Thursday, 16 August 2012
CHARMED ~ The Pastel of a Cat by Lady Marion Rootes
I never cease to feel joy when I accidently come across some small treasure, whether it is one which I intend to sell on, or one that I decide to keep. This one is most definitely a keep!
While wandering in the nearby village of Ramsbury, Wiltshire we looked in the small charity shop there (Ramsbury Charity Shop of Hills Stores) which is run by local people who donate their time in order to keep it open to provide funds to local charities. It's located in what was once the village shop. It's only open a few days a week for a few hours, but it has made a difference to those charities.
And to me because I love this little pastel of a black and white cat amongst flowers which was painted by Lady Marion Rootes of North Standen House some years ago. North Standen House has a lot of history and Lady Rootes does too, I found this mention of her on a blog about the Rootes car empire.
Rootes Motor Cars
And they have a Wiki entry
My photo of the pastel does not do it justice at all as it was shot through the glass of the frame. His eyes are wonderfully alive, (lit by The Jellicle Moon!) he has a knowing smile, magnificent whiskers - and I am certain that this was painted of a real much loved cat. I wish I knew the cat's name and story, and shall have to do some further research. If anyone should stumble across my post and know how I might get in touch with Lady Marion do please contact me.
It has been many years since I kept the company of a black and white cat, whose charming ways inspired T.S Eliot to pen a poem about them, 'Jellicle Cats'. My life has been graced by three such cats, all of whom I loved. Each one of them danced by the light of the Jellicle Moon in their own little way.
This one is going to hang on the wall and remind me of them and Lady Marion Rootes who so lovingly gave the cat immortality.
Jellicle Cats come out to-night
Jellicle Cats come one come all:
The Jellicle Moon is shining bright -
Jellicles come to the Jellicle Ball.
Jellicle Cats are black and white,
Jellicle Cats are rather small;
Jellicle Cats are merry and bright,
And pleasant to hear when they caterwaul.
Jellicle Cats have cheerful faces,
Jellicle Cats have bright black eyes;
They like to practise their airs and graces
And wait for the Jellicle Moon to rise.
Jellicle Cats develop slowly,
Jellicle Cats are not too big;
Jellicle Cats are roly-poly,
They know how to dance a gavotte and a jig.
Until the Jellicle Moon appears
They make their toilette and take their repose:
Jellicle Cats wash behind their ears,
Jellicles dry between their toes.
Jellicle Cats are white and black,
Jellicle Cats are of moderate size;
Jellicles jump like a jumping-jack,
Jellicle Cats have moonlit eyes.
They're quiet enough in the morning hours,
They're quiet enough in the afternoon,
Reserving their terpsichorean powers
To dance by the light of the Jellicle Moon.
Jellicle Cats are black and white,
Jellicle Cats (as I said) are small;
If it happens to be a stormy night
They will practise a caper or two in the hall.
If it happens the sun is shining bright
You would say they had nothing to do at all:
They are resting and saving themselves to be right
For the Jellicle Moon and the Jellicle Ball.
Footnote: The delightful and historic village of Ramsbury has it's own website and should you ever be passing by stop and have a meal or a drink at The Bell, which has it's own cafe, Bella Cafe. You can also stay there! It's a favourite place of ours and we will be writing more about local villages in the future.
The Bell Inn, Ramsbury