Cats on Stamps
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From the archive: February 2006 Review
Although there aren't all that many new issues to report, it's a convenient moment to write a new review, so here goes. There were just a couple of Christmas stamps showing cats that came to my attention and one of those, from Sweden, shows a toy (left). The young girl wrapping presents has what I think is meant to be a cat in front of her (or is it?) However, from the small Baltic republic of Latvia came a set of three colourful Christmas stamps, and the smartly turned-out lady on one of them (right) is accompanied by what is definitely a large, ginger, striped cat.
Papua New Guinea has never previously produced any stamps with cats on, but that was remedied in November 2005 with a handsome set of five singles picturing named breeds. They formed part of a set with dogs, the dogs being on a separate sheetlet and miniature sheet. I find them attractive stamps; the one shown here is a Ruddy Somali (but unfortunately described on the stamps as 'Somali Rudy'!)
In the previous month Japan added again to its impressively lengthy list of stamps including cats, with a tabby cat in front of a set of drums and wearing a very snazzy outfit. This forms one of a sheetlet of 10 stamps under the title 'Winter Greetings'.
Remaining in the Far East, just before Christmas 2005 the Republic of China (Taiwan) started what they say will be a continuing series of pets specifically dogs and cats on stamps. The first four include the two cats shown here, a Himalayan and a rather surprised-looking Scottish Fold. I look forward to further issues, but at present don't know when they are scheduled to appear.
The first cat stamp of 2006 is claimed by Great Britain, I think, from a set of 10 'Animal Tales' showing characters from children's literature. Included is the cat Boots, from The Comic Adventures of Boots by Satoshi Kitamura. The set involved a joint issue with the United States, but the cat is only on the British stamps. Also in January, although I'm not sure whether before or after the GB set, came a cats set from Romania, a country from which we haven't had any felines for quite a few years. It is a nice set of six head portraits, and comes as normal, perforated singles and also as the imperforate sheetlet pictured here. In addition there are perforated sheetlets of seven of each stamp; these sheetlets all include a different label for each, featuring one of the cat figures that also appear around the edges of the sheet illustrated.
In New Zealand mail delivery was deregulated in 1998, leading to a number of registered postal operators being able to produce their own stamps. NZ Mail Ltd is one such, and has a sister company, Universal Mail, which can issue $1,50 stamps for international mail. Companies are able to advertise their wares on these stamps, and one that has done so is the well-known Cooper's Creek wine firm. Two of the stamps in a strip of five have cats, as pictured. 'Fat Cat' is a Chardonnay, and 'Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush' (yes, really!) is a Sauvignon Blanc. These are genuine stamps and perfectly valid for international airmail. There is a further cat in a different set, without advertising, which I am still negotiating to acquire.
I imagine not at all valid for any mail are these items nominally from the central African state of Rwanda. I don't usually include 'cinderellas' like this, but as we don't have all that many other new issues, and they are rather attractive, I'll make an exception. One sheetlet features Alice in Wonderland, with Alice shown dozing with her cat (she had a cat?) and Disney's imaginative Cheshire Cat in the margin (left). The other has some nice scenes from 'The Aristocats' (right), with Duchess, O'Malley, the band and the kits.
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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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