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Excepting Banat, worldwide we talk only about races of animals and not about their nationality. But in Banat the animals have this exclusive humane feature too, and there is a precise difference between the German’s and the Romanian’s cat.

The German’s cat is a house decoration. It is big, fat, its hair is glowing and it walks slowly, always trying to be seen by its master. The German woman feeds the cat well, just like a family member. The German cat tastes all the food cooked by the skilful hand of its mistress, and meanwhile she pets the cat and brushes its back. After lunch the German cat jumps on the round decorative pillow in the middle of the loose bed and sleeps and purrs just like a spinning factory.

One can never see the Romanian's cat. Its place is always under the bed, under chairs, where people can not interfere with it. Its hair is always disheveled and one can number its ribs from far away.

The Romanian's keep a cat for catching mice and not for sprawling in the house. That’s why the Romanian does not feed the cat well. In the Romanian's house the cat eats surreptitiously and steels the food. The cat hides under the bed until the baba4 Ruja leaves the room. Then the cat jumps quickly on the table, grips a sausage and sneaks back under the bed, where it starts to nibble the sausage with discretion and without arousing any suspicions. Being satiated, the cat climbs on tiptoe on the warm soil made oven and gets ready for a rest. But, feeling itself guilty, the Romanian cat does not purr like the German cat. The Romanian cat sleeps on its four paws and closes only one eye, with the other one following the baba Ruja to see if she noticed the missed sausage …


After so many “national” features, which of you, dear readers, would not be able to tell: which is the Romanian’s cat and which is the German’s cat ? …5




[1] In original "Mitul  nemtului  si  mitul  romanului" [German's cat and the Romanian's cat]

[2] The author use the term "NEAMT". That means "German" in the Romanian language. However, it is about the "svabi" which Nemoianu know very well. As young boy, he lived at the Schmitz Family at Sauerwald Mill when he followed the high school in Biserica Alba/ Weißkirchen/ Bela Crkva/ Fehertemplom and became good friend with Johann Jr., the youngest son of the Schmitz Family. Here Nemoianu learned the speak German and, as he remembers in his memories, "Even today I regret that I could not stay at the Schmitz, my first hosts. They took care of me so well as I was never kept until then and never after that… After few years, Johann became miller and then I used to go weakly to the mill as to my home… Our friendship last until 1919 when the Peace Conference did not had other thing better to do than to split out friendship with the most stupid border ever to be devised."

[3] PETRU NEMOIANU: layer, journalist & writer, born on 22.09.1889 in Petrillova/Caras County. Doctor in law and political sciences. Prefect of Caras-Severin County [1920-'21], deputy in the Romanian Parliament [1926-'27].

[4] "baba" = old woman [in Romanian language]

[5] The sketch was published for the first time in P. Nemoianu's book “Letters and Sketches from Banat”, Ed. “The Romanians” Newspaper, 1943, Timisoara.