Here's my International Women's Day cartoon ready for next week.
It feels cheesy to have to “explain” a cartoon about a current social phenomenan – but the debate around this subject has degenerated to childish levels.
No it's not 'anti-Chinese'!
The waving, beckoning or warning cat is a symbol used throughout China and they appropriated a Japanese legend.
The cat is most likely in the common position of a cat washing behind one or both ears.
You see it in every Chinese take-away.
The cat can have one or both hands up,n some of them are mechanical so the hand moves up & down.
They come in all shapes, sizes , colours and materials and some can cost £1000s.
They are widely used by businesses as a good luck charm, to bring prosperity and ward off evil
spirits. Kind of like a house gargoyle/gatepost warning animal in England , or a household God King Cobra living outside an Indian hut.
There is actually a temple in Japan dedicated to this legend and visitors leave thousands of token lucky cats there .
The legend is that a Samurai was saved by the temple's cat holding it's paw up (either beckoning or warning) which saved his life (either from beckoning him so he moved away from a lightening strike, or protecting from enemies who were chasing him by warning them not to come in the temple where he had taken refuge).
So this cat is a warning cat.
I've mixed the symbolism with the coronavirus panic, so it's wearing a mask which is also silencing it's voice.
All the symbols flying around like viruses in the air have been used at some time somewhere to
depict aspects of human sexuality, at least 4 of them are used on birth certificates and medical
records today, others have been adopted by the LBQT+++ activists.
Cats are widely seen as feminine even when they're not, so in that way they are an ambiguous
animal. Most of these statues have a symbol on their chest, I think at this particular time in the
history of Feminism it has to be a question mark!
And by the way, the legend of the cat washing its ears being a warning is not confined to Asia.
When I was a child my mother used to tell me that if our cat washed behind her ears, it was going to rain!
On this website is a fraction of my work from the last 40 years. Many of my illustrations were published in the 'British Small Press' (before we all had the internet) in the 70s and 80s, and I've included some on this site.
I am a regular political cartoonist for the UK's only Socialist daily newspaper, the Morning Star.