A cat-skin waistcoat?

Anne here, responding to a question sent to us by Mary F, who wins a book in exchange for her question. Mary asked: "Was a catskin waistcoat really made out of cats' skins?

Yes, Mary they were, gruesome as it seems to us in modern western society. In the poorer and more thrifty societies of the past, they used everything — even those animals we don't consider for meat or fur or leather.  CatskinJackets

I was unable to find a photo of a historical cat-skin waistcoat, but here, for instance is a photo of cat-skin jackets on sale in a foreign marketplace. Recognizably cat, aren't they? You can even buy them on line from China and other places. You can also buy dog-skin garments on line.

In modern western society, the wearing of fur is very much out of vogue and we are quite limited in the kind of leather we consider "normal" — mostly it's cow-skin, or sheep-skin or perhaps deer-skin — coming from the animals whose meat we most commonly eat.

We're also more accustomed to using the skins of wild animals, and only the threat of extinction has made some of those furs unacceptable today. Some wild creatures are still hunted or farmed, either for meat or skin or both— deer and kangaroo being examples.

But the thought of using the skins of those animals we consider our beloved pets — cats and dogs— is horrific to most of us.

In historical England it was extremely risky to let your pet dog or cat roam at night, because they might be snatched from the street and never seen again—especially if they were pretty. To stop the stray and feral animal problem dog-catchers—and, yes it was a job back then—were allowed—actually encouraged—to collect any strays they found wandering the streets at night. So if poor little Fido went wandering at night he could be caught, skinned and sold by morning.

What stopped this trade in catskin and dogskin items in the UK was the introduction of anti-cruelty laws in the Victorian era. I won't go into details—you'd be horrified, as I was when researching this—but suffice it to say that there was no attempt to skin these poor creatures humanely. And that's still the case in some parts of the world today. Guard in bearskin

Animal rights protesters are campaigning today on the same issue. There is pressure on governments to replace the famous domed bearskin hats worn by many regiments— most famously the soldiers who stand guard outside Buckingham Palace. Made from the skins of Canadian black and brown bears, it takes an entire bearskin to make just one hat.

Some regiments wear what they call a 'sealskin cap' made of raccoon skins. Some uniforms called for leopard skins and the fur of other wild animals, but they've mostly been replaced now by artificial materials.

2ChickenSkinBut back to the original question. Fur and leather garments and items were very popular in historical England — waistcoats of catskin, gloves of dogskin or pigskin or pretty much any kind of skin people could get. Fans were often made of chicken skins and prettily painted, like the one on the left.

As for moleskins I can't find any reference to the use of the skins of moles and the consensus of my brief research on line seemed to be the name came from the color and texture of the cotton fabric we call moleskin. Presumably it resembles a moleskin. So that was a bit of luck for moles. Cole04

Our heroes are often seen in buckskins, and Alfred Noyes's "Highwayman" wore "breeches of brown doe-skin." The "beaver" hat so many of our Regency heroes wear was originally made from the felted fur of the beaver. Later the fur of rabbits was used, through the name "beaver" continued.

In historical romance however, catskin waistcoats are not generally worn by heroes — or anyone upper-class. In Georgette Heyer's The Corinthian, a very dodgy minor character was distinguished by his cat-skin waistcoat.

I too have been guilty of the use of a cat-skin waistcoat. In The Spring Bride, my hero, Zach, arrives wearing one. He was in disguise as a shifty character, so the waistcoat was vital. It was not, however, approved of by his best friend, Gil:

    Gil shuddered. "And the cat-skin waistcoat? There's no possible excuse for that."
    Zach stroked it lovingly. "Dreadful isn't it?"
    Gil shook his head.
…. and later on …
    "Show this to my man, he'll lend you my shaving gear and find you something respectable to wear." He narrowed his eyes at his old friend. "That appalling coat and especially that" —he glanced at the catskin waistcoat and shuddered—"abomination are not to be seen in my vicinity, understand?"
    Zach shook his head sorrowfully. "Gilbert, Gilbert, and I thought you liked cats."
    "I do. That's the problem."

Anne again: My grandmother had a fox fur where the fox's head was intact and the poor little creature had a spring in his jaw with which he bit his own tail.  So what about you — what's the weirdest, strangest or most grotesque leather or fur you've seen? Or worn? (And don't forget, if you have a question for the wenches, and it sparks a wench's interest for a blog topic, you'll win a book, as Mary F did for this question.)

110 thoughts on “A cat-skin waistcoat?”

  1. My aunt had a Blackglama mink that I inherited. It’s many years old now, I was very young when she received it. I have always thought it one of the most beautiful coats I’ve ever seen, while inwardly cringing at the fact that it’s real. But when it was 24 below here last winter, it was by far, the warmest thing I had to wear.
    We are torn now between eating meat and using the leather as opposed to using the skin/fur of non-edible animals and I’m just as torn as the next person. Two hundred years or more ago, people didn’t have the same loyalty to animals as they do now. So the old saying, the only thing you can’t use from a pig is the oink, was something that truly dictated whether a poor family would live or die.
    I have to admit though, better you doing the research than me! I still have animal related things I’ll never be able to scrub from my mind…

    Reply
  2. My aunt had a Blackglama mink that I inherited. It’s many years old now, I was very young when she received it. I have always thought it one of the most beautiful coats I’ve ever seen, while inwardly cringing at the fact that it’s real. But when it was 24 below here last winter, it was by far, the warmest thing I had to wear.
    We are torn now between eating meat and using the leather as opposed to using the skin/fur of non-edible animals and I’m just as torn as the next person. Two hundred years or more ago, people didn’t have the same loyalty to animals as they do now. So the old saying, the only thing you can’t use from a pig is the oink, was something that truly dictated whether a poor family would live or die.
    I have to admit though, better you doing the research than me! I still have animal related things I’ll never be able to scrub from my mind…

    Reply
  3. My aunt had a Blackglama mink that I inherited. It’s many years old now, I was very young when she received it. I have always thought it one of the most beautiful coats I’ve ever seen, while inwardly cringing at the fact that it’s real. But when it was 24 below here last winter, it was by far, the warmest thing I had to wear.
    We are torn now between eating meat and using the leather as opposed to using the skin/fur of non-edible animals and I’m just as torn as the next person. Two hundred years or more ago, people didn’t have the same loyalty to animals as they do now. So the old saying, the only thing you can’t use from a pig is the oink, was something that truly dictated whether a poor family would live or die.
    I have to admit though, better you doing the research than me! I still have animal related things I’ll never be able to scrub from my mind…

    Reply
  4. My aunt had a Blackglama mink that I inherited. It’s many years old now, I was very young when she received it. I have always thought it one of the most beautiful coats I’ve ever seen, while inwardly cringing at the fact that it’s real. But when it was 24 below here last winter, it was by far, the warmest thing I had to wear.
    We are torn now between eating meat and using the leather as opposed to using the skin/fur of non-edible animals and I’m just as torn as the next person. Two hundred years or more ago, people didn’t have the same loyalty to animals as they do now. So the old saying, the only thing you can’t use from a pig is the oink, was something that truly dictated whether a poor family would live or die.
    I have to admit though, better you doing the research than me! I still have animal related things I’ll never be able to scrub from my mind…

    Reply
  5. My aunt had a Blackglama mink that I inherited. It’s many years old now, I was very young when she received it. I have always thought it one of the most beautiful coats I’ve ever seen, while inwardly cringing at the fact that it’s real. But when it was 24 below here last winter, it was by far, the warmest thing I had to wear.
    We are torn now between eating meat and using the leather as opposed to using the skin/fur of non-edible animals and I’m just as torn as the next person. Two hundred years or more ago, people didn’t have the same loyalty to animals as they do now. So the old saying, the only thing you can’t use from a pig is the oink, was something that truly dictated whether a poor family would live or die.
    I have to admit though, better you doing the research than me! I still have animal related things I’ll never be able to scrub from my mind…

    Reply
  6. Long ago, my mother had a mink stole that she called “the rabbit” and kept in a box marked Harvey. Also long ago I had a raccoon hat (no tail). When I bought it, it was labeled “Used raccoon of unknown origin.” I always wondered if it started out as a 1920s coat.

    Reply
  7. Long ago, my mother had a mink stole that she called “the rabbit” and kept in a box marked Harvey. Also long ago I had a raccoon hat (no tail). When I bought it, it was labeled “Used raccoon of unknown origin.” I always wondered if it started out as a 1920s coat.

    Reply
  8. Long ago, my mother had a mink stole that she called “the rabbit” and kept in a box marked Harvey. Also long ago I had a raccoon hat (no tail). When I bought it, it was labeled “Used raccoon of unknown origin.” I always wondered if it started out as a 1920s coat.

    Reply
  9. Long ago, my mother had a mink stole that she called “the rabbit” and kept in a box marked Harvey. Also long ago I had a raccoon hat (no tail). When I bought it, it was labeled “Used raccoon of unknown origin.” I always wondered if it started out as a 1920s coat.

    Reply
  10. Long ago, my mother had a mink stole that she called “the rabbit” and kept in a box marked Harvey. Also long ago I had a raccoon hat (no tail). When I bought it, it was labeled “Used raccoon of unknown origin.” I always wondered if it started out as a 1920s coat.

    Reply
  11. When I was in college, in the 1970’s, I had a squirrel fur coat which I picked up very cheaply at a flea market; vintage furs were trendy then. I have to admit is was sort of ratty and somewhere along the line it vanished. I’ve always suspected my dad threw it away on the sly, he really hated it!

    Reply
  12. When I was in college, in the 1970’s, I had a squirrel fur coat which I picked up very cheaply at a flea market; vintage furs were trendy then. I have to admit is was sort of ratty and somewhere along the line it vanished. I’ve always suspected my dad threw it away on the sly, he really hated it!

    Reply
  13. When I was in college, in the 1970’s, I had a squirrel fur coat which I picked up very cheaply at a flea market; vintage furs were trendy then. I have to admit is was sort of ratty and somewhere along the line it vanished. I’ve always suspected my dad threw it away on the sly, he really hated it!

    Reply
  14. When I was in college, in the 1970’s, I had a squirrel fur coat which I picked up very cheaply at a flea market; vintage furs were trendy then. I have to admit is was sort of ratty and somewhere along the line it vanished. I’ve always suspected my dad threw it away on the sly, he really hated it!

    Reply
  15. When I was in college, in the 1970’s, I had a squirrel fur coat which I picked up very cheaply at a flea market; vintage furs were trendy then. I have to admit is was sort of ratty and somewhere along the line it vanished. I’ve always suspected my dad threw it away on the sly, he really hated it!

    Reply
  16. Heh, looking through an older relative’s wardrobe today, in search of one of my dresses that was stored there for some reason, I came in contact with real fur coats, and got a big shock just from touching them!
    Times really change.
    In the years I lived in London, I (and my flatmate!) came up with some pretty nasty names for the various palace guards wearing those enormous hats. But then I was only eighteen when I moved there…
    I have never worn anything too creepy, as far as I remember. But apparently my mother’s two sisters (both older) used to have some trouble with some neck warmer made out of an entire fox. One sister use to traumatise the other by chasing her with it.

    Reply
  17. Heh, looking through an older relative’s wardrobe today, in search of one of my dresses that was stored there for some reason, I came in contact with real fur coats, and got a big shock just from touching them!
    Times really change.
    In the years I lived in London, I (and my flatmate!) came up with some pretty nasty names for the various palace guards wearing those enormous hats. But then I was only eighteen when I moved there…
    I have never worn anything too creepy, as far as I remember. But apparently my mother’s two sisters (both older) used to have some trouble with some neck warmer made out of an entire fox. One sister use to traumatise the other by chasing her with it.

    Reply
  18. Heh, looking through an older relative’s wardrobe today, in search of one of my dresses that was stored there for some reason, I came in contact with real fur coats, and got a big shock just from touching them!
    Times really change.
    In the years I lived in London, I (and my flatmate!) came up with some pretty nasty names for the various palace guards wearing those enormous hats. But then I was only eighteen when I moved there…
    I have never worn anything too creepy, as far as I remember. But apparently my mother’s two sisters (both older) used to have some trouble with some neck warmer made out of an entire fox. One sister use to traumatise the other by chasing her with it.

    Reply
  19. Heh, looking through an older relative’s wardrobe today, in search of one of my dresses that was stored there for some reason, I came in contact with real fur coats, and got a big shock just from touching them!
    Times really change.
    In the years I lived in London, I (and my flatmate!) came up with some pretty nasty names for the various palace guards wearing those enormous hats. But then I was only eighteen when I moved there…
    I have never worn anything too creepy, as far as I remember. But apparently my mother’s two sisters (both older) used to have some trouble with some neck warmer made out of an entire fox. One sister use to traumatise the other by chasing her with it.

    Reply
  20. Heh, looking through an older relative’s wardrobe today, in search of one of my dresses that was stored there for some reason, I came in contact with real fur coats, and got a big shock just from touching them!
    Times really change.
    In the years I lived in London, I (and my flatmate!) came up with some pretty nasty names for the various palace guards wearing those enormous hats. But then I was only eighteen when I moved there…
    I have never worn anything too creepy, as far as I remember. But apparently my mother’s two sisters (both older) used to have some trouble with some neck warmer made out of an entire fox. One sister use to traumatise the other by chasing her with it.

    Reply
  21. Theo — I have a similar experience with a fur coat of my mother's. It's rabbit, but my grandad trapped the rabbits during one of the coldest winter ever here, and the fur was so thick and lush. Rabbits are a noxious pest here — an introduced species that went to plague proportions in Australia because there are no natural predators, but still, I'm ambivalent about that coat. I shouldn't be, because I do wear leather shoes and leather belts and I eat meat, etc. but I am. I think if we had the kind of freezing temperatures you get, I'd be wearing it.

    Reply
  22. Theo — I have a similar experience with a fur coat of my mother's. It's rabbit, but my grandad trapped the rabbits during one of the coldest winter ever here, and the fur was so thick and lush. Rabbits are a noxious pest here — an introduced species that went to plague proportions in Australia because there are no natural predators, but still, I'm ambivalent about that coat. I shouldn't be, because I do wear leather shoes and leather belts and I eat meat, etc. but I am. I think if we had the kind of freezing temperatures you get, I'd be wearing it.

    Reply
  23. Theo — I have a similar experience with a fur coat of my mother's. It's rabbit, but my grandad trapped the rabbits during one of the coldest winter ever here, and the fur was so thick and lush. Rabbits are a noxious pest here — an introduced species that went to plague proportions in Australia because there are no natural predators, but still, I'm ambivalent about that coat. I shouldn't be, because I do wear leather shoes and leather belts and I eat meat, etc. but I am. I think if we had the kind of freezing temperatures you get, I'd be wearing it.

    Reply
  24. Theo — I have a similar experience with a fur coat of my mother's. It's rabbit, but my grandad trapped the rabbits during one of the coldest winter ever here, and the fur was so thick and lush. Rabbits are a noxious pest here — an introduced species that went to plague proportions in Australia because there are no natural predators, but still, I'm ambivalent about that coat. I shouldn't be, because I do wear leather shoes and leather belts and I eat meat, etc. but I am. I think if we had the kind of freezing temperatures you get, I'd be wearing it.

    Reply
  25. Theo — I have a similar experience with a fur coat of my mother's. It's rabbit, but my grandad trapped the rabbits during one of the coldest winter ever here, and the fur was so thick and lush. Rabbits are a noxious pest here — an introduced species that went to plague proportions in Australia because there are no natural predators, but still, I'm ambivalent about that coat. I shouldn't be, because I do wear leather shoes and leather belts and I eat meat, etc. but I am. I think if we had the kind of freezing temperatures you get, I'd be wearing it.

    Reply
  26. Love it, Lillian — your mother clearly had a great sense of humor. I think that's what did happen to fur coats — the more they were used and parts became worn or damaged, they'd be recycled for smaller pieces.

    Reply
  27. Love it, Lillian — your mother clearly had a great sense of humor. I think that's what did happen to fur coats — the more they were used and parts became worn or damaged, they'd be recycled for smaller pieces.

    Reply
  28. Love it, Lillian — your mother clearly had a great sense of humor. I think that's what did happen to fur coats — the more they were used and parts became worn or damaged, they'd be recycled for smaller pieces.

    Reply
  29. Love it, Lillian — your mother clearly had a great sense of humor. I think that's what did happen to fur coats — the more they were used and parts became worn or damaged, they'd be recycled for smaller pieces.

    Reply
  30. Love it, Lillian — your mother clearly had a great sense of humor. I think that's what did happen to fur coats — the more they were used and parts became worn or damaged, they'd be recycled for smaller pieces.

    Reply
  31. Sonya that fox fur sounds similar to my grandmother's one, with the head still attached and glass eyes and a spring-mounted jaw. I'm sure my older brother tried to terrorize us, too, but I could never be frightened by something that looked so much like a dog. My older sisters though, I can't vouch for. As for the soldiers at Buckingham Palace, I'm sure they'd be delighted not to have to wear those bearskins — they must be terribly uncomfortable to wear, the weight of them for a start—and they'd be so hot in summer

    Reply
  32. Sonya that fox fur sounds similar to my grandmother's one, with the head still attached and glass eyes and a spring-mounted jaw. I'm sure my older brother tried to terrorize us, too, but I could never be frightened by something that looked so much like a dog. My older sisters though, I can't vouch for. As for the soldiers at Buckingham Palace, I'm sure they'd be delighted not to have to wear those bearskins — they must be terribly uncomfortable to wear, the weight of them for a start—and they'd be so hot in summer

    Reply
  33. Sonya that fox fur sounds similar to my grandmother's one, with the head still attached and glass eyes and a spring-mounted jaw. I'm sure my older brother tried to terrorize us, too, but I could never be frightened by something that looked so much like a dog. My older sisters though, I can't vouch for. As for the soldiers at Buckingham Palace, I'm sure they'd be delighted not to have to wear those bearskins — they must be terribly uncomfortable to wear, the weight of them for a start—and they'd be so hot in summer

    Reply
  34. Sonya that fox fur sounds similar to my grandmother's one, with the head still attached and glass eyes and a spring-mounted jaw. I'm sure my older brother tried to terrorize us, too, but I could never be frightened by something that looked so much like a dog. My older sisters though, I can't vouch for. As for the soldiers at Buckingham Palace, I'm sure they'd be delighted not to have to wear those bearskins — they must be terribly uncomfortable to wear, the weight of them for a start—and they'd be so hot in summer

    Reply
  35. Sonya that fox fur sounds similar to my grandmother's one, with the head still attached and glass eyes and a spring-mounted jaw. I'm sure my older brother tried to terrorize us, too, but I could never be frightened by something that looked so much like a dog. My older sisters though, I can't vouch for. As for the soldiers at Buckingham Palace, I'm sure they'd be delighted not to have to wear those bearskins — they must be terribly uncomfortable to wear, the weight of them for a start—and they'd be so hot in summer

    Reply
  36. If it weren’t for the passion for hats and other garments made from beaver pelts, Canada might not have been settled by Europeans as early as it was, and French fur trappers might never have trapped their prey in what became the U.S. and left their names on U.S. geographic features (e.g. The Tetons, and the Chache la Poudre river)

    Reply
  37. If it weren’t for the passion for hats and other garments made from beaver pelts, Canada might not have been settled by Europeans as early as it was, and French fur trappers might never have trapped their prey in what became the U.S. and left their names on U.S. geographic features (e.g. The Tetons, and the Chache la Poudre river)

    Reply
  38. If it weren’t for the passion for hats and other garments made from beaver pelts, Canada might not have been settled by Europeans as early as it was, and French fur trappers might never have trapped their prey in what became the U.S. and left their names on U.S. geographic features (e.g. The Tetons, and the Chache la Poudre river)

    Reply
  39. If it weren’t for the passion for hats and other garments made from beaver pelts, Canada might not have been settled by Europeans as early as it was, and French fur trappers might never have trapped their prey in what became the U.S. and left their names on U.S. geographic features (e.g. The Tetons, and the Chache la Poudre river)

    Reply
  40. If it weren’t for the passion for hats and other garments made from beaver pelts, Canada might not have been settled by Europeans as early as it was, and French fur trappers might never have trapped their prey in what became the U.S. and left their names on U.S. geographic features (e.g. The Tetons, and the Chache la Poudre river)

    Reply
  41. Sarah, that's very true. It was much the same with parts of Australia and the seal fur trade. The trouble was the way they did it was so cruel, and that they hunted the poor creatures almost to extinction.

    Reply
  42. Sarah, that's very true. It was much the same with parts of Australia and the seal fur trade. The trouble was the way they did it was so cruel, and that they hunted the poor creatures almost to extinction.

    Reply
  43. Sarah, that's very true. It was much the same with parts of Australia and the seal fur trade. The trouble was the way they did it was so cruel, and that they hunted the poor creatures almost to extinction.

    Reply
  44. Sarah, that's very true. It was much the same with parts of Australia and the seal fur trade. The trouble was the way they did it was so cruel, and that they hunted the poor creatures almost to extinction.

    Reply
  45. Sarah, that's very true. It was much the same with parts of Australia and the seal fur trade. The trouble was the way they did it was so cruel, and that they hunted the poor creatures almost to extinction.

    Reply
  46. Back in the 70s, fur vests were popular– ala Sonny Bono. My husband was stationed in the very cold Korean mountains while he was in service and came home with a lovely fur vest. I try not to ask the source.

    Reply
  47. Back in the 70s, fur vests were popular– ala Sonny Bono. My husband was stationed in the very cold Korean mountains while he was in service and came home with a lovely fur vest. I try not to ask the source.

    Reply
  48. Back in the 70s, fur vests were popular– ala Sonny Bono. My husband was stationed in the very cold Korean mountains while he was in service and came home with a lovely fur vest. I try not to ask the source.

    Reply
  49. Back in the 70s, fur vests were popular– ala Sonny Bono. My husband was stationed in the very cold Korean mountains while he was in service and came home with a lovely fur vest. I try not to ask the source.

    Reply
  50. Back in the 70s, fur vests were popular– ala Sonny Bono. My husband was stationed in the very cold Korean mountains while he was in service and came home with a lovely fur vest. I try not to ask the source.

    Reply
  51. In the 80’s, I had rabbit fur earmuffs. I don’t know what happened to them. But after I had a pet rabbit in college, they weren’t really very interesting to me anymore. I have a long-haired cat who would be very warm, but I have a feeling the catskin coat would shed as much as she does. It would serve whoever made it right…

    Reply
  52. In the 80’s, I had rabbit fur earmuffs. I don’t know what happened to them. But after I had a pet rabbit in college, they weren’t really very interesting to me anymore. I have a long-haired cat who would be very warm, but I have a feeling the catskin coat would shed as much as she does. It would serve whoever made it right…

    Reply
  53. In the 80’s, I had rabbit fur earmuffs. I don’t know what happened to them. But after I had a pet rabbit in college, they weren’t really very interesting to me anymore. I have a long-haired cat who would be very warm, but I have a feeling the catskin coat would shed as much as she does. It would serve whoever made it right…

    Reply
  54. In the 80’s, I had rabbit fur earmuffs. I don’t know what happened to them. But after I had a pet rabbit in college, they weren’t really very interesting to me anymore. I have a long-haired cat who would be very warm, but I have a feeling the catskin coat would shed as much as she does. It would serve whoever made it right…

    Reply
  55. In the 80’s, I had rabbit fur earmuffs. I don’t know what happened to them. But after I had a pet rabbit in college, they weren’t really very interesting to me anymore. I have a long-haired cat who would be very warm, but I have a feeling the catskin coat would shed as much as she does. It would serve whoever made it right…

    Reply
  56. Phyllis’ comment about shedding, reminds me of a pair of goat skin rugs I had beside the bed in the late 60’s. There always seemed to be long goat hairs in the sheets.I can’t remember how they came or where they went but they didn’t stay long. I just remember the annoying very long stray strands of hair.
    My Mother had a small mole skin cape that she wore over her dance dresses in the 50’s that was so soft it felt like silk or cool water.
    Yes, we had a different attitude to fur. Living on the Canadian Prairies, where the temperature can drop to -30 (-50 with the wind chill) I think that the introduction of arctic fleece has saved a lot of animal lives. The Winnipeg Police force was recognized for the bison skin coats they wore in the winter. The men had to be 6ft 6ins or taller, with those coats they must have looked intimidating. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-police-don-historical-buffalo-coats-on-beat-1.1396931

    Reply
  57. Phyllis’ comment about shedding, reminds me of a pair of goat skin rugs I had beside the bed in the late 60’s. There always seemed to be long goat hairs in the sheets.I can’t remember how they came or where they went but they didn’t stay long. I just remember the annoying very long stray strands of hair.
    My Mother had a small mole skin cape that she wore over her dance dresses in the 50’s that was so soft it felt like silk or cool water.
    Yes, we had a different attitude to fur. Living on the Canadian Prairies, where the temperature can drop to -30 (-50 with the wind chill) I think that the introduction of arctic fleece has saved a lot of animal lives. The Winnipeg Police force was recognized for the bison skin coats they wore in the winter. The men had to be 6ft 6ins or taller, with those coats they must have looked intimidating. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-police-don-historical-buffalo-coats-on-beat-1.1396931

    Reply
  58. Phyllis’ comment about shedding, reminds me of a pair of goat skin rugs I had beside the bed in the late 60’s. There always seemed to be long goat hairs in the sheets.I can’t remember how they came or where they went but they didn’t stay long. I just remember the annoying very long stray strands of hair.
    My Mother had a small mole skin cape that she wore over her dance dresses in the 50’s that was so soft it felt like silk or cool water.
    Yes, we had a different attitude to fur. Living on the Canadian Prairies, where the temperature can drop to -30 (-50 with the wind chill) I think that the introduction of arctic fleece has saved a lot of animal lives. The Winnipeg Police force was recognized for the bison skin coats they wore in the winter. The men had to be 6ft 6ins or taller, with those coats they must have looked intimidating. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-police-don-historical-buffalo-coats-on-beat-1.1396931

    Reply
  59. Phyllis’ comment about shedding, reminds me of a pair of goat skin rugs I had beside the bed in the late 60’s. There always seemed to be long goat hairs in the sheets.I can’t remember how they came or where they went but they didn’t stay long. I just remember the annoying very long stray strands of hair.
    My Mother had a small mole skin cape that she wore over her dance dresses in the 50’s that was so soft it felt like silk or cool water.
    Yes, we had a different attitude to fur. Living on the Canadian Prairies, where the temperature can drop to -30 (-50 with the wind chill) I think that the introduction of arctic fleece has saved a lot of animal lives. The Winnipeg Police force was recognized for the bison skin coats they wore in the winter. The men had to be 6ft 6ins or taller, with those coats they must have looked intimidating. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-police-don-historical-buffalo-coats-on-beat-1.1396931

    Reply
  60. Phyllis’ comment about shedding, reminds me of a pair of goat skin rugs I had beside the bed in the late 60’s. There always seemed to be long goat hairs in the sheets.I can’t remember how they came or where they went but they didn’t stay long. I just remember the annoying very long stray strands of hair.
    My Mother had a small mole skin cape that she wore over her dance dresses in the 50’s that was so soft it felt like silk or cool water.
    Yes, we had a different attitude to fur. Living on the Canadian Prairies, where the temperature can drop to -30 (-50 with the wind chill) I think that the introduction of arctic fleece has saved a lot of animal lives. The Winnipeg Police force was recognized for the bison skin coats they wore in the winter. The men had to be 6ft 6ins or taller, with those coats they must have looked intimidating. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-police-don-historical-buffalo-coats-on-beat-1.1396931

    Reply
  61. Ugh and shudder! When I was a little girl, my mother had several of those snapping-tail fur stoles, mink and fox, I believe. For some reason, they were hung on the back of the cellar door, which ensured I’d never go down there. I can remember the dangling paws and beady glass eyes vividly.
    I bought a fur jacket in a thrift shop–a silver fox “chubby.” It shed everywhere and I really don’t know what I was thinking, except it was the 60s.
    Over 20 years ago my husband dragged me to a fur salon so he could buy me a mink coat–they were having a huge sale (probably because people were outside with buckets of red paint just waiting to pounce). After trying several on, I just couldn’t do it. I find wearing real fur unthinkable now, even though I eat meat and have leather goods (and a handbag addiction).

    Reply
  62. Ugh and shudder! When I was a little girl, my mother had several of those snapping-tail fur stoles, mink and fox, I believe. For some reason, they were hung on the back of the cellar door, which ensured I’d never go down there. I can remember the dangling paws and beady glass eyes vividly.
    I bought a fur jacket in a thrift shop–a silver fox “chubby.” It shed everywhere and I really don’t know what I was thinking, except it was the 60s.
    Over 20 years ago my husband dragged me to a fur salon so he could buy me a mink coat–they were having a huge sale (probably because people were outside with buckets of red paint just waiting to pounce). After trying several on, I just couldn’t do it. I find wearing real fur unthinkable now, even though I eat meat and have leather goods (and a handbag addiction).

    Reply
  63. Ugh and shudder! When I was a little girl, my mother had several of those snapping-tail fur stoles, mink and fox, I believe. For some reason, they were hung on the back of the cellar door, which ensured I’d never go down there. I can remember the dangling paws and beady glass eyes vividly.
    I bought a fur jacket in a thrift shop–a silver fox “chubby.” It shed everywhere and I really don’t know what I was thinking, except it was the 60s.
    Over 20 years ago my husband dragged me to a fur salon so he could buy me a mink coat–they were having a huge sale (probably because people were outside with buckets of red paint just waiting to pounce). After trying several on, I just couldn’t do it. I find wearing real fur unthinkable now, even though I eat meat and have leather goods (and a handbag addiction).

    Reply
  64. Ugh and shudder! When I was a little girl, my mother had several of those snapping-tail fur stoles, mink and fox, I believe. For some reason, they were hung on the back of the cellar door, which ensured I’d never go down there. I can remember the dangling paws and beady glass eyes vividly.
    I bought a fur jacket in a thrift shop–a silver fox “chubby.” It shed everywhere and I really don’t know what I was thinking, except it was the 60s.
    Over 20 years ago my husband dragged me to a fur salon so he could buy me a mink coat–they were having a huge sale (probably because people were outside with buckets of red paint just waiting to pounce). After trying several on, I just couldn’t do it. I find wearing real fur unthinkable now, even though I eat meat and have leather goods (and a handbag addiction).

    Reply
  65. Ugh and shudder! When I was a little girl, my mother had several of those snapping-tail fur stoles, mink and fox, I believe. For some reason, they were hung on the back of the cellar door, which ensured I’d never go down there. I can remember the dangling paws and beady glass eyes vividly.
    I bought a fur jacket in a thrift shop–a silver fox “chubby.” It shed everywhere and I really don’t know what I was thinking, except it was the 60s.
    Over 20 years ago my husband dragged me to a fur salon so he could buy me a mink coat–they were having a huge sale (probably because people were outside with buckets of red paint just waiting to pounce). After trying several on, I just couldn’t do it. I find wearing real fur unthinkable now, even though I eat meat and have leather goods (and a handbag addiction).

    Reply
  66. I did just remember that when I lived in Korea I accidentally bought a fur-lined coat.
    I guess I just assumed it wasn’t real fur, and when I moved back to Australia everyone enlightened me…

    Reply
  67. I did just remember that when I lived in Korea I accidentally bought a fur-lined coat.
    I guess I just assumed it wasn’t real fur, and when I moved back to Australia everyone enlightened me…

    Reply
  68. I did just remember that when I lived in Korea I accidentally bought a fur-lined coat.
    I guess I just assumed it wasn’t real fur, and when I moved back to Australia everyone enlightened me…

    Reply
  69. I did just remember that when I lived in Korea I accidentally bought a fur-lined coat.
    I guess I just assumed it wasn’t real fur, and when I moved back to Australia everyone enlightened me…

    Reply
  70. I did just remember that when I lived in Korea I accidentally bought a fur-lined coat.
    I guess I just assumed it wasn’t real fur, and when I moved back to Australia everyone enlightened me…

    Reply
  71. I still have a fox stole from one of my grandmothers or aunts – the one that has the head and the dangling legs. I’ve been trying to decide what to do with it since I really don’t want it. I think perhaps a historic re-enactor might use it, or I think I saw something about the local raptor trust may use them during rehabilitation or when raising young raptors (ie hawks, eagles, etc).

    Reply
  72. I still have a fox stole from one of my grandmothers or aunts – the one that has the head and the dangling legs. I’ve been trying to decide what to do with it since I really don’t want it. I think perhaps a historic re-enactor might use it, or I think I saw something about the local raptor trust may use them during rehabilitation or when raising young raptors (ie hawks, eagles, etc).

    Reply
  73. I still have a fox stole from one of my grandmothers or aunts – the one that has the head and the dangling legs. I’ve been trying to decide what to do with it since I really don’t want it. I think perhaps a historic re-enactor might use it, or I think I saw something about the local raptor trust may use them during rehabilitation or when raising young raptors (ie hawks, eagles, etc).

    Reply
  74. I still have a fox stole from one of my grandmothers or aunts – the one that has the head and the dangling legs. I’ve been trying to decide what to do with it since I really don’t want it. I think perhaps a historic re-enactor might use it, or I think I saw something about the local raptor trust may use them during rehabilitation or when raising young raptors (ie hawks, eagles, etc).

    Reply
  75. I still have a fox stole from one of my grandmothers or aunts – the one that has the head and the dangling legs. I’ve been trying to decide what to do with it since I really don’t want it. I think perhaps a historic re-enactor might use it, or I think I saw something about the local raptor trust may use them during rehabilitation or when raising young raptors (ie hawks, eagles, etc).

    Reply
  76. In the 1930s my little sister and I each had real fur muffs. They were wonderful — warm and very soft. But I wouldn’t feel that way today. My muff was seal skin, probably caught in the Pribiloffs and shipped to St. Louis. We came close to wiping out the seals there. Today I care. Today we have fake furs that are also warm and soft and wear better.
    As Sarah Lingle said; the fur trade settled much of North America. I grew up in St. Louis, with streets and buildings named for Laclede, Chouteau, and Sarpy, for example. Many of these names appear elsewhere along the Missouri river as these fur traders traveled the river, trading with the Indians and trapping their own furs.
    I will not judge the past by today’s standards, but I am glad we live in a somewhat more humane today.

    Reply
  77. In the 1930s my little sister and I each had real fur muffs. They were wonderful — warm and very soft. But I wouldn’t feel that way today. My muff was seal skin, probably caught in the Pribiloffs and shipped to St. Louis. We came close to wiping out the seals there. Today I care. Today we have fake furs that are also warm and soft and wear better.
    As Sarah Lingle said; the fur trade settled much of North America. I grew up in St. Louis, with streets and buildings named for Laclede, Chouteau, and Sarpy, for example. Many of these names appear elsewhere along the Missouri river as these fur traders traveled the river, trading with the Indians and trapping their own furs.
    I will not judge the past by today’s standards, but I am glad we live in a somewhat more humane today.

    Reply
  78. In the 1930s my little sister and I each had real fur muffs. They were wonderful — warm and very soft. But I wouldn’t feel that way today. My muff was seal skin, probably caught in the Pribiloffs and shipped to St. Louis. We came close to wiping out the seals there. Today I care. Today we have fake furs that are also warm and soft and wear better.
    As Sarah Lingle said; the fur trade settled much of North America. I grew up in St. Louis, with streets and buildings named for Laclede, Chouteau, and Sarpy, for example. Many of these names appear elsewhere along the Missouri river as these fur traders traveled the river, trading with the Indians and trapping their own furs.
    I will not judge the past by today’s standards, but I am glad we live in a somewhat more humane today.

    Reply
  79. In the 1930s my little sister and I each had real fur muffs. They were wonderful — warm and very soft. But I wouldn’t feel that way today. My muff was seal skin, probably caught in the Pribiloffs and shipped to St. Louis. We came close to wiping out the seals there. Today I care. Today we have fake furs that are also warm and soft and wear better.
    As Sarah Lingle said; the fur trade settled much of North America. I grew up in St. Louis, with streets and buildings named for Laclede, Chouteau, and Sarpy, for example. Many of these names appear elsewhere along the Missouri river as these fur traders traveled the river, trading with the Indians and trapping their own furs.
    I will not judge the past by today’s standards, but I am glad we live in a somewhat more humane today.

    Reply
  80. In the 1930s my little sister and I each had real fur muffs. They were wonderful — warm and very soft. But I wouldn’t feel that way today. My muff was seal skin, probably caught in the Pribiloffs and shipped to St. Louis. We came close to wiping out the seals there. Today I care. Today we have fake furs that are also warm and soft and wear better.
    As Sarah Lingle said; the fur trade settled much of North America. I grew up in St. Louis, with streets and buildings named for Laclede, Chouteau, and Sarpy, for example. Many of these names appear elsewhere along the Missouri river as these fur traders traveled the river, trading with the Indians and trapping their own furs.
    I will not judge the past by today’s standards, but I am glad we live in a somewhat more humane today.

    Reply
  81. Sue, you can't judge the past by today's standards — that's very true. 
    But I thought it was interesting that Victorian-era laws in the UK addressed the cruelty issue in the same way as animal rights protesters are fighting the way cats and dogs (and other animals) ar treated in some countries today. 

    Reply
  82. Sue, you can't judge the past by today's standards — that's very true. 
    But I thought it was interesting that Victorian-era laws in the UK addressed the cruelty issue in the same way as animal rights protesters are fighting the way cats and dogs (and other animals) ar treated in some countries today. 

    Reply
  83. Sue, you can't judge the past by today's standards — that's very true. 
    But I thought it was interesting that Victorian-era laws in the UK addressed the cruelty issue in the same way as animal rights protesters are fighting the way cats and dogs (and other animals) ar treated in some countries today. 

    Reply
  84. Sue, you can't judge the past by today's standards — that's very true. 
    But I thought it was interesting that Victorian-era laws in the UK addressed the cruelty issue in the same way as animal rights protesters are fighting the way cats and dogs (and other animals) ar treated in some countries today. 

    Reply
  85. Sue, you can't judge the past by today's standards — that's very true. 
    But I thought it was interesting that Victorian-era laws in the UK addressed the cruelty issue in the same way as animal rights protesters are fighting the way cats and dogs (and other animals) ar treated in some countries today. 

    Reply
  86. I am owned by a Siberian Cat, and it was somewhat interesting to learn of the history of the breed. Apparently they were commonly living wild and being hunted for their luxurious fur (and it is luxurious – he’s softer and fluffier than any other creature I know of) until at least the 1800s – but they were famed during the middle ages for walking patrols with the monks at night (I get that, a Siberian cat is as close to a dog as you can get in a cat…).
    Hm. I wonder if catskins were traded into Britain at the time…

    Reply
  87. I am owned by a Siberian Cat, and it was somewhat interesting to learn of the history of the breed. Apparently they were commonly living wild and being hunted for their luxurious fur (and it is luxurious – he’s softer and fluffier than any other creature I know of) until at least the 1800s – but they were famed during the middle ages for walking patrols with the monks at night (I get that, a Siberian cat is as close to a dog as you can get in a cat…).
    Hm. I wonder if catskins were traded into Britain at the time…

    Reply
  88. I am owned by a Siberian Cat, and it was somewhat interesting to learn of the history of the breed. Apparently they were commonly living wild and being hunted for their luxurious fur (and it is luxurious – he’s softer and fluffier than any other creature I know of) until at least the 1800s – but they were famed during the middle ages for walking patrols with the monks at night (I get that, a Siberian cat is as close to a dog as you can get in a cat…).
    Hm. I wonder if catskins were traded into Britain at the time…

    Reply
  89. I am owned by a Siberian Cat, and it was somewhat interesting to learn of the history of the breed. Apparently they were commonly living wild and being hunted for their luxurious fur (and it is luxurious – he’s softer and fluffier than any other creature I know of) until at least the 1800s – but they were famed during the middle ages for walking patrols with the monks at night (I get that, a Siberian cat is as close to a dog as you can get in a cat…).
    Hm. I wonder if catskins were traded into Britain at the time…

    Reply
  90. I am owned by a Siberian Cat, and it was somewhat interesting to learn of the history of the breed. Apparently they were commonly living wild and being hunted for their luxurious fur (and it is luxurious – he’s softer and fluffier than any other creature I know of) until at least the 1800s – but they were famed during the middle ages for walking patrols with the monks at night (I get that, a Siberian cat is as close to a dog as you can get in a cat…).
    Hm. I wonder if catskins were traded into Britain at the time…

    Reply

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