Casefile Clues

14 July 2013

A Regular Visit by the Cat in 1888--And One More Reason to Cite

Newspapers can provide unique insight into our relative's life. This reference from 1888 is a case in point:

"Phil Troutfetter is now at Cimilario, New Mexico, where the Cat visits him regularly,"

Meow.

"Where the Cat visits him regularly" looks strange on the surface, until the source is considered. Just what "Cat" is visiting Phil? Items taken out of context can create drama where there is none.

This sentence regarding Phil Trotufetter is from the Thomas County Cat of 4 October 1888 (page 5), published in Colby, Kansas.

The "Cat" to which the sentence refers is the newspaper--not the sort of cat that meows. The capitalization of the word "Cat" should have been a clue as well that the reference was not to a general feline.

And there's just one more reason to adequately cite your source--not all cats are created equally.

And we certainly wouldn't want to think Phil Troutfetter was cattin' around.

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The reference was located in the "Chronicling America" collection at the Library of Congress website (with images provided by the Kansas State Historical Society).