Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cat facts & fancies this?
How did we get from this....
Among a half dozen tomes we currently have celebrating our furry, slinky, capricious companions is Cats Miscellany: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Our Feline Friends. "The smallest feline is a masterpiece" said Leonardo da Vinci, and he should know.
Detail of a mosaic from the House of the Faun, Pompeii
Detail of a medieval illumination, from the British Library
Here, from the book, are a few cool cat facts and quotes:
  • In ancient Egypt, cats were worshipped as gods, and the crime of killing one was punishable by death.
  • "Smilodon" is the name of the now-extinct (thankfully) sabre-toothed tiger.
  • The ancestor of all domestic cats is the African wild cat, which still exists today.
  • Persians, Siamese, and Maine coons are the most popular breeds in the U.S.
  • Alexandre Dumas' cat was called Mysouff; named William, Charles Dickens' cat became Williamina after bearing a litter of kittens. [Please spill the names of your cats, if any!]
  • "Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow."–Jeff Valdez
  • Cats have the largest eyes of any mammal. (awwwww!)
by Shen Chou, Ming Dynasty
  • Edward Lear's tabby cat, Foss, was the inspiration for his poem "The Owl and the Pussycat."
  • "The playful kitten, with its pretty little tigerish gambols, is infinitely more amusing than half the people one is obliged to live with in the world."—Lady Sydney Morgan
  • Anecdotal evidence indicates that cats may have been brought to North America on the Mayflower.
  • The loftily named Tarawood Antigone, a female Burmese, may hold the record for the largest litter ever: 19 kittens, 15 of which survived.
Cats are purportedly good for your blood pressure and overall health. The subject of "Young Girl With a Cat" by Berthe Morisot (1892) looks like she'd agree.


  1. To see the pampered poodle dog with his fur trimmed down to little puffs around his paws, is to see the ridiculous result of permitting a decadent civilization to have its way with you.
    Such can never be our policy.

    1. So true! Poodles should be au natural, as are cats!

  2. He's at it again...
    You should see his translation of Wordsworth's "Daffodils".
    "So many flowers,
    Unmanageable hordes!
    What to do with them?
    I sit and ponder the problem."

    They told me he would be better after spaying.

    1. Does this philosopher have a name?

    2. Felixity thinks you're the coolest human online.

    3. He is also blessed with his human ... thank him for the compliment!

  3. Speaking of felines,
    This site is the Cat's Meow

  4. The Morisot portrait is beautiful--such lovely colors!

  5. That Morisot painting reminds me that cats can represent sexualtiy in art. Like in Manet's Olypmia. Sexy cat.

    I have two cats. Hermione and Felix. I accidentally dropped a bed on Hermione when I was moving and she hasn't been the same since. She is a little addled.

    1. I like those names. I'm thinking Smilodon would be a good name for a cat :) As we know from T.S. Eliot, the naming of cats is very serious business. I wanted to get a pair of females at the spca and name them Charlotte and Emily, but someone snatched them up first.

    2. It would be a blast to have famous sister writer cats. Or maybe a Rum Tum Tugger. No jellicle cats though...they are...not my favorite.

    3. You dropped a bed on Hermione?!?!?!

  6. Cats have the largest eyes of any mammal.

    I found this hard to believe, so I went looking online — turns out a horse has an amazing eye (or two); apparently this really is the largest. The cat’s is largest relative to its body size... although again, some say that honor goes to the tarsier.

    I like cats well enough but would not own one; if I ever did I probably would call her mehitabel after archy the cockroach’s fabled companion.

    1. poor archy kicked the wastebasket after someone replaced his favorite paste with super glue.
      he is survived by his 3,467 offspring.

    2. I loved those Archy & Mehitabel stories ... a blast from the past!