Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Mail Cats of Belgium - 1879

Marie Reed of Saint Fargeau, Yonne, France, posts on her fascinating Web site, Vintage Postcards, an interesting story about Belgian pussy cats who delivered the mail back in the 19th century.

According to Marie, "Thirty-seven plucky mail cats" were trained and employed to carry bundles of letters (and postcards) to nearby villages in and around Li├Ęge, Belgium in 1879 for saucers of milk.

The New York Times reported that, "Messages are to be fastened in water-proof bags around the necks of the animals, and it is believed that, unless the criminal class of dogs undertakes to waylay and rob the mail cats, the messages will be delivered rapidly and safely."

Not surprisingly the experiment was short-lived as the cats proved undisciplined. Thus, the expression "it's as futile as trying to herd cats."

To read more, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM