Cat lovers will want to take a road trip to the new American Museum of the House Cat which opened on April 1st just south of Sylva, NC.
The idea was born when retired college professor Dr. Harold Sims (known by many in this Western North Carolina town as the Cat Man) and wife Kay, a retired social worker, decided to open a no-kill, free-range cat sanctuary in 2002 on their 10-acre property in Cullowhee, NC. Sims had spent much of his retirement savings on building the shelter which houses 80+ cats. His 35-plus year collection of kitty art and other cat memorabilia had been kept in the rooms of his house, the garage, and a portion of it at the sanctuary. However, over the years, they began to realize that not only did they need more space, but the collection needed to be shared with other cat lovers.
Everything from cat wind-up toys from the 1930s, to cat beer steins, to ancient Egyptian cat statues don the walls, shelves, and cabinets of the Old School House Antique Mall where Sims houses his collection.
The museum, located at 4704 U.S. Highway 441 South, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children. All proceeds will benefit the cat shelter, called the Catman2. For more information on the museum or the shelter, visit catman2.org or call 828-293-0892.