THE great thing about travel is that it gives you air to reflect on your life at home, experience the unexpected and, if in Japan, to experience the first world done differently (no crime, no grime). One such place on our way to the venerable Mt Fuji back in April was the Hakone Open Air Museum in the small tourist town of Gora where we came across the Picasso Exhibition Hall, two storeys of paintings, sculptures and ceramic works in addition to photos of the artist at various points during his life. The other was a cat shop. Visualise an armada of waving paws, devoted to all thing cat. The Japanese clearly love their cats.
It was here that my brain, free from the trivialities of home life, was let out to roam. Triggered by the surprise juxtaposition of Picasso’s high art and cat crap, I reflected on the Jekyll and Hyde duality of Felis catus, the domestic moggy.