2023 Kitten & Heart
- One of two stamps (the other being Puppy & Heart) issued in 2023 for the 50th anniversary of the Love Series.
- Reminds us of the unconditional love expressed by our pets.
Stamp Category: Commemorative
Set: Love Series
Value: 60¢ 1-ounce First-class Rate (Forever)
First Day of Issue: January 19, 2023
First Day City(s): Austin, TX
Quantity Issued (if known): 200,000,000
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Why the stamp was issued: Issued alongside the 2023 Puppy and Heart stamp as part of the annual Love Series. 2023 marked 50 years since the first Love stamp was issued.
About the stamp design: Pictures a kitten with its paws resting on a red heart with "LOVE" in all caps on a yellow background. The design was taken from an oil painting on wood panel by Chris Buzelli. The art was then scanned and digitally edited for use on the stamp.
First Day City: Austin, Texas, during their "Austin Pets Alive!" event. The USPS chose this event because "They recently celebrated the 100,000th rescue since their nonprofit was founded – a demonstration of LOVE in action."
About the Love Series: The US Love Series began in 1973, with a new issue appearing almost every year since then (usually just in time for use on Valentine's Day mailings). 2023 marked the 50-year anniversary of the Love Series.
History the stamp represents: While some people think of cats as aloof, there are actually several ways our feline friends show affection. However, these ways are a bit different than those of other animals (or humans). With some practice, it's easy to tell when your cat is expressing their fondness for you.
One of the most obvious ways a cat shows affection is by purring. Cats do this when they feel relaxed or are enjoying something (though sometimes they purr if they're feeling ill and want to be near you). In fact, some studies have suggested the frequency at which cats purr can promote healing. Cats also show their affection by grooming, rubbing their face on you, or bumping their head into you. All these are ways the cat mingles their own scent with yours, effectively marking you as belonging to them. Cats might also show you their belly, a vulnerable position that lets you know they trust you. A more unusual way of showing their trust is by blinking slowly at you. Some people call this a "cat kiss," and will slowly blink back to show their cat they trust them, too.
Even though some of the ways cats show affection are unusual (or downright silly), it's nice to know they appreciate our company. It might not be the same as human love, but a cat's love can be just as comforting.