The Putru

For sure, you must have heard of the Putru. It is about the size of a weasel but it has only two, infinitely long and shapely legs while feathered wings replace the forelegs, also its tail, which is rather lengthy in relation to its tiny body, is feathered. One might mistake it for an oversized jumping mouse, considering the small rodent like head and the disproportionally large ears or, when it roams the gardens anxiously flapping its wings, using the tail to keep its balance, for a small pheasant.

Its fur shimmers blue in the light, is very dense and soft, with long hairs. Except that the hairs won’t come in flat silky waves but would rather stand on end. As well around its generously bulging ears, giving the animal just such an out of place look. After all, one would think it a very odd fellow if it weren’t for its round, velvety eyes. In them is mirrored the endless sadness of the dejected creature.

I could go on and on about this little friend, its predilection for peppermint and (women’s) perfume (as food) and soft music, its ability to find the most impossible places to have a nap (which is what it most of the time does, napping). It’s intermittently romantic turns and general daft grumpiness.

Hellmut von Cube, a long forgotten author, has sketched them perfectly in his little book “Tierskizzenbuch”. It is out of print for ages, but now and then, if you are lucky enough, you may happen to come across it at the antique bookseller’s. It has the most beautiful cover:


Mr von Cube rightly writes that Putrus are of a very rare species. Although, if I think of it, I’m sure a colony of them has taken up lodgings at the Les Poissonchat’s. But you need to look very carefully, sideways. Otherwise, I figure, you will not see them. Like all these exacting scientists, sleuths of reality, who think the Putru is a figment of your imagination. It’s useless to argue with such people, and surely, they will never ever see one, as a Putru only shows itself to whom it likes.

As it nearly impossible to photograph a Putru, here are some sketches for you to have a look at (and two Poissonchats, our heraldic animal).  I hope that those who already saw one will be gentle with their criticism, it is just awfully difficult to put a Putru’s character on paper:




Brocante, j’adore!

Brocante, j’adore!, once said an otherwise very tongue-tied Englishman living in France when asked where les Poissonchats could go treasure hunting, and after days of communication going down pretty much to good morning and good night, we had a very lengthy and very animated and very funny conversation around all stuff old and used and pretty. And he couldn’t be more right, of course, Brocante, j’adore.Read More »

Snipping and Sewing

Naked arms in the gentle breeze, grass tickling your feet, plunging into early summer, an athmosphere for cool silks, flowing gowns and flower crowns in your hair. This calls for “just a little snipping, then a little sewing, and it’ll all be good as gold”, as the norn said in Neil Gaiman’s story “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”, one of Madame’s favourite contemporary novels. Evidently, even the most shattered little personal universe can be fixed with snipping and sewing, if properly done, of course.

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Poissonchat goes Vacances!

Oh have we not longed for the stillness of these cold and bleak afternoons, when the harsh sunlight is smashed into a thousand sparkling rays by the icicles hanging low on the eaves. Shiny white flatlands in the valley, black frozen mirrors of little mountain pools and lazy cows glancing out of a barn door with their steaming noses. This is in fact  what les Poissonchats go for to spend their Christmas Holiday. Read More »