Contrary to what the internet might have you believe, taking pictures of cats is not a new obsession. Since the dawn of photography, people with cameras have been aiming them at their pets who, though not always the most willing subjects, are usually the most handy.

We took a trip through the archives to find some cat photos from way back when, to show that a.) our collective love affair with cat pictures is an old one, and b.) the cats of the olden days were also very cute.

vintage cat photos
Photo via the National Maritime Museum

This cat’s name was Whisky, and he was the “pet and mascot of HMS Duke of York,” a Royal Navy vessel from the late 1930s.

cat pictures
Photo via the State Library of New South Wales

Bobble the cat photobombed a special moment between a soldier and his lady-friend. Photographer Sam Hood didn’t seem to mind too much, though. He made a lot of pictures featuring people and animals.

vintage cat photos
Photo via the State Library of New South Wales.

Like this girl with several cats in 1930.

old cat pictures
Photo via the State Library of New South Wales

Hood also just photographed animals, sometimes, like with this portrait of a cat perched on a radio.

vintage cat photos
Photo via the Library of Congress

Also not new: People enjoying having a fine portrait taken alongside their pets.

vintage cat pictures
Photo via the State Library of Queensland

One of the first rules of portraiture is to make sure your subject is comfortable. This subject (Hulda Lundager, daughter of photographer Jens Hansen Lundager) seems pretty happy with both a doll and a cat.

cat photos
Photo via the National Archive of the Netherlands

Cats playing cards. Because why not?

vintage cat photos
Photo via the Internet Archive of Book Images 

This image is an old one; it’s from a book published in 1899, called “Bird Lore.”

vintage cat photos
Photo via the Internet Archive of Book Images

Here’s another from a book, entitled Kittens and Cats; A Book of Tales. Why the authors of this 1911 publication opted not to go with the obvious “tails” pun is undetermined.