A museum full of cats, how could I not explore this one? I’m a card carrying crazy cat person, and any chance to combine my love of cats with my love of museums is one I jump at. In the past I’ve written about my top cats in museums and made sure that this Top Ten was written for a project I worked on…
My first stop in Amsterdam was to the city’s famous Cat Museum, the Katten Kabinet. You may have noticed.
Now, as with most great museums and superheroes, the Kabinet comes with a fantastic origin story. The museum was, according to legend, established to commemorate a certain Tom Cat who went by the monied moniker of John Pierpont Morgan. J P Morgan belonged to Bob Meijer, who spoiled him rotten. Today, the museum explores the cat in art and culture.
And it does so quite fabulously, don’t you think?
A musical connection
Musicals are popping up quite a bit in my museum adventures of late (remember this Mamma Mia! Connection?). It’s no surprise which musical is represented here.
Of course it’s Cats. Grizabella lurks in the corner, in all her alley-cat glory, stretching in a most feline way. In the dark room, I almost bumped into her. “Sorry,” I say apologetically, taking just a few seconds too long to realise that she isn’t an actual person. We’ve all done this before, right?
Grizabella was the only humanoid piece on display in the museums, the rest of the sculptures, pictures, posters and paintings were, I think, exclusively cats.
The many faces of the cat
Whether you think cats are cute and fuzzy or whether you’re in the camp that thinks they’re aloof, there is no denying that a cat’s face is very expressive. The face may not tell you as much as the ears and the tail, but it still gives a good indication of what’s going on in a cat’s head.
Or maybe I’m just trying to humanise my cat.
The posters on display show some very expressive cats in all sorts of situations. We have winking astronaut cats, wide-eyed thrill seeking cats and more Pusses in Boots than you can shake a cat toy at.
The best bit, though?
The museum is the home of actual cats, like this sleepy fellow. He is dozing by the window, basking in the sunshine, and enjoying all the attention he gets from the visitors.
It’s easy to see why this place regularly gets a mention in all those “Weirdest Museums” lists, the Katten Kabinet is a thoroughly odd experience – even for a crazy cat person like me! Just roll with it.
I got the impression that the Kabinet’s tongue is quite firmly in its cheek when it isn’t being used as a grooming tool.
If you would like to visit the Katten Kabinet, you’ll need an enthusiasm for all things cat and €6.
Bonus: sometimes it’s the little details that make all the difference. Take a look at this, what do you see?