25 Calendar

Photo: Ponyo

May 27, 2017 – September 3, 2018

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs

Cats and dogs are a familiar presence in Seattle. It’s no wonder that they officially outnumber human children in our city. It’s Raining Cats and Dogs brings together rarely seen objects and images from MOHAI’s collection taking a closer look at Puget Sound history through the stories of cats and dogs. Guaranteed fun for animal lovers of all ages–this exhibit shows the importance of these animals throughout history.

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Discover rarely seen objects from MOHAI’s collections that illustrate the lasting love people have for their pets. See artifacts that speak to moments in Seattle’s history, as well as show these furry companions as symbols and decorations.

Changes in Seattle history are preserved through cat and dog stories that highlight their shifting roles from workers to fur-children, their portrayal as symbols, as well as a couple “strays,” or objects that do not fit into a theme, are a bit of a mystery, or have never been exhibited before.

This family-friendly exhibit features open play areas with pet themed games, oversized toys and a reading nook.

Animal Stories



In the early 1900s, dogs were oftentimes used to help around in the workplace. Sometimes dogs would get themselves into seemingly precarious situations, like this coworker sitting in the cut of a tree made by his fellow lumberjacks, ca. 1907.

Photo: William Holmes Wilcox, MOHAI, Seattle Historical Society Collection

Lounging Like a Cat

Cats have long been part of people’s lives in Puget Sound. This 1900 photo shows two young girls with a doll and a contented-looking cat. Aside from the fashion of the time-dresses, leather boots, and ringlets in their hair — not much has changed in the lives of Puget Sound cats.

Photo: MOHAI, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection

Piles of Kittens

After World War II, Seattle’s cat and dog populations rapidly grew, leading to organizations beginning to promote the spaying and neutering of pets. This 1951 shows an adorable pile of cats at a King County Humane Society animal sale. This photo was published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the photographer’s editorial white and black contrast marks for newsprint publication are still visible.

Photo: John Vallentyne, MOHAI, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection

Summertime for Furry Friends

Summer time means fewer lonesome family pets! In 1960, school let out on June 10 and the Miller family children raced home from Coe Elementary School in Queen Anne, Seattle, to show their Great Dane, Sheena, their report cards. Sheena definitely approved!

Community Partners

MOHAI is proud to partner with PAWS to develop It’s Raining Cats and Dogs.

PAWS is a champion for animals-rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife, sheltering and adopting homeless cats and dogs, and educating people to make a better world for animals and people. Since 1967, PAWS has united more than 130,000 companion animals with loving families, cared for 115,000 injured and orphaned wild animals, and made the world a better place for countless others through advocacy and education.

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