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Remarkable 19th Century footage shows cats boxing

It might seem like a fairly recent development but the world’s obsession with cats started way before the internet age.

Quirky footage filmed in the US in 1894 shows two cats being made to box each other in what was one of the earliest films ever made.

And pictures have resurfaced showing kittens being put into a variety of people costumes and being made to pose for photos.

In the video, which is more than 120-years-old, the two cats have boxing gloves strapped to their paws so as to give the appearance of being opposing fighters

A cat in a dress sits in a tiny flying machine as part of a photoshoot by Harry Whittier Frees

A cat in a dress sits in a tiny flying machine as part of a photoshoot by Harry Whittier Frees

Two kittens ride a miniature steam train. While indeed cruel by today's standards, both the video and photos go to show that our love of all things cats is not a recent phenomenon

Two kittens ride a miniature steam train. While indeed cruel by today’s standards, both the video and photos go to show that our love of all things cats is not a recent phenomenon

Lining up for a strike: Whittier Frees began photographing animals in human clothing after jokingly snapping a picture of his own pet cat in a small paper hat

Lining up for a strike: Whittier Frees began photographing animals in human clothing after jokingly snapping a picture of his own pet cat in a small paper hat

In the video, which is more than 120-years-old, the two cats have boxing gloves strapped to their paws so as to give the appearance of being opposing fighters.

They are then placed into harnesses which the man in the footage holds in each hand, giving them support as they ‘box’ for paying spectators.

While indeed cruel by today’s standards, both the video and photos go to show that our love of all things cats is not a recent phenomenon, and indeed dates back at least 100-years.

Poses from the photos, which date back to a photoshoot by photographer Harry Whittier Frees in 1914, range from two kittens ‘getting married’ to a cat seemingly lining up a bowling strike while holding a ball in front of a set of pins.

Wedding meows: In this photograph a feline couple 'tie the knot' in front of a cat dressed as a priest

Wedding meows: In this photograph a feline couple ‘tie the knot’ in front of a cat dressed as a priest

Let battle commence: Two kittens dressed up for war fire a tiny cannon

Let battle commence: Two kittens dressed up for war fire a tiny cannon

One kitten holds a watering can while another holds a rake to appear as if they're working in the fields

One kitten holds a watering can while another holds a rake to appear as if they’re working in the fields

Two kittens in dresses sit down at the table to share a birthday cake, complete with candles

Two kittens in dresses sit down at the table to share a birthday cake, complete with candles

The story goes that Whittier Frees began photographing animals in human clothing after jokingly snapping a picture of his own pet cat in a small paper hat, which he then took to a postcard maker to see what he thought. 

The postcard maker was said to have been enthralled with the design and demanded Whittier Frees take more, which he duly did.

Speaking of his work in 1929, Whittier Frees said: ‘Rabbits are the easiest to photograph in costume, but incapable of taking many ‘human’ parts.

‘Puppies are tractable when rightly understood, but the kitten is the most versatile animal actor, and possesses the greatest variety of appeal.’

In this bizarre photograph a kitten appears as if it is pumping water out of a well for a doll

In this bizarre photograph a kitten appears as if it is pumping water out of a well for a doll

Two kittens hold a string being used for a skipping rope by a turn of the century doll

Two kittens hold a string being used for a skipping rope by a turn of the century doll

Preparing for a dive: Whittier Frees took was commissioned to make pictures like this for postcards

Preparing for a dive: Whittier Frees took was commissioned to make pictures like this for postcards

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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