Updated: The “Cats” in Cats-kills

October 29, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

Having recently acquired 14 new postcards of “Cats” in the Catskills, I thought I would update a previous blog post published on January 9, 2021. Each of the new postcards are as interesting as those included in the original post. We find our lovable cats reading and selling newspapers, towing campers, going for a hike, flying a hot air balloon, and observing the scenery from a fire tower.

 

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Original post:

 

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.

 

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New "Cats" postcards

 

Just Leaving the Catskills

Vintage Catskills postcard by Albert Hahn depicting a cat-drawn wagon being driven by other cats as they pass the train station to leave the Catskills.Just Leaving 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, a cat-drawn wagon is being driven by other cats as they pass the train station to leave the Catskills.

The postcard was published by Albert Hahn located at 229 Broadway, New York. The postcard was copyrighted by Albert Hahn in 1907. The postmark on the reverse side shows that it was mailed in 1909.

 

Greetings from the Catskills

Vintage postcard titled “Greetings from the Catskills” that depict three good-looking cats in fancy clothes move along on roller skates as they make their way to 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 in fancy clothes move along on roller skates as they make their way to the Catskills.

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

 

Greetings from Catskill Mts., N.Y.

Vintage Catskills postcard by the Kingston News Service depicting a family of cats with their car loaded with luggage, towing an RV, with laundry hanging on a clothes line.Greetings from Catskill Mts., 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, a family of cats can be found camping. The scene includes a car loaded with luggage, an RV with a child cat peeking out the window and laundry hanging on a clothesline. The Catskill Mountains can be seen in the background. The postcard was published by the Kingston News Service located at Kingston, New York. The postcard was never mailed.

 

Greetings from the Catskills Vintage postcard titled “Greetings from the Catskills” that depict four cats getting off a small boat.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 postcard, four cats are out enjoying a nice day, getting off a boat along the lakeshore. Two cats are on the shore, one standing with a parasol, and the other waiting patiently for her two friends to deboard from the boat. The postcard, titled “Greetings from the Catskills,” was published by Bryant Union Publ. of New York City. The postcard was never mailed.

 

Vacation Days in the Catskills, N.Y. Vintage postcard titled “Vacation Days in the Catskills” showing three cats walking down the road with mountains in the background.Vacation Days in the Catsills, 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, three cats are walking down the road, surrounded by forests and with looming mountains in the background. The vintage postcard was published by C. W. Hughes & Co. of Mechanicsville, New York.

The postmark on the reverse side shows that the card was mailed in 1931. The postcard was mailed to Mrs. Ira Walker of Minerva, Ohio with the note “Have a few days off in this beautiful country. Harry.”

 

A Jolly Outing in the Catskills Vintage postcard by Albert Hahn titled “A Jolly Outing in the Catskills.”A Jolly Outing 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 postcard, a wagon full of cats, one of which is waving an American flag, are pulled by six other cats, while they all make their way to the famed Catskill Mountain House, which can be seen in the background. The postcard, titled “A Jolly Outing in the Catskills,” was published in 1908 by Albert Hahn, located at 229 Broadway in New York City. The postmark on the reverse side is illegible.

 

High up in the Catskills, Catskill Mts., N.Y. Vintage postcard titled “High Up in the Catskills” depicting five cats in a plane named “Catskill Mountain Line.”High Up in the Catskills, Catskill Mts., 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, five cats are flying in a brightly colored airplane named “Catskill Mt. Line.” The postcard was published by the Kingston News Service located at Kingston, New York.

The postcard was mailed to Margaret and Alfred Klein of Jersey City, New Jersey. The writing reads “Isn’t this plane and passengers catsy. Will see you soon. Home was never like this. Ha! Ha!” The postmark date on the reverse side is illegible.

 

High Up in 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, two cats are enjoying the Catskill Mountain views from the top a fire tower, or lookout tower. In the distance two cats can be seen starting their ski runs from the top of a mountain.

The postcard was published by Geo. Greenberg & Son, located at Catskill, New York. The postmark on the reverse side shows that it was mailed in 1955.

 

Souvenir Folder of the Catskill Mountains, N.Y. Vintage Catskills souvenir folder depicting four cats relaxing in the baskets of a hot air balloon.Souvenir Folder of the Catskill Mountains, 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.

On the cover of this particular souvenir folder of postcards, four cats can be seen relaxing in the baskets of a hot air balloon.

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

 

High Up in the Catskills Vintage Catskills postcard with four cats snuggled in a woven basket with two ropes seemingly suspending them “high up in the Catskills.”High Up In 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 are snuggled in a woven basket with two ropes seemingly suspending them “high up in the Catskills.”

The postcard was published by the Kingston News Service located in Kingston, New York. It was mailed, and has a postmark, although the date is illegible.

 

Here Is News from the Catskill Mountains, N.Y.

Vintage Catskills postcard by the Kingston News Service depicting a cat walking along a dirt road selling a newspaper titled “Catskill Mountain News.”Here Is News From The Catskill Mountains, 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, a cat walks along a dirt road selling a newspaper titled “Catskill Mountain News.” The front page of the newspaper shows a wanted poster, with the criminal looking much like our beloved Mickey Mouse.

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

 

Here is News from the Catskill Mountains, N.Y.

Vintage Catskills postcard by the Kingston News Service depicting a cat with eyeglasses sitting comfortably as it reads a newspaper titled “Catskill Mountain News.”Here Is News From The Catskill Mountains, 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, a cat with eyeglasses sits comfortably as it reads a newspaper titled “Catskill Mountain News.” The postcard was published by the Kingston News Service located at Kingston, New York. The postcard was never mailed.

 

Greetings from the Catskills

Vintage postcard titled “Greetings from the Catskills” that depicts a female cat dressed up in her best Sunday outfit, with a frilly dress, necklace and a bonnet.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 postcard, a female cat is dressed up in her best Sunday outfit, with a frilly dress, necklace and a bonnet.

The postcard, titled “Greetings from the Catskills,” has no publisher name listed. The postmark on the reverse side shows that the postcard was mailed in 1905.

 

Way Up in the Kills

Vintage postcard titled “Way Up in the Kills,” i.e. the Catskills, depicting two cats in a hot air balloon.Way Up in the KillsGiven 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 postcard, two cats can be seen sitting in the basket of hot air balloon with the moon in the background.

The postcard, titled “Way Up in the Kills,” was published by C. W. Hughes & Co. of Mechanicsville, New York. The postcard was never mailed.

 

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From original post:

 

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

 

Catskill Mountains
 

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.

 

Motoring in the Catskills, N.Y.
 

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.

 

Greetings from the Catskills
 

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 Cats Kills
 

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 Catskills
 

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.

 

High Up in 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.

 

Praising 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.

 

Greetings from 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 Catskill Mts., N.Y.
 

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.

 

Mr. Kaatskill
 

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.

 

Mrs. 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.

 

Mr. Catskill
 

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.

 

Mrs. 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.

 


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