Caturday felids: Cats in the sun, popsicles for house cats, an 1895 cat dictionary

We have the usual three cat-related items today, and some lagniappe.

The lagniappe first: a bonus!



From Bored Panda, we have some photos of “sun-kissed cats” by Japanese photographer Seiji Mamiya. He’s published a book (in Japanese) featuring more of his cats. Here are some of my favorites from the Bored Panda piece:


Although summer will be over soon, it’s not too late to make tuna popsicles for your sweltering cat. (Sadly, they lack a stick, so you can’t hold it for your cat to lick.) Gus’s staff swears that they’ll make Gus a popsicle, but they’d better hurry, as he’s in Winnipeg!


Finally, the Atlas Obscura calls our attention to a 150-page book published in 1895, Pussy and Her Language, which tells you how to talk to your cat. It’s delightful, and you can access the whole thing online; just click on the screenshot below to start and click on the arrows at the top of each page to go through it.

Author Cara Giamio gives us some information:

[Marvin] Clark’s motivations were pure: he was a cat-lover in a time when most saw the animals as nothing more than haughty mousers. (Even Webster’s Dictionary, a supposedly neutral authority, defined cats as “a deceitful animal” and “extremely spiteful” in its 1828 edition). “One of a million dogs gets a bad name, while not one out of a million Cats gets a good one,” Clark wrote, and he hoped that his work would be able to change that.

His methods, though, were a little strange. In an effort to convince readers of his views, he seems to have invented several scientists, whom he both quoted and impersonated. One of them, introduced as “the great French naturalist Alphonse Leon Grimaldi, F.R.S., F.G.S., M.O.S., D.H. du C., M.F.A. S., M.F.A., et al.,” supposedly “wrote” about half of the book.

All this for arguments that, as we shall see, barely needed boosting. The following are 20 lessons gleaned from Pussy and Her Language, as applicable now as they were a century ago.

I’ll let you read the lessons for yourself, but here’s Clark’s dictionary of cat language:

The article also reproduces an early cat painting, clearly the predecessor of anthropomorphic paintings like “Dogs playing poker”. You may remember Louis Wain as the artist who specialized in cats, became mentally ill, and drew increasingly weird and frightening pictures of cats during the last 15 years of his life, which he spent in mental hospitals. You can see his art here.

The Bachelor Party by Louis Wain. BONHAMS/PUBLIC DOMAIN

h/t: Grania, Michael, Roger



  1. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    I was checking my watch, wondering where the trifecta was.

  2. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    tuna popsicles … (Sadly, they lack a stick, so you can’t hold it for your cat to lick.)

    Hmmm, I’d give a few seconds thought to checking that a stick wouldn’t shed splinters. I recall – many years ago, when we got a fridge for the first time – that you could get domestic-scale packages of “lolly sticks” (a hundred, or a gross), but I haven’t seen them for a very long time.
    OTOH, if you used a long piece of hairy string, or a long tendon from something at the butchers, or a strip of dried skin … cat fun!

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 12, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      A plastic 6-cell ice lolly mould = neat solution:

      Though on a suspended string popsicle strikes me as having a higher cat fun quotient, but who can tell with cats?

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted August 13, 2017 at 5:10 am | Permalink

        but who can tell with cats?

        Other cats.
        What, you’ve never presented #1 cat with a new toy, to have it roundly ignored, and for #2 cat to flay you to the bone with a “what were you thinking of, stoopid hoomin?” look.

  3. bric
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure how serious the cat language book is; Joseph Grimaldi was the most famous clown of the Nineteenth Century

  4. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Tuna popsicles:

    [1] Other popsicles-for-cats instructions, that use tinned Tuna, recommend:
    Tuna in water, Yes
    Tuna in brine or Tuna in oil, No
    I can’t find an explanation for why oil is frowny face

    [2] In the vids I’ve seen, the tuna gravitates into a lump at the bottom of the ice block before freezing occurs. Is there a way to emulsify [or similar] tuna/water to make a tuna suspension for freezing?

    [3] Would catnip work as a tuna popsicle condiment or a bridge to far [kitty explodes]? 🙂

  5. Michael Fisher
    Posted August 12, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Could Marvin R. Clark’s self-published, 1895, cat pamphlet be an early example of using kitties as clickbait?

    After the last cat page, ‘Page 123 (Text)’, there are some blank pages & seven pages of ads such as this one for the New Model Remington Typewriter:

    And here is an illustrated poem, praising “Tom” the cat’s cleanliness – all possible because of Pyles** Pur-Pur-Pearline soap:

    ** All soap is just soap, so the soap industry relies heavily on marketing to steal a share [soap opera etc] – some great, wordy Pyles ads on google

    • jahigginbotham
      Posted August 12, 2017 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

      Such ads were common in books of that period.

  6. jahigginbotham
    Posted August 13, 2017 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    There are a few people who reference Grimaldi and appear to take this seriously.

  7. David Coxill
    Posted August 13, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Down in West Sussex my brother and i ,on holiday getting away from the 4 cats ,we have taken our caravan away for the week .
    Getting home sick for the sight of a cat .lol.

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