Cats on Stamps
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From the Archive
July 2010 Review
A couple of items from 2009 to begin with; the first is the remaining MS (miniature sheet) from Palau (left), which had not come to hand when I wrote the last review. I'm showing it because I think both the MSs are very attractive, although I'm not so impressed with the stamp sheetlets. The second item is a beautiful Hallowe'en card from Belgium (right), presumably from late in 2009, bearing a Duostamp with the same design in miniature. I find these Duostamps very hard to keep track of; they don't all seem to be on La Poste's website, or in the new-issue literature, so it's a matter of chance whether I happen to see them on an auction site.
Moving on to the current year, Belgium also produced a set of 10 self-adhesive stamps in March entitled 'Hors du nid', or 'Out of the nest', showing young domestic animals and pets. Two of them show kittens, and we picture one of those here (left); also included in the set are chicks, ducklings, rabbits, puppies, foals and lambs. There was a third cat from Belgium if a slightly strange-looking one on this year's Europa issue on the theme of 'children's books'. Released on the same day in March as the baby animals, the MS including two stamps was called 'Le nez dans les livres', or 'Nose in books' (right), and that is probably why the cat has a prominent red nose! The MS was specially designed for the general theme, rather than depicting particular stories.
The Europa/children's books theme resulted in four other cats that we know about. In April the Faroes issued their contribution of two stamps, one showing the cover of a book called A Dog, a Cat and a Mouse (left). The stamps can also be obtained in a booklet. It was only in 2007 that Greece came up with her first domestic cat on a stamp in the shape of Puss in Boots and here he is again on the children's book issue from May (right), forming one of a pair comprising the set.
Finland also issued two Europa stamps in May, one of which shows a group of people and animals round a table studying a picture book (left). I have no information on what book or story is being illustrated, if any. The same applies to the single stamp from Kazakhstan, a former Russian republic and not one from which we've seen many domestic-cat stamps, although there have been a couple before. This stamp (right) shows an owl and what I think is a fox as well as the cat; it would be interesting to know their significance.
Following Great Britain's 'Battersea' set last time, the United States has released a set of 5 cats and 5 dogs on a broadly similar theme under the title 'Adopt a Shelter Pet'. The animals are named and were photographed at a shelter in Connecticut; our image is of 'Peaches', a handsome grey, white and tan female. By the time the stamps had been released at the end of April, all but one of the animals had been rehomed, and I would imagine the remaining one has also been adopted by now.
North Korea has given us many cats over the years and in March a new set of four portraits appeared. They were available in a booklet and it is the rather attractive cover of the booklet that we show here (left). There is from the same country a sheetlet produced for the 'Birdpex 2010' in Antwerp during April. Birdpex is an exhibition mounted every four years and devoted solely to the topic of birds on stamps; this Korean booklet pane duly pictures four birds (and a bee) but I'm not clear how the two kittens (right) on one of the labels fit in! Probably to encourage people like me to buy it ...
There's usually something supposedly from one of the African countries served by agents Stamperija, and this time it carries the name of the republic of Guinea. I don't recall seeing 'stamps on stamps' before in the field of domestic-cat issues; now there is a sheetlet of 6 and an MS (pictured) with both cats and dogs. On the sheetlet are images of one of the 1993 Belgium cats, two from the 2008 Ukraine set, and a 2006 Finland cat. There is a dog from the equivalent 2006 Finnish set too, and another dog from South Africa. The margin shows part of the 1974 Hungarian stamp with two Siamese kittens, and another dog and cat that I can't place. The MS shows a third cat from the 2008 Ukraine set. An interesting idea.
Finally, although I don't usually include postmarks, here's one from the English cathedral city of York; it is to be in use for a year from January 2010. In the next review I will include the latest set of 'Hello Kitty' stamps from Japan that have recently been issued, and there will be some cartoon stamps from America that will include Garfield.
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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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