Saturday, May 28, 2011

© Yabuki Kentaro

Rudyard Kipling | Pussy Can Sit by the Fire and Sing

    Pussy can sit by the fire and sing,
    Pussy can climb a tree
    Or play with a silly old cork and string
    To 'muse herself, not me.
    But I like Binkie my dog, because
    He knows how to behave;
    So, Binkie's the same as the First Friend was,
    And I am the Man in the Cave!
    Pussy will play Man Friday till
    It's time to wet her paw
    and make her walk on the window-sill
    (For the footprint Crusoe saw);
    Then she fluffles her tail and mews,
    And scratches and won't attend
    But Binkie will play whatever I choose,
    And he is my true First Friend!
    Pussy will rub my knees with her head
    Pretending she loves me hard;
    But the very minute I go to my bed
    Pussy runs out in the yard,
    And there she stays till the morning-light;
    So I know it is only pretend
    And he is my Firstest Friend.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

More Steinberg's Cats

From Steinberg's Paperback, a German edition published in 1964

Hippolyte Taine

"I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior."

Saul Steinberg's Cats

Saul Steinberg's Cats Catalogue, an American edition by Meridian published in 1962

Sir Compton MacKenzie

"The only mystery about the cat is why it ever decided to become a domestic animal."

Jacques Hnizdovsky |Cat nap


David Hockney | A black cat leaping


The story of Schroedinger's cat (an epic poem)

May 7, 1982
Dear Cecil:
Cecil, you're my final hope
Of finding out the true Straight Dope
For I have been reading of Schroedinger's cat
But none of my cats are at all like that.
This unusual animal (so it is said)
Is simultaneously live and dead!
What I don't understand is just why he
Can't be one or other, unquestionably.
My future now hangs in between eigenstates.
In one I'm enlightened, the other I ain't.
If you understand, Cecil, then show me the way
And rescue my psyche from quantum decay.
But if this queer thing has perplexed even you,
Then I will and won't see you in Schroedinger's zoo.
— Randy F.Chicago
Cecil replies:

Schroedinger, Erwin! Professor of physics!
Wrote daring equations! Confounded his critics!
(Not bad, eh? Don't worry. This part of the verse
Starts off pretty good, but it gets a lot worse.)
Win saw that the theory that Newton'd invented
By Einstein's discov'ries had been badly dented.
What now? wailed his colleagues. Said Erwin, "Don't panic,
No grease monkey I, but a quantum mechanic.
Consider electrons. Now, these teeny articles
Are sometimes like waves, and then sometimes like particles.
If that's not confusing, the nuclear dance
Of electrons and suchlike is governed by chance!
No sweat, though — my theory permits us to judge
Where some of 'em is and the rest of 'em was."
Not everyone bought this. It threatened to wreck
The comforting linkage of cause and effect.
E'en Einstein had doubts, and so Schroedinger tried
To tell him what quantum mechanics implied.
Said Win to Al, "Brother, suppose we've a cat,
And inside a tube we have put that cat at —
Along with a solitaire deck and some Fritos,
A bottle of Night Train, a couple mosquitoes
(Or something else rhyming) and, oh, if you got 'em,
One vial prussic acid, one decaying ottom
Or atom — whatever — but when it emits,
A trigger device blasts the vial into bits
Which snuffs our poor kitty. The odds of this crime
Are 50 to 50 per hour each time.
The cylinder's sealed. The hour's passed away. Is
Our pussy still purring — or pushing up daisies?
Now, you'd say the cat either lives or it don't
But quantum mechanics is stubborn and won't.
Statistically speaking, the cat (goes the joke),
Is half a cat breathing and half a cat croaked.
To some this may seem a ridiculous split,
But quantum mechanics must answer, "Tough shit.
We may not know much, but one thing's fo' sho':
There's things in the cosmos that we cannot know.
Shine light on electrons — you'll cause them to swerve.
The act of observing disturbs the observed —
Which ruins your test. But then if there's no testing
To see if a particle's moving or resting
Why try to conjecture? Pure useless endeavor!
We know probability — certainty, never.'
The effect of this notion? I very much fear
'Twill make doubtful all things that were formerly clear.
Till soon the cat doctors will say in reports,
"We've just flipped a coin and we've learned he's a corpse."'
So saith Herr Erwin. Quoth Albert, "You're nuts.
God doesn't play dice with the universe, putz.
I'll prove it!" he said, and the Lord knows he tried —
In vain — until fin'ly he more or less died.
Win spoke at the funeral: "Listen, dear friends,
Sweet Al was my buddy. I must make amends.
Though he doubted my theory, I'll say of this saint:
Ten-to-one he's in heaven — but five bucks says he ain't."

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hemingway & Cats

Hemingway's Cats: An Illustrated Biography


Ernest took great pleasure in writing to his family about his cats and how they were getting along. By 1943, Ernest and third wife Martha had eleven cats at Finca Vigia. "One cat just leads to another . . ." he wrote to his first wife, Hadley Mowrer. "The place is so damned big it doesn’t really seem as though there were many cats until you see them all moving like a mass migration at feeding time. . .

By the time Papa’s fourth wife to be, Mary Welsh, moved into the Finca in 1945, Ernest had twenty-three cats and five dogs. They were treated as royalty. The cats slept in the guest bedroom and later lived in a room on the second floor of the white tower Papa had built for his pets at one end of the terrace. He and Mary called the cats "purr factories" and "love sponges" that soaked up their love and in return gave them comfort and companionship.


Friday, May 20, 2011

© Jean Gaumy

Saki (Hector Hugh Munro)

Confront a child, a puppy, and a kitten with sudden danger; the child will turn instinctively for assistance, the puppy will grovel in abject submission, the kitten will brace its tiny body for a frantic resistance.

Paul Gauguin

Tahiti Women & Cat

Γιάννης Ρίτσος | ΙΙΙ

Το σώμα -λέει-
στη γενική: του σώματος
και γενικά το σώμα
άλλη λέξη πυκνότερη δεν έχω
παίρνω τη νάυλον σακούλα
μπαίνω στα λαϊκά εστιατόρια
μαζεύω ψαροκόκαλα
για τις άγριες γάτες της γειτονιάς
στα διαλείμματα -λέει-
κουβεντιάζω με τους μουσικούς
στα σκοτεινά παρασκήνια-
τι απέραντη απόσταση διανύω
απ᾿ το σώμα σου
έως το σώμα σου.

Αθήνα 19.11.80

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Monica Edwards

"There is nothing in the animal world, to my mind, more delightful than grown cats at play.They are so swift and light and graceful, so subtle and designing, and yet so richly comical."

Frøya the Cat

© Alexandros Kamarineas

Friday, May 13, 2011

William Carlos Williams | As the Cat

As the cat
climbed over
the top of

the jamcloset
first the right

then the hind
stepped down
into the pit of
the empty


via Weimar

© Andrés Seoane

Balthus the Cat

Lillian Jackson Braun

"Cats never strike a pose that isn't photogenic."

© Annelies Strba (3)

© Melissa Shook

© Harry Gruyaert

Charles Bukowski | Women

"Pain is strange. A cat killing a bird, a car accident, a fire.... Pain arrives, BANG, and there it is, it sits on you. It's real. And to anybody watching, you look foolish. Like you've suddenly become an idiot. There's no cure for it unless you know somebody who understands how you feel, and knows how to help." 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

Will Barnet | Woman with Cats

Serigraph Poster, 1983
A retrospective at the Wichita Art Museum

Sigmund Abeles | Self-Portrait with Cats

1965, Impression in collection of MOMA, New York

The Ad-dressing of Cats | 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.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

© Mercedes Xavier

Andrés & Felix the Cat

Audrey Hepburn as Holy | Breakfast at Tiffany's

"I'm like cat here, a no-name slob. We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us. We don't even belong to each other."

Audrey Hepburn & Cat

Audrey Hepburn as Holy | Breakfast at Tiffany's

"If I could find a real life place to make me feel like Tiffany's, then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name."


© Despina Paramani

Μιχάλης Κατσαρός | Κατά Σαδδουκαίων,1953

Oι εξουσίες σήμερα χαϊδεύονται σαν
ερωτιάρες γάτες πάνω στις στέγες μας
οι πρόεδροι ανταλλάσσουν επισκέψεις
οι πατριάρχες πάλι ενθρονίζονται
κάτω από τα νόμιμα κάδρα σας
μας περιπαίζουν.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Τίτος Πατρίκιος | Όπως οι γάτες

Όπως οι γάτες όταν αρρωσταίνουν
κουρνιάζουν στις πιο απόμερες γωνιές
όσο μονάχες τους να γιάνουν
έτσι κι εγώ σ’ αυτή την κόχη θ’ απομείνω
όσο να πάψει το αίμα μου σε κάθε χτύπο
υπόγεια να σχηματίζει τ’ όνομά σου .

Kitten Kast

This little feline needed a bit of human help to keep her nine lives intact. Toffy (that’s her name) caught her paw in the door, and a modern vet prescribed a type of “airplane swing” just like the one used on human patients with broken limbs. Purpose is to stretch muscles so that bone can knit easily.