Found on My Bedroom floor. Probably Sandy's.
January 3, 2020 3:22 PM   Subscribe

A selection of images from the meticulous catalogue that Janet Gnosspelius kept of all cat whiskers she found between 1940-1942. Colossal link; images from the Cardiff University Special Collections archive.

Janet Gnosspelius was the daughter of Oscar Gnosspelius and Barbara Collingwood. There's a lovely online exhibition about the Collingwood family from Cardiff University.

Janet died in 2010. From her obituary in The Guardian: "Janet was meticulous in everything she did – and eccentric. She was known for her jodhpurs, collar-and-tie, handmade tweeds and elegant cigarette holder, her cats (who signed off many letters), 1939 Sunbeam Talbot car, prodigious workload and caustic red pen. She carried on an extraordinary range of correspondence, all hand-typed on a battered Imperial."
posted by cpatterson (20 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Having pulled a whisker out of a piece of quiche I was enjoying at a party once, which the owner nonchalantly identified as belonging to 'Old Tom', I'll never eat quiche again. This post fills me with terrible unease.
posted by pipeski at 3:34 PM on January 3, 2020 [4 favorites]

I...may have a couple small glass jars with found kitty whiskers in them. I never thought about cataloging them (ha) but now I'm tempted.
posted by miratime at 3:48 PM on January 3, 2020 [7 favorites]

a delightfully odd post which clearly deserves both the "highweirdness2020" and "fivestars" tags
posted by youarenothere at 3:59 PM on January 3, 2020 [7 favorites]

Wait til you guys see my dead skin flake collection!
posted by symbioid at 4:04 PM on January 3, 2020

A bundle of whiskers make a useful keyboard brush, effective on dust and crumbs.
posted by Botanizer at 4:09 PM on January 3, 2020 [5 favorites]

What good cats! What a fine child!
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:19 PM on January 3, 2020 [6 favorites]

Hmm, I have a couple of glass jars with my dogs' whiskers in them. Did you know that non-shedding breeds of dogs also drop their whiskers way less often?
posted by moonmilk at 5:16 PM on January 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

sedated tiger
fingers brush whiskers
the size of quill's.
posted by clavdivs at 5:52 PM on January 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

When I was around 12 or so, I had a small stuffed Garfield that I would use as a 'pincushion' to save all the whiskers I found from our two cats. I'd stick them in around Garfield's nose as if they were his whiskers, and displayed him proudly on my dresser. Somehow I had no inkling that this was a little odd, and my parents were too kind to point it out.

It's possible I still have this Garfield in a box somewhere. Maybe I ought to look for him.
posted by DingoMutt at 7:04 PM on January 3, 2020 [14 favorites]

I keep my cat's dropped whiskers. I use them as pollinating brushes for my Haworthias and Gasterias.

I also keep her shed claws in a little container....because I want to see how many she loses over time. I thought it was a lot but as soon as I started collecting them it seems a lot fewer than I thought.
posted by srboisvert at 7:07 PM on January 3, 2020 [7 favorites]

I judged an elementary school science fair in Boston a few years ago and, one of the presentations on cats, had two whiskers taped to the posterboard, labeled "Whiskers from Nonno's Cat."
posted by ChuraChura at 7:10 PM on January 3, 2020 [10 favorites]

I've kept some of my cat's whiskers for a long time now... he's been dead over 20 years, but I've always wondered -- is there enough of a genetic sample in a whisker to enable an effective cloning?
posted by Rash at 7:21 PM on January 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

Not weird at all - kitty whiskers have always been good lucky charms to find. It would be lovely to have a few from a dearly loved, (and someday departed) feline friend . ♡
posted by NorthernAutumn at 8:25 PM on January 3, 2020 [9 favorites]

This is wonderful. I have a screw-top test tube of whiskers dropped by my current cat in her 9.5 years with me. Sometimes my partner finds one and leaves it next to my laptop for me to admire and stash away. I like to hold the tube to the light, turn it, and watch the whiskers inside slide and tumble. I've wondered more than once what a stranger would think upon finding it. I love Miss Gnosspelius's careful notes with each whisker; perhaps I wouldn't make a good archivist, but something in me understands something in her.
posted by swerve at 8:53 PM on January 3, 2020 [11 favorites]

My friend and I both have the same habit. When we find a whisker, we use it to poke the cat. "This is how it feels!"
posted by tofu_crouton at 8:09 AM on January 4, 2020 [6 favorites]

huh! despite living with whisker-havers all my life, to my knowledge, i've never found a dropped whisker. but i did see someone the other day say she collects whiskers across her life and can identify the cat it came from and i thought it was sweet.
posted by gaybobbie at 8:44 AM on January 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

Me, too! I have a collection of whiskers from 6 cats over forty+ years. Plus one black whisker donated by a friend's cat. No meticulous documentation though.
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 9:14 PM on January 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

I have a small ziploc bag containing most of my dog's puppy teeth. She lost them all in one day in a place with a concrete floor - all I had to do was walk around and pick them up.

I don't care if you think I'm weird.
posted by workerant at 1:09 PM on January 5, 2020 [4 favorites]

This is such a proto-Tumblr.
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:45 AM on January 7, 2020

I used to keep whiskers, when I had cats. Now that I have a cockatiel, I have a little box of his crest feathers. They're very distinctive.
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:49 AM on January 7, 2020 [2 favorites]

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