One of my favourite cat-related pieces of art is this famous Russian “lubok” print from the 18th century, which may or may not be a satire of Peter the Great. I’ve loved it since childhood, but thanks to the Ye Olde Russian text I never realised that it is in fact a tad rude. It translates something like:
The Cat of Kazan, mind of Astrakhan, reason of Siberia,
he lived sweet, ate sweet, and farted sweet.
We don’t know who our daddy was,
Don’t know, and we don’t care.
But everyone who sees us says
He must have had red hair!
on a cheek or a chin –
that is the way
for a day to begin!
Sandpaper kisses –
a cuddle, a purr.
I have an alarm clock
that’s covered in fur.
– Bobbi Katz
While the world of humans was going through the greatest global upheaval since World War II, nothing much changed in Charlie’s little world. Except that, thanks to the COVID-19 restrictions, he got to see a lot more of his personal food dispenser/masseuse/entertainer.
You get a wife, you get a house,
Eventually you get a mouse.
You get some words regarding mice,
You get a kitty in a trice.
By two a.m. or thereabouts,
The mouse is in, the cat is out.
It dawns upon you, in your cot,
The mouse is silent, the cat is not.
Instead of kitty, says your spouse,
You should have got another mouse.
– Ogden Nash
Scholar Chang Tuan was fond of cats,
And had seven of them,
Wonderful beasts with wonderful names.
Guardian of the East
Ten Thousand Strings of Cash
Each was worth several pieces of gold,
And nothing could persuade Chang
To part with them.
— Wang Chih (c. 1100 C.E.)