one woman, one road trip, 55 cats
September 14, 2018 6:04 PM   Subscribe

ABC TV Interview with Mrs 'Manx' Morgan (SLyoutube) who in 1969 surprised her husband by driving from Sydney to Adelaide to be with him- with all 55 of her cats. (2 minutes, black and white, no subtitles.)
posted by freethefeet (13 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
THat's a delightful accent, even without the cats. :)
posted by Alensin at 6:43 PM on September 14, 2018

Doesn't Australia have a huge problem with invasive feral and outdoor cats killing native wildlife? This is... cute I suppose but in light of modern issues with declining native animal populations, this "cute" woman seems somewhat sinister...
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:01 PM on September 14, 2018 [4 favorites]

“I suddenly decided in two hours to pack up and go and spend Christmas with him.”

I cannot be the only one pondering the challenges involved when your two-hour window literally involves herding cats (by the dozen, no less).

THat's a delightful accent,

I watch some Australian news online from time to time — the interviewer seems to have some plummy BBC shadings to his accent to my (Canadian) ear. Am I imagining this? Was this just an artifact of the mother country still influencing broadcast standards in Australia?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:12 PM on September 14, 2018

ricochet biscuit:
And then, at the end of the nineteenth century, something curious and largely unpredictable happened to Australian English. In response to a newly-developed concept of Received Pronunciation in Britain, which was closely tied to notions of social prestige, some Australian speakers modified their vowels and diphthongs in order to move them towards the British exemplars. From the 1890s, and well into the 1950s, elocution was in the air, and elocution teachers found a ready market for the teaching of British vowels and diphthongs to the socially-aspirational classes. This modified form of Australian speech came to be called Cultivated Australian.
from Australian English in the twentieth century
posted by Panthalassa at 8:33 PM on September 14, 2018 [6 favorites]

posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:48 PM on September 14, 2018

I think that would qualify as a Cat Lady...
posted by jim in austin at 9:07 PM on September 14, 2018

Sounds like she opened the original cat cafe! neat!
posted by vespabelle at 9:18 PM on September 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

I guess she opted not to take them in the helicopter.
posted by batter_my_heart at 9:43 PM on September 14, 2018

Yes, the past is a strange place, they do things differently there!

Feral cats (and dogs, and pigs and... and...) are a problem, but tends to be one that is separated out from the cats and dogs that we keep as pets, in the mindset/discourse of the population.
posted by freethefeet at 11:30 PM on September 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sounds as if she might be the inventor of the cat cafe too
posted by BinaryApe at 1:16 AM on September 15, 2018

Her husband's response was quite restrained. It's one thing to have your wife make a surprise visit, quite another to bring 55 (OMG!) cats with her...

Yes, these days I rarely see outdoor cats but in 1969 they would've been in and out as they pleased.
posted by kitten magic at 4:08 AM on September 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yes, these days I rarely see outdoor cats but in 1969 they would've been in and out as they pleased.

If she was indeed a breeder (and the only breeder of Manx cats in Australia at the time), I think there's a stronger likelihood that they'd be kept indoors or even caged.

Also, if they were outdoor cats, it seems unlikely that she'd be able to collect them all within a two-hour time window.
posted by Umami Dearest at 6:05 AM on September 17, 2018

Yeah two hours can be optimistic even with indoor cats!

That line of mine was more about cats in general in 1969 - people would have thought it normal to see them out and about whereas nowadays there's a lot more concern about the harm they do to wildlife. But you're right, she probably did have them kept pretty secure. They'd have been worth a bit too. And it's just lovely that she had a cat cafe so long ago.
posted by kitten magic at 3:41 AM on September 18, 2018

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