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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...

Best Beloved has been reading aloud in bed to me The Silent Mioaw, 'translated from the feline' by Paul Gallico. This should be mandatory reading for any cat lover. Subtitled 'A Manual for Kittens, Strays and Homeless Cats', it is written from the viewpoint of an older cat telling a kitten how to train humans (and is a lot less sentimental than it sounds). The copy I linked to at Amazon looks very up-to-date and swish, but we have a 1970s hardback edition which is now the family bible. It's worth buying for the photos alone.

Here is an excerpt:
Your sleeping attitudes are as important as your waking ones, which means that you can actually continue the work of keeping your people besotted even while you are resting. The fact is, the way we sleep---either curled up in a bundle or squared with our paws tucked beneath us, or flat upon our flank with paws outstretched, or even twisted on our backs with paws hanging limp---is relaxing to people, and when they look at us, it makes them feel good. A very effective bit is one paw over the nose or both paws over the eyes. Another to be recommended is the head resting upon one forefoot. On the back, upside down, never fails to elicit enthusiasm, particularly when on their laps.
For your waking attitudes and poses, consider your backgrounds. It isn't all catnip and cream, this taking over of a house and family, and I have never said it was, or that you don't have to do some work, or if not work then at least use the brains for which you were born. There are dozens of backgrounds against which you will look enchanting: a colored rug, a mirror, an open staircase, the branches of a tree, framed in a window, enclosed in a niche, against a cushion, on a mantelpiece, amongst ornaments, on a fur coat of a contrasting shade, or in a doorway. It is up to you to learn them, find them, and make use of them.


I'm surprised he didn't write a chapter on the wearing of clothes by cats... or is that a modern phenomenon?

4 comments:

Lucy Tartan said...

oh god, I have that book, 70s hardback & all! BUT, there is ABSOLUTELY NO CHANCE my partner would read it to me :( :( :(

I acquired it by chance really as it came in an ebay bundle of three cat books - the one I really wanted was this one - but the Gallico book is genuinely weirder.....

Ampersand Duck said...

Oh wow, I wish I'd found out about that book a few weeks ago before BB's birthday... I'll have to buy it for another equally important occasion, like the kittys' six-month birthday. Thanks for the tip!
BTW have you seen this site?

Lucy Tartan said...

yes, strangely enough, I have.

The thing it does to my brain, is the same as this, only slightly less terrifying....

Ampersand Duck said...

THAT'S OBSCENE!
crazybrave, don't go there...