Time Capsule Reveals 120-Year-Old Photos Of A Little Girl’s Beloved Cats

The young French girl placed her most precious items in an elaborately decorated antique box — among them a personal letter, old coins, a sea shell, a compass and two glass negatives.

French photographer Matheiu Stern, who discovered the accidental time capsule earlier this year, used a vintage technique to develop the plates and reveal the images they contained: A photo of a small tabby cat posing on a door step, and another of the same tabby with a kitten and a gentle-looking dog.

The process Matheiu used is called cyanotype, and as its name implies, it renders everything in a blueish scale rather than grayscale or color. The process was popular for most of the 19th century before it gave way to newer and more accurate photography methods, but it was used long after that as a cheap method of reproducing architectural schematics, thus the name “blueprints.”

The photographs have the unmistakable hue of the process used to develop them, and show the people of the 19th century bonded with their cats just as we do.

They also prove that people have always loved taking photos of cats, and the ubiquity of cat images on the Internet was inevitable. Resistance always was futile:

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International Cat Day: Interview With Buddy

Big Buddy (The Human): We’re here with Buddy the Cat to celebrate International Cat Day. Welcome, Buddy!

Little Buddy (The Cat): Thank you.

BB: I appreciate you joining us. I’m sure our readers do too.

Buddy: Yeah well, you told me no treats unless I do this interview, so let’s get it over with.

BB: I love the enthusiasm. Our first question is from Mrs. Caldwell’s third-grade class in Skokie, Illinois. Rebecca, age 8, asks: “Hi Buddy! What’s the best thing about being a cat?”

Buddy: Hi, Rebecca. Well, the schedule’s pretty good. Plenty of time for naps and siestas. The food’s usually pretty good too. But I’d say the best thing about being a cat is my status as an apex predator. No one messes with you because they know that you can decapitate them with a single paw swipe. Other animals don’t step to me because they don’t want to see their entrails spill out like a waterfall or their arterial blood sketching a map of Hawaii on the ground, you know what I mean? I’m a very ferocious creature.

BB: Ahem. Maybe we can take it down a notch on the questions from kids?

Buddy: My bad.

BB: Our next question is from Mr. Piper’s eighth-grade class in Rye, New York. Charles, age 13, asks: “Buddy, do you have any tips for getting puss…” Ah, Charles, this is a family blog! Sheesh. Your teacher approved this? Oh! Sorry. The whole question is: “Buddy, do you have any tips for getting pussy cats to come when called?”

Buddy: Sure, Charles. It’s really simple: Do you have any treats? If the answer is yes, then it’s worth our time to acknowledge you and approach. If not, well, we have napping to do.

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BB: That’s great, thank you, Charles. This one’s from six-year-old Cindy in Mrs. Cooper’s class in Bakersfield, California. Cindy says: “I have a dog. Woof woof! Do you like dogs, Buddy?”

Buddy: Yes I do, Cindy! I like them far away from me, in someone else’s home, dragging their butts across someone else’s carpet, preferably very far away so I don’t have to smell them.

BB: I can just feel the love, can’t you? Okay, now let’s go to 10-year-old Ashton from Mrs. Draper’s second-grade class in Lincoln, Nebraska. Second grade, Ashton? Really? Okay. Ashton writes: “Hello Buddy! As president of the Americats, are you happy that baseball is back this season? And who do you think is gonna win the World Series?”

Buddy: It’s a terrific thing that baseball is back, a tremendous, tremendous thing, okay? The American people love baseball, believe me, and we’re gonna have the number one baseball season in history, okay? It really will be. I like the Yankees, Ashton. I know a number of them personally and they’re tremendous people, just terrific people. They’re going to win the World Series over the Dodgers, and the Red Sox aren’t even going to make the playoffs because they’re losers. They’re fired.

BB: Okay. Finally, here’s a question from Lisa in Mr. Park’s fourth-grade class in Peculiar, Missouri. Lisa asks: “I love my kitty cat, Mr. Wobbles, and he loves me. Do you love your human, Buddy? What’s your favorite thing about him?”

Buddy: Hi Lisa! Do I love my Big Buddy? I love it when he feeds me treats and catnip! I guess you could say I love him even though the service is slow and sub-par around here sometimes. I’m very forgiving. Still, he could improve. My favorite thing about him? Hmmm. He’s a pretty good mattress.

BB: Oh, that lukewarm endorsement has moved me to tears! That’s all for today. Thanks to Buddy for generously taking time out of his busy napping schedule, and for all the kids who submitted questions. Don’t forget to do something special for your own cats today!

Buddy Wants YOU to Follow These Sites!

Office of the High Secretariat for Buddesian Decrees, His Majesty’s Palace

August the 7th, 6 AB (Anno Buddy)

Dear subjects,

It has come to my attention that there is a thing called #FollowFriday in which great and respected authors such as myself share links to some of their favorite blogs and sites, so that others might find them and read them.

In the spirit of #FollowFriday, and as the benevolent feline ruler I am, I hereby endorse the following sites of web:

Cattitude Daily: This site is run by my friend Modi, who not only appreciates my rakish handsomeness and luxurious fur, but also writes some good stuff about my fellow cats. Cattitude Daily often answers questions about cats, like why we have webbed feet, why we like to sleep in sinks, and why you should stop trying to touch our feet! I decree you shall check out Modi’s site.

Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era Ever: Retro Dee writes about the 1950s, a time when the Romans cheered on the gladiators, husbands and wives slept in separate beds, and life was in black and white. Also, there was no internet and no one had invented Temptations yet, but Marty McFly had a really cool hoverboard. I especially like the old pictures of old people doing old things. Finally, Dee has a cat named Holly and I’m Buddy, so together we’d be Buddy Holly, a guy who was famous for being mentioned in a Weezer song.

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The 1950s.

My Instagram page: Several of my minions mentioned I should have an Instagram page. They said: “Your Grace, the world should know what a handsome king you are.” So now you can follow my blog for my wit and wisdom, and my Instagram for photos of me. Now I have to figure out that there Facebook, and someone else was telling me about two up-and-coming sites called MySpace and Friendster. Soon you won’t be able to escape me anywhere on the Internet!

Study Confirms What We All Know: Cats Are Remarkably Lazy

My cat has a morning ritual: He’ll meow in front of the treat cabinet, which now contains healthy snacks, then gobble down his first yums of the day before padding over to the carpet or the couch to lay down.

Ya know, because he worked so hard. After a long and tiring night of sleep and the grueling physical exertion of working his jaw muscles to eat, he needs a respite. A cat nap, if you will.

He’s not unique in this respect, and his morning siesta is just the first of many. Cats need their beauty rest after an exhausting day of lounging, sleeping and having their food literally placed before them.

A new study confirms what we already know — that cats are lazy little bastards — and even hints at new levels of laziness unbeknownst to us thus far.

Working hard or hardly working?

“Get a puzzle feeder,” they say. “Make ’em work a little for their food,” they say. “It’ll stimulate their instincts.”

Animal behaviorists have recommended toys like puzzle feeders and treat balls for years, prompted by research that shows animals enjoy “contrafreeloading,” a fancy way of saying when given a choice between free food and food in a puzzle feeder, animals will opt for the latter.

The behavior is consistent across many species of domestic and wild animals, from dogs and rats to chimpanzees and birds. Maybe it stimulates their urge to forage. Maybe it gives them something fun to do. Or maybe food just tastes better to animals when they’ve earned it.

Cats, however, aren’t contrafreeloaders. They want the easy yums.

That’s according to a new study by a University of California at Davis research team. Cats didn’t ignore the food puzzles entirely, but they showed a clear preference for the low-hanging fruit, so to speak.

“It wasn’t that the cats never used the food puzzle, they just used it less, ate less food from it, and typically would eat from the freely available food first,” said UC Davis’ Mikel Delgado, a co-author of the study.

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“I’m tellin’ ya, Horace, they do this just to piss us off. How are we supposed to gobble it all down if we have to fish every little kibble out one by one? I hate humans!”

As for why cats aren’t taken with puzzle feeders — besides their inherent laziness, of course — that question will take more studies to answer.

“There are different theories about why animals might contrafreeload, including boredom in captive environments, stimulating natural foraging behaviors, and creating a sense of control over the environment and outcomes,” Delgado said.

When it comes to cats, Delgado’s best guess is that puzzle feeders might just be the wrong game since it doesn’t stimulate their hunting instincts. Maybe the next study should involve small pieces of chicken and turkey tied to the ends of wand toys, so our mighty little hunters can catch their “prey” and dine like proper tigers.

Maybe He’s Born With It. Maybe It’s Meowbelline.

NEW YORK — Buddy the Cat will be the new face and official spokesmodel of designer Fursace’s new Covidian Collection, the Italian fashion house announced Wednesday.

In addition, Buddy unveiled brand new photos of his four signature looks in his Buddy: 2020 Look Book.

The rakishly handsome tabby’s famous quartet of looks includes icy Blue Steel, Ferrari (a softer look for catalogues and footwear), fiery Le Tigre and the venerated Magnum, which took years to perfect.

“Buddy. So hot right now. Buddy.” – Jacobim Mugatu, designer

Fans got an intimate look at le Tigre at last year’s Feline Fashion Week in Milan, where Bud modeled Dolce and Gabbana’s Meowgnificent collection. The “really, really ridiculously good-looking” cat has been a fixture on the haute couture scene since 2014 when he was a kitten.

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Buddy the Cat walks the runway ahead of German model Leon Dame during last year’s Fashion Week in Paris.

This year the fabulous felid is expected to take the runway for Fursace’s Covidian Collection, a show that draws inspiration from Victorian-era plague doctor masks, gloves and overcoats to create what designer Gianni Fursace calls “pandemic chic.”

“Fashion cuts to the heart of life’s most essential questions, and this season it’s all about one question in particular: What good is protection from the virus if you don’t look fabulous in the first place?” Fursace asked. “What’s the point of surviving if you’re wearing something you wouldn’t be caught dead in?”

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Buddy models a $6,250 mask, part of Fursace’s Covidian Collection.

Jacobim Mugatu — the world-famous fashion designer best known for his Derelicte line of homeless-inspired fashionwear and inventing the piano neck tie — praised Fursace for making Buddy the face of his new campaign.

“Buddy has long been my muse as I strive to create clothes that redefine what it means to be fabulous,” Mugatu said. “Buddy. So hot right now. Buddy.”

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Clockwise from top left: Le Tigre, Blue Steel, Ferrari and Magnum. Credit: Versace Covidian Fall Collection