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Museum Cats 13
After leaving the People's Palace in Glasgow, and having taken in Smudge, the former Palace cat, until she died in 2000, Elspeth King went on to become director of the Smith Art Gallery and Museum in the town of Stirling. There she has the company of Oswald, the resident mouser and cat-in-charge. He wasn't always a resident, having first moved close to the museum with his humans, but after a brief spell away in a different town, Bridge of Allan, which didn't suit him at all, he returned to the Smith full-time.
We can hardly do better than reproduce, with permission and a little minor editing, his story as it appears on the museum's website.
Launch of Smith Super Cat knitting pattern
Oswald is now so popular that he has his own knitting pattern! It's been written, designed and test-knitted by Museum Assistant Elizabeth Douglas, who is a keen knitter and flower arranger she does the floral arrangements both for the Stirling Smith and for her local church. She said 'Oswald is quite fond of wool, and gave me a lot of help with the pattern while we were both on evening duty.'
Many visitors have fallen in love with Oswald, and have said how much they'd like to take him home, but he is totally dedicated to his job and even refused to stay with his original owners when they moved (see above). However, visitors are now able to knit their own Oswald, which can be stuffed to make a soft toy or weighted to make a door stop. They are welcome to bring back the results for a photograph to compare with the real Oswald-cat.
The knitting patterns cost £3.50 and are being sold in aid of the Smith Development Fund. They are available from the gallery at: Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum, Dumbarton Road, Stirling FK8 2RQ, UK; telephone (0)1786 471917.
With our thanks and acknowledgements to Elspeth King and the museum for permission to reproduce Oswald's 'PV' (Purriculum Vitae) from the Stirling Smith website and the use of their photographs.
See also our page for Smudge the Trade Union Cat and rodent operative at the People's Palace Museum, Glasgow, who retired from public duties in 1991 to live with Elspeth. Smudge died in 2000, but a memorial for 'Sister Smudge' can still be seen outside the People's Palace.
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Our featured feline at the head of the page is Socks, pictured in 2003 surveying his 'estate' in the early morning sunshine. Affectionately known as Soxy, he blossomed from a thin and hungry stray into a substantial and handsome cat who loved life and company, and his gentle ways endeared him to many friends. He is now no longer with us, but you can read more from his human companion here.
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Page created January 2014