Category:
Cats

Petrarch’s Cat

If you make a visit to Italy and visit the museum-home of the author Petrarch, you will get to see the mummified body of his adored cat.

Or so the legend goes. Actually, the cat corpse is a mere four hundred years old, created by the person who owned the house in the 1600s.

Read about it here.



Posted By: Paul - Sun Jun 12, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Historical Figure, Cats, Europe

The Health Dangers of Sleeping on a Hartmann Line

My Great Aunt recently died at the age of 100. Throughout her life she was very much into alternative medicine, and she kept hundreds of newsletters from various alt-health practitioners. Most of them aren't particularly interesting, but while going through her stuff I've found a few oddities, such as a 1990 newsletter warning of the danger of sleeping on Hartmann Lines.

I'd never heard of Hartmann Lines. Wikipedia describes them as "a scientifically unproven grid of invisible energy lines of the Earth's inherent radiation".

But how to know if you're sleeping on a Hartmann line? Well, if you've got a cat and it likes to sleep in your bed, you may be in trouble because apparently cats love sleeping on Hartmann lines. (I'm in trouble!)

I've posted a few snippets from the newsletter below, and also uploaded the full newsletter as a pdf file.







Posted By: Alex - Tue May 24, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Health, Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil, Cats

Cat Boxing

I wasn't aware that there was such a thing as cat boxing. Cats fight all the time, of course. But to box each other at a set time in front of a crowd — I didn't think they would cooperate with such an indignity.



Detroit Free Press - June 16, 1939



Update: Paul revealed to me the existence of this old video produced by Thomas Edison, circa 1894, showing cats boxing. So I guess cat boxing is a long-established thing.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Apr 14, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Sports, Cats, 1930s

The cat that climbed the Matterhorn

Sep 1950: A group of climbers who made it to the top of the Matterhorn were astonished to find a kitten at the summit. Apparently it had made its way up there without any human assistance, perhaps following some other climbers. The climbers put the kitten in one of their backpacks and carried it back down.

While the story seems hard to believe, it's pretty well documented. The website Cervinia Icons has a brief article written in 2016 by one of the climbers, Luigi Orombelli, who found the cat. From his account:

Shortly after seven o’clock a lone mountaineer arrives on top: he’s about my age, confident, elegant.

We introduce ourselves, but the conversation is soon interrupted: we hear strange noises. “It must be those guys” says Daniel, indicating the group of climbers playing around the Swiss peak. The calls continue and more start sounding like a mew. But, suddenly, two ears appear: a cat is struggling on a thin ledge just below us, meowing and rushing toward us. The meows and his movements revealed fact that he was cold and hungry.

Climbers at the Matterhorn summit with cat



Coshocton Tribune - Sep 7, 1950

Posted By: Alex - Thu Mar 24, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Cats, 1950s

Follies of the Madmen #524


Posted By: Paul - Thu Jan 27, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Robots, Technology, Advertising, Cats, Asia, Pregnancy

The Houndcats

A series so obscure (only 13 episodes) that not even Wikipedia knows of it.

Their IMDB page reveals:

The Houndcats were five crack agents--leader Stutz, strongman Muscle Mutt, master of disguise Puddy Puss, electronics whiz Rhubarb and daredevil Dingdong--who received instructions of their latest mission via exploding tape-recordings and used their specialties to foil evil. If this sounds a bit like "Mission: Impossible", it's no coincidence. Sparkplug was the name of their car which took them to their assignments.



Posted By: Paul - Sun Oct 24, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Cartoons, Cats, 1970s

Dining table with cat-hole

The Japanese store Dinos is selling an oak table with a hole in the center to allow a cat to poke its head through. The product description states: "You will be healed by your cat who pops out of the hole in the table."

The table costs 159,500 yen, which is about $1500.



Posted By: Alex - Sun Aug 22, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Furniture, Cats

Stamp-Licking Animals

Martin Wainwright tells the following story in The "Guardian" Book of April Fool's Day:

[The journalist James] Bone described on one occasion how a desperate contributor of 'pars', small fillers for the popular press, went to send a letter from a post office and noticed that the pet cat on the counter was sitting with its tongue out. On a whim, he gave it his stamp to lick which it did. The next day a very short story appeared under the headline: Post Office novelty — Stamp-licking cat of Charing Cross'.

Like the best April Fool's jokes, this was to girdle the Earth. Not only was the post office besieged by punters wanting to send catlick mail (until the cat was driven demented and fled after two days) but the story spread and resurfaced for years. Animal protection societies weighed in, MPs spoke and the innocuous prank took off. Bone's friend was send clippings from across the country and, as the years went by, from Australia, Shanghai and the United States.

This suggests that stamp-licking animals were a journalistic invention. However, there do seem to have been some real-life examples of the phenomenon.

Longview Daily News - Dec 13, 1974



The Bloomington Pantagraph - Mar 11, 1951



"Ashley practiced stamp-licking until he had the task down purrfectly, then offered to kick off the Organization for Responsible Care of Animals' public appeal... In return for his generosity, each donor will receive a thank-you note enclosed in an Ashley-licked envelope with stamp attached."
Lancaster Sunday News - Oct 6, 1985

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 17, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Cats, Dogs, Postal Services, Stamps

Mail-Delivering Cats

1879: Reports reached America of experiments conducted in the city of Liege, Belgium to determine if cats could be used to deliver mail. Three dozen cats were said to have been placed in bags and then taken several miles out of the city. They were then released, after a message had been tied to each one. The cats reportedly made it back to their homes in Liege before the humans did.

Plans were said to be in the works "to establish a regular system of cat communication between Liege and the neighboring villages".

Lancaster Intelligencer Journal - Mar 26, 1879



The Chicago Inter Ocean - Oct 28, 1879

Posted By: Alex - Fri Apr 30, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Cats, Nineteenth Century, Postal Services

Fancy Feast Recipes for Humans

Another odd cookbook: Cat-food maker Fancy Feast has released a book of recipes for humans. As explained in the book's introduction:

each of the recipes in this cookbook gives a nod to the dishes you'll be serving your cat, yet made for humans. Using palate-pleasing ingredients like chicken, salmon, and whitefish, these dishes complement Fancy Feast's entrée options so you can have what they're having—an elegant and delicious meal.

Apparently anticipating that few people would be willing to buy this cookbook, they've posted it online as a free downoad.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Apr 15, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Food, Cookbooks, Cats

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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