When Bloom sees a cat basking on the warm window sill of a house, he recalls that "Mohammed cut a piece out of his mantle not to wake her." Mantle here means a cloak or robe, not the fireplace ledge (sometimes spelled the same way) that could be called up by the image of the "warm sill." The story, one of many thousands of hadith, traditional reports of the words and deeds of the Prophet, holds an obvious appeal for Bloom, who likes cats and has just thought, "Pity to disturb them."

JH 2019

  Detail of a 19th century painting by John Frederick Lewis, Interior of a School in Cairo, showing an imam and his cat. Source: Wikimedia Commons.