan kittens are at the present time engaging Mrs. Hoag’s special attention. Their mother, for reasons best known to herself, has concluded not to trouble her pretty head concerning them and in consequence they are being brought up by hand. Every two hours their wants are supplied through the medium of a medicine dropper, and to see them suck the milk from this artificial source and at the same time claw the air to make the flow come quicker is something to be remembered.
Besides “professional” cats there are, as has been said, many privately owned beauties who will undoubtedly compete for prizes. Among the long-haired species Dr. Fred W. D Evelyn’s Sheik of El Tab, a pure Persian, which won the silver cup at the Newton (England) cat show, will attract much notice. It is hoped also that Mrs. A. G. Rodriguez will consent to exhibit her Mewmew, as he is said to be the handsomest and most valuable short-haired cat on the coast. Mewmew is one of the famous and hard-to-obtain royal cats of Siam. He is absolutely pure blooded and was brought by Mrs. Rodriguez herself from Bangkok. He weighs over twenty pounds, is only two years old and looks, as to his fur, far more like an otter than a member of the cat family. He has all the distinguishing marks of the true royal breed — black muzzle, ears, legs and tail, seal brown back, fawn-colored collar and cream-colored breast and turquoise-blue eyes. Unlike most of his kind, however, which snap and bite like dogs instead of scratching like other cats when annoyed, Mewmew is the soul of amiability. He does not care for milk and will not eat meat of any kind, either raw or cooked. His sole diet is boiled fish, carefully freed from bones, and plenty of clear cold water.
MEETING OF CAT CLUB - The Inter Ocean, October 13, 1898
The Chicago Cat club held its regular monthly meeting yesterday afternoon at the home of the president, Mrs. Leland Norton, No. 4011 Drexel boulevard. The meeting was the second of the fall series and was attended by about twenty-five ladles. The secretary's report showed a rapidly increasing membership. Names of the owners of blooded felines of California, Mexico, and New York are on the books. No definite action as to the cat show was taken. It will probably be held about Dec. 1.
[CHICAGO] THE CATS OF SOCIETY
The Inter Ocean, November 20, 1898
Famous Members Of Feline Tribe Owned By Chicago Folk - Live In Laps Of Luxury - Some Of Them Are Trained In Use Of Handkerchiefs - These Are Of A Race Quite Distinct
From The Plebeian Cats Of Business.
“The heavenly twins’* arc always welcome visitors to the home of Mrs. Leland Norton, No. 4011 Drexel boulevard. Mrs. Norton is the president of the Chicago Cat club, and the heavenly twins are red angoras that have full possession of the pretty drawing-room. They take naps on the Turkish rugs, sharpen their claws on the upholstered chairs, and climb up the lace curtains. Mrs. Norton does not resent any of these feline liberties, for the red angoras are of a rare species — their fur is just the color of the human hair that commands for its owner the nickname of “brick-top" — and then, of course, damage to furniture and draperies counts little to an enthusiastic student of cat nature.
It is plain that Mrs. Norton is an experienced housekeeper. The handsome home is Norton kennels, for No. 4011 Drexel boulevard is perfect in its arrangement, and when Mrs. Norton comes down the broad stairway to greet a friend she is charmingly attired in a silk house gown that will shed hairs and lint. She is invariably accompanied by two white angoras. One is extremely dignified and absolutely unresponsive to ail advances made by strangers.
“This is Mr. Toots,” said Mrs. Norton to a representative of The Sunday Inter Ocean who had called to learn something about her club. “Isn’t he a handsome fellow? You know he belonged to Miss Frances Willard and he was to go to Lady Henry Somerset, if I could not take care of him. We could not have him go out of the country, and it is a very pleasant task for me to look after him as one of my own."
Mr. Toots scowled at a bisque pug dog that ornamented the hearth and then stationed himself upon a gold embroidered silk aofa cushion. "Poor Tootsy’s disposition was almost spoiled at Rest cottage,” explained Mrs. Norton. “You must not think his character is naturally bad, but he used to be persecuted by persons who wanted to pet him. Hundreds of members of the W.C.T.U. desired to make his acquaintance. They disturbed his equilibrium. Cats have nerves, you know. Mr. Toots has always been humored. Surely, you will excuse his rather forbidding attitude.” Mr. Toots was at that moment showing his eye teeth, but perhaps he was only smiling.
"Yes, Tootsy has been carefully reared,” continued his sponsor. “He always sleeps on a silk cushion and be is most fastidious about his eating. He sits at the table and always wears a bib. He drinks cream — none of my cats would touch common milk — and he haa eggs cooked in various ways. Oysters are one of his favorite articles of diet. He is 8 years old. He is very intelligent. You can actually see him think. Ah! there he is sneezing. Excuse me while I look for Tootsy’s handkerchief.” Mr. Toots’ handkerchief, a fine hemstitched bit of linen, was found, and Mr. Toots' whiskers were carefully smoothed with its folds.
“Perhaps you think It odd that I should love these pretty, graceful creatures,” remarked Mrs. Norton, when she had tucked Mr. Toots’ handkerchief under his silk pillow. “It is fifteen years since I began to study cats. There is very little cat lore extant. The literature pertaining to cats is meager. I have nearly every book published, but I have had to learn moat important things by observation. Cats are intelligent, affectionate, and capable of a lot of training. Dixie, one of my cats, knows all the tricks common, among educated dogs. He jumps, retrieves, and shakes hands. He has one mania. He is bicycle-mad. There is not a more enthusiastic wheelman than he in all Chicago. He will sit on my saddle for hours waiting for me to go out riding. We used to wheel a great deal, but it attracts attention, so that we seldom go except after dark, when no one is likely to notice us. Dixie, Ripple, and Toots always st at my table. They have their high chairs and bibs that are carefully kept in napkin rings.”
In a pink-lined basket, placed near the piano, in the back parlor, slept a small family of four kittens. These were brought out and introduced as the babies of Chiffon, a white angora, belonging to Miss Gertrude Estabrook, the rose artist. The kittens had blue eyes that blinked, although they are carefully bathed every morning with tepid water. The heavenly twins and Mr. Toots showed a friendly interest in the infant cats when they were held upon Mrs. Norton’s lap.
“Just now I have twenty cats,” said the dainty little woman, who has opened her handsome home to the animals hitherto only given a secondary place as domestic pets. “Down stairs is a room devoted to the kennels. My back yard is all screened with wire netting, so that none of the cats can run away. You must see my black Persian, with her new family of white kittens. Most persons like the white kittens best, but really tte black and even the yellow ones are handsome. I like all cats — oh, what is the matter with the itty bit of baby kitty cat?”
The baby kitty cat was at that moment entangled in the lace upon Mrs. Norton’ gown. He was put to bed in his basket, while the other kittens in the basement could be inspected.
Surely tbe ghost of Dick Whittington's cat and all other spectral cats must haunt the Norton kennels, for No. 4011 Drexel boulevard is an elysium for all the cat kind. In a spotless room, the bare floor of which is white and polished, are several tiers of boxes, cach supplied with a downy pillow. There are crocks of water on the floor and jars of cream stand on an ice chest..The room is warm and light, some of the kennels curtained tor the benefit of the very young. There are towels, sponges, and basins for morning ablutions. Aristocratic cats are not expected to cling to the barbaric method of licking themselves clean. Nature can, of course, do her best for ordinary, common cats that cannot afford to use scented soap and contract laundry bills. On a little table in the drawing-room were scattered many fine photographs of cats of high degree. A little green pamphlet lay near the pictures, and it told all about the Chicago Cat club, while the president was busy serving tiffin, or luncheon, or some sort of an extra meal to Mr. Toots.
The club was formed Jan. 26, 1898, on a day memorable because of a blizzard that in no way affected the enthusiasm of prospective members. The following officers were elected: Mrs. Leland Norton, president; Dr. E. M. Hall, vice president; Miss Jennie Van Allen, recording secretary; Mrs. Chauncey F. Smith, corresponding secretary; Mrs. Charles Hampton Lane, treasurer. The constitution declares that, with vouchers from two members of the club, "any man or woman interested in catology is eligible to membership.” On this broad line the organization has grown with such rapidity that the first annual cat show will be an enterprise of magnitude. The exhibition will be held from Dec. 5 to 10.
“It is the idea to have the society cats the main feature,” said Mrs. Norton, after putting Mr. Toots on his cushion, whence deep bass purrs were soon heard. “We want the cats best bred and best reared. Blood and education tell in cats just as they do in men. By way of contrast, a few oddities will be introduced. For instance, there will be a full exhibit of coon cats. They are a novelty from Maine and will be interesting. A three-legged cat has been entered, so has one with a wooden leg. But we expect to have 300 beautiful cats in the show. Mr. A. E. Rinehart of Denver has one weighing forty pounds that we hope to secure. It is the largest specimen that I have seen. They say the great altitude of Denver affects the health of cats, but this fine animal certainly disproves all previous theories.
“Mrs. Ella Wheeler Wilcox is taking an interest in the show. Are we going to ask her to write a sonnet or any sort of a poem to cats? Certainly not. Mrs. Wilcox has some fine cats that she may enter, and she is very anxious to see the exhibit. She was here the other day and has promised to return Dec. 1. Mrs. Laura Dainty Pelham of North State street has a seventeen-pound cat that we hope to have entered. Mrs. Potter Palmer owns two handsome angoras. She has gone to Egypt, but we hope to secure her consent to allow her cats to be exhibited.
“Cinders is a fine cat named for a Chicago newspaper woman, and that reminds me of another journalistic pussy, Mistress Molly Faye, otherwise known as ‘Her Serene Highness.’ She is the property of Mr. Charles Faye. Among other cat owners and cat lovers are Mrs. P. D. Armour, who has a fine Persian;, Miss Isham, whose Persian is well known; Mrs. A. O. Spalding, Mrs. Ambrose Thomas and Miss Thomas of Woodlawn Park, Mrs. C. D. Dewitt and Mias Nellie Wheatley of the Concord flats, Mrs. Clinton Locke, Mrs. Henry O. Thompson of Waukegan, Mrs. Harrison Rountree, and Dr. Ralph Starkweather of Evanston.
“The exhibit will not be confined to society cats. Business cats will be welcomed to the show. Our club is making a list of the most prominent business cats. What do I mean by business cats?” Mrs. Norton raised her eyebrows as if to deplore the ignorance of ordinary mortals who know nothing about cats. The heavenly twins scampered up on the mantelpiece. Mr. Toots yawned just as if it made him very tired to think of any self-respecting cat being compelled to work. “By business cats I mean those connected with commercial life,” was the explanation given with a smile. “In Chicago, I dare say, there are hundreds that live down town, cats that know nothing of home life. William Mathison, who has an office in Randolph street, owns a cat that is said to weigh nearly forty pounds. There are the post office cata — ah, they associate with all sorts of human beings, don't they? - Then, there used to be an Auditorium cat. I know little about these business cats. I am well acquainted with the society cat, but the business! As Kipling would say — that is another story.”
Mrs. Norton has gained a national reputation by her interest in cats. It is nearly twenty years since she began to collect Angoras, Persians, Russians, and other fine species. She lived in Cincinnati until eight years ago, when she came to Chicago. Owing to her efforts, the science of “catology” has been developed among well-known residents of this city. She has been married eighteen years and has no children. Mr. Norton is also a lover of cats. He believes that the dog has had his day and that the unassuming virtues of the cat will be recognized in future. It is expected that the cat show will help to awaken public interest. Both Mr. and Mrs. Norton lay great stress upon the intellectual capabilities of the cat The object of the club is to “encourage the raising of good stock; bring up the market value of the*animals; give them definite classification, such as is enjoyed by horses and dogs; to secure better treatment for the ordinary house cat; arrange ways and means for providing a refuge for homeless and stray cats; and to prepare for cat shows.
The chance for Chicago to win fame as a pioneer city in the science of catology is declared by those who know to be most enviable, and who can tell? The time may come when colleges will put catology on a branch of natural history. At any rate, the language is enriched by a word coined In Chicago.
[CHICAGO] CAT CLUB SHOW PLANS
Chicago Daily Tribune, 16 October 1898
The Cat club is looking for an angel or several of them to aid the proposed show. The fate of the exhibition is in the hands of a committee appointed last week and consisting of Mrs. Leland Norton. Mrs. C. P. Smith. Mrs. C. H. Lane and Miss Jennie Van Allen. This committee will meet tomorrow and will consult leading fanciers of the country and men who may be willing to back the show. It is proposed as one means of reducing the expense of the exhibit and rendering it feasible that the exhibiters shall bench their own exhibits and assume all expenses connected with their part in the show. This method probably will be adopted. The exhibiter will then reimburse themselves from the receipts. It has been proposed to the club that it make its exhibit with the Boston Poultry association,. which will make an exhibition of poultry, pigeons and cats in January. The Cat club, however wants a cat show pure and simple. It wants its exhibit in December or earlier, "as we want to have the show properly benched," said Mrs. Leland Norton, "The trouble with so many shows has been that the cats have been benched with poultry and pigeons that they have been animal shows instead of a cat show. We want to make this show a society affair. We shall bench the cats nicely and have the hall in such a condition that women can wear their best gowns. We want to make it a parlor show. We shall secure probably, a large storeroom in town." The cat show ought to be a success. The Chicago Cat club is said to be the only one in the country. There was a New York club which lived long enough to give two shows but has since gone out of existence. The members of the Chicago club are Mrs Leland Norton.
[CHICAGO] The club met in the afternoon at the home of Mrs. Norton. It was decided that the club badge should be of gold, with blue and white enamel, symbolizing the white cat with blue and amber eyes, the highest standard in Angora and Persian. Six applications for admission to the membershlp of the club were received. - Chicago Daily Tribune, November 10, 1898.
CHICAGO'S CAT SHOW
Enterprise Backed by a Former Milwaukee Newspaper Man
Milwaukee Journal, November 18, 1898
W.T. Walthall Jr., formerly a newspaper man of this city and the originator of the Milwaukee carnival idea which was so successful last summer, is now backing a peculiar entertainment in Chicago. it is a cat show. According to Mrs. Leland Norton, president of the Cat club, it is an assured success already. It probably will be held Dec 5 to 10 in the Edsen Keith buiilding. She says W.T. Walthall Jr., will back the project financially, if the show comes off in December as intended. If it is postponed until after the holidays Farrer Rackham of New York will be the sponsor. Applications for entries are now being made to Mrs. Norton. Oddities in the way of alley cats are to be exhibited, as well as thoroughbreds. The club badge will be of gold, with blue and white enamel, symbolizing the white cat with blue and amber eyes, the highest standard in Angora and Persian.
CHICAGO WILL HAVE A CAT SHOW
Los Angeles Herald, 26 November 1898
"The Chicago cat show is an assured fact," said Mrs. Leland Norton, president of the Cat club, Wednesday, "It probably will be held December 5 to 10." Applications for entries are now being made to Mrs. Norton. Oddities in the way of alley cats are to be exhibited, as well as thoroughbreds. The club met in the afternoon at the home of Mrs. Norton. It was decided that the club badge should be of gold, with blue and white enamel, symbolizing the white cat with blue and amber eyes, the highest standard in Angora and Persian. — Chicago Tribune
[CHICAGO] CAT SHOW ATTRACTS SOCIETY
The New York Times, December 4, 1898
CHICAGO, Dec. 3. - Chicago's cat show is an extremely entertaining affair. It is under the direction of Mrs. Leland Norton of Drexel Boulevard, the President of the Chicago Cat Club. Beautiful, historic, and noted cats are being collected and exhibited.
"Any man or woman interested in catology is eligible to membership" in the Cat Club. "Mr. Toots," Frances Willard's pet cat, is there; so is "Christobal Colon," the Spanish cat - who likes Americans - who was rescued from the ship whose name he beras. There is an official cat with the city motto, ""I will," hung from its handsome neck. mrs. potter Palmer's Angoras are to be exhibited; so are some of the pets of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Mrs. P.D. Armour's magnificent Persian cat is to be on exhibition. The exhibition is being taken quite seriously by those interested in it. mrs. norton said the other day, in a very democratic tone of voice:
"The exhibit will not be confined to society cats. Business cats will be welcomed to the show. Our club is making a list of the most prominent business cats."
An explanation was asked.
"By business cats," said Mrs. Norton, "I mean those connected with commercial life. In Chicago, I dare say, there are hundreds of cats who live down town, cats that know nothing of home life. There is the Post Office cat, and the Auditorium cat and the Board of Trade cat - oh, quite a number, I assure you. But, naturally, I am not acquainted with them personally."
Mrs. Wilmarth, the wife of Prof. Wilmarth, the distinguished archeologist, was commended warmly the other day at a luncheon at which ladies were present.
"A wonderful woman," said the guest of honor to the young writer who sat next her. "So benevolent and large-minded! And so scholarly! She has done a great deal for Chicago!"
"She has indeed," said the young writer, "her work in educational lines and for charity - "
"Ah," said the guest of honor, "she is indeed intellectual and kind-hearted. But did you never hear of the present she made the Chicago Egyptian Society? She brought the mummy of a cat home from Thebes and placed it in the museum where any one, even the poorest, can see it!"
Another venture for Mrs. Leland Norton, which would seem to conflict with cat breeding, was "MOUSE COLLECTING CLUB - Prominent Chicago Women Interested in the Unique Organization” reported in The Cortland Evening Standard, November 21, 1899, The Sandusky Star-Journal, November 27, 1899 and others: A unique club in which Chicago women are interested is the United States Mouse Club organized recently by animals lovers, who have found mice a captivating addition to their other favorites, says the Chicago News. The club was founded by John H. Grube of 294 Third street, Albany, and the officers are: President John H. Grube, Albany; vice president, Mrs Edith Kingman Poyer, Chicago; recording secretary, Miss Jennie Van Allen, chicago; corresponding secretary Anton Rothmuller, Chicago; treasurer, Mrs Leland Norton, Chicago. All the officers are deeply interested in stock, Mrs. Norton being the founder and president of the Chicago Cat club, and mistress of the famous Drexel kennels, where Miss Frances Willard's Toots is master of ceremonies.
[CHICAGO] CATS MUST STAND A TEST. Chicago Daily Tribune, December 6, 1898. The cats for the cat show will be submitted to a medical examination tomorrow morning at the First Regiment Armory [. . .] a small section of the Cat club has protested against the show, saying it was not authorized by a vote of members of the club. Among the dissenting members are Mrs. Josiah Cratty. Mrs. Chauncey F. Smith, Mrs. C. H. Lane, and Mrs. Warren E. Colburn. "I have not heard any objections to the show on the part of any members of the club," said Mrs. Leland Norton, President of the club. “The objections to the arrangements are without any foundation, as there will be five surgeons and four judges.”
[CHICAGO] SOME CATS TOO GOOD. The Inter Ocean, December 6, 1898. After weeks of expectation, it is rumored that the public may be disappointed in the personnel of the cat show, which opens tomorrow. At the very last moment a report has been circulated that some of Chicago’s best cats, the members of the most exclusive and aristocratic families of the city, will not be allowed to appear. The majority of the members of the Cat club maintain that they have made all arrangements in good faith and with great care. They admit that a few of their number may be disaffected, but they hint that the malcontents would prefer to have the judging done by friendly local judges, rather than by an expert from the East. On the other hand, some of the ladies who assume an air of hauteur when the cat show is mentioned, intimate that they are not in love with the methods of Mrs. Leland Norton, president of the Cat club. They hint delicately that the worshipful president has been too energetic and that she has taken too many of the arrangements on her own shoulders. Among the ladies who hesitate about allowing their pets to be seen by the hoi polloi are: Mrs. Clinton R. Locke, Mrs. Josiah Cratty, Mrs. C. H. Lane, Mrs. Chauncey F. Smith, and Mrs. Warren B. Colburn. The statement is made that Mrs. Locke owns the finest collection of cats in Chicago and that Mrs. Colburn’s is next in value.
Mrs. Norton is the woman who suggested the cat show. She is president of the club. There was a business meeting and some of the members were invited. Others were not. At the second meeting, Mrs. Locke was asked to appear and join the club. Mrs. Locke appeared. After that she declined to become a member of the club. She also refused to exhibit, saying that she did not feel she ought to expose her darlings to the weather and to the distempers and other cat ailments that might be lurking around the show in the armory. “I have, I think, the finest cats In Chicago,” she said yesterday, "and I am not willing to run the risk of their contracting colds or diseases from the other cats in the show. Of course, the other cats there may be high born and aristocratic and all that, but I do not want to run any risk. I take very great care of my animals and I guard them from disease and cold most conscientiously. I am a member of the National Cat club of Europe and the Cat Club of London and my pets are the finest imported stock. Just come upstairs and see them. Here Is a Chinchilla cat and I think mine are the only genuine Chinchillas in this country. Here are my Angoras, blue, white, and golden. I am very fond of them and I am unwilling to take any risk. Has there been aay trouble in the cat club? I am sure I do not know. I was invited to the second meeting, and even though I own the finest cats in Chicago, after I heard the proceedings I felt that I did not care to become a member or exhibit. In the English clubs, when there is a show, committees are appointed that are competent to take care of the animals and to judge their merits. There were no committees appointed here.”
[CHICAGO] CAT FANCIERS ARE AT ODDS Chicago Daily Tribune, December 11, 1898. Dissatisfaction Arises Over the Show and a Second Club May Be Organized. As a result of the cat show, which closed last night, as told elsewhere in The Tribune, Chicago will have two cat clubs or no cat club, the cat fanciers are undecided which. Discord broke out among the club members before the beginning of the show, and this has been accentuated by things that occurred during the show. The dissatisfied members are preparing to organise a new club, with Mrs. Clinton Locke, 2825 Indiana avenue, as President. Mrs. Leland Norton is President of the club now in existence.
[CHICAGO] NO TROUBLE IN CAT CLUB The Inter Ocean, December 16, 1898. The regular meeting of the Chicago Cat club Wednesday afternoon at the Palmer house was not as exciting as was anticipated, in view of the friction growing out of the management of the recent show. Although there was an ominous feeling at the meeting, nothing disagreeable happened, and the threatened outbreak did not materialise. It had been hinted that the discontented faction would organize a new cat club, with Mrs. Clinton Locke at its head, but nothing of the kind was hinted at. All but three members of the club were present, and Mrs. Joseph Cratty occupied the chair in the absence of the president, Mrs. Leland Norton.
The advisory committee appointed to investigate the recent show reported that they considered it useless to have appointed such a committee. They stated that they had found that certain officers of the club had determined that the show should take place without the sanction of the club, and that all the printed matter had been ordered before the club had been asked to assent to the holding of the show. It was stated that, as the show had apparently been managed by certain of the officers of the club, the committee had nothing to do. The members were Mrs. Charles Hampton Lane, Mrs. Warren Karnes Colburn, and Mrs. Chauncey F. Smith. The report was adopted.
It is claimed that the first the members of the Cat club knew in regard to the show was when they learned through the newspapers that one was to be held. No vote upon it had ever been taken by the club, and a proposition that the club should lend its name to the show was rejected on this account. It is further said that, although the advisory committee was informed that the club was to receive 6 per cent of the profits, it received nothing. It was decided at the meeting not to establish a home for friendless cats in Chicago.
[CHICAGO] CAT FAD PAPERS INCORPORATING THE CHICAGO CAT CLUB (various, December 22, 1898) were granted at Springfield Monday. The Incorporators are: Mrs. Leland Norton, Jennie Van Allen and Gertrude Estabrook. In speaking of the club, Mrs. Norton said: “We want to include in the membership all those interested in cats. A meeting will be held shortly after the holidays and officers elected. We intend to work along a broad and humane line, and expect to include in our membership not only those who own prize cats, but those who are interested in the feline family at large.” Since all the homeless and starving children and female outcasts have been cared for, it is natural that these ladies should have something to turn their attention to, and they take up the feline race. It would now be in order for the Hobson kissers to organize a club, for the purpose of commemorating the event, and if possible, extend the benefits to other callow heroes.
[CHICAGO] INCORPORATION OF CAT CLUB The Inter Ocean, December 27, 1898
Out of the recent concatenation of felines at the First Regiment armory haa come a humane society, legally incorporated last week at Springfleld, with regularly appointed officers. The aristocracy of cats has been growing steadily in Chicago, while the noble equine and trusty dog have been overlooked and their pedigrees relegated to the pigeonhole along with Jobn A. Logan's perfume bills. It has been said that all life is clubable, and the saying is supposed to include the animal as well as human kingdom. Hence the Chicago Cat club, incorporated. A cat may now look at a king, indeed, particularly if he be a Chicago cat belonging to the exclusive coterie that has gone into history at Springfield. The mysterious order of the Hoo Hoo will have cause to look to his preserves from this time on, for when a noble army of women make martyrs of tbemselves for the well-being of Hoo Hoo'a progenitors it behooves Hoo Hoo to invoke Egyptian shades that his rights be not trampled upon. The trespassers upon the domain of Hoo Hoo are Mrs. Leland Norton. Miss Jennie Van Allen, and Miss Gertrude Estabrooks. Mrs. Norton is president of the Chicago Cat club, and, upon the conclusion of the cat ahow, determined to put a quietus upon any future disturbance in the ranks of feline owners and admirers when it came to a verdict as to whose beauty was the most beautiful or had the longest tail. Considerable campaigning preceded the incorporation of the club, arising from the dissatisfaction of certain members and exhibitors at the cat show. However, the clever move of Mrs. Norton and her aids has forever prevented any disruption of the Chicago Cat club, and those who happen to be on the inside are congratulating themselves that such possibilities are permanently quieted. The present incorporators were the originators of the cat club idea, and from the first these ladies objected to the financial spirit which began to creep into its affairs, culminating in the arrangements of the cat show. The reorganisation has been effected upon purely social and philanthropic lines. There will be no dues nor fees of any sort, and the object of the club will be to provide shelter for homeless cats. There will be a cat hospital established and an intelligence bureau, where they may report and secure a home. Members pledge themselves to find homes for strays and to be charitably inclined toward the worst wayward of the species. The members of the Chicago Cat club will meet early in the new year to perfect a plan of work and adjust themselves to their new conditions.
The following officers of the Chicago cat show were elected at a special meeting held at the studio of Miss Gertrude Estabrooks in tha Athenaeum yesterday: President, Mrs Leland Norton; Vice President Miss Gertrude Estabrooks; Recording Secretary, Miss Jennie Van Allan; Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. Laura Dainty Pelham; Treasurer, Mrs. Ella F. Shepard. – Chicago Daily Tribune, December 29, 1898
THE CAT SHOW - Chicago Herald. (Reprinted in The Morning Post, January 11, 1899)
What a gorgeous aggregation of Mal¬tese aristocrats!
Hear the howling of the cats—
How their fiery eyeballs glare!
[CHICAGO] CLUB FORMING The Nebraska State Journal, February 12, 1899. It would seem that there could be nothing new in clubs but according to the Woman's Home Companion that Is a mistake. A writer in that journal says. “Club forming: femininity in Chicago has turned a deaf ear to the celebrated divine in that city who recently declared they were trying to club themselves to death. And now to the long list has been added the Cat club, a coterie of well-to-do women who cultivate blue-blooded pussy-cats. The fair originator of the feline organization Is Mrs. Clinton Locke, wife of a clergyman and a shining light in clubdom, who was inspired to possess kittens as well as tea-kettles by the example of the National Cat club, organized in London two years ago by Lady Marcus Beresford. Mrs. Locke not only has beautiful Angoras that look like highly cultivated chrysanthemums, but prizes a cat mummy four thousand years old which came from the excavation at Zagazig.
Over in London there are three cat clubs. There is also a dog club called the Ladies' Kennel association, under the patronage of the Princess of Wales, which is said to be a great success. More curious than all is a mouse club, named the British National Mouse club, of which Miss Cockburn Dickinson was one of the promoters. The mouse club is certainly the last straw. With the fair sex on good terms with the small animal supposed to be terrorizing to petticoats, the most cynical man will not doubt the modem woman is indeed “emancipated”
[CHICAGO] CHICAGO’S CAT CLUB. – The Morning Times, March 19, 1899. Chicago, the progressive, has just launched a new club — not a silk-pillowed lounging place for windy discussions such as their betters have, scattered all over that town, but a place for the care and improvement of that interesting but helpless little animal we are wont to remember as the first word of the primer, “the cat.”
The first cat club ever organized in England is over nine years old, and since then interest has so developed in the study, rearing, and training of these animals that the cat shows in London bring a distinguished crowd, headed by the Princess of Wales and the notable train that usually follows in her suit.
The Chicago Cat Club will not confine its membership to the home city, but will include names from over all the nation. It has taken the English cat clubs as models, and it is expected that great results will follow the interest and sincere labor that will be devoted to the improvement of the little animals. The high-bred cat, of course, will be the object of greatest interest, but the common cat will not be scorned by the club, and at cat shows prizes will be offered to children and women for the best care and results among “alley cats.” The president of the society is Mrs. Clinton Locke.
[WASHINGTON] CAT CLUB. – The Morning Times, March 19, 1899. Washington's efforts for the betterment of cat kind took the humane shape of a home instead of a club when it was established several years ago, mainly through the influence of Miss Bertha L. Barber, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Barber, of Washington, and Ardsley-on-the-Hudson. N. V. It does not undertake to cultivate high-toned cats for prize shows — in fact, a feline, fat and pampered and full of purrs, would get her back up in disgust the very first minute her round yellow eyes caught sight of the humble “home” unless she were sick and wanted careful nursing. The Cat Club of the Capital is open to every homeless tabby in the District, regardless of color, sex or size. If you are walking in the park or along the streets and see a mite of a kitten starving in the grass or gutter, if you will take it to the Home, or to your own and drop a postal to the managers they will call and take the little thing away. There are always families who go among their neighbors wailing for a good mouser and the Home supplies them free of charge. Many owners of a household pet go away from the city without the first thought for the little animal, or with the foolish impression that it can live by prowling. It is almost as hard for a petted, home-reared kitten to be turn out in a strange alley as it is for a petted home-reared youth or girl to be turned out in the world — and the managers of the Home knowing it, have earnestly requested such owners to send them a word and they will come and take the little shelterless thing to where it will be cared for and provided with a new owner. Cats can also be boarded for a small price during the absence of their owners, sick cats can be doctored and incurable cats can be mercifully put to death without pain.
[CHICAGO] CHICAGO CAT CLUB MEETS The Inter Ocean, March 31, 1899
The regular monthly meeting of the Chicago Cat, the Toy Dog and Cavy club, was held yesterday afternoon at the residence of Mrs. A. E. Ebert. No. 276 Michigan avenue. General talks on cats and dogs were given by various members of the club and a motion was made to form a children's auxiliary to the club. This new departure has been received with exclamations of joy by the small sons and daughters of the members, and Mrs. Leland Norton, president of the organization, expects that the auxiliary will become one of the most important features of the club. Owing to illness, Mrs. Jean Waldron, who was to have delivered a lecture, was unable to be present. Plans have already been made for the second annual cat show, which will be held next fall. The management expects it to be far superior to any animal exhibition ever held in Chicago. At the election of officers, which was held recently, the following ladies were selected to serve for a year: Mrs. Leand Norton, president; Miss G. Estabrooke, vice president; Miss J. Van Allen and Mrs. L.D. Pelham, secretaries; Mrs. E. B. Shephard, treasurer; Mr. Leland Norton. Mr. G. W. Matthison, Mrs. G. B. Matton, Mrs. Mae Keenan, and Mrs. Harrison Rountree, directors.
[CHICAGO] THE FRST PRESIDENT OF CHICAGO'S NEW CAT CLUB. Logansport Pharos-Tribune, March 15, 1899. A few devoted lovers of cats, realizing that the necessity for a well organized and reliable cat club has come, have formed one in Chicago after careful consideration and much correspondence of value in England and America. Although there are men in this club, it is pre-eminently a woman's enterprise. The president is Mrs. Clinton Locke, who is n member of the chief cat clubs in the world - the National Cat Club of England and Lady Marcus Beresford’s Cat club in London. Mrs. Locke is the friend and champion of all dumb animals, and is particularly interested in cats. She is in touch with the best known methods of raising the most carefully bred stock; therefore no one could be better qualified to begin such an enterprise, to at once interest all cat lovers in the philanthropy of the subject and to inspire confidence in those who desire to see the animal best fitted by size, instinct and beauty take its place in the ranks of the thoroughbred.
Cats have had luxurious and dignified positions ever since the Pharaohs shared their soft divans and sumptuous tombs with them, and in all the long line of illustrious men and women, kings and queens, literary folk, renowned travellers, playwrights, men and women of all professions have been devoted to cats. But in these latter days the craze for the cat as a pet has added new virtues, beauties and qualities which have been developed as tourists have discovered the good traveling qualities and convenient habits and adaptability of the cosseting cat. So, from Persia and Turkey and Spain and Bombay these beautiful pets were transplanted by the English, French, German, Swiss, Spanish and American sailors and officers and folk of leisure. The English women, however, have taken up the study, training and rearing of these pets and have gone far in advance, so that a cat show in England means a distinguished and appreciative crowd, headed by the Princess of Wales and lords and ladies galore. It is nine years since the advent of the first cat club in England. Shows are given in other countries by Associations sometimes for purely mercenary motives, but the cat is now too important to be scorned, and there is the same inducement offered the workingman who beautifies and increases the size and coat of his alley cat and feeds her wholesome food and houses her at night as to the mistress of fashion who provides for her cats of high degree. And America follows in the tracks of her leaders in the cat enterprise and, taking the English clubs for models as to integrity and thoroughness, has a real good cat club begun in Chicago.
[CHICAGO] NO CATS LIKE THESE – Hopkinsville Kentuckian, May 2nd, 1899
Chicago, April 28.— Chicago has a new distinction—the finest cats in the country are owned here.
Mrs. Clinton Locke has [added] to her already large collection of felines five rare thoroughbred animals, imported directly from England. Mrs. Locke’s cattery is at 2825 Indiana avenue. Every one is a rare, fancy bred cat. The lot not only adds much to the value of the collection, but places Chicago at the head of the list as having the finest and rarest cats in the country.
In this latest addition to the cats of Chicago is a genuine royal Siamese male cat, probably the only one in the country. He is not merely a descendant of the royal Siamese animal, but was born in Siam and imported directly from his native land. In addition to the Siamese cat there is a full blooded white Angora with round, blue eyes. The fact that it has good hearing makes it a novelty and adds greatly to its value. Besides these there came a wonderful pair of pure black Angoras, which are rare in this country. The fifth animal is a fawn-colored Angora, also a scarce animal in America, principally because of its color.
All these cats were secured by Mrs. Locke through the Lady Marcus Beresford Cat Club of London. Mrs. Locke's daughter has been traveling in Europe the last year and one of the chief objects of her travels was to procure animals for her mother's cattery. All the famous catteries of England were visited and the finest animals that could be brought were taken up and brought to this country. With this latest consignment of cats to Chicago, the stock in the city is made almost complete as far as variety and color are concerned.
It was Mrs. Locke’s intention in buying these animals, not only to add to the value of her own collection but to made the Beresford Cat Club of Chicago, of which she is president, one of the foremost in the country. She now has nearly every [color] variety of Angora known, and in addition has an assortment of colors among her cats that will compare with that in any other private cattery in America. In her collection are pure white, silver, orange, red, black, black and white, cream, fawn, chinchilla, blue and smoke-colored animals.
The value of the latest addition to Mrs. Locke's cattery cannot be estimated. To their owner these animals are almost priceless, for the reason that they had been secured after a long search and have been brought across the ocean. Every one of the animals has a long pedigree and each is a remarkably specimen of its class.
[CHICAGO] FINE CATS – The Wilkes Barre Record, May 5, 1899
>Mrs. Clinton Locke, wife of the rector of Grace Episcopal Church, Chicago, is famous throughout the city for her collection of rare cats. Recently she has added five imported beauties to it, and all her friends are calling on the cats. Her catteries now contain the finest felines In the United States. The late arrivals from across the water are a genuine royal Siamese, the only one in this country; a full-blooded white Angora, with round, blue eyes, a pair of pure black Angoras and a fawn-colored Angora. All these cats were secured through the effort of the Lady Beresford Cat Club of London from the various catteries in England.
The Siamese cat was born In Slam and is the rarest of Mrs. Locke's new pets. He is three years old, [and] in appearance Is not unlike a common every-day cat, except that his coat is thick and silky, although not long. The fawn-colored Angora Is named “Frith.” The two black Angoras are “Blackbird” and "St. Indus." They are of genuine Persian variety. Both have long pedigrees, and, so far as Mrs. Locke knows, are the only ones of their kind In America. “Blackbird" Is full grown, has a luxuriant coat and amber eyes. Her sire was “Harmen” and her dam “Jackquetta." “St. Indus" was the property of Lady Moystin of London. “Lillwen," the white Angora, has the distinction of being able to hear. Many cats of her kind are deaf. She was a member of the Royal Cat Club. Her antecedents are as celebrated as any in England. Her father and mother were “Bundle" and “Snow-White” and her grandparents the famous "Thunder" and “Lightning," English prize winners.
[CHICAGO] CAT CLUB STARTED BY YOUNG PEOPLE – New York Tribune, May 7, 1899. A children’s cat club was organized recently in Chicago. It is claimed that this association is the first of its kind in which little ones have become interested. The object is to encourage the raising of good stock, to bring on the market value of animals, to give them definite classification, to secure better treatment for the ordinary house cat and arrange ways and means for providing a refuge for homeless cats.
Boys and girls under sixteen are eligible to membership. The club is National in its character and aims, and is being received with the greatest enthusiasm by parents and young people, there being hundreds already who are pledged to membership in the Chicago Children’s Cat Club. The fee is 25 cents a year, and the money thus collected will be used in defraying a part of the expenses in the prospective home for stray cats.
The club was organized by, and will be an auxiliary to, the Chicago Cat Club, the plan being presented by the president, Mrs. Leland Norton, at a recent meeting, and eagerly indorsed by all the members. It will be under the immediate direction of the Chicago Cat Club, and will be governed by the same constitution, but will have independent officers, trustees and committees. The president of the children's organization is Miss Dorothy Rountree, of No. 87 Rush-st., Chicago, Ill. She is the happy mistress of the Olympian Kennels, where Clytie is chief goddess. The minor gods and goddesses that constitute her court are superb white or French red Angoras, who are honored with the classic names Jupiter, Mars, Juno, Venus, Diana. Minerva and Cupid.
[CHICAGO] DISASTROUS CHICAGO FIRE. The New York Times, October 23, 1899
Twelve Persons Are Injured and 35 Prize Angora Cats Burned.
CHICAGO. Oct. 22.--A business block in South Chicago burned early to-day, entailing a loss of $l20,000, and painfully injuring twelve persons. Fourteen buildings were burned. An old landmark was destroyed in the Grand Central Hotel. It was a frame building and was consumed rapidly. The guests had barely time to save themselves, and fled with little apparel. The persons who were injured received burns or sprains and bruises. Nearly all the property was insured. Mrs. W. E. Colburn, Vice President of the Beresford Cat Club, lost thirty-five prize Angora cats, which were in cages in the yard of her home.
[CHICAGO] THE AMERICAN CAT CLUB - The Nebraska State Journal, November 5, 1899
The American Cat club, organized last spring in Chicago, has been the indirect cause of the formation of a juvenile cat club in which girls and boys under sixteen are eligible to membership. The fee, 25 cents a year goes into the fund for a prospective home for stray cats. The children will at least be taught a more humane treatment of animals through interest in the society.
The older club now counts among its members, Miss Agnes Repplier, the authoress; Mme. Rounen [Ronner?], the well-known artist of cat life, and Miss Helen Winslow. Mrs. Clinton Locke, wife of the pastor of Grace church in Chicago, is the president. Speaking of this organization, an authority on clubs says: “The fame of her cat kennels has spread to England. Thoroughbred cats are nearest to the hearts of the club members, but the common cat is to have a showing in the annual exhibits, which the club hopes to make equal to those given in London. Both women and men are interested in the National Cat club of England. Louis Wain, world renowned as a cat painter, was its president for a long while. Harrison Weir was the first president and the Duchess of Bedford succeeded Louis Wain. This club started in 1887 and is still the foremost English club. “Lady Marcus Beresford’s club” was started in 1896, and there is a north of England club, organized for the general good of cats.
[CHICAGO] RECEPTION FOR BLOODED CATS. The Inter Ocean, December 2, 1899. Chicago cats of scheduled ancestry will be given a reception in January . This was decided at a meeting of the Chicago Cat club held yesterday in the parlors of the Auditorium Annex.
Mrs. Leland Norton, president of the club and owner of the finest collection of highborn felines in the West, said that more than 1,000 cats, with pedigrees of sufficient length to admit them into the most exclusive sets, could be entered at a regular exhibition If there was a suitable building in Chicago where so many cats could be displayed to advantage. As such a building was lacking she suggested instead of the annual cat show that the members of the club join in holding a reception for their pets in the rooms of the Woman's Press league. By charging an admission fee a neat sum might thus be realised for the charity department of the league, and lovers of beautiful cats of high degree could view them surrounded, as they should be, with articles of virtue and luxury. Then, too, the more delicate and refined cats would not be in danger of being shocked by having strange cats, with a plebian streak in their make-up, set up next them and rend the air with uncultivated voices. Several valuable cats were known to have died from nervous prostration during the last exhibition.
Other members of the club joined with Mrs. Norton, and it was speedily settled that the Press league cat reception would be not only a novelty, but a financial success. Invitations will be issued some time during the month or as soon as a date can be fixed, and one of the most exclusive companies of pure-blooded cats will be gathered at this reception that was ever brought together anywhere.
CHICAGO CAT SHOW - The Inter Ocean, January 28, 1900
The aristocratic cats at the cat show last week attracted the attention of a great many of the fashionables. Cats are becoming more and more of a fad, and if pet dogs do not have a care they will soon be altogether outclassed by their feline rivals. It is quite the proper thing nowadays for women to pretend they like cats, whether they do or not, just as it is proper to affect an interest in horses, dogs, and golf.
[OAKLAND] THE CAT CLUB (Oakland Tribune, July 7, 1900) was successfully organised in the parlors of the Hotel Metropole on Thursday evening. Most of the members are not society people, but they all love cats and have this bond in common. The Chabots have joined the club. They have always had well-bred cats and dogs, and the entire family is devoted to animals. The officers of the Humane Society are backing the Cat Club, it being their wish to have as much interest as possible taken in all dumb animala. There is to be a cat show when the high-class animals will be brought out, and I'm sure that the lesson in cat breeding will be a revelation.
[GENERAL USA] ANGORA CATS - Oshkosh Daily Northwestern May 2nd, 1900
Fine Points in Their Breeding and Their Cash Value.
The cat family is having its innings at present, and the Angora is in especially high favor, because of its generally superior intelligence and beauty. It can be taught tricks like a dog.
The “points” of a fine Angora, as described by an authority, are as follows: Small, orange-shaped head; nose rather short; large, brilliant eyes; ears small and rounded, with a tuft of hair on the apex; body not too long and covered with long, silky hair, slightly curling; legs of moderate length; paws with tuft of hair growing out from the toes; tail long and flat, with abundant hair; rich color and correct markings.
There are ten colors, including the mixed. The pure white, black, blue and buff are the rarest, and, naturally, the most expensive, but brown, gray, mixed tiger and maltese, mixed black and white, gray and white, blue and white, buff and white, tiger and white, maltese and white, ermine and tortoise shell are as much liked by many.
The price of Angora kittens ranges from $5 to $25, and of cats from $10 to S100. Trick cats, of course, command special prices.
The Japanese are fond of cats, and their pet variety is a peculiarly handsome breed of yellow and black in large spots, with short tails. The short tai is a natural peculiarity, and the Japanese have a superstition that long-tailed cats possess the power of bewitching human beings. In Persia the cat is almost an object of worship. The shah has fifty in his household, and every one has a special room and an attendant. When the shah travels the cats accompany him and are carried by men on horseback.
So great has the popular fancy for cats become that a number of kennels have been opened throughout the country for the purpose o£ improving the rarer breeds. The Walnut Ridge farms and the Silverton kennels — the latter conducted by a woman — Florence Dyer — In Massachusetts; the "Angora Cattery,” in San Francisco, kept by Mrs. A. H. Hoag, are devoted to Angora and Persian cats, and their owners do a thriving business.
Mrs. Clinton D. Locke has a “cat kennel” In Chicago, but her profits are given to the cause of charity, and not to personal gain. Mrs. Locke is the wife of the rector of Grace church, Chicago.
King Max. a black Angora, and Ajax, a pure white, belonging to one of the Massachusetts kennels, are valued at $1,000 each. At Woodhaven, L.I., there is an orange Angora called Napoleon the Great valued at $5,000. He weighs twenty-seven pounds and has hair so thick and long that it has to be clipped regularly.
These thoroughbred cats are extremely sensitive to draughts and require great care. Kittens may be taken from the mother when four weeks old [note: nowadays 8 weeks is the minimum age, 12-15 weeks is the advised age]. Warm milk is their first food, then, as they grow older, bread soaked in milk. Feeding
should be regular. About seven o'clock in the morning warm milk should be given; at 9:90 more milk; at noon, bread in milk or oatmeal; at four and seven o'clock more milk, always warmed. When they are two months old beef or chicken broth may be substituted for the milk at one meal. Between two and three months the number of meals should be lessened, so that when the kittens are three months old they are receiving three meals a day, their allowance thereafter.
Once a week a teaspoonful of powdered willow charcoal should be mixed with the oatmeal, and a pinch of sulphur added to the milk occasionally prevents skin diseases. Grass should be supplied every day when possible, and catnip is desirable at frequent intervals. If skin diseases appear, citron ointment or walnut cat wash may be used with advantage.
For cats, cooked meat or fish and vegetables, In fact, the ordinary family menu, without the sweets, constitute the bill of fare in the middle of the day. The bones must be removed with the utmost care and the food must be kept scrupulously clean. — New York Tribune.
CULTURE OF THE CAT IS THE VERY LATEST FAD IN OAKLAND - The San Francisco Call, July 8, 1900
OAKLAND, July 7, 1900 — There is a vast difference between the social standing of the Oakland cat and the social standing of the Oakland Belgian hare nowadays. Time was, in the ante-feline days, when the status of the relations of these two quadrupeds toward society was about on a par. The difference then consisted principally of an unequal distribution of ears, tail and whiskers and market value.
But toward the end of the nineteenth century the Belgian hare suddenly became a prominent factor in the social economy of animals in general. He became the nucleus for the formation of clubs, the subject for the adulation of thousands, and a halo was woven about his head. The Belgian hare felt justified in giving the cat the complete overlook. But now those things are all changed. The star of the Belgian hare has set on the horizon of the animal kingdom. He is socially ostracised. Tyrant man is selling him for food now at 25 cents a pound.
The cat — night-howling, bewhiskered puss — has taken his place in the affections of the masses. The first club has been formed for her particular benefit in Oakland and a cat show, like that given for Belgian hares, dogs and chickens, is on the tapis to show off the feline’s fine points. They will be groomed and combed and beribboned and gazed at by thousands. Some of her fanciers are trying to make her look as much like an Angora goat as possible. A hospital for maimed cats is one of the projects to which admirers have subscribed liberally.
Voice culture is proposed as a step in the direction of higher education among the cats and something in that line of instruction will undoubtedly be attempted. It is this “hospital for cats" idea that has given the impetus to the cat club. Some of the men of Oakland who are opposed to the midnight feline are making solemn vows to fill the hospital with disabled cats the moment it is opened. House rules for the government of the hospital inmates are already being formulated and include some like these: “All cats must be in by 9 o’clock.” "No Boxer cats admitted.” “Strange cats admitted only by card approved by the house committee.” “No ratting permitted on Sundays and holidays." The rats of “The Patch” strongly object to this culture of the cat as a direct attack upon their species and they are organizing a Boxer movement of their own.
But there are those who take the matter seriously, and the Oakland Cat Club was organized last night at the Hotel Metropole by the election of the following officers: Mrs. R. B Beson, president; Mrs. Eugene S. Van Court, vice president: Mrs. C. C. Taylor, secretary; Mrs. Sarah A. Thompson, treasurer. An executive committee has been formed of the husbands of the lady officers. The movement for the Improvement of the cat of high degree and the regeneration of the “Mollie Bruser” has begun.
WESTERN CAT CLUBS – The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 25, 1900. Detroit and Michigan women who take an interest in cats are planning, says a Chicago paper, to hold a cat show in the fall. Preparatory to this they are organizing a cat club. Many of the large cities — New York, Chicago, Baltimore and Louisville — have cat clubs, devoted to the culture of the domestic pet. These clubs give annual shows which are conducted after the general plan of a dog show and at which only the finest specimens of cats are entered — long haired Angoras, Persian, Australian and other fancy kennel-bred varieties. Much interest was awakened in this city in the first annual show of the Beresford Cat Club, given under the auspices of the National Fanciers’ Association. Cats were sent from all over the states.
TALK BEFORE CAT CLUB – Chicago Tribune, October 28, 1900
The semi-annual meeting of the Beresford Cat club was held yesterday morning in the room of the Humane society in Wabash avenue. A large and enthusiastic assembly of women and a number of men listened with interest to a paper read by Mrs. Theodora Thomas, President of the Anti-Cruelty society, on the work done by her organisation and the help and co-operation of the business citizens of Chicago. Mrs. Ballington Booth, a member of the club, gave an interesting talk, telling of a “cattery" which she has started recently at Flushing. N. Y.. for the benefit of her “prisoners of hope,” endeavoring to foster in the men a love of animals, and it also will prove a financial aid to them.
Miss Julia Marlowe, a stanch member of the society, was unable to attend the meeting as she had hoped, owing to the fact of an afternoon and evening performance at the theater: had the club met any other day she would have been present and addressed the members. A number of members from other cities were present, among them being Mrs. E.R. Pierce of Detroit, Mich., where a cat club has been formed recently.
At the next meeting of the club, which will be held at the same place on Nov. 24, Dr. C. A. White will read a paper on “The Diseases of Cats, and Their Treatment and Care.”
Arrangements for the annual cat show have been completed, and it will be held In January, at the new Coliseum, in conjunction with the National Fanciers’ association. The manager is to be Mr. Barker of Albany. N. Y. He is also to be one of the judges. Mr. Barker Is a noted authority on cats, both in this country and England, where he has been judge at many celebrated cat shows. Mrs. Hurlburt of New York will act again this year as one of the Judges, also Mrs. McCloud of Marysville, O. It is expected that the cat show this year will be finer than any previous ones given in this country.
Mrs. Clinton Locke, President of the club, presided at the meeting. The report of the Treasurer showed a surplus in its treasury, with no indebtedness. A luncheon was served to the members of the club at the close of the meeting. A stud book has been published this year, which is the pride of the club. It being the only book of the kind ever published in America.
BREEDING FINE CATS - New York Tribune, December 9, 1900
Several women of this city will have exhibits at the Cat Show which opens in Philadelphia the middle of this month. A woman cat fancier, in speaking yesterday on the up-to-date cat said:
Although the association of men and cats goes back some centuries, the “cat fancy,” of the systematic attempt to produce better cats than unassisted nature has provided, is in its infancy. It is, in fact, the last comer among the various “fancies.” It has made great progress in England, where the first fruitful effort was made more than twenty years ago by Harrison Weir. The interest in cats and the scientific breeding of them have progressed so rapidly in England that several large and successful shows devoted exclusively to cats are held there every year.
With us, less progress has been made, partly due to a later start, but mainly to the fact that American cats are scattered over so much space that it seems hopeless to think of getting them all together. There have been imported into this country some of the best cats bred in England, and of these, with their progeny, and the really fine specimens of American origin, there are probably enough thoroughbred and really high class show cats in the United States to make a successful show, if all of them could be brought together. As it is, only those within reasonable distance of the city where the show is held are sent. Their number is so small in each case that they have never got beyond the companionship of guinea pigs and dancing mice in the annex of a poultry show. Besides a lack of distinction, the cats suffer from this arrangement because the duration of the show, usually four days, and the exhibition hours, all day and until 10 o’clock at night, are more than the nerves of well-bred cats can stand. Their kennel surroundings are, or should be, those of freedom and quiet, and to change these into confinement, noise and excitement is more than the sensitive creatures can be expected to stand. In England cat shows are limited to two days, with shorter hours than prevail here.
The general classification of thoroughbred cats is into short-haired and long-haired. The Manx, which is tailless, and the Siamese, which has a coat of wonderful texture, are both short-haired cats, but form separate classes on account of their marked characteristics. The long haired cats, Persians and Angoras, are most generally admired, and many persons appear to think that a fine cat must necessarily be one of these. The short-haired cat has not passed from the stage, and still receives attention from fanciers.
In the long- and short-haired classes are varieties based on color, such as black, white, blue, orange, etc., which are natural colors, and the tabbies, mottled and striped specimens, chinchillas, smokes and silvers, which are colors produced by long and careful breeding. These latter are much in vogue at present, and are not only beautiful, but show in their color the best possible proof of their breeding, a proof which is evident to any observer, and does not, like a pedigree or scorecard, have to be taken on faith or on the interpretation of experts. The chinchilla resembles very closely the fur of the same name. The silver is the chinchilla with the dark markings modified and partly suppressed. The smoke is mainly distinguished by a delicate gray undercolor tipped, except the ruff and frill, with dark cinder color, almost but not [quite] black. When the fur is undisturbed the dark color alone shows, but a movement of the animal or a breath of wind parts the coat and allows the undercolor to flash through, producing a beautiful effect. The eye is a leading point of the thoroughbred cat. It should be large, round and limpid, entirely free from the conventional “cattiness” of expression. It should harmonize in color with the coat. The correct color for chinchillas is emerald green, for smokes green or amber, and for pure whites a deep turquoise blue unfortunately the blue eyed white cats are usually deaf.
Among the famous cats of England is Lord Southampton, that is pictured herewith, a very light chinchilla, or possibly, by the latest standard, a shaded silver, bred by Mrs. Greenwood, and owned by her until last year when he was sold to Miss Gertrude Willoughby for $300. He is now five years old, and has taken a long string of ribbons, cups and medals, winding up with the championship.
The breeding of such cats is an undertaking beset with difficulties and anxieties. Like all high bred animals, they are relatively delicate until more than half grown. Then they seem to toughen, and the mature specimen stands any reasonable exposure – in fact, seems to be better for it. If protected from wind and rain, an outdoor life is best for them and materially improves the coat. Care must be taken that they are frequently handled, and they should be brought indoors for a part of each day to prevent them getting wild or timid. All of the fancier’s tribulations are as nothing when compared with the perennial delights of rearing and training these beautiful and fascinating pets. Peculiarities of disposition, which are observable at a very early age, persist and are manifested in the grown cat. The antics of a group of kittens form tableaus kaleidoscopic in variety, but without kaleidoscopic lines and angles, only curves and grace. If their attention be suddenly attracted each assumes a posture and expression quite different from the others. As the cat displays heredity in a marked degree, the careful breeder by strengthening the desirable traits and eliminating the others can make his strain almost anything he wishes.
It is to be hoped that the increased interest in fine cats may result in the better treatment of all cats. Some of pussy’s worst traits are the result of the abuse heaped upon her, not alone by the small boy with his tin can and other implements of torture, but by men and women who ought to know better and who not infrequently treat a cat as they would not treat any other living creature.
CAT MAGAZINE OUT. The Inter Ocean, 16th December, 1900
The American Cat News is the title of a new magazine, the initial number of which has just appeared. The prospectus of the magazine, signed by C.F. Whitemarsh and F.C. Goudy, the publishers, states that it is issued for cat lovers and its news will be devoted exclusively to cats and catteries. The December number contains half-tone cuts of a number of famous Chicago cats and cats of other cities. The portrait of an unnamed cat adorns the cover, and Teddy Roosevelt, owned by Mrs. L C. Kemp of Huron, S.D., is the subject of the first illustration. There are also cuts of cats of high degree belonging to Mrs. Clinton Locke, Mrs. Leland T. Norton, and other well-known Chicagoans.
Most of the news space is devoted to cat gossip. There are personals regarding many furry animals, and a touching obituary of Argent Moonbeam, whose sudden death is said to have “cast a real gloom” over the ninth grand show of the National Cat club. In chronicling the death of White Tsar, the obituary reads: “We feel the greatest sympathy for Mrs. Champion and her daughters. It must have been a keen grief to learn of White Tsar’s death. He was bred in their cattery, and these ladles are tenderly attached to all their cats."Among the contributors to the first number are Mrs. Clinton Locke, Mrs. Leland T. Norton, and Blanche Winslow Robinson. The magazine is handsome in appearance.
FASHIONABLE CAT OF TODAY 15 THE WHITE CAT – St Louis Dispatch, Sunday December 16, 1900
It Became Fashionable Just As Soon As it Became Scarce and Now White Cats Are Held at Fabulous Prices.
No worthier cat
Ever sat on a mat
Or caught a rat.
This year the strictly up-to-date cat is white. To the white cat of 1900 other varieties must pay homage; even the blue chinchilla of two years ago. Until this year England has carried off the honors in the cat world. The nobility and aristocracy possessed the “catteries” which produced all the champions. This year America takes the lead, having won this distinction by a clever strategy. England, France and Belgium during the past three years have been ransacked for white cats. One after another the prize-winners of Europe have been brought over to this country. Suddenly Europe awakened to the fact that it had no white cats. At the same time, by a curious psychological phenomenon, a demand arose for cats with soft white coats.The finest farms in England had no white cats. All eyes turned to America. Here white cats of the best pedigree were found. At once America had to be acknowledged leader of cat fashions. It is not to every white cat, however, that the palm of victory may be awarded. It must be an Angora. To possess a fine white Angora cat is to stand on the utmost pinnacle of cat fame.
England is the home of the cat, and in that country the first cat shows came into existence. From the first, nobility interested themselves. At the Crystal Palace In London — where the first cat shows were held — cats were exhibited for which as much as $17,000 were paid. The National Cat Shows, held at the Aquarium and the Crystal Palace, bring together the cream of English society. The president of the National Cat Club is the Duchess of Bedford, and among the vice-presidents are Lillian, Duchess of Marlborough, the Countess of Warwick, the Hon. Mrs. Morrison, Mme. Ronner, the famous cat painter; the Countess of Sefton and others of note. Mr Louis Wain, the famous cat artist, is president of committee. This cat club keeps a regular stud book, and also a “black list.” Those persons are black-listed who have not behaved properly with regard to their cat friends, or who have acted dishonestly in cat competitions. To be on the black books of the National Cat Club is one of the worst forms of social ostracism.
Corresponding to the National Cat Club of England is the Exposition Feline Internationale of France. Such men as Zola, Francois Coppee, Andre Theurlet and Catulle Mendes have won prizes.
In this country we have several highly organized cat societies. These are the Cat Club in Boston, the Beresford Cat Club of Chicago and the American Cat Club of New York. Many cat shows have been held at the Madison Square Garden, and competition has been keen and not without personal jealousy. The first American cattery was started by Mrs. Clinton Locke, president of the Beresford Cat Club of Chicago. She has many notable cats at her home, 2852 Indiana avenue. Among these are the famous Beadle. Mrs. Locke owns the finest chinchillas in the United States, and her cats have won innumerable prizes.
To own a private cattery Is the ambition of many society women. Already there are in this country several well-known ones. Miss Lucy Nichols conducts the Ben Mahr Cattery in Waterbury, Conn.; Miss Olive Watson has a cattery In Warrensburg, Pa.; Mrs. S. S. Leach runs the Bonny Lea Cattery in New London, and Mrs. B. M. Cladding has many fine cats In Memphis, Tenn. Cat fanciers In this country think nothing of paying $1500 for a good cat, and as much as £5500 has been paid for a kitten of high degree. But it is not only among the exclusive society set that cats are appreciated. Many writers boast the possession of fine cats. Among the literary cat owners are Mrs. Harriet Prescott Spofford, Mrs. Louise Chandler Moulton, Miss Agnes Repplier, Miss Mary E. Wilkins. Louise Imogen Guiney, Mrs. A.D.T. Whitney and Miss Sarah Orine Jewett.
While the white cat is fashionable this year there are valuable cats of other color. There are the blue chinchillas, Siamese browns, sables, cream-colored silvers, tortoiseshell red and long and short haired of all colors. One of the finest white Angora cats In America is owned by D. Wr. Stevens of Westfield, Mass. Its name is Ajax and It was born in 1893. This cat has frequently won prizes at the New York Cat Show. Its owner has refused large sums of money for it. Now its value will be more than quadrupled. “Tommy," a white Persian cat captured In 1889, was valued at $500 two years ago. This year he will doubtless be worth something like $2000. Tommy was kept caged for a year, and at first its owner thought he would prove untamable. Finally he became “child-like and bland,” and his value increased greatly.
Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett Townsend owns many fine cats and has won several prizes in New York. She has written of her cats in her books.
The Angora cat of this year should have blue eyes. It should be wholly white in its fur coat. Orange, yellow and black Angoras are valuable, but not so highly prized as cats with solid white coats. The correct eye for other styles of Angora is amber. Greenish-hued eyes are not valued.
Here are the chief points to be considered in arriving at a decision as to a cat's value: A long-haired cat should be judged with regard to his frill, or “lord mayor’s chain” —which has a direct bearing on the quality and quantity of his hair. The ear tufts, the tufts between the toes and the flexibility of the tail are other points. With short-haired cats, first the color has to be considered, then the eyes, shape of head and finally the ears. The head of a good cat should show great breadth between the eyes. The eyes should be round and wide open. White cats ought to have blue eyes; black cats yellow eyes; other should have eyes of pea-green. A good nose should be short and taper. The lower leg should be straight, the upper hind leg lie at closed angles. The frame of a good cat should be light, but deep-chested and it should have a slim, graceful neck. The ears should be rounded and not large. Tails of long-haired cats should be bent over at the end. These are pointers gathered from Miss Helen M. Winslow’s book, “Concerning Cats.”
[CHICAGO] PROMINENT WOMEN WHO HAVE A CAT CLUB - The Idaho Statesman, January 6, 1901
On the 21st day of January, 1901, the Beresford Cat club will hold in Chicago its second cat show under the auspices of the National Fanciers’ association. The first show, held at Tattersall’s last year, under the same direction, was an unqualified success. The cat fad, or, more seriously considered, the cat industry in Chicago, is best represented by the Beresford club, which was started a little more than two years ago by Mrs. Clinton Locke, wife of the dean of Chicago, who has been for many years one of the best known breeders of Angora and Persian cats in this country. Mrs. Locke started a cattery of her own years ago for the purpose of charity, St. Luke's hospital, church missions and the families of poor clergymen having benefited by the profits from the sale of cats from her “Locke Haven Cattery,” and she has become such a believer in the industry for women that the growth of the club and the awakening of general interest are largely due to her efforts and enthusiasm.
The club takes its name from Lady Marcus Beresford, of Bishop’s Gate, Windsor, England, a gracious and beautiful member of the, nobility who is a friend of all dumb animals and a lover of fine cats, and the membership list, which now numbers 200, includes the names of many noted men and women, some of whom have such serious vocations that one would never suspect their interest in a tiny, fluffy ball of a kitten.
Among the fashionable members in Chicago are Mrs. P. D. Armour, Jr., Mrs Augustus Eddy, Mrs Oliver P. Dickinson and John G. Shortall, president of the Humane society; and from abroad there are, among others Mme Henrietta Ronner, the famous cat painter of France; Miss Agnes Repplier, the writer and lecturer of Philadelphia; Miss Helen Winslow of Boston; Mrs. Ballington Booth, Minnie Maddern Fiske and Julia Marlowe, John W Ela, J Whitcomb Cotton, Walter C. Gunn, J. H. Platt and John L. Lincoln of the Mascoutah kennels are among the club's notable patrons, and Horace White, proprietor of the New York Evening Post, is one of its warmest friends.
Attractive prizes are offered to children, to tradesmen of different lines, for the cats in best condition, and every encouragement is given by the club to others to the care of cats of any and of every kind. Through the Humane society, in the rooms of which the Beresford club holds its meetings, sick and homeless cats are found and cared for, and an infirmary where cats are housed and treated is kept by Dr. White in
Mrs Leland Norton, 4630 Drexel boulevard president of the Chicago Cat club, has also planned a cat hospital, which when completed will offer a refuge to friendless and disabled tabbies. Men are no longer able to scoff at the cat fad as a feminine weakness, for men are among the largest breeders of fine cats, and are prominent as exhibitors. Some of the best specimens at last year's show were sent by men, and men will take an active part in this year's exhibition.
THE CRAZE FOR CATS Daily News Democrat, February 1st, 1901
In the United States the breeding of pedigreed cats has taken a firm hold, and to-day there are as fine specimens of beautiful cats produced in this country as can be found anywhere. The Persian and Angora types are most popular and bring the highest prices. There are many colors in these varieties. The white Persian or Angora with blue eyes is much sought after, and a good specimen from ten months to a year old often sells for $100, while half that amount is almost an every-day quotation for the same sort of kitten three or four months old whose parents and grandparents are pedigreed animals. The fancy for finely born, finely bred cats has become so strong in this country already that a registry has been established by the “Beresford Cat Club of America,” the parent body of the Cincinnati organization.
A great number of finely pointed cats are raised and sold every year which have not been registered. These, of course, do not bring such good prices as the animal who can boast a number in either the National Cat Stud book of England or the Beresford Cat Stud book of America, the two recognized associations of the world. The annual cat show has now become as much of a fixture in many of our larger American cities as it is in England, and few will long remain without this most fascinating of all pet animal exhibitions. — Cincinnati Enquirer.
CAT CLUB IN ANNUAL SESSION – Chicago Daily Tribune, March 31, 1901
Beresford Organization Re-elects Mrs. Clinton Locke President — Treasurer Has Six Hundred Dollars on Hand.
The second annual meeting of the Beresford Cat club was held in the clubrooms, 500 Wabash avenue, yesterday forenoon. A large number of the members were present and officers for the ensuing year were unanimously elected, as follows: President — Mrs. Clinton Locke; Vice Presidents — Mrs. Charles Hampton Lane, Mrs. F. A. Howe; Recording Secretary — Miss Lucy C. Johnston; Corresponding Secretary — Mrs. Albert E. Michelson; Treasurer — Mrs. Edward Tolman;
Directors — Mrs. J. H. Pratt, Mrs. M. Fisk-Green, Miss L. L. Fergus, Mrs. B. P. Robinson, Mrs. Vincent E. Gregg.
The humane side of the work was taken up and Mrs. M. Fisk-Green was nominated to look after it. assisted by Miss Bessie Saul and Miss Edytha W. Gregg. Their duties will be to find homes for homeless cats and to dispose in a humane manner of all sick or maimed cats.
The Treasurer's report is as follows:
Money received from all sources - $1,714
Money disbursed - $1,114
Balance in treasury - $600
SURE ENOUGH CATS – The Saint Paul Globe, 7th September, 1901
It is very evident that the American women with means to indulge expensive fads do not intend that their liege lords shall have a monopoly of the high-priced animal playthings. Thus, while Frank Jay Gould has been paying from $5,000 to $10,000 each for St. Bernard dogs, and J. Pierpont Morgan has been purchasing Scotch collies to the tune of some $2,500 each, to say nothing of Richard Croker's outlay of $5,000 for a single homely bulldog, the members of the fair sex have been inaugurating an era of high prices In an animal kingdom where they are in supreme control. As might be expected, says the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, these feminine enthusiasts have chosen to pay homage at the court of feline royalty, and thus we have aristocratic tabbies for prices mounting up into hundreds of dollars.
The cats of high degree are divided into two classes, the Persians and Angoras. The difference between the two has been a much-mooted question even among cat fanciers, but, in reality, no very marked points of dissimilarity exist. For exhibition purposes the blooded cats are classified in two divisions, the long-haired and the short-haired cats. The latter are taken to be distinct breeds of the ordinary house cats, which are descended from the Kaffir, or Egyptian cats. The Siamese cats, which are distinct in color and the texture of their coats, are the kings of the short-haired tribe, although they have rivals in the famous Russian blue cats, also at short-haired variety.
The long-haired cats as a rule represent a mixture of Angora, Persian, Chinese and Indian blood, but in America the name Angora is applied to all thoroughbred long-haired cats indiscriminately, while in Great Britain these same cats are characterized as Persians. Many cats are brought to this country from India and Cashmere, and some magnificent white cats with blue eyes are imported from Thibet. In all these cats, length and firmness of fur is the chief attribute of beauty, and the one most sought after by the breeders.
One of the myths of the feline world is the so-called “coon” cat, with thrilling tales regarding which small boys are often regaled by their elders. The "coon” cats are supposed to be natives of Maine and to be the descendants of a cross between a raccoon and a common cat, although the idea that it is possible to cross a cat with a coon has been exploded by the best authorities time and again. Still, the alluring fable continues to be perpetuated by people with a limited knowledge of cats. These same people have evolved a fearful and wonderful story regarding a cross between a cat and a rabbit having resulted in the evolution of the Manx cat.
The annual cat shows which have been held of late years in New York city, Rochester, Chicago and other cities have done much to popularize princely cats as pets for ladies in all parts of the country. Indeed, these displays have performed quite as important missionary work, as did the horse and chrysanthemum shows in their palmiest days. At several of these shows there have been on exhibition cats which cost from $1,000 to $2,000 each. The bright particular star of the feline kingdom on this side of the Atlantic, however, is found in “Napoleon the Great,” a magnificent cat owned by Mrs. Charles Weed, of Woodhaven, L.I., and valued at $5,000. “Napoleon” has such tremendously long fur that it is necessary to clip it frequently in order to prevent the mass from hiding the cat from view entirely.
One of the most prominent cat fanciers in the country is Mrs. Clinton Locke, of Chicago, the president of the Beresford Cat club, an organization made up of women who possess expensive tabbies. Mrs. Locke was one of the first women in America to import and breed longhaired cats, and now has in her kennels a large number of noteworthy and valuable cats. Some idea of the estimate placed upon the little kittens which come from Mrs. Locke’s cat village may be imagined from the fact that she recently sold “Royal Apollo,” a strikingly handsome white cat, for $135. Ordinarily, Angora or Persian kittens, if they be of the feline aristocracy, sell for prices ranging from $30 to $250 each. As in the case of dogs, prices seldom attain as high an altitude in this country as in England, where sales of cats wherein the consideration range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars each are of no infrequent occurrence.
The breeding of thoroughbred cats has naturally received a tremendous boom since the development of the present fad just as has the raising of Belgian hares, and catteries are springing up in all parts of the land. It has been proven too that the thoroughbred cat can be made a paying investment — a fact which will not be wondered at in view of the prices which it has been recited are being paid for kittens. To indicate the extent of the demand for Persian and Angora pussies the fact may be cited that a breeder in New England last year sold and shipped to various parts of the country more than 5,000 thoroughbred cats.
As a rule sales of blooded cats are not made before the animals have attained the age of fifteen months, when the tabby is presumed to have attained his prime. Of course, these princely pets must be affectionate and gentle, and so the disposition of each is trained in youth as a child’s might be. Each diminutive pussy also receives the attention of an experienced cat doctor, and if it is found necessary to give medicine it is done with extreme care; for be it known, should the obnoxious dose be spilled upon the kitten’s wonderful furry coat, not only will it not lick it off, but in most cases the animal will actually pine and die from the odor.
A modern cattery, or cat kennels, such for instance, as that established at Newport by Mrs. M. B. Thurston some years ago, is a veritable revelation to one who has been inclined to lightly estimate the value of the commonest of pets. There are cat houses divided into compartments for the various occupants, and long inclosures of lawn, with partitions of wire net, where the favored members of the cat family may exercise to their heart’s content, secure from the annoying attentions of teasing dogs. Each runway is 50 or 60 feet in length, and probably a dozen feet wide.
The Angora and Persian cats suffer far more from heat than from cold, and consequently many precautions are taken to keep them as comfortable as possible. The cat houses are marvels of completeness. There are shades on the tiny windows, so that the delicate eyes of the kittens may not be overtaxed and a gymnasium even provided where the tiny balls of fur may tumble about and exercise themselves during the period of kittenhood. There are several bathtubs for the cats at the big Newport cattery, and despite the common impression that cats dislike water, many of the felines have been taught to go to the tubs of their own accord. The cat houses have piazzas, where the occupants may sun themselves, and a hospital chamber is provided, although it is seldom needed, so excellent is the care exercised over the animals.
These aristocratic tabbies fare well, too. For breakfast they have minced mutton and thoroughly boiled rice, fresh water and milk, while the menu for dinner includes vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, rice, macaroni and bread. The kittens also have a light luncheon before bed time comes, which is ordinarily at 7 o’clock in the evening. When such cats as these are shipped to exhibitions or elsewhere they have to be surrounded by all the care that is bestowed on a valuable race horse. The cages are invariably large enough for the cats to stand up and move, and one or two days’ food and water is provided.
As has been stated it is only in exceptional cases that a kitten has ever sold for more than $250 to $300, and from this fact it might appear strange to some persons that such excessive values are placed upon the animal when they reach their prime. It may be explained, however, that cats increase rapidly in value as they “grow up.” At one large cat show, recently held in the East, the felines on show were estimated to be worth in the aggregate fully $50,000. Juno, a brown and white cat in the possession of the lady who owns the cat Napoleon the Great, previously mentioned, is worth over $1,500, and a white Angora, In which Mrs. D. W. Stevens, of Westfield, Mass., takes immense pride, has a valuation of $1,000. Mrs. H. L. Hammond, of Connecticut has a trick cat for which she has refused $500, and there are other notable animals, for which fabulous sums have been proffered, without success. The value of a cat which has not changed hands since it was a kitten is usually estimated from the prices which her pussies bring when they are sold.
NAPOLEON THE GREAT
This article was reprinted, in various forms, in various magazines and newspapers between 1901 and 1904.
The most valuable cat in the world belongs to Mrs. Charles Weed, of Bound Brook, New Jersey. It is a superb French Angora, and five thousand dollars would not suffice to buy him. Napoleon the First is the name of the famous cat, and, being worth double his weight in gold, appropriately enough Napoleon’s silken coat is of the richest golden hue.
The five-thousand-dollar beauty occupies luxurious apartments, which would not have disgraced the famous Emperor himself, and unlike that great soldier this Napoleon has never felt the stings of defeat, having easily outclassed all his brothers and sisters at the many shows in which he has participated.
Mrs. Weed is very much attached to “Nap,” and said, while exhibiting him recently: “I have had a number of valuable cats, but none which have won the laurels of Napoleon. He is a remarkably easy cat to get along with too, and is as proud of his medals as any veteran. Although large he is well-proportioned, and unlike so many petted cats has not an idle bone in his body; indeed he is as good a ratter as any ordinary cat who can’t trace his ancestry lineage back along a line of royalty.
“Nap’s worst fault is jealousy. He will sulk for hours at a time and refuse to be comforted if I caress or fondle another puss, and frequently if I devote my attention the stranger for any length of time Napoleon will cry to go out, and when the door is opened will leave the room with his head held proudly erect and without deigning to give so much as a glance in my direction. I have known him to remain away from home for a whole day when I offended him in this manner.
“Napoleon is very easily fed, and although he will eat a great variety of food, his principal diet is milk, oatmeal, and a little meat. The latter I cut in very small pieces for him or else leave on the bone, and I only give him this luxury at noon. In summer he will eat potatoes and beans if well seasoned and buttered.
“He has been exhibited at many large shows and has always won the first prize given to Angoras, for his beauty, intelligence, and size. I have been offered five thousand for him, double his weight in gold, but I wouldn’t part with Nap for any amount of money.
Another version erroneously describes him as grey. Many believed that Angora cats were either white or grey.
He is a Cat of High Degree and Had a Market Value of Five Thousand Dollars.
People who admire cats say that they are the only domesticated animals which possess either character or individuality, but even the most enthusiastic cat lover would probably hesitate before valuing a cat at $5,000. Mrs. Charles Weed, of Bound Brook, N. J., has a cat, however, which cat connoisseurs say is worth that sum.
The name of this cat is Napoleon the Great, and he is great. He's a big, gray fellow, with a coat as thick as a bear-skin, but considerably softer. Napoleon belongs to that brand of cat known as Angoras. The breed is distinguished for the length and silkiness of the fur, but also for the beautifully symmetrical markings which some of them possess.
Napoleon is what a woman would call a “solid-colored” cat. He is the same color all over, and is devoid of any blemishing variegations. Curlously enough, cat fanciers say, it is harder to obtain an animal all one color than one that is marked. Some of the most beautiful Angoras that ever went on the show bench were pure white, with the exception of an evenly marked saddle or tiger yellow stripes. They were handsome, but they were not considered half as good or valuable from a how standpoint as the somber Napoleon, who in color resembles a battleship with its war paint on.
Keeping a cat of the value of Napoleon the Great is no joke, for the animal, unfortunately, seems to have no sense of the proportions of his value. He is just as likely to wander off along the back fence as any other cat of no Intrinsic value.
The owner of “Napoleon” does the best she can, and, so far, has managed to prevent her high-priced pet from either wandering or eating things which are not likely to agree with the internal economies of a $5,000 cat. The trouble about a cat is that it cannot be compelled to do anything it doesn't want to do.
“Napoleon” has taken first prize at every show [In which he has been entered. He Is still quite a young cat, and his owner thinks the animal has many years of prize winning yet to come.