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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Sunday, June 08, 2014

elisabeth adams meets her new kitten

Elisabeth Bruce Adams wrote a memoir of her cat Prospero, who during his life seemed in possession of a particularly wise and deep soul.  Though his untimely loss hit her hard, she believed in the ability of loved ones to reach from the beyond (she may have had Spiritualist leanings; a lot of middle and upper class women did in the late 1910s - early 1920s).  Say what you will, but she wrote with utmost sincerity of her feelings of communion with Prospero's spirit.  I've chosen below to give you a happier selection, describing the day she met her friend for the first time.  I certainly recognize what this feels like and I know you will too...
* * *
“There! What do you think of him?”
Leaning in at the open window was my friend “Una” she whose cottage neighboured mine, and who shared much of life with me.  She was placing upon the sill a little living, yellow ball.  “The woman down the lane has just brought him,” she said, “she knew we wanted a kitten, and her man found this mite right up on the Weald, miles from any house. He put it in his tool-bag and brought it home, and here he is for you !”
“He” stood shaking upon the window-sill,very small and helpless, with long fur somewhat bedraggled, looking from one to the other as though anxious to find out what was expected of him. He commenced forthwith to sing in a loud and very hoarse voice.  Eyes as blue as forget-me-nots looked into mine with a sweet confidence that almost seemed knowledge.
So he stood those first moments, just where he had been put down, singing and trying to raise first one little white paw and then the other, as though marking time. But what colour! What possibilities of rare beauty!  A nobly-shaped head with tiny ears, a little white ruff, and four white fluffy paws. A white waistcoat, and for the rest of him ruddy brown with golden tints and darker sable markings.
“He will have a tail like an ostrich plume when he is grown,” I said, as I took him up.
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-- Adams, Elisabeth Bruce. My Cat Prospêro: a Pioneer Who Bridged the Gulf Between the "seen" and the "unseen". (London: Hutchinson, 1922), pp. 10-11.

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