One summer, Alice Maddicott was adopted by a beautiful tabby called Dylan, and together they shared six years of loving friendship. Alice collected second-hand photos – orphan images – and in her sadness after Dylan’s death, she pored over the old photographs of women and their cats. Cats in gardens, cats on laps, cats in alleys and on steps, accompanied by women who were diffident and affectionate, fierce and whimsical, young and old.
What did these cats mean to the women who cared for them? Why have cat-owning women always been viewed with suspicion? And where did the Crazy Cat Lady stereotype emerge from, when other cultures revere rather than fear this relationship?
Examining these questions and many more, Cat Women is a moving exploration of wild natures and domestic affections.
Alice Maddicott is a writer and artist from Somerset, England. Her work has spanned poetry, writing installations, children’s television scripts (“The Large Family”, “The Clangers”), travel and nature writing, including for “Elsewhere” Journal and the Waymaking anthology, as well as public art commissions such as “The Car Boot Museum”. For nearly two decades she has worked on creative education projects and run writing workshops with young people. She lives with two rescue cats, Tariel and Sindri, and Ptolemy the tortoise who she’s had for 35 years.