In times past, we know to our sorrow, there was no way to control the many litters of kittens and puppies that happen. Well. . . where there is material, man's busy mind will find something to do, and in the curious time of our recent civilization known as Victorian, taxidermy caricatures came into being.
What are those? Simply put, make up little scenes and taxidermize the tiny critters in poses and dresses appropriate. The result, at least for those of us with a feel for the Victorians, is a crazy mix of sweet, sad, cute and creepy.
I can't believe I have never yet posted on the master of such tableaux, Mr. Walter Potter (1835-1918). Best known for his "The Kittens' Wedding," Potter deftly arranged such other sweeping dioramas as "The Squirrels' Club," and "Athletic Toads." Well, you'd have to see them. And you can, along with a lot of background material, at this excellent page courtesy of A Case of Curiosities. (The site as a whole, and it is amazing, belongs to an artist currently practicing a variant of this craft.)