There’s a new museum in NC and it’s name is the American Museum of the House Cat, which basically means that people are still coming up with quirky ideas for roadside attractions for passerby’s. What will you see at the American Museum of the House Cat? There are over 10,000 artifacts in the museum to view, however, one artifact that is deserving of the word quirky, is a petrified cat that was pulled out of a 16th-century English chimney and the cat’s meow has permanently been frozen in time.
This unique museum, if you love cats, or even if you don’t, opened its doors on April 1st in Sylva, which is 160 is northwest of Charlotte. The idea and development was due to one man named Harold Sims, also referred to as “The Cat Man,” in the area. He is a retired college professor and current cat shelter owner, and is someone who took his love for cats to a whole new dimension. He now owns the only cat museum in the nation, that is completely dedicated to and honors house cats. There is a museum in Ohio, however, it only exhibits Japanese cat toys.
Sims says that his goal was to display his collection and let people and cat lovers enjoy what he has enjoyed and give people a chance to learn more about house cats. He describes the museum as an educational institution where people can learn about the history of the house cat, the origin of the house cat and its migration across the world. It will also show people how the cat and humans have learned to communicate with each other and how that communication has changed through the years.
When you visit the museum, you enter through the Antique Mall and will take a self-guided tour. The staff at the museum are all voluntary. The Asheville Citizen-Times recently did a write-up of the museum and described it as a place that highlights the bond that forms between a cat and humans and how it has progressed from Egyptian days, to present day. There is a collection spans over 30 years of cat-related artifacts. You’ll see antique toys from the 1930’s era, advertising from pet stores from centuries ago, as well as a hand-carved kitty carousel. One of the biggest highlights is a bronze of the feline goddess Bastet, which dates back all the way to 600 B.C.
On most days, you’ll find Harold at the museum spilling different tidbits of interest and facts about housecats that will fascinate even the most knowledgeable cat lovers. It’s an interesting museum for many reasons, and after all, there is no other place that you’ll be able to see a petrified cat, whiskers and all.
For details on the museum, visit catman2.org or call 828-293-0892.