Annapolis Maritime Museum’s working cat Miss Pearl was known to perform for visitors to ensure they knew she was the center of the universe.
She’d garner their attention trying to climb columns and jump on window seals, said Alice Estrada, president and CEO of the museum. Miss Pearl was loved by everyone and sometimes acted like a puppy and followed people around.
“Personality plus and she didn’t know a stranger. She was always attention seeking,” she said.
The museum and Eastport community were recently heartbroken after they discovered through security camera footage at the museum that Miss Pearl was attacked and killed by a collared dog who was wandering the museum property unattended Dec. 9. The dog was reported to animal control.
When the museum posted about her passing on Facebook, residents posted their own pictures of her and fondly recalled memories.
“She was a member of our family and the entire team is devastated,” Estrada said. “We still haven’t recovered from it. She just brought us so much joy and levity.”
Miss Pearl was adopted in 2016 from BARCS, Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, and its “working cats program” that places cats who aren’t suited for indoor living in workplaces and businesses to help control rodent and pest populations in exchange for shelter, food, water and care. The museum had a mice problem and the cat was the best solution, Estrada said.
The Morning Sun
Miss Pearl was named after McNasby, an oyster packing plant in Annapolis, whose owner named his oysters after his wife Pearl.
“She was excellent and a great deterrent. It was rare to see a mouse in the building since Pearl was there,” Estrada said. “She definitely earned her paycheck.”
Miss Pearl was known to crash weddings and escape out of locked rooms. She even wandered in a few people’s homes.
“They said she wasn’t adoptable but she just loved people and was really well-known in the community,” Estrada said.
Miss Pearl enjoyed being apart of business meetings as well. She would sit in a chair and her head would go back and forth while people talked, Estrada said. “She expected a seat at the table.”
The Maritime Museum plans to adopt another working cat after they recover from the loss.
“She was one of a kind, there will never be another Pearl,” Estrada said.