Archive for the ‘Cat Stories’ Category

Trent, the tabby cat made famous by an unsuccessful flight across the Atlantic in the airship America, wowed the crowds at Gimbels in New York City.

When we left Part I of this curious cat tale of Old New York, young Margaret Owen was just about to dunk her two Angora cats, Lilly and Otto, into a basin of blue dye. The blue cats would look great parading on the boardwalk at Atlantic City.

Every once and a while I come across an old animal story that goes into my special folder called “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up.” The following cat tale is somewhat funny, very bizarre, and a bit tragic.

On March 25, 1905, Caledonia made her maiden voyage from Glasgow, Scotland, to New York and back. In addition to the passengers and crew, on board was a young black cat that the crew named Duffy MacNab — or The MacNab, for short.

Union Square Jim was a large, blue-eyed, orange tabby mascot of the old Union Square Theatre in New York City. Jim was born in the theater sometime around 1886, a year after James Hill took over as manager of the theater.

Like most cats that became the popular mascots of New York City police stations, fire stations, hotels, and theaters in the 1800s and 1900s, Jim began his life as a vagrant cat without friends or influence. It didn’t take him long, however, to win the hearts of the managers, actors, and patrons of the old Union Square Theatre.

Unbeknownst to the FDNY firefighters, a cat named Kaiser was trapped in the basement of the Equitable Life Building as it burned to the ground.

Many articles have been written about the iconic Equitable Building fire in New York City, but few mention Kaiser, the Equitable Fire Cat.

In Part I and Part II of this Old New York bohemian cat tale, many of the photos were taken by photojournalist Jessie Tarbox Beals. In this final post in the series, I’ll share many of her cat photos and take you on a tour of her Sheridan Square studio in Greenwich Village.

Crazy Cat did not belong to any one human in particular, but rather made the rounds from one tearoom to another, no doubt dining on a few morsels or taking a cat nap near a warm fire in every establishment that would welcome him.