I found this fine fellow today when searching for the image of a monkey, wearing a monocle and cravat, and holding a copy of Charles Darwin's 'Origin of Species'. I'm sure I saw him once! Any leads greatly appreciated.

I have no idea what's going on here, though probably some form of dentistry - and the hideous kittens below are clearly having a lovely time...

But, the finest collection of taxidermy that I've had the 'pleasure' to see, in the flesh, was when dining at the London restaurant, Les Trois Garcons...a gloriously camp and baroque experience, though such surroundings may dampen the appetites of those of a more delicate constitution...

Still, you've got to love the angelic little dog above. And, finally, speaking of dogs, I have discovered the story of Owney...

Owney wandered into Albany post office in New York in 1888 and was found sleeping on some mailbags. Soon, he was riding on the trains that ferried mail across state and country. In 1895 he traveled around the world, sailing by steamship to Asia and Europe.

Owney was considered good luck - no train he travelled on ever crashed and, following each successful  trip a lucky charm was attached to his collar. Eventually, the postmaster had a jacket made to take the weight of so many jingling medals.

Owney came to a sad end. In old age, he grew a little bad tempered and, following an unfortunate incident, when a newspaper reporter appears to have been bitten, Owney was shot. But the mail workers raised funds to have their beloved mascot preserved and, today, Owney is on display in the Smithsonian Institute - looking somewhat less of a threat, a little less shaggy, and a lot less perky than he ever did in life.


  1. Oh, poor Owney! He looks so sweet.

    Those rabbit and kitten scenes are very like the kind of thing they had at Potter's - there were kittens singing in a choir I think, and guinea pigs playing cricket! It's rather creepy but gives an interesting insight into what the Victorians found entertaining.

  2. They created some very odd hybrids too... which takes me back to a certain mermaid!

  3. I did not know about Owney! Thanks for posting on this.

  4. Poor little Owney! He reminds me of the saddest episode of Futurama...but that's me being a total geek. As a former long-time resident of Albany I never heard of this story! Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Thank you, Lauren and Heather. I hope you're enjoying the blog.