Founded in April, 2017 by the local “Catman” Harold Sims, the museum focuses specifically on the house cat, the domesticated pet.
The museum features cat memorabilia collected by Sims over three decades: A petrified cat rescued from a 16th century English fireplace, a hand-carved kitty carousel, antique cat toys, and cat beer steins are all on display.
The retired biology professor and his wife Kay set up a no-kill cat shelter in 2002 right next door to their home in Sylva, in North Carolina.
The museum was conceived as way to share their vast cat-themed collection with feline lovers, document the history of human-cat interaction, and raise money for the shelter.
On most days, Sims is at the museum, adding to the unique experience with stories about the exhibits.