Museum of the American House Cat: an Adventure to Sylva.

Welcome to Sylva, NC:
Home of the Museum of the American House Cat!

Visiting the museum has been on my to-do list since I heard the words “CAT” and “MUSEUM” in the same sentence. It’s actually only one of TWO museums dedicated to cats in the entire United States. This seems shocking to me given our collective love of cat videos on the internet!

When you drive up, this is what you will see:


You’ll enter the museum through the old school building. I should have taken a picture of THAT door and of the counter where you buy tickets but honestly I was so overcome that it did not cross my mind. Once you buy your ticket you’ll walk down a hall reminiscent of Replacements Ltd (see THIS link for more about THAT wondrous location). Be sure to allow time to peruse the antique mall when you finish your Cat Tour!

As you approach the end of the hallway, THIS door will appear on your left. You put your raffle ticket in a box and then the door opens, and you will feel like you’ve been transported into the cat version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

{If you don’t know the movie reference

PS: With your admission ticket there is a monthly raffle for a major prize –that’s the ticket stub you drop off in the box!


Once inside we were greeted by The CatMan2 himself, Dr. Harold W. Sims along with his female associate whose name I immediately forgot. (I am sorry! She was a really nice lady & great tour guide but again, I was OVERCOME.)

The museum is really well organised, well lit, and strangely clean…I don’t think I saw a single cat hair! There are no cat residents on site BUT there are plenty at the shelter that CatMan2 runs with funding from the museum! It is definitely worth noting that almost ALL the items in the museum are things that Harold himself has collected. There are a few donations, but overall it is all him!


I’m basically going to give you a double handful photo dump of my favorite feline finds! I’ll include a little caption telling a bit about what is in the picture. I invite you to click on each picture and really look at all the little bits, almost like a Where’s Waldo!


Black & White vintage cat photographs and tintypes.


Black & White vintage cat photographs and tintypes. Also cat patches.


Wind up toys!

(extreme Grumpy cat on far left)
I think he looks like the famous Grumpy Cat from the internet!


More wind up toys!

I especially like the little hot pink & orange plastic one in the middle on the right.


I think these look a bit like bears, but regardless, they are very cute.

I love how each of them is doing a mundane household task;
ironing, knitting, and even grinding coffee beans!!


And even more wind up toys!


Totoro’s cousin thrice removed?

For some reason, this one reminds me of a character from Studio Ghibili!!!
{Click HERE if you don’t know what I’m talking about!}


Halloween Cats!


Guinness Advertisement from Ireland!

Now for some cat art!


Here are cats involved in drinking!


More cats drinking!


A very floofy cat named Butch!


Cats in advertising…AND WITH STALIN.

Read the zoom in to read more.
{Not sure the truth of this, but I love it as a story!}


A very handsome tabby cat smoking a cigarette!


CatMan2 tee shirts & merch!


Now go ahead and prepare yourself for possibly the raddest part.




To be honest, I’m not 100% sure they are authentic, BUT I DON’T EVEN CARE.
They are so fun as part of the collection!
(And I desperately love Andy and therefore love these paintings.)


And now here is me!
I had on as much cat stuff as possible!
Earrings — thirfted
Stone Necklace — Carolina Renaissance Festival
Shirt — Amazon (a gift!)
Sweater — Target brand via Goodwill
Gray hair highlights — NATURE/my mom 🙂



Admission notes: $7.50 for adults–not sure about children. It shows as $5 several places online but we paid $7.50 as of 4/3/18

HOURS: Open 10am-5pm Tuesday – Saturday.
12noon-5pm on Sundays
Winter months the museum is open by appointment only.

*SIDE NOTE: You might want to pack a little pick-nick lunch and make a day of it. There are no places to eat terribly close by. This trip would be great for a rainy day. You could tour the museum, eat lunch in your car, and go back in and look at the antique mall. This would make an excellent date for adults. If you have smaller kids (ages 5-10ish) the museum will still be great but maybe bypass the antique mall part.

Click HERE for all the info you need about the CatMan2 Shelter!

HERE is an article about the museum from The Smithsonian!

Be sure to tell the folks that CoonSmith Sutlery sent you!



Quick stop for the POTATO SALE at Sow True Seeds!

This is not a sponsored post!
Neither Sow True nor Baker Creek sponsored this post…
…you better believe they could if they wanted to!
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

I’m a big fan of Baker Creek seeds as y’all well know. I’ve been meaning to go and check out a pretty famous hometown store that makes for excellent BC competition–Sow True Seed Company!!! A couple of days ago Sow True posted on Facebook that they were running a 50% sale on seed potatoes. I had not yet bought my seed potatoes so this was in perfect time! I was already headed up the mountain for the cat museum adventure (STAY TUNED!) so the timing was spot on!

Sow True See Company is located on the fringe of the heart of downtown Asheville. While it is not a huge store, it is extremely well stocked and carefully curated. The company has been open since 2009 & features 500+ seeds–many that are organic, heirloom & sourced from small farms. So much to love! I clicked a few pics for your viewing pleasure to highlight some of my favorite bits of the place.

BONUS: the store has shop dogs AND it looked like there was a working mother there wearing her baby while working in the back. How dreamy is that!?

I digress.
Back to the store.

As an AVID life long lover of libraries I am not a big book buyer (so much accidental alliteration)…for the most part. I rarely buy books (novels, etc) unless I am going to use them more than once. More often than not, if I buy a book it is a cookbook, crafty book, field guide, or a well loved book of poems.

But y’all. This book section had me drooling so hard.


Sow True has a whole book nook of doom. The best kind of doom. The “I-want-to-take-it-all-home-with-me” doom. Just look at it. (You can click the picture & zoom in for a closer look and more drooling doom.) DOOM.

The two books I wanted the most were Drink The Harvest (on making and preserving juices & wines, etc) and Put ‘Em Up (a beautiful canning book). These are the kinds of books that should be bought and kept for generations!


Seed Wall.
(featuring inadvertent model couple, browsing/drooling)


Seed Collections!

This is one of my favorite offerings from Sow True. Each can has a collection of seed packets that go with a theme. Each can ranges in price from $22.95 down to $6.95. The ones I was eyeballing the hardest were the Three SistersChildren’s Garden, and the Culinary Herb Garden. <—- You can click on each of those to go straight to the website to read about the collections. What a cool gift idea for like EVERY garden friend in your life! ❤ ❤ ❤


Here is what I brought home!


Black Seeded Simpson, Drunken Woman Lettuces. Dill seeds.


Patti Smith poses with Potatoes.

Above you can see Patti Smith posing with the 3 varieties I picked: All Blue, Red Gold, and Rose Finn Apple Fingerling. And yes that is a pizza puzzle she is posed on. I call this picture, “Pretty Patti Poses with Perfect Potatoes on Pizza Puzzle.”

Hope you enjoyed this little tour of my new favorite seed place — Sow True Seed Company!!! Be sure to check them out in person if you live near Asheville, or order online! If you read this in the next few days (April 4, 2018) you can still get in on the potato discount. Just use the coupon Code POTATOES50 if ordering online!

Stay tuned for more soon
keep growing stuff!!!

Victory Garden 2018, update #2: Starting Seeds & Setting up Shop!

I am soooooo behind with updates on the garden so here is a little sneak peak at what has been going on over at the ol back 40 homestead! I’ve officially got all my seeds started, and even have a few things transplanted. I’ve had a few kerfuffles, but overall things seem to be going smoothly.  Knock on garden wood.

Circles in circles!
Seed starting pods on my Bopla! china that was in the sink.
{I didn’t leave them there–it was just too pretty not to take a picture!}


Notes in the first official garden notebook.
(and a beer of course!)


A week later…LOOKIE!!!


These are the 3 kids of dirt I mixed together for the raised beds!
I use a mix of the first two types (3-4 each) with one bag of the last.

First Dirt Manicure of the Year!

Beginnings of the garden in the yard!


The raised beds are some I salvaged from an old green house that I got a tip about last summer. I put the beds on cinder-blocks that bring the beds up to the perfect height to save my back. The stepping stones in the aisle are from the yard at my old rental house. I dug them up from under years of leaves and weeds! They’re one of my favorite yard decorations. I was inspired by this video by Bumble Bee Junction — I love their set up and hope that someday my garden can be as epic and polished as theirs!

By the way, here are some YouTube channels that are inspiring me right now:
Keeping It Dutch
Arms Family Homestead
Appalachia’s Homestead
Deep South Homestead

And OF COURSE be sure to check out my channel…
Coonsmith Sutlery

…AND a walk around!
Seedlings Starting

Stay tuned for more…as soon as I can!