There was an immediate and generous response to Mrs. Chesterton's
heartrending appeal. In the October issue of ANIMALS it was reported,
"Thanks to the generous support of the Public, Louis in is no
longer in a pauper lunatic asylum. He is now in Bethlem Royal Hospital
where his expenses are being defrayed by the fund. But this does not
permanently settle the problem of his future. If he remains in his present
condition the question of his maintenance must continue for some years.
And not maintenance only. He now enjoys the amenities suitable to his
temperament and condition. An entirely new wardrobe has been supplied to
him, his room is comfortably furnished and he has all the colours etc. he
"There is, however, another side to the question. Medical opinion
believes that there is some faint hope of his recovery. Should this hope
be fulfilled it would be most disastrous that he should return to the
world without a home and adequate provision until such time as he could
earn his living once again. His family dependence are not in a position to
do this and it becomes, therefore, a matter of urgent necessity to arrange
for this possibility."
In a final message, the Appeal Committee expressed their thanks,
"............. to the Press for their generous support. The Daily
Graphic competition brought the fund the gratifying total sum of £283 and
from all over the country we have received letters sent to the local
newspapers containing subscriptions. The whole of Great Britain and
Ireland have combined to help us in our work to relieve the famous cat
Thanks were also expressed to the
famous author H G Wells and to the British Broadcasting Co. and to many
admirers who sent original sketches for sale and to artists who
contributed signed pictures for the same purpose.
It is a wonderful story and, as often stated many times in all
circumstances, "................... It is one more proof that the
great heart of the public is ever open to the unfortunate and
afflicted". words written in 1925 but still applicable today when a
just cause is publicised.
At the 1996 Centenary National Show there were many Charities where the
Public of 1996 showed their generosity as a tribute to this great artist
who had so much influence in the founding of the National Cat Club and
who, through his wonderful work, generated a public love of cats which has
not been so forthcoming in previous years.
Extracts included in this feature, and
the illustrations are taken from "Souvenir of Louis Wain's Work"
published in 1925