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Superb black and white drawings by Louis Wain accompanied by verses by Grimalkin which is the pen name used by Louis Wain for this volume of verseNB There is no published date in this volume and although bibliographies always show 1901 it is 1900 as the contemporary inscription in this volume reads 'With Cousin Bessie's love for Dick Xmas 1900' To support the view that it was published probably for the Christmas market the final verse in the book is entitle 'A Christmas Toast'

2 thoughts on “Cats

  1. says:

    Which cat lover cannot adore Louis Wain's drawings of cats? And this volume has 21 superb black and white line drawings of his larger than life at least the eyes are felines The verse accompanying the drawings by Grimalkin which is the pen name that Louis Wain used to write this volume is sometimes a little weak and laboured but that can be overlooked because of the excellent drawings alongside each offeringThe first cat in the book goes shopping and heshe asks 'If you please Mr Butcher my Mamma has sentTo know if you've anything niceWhat price are you charging for sparrows today?And how much an ounce are your mice?' The cat ends up purchasing a 'nice little mouse' and 'a couple of sparrows' while hisher farewell is 'You'll send them up soon? Oh my change? Thanks good dayYes isn't it beautiful weather'Another cat goes fishing 'But the fishes won't bite though I'm sure one would think they'd be glad to get out of the wet' and Tabby and Tommy are pictured at school but 'each puss was a bit of a dunce' and they were lazy so the verse tells us they 'got a whipping with the cane' shame but I do remember such treatment quite well myself not for being a dunce just for being mischievous There is a moral to the verse as 'I hope that every child will learn from what I've said' and Grimalkin promises to relate a story 'in another sort of rhymeHow Tom and Tab were both good cats and had a jolly time'And this they were and did have a jolly time in 'Tommy and Tabby at Play' when once at school 'They've promised they'll obedient be' and they enjoyed themselves skipping and playing with toys so that in the end it was 'better than being naughty boysWho only get a whipping'Another cat Peter went to the seaside where he bathed had a 'Pussies' Party' where there was 'queens in silk and satin and a king with a golden crown' while Peter is pictured going as a clown and he also went to the barber's shop where because he is rather thin on top the barber tries to sell him a bottle of 'Sproutoline Ten Shillings that's all is the price' bit expensive for the time methinksThere is a disobedient kitten Nick who was warned on a winter's day to be careful when going out to play Nick ignores his Mamma's advice and he 'rushed on the ice with a skip and a jumpWhen crash it gave way and Nick he went with a bump' Ropes and life belts got him out but 'And though he was saved from the water I'm toldThat naughty young kitten caught such a bad cold'There are plenty frolicsome kittens one obviously a goodreads reader reading 'A Wonderful Story' 'The name of it is Puss in Boots he's such a clever catI'm sure I never thought a puss could be so wise as that' After telling of some of his exploits the ending is 'In fact he's such a wonder I can't believe it's true I never saw a pussy cat in boots before did you?'One chubby cat plays cricket but 'I've grown so very fat of late the Captain's been complainingHe says that I must leave the Club unless I go in training' He obviously get in training did for the very next verse shows a slimline cat stopping a ball but not without problems 'Smack bang Oh my I'm black and blue Here hi you fellows stop it'Finally there is 'A Christmas Toast' in which the champagne drinking pussy cat says 'And so I drink your health and hope all little girls and boysWill have a jolly holiday and heaps of pretty toys' And so say all of us'Cats' is a fabulous piece of artwork by Wain the title page in three colours is exquisite and my acquisition of it can at least put to rest the question of the publishing date of the volume which was published undated In all the Louis Wain bibliographies 'Cats' has always been estimated as 'nd no date 1901' but as this volume is inscribed 'With cousin Bessie's love for Dick Xmas 1900' it obviously came out before Christmas and was published at the back end of 1900 And that final verse supports that view; how to get that information into the public domain is now the only problem