Museum Cats
September 23, 2004 9:00 AM   Subscribe

The Art of Cats:
The Kattenkabinet (Cat Cabinet, the Cat Museum) of Amsterdam: a collection of objects d'art wholly centered around the theme of the cat, among which you will find a wonderful gallery including Picasso. Controversial social taboos are not avoided. Malaysia's Cat City of Kuching has a Cat Museum; more info on the Museum of Meows here (Ancient Egyptians shaved their eyebrows in mourning when the family cat died. Malays attached superstitions to cats believing they possessed supernatural powers...) The scullery of Kathleen Mann's Antiques in London's High Street has a "Purrfect Museum" too, with 250 exhibits from all over the world going back to the 1770s, founded by Kathleen and her mother ... Kitty. Not to be outdone, Lithuania and Russia have cat museums as well.
posted by Shane (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Oh, well. I guess you can count me in on that half of the human divide that loves cats, even though I don't have one right now. And here's my chance to link to a story I like about cats in the Hermitage Museum (via Mirabilis), plus this translation of "The Cats Who Guard the Hermitage" from "Russian Life".
posted by taz at 9:48 AM on September 23, 2004

All this would be of a great deal more interest to me if I didn't li-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-ve in an effin' cat museum. In our museum, the static exhibits are attractively displayed in arrangements of a fine, gravel-like particulate spread over shallow boxes set here and there about the premises, like small Zen gardens. The content of these exhibits is removed daily, so that fresh examples may be deposited overnight. (In truth, I love these links, and think that the Moscow Cat Museum -- last link -- is best.)
posted by Faze at 10:17 AM on September 23, 2004

Lithuania also has a fantastic devil museum, in Kaunas.
posted by penguin pie at 8:44 AM on September 24, 2004

intro photo from the first site linked is one of my favorites - from kipling's just so stories, the cat who walked by himself in the wet wild woods.... while trying to name my own cat, i spent time trying to find a good literary cat name, given the number of times i came across a cat in my favorite author's short stories, but for some reason they neglected to actually name the cats. so i went with a non-literary name. but i still like the image.

and the site is absolutely broken in anything other than IE. shame. it has some nice images (although i'd like to see some larger versions, details aren't coming through well).
posted by caution live frogs at 8:54 AM on September 24, 2004

I love that story too, frogs. It's a shame the Netherlands site only works in IE, but Faze is right, the Russian site has some incredible stuff to peruse, including a picture of Lenin holding a cat, and also the answers Eliot came up with when, like you, he pondered the naming of cats:

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey -
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter -
But all of them sensible everyday names.

taz, thanks for those links! and penguin, I'm salivating at the thought of visiting that devil museum. Wow! Stalin chasing Hitler over skulls! Heh.

There's just far too much fun art in all those links, but here are a couple of my faves.
posted by Shane at 9:40 AM on September 24, 2004

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