Attention all cat lovers out there… this article is just for you! You may want to amend this year’s summer plans to include a trip to the high mountains of western North Carolina community of Sylva, where the American Museum of the House Cat is now open.
The museum opened on April Fools Day of this year, but when it comes to the 10,000 housecat artifacts included inside the facility, there’s absolutely nothing to joke about — this is one serious collection.
According to the museum’s website, the collection includes: Fine ‘picture art’ going back to the late 1800’s, modern and folk art, rare cat advertisements, vintage and antique toy cats (many of which are automations from the 1890’s), and vintage advertising, ranging from clocks to storefront and window display items.
“There is not another private collection of this magnitude and value in America,” stated museum officials.
The museum was been opened to help support the Catman2 Cat Shelter, the first no-kill animal shelter in Jackson County, North Carolina, and the first cats only, cat shelter in western Carolina to reject the practice of keeping sheltered cats in cages instead of allowing them to roam free in large open spaces.
“The premise to an open or group shelter, came from my belief that no cat commits a crime by: being a stray, being abandoned by its owner, finding itself in a cat carrier on my doorstep, or coming to my shelter by any other means. Therefore, if no crime had been committed, why should that cat be locked in a cage like a criminal? I have operated Catman2 with this presupposition for the past sixteen years with a more than I expected level of success,” stated Harold Sims Founder and President of Catman-2 Inc. a not-for-profit, cats only shelter serving its WNC community since 1996.
“I have been collecting cat related items for the past thirty years or more and have amassed a large collection of high quality cat related items. I want to share the collection in a way that will entertain and educate the public about the wonders of the House Cat and its interrelationship with man,” stated Sims.
“It is said that there are 25 million cat lovers in America and there is only one other cat museum in the United States, in the town of Alliance [in] northeast Ohio. Cat lovers love cats, and will visit a museum opened in their honor.”
Organizers of the museum say there is room for the museum to grow and their hope is for “The Museum of the House Cat” to become a major attraction in western North Carolina, with proceeds going to help support cat shelters and attracting additional tourism to the region.
Individuals wishing to learn more about the House Cat Museum of America may do so by visiting the official website of the museum or by calling the museum: 828-421-0275 or 828-506-1236. The museum is located at 4704 Highway 441 South, Sylva, North Carolina, NC 28779
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