|Known for||Guardian of the British Museum|
Mike (February 1909 – January 1929) was a famous cat who guarded the gates of the British Museum and 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.
The house cat of the Museum taught the young Mike to stalk pigeons by pointing like a dog to the intruder. Under the kitten's guidance the house cat would proceed to corner the pigeons, daze them, then bring them to the house keeper, who would exchange the bird for a morsel of food and milk, and release them unharmed.
Mike spent 20 years at the British Museum during which time he gained a certain notoriety for his misogynist tendencies, pushing away any attempt at fraternisation with females and having a dislike for dogs. Mike would only allow certain people to feed him, those "who treated him as a man and brother". Interest in Mike spread such that he was described as "probably the most famed British feline of the 20th Century".
When Mike died Sir Wallis Budge contributed to the Evening Standard an obituary of Mike which became the basis of his monograph "Mike, the cat who assisted in keeping the main gate of the British Museum from February 1909 to January 1929". This work includes an ode composed by F. C. W. Hiley which ends:
- "Mike, the cat who assisted in keeping the main gate of the British Museum from February 1909 to January 1929", R. Clay & Sons, Ltd., Bungay. Suffolk
- "Animals: Budge on Mike", Time magazine, January 30 1930, retrieved 16 June 2009
- "Foreign News: Cat Mike", Time magazine, April 8 1929, retrieved 16 June 2009
- Nigel Barley. Requiescat: A Cat's Life at the British Museum, 2013. (ISBN 978-1-4566-1994-7)