Skip to content
Advertisements

Doris Lessing: The Crazy Cat Lady?

I hate cats. I really hate cats.

Kittens are fun. They’ll play and do cute stuff. But domestic cats are horrible creatures. They’re like an unemployed relative who lays on your couch all day and gives you a disapproving stare when you order Chinese take-out instead of cooking at home.

Cats suck.

But this post isn’t about my opinion on cats. It’s about Doris Lessing’s opinion on cats. She the author of my current read, The Golden Notebook.

And Doris Lessing loved cats. A lot.

She wrote a nonfiction book about cats. It was called On Cats. And she wrote another book about cats. It was called Particularly Cats. And let’s not forget Particularly Cats and More Cats, as well as Particularly Cats and Rufus.

That’s a lot of writing about cats. She’s the Stephen King of the cat writing genre.

From On Cats:

Doris Lessing’s love affair with cats began at a young age, when she became intrigued with the semi-feral creatures on the African farm where she grew up. Her fascination remained undiminished by the handsome domesticated creatures who shared her flats and her life in London, and grew into real love with the awkwardly lovable El Magnifico, the last cat to share her home.

Consisting of the celebrated collection of stories, Particularly Cats and Rufus the Survivor, and the memoir, The Old Age of El Magnifico, this book brilliantly evokes the subtleties of feline existence. No other writer conveys so truthfully the real interdependence of humans and cats or convinces us with such stunning recognition of the reasons why cats really matter.

I certainly would be stunned to believe cats really matter.

But I jest. More power to Doris Lessing and her love of cats. Sounds like these pretentious creatures have been quite the source of inspiration for her over the years.

In addition to the featured photo above, here’s a couple more photos of Doris Lessing with her cats.

Now, the age-old question: Cats or Dogs?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements
26 Comments Post a comment
  1. And of course there is always Thomas Stearns Eliot …

    Like

    March 7, 2013
  2. It depends on the cat. I personally love cats. I had very fun, playful cats that did nutty things. I like dogs too. I think it just depends on the personality, whether it is a dog OR cat.

    Like

    March 7, 2013
  3. Dogs. Because their love is unconditional and they are always happy to see you. Plus, I’m allergic to cats.

    Like

    March 7, 2013
    • I think we’re all allergic to cats, just to different degrees.

      Like

      March 7, 2013
  4. Cats. I have three right now :3 I’ve never liked dogs.

    Like

    March 7, 2013
  5. Okay, first you tell us that you do not like Science Fiction and today I read that you do not like cats. Is this confessions by Robert week? Open your mind young man, go pet a cat and read Fahrenheit 451.

    Like

    March 7, 2013
    • Wait until you see tomorrow’s post…it’s something else I don’t like! You’re right, I think it’s a trend.

      Like

      March 7, 2013
      • Oh my goodness! What’s next disliking coffee, tea or (gasp) ice-cream?

        Like

        March 12, 2013
    • a2realhousewife – oooh yes, Fahrenheit 451 that’s a good one! And I am not one to proclaim a love for SF, either.

      Like

      March 9, 2013
    • 🙂 haha!

      Like

      March 12, 2013
  6. Oh, dogs win in this family. My granddaughter has a cat that I love to hate! I also hate cats and this feline knows it and tortures me whenever I visit!

    Like

    March 7, 2013
  7. Lucille #

    Late-night icon Johnny Carson once said that it takes a secure person to like and care for cats. I have had kitties since I was 6 (originally kept to eliminate critters in my dad’s small grocery store storage area), now have two very friendly, playful housemates, grateful rescues from shelters. We don’t need to walk them in the extremes of FL temps, don’t need to bathe them and can comfortably leave them with minimal care from a neighbor while we vacation. Like dogs fine but don’t want the hassles and neediness.

    Like

    March 7, 2013
  8. Your post is hilarious, Robert! I’m sending your link to all my cat friends. I grew up on a farm in Illinois and was given a kitten when I was five years old. She wasn’t allowed inside, only in the barns. Flash forward a couple of years, and we had 35 cats and kittens one summer. Only the dogs on the farm got to go to the vet–hence, no birth control. The cats had to survive on their own. I did my best to feed and advocate for them, but without “state-sponsored healthcare,” they were destined to succumb to various feline diseases, not to mention other wild animals. I watched as our German shepherds (no relation to the retiring pope) nearly bite them in half or use them as pull toys, breaking their backs and leaving them for dead. I don’t hold this against dogs.

    My extended family now all have dogs, but my son would LOVE to have a cat. However, my husband and I are allergic. We looked at supposedly “hypoallergenic” Abyssinians, truly gorgeous animals, but we were itching and dripping within an hour of exposure. So my son will have to “settle” for a dog when we move to a place where we can have one. He loves the “Airbud” movies that star the golden retriever puppies and rents them from Netflix. Perhaps a golden is in our future. Thanks for filling me in on Lessing’s lesser known personal preferences. Authors can be a bit eccentric, eh?

    Like

    March 7, 2013
  9. kelly b #

    My cat has more personality than the average cat. He’s super social, polite and clean. I feel so sorry for people who don’t like cats! That said, not everyone has met Chubby… but those who have are looking into adopting.

    Like

    March 7, 2013
  10. I do not dislike dogs. I think they are fine creatures and I quite enjoy playing with friends’ dogs. I’m friendly with them when I see them on the walking trail or at the pet store.

    However (and you knew that was coming), I would never have one. Okay, I don’t like to say ‘never’ because I also thought I’d never have any reason to visit Indiana, and yet I have. So it’s certainly possible. But I find most dogs to be cloying and needy, which annoys the crap out of me.

    Cats suit me much better, and yes, I do like their personalities better than dogs’ but I wouldn’t say that I am a “cat person” because I like cats and hate dogs. I don’t ‘hate’ any animal (except stinging insects, stink bugs and “Palmetto bugs”…yeah, they’re roaches). But you could consider me a cat person if my only other choice was to have dogs. I’ve also quite enjoyed having birds and mice as pets in the past, and now I’d love to have a tortoise in addition to the two cats I have right now. So I might have different animals as pets at different times of my life – maybe even a dog at some point – but so far, cats are the only animal that I would want as a continuing presence throughout my life.

    Like

    March 7, 2013
  11. Both!

    Like

    March 7, 2013
  12. Hermit crabs and Anoles 🙂

    Like

    March 7, 2013
  13. Tigers and puppies.

    Like

    March 8, 2013
  14. Cats. And dogs. But really I cannot get past the fact that you, a WRITER, penned this sentence, “They’re like an unemployed relative who lays on your couch all day and gives you a disapproving stare when you order Chinese take-out instead of cooking at home.” Lays? Lays what, eggs?

    Liked by 1 person

    March 9, 2013
  15. Cats are great because they don’t DEMAND anything. They leave you alone. They don’t slobber all over you or need to be taken for a walk. They know where to do their business. And they usually don’t stink. While dogs are nice and cuddly, they don’t know when to leave you alone!

    Like

    March 9, 2013
  16. Reblogged this on franklinmellofreitase comentado:
    Cats are writer´s best friends.

    Like

    March 14, 2013
  17. Lucille #

    Don’t know if you have enough of this. I found it at Brain Pickings Weekly. Muriel Spark credited cats with inspiring creativity: “If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially some piece of writing or paper-work, you should acquire a cat. Alone with the cat in the room where you work … the cat will invariably get up on your desk and settle placidly under the desk lamp. The light from a desk lamp … gives a cat great satisfaction. The cat will settle down and be serene, with a serenity that passes all understanding. And the tranquility of the cat will gradually come to affect you, sitting there at your desk, so that all the excitable qualities that impede your concentration compose themselves and give your mind back the self-command it has lost. You need not watch the cat all the time. Its presence alone is enough. The effect of a cat on your concentration is remarkable, very mysterious.”

    Like

    March 24, 2013
  18. Cats!

    They can be very helpful. Once, years ago, when my vacationiing parents had overstayed their welcome, our huge tabby Alyx decided to bite them both. They left the next morning. Alyx got treats. (I wanted to bite them both too, but humans don’t bite — unless they’re boxers, and even most of them don’t bite.)

    Like

    February 24, 2016

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: