Although written in 1925, Zheng Zhenduo's essay on the cats in his family remains well known almost a century later. Originally aimed at adults, the story is often included in compilations of literature intended for high school students in China.
 said on
September 2, 2008
There's an unannotated version of the story online here:

http://tieba.baidu.com/f?kz=239224292

 said on
September 15, 2008
little problem, this is what I see on my computer '我家养了好 ' :(
 said on
September 15, 2008
Could you please add space between pin yin?Thanks. eg. 失踪 shī zōng instead of shīzōng
 said on
September 15, 2008
Leanne,

We try to follow the national standards on pinyin romanization, which require words like 失踪 to be unified. Mark Swofford has a write-up of the rules at his great site Pinyin.info. The detailed rules are:

http://pinyin.info/readings/zyg/rules.html

That's a strange issue you've run into with encodings. It looks like it's a font issue, actually, which is quite strange. Can I ask what browser you're using?
 said on
September 17, 2008
It's really weird, if I open the article, it's code. If I paste it back to your site and submit it, it's back to Chinese!
 said on
October 12, 2008
第一段“新鲜”的拼音不对,popup里面有zhaozhe
 said on
October 13, 2008
got it, thx.
 said on
October 13, 2008
The characters are right (一二小时) and so is the the translation, but not the pinyin - it says shijian in the text if I remember it correctly.
 said on
October 13, 2008
还有一些地方写的话和说出来的话有点不同
 said on
October 13, 2008
Hey guys,

Thank you all. Corrected. .

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
November 3, 2008
Hello,

Where the text reads: 它渐渐的肥胖了,但仍不活泼, talking about the cat, shouldn't it be 地 instead of 的? I'm still learning, so I'm probably wrong.. but 肥胖 is a verb in this case isn't it?

Anyways, beautiful read. I love the short stories section on this website and look forward to more of them.

Thanks!
 said on
November 3, 2008
@stratman1,

Hi, thank you for the post. I was thinking about wrtie a short note about this and finally someone asked:)

It should be "地", although the article was written by 1920s/30s. The grammar and the way they used words were a bit different from what we do now. For 经典原著, we kept the original version, i.e. what you have seen:)

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
December 16, 2008
Short stories..great idea. This one reminds me of 吾輩は猫である.
 said on
December 16, 2008
Never read that one (can't read Japanese) myself. I really like this story though: it has heart.

We have a bit of a partiality for cats generally (Echo loves dogs). There's a breed of long-haired white ones that are common to Beijing but that I haven't really seen elsewhere. Maybe they're Persians. Gorgeous cats and really tranquil: love being picked up and petted.
 said on
December 17, 2008
Hats off to Zheng Zhenduo .

郑振铎 (鄭振鐸, Zhèng Zhènduó), 1898-1958.

 said on
December 17, 2008
BTW, on Google, 渐渐的, used adverbially, seems to be a lot more common than 渐渐地.
 said on
December 17, 2008
@gnotella,

从语法的正确性来说,应该是“地”,形容词+地+动词的结构。但是现在,因为人们的习惯,很多时候,在并不严格的情况下,人们会把“的”和“地”通用,这也是为什么我们能在google上搜查到的原因,但是从规范的角度,还是应该把它们区别开的。

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
December 18, 2008
Any advice?.. Follow the, lets say, 73% who use 的 or the 27% who use 地? (those are the proportions for 渐渐的了解 vs. 渐渐地了解,(17,800 | 6460)?
 said on
December 18, 2008
Its right both ways! I love not having to worry about this sort of thing. :)

This would make a really interesting fill in the blank question for native Chinese speakers though. We should come up with a set of 15 or so questions where dominant usage goes against convention and just see how people end up answering it.

Another one that came up while we were recording last night was the proper pronunciation of 尽 in 尽快. Third tone? Fourth tone? Both seem acceptable.

 said on
February 14, 2009
In the text, 浑 and 身 are translated separately, giving "muddy body". Should this be 浑身: "all over"?
 said on
February 15, 2009
Absolutely. Fixed.
 said on
June 26, 2009
the story is great and the feature is great, but there seems to be a discrepency with the version presented in the 'text' section and all other versions i've searched on the web, particularly in the first few senteces where the construction and order of phrases and words is different...

there are also several mis-speakings and at least one phonetic mis-pronunciation (chinging si4 into xi4), xin1suan1 gets reversed to suan1xin1, and some little phrases are just completely altered...

would be so much nicer to have the acurate original version read correctly...
 said on
June 26, 2009
@nadasax,

Thank you. We will check and fix the problem.

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
June 26, 2009
It's pretty common for there to be multiple editions of various texts from this period, so it's quite likely the version that was recorded was not exactly the same as the annotated version down to the character. Especially since I think Echo was reading from a printed text here rather than any of the online versions.

We obviously want to be aiming for consistency, so even small discrepancies like this should be ironed out. I've added this to our list of things to look into. Thanks for the tip, nadasax! :)
 said on
December 18, 2009
make friends can i ?

my e-mail:285843921@qq.com
 said on
June 10, 2012
Finished working through it. The story is sadder after it sinks in. The repetition of "自此,我家好久不养猫" drives home the author's resignation. The second cat comes just a few days after the first. He waits a long time before raising the third cat, but the end result is still the same.

There's a helpless quality to the story... Whether through his own actions (beating the cat) or through the actions of others (the passerby on the street) the author can't stop the cats (friends? family?) in his life from dying or going away. The author is emotionally guarded after the first two cats. He doesn't want to love again... ultimately, it makes no difference.

While the plainness of the language makes the piece easy to read, emotionally the effect is all the more naked and bleak. The form accents this, too. The cat sections get longer over time... Cat 1 gets one long paragraph; Cat 2 gets more; Cat 3 gets half the piece. The reader spends more time with each successive cat. His attachment grows--along with the author's--until the cats are at last taken away.

A form outline shows how plain and emotionally bald this story is:

["I've raised many cats. They always die or go missing."]

Cat 1 - lively, spry

Result 1 - becomes withdrawn, dies

[After just a few days...]

Cat 2 - feisty, playful

Result 2 - stolen away

["After that, we didn't raise cats for a long time."]

Cat 3 - comes unannounced. taken in, but not especially loved or wanted

Result 3 - falsely accused by author, beaten, dies short time later

["After that, we didn't raise cats anymore."]

I'm curious. How typical is this short story (in tone and form) to other modern Chinese literature?
 said on
June 11, 2012
@murrayjames,

They are all a bit depressing :P

Here is the writer's introduction, you may find it useful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zheng_Zhenduo

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
November 8, 2015
Hi Echo, can I ask what this phrase: '可怜这两月来相伴的小侣' means in context? Thank you. The definitions don't really help. :)