Depressed About The Cat!

Illustration:  Puss In Boots.  Puss speaks words of comfort to his Master.  From the story "Puss and Boots."  LITTLE FOLKS STORIES.  McLoughlin Bro’s: New York. Ca 1888.

“Puss speaks words of comfort to his Master.”

There was once an old miller who had three sons, and after his death his property was divided among them. . .

But the third son fared the worst of all, for all that fell to his share was a cat, and that was about as good, he thought, as nothing at all.

He sat down to think in what way he could earn a living, and bemoaned his fate with bitter sighs and tears.

“What shall I do?” he cried aloud. “If I kill the cat and sell his skin, that won’t go far toward keeping me out of the poor-house! Oh, how much worse I am off than my brothers!”

The cat sat near his master and heard every word he said; and when he paused for a moment, Puss came forward, and in a clear voice said: “Dear master, do not be so cast down. If you’ll give me a pair of boots and a game-bag you shall have no cause for complaint.”


From the story “Puss In Boots.”


Illustration by R. Andre (1867).

McLoughlin Bro’s: New York. Ca 1888.

31 thoughts on “Depressed About The Cat!

  1. I liked the soiled knees, the shoes in different colours, the gnome and the ‘ghostly’ peasant in the background. Great architectural details too. 1867…..holy macaroni! The cat’s pose seems to say: “Even a cat may look at a hat (King)!” And since it speaks, it has its master’s tongue too. 😀

    1. I think the place looks spooky, but I may be alone in that. Yes the shoes are 2 different colors. In the original they are entirely different and I thought of correcting this – it happened during the printing of the picture – but I decided to leave it alone. Decisions decisions . . .

      The cat is a wise one and a persuasive talker. A cool cat!


  2. I like the same details as Soul to Earth, and I also like that it’s a very Switzerland looking place. The mountains have great color. It looks like how I imagine the setting of Heidi. He does look like a small, useless feline. 🙂

    1. It is an amazing mill home complex – I can understand why he is depressed he only got the cat from his father! But what a cat it turns out to be!!! Still thinking about the pink paint on brown paper!


  3. I have always been a fan of the Grimm’s Fairy Tales and this is exactly how I imagined the environment would be for Puss in Boots.. This is amazing. Thank you for reminding of the wonderful tales through this one remarkable illustration.

  4. Oh yes, a wonderful fairy tale. I got it as a child often read and I saw it as a cartoon on TV. Later I could read it myself and I have also made it often.

      1. Oh, I’m so sorry, but I am only lost in translation. It should be: ” I have also read it often”, and it means that as a child I often looked out my book and read the story, because there were very nice pictures there. Not as beautiful as yours, but I liked it.

        1. Thank you – I still hope that you have a magic cat. Those books from childhood are always special. I am glad you enjoyed the illustration and have nice memories.


  5. This illustration is stunningly detailed! The nails in the top of the wooden post, the mill walls crumbling and in need of attention… Every inch of it shows that the artist really wanted to do a terrific job here.
    Thank you for sharing this with us- how do you get access to so many wonderful images? Do you live in a library?

    1. I buy the books! I own these little treasures. Mine, mine, all mine!!! But I do like to show my treasures to others. I work hard to clean the images up in photoshop. I too appreciate details and I try very hard to preserve everything I can.

      So that is the story of my little library!

    1. Oh how very nice of you – that is very thoughtful! Perhaps you should nominate someone else – so many great blogs out there I would hate for your nomination to be wasted. Unfortunately (or fortunately!) I have too many followers so I do not qualify (you have to have under 200). Again, thank you for thinking of me – most kind!


    1. Thank you! What a nice day I am having – your nomination and the lovely curlsandcouture nominated me too! A very lucky day! It is kind of you to think of me. I appreciate your your nomination.

      Thanks again,

  6. I think if I owned all these books I would be inclined to say “mine, mine, mine’ too! It must be so delicious to have these little treasures to hug to yourself all the time and share little by little, once or twice a day. I do think that cat was very un-cat like in its behaviour. Most cats, faced with such a lack of appreciation, would have taken off in search of a better deal.

    1. I agree about a cat’s attitude!

      Well, owning the books is just a small investment. People want to keep books alive, but they do nothing to make it happen.

      This will not sound like a “right idea,” but my opinion is that books will rot away. Unless we make an effort to keep what is in these old books we will lose it. It surprises me that I am not part of an army of people preserving the beauty and accessiblity to these illustrations. Just scanning books is not a very good way to keep the beauty of their illustrations “alive.”

      Just my idea,

    2. Also, I would share the whole book at one time if I could get them scanned and corrected any faster. Unfortunately, it takes way too long to do each photo and I am stuck at this slow pace. The ownership is just a matter of slowly buying them – you can pay a fortune or slowly acquire them at a reasonable price. I said mine, mine mine as a joke! I would be delighted if other people bought old books and spent time on them!


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