'And there are my cats, engaged in a ritual that goes back thousands of years, tranquilly licking themselves after the meal. Practical animals, they prefer to have others provide the food … some of them do. There must have been a split between the cats who accepted domestication and those who did not'. Quoting the words of William S. Burroughs to describe these images is most appropriate, because being a cat affects us all. Here we are in Sanremo, at the Barzizza house, and on 30 May 1955 the one-month-old cat Mao is celebrated, licking the other cats in the house and being licked in turn. Mao discovers the world and the Barzizzas dedicate a long 8mm portrait film to her, which we will never stop watching because, like Burroughs, we believe that 'cats started as psychic companions, as Familiars, and have never deviated from this function'. Cats are mostly lysergic. Mao!