A $500 Reward for a Lost Kitten

Dr. Charles Neal Leigh and his wife Mollie Carpenter lived in Manhattan with their dog Jimmy. They also acquired a fine Angora kitten whose name we never learn. The kitten was supposedly "the smartest cat on Lexington Avenue." On a Thursday in January of 1907, the kitten did not respond to her dinner call, and a search ensued. The family and their servants looked through the apartment building and the neighborhood with no luck. So Dr. Leigh ran an ad in the Saturday paper, offering a $5 reward for the return of the kitten.

Imagine Leigh's surprise when he opened the newspaper and found the ad with a $500 reward! It may have been the mistake of a dropped decimal point, but it caused a lot of grief for Dr. Leigh. A constant stream of people came to the apartment with his lost cat, hoping for a $500 reward, although none of the cats were tortoiseshell or Angora or even kittens. When they were rejected, most would try to sell the cat for somewhat less than $500. And the worst part was:

As one newspaper noted, everyone simply left their dejected cats in front of the Wareham, “and the Sunday night concert in the neighborhood was unusually strong.”

Read the full story of the lost kitten and the newspaper typo, plus other controversies surrounding Dr. Leigh that made the papers over his lifetime at The Hatching Cat. -via Strange Company 

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