Country Matters: Mysterious moggies purring inspiration for artists

A quiet man, an oldie like me, can regularly be seen leaving food for a couple of semi-feral cats that are longingly awaiting his appearance. The Moggies are a mother and son I believe from Jam Shadow and the orphaned pets of a person who died some time ago. Their rescuer makes sure they don’t starve and have drinking water.

he cats are lovable creatures who lead mysterious lives in the bushes and terraced gardens of apartment blocks, where they may indeed have other benefactors. Like all cats they hunt birds – I witnessed one safari – but as pest controllers they have free reign here. They hang around discreetly, taking the sun, scratching and grooming. Her benefactor recently quoted Edward Lear’s The Owl and the Pussy-cat: “…going out to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat/They took some honey and a lot of money/Wrapped in a five pound note.”

A response courtesy of popular English poet William Cowper (1731-1800) seemed appropriate: “A poet’s cat, sedate and grave/A poet who could wish to have /Was much addicted to inquire/For nooks which she could return…”

People motivated by kindness to animals are not as few and far between as is sometimes assumed. In a busy city center, a woman tosses a handful of grain from a bag to feed primarily feral pigeons, which nest on tall buildings and thrive on the prey.

Herring Gulls inevitably crowd the crowds, but there are no sparrows or starlings now, and jackdaws are rare.

Once when I was living near the sea, with hundreds of shorebirds in my sight, there were two “feral” cats with large coats of shaggy fur.

One was Marmalade, abandoned on a move, the other, stealthier, traversed bungalow rooftops and took refuge in an overturned rowboat like the tragic character in Beckett’s novella The End. The jam sought entry into the house at the slightest opportunity, patted seat cushions to calm herself, and had particular food preferences such as smoked salmon. Elsewhere there were eccentric cats, one with blue eyes who thought it was a spaniel who had been fed by a Springer who had weaned its young.

A few years ago I wrote about a “cat cafe” in Madrid (the idea originated in Tokyo) where you can enjoy their company while they purr around your feet over a coffee. Last week you may have read about the opening of a “cat hotel” in Paris where you can leave your pet on vacation. Arbre à Chats has 24 cubicles and for €40 a night the animals are fed, watered, brushed and cuddled, according to owner Veronica Colson.

But the most compelling cat images of the week are certainly from Lim Heng Swee, a Kuala Lumpur-based artist who has created digital artworks of cats in mountains and valleys, with the animals disguised as landscapes.

He’s never owned a cat but says he’s inspired by strays he sees. “Cats are lonely and mysterious, but they’re also elegant, free, and always relaxed,” he says, similar to TS Eliot’s “Jellicle Cats,” which are “black and white, quite small, cheerful and bright, happy-faced and luminous.” have black eyes and like to exercise their airs”.

It’s a brave mew world out there… Country Matters: Mysterious moggies purring inspiration for artists

Fry Electronics Team

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