Brownie gets the milk as Blackie looks on and waits his turn.
Brownie gets the milk as Blackie waits his turn.Nat Farbman—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Brownie gets the milk as Blackie looks on and waits his turn.
Brownie gets the milk as Blackie waits his turn.
Nat Farbman—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
1 of 1

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

Aug 29, 2013

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
TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.