I Am a Cat
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Written over the course of 1904-6, Soseki's comic masterpiece, I Am a Cat, satirizes the follies of upper-middle-class Japanese society during the Meiji era. With acerbic wit and sardonic perspective, it follows the whimsical adventures of a world-weary stray kitten who comments on the follies and foibles of the people around him.
The New Yorker called it "a nonchalant string of anecdotes and wisecracks, told by a fellow who doesn't have a name, and has never caught a mouse, and isn't much good for anything except watching human beings in action..."
from the corners of Rickshaw Blacky’s eyes. Resin ought to realize the impropriety of its nature, but will, of course, do no such thing. Indeed, the very moment my back makes contact with a pine tree, great clots of resin gather on my fur. To have anything to do with so insensitive, so inconsiderate a creature would not only be beneath my personal dignity, but would be a defilement to anyone in my coat and lineage. I conclude that, however fleasome I may feel, I have no choice but to grin and
enough, somehow shanks’ pony has just not headed here.” Thus, twisting and untwisting the fastening-strings of his short surcoat, Coldmoon babbled on. “Where then did shanks’ pony go?” my master enquired with a serious look as he tugged at the cuffs of his worn, black, crested surcoat. It is a cotton garment unduly short in the sleeves, and some of its nonde-script, thin, silk lining sticks out about a half an inch at the cuffs. “As it were in various directions,” Coldmoon answered, and then
as to what it is that rushes. The long outmoded lore of European medicine men held that there are four different liquids, or humors, washing around in the human body. The first such liquid was that of choler which, when it rose inversely, produced fury. The second liquid, that of dullness, if inversely risen, brought on lethargy. The third, the fluid of melancholy, produced, as one might have expected, melancholia. While the fourth, blood, was responsible for the activity of arms and legs. The
that old fellow keeping well?” “Not Sugihara—Suihara. Once again, I catch you in an error, and it’s especially rude to make errors about a person’s name. You should be more careful.” “But it’s written Sugihara.” “It is indeed written Sugihara but it is pronounced Suihara.” “That’s odd.” “Not odd at all. It’s technically known as a nominal reading. The common stonechat for instance, is called a wheatear, but its name has nothing to do with either wheat or ears. The bird is really a kind of
“Where do you think I put it?” “I’ve no idea. In the space where the storm boards for the windows can be slid away?” “No.” “Wrapped up in your bed clothes and tucked away in the bedding cupboard?” “No.” While Beauchamp and Coldmoon continue with their guessing game, my master and Waverhouse become engrossed in a totally separate conversation. “How do you read these lines?” my master asked. “Which lines?” “These two lines here.” “What’s this then? Quid aliud est mulier nisi amicitie