Adieu to an Irish cat in Paris
Sir, – My heartfelt sympathy to Lara Marlowe on the passing of her beloved cat Spike. He will be well looked after in Cat Heaven as I have sent Zeba, Reza, Rana, Zia and Cyrus ahead of him. They lived splendid lives and were buried like Egyptian gods and goddesses. Not only that, they understood French, English and Farsi. Great times will be had by all. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – On reading Lara Marlowe’s engaging farewell to Spike following on a 20-year shared adventure, the plight of Count Alexander Rostov, “a Gentleman in Moscow”, springs to mind (Paris Letter, July 31st). Amor Towles’s quirky story line tells of a nobleman under house arrest in Moscow’s Hotel Metropol in the aftermath of the revolution, finding comfort and companionship in his cat and in the Essays of Michel de Montaigne. For his part, Montaigne, too, treated his pet as a companion, attributing human traits and feelings to a supposedly inferior creature. Straight from Montaigne, almost, is Lara Marlowe’s account that her furry friend “never succumbed to French snobbery or sophistication.” I shouldn’t be surprised that, just as with Shakespeare and with the nobleman above, the aforementioned Essays, penned by “the French Socrates”, hold pride of place on your ever-stylish Paris Correspondent’s bookshelf. – Yours, etc,
Sutton, Dublin 13.