Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Feline Genealogy

Feline genealogy is difficult to determine, given the lack of written records and the liberality of roaming Toms.  But our keen sense of smell tells us when a relation is near--we're sniffing a scent gland back there, by the way--so we often know family when we --er-- smell them.

Being in charge of my Library's Indiana Roving Reporter Room, I have access to all of the Library's genealogical resources, which, admittedly, concentrate upon people.  Still, with a little creative researching and the right kind of insight, I was able to trace some of my genealogy.

Loyal readers already know one of my relatives, the late Jules Le Chat.  Jules was my auntie.  The family tree back to her looks like this.

Click to Bigify Genealogy Chart

My parents (Père & Mère Le Chat, each age 13) are on the same generational level as Jules. My Mère was Jules' sister.  My maternal grandparents, who are still living (at ages 16 and 17, respectively), were named Matou & Minou Le Chat.  Not surprisingly, as feline families tend to be close-knit, so to speak, Matou's brother, Delmar Le Chat, was my paternal grandfather.  Delmar's placement on the chart isn't quite right, but it's a blank form chart, so I'm stuck with it.  Delmar should be connected to Matou's parents.

You may be curious to know when my French feline relations arrived in America.  You have to go back several generations, but the Le Chat line runs through my maternal ancestry.  In 1926, Cyrano Le Chat, Ship's Cat First Class, sailed on the newly-constructed French passenger liner, S.S. Île de France, which was the first post-World War I French vessel to exceed 40,000 tons.

S.S. Île de France (1926)

Cyrano disembarked in New York City to requisition canned tuna-in-oil for his feline shipmates when he was abducted by a sixteen-year-old American girl from Brooklyn, Clarice Monsanto, who was at the docks awaiting her grandparents' arrival on another ship.  Clarice assumed Cyrano was a stray who needed a home.  So, like it or not, he had one, in which he eventually settled down.  One of his offspring's grandkitties, Renne Le Chat, accompanied Clarice's daughter, Midge, in her move to Plainfield, Indiana, in 1959 (her husband, Walter Padgett, worked for F.A. Wilhelm Construction Co. in Indianapolis).  Midge's son, Paulto, moved to Mooresville in 1983, bringing another of Cyrano's descendants, Parfait Le Chat.  Matou Le Chat was one of Parfait's descendants, which means so am I.

Hand-tinted photo of Clarice's mother (right) and
grandmother (left) with Cyrano Le Chat (1931)
(photo by Clarice Monsanto)

Clarice Monsanto holding Renne Le Chat,
descendant of Cyrano Le Chat, at
Midge's home in Plainfield, Indiana (1961)

Parfait Le Chat (the grey & white kitty on the right)
with several of Paulto's feline family (1985)

My Hoosier roots are quite extensive, too.  If you trace my genealogy through Sweet Pea Kitty, you will be surprised how far back my lineage goes, and who my ancestor's human companions were.  More about that in an upcoming blog.

Proud of My Family History,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Genealogy News Beat

P.S.  My Library has a promo trailer for researching your family history and genealogy in libraries and historical archives.  Everyone should know her/his roots.  We stand on the shoulders of those who came before, so knowing them gives us insights about ourselves.  Visit the MPL Indiana Roving Reporter Room for more information about our local, county, and state history, as well as genealogical resources.


  1. Wow, and I thought MY background was cool! You have an awesome family history.

  2. It's fascinating hearing about your ancestry :)

  3. Well, Cauli, I can certainly see where you get your good looks. Your ancestor kitties are just beautiful!


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