Cats on Stamps
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From the archive: December 2006 Review
There have not been so many cats on actual new stamps since last September, but there are a few, and some labels and booklets for those (like me) who collect such items. Looking first at the stamps, the Ukraine has issued a series of attractive ones showing traditional regional costumes, and in the first group, from 2002, a cat appeared on one stamp (see December 2003 review). A second feline is to be seen on one of the fourth set, issued in December 2005.
Another series that has continued is the 'pets' from the Republic of China (Taiwan); the latest quartet (part 3), from August this year, has an Abyssinian cat (left) and a Norwegian Forest cat (right), with a Pomeranian and a Yorkshire terrier as the dogs.
Last time I mentioned a miniature sheet (MS) from TPGPost now rebranded as TNTPost of the Netherlands featuring the town of Leiden and including a little cat. Another, similar MS in the same 'Beautiful Holland' series depicts a place called Woudrichem, described as 'a well-preserved medieval town in the heart of the country'. On this sheet, too, there is a slightly smaller version of the same cat, next to a fisherman.
Also from TPGPost came a strip of five self-adhesive NVIs ('no value indicated') inscribed 'post betaald' (postage paid) and picturing young animals. I do not know the date of issue of these. There are puppies, a white rabbit, a duckling, a foal, and the tabby kitten shown here.Belgium continues to produce its Duostamps quite frequently; recent ones include a second group devoted to cartoon cat Garfield (there was an earlier one in 2004) and a group of five Disney animals, one of which is a kitten. The same country staged the international stamp exhibition Belgica 2006 during November, and to mark the occasion issued a special MS including the same feisty kitten that was on an earlier MS (see review for December 2004). Great Britain's Royal Mail's presence at Belgica 2006 was marked by a new sheetlet of the popular 'Smilers'. Twenty of the earlier 'Hello' stamps are attached to labels in five different designs and two colours, red and yellow. One label design has a cat and dog, as shown here.
France has also come up with another set in its own 'Sourires' ('Smiles') series; the first was in October 2005 and featured Philippe Geluck's cartoon character 'Le Chat'. The latest group, released in September 2006, is devoted to some of the adventures of a good-natured, fat, fuzzy, white dog called Cubitus, who is very popular in France and other European countries and has been seen in numerous books and TV cartoons. The characters' names vary in different countries, but in France the dog lives in the suburbs with his master, an old retired sailor called Semaphore. His next-door neighbour, and worst enemy, is a black-and-white cat named Sénéchal, who appears on a couple of the self-adhesive stamps (above left) and also on the booklet cover (above right).
Another booklet hails from Switzerland and was issued in mid-November; this was the annual Pro Juventute ('For Youth') set. There are no cats on the stamps inside, although there is a dog; but on the cover are a smiling human couple and a friendly collection of animals including a cat and a little bird.
Lastly another label: in 2005 Argentina issued a much acclaimed sheetlet of cat stamps, and in May 2006 there appeared a similar sheetlet of six stamps showing dogs. So why am I writing about that here? well, at the foot of the sheet are two cartoon labels, one picturing a cat up a tree with a dog below. I rather think the cat is smiling!
So far I haven't seen or heard of many Christmas stamps, and none with cats, so here are a couple of festive issues from previous years. From left to right below: Norway 1987, Ghana 1998, Iceland 1990, Palau 1991, and St Vincent 1998.
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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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