Crazy 'cat men': how New York's feline frenzy made headlines decades ago

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Peggy Gavan’s book sheds light on the lives of workers in storied institutions in the 1800s and 1900s – and their bonds with cats

New York was no place for a stray cat in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Thousands of feral cats were rounded up and gassed, ostensibly for “humanitarian reasons”. Poor children were paid one nickel per catch, which meant scores of healthy pets also met their ends.

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