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No ordinary 1899 cat

No ordinary young Bluffton woman

Ordinary cats don’t exist, so the saying goes. The white feline in this photo proves that. It convinced its owner, my grandmother, that the pair needed to be photographed.

Here’s the story behind the photo and the interesting relationship between cat and its mistress. The photo was probably taken in 1899. Notice the wedding ring on the finger of the young woman.


This cat – I no longer recall its name – belonged to my Grandmother Bertha Althaus Hahn. She grew up in the house on the corner of Lawn and Elm in Bluffton. The animal was her pet before she was married in 1899.


Following her marriage, she and her husband, Fred, raised their family next door at 216 West Elm Street. The cat moved in with the newlyweds where it lived out its nine lives to the fullest.


My grandmother often told me about this cat. I recall one story worth retelling.


The two played a hide and seek game with a small ball of yarn. The cat continually “hid” the yarn behind sheet music on a piano. There were other cat tales my grandmother told that I can’t remember.


The cat escaped my memory until this summer. The memory returned when my cousin, Doug Hahn, showed me this photo.

Yes, I knew the cat. I knew it well. It was no ordinary cat. It was no ordinary young woman.






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