literary cats

There are cats and cats. – Denis Diderot
Patricia Highsmith with “Ripley”
 W.H. Auden with “Pangur”
“Pangur, white Pangur, How happy we are
Alone together, scholar and cat.” 
 Aldous Huxley with “Limbo”
“No man ever dared to manifest his boredom so insolently as does a Siamese tomcat when he yawns in the face of his amorously importunate wife.” – Aldous Huxley
Sylvia Plath with “Daddy”
“And I a smiling woman. 
I am only thirty. 
And like the cat I have nine times to die.”
Doris Lessing with “Black Madonna”
 Samuel Beckett with “Murphy” and “Watt”
 Mark Twain with “Huckleberry”
George Bernard Shaw with “Pygmalion”
 William Carlos Williams with “Adam and Eve”
As the cat
by William Carlos Williams
As the cat
climbed over
the top ofthe jamcloset
first the right
forefootcarefully
then the hind
stepped down
into the pit of
the empty
flowerpot
 Gore Vidal with “Caligula”
 Randall Jarrell with “Little Friend”
Edward Gorey with “Harp, Brown and Company”
 Ezra Pound with his three cats (also tried for high treason after the war)
Tame Cat
by Ezra Pound
It rests me to be among beautiful women
Why should one always lie about such matters?
I repeat:
It rests me to converse with beautiful women
Even though we talk nothing but nonsense,The purring of the invisible antennae
Is both stimulating and delightful.  
 Ernest Hemingway with “Nick”
 
Ernest Hemingway had an affinity for many things, his feline companions being one of them. The “Hemingway Cat,” or polydactyl, is a feline that, instead of the normal 18 toes, has six or more toes on the front feet and sometimes an extra toe on the rear. Hemingway had many talents and interests. He was an extreme cat-lover because he admired the spirit and independence of the species. He acquired his first feline from a ship’s captain in Key West, Florida, where he made his home for many years. Today, around 60 felines live at the Ernest Hemingway Museum and Home in Key West. They are protected by the terms left in his will.  
 
 Raymond Chandler with “Big Sleep”
 Truman Capote with “Tiffany”
“She was still hugging the cat. “Poor slob,” she said, tickling his head, “poor slob without a name. It’s a little inconvenient, his not having a name. But I haven’t any right to give him one: he’ll have to wait until he belongs to somebody. We just sort of took up by the river one day, we don’t belong to each other: he’s an independent, and so am I. I don’t want to own anything until I know I’ve found the place where me and things belong together. I’m not quite sure where that is just yet. But I know what it’s like.” She smiled, and let the cat drop to the floor. “It’s like Tiffany’s,” she said.” 
Elizabeth Bishop with “Minnow”
Lullaby for the Cat
by Elizabeth BishopMinnow go to sleep and dream,
Close your great big eyes:
Round your bed Events prepare
The pleasentest surprise.Darling Minnow, drop that frown,
Just cooperate.
Not a kitten shall be drowned
In the Marxist State.Joy and Love will both be yours,
Minnow, don’t be glum.
Happy days are coming soon –
Sleep, and let them come . . .

Churchill with “Marmelade”

While many bits of trivia might be known about Winston Churchill, his love of felines isn’t necessarily one of them. Nevertheless, he owned several cats and, during his later years, was particularly fond of Jock, who was a “ginger tom” (a “marmalade cat”). During his time as PM, his best-known cat was a grey called Nelson. During a dinner at the PM’s country residence, Chequers, American war correspondent Quentin Reynolds noted Churchill as saying: “Nelson is the bravest cat I ever knew. I once saw him chase a huge dog out of the Admiralty. I decided to adopt him and name him after our great Admiral.” During dinner, Reynolds noted, “When Mrs. Churchill was not looking, the Prime Minister sneaked pieces of salmon to Nelson.” There were even rumors that Nelson sat in with his master during Cabinet meetings, and Churchill once told a colleague that Nelson was doing more than he was for the war effort.
Allen Ginsberg with “Howl”
“I saw the best cats of my generation destroyed by madness.”
 Jack Kerouac with “Tyke”
 ”Holding up my 
purring cat to the moon 
I sighed.”
 William S. Burroughs with “Junkie”
Charles Bukowski with “Factotum”
The History Of One Tough Motherfucker
by Charles Bukowski (last verse)
I shake the cat, hold him up in 
the smoky and drunken light, he’s relaxed he knows… 
it’s then that the interviews end 
although I am proud sometimes when I see the pictures 
later and there I am and there is the cat and we are photo- 
graphed together. 
he too knows it’s bullshit but that somehow it all helps.
 Don Delillo with “Mao II”
Hermann Hesse with “Narciss”
Jorge Luis Borges with “Aleph”
Julio Cortázar with “Bestiario”
 Alberto Moravia with “Agostino”
 Jospeh Brodsky with “Urania”
Haruki Murakami with Kafka
 André Bazin with “Chaplin”
 Louis-Ferdinand Céline with “Mea Culpa”
Françoise Sagan with “Brahms”
Jean-Paul Sartre with “Nothing”
Albert Camus with “Stranger”
Jaques Derrida with “Logos”
“Logos, a living, animate creature, is thus also an organism that has been engendered. An organism: a differentiated body proper, with a center and extremities, joints, a head, and feet.”   (Jaques Derrida, Plato’s Pharmacy)
 Michel Foucault with “Insanity”
Robert Frost
The cat comes into the room.
I put the cat out.
The cat comes in again.
(Robert Frost)
The Ad-dressing of Cats
by T.S. Eliot 

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.
For some are same and some are mad
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 at 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.

And you might now and then supply
Some caviare, or Strassburg Pie,
Some potted grouse, or salmon paste--
He's sure to have his personal taste.
(I know a Cat, who makes a habit
Of 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.

Jean Gaumy

Beautiful pictures from writersandkitties, entry shared from Weimarart

I feel terribly ashamed. I should rename my poor cat, who was ruined to a life of cuteness with a name like Tempura! I should rename her, or add a sassy surname, like Tempura Trenchett, to regain her literary dignity.

How will she feel if she ever had to come across Jean Paul Sartre’s ghost of a cat, “Nothing”!

I only wish I thought of the idea first.

reblogged from pennysparkle

two english poems by jorge luis borges

I

The useless dawn finds me in a deserted street-
corner; I have outlived the night.
Nights are proud waves; darkblue topheavy waves
laden with all the hues of deep spoil, laden with
things unlikely and desirable.
Nights have a habit of mysterious gifts and refusals,
of things half given away, half withheld,
of joys with a dark hemisphere. Nights act
that way, I tell you.
The surge, that night, left me the customary shreds
and odd ends: some hated friends to chat
with, music for dreams, and the smoking of
bitter ashes. The things my hungry heart
has no use for.
The big wave brought you.
Words, any words, your laughter; and you so lazily
and incessantly beautiful. We talked and you
have forgotten the words.
The shattering dawn finds me in a deserted street
of my city.
Your profile turned away, the sounds that go to
make your name, the lilt of your laughter:
these are the illustrious toys you have left me.
I turn them over in the dawn, I lose them, I find
them; I tell them to the few stray dogs and
to the few stray stars of the dawn.
Your dark rich life …
I must get at you, somehow; I put away those
illustrious toys you have left me, I want your
hidden look, your real smile — that lonely,
mocking smile your cool mirror knows.

II

What can I hold you with?
I offer you lean streets, desperate sunsets, the
moon of the jagged suburbs.
I offer you the bitterness of a man who has looked
long and long at the lonely moon.
I offer you my ancestors, my dead men, the ghosts
that living men have honoured in bronze:
my father’s father killed in the frontier of
Buenos Aires, two bullets through his lungs,
bearded and dead, wrapped by his soldiers in
the hide of a cow; my mother’s grandfather
–just twentyfour– heading a charge of
three hundred men in Peru, now ghosts on
vanished horses.
I offer you whatever insight my books may hold,
whatever manliness or humour my life.
I offer you the loyalty of a man who has never
been loyal.