Monday, December 6, 2010

Janet the Cat

Since this blog has begun I have tried to introduce the world to a number of the faces who are regularly seen around the museums of the Annapolis Heritage Society. One of the decidedly unsung presences around the O'Dell House Museum is our neighbour's cat Janet. I will admit that Janet can be a mixed blessing in the museum on occasion. I have frequently been in the middle of a discussion with visitors when I see her leisurely wander through one of the exhibit rooms at the museum. Invariably there is a somewhat comic chase through the museum as I attempt to move her toward the exit without breaking any artifacts. If she is feeling generous she will let me carry her out. If she is not, we have a game of cat and curator until she decides to run out the door.

On the positive side, Janet does play a useful role in attracting visitors to the museum. I would not even begin to count the number of times that I have opened the door of the museum to find a tourist having a short visit with Janet. She rolls around on the sidewalk and doles out short bursts of feline affection for tourists who are suffering separation from their own cats. This usually provides me with the opportunity to introduce Janet start a conversation. More often than not this conversation turns into a museum visit. She is much better in this role than her elusive brother Sam who tends to shun most human attention.

Interestingly, Janet has recently started to provide some gardening services for the museum. As you can see in the second photograph, she has decided that the dead stems of our hostas are quite unsightly. She regularly wanders over to the museum, bites off a stem or two and gives a somewhat disgusted look at the door before she walks away. As a community organization, it takes a broad spectrum of personalities to make a museum work.

All for now,


  1. This is great! I've heard of library cats, but this is my first museum cat. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I'm with Amy. My local library has a cat, but I doubt that our historical society does.

    Good post.

  3. Sadly and somewhat ironically, one of the more famous of the museum cats died on the day I made this post. Clara the RCO (Rodent Control Officer) on the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic's CSS Acadia died of natural causes this morning. Clara was twenty years old.