|Egipto, 304-30 a. C., bronze|
(Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York )
Yes, a pair of cats. Siamese by preference; for they are certainly the most “human” of all the race of cats. Also the strangest, and, if not the most beautiful, certainly the most striking and fantastic. For what disquieting pale blue eyes stare out from the black velvet mask of their faces! Snow-white at birth, their bodies gradually darken to a rich mulatto color. Their forepaws are gloved almost to the shoulder like the long black kid arms of Yvette Guilbert; over their hind legs are tightly drawn the black silk stockings with which Félicien Rops so perversely and indecently clothed his pearly nudes. Their tails, when they have tails — and I would always recommend the budding novelist to buy the tailed variety; for the tail, in cats, is the principal organ of emotional expression and a Manx cat is the equivalent of a dumb man — their tails are tapering black serpents endowed, even when the body lies in Sphinx-like repose, with a spasmodic and uneasy life of their own.
|Ando Hiroshige (madeira, 1858)|
And what strange voices they have! Sometimes like the complaining of small children; sometimes like the noise of lambs; sometimes like the agonized and furious howling of lost souls. Compared with these fantastic creatures, other cats, however beautiful and engaging, are apt to seem a little insipid. Well, having bought his cats, nothing remains for the would-be novelist but to watch them living from day to day; to mark, learn, and inwardly digest the lessons about human nature which they teach; and finally — for, alas, this arduous and unpleasant necessity always arises — finally write his book about Mayfair, Passy, or Park Avenue, whichever the case may be. Let us consider some of these instructive sermons in cats, from which the student of human psychology can learn so much.
Aldous Huxley, Music at Night
Para os japoneses, os gatos de rabo cortado trazem sorte... excepto para os aspirantes a romancistas! ;)
À suivre: o que Huxley não sabia sobre a vida sexual dos gatos.