The smallest man in the world and his cat

As I noted this morning, it’s Global Cat Day, and here’s my contribution.

I’m not sure if this was verified (Guinness World Records) didn’t exist in that time, but in the late forties and mid-fifties, Henry Behrens (born about 1895) was touted as the world’s smallest man. A midget, he was 30 inches (0.81 meters) tall  and weighed 32 pounds (14.5 kg). Here’s a picture of him dancing with his black cat, and another with  his wife—and his black cat (can you spot it?):

Here’s a video of the man who called himself “Colonel Peewee”:

h/t: Laurie


  1. Randy schenck
    Posted October 16, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Need to find the world’s smallest cat for this guy.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted October 17, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      DONT encourage the breeders down this route. They already created hairless cats.

  2. Liz
    Posted October 16, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    So cute!!

  3. Barry Lyons
    Posted October 16, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Pivoting now to a somewhat taller man, here’s a story on Mark Twain’s preference for cats over people:

  4. Dave137
    Posted October 16, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Coyne,

    Not sure if you’ve seen this trailer, but it’s infuriatingly absurd:

  5. grasshopper
    Posted October 16, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Nup. The middle pic is really Sam Gamgee and Rosie Cotton during The Scouring Of The Saucepans.

  6. bundorgarden
    Posted October 16, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm, I hope the cat never turned nasty…

  7. Barney
    Posted October 16, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    The first edition of the Guinness Book of Records for sale was in 1955: (before that it was a marketing gimmick for the brewery). Since the date for the ‘dancing with his cat’ photo is normally given as 1956, and he lived in England, I suspect Behrens was in it.

    The local paper said, a few years ago, there’s confusion about his name – could it have been ‘Jack Fullford’?

  8. Michael Scullin
    Posted October 16, 2017 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Australopithecus afarensis had a cranial capacity of about 460 cc. I wonder what his was? I always made the point that it is the organization of the brain and not the size.

    Prof. of Anthropology emeritus

  9. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted October 17, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Coincidence – I was channel-hopping on the radio earlier and stumbled into a dramatisation of Gunter Grass’ “Tin Drum”, where the protagonist is a person of diminished but increasing stature. Peculiar – might try to find the first couple of episodes somewhere.

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