Caturday felids: les chats de Paris

April 17, 2010 • 4:24 am

Here are two chat-related items from my recent trip to Paris.  While dining at the estimable L’Ami Jean, we spotted this cartoon, drawn on a napkin, hanging on the wall.  On the top left the cartoonist has autographed it to the restaurant and the chef, Stéphane Jégo.  The about-to-be consumed mouse is saying, “I give my body in the cause of gastronomy.”

It will not have escaped your notice that this felid is a bit salacious.  It turns out that the top and bottom of the napkin were drawn by two separate cartoonists. (My guess is that they were dining together at the restaurant.) Matthew Cobb, who spent many years living in France, gives the details:

Here’s your cat-alogue of info about your drawing. He is simply called LE CHAT and he (or rather his author) is BELGIAN and not French. Le Chat is also pretty funny most of the time, although the humour is based on some pretty dire puns (see example pasted below). HOWEVER, looking at it closely, I see that there’s some rather puckish humour going on here.

The top cat (as it were) is indeed Le Chat, drawn by Philippe Geluck. The scabrous underneath is drawn by Siné, veteran French cartoonist with a sulphorous reputation who in the 50s made his mark with his own book of cat drawings, which we used to own, called (in English) Scatty. Here’s one of his – similarly daft puns, this one is of course a pas-chat. [JAC note: “pasha”]
Here‘s a link to the Sine book in English with the cover and a couple of examples.

Here’s Geluck’s website.

Cat(s) #2 comes from an antique store in one of the covered markets (passages) of Paris.  Test your French by translating the cat’s moods.

h/t: Otter (photography and dining), Matthew (explanation).

4 thoughts on “Caturday felids: les chats de Paris

  1. The cats of Siné, Geluck and Dubout! Great choice!

    For the non-French speakers, I’ve done a quick translation of the captions in the last picture, which is a famous drawing by Albert Dubout (1905-1976), a French artist and illustrator who was also a cat lover. Here’s the link:

    Love from Paris 😉

  2. Re Dubout, loved it, but: French cats aren’t catty?!

    Must be too much mice (“from too much cheese” – “no, don’t stereotype” – “but the whole drawing _is_ stereotype!”).

  3. “I bequeath my body to food” – what a strange thing for a mouse to say. Was mouse or rat on the menu? I guess it would have been around the war.

Leave a Reply