New Book “The Photographed Cat” Proves We’ve Been Dressing Up Cats for CENTURIES


Cats are like kids in that we all think ours are the cutest, and we want to share everything they do with everyone we know. It has been this way for centuries.

Proof: The new book The Photographed Cat, which will be published this fall by Syracuse University Press, depicts a series of feline-human portraits compiled by Northeastern University sociology and anthropology professor Arnold Arluke and collector Lauren Rolfe. The photos span 1890 to 1940 — though we’re sure any one of them would get blown up with “likes” on Facebook if shared today.

The photos show the importance of human-feline relationships and the strong bonds we share with our cats. Also: Kitties in old-timey bonnets. Enjoy this sneak peek, and click here to learn more about the book (and get holiday gifts covered for at least a couple of the cat lovers on your list).

This is a more serious version of the times I’d grab my cat, Sweets, when my parents took family photos on birthdays and Christmas. It made the moment less awkward.

Some things never change — even back in the day, cats would not stay away from the dinner table.

Turn-of-the-century cat ladies blazed trails for the rest of us.

This patriotic kitty supports the troops.

Luna the Fashion Kitty may know how to rock a tutu, but she was hardly the first kitty to look cute in clothes.

All photos used with permission from Syracuse University Press.

About Angela Lutz: This not-crazy-at-all cat lady loves to lint-roll her favorite dress and go out dancing. She also frequents the gym, the vegan coffee joint, and the warm patch of sunlight on the living room floor. She enjoys a good cat rescue story about kindness and decency overcoming the odds, and she’s an enthusiastic recipient of headbutts and purrs from her two cats, Bubba Lee Kinsey and Phoenix.

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