Behind every famous man there is a cat, say Heike Reinecke and Andreas Schlieper, authors of the book “Famous cats and their people”. February 17 is the International Cat Day.
Charles Baudelaire could be a patron of all cat lovers. Apparently, he could not pass any cat indifferently – he had to stop and stroke him tenderly. During his visits, he was famous for the fact that, by disregarding the hosts, he directed all interest towards the cats. He wrote: “Come into my arms, my beautiful cat / Hide your claws without regret, / Let me see in your phosphoric eyes / A foot of agate and metal”. According to Baudelaire, the cat is “huge, strong and gentle”, voice “discreet and soft”. It was written about the poet himself: “is a sensual, seductive cat with velvety manners”.
Among the memorable discoveries and inventions of Isaac Newton, a prominent place is the exit flap for cats, which allowed the animals to move freely. The Spithead cat interfered with his work by constantly meowing under the door, so the scientist made a special hole in the door, covering it with a curtain that could be easily removed for the cat. Interestingly, Newton made two holes in the door of his apartment in Cambridge – a larger one for a kitten and a smaller one – for kittens. The kittens, of course, used the same opening as the mother, which the brilliant physicist did not predict.
Winston Churchill introduced cats to big politics. His favorite, Nelson, appeared shortly after Churchill became Prime Minister. Nelson began his career in the British government – immediately after moving to 10 Downing Street – by chasing his predecessor, Neville Chamberlain. Nelson assisted Churchill at cabinet meetings, the prime minister talked to him, wiped his eyes with a handkerchief, fed mutton and regretted that, due to the difficult war situation, he could not offer him cream.
It is worth recalling that on Monday 14-year-old Larry, the current Chief Mousetrap at the Cabinet Secretariat, officially celebrated the 10th anniversary of the arrival from the Battersea shelter at 10 Downing Street. On his Twitter account – which is followed by 440.3 thousand. People – Larry has posted pictures of himself with all of his roommates so far, including David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson. “The key thing is to remember that I live here permanently, the politicians just stay with me for a while until they are fired. Everyone sooner or later comes to the conclusion that I’m in charge” Larry underlined and assured him that he was not going to retire.
Ernest Hemingway, a carefully cherished macho in public, really loved sweet kitty. And Hemingway’s Cats came to be used to describe all felines with polydactyly, or with extra fingers. Such was the beloved tomcat of the writer Snowball, who passed this trait to the living near the writer’s home in Key West, Florida, to the next purring generations. Hemingway. There were so many cats in Key West at one point that the writer’s wife, Martha, decided to build a separate building for them – a tower. The writer even gave the cats a piss on the precious first edition of Shakespeare’s works, and drank them with his favorite drink – whiskey. For the writer, there were cats “mutter factories”, he also referred to them as “love sponges”.
Wisława Szymborska’s biography is full of cats – but only other people’s. Living in the House of Writers in Krakow on Krupnicza Street, the poet often looked after her friends’ cats. “When the owners of the pet returned, they did not recognize their pet. He was getting completely frisky. And this one was knocked off by the tea saucer, and this he was doing his other cat fights in the kitchen” – said the secretary of the poet, Michał Rusinek. When asked who she would like to trade with, she replied: “I would like to be Krysia Krynicka’s cat”. It is Szymborska who is credited with the quote that the only thing God managed to do was the cat. After the Nobel Prize, the poet used to say: “I am like a cat, stroked to death”.
The cat lover was Kornel Filipowicz, a long-time lover of Szymborska, who looked after Kizia and Mizia when Filipowicz was hospitalized. But when he died, she did not want to take them home – she wrote a poem entitled “Cat in an empty apartment” containing the famous phrase “this is not done to the cat”, and found Kizi and Mizi new guardians. The book containing Szymborska’s correspondence with Filipowicz is entitled “Your cat has the best life ever”.
Source: Salon24.pl: Strona główna by www.salon24.pl.
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