The “Cats” in Cats-kills

January 09, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Given the Cats-kills name it is not surprising that there is a wide array of historical “cat” related postcards and marketing materials for the region. The anthropomorphic cats often depicted tourists as they partook in various vacation activities or were dressed to the nines in high fashion. The cats could be found driving cars, flying planes, going hiking or riding in cat-pulled wagons.

 

There is much debate as to the origin of the name Catskills, particularly around the “cats.” Theories include that the name derived from the American wildcat (bobcats), or catamounts, that once roamed the area; or the Dutch word “kat” meaning a domestic she cat; or the Dutch word “kater” for tomcat; or a Mohican chief named Cat; or from an Indian word “katsketed” which meant fortification; or the “kasteels,” which were Indian stockades located along the banks of the Catskill Creek; or in honor of the poet Jacob Cats; or the ship named “The Cat” that once sailed up the Hudson River; or a place called Katsbaan near Saugerties where Indians played the game of lacrosse; and so on. For perhaps the most detailed history about the possible origins of the name Catskills, see Alf Evers in chapter 71 of his regional classic The Catskills, From Wilderness to Woodstock.

 

If the origin of “Cats” is quite obscure, what is quite clear is the origin of the term “kill” in Cats-“kills.” The term “kill” means creek, stream or river; and originated from the Dutch word kille meaning “riverbed” or “water channel”. The term is used in historically Dutch-influenced areas in the New York and New Jersey region, including the Catskills.

 

Included here are a number of vintage postcards that utilized cats in promoting the Catskills. The postcards were published by the Kingston News Service, the Eagle Post Card Company, C. W. Hughes, George Greenberg & Son, Albert Hahn and the Hugh C. Leighton Company, amongst others.

 

“Catskill Mountain Line”, “Kingston News Service”, Kingston, cars cat, cats, marketing, mountains, parachute, planeHigh Up in the Catskills, Catskill Mts., N.Y.Given the Cat-skills name it is not surprising that there is a wide array of historical “cat” related postcards and marketing materials for the region. The cats often depicted tourists as they partook in various vacation activities or were dressed to the nines in high fashion. The cats could be found driving cars, flying planes, going hiking or riding in cat-pulled wagons. In this particular vintage postcard, the cats look like they are having the time of their life as they fly a plane named “Catskill Mountain Line” over the towering mountains.

The postcard was published by the Kingston News Service located in Kingston, New York. It was never mailed.

High Up in the Catskills, Catskill Mts., N.Y.

 

Vintage Catskills postcard that shows two cars full of cats as they drive along a dirt country road with balloons that advertise that they are headed for the Catskill Mountains.Catskill MountainsGiven the Cat-skills name it is not surprising that there is a wide array of historical “cat” related postcards and marketing materials for the region. The cats often depicted tourists as they partook in various vacation activities or were dressed to the nines in high fashion. The cats could be found driving cars, flying planes, going hiking or riding in cat-pulled wagons. In this particular vintage postcard, two cars full of cats drive along a dirt country road with balloons that advertise that they are headed for the Catskill Mountains.

The postcard was published by the Eagle Post Card Company located in New York City. The postmark on the reverse side shows that it was mailed in 1921.

Catskill Mountains

 

Vintage postcard titled “Motoring in the Catskills, N.Y.” by C. W. Hughes that was used to market the Catskill Mountains region of New York State.Motoring in the Catskills, N.Y.Given the Cats-kills name it is not surprising that there is a wide array of historical “cat” related postcards and marketing materials for the region. The cats often depicted tourists as they partook in various vacation activities or were dressed to the nines in high fashion. The cats could be found driving cars, flying planes, going hiking or riding in cat-pulled wagons. In this particular vintage postcard, two gray cats drive their boss, decked out with a top hat, in a convertible, open-aired vehicle loaded down with suitcases, golf clubs and more.

This postcard was published by C. W. Hughes & Co. located in Mechanicsville, New York. It was never mailed.

Motoring in the Catskills, N.Y.

 

Vintage postcard for the Catskills region depicting four cats relaxing on a tree branch.Greetings from the CatskillsGiven the Cat-skills name it is not surprising that there is a wide array of historical “cat” related postcards and marketing materials for the region. The cats often depicted tourists as they partook in various vacation activities or were dressed to the nines in high fashion. The cats could be found driving cars, flying planes, going hiking or riding in cat-pulled wagons. In this particular vintage postcard, four cats lounge on a tree branch under a beautiful blue sky.

The postcard was published by C. W. Hughes & Co. located in Mechanicsville, New York. The postcard was never mailed.

Greetings from the Catskills

 

Vintage postcard titled “Greetings from the Catskills” that depict four good-looking cats offering a relaxed invitation to join them in the Catskills.Greetings from the CatskillsGiven the Cat-skills name it is not surprising that there is a wide array of historical “cat” related postcards and marketing materials for the region. The cats often depicted tourists as they partook in various vacation activities or were dressed to the nines in high fashion. The cats could be found driving cars, flying planes, going hiking or riding in cat-pulled wagons. In this particular vintage postcard, four good-looking cats offer a relaxed invitation to join them in the “Kills.”

The vintage postcard was published by George Greenberg & Son located in Catskill, New York. The postcard was never mailed.

Greetings from the Catskills

 

Vintage postcard by George Greenberg & Son titled “Greetings from the Catskills” that depict four good-looking cats offering a relaxed invitation to join them in the Catskills.Greetings from the CatskillsGiven the Cats-kills name it is not surprising that there is a wide array of historical “cat” related postcards and marketing materials for the region. The cats often depicted tourists as they partook in various vacation activities or were dressed to the nines in high fashion. The cats could be found driving cars, flying planes, going hiking or riding in cat-pulled wagons.

In this particular vintage postcard, four good-looking cats offer a relaxed invitation for you to join them in the “Kills.” The vintage postcard was published by George Greenberg & Son located in Catskill, New York. The postcard was never mailed.

Greetings from the Cats Kills

 

Vintage postcard titled “Greetings from the Catskills” that depict three good-looking cats offering a relaxed invitation to join them in the Catskills.Greetings from the CatskillsGiven the Cat-skills name it is not surprising that there is a wide array of historical “cat” related postcards and marketing materials for the region. The cats often depicted tourists as they partook in various vacation activities or were dressed to the nines in high fashion. The cats could be found driving cars, flying planes, going hiking or riding in cat-pulled wagons. In this particular vintage postcard, three good-looking cats offer a relaxed invitation to join them in the “Kills.”

The vintage postcard was published by the Kingston News Service located in Kingston, New York. The postmark on the reverse side shows that it was mailed in 1945.

Greetings from the Catskills

 

Vintage Catskills postcard depicting four cats enjoying themselves as they go for a ride in a double set of basket swings.High up in the CatskillsGiven the Cats-kills name it is not surprising that there is a wide array of historical “cat” related postcards and marketing materials for the region. The cats often depicted tourists as they partook in various vacation activities or were dressed to the nines in high fashion. The cats could be found driving cars, flying planes, going hiking or riding in cat-pulled wagons. In this particular vintage postcard, four cats look like they are enjoying themselves as they go for a ride in a double set of basket swings.

The postcard was published by C. W. Hughes & Company located at Mechanicsville, New York. The postmark on the reverse side shows that it was mailed in 1936.

High Up in the Catskills

 

Vintage Catskills postcard by Albert Hahn that shows five adorable cats loudly sing from a music book about the wonders of the Catskill Mountains.Praising the CatskillsGiven the Cat-skills name it is not surprising that there is a wide array of historical “cat” related postcards and marketing materials for the region. The cats often depicted tourists as they partook in various vacation activities or were dressed to the nines in high fashion. The cats could be found driving cars, flying planes, going hiking or riding in cat-pulled wagons. In this particular vintage postcard, five adorable cats loudly sing from a music book about the wonders of the Catskill Mountains.

The postcard was published by Albert Hahn located in New York City. The Albert Hahn company operated from 1901 to 1919. He published his postcards in Germany, as was common for the era. The postmark on the reverse side shows that this particular postcard was mailed in 1912.

Praising the Catskills

 

Vintage postcard published by the Hugh C. Leighton Company titled “Greetings from the Catskills” depicting a beautiful cat.Greetings from the CatskillsGiven the Cats-kills name it is not surprising that there is a wide array of historical “cat” related postcards and marketing materials for the region. The cats often depicted tourists as they partook in various vacation activities or were dressed to the nines in high fashion. The cats could be found driving cars, flying planes, going hiking or riding in cat-pulled wagons.

In this particular vintage postcard, an elegantly beautiful cat poses for the camera. The postcard was manufactured in Germany and published by the Hugh C. Leighton Company located at Portland, Maine. The postcard was never mailed.

Greetings from the Catskills

 

Vintage postcard by George Greenberg & Son titled “Arrived O.K.” and “Greetings from the Catskills” that depict a cat family in a car following a sign toward the Catskills.Arrived O.K.Given the Cats-kills name it is not surprising that there is a wide array of historical “cat” related postcards and marketing materials for the region. The cats often depicted tourists as they partook in various vacation activities or were dressed to the nines in high fashion. The cats could be found driving cars, flying planes, going hiking or riding in cat-pulled wagons.

In this particular vintage postcard, a cat driving a car follows a road sign towards the Catskills, with the lush green mountains looming in the background. The vintage postcard was published by George Greenberg & Son located in Catskill, New York. The postcard was never mailed.

Greetings from the Catskill Mts., N.Y.

 

Vintage postcard titled “Mr. Kaatskill” depicting a well-groomed cat in a human tie and top hat.Mr. KaatskillGiven the Cats-kills name it is not surprising that there is a wide array of historical “cat” related postcards and marketing materials for the region. The cats often depicted tourists as they partook in various vacation activities or were dressed to the nines in high fashion. The cats could be found driving cars, flying planes, going hiking or riding in cat-pulled wagons. In this particular vintage postcard, the dapper Mr. Kaatskill poses his finely groomed self while sharply dressed with a tie and top hat.

The postcard was published by C. W. Hughes & Company located at Mechanicsville, New York. The postcard was never mailed.

Mr. Kaatskill

 

Vintage postcard titled “Mr. Kaatskill” depicting a well-groomed cat in a human tie and top hat.Mrs. KaatskillGiven the Cats-kills name it is not surprising that there is a wide array of historical “cat” related postcards and marketing materials for the region. The cats often depicted tourists as they partook in various vacation activities or were dressed to the nines in high fashion. The cats could be found driving cars, flying planes, going hiking or riding in cat-pulled wagons. In this particular vintage postcard, the beautiful Mrs. Kaatskill elegantly poses with a bow on her head.

The postcard was published by C. W. Hughes & Company located at Mechanicsville, New York. The postcard was never mailed.

Mrs. Kaatskill

 

Vintage postcard titled “Mr. Catskill” that was used to market the Catskill Mountains region of New York State.Mr. CatskillGiven the Cats-kills name it is not surprising that there is a wide array of historical “cat” related postcards and marketing materials for the region. The cats often depicted tourists as they partook in various vacation activities or were dressed to the nines in high fashion. The cats could be found driving cars, flying planes, going hiking or riding in cat-pulled wagons. In this particular vintage postcard, the relaxed Mr. Catskill poses with a hat and bowtie.

The postcard was published by George Greenberg located in Catskill, New York. It was never mailed.

Mr. Catskill

 

Vintage postcard titled “Mrs. Catskill” that was used to market the Catskill Mountains region of New York State.Given the Cats-kills name it is not surprising that there is a wide array of historical “cat” related postcards and marketing materials for the region. The cats often depicted tourists as they partook in various vacation activities or were dressed to the nines in high fashion. The cats could be found driving cars, flying planes, going hiking or riding in cat-pulled wagons. In this particular vintage postcard, the beautiful feline Mrs. Catskill hits the town in a bonnet and pearls.

Mrs. Catskill


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