Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Leonardo da Vinci's Cats

I wasn't aware that Leonardo da Vinci sketched cats.

Many of the familiar poses of my present-day feline companion "Buffalo" are illustrated in the accompanying image. I am a little puzzled though, that many of the figures look quite like other animals.

These are but studies, perhaps concentrating on overall form and pose. Still, among these images I see a few ferret- and rat-like creatures. Perhaps a few hundred years' breeding has transformed the cat's appearance to the more familiar one borne by those inscrutable aloof pets that have bent us to their unfathomable wills.

Visit this website to see many other da Vinci sketches.

No sketches of cats would be complete without the word-pictures so playfully composed by T.S. Eliot in his collection of poems "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats", the entirety of which you can happily read here.

Eliot's own cat, named Jellylorum, is one of the characters in his collection, of course.

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