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Puffy, 1940s’ Hypnotizing Cat, Would Have Broken the Internet Today

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Slade Sohmer

By Slade Sohmer on August 19, 2013

Keyboard Cat, Grumpy Cat, Maru the Cat, Ceiling Cat, Kitler, all those cats with pieces of freakin’ bread around their heads, they’re alright and all.

But, c’mon, can those overrated felines actually hypnotize people?

AP Photo

AP Photo

The AP’s caption on this 1945 photo is mindgrape-crushing:

The 10-month-old Persian cat owned by Arthur Newman of Jersey City, N.J., demonstrates her hypnotic powers, discovered by chance when a young lady fell into a trance after looking into the cat’s eyes while petting the animal. Puffy and Newman, a lecturer on relaxation and hypnosis, now give performances for servicemen. At a demonstration at the British Maritime Service Seamen’s Institute in New York, March 13, 1945, Alma Davies is succumbs to Puffy’s hypnotic eyes while Newman holds the animal. Miss Davies was out into a trance in about 20 seconds.

Hypnosis! This cat reportedly put hundreds of people into a hypnotic trance as they stared into its eyes. Think of the Reddit karma. Think of the appearances at Mashable HQ. Think of the reality show.

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Wait, it gets better.

Less than a month later, Puffy was crowned the “king of all cats,” according to the AP. This, from the St. Petersburg Times on April 9, 1945:

puffy 1945 puffy 1945 2

The Milwaukee Journal also published the AP’s fluff(y) piece on this news, albeit with a MUCH better headline. Cat naps, genius.

puffy milwaukee

The best write-up came the next day, April 10, 1945, from the Spokane Daily Chronicle, which dropped this gem of a closing graf in an article called “New York Has an Unusual Cat.”

puffy spokane

Oddly enough, though not connected, about 50 years later a man named Puffy produced and appeared on a #1 single called “Hypnotize.”

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