|In theory, the cat should be sleeping with its paws tucked neatly under her body leaving between one-third and one-half of the seat vacant for her mistress to perch her derriere.|
The cat on the chair. That’s the imaginary rule.
Perfect posture is one of the hallmarks of a chic French femme. She stands tall, walks tall and sits erect. Her body is thus aligned and she appears elegant and slim. (Regrettably, more and more young women are slouching and sitting sloppily in their fauteuils. A sign of the times one well-mannered aristocrat lamented recently.)
Still, young women from les bonnes families are encouraged to “hold themselves” properly. Le chat sur la chaise, is used as an example of how one must demurely and delicately place her derriere on a seat, back straight, head high. The idea is that she must not awaken the sleeping cat who occupies the best part of the chair. The cat has back support, a lady does not.
No matter what one thinks of Arielle Dombasle, she does have the most exquisite posture and she makes it seem effortless and natural which it probably is after years of practice.