02/28/2014 09:01 am ET Updated Dec 03, 2015

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

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:

Harry Whittier Frees Cat Pics From 1914

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