I was walking out of my driveway the other morning and I happened to see one of the local cats walking along the opposite side of the road. Sauntering along like he (or she) owned the street. The fact that he (or she) probably does own the street in the cat sense didn’t cross my mind until later on in the day. It was the fact that I was instantly reminded of the intro sequence for “Walk on the wild side,” directed by Saul Bass.
While I do not compare where I live to the roaring scene of 1930’s New Orleans, it did make me wonder why I had never noticed this particular cat before. The neighbourhood in which I live seems to have as many cat residents as it does human ones; they often find pleasure in sitting on my back lawn in the sun and falling asleep and I for the most part enjoy watching them.
Saul Bass claimed he used a cat in his title sequences as he preferred to bring attention to objects that we tend to overlook in modern society.
It was this along with the fact that I’ve been reading a book by John Burger titled; Why look at Animals?
The role of the animal has certainly changed with society. They’re less used as a part of a work force, I can’t say entirely so as there is still stock for farm animals. When the Fox Hunting ban was passed in the UK, however I do not know if I was the only one to think that a lot of Hound Dogs would be out of work as a result!
Animals have come into the home as a pet instead. I think this was a Victorian change that made this so, but I am currently uncertain as my readings have only recently began. Their role has shifted from a tool; something of use to a spectacle; a form of entertainment and comfort.
I started to wonder the role in which animals have to people in the same situation as myself. Someone who works part time (So is out of the house a fair amount) with a partner who works full time. I’ve noticed that since wondering this that the house has felt utterly quiet and rather lonely while I am in it by myself.
Why is this?
Is it the fact that it has come to the forefront of my mind since thinking it – certainly this has a part to play, but also I have always had an animal in the home before. Like most children, I grew up with them. At most points in my youth there was an animal either in the house or in my bedroom. I personally preferred Budgies to the usual offering of rodents; but we also had Gerbils as pets as well as the usual cat and dog. After leaving school I did a Diploma in Animal Management.. which was where I started drawing anthropomorphic characters for the first time more “seriously” – I think most children have animal characters without knowing what they really mean?
Yet, I know of some people who are frightened of animals. Not just a specific type of animal, but all animals. I can only wonder what that would be like, as I find the whole world of animals fascinating.
Likewise with the world of anthropomorphism. This was something that I also grew up with. Most childrens cartoons I watched had some sort of anthropomorphic representation in them.
And these are images just from the ones I can remember off the top of my head. If anyone can think of any more please feel free to leave a comment because I know for a fact that there are a lot more.
I wonder… is there a decline in Anthropomorphic representations to children in cartoons in current times that may not help them adjust to seeing real life animals?
Does Disney still rely on talking animals in their feature films or has the trend for them really moved on to something a lot more human orientated?
It something that I have noticed over the years that there seems to be a decline in, but I don’t know if that is just me no longer paying as much attention to cartoons.
One response to “Cats and the meaning of Anthropomorphism?”
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