Cats on Stamps

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Patrick Roberts

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From the Archive

May 2002 Review

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Readers have probably noticed that a number of the stamps I review are not actually brand new, some having been issued a year or more previously, and that's the case again here. The time lapse happens because stamps, especially from more distant countries, can take quite a while from their issue date in their country of origin to becoming available here. In addition, it sometimes takes time for the cat-stamp fraternity to notice or realise that there is a cat there at all!

The Cat that Walked by Himself, from the Great Britain set of 10 commemorating the centenary of publication of Kipling's Just So stories Cyprus first set of 4 cat stamps includes this grey Two issues are more recent, one of course being The Cat that Walked by Himself from the splendid Great Britain Kipling set issued in January 2002 (left) and mentioned in the previous review. The other is another first, consisting of four attractive full cat portraits from the Republic of Cyprus. The one pictured (right) is a fine grey.

Portuguese Christmas stamp from 1999, one of a set of paintings by handicapped people One 'new' cat dates from Christmas 2000, when Portugal issued four paintings by handicapped people; one shows a cat lapping from a bowl, with a mouse nearby, while Santa looks on from his chair.

One of a set of children's book characters from 2001 Swiss Pro Juventute issue - For Youth Santa Claus riding a cat on Micronesia's 2001 Christmas issue More Christmas cats: on the annual Pro Juventute (youth) set for 2001 from Switzerland, with one showing Santa and his cat gazing at a wintry scene (left); and in the Micronesia Christmas 2001 issue. This latter, comprising four stamps and an MS, has on one stamp Santa riding a large cat through the sky (above right). One of two cats on sheetlet of children's paintings issued by the Marshall Islands for the Japanese stamp exhibition Philanippon 2001

From the same part of the world, the Marshall Islands produced in August 2001 a sheetlet of 12 paintings for the PhilaNippon 2001 stamp exhibition; two of them are cats.

Sphynx portrait from Togo's 2001 set of cats Cats and other animals on stamps from Japan entitled Let's Keep our Town's Safe The remaining items also all date from 2001. Togo, in West Africa, came up with a sheetlet of six different breeds, plus three single stamps and a miniature sheet (MS). These are portraits mostly against a background of buildings, presumably to represent the cat's domesticity. The set is quite attractive, although the heads on the single stamps really do look disembodied! Shown is the single stamp of a Sphynx (left). From Japan came a pair of 'fun' stamps that illustrate, I believe, the admirable theme of 'Let's keep our towns safe.' They feature a girl and a boy with various birds and animals, including two tabby cats (above right).

Moldavia: at least two little cats on a child's painting entitled My House Slovenia: this cat with a fingerprint body marked World Animal Day in September 2001 Two of the ex-Soviet bloc republics issued stamps including cats. On one hand, Moldavia had a set of four for International Children's Day on 1 June; six-year-old Ion Sestacovski painted 'My House' very colourfully, with several small animals — including a cat — sitting outside it (left). Slovenia, on the other hand, had a cat with a fingerprint as its body (right) to celebrate World Animal Day on 4 October — with little pawprints on the sheet margin.

Romania: computer mouse overprinted on a 1994 stamp of 2 kittens Finally this time, Romania has for some time been using what I presume are surplus stocks of earlier stamps, by overprinting them with new values and all kinds of little symbols to blot out the original value. In August 2001 a group of these overprints included the 1994 kittens stamp from the 'Young Animals' set, imaginatively overprinted with a computer mouse! I obtained them from a source in Romania, who told me that these stamps are hard to find as the Post Office snapped up most of them immediately, but I do not know whether that is true or just good 'sales talk'.

It was gratifying to have my cat stamp collection featured in the 'Showcase' article in the February 2001 Stamp Magazine, which I know some readers saw. It all helps to publicise both cats and the fun of stamp collecting!


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Our featured feline Chico (see head of the page) belonged to a lady in the Swiss village of Chesières who lived near the ground-floor office where I worked in the mid-1980s. Every so often he liked to pass by, spend a little time with us and check we were doing everything properly.

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Article written and first published during 2002: reproduced here by the author from August 2004