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I Felis Catus: A Cat At Home In The 1970s

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Between June 1970 and Jan 1972 these polaroids of a cat were taken. collector Cait Kovac tells us, “This is one of my favorite collections of found photographs.”

 

found photos cat 1970

 

“What greater gift than the love of a cat.”
― Charles Dickens

 

found photos cat 1970

 

The cat does not offer services. The cat offers itself. Of course he wants care and shelter. You don’t buy love for nothing. Like all pure creatures, cats are practical.
– William S. Burroughs

 

found photos cat 1970

 

“If cats looked like frogs we’d realize what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. Style. That’s what people remember.”
― Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies

 

found photos cat 1970

 

“And how do you know that you’re mad? “To begin with,” said the Cat, “a dog’s not mad. You grant that?” I suppose so, said Alice. “Well then,” the Cat went on, “you see a dog growls when it’s angry, and wags it’s tail when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m pleased, and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore I’m mad.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

 

found photos cat 1970

 

“Throw a stick, and the servile dog wheezes and pants and stumbles to bring it to you. Do the same before a cat, and he will eye you with coolly polite and somewhat bored amusement. And just as inferior people prefer the inferior animal which scampers excitedly because someone else wants something, so do superior people respect the superior animal which lives its own life and knows that the puerile stick-throwings of alien bipeds are none of its business and beneath its notice. The dog barks and begs and tumbles to amuse you when you crack the whip. That pleases a meekness-loving peasant who relishes a stimulus to his self importance.

The cat, on the other hand, charms you into playing for its benefit when it wishes to be amused; making you rush about the room with a paper on a string when it feels like exercise, but refusing all your attempts to make it play when it is not in the humour. That is personality and individuality and self-respect — the calm mastery of a being whose life is its own and not yours — and the superior person recognises and appreciates this because he too is a free soul whose position is assured, and whose only law is his own heritage and aesthetic sense.”
― H.P. Lovecraft

 

found photos cat 1970

 

“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.”
― Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

 

found photos cat 1970

 

If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially some piece of writing or paper-work, you should acquire a cat. Alone with the cat in the room where you work … the cat will invariably get up on your desk and settle placidly under the desk lamp. The light from a desk lamp … gives a cat great satisfaction. The cat will settle down and be serene, with a serenity that passes all understanding. And the tranquility of the cat will gradually come to affect you, sitting there at your desk, so that all the excitable qualities that impede your concentration compose themselves and give your mind back the self-command it has lost. You need not watch the cat all the time. Its presence alone is enough. The effect of a cat on your concentration is remarkable, very mysterious.
– Muriel Spark, A Far Cry from Kensington

 

found photos cat 1970

 

“I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through.”
– Jules Verne

 

found photos cat 1970

 

Dear Gianfranco:

Just after I finished writing you and was putting the letter in the envelope Mary came down from the Torre and said, ‘Something terrible has happened to Willie.’ I went out and found Willie with both his right legs broken: one at the hip, the other below the knee. A car must have run over him or somebody hit him with a club. He had come all the way home on the two feet of one side. It was a multiple compound fracture with much dirt in the wound and fragments protruding. But he purred and seemed sure that I could fix it.

I had René get a bowl of milk for him and René held him and caressed him and Willie was drinking the milk while I shot him through the head. I don’t think he could have suffered and the nerves had been crushed so his legs had not begun to really hurt. Monstruo wished to shoot him for me, but I could not delegate the responsibility or leave a chance of Will knowing anybody was killing him…

Have had to shoot people but never anyone I knew and loved for eleven years. Nor anyone that purred with two broken legs.

– Ernest Hemingway writes to Gianfranco Ivancich, February 22, 1953.

 

found photos cat 1970