Friday, 30 October 2015

A Conversation with a Cat                                                                                Hilaire Belloc

 “A Conversation with a Cat” is a beautiful essay written by Hilaire Belloc who is a great English writer. It is a good example for his ability to write pleasingly and persuasively about life situations in a dreamy and visionary style.  It is an imaginary meeting with a cat, which speaks about delicate human relationship.

The author was sitting at a little table in a bar of a railway station and taking a glass of beer.   Hilaire Belloc was meditating upon the essential but tragic isolation of the human soul. He told himself that something in common runs through all nature. A  tawny,silky long-haired cat came to him. The cat leaped into his lap and nestled there. Then the cat with its front paw touched his arm by way of introduction. Its love was innocent. But human beings have selfish love. If we love a person, the person must be our own. He should not go to another person. All his love should be mine. Human beings especially English people cannot love a strange person.  This is the attitude of human beings. On the other hand, the cat has selfless love. The cat smiled a secret love of approval. Seeing the selfless love of the cat, Hilaire Belloc could not sit idle. He gave the cat the same love. He lovingly  named the cat Amathea, which is the name of a Greek goddess and began to stroke it. He knew that he got a friend. Then he spoke to the cat. He praised her as the most beautiful of cats and asked her why she selected him to love him. There are millions of people in London, but the cat has chosen the author for her love. Again he asked the cat whether she had come to him out of pity for him. The cat did not understand the human speech. It simply closed its eyes and made a sound. The author thought this gesture of the cat was an approval for his questions. He was happy.

The author said that the cat did not reply him in words because when human beings used language for speech, they fight each other. On the other hand animals don’t speak. So they don’t quarrel as human beings often do. Secondly love is most beautiful in silence. Again the cat wagged its tail and the author thought it was an approval from the cat. He was flattered. He told the cat that no other person in the world can love Amathea more sincerely than himself because he knows that there are four charms in a cat. Beauty lies in its closed eyes, its long and lovely hair, its silence and its affected love.

While he was talking to the cat, Amathea raised her head, looked up the author so lovingly and touched his arm with her paw and then nestled again into his lap. The author thought that the cat would live with him for ever and the cat was safe under his protection. He told the cat she reminded him of his youth because a female cat is in love with him and even lies in his lap. Youthful age is a blessed and golden age of human life. During this period every man and woman get sound, regular sleep and their lives are full of love and happiness. During this period every man and woman build hopes and dreams of happy life.

The author tells the cat that he is thankful to the cat because she has recognized the author as the best among the seven million London people. The cat came to him and lay in the lap of the author. The author requested the cat to live with him for ever. Amathea is his cat and no power on the earth can separate them. They live together for ever. While the author was talking to the cat, she rose up and walked to the door. She did not look back. When she reached the door of the bar, a short unpleasant man scratched the cat lovingly. The cat rubbed herself against his leg and made friends with him. All the hopes of the author are shattered to pieces when the cat walked away and began to make friends with another strange man. Human being is selfish. He cannot love strangers and his love is selfish. That is why man is suffering from terrible loneliness. On the other hand animals are selfless. So they enjoy peace and love.  The cat enjoys great peace and 

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