A Kitten Saga


   We’re on the east coast for a bit, and last week took a jaunt up to NY to visit Sgt. Tibbs (the most debonair of Scottish folds) and his person. They’ll be moving out to California later this year, so we’ll get to visit more often. Tibbs’ person took us for a walk in Hempstead Lake State Park, and that is where this saga truly begins. The main loop around the lake, which is what we’d decided on, is two miles and change. A quarter mile or so in, we heard frantic kitten meowing.


   We stopped and listened. It could be a mocking bird, right? No, that’s definitely a kitten. Thankfully I’d worn jeans. Every one else was in shorts for the hot day, so I waded into IMG_0895the underbrush. I could still here the kitten, but say only brush. But as soon as I spoke, a kitten came leaping over branches towards me, occasionally clearing the brush like a dolphin breaching, and right to my hands. He was covered in flies, which I’d never seen before, and I was concerned he had open wounds. I could find no other kittens or even a denning spot. Given how he summoned us, and how clean he was when everything was a muddy mess, we’re pretty sure he was abandoned there.

    I carried him for the rest of the hike, as first somewhat awkwardly as his back was covered in what looked like horsefly eggs. No, I did not take a picture of that, but suffice to say they were quite gross and worrisome. I’d gotten most of them off before we completely the loop– unfortunately the bathroom at the halfway point was closed, but by them I’d determined that he didn’t have any open wounds and was much more confident of his chances. When we did make it back he got a bath, and we made an appointment with Tibbs’ vet. They were closed for lunch, so I hung out with him in Tibbs’ backyard while we waited. 



   We got him to eat some wet food. He tried to eat the plate a few times, and couldn’t manage to get the food off of it for himself, but happily slurped anything put in his face. He was probably only about three week old, so this is an accomplishment. After lunch, and a little face wash, it was nap time. He decided pretty quickly that the best place to nap was in my shirt.




   When we walked in to the vet’s office, this first thing I saw was the front page article from War Emblem‘s Belmont. I felt at home. Tiny (the kitten) got a nail trim (thank goodness!), dewormed, and declared probably healthy. We couldn’t take him back home to California, and Tibbs’ person was getting ready to move, so we had to figure out how to get him a family. The vet was full, and we didn’t really want to drop him at an overfull shelter. Luckily, a cousin of Tibbs’ person worked for a small rescue, so we crossed all our fingers until we could find out if they had room. And preferably with other kittens, because Tiny reminded us that kittens are social creatures. In the meantime, he was out of the woods, and if Tibbs’ bathroom wasn’t full of friends all the time (every time I tried to leave he’d sit and mew and wave one paw at me) it was at least safe and dry. Tiny learned how plates worked, and even tried some soggy kibble, in the days before we had to leave NY. We still hadn’t heard back from the rescue though, so we were all a bit nervous. Tibbs’ person had no kitten experience, but rose to the challenge, and yesterday we got the good news: they had room! Tiny now has a kitten friend and people dedicated to finding him a family. 



National Sporting Museum & Library — Equine History Collective

Report by Kat Boniface The deadline for the John H. Daniels Fellowship at the NSLM is fast approaching! Still on the fence about applying? Here is an overview of the fellowship and the Library to help you decide. General Information Deadline: June 15. Letters: one. Response time: Early Fall (I heard back Sept. 2). Who is […]

via National Sporting Museum & Library — Equine History Collective

Random Update


   I have a few things in the works, including another followup on Muybridge. But, other tasks have been keeping me busying. This quarter I’ve been working in the Rin Tin Tin archive (that’s Rinty III’s harness), and of course preparing for the Equine History Conference at the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library

   This summer I’ll be dashing around doing dissertation research. My confirmed stops are the Kellogg, the National Museum of the Morgan Horse’s archives, and the Linda Hall Library.

On using horsebeans

Screen Shot 2018-04-19 at 10.34.05 PM       My grocery store has finally started carrying dried fava beans, so I was able to follow up on my earlier pea-based horsebread experiment. I livetweeted the process (perhaps one of the odder things I have done, but a very useful way to organize my notes and thoughts). The main thread can be found here.  This spawned some metathreads, like this one on the size and shape of loaves and the caloric needs of horses; and this one on general nutrition.horsebread

Yes, I ate the horsebread porridge.


T-shirt Time!


  I noticed this year at WSECS and ASEH that my conference horse shirts are getting a bit old, and I no longer had enough to keep up with a busy conference schedule (and how else will folks recognize me?) Luckily, the Equine History Collective is running a t-shirt fundraiser.

   For the “heads” design, featuring zebra, horse, and donkey heads, order here: https://www.bonfire.com/ehc-equine-heads/ 

   For the #AndBurros shirt (courtesy of Abbie Harlow, ASU) order here: https://www.bonfire.com/andburros/ 

   Direct donations can be made here: https://squareup.com/store/equine-history-collective… Please feel free to share!

Call for Papers! Equine History Conference

If you’re wondering what I’ve been up to:

Equine History Collective

IMG_0027   The Equine History Collective (EHC) invites submissions for individual presentations for its first annual conference, to take place Nov. 30 – Dec. 1 at Cal Poly Pomona, in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library. Submissions may investigate any equine in the past,kellogg including donkeys, mules, zebras and onagers. The theme of the conference is “Why Equine History Matters,” meant to show the relevance of equine history for historical studies. We therefore encourage papers that illustrate how any facet of equine history, broadly or narrowly conceived, helps to illuminate, interpret, and contextualize the past. The conference will conclude with a visit to the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center’s Sunday Show.

lutely.jpg   The EHC’s purpose is to foster equine history research and its dissemination, and promote collaboration between equine historians in all disciplines. As such, we encourage submissions from anyone who researches equine history. This includes…

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ASEH & ASEH Tweets



  I’ll be presenting for ASEH tweets on Thursday, March 8th, 1pm PST, and at ASEH in the lightning talks Thursday, March 15th at 1:30pm. I will also be at the main, grad, and WEH receptions at ASEH, the FHS lunch, and of course all the equine panels.






What will I talk about? What these have in common:

caspian #8103
Gypsy Vanner Horse stallion "Kushti Bok"
© Mark J. Barrett 2001