Growing up in the 70s in the Washington DC suburbs it was a common thing to see a little fake cat (kitten really) stuck up on someone’s roof. I suppose it was right up there with glass gazing balls in terms of elegant outdoor decor, but I was a kid, what did I know from tacky? I liked kittens.
I don’t know why it crossed my mind recently (possibly because I just got a kitten!) but I haven’t seen one of those since I was a kid. No one I’ve mentioned this to remembers them.
Dopers remember everything. Tell me you remember fake roof cats.
I remember fake cats crawling up a wall…
ETA: I grew up in Silver Spring.
Were the cats intended to be decorations, or were they more like the fake owls you see sometimes intended to scare birds away?
Oh, yeah, I remember them. There would usually be a couple of them, I think, one kitty following the other, perched on a pitch that should have scared the ceramic finish off of them (or whatever they were made of). I grew up in Philly, where there were lots of rowhouses with little, faux eaves on the front to create the appearance of something other than a cube. Kitties on the eaves was a staple.
I remember the gazing balls too.
Speaking of fake cats crawling up a wall, check out the ones I made for my sister. I didn’t make the white one at the upper right, but the other 4 are my creations! My aunt used to have black ceramic cats climbing up her front wall - this was in the Baltimore metro area in the 50s and 60s.
But I never saw fake roof cats.
Those cats were probably on aluminum roofs. Back in the 60s - 70s those faux tin roofs were an attempt at cost savings.
In Belltown I’ve noticed black cat silhouettes spraypainted on a couple of buildings at ground level. The silhouettes are not ‘solidly’ painted; they seem a little ‘light’. They are about a foot long. The first one I saw, near the office, I nearly took for a real cat – until I actually looked at it. It was one of those things where my mind said ‘Shape = Cat’, and it wasn’t until I became conscious of it that my mind said ‘Shape = Cat, 2D, =Not_Cat’. I’ve seen one other, and I assume there are more. I like a little whimsy.
I’ve never seen or heard of fake cats on the roof. I often have a real cat on the roof; the neighborhood cat likes to climb the loquat trees and sun up there.
Now I want a fake cat climbing my wall!
squees at the kitteh
I’ve never seem them on a roof. A neighbor has a cat statue in her garden, and I do a double-take almost every time I pass by. I know it’s not a real cat, but my instinct goes “kitty!!”
Carlotta, congratulations on the new kitten! She’s so cute!
And the ceramic climbing kitties are neat; never saw anything like that growing up.
I love them! I think I do remember seeing fake wall climbing cats too.
Stratocaster, thank you for having also seen fake roof cats. It’s always nice to get a little corroboration.
Monkey With A Gun**, they were definitely meant as decoration, though may have had the secondary effort of warding off birds.
Johnny L.A., thanks for those gargoyles. I think those may be the perfect gift for someone on my Christmas list.
Am I on your Christmas list? I have a chimney that needs adornment.
Just saw one last week in London (ironically, on the Isle of Dogs). Ceramic full-size cat perched on the roof ridge of a small house.
an ironworkers’ in Oakland (now gone) had three cats on a fence on the left of their business’ sign.
Huh. I’m a DC native born in the early 70’s and I have no memory of this. I’ll have to ask my folks about it.
I’ve seen fake cats on walls (a couple houses in the older neighborhood still have them) but not on the roof. I’m in northern Mississippi/ Memphis area.
I saw one cat on one house in New Hampshire in the 80s and 90s. I was back home a couple years ago but I think I forgot to check and see if it still was. A white cat walking down the roof with her tail raised. When it snowed you could see the divot where the snow fell differently there, and sometimes the tail sticking out above it.
I don’t know if they’re the same cats but the ones I know of were climbing walls rather than the roof.
I’ve seen the fake cats and I’ve seen fake owls, too. I always thought they were intended to scare off pigeons, etc., so that the roof isn’t covered with bird crap.