It was a sunny summer afternoon, July 29, 1925. Harry Warnecke, a photographer for the New York News, got a phone tip that a cat trying to carry its kittens home was tying up traffic because a policeman had stopped the cars on a busy street (Centre Street) to allow it to cross. Warnecke arrived after the event was over, but he convinced the policeman and cat’s owner to allow him to recreate the scene. Despite the policeman’s initial reluctance, the cat’s inclination to cross the street diagonally instead of in front of the cars, and furious honking motorists, Warnecke finally got his shot — after three attempts.
When the picture ran, the New York News was besieged with letters and requests for prints. A few days later, the helpful policeman received a letter of commendation from the Police Commissioner.