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Harry Whittier Frees: The Original LOLcat Inventor?

Harry Whittier Frees: The Original LOLcat Inventor?

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If you're wondering, yes there IS something better than the original lolcat ...

... and that's the original ORIGINAL, "What's Delaying My Dinner" Cat ...

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... whose photo was taken in 1905 by a gentleman named Harry Whittier Frees, clearly the forefather of Internet tongue-in-cheek wise-assery to whom we should all be bowing down today. Frees was an American photographer who printed postcards and children's books featuring his photographs of cats (and other animals, like dogs and rabbits) dressed up and posed in human-like scenarios.

Title: “Lily Bufkins Cuts A Wisdom Tooth”

Title: “Lily Bufkins Cuts A Wisdom Tooth”

Title: “Lily Bufkins Cuts A Wisdom Tooth”

Title: “Lily Bufkins Cuts A Wisdom Tooth”

Title: “Good Morning”

Title: “Good Morning”

Having done this pre-Interwebs and with the aid of only his camera (and copious amounts of patience), Frees must have spent hours dressing and posing these characters until he got the shot just right.

He 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.”

Title: “Prowler and Purra Try The Jam”

Title: “Prowler and Purra Try The Jam”

Title: “Playtime”

Title: “Playtime”

When you look at the intricate details and exact positioning of these little kitties, it's truly amazing how he did all this without the use of Photoshop or a rapid-speed burst mode on his camera.

In addition to being the uncredited father of LOLcats, perhaps he was also a talented cat whisperer as well?

Additional Reading:

The Atlantic: CATS AND DOGS DRESSED AS PEOPLE, 100 YEARS AGO Huffington Post UK: LOLCATS: PICTURES BY HARRY WHITTIER FREES SHOWS FELINES SUBJECT OF FUN EVEN 100 YEARS AGO Amazon.com: CATS, DOGS & OTHER RABBITS: THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD OF HARRY WHITTIER FREES

Friday, Nov. 27, 2015: #CatsInTheMews Weekly Roundup

Friday, Nov. 27, 2015: #CatsInTheMews Weekly Roundup

Brussels Residents Tweet Out Optimistic Cat Memes In Response To City Wide Terror Threat

Brussels Residents Tweet Out Optimistic Cat Memes In Response To City Wide Terror Threat