regarding my pussies

Miss Charlotte Rosa Raine died in 1894, leaving behind a very interesting will. She left her lands and hereditaments to Lord Randolph Churchill in recognition of his commanding political genius and bequeathed her books to found a public  library.

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She also left £500 to the Society for Promoting Christianity Among the Jews and then she turned to more important matters…. “And as regards my pussies…”

The Rabbi’s Cat found here

“her dear old white puss Titiens and her pussies Tabby Rolla, Tabby Jennefee, and black-and-white Ursula were left to Ann Elizabeth Matthews, who was to receive £12 a year for the upkeep of each cat so long as it lived. Louise and Dr Clausman (both cats) were to go to Elizabeth Willoughby (her maid); her Black Ebony and White Oscar were to become the property of Miss Lavinia Sophia Beck. Both these beneficiaries were also to receive £12 a year per cat.

artist’s impression of Dr Clausman

All the remainder of her pussies were additionally bequeathed to Ann Elizabeth Matthews, and the executors were ordered to pay her £150 a year out of the dividends of shares towards their support, but this was not to extend to kittens afterwards born.

Charlotte is by no means alone in writing a will stipulating how her animals are to be looked after. Mr William Joseph Haines also expressed a wish in his will that his two cats should be provided for after his death. Counsel for the executors explained that as the cats were not separately represented in court, he would have to argue on their behalf. The following exchange about whether they should live at home or be boarded out was recorded…..

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His Lordship: “It depends on the appetite of the cats”

Counsel: “Or whether they are good mousers”

His Lordship: “Can I take judicial notice of the fact that 16 years is a long life for a cat?”

Counsel: “Yes, my Lord, I think you can.”

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Published in: on July 6, 2010 at 8:13 am  Comments (33)  
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33 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. By jingo it’s good to have you back, Nurse Myra. You are a life enhancer of the highest magnitude.

    • I don’t seem to be able to leave comments on your blog tonight Charles. Your post on the Nigerian way of death was very interesting.

  2. First, I have only just about survived your absence…thank God you are back! Now cats: I’m not averse to stroking the odd pussie or two, but I did laugh like a drain, before gasping with horror, when the Cat’s Protection League looked set to lose £11.2 MILLION when an Icelandic bank went whoopsie in 2008. I mean, what is ANY charity doing with that much dosh in the bank, let alone one for cats! Madness…..

    • Jeepers – they could neuter a LOT of toms with that amount of money

  3. This was a fun post, I have to say the image of the house designed for the comfort and amusement of cats was salutary.

    • Yes, Pablo is looking very disgruntled after seeing how some other cats live.

  4. better than leaving a pussy to medical science. those medical students and their propensity for pranks….

  5. Wow I loved that house. My cat will love it and when I do get some pet monkeys, they’ll go ape shit for it!

    Nothing compares to the fortune that Helmsley left her dog though.

    • Poor Trouble Helmsley had his inheritance reduced to $2 million though. That’s not going to buy him a lot of high end pussy

  6. soon i will have a pussy of my own and i will cuddle and stroke it and give it some big balls to play with so that it stays properly stimulated. intellectually. (…dirty, you)

    • (!)

      • haha…. I’ve got a special photo for you. Will email it shortly

  7. Funny how pussies and Misses go together …….

    • My pussy missed me while I was away. He’s been attached to my lap for the past three days, purring like a Harley Davidson

      • I noticed you were unfaithful whilst you were away ……. tsk

  8. I’d prefer to go the traditional route and provide for my cats directly by letting them eat me when I pop my clogs.

    • Do you own a pride of lions? That’s a recurring nightmare for me – being eaten by lions *shudder*

  9. It is a duty of every lady to ensure that her pussy is cared for. My furry masters would go ape for that house!

    • Oh mine is very well cared for – perfectly groomed

  10. All cats are liars, and doctors too. This is why they rule the world.

    • Maybe that’s true of american doctors. Aussie doctors are dinky di

  11. Cats rule

    • They’re good at trigonometry too

  12. Oh, you’ve gone and filled Teva and Isabel’s heads with many a morbid thought. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to trip me with slightly more gusto than before, now that my precious heiresses know what’s at stake.

    • you could always threaten to adopt another kitten

  13. I wonder if anyone would pay £12 for the upkeep of my pussie?

    • Sounds like a good deal to me.

      • There you go Dolce; Alex would like to help you out

  14. Its great being treated to these interesting twists and tales again NM, only improvement I can imagine is if the will had detailed what to do with her *other* pussie….

  15. Amazing how people look after their pets and provide better care than they would to another human being. Granted, I applaud the care and welfare of animals but these cats were spoiled rotten.


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