Any good reader of this blog is familiar with Sadie the Subway cat, former resident of the Transit Museum, though now retired. One of the last times I recall seeing Sadie at the museum was the morning before I interviewed Howard Permut. Apparently I wasn’t too worried that a little bit of fur on my clothes would be a faux pas when interviewing the president of Metro-North (albeit not as bad as actually using the term “Brokeville” while referring to a particular model of Metro-North’s rolling stock). Nonetheless, it seemed like Sadie was in a rather sociable mood, and was intently focused on disturbing a class touring the museum (as you could likely imagine, all the children’s attention turned from the lesson to the furry visitor, sorry Polly!). I picked Sadie up and carried her to another of the museum’s display trains, but she would have none of it, and walked back to where the kids were.
Most longtime visitors to the Transit Museum have at least one Sadie story. The first time I visited the museum I encountered her sitting in her favorite perch in the money car. I was certainly surprised to see a cat. It was definitely unexpected, but in a good way. A lot of good things are unexpected.
So what’s up with all the Sadie memories? Our favorite feline will be featured in the August edition of Cat Fancy magazine. I recounted a couple of my memories of her for the article, and it also gives a nice mention of I Ride the Harlem Line. You may also recognize the photos, which were featured on the site many months ago.
August’s issue of Cat Fancy magazine.
Sadie is, of course, enjoying retirement, and her new favorite perch – a window above Brooklyn. Thinking back to the aforementioned last time I saw Sadie at the museum, I recall that sandwiched in between my visit to the museum and my interview was a quick trip to the Transit Museum’s archives. Located in the bowels of the MTA’s Brooklyn office building, the archives contain a plethora of artifacts related to the subways, and even of Metro-North. Found within is archivist Carey Stumm.
I’m not sure what exactly I pictured in my head for the Transit Museum’s archivist (perhaps an elderly librarian type?), but Carey was certainly not what I had imagined. Far from elderly, Carey is a kind soul whose favorite items in the archives’ collection include the Myrtle Avenue El, and the Putnam Division. I definitely did not expect that.
As you’ll read in the magazine, Carey is now the guardian of Sadie. It seems appropriate that two of the unexpected, lovely things about the Transit Museum are now together. Rest assured that everyone’s favorite subway kitty is in good hands.
Congrats to Cat Girl for this cool kitty-coup!
The C&O railroad had a well known mascot kitten image named Chessie. But it also had a lesser known mascot image, a tomcat named Peake. Peake also was grey and white, and strongly resembled Sadie in appearance.
A great book describing the C&O mascots is “Chessie the Railroad Kitten” by Thomas W. Dixon, Jr., 1996.
Haha, Peake was the boyfriend cat… I remember seeing an ad where he went to war or something, and he had a picture of Chessie. :)
Ya gotta love Chessie!
Check out this blog post which features a picture of Chessie dreaming of Peake, her hero:
Looks like Peake was a war hero! :D