As a child, his single mum neglected him and at the age of 9 he ran away from home and joined the local circus, where Miss Manely, the bearded lady adopted him. He grew up as a sideshow performer in the late 19th century, and was later brought to the United States by P.T. Barnum in 1886.
Playing a beast of the sorts, Nigel would bark and growl to entertain the audience, however no one ever knew the quiet side of him. He loved to read novels during the long hours on the road and spoke several languages. Over the years he acquired quite an antiquarian book collection. In 1921 he died alone amongst his favorite novels including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Moonstone.
You can see Nigel in my upcoming show at the Toothless Cat art gallery in Philadelphia come January.