Category:
Cats

Infinity Kisses

The artwork Infinity Kisses, by Carolee Schneeman, consists of multiple self-shot photos of her kissing her cat. (See video below). She worked on it from 1982-1988.



After she completed this work, it evidently didn't receive much attention from the art world, because in a 1991 essay, published in Art Journal (Winter 1991), she complained of its neglect:

Is the critical neglect of my current work a form of censorship? For instance, is the lack of attention to two of my recent works, the 1988 installation, Venus Vectors, in which the unraveling of two (menstrual) dream symbols situates a visual morphology of vulvic form, and Infinity Kisses, a recent photo series of my cat, Cluny, and me that raises the issue of "appropriate eroticism" and interspecies communication, an act of censorship?

As it turned out, Infinity Kisses was acquired and put on display by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1993. So, that was good news for Schneeman.

But now I'm thinking that the art world has been unfairly ignoring my pictures of my cat. This might be censorship!

My cat, Pumpkin

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 08, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Art, Censorship, Bluenoses, Taboos, Prohibitions and Other Cultural No-No’s, Cats

Follies of the Madmen #487



This impossible freakish dog is a true representative of the species, and thus can be a fine judge of the sponsor's food.

Plus, cats are jealous of both dog food and cigarettes.

Ad source.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 06, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Business, Advertising, Food, Cats, Dogs, 1950s

Falling Cats

The physics of falling cats. Narrated by Australian physicist Karl Kruszelnicki.



The Age (Melbourne, Australia) - Sep 4, 1991

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 27, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Science, Cartoons, Cats

Keyboard Cat, 1975

Fatso the cat became famous online as "Keyboard Cat".



And back in the pre-Internet days, Shangai the cat was also known for her skills at the keyboard.

Hagerstown Morning Herald - Feb 7, 1975

Posted By: Alex - Thu Apr 16, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Cats, 1970s

Cat Mew Machine



New York Dispatch - Sep 19, 1963

Posted By: Alex - Sat Apr 11, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Inventions, Cats, 1960s

The Songbird Saver

Desmond Slattery (1914-1977) claimed to be a naturalist. But I'm not sure how much scientific training he actually had. I suspect that's just how he rebranded himself after his career in Hollywood fizzled.

His 'Songbird Saver,' which he debuted in 1968, was designed to stop cats from attacking birds by conditioning them to think that, if they did so, the birds would explode. As explained in the LA Times (Jan 23, 1969):

Basically, the Songbird Saver consists of a small dummy bird which, when nudged by a cat for any reason, explodes.
Slattery's own news release describes its effectiveness perhaps more vividly:
"Slipping out of the house, the trainee-cat will make its stealthily stalking approach... Seeing it (the Songbird Saver), apparently frozen with terror, the trainee-cat will pounce upon it, and with the resulting explosion, that cat will go about 9 feet in the air and take off for the high timber before its feet touch the ground."
It is with this simple device that Slattery hopes to save civilization "as we know it."
"Songbirds are vital to our ecology of life," he explained. "Our society could not exist without them. Frankly, in six years we'd be up to our neck in insects."
Slattery emphasized his device is harmless to cats and uses merely the same sort of exploding caps used in cap pistols. It is based on common theories of preconditioning and some stuff he read by Mark Twain on a cat's ability to learn.
"It's based, actually, on a combination of Pavlov and Mark Twain. If both those guys are wrong, I'm wrong."
The dapper 54-year-old promoter denied he was "anti-cat" and said that in fact his invention would allow cats and birds to live together in harmony.

El Paso Times - Dec 26, 1968





Los Angeles Times - Jan 23, 1969

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 13, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, Inventions, Cats, 1960s

Obsession for Cats

The Calvin Klein fragrance Obsession for Men has the odd distinction of being known to be an aphrodisiac for cats. And not just house cats. The larger, wild variety as well. The NY Times explains:

This fragrance for men includes civetone, a compound originally derived from the scent glands of a civet though now often made synthetically. Obsession has been billed as irresistible to women. But because of the civetone, it is also scientifically proven to make wild cats go gaga. They roll around it, they take huge sniffs, they luxuriate in the smell for several minutes.

Louise Ginman, of Sydney's Taronga Zoo, further clarified to Scientific American:

They don’t react to all perfumes - with some of them they’re like, “meh,” just like us I guess, some of them they’re not real keen on. But others, like the Calvin Klein one, whatever is in that, cats love it. They really, really roll and cheek-rub and they just look to be in heaven.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 29, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Cats, Sex, Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

Baked Cat Food

Maybe cats thought it tasted great, but it sounded disgusting.

Baltimore Sun - Jan 19, 1975

Posted By: Alex - Fri May 18, 2018 - Comments (5)
Category: Food, Products, Cats, 1970s

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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