Throughout history, novelists have loved cats! Introducing novelists who love cats

Throughout history, novelists have loved cats! Introducing novelists who love cats

Cats continue to capture people's hearts with their graceful appearance, cute looks and gestures, and the capriciousness and mystique hidden within them.

And the charm of such cats has been written into stories by many novelists throughout history, regardless of region.

In this article, we will introduce novelists who love cats and their relationships with cats.


Table of Contents

1. Novelists who love cats overseas
∟1-1. Ernest Hemingway
∟1-2. Paul Gallico
∟1-3. Edward Gorey
2. Modern Japanese novelists who love cats
∟2-1. Natsume Sōseki
∟2-2. Uchida Hyakken
3. Contemporary Japanese novelists who love cats
∟3-1. Yuka Murayama
∟3-2. Mitsuyo Kakuta


1. Novelists who love cats overseas

First, let's introduce novelists who love cats overseas.

The cats featured in these stories are all quirky, but that's what makes them endearing and interesting.


1-1. Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) was an American novelist.

His famous works include \"The Old Man and the Sea,\" \"A Farewell to Arms,\" and \"For Whom the Bell Tolls.\"

Hemingway, who loved cats, one day received two cats.

These cats had six toes due to a genetic mutation. Hemingway believed they brought good luck and began living with them.

And indeed, these cats were \"lucky cats.\"

After he started keeping the cats, the novel \"The Old Man and the Sea\" became a big hit and he went on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

After Hemingway's death in 1961, his residence in Florida, USA, was transformed into a museum.

There, the descendants of the \"lucky cats,\" with six toes, continue to live.


1-2. Paul Gallico

Paul Gallico (1897-1976) was an American novelist.

His representative work is \"The Snow Goose.\" It's a fantastical and poignant story woven by a man who dislikes humans, a girl, and an injured white goose.

Gallico has also left works where cats are the protagonists.

\"Jennie,\" where the protagonist, a young boy, turns into a cat and embarks on an adventure, and \"The Silent Miaow,\" purportedly a manual on how a cat can train its human, are famous.

In both works, cats' appearances and thoughts are depicted with a lively brush, as if Gallico had interviewed cats or, perhaps, Gallico himself had been a cat.

One of Paul Gallico's photos includes him with two cats.

One is held by Gallico, and the other is nestled in the hood of the coat he is wearing.

Both cats look content, reflecting the bond they shared with Gallico.


1-3. Edward Gorey

Edward Gorey (1925-2000) was an American book illustrator.

His picture books often exceed the genre, filled with absurdity and cruelty, leaving a strong impression on viewers.

Gorey, who loved cats, featured many cats in his work.

However, his cats were charming and looked relaxed, unlike the other characters who often faced cruel fates.

It is said that Gorey's cats loved to lie on his drawing board.

The chillingly terrifying stories Gorey penned might have concealed his kindness and sensitivity, which the cats could sense.


2. Modern Japanese novelists who love cats

Not only overseas, but cats have also been a motif in art and literature in Japan since ancient times.

Among the novelists who colored modern Japan, there are many cat lovers. We introduce some famous novelists and their episodes.


2-1. Natsume Sōseki

When it comes to \"cat\" novels in Japan, the first that comes to mind is probably Natsume Sōseki's \"I Am a Cat.\"

Starting with the striking opening line, \"I am a cat. As yet I have no name,\" this novel depicts human affairs from a cat's perspective and quickly became a bestseller, leaving its mark on Japanese history.

The protagonist cat's model is said to be a stray cat that wandered into Sōseki's home.

While Sōseki named his dog \"Hector\" grandly, he called this cat simply \"cat\" until the end.

When the cat died, he placed a gravestone with the verse \"May lightning strike here in the evening\" and sent out death notices for the cat to close acquaintances.

However, it is said that Sōseki himself stated during his lifetime that he did not like cats and preferred dogs.

Also, Mrs. Sōseki is rumored to have disliked cats.

Yet, it was Mrs. Sōseki who prepared the gravestone when the \"cat\" died.

Moreover, she never forgot to offer salmon and dried bonito on its death anniversary.

These episodes are discussed in Sōseki's essay \"The Cat's Grave,\" which depicts parting from a cat.

Even if Sōseki himself was not a cat lover, he might have felt cats as special beings.


2-2. Uchida Hyakken

Uchida Hyakken (1889-1971) is known as the author of \"Nora-ya,\" a representative pet loss novel in Japan.

Originally, Hyakken was not particularly fond of cats, but he became deeply attached to a cat that wandered into his home, calling it \"Nora.\"

However, Nora disappeared suddenly one day, just as it had arrived.

Hyakken distributed nearly twenty thousand flyers, placed newspaper ads, and even made posters in English for foreigners in his search for Nora.

Despite his efforts, Nora was never found, and Hyakken was deeply grieved.

This episode is depicted in diary form in \"Nora-ya.\"

It is said that Hyakken found it painful to reread the manuscript and could not proofread it.


3. Contemporary Japanese novelists who love cats

Next, let's introduce novelists who love cats and are active in contemporary times.

You can also see their cute appearances in essays, WEB, and SNS, so it might be good to search for them if you become interested.


3-1. Yuka Murayama

Yuka Murayama (born 1964) has produced hit after hit, such as \"The Boat of the Stars,\" \"Double Fantasy,\" and received the 55th Yoshikawa Eiji Prize for Literature in 2021 with \"Wind, Storm.\"

Such is Murayama, also well-known as a \"cat-loving\" novelist who has written many essays about her beloved cats.

Especially dear to her was a female calico cat named \"Momiji.\"

Momiji was the child of Murayama's cat \"Pearl.\" When Pearl went into labor, Murayama held her hand and watched over the birth.

Among the four kittens born, the smallest last-born was \"Momiji.\"

Momiji was shy and only became attached to Murayama.

Therefore, when she left her then-husband and moved out, she took only Momiji with her.

Momiji lived with Murayama, watching over her life.

Murayama herself has said, \"No cat has ever come as close to my soul as Momiji\" (as cited in her book).

Momiji closed her life at 17 years and 10 months in 2018. Murayama's Twitter features her beloved cats \"Ginji\" and \"Sasuke\" in adorable appearances.

And sometimes, memories of \"Momiji\" are also gently depicted.

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