Cats in the 20th Century History (Sir Winston Churchill’s Cats)

Cats have even been long standing residents of 10 Downing Street brought to the address by Prime Ministers and other staff as mousers or as just pets.  However, perhaps the most famous cat lover and resident of 10 Downing Street was Sir Winston Churchill, who served as Britain’s prime minister from 1940-1945 and 1951-1955. Sir […]

Cats in 20th Century History and Art (Part 4-Félix Vallotton)

Greatly influenced by Holbein, Durer and Ingres and later by Japanese print art, the Swiss painter Félix Vallotton (1865-1925) produced both woodcuts and paintings in which he sometimes included cats.  His woodcuts consist of a black background with only a few white lines to outline his images.  In a series of six woodcuts called Instruments […]

The Cat in 20th Century History (Part 1-Background)

THE CAT IN 20TH CENTURY HISTORY By the beginning of the twentieth century, the cat had risen in popularity at a phenomenal rate.  Now even less stigmatized by the evil mantra it had carried throughout time, the cat in 20th century history would become even more ubiquitous.  Its breakthrough into the literary and art worlds, which […]

Cats in the 19th Century (Part 6-Cats in Art)

Over a 100 artists in the 19th century and through the turn of the 20th century chose to capture cats in art not only on canvas but in a myriad of advertisements, greeting cards and sculptures.  For the first time in history the cat would find itself as the primary subject of art with such […]

Cats in the 19th Century (Part 4 – First Siamese Cat in America)

Inevitably the cat became a subject fawned over by writers and artists, but many statesmen, politicians, and other famous personages came to be known as cat lovers as well.  Abraham Lincoln, the 6th president of the United States agreed to let his son Tad bring his Tabby cat to the White house as its first […]

Cats in the 19th Century (Part 1 – Background)

The gradual shift towards the humane treatment of animals that had started in the 17th   and 18th centuries among the upper and middle classes became even more widespread in the 19th century. Urban planners concerned with the issues of cleanliness and sanitation, now in the 19th century, outwardly proclaimed the cat as their primary mascot […]

Cats in the Enlightenment (Part 11 – Sir Walter Scott and Hinx)

Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) owned a cat named Hinx and once made a comment to Washington Irving, “Ah! Cats are mysterious kind of folk.  There is more passing in their minds than we are aware of.  It comes no doubt from their being so familiar with warlocks and witches.” (Van Vechten, 1921, p. 81)  Scott loved […]

Cats in the Enlightenment (Part 9 – William Cowper’s Cat Poems)

By and large, the cat was highly thought of during this age especially by those eccentrics who were judged to be a bit mad.   William Cowper (1751-1800), who had bouts of madness and depression was no less a great poet.  His first volume of poems published in 1782, was, by his death in 1800, so […]