Tagged: history

Keep calm and cat on!

Originally, the iconic “keep calm and carry on” and was a British motivational poster produced in the context of World War II, and intended to lift the spirits of the public in the aftermath of mass air raids on British cities (read more on its history here). It had only very limited distribution and was little known at the time. It only gained wide popularity after it was rediscovered in 2000, and has been printed on various products since.

Keep calm and [insert whatever] has in the meantime become omnipresent and been modified to fit almost any interest imaginable. You’ve probably long guessed where we’re going with this. Yes of course – there is plenty of cat themed attempts at keeping calm. In fact, there is far too many to reproduce them all here, but we’ve picked our favourite five:

#1 Keep calm and love cats!



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Happy World Cat Day!

heartcatsToday is World Cat Day, an entire day dedicated exclusively to the celebration of kitty awesomeness!

World Cat-Day, also known as International Cat-Day, is celebrated throughout the world on August 08, 2013. It was founded in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and other animal rights groups.

So in the spirit of the day, here’s a couple of minutes of pure kitty bliss to enjoy. Cats being persistent in demanding undivided attention.

Art Cats: Where’s the kitty?

John Reinhard Weguelin Painting The Obsequies of an Egyptian Cat

John Reinhard Weguelin (1849–1927) was an English artist who specialised in figurative paintings with opulent backgrounds, typically landscapes or garden scenes. Drawing on Greek and Roman imagery and mythology, Weguelin’s work can be considered classicist (early works) as well as neo-classicist (later works). His style was flexible, often reflecting a free adaptation of the pagan spirit of classical art instead of adhering to a strictly historical interpretation.

In The Obsequies of an Egyptian Cat (1886),a priestess kneels before an altar upon which is placed the mummy of a cat (yup, there it is!). She is burning incense, and has presented offerings of flowers and food and milk to the cat’s spirit. On the wall behind the priestess is an Egyptian fresco, and a statue of the goddess Bastet guards the entrance to the temple. In the Background, stairs lead up to a doorway, opening the view to the sky.

If you are on top of your Egyptian mythology, you will have noticed that this actually leaves us with a second answer to the title question! Bastet (alternatively Bast or Baast) is the second cat in the picture. The feline goddess of ancient Egypt was the protector and defender of the pharaoh as well as the main male deity Ra. When domesticated cats were popularly kept as pets (first millennium BC), Bastet began to be represented as a woman with the head of a cat.


Back to the Roots!


Flotsam and Catsam is rather fond of all things vintage and cat related historical tidbits. Let’s take a step back in time and honour the man and the machine that brought us the very first cat video ever! Continue reading to find out more about Thomas Edison’s Kinetoscope and, of course, to view the first cat video produced for it!

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Vintage – Buzzer the studio cat!

Let me first introduce this posts protagonist, photographer Arnold Genthe’s studio cat Buzzer in solo (well almost):

Buzzer with Doll

All photos displayed below were taken between 1906 and 1942 by Arnold Genthe (1869 – 1942) and downloaded from the Library of Congress prints and photographs archive. Said archive holds dozens of portraits of women posing with a, if I may say so, rather grumpy looking Buzzer.

If he doesn’t look too pleased posing alone, he seems to barely tolerate the series of fine ladies who disturb his days.Public Domain Images


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