It looks like a man was taking his tabby-and-white cat to the shelter to give him up. He was using what looks like a suitcase. Perhaps in 1940 cat carriers had not be invented. It is a unique picture of a cat. We have no idea if he recovered his cat and took him into the the Animal Rescue League shelter or if that was the last he saw of his cat.
I can’t stop without praising the photographer. What a picture. How did he get it? It was probably pure luck. The photographer was probably photographing the shelter entrance. The man with a suitcase turned up and he thought he’d photograph him to add some human interest and suddenly the cat escaped. Totally unplanned and surprising. Perhaps the photographer got involved in recovering the cat.
Note: I have decided that the photo is in the public domain because of the passage of time.