1988 22c Cats

# 2372-75 - 1988 22c Cats

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U.S. #2372-75
1988 22¢ Cats

  • Pictures eight popular breeds of cats
  • First Day ceremony held at Winter Garden Theatre, home of the Cats musical

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Set: 
Cats
Value: 
22¢, first-class rate
First Day of Issue: 
February 5, 1988
First Day City: 
New York, New York
Quantity Issued: 
39,639,000 blocks
Printed by: 
American Bank Note Company
Printing Method: 
Photogravure
Format: 
Panes of 40 in sheets of 160
Perforations:  11

 

Why the stamps were issued:  To provide a block of stamps for cat lovers, similar to the block of dog stamps issued four years earlier. 

 

About the stamp designs:  The Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee commissioned two artists to create artwork for these stamps.  Each artist asked to make one completed painting and three pencil sketches.  In the end, wildlife artist John Dawson was selected to design the stamps.  He had experience painting cats, as his depictions appeared on the packages for 9-Lives and Alley Cat cat food.

 

This was Dawson’s first time designing stamps, though he had wanted to for a long time.  While the 1984 Dogs were pictured full body with background, the USPS wanted the cats to be depicted closer. “The committee wanted to show the fineness of the cats’ fur and the impressive look of their eyes.”  Once the paintings were completed, they were reviewed by a former show judge and member of three cat clubs.  He closely checked all the cats for fur and eye color, attitude, facial characteristics, and other details. 

 

First Day City:  The First Day ceremony for the Cats block was held at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City, where the popular musical Cats, has run for many years.  One of the musical’s performers sang the National Anthem and Memory, a song from the show, and examples of each of the eight breeds on the stamps were present and on stage.

 

About the Cats Block:  The USPS consulted the Cat Fanciers’ Association to get a list of the most popular breeds.  From that list, as well as other sources, they selected eight breeds that offered a nice variety of appearance.  The USPS kept the stamps in a similar format to the dog stamps of 1984, featuring two cats per stamp.

 

The USPS was particularly pleased with the Cats stamps and made them the centerpiece of their winter-spring promotion, using the slogan, “Cuddlesome Collectibles.”

 

History the stamps represent:  Descended from African wildcats, domestic cats have lived alongside humans since at least 7500 BC.  They are valued for companionship as well as their ability to control rodent populations.  In terms of the total number owned, today cats are the Western world’s most popular pet.

 

There are over 70 different breeds of pet cats – but they are all technically a single species.  Domestic cats are still closely related to their wild ancestors and share many traits, like being flexible and nimble.  They are adept hunters, using their highly developed senses, sharp claws, and teeth to locate and catch prey.  Some scientists believe these similarities suggest pet cats are barely domesticated at all.  Many cat owners will attest that their feline friends are trainable only as far as it suits them.  And, at best, some would say cats are “self-domesticated.”

 

Studies have shown there is very little genetic difference between domestic cats and their wild cousins.  But they do differ in one big way – a genetic tendency to be docile and around people.  It is likely the cats that hunted vermin near human food stores adapted to better tolerate humans while still maintaining their independence.  For many, it is this independent nature that makes cats such rewarding and appealing pets.

 

The Siamese cat is one of the most popular breeds in the world.  Descriptions of the cats have been found in Thailand manuscripts dating back to 1351.  President Rutherford B. Hayes received the first known Siamese cat in the US in 1878, a cat named Siam sent from the American Consul in Bangkok.  Siamese cats are recognizable for their pointed shape, blue eyes, and slender bodies.  They’re often intelligent, playful, and loving.

 

The Exotic Shorthair cat was crossbred as a short-haired version of the Persian cat to improve its body type.  They have a medium to large body with a round, large head.  Small, rounded ears and large, round eyes.  They’re affectionate and sociable and don’t shed as frequently as their long-haired relatives.

 

The Abyssinian is a short-haired cat with a tabby coat.  Every individual hair is striped with different colors.  Genetics place the cats’ origins as Southeast Asia and the coast on the Indian Ocean.  However, they came to prominence in the 1860s when the first cats were brought to England from Ethiopia (then known as Abyssinia).  These cats are active and curious, and often follow their owners around.  They are usually in motion either playing or exploring. Today they’re one of the top five most popular cat breeds.

 

The Himalayan Persian cat, also known as the Colourpoint Persian in Europe, is a sub-breed of the Persian cat.  It may also be considered a long-haired sub-breed of the Siamese, as it has its blue eyes and coloration.  Work to combine these two breeds began at Harvard University in the 1930s.

 

The Maine Coon is one of the largest domesticated cats, but is also very social, and is known as “the gentle giant.”  It’s also one of the oldest natural breeds in North America.  As their name suggests, the cats originated in Maine, but their exact origin is unknown. It’s been suggested it’s a hybrid with a raccoon or bobcat, its descended from the cats of Viking ships, or that they’re descended from the cats of Marie Antoinette, who shopped her prized cats away before she was executed.  Today it’s the Maine state cat and the third most popular cat breed in the country.

 

The Burmese cat originated in Burma.  Most Burmese cats in the US and England are descendants from a single female Burmese cat that was bred with Siamese cats in the 1930s.  American and British Burmese cats differ.  Burmese cats are friendly, energetic, and playful, often forming strong bonds with their humans. 

 

The American Shorthair cat is believed to have descended from cats that European settlers brought to America aboard their ships.  They brought cats to protect their food from mice and rats.  Over time, these cats interbred and in the early 1900s, a breeding program was put in place to establish a pedigree breed. Today the American Shorthair is the eighth most popular pedigreed cat in the world.

 

The Persian cat, also known as the Persian Longhair, may have first been imported to Italy from Iran as early as the 1600s or 1800s.  Persians are generally quiet cats and tend to be affectionate, clean, and vocal.  Today, the Persian is the fourth most popular cat in the world.

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U.S. #2372-75
1988 22¢ Cats

  • Pictures eight popular breeds of cats
  • First Day ceremony held at Winter Garden Theatre, home of the Cats musical

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Set: 
Cats
Value: 
22¢, first-class rate
First Day of Issue: 
February 5, 1988
First Day City: 
New York, New York
Quantity Issued: 
39,639,000 blocks
Printed by: 
American Bank Note Company
Printing Method: 
Photogravure
Format: 
Panes of 40 in sheets of 160
Perforations:  11

 

Why the stamps were issued:  To provide a block of stamps for cat lovers, similar to the block of dog stamps issued four years earlier. 

 

About the stamp designs:  The Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee commissioned two artists to create artwork for these stamps.  Each artist asked to make one completed painting and three pencil sketches.  In the end, wildlife artist John Dawson was selected to design the stamps.  He had experience painting cats, as his depictions appeared on the packages for 9-Lives and Alley Cat cat food.

 

This was Dawson’s first time designing stamps, though he had wanted to for a long time.  While the 1984 Dogs were pictured full body with background, the USPS wanted the cats to be depicted closer. “The committee wanted to show the fineness of the cats’ fur and the impressive look of their eyes.”  Once the paintings were completed, they were reviewed by a former show judge and member of three cat clubs.  He closely checked all the cats for fur and eye color, attitude, facial characteristics, and other details. 

 

First Day City:  The First Day ceremony for the Cats block was held at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City, where the popular musical Cats, has run for many years.  One of the musical’s performers sang the National Anthem and Memory, a song from the show, and examples of each of the eight breeds on the stamps were present and on stage.

 

About the Cats Block:  The USPS consulted the Cat Fanciers’ Association to get a list of the most popular breeds.  From that list, as well as other sources, they selected eight breeds that offered a nice variety of appearance.  The USPS kept the stamps in a similar format to the dog stamps of 1984, featuring two cats per stamp.

 

The USPS was particularly pleased with the Cats stamps and made them the centerpiece of their winter-spring promotion, using the slogan, “Cuddlesome Collectibles.”

 

History the stamps represent:  Descended from African wildcats, domestic cats have lived alongside humans since at least 7500 BC.  They are valued for companionship as well as their ability to control rodent populations.  In terms of the total number owned, today cats are the Western world’s most popular pet.

 

There are over 70 different breeds of pet cats – but they are all technically a single species.  Domestic cats are still closely related to their wild ancestors and share many traits, like being flexible and nimble.  They are adept hunters, using their highly developed senses, sharp claws, and teeth to locate and catch prey.  Some scientists believe these similarities suggest pet cats are barely domesticated at all.  Many cat owners will attest that their feline friends are trainable only as far as it suits them.  And, at best, some would say cats are “self-domesticated.”

 

Studies have shown there is very little genetic difference between domestic cats and their wild cousins.  But they do differ in one big way – a genetic tendency to be docile and around people.  It is likely the cats that hunted vermin near human food stores adapted to better tolerate humans while still maintaining their independence.  For many, it is this independent nature that makes cats such rewarding and appealing pets.

 

The Siamese cat is one of the most popular breeds in the world.  Descriptions of the cats have been found in Thailand manuscripts dating back to 1351.  President Rutherford B. Hayes received the first known Siamese cat in the US in 1878, a cat named Siam sent from the American Consul in Bangkok.  Siamese cats are recognizable for their pointed shape, blue eyes, and slender bodies.  They’re often intelligent, playful, and loving.

 

The Exotic Shorthair cat was crossbred as a short-haired version of the Persian cat to improve its body type.  They have a medium to large body with a round, large head.  Small, rounded ears and large, round eyes.  They’re affectionate and sociable and don’t shed as frequently as their long-haired relatives.

 

The Abyssinian is a short-haired cat with a tabby coat.  Every individual hair is striped with different colors.  Genetics place the cats’ origins as Southeast Asia and the coast on the Indian Ocean.  However, they came to prominence in the 1860s when the first cats were brought to England from Ethiopia (then known as Abyssinia).  These cats are active and curious, and often follow their owners around.  They are usually in motion either playing or exploring. Today they’re one of the top five most popular cat breeds.

 

The Himalayan Persian cat, also known as the Colourpoint Persian in Europe, is a sub-breed of the Persian cat.  It may also be considered a long-haired sub-breed of the Siamese, as it has its blue eyes and coloration.  Work to combine these two breeds began at Harvard University in the 1930s.

 

The Maine Coon is one of the largest domesticated cats, but is also very social, and is known as “the gentle giant.”  It’s also one of the oldest natural breeds in North America.  As their name suggests, the cats originated in Maine, but their exact origin is unknown. It’s been suggested it’s a hybrid with a raccoon or bobcat, its descended from the cats of Viking ships, or that they’re descended from the cats of Marie Antoinette, who shopped her prized cats away before she was executed.  Today it’s the Maine state cat and the third most popular cat breed in the country.

 

The Burmese cat originated in Burma.  Most Burmese cats in the US and England are descendants from a single female Burmese cat that was bred with Siamese cats in the 1930s.  American and British Burmese cats differ.  Burmese cats are friendly, energetic, and playful, often forming strong bonds with their humans. 

 

The American Shorthair cat is believed to have descended from cats that European settlers brought to America aboard their ships.  They brought cats to protect their food from mice and rats.  Over time, these cats interbred and in the early 1900s, a breeding program was put in place to establish a pedigree breed. Today the American Shorthair is the eighth most popular pedigreed cat in the world.

 

The Persian cat, also known as the Persian Longhair, may have first been imported to Italy from Iran as early as the 1600s or 1800s.  Persians are generally quiet cats and tend to be affectionate, clean, and vocal.  Today, the Persian is the fourth most popular cat in the world.