When I was visiting family in Minnesota for the Christmas holiday, I saw this unusual “art installation” (if you want to call it that) on a front door in southwest Minneapolis. The cat reminded me of the famous black cat from a 19th Century French poster, but when I went to look it up to see if it did match, I see there’s some similarities but also some differences.

The famous poster I was thinking of is shown below left: the artist Théophile Steinlen created this image in 1896 as advertising for “Le Chat Noir,” a cabaret nightclub in the bohemian Montmartre district of Paris. Our Minneapolis version, below right, looks like a disheveled and grumpy version of his French counterpart. The scowl on this cat’s face, along with the homeowner’s sign above stating “surveillance camera in use,” suggests a grumpy homeowner in addition to his grumpy cat. Considering the legend/myth that black cats bring bad luck, I guess this homeowner is truly telling people to stay away.