Friday, March 14, 2014

The Cat Museum

I think I have implied here on Baltic Avenue that Šiauliai has perhaps more than its fair share of quirky little museums, of which the cat museum is by far the most eccentric.
The short version of the story is that there was an old lady, Vanda Kavaliauskienė (1923-2011), who loved cats.  Over the course of her lifetime she acquired every conceivable kind of cat collectible:  cat photos; cat pictures, including 3-D paintings; ceramic cats, porcelain cats; amber cats; marble cats; wooden cats, fur cats; cat dolls; stain-glass window cats (see photo #1, above); and every other kind of cat you could imagine from all four corners of the inhabited world.  The museum makes Mrs. Kavaliauskienė’s collection readily accessible to the general public; we walked there on a beautiful sunny day this week. 

The Katinuų muziejus (see photo #2, above) is housed in Mrs. Kavaliauskiene’s former apartment at Žuvininkų gatvė, 18.  When we arrived and paid our entrance fees (3 litas apiece for seniors), we were told to look for “the director,” who we were told has a fearsome countenance but is “friendly to a fault.”  Sure enough, “the director” (see photo #3) made his appearance straightaway and toured the museum with us, jumping occasionally into my lap when I was seated and flopping down on the tops of my feet whenever I stood. 

In addition to the cat museum, there is in the same building a “mini-zoo” that features multiple rabbits; colorful parrots; a monkey; several snakes, including an enormous albino python; an iguana; a gecko; and other assorted caged animals.  Nice, but somebody needs to change the litter boxes in there.


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