Saturday, March 31, 2012


It's a wet Saturday night in Los Angeles, and I'm sitting at my desk catching up with Tasks, and doing some teaching prep.  So this is what I see if I turn my head - I can't even be bothered to rise from my chair and go and hunt down, say, a live cat.  I've been appalled, speaking of cats, to find that H. G. Wells's The Invisible Man (yes, the Invisibility course has just one month to go) has, in Chapter 20, a dreadful example of Cruelty to Cats.  The Invisible Man - before he's invisible - practices on his landlady's cat, and reduces it, in visible form, to its claws, and to the tepitum, the pigment at the back of the eyes.  So when he strikes a light, "there were just the round eyes shining green - and nothing round them."  It would have been fine if it had been allowed to escape through the window, and Wells had left the matter there, but the IM narrates a follow-up - "It was alive four days after, I know, and down a grating in Great Tichfield Street; because I saw a crowd round the place, trying to see whence the miaowing came."   Indeed.  I've now lost sympathy with the IM. 

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