Proto-Internet Kitteh!

Mourka coverMourka: The Autobiography of a Cat
Le Clercq

Submitter: We’re a super small academic library at a school that focuses on the shipping industry, engineering, and business. We received an ILL request a few months ago for this title and were surprised to find it in our stacks. The only time this book circulated was for this recent ILL request, and we’ve had it since the 1960s. I’ve dubbed this book “the proto-internet” because it is nothing but ridiculous cat photos. It somehow managed to escape the most recent round of weeding, and all previous rounds of weeding. Right now we’re going to continue to keep it for the sheer amusement value, but it makes no sense to have ever had this in our collection. (According to this book, Mourka was George Balanchine’s cat.)

Holly: Maybe previous weeders left it for you as a little “gift.” They had the same idea you did to keep it for amusement value. Ha ha! Thank you, previous colleagues. We needed this little laugh today! #NowGoWeedIt

Mourka at the aquarium

Grandmother came on Meowflower

Jumping over Mr. Balanchine

Not raining cats, only dogs


    1. AH, but Le Clercq is Mourka’s amanuensis. Mourka somehow never learned to type (unlike Archy the cockroach).

  1. If you weed this book, please send it to me! Now that I’ve seen it, I want it, and it appears to be pretty rare–copies on abebooks are going for hundreds of dollars. 🙁

  2. Hmmm… With the recent popularity of LOLCat and other memes, you think this one would have circulated more. It certainly was ahead of its time!

  3. Wow, Tanaquil LeClerq and George Balanchine’s cat — what a terrible shame it was that her dancing career was cut short by polio. I understand she was very talented. And Balanchine, of course — legendary. Can’t imagine where ballet would be today without his work. I would love to see the whole book.

  4. Aghhhh….I WANT this book!!!!! have been trying to find it for my daughter. Please consider selling it to me. Thank you….I am serious.

  5. I found your post because I learned of the book while watching “Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq” on Netflix (streaming). I want to get my hands on that book. If your library is part of a state-wide catalog and lending system, I recommend that you keep it. If not, I recommend that you send it for sale. If you’re in Georgia, I hope that you choose the former: I’ve already submitted my request for hold and inter-library loan!

  6. By the way, the book is listed at for $476.00. A rare and special book. I think you should keep it!

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