Published 5th September 2012
There was a time when ‘gay’ meant happy and ‘bad’ meant – well it meant not very good and ‘fat cats’ were merely corpulent felines. Cats were often made by Staffordshire potters, though far less so than dogs, but for me there seems to be a distinction, I’ve never seen a fat Staffordshire dog.
Staffordshire pottery: a pair of mid 19th century fat cats
They were perceived as working beasts or alternatively as over sentimentalised or heroic companions, but cats are modelled like cushions with a face on them that just happen to be capable of independent movement. Judging by the size of the pictured mouse I can only assume that saucers and cream have something to answer for.
Staffordshire pottery: a pampered cat and a stoneware mouse.
Bearing in mind that Queen Victoria’s spaniel Dash was the reason for the popularity of the Staffordshire Spaniel I just checked to see if she had a cat and guess what she had a fat Angora that outlived her, but you can’t believe everything you find on the internet can you?
Staffordshire porcelain: hardly a mouthful