Thursday, February 24, 2011

All the Presidents' Cats

Happy Friday! I hope you had the past Monday off from work in observance of President’s Day. My Mom remembers when there used to be separate Washington’s birthday and Lincoln’s birthday holidays – more days off for the working man. Oh well, guess it helps employers save money on holiday pay!
As some of my long time friends and faithful blog readers know, my feline family has a rich history of actually being a part of history. My ancestors are from all over the world, and somehow they seem to end up in the middle of the important events going on at the time – I guess I come by it honestly!
Seeing pictures of Presidents from the past during the President’s Day holiday jarred my memory in regard to one of my great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great……..great grandfathers who had come to live in Virginia with a lovely couple, George and Martha. Yes, THAT George and Martha. The stories of his adventures with George were passed down from generation to generation in my family. We are fortunate to also have some paintings that have documented the validity of these stories, a couple of which I will share with you today!
My grandfather’s name was Augustine – in honor of George’s father. He had my family’s trademark adventurous spirit and outgoing nature. He came to live with the Washington’s when he was just an itty bitty kitten, several years after George and Martha had married. Augustine more or less adopted them, but they seemed very happy to welcome him into the family. They had two children, John and Martha, who were called Jackie and Patsy. I see where the Jackie comes from – don’t get the Patsy thing. They were Martha’s kids from her first marriage -she was a widow when she met George. Sadly, George and Martha never had children of their own.
Augustine was a man’s man, and he always made sure to find a way slip into a pocket or saddlebag to go along with George on military campaigns. My grandfather must have been a tough tom, because I have seen many pictures of the winter battles during the Revolutionary War, and it looks awful!! I’m sure you’ve seen this picture, a perfect illustration of the terrible conditions:

If you look very closely, you’ll see my grandfather. Can you see him? Let me zero in onthe section where he is for you:

Isn’t that cool?!??!
Augustine used to help George keep his hands warm by snuggling down in George’s big coat pocket so that when George put his hand in his pocket, it would get toasty warm! I bet Washington and his troops wouldn’t have been able to withstand the tough journey in order to make the surprise attack on the Hessian forces at Trenton, NJ if it weren’t for my grandfather!
George and Augustine took care of each other all during the war and they were proud and happy when they were finally victorious. I bet it was quite a relief when they were finished fighting for independence and were able to head home to the rest of the family. Both George and Augustine look like they enjoyed a happy family life – even if George and Martha weren’t the wildest and craziest of people.

Unfortunately, Augustine never got to be “first cat” as he left for the rainbow bridge well before George was unanimously elected the first President of the United States of America – the only time that has ever happened .
While George Washington is probably the most recognizable American President, there are others that stand out as well for either their jaunty attire (most notably, hats) or some distinctive characteristic. See if you can guess who I’m supposed to be:

I know, that one was too easy, I’m George Washington. How about this one…

Okay, okay, that was easy also, I’m Abraham Lincoln. Try this one…

If you guessed Teddy Roosevelt, you would be correct! I’m dressed in the U.S. Cavalry’s Rough Rider uniform!

How about one that’s still alive…

Well, that was easy – the sign behind me gave it away. I’m Jimmy Carter, the President with the very toothy smile!

Since I’m in the educational mood, let’s have some fun with a few interesting facts. See how many you know:

Q: Who was the youngest president? Who was the oldest?
A: The youngest elected president was John F. Kennedy at 43. The youngest president to be inaugurated was Theodore Roosevelt at 42, following the assassination of William McKinley. The oldest president is Ronald Reagan, who was 77 years old when he left office.

Q: Who was the tallest president? Who was the shortest?
A: Tallest: Abraham Lincoln. Shortest: James Madison. As a side note, did you know that George Washington was 6’ 2”!! He was very tall for his time!

Q: Who was the heaviest president? Who was the lightest?
A: The heaviest was William Howard Taft, who weighed more than 300 lbs! He was said to have installed a special bathtub in the White House that could fit four normal sized men. The lightest was James Madison who weighed about 100 lbs.

Q: Who was the first president to be born in a hospital?
A: Jimmy Carter was the first president to be born in a hospital, which was the Wise Clinic in Plains, Georgia.

Q: Which Presidents were/are left-handed?
A: James A. Garfield
Herbert Hoover
Harry S. Truman
Gerald Ford
Ronald Reagan
George Bush
Bill Clinton
Barack Obama

I hope you enjoyed learning a little about U.S. Presidents. Hopefully, you picked up a tidbit of information that you didn’t know before. Don’t you just love learning new things?

Have a great week!

Love & kitty kisses,

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