Puss in Boots and Friends on the Cat Walk

Charles Perrault, Contes: Edition du Tricentenaire. Head piece by Joseph Hecht (Paris: Rene Hilsum & Cie, 1928) Cotsen 60396.

What cat in children’s literature approaches the style of Dore’s Puss in Boots?  The turn-out of the extravagantly booted paws, the plumed hat, the tail floating in the air like a dancer’s arm all contribute to the air of effortless grace.

Charles Perrault, Contes. Illustrated by Gustav Dore (Paris: J. Hetzel, 1862) Cotsen 32595.

The equally fine ensemble by Harrison Weir for Puss is set off by a confident feline bearing.  No wonder the ladies find him irresistible.

“The History of Puss in Boots. With twenty-two pictures by Harrison Weir” in The Child’s Wonder Picture Book (London: Ward, Lock and Co., not after 1885). Cotsen 95124.

The doe has eyes only for the noble lion, splendid in lace and velvet.  The pig in the admiral’s costume knows that he hasn’t got a chance.

Eduard Ille, “Der Maskenball der Thiere” in Munchener Bilderbucher nr. 36 (Munchen: Braun & Schneider, ca. 1878) From the collection of Kurt Szafranski. Cotsen 44329.

Tabbies are as alluring as the toms with the right hat and accessories.

My Grandmother’s Cat, or Puss in Boots (London: W. Darton jun., 1811) Cotsen 20048.

“Tittums and Fido” in The Poll-Parrot Picture Book … with twenty-four pages of illustrations printed in colour by Kronheim (London: George Routledge and Sons, ca. 1878) Cotsen 153481.

Of course, cats don’t need clothes to bring out their natural elegance (or ferocity), but illustrators love to dress them up anyway.

Nora Chesson, With Louis Wain in Fairyland. Illustrated by Louis Wain (London, Paris, New York: Raphael Tuck & Sons, not after 1905) Cotsen 28339.

Good grooming is serious business for cats.

“The Cats’ Tea-Party,” illustrated by Harrison Weir in The Poll-Parrot Picture Book … with twenty-four pages of illustrations, printed in colours by Kronheim (London: George Routledge and Sons, ca. 1878) Cotsen 153481.

Or ought to be…

Cover design by Harry B. Neilson for The Jolly Fisher (John F. Shaw & Co. Ltd, not after 1913) Cotsen in process 6163286.

For an awesome gallery of tigers, visit our virtual exhibition…  If you think dogs rule, we’ve got a post for you…

2 thoughts on “Puss in Boots and Friends on the Cat Walk

  1. All those cats! Great posting and very timely with the release of the KEDI, showing real life counterparts to these artist’s renderings of cats

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