Found Photos, Vintage Cat EditionK. Praslowicz
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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
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.
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.
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.
*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.