My girls love cats. They would like me to get one. I guess these short statements are enough to convince you that I am not as enthusiastic about the idea as they are… Don’t get me wrong, I love animals but I’m not sure that I’m up to taking care of two small children plus a cat. Besides, our neighborhood is full of cats that the girls already play with when the cats are willing. I’m convinced that Elise can speak fluent feline at this point 🙂
What does this have to do with Japan? I recently saw a spot on French TV about Japanese cat cafés where you pay to spend time enjoying feline company! I’m still trying to find a link to the French clip but in the meantime you can read more here at the BBC. I have to admit that I like the idea. I always enjoy spending time in unusual cafés, ones that feel unique and funky and that don’t necessarily subscribe to the Starbucks cookie cutter model.
I received this cat-centered etegami card as a thank you for a surprise I sent a while ago. Isn’t it cuddly? Etegami is a Japanese folk art mixing a painted picture (usually from an everyday theme) and words. Etegami, literally “picture letter,” is also artwork which is meant to be mailed as I learned in Paris a few years back. The espace Japon hosted an exhibit entitled ETEGAMI Correspondance peinte. I couldn’t get enough of the wonderful illustrations and texts–accessible yet foreign. Elise might speak feline, but I can’t, any more than I can speak or read Japanese. I still don’t know what these cats are saying! Can anyone tell me what the text on this card means? I have a feeling that the hardest part of visiting Japan for me will be being illiterate. I’ve traveled in countries where I didn’t speak the language (Spain, Italy, parts of Belgium, Greece) but I was always able to read and decipher the words in front of me. Reading is like breathing. I take it for granted and I cannot even begin to imagine what it will be like when it’s gone…
PS If you’re interested in looking at other examples of etegami, I would recommend dosankodebbie’s etegami notebook. Her blog is nicely organized, full of wonderful etegami and even a link to her etsy shop.