Tag Archives: pet parties

The Pets’ Christmas: 1901-1915


Lamb Chops, Carrots, and Bottle Flies hang on Christmas Tree.

Chicago. On the Christmas tree hung four luscious lamb chops.

Near the top were eight fine, big blue bottle flies, each impaled deftly on a pin thrust through red tissue paper.

Two luscious carrots dangled by red ribbons, knotted into holly, from a lower branch.

Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Crane fluttered about like flustered mamma and excited dad at a daughter’s coming-out party.

The tree was lighted; Mrs. Crane’s four chameleons executed deep courtesies; Dick, who was the guest of honor, barked a tiny squeak of appreciation, and the pets’ Christmas tree party was on.

Dick, be it known, is the Belgian griffon owned by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Grossmith. Vernon Castle, a brother of Mrs. Grossmith, solemnly baptized the dog a year ago, and has been Dick’s patron, so that these social affairs are somewhat boresome to him.

But Mrs. Crane’s chameleons’ party was not boresome. The chameleons feasted off the flies caught by café busboys at $1 per catch. Dick engaged the lamb chops in deadly encounter, and two mere rabbits, called in at the last minute by the resourceful Mrs. Crane when she received the regrets of George Arliss’ English bulldog, served their turn as “social fillers,” and munched the carrots. The Washington [DC] Post 29 December 1915: p. 6

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Mrs Daffodil has previously written on entertainments for favoured felines. With the approach of the winter festivals, naturally every dog must have his holiday.  Recently at the shops, Mrs Daffodil observed a department lavishly furnished with toys and gifts for pets, as well as special wrapping papers, decorations, costumes, and greeting cards designed with Our Furry Friends in mind.  One would imagine that our households were stocked with nothing but royal Corgis.

Mrs Daffodil is in favour of kindness to our animal companions, but draws the line at purchasing blue-bottle flies at premium prices. A saucer of sugar-water in the stables would produce as many choice specimens as desired. But perhaps these were pedigreed chameleons requiring a special diet.

Some other examples of celebrating with pets:


It was Laden With All Possible Canine Delicacies.

Baltimore, Dec. 26. A Christmas tree laden with sausages, ham bones, juicy chicken and other delicacies that would appeal to the taste of a dog was the novel holiday feature for the benefit of pet dogs on the estate of Miss Nannie Sloan, a well-known member of society. Miss Sloan has a beautiful country residence at Fairlee, near Lutherville, with O.B. Magrader, the manager of the place.

The tree was decorated with the usual trimmings, and the three pets, a greyhound, a fox terrier, and a pug, were taken to the room where the tree had been prepared and in a little while they were having the time of their lives. The dogs jumped after the various delicacies, much to the amusement of the spectators, and the event was voted a success. Wilkes-Barre [PA] Times 26 December 1906: p. 5

One imagines the tree did not long remain upright. The Queen of Servia’s dogs were more disciplined;


The Queen of Servia has a Christmas tree for her dogs. On it are placed those delicacies dearest to the canine heart. The animals are trained to take off these dainty morsels in an orderly manner, and at the Christmas ceremony itself the Queen and her friends attend to witness the proceedings. The Enquirer [Cincinnati OH] 22 December 1901: p. 2

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.

Feline Entertainments: 1885, 1905

Cat at the tea-table, c. 1911

Cat at the tea-table, c. 1911

Cat Parties the Latest.

Cat parties are the latest entertainments. Recently a young girl, the happy possessor of a fine Maltese cat, invited a number of her friends to bring their pet cats to 5 o’clock tea, each cat to have a ribbon about its neck corresponding to that worn by its mistress. At the appointed hour the cats made their appearance in charge of their respective owners. After the feline introductions had taken place, some of which were the reverse of friendly, games were introduced and soft balls, toy mice and other objects dear to pussy’s heart were provided.

These pastimes, however, I grieve to say, were sometimes marred by a vigorous slap when two strangers came in collision and once the belligerent pussies had to be separated by friends. When tea was announced, a table furnished with saucers of milk and small cages, and with cushioned stools, was disclosed. The floral decorations consisted of catnip, lavender, grasses and bright flowers. The cats placed on their respective stools, and attended by their mistresses partook of the good things set before them. Their behavior was quite correct. With their forepaw on the table they lapped the milk with becoming propriety.

When all were satisfied, there was a comical sight. Each pussy began making her toilet, and the face-washing was decorous in the extreme. After leaving the table, a sprig of catnip was given each kitty, and the feline happiness was complete. These sprigs were tossed in the air, caught, and lovingly caressed. As each kitty departed, it was presented with its ball or toy mouse as a memento of the party.

Bismarck [ND] Tribune 20 October 1885: p. 4

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: If cats were being celebrated in 1885; there was a resurgence of the feline entertainment in 1905. A birthday party was meticulously planned for “Alice Roosevelt,” a black Angora, by Mrs. J.C. Hitchcock of New Castle, Pennsylvania, her owner, if Angora cats may be said to be owned.


A “Coming-out” Event for Mrs. Hitchcock’s Angora.

Sharon, Pa., February 26. Invitations have been issued by Mrs. J.C. Hitchcock, of New Castle, for a fashionable feline party in honor of the third anniversary of her black Angora cat, Alice, named for President Roosevelt’s daughter. The party is to be held at her beautiful residence within a few days.

The novelty of the affair has stirred New Castle society, and it promises to be largely attended by the best and wealthiest people of the tin-plate city down the valley. New Castle society leaders are proud of their high-bred cats and dogs and Mrs. Hitchcock is no exception. She conceived the idea of giving the party, which is to be the “coming out” event of her pretty Angora cat. The invitations read:
“Mrs. Hitchcock desires your presence at a party to be given in honour of the third birthday of her cat Alice. You are requested to bring your best felines.

Only high-bred and well-behaved cats are to be admitted, and prizes will be awarded to the handsomest. A dainty luncheon for the friends of Alice will be prepared by caterers.

Acceptances have been received from nearly every one to whom an invitation was sent.

Baltimore [MD] American 27 February 1905: p. 8

One is a little unsure about the propriety of a “coming-out” party for a black Angora. Debutantes are required to wear white gowns and wool, no matter how fine, is rarely on the approved list of textiles. And how did “Alice Roosevelt” acquire her name—did Mrs Hitchcock catch her smoking? Sadly, the party had to be confined to the family circle as Mrs Hitchcock fell ill.  Neighborhood gossips—perhaps those who were not invited to the lavish gathering—spread rumours that, had the invitations not been rescinded, the guest of honour would have dined alone. They claimed that most invitations had been declined by the local nibs, who treated the party as a joke. The cat in the illustration at the head of his post seems be taking the entertainment very seriously indeed.

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.