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A Cat Sprite


According to the Yijianzhi,[1] the daughter of Zhou Wu in Lin’an, a fine lady, suddenly seemed bewitched. At daytime [she] slept without waking up throughout the daylight hours, and during the night [she] forgot about sleeping till dawn. Every night [she] always took great care in grooming herself and put on a fresh dress. At midnight [she] was stealthy and seemed to whisper with someone. [Her] parents were worried. Someone called Yu San asked about it; Zhou told [him] everything. Yu said: “This is a cat sprite.”  [He] worked his magic and cut off its head with a sword. The girl snapped out of the spell, and the sprite was gone thereafter.

* From Wang Chutong 王初桐 (1729-1821) ed., Mao sheng 貓乘 (Historia Felum), 4.10a-b:

[1] A collection of strange tales (zhiguai 志怪) compiled by Hong Mai 洪邁 (1123-1202). This tale is, however, not found in the extant editions of the Yijianzhi.

Sleeping (not exactly in a lady-like way) the whole day ... Checked.

Meticulous in grooming herself... Checked.


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