Cats in the 20th Century (Cats in Literature-T.S. Eliot’s Cats)

T.S. Eliot’s Cats T.S. Eliot (1888-1965), one of the 20th centuries greatest poets, found the cat an inspiration for The Naming of Cats, a lengthy poem about the importance of cats’ names, which was the basis for the long running Broadway hit Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber.  The Naming of Cats The Naming of Cats is […]

Cats in the 19th Century (Part 17-Charles Baudelaire’s “Cats”)

Charles Baudelaire’s Cats The short lived French poet Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), had much in common with Edgar Allan Poe.  Both would die young, and both were interested in the macabre and supernatural.  Baudelaire and Poe suffered from depression, drug and alcohol abuse and were sensitive men who enjoyed the company of cats. Baudelaire was often […]

Cats in the Enlightenment (Part 10 – Christopher Smart’s Jubilate Agno)

In addition to William Cowper (last week’s post) another poet who went mad, reportedly suffering from some sort of religious mania, was the English poet Christopher Smart, (1722-1771).   Not even his good friend Samuel Johnson, who did not believe that Smart should be confined for merely wanting people to pray with him, could keep him […]

Cats in the Enlightenment (Part 9 – William Cowper’s Cat Poems)

By and large, the cat was highly thought of during this age especially by those eccentrics who were judged to be a bit mad.   William Cowper (1751-1800), who had bouts of madness and depression was no less a great poet.  His first volume of poems published in 1782, was, by his death in 1800, so […]

CATS IN THE ENLIGHTENMENT (Part 5 – Poems and Epitaphs for Deceased Cats)

Composing  poetry to deceased beloved companion cats was a trend of the times. Just as Johnson had mourned the death of Hodge, Bentham and many others would mourn the deaths of their beloved companion cats.  The following are some examples from the London Magazine of 1733, but interestingly enough these poems are anonymous, probably because […]

Cat Poems – Agathias 550AD

Agathias wrote the first poem about a cat in history.  Born in 530AD in Asia Minor, in today’s Turkey, he was known as a poet and a historian of the reign of the Byzantine Roman emperor Justinian I between 552 and 558.     In this poem written in 550AD Agathias mentions a ravenous cat attacking one of his beloved […]

HISTORY OF THE CAT IN THE DARK AGES (PART 4)

Because Viking raids continued into the 9th century, Irish monks continued to flee the on-going invasions by travelling to far off havens.  One such monk exiled in Reichenau on Lake Constance is immortalized for writing a now famous poem in honor of his cat, Pangur Bán†. The cat, not yet completely identified with the devil […]

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