"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Newspaper Clipping of the Day

This latest installment of the "Boston Post" series, "Famous Cats of New England" introduces us to Rummy, pride of Harvard:
"For he's a jolly good fellow, which nobody can deny." So proudly chant the myriad friends of "Rummy," the Harvard University cat. Not a Harvard man in the last eight years but knows the big powerful tom-cat. In fact there's hardly a man who studied there and there surely isn't a man among those who were there and didn't study with whom Rummy hasn't shared some escapade.

No mere musty old academic cat is Rummy. True, he invades President Lowell's sanctum at will; he has played with "Terry" in the recorder's office; he has vivisected a few frogs on his own account in the Zoological Laboratory; he has taken a peep at Venus in the observatory; he has browsed among the books in the Widener Library.

More than that he has shared the real life of the students, especially in the days before July 1, 1919. That's how Rummy got his name. Many were the glad rides on the train to Boston Rummy enjoyed in the old days, hidden under the great coat of some merry-making under class man. On several memorable occasions Rummy went to the theatre with the boys, and after the theatre supper rumor has it that "Fred" the baldheaded boy who served 'em up in the College Pharmacy, "The Farm" caught many a glimpse of Rummy staggering up the subway stairs from the last train "home" and zia-zagging across Harvard square to the yard.

The biggest cat around the square is Rummy. So proud is he of his 17 pounds that he sits up on the scales. He gets weighed about seven times a day, because parked on the platform the collegians get to betting on his weight and drop pennies into the slot to see how much he gains each day. The fellow who owns the scales is a bigger gainer than Rummy, the students say.
~December 18, 1920


  1. I'm pretty sure feeding alcohol to a cat is probably a bad thing, but Rummy seemed to have been none the worse for it.

  2. "among those who were there and didn't study" - How did they KNOW?

    I gave a cat alcohol once and feel kind of bad about it, but unbelievably, the cat drank beer with the rest of us. I don't remember too much about the cat (probably because I was drinking beer), but I think it was one of those gray-and-white tomcats and it lived in a college-student house. We never smuggled the cat into the movies for theater night.

    1. While it's not something I endorse, I have a bunch of old newspaper stories about beer-loving cats. Seemed to do them no harm. (Now that I think of it, this may need to be a future post...)


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