Author Topic: I had no idea Lovecraft loved cats THIS much!  (Read 585 times)

Xepera-maSet

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I had no idea Lovecraft loved cats THIS much!
« on: March 20, 2018, 03:15:45 am »
What Lovecraft had to say about cats:

"Cats are the runes of beauty, invincibility, wonder, pride, freedom, coldness, self-sufficiency, and dainty individuality - the qualities of sensitive, enlightened, mentally developed, pagan, cynical, poetic, philosophic, dispassionate, reserved, independent, Nietzschean, unbroken, civilised, master-class men."

"The cat is such a perfect symbol of beauty and superiority that it seems scarcely possible for any true aesthete and civilised cynic to do other than worship it."

"Throw a stick, and the servile dog wheezes and pants and shambles to bring it to you. Do the same before a cat, and he will eye you with coolly polite and somewhat bored amusement."

"No breed of cats in its proper condition can by any stretch of the imagination be thought of as even slightly ungraceful - a record against which must be pitted the depressing spectacle of impossibly flattened bulldogs, grotesquely elongated dachshunds, hideously shapeless and shaggy Airedales, and the like."

"The real lover of cats is one who demands a clearer adjustment to the universe than ordinary household platitudes provide; one who refuses to swallow the sentimental notion that all good people love dogs, children, and horses while all bad people dislike and are disliked by such."

"We call ourselves a dog's 'master' - but who ever dared to call himself the 'master' of a cat? We own a dog - he is with us as a slave and inferior because we wish him to be. But we entertain a cat - he adorns our hearth as a guest, fellow-lodger, and equal because he wishes to be there."

"The cat is classic whilst the dog is Gothic - nowhere in the animal world can we discover such really Hellenic perfection of form, with anatomy adapted to function, as in the felidae."

"Children, old crones, peasants, and dogs ramble; cats and philosophers stick to their point."

"It is no compliment to be the stupidly idolised master of a dog whose instinct it is to idolise, but it is a very distinct tribute to be chosen as the friend and confidant of a philosophic cat who is wholly his own master and could easily choose another companion if he found such an one more agreeable and interesting."

NEMO 93

Re: I had no idea Lovecraft loved cats THIS much!
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2018, 03:30:03 am »
That whole essay is the first thing I read by him.  :)

"     That dogs are dear to the unimaginative peasant-burgher whilst cats appeal to the sensitive poet-aristocrat-philosopher will be clear in a moment when we reflect on the matter of biological association. Practical plebeian folk judge a thing only by its immediate touch, taste, and smell; while more delicate types form their estimates from the linked images and ideas which the object calls up in their minds. Now when dogs and cats are considered, the stolid churl sees only the two animals before him, and bases his favour on their relative capacity to pander to his sloppy, unformed ideas of ethics and friendship and flattering subservience. On the other hand the gentleman and thinker sees each in all its natural affiliations, and cannot fail to notice that in the great symmetries of organic life dogs fall in with slovenly wolves and foxes and jackals and coyotes and dingoes and painted hyaenas, whilst cats walk proudly with the jungle’s lords, and own the haughty lion, the sinuous leopard, the regal tiger, and the shapely panther and jaguar as their kin. Dogs are the hieroglyphs of blind emotion, inferiority, servile attachment, and gregariousness—the attributes of commonplace, stupidly passionate, and intellectually and imaginatively undeveloped men. Cats are the runes of beauty, invincibility, wonder, pride, freedom, coldness, self-sufficiency, and dainty individuality—the qualities of sensitive, enlightened, mentally developed, pagan, cynical, poetic, philosophic, dispassionate, reserved, independent, Nietzschean, unbroken, civilised, master-class men. The dog is a peasant and the cat is a gentleman."


Here's the full essay.

http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/essays/cd.aspx

Frater Sisyphus

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Re: I had no idea Lovecraft loved cats THIS much!
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2018, 05:45:42 am »
Who doesn't love cats though?  :mrgreen:


Interesting essay btw