Coin du feu: a childhood memory from Arizona


Culture color clash, but cute: my boys. Max (12) and Coco (10 weeks).

chaton (sha-ton) noun, masculine
   : kitten

In books: French for Cats: All the French Your Cat Will Ever Need

     Les caresses n'ont jamais transformé un tigre en chaton.
     No man can tame a tiger into a kitten by stroking it.

                          --Franklin Delano Roosevelt

by Kristin Espinasse

My son, Max, and I--two self-appointed mother hens--are on night watch. It is our duty to help a five hundred gram furball feel welcome and at home. Though our new pet--un minet!*--seemed to warm to our unfamiliar farm....when night fell so did his furry little heart.

Perhaps cats' hearts aren't furry, but they can be fearful. So when the crying and miaulement* became hard to bear, Max and I redoubled our efforts (adding song to our midnight bag-of-tricks). But when two dozen refrains of "Meunier Tu Dors"* didn't work we were desperate.
"She wants her mommy," I said to a sleepy Max.
"'He' does. 'HE' wants his mommy," Max corrected.

That's right: she is a he. I keep forgetting. It must be that ultra feminine coat he has on. His fur is as long as the Côte d'Azur and, the color, cool as the Paris skyline in wintertime: mostly gray with hues of blue (that bit of Provence, you know, thrown in too).

"Blue or gray, she's one big furball!" I say, as she, er, HE, curls up at our feet. "...un grand boule de poil!'" I repeat.
"Non, UNE boule de poil," Max corrects.
"Ah, so "furball" is feminine?"

OK, I can remember that: furball is feminine. Now to get the minet to forget (forget his mama... so we self-appointed hens can get some shut-eye.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~French Vocabulary~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
un minet (une minette) = kitty cat; le miaulement (m) = meowing; Meunier, tu dors = Miller, You're Sleeping

     More books: The Cat Who Walked Across France &
    The Cat Who Went to Paris
  Romantic Paris 2008 Wall Calendar
  Madeline In Paris: 2008 Wall Calendar
  Tune Up Your French: Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Spoken French
  Chansons Pour Noel: Songs for Christmas (in French):

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety