Jump to content


Cats in Charge


  • Please log in to reply
66 replies to this topic

#31 papeetepatrick

papeetepatrick

    Sapphire Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,486 posts

Posted 17 July 2009 - 01:11 PM

My comment about breeders not being able to breed significantly larger or smaller cats was just that....BREEDING. Naturally there are animals from the cat family as large as lions and as small as ????. Which makes it even more curious that breeders of domestic cats haven't been able to significantly change overall body size.


My guess is that they will eventually do it, and that some of the extreme 'cat mystery' won't hold out against such technologies. I think that a Deep Blue Rose has never been done either, albeit lavender ones, and surely many other horticultural hybrids have been attempted, and animal types that won't yet work; with cloning and other biotechnologies, the sky will eventually probably be the limit. There are interesting connatations of witchcraft with cats, and these do tend to happen with a certain kind of person. I hate to say it, but there are way too many cases of small houses with a hundred cats living in them, and these people are usually called out by the neighbours for filth and nuisance violations. I myself had to put an evil woman out of business along with the ASPCA for keeping about 400 half-starved cats for experiments in small cages on 4 floors of a W. 3rd Street building--as well as staiwells littered with cat corpses on which she was doing 'preservation experiments'. (I had been sent there to look for a summer student job, that's how I encountered this nightmare.) She would not only not feed them properly, she wouldn't neuter them either; easily one of the most negaitve and dark things I've ever encountered. It took 12 years to stop this horror, but that mystique is curious, because a real negativity is produced when it goes that far, although that's probably not limited to cats, I'm sure there are also vile houses full of dogs and any number of other creatures, snakes, whatever. In my experience in New York, though, the houses full ot scores or hundreds of cats has been the kind I've run into, or seen in local news reports.

Cats have marvelous charisma, and most 'cat people' prefer them to all other animals. My favourite animal is the horse, which has a magnetism, majesty, and strong charisma, but not quite a hypnosis the way cats do.

There's a VERY good story by Paul Theroux in one of his London collections about extreme cat lovers, those whose lives really DO become controlled by cats to an unhealthy degree. I'm going to look that up, as it was rigorous and energetic the way Theroux is at his best. Something of a bizarre horror piece, but adds to the literary collection Dirac has asked for. Will look it up now...

Yes, 'The London Embassy'. I couldn't find the name of the cat story, it was quite good, as were several other stories here, one of his best. there's one with a 'prime minister', clearly mrs. Thatcher that is very good as well.

#32 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 17 July 2009 - 01:16 PM

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :huh: :unsure: :huh:

It just struck me........you don't suppose a characteristic of a balletomane is that s/he loves cats, do you?? (Think Balanchine)

This is definitely a point worth thinking about.

Each of us on BT, whether dancers or non-dancers, gives a deeply personal value to the act of looking closely at ballet-trained dancers doing ballet.

When Basil came into our house, I had very little experience of looking seriously at cats being cats. My image of Basil -- then a kitten -- was much influenced by calendar art, greeting cards, the occasional "cute" cat in the movies. I had never actually "seen" or wanted to see the catness of cats.

As Basil grew into young adulthood, however, I became fascinated (enthralled, actually) by the details of the way he used his body: the light, effortless, secure jumps; soft, soundless descents; even his preternatural stillness when in repose on the mantelpiece, staring at activity in the room. These indeed reminded me of ballet dancers.

Some use the gazelle is a metaphor for dancers who leap in high, free arcs. But many of the most interesting things dancers do, I like to think ... cat.

Anyone want to start a new thread: who are the most cat-like ballet dancers? Or something like that.

#33 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,832 posts

Posted 17 July 2009 - 01:55 PM

It just struck me........you don't suppose a charactertistic of a balletomane is that s/he loves cats, do you?? (Think Balanchine)


I donít know if a rigorous scientific study has been done on the subject. :unsure: Fonteyn was a Cat Woman and so was Farrell (although Farrell plays for both teams and has a dog these days, I understand). Balanchine loved to related his dancers to felines (and horses).

However when it came to bedtime she was the first up the stairs and lay pressed up against me all night long. Poor Katya had to keep her distance.


My little tabby was also an alpha cat. She tyrannized the dogs and the younger calico cat, eating the latterís food, hissing at her whenever she got too close, and appropriating for herself any napping spot she seemed to favor. She was also a great one for snuggling. I miss her very much.

There's also Dick Whittington's cat.

A related BBC story, with video of one furry manipulator.

While miaowing might get a cat expelled from the bedroom, Dr McComb said that this pestering purr often convinced beleaguered pet lovers to get up and fill their cat's bowl.

To find out why, her team had to train cat owners to make recordings of their own cats' vocal tactics - recording both their "soliciting purrs" and regular, "non-soliciting" purrs.



#34 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 17 July 2009 - 02:38 PM

Why does "soliciting" make me think of Grizabella? :unsure:

As far as "playing for both teams," I guess I'm one of those. Dogs are fascinating to observe and to relate with as well.

The contrast between the two species in endlessly interesting.

Dogs depend on humans for much more than cats do. I can't imagine anyone ever writing a book called "The Cat Who Loved too Much." And then there's the matter of having to go out for walks 3 or 4 times a day. Possibly dancers, choreographers, ballet masters and even serious ballet-goers don't have the time?

#35 SandyMcKean

SandyMcKean

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 928 posts

Posted 17 July 2009 - 03:12 PM

Possibly dancers, choreographers, ballet masters and even serious ballet-goers don't have the time?

I'm sure that's true, but I was thinking more of the committed ballet audience than the dancers and choreographers (tho their relationships with cats is interesting too). It just struck me earlier today as pausible that whatever it is that we all love to watch in ballet has something in common with whatever it is that we love to watch in cats.

I'll pick a trait to start with: landings. I am endlessly admiring a superb dancer (especially a male dancer) for having made a "just so" landing where it seems the pressure to the floor is no more than an ordinary walking footfall......dare I say it, a cat like landing. :unsure:

#36 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,832 posts

Posted 17 July 2009 - 03:35 PM

I'll pick a trait to start with: landings. I am endlessly admiring a superb dancer (especially a male dancer) for having made a "just so" landing where it seems the pressure to the floor is no more than an ordinary walking footfall......dare I say it, a cat like landing.

Balanchine used to tell his dancers not to put their heels down, kitty-cat style. Reportedly he taught his cat Mourka to jump, although the photographs Iíve seen of Mourka and Balanchine in action tend to remind me of this. (About four and a half minutes in.)

#37 carbro

carbro

    Late Board Registrar

  • Rest in Peace
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,361 posts

Posted 17 July 2009 - 06:38 PM

Dogs depend on humans for much more than cats do. I can't imagine anyone ever writing a book called "The Cat Who Loved too Much." And then there's the matter of having to go out for walks 3 or 4 times a day. Possibly dancers, choreographers, ballet masters and even serious ballet-goers don't have the time?

Not so.

Jerome Robbins was a lover and keeper of dogs. My Loretta's playgroup included a number of ABT dogs. Peter Martins and Darci Kistler were each clients of my neighbor when she had her dog walking business (a pair of Golden Retrievers), and I often spotted Christine Redpath and Kipling Houston (individually) walking past Lincoln Center, she with her Golden, he with his gorgeous, white Malamute.

Facebook members who have checked Ashley Bouder's page may have noticed her very cute beagle.

#38 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,214 posts

Posted 17 July 2009 - 07:25 PM

Dogs depend on humans for much more than cats do. I can't imagine anyone ever writing a book called "The Cat Who Loved too Much." And then there's the matter of having to go out for walks 3 or 4 times a day. Possibly dancers, choreographers, ballet masters and even serious ballet-goers don't have the time?

...true.

#39 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 18 July 2009 - 04:06 AM

Sorry. I should have put a :unsure: next to my statement ballet people might not "have the time" for dogs. :huh:

#40 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,214 posts

Posted 27 May 2010 - 10:44 AM

This thread has been inactive for a while, but I thought about reviving it when I took this picture of my Tschen-Fu apparently very interested in Darcey Bussell's dancing... :) . "Sylvia" was playing in my DVD player.

http://www.flickr.co...157624024576535

#41 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,832 posts

Posted 27 May 2010 - 11:41 AM

Thank you for that link, cubanmiamiboy, and reviving the thread. Tschen-Fu is so pretty! One of my cats also takes an occasional interest in the television. He likes dancers because theyíre jumping around and not long ago he was transfixed by a cooking show where they were preparing clam chowder.

Dogs depend on humans for much more than cats do. I can't imagine anyone ever writing a book called "The Cat Who Loved too Much."


I did have such a cat when I was a kid. He was attached only to me. When I was away for more than a day or so he would have nothing to do with anyone else and not come into the house except to eat, which led to a sad accident which pains me to think about to this day. They really are a serious responsibility.

#42 sidwich

sidwich

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 354 posts

Posted 01 June 2010 - 11:21 PM

Dogs depend on humans for much more than cats do. I can't imagine anyone ever writing a book called "The Cat Who Loved too Much."


One of my neighbors' cats was stalking me for quite a while, culminating in him planting himself on the garage door overhang which looked directly into my bathroom. It was quite unnerving to wake up and find Crazy Stalker Cat watching me brush my teeth in the morning. :)

Thankfully, he gave up his most stalkery behavior after a few months.

Elvis has lost a step in the last year, so he's had to give up entertaining himself by beating up the other neighborhood animals. I did catch him taking a swipe at Crazy Stalker Cat last week, though, so no doubt that Elvis still wants him to know who's the boss in this corner of the neighborhood.

#43 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,214 posts

Posted 14 June 2010 - 06:28 AM

Thank you for that link, cubanmiamiboy, and reviving the thread. Tschen-Fu is so pretty!


Thanks dirac...here he is now...trying to keep his eyes open to watch my old Giselle record playing-(it's an LP and he finds the rotating motion of the device very interesting...until he goes crazy and jumps on top of it... :) .)

#44 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 14 June 2010 - 07:34 AM

Nice to see this thread revived.

I'm recalling the original theme: cats in charge. I recently saw a greeting card which had t the message: "If Cats Could Talk .... They Wouldn't." Few animals that I've observed have a repertoire of behaviors that is so difficult to decipher. I THOUGHT I knew what Basil was communicating, but I was never entirely sure. And then there was the possibility that he wasn't communicating -- or trying to cummunicate -- anything to me at all. Are cats complete and divinely satisfied solipcists? I think, at times, that they are.

On rereading the thread, I want to thank Sandy for mentioning the magnificence of cat's LANDINGS from jumps.

I'll pick a trait to start with: landings. I am endlessly admiring a superb dancer (especially a male dancer) for having made a "just so" landing where it seems the pressure to the floor is no more than an ordinary walking footfall......dare I say it, a cat like landing.

Does anyone know how this sort of thing is done (either by dancers or cats)? Is it an innate gift with dancers? Or, can it be taught, as dirac suggests when she mentions Balanchine's suggestions that you shouldn't put your heel down?

Another thought, after watching a performance of White Cat and Puss in Boots on Saturday. It's about pas de chat. Other than the springiness and elevation, I don't find much that is cat-like about this move. Am I missing something?

#45 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,832 posts

Posted 14 June 2010 - 08:58 AM

Dogs depend on humans for much more than cats do. I can't imagine anyone ever writing a book called "The Cat Who Loved too Much."


One of my neighbors' cats was stalking me for quite a while, culminating in him planting himself on the garage door overhang which looked directly into my bathroom. It was quite unnerving to wake up and find Crazy Stalker Cat watching me brush my teeth in the morning. :huh:

Thankfully, he gave up his most stalkery behavior after a few months.

Elvis has lost a step in the last year, so he's had to give up entertaining himself by beating up the other neighborhood animals. I did catch him taking a swipe at Crazy Stalker Cat last week, though, so no doubt that Elvis still wants him to know who's the boss in this corner of the neighborhood.


My faucet-drinking ex-street cat is also very territorial. He claimed squatter's rights himself but doesn't want anyone else taking advantage, apparently.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):