Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Abraham Lincoln and his Pets

I care not for a man's religion 
whose dog and cat are not the better for it.
                                 --Abraham Lincoln

Yesterday, February 12th, was Mardi Gras of course,
but it was also Abraham Lincoln's birthday.
Lincoln was born in 1809, 204 years ago.
He remains so popular, it seems that less time has passed
since he walked the earth.
photo courtesy of

Details of his life reveal why he is still so highly esteemed.
From history, we know he was a man of high character, 
a devoted father, husband, and friend.
No doubt we could say he was a capable lawyer and politician.
And as our 16th president, he saved the Union and emancipated the slaves.
It would be hard for anyone to top that,
but Lincoln was an animal lover, too.
He preached against animal cruelty long before others saw a need.

Lincoln had pets as a boy, including a pet cat that used to follow him 
when he went down to the spring for water.
I found this and other interesting information about Lincoln's pets at these sites:

Apparently even as an adult, Lincoln would play with cats for hours.
According to one story, Mary Todd Lincoln 
was asked if her husband had any hobbies,
and she replied "cats."
The pet cat at the White House was named Tabby, a pet dog there was Jip.
A friend of the Lincolns described Jip 
as a dog who could stand on his hind feet 
and bark while his front paws were up in the air.

But Lincoln's affection for cats and Jip 
was not greater than his love for Fido, the family's short-haired dog 
when they lived in Springfield.
photo of Fido from

According to the National Park Service website
 after Lincoln won the election
and was preparing to move to Washington D.C.,
he entrusted Fido's care to a neighbor family named Roll, 
but only after extracting a promise that they would
 let the dog in whenever it scratched on the door,
 never scold Fido for having dirty paws in the house,
and if Fido came to the dinner table in search of a tidbit,
they would give him one.

And what impressed me the most about Lincoln's big heart 
where Fido was concerned?
He and Mary left their sofa with the Roll family
so Fido would feel at home.
Now that's a man who loved his pets.

No comments: