segunda-feira, 22 de agosto de 2011

Os Gatos de Mark Twain

Bambino foi um dos gatos favoritos de Mark Twain (1835-1910) que, da infância - compartilhada com 19 gatos - até a velhice, nunca deixou de viver na companhia de pelo menos dois gatos. "Não se imagina uma casa de Mark Twain onde os gatos não reinem supremos", diz um de seus biógrafos. Em sua fazenda em Connecticut viviam 11 gatos.
Bambino era, na verdade, de sua filha, Clara, que tentou contrabandeá-lo para a clínica de saúde onde teve que passar algum tempo, mas foi descoberta e impedida de mantê-lo. Clara pediu ao pai que ficasse com Bambino até sair da clínica. Twain nunca mais devolveu o gato.
Por ter sido de Clara, Bambino, escapou da sina de ser batizado com um dos nomes estranhos que Twain dava aos seus gatos: Sin, Satan, Sour Mash, Famine, Flood, Pestilence, Lazy, Sackcloth, Beelzebub, Blatherskite...

O afeto de Mark Twain pelos gatos é comprovado em cartas:
Dear Mrs. Patterson,
The contents of your letter are very pleasant and very welcome, and I thank you for them, sincerely. If I can find a photograph of my "Tammany" and her kittens, I will enclose it in this. One of them likes to be crammed into a cornerpocket of the billiard table -- which he fits as snugly as does a finger in a glove and then he watches the game (and obstructs it) by the hour, and spoils many a shot by putting out his paw and changing the direction of a passing ball. Whenever a ball is in his arms, or so close to him that it cannot be played upon without risk of hurting him, the player is privileged to remove it to any one of three spots that chances to be vacant. . . .
Sincerely yours,
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

e biografias:

Mr. Clemens borrowed a kitten one time, called Bambino, from Clara, who had him in the sanitarium, and had trained him to wash his own face in the bowl every morning -- which shows that he was a very smart little cat. He used to have this kitten up in his room at the Fifth Avenue house and he taught it to put out a light, too. He had a tiny little lamp to light his cigars with at the head of the bed, and after he got all fixed and didn't want the light any more, he taught that cat to put his paw on the light and put it out. Bambino would jump on the bed, look at Mr. Clemens to see if he was through with the light, and when Mr. Clemens would bow twice to him, he'd jump over on to that table quick, and put his little paw right on the lamp! Mr. Clemens was always showing him off; he did that for a lot of people that come there to call. 


-A Lifetime with Mark Twain, Mary Lawton

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