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December 2017 Review

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This review will cover all cat-stamp issues that I know of from 2015 until now and that haven't already been mentioned on earlier pages. As that means quite a number of stamps, I'll use a slightly shorter way than usual of describing them.

Armenia, Dec 2016: children's philately, cat from set of three Armenia (December 2016, right): three stamps on the theme of children's philately, one of them showing a stylised cat. Australia: the trend here recently seems to be to issue glossy folders ('stamp packs', not pictured) with sheets of generic stamps accompanied by labels of various subjects. There have been 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' (July 2015 – 2 sheets, with the Disney Cheshire cat on 6 labels); 'Looney Tunes' (Sept. 2015 – 1 sheet, with Sylvester the cat on the folder cover and 1 label); 'Sylvester & Tweety' (October 2016 – 2 sheets, with Sylvester on 7 labels); and 'Smurfs: The Lost Village' (March 2017 – 2 sheets, with Azrael the cat on 1 label). Personally I find these rather an uneconomical way of collecting cats, and they aren't even on actual stamps.

Austria, 2013: Die Katze prestige booklet Austria (2013): going back even further I think this prestige booklet, superbly produced, is worth a mention. Called simply 'Die Katze', it contains a wealth of information on domestic cats, from their history and development to their health and safety, even 'cats and the law' and the addresses of rescue organisations in Vienna. Text is in German, of course, but there are many photos, and also eight stamps of named cats, with a brief description of them.

Azerbaijan, early 2017: part of unofficial set of cats Canada, Sep 2017: booket stamps for Community Foundation charity Azerbaijan (early 2017, left): as well as the cat-shaped sheet pictured, there are two further sheetlets of 6 stamps each, showing named breeds. Very attractive, but the Azeri Post authorities say on their website that they didn't issue them, so they are 'unofficial'. Canada (September 2017, right): a self-adhesive booklet containing 10 stamps all of one design but in two different colours, shows a stylised cat and kittens and carries a surcharge for a children's charity.

China People's Republic, May 2017: hopscotch (and cat) from Children's Games Congo (Brazzaville), 2016: Alexander Alekhine and his cat Chess China PR (May 2017, left): six stamps of children's sports and games include a grey tabby cat joining in the hopscotch on one value. Congo/Brazzaville (2016, right): world-champion chess player Alexander Alekhine appeared previously on a 2006 stamp from Guinea-Bissau; now here he is again on a miniature sheet (MS) with his Siamese cat 'Chess', who accompanied him to his matches.

Denmark, July 2017: Danish summer cottage with cat
Denmark (July 2017): a set of 5 stamps showing Danish summer cottages includes one with a black cat, tail in the air, approaching a seaside cottage.

France, Feb 2017: 'It's all in the look', one of two sheets of 6 France, May 2017: Highland Fold cat from folder 'Cats of the world in our homes' France (two issues, February & May 2017, outer and inner left respectively): The first, 'Tout est dans le regard' ('It's all in the look') has two sheets, each of 6 self-adhesives of named breeds, with a large cat portrait behind, while on the reverse are notes about cats' eyes and vision. The second is called 'Les chats du monde dans notre maisons' ('Cats of the world in our homes') and has two similar sheets in a folder. One shows Continental breeds, the other British ones; pictured from the latter is the Highland Fold, a long-haired version of the Scottish Fold, in its first appearance on a stamp. I thought two of the choices were a bit strange: in the British set, why a Persian, but no Manx? And in the Continental one, why a Birman and not a Turkish Van?

French Polynesia, Aug 2017: three named cats from cats-and-dogs set

French Polynesia (August 2017): a booklet of self-adhesives has three named cats ('Kitty', 'Gribouille' and 'Caramel') and three dogs.

Germany, Aug 2017: Mikesch the tomcat from Augsburg marionette theatre Germany, Feb 2017: the Bremen Town Musicians Germany (Feb. 2017, inner right): the Bremen Town Musicians — donkey, dog, cat and rooster — make another philatelic appearance on a set of three; and (August 2017, outer right): another set of three in the annual 'For Youth' series depicts scenes from the Augsburger Puppenkiste — a marionette theatre from the city of Augsburg. One includes Mikesch the tomcat.

Grenada, 2017: miniature sheet from Kittens set Iceland, Apr 2017: tabby kitten from baby-animals set Grenada (2017, left): a 'fun' sheetlet of three and an MS show playful kittens; I don't know the issue date. Are they even genuine Grenada stamps, or similar to the mysterious 'Montserrat' ones of a few years ago? Iceland (April 2017, right): The start of a series of 'Iceland's baby animals' has a tabby kitten on one of two self-adhesive stamps.

Isle of Man, Oct 2017: one of 4 Lesley Anne Ivory paintings of Manx cats
Isle of Man (Oct. 2017): there are four stamps with paintings of Manx cats by well-known book illustrator Lesley Anne Ivory.

Japan, Nov 2017: 'Happy greetings' stamp with calico cat I tend to lose track of the numerous issues from Japan (not pictured), but in the period in question there seem to be sets of 20 Sanrio cartoon characters from both 2015 and 2016, with Hello Kitty on all the stamps; a further set of 10 Hello Kitty stamps in freeform shapes from May 2016; Doraemon the robot cat and his sister Dorami on two sheets of 10 from July 2016; and a Hello Kitty MS of 8 entitled 'Go around Malaysia' on which she appears on labels. Very recently (Nov. 2017 — pictured) is a set of greetings stamps, with a calico cat appearing on three of them.

Korea (South), May 2017: 'Love and happiness' (one of 4) includes small cat

Korea (South) (May 2017): one of a set of four called 'Love and Happiness' includes a small brown cat.

Netherlands, Mar 2017: one of two cats from 'Living heritage' set Netherlands, Oct 2017: Loedertje the Siamese and Edgar the red cat from child-welfare set Netherlands (March 2017, left): four sheetlets each of three stamps showing domestic creatures include two cats; the issue is entitled 'Levend erfgoed' ('Living heritage') and was designed to be inserted into a picture book of that name. (October 2017, right): the annual Dutch child-welfare issue is a sheet of six stamps featuring the cartoon characters of Jan Kruis, including red cat Edgar and the Siamese Loedertje.

Russia, June 2016: MS commemorating writer Mikhail Bulgakov includes the cat Behemoth San Marino, Oct 2017: stylised cat, one of 3 stamps marking 10 years with no animal experimentation Russia (June 2016, left): an MS marks the 125th birth anniversary of writer Mikhail Bulgakov and includes in the margin the 'devilish' cat Behemoth, a character in the satire The Master and Margarita. Behemoth, a melange of fantasy and reality, can be quite malicious, and he can speak, walk on two legs and play chess! San Marino (October 2017, right): three stamps mark the 10th anniversary of the ending of animal experimentation in San Marino. A stylised cat and a microscope are on one of them.

Serbia, Nov 2016: Mikhail Bulgakov from 'Famous men', with cat Behemoth Serbia, Sep 2017: 'Joy of Europe' stamp with cat's head Mikhail Bulgakov and Behemoth (see Russia above) also appear on one of 8 stamps from Serbia (November 2016, left) honouring famous men, this time with the cat wearing a top hat. Also from Serbia (September 2017, right) is the biannual 'Joy of Europe' stamp, a single one showing a white cat's head.

Singapore, June 2017: kitten and puppy from baby-animals set Suriname, Jan 2017: stylised cats in Polynesian art by Aloi Pilioko Singapore (June 2017, left): a set of four baby animals includes a stylised kitten and puppy on one stamp. Suriname (January 2017, right): Polynesian art — a group of six paintings by Aloi Pilioko has two stamps (maybe three — hard to tell) with stylised cats.

Sweden, June 2017: cat looking out over lake, from set of 7 competition photos Transnistria, March 2017: Kuril bobtail from pedigree-cats set of 6 Sweden (June 2017, left): seven self-adhesive stamps show photos selected from an Instagram competition, including one of a black cat (named Ralf) looking out over a tranquil lake. Transnistria is a self-proclaimed state considered by the UN to be part of Moldova; but it has its own government, parliament, police, military, currency, postal system and vehicle registration. Stamps separate from those of Moldova are issued and are valid for carriage of mail within Transnistria. March 2017 saw the issue of six cat stamps of named pedigree breeds, with an MS featuring the same stamps and a central image. One stamp has a Kuril bobtail (pictured here, right, and on only four other stamps I know of), while another is described as an 'Asian Thai'.

Ukraine, August 2016: Jewish man from ethnic-minorities set, with kitten Ukraine (August 2016): four stamps depict minority ethnic groups in that country; one value shows a Jewish gentleman busy at his sewing machine, with a grey kitten by a basket on the floor. Also named as from Ukraine are no fewer than eight big sheets (not pictured — 4 from 2015, 4 from 2016) each with nine stamps with cat or kitten photos and a large cat image. They are expensive and may well be unofficial or personalised productions. There's also an even more expensive sheet of 28 'space cats' (March 2017), with mainly whimsical images but including also one of real-life French space cat Félicette.

Stamperija issues

It isn't practical here to go into detail about all the constant flood of issues produced by Stamperija of Lithuania, which have dubious postal validity anyway, so here, without images, is a summary of those including cats from 2015 to date and that we haven't mentioned elsewhere before. Unless otherwise stated, each issue comprises a sheetlet, or block, of four stamps and an MS.

Central African Republic: June 2015 cats set / December 2015 Oriental cats / July 2016 cats set / May 2017 cats in paintings.

Chad: March 2017 cats set / July 2017 Alexander Pushkin (includes cat on MS).

Djibouti: July 2016 cats set / July 2016 Ancient Egypt (3 blocks of 4 + MS): one includes Bastet statue / September 2016 cartoons (cats in MS margin) / January 2017 Frida Kahlo paintings (one includes a black cat).

Guinea: March 2015 cats of the world / November 2015 cats set / March 2016 Franz Marc paintings (one includes three cats) / July 2016 domestic cats / April 2017 cats set.

Guinea-Bissau: January 2015 cats set / April 2015 cats set (strip of 4 + MS) / January 2016 cats set (sheetlet of 6 + MS) / February 2017 cats set (sheetlet of 5 + MS).

Maldives: May 2016 cats set ('World of flora and fauna') / June 2017 cats in paintings.

Mozambique: August 2015 cats set / January 2016 cats and dogs / November 2016 cats set.

Niger: April 2015 cats set / October 2016 cats and dogs / May 2016 cats set / February 2017 Gustav Klimt (MS has portrait of Klimt with his cat).

Sao Tome e Principe: December 2015 rare cat breeds / September 2016 cats set (strip of 4 + MS) / July 2017 cats set.

Sierra Leone: January 2017 Frida Kahlo paintings (one includes a black cat).

Solomon Islands: May 2017 cats set.

Togo: April 2015 cats set / October 2015 cats set / December 2015 Leonardo da Vinci (cat sketches on one stamp) / March 2016 Freddie Mercury (holding a cat on one stamp) / May 2016 cats set / December 2016 cats set / June 2017 cats set.


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