Udder Bliss: One Cow, Three Cats and Some (Very) Fresh Milk

Brownie gets the milk as Blackie looks on and waits his turn.
Nat Farbman—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Brownie gets the milk as Blackie waits his turn. NOTE: Best viewed in "full screen" mode; see button at right.

In 1954, LIFE photographer Nat Farbman made a series of pictures of some enterprising (and entertaining) felines on Art Badertscher’s dairy farm near Fresno, Calif. It seems that one of Badertscher’s cats, Squirrley, rose up on her hind legs one day for a squirt of milk right from a cow’s udder—and ever since, the farmer had been training all of the farm’s cats to do the same.

In Farbman’s most famous picture of the critters—the shot above that has been reproduced countless times through the years—Brownie (Squirrley’s son) makes a perfect catch while Blackie, a stray that “just wandered in one day and joined the act,” waits his turn.

In the shot below, Blackie gets the good stuff while Squirrely (right) and Brownie duke it out.

Brownie and Squirrely jockey for favorable positions as Blackie (rear) takes a stream of milk from cow's udder.

Nat Farbman—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images


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