Shot in 1897 by the Lumière brothers, this is the first cat video ever. The title of the video is Déjeuner du chat (cat’s lunch), and the kid in the video is Marcel Koehler ( 1893 – ?).
Another early cat video by the Lumière brothers: “The little girl and her cat”
The little girl in the video is Madeleine Koehler (Lyon, 1 June 1895 – Lyon, 11 October 1970). She was around five-year-old when this video was shot, so the date of the video must be around 1900.
The video below is remastered & colorized. The cat in the video (probably the same cat in the video above) is amazingly beautiful, and after remastering, the details are incredible.
The children in the first cat videos
Together with their cousins Andrée (Lyon, April 5, 1894 – Lyon, November 26, 1918) and Suzanne Lumière (Lyon, 1896 – ?), Madeleine Koehler (Lyon, 1 June 1895 – Lyon, 11 October 1970) and her brother Marcel Koehler ( 1893 – ?) were the first children to appear continuously in front of the camera in the first films by Lumière brothers (Louis and Auguste Lumière), between 1895 and 1897.
Auguste Lumière (19 October 1862 – 10 April 1954, see notes 1) and Louis Lumière (5 October 1864 – 6 June 1948), were manufacturers of photography equipment, best known for their Cinématographe motion picture system and the short films they produced between 1895 and 1905, which places them among the earliest filmmakers.
Children have been a constant presence in photography, cinema, and filmmaking from the very beginning. Already in the very first short films made by Louis and Auguste Lumière you can see images of Marcel and Madeleine Koehler, sons of René Koehler and Jeanne Lumière, and their cousins, Andrée and Suzanne Lumière, daughters of Auguste Lumière and Marguerite Winckler.
In some of these films, Marcel and Madeleine emerge from the role of simple extras to become the protagonists: Marcel in Enfant et Chien (Marcel as a child and his dog, 1896) or Déjeuner du chat (cat’s lunch, 1897); Madeleine in The Little Girl and Her Cat (1900); in Coppia in Scène d’enfants, Premiers pas de bébé (baby’s first steps, 1896), or Petit frère et petite soeur (little brother and little sister, 1897); and together with their cousins in Enfants aux jouets (children with toys, 1897) and Ronde enfantine (childish round, 1897).
In the videos, Marcel and Madeleine were not acting, they were not following a pre-established script. Children are caught in scenes of everyday life, with their parents, or playing with each other and their pets.
Neither Marcel nor Madeleine would pursue acting careers as adults.
Andrée died at the age of 24, a victim of the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918.
Interestingly, The Lumière brothers saw film as a novelty and had withdrawn from the film business by 1905. They went on to develop the first practical photographic color process, the Lumière Autochrome (s an early color photography process patented in 1903). The brothers stated that “the cinema is an invention without any future” and declined to sell their camera to other filmmakers.
- His full name was Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas Lumière.
- His full name was Louis Jean Lumière.