Archive of ‘Cats & writers’ category

Julio Cortázar


“I sometimes longed for someone who, like me, had not adjusted perfectly with his age, and such a person was hard to find; but I soon discovered cats, in which I could imagine a condition like mine, and books, where I found it quite often.”
Cultural cat could’t agree more.


My cats

I know. I know.
They are limited, have different
needs and concerns.
But I watch and learn from them.
I like the little they know,
which is so much.
They complain but never worry,
they walk with a surprising dignity.
They sleep with a direct simplicity that
humans just can’t understand.
Their eyes are more beautiful than our eyes.
And they can sleep 20 hours a day without
hesitation or remorse.
When I am feeling low all I have to do is
watch my cats and my courage returns.
I study these creatures.
They are my teachers.

Charles Bukowski

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley’s oldest know poem is about cats. When he couldn’t find inspiration to write another poem about cats he drowned himself and was cremated on the beach. At least that is how we interpret it.



Verses On A Cat

by Percy Bysshe Shelley


A cat in distress,
Nothing more, nor less;
Good folks, I must faithfully tell ye,
As I am a sinner,
It waits for some dinner
To stuff out its own little belly.


You would not easily guess
All the modes of distress
Which torture the tenants of earth;
And the various evils,
Which like so many devils,
Attend the poor souls from their birth.


Some a living require,
And others desire
An old fellow out of the way;
And which is the best
I leave to be guessed,
For I cannot pretend to say.


One wants society,
Another variety,
Others a tranquil life;
Some want food,
Others, as good,
Only want a wife.


But this poor little cat
Only wanted a rat,
To stuff out its own little maw;
And it were as good
Some people had such food,
To make them hold their jaw!

Wisława Szymborska


Here’s a lady who loved cats, one can tell from the poem Cat in an empty apartment – one does not do that!

Die—you can’t do that to a cat.
Since what can a cat do
in an empty apartment?
Climb the walls?
Rub up against the furniture?
Nothing seems different here
but nothing is the same.
Nothing’s been moved
but there’s more space.
And at nighttime no lamps are lit.

Footsteps on the staircase,
but they’re new ones.
The hand that puts fish on the saucer
has changed, too.

Something doesn’t start
at its usual time.
Something doesn’t happen
as it should.
Someone was always, always here,
then suddenly disappeared
and stubbornly stays disappeared.

Every closet’s been examined.
Every shelf has been explored.
Excavations under the carpet turned up nothing.
A commandment was even broken:
papers scattered everywhere.
What remains to be done.
Just sleep and wait.

Just wait till he turns up,
just let him show his face.
Will he ever get a lesson
on what not to do to a cat.
Sidle toward him
as if unwilling
and ever so slow
on visibly offended paws,
and no leaps or squeals at least to start.

When in Kórnik, Poland, you are invited to pause for a moment and relax with Szymborska and her cat.


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