Episode 200: Talking Cats

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Today we will talk about a couple of stories of talking cats from the 18th century.

The first story is from the book LvYuanCongHua 履园丛话 around the 18th century during the Qing dynasty 清朝. In the book, it says, the descendants of Wang Yinzhi 王引之, a Chinese scholar between the year 1766~ 1834 still owned the old house during the reign of Emperor XianFeng 咸丰, between the year 1831~ 1861. There was a cat in the old house and could talk like people. One day, the cat was sleeping, a person walked closely and asked the cat if it could talk for real. The cat replied, “I can talk. It’s none of your business.” and disappeared.




The second story is from the same book. In the army base in the place JiangXi 江西, there were two cats talking and were found by a soldier who tried to catch them. One cat escaped and one cat got caught. The cat begged the soldier, “I’ve lived for 12 years. I tried to keep silent because I knew people would get amazed. If you can let me go, that’s great merit.” So the soldier let the cat go.




In another book QingBaiLeiChao 清稗类钞from the 19th century also during Qing dynasty 清朝, it says, during the reign of Emperor GuangXu 光绪 and Emperor XuanTong 宣统around the 19th century, a person named Guo Jiting 郭季庭 from the place TongZhou 通州 heard a family in town had an old cat that spoke. He had doubt and decided to go and check. When he arrived at the family, before he entered the door, he heard the old cat shouted at him, “Guo Jiting, you don’t believe cats can talk?” Guo Jiting was shocked and talked with the cat sincerely. According to the cat, it was more than a thousand years old. It could remember things clearly happened in the past. Guo Jiting asked, “what do you eat to live such a long time?” The cat said, “all I like in this world is liquor.” Guo Jiting bought some booze and shared with the cat. After that day, he and the cat became great friends.



履园丛话 LvYuanCongHua

清稗类钞 QingBaiLeiChao


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