The remains of Charles Dickens’ cat, and his anti-Twitter URL tool

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My old Gothamist colleagues got a private tour of the New York Public Library and took many photos, including this one of an unusual piece in the Berg Collection there. It’s Charles Dickens’ letter opener, with a handle made from the paw of Dickens’ deceased -- and, I’m assuming, beloved -- pet cat.

Yes. Um. Well, then.

In other Dickens news, someone has come up with a URL lengthener and named it for the prolific, prolix novelist. is the antithesis of the many URL shorteners (like that have cropped up to facilitate linking to stuff from Twitter, which allows only 140 characters per post. By plugging a link into a shortener, you get a much shorter URL that works just like the regular link but takes up less space. provides links that work, too, but embedded within them are visible pieces of Dickens’ prose, as well as an alternate, Dicken-branded short version. Below, there are three links to take you to the site that introduced me to

Tinyurl version:

Regular version:


Dickensurl version, from ‘A Tale of Two Cities’:

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Jen Carlson / Gothamist