Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cats in Art: Stone Carving in Libya

Ran across across a photo of this neat stone engraving, that also embodies the theme of the cat in art:

Image credit Hakeem Gadi on Wikimedia, here, engraving of Fighting Cats at Mathendous, Libya.
I saw a real cat fight once--not a domestic squabble display like many of us see daily in our homes--but rather a full-on, no holds barred heavy duty cat fight in a barnyard.
The nearest thing I can compare it to is the standard cartoon depiction of a cat fight, where a writhing ball of fur spins around like a miniature tornado.  The fur flew, literally.  And the sounds: screaming meows, wailing, yelps of pain.  It was a jaw-dropping experience that I've never forgotten, nor would you if see one.
The cats in the engraving look like they are ready to rumble, and not for play either.
So...I wonder what compelled the unknown stone carver, of all the myriad subjects he could have chosen, to do an engraving of cats?  Also, I wonder about the scale of this engraving--there is no way to tell from the image or from the accompanying data exactly how large the cats are.  To me, they certainly appear to be much larger than life size, but I am speculating.
At any rate, they are locked for eternity in their pre-fight posturing, a moment before the fight begins in earnest.

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