Hang in there cat: the funny story behind it

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Hang in there cat

You have probably seen the hang in there cat.  This is actually a cat poster.  It features a cat hanging from the branch of a tree and the legend reads, “Hang in there, baby”.  When it first appeared, it was used as a motivational poster.  Today, it is still used, except that as a meme and in a much colder way.

Let´s take a look at the history behind this work turned into a meme.

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The original Hang in There cat was a poster first published in late 1971 by photographer Victor Baldwin.  The legend on this cat poster read “Hang in there, Baby”.  The character in the photo was his own Siamese cat, Sassy, clinging to a bamboo branch.

This picture was taken in 1963.  He then published it in a book called Outcast kittens in 1970 and then proceeded to do the poster the year after.  The reason why this image became a poster was due to the photo’s popularity after being published in the book.

Popularity and spread

Meredith Wilson, the composer of The Music Man, was the first one to buy a copy of the cat poster.  After that, the Hang in there cat gained popularity over the 1970s.  Victor Baldwin received many letters of people telling how the motivational poster had helped them overcome difficult situations in their lives.

Due to its popularity, many imitations of this motivational poster appear in the 1970s.  They featured different cats hanging from other objects such as a rope, a tree, etc.  These cat poster featured the “hang in there” legend.  Actually, this was when the phrase gained popularity.

But Baldwin owned the copyright to the picture and the poster.  He then proceeded to sue every imitator of his motivational piece and won every one.

The Hang in There cat today

The Hang in There cat is now featured in many sites all over TV and the Internet.  It is still used as a motivator but probably in a much less pragmatic way.  It is more like a meme today.  You can see references of the 1970s cat poster in pop culture.  The phrase has been featured in The Simpsons, in a Terminator film, in a Survivor episode, and more.

Here in Dogalize we care enough about your cat.  If you are having issues with your feline friend, just hang in there and visit us to learn how to better take care of him.  We have amazing resources and information, useful to you and your cat.