Image and text borrowed from Japan Society.
Announcement: Life of Cats: Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection
Friday, March 13 – Sunday, June 7, 2015
Since arriving in Japan aboard Japanese ships transporting sacred Buddhist scriptures from China in the mid-sixth century, cats have proceeded to purr and paw their way into the heart of Japanese life, folklore, and art. Life of Cats: Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection illustrates the depth of this mutual attraction by mining the wealth of bravura depictions of cats to be found in ukiyo-e woodblock prints of the Edo Period (1615-1868).
Ninety ukiyo-e prints in the exhibition are on loan from the esteemed Hiraki Ukiyo-e Foundation whose holdings are revered in Japan. Select prints, paintings, sculptures, and other works borrowed from U.S. collections complement these prints, making the exhibition over 120 artworks. With cross-cultural and multi-generational appeal, Life of Cats takes viewers on a wild ride through Japan’s love affair with our feline friends.
Lots of great images on the website, by all means check it out!
Woman With A Hearing Loss Taught Her Deaf Cat Sign Language, Including The Word 'Dance'
Story borrowed from The Huffington Post, 3/26/15.
When Kim Silva retired from teaching at the American School for the Deaf, she decided to start teaching sign language to her cats.
"Guess I missed the kiddies so I began teaching the kitties!" Silva says.
It all started after setting sights on a deaf cat named Bambi.
Silva's previous teaching experience was pretty much limited to humans, but she was optimistic that American Sign Language would help Bambi live most fully -- and that the cat would be a perfectly good student.
"Since my daughters learned signs from infancy, I had ideas how to introduce sign," she says.
Bambi was at a rescue shelter in Texas, though, and it would take a while before she could be brought to Connecticut, where Silva lives. In the meantime, she figured, she might as well get started with the cats she already had, even though both of them could hear.
A lot of deaf dogs have learned ASL. Groups like the ASPCA say training cats in general is possible (always using positive reinforcement, of course). Still, Silva says even "some deaf people have questioned if cats could learn sign."
"Bobcat immediately understood," she says. "My other cat, Bear, was very old and was not interested."
Bobcat learned one sign after another "until he learned the new vocabulary," Silva says. "Bobcat was a sponge for sign language! He showed off. He was fabulous."
Bambi picked up the signs even more easily, since, Silva explains, she had "peer reinforcement and copied Bobcat."
The cats have a delightfully expansive vocabulary. Among the words they now know are: "come," "more," "sit," "stay," "shake," "high five," "sleep," "circle," "shrimp,' "play," "canned food," "finish" and "dance" (though sometimes they don't feel like doing that one). They also know "off," which Silva must spell out, letter by letter.
While the talented cats respond to Silva's commands, they don't actually sign themselves -- at least not a whole lot.
Read the whole story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/26/cats-sign-language_n_6940892.html
My cat, Mugi-chan, in addition to her own native language, understands English, Japanese and Japanese Sign Language. She just ignores them all...