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Let me begin by saying (a) I don’t have any cats and (b) I don’t speak German.

How’s that for an intro?  Got your attention ?

So here’s what happened.  My friend Linda told her friend Teresa about this blog.  Later, Linda and Teresa were talking about cats.  Teresa mentioned a photo album someone had sent her a few years ago because they knew she likes cats.  The person found it at an antique store/flea market and bought it because they couldn’t stand to leave it there.  [ How many purchases have I made for just that reason? ]  She told Linda about, and Linda decided that I should set my Mad Detective Skillz to finding its family.

But here’s the thing – it’s all CATS … and what little writing is there, is in German.
[See first sentence above.]

I’ve done everything I can think of, but it remains what it was when I got it — a  photo album containing well over 50 pictures of cats who were clearly loved, with an occasional photo of a man I presume was their owner [as much as one *can* own a cat].  There were also some names written in the album.  Here’s a sampling of photos in the album:

Exhibit A – The Cats

Exhibit B – The Man

Exhibit C – Some Names
Penrose Krech Manegold
Else Tenner Kalbfleisch Weitz [not sure all those actually go together]
Friedrich Roschlau
Ruth Schreckenberger
Wiltrud Grotzner Beseler

The problem with the names is, they are under spaces that obviously held photos at one time, but don’t now.

And what does this mean?  “SpieBenleite. Gutwillige Zugabe der Familie Kalbfleisch”  According to Google’s translation, “SpieBenleite” means “pike redirect” – “Gutwillige Zugabe der Familie” means “intentioned addition of family” – and “Kalbfleisch” is either a family surname, or it means “veal.”  Using my woefully inadequate translation skills, perhaps a family adopted a pet?  No idea …

Exhibit D – The Little Girl

On the back of this photo is a stamp that says “Lollar’s, B’ham, Ala.”  Lollar’s was a photography retailer in Birmingham, in business from about 1910 through the 1940s, according to Google.  There’s no name for the little girl and nothing that would identify where she is.  Could the photo have been taken in Germany and developed in Alabama?  Is she a child or grandchild of The Man With The Cats?  Who knows? Insert your own story here.

My main purpose with this post is to get the information on the internet in hopes that someone will be searching for … what? “man with cats and a little girl, possible family name Kalbfleisch” ??  What are the odds that someone will be searching for exactly the right combination of words to lead them to this album?  I guess stranger things have happened on the Internet – and perhaps the searcher can answer my questions:

Was the man a cobbler? (he’s wearing a leather apron in several photos)
Did he live alone? (other than the little girl, there are no other people in the photos – only cats)
Why did someone take out all of the pictures of people?

And why did the cat have her picture taken with Asta? *

So … got any ideas, faithful readers?  I’d love to hear them.

*NOTE:  If you don’t know who Asta is, watch “The Thin Man” with William Powell and Myrna Loy IMMEDIATELY !!  And if you do know who Asta is, watch it again.

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