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From the Archive
December 2011 Review
There seem to be only a few cat stamps to report since our last posting, but we'll write a short review anyway. One item actually dates from January 2011, but seems not to have been noticed at the time; it is one of a set of five self-adhesives issued by Australia for flood relief following the disastrous floods in the state of Queensland. The sheet of two sets (10 stamps) carries a AU$2 premium for relief funds, and one design pictures a pet cat being handed to a rescuer from a flooded home. The cat is not very clear, but its head can be seen between the rescuer's hat and his right hand.
Arriving just too late for the last review and issued in late June was yet another 'Hello Kitty' issue from Japan; in the now customary format of two self-adhesive sheetlets, one of 50y. values and the other of 80y. The 50y. ones are repeated, so there are only five designs, but the 80y. are all different. Mostly Kitty is alone, although Dear Daniel is on a few of the 80y.
In July Turkey produced a miniature sheet (MS) of four stamps showing the ancient city of Van, with its church standing on a hill beside the lake of the same name and sitting in the foreground is one of the Van cats for which the area is famous. The set is entitled 'The City of Van, its History and its Natural Assets'.
The 4th Commonwealth Youth Games, open to competitors aged from 13 to 18 from British Commonwealth countries, were held this year in the Isle of Man so early in September there was the third stamp issue this year to include Manx cats! This time they were in the form of 'Tosha', the Games mascot. On a souvenir sheet Tosha is shown on one large stamp, and then on seven smaller ones where he (or she) is taking part in the seven sporting disciplines open to competitors.
Also in September came four stamps and an MS from Portugal to commemorate World Veterinary Year, 2011 being the 250th anniversary of the founding of the world's first veterinary school, set up in Lyon, France, in 1761 by Claude Bourgelat, a veterinary surgeon and expert on horse management. One stamp shows a handsome cat in front of some veterinary equipment; while the others in this attractive set show other animals and birds, including an owl on the MS.
In November the Netherlands produced six designs in connection with the 'Postcrossing' project. Its goal is to allow people to receive postcards from all over the world, free of charge, or nearly so. The main idea is that: if you send a postcard, you will receive at least one back from a random 'Postcrosser' from somewhere in the world; the scheme relies on the fact that there are many people who like to receive real mail (as opposed to the 'junk mail' we all get too much of). There is an element of surprise in receiving postcards from different places in the world through your letterbox. For more details, see here. There are six Dutch stamps, and on one is a small ginger cat's head. There is also a sheet of 10 stamps (with repeated designs) that has a cat in the margin, but I have not yet been able to acquire one of these.
Lastly, Luxembourg's Christmas stamp shows a family seated around the dining table eating biscuits while the tiger-striped family cat also sits at the table, enjoying a meal from his own bowl. Maybe there will be other Christmas stamps with cats to report next time; meanwhile, we wish everyone a very happy Christmas and an enjoyable New Year.
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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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