Today’s cat is from one of my favourite picture books of all time: Lane Smith’s The Big Pets. As the title suggests, the pets in this book are large, and not just regular-large, they’re as big as houses! On some nights, the children and their animals go to special places to play. The cats head to the Milk-Pool or the Scratching Forest, or the place where the ‘Stringy Vines tease’. The dogs and their children frolic in the Bone Gardens; and in the Grassy Plains, the pet snakes roll and tumble.
And on some extra special nights, there is an entire milky way to play in …
I’m in Taipei and visited Donburi Republic, which is store that sells Studio Ghibli merchandise. This brought to mind Jiji, the small black cat from Kiki’s Delivery Service. With those ears he might be part rabbit!
Behemoth is the large black cat from The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.
He is a demon, part of the Devil’s posse, a cruel and violent beast who walks on twos, carries a pistol and loves chess, vodka and pickled mushrooms. Not a nice kitty at all, but I rather admire him, maybe even want to be him.
I know I just featured a Beatrix Potter cat a couple of Caturdays ago, but here is another one, called Simpkin.
‘Now all day long while the tailor was out at work, Simpkin kept house by himself; and he also was fond of the mice, though he gave them no satin for coats!’
‘But Simpkin hid a little parcel privately in the tea-pot, and spit and growled at the tailor; and if Simpkin had been able to talk, he would have asked: “Where is my MOUSE?”‘
‘When the tailor awoke in the morning, the first thing which he saw upon the patchwork quilt, was a skein of cherry-coloured twisted silk, and beside his bed stood the repentant Simpkin!’
‘But upon the table—oh joy! the tailor gave a shout—there, where he had left plain cuttings of silk—there lay the most beautifullest coat and embroidered satin waistcoat that ever were worn by a Mayor of Gloucester.’
He is from The Tailor of Gloucester and is the tailor’s cat, and sort of assistant. The tailor sends him out to buy food and thread, but Simpkin’s fondness for mice gets the better of him.
All ends well though, with Simpkin properly repentant.
The Tailor of Gloucester in available to read and download at Project Gutenberg.
Dayan is a fluffy little cat with exceptionally large eyes. He lives in the countryside, in a village called Wachifield, where magical things happen.
As far as I know, there are just four Dayan books (by Akiko Ikeda) that have been translated into English: Dayan’s Birthday; Thursday Rainy Party; White Eurocka; and Chibikuro Party. Yes, he does seem to be a bit of a party animal.
Dayan’s shadow, Chip.
My favourite is Chibikuro Party, which is about a party for shadows. You can read more about Dayan and the books here.