Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Lovecraft Loved Cats

It's time to explore the softer side of Ech Pi El, a two-legged member of the Kappa Alpha Tau's felinity.

In these two letter fragments, we see that Lovecraft, at the convention of August 1921, had an unexpected treat.

[1, p.214] "I held in my lap the prettiest actual kitten that I have seen for many a day - a grey furry double handful with a belled collar around his neck, who was brought in by a neighbour at the express suggestion of Mrs. McMullen, who knows of my predilection for the feline species."

[2, p. 99] "But speaking of cats - the best one present was the real thing, a tiny grey kitten, part Angora, that a neighbor brought in at Mrs. McM's suggestion - Mrs. McM being aware of my predilection for the (genuine) feline species. He was a good double handful, with an inespressively pretty face and eyes, and a collar with tiny bells that tinkled as he cavorted with the innocent sprighlines of youth. Most of the time he sat on Grandpa Theobald's lap, chewing either my waistcoat buttons or my fingers according to his juvenile taste."

I also find it interesting that Lovecraft was more loose and conversational with Galpin in this passage.

Tomorrow: Lovecraft as a performer

1. H. P. Lovecraft: Letters to Rheinheart Kleiner, Joshi & Schultz
2. H. P. Lovecraft: Letters to Alfred Gallapin, Joshi & Schultz

1 comment:

Tom Lera said...

Lovecraft's fascination with cats is also shown in The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath.

"It was a stupendous sight while the torches lasted, and Carter had never before seen so many cats. Black, grey, and white; yellow, tiger, and mixed; common, Persian, and Marix; Thibetan, Angora, and Egyptian; all were there in the fury of battle, and there hovered over them some trace of that profound and inviolate sanctity which made their goddess great in the temples of Bubastis. They would leap seven strong at the throat of an almost-human or the pink tentacled snout of a toad-thing and drag it down savagely to the fungous plain, where myriads of their fellows would surge over it and into it with the frenzied claws and teeth of a divine battle-fury. Carter had seized a torch from a stricken slave, but was soon overborne by the surging waves of his loyal defenders. Then he lay in the utter blackness hearing the clangour of war and the shouts of the victors, and feeling the soft paws of his friends as they rushed to and fro over him in the fray."

His poetry and stories abound with references to cats. Cat lovers rejoice.

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