David Henry Souter’s cat Kateroo featured on many Doulton products from the first decades of the 20th Century. There was a large size model of Kateroo HN514 in typical black and white, which was also made in a bright yellow or alternatively a bronze colouring.
Perhaps the most easily found items featuring this unusual cat are the two pin trays each featuring the saying ‘God bless the cat that breaks the crocks in pieces very small, for things like that are good for trade and benefit us all’. Naturally these pin trays, available in a circular or rectangular shape were produced for the trade and available between 1906 and 1939.
Very popular today are the series of six rack plates featuring Souter’s Kateroo, and reflecting his life as a bachelor, then during courtship, then marriage and finally family life. In 1937 the series re-emerged with different cartoons on various tablewares and there are several variations that occasionally turn up.
Vases, jardinières and other objects can also be occasionally found featuring early scenes and some feature dead mice hanging by their tails around the top of the object. This gruesome image remains nevertheless humorous due to Souter’s witty interpretation and often sarcastic titling of the scene.
Souter himself enjoyed a long and varied career. Hailing from Scotland he would move to Australia and his Kateroo was especially popular there.