Found Photos, Vintage Cat Edition



Are you ready for another round of freshly scanned vintage color slides? Of course, you are! Last time it was a trove of one family's photos. This time: KITTIES!!!

I came across a lot of Kodachromes from the 1950s-1970s consisting entirely of vintage cat photos. If you thought that humanity's love of taking pictures of their cats in all kinds of everyday situations was a modern thing that only kids on the internet do, think again!

An aspect that drew me toward this set of vintage cat photos is their casual, almost street photography style presentation of the animals. I love that many of them use a no-frills, front and center flash with compositions reminiscent of William Eggleston's work. I love how many of the photos show more than just the cats. How the artifacts of the 1950s and 60s exist alongside the cats in the photographs. The typical pink bathroom tile of the era. The 1950s style Zenith Radio. All of these little things seem to elevate the photos about cats to something more than just cat photos.

I'm presenting the images a little differently this time by including the entire slide mount in the photos. I'm doing this since every slide was hand annotated with the animal's names, and in a few cases, the location where the photo was taken also written in the caption. Something about seeing these notes somehow makes the images feel complete to me.

Thanks to all the notes of the cats' names, it is clear that there were a few major players in the life of this photographer. I'll get to those cats later, and will start off the sharing with all the images of cats who only appear once in the collection.

The Single Appearance Cats

Puz-a-Puza (Tiger) In Washbasin -1955
Puz-a-Puza (Tiger) In Washbasin -1955
Molly - 1958
Molly - 1958
Mrs. Cadawalder - 1965
Mrs. Cadawalder - 1965
Midnight. Black cat in a bed. 1957
Midnight - 1957
Jockey - Morristown
Jockey - Morristown
"Angel/Miss Barbara"
"Angel/Miss Barbara" - Barbara Zuchowski
Two Long Haired Kittens
Two Long Haired Kittens
Three Kittens - 1969
Three Kittens - 1969

Siamese Kitty

One cat to appear more than once is a Siamese named Kitty who appears in the early 1970s. Only two images in the collection of this cat.

Kitty - 1972
Kitty - 1972
Lovie & Kitty - 1972
Lovie & Kitty - 1972

Pursilla and The White Kittens

The second significant player in this collection of cat slides is a white cat named Pursilla. Pursilla also had a litter or two of adorable white kittens who often appear without ever being given names, and are only collectively referred to as White Kittens on the slides.

Pursilla & White Kittens - 1969
Pursilla & White Kittens - 1969
Purr & White Kittens - 1969
Purr & White Kittens - 1969
Velinda & White Kittens - 1969
Velinda & White Kittens - 1969
Two White Kittens On A Couch
Two White Kittens 1968
Pursilla & White Kittens - 1968
Pursilla & White Kittens - 1968
Three Kittens In Easter Basket - 1969
Three Kittens In Easter Basket - 1969
Kittens In Bookshelf - 1969
Kittens In Bookshelf - 1969

Meow: The Cat

The real star of these slides is a cat named Meow. Meow first appears in the late 50s as a kitten and makes appearances as late at 1969*. The photos of Meow also seem to have the most casual cat-living feel out of all the photos.

Also of note of the Meow photos is that he is a cat who got to travel. Most of the photos have no location information given, whereas the annotation on several of the photographs indicates them as being taken in Orland, and Lake Gage Indiana. Perhaps the family moved several times during Meows life? Or maybe, as I suspect, they would bring Meow on trips. With only a few of the photos having the location marked, it seems to say to me that the unmarked slides were taken at their home, wherever that was. Taking the cat away from home was a unique enough event that they needed to record this information.

Meow in Wanda's Hand - 1958
Meow in Wanda's Hand - 1958
Meow On Radio - 1958
Meow On Radio - 1958
Wanda & Meow - Dinner - 1959
Wanda & Meow - Dinner - 1959
Meow In Letterbox - 1959
Meow In Letterbox - 1959
Meow on Packing Box - 1959
Meow on Packing Box - 1959
Meow on Coffee Table - 1959
Meow on Coffee Table - 1959
Meow - Aquarium
Meow - Aquarium
Meow By Lamp - 1960
Meow By Lamp - 1960
Meow In Bag, Orland - 1961
Meow In Bag, Orland - 1961
Meow - Lake Gage - 1962
Meow - Lake Gage - 1962

*The 1969 image mentioned above was omitted due to the slide being unusable due to underexposure.

While working on these vintage cat photos of Meow, I started caring about this cat named Meow's life. Given the average lifespan of felines, it is very likely that Meow passed away before I was even born. With this in mind, I started speculating if anyone in the family even remembers this cat anymore? Could it be that I am the first person to pay respects to this animal in nearly forty years?

Found photos are an interesting journey.

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Category Found Photos  | Tags: Cats