Cats and dogs

28 November 2013

Whilst thinking about today’s blog, which was going to be about a rather useful website I located recently, all I have heard is the incessant noise of a small ginger and white furry creature. Now, the first question I need to ask you is this: how do you spell the noise he is creating? There does seem to be some discrepancy…. meow? meouw? miaow? Microsoft Word and Google appear to think meow, but I am not all that convinced….

However, picture this if you will….  a sound which is not dissimilar in nature to the scraping of fingernails down a blackboard. You are probably halfway to how irritating – nay, infuriating – this noise is. Having sought advice from many internet sites on ‘how to stop excessive m***wing’ – with little success I might add – my mind deviated back to family history and I wondered how many animal lovers, when given the chance to complete their own census form in 1911, decided to make mention of their household pets.

It would appear that several individuals and families were very attached to their animals with firstly, James Little who, with his wife and two children, resided at Herne Hill. Along with information relating to his family, James recorded the following details:

‘Incidentally, we have an Airedale Terrier. I do not know whether particulars are required, but in case you want them here they are!:

Name: Roger

Age: 5 years old

Children: ? but something over 100

Occupation: watchdog

Industry connected with: looking after house

Employed or working on own account: on own account

Whether working at home: at home and outside

Birthplace: Keighley, Yorkshire’

The 1911 census is wonderful for many reasons, one of which is that it reveals our ancestors’ personalities and eccentricities. Including Mr and Mrs Arthur John Delve in Smethwick who recorded their pet dog, Biddy at the bottom of their household form. Biddy was described as the couple’s ‘faithful Irish Terrier Bitch, Magnificent Watch, a demon on Cats and Vermin, age 11 years’.

And then there is Bobs (black cat), who was included on the Ladbrook family’s census return, aged one year old with an occupation of ‘Nomad‘ and industry ‘Mice Hunting’!

And so, I am sorry to say, you will need to wait another day to hear about that ‘rather useful website’…. possibly longer if sanity is completely lost today…. Anyone know a good place to purchase ear plugs?

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