Second Draft


Some Things Don’t Change…

Posted in Research by Jill Snider Lum on Monday, March 8, 2010

Humans have always been humans.  Throughout history and across cultures, though we may have had have different levels of technology, different knowledge-bases, different toys, we’ve still been people.  And people in pretty much every country on Earth have been enjoying the company of cats for thousands of years.

Japan is no exception.  These models are set up behind a barrier in the Vanity Tower in Himeji Castle, to provide visitors a glimpse of what life must have been like there for Princess Sen, who married into the Honda family about 100 years after our novel Demon Gate takes place.  You can see it better by clicking on the picture.  Princess Sen had companions; she had hobbies and amusements; and in this interpretation, she had a cat.

The Japanese word for “cat” is neko.  An approximation of “kitty” would be neko-chan.  You just know that this particular neko is about to lash its tail, spring forward, and bat one of the shells across the mat as though it were a mouse.  The cat demands attention.  The cat wants to play.  The can enjoys hanging around with its humans, and wants to be included in their activity.  And possibly the cat is about to remind its humans that now is the time for fish, because the cat is a good mouser and has taken care of most of the rodents available for munching in the Vanity Tower, and the cat is now hungry and must be fed.

Princess Sen may be a princess… but the cat is, after all, a Cat.

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