Tuesday 31 January 2012

The Cat's Strange Church Visit

Being a creature endowed with a great deal of natural curiosity, I thought I'd investigate something I heard recently through Guardy-Ann - one of the more hysterical soothsayers, who parades an exceedingly skewed view of the world, life and everything else.

Among her usual blathering, she was enthusing about a hip, cool and trendy philosopher called Lander Button, whose outpourings she seems to adore. Lander is - among other things - an atheist (for it's been decreed by Those In The Know that it's hip, cool and trendy to be thus). Whatever. Nothing unusual there - but what caught my attention was that this philosopher (a recycler of ancient and oft-discredited thought who presents it as if it were something ground-breakingly new) has put forward a Great Plan to build a Church for Atheists. After all, why should only the God-fearing folk have somewhere to assemble and focus their adoration and devotions?

When I first heard this, I had to cast my mind back to what I'd eaten that day. Had I inadvertently consumed a magic mushroom which had translated my feline mind into some bizarre alternative reality? As I mentally trawled through the diet of the day, I was forced to conclude that I hadn't; I'd actually feasted on a plate of the finest fresh mackerel from the quayside, and that was the sum of the day's intake. Yes - it had lain heavily in my alimentary system for some considerable time. I'd actually heard correctly.

So out of sheer inquisitiveness, I thought I'd see if there were any atheist churches in my territorial patch. After a lot of wandering, I dragged my weary paws into the headquarters of the Streonaeshalch Secular Society, where I could discern that a meeting was in progress. The assembly consisted of a wide cross-section of people of various ages. A man was addressing them from the front of the meeting room, and he was dressed in something which resembled a monk's habit. I supposed he must have been their priest. Strange..

When he called on the gathered throng to take up their Atheist Psalters and sing - and engage in some prayer - I was most intrigued. This simply didn't make sense. Having spent an hour in their meeting (hidden behind a large box, lest my presence should cause any distraction to their devotions), I decided I'd seen and heard enough, so I surreptitiously slipped out of there.

When I got home in the evening, I asked Caedmon if he could explain why these atheists were behaving in a religious way, considering the vehemence of their belief in a non-God. He reminded me that humans have to worship something - even if they profess not to believe in anything - that's why the Psalmist says "The fool has said in his heart 'there is no God.'" He also told me that the writer of Ecclesiastes said that the Almighty has set eternity in the hearts of men.

That explained everything as far as I was concerned. I hope they'd appreciated the offering I left before I departed..

Monday 30 January 2012

Bonus Balls

The sails keep turning and the millstones of folly continue to grind here in the beautiful Kingdom of Northumbria. Through the faithful reporting of our beloved soothsayers, the news has got out that there's been an enormous to-do about bonus groats that were due to be awarded to Edweird the Milliner - the Dear and Heavenly Leader of the Redistributionist Faction. This award amounted to several billions of holy groats, and was intended to be awarded by our noble Sovereign King Alhfrith (at taxpayers' expense, of course) to Eddy for his significant successes in bringing the Redistributionist Faction out from the slimy pit of intellectual and ideological darkness into its Promised Land of obscurity.

Hooray for Eddy and the cause of Monotonous Equality and Misery For All! I was so pleased for him when I heard the news. It couldn't happen to a more wonderful politico... well, I suppose it could, but never mind. We are where we are.

Naturally, the other politicos were up in arms about this. How dare a man - who's never been short of a few million groats here or there - accept such an enormous sum of money for doing a job he's already paid to do? Wasn't a salary agreed when he shoved his sibling out of the way and took the crown of the Redistributionist Faction Leadership for himself? Of course, it's patently clear that it's simply sour grapes on the part of those whose outlook is shaped by envy and small-mindedness.

But to gauge public feeling on the matter, I went on my walkabout around my own feline kingdom, keeping a ready ear tuned to the passing gossip and grumbles of the townspeople of the idyllic fishing settlement of Streonaeshalch. The subject of this contentious bonus award wasn't far from the lips of most of the townspeople - and they all - to the last man and woman - cursed the poor fellow for being the fortunate recipient of such a generous reward - especially in such times of poverty, deprivation, suffering and business.

In the end, the news emerged from the soothsayers that Edweird - in view of overwhelming political pressure - not to mention public revulsion - has magnanimously declined the kind offer and has gone back to his meagre wage of seventy million holy groats.

It's so terribly sad. I feel as heartbroken as a Cat could be. Oh, the folly of the public! Oh, the short-sightedness of the politicos. Don't they realise that this award is actually keeping him in the driving seat of the Redistributionist Faction - and as long as he's there, he's keeping the Redistributionists away from the reins of power? The money they would save in the award is small beer by comparison with what those donkeys would spend if they got a grip on the Kingdom's throat once again..

I despair.

Thursday 26 January 2012

On The Home Front

Blaeck Clegge - the Chief Diva and Luminary of the Liberationist Faction - has emerged from his hidey-hole today, I hear. This is an uncommon phenomenon, but since we've recently been blessed with the rare sight of the Northern Lights in our neck of the woods, we shouldn't be too surprised - it had to happen sometime...

Apparently, in a valiant bid to clear up the Gaping Void Of Infinite Debt that envelops the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria, he's suggested a new Bright And Shining Initiative. Hooray for Cleggo and the Liberationists! Pass the muesli and the magic mushrooms, please. Pardon my wind.

This newly-dug nugget of intellectual splendour is the result of a thirty thousand year investigation (at taxpayers' expense, naturally) by Experts who are In The Know. It's a proposed tax on the Big Houses of the Opulent. It's not fair, he petulantly sniffs, that the impoverished hovel-dwellers should pay the same as the Wealthy and the Privileged for the privilege of being fleeced through taxes, regulated and patronised in order to scratch an existence in this vale of tears.

Well, of course, this Cat does have some sense of fairness himself. On the face of it, it all sounds quite reasonable and plausible; the Loaded Few should contribute according to their vast resources. It's illogical that wealthy earls should receive the same benefits to bring up their mewling and puking progeny as lowly herders - and yet they do; it's equally absurd that they should proportionally suffer less in their pockets than their less fortunate fellows.

But I foresee some difficulties. It's so very sad.

For a start, Cleggo isn't short of a few zillion groats himself. Is he a turkey (which hasn't been discovered yet) voting for Christmas? Or have he and his opulent oligarch chums already devised some way of circumventing the tax on their own numerous humungous mansions?

I can't imagine Caedmeron and his Tree Party will be too thrilled at either the idea or principle behind it either. It'll die a thousand horrible deaths - just like Cleggo's Liberationist Faction's prospects in the next Election..

And since all of the Kingdom's politico factions are controlled and directed by the Wealthy and the Privileged in the first place, your Moggy has some difficulty imagining them queuing up to pay their dues. They'd sooner drive out the peasants into the woods and fields and temporarily occupy their smelly hovels,  leaving their own homes empty at Tax Collection Time..

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Bishops And Baby Groats

As well as my current preoccupation with the second-class citizen status of my fellow-creatures, I'm also rather exercised by a row that's going on in the Witangemot here in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria. The Moot of Earls and Bishops (know to we animals as the Upper House Of The Undeserving) has recently rejected a proposal made by the politicos of the Tree/Liberationist Administration in the Lower House of  Parasites.

In a bid to reduce the Great Deficit that blights these blessed shores, Caedmeron and his fellow-travellers have proposed to reduce Public Expenditure by capping the limit by which earners may receive Baby Groats - an allowance for families with young mewling and puking infants. Hitherto, anyone with a child was entitled to the same amount of Baby Groats - whether an Earl with land, chests of golden groats, herds and flocks or a simple artisan or labourer. To the latter, the award is significant; to the former, it's a mere drop in a bucket.

This piece of absurdity was introduced fifteen thousand years ago by the Redistributionists of the time, who eagerly sought any opportunity to exercise their obsession with the great and inflexibly stupid and cruel god of Equality For All. Now that the Tree/Liberationist Administration is looking at ways in which to reduce the lavish spending of hard-earned taxes, they've come to the conclusion that there's no need for those who are living comfortably on their earnings or the fruits of their labours to receive the Baby Groats.

The Redistributionists have been up in arms about it. They've pronounced the ultimate curse, labelling this measure as Inappropriate, and the putrifying corpses of the Mortally Offended litter the streets, hedgerows and highways of the Realm. It's so very sad. The smell is terrible.

The proposal had to pass to the Moot of Earls and Bishops, who (as an unelected body) decided that it was not in the interests of De-Mockery-Cy for the limit to be set. Among them was a cosy cadre of wealthy Bishops of the Holy Church Of Redistributionism, who proceeded to pronounce seventy thousand anathemas on the vile and reprobate Trees and their Liberationist partners in crime. Their theological rationale behind this decision was that it wasn't just and righteous. This Cat suspects that they themselves receive this award for their legions of bratty and spoilt children, and they stand to lose it. And the thought of having to subsidise their wine cellars from their own pockets is theological heresy..

Monday 23 January 2012


As I've surveyed the human political scene here in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria, I've become increasingly aware of a monstrous disparity and injustice - and I haven't been alone; other felines and vulpine creatures have expressed a similar disquiet. This isn't the result of a sudden revelation, I might add - it's rather the result of a gradual awakening in my consciousness.

The fact of the matter is this: while moggies like Lareow (the Supreme Allied Commander-In-Chief of the Rodent Elimination Department in Caedmeron's household) and myself are keeping a vigil on the political life of the Kingdom and applying our own feline perspectives on the mind-numbing idiocies of the human elite, we're not regarded by human society as valid participants in their world. This is most unfair.

I've been blessed with the ability to smell their bull business from a distance of three thousand miles - and can easily discern when a politico is lying through his or her teeth, or simply talking meaningless gibberish to confuse and confound their hearers. And I can categorically state that whatever proceeds from their mouths is one or the other.

But as I've often stated in my posts - I'm only a cat - and that's as far as it goes as far as they're concerned. Just. A. Cat. And therein lies my grievance - and that of my four-footed peers. We're second-class citizens, endowed with intellectual discernment and a modicum of articulacy who have the potential to make a valuable contribution to the life of the Kingdom. But I'm not taken seriously, and I often find myself very bitter and twisted about this. When I consider how much imbecility ordinary Northumbrians could be spared if we were consulted about the political decisions of Those Who Know Best, we could be valued consultants with governments in fear of our insightful opinions. Instead, my fellow cats are ill-treated, pelted with stones and subjected to all manner of indignities by those pathetic victims of their own ignorance and narrow prejudice. After all, we're only cats. Fortunately for me, I have a kindly master who cares for me. But I'm still only a cat..

Well, we're getting sick to the back teeth of this discrimination, and at one of our feline conferences recently, we resolved to launch a concerted campaign for Equal Rights and legal parity with the human majority. After all, this is what the disabled humans had to do; this was also the case for the Moors, Bactrians and other exotic humans who've settled within these shores. Even homeopaths can parade their bizarre form of alternative medicine with the full protection of the Northumbrian legal system without being subjected to ridicule or open contempt. Nobody can mock or discriminate against them any more for fear of Severe Retribution and business.

We're living in a discriminatory world, and we're outcats. My vulpine friend Feaxede has often grumbled to me about institutional foxism in Northumbrian society, so we're fighting on the same side.

The times are changing, people. Mark my words - our day will come, and we'll play our part alongside everyone else. Then we can exact our sweet revenge...

Friday 20 January 2012


One of the obsessions of the soothsayers in this lovely Northumbrian Kingdom is the increasing activity of groups of unruly thugs. This is a ubiquitous problem; the issue has increased in the public consciousness, and seldom does a day pass by without some calamitous report of antisocial behaviour, assault, robbery, burglary and similar expressions of human virtue from some quarter or other.

I went on an ear-fishing trip - a fact-finding mission of my own around the streets of Streonaeshalch; I wandered by the homes of the fishermen and the traders, artisans and other tradespeople of the town, sauntering past the gossiping elderly ladies and their old warrior menfolk in the mead and ale houses, keeping a feline ear cocked for any reports of incidents of such reprehensible behaviour. Occasional greetings from cat-lovers made the mission most enjoyable - and the gratuitous scraps of fish donated to a hungry moggy. I must do this again..

Of course, much of the conversation I overheard was completely irrelevant, and like unwanted fish from the net, I mentally threw it back; the price of haddock, Sigbert's new bakery, Aethelstan's latest building project and Egbert's latest floozy doesn't really matter in the overall scheme of things. However, my ears did manage to catch some relevant information.

There's an enormous gang of criminals at large in this beautiful Realm, and from all accounts, they're very well-organised and sophisticated in their methods. Some men were quietly complaining around flagons of ale that they were being systematically robbed by such a coterie of reprobates. It seems that they have to pay them a weekly donation to protect them and hold them at bay until the next weekly call. Those who refuse to cooperate are hastily kidnapped and are seldom seen again.

I heard tales of the selfsame gang compelling other men under pain of death by Morris dancing to join them in taking up arms and fighting rival gangs. The same group raids other places, setting out in longboats, putting natives to the sword, looting their goods and setting up their malign control over their captives.

I became increasingly intrigued by this. Who was organising them, masterminding their activities and profiting from their unlawful activities? There had to be a brain behind it - even if there wasn't a synapse between the gang's rank-and-file.. Then I suddenly realised.

Time to pay King Alhfrith a visit, I think. Or should it be His Holiness Emperor Jose Borracho of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire)?

Thursday 19 January 2012

Caddy's New Fluffy Plan.

As  wandered out on my territorial rounds this morning to sniff the sea air, hear the profanities of the herring gulls and the squawking fish market traders, and watch men taking their defunct parents for rides in carts, my peace and enjoyment was interrupted by my vulpine friend Feaxede, who was excitedly trotting towards me.

When I saw him, I immediately knew that he had some piece of gossip to pass on. And so it was; he'd just heard that the Dear And Heavenly Leader - the Chief Cock and Bluebottle Washer Dagwald Caedmeron had announced to to the slavering packs of soothsayers that he was going to launch A New Initiative. Hooray for Caddy Boy and his inspired leadership! Life is so exciting these days, isn't it?

After my initial rush of excitement at this momentous piece of news, my feline mind started to go into curiosity mode. What was this Bold New Venture going to be? Feaxede explained that Caddy Boy was going to introduce a new economic system called Popular Enterprise. Since the irresponsible Moneylenders had thrown trillions of holy groats at anything that had at least one leg and moved (irrespective of the ability to pay the money back) - thus occasioning the Great Sovereign Debt Calamity and Credit Catastrophe - he decided that the Northumbrian people were anxious to see the constipated economy moving again in a new, cuddly and fluffy kind of way.

It sounded like a beautiful idea. After all, the bovine Northumbrian masses need to be reassured that the Tree/Liberationist Administration are Doing Something to get business and trade moving, and to be protected from predatory moneylenders, bakers, fishmongers, artisans, builders and workshop owners who deceive them and take advantage of their few remaining brain cells by overcharging them for their shoddy services and products.

It was when I heard of Caedmeron's Five Year Plan that I started to hear the alarm bells ring. I knew that the Bulgars had a similar system thirty thousand years ago, and it was corrupt and inefficient, leaving the people impoverished, demotivated, useless and unable to put one foot in front of the other without some Redistributionist official's say-so.

I brought up my breakfast..

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Habeas Abbur's Corpus

The Northumbrian Kingdom - increasingly stifled by the deadweight of Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire) law - has had a rather embarrassing problem on its hands. This little piece of inconvenience takes the long-bearded form of a Viking warrior priest called Abbur Gut-harrdur. This fine specimen - a devotee of the Viking Eddas and violent campaigner for a universal Viking religion - is an erstwhile colleague and mucker of the late and lamented Olaf Ladensson, the loveable and cheeky rogue, who inspired thousands of fly agaric-chewing Vikings to wreak havoc and destruction on the Christianised Anglo-Saxon world, and who was obliging enough to be allegedly assassinated by Ultima Thule chieftain Bugrake O'Drama's henchmen.

Abbur Gut-harrdur
has been an esteemed visitor to these shores, and has endeared himself to the indigenous people by gently suggesting to his knuckle-dragging followers that they would earn extra Brownie points with their chief god Odin if they were to destroy every trace of the accursed Anglo-Saxons and their civilisation, and set up a new Viking colony, ruled by the harsh laws their sacred handbook, the Eddas. Bless. Unfortunately, Abbur Gut-harrdur outstayed his welcome and the Anglo-Saxons are becoming deeply concerned.

The Northumbrian Administration - headed up by Dagwald Caedmeron - the Chief Cock and Bluebottle-Washer of the Tree Faction - was anxious to remove this hirsute pest and pustule from our blessed shores, thus shunting the problem into someone else's direction. But to do this he's had to appeal to a higher authority than Good King Alhfrith, our Great Monarch.

Sadly, following an impassioned appeal to Holy Roman Empire Supremo Emperor Jose Borracho and his half-witted henchman Hermit the Rumphole, Caddy Boy was cruelly overruled. These Vikings have rights, so he stays put. Now run along and play, there's a good boy.

This Cat has a suggestion for Caddy Boy. All he needs to do is to have a quiet word in Bugrake O'Drama's shell-like. I'm sure they could come to some kind of an arrangement..

Monday 16 January 2012

Sale Away

This year is a very significant one in the history of the Anglo-Saxons here in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria - and the soothsayers haven't ceased to tell us all about it. This year marks the seventeen thousandth year of the reign of Good King Alhfrith, who sits upon the coveted throne of Northumbria with his potty-mouthed spouse Queen Hillida at his side. Bless.

To mark the occasion in the summer of this new year, the entire Kingdom will be closed down for several days, as the citizens of all the towns, villages and hamlets that litter the country spend time away from their labours, and celebrate the accession of our great King to the throne by getting helplessly paralytic. Hooray for royalty and tradition! The brewers will be terribly pleased - as long as the Witangemot doesn't insist that the innkeepers set the minimum price for mead and ale to fifty thousand holy groats per measure. I wouldn't put it past them...

One of the Tree politicos - Magwald the Guff - the Kindergarten Secretary - made a magnanimous gesture to the soothsayers this morning; he suggested that in a bid to cheer the people of the Realm up amid all the privation and deprivation foisted upon them from the Great Credit Catastrophe and the Public Expenditure Cuts, the King should be awarded a new Royal Longboat as a present and a gesture of appreciation from his loyal subjects. Plans had already been drawn up with the proposal, and the resulting craft would be an impressive sight. The keel was to be a new, sleek design, and the ship would be adorned with royal shields on the port and starboard sides. The huge sail would show the Royal Coat Of Arms, and the figurehead would be an exact representation of Edweird the Milliner; this would terrify any potential adversaries, and efficiently drive away any malevolent maritime spirits. The anchor would be a cast iron image of Edweird The Spheres - an effective deadweight in his own right.

I was so excited when I heard the idea: I had visions of sneaking on board, stowing away and embarking on a Royal Cruise to some exotic place with palm trees. They could always use a rat and mouse catcher on board ship, and the experience would broaden my horizons significantly. The food would be as sublime as any of the delicacies served up at any Redistributionist Unfortunates' Annual Outing And Picnic. What a glorious prospect! I salivate at the very thought..

Alas - it wasn't to be. In one gut-crunching moment, my dreams evaporated. Caedmeron made a planned impromptu announcement to the soothsayers, saying that there wasn't going to be a Royal Longboat: the people would be resentful of the expenditure while they were languishing in their poverty.

Since there's such an ingrained affection for the Royal Family in the ordinary bovine ranks, this comes as a complete surprise to me. They already subsidise the politicos in their lavish lifestyles and homes out of their hard-earned pay through the inestimable privilege of high taxation. Surely a groat or two more is a small price to pay..

I'd love to be a fly on the wall in the King's residence. I bet the air is a blue as the blood in their arteries..

Friday 13 January 2012

What's In A Name?

Despite the impression you may have received from my numerous previous postings, the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria isn't as idyllic as you might fondly imagine. Things are actually turning very ugly here, as the illiberally liberal Northumbrian culture - fed by millennia of malevolent, magic mushroom-fuelled Redistributionist thought - tightens its vice-like grip around the throats of the public.

Recently, a small-time local Tree politico complained that members of the local community who were attending the village Witangemot meeting were 'idiots.' This caused a great deal of controversy, resulting in the sound of ploughshares being beaten into swords resounding through the Realm, as Redistributionist zombies woke up from their catatonic state and seized their opportunity to wage warfare. The bodycount from the resulting skirmishes has yet to be released into the public domain..

The term 'idiot' - in colloquial Northumbrian parlance - is commonly used as a term of endearment, used particularly by children to their siblings and friends, mothers to their children, and wives to their husbands. It's a harmless word without any sinister connotations, although it may technically be applied to certain humans who - through no fault of their own - have been endowed with less than their fair share of intelligence and social skills. Such people are mostly harmless and charming but dependent characters, who are usually very kind and affectionate to cats and dogs. Some of my best idiots are friends..

Following his remark, the unfortunate Tree politico was seized by the local Costumed Thug unit, and with thirty thousand spears to encourage him, he was frogmarched to the Moot, where he was tried before the Magistrate, who subjected him to a severe reprimand and sentenced him to compulsory attendance of a Diversity Clinic, where he will be subjected to limb-lengthening exercises, carried out on a table by Viking homeopathic dwarfs. He'll be unrecognisable when he emerges... if he emerges..

But I've been caused to wonder - what did this poor man do to deserve such savagery? From all accounts, the members of the public who were grandstanding at the local Witangemot meeting were fuelled up with mead, and were solely there there for some entertainment, and were throwing breadcrusts with some degree of accuracy at their representatives, and braying incoherently. They were behaving like idiots. I really don't know why calling them thus warranted such a response. After all, this sort of thing happens all the time in the national one, and although Edweird the Milliner really is an idiot - and has been called one on various occasions - no one has actually been carted off in ignominy and disgrace yet. Even Caedmeron referred to Edweird the Spheres as a turd - and despite apologising to all bona fide scatological statements who may have been offended, his position is intact - and he hasn't been obliged to attend a Diversity Clinic

I just don't get it. Did he get castigated for telling the truth?