This photo, circa 1900, shows some classic farm cats. The young woman has an apron on over her everyday work dress – it’s just the place for a kitten to be.
These cats are likely being fed milk. If they’re lucky, there might be meat scraps, too. Those cats had a job to do. Not only did they keep rats out of the barns, but they also kept the family’s food safe from vermin. Cooked food and baked goods were stored in a pantry. They didn’t have seal-tight plastic containers and refrigerators. (Remember the scene in Anne of Green Gables when a mouse falls into the dessert?) Keeping the mice out of the house was very important work. The cats in this photo look up to the task!