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For All You Cat Lovers Out There—

Renoir, Sleeping Girl With Cat, Clark Museum, Williamstown, Massachusetts

I hope you won’t hold it against me, but I have never been able to warm to the species. Not that I’m completely close-minded on the subject. Recently Herb and I even cat-sat brothers Ed and Nono for a week. First off, possibly resentful that he had been left with two complete strangers , Nono peed on my bed. That was not good.

If my friends and family are any indication, I’d say there may be more cat people than there are dog people.

It does seem there is something mysteriously attractive about cats.  Every culture, every age honors them, not only as beloved pets.

There was even a time when they were considered gods.

Painters have found them and their relations to humans inspiring (see above.)

The poet, TS.Eliot, wrote a whole book  of poetry about them.

“The Ad-dressing of Cats” From Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

You’ve read of several kinds of Cat,
And my opinion now is that
You should need no interpreter
To understand their character.
You now have learned enough to see
That Cats are much like you and me
And other people whom we find
Possessed of various types of mind
And some are good and some are bad
And some are better, some are worse—
But all may be described in verse.
You’ve seen them both in work and games,
And learnt about their proper names.
Their habits and their habitat:
But
     How would you ad-dress a Cat?

     So first your memory I’ll jog
And say: A CAT IS NOT A DOG.

      Now dogs pretend they like to fight;
They often bark, more seldom bite;
But yet a Dog is, on the whole,
What you would call a simple soul. 
Of course I’m not including Pekes,
And such fantastic canine freaks.
The usual Dog about the Town
Is much inclined to play the clown,
And far from showing too much pride
Is frequently undignified.
He’s very easily taken in—
Just chuck him underneath the chin
Or slap his back or shake his paw,
And he will gambol and guffaw.
He’s such an easy-going lout,
He’ll answer any hail or shout.

     Again I must remind you that
A Dog’s a Dog—A CAT’S A CAT

     With Cats, some say, one rule is true:
Don’t speak till you are spoken to
Myself, I do not hold with that—
I say you should ad-dress a Cat.
But always keep in mind that he
Resents familiarity.
I bow, and taking off my hat,
Ad-dress him in this form: O CAT!
But if he is the Cat next door,
Whom I have often met before
(He comes to see me in my flat)
I greet him with an OOPSA CAT!
I think I’ve heard them call him James—
But we’ve not got so far as names.
Before a Cat will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is neeeded, like a dish of cream:
And you might now and then supply
Some caviare, or Strassburg Pie.
Some potted grouse, or salmon paste—
He’s sure to have hisi personal taste.
(I know a Cat, who makes a habit
O eating nothing else but rabbit.
And when he’s finished, licks his paws
So’s not to waste the onion sauce.)
A Cat’s entitled to expect
These evidences of respect.
And so in time you reach your aim
And finally call him by his NAME

     So this is this, and that is that:
And there’s how you AD-DRESS A CAT.

Eliot’s cat book was the inspiration for Cats, the Musical, which ran on Broadway for 18 years and 7,845 performances. A movie version is coming. No doubt about it; people are crazy about cats! But you cat lovers have to admit; they are very sneaky. You never know where they are.

Call me crazy, but I find it disturbing to encounter a grey fuzzy cat critter lying in my bathtub or perched on top of the refrigerator.

Nono on refrigerator

 

 

 

 

 

SO? YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THIS?

One thought on “For All You Cat Lovers Out There—

  1. Very fun post. And thanks for the picture of Nono on refrigerator. I’d say that was a nono, but one wonders how you address that cat and tell hm no. NO, Nono!!!! I’m afraid we’ll never know if Nono is listening as I’m sure he will ignore us.

    Like

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