A Cat Going West by Paul Spooner


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This is a new limited edition for CMT.

‘Looking through the bouncing animals section of a picture book about American antique toys, I thought that American antique children must have been quite easily satisfied; these things just bounced. Certainly no self-respecting automaton maker would dare fob off his or her public with a thing so lacking in gears, cams, levers, or other clever mechanisms.
I surmised that the children’s parents must have been seduced into making a purchase by the mendacious claims of the manufacturers. Here are examples:
‘The most comical and pleasing mechanical toy ever seen’ and ‘These are among the most fascinating and ingenious toys ever invented’. At least ‘There is no clockwork to get out of order’ is true.
Spluttering with indignation, I felt it was only fair to test the concept by making my own bouncing animal. It’s carved out of lime wood, mounted on a base cut from an unloved piece of furniture. The energy storage system is built from a coil of spring steel wire I’ve had stored for the last 45 years.
I was dismayed to find that the action of this cat surpassed that of most of my other works in beauty, character and endurance. Gears and cams, especially when operated by human hands, tend to impart a clumsy, jerking movement to the pieces they animate. Certainly nothing I’ve previously made can go on moving for as long as 1.55 minutes after a single impulse is given’.

Signed, dated and numbered. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.
There may be some variation in the cat’s faces.

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