Sign of the Feline

A musing on our age-old fascination with cats.

Loewe cat pendant necklace

For more than four millennia, cats have fascinated and inspired our own less graceful and poised species. Ever since the ancient Egyptians went as far as to mummify their feline friends, which they also happened to worship, the four-legged creatures have made their way into our homes, hearts, and newsfeeds. It’s hard to imagine what the Internet would be today without its glittering cast of celebrity kittens. Grumpy Cat now has her own memoir and an animatronic waxwork at Madame Tussauds; Pusheen, the slightly cumbersome burger-eating tabby, has been immortalized by the countless icons of her that are exchanged in Facebook messages every second; and meanwhile, swaths of the world’s population have been absorbed by Neko Atsume, the two-dimensional Japanese gaming app that allows you to collect kittens and spoil them with fictional toys and treats. Perhaps such cultural currency was what inspired Jonathan Anderson, Loewe’s famously esoteric creative director, to celebrate (or, perhaps, parody?) our somewhat sacred relationship with these creatures in the Spanish brand’s fall collection. Crafted from nappa leather, Loewe’s cat head pendants are feats of its leather workshops, which have somehow managed to make the material look like porcelain. There’s an air of the kitsch maneki-neko to them, the plastic Chinatown cat figurines with a paw raised firmly in the air, believed to give good fortune to their owners. Paired with the brand’s impeccable leather bags or handkerchief-hem flou dresses, it becomes less cartoonish and more iconic – a handcrafted nod to society’s feline fixation. That, and a fabulous conversation starter. As it turns out, just like the Egyptians, we’re utterly in awe of the statement charm and wouldn’t mind taking it to our own tombs.