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ISAZ conference and cats

2012 April 1

I am giving a paper called The changing human-feline relationship in Britain c.1900 -1950 at this conference in Cambridge.

It draws on some of my extensive research on cats and dogs on the Home Front in the Second World War. I will argue that at the start of the twentieth century cats were often seen in purely utilitarian ways.They received rudimentary attention from the veterinary profession. Regularly abandoned outside the houses of the middle classes whilst they went on holiday, given poor health provision and treated in brutal ways nevertheless their role did start to change. Increasingly during the late 30s and 40s they were both treated as a disposable ‘animal’ while contradictorily also being seen to be part of a ‘family’. The materials that I will draw on emanate from humans but , I will argue, there are sufficient ‘feline traces’ for one to conclude that the human-feline relationship did change.

Speakers include Mary Midgley and Jonathan Burt.

It is organised by ISAZ which publishes Anthrozoos, now celebrating its 25th anniversary. I have an article coming out in the next issue on animal-human history.

For details go to ISAZ

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