.. another mistake about mimesis ..

„What does it mean when our cats bring small, wounded animals into the house? Most people interpret these deposits as offerings or gifts, however inaptly chosen, meant to please or propitiate us, the cats‘ humans. But according to the anthropologist  E. M. Thomas, „Cats may be assuming the role of educator when they bring prey indoors to their human owners … A mother cat starts teaching her kittens from the moment they start following her … Later she gives them hands-on practice by flipping victims in their direction, exactly as the cat does in play. Mother cats even bring wounded prey back to their nests or dens so that their homebound kittens can practice, especially if the prey is of manageable size. So perhaps cats who release living prey in our houses are trying to give us some practice, to hone our hunting skills“ (105).“

eve kosofsky sedgwick: touching feeling.

3 Gedanken zu „.. another mistake about mimesis ..“

  1. „“ „“ „“ .. .. .. First there is the narcissistic wound. Where we had thought to be powerful or admired, quasi parental figures to our cats, we are cast instead in the role of clumsy newborns requiring special education. Worse, we have not even learned from this education. With all the cat’s careful stage management, we seem especially stupid in having failed to so much as recognize the scene as one of pedagogy. .. .. ..

    Then again, even if we had recognized the cat’s project as pedagogical, it’s possible we would not have responded appropriately by „honing our hunting skills“ on the broken, twitching prey. Possibly we do not want to learn the lesson our cat is teaching. Here, in an affective register, is another mistake about mimesis: the cat’s assumption that we identify with it strongly enough to want to act more like it (e.g. eat live rodents). For a human educator, the cat’s unsuccessful pedagogy resonates with plenty of everyday nightmares. .. .. .. „“ „“ „“

    eve kosofsky sedgwick: touching feeling.

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