Meet Mike, a cat who guarded the gates of the British Museum. He spent 20 years on the job, gaining notoriety for his disliking of females and dogs, and only allowing certain people to feed him. Even after retiring he occasionally chased off dogs, who reportedly “fled in terror” when he attacked.

Mike (cat)

Mike (c.1908 – January 1929) was a cat who guarded the gates of the British Museum whose fame was such that Time magazine devoted two articles to him on his death. E. A. Wallis Budge’s work describing the life of Mike has been viewed as the zenith of such biographical writing.

Early life

In the spring of 1908 “Black Jack”, the house cat of the Museum, walked up to the Keeper of Egyptian antiquities E. A. Wallis Budge with a large object in his mouth which he then deposited at the Keeper’s feet. The object was a kitten, later known as Mike. The following year Mike began to study under Black Jack who taught the younger cat to stalk pigeons by pointing like a dog. Under Black Jack’s guidance Mike would proceed to corner the pigeons, da… Continue Reading (3 minute read)

12 thoughts on “Meet Mike, a cat who guarded the gates of the British Museum. He spent 20 years on the job, gaining notoriety for his disliking of females and dogs, and only allowing certain people to feed him. Even after retiring he occasionally chased off dogs, who reportedly “fled in terror” when he attacked.”

  1. Dame_Erroneous

    Mike studied under Black Jack, a housecat of the British Museum who deposited the kitten at the feet of Keeper of Egyptian antiquities E. A. Wallis Budge. Under Black Jack’s guidance Mike learned to stalk pigeons.  He would corner the pigeons, daze them, then bring them to the housekeeper, who would exchange the bird for a morsel of food and milk, and release them unharmed.

  2. violentlytaurine

    I had this cat growing up named Freddy, he was an absolute terror to all of the neighborhood dogs. He would stalk them, corner them, and latch on to their faces.

    The funniest story though was when my gerbil escaped from his cage and Freddy thought that he could finally eat him, the little gerbil stood on his hind legs like a tiny bear and ran towards Freddy. Freddy never bothered the tiny angry bear ever again.

  3. mojomonkeyfish

    I had a cat like this when I was a kid. He was a pretty normal, lazy guy – pets and foods. Then, he got into a tangle with a copperhead that got too close to me in the backyard, and was bitten on the back of his head.
    Obviously, he was protective of our family before that, but after the bite he went overboard. He wouldn’t let anyone in or near our home. If he got outside, he’d wait in the bushes near the door to ambush the mailman or solicitors.
    He would be super sweet, and loved us so much, but it just deteriorated over time. Once, an Avon lady came to our door, and when my mom opened it this rottweiler just pushed his way in. A neighbor’s dog that had gotten loose – a sweet boy with no boundaries. My mom didn’t recognized him, and my infant brother was playing on the floor of the living room, so she screamed when this big strange dog just barged in there, as big dogs do. Felix (the cat) came out of the fuckin sky (the second floor hallway landing) and latches onto the dog’s back, digging his claws into the poor pups belly and just… gnawing on his neck viciously. The dog panicked and was yelping and crashing around the house, then back out the front door with Felix on his back. Felix returned later. The dog (like ANY dog) never came anywhere near our house again.
    There are many Felix assault stories, but the final one was a kid riding his bike down the street by out house, who got his leg pretty torn up (fast food). At that point we were told we had to have him put down. Not something animal control usually dictates for cats.

  4. mahavishnunj

    we have a female ‘mike’ at the shop i work at. she doesnt have a real name, i call her ‘killer’ because thats what she does. totally normal sized, unassuming cat, but we havent had a rodent problem in the 8-9 years shes been there. but holy shit-ive seen her deal with them and it is fucking sadistic. we have several huge dogs that are there and they ALL have learned the hard way not to fuck with her. i once saw my boss’s border collie get too close and she roy jones jr’d him with a 20 piece combo and bloodied his face. they all treat her with the utmost of respect/fear.

  5. detroitvelvetslim

    Love me mice

    Love me museum

    Love me cream and biscuits

    Love me foightin’

    Ate dogs

    Ate wimmin (not sexist, just don’t lioke em)

    Ate being outdoors

    Simple as

  6. Waldo_Pepper62

    I like it when Cats/Dogs/etc are given normal names. I knew a great cat once named Kevin. LOL.

  7. missilefire

    May he live forever.

    It’s crazy to think such a seemingly insignificant feline life, where millions of human lives and maybe billions of feline lives pass in the time since this cat lived, he is immortal, because his name is in the history books and will forever be remembered. There is no greater honour

  8. thelosermonster

    Mike looks like an asshole in that picture

  9. MightyThor211

    The fact that this post has caused so many stories of badass cats is my favorite part. I love all your cats and allow me to add my own.

    First are cally and trixe. Both ferals who we made the mistake of feeding and they adopted us. All in all these two were grade A mousers. Unstoppable when it came to them. They lived to leave them in my sisters bed. I know not as badass as the other cats but still cool.

    Then theres Nelly. We got Nelly from a priest who didnt really want her. She was a former street cat that realized shes liked comfy couchs and heaters more then the street. We had her along with 3 dogs, a pekignese and 2 long hair Chihuahuas and my sister had 2 American terriers that she routinely brought to the house. Nelly took. O shit from any of them. The one Chihuahua jack would bark amd bug her and when she didnt want to, wam! Paw to the head, head to the floor, little dog running away whimpering while she just cleaned her paws. One day on of the terriers wanted to play with her. They had a solid 80-90 pounds on her. This dog is barks and snapping at her. Nelly proceeds to parkor up the oven, across to the kitchen table and launched herself onto the dogs back like a fucking ninja and just dug her teeth. She was declawed in the front paws. She proceedes to ride the terrier like its a fucking bucking bronco through the house, breaks through the back screen door into the back yard and eventually lets go and jumps off. Nellyl just trots back to the house, through the broken door and sits down, watching outside at the dog. The dog refuses to fome inside as long as Nelly is sitting there. Then as a show if power? Goes and cuddles into my sisters (the owner of the dogs) lap.

  10. Cyssane

    I have to wonder if “Black Jack” was actually “Black Jill”, lol. Male cats don’t normally carry strange kittens around, much less mentor them in the fine art of terrorizing pigeons (and dogs).

  11. zinnia_cosmos

    Mike was Sauron reincarnated change my mind

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