Caedmon was an early English Christian poet who lived in Whitby in the 7th century. The writer of this blog has no pretensions to such exalted gifts, and for this reason (as well as the fact that the name has already been taken) has chosen his Cat. They say that a cat can look at a king; this cat certainly does that. He's also had a good Christian education from his master, and he's quite prepared to use it when necessary.
Friday, 25 February 2011
A Letter from Feaxede To Caedmeron
I take a close and personal interest in the matters of governance in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria, as my own existence as a living and intelligent creature fashioned by our Creator is very much bound up with those of the allegedly cleverer human contingent. I need your chicken carcasses, and you require my scavenging services to tidy up after your feasts. Quid pro quo, and all that.
Although to you I probably have little (or no) significance, there is one inescapable fact that is common to us both: we all breathe the same air, and have to pass our time peaceably and constructively within our limited years of earthly existence.
I am writing this letter (or - rather - CC is) to ask you a simple question, and it is this: what are you actually doing?
I understand that you are the Supreme Allied Commander-In-Chief of the Tree/Liberationist Witangemot, and I realise that you play a leading role on the political stage. But I know what a role is, sunshine - and it doesn't exactly suggest sincerity in action or purpose. It speaks of deceit - or showbiz and frothy entertainment. What troubles me (and also my white cat pal CC, who is also intently interested in these things) is that behind this facade of seriousness, you are having a laugh at the expense of those under your charge. For example:
You continue to burden your bovine and longsuffering people with excessively high taxation in the name of the Great Deficit, so that they all struggle to keep body and soul together, and yet you are giving them nothing in return - least of all reason to trust you;
You claim to be rectifying the damnable mess bequeathed you by your psychotic fly agaric-led Redistributionist colleagues, who successfully turned Northumbria into the devil's playground - and yet you are hiring diversity co-ordinators and fish psychologists as quickly as you are removing similar non-jobs elsewhere;
You are talking about the Big Community Idea, but nobody has a clue what it really is; it sounds to us that you have been eating too many magic mushrooms yourself. Do you normally start building up a house with the roof?
Honest men are working in the fields and the forests, the workshops and the forges; their women are raising children, cooking and grinding corn for their daily family bread. You and your fellows are disdainfully lording it over them, living off their labours and wearying them with your patronising drivel. It will not always be thus. Mark my words: sooner or later people will wake up and realise what you and your crew are up to. It won't be pretty when you have to explain yourself to them.
This is what CC and I think you're doing: you're just carrying on the fine demolition job on the Kingdom that your psychotic fly agaric-led Redistributionist predecessors did. You are handing over the reins of the Kingdom into the hands of garlic-breathed Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman, nor an empire) satraps over the water. Furthermore, we are of the opinion that you and your self-important friends across the factional divisions are serving the interests of people who are far wealthier and cleverer than you - and these are people who don't give two hoots about anybody outside of their own narrow, debased and greedy horizons. You can fool humans, but there are some creatures who can see through you and your kind.
When are you going to play the man and lead? Are you ever going to? Humans are not asking you this question, so I thought I should. I can get away with it - after all, I'm only a fox..
Loads of love
Written by Caedmon's Cat (amanuensis)
Thursday, 24 February 2011
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Census Working Overtime
Monday, 21 February 2011
Beef, De-brief and Outcast Chief
At long last, I've heard from my fellow feline Láréow! After a seemingly endless wait, I had a brief tete-a-tete with him, and he was able to tell me that he's happily settled into Caedmeron's sumptuous residence. The physical and mental scars from his minor surgery have passed, and he's getting used to life in the upper echelons of power. He said that the publicly-funded food is gorgeous - especially the beef. He gets a saucer of publicly-funded ale for his troubles as well. Well. I am surprised...
When I first asked him for some tasty goss from the inner sanctum, he was rather reticent at first; this was because he feared that he was subject to the Official Secrecy Law - but I assured him that only humans were bound to such silliness. After a few minutes he was in full flight.
It appears that the powers that be are in a tailspin because there's been a series of violent demonstrations against various Middle Eastern potentates. This new phenomenon started in Carthage; following some determined opposition from thousands of downtrodden merchants, artisans, goat and camel herders against their cruel and oppressive master, they succeeded in forcing him out of the country. He's now living in the lap of indecent luxury in Constantinople, mourning the lack of people to oppress. Sad, but true.
Since the Carthage incident, a number of other Middle Eastern Kingdoms are experiencing similar outbursts of popular revolt against greedy and tyrannical despots. It's been happening in the ancient land of Egypt, and even in Cyrene. Caedmeron is very worried about what's going on in these unstable regions.
I asked Láréow why this was of such concern to Caedmeron and the top brass. He told me that they were anxious because these cruel despots had all been very close friends of both himself and his psychotic predecessor Guthmund the Brown. It's always been official policy of Redistributionist and Tree/Liberationist governments to be buddy-pal with these creeps and to keep them sweet, so that they could bribe them to trade Anglo-Saxon junk for fine exotic silks and spices. Whatever. They're scared witless that they're going to look like unprincipled, duplicitous fools and idiots as sordid truths about these tyrants come to light. I've got news for them; they don't need to worry that they look unprincipled, duplicitous and idiotic: they already are. End of story.
And now it's coming to the notice of the politically aware Northumbrians that our great and glorious leaders aren't as honest or as scrupulous as they would like people to suppose - and they're not very fussy about the company they keep either. They're terribly relaxed about rubbing shoulders with all manner of pondlife like Chesney Mubarak O'Barmy, many of who are excessively predisposed to kill and maim people who dare to defy them.
I can't say I'm at all surprised - especially now these dear, dear friends of our Witangemot have suddenly become pariahs and the scum of the earth to our all-wise rulers.
I bet you're wondering about the rats, aren't you? I didn't forget to ask Láréow about his endeavours. He hasn't caught a single one - he never expected to - but he's had some interesting conversations with them. He has obligingly given Mrs Caedmeron a few scratches and gatecrashed some high-powered meetings, demanding food. And the mice are plentiful and delicious..
Lucky beggar! If only....
Friday, 18 February 2011
A Letter To King Alhfrith
Dear King Alhfrith,
I am writing to you to inform you that as yet, I am still not in receipt of an invitation to the forthcoming wedding of Prince Walthelm and the Lady Gytha.
I understand that this oversight may have escaped your notice (I appreciate that in your capacity as Supreme Monarch and Formaggio Grande you are occupied with matters of national importance), but I certainly should be grateful if you would kindly rectify the matter - or at least delegate the task to some lesser being who is up to the job if you are too busy to attend to it personally.
For your information, I have no dietary preferences, so my presence at the festivities will afford no difficulty for the catering staff. I also give you my word that I will conduct myself with all the decorum and dignity that one should expect from a creature made by God.
I am looking forward to your earliest reply.
Your humble servant
I'm very partial to chicken carcasses - if this makes menu choices easier.
May I discreetly request a guided tour of the Royal Dump? - I would find it most interesting, and I would be eternally grateful.
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Fixes and Trickses
Although I have a vested interest in the cat and vermin situation in the corridors of power in Northumbria (sad to say, I haven't heard anything from Láréow yet - still waiting), I have to admit that I'm getting sick and tired to death of hearing all about it from the soothsayers: they've been warbling on about it for ages. It's getting silly.
Nevertheless, it all makes for a tidy distraction while the dirtier and seamier political processes grind relentlessly on. I received an insight about this the other day; we had a middle-aged traveller lodge with us at Caedmon's place. He was passing through Streonaeshalch on the way to Yorvik. It turned out that he was an entertainer - a magician, in fact. Although Caedmon isn't the type of human to take much of an interest in the wacky world of showbiz, he was very interested in the tricks that the traveller performed for him. For example, he made coins vanish and suddenly reappear in unlikely places; he pulled a white rabbit from a hat. Naturally, Caedmon asked him how he did these remarkable things, since he doesn't really believe that this stuff is achieved through supernatural or mystical powers. The magician - a friendly fellow - told him that it was a closely guarded secret; only other magicians know how to perform them. Nevertheless, he told us that the art of the conjurer depended on common psychological techniques: a swift and subtle hand movement here, a theatrical gesture there. The secret (without giving any of the tricks away) is to move deftly and create carefully staged distractions to avert the viewer's gaze, so that they don't actually notice what you're actually doing to create the illusion.
Following our visit from this fellow, I started pondering about what he told Caedmon, and I quickly realised that this is exactly how the Witangemot works. It all made sense! I'd already come to the conclusion through my observations that the whole political business is one carefully orchestrated stage show - and that the main characters are merely actors, putting on a show to entertain the clueless majority. The real business goes on while lesser distractions are taking place. Clever, eh?
At the moment there's currently a lot of hot air about an alternative voting procedure, and Beeby See and her merry soothsaying cronies are crooning about it as if it's the best thing since sliced bread. Whatever. While the oblivious and bovine Northumbrian people are distracted about whether they support casting one stick for the candidate of their choice - or different colored sticks for each contestant according to their order of preference - you can bet your boots that there's other stuff boiling on unnoticed in the background. Unbeknown to the serfs, the Kingdom of Northumbria is steadily being handed over to the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman, nor an empire) and His Royal Highness Jose Borracho, the megalomaniac, fly agaric-chewing potentate and his half-witted Flemish Hermit buddy. That's how these politico illusionists work. And when (or if) I get my information from Láréow, he'll only be confirming what I already know...
Wednesday, 16 February 2011
Spy In The Caedmeron Camp
Now, let me lay my cards on the table. I don't think for one moment that Láréow will be equal to the task. By saying this, I don't wish to demean him; as I already stated, he's a friend and he's one mean kitty as far as the mice are concerned. To catch mice is one thing however, but to destroy rats is quite another. In my wide experience as a hunter and predator, I can count on one tail the number of rats I've actually caught and killed. It was as I recall an asthmatic runt - and I felt no great flush of pride at my achievement; the poor thing ran out of breath and gave up.
Despite their bad press from the human world, rats are charming and intelligent creatures, and those inhabiting the cesspits of the Witangemot are veritable brutes. They feast on the finest scraps and occupy themselves with their physical exercises. Láréow has his work cut out - that's for sure.
As for the problem with rats - quite honestly, I couldn't give a monkey's about Caedmeron's problems. There are meaner, viler and nastier creatures stalking the corridors and pulling the levers of power, and they don't get a moggy appointed to sort them out.. Although I know one mean moggy who would eat them for breakfast.. Nuff said.
Oh, by the way - I hear that Láréow was subjected to the indignity of the 'chop' before moving in to his new residence - and that he subsequently took a chunk out of the leg of a soothsayer's lackey. That's my boy! If anyone did that to me, I'd be in a foul mood as well. And anybody that does damage to the legs of a soothsayer's lackey gets my vote.. Láréow for Faction Leader! I can see the headlines already. I'm so excited! Bring it on, children.
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Caedmeron's Counteractive Cat
It just so happens that the moggy in question is a good mate of mine: he is a tabby and his name is Láréow. He excitedly told me about his forthcoming appointment the other day. He will be paid in kind, and there will be generous expenses available for him to claim - all from the public purse, of course. He is a formidable mouser, but I don't know how he's likely to fare with some of the fat rats down there. I've heard that those rats work out at the gym every day and take regular baths in the governmental cesspits. I have to admit that I don't envy him; the stink from the Witangemot is bad enough as it is.
Although I get around and find out a great deal of what's going down on the street, I don't have the opportunity to eavesdrop on exalted ruffians like Caedmeron, so I asked Láréow if he would pass me on any useful titbits of information he gleams in the course of his duties. He has kindly agreed to do so. Result!
Watch this space, people. It goes without saying that if I hear anything of interest from Camp Caedmeron, I'll pass it on to you. You have my word. Eat your hearts out, Beeby See and Guardy-Ann!
Monday, 14 February 2011
What the beloved Dear Leader has been really telling his loyal swivel-eyed drones is that he's going to remove one set of burdens from the Northumbrian population and replace them with a new – and heavier - deluxe version. While levying yet more taxes on firewood, fish, spelt and suet to pay for the aforementioned non-jobs, he's going to reduce the number of jobs subsidised by the public purse, and instead encourage loyal, naïve idiots and dolts to do the work for free. Lovely lateral thinking, Slimeball. How do you do it?
Is everybody excited at the prospect of supporting big this new idea? Hmmm.. I've yet to meet one of the thousands of people who – so they tell us - are just dying to do voluntary work for the Witangemot for free, gratis and for nothing. If they are keen, it's because they're chewing magic mushrooms – or they're simply demented.
Maybe there are some willing men and women who are looking forward to being pigeon co-ordinators, tree diversity wardens and fish psychiatrists; I could be completely wrong for casting doubt on this new hallucination. But I can't help wondering if this is just another conjurer's trick to provide the gullible and unreflective majority the illusion that things are actually improving in Tree-Lib Land. Caedmeron may be slimy, but unlike his fly agaric-led Redistributionist friends, he isn't stupid. He just assumes that everyone else is.
This all sounds suspiciously like a blueprint for an Animal Farm-style Pig Society. The porcine drivellers implementing the agendas (set for them by the bigger swine at the top) are burdening the lower-order animals. But while cutbacks are made to pay for this enormous (imaginary) debt that has conveniently been presented to the serfs, the pigs will continue to feast off the fat of the land and prosper while the lower orders get poorer by the hour.
I actually like pigs – at least, the proper pigs. Although they're rather smelly, they're delightfully affable and honourable creatures; it's the human ones that make me want to heave…
Excuse me a minute – I feel rather nauseous...
Thursday, 10 February 2011
The Prince And The Porkers
This time we've been hearing about our esteemed Prince Ethelbert, who recently appeared in pomp and splendour before the Supreme Soviet of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman, nor an empire). Prince Ethelbert has given a speech. Whoop-de-do. Hold on to your hats, people.
Now, if there were any sentient beings bearing the slightest vestige of human resemblance who certainly do not deserve the natural gift of communication, then this man must surely be one of them; in fact, it is this cat's considered opinion that he should be confined to a field somewhere, feeding pigs, mending fences or doing other constructive things. Over the years, this aristocratic buffoon has ably demonstrated to the rest of humanity - as well as those of us of the feline realm (and of course, not forgetting my mate Feaxede the fox) - his unbounded capacity to offload his phenomenal ignorance and spout complete rubbish. He's already successfully carved for himself a career by upsetting people infinitely more knowledgeable and experienced than he.
Our Clown Prince - at the invitation of the pig-faced Emperor Jose Borracho - has this time demonstrated his lack of knowledge and understanding of Climate Science; his expertise in this delicate subject can be considered to be inversely proportional to the size of his ears.
In his speech to the assembled adoring
Guess what he's been chewing, guys..
Well, I never. Who'd have imagined that such a delicate petal of this lovely realm of Northumbria should come out with such imbecility?
It underlines to me my suspicion that this fellow and his wealthy associates have more than a vested interest in the success of these magic mushroom-inspired theologies. Methinks he and his family want to use the good offices of the crazed and deluded Bishop Georges Moonbat and his wild-eyed acolytes to keep the underlings poor, deprived and hungry. Such is the measure of their esteem for their subjects. After all, if honest men are no longer allowed to light fires and burn wood for their hearths and their forges for the sake of 'saving the planet', how are they going to keep warm, cook food and make a living? The irony of it all is that the Prince lives in unspeakable luxury and wealth, and has thousands of log fires to keep his houses and his lackeys warm. Bring up some more standards, boys: we haven't got enough to go round..
Lash the serfs a bit more - keep 'em under the whip and squeeze more groats out of them. Whatever.
It's often said in these parts that it's better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Prince
I'd love to pay him a visit in his sumptuous residence. I have something to offer that would enhance his refined palate...
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
Giving 'Em Gip
Mubarak O'Barmy has ruled over the region with an iron fist for millennia; the long-suffering natives have recently woken up to the realisation that they don't have to tolerate heavy taxation and other forms of ill-treatment by the president and his self-serving political henchmen – not to mention the legions of diversity co-ordinators, pigeon psychiatrists, costumed thugs, cat license administrators and fish quota accountants, who have wallowed in the riches of Croesus while lashing the natives with bullwhips to make them more co-operative, productive and poor. It’s a strangely delicious irony that Edweird the Milliner and his fly agaric-led Redistributionist Faction were until recently devoted ideological supporters of Chesney Mubarak O'Barmy and his Egyptian Peoples Faction. They’ve recently distanced themselves from them. Funny, that…
But – shrewd political operator that he is – Chesney Mubarak O’Barmy has been using the predictable ‘Divide-and-Rule’ trick, and has managed to gather a small, but influential and well-paid crowd of khat-chewing, hashish-smoking devotees to rally to his noble cause. The consequence of this is that there have been clashes between the protesters and these
I’m glad that the Egyptians are making a stand against their oppressors; they’ve suffered injustice too long, and I wish them well in their struggles. But I worry about them, too. Despots like Mubarak O’Barmy use cruelty to keep the lid on various evils – some of which are likely to be worse than they are. When Pandora opened the famous box, all kinds of fleas, flies and fevers escaped, and once released they couldn’t be caught and restored to their original container.
Egypt is famous for the plagues that befell it in the Bible account. It’s also renowned for its flies and Gippy Tummy. What fleas, flies and fevers are waiting in line to plague Egypt if Mubarak O’Barmy crawls down his exotic bolthole with his ill-gotten gains?
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
Leo's Dream Diet
I was walking around our lovely country of Northumbria with my old pal Leo, who to my surprise was no longer confined to his caged enclosure. Leo told me that he was hungry, so he wanted to go for a snack. So we came to a large, plain daub-and-wattle building and wandered inside. There were hundreds of people there - including Clegge - the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander In Chief of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Witangemot. We'd evidently wandered into their headquarters. "Yummy - breakfast!" was Leo's delighted exclamation. He tucked into a nearby Liberationist politician, enjoying every bite.
In my dream we then wandered down the road until we came to another large daub-and-wattle building; this edifice was bigger and grander than the previous one, as it had been built by prosperous merchants. This one was certainly the headquarters of the Trees Faction; I recognised Caedmeron - the Supreme Allied Commander In Chief of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Witangemot - among the hordes within. "Goody - lunchtime!" was Leo's cheery cry. He helped himself to a rotund Tree politician, savouring every morsel with a relish not normally associated with large cats.
After Leo's repast we walked further, and after some time arrived at the Command and Control Centre of the fly-agaric-led Redistributionist Faction. I recognised the building immediately; it was a magnificent palace, since it had been built at public expense. "Wonderful! Teatime!" was the delighted response. So we wandered inside, and Leo helped himself to a Redistributionist politician. He ate enthusiastically and quickly, and after his tea we then left to resume our journey. It soon became apparent that Leo's digestive tract was suffering; the gurgling and the flatulence following his last meal was intense. He had been eating bad meat - I wasn't at all surprised. That's why I'm more fastidious than he is...
As daylight faded we approached a modest dwelling. "Supper, Leo?" - I tentatively suggested. "Let's see what's on the menu," was Leo's reply. We looked through the doorway. Inside the house was a number of people, shouting at - or knocking seven bells out of - each other. It was a veritable battlefield. "What d'you think, Leo?" I asked him. "Nahhh," he said. "They're Libertarians; if they can't agree among themselves, they certainly won't agree with me."
And thus the dream ended. I wonder what it all means?
Monday, 7 February 2011
While he was there, he made a speech to the assembled
What has been happening? Well, it’s apparent that for some considerable time, doors have been held wide open to the conquering hordes from Barbary, Tartary, Kievan Rus, Bulgary, Ultima Thule, darkest Anatolia and the Levant. They’ve arrived in boatloads and cartloads, bringing with them their strange hats, esoteric religions and bizarre customs. They’ve settled with others of their own communities and set up shops to sell the sloppily-butchered cuts of unknown animals with unpronounceable names. They’ve wandered in their national garb through the streets of our lovely Northumbrian towns, expressing themselves by means of guttural grunts and glottal stops. They’ve demanded the right to pursue their own foreign ways and customs (at Northumbrian public expense) without the need to assimilate themselves into mainstream Northumbrian social life. And - without so much as a challenge – the Witangemot has granted their every request. No kidding.
One consequence of this is that these influxes of foreign invaders have caused a great deal of anxiety among the aboriginal Anglo-Saxons. Even the Vikings are getting nervous about this development.
Another effect of this cultural barrage is that Anglo-Saxons are starting to ask themselves why this has been allowed to happen. Some are even wondering what it means to be Anglo-Saxon – which is quite odd really, since they were two separate cultures once upon a time..
Furthermore, this been happening elsewhere, too – hence Caedmeron’s slavish imitation of the Westphalian senior apparatchik’s address to her lackeys. To me it sounds like empty posturing designed to reassure those gullible enough to be taken in by it. For sure, nothing will ever be done. That’s politics – wind and words.
So – what’s it really all about? I asked Caedmon about it, but he had no perspective on the matter. So I spoke with Feaxede the fox; he’s a shrewd character, and he’s pretty switched on with regard to the devious ways of the theatrical business of politics. His take on it is that the Witangemots of the respective nations in the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire) are being forced by the kings, moneylenders and nobles (who pay the politicians’ wages) to allow these foreign hordes to come into the various places in a bid to dilute and undermine Westphalian, Frankish and Anglo-Saxon culture; it makes it so much easier to control them when they’re suspicious of each other – and at each other’s throats.
I think Feaxede is smart to reach this conclusion; he’s obviously given the matter some thought. I hope that the Northumbrian people are as clever as he is – but I’m not holding my breath…
Friday, 4 February 2011
Berserkers and Bug-a-Boos
I was hunting mice within the blessed portals of Beeby See earlier today, when I heard yet more hilarity and cheerfulness from our beloved soothsayers: there are fresh warnings of a rash of attacks by Viking extremists in the Kingdom of Northumbria. This may be designed to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the accession of King Alhfrith to the Northumbrian throne. Or perhaps it's the forthcoming Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman, nor an empire) Games, which are scheduled to run in Yorvik next year. Or perhaps it's simply been decided by their astrologers as a favourable time for such activity: I don't know. Whatever.
This piece of
disinformation propaganda fantasy information has been published by the secretive MCD (Ministry of Cloaks and Daggers) through the services of Beeby See, Guardy-Ann, Maelstrom and others. The clinking of groats into greased palms is audible from here. Somebody is going to be dining well tonight. For me it will be fish as usual – but I'm not complaining.
But – we're constantly advised – there's absolutely nothing to worry about. Everyone is being taken care of by our wonderful Witangemot, which is the best government that money can buy. No evil will ever befall us. They are our protectors. Whatever.
Whenever I hear warnings like these, I get a déjà entendu feeling. We've had these warnings so many times before, and nothing has actually happened. Occasionally solitary Vikings have been on the rampage. They've chewed magic mushrooms, thus working themselves up into a state of high excitement; they've then run through crowds of Anglo-Saxons in public places, wielding axes and screaming like banshees. Sometimes innocent people have been killed or maimed in the process – but the offenders are usually overpowered by the costumed thugs before this has happened. When such atrocities occur, no warning precedes them - like my bowel movements when I've eaten some bad meat – they're completely unscheduled.
Most Anglo-Saxons are suspicious and wary enough about the Vikings already – without such outbursts of unwarranted violence. Their Norse religion revolves around their gods and their heroic legends from the Eddas - their sacred writings. Their fanatical devotion to their traditions is something that the Anglo-Saxon character finds difficult to comprehend.
When the soothsayers issue advance warnings about such incidents, I wonder how their mysterious sources know this. Do they have a hold on the Vikings and their demented priests? Do they have a book where such incidents are scheduled like appointments? Or is it just that they want to keep the ordinary people of Northumbria in check by keeping them in a state of anxiety? After all – it's easier to manipulate those who are already worried. You can get away with all sorts of injustices if people are too worried to notice what you're up to.
I may just be a cat, but I can smell a rat from a distance of several miles because I have a refined sense of smell. And there's a fat rat here…