Vintage Sleight-of-Paw

In the heady days of vaudeville, one of the more unusual acts was the Whisker Sisters, a magic act consisting of a pair of kittens. Audiences loved them, even though their ability to guess the selected card was at the level of statistical chance.

Date unknown, from the National Archives, Netherlands. Via Flickr Commons.

Update: By request, here’s a link to the photo’s page, which has a little more info.

More updates: Nikki calls Rule 14, and someone corrects my spelling of “sleight.”



  1. victoreia says:


  2. Theresa says:

    OMG, playing card size kittehs!

  3. puffy21 says:


  4. 2ScoopsRice says:

    I fink the kitteh on the right is saying, “Dis is mah FUR ob hearts…ai paw it first!”

  5. 260Oakley says:

    Responsible kitty owner aims to be the Ace of Spayeds.

  6. 260Oakley says:

    No, I think he’s saying: “We shouldn’t have come here. I knew we’d get carded.”

  7. Can I have both of them?

  8. This post would greatly benefit from a link back to the photo’s Flickr page. Y’know, so we can see the when and where of it.

  9. ba da bing 😉

  10. Emmberrann says:

    I be awwwwwwwww-struck.

  11. How does 260Oakley not have a lifetime achievement award for all the classy comments?

  12. Spelling nazi says:


  13. Isn’t there a rule of cuteness that says if an ordinary small object makes you look smaller, you are cute? I would definitely say this applies!

    And PS, the kitty on the right clearly misunderstands the term playing a blind…

  14. Not That Mike The Other Mike says:

    Well caught, Nikki! I updated the post.

  15. 2ScoopsRice says:

    Actually, I think kitteh on right is saying to kitteh on left, “I don’t think this game SUITS you because you can’t DEAL with losing…”

  16. 2ScoopsRice says:

    What a PURRfect PAIR!

  17. It’s the kitten versions of Bret and Bart Maverick!

    As their ol’ Pappy always used to say, “Meow.”

  18. Well played!

  19. Mary (the first) says:

    Those two are my queen and ace of hearts, for sure!

  20. Mary (the first) says:

    How many years ago was that 🙂 (no, don’t tell me.) My favorite was actually Beau. Yummy

  21. flutterby says:

    Oh my. Teho’s in da house! One of doze kittehs must be an ornj one!

  22. A new version of poker: Let Us Hold ‘Em!

  23. Daphne Moss says:

    This string is like a wit necklace! ;-D
    Love the clenching little paw on the card the best..tiny yet greedy.

  24. 🙂

  25. Maybe BOTH of ’em. 😯

  26. The spelling “sleight” is correct, per Wikipedia…good on you..

  27. I love the fact that the National Archives of the Netherlands contains this photo. It seems so random, and I wonder what qualified it as “archives-worthy”.

  28. bookmonstercats says:

    She has, botb, from the Peeps. No higher accolade can be given.

  29. bookmonstercats says:

    Little kitteh on our right is saying, “When I open my eyes, my paw will be on…”*peeps*..”the four of hearts!!!”

  30. Roger Moore = dreamboat.

  31. When I had an orange-and-white boy cat and a black-and-white girl cat, I used to call them the King of Hearts and the Queen of Spades.

  32. 260Oakley says:

    I humbly accept this Nobel Peeps Prize.

  33. Space Cowgirl says:

    Chest pains!

  34. bob drummond says:

    I think that comment fits this picture to a tee/tea(?) …

  35. tracylee says:

    I read the hoovertext as “Neil of Diamonds”!
    (which, coincidentally, is what I’ll be calling the 9 card from this point on…)

  36. AWW 😀 A pair of kitties that need snorgling 😀