Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Old Ladies and Felines


Happy Thanksgiving! This post is going to be different than what I usually offer. No, not 'crazy old ladies and their cats'...I'm not going there. Not even going to discuss cats or other animals that eat their owners. Then there are old ladies who turn the tables on their cats. Then again, some cats may carry parasites that cause old cat ladies to kill themselves. Anyway...let's get to the stories.

This somewhat humorous tale was published in London's Illustrated Police News on October 1, 1870. The 2nd story is historical and a bit sad...though I've never seen the reference before:

A report has been forwarded to us from Newport, together with a sketch, from which the illustration in our front page has been engraved. The facts of the case are summarized as this: in a small dilapidated cottage on the outskirts of the above-named town, a Mrs. Joyton--an old lady of eccentric habits--has resided for the last four years, she herself being the only occupant of the tenement. She chose to lead a life of such strict seclusion, and was altogether so singular in her habits, that the neighbours very naturally came to the conclusion that she was a little deranged. Sometimes she would condescend to exchange a word or two with one or more of those to whom she had become known, whilst at others she would pass them with an angry frown and a brusque manner; and when in this humour she would not vouchsafe a reply to any question.

To the surprise of everybody, for some reason or other, Mrs. Joyton was no longer to be seen in her accustomed haunts. Days paused over, and the general impression was that the poor old lady must be either dead or seriously ill. No answer had been returned to those who were bold enough to knock at the cottage door of the recluse. On Monday or last one neighbour more persistent than the rest gave a brief recital of the facts to the policeman on duty, who at once proceeded to the cottage and knocked most violently at the door. Its obstinate and eccentric occupant returned no answer; whereupon, his patience being exhausted, the policeman burst open the door.

Upon his entering the back room he discovered Mrs. Joyton in a bed, surrounded by a number of cats of every conceivable variety--black, white, brindled, tortoiseshell, and tabby were there assembled. The feline family seemed to be a very large one. One cat was on the bed with several kittens, others were on the shelf, the drawers, chairs, and ground. One pugnacious pussy flew at the policeman, who was a little disconcerted at the attack made by so strange an assailant. The old lady, who had been ill and kept her bed for some days, showered a torrent of abuse upon the head of the intruder, and commanded him to leave her apartment in a most imperious manner. He strove as best he could to pacify her by telling her that he had effected an entrance for the purpose of seeing if she needed advice or assistance, and wound up his discourse by offering to go for the parish doctor. This exasperated the invalid still more. She called the policeman an impudent fellow, and finished by throwing a basin at his head, whereupon the officer deemed it advisable to beat a retreat, and hastened at once to report proceedings at the station-house.

We are glad to say, after much exhortation, the visiting clergyman of the district has succeeded in getting Mrs. Joyton in a better frame of mind. She has consented to see the doctor, and to have a nurse, if necessary; but will not brook any interference with her favourites. To be surrounded by her cats appears to be her greatest happiness.

An amusing anecdote...as opposed to the next story:


To the Coroner or First Police Officer that Finds My Body Here: I beg of you to telephone to President Theodore Roosevelt. He will have my body cremated. I have written to him, have made my will, and all I have is his. He will have everything attended to just as I wish it to be, and all will be right. He knows where to find everything. Please find enclosed $5, and a thousand thanks for your kindness.

Please do not let my poor kittens be frightened or annoyed. President Roosevelt will take them as soon as he receives my letter I mailed to-night to him. Please let them stay here until then. My heart is broken, so I take my own life in the familiar way I know by drinking chloroform. No one is to blame but myself. I trust my spirit and future life to a merciful and loving God, who knows and judges our sorrow. — Lulu B. Grover, December 8, 1906

Read more about Lulu B. Grover at Lulu Grover and the East Harlem Cats She Bequeathed to President Roosevelt. It's quite an interesting story.


How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You

Sorry I Barfed on Your Bed (and Other Heartwarming Letters from Kitty)

Guys Can Be Cat Ladies Too

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things


Yeah...that's Vinny relaxing and reading. BTW...he wasn't too thrilled with this post.

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