About Me

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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 !

Thursday, May 28, 2015

puss in print - a short preview

Yes! The eBook of Puss in Print is on the horizon - no, really - and I thought I'd give you a snippet of my foreword.
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We tend to think it’s mostly a modern tendency to love cats, to respect their personalities, and appreciate their friendship.  Everyone “knows” the ancient Egyptians worshipped cats as gods, after which our former furry overlords slid into centuries of our cruelest mercies until our recent feline enlightenment.   Though there’s truth in that, it’s an overstatement. 
Your basic model Egyptian housecat was a sacred animal and loved as such, but not an actual kitchen god, or windowsill god, or bedspread god, or wherever your particular model demands sacrifice.   As for the Western world, it’s true that most references to cats in European and American history can be breathtaking in their breezy callousness.  To move away for the summer or forever, leaving the cats behind, was a common and accepted practice.  Drowning unwanted kittens was the common way to control the cat population.  19th-century children’s schoolbooks dwell in detail upon the hunger, loneliness, and eventual death of lost or unwanted cats, to teach little ones empathy for dumb creatures or (more often) the fate that awaits disobedient youth.  Those are the kinder texts, by the way.  Others can be outright shocking to our modern (and thankfully improved) sensibilities.
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I'm excited.  It'll still be a while yet, but I'm excited.  And I'm musing over a project called (right now) Vile Vintage Varmint Verses.

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