I have to agree with Jim. What is the determination of "overrun by Golden Mantles and mice plus assorted chipmunks?"
A non-native predator (cat) on the run is really not acceptable in the setting of the High Desert Museum. Cats don't just "keep the rodents within limit" but also prey on birds, reptiles and amphibians. The HDM landscaping attracts a diversity of wildlife that would be vulnerable to cat predation. Our 1880 forefathers didn't have knowledge of ecological principles and the situation of some greatly diminished wildlife populations that we are faced with today.
Might I suggested a stuffed cat for the display if the presence of a cat is need for authenticity, and keeping all food sources secure and restrict small mammal access to the cabin to reduce "rodent" contamination.
Larry Pecenka, ODFW Habitat Biologist