Cats on Stamps

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Patrick Roberts

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From the archive: September 2007 Review

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Celtic Cats miniature sheet from Ireland, 2007 There have been some interesting and attractive new cat stamps since our last round-up, and we'll revisit a series mentioned in an earlier review. The very latest items form a set released earlier this month by Ireland and named 'Celtic Cats'. These are tongue-in-cheek depictions of certain types of person in the guise of cats: a Kilkenny Cat (for the story behind the name see here), a Celtic Tigress, a Fat Cat and a couple of Cool Cats. There are also an amusing MS (miniature sheet) and an excellent first-day cover. The MS is unusual in that it incorporates quarter-size versions of the four stamps in the main set.

Sylvester the cat and Tweety-pie the canary, Singapore 2007 Staying with the humour, Sylvester and Tweety-pie have made another appearance, this time on an item from Singapore in their 'MyStamp' series, issued in early August. It is an A4-sized card with a picture of the cat chasing the bird, but in a cellophane envelope on the card is a sheetlet containing three stamps and a label. The S$2 stamps are all the same and show flowers and butterflies, but one has a label attached, as illustrated (the whole thing is too big to picture here!).

Shrek and Puss-in-Boots from Shrek the Third Puss-in-Boots from Shrek the Third prestige booklet, Austria 2007 Another well-known but more contemporary animated character, Shrek, puts in an appearance on some 'cinema' stamps from Austria, marking the release of the film Shrek the Third; so what? – you might say. Well, if you know the story you will know that the film includes Puss-in-Boots: and so do some of the stamps. There is a lavish prestige booklet containing nine stamps, a quantity of labels, two postcards, as well as illustrations and text (in German). Puss is on front and back booklet covers, two of the stamps (pictured), some illustrations and several labels. (It's been brought to my notice — thanks, Bridget! — that Puss appears also on an MS issued by Australia for Shrek 2 (not pictured).)

Scout Marr and Questie, ship's cat, Tristan da Cunha 2007 The South Atlantic island group of Tristan da Cunha is one of the most isolated inhabited places on the planet, but that did not prevent it from producing — along with most other countries — stamps to commemorate the centenary of the Scouting movement started by Lord Baden-Powell in 1907. There is a miniature sheet of two stamps; one shows 'B-P' himself, while the other has a Scout with a black cat on his shoulder. The Scout is named as Scout Marr, while the cat is 'ship's cat Questie'. Doubtless the feline was on board Quest, the ship in which famous explorer Ernest Shackleton set sail in 1921 for another voyage to Antarctica. It turned out to be his last voyage, as he suffered a heart attack and died during it. Scout Marr was a Scottish Scout who was chosen from among a large number of applicants to be cabin boy on the ship; the connection with Tristan da Cunha is that on the return journey the vessel called there, when Marr presented the then recently formed local Scout group with their flag. The whole story, which I found very interesting, can be found at this page.

Black cat from definitives set, Netherlands Antilles 2007 Thailand, Post Day 2007 The Netherlands Antilles, although not as isolated, is still a long way from Europe. Maybe that explains why I continue to wait for delivery of a new set of definitive stamps that was issued by the territory in January 2007. However, I have managed to acquire the handsome cat stamp from the set, shown here (left). Meanwhile Thailand marked its Post Day with what I think was a single stamp showing a 'postie' on a scooter (right), but I don't yet know the date of issue.

Birman from Moldova cats set, 2007 Winner of children's book illustration competition, Slovakia 2007 Several cat stamps have originated recently from Eastern European countries, and they all first saw the light of day in the month of June. Moldova gave us four elegant breeds, of which the Birman is pictured here. There are little cat figures also in the margins of the sheets of these stamps. From Slovakia comes a single stamp marking the Biennial Exhibition of Children's Book Illustrations, held every other year in the capital, Bratislava. It is a competitive exhibition and this stamp illustrates the winning entry from 2005, from a children's book published in the Swiss city of Zürich.

Scottish Fold from Ukraine cats set, 2007 Ukraine 2007, Kyiv walk painting Ukraine issued a sheetlet of six cats, accompanied by a similar one of dogs: here you can see the Scottish Fold (left), a lop-eared breed whose members all originate from a single, white, fold-eared female called Susie, found on a Scottish farm in 1961. Also from Ukraine but in the previous month, May, came a set of four stamps under the title 'Kyiv through artists' eyes', showing paintings of scenes from the capital city painted by modern artists. 'Kyiv walk' (right) includes a yellow cat with a long tail.

Finally, in our December 2006 review I mentioned two sheetlets from the Netherlands in the 'Mooi Nederland' ('Beautiful Holland') series characterising various Dutch towns and cities; both included small cats in the design. I have found that a number of other sheetlets in the series also have cats — mostly very small and hard to spot. I have enlarged them below and included again the two mentioned earlier, making a total of 10 altogether. All date from 2006.

Netherlands: small cat on omnibus sheetlet from Beautiful Holland series Netherlands: small cat on omnibus sheetlet from Mooi Nederland series Netherlands: small cat on Leiden sheetlet from Beautiful Holland series

Omnibus 1

Omnibus 2


Netherlands: small cat on Sittard sheetlet from Beautiful Holland series Netherlands: small cat on Woudrichem sheetlet from Mooi Nederland series



Netherlands: small cat on Enkhuizen sheetlet from Beautiful Holland series Netherlands: small cat on Zutphen sheetlet from Mooi Nederland series



Netherlands: small cat on Schoonhoven sheetlet from Beautiful Holland series Netherlands: small cat on Kampen sheetlet from Mooi Nederland series Netherlands: small cat on Deventer sheetlet from Beautiful Holland series




NB: another cat was later found which is illustrated in our December 2007 review: click the forward arrow below to see it.


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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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