Thursday, December 31, 2015

Literary giants and cats, Kerouac included

This article from HistoryBuff lists the literary giants who were most obsessed with cats. Here is their list:

Honorable Mention: Jean-Paul Sartre
Honorable Mention: W.H. Auden
Honorable Mention: William S. Burroughs
Honorable Mention: Truman Capote
Second Runner-Up: Mark Twain
First Runner-Up: Ernest Hemingway
Winner: Edward Gorey

Readers of this blog will notice a glaring omission from the above list: our own Jack Kerouac. He loved cats, he wrote about them, and he had his picture taken with them on several occasions.

I think every reader of The Daily Beat should comment on the above HistoryBuff article and help the misguided author, Caroline Wazer, see the light. Perhaps we could all quote Kerouac's Big Sur as follows:
Ordinarily the death of a cat means little to most men, a lot to fewer men, but to me, and that cat. it was exactly and no lie and sincerely like the death of my little brother--I loved Tyke with all my heart, he was my baby who as a kitten just slept in the palm of my hand with his little head hanging down, or just purring, for hours, just as long as I held him that way, walking or sitting--He was like a flurry flop wrap around my wrist, I just twist him around my wrist or drape him and he just purred and purred and even when he got big I still held him that way, I could even hold this big cat in both hands with my arms outstretched right over my head and he'd just purr, he had complete confidence in me--And when I'd left New York to come to my retreat in the woods I'd carefully kissed him and instructed him to wait for me, "Attends pour muĂ© kitigingoo"--But my mother said in the letter he had died the NIGHT AFTER I LEFT!--But maybe you'll understand me by reading the letter:- (pp. 49-50, Penguin Books, 1992)

Keep in mind when reading the above that the death of his brother, Gerard, was perhaps the most impactful single event in Kerouac's life, yielding what many would claim to be one of his best works, Visions of Gerard.

Sorry, Jack. Not everyone understands you, let alone your deep (and professed) love for cats.

1 comment:

Dean McClain said...

You said, and quoted it all, Rick. Nicely done! This list should have begun with Jack Kerouac.