Has anyone seen Pierre?
Pierre: I’m an undercover kitty. I like to hide under the covers, waiting for unsuspecting Newton or Ashton to walk by, then I pounce!
Pierre: You can put that sheet down now. Really.
Did you know that hobos used the symbol of the cat?
Hobos were migratory workers, traveling from place to place in search of menial work on farms, factories, or for individuals. They caught free rides on freight trains to get from place to place as they traveled across the United States.
It was a dangerous way to live, with hostile railroad guards, fast-moving trains, and inhospitable local residents who didn’t trust the hobos who passed through. To help each other know whether the town they were entering was hospitable or contained hazards, the hobos created pictographs that they would write with chalk or coal to warm each other of potential dangers or points of interest nearby. A symbol would be left on a tree, fence post, or mailbox post to provide information about the people who lived there.
One of the symbols in the hobo code is a cat, which meant that a kind woman lives here. The symbol of the cat must have given comfort to the hobo who encountered it the way that the cats who live in our homes comfort us today.
Hobos, Clarendon Hills Historical Society
Looking for a sign: Hobo Communication in the Depression, NSA Cryptologic Museum virtual tour
Hobo Cat image from National Cytological Museum exhibit courtesy ideonexus.