Cats on Stamps
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From the Archive
January 2003 Review
I don't think it's my imagination that in 2002 (well, in the last months anyway) there haven't been so many cat stamps produced as is usually the case. One important issue, though, was the United States 'Spay or Neuter' stamps from September one dog and one tortoiseshell and white kitten. Animal societies had campaigned for a long time for such stamps, in an attempt to reduce the huge numbers of homeless dogs and cats in America by putting the matter squarely in front of the public in this way. They are simple but attractive stamps; let's hope they help to make some impact on the problem.
Readers have probably already come across the fine cat set from Jersey that appeared in October. Although they are not individually named, as the recent Pitcairn cats were, my understanding is that these are actual pedigree cats owned by members of the island's Caesarea Cat Club, the 25th anniversary of which is celebrated. The set reflects the high quality of issues we have come to associate with Jersey; I have chosen the magnificent British Silver Tabby to picture, but all are equally worthy. There is a miniature sheet (MS) featuring kittens; and all my stamps also have the longhaired kitten attached, which must come from the sheet margins.
Also last year there appeared another set of Louis Wain cats on stamps, supposedly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is hardly likely that these are real stamps, but they are fun anyway. There are two MSs, as well as the illustrated sheetlet of nine.
Every November the Netherlands issues a set of stamps bearing a premium for child welfare: the 2002 group showed paintings in the style of quite young children. One of them includes a red cat; there is another blue animal on one of the others, but I fancy that is intended to be a dog!
And the last mention this time is for a single stamp from France that came out in the autumn. It commemorates the 20th anniversary of the death of the noted writer Georges Perec; but, despite trawling through numerous websites about him, I have been unable to establish the significance of the handsome black cat perched on his shoulders. Maybe he was just a cat lover. If anyone can enlighten me, I would be pleased to hear from you.
Looking ahead, the Finnish islands of Åland have announced two cat stamps to be issued in mid-March 2003, and in summer 2002 they were inviting the public there to send in photos of their cats. A final ten had been chosen (superb pictures) from which the two winners would be selected. I expect to tell you more about this issue next time (see review for April 2003).
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Our featured feline Chico (see head of the page) belonged to a lady in the Swiss village of Chesières who lived near the ground-floor office where I worked in the mid-1980s. Every so often he liked to pass by, spend a little time with us and check we were doing everything properly.
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Article written and first published during 2003: reproduced here by the author from March 2004