Cat Haiku

Deborah Coates
Cat Haiku
The Ancient Art of Japanese Poetry – Cat-Style

Cat Haiku by is a cute coffee-table book I received during the holidays. The underlying idea: around 100 haiku about cats in english. The booklet is illustrated by very elegant drawings by Sandra Bruce. The haiku are funny and witty and the book is fun to read, but I had the nagging feelings that they are not really haiku. This made me think, why did I feel this? The versification certainly follows the form, and all of them talking about cat, you could even argue they all have nature as their thema, so what was my issue?

A cat getting your
Tongue is impossible; you
Guys are way too tall

Then it hit me: those poems are witty, which is something to expect of a english-speaking author. Haiku are more about a feeling, a precise sensation, that hits the reader during a short instant, an insightful flash. This is one form where, in my opinion, wits are not a good idea, the witty interaction between cat and human prevents from evoking sensations.

Cat Haiku
The Ancient Art of Japanese Poetry – Cat-Style

Deborah Coates
Random House
ISBN : 0-09-946328-8

Nosing around a bit on the internet, I found this page that contains a few haiku that are more rough, but try more often to get the sensation flash part right. Still Cat Haiku is a funny read, which made me smile a lot, and deepen my understanding of haiku.

The speed of light

I lately found an interesting animation on youtube that explains how one can break the speed of light by sweeping a laser beam on the moon’s surface. No particle or photon goes faster than the speed of light, but the red dot on the surface does.

If you ever played with a laser beam, you know that the red dot will eventually be followed by a cat trying to catch it. So the solution to have a physical body that goes faster than the speed of light is to put a cat on the moon and swipe a laser powerful enough to entice the feline. So the only thing science need to tackle is cat that can survive on the surface of the moon. We could also terraform the place. Some people would object that we could put the laser on the moon an swipe it on the surface of the earth. Believe me, you do not want to have a cat breaking the speed of light on your planet.

Cats and earphones


When riding the tramway or walking in the street, wearing earphones creates a certain distance, it basically shows that you are in your own universe, listening to mysterious tunes. People, seeing this, interact with you differently, and if they are wearing earphones, lost in their own music, they expect you to do the same.

Cats are different, they treat you the same whenever you are wearing earphones or not: in any case you are in a different universe. There is only one logical explanation: they have invisible earphones and are listening the cat music from another universe. This music is generally inaudible for humans, except the tunes that make cats very happy: then you can hear the purring. The purring is not produced by the cat, it is merely the audible part of the happy tune they are listening to.


Cinq centimètres par seconde / Five Centimeters per second / 秒速5㌢㍍



We watched “Five Centimeters per second” by Makoto Shinkai, an interesting movie, but we were expecting a different ending, that the two characters somehow meet again. A sad story, but the picture are gorgeous. I knew Makoto Shinkai because I saw “She & Her Cat”.

Nous avons regardé Cinq centimètres par seconde de Makoto Shinkai, un film intéressant, mais nous nous at­ten­dions à une fin différente, que les deux protagonistes se ren­contrent à nouveau. Une histoire triste, mais de très belles images. Je connaissais Makoto Shinkai pour avoir vu « Elle et son chat ».

De la réincarnation des chats

Temple Cat

Le bouddhisme prétend que les chats, en tant qu’animaux, vont, si leur karma est bon, se réincarner en humains. Il se trompe. Les chats se réincarnent en livres. Méditez, un soir d’hiver, alors que vous êtes près du feu, un livre dans les mains, un chat sur les genoux, et l’évidence s’imposera : la même essence émane des deux, ils sont constitué du même élément fondamental. Combien de fois un chat s’est il posé sur un livre, un journal, pour qu’on le lise ? Mais il n’est pas encore prêt, il est encore contraint par les désirs de la chair. Sur internet, les livres atteignent le cycle suivant, dénués de désirs et de forme physique. C’est pour cela que de nombreuses personnes mettent des images de leur chat sur internet, accompagné d’un tout petit morceau de texte, ils espèrent attirer les bonnes graces des chats qui ont atteint un niveau supérieur dans le cycle des réincarnations.

Temple Cat – © Tanakawho, Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic.