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Patrick Roberts

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Cat Postmarks 1


A small gallery of postmarks, or cancellations, from places with names containing the word 'cat', in English or another language. A little poetic licence has been used to include a few that don't fit strictly into that definition, but I thought worth adding.

I would be delighted to receive additions to the gallery, in any language, from anyone who can supply them, as long as they are relevant (at this stage just 'cats' — not lions, tigers, etc).


See also
Cat Postmarks 235
Pages of cat cancellations for special occasions
Cat Postmarks 4
A page of meter marks and American 'fancy cancels'



Cat Cay, Bahamas Cat Creek, Montana, USA Cat Hill, Barnet, North London, England Cat Island, South Carolina, USA

Cat Cay is a private island in the Bahamas, owned by its members. Visiting yachtsmen have limited access to some of the facilities, but apart from that only members can use the island.

Cat Creek is in Montana, in the north-western USA, and in the 1920s was where the first commercially successful oil wells in that state were established

Cat Hill is a district of Barnet, in north-west Greater London. The name may have come from an inn which once stood at the bottom of the Hill.

Cat Island is part of the group of islands found at Beaufort, South Carolina, which is on the Atlantic coast and just above the border with Georgia. The town dates back to 1725.

Cat Spring, Texas, USA Catford, SE London, England Cat's Meow Station, Wooster, Ohio, USA Cat's Paw Station, Loch Sheldrake, New York State, USA

Cat Spring, Texas, was one of the first German/American settlements in Texas. It is reported that someone killed a wildcat near where the original settlement was, so it was first called Wildcat Spring, but this was later shortened to Cat Spring (Katzenquelle in German).

Catford is an ancient place name, which goes back in documents as far as the reign of the English king Edward I (reigned 1272–1307); it was the name of an old manor dating back to the thirteenth century. It may also owe its name to a ford over the river Ravensbourne, and some sources say there were wild cats around the area. Today it is a town in the south-east London borough of Lewisham.

Cat's Meow Station: A 'station' in American philately is a place where covers are postmarked during a specific event. Cat's Meow is a series of small, handcrafted keepsakes, started in 1982 in Wooster, Ohio — so 'sweet sixteen' refers to its 16th birthday in 1998. See www.catsmeow.com. Thanks to Plathy for the information.

Cat's Paw Station: Similar to the previous one (left), but from Loch Sheldrake, New York State. The event being marked is not specified.

Catsash, near Newport, South Wales, UK Catsfield, East Sussex, England Catsham, near Glastonbury, Somerset, England Catshill, Bromsgrove, West Midlands, England

Catsash (sometimes Cat's Ash): This strangely named hamlet, east of the city of Newport in South Wales, has a long history. It lies on the Roman road from Caerleon to Chepstow and may have been a Roman estate. In an ancient deed dated to about 745 it is described as 'villa Cathouen'.

Catsfield lies in the southern English county of East Sussex, not far from the town of Battle. Its name could have come from the Saxon tribe the Catti, who settled in the area; or possibly from Saint Cedd, who is said to have built the church here, since in the Domesday Book the area was known as Cedesfille.

Catsham is a tiny hamlet some miles east of the well-known Somerset town of Glastonbury. I have no information about how the name arose.

Catshill is a district to the north of Bromsgrove in the English West Midlands. Again I have no information about the origin of the name.

Catskill, Greene County, New York State Catstree, near Bridgnorth, Shropshire, England Garfield, Minnesota, USA Garfield, Utah, USA

Catskill is a small town on the west bank of the Hudson River and is the county seat of Greene County, New York State. One tradition says the name derives from Dutch for 'cat's stream', for the wild cats that once inhabited the area; another says it refers to Jacob 'Cats', a Dutch statesman. The postmark commemorates the second Cat'n Around Festival, held there in 2008.

Catstree, which was sometimes spelt as Catstrey, is a village a few miles roughly north-east of the town of Bridgnorth, on the river Severn in Shropshire, also in the West Midlands of England.

Garfield the cartoon cat will be known to many readers. The two postmarks here are from two of the several towns in the United States named after President James A. Garfield, the 20th US president, who was in office for only just over six months in 1881 before being assassinated. Garfield MN is a small settlement in west central Minnesota; Garfield UT in fact no longer exists and is now a 'ghost town'. (Many thanks to Marci Jarvis for supplying these marks.)

Chatte, Rhone-Alpes region of France Katzenau, near Linz, Austria Katzensee, near Zurich, Switzerland Katzental, near Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany

Chatte is French for a female cat. The town of Chatte is in the Rhône-Alpes region of France and the 'département' of Isère, not far west of the city of Grenoble.

Katzenau was the site of an internment camp during World War 1 and was near Linz, in Austria. The name means 'cat meadow' or, in local dialect, meant a strip of uncultivated land alongside a river.

Watt am Katzensee The Katzensee, or Cat Lake, is a small lake to the north-west of the city of Zürich in Switzerland. Watt is a nearby small town.

Katzental means 'Cat Valley' and is not far from the city of Ingolstadt in Germany, which is on the river Danube, north of Munich. It is a popular area for walking.

Katzhutte, Thuringia, Germany Kitty, Georgetown, Guyana Kittywell, near Braunton, Devonshire, England Los Gatos, California, USA

Katzhütte in Germany is a small town with a history dating back to 1564, when a settlement began for mining minerals, and the name is linked to wild cats that were to be found in the area. It is in the present-day province of Thuringia. This postmark is the oldest to be seen here, dating from 1882.

Kitty is in Guyana in South America. Formerly, when the country was known as British Guiana, it was a village outside the capital city of Georgetown, but now it is a suburb of the city. I do not know the origin of the name. (Thanks to Bridget Robinson for providing this postmark.)

Kittywell: All I know about Kittywell is that it is near Braunton, in the south-western English county of Devonshire.

Los Gatos is a town some 60 miles (nearly 100 km) south of San Francisco, in south-west Santa Clara County. Los Gatos was originally named La Rinconada de Los Gatos (Cat's Corner) by early settlers, owing to the screams of mountain lions (cougars) prowling in the night.

Montchat, district of Lyon, France Sylvester, Texas, USA Wetwood, Staffordshire, England Zell, Mosel valley, Germany

Montchat is a district of the city of Lyon in the south of France. The name means 'Mount Cat', or 'Cat Mountain', but I have not been able to discover the derivation. There is a sixteenth-century château at Montchat.

Sylvester in Texas, USA is named after Captain James A Sylvester, hero and flag bearer of the Battle of San Jacinto. The connection with cats, of course, is that it's also the name of Warner Brothers' famous Looney Tunes cartoon cat, the nemesis of Tweety Pie the canary. Sylvester appeared first in 1945. (Thanks to Marci Jarvis for this postmark.)

Wetwood is a hamlet to the north-west of Stafford, the county town of Staffordshire in the English Midlands. Although it's not strictly a 'cat name', I include the postmark because of the quotation around the edge from Rudyard Kipling's Cat that Walked by Himself (who walked in the Wet Wild Woods).

Zell on the river Mosel in Germany is a famous wine town, and announces itself as 'die Weinstadt der schwarze Katz' — wine town of the black cat — because Black Cat wine is one of its best-known products.

Kuching, state of Sarawak, Malaysia Cap Chat, Quebec, Canada Catcott, Bridgwater, Somerset, England Kitts Hill, Ohio, USA

Kuching is the capital city of the Malaysian state of Sarawak; the name literally means 'cat': kucing in modern Malay, so it is often known as 'Cat City'. For possible derivations of the name (not all to do with cats), see Wikipedia and scroll down to 'Origin of name.'

Cap Chat ('Cape Cat') is a small town in the Canadian province of Québec. The name seems most likely to have derived from a corruption of 'Aymar de Chaste', who was New France's lieutenant-general in 1603, although possibly it arose because the headland called Cap Chat bears a likeness to a cat (with thanks to Marci Jarvis for supplying this postmark).

Catcott is an ancient village and parish near the town of Bridgwater in Somerset, south-western England. I have not been able to find information on the origin of the name.

Kitts Hill is a small community (fewer than 3000 people) in Lawrence County of the state of Ohio in the US. I do not know why it is so called.

Gata, Caceras, Spain Cabo de Gata, Andalucia, Spain Felix, Alabama, USA Cat Creek, Kentucky, USA

Gata (meaning 'cat') is a small village, surrounded by mountains (the Sierra de Gata), in the province of Cáceres in the Extremadura region of the west of Spain, not far from the Portuguese border. (Many thanks to Ramon Del Solo for providing this and the Cabo de Gata mark).

Cabo de Gata ('Cat Cape') is a headland in the south-eastern corner of Spain, some 20 km (12 miles) from the town of Almeira in Andalucia. It forms part of the Cabo de Gata-Nijar national park and marine reserve, a large protected area (especially for birds).

Felix was a settlement in Perry County, Alabama in the American South. It doesn't seem to exist today, but a post office operated there from 1880 until 1933. It appears that the town might have been named for the Hon. Felix Grundy, an American political figure of the early nineteenth century.

Our second Cat Creek (the first was in Montana, above) was in Powell County, Kentucky and operated only from 1886 until 1895. This postmark is a little unusual in showing no date, but is thought to date from 1894, shortly before the office closed. (Thanks to Marci Jarvis for sending the mark.)



Cat Postmarks 235
Pages of cat cancellations for special occasions

Cat Postmarks 4
A page of meter marks and American 'fancy cancels'

Any additional postmarks are welcome as long as
they are relevant (at this stage domestic cats only) —
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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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