söndag 12 januari 2014

Inget för ailurofobikern

 Det finns gott om kattlitteratur, både hos Gutenberg och annorstädes — men det är de gutenbergska katterna jag tänkt ägna mig åt ett tag framöver, och jag börjar med:






The family have gone to the country,
Horton, his wife and four children.
They took the butler and maids, the dogs,
The canaries and parrot. Shutters
They put on the house and the keys
Are turned in the locks. The silver
Was put in the vault and everything
Valuable carefully stowed....
Little Jack
Looked well for me. But when he found me
Was told to put me outside; a cat has no
Place in a house that is closed for
The summer.
When they were sorely troubled
With rats and mice they coaxed me to
Come to live in the cellar. They fed
Me richly on cream and the choicest
Bits from their lavish table. They gave
Me a rug to sleep, and taught the children
To pet me. All took turns to feed me and
They saved the bones of each fish.
Mice and rats disappeared; the rug
Is filthy, in tatters. Old Horton curses
And kicks me and kicks me down stairs when he
Meets me; warns the baby to heed my
Claws and the older children that
Cats breed all sorts of diseases. Edith
Has young men to call and “cannot abide
The cat that is covered with ashes.”
Only Jack remembers—which reminds me
How well I was treated. I was young when
They found me and now have grown wise in
Their councils.
I have no food and no


It’s more than a week since I’ve eaten
And my bed is made in the gutter. Well-fed
And beggars go by and their boots are
All alike ready as soon as they spy me.
Jack Horton went by with his father and
Stooped to whisper his secret. Old Horton
Jerked his arm and urged that he’d miss
The train. So even railroad time
Seems relentless as the procession
Passes over and about me. Between buying
A new suit for his party
And his affection
Even young Jack had no choice.
Now I have to hunt
And I’ve eaten a sparrow for breakfast.
I ate with infinite relish
Though I never ate one before;
I was starved and the murder and crime
Were lost in my terrible necessity.
My depravity is beginning to wear....
I shall wander down to the river....
I have heard Jack’s father say:
When a man falls so low as that
He had better drown himself than—
I’ve forgotten the rest; I cannot think
In my present state of mind.
Boken består av 50 klagovisor, "caterwaul", eller katzenjammer för att använda ett annat utländskt ord. Men har vi använt det sedan 1845, så kanske det kan passera. (HIST.: sedan 1845; av ty. Katzenjammer med samma bet., till Katze 'katt' ochJammer 'jämmer; oljud') För den ömhjärtade kattvännen, kan jag berätta att det slutar lyckligt, så läs på!

2 kommentarer:

  1. Livet är hårt för en hemlös katt. För några år sedan seglade vi en vecka i Kroatien. vår "skeppare" berättade hjärtslitande historier om hur han mötte svältande katter på de magra öarna, när han om vintern jobbade med att segla båtar mellan Kroatien och Italien. Om sommaren är där ett kattpardis, men om vintern ett helvete.

    1. Karin,
      Jämfört med många andra länder har djur det bra här, vi har ju i alla fall lagar som reglerar hur djur ska ha det, även om de inte alltid efterlevs.