I started collecting items related to the house cat long before I opened the Catman2 Shelter and I am still doing so. My life-long dream has been to display the collection in a museum where these many items could be shared and enjoyed by all cat lovers and a place everyone could learn more about the cat. The museum would also an educational institution where one could learn the history of the house cat, its place of origin and migration all over the world. It would also show how the cat has interacted with man throughout the ages. The museum would be both educational and enjoyable.
My collection of more than 30 years contains: Fine Art, Art Glass Cats, antique cat toys, vintage images of cat advertising used to attract people to purchase items, and so much more. I now have an option to locate the museum in The Old School House Antique Mall on highway 441 just south of Dillsboro. The museum will occupy two large rooms, separate but attached to the antique sales area and accessed through one of two entrances. For the most part the museum would be self-guided, but I would be there from time to time to explain things and answer questions.
I am now hoping to raise the money to: purchase showcases, help creature storyboards to explain the cat’s history etc. and perhaps help in other ways. Because I would not be there to charge an admission fee, visitors would be asked to make a donation and any income after costs would be given to the Catman2 Shelter, which I will still be very much involved as I have for the past many years. Income from the museum could be a major source of income from the shelter and interest in the museum could attract people to visit the Shelter itself, and other attractions in our area.
I am 80 years old now and I want to share my house cat related items with the public before I am too old to do so. I feel the Cat Museum would be an attraction that would bring people to our area. The cat is said to be America’s most popular pet now and any cat lover, knowing about it, would want to visit. It could be another reason to visit our area as well as western North Carolina. There are cat museums throughout the world, but there is only one Cat Museum in America now and it is in northern Ohio. Mine would put Sylva on the map.
—Dr. Harold Sims, Catman 2 Shelter