Above: The front and back of the note card sent to Clifford T. Bell by infamous film
maker and showman impresario Carl Denham while both were making passage from
Europe to New York in 1930. From Denham's reference to Clifford's reputation it
would seem that Clifford had achieved a certain notoriety as the result of his
adventures in North Africa. Nowhere in Clifford's surviving writings are there any hints
that he confided with Denham in regards to the Purple Fez.
Above: The stray cat that would become known as the Crate Kitty takes his first
cautious steps into his new home in the California Science Center's exhibit shop.

Color Photographic Print
7 inches wide by 5 inches high

September 2002


From the Archives of The Noble & Antediluvian Order of
The Brotherhood of the Purple Fez
In September 2002, members of the Brotherhood while fulfilling their duties as members of the exhibits department were busy
installing a new exhibit in the Science Center’s Weingart Special Exhibits Gallery.

The exhibit titled Speed had just been delivered from its previous venue at the Ohio State Fair and the several dozen crates had
been staged in the center of the gallery’s empty floor. The large grouping of crates slowing grew smaller as the individual units
were opened and unloaded. The numerous exhibit components were assembled and placed in their assigned locations in the
gallery. The empty crates were then moved to the crate storage room. This process continued for a couple days until there were
only a few crates left unopened in the gallery.

It was when one of these final crates was opened that a dark shape suddenly darted out of the newly opened container and
disappeared beneath it. Even the hardened members of the Brotherhood were taken aback by what had just occurred and it was
with more than a little hesitation that enough courage was mustered before anyone had the nerve to peek under the crate to see
what was there. The mystery was soon revealed.
Our flashlight’s beam was greeted by the reflection of two glowing yellow-green eyes outlined by the shadowy silhouette of a small,
all black cat. The poor creature was terrified, hissing and growling at us something terrible and was obviously not going to respond
agreeably to the traditional
“Here, kitty, kitty, kitty”, so a plan was quickly devised.

A walkie-talkie call was made to the Science Center’s animal care department (whose staff included a number of Brotherhood
members) and a cat sized animal transport cage was secured. Brother Pedro made a quick run down to the exhibits department’s
metal shop and soon returned with a pair of heavy, elbow high leather welding gloves. Three sides of the crates bottom were
blocked off to lessen the chance of the cat getting loose in the gallery and Brother Pedro quickly reached under the crate and
grabbed the reluctant feline. There was a flurry of hissing and screeching on the part of the cat and various Spanish expletives on
the part of Brother Pedro. Teeth and claws flashed with the fury of a miniature
velociraptor, but were safely blunted by the thick
leather of the welding gloves. With the dexterity only seen in a man in fear for his life, Brother Pedro soon had the cat inside the
waiting carrier and the new and very reluctant member of the exhibits department was quickly and quietly taken downstairs to the
shop.

It was quite obvious that the critter – already dubbed Crate Kitty – was going to require more than a bit of taming. It was also
quite obvious that the universal, if unspoken decision had already been made that with his cooperation the Crate Kitty was going
to become the department’s official mascot and shop cat.

We estimated that the cat had been sealed in the crate without food or water for at least a week. We knew that cats can go without
food for quite some time but lack of water can be extremely hard on their systems so we provided the still caged Crate Kitty with a
little food and lots of fresh water. Like most animals, he was not long in realizing he was amongst friends and his formerly wild
temperament soon abated. In fact it was only a couple of day before we were able to open the door to his cage and let him begin to
explore his new home.

It was not long before he felt free and safe enough to range the entire shop and storeroom and in usual cat fashion would hop up
on someone’s workbench and plop himself right in the middle of the project being worked on. He also became so at ease that he
showed no fear at all when the shops machinery and power tools were in use. At this time a fund was raised and your Most Sublime
Grand Master took the Crate Kitty to the veterinarian for a general checkup, his feline leukemia vaccination and a most
unfortunate by very necessary neutering.
Above: Not long after being released in the exhibits shop, the Crate Kitty seeks
safety under the shop table saw. Such caution soon gave way to a cat's normal
sense of exploration and curiosity.


Color Photographic Print
7 inches wide by 5 inches high
September 2002

From the Archives of The Noble & Antediluvian Order of
The Brotherhood of the Purple Fez
Much can be told about the Crate Kitty’s hijinks in the shop; how he tormented Brother Anthony by using his workbench as a
litterbox or how in his role of shop cat made our department even more the envy of the rest of the Science Center. There was
something quite relaxing to show up to yet another day work at 7:30 AM and being greeted by the Crate Kitty happily trotting
across the shop floor to meet you
.
Above: The Crate Kitty checks the Brotherhood's infamous Chair of Shame on
for size.


Color Photographic Print
7 inches wide by 5 inches high
c
. 2003

From the Archives of The Noble & Antediluvian Order of
The Brotherhood of the Purple Fez
As is always the case, all good thing must come to an end. We were fortunate to have the Crate Kitty’s company for the time we
did. One morning your Most Sublime Grand Master was the first to arrive at work and upon entering the shop was not greeted by
our mascot in the usual way. Nor did he come when called. A short search of the shop found him curled in his bed box quite still
and cold. He had died in his sleep sometime the night before. He had not shown any hit of illness and we never knew for certain
what might have caused his death. We suspected that it may have been the result of lingering aftereffects of his torment inside that
crate.*  With appropriate solemnity he was laid to rest in the crux of two massive buttress root of a huge ficus tree that stood not
far from the shop facing the Exposition Park Rose Garden.

*We were never able to find out exactly how Crate Kitty ended up in that crate to begin with. While it may have been accidental
that scenario seemed very unlikely given cats general cautious nature. We long suspected that he was deliberately sealed up in the
crate as part of a sick and sadistic joke on the part of someone at the Ohio State Fair.