Monday, February 25, 2013

Ghost Story #2: Puss Martha was no Don Gato

The Detroit Free Press, February 13, 1915

If you ever sang the children's song Señor Don Gato in elementary school you remember that the protagonist fell from a roof while reading a letter from his love--the fattest, whitest, and sweetest kitty from miles around--and died. As his funeral procession trailed through the city streets it passed a fish market which reanimated the amorous kitten to his first love: food. Happy ending be thine!

The same mirth wasn't afforded Martha the Angora. The tabby, who belonged to Highland Park's Justice of the Peace, Richard F. Lanagan, suffered an unfortunate demise via salmon can suffocation. While her frozen body was found behind the residence on 68 Grand Avenue, her spirit apparently lingered, unsurfeited by a last meal of tin can asphyxiation.

Each night unearthly caterwauls pierced the winter din and kept the couple from restful slumber. Mrs. Lanagan was at wits-end with the development and the good Justice vowed to relocate his family if the wailing did not cease and desist.

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If the house still stands and renumbering wasn't precedent in Highland Park as it was in Detroit proper then one of these two faltering structures before might be it. For the sake of this great rememberance let's hope that Google maps is wrong once again.

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