Sweet, sad Mavis. This poor little kitten still has her mittens--it's her damn house she can't find!

This is one of the greatest lost-pet posters I've ever seen: straightforward plea, sublime composition, and cute-as-hell cat making the appeal for familial reunion in the classic cartoon word balloon. No hysterical claims about much-needed medicine, no desperate whining about being scared and cold--Mavis simply tells you she doesn't know where she is and could use a little help.

The design of the poster is immediately engaging, too--the lettering is all hand-done, giving it a humanity that is sorely lacking in so many of the digital font-crazy posters that proliferate today. The headline is done in an assured yet homey block lettering (check out that funky "s"), and snappy penmanship makes the body copy a pleasure to read. A yellow highlighter is used to add simple accents and emphasis, plus there's the promise of a "Cash Reward" exploding in front of Mavis' face. But mainly what makes this poster so great is the cutout photo of the cat. With her eyes aglow she looks like a demented Pikachu, ready to pounce and purr. Damn, that's a sweet little puss! Did I mention she's six years old and a little chubby? DAN PAULUS