“N” is for …

005Happy Monday, Everybody!!! It’s Monday, or maybe it should be Nonday – because today is “N” day!!!

Before I start the A to Z post  — which I’m adding via mom’s phone — I wanted to say how sad we all are for the loss of our sweet Nellie from Nellie on the Edge, formerly The Cat From Hell. I say “our” because she was like family to the cat blogosphere and we are all feeling the pain of her loss. I will do a proper memorial tomorrow but I want to say Nellie, I’m glad you’re out of pain and back to who you really are but I’m also very sad that you’re gone. We love you and are sending prayers for your human mom that she will feel the cat blogosphere’s love and compassion coming toward her. Goodbye, Sweet Queen Nellie.

Our subjects for today are: Napoleon, Night Watchman and Nipper!!

Napoleon was a white cat that lived in Baltimore from during the 1930s. He was a peculiar sort of cat (aren’t we all?) – he had a certain posture he would get into just before it rained: he would lie prone with his front paws extended and his head tucked down on the ground between them. one morning, after a month-long drought and the weather forecast called for “continuing dry weather” Napoleon assumed his rain-coming position. His human called the newspaper to report the change in weather and when his prediction came true, his forecasts were published in the newspaper for the next 6 years. Supposedly he was never wrong in all that time. When he died, he had an inscribed tombstone that read “Napoleon the Weather Prophet, 1917-1936.” And you thought cats were too aloof to be in touch with the world around them!!!0417a cat-napoleon-weather-predicting-book-001 I wish I knew which book this was from!

Night Watchman, a stray cat, showed up at Webster’s Feed store on Pine Island, New York one day. He wasn’t thrown out because he immediately started catching mice. He soon rid the store of mice and was made the office manager. Night Watchman managed the store for 18 years before dying in his sleep.0417 holly ny bodega cat for night watchmanThis isn’t Night Watchman, but she is a bodega cat named Holly!!

Here’s one fellow you old-timer’s will know – Nipper, the mascot for RCA for over 50 years. Nipper was a terrier (some say fox terrier, other’s say Jack Russell) and so named because he would nip at the backs of people’s legs. He was born in 1884 in Bristol, England. He lived originally with his owner, Mark H. Barraud but when he died in 1887, Mark’s brothers, Francis and Philip, took care of Nipper until he died in September 1895.0417 c his masters voice in progress

Three years later, in 1898, Francis Barraud painted a picture of Nipper listening to a wind-up Edison-Bell cylinder phonograph. He figured the Edison-Bell Company would like it so he presented it to James Hough, who declined the offer stating “Dogs don’t listen to phonographs.” Later on in 1899, Francis went to The Gramophone Company to borrow a brass trumpet to replace the black one he originally painted. When the manager of the company, William B. Owen, suggested to Barraud that if he replaced the cylinder machine with a disc machine, he would buy the painting.0417 a his masters voice the original painting

Francis Barraud sold not only the painting but the slogan “His Master’s Voice” to The Gramophone Company for 100 pounds sterling – 50 pounds for the copyright and 50 pounds for the painting itself. Francis Barraud said: “It is difficult to say how the idea came to me beyond the fact that it suddenly occurred to me that to have my dog listening to the phonograph, with an intelligent and rather puzzled expression, and call it ‘His Master’s Voice’ would make an excellent subject. We had a phonograph and I often noticed how puzzled he was to make out where the voice came from. It certainly was the happiest thought I ever had.” The original oil painting hung in the EMI board room in Hayes, Middlesex, for many years.0417 b his masters voice revised revised painting

As for Nipper, he never knew how famous he became. He was buried in Kingston upon Thames in Clarence Street, in a small park surrounded by magnolia trees. According to Wikipedia, the area was later built upon, and a branch of Lloyds Bank now occupies the site. On the wall of the bank, just inside the entrance, a brass plaque commemorates the terrier that lies beneath the building. On 10 March 2010, a small road near to the dog’s resting place in Kingston upon Thames was named Nipper Alley in commemoration of this resident.


I hope you enjoyed this little Nip to the past!!!! Have a Nice Nonday and one of the tuxie girls will see you tomorrow for Tuxie Tuesday and “O” day!!!

Namaste, Toby