Here's a glimmer of a clue. Andrew Jackson, Democratic populist, had the brilliant idea to eliminate any central bank --- too much government. As one might imagine unregulated banking could lead to disaster---and the Panic of 1837, which began as he left office and left Van Buren to deal with it.
During the Jackson term states instituted their own banking laws with New York and Michigan in the forefront to permit what were called Wildcat banks, private banks free of any federal regulation. Anyone could start a bank, take your money and fail. New York was considered the hot spot of Wildcat banks. It was a populist idea. No central government.
Were all those cats (who don't look the least bit wild) political symbols of a specific kind of New York politics or identity?
When New Yorker Grover Cleveland ran for President at the end of the century he was associated with "Wild Cat Currency" again. A New York signature?