“A kind of monkey or pine-lemur
not of interest to the monkey,
but to the animal higher up which resembles it,
in a kind of Flaubert’s Carthage, it defies one-
this ‘Paduan cat with lizard,’ this ‘tiger in a bamboo thicket.'”
–“The Monkey Puzzler,” The Dial, 78 (January 1925), 8, ll 1-5.
One of the magazines Moore consulted during the time she wrote this poem was The International Studio: An Illustrated Magazine of Fine and Applied Art published in New York by John Lane and Company. While the issue of this title is not yet fully visible on line, there are some “work-arounds” to suggest what Moore saw and what inspired the “Paduan cat with lizard.” A supplement in an issue from Volume 76, 1923, discusses “a realistically treated cat seated with a lizard in its mouth . . . This is a Paduan work of the Fifteenth Century.” At that time, this small bronze sculpture belonged to the Heseltine Collection of London; in the 1940s it was acquired by Lt Col. the Hon. M.T. Boscawen, whose sister, the Hon. Mrs. Pamela Sherek, bequeathed it to the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1995. The reason for reporting this extended provenance is to tie together today’s Fitzwilliam cat with the one Moore saw in The International Studio in 1923.
When Moore met the cat, it was considered a work of Renaissance Padua. Today it is listed as from southern Germany, 17th century. The image below, taken from the Fitzwilliam collection via the article “The Boscawen Collection at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge: Supplement,” in The Burlington Magazine,Vol. 139, No. 1137 (Dec., 1997), pp. 907-912. The figure, below in the upper left photograph, is on page 911.