The Cat Guest
Dai Itō is an inspired photographer. A virtuoso of black and white, he tells us stories with all the sensitivity of the writer and musician, but pictures are is medium of predilection. For Neko Project, he submitted a story entitled The Cat Guest and inspired by the novel with same title written by Takashi Hiraide and published in 2001. This novel tells the story of a young couple who settled in an old but comfortable house with a beautiful garden, and regularly receives the visit of a cat.
Dai Itō explains: “As I read this novel, I remembered my grandmother’s house. Because cats visited her house as often as in the novel. The number of cat visitors has decreased significantly these days, but even today, one cat after another visits her house. Having a too sensitive skin, I haven’t been able to keep animals since I was a child, and the apartment where I lived also forbade me to have pets. These situations prevented me from fulfilling my dream of raising animals. Visiting my grandmother’s house was therefore a precious opportunity to spend time with them, and playing with cats was the greatest pleasure for me in her house, particularly are there were no toys there. Now, my grandmother is very old, but cats still come to her house, fortunately. I secretly call them “Cat Home Caregiver”, in fact I am sure my grandmother is mentally helped by cats. ”
Dai Itō imagined a conversation between his grandmother and the cats. He then mixed pictures of the cats who visited his grandmother’s house with pictures of important motifs from the novel: the window, the pine tree, the cat’s grave… He writes
− “Listen, my sweetheart, thank you for always coming here. But could you take a little break? Like on rainy days and hot days? Or on a day when you wouldn’t feel like doing anything?
− Don’t worry, I come here because I want to. Your garden has very good sun exposure, and I can drink fresh water from the broken tap there anytime. Also, I can sometimes have your delicious leftovers. You may not know it but, your garden is a pretty popular spot among us, I mean among stray cats around here. So you don’t have to mind about it. But please greet me when I come here, I always worry whether you were fine or not, Ma’am.”
© Dai Itō