Cats in Literature

The first cat to have the protagonist role in the western literature was maybe The cat with Boots (Le Chat Botte), who made its debut in a story published for first time in 1697 by the French Charles Perrault.

Traditional Stories
Perrault was also the original author, or in any case compiler, of the stories of red riding hood, blue beard and the sleeping beauty. All of these stories where translated immediately to several European languages finding a place in nurseries all around Europe.

About 150 years after it’s publishing, the Cat with Boots, became in one of the basic stories that was repeated over the years at the traditional Christmas shows.

The Cat of Cheshire
Lewis Carrol, professor at oxford and writer of children’s literature, was the next person that contributed greatly at giving a place in literature to cats.

In 1865 he published Alice in Wonderland, where the famous cat of Cheshire appeared, whose smile showed slightly a file of sharp teeth. It seems that Lewis Carroll afterwards soften its posture towards cats, because, in 1871, when he published through the mirror, the cat Dina and its two kittens where more adorable creatures.

The hundreds of letters that Lewis Carroll wrote in that period to its young admirers from Oxford, most of them young girls, revealed that he liked cats very much and that he didn’t need of an excuse to transfer them to the fantasy life that he present to its correspondents.

For example, he wrote that he let alley cats go into his room and that he would permit them sleep between sheets of blotting paper, with a rag as pillow. For breakfast we would say that he would serve them “jelly of rat tail and mice with butter”.

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