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Adorable Cat Photos From 1915 Will Make Your Heart Explode Into Tiny Pieces

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One hundred years from now, when archivists look back on our lifetime, they will be faced with a digital treasure trove filled with-- among other things -- cat memes. There's just no denying our generation's obsession with the adorable animals.

But if you thought a predilection for tiny creatures in hilarious situations is solely a contemporary phenomenon, you are sadly mistaken. You need only travel back in time another hundred years for proof -- the 1915 book "The Little Folks of Animal Land" by Harry Whittier Frees, a photographic compilation of minuscule pets (primarily kitties) acting out everyday human activities.

The images show cats with toothaches, cats folding laundry, and cats flying planes, and became popular as postcards and posters in the early 20th century. After gazing upon the vintage "meme," we can't help but wonder if an affinity for funny felines is the thread that's holding humanity together. Behold, the LOLcats of the 1900s:

  • Kittehs do everything in Animal Land.
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • They conduct trains.
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • They fly planes.
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • They operate cannons.
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • Cats can haz tea in Animal Land.
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • And work out.
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • Recreational activities are so important.
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • Like an interest in classical music...
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • Diving...
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • And swinging, of course.
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • But they also do a lot of chores in Animal Land.
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • Like dishes...
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • Laundry...
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • Gardening. Duh.
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • They work on their sewing skills...
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • Which is difficult given their lack of opposable thumbs.
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • Awww, they picnic. #Nom.
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • And take joy rides.
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • They pal around with dolls, which is sort of creepy.
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • Ok, enough with the dolls.
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • Most importantly, they show dogs who's boss.
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • Over...
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • And over again.
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • Cute. Overload.
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress
  • Viva Animal Land!
    Harry Whittier Frees / Library of Congress


You can gaze upon the amazing historical find online, courtesy of the library of Harvard University. (h/t Live Journal)

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