12 Chinese Cat Poems by Lu You

An imaginary image of Lu You with his beloved cat, artist unknown

In the general impression, Lu You(陸游) is a famous patriotic Chinese poet of the Southern Song Dynasty, full of melancholy. However, compared to lofty mountains, flowing rivers, in reality, he was a devoted cat lover.

Chinese Cat Poems Written by Lu You

Lu You’s famous patriotic poem titled ‘Stormy Winds on November Fourth(《十一月四日風雨大作》)’ is well-known in China, as it appears in many high school textbooks.

僵臥孤村不自哀,尚思為國戍輪台。
夜闌臥聽風吹雨,鐵馬冰河入夢來。

~《十一月四日風雨大作》陸游

Lying stiff in a solitary village, no self-pity within, Still contemplating guarding the frontier for the nation’s win.

 

Zhuang Sheng

《雪樹寒禽圖》李迪

Ye Xiangliu(葉祥榴), a Jinshi degree holder, said he had a friend named Chen, whose family had invited a teacher named Zhuang Sheng(莊生).

One August evening, after Zhuang Sheng finished teaching, feeling weary from watching the Chen brothers playing chess in the study, he stood up to return home. Zhuang Sheng’s house was a short distance from Chen’s, across a small bridge. As he walked onto the bridge that day, he stepped into emptiness, fell to the ground, hurriedly got up, and ran back home. 

Zheng/猙

Zheng/猙: looks like a red leopard, with five tails and one horn. It makes a sound like the sound of striking stones.

In the mountains, there is a beast called 猙(Zheng). It looks like a red leopard, with five tails and one horn. It makes a sound like the sound of striking stones.

《山海經·西次三經》

又西二百八十裏,曰章莪之山,無草木,多瑤、碧。所為甚怪。有獸焉,其狀如赤豹,五尾一角,其音如擊石,其名如猙。

LeiShen/雷神: The Deity of Thunder in Chinese Mythology

LeiShen/雷神 - Chinese Mythology: Deily of Thunder

In Chinese mythology, in the Lei Ze(The lake of thunder), there lived a thunder god. This god of thunder had a dragon-like body and a human head. If he slapped his abdomen, he would make a thunderclap.

雷澤中有雷神,龍身而人頭,鼓其腹。在吳西。

《山海經 海內東經》

TianMa/天馬: Named Sky Horse But In Fact a Dog

TianMa/SkyHorse天馬 - Chinese Mythology Beast: In Fact a Dog

天馬(Tianma/Sky Horse) is a beast there whose shape is like a white dog with a black head. When it sees a person, it flies away.

又東北二百裏,曰馬成之山,其上多文石,其陰多金玉,有獸焉,其狀如白犬而黑頭,見人則飛,其名曰天馬

《山海經·北山經》