If you read last Monday’s post, you know that we made a pitstop at the Catman2 Shelter on our way to Asheville a few weeks ago. After we finished up at the shelter, we made a second stop before finishing the drive. We stopped at the American Museum of the House Cat!
The American Museum of the House Cat is a unique museum full of Dr. Harold Sims’s 30+ year collection of all things relating to the house cat. And when they say “all things,” they really mean “ALL things.” 🙂 (Dr. Sims is the founder/owner of both the museum and the Catman2 Shelter.)
There are countless art prints, some going back to the late 1800’s, modern art, folk art, rare advertising art, cat poster art, art glass cats, vintage and antique toy cats, vintage advertising, clocks, and storefront or window display items, etc. There are also a lot of historical cat artifacts. The American Museum of the House Cat is actually home to the largest private collection of this magnitude in the country!
Though the museum is small in size, there is a lot to see, as you can tell. You could easily spend upwards of an hour combing through all of the exhibits and learning all about them. We took a self-guided tour, but Kelly, one of the museum volunteers, checked in with us throughout our visit to explain and point out exhibits of special-interest. She was extremely knowledgable and helpful, and we enjoyed talking all things “cat” with her.
Something that I really appreciated about the museum was their focus on cat education. For an additional $5, you can purchase a Reader’s Guide for the museum. It is an amazing resource for all kinds of interesting information! There are articles about some of the exhibits, but also some great historical articles about the history of the house cat, cats in Egypt, cats during the Black Plague, the history of cat litter etc. It also has some great information about spaying and neutering and things to know before getting a cat.
If you will be in the Sylva, NC area, don’t miss out on visiting this museum. It is a unique treat for sure! The museum is closed for the season right now, but they are offering private winter tours Sundays-Fridays with 48 hours advance notice for the months of January, February and March. There is a $5 entrance fee to the museum. Any money earned in excess to museum costs goes to the Catman2 Shelter.
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I love all that Dr. Sims and his crew are doing for cats in Western North Carolina. They are working tirelessly not just to promote rescue and adoption, but also to educate and advocate for cats everywhere. If you will be in the area, I definitely recommend checking out both the Catman2 Shelter and the American Museum of the House Cat.