I bet you didn’t know there is a group dedicated to cats on stamps! I only found out recently, though the COSSU (Cats on Stamps Study Unit) celebrated their 40th anniversary not long ago. It’s been a well-kept secret, even for cat people like me who make a point of discovering obscure cat information wherever they can. Now I want to pass this discovery on to you!
COSSU is an international organization with members from about a dozen countries. It was founded in 1979 by Virginia Haywood, an enthusiastic stamp collector. COSSU publishes a newsletter, Cat Mews, four times a year.
I couldn’t wait to get my first issue of Cat Mews and was thrilled with the info it contained. Besides the many color and black-and-white photos of stamps and post marks, there is cat information as well. Cat Mews features breeds of cats and the stamps for those breeds. There are stamp stories about particular stamps, their origin and illustrators (this month featured Penelope Pussycat from Loony Tunes and her philatelic debut in Australia.) They also have cat book and cat art corners where authors and artists can present their creations. I will be in the November/December issue!
We may not have a lot of cat stamps here in the U.S. (though it turns out there are more than I thought), but COSSU shows stamps from all over the world, and they are amazing! Everything from Felix the Cat (Australia) to an American Curl (Grenada) to Spooky Black Cat Silhouette (USA, above, coming this autumn). Wild cats are also included, such as the Sand Cat (Liberia) and “Lion City” illustration by Tsu Soo Tan (Singapore).
Rarely do I read a magazine cover to cover, but Cat Mews just kept me going all the way through. Even if you don’t join, you can get a free PDF, but for $14 I love having the magazine that I can share with friends. I haven’t found anyone who isn’t just a little interested in cats on stamps.
How to join COSSU:
Dues: $14 U.S.
$18/1 year, Canada
$20/1 year all others
$10 E-version only, worldwide
Membership includes four (4) issues of Cat Mews.
PayPal is accepted: email@example.com
I had kept up a little with cats on US stamps but after joining Pinterest (a guilty pleasure but I have tracked down some originators of images to make sure they got proper credit) I found that there are many many cat stamps! The artwork is often really imaginative and finely done.
Pinterest is my hobby! What a good place to look for cats on stamps!
Very cool. Thanks for sharing this information.
Wow. I had no idea this group existed, either. I used to collect stamps when I was younger. I will definitely want some if the black cat ones when they come out 😸
Stamps are amazing!
We love those stamps, they are all adorable and quite special!
Check out their website. It’s amazing!
These are so cute:)
They really are!
First of all I want to with Little a Happy Black Cat Day today! Purrlease give him extra pets and luvs from me and Mom. Do you know what? Mom had a booklet of cat stamps, but put the last stamp – of a black-and-white Persian kitty no less – on an envelope she mailed out last week. She wishes she would’ve saved that stamp! Wowy, we didn’t know about that COSSU org. I think I’m going to sign myself up right now as a member! That is so-o exciting to hear that you will be feature in their newsletter! I can’t wait to read it
Happy Black Cat Day to you too! Cat stamps are the best!
I had never thought about there being so many cats pictured on stamps. Clearly they are much loved (and rightly so) and deserved of being there as much as any other species. Great to see them so well supported, too.
Lots of Purrs for a great post — pun intended MOL
He-he, nice pun.