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Sunday, November 20, 2016
They sit placidly, one on each of the man's arms and one - supremely relaxed - upon his tricorne hat. The man is in full 18th c getup, featuring a powder blue frock coat. The cats look good against this garment and seem to know it. They don't do much. They simply are. The tourists love it and throw money in a box. At the end of the day, the cats get packed up and calmly take the train home with their man.
The man is Bela Erdei, and in 2011 he and his three cats were the subject of a short documentary. Not much happens. Bela packs up his cats, takes the train, sets up, dresses up, stands around with his cats, and bickers with people who want to touch the cats uninvited. Then he and the cats go home, after the return ticket has been given a good sniff by what seems, literally, to be the head cat. It's an ordinary day in the life of a cat man.
I hope they are still bringing joy to tourists down in the South of France today. Watch "Bela: L'Homme Chat" here.