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Lovecraft and the cats

H.P. Lovecraft thought cats to be superior to dogs. He outlined his views in an essay on the subject, an essay in which he noted that cats were the Nietzschean-pagan ideal: aloof, unsentimental, aesthetic, without superstition, and self-possessed. Ergo, the superior man owned cats not servile, sentimental, and stupid dogs. Throughout the essay Lovecraft describes cats as “cynics” by way of praise, meaning aloof from the considerations of mass society; he should have consulted his etymological dictionary, “cynic” is derived from the ancient Greek for “dog”—“kynos”. Diogenes the Cynic said, “I nuzzle my friends and bite my enemies, just like the dog.” The Cynic, who casts off all affectations of society to seek an honest and natural life, admired the frankness of the dog; he was a dog—cats, of course, are dishonest creatures, they hide and sneak. Far from the cat being a frank aristocrat, as Lovecraft claims, it is the anti-cynic; it is a conformist, it is a woman—a creature that believes itself to be unique and different, while actually being monotonously the same. The cat is also, unlike a true aristocrat, incapable of loyalty—just like a woman, nobody can trust a cat’s word. A cat’s word means nothing; and yet the ancient Persians said, “Rather die than tell a lie,” and the ancient Germans, “Loyalty and honour above all.”

Lovecraft’s other error was to associate the cat, per Nietzschean aristocratic thought, with a scientific and disenchanted view of the universe. Hence he thinks the cat instantiates the cold universe—correct—but that it is not magic, only scientifically inclined. Cats are magic, literally: their eyes have the shape of the vajra, the third eye, and fractalise—so granting inter-dimensional travel. They represent the feminine element of the universe, Kali: she who cooly destroys, as Lovecraft saw, but also warmly creates—Lovecraft, as a sterile man, could not see Kali’s creative aspect. I have seen examples of this: a girlfriend who, as a teenager, found a cat at her door—she let it in and it shot upstairs to have a litter of kittens. Shortly afterwards, she began to experience psychic events; the cat was her witch’s familiar. One day, I sent her a picture of a grey cat in my garden; she immediately sent me back a picture of another grey cat in an identical posture; it was the same cat—the inter-dimensional character of cats is real, as is their magic. For Nietzsche and Lovecraft, this would be superstition; but it is reality.

Cats are, let us face it, a pet for a girls—and homosexual men, of which Lovecraft was one. Other notable homosexual cat owners include William S. Burroughs (who, unlike Lovecraft, understood that cats are magic) and Yukio Mishima. The cat is often, though not always, a pet for a prissy man who is neurotically tidy and thinks far too much of himself; as with a cat or a woman, he thinks he deserves a prize for existing—he will not, just like H.P. Lovecraft, get his hands dirty and produce anything real; least of all a child.

Lovecraft, a permanent adolescent—like most homosexuals—considered women as slimy creatures from the beyond: Cthulhu is a mobile vagina, a woman. He owned cats because, being enmeshed with his mother—like his penpal Robert E. Howard, who shot himself when his mother died—he could not forge a real productive relationship with a woman: he was estranged from real women, and split his women into the disgusting Cthulhu-creature and the idealised feminine cat. The idealised feminine cat represented his mother’s pure—supposedly asexual—love as opposed to the slimy reality of a female lover, as with many homosexuals Lovecraft thought of women as “dirty” and “disgusting”. This is projection; the vagina is bloody and mucoid, but not as dirty as the rectum. Lovecraft must have suspected this association between femininity and cats, because he mentions in his essay that it is common to speak of women as “catty”.

Lovecraft owned cats because he liked being owned by a mother-woman, by the feminine principle—as is clear from his essay. He had none of the aristocratic elements he pretended; he lived to serve, to serve the female with whom he could never have an actual sexual relationship. Indeed, it is revealing that he called his cat “Nigger”; this probably represented his own unresolved sexual fantasies: the desire to be owned and dominated by a black man, in the style of the photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe. In his essay, he speaks of his cat “Nig” in enraptured tones—as a lover; he speaks to his own sublimated desire for a large black creature. Lovecraft thinks that cat owners emulate their pets; but it is obvious from his essay that the cat owns him: he is dominated by the cat as he was dominated by his mother, and as he then yearned to be dominated by a black man.

It is no surprise that Lovecraft and, to an extent, Howard should be drawn to fascism; for fascism contains a strong homoerotic streak—though it should be noted that Hitler had a dog, not a cat. It was the more socialistically inclined and homosexual Ernst Röhm who was the cat in the fascist bag; the cat is collectivist, like a woman.

People who, like Lovecraft, express excessive disdain or favour for cats or dogs are usually unbalanced. The dog is masculine, the cat feminine; the two metaphysical tendencies can be integrated in a single person. In Jungian terms, Lovecraft was anima possessed; he projected his desire for a sexless woman—for a mother-son relationship in marriage—into the world of felines. As such, he was no full hermaphrodite—in the metaphysical sense, a unity of male and female—and so had no real power; he was, just as he feared, an adolescent dilettante: he did not know the real passion that can exist between a man and a woman, nor could he really create.


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