victorian pet

Altoona Tribune, Pennsylvania, March 19, 1926

From WikipediaPost Office is a kissing game played by boys and girls at parties. It has been referred to in United States popular culture since at least the 1880s.

The group playing is divided into two groups – typically a girl group and a boy group. One group goes into another room, such as a bedroom, which is called “the post office”. To play, each person from the other group individually visits “the post office”. Once there, they get a kiss from everyone in the room. They then return to the original room.

Once everyone in the first group has taken a turn, the other group begins sending members to the first room.

Charles Dickens’s cat paw letter opener

(Berg, New York Public Library)

When Dickens’s beloved cat died, he had his foot made into this letter opener, with the inscription, “C.D. in memory of Bob 1862.” Victorians, great lovers of taxidermy, sometimes had beloved pets stuffed, especially terriers, and then put under glass in the home. A dog called Wimbledon Jack, who had labored on behalf of charities by wearing a charity box attached to his collar, was stuffed after his death and displayed in a case at Wimbledon Station. In another act of memorialization (or maybe just thrift), Queen Victoria’s granddaughter, Princess Victoria, had the shed hair of her poodle knitted into a shawl.