Tag Archives: cats

Vote Now!

Is worry about the upcoming election making you feel like this?

1825 British illustration

1825 British illustration

Well, stop worrying and vote now. Vote here! Today at Books Around the Table I am presenting you with an election.  There are two slates of candidates: Cats versus Mice. Each slate has 7 candidates (aka illustrations), picked because I like them. In the comments please vote for either the CATS or the MICE. You can explain your vote if you would like, or not. No photo ID is required.

Drum roll please: Here are the CATS:

Kazan the Cat: Russian Lubok 1700s

Kazan the Cat: Russian Lubok 1700s

Japanese woodblock, 1850's

Japanese woodblock, 1850’s

Orlando the Marmalade Cat by Katherine Hale

Orlando the Marmalade Cat by Katherine Hale

Paschkis Acrobaticats

Paschkis Acrobaticats

Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag

Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag

Tiger by Morris Hirshfield

Tiger by Morris Hirshfield

Kotofei Ivanovich by Tatiana Mavrina

Kotofei Ivanovich by Tatiana Mavrina

Piccolo please, here are THE MICE:

Rudolf Mates

Rudolf Mates, A Forest Story

Paschkis Mouse

Paschkis, Mouse in Love

Maisy by Lucy Cousins

Lucy Cousins, Maisy

Lizbeth Zwerger

Lizbeth Zwerger, Alice in Wonderland

Arthur Rackham Rodents

Arthur Rackham Rodents

You know who

You know who

Ignatz

Ignatz

Thank you for voting. On Tuesday I will tally up the answers and declare a winner. The wait will finally be over.

Tuesday night results: Thank you for voting. It was a squeaker but the mice won the Books Around the Table election – 15 to 14. As I write this my heart is heavy from the results of the real election. It isn’t over, but it is dire. I am stunned. Where do we go from here?  What do we do now?

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Puss in books

 

cat holding reader

No credit found

As some of you know, I collect images of books in art. I now have many hundreds of images I can peruse. And it’s fun to see the themes and motifs that show up over and over with books like birds, clouds, the moon, butterflies, oh, and Cats. Hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats.

Illustration by Emma Block

Illustration by Emma Block

Cats and books just go together like tea and hearths, rain and solitude.

Sometimes the cats are a subtle presence, barely there:

Illustration by Shawn Fields

Illustration by Shawn Fields

Illustration by Christina Tsevis

Illustration by Christina Tsevis

Illustration by Helen Oxenbury

Illustration by Helen Oxenbury

Sometimes it’s all about the cat:

Illustration by Blanca Gomez

Illustration by Blanca Gomez

Illustration by  Charle Vysotsky

Illustration by Charle Vysotsky

Illustration by Yusuke Yonezu

Illustration by Yusuke Yonezu

Illustration by Celestino Piatti

Illustration by Celestino Piatt

 

Sometimes they’re just part of the ambience:

Illustration by Jun Kumaori

Illustration by Jun Kumaori

Illustration by Karen Hollingsworth

Illustration by Karen Hollingsworth

Illustration by Christopher Silas Neal

Illustration by Christopher Silas Neal

No credit found

No credit found

 

But often, it’s the human, cat and reading experience all entwined:

Illustration by Alexander Sokht

Illustration by Alexander Sokht

Illustration by Sultanov Yuriy

Illustration by Sultanov Yuriy

No credit found

No credit found

Illustration by Linda lee Nelson

Illustration by Linda lee Nelso

Probably the most famous cats in literature are T.S. Eliot’s cats from Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. I particularly like his “Naming of Cats.”

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey—
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter—
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular,
A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover—
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

Illustration by Francois Knopf

Illustration by Francois Knopf