Vintage Cat Photo

I’d like to have more readers for my blog. I’ve been thinking about what it is that I can do to make it more popular. What’s missing? What makes other blogs wildly popular?

Cats, of course. Here at HenCam I don’t have any cats. Cats are the one animal that I (admit to) being allergic to. A cat walks past me and my eyes swell up. Total bummer.

I do, however, have cats in my collection of vintage photographs of animals and their people. Here’s one:

vintage cat


Look at the girl with her striped socks and high, many-buttoned boots (can we bring back that look?)

Let’s zoom in.

vintage cat closeup

The bow! (We don’t have to bring that look back.)

I love this hefty cat. I’ve no doubt that that kitty was both a friend and a good mouser. Alas, such a solid, sensible animal isn’t about to be an internet sensation. Even if it does have the best ever long white spiky whiskers. But, a cat like this one is cute enough for me. In fact, I prefer that determined expression of I have better things to do than to be adorable. Let’s at it!

Do you have a cat? More than one? Who out there is a cat person? Let me know in the comments.



  1. I love cats and had four of them for over 12 years (2 strays and 2 inherited from my daughter who had a bf that was allergic). Sadly I lost three of them last year to a combination of old age (19, 16 and 15) and illness. I was sad for a long time and miss them every day!

  2. Me! Me! I’m a cat person! Always have been. My husband, however, had never had a pet growing up, so when we acquired our first cat, an 8 yr old calico, his mother remarked, “Well, at least you’ve had 10 good years of happy marriage.” She wasn’t joking! (she obviously was NOT a cat person). But Steve and Abby hit it off just fine, and I discovered I was married to another cat person :-) After Abby’s demise we got a handsome longhair from Buddy Dog. And after a few years it became clear that he was bored and lonesome in spite of all our loving attention so we got another rescue, another gorgeous longhaired boy. They because inseparable companions for six wonderful years. One died in 2009 and the other in 2011. I miss my beautiful boys, but their last years were so difficult I don’t think I could go through that again. But I have many happy memories and photos of them.

    • The BEST DOG IN THE WORLD (at least the best dog for me) came from Buddy Dog. That was 20 years ago, but that place has good karma, doesn’t it? I’m sorry that you’re catless. Those last years are hard, but I think they’re worth it.

  3. I have a 14 yr old fat cat who has been remarkably healthy. He just lost one of his teeth due to a bad cavity so he’s now restricted to wet food. He made sure we all heard his displeasure. Got to love cats – they have so much characters and personalities!

    • Like snowflakes, no two are alike. I have had alike hens (two australorps, never could tell them apart!) but you’d never say that about cats.

  4. We have 2 cats, one is 11 and the other 12. The 11 year old has her PHD in mousing! The other one could never be bothered. We have had cats in our home for almost 40 years. My husband was never a cat lover until he gave in to our daughter’s wishes for a kitten. Guess who loves cats now.

    • I had cats growing up (before allergies kicked in) and yes, it was my dad who said he didn’t like any animals who ended up doting on the cats the most.

  5. Total cat lover here! Just going to check on 7 feral cats that live in the neighborhood…they are healthy & are part of a TN&R group so thankfully no kittens. These cats are friends with another neighbor’s chickens….yes friends! They all hang out in an undeveloped lots together with nary a ruffled feather. Looking forward to more vintage cat photos.

  6. One of the things I like best about your blog is that it is small enough to be personal. I don`t need fancy ads or giveaways to be immensely attracted to what you have to say and show us through your wonderful photography. I am fairly confident that I am not the only one that feels that way. But bring on the cat photos…..they rule….along with the chickens of course! :)

  7. “I have better things to do than to be adorable. Let’s at it!”

    You nailed it.

  8. I love cats and dogs and will have at least one of each as long as I am able to care for them.

    At the moment I have a house cat and dog , and I have 3 cats I saved that live in the barn. The 2 white barn cats are sisters and hard to tell apart. Teddy the other barn cat is all black.

    Shadow the house cat is a rescue and is blue/gray.

    Buck is a golden retriever.

    So I am both cat/dog person (well sheep, llama & chicken too) person

  9. I have two cats. Frosty is 1 year old and weight 19 pounds. (he’s on a diet now)
    He lives in the house with me. My other cat – Joseph- lives in the garage. he is a great mouser. No mice in the garage since he has lived there. The other day he presented me with a shrew. But unfortunately he also kills birds. I have had many cats over the years.

  10. I hve three cats: My oldest is a 9 year old Maine Coon Cat. He’s super sweet and he has asmtha. I give him inhaled meds twice a day and he is so good about it! He is truly a gentle giant.

    My second eldest is a rescued approximaely 7 year old domestic siamese-type. She too is as sweet as can be!

    And last but definitely not least is my year old Bengal. He’s very, very active. He likes to steal things. He likes to harrass the other two cats. He loves to get under the covers. He loves to play fetch. And he keeps all of us on our toes.

    Terry, do you ever get any strays in your yard?

    • Rarely see stray cats here. Too many predators. Just a note- I don’t believe in maintaining feral populations – they attract predators. Studies show that they change the behavior of coyotes, who like the steady food supply, and then the coyotes have larger litters.

      • I agree. Not to mention what they can do to the local song bird and wildlife populations.
        I had barn cats years ago. They actually moved in on me. It was a double edge sword for me. They did an excellent job, I never had one mouse issue and the sparrows, starlings and pigeons stopped nesting and roosting in my barn and around my coops but I did occasionally spot one with a desirable bird in their mouth.
        Terry so correct again I actually saw the coyotes stalk the cats and make kills as the cats “moused” in the field behind my house.

  11. I am a life long critter person. Currently in house are 3 cats, 1 dog, a Bearded Dragon, a hamster, 17 hermit crabs, and several fish tanks. My 3 cats are indoor cats. One is 12, two are 10. I will be losing one of my 10 year olds, Raven. He’s in my gravatar picture. He suddenly came down with leukemia. Turns out if your cat is young or recently infected, you can get a false negative on the test. Didn’t know that 10 years ago. Now you’re supposed to retest 6 months after getting your cat. The other two were negative on the retest but the other 10 year old Annie’s blood work shows she is fighting a deep tissue or organ infection. More work to be done with her. My dog, Jake, has bladder cancer. I love my animals, but really, really hate this end of life stuff. You would think after all these years (I’m 53) and all the animals I would get used to this. On the other hand, I couldn’t imagine life without the pitter patter of little furry feet.

  12. I’m not really a cat person. However, I have a cat (approx. two years old) whose name is Rooster. ;-) The first cat I have ever owned. I had barn cats before but you don’t “own” barn cats.
    Rooster is literally an alley cat. I friend who manages apartments (the secretary befriended him as a kitten so he was socialized to humans) brought him to me at the age of about 4 months when I mentioned I was thinking about getting a kitten to raise/sleep/eat with the chickens. His purpose was to keep the sparrows and starlings out of the coop.
    Well Rooster wanted no part of his new job. He was petrified of the chickens and no amount of tuna was reward enough in trying to train him that the coop was his home. The chickens for the record after the first initial round of curiousness ignored him but Rooster wasn’t buying it. Those beady eyes and beak were just too much for him.
    He spent the first week sleeping at the backdoor. Then he ended up in the house shortly thereafter and has been in the house since. (not sure how this happened) ;-)

    • Ken, I just love this story. That’s just how cats operate! By the way, you don’t own a cat, they just let you into their lives and will love you forever for it.

    • Ken the way the cat moved in with you is a major theory on how cats domesticated themselves and moved in with humans.

  13. I have an old (15 yr.) black cat named “B”. I’ve always loved black cats; we had one when I was a little boy, born the same day I was and disappeared around my 16th birthday, pretty long-lived for an outside cat in the country. We were woke up one night by the sounds of him fighting a bobcat in our driveway. I’ve got a photo of me lugging him around – we’re both about two yrs. old and he’s as long as I am tall.

  14. I love cats! We have two, Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley. Their characters perfectly match their names too.
    In my books they beat other pets hands down for keeping a clean and noise free household.

  15. The internet was invented for cats. We currently have two. But I work in feral cat rescue and spay/neuter, so I’m up to my eyeballs in cats every week. Also feeding colonies of “community” cats. Which is the PC term for them. I love your blog!!!! I’m just not very good at figgering out how to subscribe to it if indeed that’s possible. I usually wait till I see a post on Facebook that you have a post up then I go to it. Any hoot the cats go hand and hand with my hens. Supposed to be ratters, but mostly the older cat watches them. The younger cat we don’t trust as yet alone in the bowels of the basement and the adjacent hen coop. Back yard “ferals” make great ratters!!!!! Which is why we maintain the colonies particularly in the urban neighborhoods.

  16. As a child I never had pets, save an occasional canary and a bowl of guppies. Mom was kind of a clean freak. As an adult I’ve not been without at least two cats for the last forty-five years. Each has been special in it’s own way. Some have lived more than twenty years. At one point I had ten, but that was an anomaly. I’m really not the crazy cat lady! I rescued a very pregnant cat who gave birth to five kittens the next day. My husband loves cats too, and we presently have two beautiful shelter rescue boys, Sam and Fred (whose names came with them).

    Love this picture, Terry!

  17. I have had a cat since I was five years old. My two cats alive know are Lilith who is 13 and half. She is a fat black cat who showed up one day as a kitten in October 2000. She is our alarm clock, and will yowl like a baby if you aren’t up by eight o’clock to feed her. She also a drama queen and loves to get her fellow cat and dog in trouble by hissing/meowing like they are killing her when they are across the room and arent doing anything.
    Jesse is the younger one, is a Maine Coon mix, long haired and aloof. He gets easily offended and can be a drama queen as well to get attention. When we first brought Luna home, he would climb ten feet up in our mudroom, and would hiss from the ceiling down at a ten pound chihuahua.

  18. Right now I have five:Katie, Puffer,Chutney,Pickles and the Shoos. This is my 3rd generation of cats,still miss the ones who have passed. And since they are all house cats and can live to a ripe old age,I’ve made arrangements for them if something should happen to me. Had surrogate chickens until my neighbor moved, miss the sounds of the girls clucking away.

  19. I’m enjoying everyone’s tales about their cats! I’m crazy-busy at the moment and can’t respond to each story, but I am reading them all!

  20. I’m an animal lover in general and just happen to like chickens. I’ll never have any chickens, but I just love to see their pecking and fluffy butts. It makes my day :)

    I currently have a medium long haired black cat. I’ve had as many as three cats at one time. Cats are my children. I volunteer regularly at a no kill shelter.

  21. I love cats, AND I’m allergic to them. So I’m a doting aunt to my friends’ cats.

  22. Lifelong cat person, all rescues. No interest in purebreds. Cats don’t have so demanding a schedule as dogs which helped when I was working. Right now I have one black cat named Kipper (who is licking my knee as I write this). He would be a crazy cat lady starter kit, but ARL advises (and I concur) that he should be in a one cat household. He has the best conformation of any cat I have ever had — a real rock star and he knows it.

    At the risk of repeating myself, ARL told me that black cats have half the adoption rate of other colored cats because of our silly superstitions about them. A real shame.

    Great picture — could be me except for the bow and shoes. And the cat’s expression is priceless — “Dear Lord, get me out NOW!”

    • Sadly, black dogs also suffer from lower adoption rates. It would be ridiculous if it didn’t end up in euthanasia. :(

    • I worked for the Humane Society of Missouri for 4 years eons ago and sadly most people who came to the shelter looking to adopt a cat wanted a kitten.
      Needless to say I am a HUGE advocate of spay and neuter. It’s such a waste of life not to.
      Most people have no clue of the number of unwanted, dumped, neglected pets.

  23. I have cats and have had cats since second grade. I currently have three. I never planned on having three; but, the latest I rescued at 4 weeks of age from a very busy intersection is half wild. We believe she is an exotic / tabby mix. If we don’t drain her energy, she will take it out on other animals including us! So, I decided not to adopt her out due to this fact for fear people will not understand her nature and throw her out or turn her into a kill shelter. So, I now have an elderly cat that will turn 17 on June 26, a adopted rescue which is a tripod and is about six years old and the latest wild thing is almost 11 months old. I blog about them all the time.

    I have to say that I absolutely LOVE this vintage picture! The girl obviously love the cat!

  24. I wonder if that cat is afraid he`ll get dropped into the (pig-pen)? they are sitting above? This would be the before pic…the after pic would not be as pretty as the wee girl might be covered in scratches. It is funny how quickly our pet cats are forgiven for the battle scars they often inflict on us during times of stress.They are such soft and cuddly companions and their rumbling purrhs are so endearing, we soon forget they have `cat-a-tude`. I think the time period is the early 1930`s?

  25. I have a cat. And I have to admit to being allergic to them…
    It is strange. I had many cats as a child without a problem. When I was 8 months pregnant with our first child our cats went to live with my parents as we were moving in to an appartment. Then, the next time I visited my parents I found myself with scratch eyes, red skin and wheezing. At first I thought it was dust. Now I know it was the cats. And they were cats I’d had no trouble with in the past. Strange.

    • Exactly what happened to me, except it wasn’t pregnancy. I went to college, and when I came home I was allergic to my own cats.

  26. Well you knew I had to weigh in! I have my two rescues, Lucy (after Lucille Ball..she’s my silly red head) and Gracie (Allen). I’ve lived with cats since 1975…was seriously allergic and took meds. I found the best way to cure cat allergy is to have one sleep on your shoulder every night. Med free for 6 or 7 years. About time you gave the kitties a little respect! :)

  27. Well, it worked Terry….cats are indeed a popular topic! I have 4 cats for which I make homemade raw cat food. It seems more ‘gross’ now than it ever did because the food I make is made with raw chicken and we have our lovely laying hens so nearby! I do attempt discretion on food-making days.:)

  28. Adorable pair! :) The girl is one classy little lady with her puffy kitty and friend.

  29. I have 3 chickens and 3 cats. The chickens all came onto the scene together but the cats have been added over the years. After my dear brown tabby male died of thyroid problems after 16 wonderful years, I went to the local shelter and fell in love with a Siamese-mix female. She loves to get head rubs but, as a kitten, would not stop attacking my hands. Tried everything to get her to stop and finally decided that another cat could help. So back to the shelter and fell in love with an orange boy. He was only 3 mos old at the time so she had the advantage in size for a short window. Now he is 12 lbs to her 8 and is definitely the boss. Then, a couple of years later I noticed that a gray cat was following the orange guy around. They are the best of buds. It has been a couple of years and grey guy is just starting to ask to be petted. They are the sweetest bunch!

  30. Great pic! I have a cute story about a cat & chickens. I have a little black and white tuxedo cat that came along after someone dumped it and I found it starving under one of my sheds one day. Well, she now lives in a very cozy barn with the livestock. Her and the goats touch noses every night when they come in to sleep. However, she is petrified of the chickens. When they free range and come into the barn she goes and hides till they are gone. I have a line of pine trees in front of the barn and one day I came out of the house and started for the barn to see her standing just outside the line of pine trees and surrounding her in a semi-circle were about 7 or 8 hens just watching her. She was sitting there with an expression like “wow..what do I do now?” It was so cute. I ran to get my camera but by the time I got back, the chickens had lost interest and the kitty was finally free to roam. I will never forget that! She is an extremely sweet cat and we are glad to have her around. Good mouser too…

    • The photo would have been good, but I have the image in my mind perfectly from your description. There’s a good children’s book in there somewhere…

  31. I have to chime in- my two kitties have been sitting here patiently- it’s actually their dinner time now. I grew up with cats…they’re wonderful company.

    I totally agree about the boots! There’s lots of ankle boots available now, but none of them have that “dainty-but-not-that-dainty” look. Come on, purveyors of fashion!

  32. On closer inspection, those high button boots appear to be ‘spats’ over top of the shoes and socks. Leather spats would protect socks, and be polishable (where socks might stain or wear out too easily). Back then and up to the 1960’s darning was done on the foot part only, but not where you could see it. We were taught how to darn socks in Home Economics class into the early 70’s, but I highly doubt any of us did any darning after that class. We’d have to sit still too long, and by then women also had to work for wages and didn’t have any time or energy left to give for details.

    • And the darners used on socks – often called “egg darners” due to their shape – are relegated to antique shops. Many shoppers have no clue what those inexpensive objects were once used for.

  33. Goodness! I just figured it out. I have had cats for almost 60 years! They ranged from strays to pure-breds. My favorite was an Abyssinian. He slept under the covers with me his whole life. The Tonkinese I got two years after the Aby also slept under the covers. Got a little wild until I insisted that there could be only one on each side of me. I currently have two adoptees from my vet’s office. A big all black cat named Spook and her younger sister Miss Effie who is white with black spots. She is the nuttiest cat I have ever had. Keeps me laughing every day. One of her ‘things’ is moving things around the house. I find pieces of bubble wrap in the oddest places and one of my flip-flops is currently behind the toilet in one of the bathrooms. I’m just waiting for the other shoe to be moved. One of the cat shelters in the area has a special sale at some of the pet food stores on the day after Thanksgiving – Black Friday – when they just have black kittens and cats for sale. Terry, did you know that the long time vet in your town, Peter Morey, was allergic to cats? He took medication for years and eventually got over it. His wife was delighted to finally be able to have a cat in the house.

    • I didn’t know that about Dr. Morley. He was such an important part of this town for so many years. Thanks for the memories.

  34. Today must be my lucky day! I love your vintage photos and have saved a number of vintage chicken photos. Imagine my delight to see the vintage cat photo this morning. I have 5 cats; 3 indoor and 2 adopted outdoor. The outdoor cats interact relatively well with the chickens. I have to be careful when feeding the outdoor cats as one of my birds absolutely loves catfood. When walking into the yards, whether calling out, “Kitty, kitty”, “Birds”, or “Ladies”, all 5 come running to me. I guess the sound of my voice means food regardless of what the words mean. Critters; can’t live without them and wouldn’t want to.

  35. Love cats:) the majority of mine have been like the cat in the picture. Determined mousers haha bu the rest have been couch potatoes that love being cute and cuddly:).

  36. I had to do a double take on that photo of the girl holding the cat. This looks like several photos we have of my grandmother holding her cats, right down to the hair bow & shoes. Is this photo from around 1920?

    I have 2 cats that are almost 10 years old. I’ve had one since he was 3 weeks (he was a bottle baby foster cat) and one since she was 8 weeks. Both are indoor outdoor with unlimited food (they go potty outdoors so no litter box). The black boy rarely leaves the house, we joke that he is a big chicken. The white girl spends about 23.5 hours a day outdoors during the summer and the reverse in the winter. She doesn’t like to be touched unless she is on my bed, I think she was a feral as a baby. She is an excellent hunter of rodents, yesterday she challenged a Canadian Goose that outweighed her by about 15 pounds to her 6.

    Yesterday we adopted 6 chicks, they are now 3 days old. They spent their first night in the house with a heating pad (the new heat bulb didn’t work). I secured the well ventilated lid of the large rubbermaid with bungee cords to keep them safe from the cats. To my surprise, the hunter had no interest. Our male cat has been an excellent “mommy” to many foster kittens, I thought he might be interested in supervised visitation with the chicks but he was clearly interested in more than just “snuggling”. Luckily I introduced them safely in my hands and he didn’t get to make contact. I wonder how he will react when they grow up?

    The chicks have grown fast in 24 hours. It’s fun interacting with them, I put my hand in and tap on the water dish, they come running and start drinking. I pet one and the others start to snuggle up to my hand. They seem to like the 1″ diameter branch/perch that sits on the ground. They are developing personalities already. This will be a fun adventure, I’m learning a lot from your site.

  37. Meow, Meow! From two big ginger kitties in Washington, DC, to all the ladies and gentlemen at Little Pond Farm. We enjoyed everyone’s blogs/tales about their feline friends :)

  38. I have two cats, three chickens and one dog. And they all get along with each other. I do think the chickens rule! Or at least they did when head hen Ginger was alive. She’d peck the nose of the cats and dog if they came too close.

  39. I have two kittens that I love and are my mates all hours.