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Kittens and Cats: A First Reader (1911) — Cats and Captions before the Internet Age

Adam Green - December 6, 2017 in cat memes, cats, earliest cat meme, internet cats, memes, parties, party, vintage memes

If this delightful book is anything to go by then taking photos of cats and brandishing them with an amusing caption, was far from being a phenomenon born with the internet.

Cat Pianos, Sound-Houses, and Other Imaginary Musical Instruments

Adam Green - July 15, 2015 in athanasius kircher, cat piano, cats, Culture & History, Featured Articles, francis bacon, imaginary instruments, J.J. Grandville, Music, new atlantis, Science & Medicine, utopias

Deirdre Loughridge and Thomas Patteson, curators of the Museum of Imaginary Musical Instruments, explore the wonderful history of made-up musical contraptions, including a piano comprised of yelping cats and Francis Bacon's 17th-century vision of experimental sound manipulation.

Arent van Bolten’s Grotesques

Adam Green - February 11, 2014 in cats, grotesques, monsters

Grotesques of Dutch artist Arent van Bolten, produced sometime in the early 17th century.

The Nine Lives of a Cat (1860)

Adam Green - January 10, 2013 in cats, collections, nine lives, texts, Texts: 19th, Texts: Childrens, Texts: Fiction, Texts: Picturebooks

The Nine Lives of a Cat – a Tale of Wonder, by Charles Bennett; 1860; Griffith and Farran, London. Beautifully illustrated (though perhaps not so well rhymed!) tale of the cat with nine lives. From the preface: This tale of wonder is told for children; with which view, it has been carefully designed and very nicely printed. For some time past, it has arrived at the dignity of a popular Nursery Tale in the Author’s family ; and it is hoped it will merit the same good fortune elsewhere. It will be worth while explaining, that the circle in each page is made to represent some object in connection with the story ; and, that as some of them have proved rather puzzling, to Juvenile admirers has been left the task of ” finding them out.” The book is housed at the Internet Archive, contributed by the California Digital Library. Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

Cat and bird stories from the “Spectator” (1896)

Adam Green - August 5, 2011 in anecdotes, birds, cats, newspaper, non-article, spectator, stories, texts


Cat and bird stories from the “Spectator”, to which are added sundry anecdotes of horses, donkeys, cows, apes, bears, and other animals, as well as of insects and reptiles, edited by John St. Loe Strachey; 1896; T. Fisher Unwin, London.

A sequel to Dog Stories from The Spectator, this book brings us mysteries and anecdotes relating to cats, birds, and other animals which found there way into the pages of The Spectator.

Open Library link



Letters From a Cat (1879)

Castaway on the Auckland Isles: A Narrative of the Wreck of the "Grafton," (1865)


Infant's Cabinet of Birds and Beasts (1820)

Old French Fairytales (1920)

Armata: a fragment (1817)

An Account of the Late Improvements in Galvanism (1803)

The Medical Aspects of Death, and the Medical Aspects of the Human Mind (1852)

Quarles' Emblems (1886)

Cat and bird stories from the "Spectator" (1896)

Wonderful Balloon Ascents (1870)

The Book of Topiary (1904)

The Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (1899)