Gentlemen with Cats and Chicken

Pam’s Pictorama Post: Taking a break from the ramping up of holiday madness all around us and spending a little time with these fine fellows today. Men with cats has long been a favorite sub-genre of my card collecting. (A few earlier examples can be found here and here.) This card was never sent, but someone wrote what appears to be the name Robert Hersir. (On a whim I looked the name Hersir up and discovered it means Viking King.)

I like these guys, and not just because they were smart enough to immortalize their cats and chicken when having this photo taken. There’s something frank and fun about them – the rakish guy with his askew bow-tie in the middle especially. Hat thrown down in front of him, shiny button boots of a day gone by fashion thrust forward, young striped tabby cat in his arms, looking somewhat alarmed or at least admittedly peevish. He stares right out at us from his day, back in the early part of the last century.

My father would occasionally hold one of the cats in the manner of this man, and he would inform the cat that he or she was in “cat prison”. It is a term and strong arm approach I have sometimes adopted with my felines as well when grabbing them up and holding them hostage in this way. (Despite or even because of this, the cats adored my father. I can’t say mine seem to enjoy the experience as much.)

Our guy’s suit, like the kitty, is striped and the photographer gets credit too for the symmetry of the image and how well the image works. It appears to be a photo set when I examine it carefully, a much worn one though it must be said. It also leaves me wondering who takes their kitty and rooster to a photo studio? I can only imagine a world that was a slightly different (more interesting?) place back in that time. Oddly, this is not the first rooster booster pet photo in my collection. I wrote about roosters as pets in photos at least twice last year. (Those posts can be found here and here.)

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The chicken in question, held by a fairly natty fellow with a posy in his buttonhole, looks calmer than the cat. He is somewhat indistinct and it is a bit of a call on my part to say rooster rather than hen, but I believe it is a fellow fowl.

Our third gentleman, who sports a sort of sweet smile, has an almost imperceptible black cat curled up in his lap. Like my kitty Blackie might have, this kitty has made himself comfortable for lap petting during the duration of the session. No stress for him. This man and cat are perched on a small bench of sorts while the guy with the rooster seems to be squatting, but it is hard to tell. All three men wear suits, the paper collared shirts of their day and ties.

I hardly need to mention that the painted backdrop is stained, peeling and generally tatty beyond imagination. The floor covering appears to be much in the same state. It suits these guys fine, but I can’t exactly imagine who came in next. Hard to imagine newly weds or vacationing duos lining up after, but it seems a fitting setting for these guys and their pets.

 

Roosters

Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post: I cannot say why exactly, but somehow I can’t resist a good chicken photo and these two little girls with their beloved roosters was a must have. My mother, deeply involved in and experience in the particulars of animal rescue and rehabilitation, has told me great stories of chickens as pets. Frankly, without being entirely conscious of it, I mentally ascribed these to being hens in my mind. Here is proof positive that I was being sexist in my thinking. A quick check in with our know-it-all friend Google and I am assured that roosters also make great pets – easiest of course if raised to be a pet, but evidently full grown roosters are not precluded from becoming your pal.

Best known for waking folks up early, I gather they have compensating charms as pets. (There is an upfront warning that you should never play fight with your rooster. I am not sure it would have occurred to me, but I was taught in kitten school – required for the acquisition of Cookie and Blackie – that you should play fight with kittens either, no monster under the blanket game recommended.) Roosters, we are told, are evidently smart and will follow you around devotedly in a dog like fashion and can be house trained. (Not surprisingly this sounded arduous.) There was a lot of discussion for the need of hens (preferably 2-6) to maintain optimum happiness, or faux hens – I will spare you those details.

Although this card was never mailed as such, written on the back in a neat but hard to read ink script is the following: Be a good girl and do what Emma tells you write me all the news – How many Bundles can you make mornings now? has Mamma come over yet? Be good to the Kiddies – Papa. It is addressed only to Miriam Loder and was presumably delivered by hand.

I have a somewhat indistinct memory of a video my mother had, made by people who kept a pet hen in the house and all about her. She seemed to reside predominantly in sort of an enclosed front parlor room. The family adored her and she was as much of a pet as a cat. As pets chickens live an average of 8-10 years. However, my mother had another story of a friend who bought chickens which went rogue and promptly roosted in her trees and drove her insane which is another side of that story. Roosters are, of course, early risers and I suppose this should be taken foremost into consideration before adopting them – but of course Blackie wakes us every morning between 4:30 and 5:00 and we still love him. Meanwhile, these girls have scooped these guys up as summertime pets, and one wonders if the girls were therefore also junior vegetarians in the making.