"...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, November 30, 2022

Newspaper Clipping of the Day

Via Newspapers.com

I’ve posted about a number of “ghost cats,” but this one may top them all.  The “Daily Republican Register,” June 15, 1923:

Zion, Ill., June 15. From a cat's grave in the rear of a farm shed, has risen Zion catdom’s latest bid for fame. 

It is Topsy, the ghost cat. 

Topsy has risen to fame in the literal sense, for several days ago she was buried after apparently meeting death in an accident. But with eight lives left to her credit, Topsy wasn't content to remain underground.

Today she is placidly enjoying the second of her nine lives.

Topsy's return from the feline Shadowland is told by Ira Blackwell, one of Lake county’s dry agents.

According to Blackwell, Topsy belonged to one of his cousins. 

Topsy was marked with brown black and white spots, her left hind leg had been broken and had reknit but apart from that, she was an ordinary sort of cat, with no signs of future fame apparent. 

One day Topsy was chasing mice in the corn crib when a heavy barrel fell on her. Topsy’s mashed, bleeding remains were dug out by her owner. There was no sign of life.

It was decided to hold a regular funeral for Topsy. A grave was dug at the edge of the orchard, the remains deposited therein with due pomp and ceremony, and a little mound marked with a headstone heaped on the grave. 

The next day a cat strolled into the kitchen. It was a bit wobbly and its whiskers were dirty. 

It had brown, black and white spots, and seemed strangely at home.

An examination disclosed a left hind leg that had been broken and had knitted.

At last, Topsy’s mourners. hastened to the grave. They opened the grave, and dug down to the bottom. 

There were no cat remains there.

I can only add that I hope Zombie Topsy enjoyed her unusual place in Cat History for a great many years.  And when her people eventually had to do a re-do on her burial, let’s hope they made sure she really needed one.


  1. Good Heavens, I'm glad the grave was shallow enough for Topsy to get out of. It'd have served her humans right if she outlived them.

    1. This is what puzzles me. If Topsy managed to dig her way out, surely her people would have immediately noticed that her grave had been opened--they wouldn't have had to dig to realize her body was no longer there.


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