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A museum devoted to house cats ?

museum devoted to house cats. It opened in North Carolina

museum devoted to house cats . The American Museum of the House Cat has opened in North Carolina. Proving that we as a nation have not yet run out of ideas for quirky roadside attractions. And quirky is the word. Among the 10,000 artifacts included is a petrified cat pulled from a 16th century English chimney. Its last meow frozen in time.

The museum, opened in 2017, is the creation of Dr. Harold Sims, known locally as “Cat Man” for his dedication to rescuing unwanted felines. Harold had about 80 cats in his custom-built no-kill shelter (which he opened next to his home in 2002), but he also had what he believed to be America’s largest collection of house cat memorabilia, and he wanted to share it with the public.  

“Most people think cats are pets and that’s it,” he said. “They don’t know about cats being a part of so many different kinds of stuff.”

“Cats are like magnets,” said Harold. “They’ve got big eyes, they’re fuzzy, they’re cute.”  Advertisers, said Harold, know about cats’ appeal and use more images of cats than dogs.  “You put a cat on a box, and people grab it.”

The point of sharing all of his stuff, Harold said, is to show visitors the bond that’s existed for centuries between people and cats. He admits to draining his personal retirement kitty to acquire some of his rarer items — and to bankroll his cat shelter — but shrugs at the cost.

“I was born in 1934; I could die tomorrow; what the hell,” he said. “It’s only money.”

 All profits from the museum go to the Catman2 Shelter, a unique cage-free no-kill cat adoption center.

American Museum of the House Cat

Address: 4704 US Hwy 441, Sylva, NC
Directions: US Hwy 74 exit 81A in Sylva. Drive south about five miles on US Hwy 23/441. The museum will be on the right, in the Antique Mall.
Hours: Tu-Sa 10-5, Su 12-5 (Call to verify)
Phone: 828-476-9376
Admission: Adults $5.
RA Rates: Worth a Detour