The Philosophical Cats of Summertime

As Davis’s sweltering summer overwhelmed my household, I accumulated a large collection of photographs of melting cats. (This cat-melting is a natural phenomenon that happens in very warm climes; they safely revert to normal cat shapes by nightfall.)

None of my melted feline pictures seemed worthy of a post all on their own, so I saved them all up … but now that the cats have switched over to tunneling behavior instead of plaintive melting, I believe it is now time to share them with the world. To spice things up a little, I’ve also paired each summer cat photo with a relevant quotation.

“What will it be like to die? What is on the other side? Only night and silence?”
— Isabel Allende

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Oda a Valparaíso

Here’s a translation of a Pablo Neruda poem: fittingly, “Oda a Valparaíso,” from his Odas Elementales. (Follow the link for the full Spanish text.)

 

Ode to Valparaíso
by Pablo Neruda
(translated by Hermitina)

VALPARAÍSO,
what an absurdity
you are,
how crazy:
a crazy port.
What a head
of disheveled
hills,
that you never finish
combing.
Never
did you have
time to dress yourself,
and always
you were surprised
by life.
Death woke you up,
in your nightshirt,
in your long johns
fringed with colors,
naked
with a name
tattooed on your stomach,
and with a hat. Read More