Archive for the ‘Featured Felines’ Category

Comments Off on 1893: The Tombs’ Black Cat That Befriended Prisoners on Murderers’ Row

With Halloween only a few weeks away, my next few posts will feature black cats (cliche, I know) or any spooky animal tales that I uncover during my research. The following story combines a black cat with murder, a creepy old prison, and of course, New York City history. “Old Nig,” my friend, comes every […]

A century before there was Grumpy Cat, Lil Bub, Street Cat Bob, and all the countless felines inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame, there were the “movie cats” that rose to stardom during the silent film era. I’m not talking about Felix the Cat, the cartoon cat that made his first appearance in 1919 […]

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the United States government allocated funds to feed hundreds of cats that were “hired” to catch rats at post offices and other federal buildings.

Before there was a Seward Park on Essex Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, there was a square block of old wooden houses and crumbling brick tenements where hundreds of immigrants and alley cats made their home. There once was a woman who lived in a dilapidated frame tenement house on the Lower […]

I recently wrote about Old Tom, who was a very popular mascot of New York’s City Hall in the early 1900s. Although several other cats took over Tom’s place at City Hall after he died, none of these felines were as popular as Tammany, who occupied City Hall during the administrations of Mayor Jimmy Walker […]

“If, as the Arabs suppose, the spirits of gentlewomen are re-embodied in cats, there is a delicate appropriateness in this dedication of cat fur to the adornment of living gentlewomen.” –The New York Times, October 12, 1890 With all the recent hubbub about the fur coat Joe Namath donned at this year’s Super Bowl, I […]

Recently, I wrote about Tom, the mascot of New York’s City Hall from 1891 to 1908. Tom may have acted as if he were the king cat of New York, but that’s probably because he didn’t know about his feline counterpart in Brooklyn. Jerry Fox, an enormous tiger cat “of striking appearance” who performed heroic […]

The following story is dedicated to the family of Martin J. Keese, the most famous custodian of City Hall in the history of New York. It was a cold and wet day in 1891 when the homely tabby kitten with white paws first tried to make New York’s City Hall his manor home. Somehow he […]

In my last post, I wrote about the very first public tree lighting ceremony that took place on Christmas Eve in 1912. What I neglected to mention in that story was that Madison Square Park was covered in snow, thanks to a large storm on Christmas Eve that dumped almost a foot of snow on […]

The movers and shakers of New York City were quite a progressive bunch during the holidays in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, especially on Thanksgiving Day. Their efforts would have certainly made New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio , Reverend Al Sharpton, Bernie Sanders, and their supporters proud. According to news reports […]