JessicaRulestheUniverse.com

Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
Subscribe

Archive for the ‘Cats’

Lydia Davis has a new book

December 05, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats No Comments →

lydia_BK

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.”

More stories from Can’t and Won’t here.

davis-cat-500x312
Lydia Davis photo from The Cultural Cat

Drogon puts on airs

December 01, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats No Comments →

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

The rocket science of falling cats

November 26, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Science No Comments →

A cat being dropped upside down to demon

A trampolinist in a space suit imitating

A cat being dropped upside down to demon

A trampolinist in a space suit imitating
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.

In the cemetery where Truffaut lies buried

October 30, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Cats, History, Movies, Places, Traveling 3 Comments →

19522

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.

van gogh

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.

map

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.

truffaut

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.

cemetery

We like cemeteries, they’re quiet. A fat stray cat walked in front of us, but refused to be photographed.

* * * * *

prince
Cat of the Day: Prince, of the Del Fierro-Bouyers.Tried to eat our cake because it had lots of butter.

The hearty quiche and the saucy menu

October 28, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Food, Language, Places, Traveling 12 Comments →

stairs

We expected to pass out any minute from jet lag, so we had dinner in the neighborhood. Our friend took us to a restaurant called L’été en pente douce. Meaning “Summer on a gentle slope”—slope, as in the side of the hill, which requires climbing these stairs. (A second flight of stairs takes you to the basilica of Sacre Coeur. A week or so of this and we should have quads of steel.)

l'ete

The restaurant serves a very good quiche, which is a meal in itself. We had champagne, this being our welcome dinner. A glass of champagne is only slightly costlier than 6 ounces of Coke. Around here Coke is more expensive than the house wine, so have the wine.

Even before the quiche arrived, we were royally entertained by the menu, in French and English versions.

ass of summer

According to various translation apps, the title means “the pot-gossip of summer” or “the pewter-pot summer”, but according to a native it could also be interpreted as “the ass of summer”.

personal of room

The translations, though perhaps overly literal, sound very grand. The French menu even asks: “Do you have an emptiness?” Why do restaurants back home never ask us existential questions?

dry so very dry

Who could resist “a dry wine, so very dry for a muscat that it causes raised eyebrows among wine connoisseurs”?

We were so fascinated by the menu that we had to ask for a copy. The waiter feigned hurt and said, “If you’re just going to laugh at it…” but we assured him that it was the laughter of genuine admiration. The menu doesn’t just offer specials, it proposes them. (“We are the only restaurant to offer this” becomes “We are the unique restaurant to propose this.”)

montmartre cat

Outside, a cat waited to be served.

The original vampire, the height of charm, and the emotional support animal con

October 17, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats, Clothing, Current Events 3 Comments →

Links we like:

15524909026_6e06ab59e9_o
Lord Byron: Not just Byronic, vampiric

John Polidori was the personal physician to George Gordon, Lord Byron. Byron was often horrible to him. Polidori felt his famous client was sucking the life out of him, so he wrote The Vampyre in 1819 (Dracula by Bram Stoker was published in 1897). Read The Poet, The Physician, and The Birth of the Modern Vampire.

In Italy, people who wear glasses are called quattr’occhi (four eyes). Angelo Flaccavento finds glass-wearing individuals to be the height of elegance and charm. We don’t know how true that is, but we like to think so. Thanks to Lali for the link.

141020_r25618-690-458

In America, people can take their pets everywhere by flashing a card claiming that they are “emotional support animals”. This is an insult to our cats, who regard us as their emotional support animal. Read the hilarious investigative report by Patricia Marx. In the photo above, she tests the emotional support card by taking an alpaca to the drugstore.