Posts Tagged ‘Cat Stories’

Part I: Buster and Topsy, the Rival Police Cat Mascots On the evening of December 6, 1911, the men of the old Eldridge Street police precinct in New York City’s Lower East Side moved into the brand-new station house occupied by the men of the old Delancey Street precinct. The large modern building at the corner of Clinton and […]

George Washington. Ben Franklin. General William Howe. Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt. These are just a few of the prominent men in history who visited the 17th-century farmhouse on the banks of The Narrows in Rosebank, Staten Island, where photographer Alice Austen made history in the late 19th century. Today, this old farmhouse where Alice lived with her family […]

Part I of this Old New York cat tale begins in 1825 at the old Hermitage Farm on the west side of Manhattan, where a large horse car depot was built in 1864.

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.

You may nearly fall over the black-and-white feline which belongs to no one in any of the buildings, but which haunts them all like an unquiet ghost, and which is known by everyone as the Crazy Cat.