Cats on Stamps

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Patrick Roberts

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January 2003 Review

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USA: one of two Spay or Neuter stamps from the United States - the other shows a dog 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.

Jersey: British Silver Tabby, from Jersey Cats set 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.

Guinea: miniature sheet of 4 cats from Guinea Republic The West African country of Guinea has previously released some lovely cat stamps, and during 2002 another set came out, although I don't know exactly when. The same stamps appear on the pictured MS.

Congo: Louis Wain sheetlet of 9 allegedly from Congo Democratic Republic 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.

Netherlands: child's painting with cat from Dutch 2002 Child Welfare set 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!

Philippines: one of 4 Valentine's Day stamps Early in 2002 the Philippines came up with a block of four cartoon-type stamps to celebrate Valentine's Day; shown is the one that depicts a romantic puppy and kitten surrounded by hearts (right).

France: writer Georges Perec and feline friend 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.
Note: I was later informed by a reader that Georges Perec was indeed a cat lover, and the image on the stamp is taken from probably the best-known photograph of him. It appears on the cover of David Bellos' biography of the writer, although the cat is not identified. Perec had many feline companions during his life and cats appear in many of his works, often named after real cats belonging to him or his friends.

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