Friday, June 30, 2017

Sepia Saturday 374 July 1 2017: Cat Play

I've had a few dogs in my day but for today's prompt, a dog and it's toy, I'm sticking with my cats.

Despite the head lock, Sandy—our cat, looks pretty content in my 1947 photo below, but as I recall she had to go outside in the snow and cold to pee. We had a stinky sand box in the basement Sandy would use in a pinch and which everyone hated cleaning. The year of this photo, everything changed - for cats and for cat owners. Kitty Litter was invented. From Bloomberg Business Week, Dec. 4th, 2014.

"In 1947, Ed Lowe was working at his father’s delivery business in southern Michigan when he had a brilliant idea: take some fuller’s earth (a type of clay) and sell it to local farmers for chickens to nest. He called it Chicken Litter.

The farmers weren’t interested—which is why Lowe had a big pile of it when a local woman came by. She’d brought her cat in from the January cold and needed some sand for her cat box. On an impulse, Lowe offered her some fuller’s earth instead.

The stuff turned out to absorb the ammonia smell of cat pee. The woman soon came back for more. So did her friends. After enough requests, Lowe put some fuller’s earth in bags, wrote KITTY LITTER on them, and dropped them off at a hardware store. The product sold, and it sold in supermarkets and pet stores. The market grew ever outward, from southern Michigan to the world.With an odor-free litter box in the house, cats could stay indoors and live compatibly with their owners. The biggest barrier to cat ownership was broken down for good. "

The Bloomberg report describes the invention of Kitty Litter as a disruptive invention and places it on a list along with the cell phone technology. Read the Bloomberg article here.
Strangling the cat with love. Little did we know the kitty litter box was on it's way.

That was seventy years ago. Here are our 2017 Somali cats with their toys. One likes to wear a Kleenex box, as if a suit of armor,and chase a stuffed mouse. He has a popcorn box he uses when he's after larger prey.

The older, more mature cat, is subtler in his play choices. He does imitations: Mrs. Tischel and Grouch Marx.

They have a "Tower of Power" which becomes a battle ground from time to time. When one of them sits on the top, the other tries to knock him off. Anything goes in these battles for the top. Often, the whole tower is knocked over and both cats are losers. I try to explain it to them, but the generation gap is too large to bridge. 

Do more than scratch the surface - climb the stairs over to Sepia Saturday and read other stories
about pets and their toys.


  1. Unfortunately there are other barriers to cat ownership - allergies! Our friends have an indoor cat who doesn’t produce symptoms - I don't know if that’s significant. That tower is a great idea.

  2. I never knew who/when kitty litter was invented. And as Nell mentioned, allergies can be a problem. But in my case I'm not allergic to my cat, but more to the clay dust in litter. So I'm happy to have found a litter made from corn, which not only clumps, but is flushable so I don't have to haul the used litter out to the garbage. For me that makes the extra cost worth it.

  3. The story of kitty litter is an interesting history. Disruptive maybe, but cats reciprocate our love. Hamsters and rabbits can't match the affection of a feline purr.

  4. Cats and boxes..the eternal question of why? They do love boxes. These are wonderful images and have made me smile while I sit here with one of mine resting her head on my hand as I try to type.

  5. I really struggled, and failed, to come up with a family photo that had a dog. Never thought of thinking laterally and looking for other pets. You've posted a fantastic set.

  6. Now that's a Cat in the 1947 photo. Appears loved and healthy.

  7. I like cats - I really do. However, I became allergic to them right after my first baby came along. I sure miss that purr.