Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Anyone entertained by internet memes will instantly recognize this little guy. Calling for Jeeves (presumably his butler) in most of his memenic iterations, he has achieved a certain level of stardom, particularly at history.icanhascheezburger.com. Originally, however, he was the star of a postcard. A careful search through Google Images permitted me to track down the name of the original postcard company: The Rotograph Co. Situated at 684 Broadway in New York city between 1904 and 1911, this "major printer and publisher" created over 60 000 postcards. However, nothing is to be known about our little well-dressed chap. In fact, we can't even say if he was photographed in New York at all: Rotograph Co. not only created private cards, but also used other sources as well for their images. 
The only thing we can speculate on is this: it would seem that the same cat was used by the photographer for various poses. Indeed, if you look carefully at each of these Rotograph Co. postcards, you can recognize the same calico cat in each! The general look of each fuzzy face along with the same colour pattern point to this being the same cat (even as a kitten one can recognize the star of these cards). Even though at one point we learn through one card that the cat's name is Rags, the "Famous Rotograph Cat", our subject may well be a she: after all, calico cats are almost always female!

UPDATE: I've recently stumbled on a children's book titled Kittens and Cats: A First Reader by Eulalie Osgood Grover and published in 1911. Among the illustrations are plenty more pictures of our dear Rags! Follow this link to read the book: https://archive.org/details/kittenscatsbooko00grov

Humble beginnings for our little star!


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