The Boy Who Drew Cats

by Lafcadio Hearn

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How does Joji differ from his siblings in "The Boy Who Drew Cats"?

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Joji is different from his brothers and sisters in “The Boy Who Drew Cats” because he doesn't do his chores, as he can’t stop drawing cats.

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In “The Boy Who Drew Cats,” Joji's siblings are useful to their mom and dad. They can help with practical things around the farm. Joji's skills and inclinations aren’t practical. He can’t carry out basic chores that would assist his mom and dad. Instead, Joji draws. The subject that preoccupies him is cats. Joji can’t stop drawing cats. As his siblings and parents go about their day (presumably contributing to the immediate needs of the family), Joji draws cats. Exhausted by the cat drawings, Joji’s dad makes his son go live at a temple so he can become a priest.

At the temple, separated from his practical brothers and sisters, Joji still can’t squash the urge to draw cats. He draws them all over the temple. Fed up, the priest kicks Joji out. Rather than go home, Joji takes up residence in an abandoned temple in another village. Here, as one might expect, Joji draws cats.

Soon, the cat drawings serve a critical purpose. Somehow, one of the cat drawings manages to come to life and kill a monstrous rat. The death of the beastly rat turns Joji into a hero and an esteemed artist. Now, Joji is different from his brothers and sisters because he’s famous and adored, while they’re not.

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