Once only kept by the very wealthy, pets are now family members of many households. Of all the animals kept as pets, cats and dogs are the most popular.
Household animals in the past were kept primarily because they served a useful purpose. Dogs were kept to guard or hunt, while cats keep mice away. Over time, cats and dogs are valued for their companionship, not simply due to their usefulness.
Domestic cats have an ancient history whereby they can be seen in Egyptian frescoes as far back as 2,000 BC. Cats are agile, athletic predators, with acute sense of smell and touch, which help them find its way in the dark.
Dogs, meanwhile, were the first domesticated animal, and are the descendants of wolves. The many modern breed dogs have come through human intervention. Dogs have sharper hearing and better motion and night vision than human. Dogs can detect smells that humans can't.
This stamp issue by Australia Post is the theme for Australia 2004 Stamp Collecting Month. This issue features a Labrador Retriever puppy, the black and white cat, West Highland Terriers, a ginger and white kitten, as well as a Jack Russell Terrier.
Date of Issue : 21 Sep 2004
Postmark : Artarmon 2064 NSW
Denomination : 4 x 50c and 1 x AU$1.00
Stamp Size : 26mm x 37.5mm
Paper : Tullis Russell
A LIL' NOTE
A healthy cat can live between 10 and 20 years. Having said that, according to the Guinness World Records, the oldest cat ever is Creme Puff, from Texas, USA. Creme Puff was born on 3 Aug 1967 and lived until 6 Aug 2005 - an amazing 38 years and 3 days!