With its rambling tone, poorly supported opinions*, and tons and tons of pictures of cats, I can only assume that Ida M. Mellen’s The Science and the Mystery of the Cat was an early attempt at creating the internet we know and barely tolerate today.
This historical treasure was found by a member after a bold and dangerous expedition into the barely-charted depths of the stacks. Note that after a flurry of check-outs immediately following the Library’s acquisition of the volume in 1941, this book experienced a surge of renewed interest in the 1950s, having been checked out no less than THREE TIMES during that decade. After a fluke check-out (and renewal) in 1970, the book disappeared into the stacks for over 40 years.
I hope The Science and the Mystery of the Cat enjoyed its time outside the Library. At this rate, it might not see sunlight again until the 2050s.
-Norm De Plume
*I am somewhat exaggerating this rambling and poorly supported business for comedic value, as the book is surprisingly cogent. On the other hand, at one point the author suggests that cats’ “oriental ears are better adapted than ours to catch” the “subtle intricacies” of the “Hindu flute.”