REPORTS FROM EARLY CAT SHOWS IN NEW YORK
Contrary to popular belief (and the huge amount of media publicity at the time), the 1895 cat show at Madison Square Garden, was not the first ever cat show in the USA, nor even the first national cat show. There had been a cat show there the previous year and several cat shows had been held in New York in the 1880s. What set the 1895 show apart as an important historical date, was the formation of the American Cat Club at the same time, making the 1896 show the first Championship Show under the auspices of a Cat Club. The cat shows of the 1880s had been held alongside poultry and pigeon shows and the judging was a haphazard affair based on the judges’ preferences rather than against standards of points.
1877 NEW YORK CAT CONGRESS
NEW YORK CAT CONGRESS. - A Full Quorum of High-Toned Toms and Tabbies. Some singular cats are pouring into the New American Museum in anticipation of the cat show which is to open there next Monday. There is a double-toed and web-footed Maltese cat, born in Germany, which was one of the first to apply after the opening of the books. She has been some time in the city, but has for the most part lived in comparative privacy in a Canal street bar-room. Then there are a three legged cat from Fortieth street, a nineteen pound cat called a tiger cat—from Jersey City, twenty-two pound cat from 210 Bowery, an eighteen pound cat from Thirty-third street, a sixteen year old cat, living in Twenty-sixth street, with a rolling gait, which has crossed the ocean three times; a white cat with one blue and one black eye, and a matched quartet of great beauty which can purr simple tunes. One of the most valuable entries is a “show cat” which has traveled with Barnum’s circus ever since its birth. An anecdote told of this cat relates that it was once left behind, when the show started in the morning, in Sheboygan, Wis, and that upon the arrival of the show the same night in Fond du Lac, distance fifty-two miles, the cat was already there and waiting. Granted that the cat could make the distance more quickly than the circus company, it remains still a mystery how she could have anticipated that the show was going to Fon du Lac. There is another cat, owned by a newspaper reporter, which the owner says has had more bullets fired at it than any other living cat. If it were not a reporter - - This one negative merit constitutes the whole recommendation of this cat. There is also a eat from Harlem which barks like a dog, and a seven pawed cat which is called Young Briareus, and which lives on Murray Hill. - Harrisburg Daily Independent, December 13, 1877
AN A-MEW-SING SHOW. New York, Dec. 17. — The cat show opened to-day in the American Museum. Cats are of all degrees of size and ages and colors. There is one cat with double-toed webbed feet, one eighteen year old cat that has never had a tooth and eats like a monkey, a prolific cat, a performing cat that does tricks and goes in a cage with birds without devouring them, and a cat that plays hide and seek with children: Terrible catastrophe! – various, December, 1877.
ENTRIES FOR THE GREAT CAT SHOW. The entries for the gret cat show are nerly all in, and to-morrow morning at 10 o’clock these will be exhibited in the New American Museum, in the Bowery, as fine a collection of cat, of al sorts and sizes, as ever kept a respectable community awake at night. Several hundred cats have been entered, including some of the greatest curiosities to be found. There is a double-toed, web-footed cat, Maltese, born in Germany; a Queen Mab ct, that has travelled with Barnum’s show for seven years, and that, being left on one occasion by accident at a little Wisconsin town, joined the show the following night at Fond du Lac 52 miles away; Maria Jane, 26 years old, who has crossed the ocean three times; a three-legged cat from Forty-second street; an eight-legged one from Massachusetts, and a six-legged one from Orchard street; cats with six and seven toes; a double-headed cat from Chicago; a cat from Danville, Va., that has hatched three broods of chickens; a 30 pound cat from Brooklyn; a 25 pound cat from Hudson City; a four ounce cat that was born in Cairo, Egypt; and Australian cat that eats tobacco, and a cat that has mewed in motherly sympathy with 173 kittens, and several albino cats. One of the silver-spoon cats is from Brooklyn. It aroused the family when the house was onfire, and it is held in such high esteem that its meals are to be ordered from a neighbouring restaurant. A number of handsome prizes are to be given to the owners of choice cats. - The New York Times, December 16, 1877
I wrote you last week that we were to have a cat show. This is now in full operation at the new American Museum, in the Bowery, near Grand street, as hundreds may attest who daily visit the exhibition. Here one may examine the “pussy” of our antipodes, beholding a fine specimen, much like that of the United States, except that the eyes partake of the almond shape of the Chinese. From South America comes the “Puma," an immense yellowish-red cat weighing 100 pounds, owned by a Boston man who values the beast at $500. “Tom,” born in Java, is valued at $150, is seven months old, and has an elongated snout resembling that of a hog. “Hail Columbia” is an Angora cat, brought from the Arctic Regions, with long, white fleecy hair, having one red and one blue eye, and owning its name on account of possessing in such a marked manner our country’s colors. “Bidgee,” a gray and white cat, chews tobacco. Captain G. K. Simpson brought the foreigner from Murrumbidgee River. Australia. Whether “Bidgee" acquired this delectable habit intuitively or from observation Mr. Star, the courteous manager, did not inform your correspondent. “Queen Mab,” a fine specimen of a Maltese, has traveled over the country with Barnum’s show for seven years. During this entire period she met but one mishap. By accident, the Company left a small town in Wisconsin without her highness, and some time after their arrival at Fond du Lac, while lamenting their loss, in walked “Queen Mab," having journeyed fifty-two miles. She purrs all day long, always happy when gently patted, and has never been known to refuse sweet milk. Some fine specimens of Maltese cats are exhibited. Black cats, whose well-kept coats shine in their ebon splendor, and white cats dazzling in their spotless purity, zebra cats, yellow cats, kittens orphaned at their birth and by their persistence in keeping up the traditional seven lives were consigned to the fragile bottle as foster-mother, web-footed felines, felines with double feet, and with extra legs, all come in for a good share of the attention of the lover of the marvellous. - The Cincinnati Enquirer, December 25, 1877
The New York cat show appears to be a sort of asylum for purse-proud aristocratic cats, or those which exhibit some exceptional intelligence or tail or something. The real old corsairs of the dark nights, whose voices have tunefully mingled with the clash of boot-jacks, tin dippers and no. 4 shot, are not there. Neither is there present the nervous old rounder who has escaped from the midnight melee with knotty protruberances on his head and a tail resembling a hair-mounted joint of stove-pipe. The show is very incomplete. (Exchange.) - Lawrence Daily Journal, 25th December 1877
Complaint is made that the New York cat show is too aristocratic. The Brooklyn Argus-Union notes the absence of the real old corsairs of the dark night, whose voices have tunefully mingled with the clash of boot-jacks, tin dippers and No. 4 shot. - The Galveston Daily News, 27th Dec 1877
1878 NEW YORK CAT SHOWNEW YORK CAT SHOW. The New York Tribune describes a cat show, recently held in that city. About one hundred cats curled up in the darkest corners of their cages, and blink their green eyes sleepily at the visitors. They are so amiable or so well fed that they will not allow themselves to be poked up to any feline demonstration. They are black cats, white cats, piebald cats, grey cats, Maltese cats, tortoiseshell cats, cats with one eye blue and one eye red, or with one eye green and one eye golden, and a cat born without a tail. But they are quiet and dignified. There are no garden concerts, no chimney-pot serenades, no backs are a-fluff, and no fur flew. Their tails are quiescent and of normal size. There is a black cat that has never been known to refuse milk. Another, born in Germany, is double-toed and web-footed. Pedro S. Fletcher is a sleek grey creature, that can play tag, hide-an-seek, and when in perfect health can even ship the rope. His master wants to bet 5,000 dollars that the cat can talk in his own language. A black Danish cat, with a melancholy air, is called Hamlet. Although seventeen years of age, Hamlet looks as if he were yet good for any number of rats behind the Arras. Another black fellow was born and lives without teeth. The card attached declares that he cats like a monkey and drinks tea like an old maid. Jacob Pulman is white and grey, and very intelligent. Formerly Jacob belonged to the Brooklyn fire department, and rode to all the fires on an engine. Being now fifteen years old he has retired from active service. Close by is Ralph, a reformed tramp that was found in a hatchway a year ago, and has since then been a respected member of the museum. The nautical cat is called Sailor. He is of the tortoiseshell variety, and although only four years old, has crossed the ocean sixteen times. He has a hoarse cry which sounds like “avast there,” he looks as if he were profane, and he rolls across his cage as if had on his sea legs. Mother Puss, an emaciated black and white tabby [“tabby” meant “she-cat”] is seventeen years old, and the mother of 173 kittens. Her possible grandchildren even the Lightning Calculator cannot compute. Joe is a performing cat that sits in a cage with some canary birds. His master pulls him out of the cage by the neck, and then Joe, with a protesting mew, touches off a cannon without blinking. Then the canaries lie on their backs on top of a pole, and shake their little claws in the air. They, likewise touch off a cannon, and retire to their cage on a tightrope. - Belfast (Ireland) News-Letter, 10th January 1878
AMONG THE NOVELTIES OF THE NEW YORK CAT SHOW is a sleek, gray creature that can play tag, hide and seek, and skip the rope; a black cat that has never been blest with teeth, but which enjoys life very well without them ; “Jacob” — a white and gray that formerly belonged to the Brooklyn fire department, and rode to all the fires on the engine, but now, being fifteen years old, he has retired from active service; the “nautical cat,” only four years old, that has crossed the ocean sixteen times; “Mother Puss,” whose kittens, 173 in number, are scattered the wide world over; and “Joe,” a performing cat that sits in a cage with canary-birds, and at his master’s bidding, but with a protesting mew touches off a cannon without blinking. – various, Jan 24, 1878
In the world of amusements there is little to note. The cat show is now open at the Music Hall, and considering the disagreeable weather of the week, has been well attended. There are two hundred and seventy-one cats in the cages, and they behave themselves on the whole very well. Some of them take but little notice of their visitors, while others display a deal of vanity, and seem highly flattered by the attention they receive. The cats are noted for their large or small size, color and condition of fur, species, deformities, and so forth. Some of them are trained animals, and will perform their tricks in the hall on Friday evening. - The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 28th January 18781881 NEW YORK CAT SHOW - IN THE NEW BROADWAY (BUNNELL’S) MUSEUM
AUTHORS AND CATS. Any gentleman or lady who thinks he or she has a wonderful cat, should send the aforesaid cat to the cat show on March 7th, at Bunnell’s Museum, corner of Broadway and 9th Street, New York city, and get a prize for the same, as entries are now open. If the aforesaid lady or gentleman knows enough about cats to write a good spicy essay, not over 1000 words long, on the subject, he or she can earn the $10 prize, on the simple condition that the essay be the best sent. No favouritism will be shown. Write to “Manager of Cat Sow” at the museum for rules and regulations. - Delaware County Daily Times, 24th February 1881
Manager Bunnell stood in the center of his museum on Broadway, his hands in his hair, utterly perplexed, late last night. He was surrounded by cats in cages, cats in wooden boxes, cats in band-boxes, cats in bags, half of them yelling, spitting, and scratching, as mad as cats can be in uncomfortable quarters and in a strange place. A deep scratch on his nose and three gingers tied up in oil and rags told how inexperienced he was in the ways of cats. As fast as the cages were completed, and the cats placed in little sections, each one alone, they settled down for the night, and silence reigned.
Said Assistant Manager Starr: "We have all kinds of cats here, all sorts of species from the torrid zone to the North Pole. See, here is a comfortable pure-blooded maltese that reminds one of a happy fireside, and here is a great, shaggy, ugly fellow, who, I guess, was lassoed from off some back fence who could eat her up if he had half a chance. But they are all secure, and no one can get at another, nor at the thousands of ladies and children who will come to see them. Now here is a big gray cat, all the way from Jersey, entered by Henry Rengstorf, whose only peculiarity is that he will attend every Democratic meeting held in a hall near his owner's residence, but don't seem to care for any other meetings. There is Humpty Dumpty, well known in the theatrical profession, and who is now 43 years old. He used to belong to George L Fox, and though he is now a little stiff from old age, can perform a number of tricks learned from his old master. There is a handsome old black cat named Nig, who comes from East new-York; his oddity is that he makes playmates of canary birds, and several of them will be shown flying about his cage all the week. There is a splendid gray cat, as gentle as a kitten, which weighs 35 pounds, and that, you know, is an immense weight for a cat. There is an ugly striped tiger cat, which weighs 18 pounds. There is a decided curiosity, a French cat named Paris, which is 6 months old, has long silky hair of a bright purple color. In that cage is a magnificent tortoise-shell cat, which seems to have the power of fascinating rats. There are two cats from Third-avenue who are regular circus performers, and can do a number of tricks, like trained dogs, at the word of command. Then we have a double-footed maltese cat, a two-legged cat, a three-legged cat and more odd and peculiar cats than I could tell you of."
There are many queer applicants for space. One lady was anxious to exhibit her pet provided she could send it fresh cream from Jersey every morning and be sure that the other cats would not get it. The daughters of a well-known physician were willing to exhibit their fondled feline darlings, which they are sure are handsomer and more intelligent than any other cats in this world, but they wanted the privilege of having one of their house-maids to be with them all the time to see that they were properly cared for and not teased. Mr Bunnell was obliged to refuse, saying that if all the cats had nurse maids he was afraid there would be no room for any one else in the hall. The cat show will be opened at 11 o'clock to-morrow morning. - A COLLECTION OF CATS.- THE FELINE EXHIBITION IN THE NEW BROADWAY MUSEUM (1881), The New York Times, March 6, 1881
CATS ON EXHIBITION. The cat show opened at Bunnell's Museum yesterday bids fair to divide public fervor and favor with the pedestrian match. The museum was crowded all the afternoon and evening with women, children, and even men. The women admired and caressed the 40 felines in wire cages, and the children pinched their tails and ears and stirred them up with sticks whenever the manager's eye was turned. Some of the cats are remarkable for their size, color, stripes, and weight. By far the greater number possess all the characteristics of the back-fence tenors. They may have been lassooed in the purlieus of this City, but Manager Starr, with uplifted hand, swears this is not the case. There have been entered in this cat contest 180 animals, all of whom are expected to be on exhibition by to-day noon. The expected animals number some remarkable specimens, it is said, possessing all the peculiarities possible to be found in the cat kingdom. John and Jane are two specimens that have frequently roused the residents of Westport, Conn, from midnight slumbers. Captain Williams is a pure black, whose gentle disposition, his placard announces, suggested his name. Clubs, the placard adds, have no effect upon him, and he does regular patrol duty when not on exhibition. Dick, a gray, weighing 15 pounds and valued at $100, is as mild a mannered cat as ever climbed down a division fence with a chimney brick in hot pursuit. Gen Washington is a black and white gentleman cat, with an intellectual breadth of forehead and a frank open face. His great-grandfather is alleged to have witnessed the surrender of Cornwallis some years ago. There may be some mistake about his ancestry, but it will not be denied that he himself is a handsome specimen. Tom is a tiger cat, weighing 18 pounds and valued at $150. He is striped like a tiger and has the heavy chops and the expression of untutored intelligence of a Tammany Alderman. Perhaps the comparison is a trifle unjust to Tom. The show will be continued during the week. - The New York Times, March 8, 1881
THE GREAT CAT SHOW opened in New York on Monday. We did not learn whether anyone from the city sent felines to the exhibition. It is our opinion that Harrisburg cats are the equal of any in the country in their musical propensity as displayed in the midnight serenade. - Harrisburg Daily Independent, 9th March, 1881
THE COMING DOG AND CAT SHOW. New York, March 8. Public interest seems to be centering on the cat show since the abortive pedestrian match. There is an assortment of Mousers, Prairie and Curions. There are fighting cats with jagged ears, one-eyed cats and cats with no eyes at all, but two or three extra legs to compensate for the deficiency. There are long-haired, short-haired and bald cats. There are cats loony with age and experienced and giddy kittens playing at the cats cradle. – Lawrence Daily Journal, March 9, 1881
It takes a lot of folks to make up a world. Mr Bunnell has a cat show in New York, of which the Post says; ”His assortment of mousers is rare and curious. Some of the animals can a tail unfold, others cannot There are fighting cats with jagged ears, one-eyed cats and cats with no eyes at all, but two or three extra legs to compensate for the deficiency. There are long-haired, short-haired and bald cats, cats with soprano voices and cats with steam whistle attachment. There are cats hoary with age and experience, and giddy kittens playing at cats’ cradle.” And before that sensation goes they are to have a dog show. Next it will be a baby show. – News and Observer, March 11, 1881.
A CAT SHOW. On a week from to-morrow a prize cat show will be opened in the Brooklyn Museum, at 424 and 426 Fulton street. Mr. James Jukes, the manager of the museum, has made arrangements which he believes will secure for the Brooklyn public an opportunity to see some of the finest specimens of the feline species in this country. Competitive shows of this kind are exceedingly popular in England. There is a cat show every year at Kensington, to which Londoners by the thousand are attracted. Only those who have given some attention to the breeding and characteristics of “tabby” know how beautiful she is in her best estate. Persons who have animals which they would like to enter for competition should apply to Mr. Jukes during the coming week. Every care will be taken of them by the management. – The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 13, 1881
Mr G B Bunnell, who has a cat show at his museum, corner of Broadway and Ninth-street, offered, before the opening of the show, a prize for the best essay on cats. The result is that Mr Bunnell's office is now flooded with poetic, comic, serious, and historic effusions from all parts of the country. (The article goes on to discuss essays) - SPEAKING ABOUT CATS. - SOME FRAGMENTS FROM ESSAYS, ONE OF WHICH MAY GET A PRIZE, The New York Times, March 16, 1881
THE CAT SHOW IN NEW YORK is called a “Cat Congress.” When the projector christened it he must have been labouring under the delusion that when cats are yelling “Ma rrr-aaa-a,” in several languages, they are calling each other liars and traitors and falsifiers and things. The purrceedings in a Cat Congress are more harmonious. - The Norristown Herald, 18th March, 1881
THE COMING OF THE CATS. The neighborhood of the Post Office was made musical this morning by the coming of the cats from the New York cat show to Bunnell’s Annex, No, 335 Washington street. Among the New York prize cats are a magnificent Angora, several fine Maltese, two three legged cate and a comical assortment of twin kittens without eny tails, rejoicing in the names of “Kelly And Tweed,” “Tucker Brothers,” and so forth. We understand that the Brooklyn cat show is to remain open a week at the Annex, and that the New York cats are already quaking for their laurels In view of the fact that Brooklyn felines are expected to show up handsomer and larger in all the classes. Cats can be taken in to-day and prizes will be given on Saturday. – The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Mar 21, 1881
A CAT SHOW is now in progress in New York, and seems to have caught the passing whim of the multitude. One of the most favoured specimens is “George Washington,” a black-and-white cat with “a broad, intellectual forehead and frank open face.” It is alleged that his grandfather witnessed the surrender of Lord Cornwallis, but this point has not been established by adequate historical evidence. - The News and Herald, 24th March, 1881
THE NATIONAL CAT SHOW which has just opened in New York, has among the large feline family, a grey cat said to be forty-three years old. Another cat of high degree has been around the world twice and enjoys the distinction of having been shipwrecked. - Black Hills Weekly Pioneer, 26th March 1881
THE CAT SHOW. The cat is a demoralized beast at best, but the Brooklyn, N.Y., cat has been the means of demoralizing others. It appears that at the cat show now being held in that city of cats and churches free season tickets of admission are given to any person bringing one or more cats for exhibition. The result of this has been that the small boys of the town have made an organized raid on all its cats. The small boy does not live who would not jeopardize his soul for a free ticket, and the effect of this proclamation of the show people has been a remarkable influx of tabbies. The majority of them are stolen, and the old maids of Brooklyn refuse to be comforted. Theft is bad enough under any circumstances, but when it comes to trample on the most sacred instincts of the female heart it goes just a trifle too far, and should be curbed; even if there be no cat shows in consequence. – Harrisburg Daily Independent, March 30, 1881
THE CAT SHOW AT THE MUSEUM. in Wheeler's Building, is well attended, [. . .] The prizes were awarded yesterday; J. B. Rose taking the premium for the largest cat; Mrs. Knee the prise for the handsomest specimen, and Ben La Ross the prize for the second largest animal. The Hancock Legion received a premium for the best Maltese cat, known as General. - The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 1, 1881
THE PRIZE CAT ESSAY (New York, 1881)
The prizes in the New York cat show have been distributed, “Spot," the performing feline, drawing $250 and a gold medal. The prize for the cat essay ($10) was awarded to Walter C. Quevedo, Brooklyn, his effort being the best of five hundred and fifty-seven It was attached to a common wooden “Tip” cat such as little boys play with. It was as follows:
“This is a Cat." - The enclosed cat knocked at our office window a few years ago, and then came in without being introduced. Since then it has never eaten anything nor shown an inclination to become acquainted with the beck fence. It is perfectly docile, but is apt to jump when stroked upon the back. Besides this species there are two other kinds of cats —the cat of nine tails and the cat of nine lives. The cat proper and improper derives his name from the manner in which you address him at night, thus — “Scat!” The cat is a cuss that mews and purrs, be cuss purrhaps it a-mew-ses him. He is covered with fur, is filled with deceitfulness and abounds in cheek. I said that on purr-puss. He can place himself outside of a canary in full bloom, and then come and sit by your side and look up in your face with a smile that is “child-like and bland.” chuck full of penitence and canary. Can ary other animal do this? His fur is soft and glossy, but what this is fur I cannot say. It isn’t so soft, however, but what it will break bricks. The cat is a smaller bird than the mule. As a general thing the cat can draw more than any other animal except a mustard plaster. I have known him to draw two boot jacks, a scuttle of coal, two or three charges out of a gun, two or three swears out of a man, and other articles of bed-room furniture out of a third-story window. This can also be said of the average German band. In fact they are somewhat related, as the discoverer of the fiddle listening to the music of the cat, cut him open to see where the noise came from, and thus laid the foundation for fiddle strings. Cats and fiddles thus became viol-instigators of suicides. They are unfeeline. I would say something about the cat o' nine tails, but it is a painful subject; another reason is, I don’t know anything about them. See Mr. Bergh. Please send the $10 by any of my kind reportorial friends. You might also send a policeman with the reporter. Yours, categorically.
1882 CAT SHOW IN THE NEW BROADWAY (BUNNELL’S) MUSEUM
CAT SHOW AT BUNNELL'S MUSEUM. The wails of numerous cats in many different keys ran up and down the feline gamut at Bunnell's Museum last evening, where an interesting cat show is in progress. Almost every kind of cat is represented, from the savage brindled South American to the mild-eyed, domestic tortoise-shell. Some of them are deserving of special mention. There is Minnie, a mixed Mongolian and Angora. Her owner states that she once left an infant child alone in a room with Minnie for a few minutes. When she returned 10 dead rats lay upon the floor in evidence of the danger her baby had escaped by the cat's bravery. Another cat, Humpty Dumpty, has earned a life-saving medal. He is 13 years old, and was the property of G.L Fox, the famous clown. He saved his master's life by jumping on his bed and scratching him into wakefulness a few moments before the house in whieh he slept was burned to the ground. Charley, a domestic tiger cat, has the proud record of killing 16 rats in 6 minutes. A fine black cat is Treacherous Dick, who earned this uncomplimentary sobriquet by attacking an attendant — who endeavored to remove him from one cage to another — and biting his hand six times before he could draw it from the box. – The New York Times, February 7, 1882.
CATS OF HIGH AND LOW DEGREE. There are great attractions for women at Bunnell's Museum, where the annual cat-show is to be held. There are shelved in cages in the halls some 400 cats from all climes and countries, of different color, of different ages, and of different dispositions. The learned professor at the museum has since childhood taken a very deep interest in cats, and no one would doubt him were they to hear him describe the exhibits. Among those he describes is a cat called “One Lung.” “Jerry,” a Maltese cat, was picked up in the Sound, where it was found floating in a tomato-can. It was then a kitten. Then there is the identical cat that was in Guiteau’s cell when the assassin had the difficulty with his keeper. Its name is “Guiteau,” “Mary Anderson” is a pretty lady cat “which,” said the lecturer, “is a lineal descendant of the cat owned by Napoleon I. when on the Isle of St. Helena,” a pedigree to be proud of. There are a great many other very interesting cats that will receive prises when the show closes at the end of the three weeks. – News and Observer, February 12, 1882.
1884 NEW YORK CAT SHOW - FANCIERS CLUB SHOW
The second annual exhibition of the New-York Fanciers' Club will be given in the Madison-Square Garden, beginning on Jan. 23 and continuing for one week. The exhibition this year will include, besides poultry and pigeons, fishing and pet stock of all kinds, including cats and fur-bearing animals. The entries will close on Jan 12, at the office of the secretary, Charles H Harker, No 62, Cortlandt-street, except those for incubators .. The other judges appointed are .... Dr A Watts, of Boston, for cats. - POULTRY, PIGEONS, CATS, AND FISH. The New York Times, January 6, 1884
Mr. Hon Appell, of Sixth avenue, is the owner of two splendid and well-disciplined cats, which he will exhibit at the forthcoming cat show. A well known artist has been engaged to place on canvas his best workmanship in the form of the celebrated pair of Siberians. - The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Sun, January 20, 1884
The New York Fanciers’ Club, which inaugurated a very successful exhibition last year, will repeat it again shortly, and in connection therewith will be a cat show, the first ever held in this city, in which cats of every kind are exhibited. Among the animals will be handsome cats, curious and malformed cats, cats with blue and green eyes, large headed, lop-eared, bow-legged, long-tailed, short-tailed, squirrel-tailed, cross-eyed and performing cats, tiger cats, Angora cats, tortoise-shell cats, coon cats, etc. The prizes are not particularly enticing. Among them is a silver plated spoon for the cat coming the longest distance; a can of condensed milk for the thinnest, and an iron bootjack for the homeliest. – Goldsboro Messenger, January 21st, 1884
PERHAPS THE MOST POPULAR FEATURE OF THE SHOW is the display of cats. Numerically it is not a very great feature. The interest shown in it is sufficient, however, to have suggested to several the possibility of a cat show on a large scale. There are enough cats owned in and about the City to insure a successful exhibition if some one oould be found to undertake the work. Though the noise seemed at first to have a disquieting effect upon the cats, the strangeness of the situation has now worn off, and the animals seem to enjoy the inspection to which they are subjected. They repose peacefully on the mats or cushions provided for them, and seem to be perfectly happy. The largest exhibition is made by Miss Amelia Lucy, of this City, who shows three Persian, two Angoras, one Japanaese, and two domestic animals. One of these Persian cats, called Tom Gloster, is imported; it is 9 months old, and is valued at $1,000. He is certyainly a beautiful animals. Two white Siberian cats of perfect coats are shown by John Appell, of this City. They are longer than the ordinary domestic cats, and in their general build more nearly resemble in appearance a panther. Three cats exhibited are coal-black in color, and their coats resemble black velvet. They are all without a hair of another color, and the same perfection of color is noticeable in the case of two large Maltese cats. The Angoras, with their long fur like silk floss, are especial favorites with the ladies and children. To the gentleman, the cat occasioning the most comment is a large tiger cat known as Ben Butler. He is 13 years of age and wears about his neck a fancy standing collar of white leather, with a necktie of the same material in red. To these to attached a heavy bell of brass. Ben Butler got left in the award of prizes, as did his illustrious namesake in the last Massachussetts election. The white cat Fairy, the property of Miss G. Welch, of this City, is lodged in the most pretentious quarters, a very large, roomy Cage, such as are customarily used for aviaries. - The New York Times, Jan 25, 1884
FRANK L. SNYDER, this town, sent a beautiful Maltese cat, weighing twelve pounds, to New York on Monday, to be exhibited at the cat show in Madison Square garden. On Thursday Mr. Snyder was notified that his cat had been awarded the first prize. – Poughkeepsie Eagle News, January 28, 1884
CHILDREN AMONG THE PETS; WATCHING THE FERRETS, THE CATS, AND THE HENS. MANY PEOPLE AT THE FANCIERS' EXHIBITION (1884) - The New York Times, January 27, 1884
It was Children's Day yesterday at Madison-Square Garden, where the second annual exhibition of the New-York Fanciers' Club is in progress, and young America and his little sisters turned out by the thousands to see the poultry, rabbits, cats, fish, turtles the incubating machines, the display of taxidermy, and all the other attractions ... The exhibit of cats also attracted a large number of the spectators, and the felines were well worth inspection. There were savage Toms, black as the shades of night, who were uneasy in their cages, and seemed to be pining for a back fence or a wood-shed roof, and peaceful Tabbies who only wanted a hearth to purr and meditate upon. They were valued from $5 up to $75 by their owners. An affecting incident occurred about noon, in the cat neighbourhood, when a dudish youth, whose family cat was on exhibition in a railed box. Came to condole with the unfortunate beast. He took pussy from the cage and held her in his arms while he poured words of affection into her ear, and the cat refused to be returned to the box. She grabbed the youth around the neck with a tremendous collar-and-elbow grip, and put her hind claws clear through his coat, and fetched a wail that made everybody's hair rise. After she had scratched most of the skin from his neck and made his face look like a war map, he finally escaped by putting his head, cat and all, into the cage. A pair of white cats have been on exhibition in a cage labeled "Two White Angora Cats." Yesterday one of them was taken away, and a gentleman who saw the remaining beast sleeping in a corner of the cage spent some time in trying to discern if there were two cats curled up there, as the sign alleged. The display of taxidermy was also very fine, and a "cats' party" of stuffed kittens, in various poses about a dining-table, was much admired by the little ones.
1885 NEW YORK CAT SHOW - FANCIERS CLUB SHOW
The forthcoming week is the last in which entries can be made for the third annual exhibition of the New-York Fanciers' Club to begin Feb. 4 at Madison-Square Garden.... The first entry for cats was for an animal named Grover Cleveland, a fine Angora from Troy... Young girls in costume will attend to the wants of the cats and kittens. - FOWLS, CATS, AND DOGS, The New York Times, January 25, 1885
CATS AND DOGS TOGETHER.; THE PRIZES AWARDED THEM AT THE FANCIERS' CLUB EXHIBITION. - The New York Times, February 6, 1885
Adam and Eve yesterday looked as though they wouldn't in the least have minded being turned out of the Garden of Madison. Most of their feline neighbors also had an air of wakefulness and all-night-up-ishness, presumably arising from the fact that they had been rigorously withheld from their harmonious nocturnal back fence exercises and kept as visitors to the New-York Fanciers Club. A number of the cats, however, had resigned themselves to the inevitable and lay down in the cages, purring when stroked, sleeping when left alone ... The following prizes were awarded yesterday:
Eve, a female Manx, Frank Smith.
Arthur, a tiger kitten, Ward H Wilkinson.
Billy, tiger marked, Mrs John Daniels.
Sam, brown, black, and striped, W H Huff.
Ben, white, Katy Opper.
Pish, white, Arthur James.
Bill, black, Miss Julia Hopkins.
Jennie, tortoise shell, Miss M E Hobby.
A Maltese cat, Mrs Frederick W Wright.
Tiger, gray and black striped, Messrs Buckner and Evans.
Tom Gloster, Young Tom Gloster and Ping Sue, Persian cats, F B Lucy
Tomie Blue Beard, Angora, F B Lucy
Egypt, tortoise-shell, imported from Singapore, F B Lucy.
Thomas, white, Charles Nettleton.
A white cat and a blue cat, W J Stanton.
Tom, Manx, Bryan G McSwycy
Doc, steel gray Angora kitten, Ward H Wilkinson.
Jump, yellow and white, Miss Lena Schmidt.
Jim, gray, Patrick McCoy.
Dot and Tot, gray kittens, Miss Jennie Clark.
Dick, white, Susan Tucker.
Sir Marmalade, a blue Maltese age 16 years, John H Draper & Co
Tommie, G F Carr.
Col Tom Ochiltree, William Griffith.
A white cat, W J Stanton.
Adam, a male Manx cat, Frank Smith.
Grover, steel-gray Angora kitten, Ward H Wilkinson.
Gray and white, Maggie R Wright.
Pug, a curl-tailed Maltese and white cat, Fannie J Daniels.
A cat born with three legs, William Barclay.
Eole, an orange and white.
Terror, a gray.
George Washington, a three-legged cat, Buckner and Evans.
1886 NEW YORK CAT SHOW - FANCIERS CLUB SHOW
POULTRY, CATS, AND DOGS; THE COMING ANNUAL SHOW OF THE NEW-YORK FANCIERS' CLUB. - The New York Times, January 2, 1886
The fourth annual exhibition of poultry, pigeons, pets, and dogs will be held in Madison-square Garden, under the auspices of the New-York Fanciers' Club, beginning on Feb. 3 and closing on Feb. 10, and from the interest which has already been manifested in the show by owners of fancy birds and pets, it is expected to be the largest and finest yet held. The entries will close on Jan. 26 and the Garden will be open for the reception of specimens on Tuesday, Feb. 2. All specimens competing for prizes must be entered in the name of the owner. Judges will be selected for their known experience with the different varieties to be judged, and none will be allowed to exhibit in the classes which they are to judge. They will award all prizes, both special and regular, and their decision will be final except in cases of fraud or error in footing up the score cards. The prizes offered are money and premium certificates, and in addition to those given by the club special donation prizes are offered in all the classes. Premiums are offered this year for all breeds of dogs … Cats and cage birds will also form a prominent feature of the exhibition.
PRIZE WINNERS AT THE SHOW - The Sun (New York), 6th February, 1886
Many women and children reinforced the lines of visitors that inspected the long rows of exhibits in the great poultry show yesterday. [. . .] Mr. A. A. Healy’s Jet black prize cat Rocks Duke of Argyll breed, and Mr. John E. Diehl’s Maine coon cat Jerry raised their backs high in in the air when visitors halted to inspect Mr. I. H. Adams’s Maltese cat John Smith, that boasts of eight toes on each foot.
lack Cats – First, A.A. Healy, New York.
Coon Cats – First, J.E. Diehl, Beverly, N.J.
1891 NEW YORK CAT SHOW - FANCIERS CLUB SHOW
WELL BEHAVED CATS. – Boston Post June 13, 1891
The Cat Breeders’ Association to Make the Nights More Comfortable.
The stated object of the Cat Show now being held at 131 Tremont street, "to improve the race and condition of cats,” is a noble one. If the Boston Cat breeders’ Association can so aid “natural selection” that our streets at night will be rid of a dissipated mongrel horde which in their orgies disturb the sleep of citizens by their unearthly cries; and if, in times to come, Boston should be able to claim the distinction of having a race of purely moral cats which go home to supper and stay there, then the work of the association is not lost. Today the prizes are to be awarded to fortunate felines and, judging from the peaceful appearance of the cats in the show last evening, some of them on the eve of victory, the competitive instincts which make men shout one another hoarse on the floors of the stock exchange and fight one another in the markets of the great staples are not an evolution of the spirit animating these much abused animals. A new feature of the show is the dog Fannie, a silken-haired terrier, which, guided by the same spirit that animates Mrs. Boris of the Cat Home on Wren street, Boston Highlands, is devoting her life to the rescue of unfortunate cats. Fannie is reported to have found no less than fourteen homeless kittens in the streets, to have taken them home and brought them up. The management are to be congratulated on the sanitary arrangements and ventilation of the hall, which are perfect in spite of the recent hot weather.
1894 NEW YORK CAT SHOW
Dr Rush Shippen Huidekoper, the famous veterinarian, will present a Cat Show in the Madison Square Garden next December of January. He is making elaborate preparations for the event and expects it to attract all the fashionable people of the metropolis, especially the children. It will possess many odd features. Dr Huidekoper, since his removal from Philadelphia to this city, has achieved a wide popularity and an abundant success, which he has well deserved. – The Times (NY), October 21, 1894.
1895 NATIONAL CAT SHOW, NEW YORK
There was public cycnicism over the New York National Cat Show in 1895. “New York is trying to arrange a national cat show. She has never quite forgiven Chicago for having the world’s fair, and making a big success of it.” (various papers, April 14, 1895); “New York is happy over a cat show, which is interesting; but not quite so distinguished as a dog show; and it may be said that a society for the encouragement of raising and training blooded cats is really not so much needed. Cats raise themselves, in a measure, and unaided by others can attain high positions that dogs cannot reach.” (The Times Picayune Sun, May 12, 1895) and “In the coming cat show in Madison Square garden will be an elderly Thomas who weighs 32 pounds without his spectacles. If this is a sample of the improvement in the breed that cat fanciers are going into, the public will begin to be cautious as to the way it exposes itself in back yards. It will also have to increase the size and velocity of water pitchers, boot jacks and other implements in the anti-feline wars in our cities.” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle Sun, May 5, 1895).
TO HAVE A CAT SHOW. Felines with Well-Booted Genealogical Trees In Demand! NOVEL EXHIBIT PROPOSED. New Yorks’ Society People Must Have Diversion. Back-Fence Brawlers Barred — None but Toms and Tabbies of Bluest Blood Admitted. New York, March 6. Special Telegram. Cats are in demand. The loud-voiced fighters of the back fence are still friendless. The new movement is not an attempt to make those midnight prowlers respectable, nor are sleek tabbies or the pets of the old ladies wanted. The demand is for cats of the purest lineage, and the purpose to put them on exhibition. Society having taken kindly to horses and gone cheerfully to the dogs, it is now to be invited to patronize tom cats, kittens and tabbies. Cat shows are held annually at the Crystal Palace, London, and at other places in England. The Nw York show will follow closely the plan of the London exhibition. The prizes will be in cash, and every effort will be made to have the known breeds on exhibition. – The Inter Ocean, March 8, 1895
CATS TO HAVE A SHOW IN NEW YORK. Prizes of $1,000 to Be Offered for Choice Feline Specimens. New York is to have a cat show. It will be held in Madison Square Garden sometime in May. In London it has long been a fad to breed cats, and now there is a movement here to uplift the whole feline race. This will be the first annual exhibition of the national cat show. It will also be the first ever held in this city. Already the great interest manifested bids fair to out-rival the horse and dog shows. The project is being put forward by the men who are prominent in other shows. James T. Hyde is the Secretary. Among the men who have consented to act as an Advisory committee are: J Pierpont Morgan, F. K Sturgis. Cornelius Fellows, D. C. Mills, Stanford White, and Col. Lawrence Kip. A meeting of the committee will be held soon, when all the plans and details of the show will be determined upon. As the cat show in the Crystal Palace London, has just closed, an attempt will be made to bring the prize-winners to town. The New York cat show will offer $1,000 in prizes. There will be prizes for long-haired and short-haired tabby cats and cats of all hues — in all forty different classes. Among those who have signified their intention of acting as patronesses of the show are Mrs. Richard Irwin, Mrs. W. Seward Webb, Mrs. J. J. Astor, Mrs. Randolph, Mrs. Frederick Gebhard and other society leaders. Angora, Persian, Maltese and other rare sorts of cats will be shown, and trained feline quadrupeds will give performances in the ring. - Various, March 8 & 9, 1895 [some misprinted the prize money as $10,000]
NATIONAL CAT SHOW. We have dog shows galore, but now the noble cat is to have its turn. The grand national cat show will come off in Madison Square, May 7-10, 1895. Ten thousand dollars in prises will be given. We are not told what the points are to be, but suppose the prize is for the loudest and most slumber breaking voice. – Fort Wayne Journal, March 9, 1895
CAT SHOW FOR NEW YORK. The Four Hundred Will All Patronize a Feline Exhibition. New York, March 8.—New York is to have a cat show. It will be held in Madison Square Garden some time in May. In London it has long been a fad to breed cats, and now there is a movement here to uplift the whole feline race. This will be the first annual exhibition of the National Cat show. It will also be the first ever held in this city. Already the great interest manifested bids fair to out-rival the horse and dog shows. Many prominent society people have signified their intention of taking an active interest in the enterprise. – various March 9, 1895
NEW YORK CAT SHOW. Madison Square Garden has been the scene of almost every kind of show but the coming cat exhibition in May will be rather unusual. The national cat show is to be the event of the season, because pet cats are rare, and lovers of the race are quite determined to show off their animals with all the eclat possible. London's annual cat show attracts the most fashionable crowds, and the favorites are duly pictured in all the leading Journals by the very best artists. If exhibiting well bred felines would but inspire greater kindness and mercy on the part of human beings to the ignoble back-yard-gutter-cat this coming national show will not be in vain. – Poughkeepsie Eagle, March 16, 1895
NATIONAL CAT SHOW. First Exhibition in New York City to Be Held in May. New York. [. . .] Orders have been sent to outlying posts of the Hudson Bay Company in northern Canada to capture a wild cat, the only native American species of the grimalkin. Among the imported species promised are tortoise shell coated cats, which are natives of England: silky coated Angoras, ear tufted Egyptians, huge furry Persians and tailless cats from Isle of Man. [note: the American wildcats are the Lynx and Bobcat; the ear-tufted Egyptian is probably the Abyssinian]– various, March 1895
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SOME CATS OF SOCIETY. - Choice Mews Entered for the Big Show - Kits Worth Their Weight - A Black Beauty That Is Valued at $1000
Washington Times, March 26, 1895
NEW YORK, March 25.-For the first time in its history New York is to have a cat show. It won’t be a cheap back-yard fence affair, for some of the proudest leaders in the world of society have taken hold of the scheme, and with the aid of numberless champion blue-bloods of the feline world intend to make it a success. Like the dog show, the stated object of the exhibition is to improve the breed of cats, but of what aid or interest this will be to mankind at large the prospectus of the managers has nothing to say. Perhaps one of the reasons of the show is that for many years the nobility of Great Britain have been annually regaled by a cat exhibition in London. To keep within the strict boundaries of fashion New Yorkers, of course, must have a cat show. It has long been the proper caper for the men and women of fashion to talk learnedly on dogs and horses, so that they can appear in a favorable light at the respective shows of these kingly animals. But how are they going to present an up-to-date knowledge on the subject of cats? Cat literature is scarce. What the beautiful points of a cat are few know. What constitutes perfect conformation in the cat world not one swell in a hundred has the faintest idea. But when May comes around and the great doors of Madison Square Garden are thrown open for public inspection of the great cat show, swagger-dom will be well equipped with sufficient cat lore to discuss the subject learnedly.
The great names connected with the exhibition give it a dignity which it might have otherwise seriously lacked. Chief among the managers are J. Pierpont Morgan, the financial magnate who managed the recent bond issue of the Government, and the greatest doctor of sick railroads in the country today. Another is Darius O. Mills, who built up a fortune of $20,000,000 in the early mining days of California. John G. Hecksher, F. K. Sturgis, Adolph Ladenburg, W. F. Wharton, Stanford White, A. Newbold Morris, Frederic Bronson, Lawrence Kip, Cornelius Fellowes and J. G. K. Duer, the other managers, are all men of prominence in the world of finance, horsedom and society. But the strong backing of the kitties does not end here. There are a number of fine dames who have loaned the glamor of their names to the good cause, including such leaders of fashion as Mrs. John Jacob Astor, Mrs. Richard Irwin, Mrs. Seward Webb, Mrs. Fred Gebhard, Mrs. Lucius K. Wilmerding and a host of others correspondingly brilliant.
Heretofore there have always been special gowns for horse and dog show wear emblematic of the respective animals. What kind of attire will be the proper thing at the cat exhibition only time can tell. It's a safe venture to say, however, that the designers of the great modistes are already at work striving to produce some fanciful creation symbolical of cats. Just who will exhibit the cats is something of a question, but there are a number of fine cats owned by prominent New Yorkers which will undoubtedly be shown.
Mrs Bolton Hall has one of the best known cats in town. It is not of fancy lineage, but for all that it is quite a wonderful cat. It is jet black in color, and is as big as a Newfoundland dog and quite as intelligent. It enjoys the name of Siegfried, and wears a magnificent silver collar bearing the name and address of the West Sixteenth street home of its owner. The cat stands almost two feet in height and weighs seventy pounds. It roams about the house like a dog, and when the door bell rings it is on hand to welcome the visitor before the butler arrives. Mrs Hall says she wouldn’t sell the cat for $1000, and at this valuation Siegfried ought to take a blue ribbon notwithstanding the fog surrounding his ancestry. Siegfried is 12 vears old now, and occasionally is laid up with an ailment resembling gout.
Mrs. Fred Vanderbilt has an Angora cat which she prizes very highly. It is a regular millionaire feline, and is as much above the back-yard species as the Fifth avenue swell is above the tattered Bowery tramp. This cat has the pretty name of Felece. It has the run of the Fifth avenue house, and gambols about apartments filled with thousands of dollars worth of bric-a-brac. It has never been known to break anything, and deports itself like a real lady. Whenever Mrs. Vanderbilt and her husband go off for a cruise on their yacht, Conqueror, Felece is generally a member of the party, and is as familiar with the sights of the Mediterranean as she is of the passing show on the avenue. Mrs. Vanderbilt's pet receives as much attention as an ordinary baby. By one of the maids it is washed in scented water every morning, and its wool-like coat is carefully combed and brushed. When its mistress takes a drive in the park, Felece occupies a little cushion in the brougham or victoria, and enjoys being stared at with the same fascinating indifference as does a reigning belle. If the Vanderbilts are in town when the show opens, Felece will probably be entered, and if so, it is quite certain that one of the family servants will be specially detailed to guard her from harm.
Miss Anna Leary, the particular friend of Miss Hetty Green's millionaire daughter, has a fine Maltese cat which no amount of money could buy. It bears the fine, substantial name of Gibraltar, and is usually addressed as Gib. It is as dignified and as stolid as the rock itself, and pays no attention whatever to the flatteries daily bestowed by the visitors at Miss Leary’s house. If solemnity and fine conservatism are factors in prize winning, when the judges are passing around Gib will probably receive the biggest blue rib-bon within the gift of the show. Gib sleeps on down pillows in an upper floor room, and has a cut-glass bowl of cream served up to him every morning at 7 o'clock. Then he sleeps until 9, when he gets up and attends to the regular business of the day, that of looking seriously handsome. He is a big, over-fed cat, who would probably run a mile if a mouse happened to cross his path.
A cat which has attracted considerable attention in New York lately is one owned by Mrs. Basil Hall, who stops at the Murray Hill Hotel. This cat is called Chappie, and is an ordinary, every-day black-and-white affair. Mrs. Hall is a great transatlantic traveler, and Chappie has crossed the ocean and toured the continent half a dozen times in the last five years. Chappie has been an honored gueat at all the big hostelries of Europe, for, since it was raised to a state of affluence, it has forgotten its plebeian love of milk and drinks only cream now, a luxury which hotel keepers supply at fancy prices. Chappie was at one time a ragged, forlorn wait in the streets of London. It was rescued from poverty or a worse fate by Mrs Hall. If traveling cuts any figure, Chappie ought to get some kind of a prize.
Mrs. Adolph Ladenburg,the famous beauty, whose husband is one of the managers of the show, was presented on April 1 three years ago with a fine Persian kitten. It was at once christened Bismarck, in honor of the birthday of the famous statesman, bat its unseemly antics are hardly in keeping with the dignity of of its name. Many fine bits of tapestry have been chewed into uselessness by Bismarck, and he is continually losing himself in the wilds of East Thirty-first street, where the Ladcnburgs live. Still he is a matter of great pride to his mistress, who would rather show him off than a $1,500 Worth gown or a $40,000 painting. Bismarck has a magnificent line of ancestry, which can be clearly traced back hundreds of years to the households of the nobility of his native land. This will doubtless have great weight with the judges, who will be partial to felines of the thoroughbred type.
There is one famous society woman who can hardly, unless the laws of consistency are violated, take an interest in the cat show. She is Mrs. Van Rensselaer Cruger, known to the magazine reading public as Julien Gordon. Mrs. Cruger has always expressed an abhorrence of cats, and has frequenty said she would not tolerate a cat in her house for a small fortune.
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PRIZES FOR FINE CATS (The New York Times, March 31, 1895) Rules to Govern the First Annual Exhibition to be Held Soon.
Secretary James W. Hyde has issued the prize list, rules, and regulations for the National Cat Show, which is to be held in Madison Square Garden on May 8, 9, 10 and 11. This is the first exhibition, and it is to be an annual affair. The promoters of the exhibition say: The object of holding the show is to promote the improvement of the breed of all kinds of cats, and by offering handsome prizes to stimulate and encourage the breeders and owners to make exhibits. The classes have been so arragned that every variety in color and species can be exhibited.
A charge of $1 will be made on every cat or pair of kittens entered in the several classes. The form of entry, properly filled out, together with entrance fees, must be sent to the Secretary, National Cat Show, on or before April 24, 1895, after which date no entry will be received. Each cat shown must be the bona fide property of the exhibitor, and each cat or pair of kittens can be shown in one class only, except for special prizes. The exhibition will open at 9 A.M. Wednesday, May 8, and close at 10 P.M. on Saturday, May 11. The cats will be received at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, May 7, and all must be delivered before 9 A.M. Wednesday, May 8. The judging will commence on Wednesday, May 8, and continue until all classes have been judged. Prizes are offered in 42 regular classes, and in each class there are first, second, and third prizes, which are $5, $3, and $2 respectively. The classes are for short-haired cats, tortoiseshell or tortoiseshell and white, brown or dark gray tabby, silver of blue tavvy, red tabby or red tabby and white, black or wite, blue or silver solid color without white, and any other variety not named above; long-haired cats, pure white, black, blue or silver, brown, dark gray or red tabby, with or without white, and blue or silver tabby. Several of the prizes are for kittens of all varieties.
The special prizes are as follows: Offered by Town Topics, $25 in gold for the best short-haired tiger-marked cat; offered by Mrs. Richard F. Carman, a silver collar for the best longhaired cat in the show: offered by the Hotel Grenoble, a silver bowl for the largest and heaviest cat in the show; offered by Mr. James T. Hyde, a silver fruit spoon for the best short-haired cat in the show; offered by a friend of the cat show, a silver bon-bon dish for the best pair of kittens in the show; offered by Spratt's Patent. (America) Limited, $10 in gold for the homeliest cat in the show; offered by Mr. Charles R. Pratt, a silver bowl for cat and best litter of kittens; offered by the Cat Show, $10 in gold, and silver medal, for the best cat in the exhibition; $10 in gold for the best ocelot; $10 in gold for the best wild cat; $10 in gold for the best civet cat; $15 in gold for the best lynx.
The patronesses of the show are Mrs. Richard Irvin, Mr. Randolph, Mrs. John J. Astor, Mrs. L.K. Wilmerding, Mrs. Fred Gebhard, Mrs. John Lowery, Miss Bird, Mrs. William Seward Webb, Mrs. Prescott Lawrence, Mrs. Stevens, Mrs. F.K Sturgis. The Advisory Committee is Mr. Cornelius Fellowes, Mr. Lawrence Kip, Mr. A. Newbold Morris, Mr. J.G.K. Duer, Mr. Frederic Bronson, Mr. Adolf Landenburg, Mr. D. O. Mills, Mr. Thomas Hitchcock, Jr.; Mr. George Peabody Wetmore, Mr. W.F. Wharton, Mr. John G. Heckscher, Mr. Stanford White, Mr. H. H. Hullister, Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan, Mr. F. O. De Luze, Mr. Charles Lanier, Frank W. Sanger, Manager; James T. Hyde, Secretary.
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NEW YORK’S CAT SHOW. The Feline Stars Will be the Manx, Angora and Persian Tabbies (various, April 1895).
The dog show, the horse show, the poultry show and the baby show have all had their day, and the cat show is on the eve of taking the country by storm. The cat show has been the proper thing in England for a quarter of a century, and the only wonder is that America has not caught the feline exhibition fever before. James W. Hyde of New York has organized the American Cat club, and the first annual show will be held in Madison Square Garden May 8, 9, 10 and 11. Over $1,000 in prizes will be distributed by the New York Cat club, and many special prizes will be offered by individuals who are as interested in the cat of today as the Egyptians were in the cat of centuries ago.
There will be a few superior specimens of the ordinary Tommy and Tabby exhibited in New York, but the stars of the show will be strange cats from all over the world. The Manx cat, the tailless feline from the isle of Man, will be very much In evidence, and the Maltese or Chartreuse cat of bluish gray color, the Persian cat with long white or gray hair, the Angora cat with long and silky brownish-white coat and the Spanish or tortoise-shell cat will have scores of fair admirers. The Manx cat which lives on Hall Caine’s island has long been an object of curiosity owing to the fact that it has no tall and is believed to be a descendant of Japanese tailless cate taken to the island many years ago by sailors.
In England the interest in the cat has increased to such an extent that two rival annual shows are held. One of the most admired felines on the other side is the famous blue Persian cat Trixie, winner of eight special prizes at the Crystal Palace in 1893, including a gold medal for the best cat in the show. When the Crystal Palace shows were inaugurated about 26 years ago, there were only 200 or 300 entries, but now the number of cats exhibited annually is about 600. During the show many of the aristocratic cats sleep on brilliant colored silken cushions and some owners even drape the cages of their pets with rare old lace. The National Cat Club of England has established a studbook, and the pedigrees of the best bred cats are kept as carefully as the pedigrees of race horses and blooded cattle. Some of the cats exhibited are of enormous size, and Xenophon, the finest representative of the Tabby family exhibited at the recent Westminster Aquarium show in London, weighed 20 pounds. There is an unconfirmed rumor in New York that Dr. Parkhurst’s entry at the show will be a stuffed tiger cat.
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TABBY ON EXHIBITION. The Leader has received a copy of the prize list and regulations of the National Cat Show, first annual exhibition to be held at the Madison Square Garden May 8— ll. Entries close April 24. The list of patronesses includes a lot of prominent names — Mrs. J. J. Astor, Mrs. Fred Gebhard, Mrs. W. Seward Webb, etc. The object in holding the show is to promote the improvement of the breed of all kinds of cats, by offering handsome prizes. In England every town of importance holds its annual cat show. In America it is expected that in a short time an exhibition of cats will be as popular as the horse and dog show. There are a large number of magnificent cats in New York and other cities, which their owners have promised to exhibit; and to those accustomed to see only the poor, forlorn, back-yard, meowing Tom, these cats will be a revelation. If the breeding of cats were properly studied, and they were taken as much care of as the dog, they would be found just as interesting and capable of as much affection. The classes have been so arranged that every variety in color and species can be exhibited. – Wilkes Barre Leader, April 3, 1895
PREPARATIONS FOR THE CAT SHOW. Great interest is evinced in the coming cat show at Madison Square Garden, and entries are being received from all parts of the Union and even from England. Some wonderful cats have been entered, their owners declaring that they, the cats, can talk. Some difficulty has been experienced in obtaining for this, the initial show, the names and addresses of the owners of good cats, but this drawback has been greatly overcome. Brooklyn will be well-represented. Entries close on Wednesday, April 24. – Brooklyn Daily Eagle Sun, April 21, 1895
CAT SHOW ENTRIES CLOSE THIS WEEK. The entries for the Cat Show will close next Wednesday with Secretary J, T. Hyde. Mr. Hyde says: “Great Interest is evinced in the coming exhibition, and entries are being received from all parta of the country and even from England." Several more special prises have been offered. They are as follows: $50 offered offered by Charles R. Pratt for the largest and best exhibit of cats made by any one exhibitor; a piece of [silver] plate offered by Charles R. Pratt for the best cat, the bona-fide property of hotel proprietors; a “King Royal” Angora kitten, valued at $50 offered by Robert K James & Co. for the best exhibit of Angora cats, bred by the Walnut Ridge Farms; a “King Royal” Angora kitten, valued at $50 offered by Robert K James & Co. for the best male Angora kitten, bred by the Walnut Ridge Farms; a "Pearl King”* Angora kitten, valued at $50 offered by Robert K James & Co. for the best male Angora kitten, bred by the Walnut Ridge Farms; a silver bowl, offered by the Hotel Metropole for the best Maltese cat — a silver medal is also given by the Cat Show. The New York Times, April 22, 1895
ENTRIES FOR NATIONAL CAT SHOW. Many Varieties to Be Exhibited In Madison Square Garden in May. New York, April 24. — [Special.] — Secretary James F. Hyde has received more than 200 entries for the first annual exhibition of the National Cat Show, to be held at Madison Square Garden May 8. 9, 10, and 11. Among the entries already are those of Mrs. E. K. Bolton and Mrs. Fabrins Clark, who will exhibit Angoras, silver tabbies, and dark blue chinchillas, all imported stock. J. Pierpont Morgan, Dr. R. Hiudekoper, Mrs. H. Westenberger, Mrs. Edmund C. Stedman, Charles Knapp, and Miss Ida Knapp will exhibit Angoras. William E. Conklin will show a wild cat, a civet cat and ocelot. George E. Moors, Miss Nina Morton, Miss E. G. Ewens, Mrs. E. S. Beache, Dr. Henry L. Hammond, and Mrs. H. M. Clarke have also sent in entries. For the short-haired tiger-mark class a cat has been entered by the Actors’ Fund Society. “Rock and Rye” is the name of a long-haired black thoroughbred from the Everett House. - Chicago Daily Tribune, April 25, 1895
Entries for the National Cat show, at Madison Square Garden, were to have closed yesterday, but the time has been extended until Saturday. Over 200 cats were nominated in the 54 classes on the catalogue, representing all the domestic breeds and such odd specimens as an ocelot, a civet and a wild cat. – various, April 26, 1895
The first annual cat show for New York is announced to open in Madison Square Garden on May 8th. Ever since the project was first suggested great interest has been shown in it by lovers of cats all over the country, and it is believed that the sow will be one of the most interesting affairs that has ever been held in the garden referred to. Forty-two classes have been arranged and prizes of $5, $3 and $2 will be given in each class. There are classes for short and long-haired cats and also for males and female, divided by colors. Special prizes will also be given for the heaviest cat, the homeliest cat, ocelots, wild cats, civet cats, and lynxes. – Vancouver Daily World, May 1, 1895
Large Number of Entries for the Exhibition in New York. NY, April 30, 1895. Next comes the cat show. It promises to be a success. Secretary James F Hyde has received more than 200 entries for the exhibition. Several cats already entered for prizes are valued at $150 and $200 each. The highest priced cats to be on sale are a white and black named Alvo, owned by Miss Maud Brooks, and a white Persian, “Tom,” owned by Master Ewin J Peutit. They can be bought for nothing less than $500 apiece. There are two kittens priced at $50 each, and a black Persian, Ace of Spades, which will take $100 to buy. The class which has filled best is that for short-haired cats, in certain colors, there being twenty-four entries. For the prize to be awarded to the homeliest at in the show there are only two entries. There are three “Trilbys” in the show. Among the exhibitors will be Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Miss Nina Morton, Mrs Colquhoun, Miss Hazel McClarke, Mrs L De G Hurd, Mrs HK Woodruff, Miss Edith Newbold and Dr H H Hammond, whose speciality is fawn and steel Australian cats. – various, May 2, 1895
CAT SHOW OPENS TODAY IN GOTHAM. Public Not Inclined to Take the Exhibition Seriously. Tomorrow morning the first annual cat show will begin at the Madison Square Garden, to continue until Saturday. The cats will be domiciled in the large restaurant off the main hall and in the concert rom above. The classes comprise forty-two regular and nineteen extra. The judging will begin tomorrow morning and will be completed Thursday. The list of entries is not large, the public in the instance not being inclined to treat the exhibit seriously. The freak of the show is a blue cat with twenty-two toes. – Chicago Daily Tribune, May 7, 1895.
FINE BRED CATS ON EXHIBITION. As the Cat Show at the Madison Square Garden opens to-morrow morning and will continue until Saturday from 9 o’clock in the morning until 10 o’clock at night, the exhibitors who have put in their valuable felines and the visitors who are to see them will find the pets in the restaurant, on the first floor, and in the concert room above. It is a change from the music of the violin and piano of the fashionable concert to the peculiar melody of Puss and Tom. The arrangements for the display of the cats will be upon the same principle as that of the Dog Show. Each animal will be conspicuously numbered and the classes properly designated. The judging will begin on Wednesday morning and continue on Thursday. It is predicted that the show will be a success, and Secretary Hyde, who has transferred himself to the Garden, will be busy to-day with the preliminary arrangements, the reception of the exhibits, and the numerous details essential to a complete exhibition. – New York Times, May 7, 1895
CAT SHOW OPENS. Nearly 300 Felines on Exhibition at Madison Square Garden. NY, May 8. (selectively quoted by various papers) New York’s big cat show was opened at 9 o’clock this morning in the concert hall of the Madison Square Garden. It will continue until Saturday night. There are nearly 300 cats on exhibition, comprising according to the catalogue, 61 different kinds of feline. The cats have been arranged by breeds and sex into not less than sixty-one classes, and there are money prizes amounting to $1,000 and a lot of special prizes such as collars, fruit spoons and punch bowls hanging on the decisions made by the three judges. The judges are F Farrar Bickham, Miss E V Hurlburt and Rush S Huidekoper.
CATS ARE CAGED FOR EXPOSITION. Great Feline Concert to Begin Today in Madison Square Garden. Somewhere in this wide. Wide world mice are going to have a good thing of it the next few days. At Madison Square garden Concert Hall tomorrow morning opens the great national cat show, and if pussy is to be caged it follows that cupboards are unprotected. Mr and Mrs Mouse and their numerous progeny will feast on good things, while tabby will dole the night away in its 12 x 18 inch box and yowl unpleasant things about cat exhibitors. Years of warfare upon cats with bottles, bootjacks and other missiles has engendered a hereditary dread of mankind, and in the language of the sport, it will be hard to get “next” pussy at the show. The cats on preliminary exhibition today huddled back in their miniature cages with staring eyes in terror. Now and then would be a wild frantic effort to escape. – Chicago Daily Tribune, May 8, 1895.
NEW YORK TO HAVE A CAT SHOW. It Will Be Given In The Madison Square Garden And Under Fashionable Patronage. The National Cat Show will hold its first annual exhibition in the Madison Square Garden the first week in May. This will be the first show of the kind ever held in this city, and from the great interest already manifested it bids fair to be nearly as popular as the dog show. In England every large city holds its annual cat show, and that held at the Crystal Palace, near London, is a most important affair, hundreds of cats being exhibited, the value placed upon some of them being as high as $500. The New York Show will offer nearly $1,000 in prizes, distributed among forty different classes. There will be prizes for long-haired and short-haired cats, tabby cats, and cats and kittens of every hue. Many special prizes have also been offered by friends of the feline race. There are hundreds of women in New York and its vicinity owning splendid specimens of the Angora, Persian and Maltese breeds that they value highly, and which they have promised to exhibit. An exhibition of trained cats will also be among the attractions. Among the patrons of the show are Mrs. Richard Irvin, Mrs W. Seward Webb, Mrs. J. J. Astor, Mrs. Randolph, Mrs. Lucius K. Wilmerding, Mrs. Frederick Gebhard, Mrs. John A. Lowry, Mrs. P. K. Sturgis, Mrs. Stanford White and Miss Bird. The men acting as an Advisory Committee are J. Pierpont Morgan, F K. Sturgis, Cornelius Fellowes, John G Heckscher, J. G. K. Duer, Adolf Ladenburg, D. O. Mills, W. F. Wharton, H. H. Hollister, Stanford White, A. Newbold Morris, Frederic Bronson and Colonel Lawrence Kip. James T. Hyde will be secretary. With such patronage and support the cat show is likely to be a success and to become one of the notable exhibitions of the season. – New York Tribune, May 8, 1895
$1,000 CAT ON EXHIBITION. The first annual Cat Show, which opened yesterday at Madison Square Garden, had 200 entries. Numbers of women and a few men attended the opening day and night. Among the exhibits are a short-haired Dublin brindled cat belonging to BG Hughes, valued at $1,000, and a pet named Alvo, owned by Miss Maud Brooks, appraised by her at $500. The distribution of prizes began yesterday afternoon. – various, May 9, 1895.
NEW YORK’S CAT SHOW OPENS. Some Fine Specimens of the Species on Exhibition. NY, May 8 – Special Telegram – The first national cat show opened today in Madison Square garden. The exhibition is large, considering the fact that this is the first attempt. There are about 200 entries, and most of them are fine specimens, which will please even the man who studies cats merely with a view to cutting their nine threads of life short as quickly as possible. Beautiful Angoras and Persians, glossy, sharp-snouted Australians, tortoise-shell and Maltese , and the ordinary cat of commerce vie with each other for admiration. A curious and really handsome exhibit is that of the Hammonds. They showed Australian cats, a remarkable breed, utterly unlike the American. They have dainty, narrow heats, with snouts that are almost pointed compared with the common cat, and their fur is wonderfully smooth and glossy. The hair is so short that they look as if they had been clipped. The real aristocrat of the whole show, however, was Grover B., owned by Mr and Mrs W P Buchanan, and valued by them at $1,000. He is a huge white cat, exceedingly dignified and unspeakably lazy. – various, May 9, 1895.
NATIONAL CAT SHOW. NY May 9, 1895. The first national cat show opened in Madison Square Garden Wednesday and the big crowds assembling give positive evidence that there has been a rapid growth of what might be termed “cat cult” within the past few years. Hair, it seems. Is the dividing line in catdom, and the 250 cats sent to the show, are classified as short-haired and long-haired. In the former class are found English, Australian and Manx cats, while in the latter are Persian, French, Angora and Russian. – various, May 9, 1895
TABBIES OF HIGH DEGREE. Opening Day of New York’s Unique Cat Show. New York, May 8, 1895. If the attendance at the cat show in the Madison Square garden to-day was any evidence of the success of the exhibition, the National Cat Show Association is likely to have a profitable venture. It is the first show of the kind in the country. The cats have been places in wire cages in the place formerly occupied by the restaurant and in the music hall on the second floor, the short-haired cats in the former room and the long-haired variety in the latter. The short-haired cats are numerous, and while they are by no means as fine animals as the other variety, they include good animals. Charles Thornweld’s Tabby, a buff cat with two kittens. It is a rare color for a female. Maier Wetzstein’s Kitty, a white cat with four kittens, is very comfortably disposed upon green satin. Dr and Mrs H L Hammond have on exhibition three Australian cats, very sleek looking animals with short fur and small heads, looking like terriers with the great bright eyes. – various, May 9, 1895
CATS OF HIGH DEGREE AT THE SHOW - Chicago Daily Tribune, May 9, 1895
Many of the Most Pretentious Look Like Ordinary Back-Yard Animals. New York, May 8. — [Special.] — The prettiest cat in New York sat in a cage at Madison Square Garden today. It would not be safe to say which cage, for there are 300 entries for the first National Cat Show, and each animal in the estimation of some woman, is the prettiest cat in New York. Women went into wild ecstasies over the exhibit. There are some cats that have had more money spent on decorating them than they appear to be worth. B. G. Hughes has a short-haired Dublin brindle for which he wants $1,000. It looks much like the ordinary back-yard, high- fence cat that gets itself shot at moonlight nights. There are scores of others marked on the catalogue “not for sale.” whose owners would rather part with their children than with them. Miss Maud Brooks has a short-haired cat named Alvo, born with three legs, for which she asks $500. Dr. H. L. Hammond shows the Australian cat Columbia, with two kittens, Yale and Harvard, cage and cats glorious with the colors of the colleges. The Australian cats are short-haired and have the expression of a kangaroo.
Miss Rose Beckett’s short-haired gelded cat Grover Cleveland wears a necklace of large pearls and sits on a snow-white pillow, gazing superciliously at the crowds of those who paid half dollars to see it. On the opposite side of the room the black cats, Razzle and Dazzle, owned by Hanfel Bros., live in a big cage adorned with fresh roses and flowering plants. None of these cats could catch a mouse if it tried, showing that which is ornamental is not always equally useful.
There are heavy and ungainly cats on view. V. Stephen Papple’s cat weighs twenty-five pounds, and Mrs. John House’s Snowball, aged 8 and a half years, weighs twenty-two pounds. They look much overfed and of slow thoughts Mrs. W. P. Buchanan of Philadelphia shows a 7-year-old maltese, Grover B in a white cage with gilt bars. The cage is decorated with pink silk ribbons, and the cat wears a gold medal around its neck. A colored boy waits upon it, and its owner spends most of her time at the cage feeding it on spring chicken livers and English plum pudding.
Mrs. L. M.L Pouchey shows a cage draped with pink silk and the 8-months-old Mittens, which has for companions two cages of canaries and a small parrot. Mittens could easily help itself to the canaries, but has been taught differently. There are likewise wildcats and civets marked "dangerous” at the show, and a Hungarian band. Many fashionable persons attended the show today. The prizes amount to about $1,000. After the sun goes down the orphan cats begin to cry for their mothers and the adult cats begin to sing.
CAT SHOW PRIZES. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 10, 1895.
Those Awarded at Madison Square Garden Yesterday Afternoon.
There was a larger attendance at the cat show yesterday than on Wednesday. The awards were finished by nightfall, and the
tickets denoting prize winners posted on their cages. A number of sales have already been made and many more are in prospect. Yesterday’s awards:
Long haired he cats, pure white, color to be entirely white. Mr. D. W. Steven's Ajax.
Blue or silver, solid colors, no white. Mrs. F. H. Treacy's Possum,
Brown, dark gray or red tabby, with or without white, Mr. Charles Knapp's Caesar.
Blue or silver tabby, with or without white. Mrs, Fabius M. Clark's imported Silvio.
Any other variety, color to be any hue, not specified in the foregoing classes — Mr. Otto A. Giesser's Thomas.
Long haired she cats, pure white — Mr. N.N. Bickford's Mizzie.
Pure black — Mrs. H. Kip Woodruff’s Topsy Dinah.
Brown, dark gray or red tabby, with or without white — Mrs. E. N. Barker’s Minnie.
Blue or silver tabby, with or without white — Mrs. E. N. Barker's Topaz.
Any ether variety, color not specified in the foregoing — Mr. George E. Moore's Pluss.
Two kittens, either sex, under 3 months, solid color, white, black or blue — Miss Maud Le Vinson's Angelica and Diavolo.
Tabby, any color, no white — Miss Bose Beckett's Grover Cleveland.
Pure white, long haired, gelded cats — First, Master Edwin J. Pettet's Tommy.
Black or black and white — Mr. John H, Jacob’s Pete.
Tabby, any color, no white — First, Mrs. Frederick Brown's Cassy.
Long haired cat, any color but that specified in classes 39, 40 and 41 — Mr. John M. Turner's Paderewski
CAT SHOW IS ATTRACTING CROWDS. Proves to be an Interesting Diversion to the People in New York. New York, May 10. — (Special.) — A snowy, long-haired Persian beauty at the Madison Square Garden show today demonstrated that breeding: has not reduced the number of the lives of a cat. This particular cat is an aristocrat, and it threw away one of its lives in a most reckless manner. It occupied a cage in the first row of the long-haired cats in the concert room. It is young and has a wretched temper. First it bit its mistress, who promptly dropped it. It scurried around the hall in most amazing contrast to the dull sleepiness of the other cats. It ran out on a balustrade. The attendants followed, but it left them far behind. It is a valuable cat, catalogued at $100. Therefore the attendants were particularly anxious to catch it. The confines of the garden were too narrow for this Persian. It jumped twenty-five feet to the asphalt pavement. Even those familiar with cats expected it would be killed. But it wasn't even stunned. A colored youth picked it up and started to run. An attendant caught the colored boy and the cat was rescued. Then it was taken home. Of the two cats which escaped Thursday one returned this morning. It Is a gray tabby, and it fame back like the cat in the song. But the tortoise-shell cat is still at large in the Madison Square Garden. It seems to be infatuated with the vagrant career upon which it has entered. There was a large attendance at the show today. It has attracted many more persons than any one imagined it would. A cat club is to be organized to encourage the breeding of cats of high degree and to register them. The Judging was finished today, and all the prizes have been awarded. One of the prize cats was taken from the pound two days before the show opened. It hasn't any pedigree, but it was the best of its class.- Chicago Daily Tribune, May 11, 1895
OLD LADIES AT THE CAT SHOW . ANGORA CAT ESCAPES. Caught as It Was Leaving the Big Show of Felines. NY. May 10 (selectively quoted in various papers) The Cat Show seems not only to have taken the city, but the country at large. Despatches and letters have been received by Secretary Hyde from Boston, Minneapolis and Providence, asking his assistance and advice on the organization of cat shows, which, it is said, will be held in the near future. Steps are already being taken towards the formation of an association which will probably be called the National Cat Club. It will be along the same lines as the dog clubs, and cats will be registered as dogs are now. The features of the show at Madison Square garden to-day was the presence of old ladies, many of whom had with them their grandchildren. The only excitement of the day was furnished by an Angora cat, whose cage was on the second floor. It escaped about 10 o’clock and, scared by the crowds, went scurrying around the building. In some way it reached the roof, and after that began a downward march. It was caught as it was about to leave the building. Its owner refused to allow it to remain in the show and took it home. The special awards will be announced this evening. - various, May 10, 1895
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN GIVEN OVER TO TABBY. NY, May 8. Between 200 and 300 pussies are making the day hideous at Madison Square garden, where the National Cat Show was inaugurated this afternoon. This is the first national cat show to be held in this country, although Milwaukee took something of a lead with a first local show a few weeks since. A large proportion of the exhibits are contributed by members of the “400.” Some of them are valued as high as $1,000, although it is doubtful whether they would bring as many cents at a forced auction, yet Ella Wheeler Wilcox insists that she gave $400 in cash for the “tabby” that she has put on exhibition. There are several rare Manx, some fine Persians and Angoras, and any number of “Trilbys.” Society turned out in force at the opening today. – various, May 1895
CATS OF ALL DEGREES. The Great Show of Feline Beauties Begins Today. The First National Cat Show opened in the Concert Hall, Madison Square Garden, thin morning, and will be the novel attraction until Saturday night, when the exhibition will close at 9 o'clock. There are about 300 exhibits. The patronesses Include Mrs. John Jacob Astor, Mrs. Frederick Gebhard, Miss Bird, Mrs. Prescott Lawrence, Mrs. John Lowry, Mrs. Randolph, Mrs. C. Albert Stevens, Mrs. F. B. Sturges, Mrs. Seward Webb, Mrs. Stanford White and Mrs. S. B. Wilmerding. Frederick Bronson, John G. Heckscher, D. Ogden Mills, Thomas Hitchcock, Jr.; J. Plerpont Morgan, Newbold Morris, George Peabody Wetmore and Herman Oelrichs compose an Advisory Committee to the Cat Show, and it is fashionable. There will be $1,000 worth of prises for the prettiest, the ugliest, the best long-haired, the best short-haired cat and other cats. The mother cat with the best litter of kittens will win a silver bowl. F. Farrar Rickham is the Judge, assisted by Miss E. U. Hurlburt and Rush S Huidekoper. There is one $1,000 cat in the show, and a 30-pounder shown by Mrs. Buchanan, of Philadelphia. There used to be an annual cat show in the Crystal Palace, Bryant Park, that burned down in 1855 [a little inaccurate as the annual Crystal palace, Sydenham, cat shows began in 1871].– The Evening World, May 8, 1895
CATS OF MANY KINDS. THE NATIONAL SHOW OPENS IN NEW YORK. – San Francisco Chronicle, May 9, 1895
Costly Tabbies in Great Variety Viewed by the Fashionable Throng. The prettiest cat in New York sat in a cage at Madison-square Gardens to-day, but it would not be safe to say which cage, for there were 200 entries for the first National Cat Show, and each animal in the estimation of some woman is the prettiest cat in New York. Women went into wild ecstacies over the exhibition, and they will be able to repeat that performance every day this week. The managers offer nearly $1000 in prizes, distributed among forty different classes. Many handsome special prizes will also be given. An exhibition of trained cats is among the attractions. Among the lady patrons are Mrs. Richard Irvin, Mrs. W. Seward Webb, Mrs. J. J. Astor, Mrs. Fred Gebbard and Mrs. Stanford White, Pierpont Morgan, John G. Hecksher. D. O. Mills and Stanford White. The increasing success of the cat show at the Crystal Palace, London, encouraged the idea of making the New York exhibition permanent.
The candidates thus far have been largely “Not for sale," while some that are unpurchasable have the accompanying value expressed in many figures. There are some very aristocratic cats at the show. B. G. Hughes has a short- haired Dublin brindle male cat, for which he wants $1000. Miss Maude Brooks has a short-haired cat named Alvo, born with three legs, for which she asks $500. Dr. H. L. Hammond shows from Australia the she cat Columbia, with her two kittens. Yale and Harvard, the cage and cats glorious with the colors of the colleges. Australian cats are short haired, and have the expression of the kangaroo. Miss Rose Beckett's short-haired gelded cat, Grover Cleveland, wears a necklace of large pearls, and sits on a white silk pillow gazing superciliously at the crowds of those who paid half dollars to see him. On the opposite side of the room the black cats Razzle and Dazzle, owned by Hantt Brothers, live in big cages adorned with fresh roses and flowering plants. None of these cats could catch a mouse if it tried. In the white-and-gold concert hall is a large assortment of long-haired cats, Persons and Angoras, some with charming little kittens. One belongs to Mrs. Ella Wheeler Wilcox, who gave $400 for it. It is a white Persian.
One man has sent a cat which he asserts weighs forty-five pounds. The exhibition also contains many of the odd specimens of the feline race, among them many Manx cat the tailless animal from the Isle of Man; the Lynx, Japanese cats, wildcats and ocelots and the domestic animals of the Mexican household. Jersey has a cat hailing from Barnegat bay, said to have come ashore from a sinking vessel, and to be minus the caudal appendage and to have extra claws. Many fashionable persons attended the show to-day.
PURSES FOR PURRERS (The Springfield Democrat, May 4, 1895)
The First American Cat Show to be Held. London’s Success to be Duplicated in New York. Special Prizes to Bring Out Unique Specimens – Some of the Probable Winners. The national cat show will begin its first annual exhibition in the Madison Square garden May 8. This will be the first of the kind ever held in America. The managers offer nearly $1,000 in prizes, distributed among forty different classes. Many handsome special prizes have also been offered. An exhibition of trained cats will also be among the attractions [list of patrons].
It is the increasing success of the cat show at the Crystal Palace in London, which encourages the idea of making this phase of New York exhibitions a permanent feature. The candidates for admission thus far have been largely denominated “not for sale,” while some that are also unpurchasable have the accompanying value expressed in many figures. Several have been entered whose value is stated at $1,000 and $500 after the name is not uncommon. One which has been recently entered is that of Mrs. Ella Wheeler Wilcox, who gave $400 for it some years ago. It is a white Persian. These, and the Angoras, form a considerable proportion of the cats for which admission has been asked. One man has arranged to send a cat which, he asserts, weighs forty-five pounds. The exhibition will contain many odd specimens of the feline race, among them Manx cats, the tailless animal from the Isle of Man; the civet cat, the lynx, Japanese cats, wildcats and ocelots, the domestic animals of the Mexican household.
A well-known judge is Rush Shippen Huidekoper, M.D., of No. 154 East Fifty-sixth street, who is the author of the only American book on cats, and is skilled in pussy’s ailments as well as in those of other animals. Jersey, has a cat hailing from Barnegat bay, said to have come ashore from a sinking vessel and to be minus the caudal appendage and to have extra claws. [Prize list] Mrs. Basil Hall will have her Persian, Chappie, on exhibition; Mr Moore, of the Bank of New Amsterdam, has a long-haired white one of this variety that is said to have a good chance for the first prize. Miss Minerva Dorr is fond of the Angora branch of the feline family, and had one called Puft Dorr, and another known as Niggie Norcross, both of which will be exhibited. Miss Harriet Clarke, of No. 154 west Eighty-second street, will also compete with her Persians, which are from the best known winners of the English shows, and imported by her. Her pets include a very fine silver tabby, with amber eyes and all the other perfections of this variety. Mrs. Walter E. Woodbury will exhibit some very fine specimens. Mrs. Ladenburg has a cat called Bismarck that is said to be peerless. He is of the Persian persuasion, and is utterly without dignity and other qualities of the blood and iron order, but he has a pet aversion to anything with life and feathers, and canary birds’ blood or parrots' feathers arouse his ire to a point that iron and brass will not hinder. James McCreery, of Inwood, will be sure to come out strong in the Manx division. He has for years made a hobby of this class, and gets his stock direct from the Isle of Man, and what they lack is nothing but tail.
* * *
CROWDS AT THE CAT SHOW (The Sun, May 9, 1895). Manx and Australian Cats Among the Exhibits. Paderewski is a Long-haired Competitor – Grover B. Sits in a High Chair at the Table When at Home – Some Awards.
The first National Cat Show opened in Madison Square garden yesterday, and the crowds of men, women and children who stood around the wire cages in which the animals are exhibited between the hours of opening and closing, give positive evidence that there has been a rapid growth of what might be termed “cat cult” within the past few years. Hair, it seems, is the dividing line in catdom, and the 250 cats sent to the show are classified as short-haired and long-haired. In the former class are found English, Australian, and Manx cats, while in the latter are the Persians, French, Angoras, and Russians. The long-haired cats are exhibited in the concert hall.
A family there that attracted much attention was Ellen Terry and her seven kittens. Ellen is a very large orange and white Angora; she and her brood were cosily quartered in a basket lined with yellow silk and trimmed in dotted muslin. She is a well-mannered cat, and watched her kittens being caressed with a dignified, maternal pride. So many women were packed around a cage at the other end of the room from Ellen and her family that everybody who came in the door began wondering what the attraction could be. It turned out to be Paderewski, a very long-haired cat of tawny hue. He modestly resented being made so conspicuous by such marked attention and kept up a continuous meawing.
Mrs. Ella Wheeler Wilcox's white Persian cat and two kittens amused a crowd of little people for a long while. The mother has a condescending manner, and seemed to prefer solitude to society.
A dozen specimens which were rescued from the streets by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals came in for a large share of attention. They didn't have any silk or satin cushions in their cages, or any delicately tinted draperies on them, but the reclaimed outcasts luxuriated in their beds of clean straw.
Miss Mary Cecilia Ryan of Elizabeth, N.J., bas entered four generations of short-haired she cats, consisting of a great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, and seven kittens. They occupy three cages side by side. The mother captured the second prize in her class. Just across the aisle from this happy family are three genuine Australian cats and two kittens. One, Frances Cleveland, is steel color, and has a genuine ermine pillow to lie on. She took the third prize, and Columbia, a fawn Australian, took the first. Columbia has two kittens, Yale and Harvard, and each wore a conspicuous ribbon of the respective college colors around his neck.
T. Farrer Rackham, one of the Judges, entered Old Gold, a Manx cat. Mr. Rackham retired while the Manx cats were being passed on, but Old Gold can now sport a blue ribbon, for she easily carried off the first honor. An aristocratic cat from Philadelphia was very popular during the day and evening. He was Grover B., a short-haired gelded fellow valued by his owner at $1,000. Grover is a trick cat. He sits at the table with his master and mistress in a high chair and feeds himself with his paw. His mistress declares that he behaves with a quiet propriety which most children would do well to imitate. He took one of the prizes.
The judges, Dr. Rush S. Huidekoper, Miss E. Hurlbut, and Mr T. Farrer Rackham, passed on over a hundred of the animals yesterday. The first thing considered in judging a cat is its general symmetry. The body should be long, slender, and formed like that of a tiger. The eyes, too, must be of a correct shade; for instance, a white cat should always have blue eyes, while a black cat, to be correct, must see through yellow orbs, and so on. The eyes must be large, round, and full. The hue of a cat of one colour should be distinct and free from any other shade, while the most fashionable parti-colour cats have a ground of blue, black, or yellow, with a white blaze running up the nose and white feet. The most rarely marked cat is the tortoise-shell, which should consist of uneven patches of red, black and yellow equally distributed over the whole body. In the tabbies, the dark markings should be in distinct contrast, with the light gray or brown being marked with black, blue with a darker shade, and yellow with red. Perfectly marked specimens are not so easily obtainable in the long-haired class as in the short-haired, and the tabbies fall far short of the mark. [Awards are listed in other cuttings.]
A woman who had a big Angora on exhibition was overherd saying to it: “My previous, if oo don’t get zee blue ribbon it won’t be because oo don’t deserve it,” but “previous” didn’t get it, and her mistress declared that everything was all wrong. Another woman said to one exhibiting a prize cat, “How old is your darling?” “Seven years,” came the reply. “I trust he will be spared to you seven more.” “Thank you,” said the other woman feelingly, “I pray so.”
* * *
THE CAT AND THE FIDDLE. – New York Tribune, May 9, 1895
Visitors At The Garden Greeted With Music And Miaows.
A Large Attendance And Many Purring Beauties At The First Annual Exhibition Op The National Cat Show — "Grover Cleveland" And "Ellen Terry" Among The Attractions —Some Gorgeously Decorated Cages.
The doors of the Madison Square Garden creaked upon their hinges at 9 o’clock yesterday morning, numerous yowls rent the air, and the first annual exhibition of the National Cat Show was under way. The many visitors to the Garden were chiefly women, but there was a pretty fair sprinkling of men, who took great interest in the feline beauties on exhibition. The term "feline beauties" is no misnomer. The cats and kittens on view are really beauties, and a more affable crowd of cats it would be hard to imagine. The strangeness of their situation having worn off, they took their enforced imprisonment in the most philosophical manner. That is to say, they slept all day, awakening only for meals. The menu consists simply of raw liver, cut into quadrilateral "hunks,” and fresh milk. There are one or two badly disposed cats at the show, who try to vary their diet by biting pieces out of the fingers of the visitors who try to fondle them, but, to the honor of catdom, it must be said that the vicious tabbies and grimalkins are few in number. The kittens are the star attraction of the show. They roll over each other, indulge in mock fights and make friends with every one. The Manx cats have an expression which seems to say, "We have lost our tails and now our liberty,” so they sulk and are really ill-natured.
TABBIES IN FINE ARRAY. Some of the cages are gorgeously decorated. Mrs. M. L. Pouchez’s Mittens occupies a double cage, hung with pink silk. In It with Mittens, are two cages filled with canary birds and a parrot. Snowflake, a big pure white "tom," owned by Mrs. S Blackford, deserves mention on account of his eyes. He has the usual number, but one is blue and the other green. He attracted much attention yesterday, and he did not relish it either. It should be said here that cats have more serious aims in life than to play with shows. A straw may show how the wind blows, and, collectively, straws may form a comfortable bed for a cat; but when straws are inserted Into the nostrils of unoffending cats in order that the aforesaid cats may "play," it breaks » cat’s temper, as it breaks the proverbial camel’s back.
VYING WITH THE HUNGARIAN MUSIC. In the concert-room yesterday afternoon and evening an orchestra was playing. The cats resented this as an infringement upon their privileges, and vied with the musicians in making music. Perhaps they recognized in the music strains evoked from the dried Intestines of departed relatives, but anyhow they relished not the music, and hesitated not to express their displeasure. “Grover Cleveland.” the property of Miss Rose Beckett, was arrayed like Solomon. Ropes of pearls were hung upon him, and he reclined upon a satin cushion trimmed with lace. A big bow of white satin ribbon adorned his collar. Jeremiah, owned by Miss Sophrenia Anderson, slept all day. Mrs. F. M. Clarke's orange and white Angora, "Ellen Terry,” with an Interesting litter of seven kittens, attracted attention, and so did Mrs. G. W. Gastlin’s tiger-marked kittens Pete and Dolly.
The Advisory Committee of the show is as follows: Frederic Bronson, F. O. De Luze, J. G. K. Duer, Cornelius Fellowes, John G. Heckscher, H. H. Hollister, Thomas Hitchcock Jr., Colonel Lawrence Kip, Adolf Ladenburg, Charles Lanier, D. O. Mills, J Pierpont Morgan, A. Newbold Morris, Hermann Oelrichs, F. K Sturgis. The patronesses are Mrs. J. J. Astor. Miss Bird. Mrs. Fred Gebhard, Mrs. Richard Irvin, Mrs. Prescott Lawrence, Mrs. John Lowery, Mirs. Randolph, Mrs. C Albert Stevens, Mrs F. K. Sturgis, Mrs. W. Seward Webb, Mrs. Stanford White. Mrs. L. K. Wilmerding.
SOME OF THE PRIZE WINNERS. The judges made these awards yesterday:
Short-hairs: he cats, brown or dark gray tabby - Mrs. C. Landman’s Dot, first; Mrs. Coquhoun’s Jock, second; B. G. Hughes’ Nlcodemus, third.
Silver or blue tabby - Mrs. J. WV. Bannister’s Little Billie, first.
Red tabby, or red tabby and white - Mrs. A. Draper’s Mete, first; Mrs. J. W. Bannister’s Theodore, second.
Black or white - Mrs. W. Platz’s Bismarck, first; Miss E. G. Titus’s Little Tip, second; William F. Schwenzer's Tommy, third.
Blue or silver solid color — Miss M. Hay's Tadawhitch, first; Mrs. Edmund C. Stedman’s Kelpie, second.
Color to be any hue not specified in the foregoing classes —Master Charles H. Boehnecke’s Tommy, first ; Mrs. K. Clifton's Eddie, second; Mrs. J. W. Bannister's Ben Bolt, third.
Tortolsesliell — Mrs. J. W. Bannister’S Sweet Marie, first.
Tortoiseshell and white - First, Mrs. McLaughlin's Emily; second, Mrs. McLaughlin's Nell.
Brown or dark gray tabby — First, Mrs. Barrelle's Dell; second. Mrs. Henry T. Draper's Victoria; third, Mrs. G. W. Gastlln’s Kit.
Silver or blue tabby — First, Mrs. J. W. Bannister’s No Joke.
Red tabby, or red tabby and white — First, Charles Thornewell's Tabby.
Black or white - First. Madame A. Girol’s Nini; second, Maier Wetzsteln’s Kitty; third, Miss Rose Beckett's Nlckie.
Blue or silver solid color — First, Mrs. Nina Morton’s Tootsie.
Color to be any hue not specified In the foregoing classes First, Dr. H. L. Hammond’s Columbia; second. Miss Mary Cecelia Ryan's Tip; third, Mrs. D. Hammond's Frances Cleveland.
Manx cats — First, T. Farrer Rackham’s Old Gold; second, Miss Sarah J. Smith’s Max Smith; third, Mrs. Charles Piggott's Minnie.
Two best short-haired kittens — First, Mrs. G. Gastlin's Pete and Dolly; second, Mrs. H. Westenberger’s Snowflake and Fairy; third, Mrs. Frank S. Clark’s Dick and Nellie.
Short-haired single kitten — First, Mrs. J. W. Bannister’s Thon; second, W. J. Stanton’s Blue Belle; third, J. O. Carrigan’s Glenwood.
Short-haired cat -First, Mrs. F. Darbey’s Mimi ; second, The Actors’ Fund "Whiskers ; third, Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Buchanan's Grover B. ;
Short-haired gelded cats — First. P. A. Morris’s Tom; second, Howard L. Van Norden’s Blizzard, third, V. Stephen Papple’s Tommy.
Black and white — First, Sophrenia Anderson's Jeremiah; second, Frank Carey’s Dan; third, H. Chapman’s Felix.
Among the visitors at the Garden yesterday afternoon and evening were Mrs. William Iselin, Mrs. J. J. Astor, Miss Bird, Mrs. Fred Gebhard, Mrs. Richard Irvin, Mrs. Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Mr. and Mrs. Prescott Lawrence, Mrs. Buchanan, Mrs. John Lowery, Mrs. Randolph, Mrs. R. S. Huidekoper, Mrs. C. Albert Stevens, Mrs. Fabius N. Clarke, Mrs. F. Sturgis, Mrs W Seward Webb. Miss Fellowes, Mrs. Stanford White, Mrs. L. K. Wilmerding, Mrs. C. Fellowes, Charles Bathborne, Arthur Caton, of Chicago; R. W. Rives, Joseph E. Widmer, of Phlladelphia; Judge Pryor, John P._Haines, president A.S.P.C.A.; Adrian Iselin, Jr., J. H. Bradford and Hiram Hitchcock.
GOOD PRICES FOR CATS. Ny. May 12. The first annual cat show held in Madison Square Garden went out amid a blaze of glory last night, having been a great success in every way. Among the sales of cats and kittens made yesterday were the flowing: TR Fell paid $25 to Dr Hammond for the kittens Yale and Harvard. A cat belonging to Mrs Clarke brought $25. JH Alexander paid $25 to Charles Knapp for the Angora cat Caesar. A number of other cats were sold for $5 each. – various, May 13 1895.
(1895) CATS WITH GOOD MANNERS
Well-Bred Pets in Madison Square Garden - Homely Ones Compete for a Prize - Awards of Prizes.
The New York Times, May 10, 1895
That cats can be well behaved when far from home has been demonstrated by the National Cat Show, now in progress at the Madison Square Garden. No animals yet shown in the Garden have shown themselves so well trained in manners as Miss Tabby and Mr Tom. Hardly a sound is to be heard from any of the cages from morning until night, except when a very small and hungry kitten is separated from its mother for a few seconds, and announces the fact in a very small and high-pitched voice. But such accidents are of rare occurrence. Ellen Terry and her seven kittens are prime favorites. Mrs Ellen has a basket in her cage, where she leaves her three-weeks-old babies the greater part of the time while she stretches herself outside and endeavors to keep cool. She is an orange-and-white Angora. Some of her children are orange in color and some pure white. The white ones are like soft little balls of fur, and have little pink ears, noses, and paws. There is a crowd around them always.
Mrs Albert Legg's Coonie attracts a great deal of attention, particularly when Mrs Legg happens to be around to give his history. Coonie is what is known as a coon cat. He is a large and handsome dark-gray animal, with a fine face, long fur, and bushy tall. “He spends his time hunting when he is at home," Mrs Legg said yesterday. “ He stays hours at a time in the highest tops of the trees. That shows his coon blood.” Of course there is a Trilby at the Garden. She is a white Manx cat, a year and a month old, and belongs to P. C. Bamberger. There is also a pair of little white Trilby twins, only seven weeks old. They belong to Charles Bamberger, Jr. There are three entries for the prize of $10 in gold for the homeliest cat in the show. Topsey, Outcast, and Venus de Milo, are in competition-and three worthy rivals in unattractiveness they are.
Among the visitors to the show yesterday were Mrs Burton Harrison, Mrs Frederick Sturges, Miss Cissy Fitzgerald, Mrs, C. Foster, Mrs Prescott Laurence, Mrs W. P. Buchanan, Col. Mann, Miss H. King Bannister, Mrs J. W. Barrow, Mrs Fred Gebhard, Mrs C. McLaughlin, Col. Fellows, A Newbold Morris, H.H. Hollister, Frederick Bronson, and Charles Lanier.
Prizes were awarded as follows:
Long-Haired He Cats, Pure White - First, D.W. Stevens's Ajax; second, Miss Ethel Nesmith Anderson’s Chicho; third, George A. Rawson’s Imp; highly commended, Mrs lda Knapp’s Pedro.
Blue or Silver, Solid Colors, No White - First, Mrs F. H. Treacy’s Possum; second, Mrs S. H. Toy's Tasso.
Brown, Dark Gray, or Red Tabby, with or without White – First, Charles Knapp’s Caesar; second, Mrs Albert Legg's Coonie: third, Mrs E. N. Barker’s King Humbert; highly commended. H. Chapman's Turvey.
Blue or Silver Tabby, with or without white - First, Mrs Fabius M. Clark's imported Silvia; second, Mrs Bryan Brown's Tommy.
Any Other Variety, Color to be Any Not Specified in the Foregoing Classes - First, Otto A Giesser’s Thomas; second, John Belknap Marcou’s John Black; third, Mrs, J. W. Bannisters’s Bedivere; highly commended, Bishop, the Bird Mans, Le Roy, and Miss Adelaide Skeel's Noel.
Long-Haired She Cats. Pure White – First N.N. Bickford’s Mizzie; second, Miss Edith Newbold’s Scheherezade; third, Mrs E.N. Barker’s The Banshee; highly commended, Mrs Ella Wheeler Wilcox’s Madame Ref.
Pure Black – First Mrs H. Kip Woodruff‘s Topsy Dinah.
Brown, Dark Gray, or Red Tabby, with or without white – First, Mrs E.N. Barker’s Minnie.
Blue or Silver Tabby, with or without White - First. E. N. Barker‘s Topaz; second, Mrs H. Kip Woodruff's Cynthia; third Mrs Fabius M Clark’s Persia; highly commended, Mr H. Chapman’s Fluff.
Any Other Variety, Color to be Any Not Specified in the Foregoing Classes - First, George E Moore’s Pluss; Second, Gowen H. Crgg’s Peetee, third. Mrs T.M. Clarke’s Ellen Terry; highly commended Mrs Emerson Brook’s Turkey and H. Chapman’s Topsy.
Two Kittens. Either Sex, Under Three Months, Solid Color, White Black, or Blue -First, Miss Maude Le Vincon’s Angelica and Diavolo.
Tabby, Any Color, No White – First Miss Rose Beckett’s Grover Cleveland; second, Mrs L. De G. Hurd’s Jim.
Pure White Long-Haired Gelded Cats - First, Master Edwin J. Pettel’s Tommy; second, Mrs E.A. Wise’s Tammany.
Black or Black and White - First, John H. Jacob’s Pete.
Tabby, Any Color, No Whlte - First. Mrs Frederick Brown's Cosey.
Long-Haired Cat, Any Color but that Specified in Classes 39. 40 and 41 - First. John M. Turner’s Pederewski; second, Mrs Emily S. Beecher’s Chappie; third, Charles Knapp's Dandy; highly commended, Mrs Bryan Brown`s Seraphita and Mrs C. H. Lewis’s Tip.
There were two escapes in the hall Wednesday, but both cats were recaptured amd returned to their cages.
MIMI GAINS HIS FREEDOM - The New York Times, May 11, 1895
Mrs. Darbey’s Cat Runs Away From Madison Square Garden. The Winners Of Special Prizes. Warm Weather and Much Petting Has Tired the Animals At The Show - Paderewski, a Handsome Angora, Dies.
Mimi, the first-prize short-haired Maltese of the Cat Show in Madison Square Garden, is lost, and his mistress, Mrs. F. Darbey, is inconsolable. Mimi did not appreciate the greatness that was thrust upon him. Mrs. Darbey was so proud of her pet that she determined yesterday to have him photographed. She engaged a photographer, who took his apparatus to the Madison Square Garden and prepared to make a likeness of the cat. Mrs. Darbey opened the door of her pet's cage, and Instantly Mimi, who had longed for freedom, leaped out and scampered away. Mrs. Darbey was after Mimi, but she could not follow him under the cages, and he disappeared. It is believed that he found his way to the cellar of the big building, where he will probably be found to-day. The two cats that were lost on Thursday returned to the exhibition room in the Garden yesterday morning. Both were hungry, and were content with their escapade. All the cats were more or less irritable yesterday. Their quarters are small, and the temperature of the Garden was high all day. They had little exercise, and were tired of the petting lavished upon them day and night. They are unused to the crowds that flock about them, and do not always relish being poked with fingers and umbrellas.
Tommy, a blue silver cat owned by Mrs. Brian Brown of 504 Pacific Street. Brooklyn, was in an unusually ugly frame of mind yesterday morning, and he manifested his discontent by jumping out of his cage when the door was opened and running to the arcade outside the Garden, from which he leaped into Madison Avenue, twenty feet below. Harry Draper, an attendant, caught him in Madison Square. Tommy was so mad that he bit Draper's fingers severely and the wounds were dressed by a doctor. Mrs. Brown then undertook to calm Tommy, but the cat turned upon her and bit her fingers. Mrs. Brown then withdrew Tommy from the show and took him home in a basket.
The death of Paderewski, a handsome Angora; has cast a gloom over the Angora colony in the show. Paderewski had a fit on Thursday night after the show closed, and went to the cat’s paradise, in spite of efforts to keep him on earth. Like his famous namesake, Paderewski had long yellow hair, which was the admiration and delight of the women. He was only six months old. He waa owned by Mrs. H.C. Faulkner of 525 Park Avenue, who will probably have him mounted by a taxidermist.
Mrs. Albert Legg's wild coon cat Coonie ate a pint of peanuts yesterday afternoon. In spite of what judges say, Mrs. W.B.Buchanan’s Grover B. continues to be the pet and glory of The exhibition. Grover B was awarded the $25 gold medal which his owner offered for the best cat in his class. There were no competitors, so Grover B. had a walkover.
The attendance at the show yesterday was better than on the two previous days. A large crowd of women was in waiting before the doors were opened yesterday morning. The managers of the show say that it has exceeded their expectations as a financial venture. They have decided to give another cat show next year. The show has aroused interest in other cities, and letters have been received from the managers from Providence, Boston and Minneapolis asking them to undertake similar exhibitions in those cities. It is intended now to organize a Cat Club in this city, similar to the National Cat Association of London, England, in order to raise cats in this country for breeding and profit.
The care of the cats at the Garden has been made a special feature of the show. Fresh milk is provided them three times a day, and the cooked and raw meat given them is fresh. Food can be had for them whenever their owners think they need it. Persons desiring to take their cats home at night are allowed to do so if they deposit a forfeit of $5. Only about fifty have been removed at night. Mrs Harry Alexandre brought Charles Knapp’s first prize Angora cat, Caesar, yesterday for $35 and entered him for the cat show for next year. Those who are interested in the present show agree that this isnot the proper season for it, because at this time of the year cats shed their fur. March and November are suggested asbetter months for such an exhibition.
Miss Emily Harkins’s black cat, Charles Dlckens, came very near winning a prize in the short-haired gelded class. Charles Dickens is eleven years old; and glories in the possession of twenty-two toes. He was thought to be a pure black Maltese, but the judges discovered a few white hairs on histhroat which deptrived him of the prize.
Among those present at the show yesterday were Mrs. Tabor, Capt. Charles M. Griffins, Shelter Island; Mrs. Alfred Chapin, Prof. Glick, Chicago; Mlle. Tasse, Toronto; Miss Hattie G. Bannister, Cranford, N.J.; George J. Ryan, Boston; Arthur J. Caton, Chicago; Mr and Mrs. Harry Alexandre, Mr Creighton Webb, Mme. Del Vallo, Mrs. Frank McLaughlin, Miss Malcolm, Philadelphia; Mrs. Burke, Rochester; Miss Benedict, Mr and Mrs. J.A. Kernochan, Miss Megargee, Philadelphia.
Special prizes were awarded as follows yesterday:
Special prize of $25 in gold, offered by Town Topics for the best short-haired tiger-marked cat, and the silver medal given by the Cat Show, Mrs. A. Draper’s Mete.
Silver cat collar offered by Mrs. Richard F Carmen and the silver medal given by the Cat Show, irrespective of class, Mrs. Albert Legg’s Coonie.
Silver fruit spoon offered by James T Hyde and the silver medal given by the Cat Show for the best short-haired cat in the show, irrespective of class, Mrs. W. Platz’s Bismarck.
The silver bon bon dish offered by a friend of the Cat Show and silver medal given by the Cat Show, Mrs. G.W. Gastlin’s Pete and Dolly.
$10 in gold offered by Sprtt’s Patent (America) Limited, for the homeliest cat of the show, Master J. Draper’s Outcast.
A silver bowl offered by Charles R. Prtt for the best lityter of kittens, Mrs F.M. Clarke’s Ellen Terry and seven kittens.
The $10 in gold offered by the Cat Show and silver medal for the best cat in the exhibition, Mrs. Fred Brown’s Cosey.
The $10 in gold offered for the best Ocelot, Dr. W.A. Conklin’s Ocelot.
The $10 in gold offered for the best Wild Cat, Dr. W.A. Conklin’s Wild Cat.
The $10 in gold offered for the best Civet, Dr. W.A. Conklin’s Civet.
The $10 in gold offered by Charles R. Pratt, Mrs. J.W. Bannister’s exhibit.
The piece of plate offeredby Charles R.Pratt for the best cat, bona fide property of hotel proprietors, P.A.Morris’s Tom.
A “pearl king” Angora kitten, valued at $50, for the best female Angora kitten bred by the Walnut Ridge Farms, Mrs. Emerson Brooks’s Turkey.
Silver bowl for the best Maltese cat and the silver medal given by the Cat Show, Mrs. F. Darbey’s Mimi.
The twenty-five-dollar gold medal offered by W.P.Buchanan for the heaviest white Maltese cat in the show, small blue Maltese spots or marks not debarring from the entry, Mr. and Mrs. W.P. Buchanan’s Grover B.
Some one sent Secretary Hyde a stuffed figure of a gray tabby yesterday, and asked to have it entered. Mr. Hyde gave it to Charles Chamberlain, the press agent who is going to award it a solid leather medal. This will be the last day of the cat show, and it will be made a gala occasion. There will be held a sale of cats in the morning and afternoon.
ALL OVER A CAT. National Tabby Show Ends in a Row Which May Go Into Court. - Boston Post, May 13, 1895
NEW YORK, May 12.— The national cat show closed in a row last night, a row which was all over a prize of $25 in gold which the fair owner of Grover Cleveland, a magnificent tiger tabby, thought should have been awarded to her pet. When Miss Rose Beckett, whose Grover Cleveland took the first prize for being the best short-haired tabby with no white, read in the morning paper yesterday that the special prize of $25 in gold for the best short-haired tiger-marked cat had been awarded to Mrs. A. Draper's Mete, she went immediately to the Garden with fire in her eye, but kept her wrath bottled up until she met one of the editors of the paper which offered the prize. She told him that their prize had gone to “a nasty, insignificant, carroty little old house cat that ought to have been drowned when it was born,” and that she intended to enter a protest against the decision of the judges, as her Grover Cleveland had been voted the success of the show by an overwhelming majority. Miss Beckett is a ballet mistress. She came here from London four years ago, and is well known in theatrical circles. Miss Beckett told a reporter that she was going to law about the matter, and that bright and early on Monday morning she would employ a lawyer. After Grover got first prize, his mistress was so confident that he would win the special that she had a printed placard stating that he had won it put up in his cage before the cats were passed on by the Judges for the special. The management had this notice removed and destroyed, and this made Miss Beckett very angry. The Judges say that Mete is a yellow tiger-marked short-haired English cat with beautifully even stripes strongly contrasted with the ground color, and that he is decidedly one of the most symmetrical cats in the show.
Note: It’s worth casting some light on Rose Beckett’s odd behaviour. The New York Times of October 8th, 1900 tells us that she was “discovered acting in a queer manner” on the streets on September 23rd 1900 and sent to Bellevue Hospital for observation. A few days later, she was committed to Bloomingdale Asylum. The Morning Times (Washington DC) said she was a “physical and mental wreck from dissipation” (alcoholism). She had pawned her belongings and had been living with a family friend, a newspaper publisher. The New York Times noted “Miss Beckett was particularly fond of cats, and took considerable interest in the exhibition which takes place in this city every year. She is the owner of several famous cats. One of them, which she christened Grover Cleveland, was awarded the blue ribbon at the first cat show. Nickie, another of her cats, received first prize in a special class.” On April 9th, 1904, several papers reported that her bruised body had been found. It was initially thought she had been killed by her alcoholic common-law husband, Albert Rossiter, but the autopsy found that she had died of alcoholism and a heart attack. She was 54 years old.
CLOSE OF THE CAT SHOW. New York Tribune, May 12, 1895
Removing The Beauties From Their Cages - Women Whose Pets Did Not Receive Prizes Bombard Mr. Chamberlain With Complaints - The Subjugation Of Mimi.
The Cat Show was ended last night at 10 o'clock. At that hour the visitor» left the Madison Square Garden, and the owners of the cats began to make ready to remove their pets. But of this removing, more anon. The rooms containing the cats were crowded yesterday afternoon, and in the evening they were literally jammed. Women in fashionable costumes and men arrayed in "dress suits” paid homage to the cats and reluctantly left the Garden when closing time came. The visitors thronged the aisles and crowded them uncomfortably. The cat Is all right when there are not too many of him and when the weather Is cold, but given 300 cats, thermometer 90 degrees in the shade, hundreds of spectators and a close atmosphere, and cat shows are apt to lose popularity. The awards were completed on Friday, and the judges escaped safely. That the prizes were impartially distributed cannot be doubted, but the owners of losing cats were mad yesterday. A Tribune reporter talked with some of them, and wished he hadn’t been so rash. The women hauled their unadorned pets from their cages, and then swooped down upon Charles Chamberlain, who had no more to do with the awarding of prizes than did the ticket-takers. They all talked at once and poured their woes into his ears. One woman was so angry that she used a "cuss word," as she held up her pet and denounced the Judges. At 4:30 p. m., Mr. Chamberlain transferred his office to the roof. The judges were not to blame. The cats on view were all good ones, and it required no little knowledge of cats to make the awards properly.
With the aid of two men, some fresh milk, fried liver and a club, Mimi was induced to leave the cellar yesterday and pose. Mimi's escape was told of in yesterday's Tribune. Mimi went home last night a sadder and, it is to be hoped, a wiser cat. The two wildcats upstairs were so disgusted with life generally yesterday that they just sulked, and one small boy in the innocence of his youth actually patted the big one and got off without injury. But this was before the string band began to play. To confine a wildcat in a barred cage is shock enough to the feelings of the animal; but to force the poor thing to listen to a band all afternoon and evening, and not even giving the cat a programme, is adding insult to Injury. No wonder the wildcats got mad and were vicious. But the fun began at 10 o'clock. The owners of the cats swooped down upon their pets and started in to take them away. In their efforts they were aided by one of the assistants at the show and by a sturdy Irish porter. These dramatis personae all went to work together, and the conversations - one example will do for all - went something like this:
Woman who owns a cat, as cage of her pet was opened : "Now, do be gentle! Don’t shake Him! Oh, Lord! you brute, I’ll have you arrested. My poor precious!" (this to the cat).
The assistant, sulkily; “I ain t your slave. I know my business.”
The porter, rubbing his scratched arms and apostrophising the cat; “Yer dirty beast, it’s the death of yea I'll be this night."
The owner, hysterically, to cat: “Oh! my poor abused darling" (kisses the p. a. d.).
The assistant: "Well, I’ll be d- -ed!”
The cat: "Aw! Meow. meow, leggo me.”
The spectators, mirthfully: “Ha, ha.”
Then the enraged cat-owner jammed poor, poor Tom or Tabby into the basket, and the puss made the welkin ring.
Nearly 10,000 people have visited the show, which has been a great success. It will be repeated next year. A handsome tortoise-shell and white cat named Nell, belonging to Mrs. McLaughlin gave birth to four kittens yesterday afternoon. The kittens are: One tortoise-shell, one tortoise-shell end white, one blue Maltese and one black. Secretary Hyde promptly decorated the cage with roses and named the kittens Trevelyn, James II, Lady Raymond and Queen Nell. Among the sales of cats and kittens made yesterday were the following: G. Schirmer paid $5 for Mrs. William Bannister's Thon; T. R. Fell paid $25 for the kittens Yale and Harvard [Australian cats], owned Dr. Hammond; Miss Le Roy paid $5 for a kitten owned by Mrs. Bannister; Mrs. Rogers paid $5 for one of Charles Thornwell’s pair or kittens, And Maier Wertstein sold his pair of kittens for $3 each. One kitten was sold by Mrs. F. M. Clarke for $25. J.H. Alexandre paid $25 to Charles Knapp for his Angora cat Caesar. H. E. Fish paid $5 for one of the kittens owned by Master Manuel Munoz, and Mrs. George T. Bliss paid $5 for Mrs. Bannister’s Topsy. F. Dorflinger paid $3 for Maier Wertstein’s kitten "No Name."
NATIONAL CAT SHOW (The Cincinnati Enquirer, May 12, 1895). The second event of the week was the opening of the National Cat Show at the Madison Square Garden yesterday. It will remain with us until Saturday, when everybody's pet will rejoice in "coming back.” It la too warm for them. There are 183 entries; comprising cats of all assorts and sizes, wild cats and tame cats, the cat on the pink china silk cushion, and the cat rescued from the street by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Their cages, arranged on stands In rows like those of toy dogs at the dog shows, are in the square room off the amphitheater downstairs and in the concert room upstairs, where there is music for their benefit, and in the assembly room above this there is an exhibition of mounted felines.
The live cats range in price from $2 to $500, and there is a preponderance among them of Trilbys and Little Bilees. There are even a pair of seven-week-old Trilby twins, which we think an imposition on Trilby. I looked in vain for Svengali, but Paderewski and Grover Cleveland were out in full force, and Mittens was conscientiously keeping guard over two bird cages full of canaries and a small green parrot. Mittens is only 8 months old, but his character is so exceptional, so high-minded and virtuous, that he may well be held up - not by the nape of the neck, please — to other cats as a moral example. Mittens has been the companion of birds from his early infancy, and he has cared for them through sorrow and sunshine, through hunger and other things. Like old comrades of war time, they have slept together with their boots on. And never has Mittens been known to miss his prayers. His master repeats, “Now I lay me,” and Mittens sits up on his haunches with his forepaws clasped at his breast and his head bowed down over them. When his master says, "Amen." Mittens utters a solemn, heartdrawn "Ya- how," and he is sure to go to heaven when he dies.
Dr. W. A. Conklin, who is so well known for his wild animals, has several civets and ocelots, and one little wild cat four inches long attracted my attention especially. He lay on the floor of his cage looking exceedingly wet. An attendant explained 'that he had been having fits. In fact, that a number of the cats had had them, probably from the excitement of seeing so many people and of hearing so much music other than of their own making. It was very oppressive in the garden, in spite of the open windows, and I saw one woman whose Maltese was in the show to succumb to the heat. Salts were brought, and one of the dusky Hungarian musicians went for water, and she was soon restored in a corner of the marble staircase.
Town Topics, the Everett House and the Actors’ Fund all exhibited cats – Town Topics sending three. The prize offered by the Hotel Grenoble, a silver bowl for the largest and heaviest cat in the show was awarded to V. Stephen Papple for Tommie, who weighs 25 pounds, and is pure white, with a short-haired coat irreproachably groomed. There are 42 classes with three prizes of $5, $3 and $2 each, and 19 additional classes offering special prizes, among which may be mentioned that of Spratt’s patent, which was of $10, for the homeliest cat in the show; the cat, however, to be healthy and sound. A “Venus de Milo” was entered in this class, and if my memory does her justice she won the $10. Very beautiful cats were taken from their cages and shown in an honorary exhibition cage, which was moved about the show and passed upon by adoring friends, but the weather was trying on exhibitor and exhibit and it is to be hoped that the show will take place earlier next year. We go away pained by hearing the following; “Inquisitive Visitor- “Is there a poor, little cat in that packing box yet? Can it breathe through that narrow crack?” Attendant – I reckon it can, or its owner wouldn’t have sent it that way. It’s a wild cat like this one that had fits, and it belongs to Dr Conklin. He sent orders not to touch it till he came. I don’t want to get myself into trouble any more. They think I’s so cruel not to put straw on the floor of their cage, but how do I know that a wild cat wants straw? They say I’m not gentle enough with them, and then they scratch my eyes out. I’m letting them take care of their own d- -m cats.” And yet I went away convinced that the cat show is a great institution and I shall go again next year.
NATIONAL CAT SHOW – Los Angeles Times, 18th May, 1895
A national cat show will be held in New York in May. Among the felines to be exhibited will be tailless cats from the Isle of man, wildcats from Baffin’s Bay, tortoise-shell cats from England, angoras and ear-tufted Egyptians. It will be the first show of the kind ever given in this country.
NEW YORK CAT SHOW. (Fitchburg Sentinel, May 18, 1895) One of the great attractions of the week has been the cat show at the Madison Square Garden. At first it was problematic whether society would patronize the new fad; but it did, and while it is true that some of the most distinguished-representatives of our crème de la creme failed to put in an appearance, there was, nevertheless, a good substantial representation of old blue blood, so that for years to come the cat show promises to be one of the great social events of the season, equalling, if not surpassing, the show of horses and dogs. One never realizes how many kinds of cats there are in the world till you visit a cat show, and people who have only made Grimalkin's or Tom's acquaintance from the top of a fence at midnight when he, or she, was singing Trilby to the light of a September moon and you tried your markmanship at 30 yards with a junk bottle or a bootjack, and missed them every time, you will never know the difference between this vagrant disturber of your dreams and a well-bred and properly-educated cat, who has been reared amid the restraints of a wholesome civilization. Many of the cats were as beautiful animals as any creature that walks on four legs. There were cats with splendid glossy' coats of fur and others with hides as bare as the palm of our hand. Cats were there whose coats were as white as the mountain snow and others as black as the midnight. Angora, maltese, tortoise shell, and, in one cage was a splendid cat in company with a canary and a chamelion, a very happy family. It is evident that Puss and Tom are not without friends in New York and I am one of them. “Love me, love my cat.” -
NICODEMUS. The innocence of the general public is strikingly illustrated by a happening of the great cat show just closed in New York. In one cage was a large, brindle tom cat valued at $1000. An imposing pedigree of the animal was furnished. He was named Nicodemus. The cat was awarded third prize and the owner received countless money offers for him. A bid of $2000 was finally refused with the explanation that Nicodemus had been purchased from a Bowery bootblack for 10 cents and was shown as a joke because he was too lazy to hunt rats. – Hawaiian Star, June 1, 1895