Archive for the ‘Cats’
We wantsss it, preciousss. If you spot it anywhere, give us a holler.
* * * * *
A Story of Stolen Salamis
My son’s Italian landlord in Brooklyn kept a shed out back in which he cured and smoked salamis. One night, in the midst of a wave of petty vandalism and theft, the shed was broken into and the salamis were taken. My son talked to his landlord about it the next day, commiserating over the vanished sausages. The landlord was resigned and philosophical, but corrected him: “They were not sausages. They were salamis.” Then the incident was written up in one of the city’s more prominent magazines as an amusing and colorful urban incident. In the article, the reporter called the stolen goods “sausages.” My son showed the article to his landlord, who hadn’t known about it. The landlord was interested and pleased that the magazine had seen fit to report the incident, but he added: “They weren’t sausages. They were salamis.”
Lydia Davis photo from The Cultural Cat
You’ve met Drogon (full name Drogon Targaryen-Targaryen Hiddleston-Cumberbatch), who moved in with us in September last year. He just turned up on our doorstep, looking adorable. When we hesitated to invite him into the household, he developed a respiratory ailment and refused all food, so we took him to the vet and before we knew it, he was living with us.
Earlier this year, Juan found out that Drogon is a Khao Manee (White Gem or Diamond Eyes), a Thai breed which has just been accepted by cat fanciers’ associations. The other day we were Googling idly when we discovered that a Khao Manee, the kind with one blue eye and one golden eye, goes for around 240,000 baht.
327,266 in Philippine pesos! We already knew that Drogon is a rare and valuable cat, but now we have a price. Not that we’d ever sell him. (We do not buy our cats, either. They are ex-strays who chose to move in with us.) Besides, we’ve had him neutered so he is of no use to breeders, hah. One of his eyes is slightly cloudy and the iris is shaped like the Death Star under construction.
All images: Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Read Space Cats: How the “falling cat” phenomenon helped NASA prepare astronauts for zero gravity. Thanks to Juan for the alert.
Cats are the navigators of gravity. We demand a live-action movie starring cats directed by Alfonso Cuaron and shot by Emmanuel Lubezki.
Read Our Cats, Ourselves in the New York Times.
There’s a Francois Truffaut exposition and retrospective at the Cinematheque Francaise. Like the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Patrick Modiano (whose books are in every bookshop window, taunting us), it exists to make people who don’t speak French feel bad. “But we’ve seen The 400 Blows lots of times, we already know the plot, so we can watch it anyway,” we consoled ourself. But The 400 Blows and the Antoine Doinel movies aren’t showing this week. Noooo!
In the meantime we visited Truffaut’s grave at the Montmartre Cemetery. We’re staying at our friend’s apartment, which is within spitting distance of Sacre Coeur, but only if you’re on the hill or if you’re an Olympic-level projectile spitter.
On the way to the cemetery, we stopped at the house where Vincent Van Gogh lived with his brother, Theo. (There’s a plaque on the side of the building.) Sad story. In your lifetime your devoted brother, an art dealer, can’t sell any of your work, and then after your death your paintings go for zillions.
Still, the letters the brothers wrote to each other are wonderful. Read them. Vincent not only had the eye, he had the ear as well. One of them.
The map at the cemetery entrance lists the famous dead on the premises: Theophile Gautier, Edgar Degas, Hector Berlioz, Edmond Goncourt and so on. Even if we have no sense of direction, we couldn’t miss Truffaut’s grave.
Visitors leave their metro tickets on it. The Last Metro, get it? Granted, it is easier than leaving 400 Blows or a piano player with a bullet through him.
We like cemeteries, they’re quiet. A fat stray cat walked in front of us, but refused to be photographed.
* * * * *