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By Tom Dare

BIZARRE VIDEO footage and photos have revealed that the current millennial obsession with cats started way before the internet age.

Quirky footage from as far back as 1894 shows two cats being made to box each other in what was one of the earliest films ever made, while pictures show kittens being put into a variety of people costumes and being made to pose for photos.

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In the video, which is more than 120-years-old, the two cats have boxing gloves strapped to their paws so as to give the appearance of being opposing fighters.

They are then placed into harnesses which the man in the footage holds in each hand, giving them support as they ‘box’ for paying spectators.

While indeed cruel by today’s standards, both the video and photos go to show that our love of all things cats is not a recent phenomenon, and indeed dates back at least 100-years.

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Poses from the photos, which date back to a photoshoot by photographer Harry Whittier Frees in 1914, range from two kittens ‘getting married’ to a cat seemingly lining up a bowling strike while holding a ball in front of a set of pins.

The story goes that Whittier Frees began photographing animals in human clothing after jokingly snapping a picture of his own pet cat in a small paper hat, which he then took to a postcard maker to see what he thought. The postcard maker was said to have been enthralled with the design and demanded Whittier Frees take more, which he duly did.

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Speaking of his work in 1929, Whittier Frees said: “Rabbits are the easiest to photograph in costume, but incapable of taking many ‘human’ parts.

“Puppies are tractable when rightly understood, but the kitten is the most versatile animal actor, and possesses the greatest variety of appeal.”