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艾性夫《貓犬歎》“Sighing over my cat and dog” by Ai Xingfu (fl. late 13th century)

飯猫奉魚肉,

憐惜同寝

飼犬雜糠籺,

呵斥出庭

犬行常低循,

猫坐輙箕

愛憎了不同,

拘肆固其

虚堂夜搜攪,

忽報犬得

問猫爾何之,

翻甕竊醢

犬雖出位終愛主,

猫兮素餐烏用[1]


For my cat [I] offer fish flesh

And with tenderness share my bed.

For my dog [I] mix chaff and bran

And with scolding chase [it] out to the courtyard.

The dog always walks with its head down,

Yet the cat sits with its legs spread wide.

Love and disgust in stark contrast,

Timidity and impudence [emerge] exactly where expected.

[After] a night of scuffling in the empty hall,

Suddenly came the report that the dog had caught a mouse.

[I] ask the cat: where were you?

Messing about with the urn, stealing meat paste and jerkies.

The dog, though out of place, cares for its master after all;

[But] cat, alas, who eats the bread of idleness, what use have I of you?


* From 艾性夫 Ai Xingfu (fl. late 13th century), Shengyu 剩語 (Wenyuange yingyin Siku quanshu 文淵閣景印四庫全書 vol. 1194, Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1987) 1.3b-4a;

[1] Red characters rhyme.


"Chunye yan taoliyuan" 春夜宴桃李園 by Leng Mei 冷枚 (1669-1742)

Image credit: National Palace Museum, Taipei

Detail of the hanging scroll above, showing a cat sitting on the table and dogs running on the ground

 

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This is so brilliant! Cats behaving in a cat like fashion through the ages - why do we put up with them?

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