Articles in Featuring Felines are written by
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 had 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 appeared on the museum's website.
Smith Super Cat knitting pattern
Oswald was so popular that he had his own knitting pattern, designed by Museum Assistant Elizabeth Douglas, a keen knitter and flower arranger. She said at the time: '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 fell in love with Oswald, and said how much they'd like to take him home, but he was totally dedicated to his job and even refused to stay with his original owners when they moved (see above). However, with the pattern, visitors were able to knit their own Oswald, which could be stuffed to make a soft toy or weighted to make a door stop.
Update, March 2020
The following notice appeared on Oswald's Facebook page.
It must have been distressing for him to be taken away from his familiar surroundings, but the coronavirus outbreak upset many lives, and it does sound as though Oswald has a good home where he'll be cherished for his remaining years.
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 no longer with us, but you can read more from his human companion here.
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Page created January 2014, with later updates and amendments