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Top ten animals from museums, galleries and archives

A ginger cat nightlight

Nightlight in the form of a cat, Anonymous

© Rijksmuseum

    • We all love cute kittens, playful puppies and other amazing animals - who wouldn’t? Luckily for us, museums, art galleries and archives are stuffed full of cute creatures. The team here at Show Me HQ has taken the time to trawl through these collections to bring you our Top Ten animals.

      Dressing Up Dogs

      Sometimes, people’s love for their pets can cause them to do some strange things. Take Alexandra Williams for example. She is a champion dog breeder and she decided to stage a wedding for her prize Pekingese. You can see what happened in this short clip from the archive of British Pathé.



      Cat on Table
      Have you ever tried to sit down and concentrate on something only to be interrupted by an affectionate feline? Can you imagine how the girl from this etching might feel?

      An illustration showing a girl at a desk surrounded by catsPrint by Arnoud Schaepkens© Rijksmuseum

      Monkey Business

      People do seem to love dressing animals up, don’t they? Here’s footage of a monkey dressed as a jockey – but it’s not a horse he’s riding, it’s a greyhound!



      Big and Beautiful
      Have you met the Horniman Museum and Garden’s Walrus? He is one of the most well-loved walruses in the world, well, in London at the very least! You can discover more about our over-stuffed friend on the Horniman Museum’s website.

      A photograph showing the famous brown overstuffed walrus from the Horniman Museum and Gardens© Horniman Museum and Gardens
      Not too long ago, the Walrus went on a little holiday to Margate. If you’re curious as to how he went on such a trip, check this out.

      How Egg-citing!
      Electrical engineer George Church decided to use his electric frying pan in a very different way when he used it to hatch these cute chicks. (We don’t recommend trying this at home though, you might accidentally scramble them!)



      Tuneful Cats
      Some people say that cats are always out of tune, and if you’ve ever heard a cat sing then you would probably agree with them. It’s almost certainly a good thing that these cats are branching out musically and exploring the guitar.

      A painting showing five cats playing with a guitarWatercolour by Henriëtte Ronner© Rijksmuseum
      Singing Dogs
      Performing pets may be a popular thing on Britain’s Got Talent, but have you seen the original singing dog in this film from 1934?



      Skating Owls

      Here are some ice skating owls from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Yes, you read that correctly, ice skating owls.

      An etching showing two owls ice skating© Rijksmuseum

      Baby Gorilla in a bath

      Baby Joe, a gorilla from Leicestershire’s Twycross Zoo takes a bath with a chimpanzee in this British Pathé film from 1967. All together now, aww!


      Kittens getting married
      Have you ever heard of Walter Potter? He was a famous taxidermist who made scenes with animals doing some very human things like going to school and getting married. One of his most famous pieces is called The Kittens’ Wedding and you can see it in this film. We can’t decide if it is cute or a bit creepy.


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