Friday 31 August 2012

Poor Show

One piece of news I managed to recently glean without Feaxede the Fox's help came to me through the reliable offices of the soothsayers, and Beeby See - along with her bizarrely irrational (and ugly) fiend friend Guardy-Ann have been at great pains to make it known through the Kingdom. It appears that Blaeck Clegge - the Liberationist henchman and assistant to Dagwald Caedmeron (Senior Mouseman of the Tree Faction and formaggio grande of the Alliance Administration) has made a Momentous Announcement concerning their desire for increased taxation revenue. He's decided that the Administration should increase the taxation for the Rich of the Northumbrian Kingdom.

The timing of this declaration is quite remarkable: it so happens that the time of year is fast approaching when the faithful adherents and starry-eyed religionists of the various political factions assemble for their Annual Unfortunates' Outing And Picnics, which they convene in order to congratulate each other, eat the finest fare, drink themselves silly, listen to fine, vacuous oratory, and sing political shanties in honour of their respective gods. This Great Change in policy on the part of the Liberationists is merely a happy coincidence, since Blaecko lacks the imagination to strategically plan these pronouncements to his advantage.

In view of the fact that the Liberationists - who incidentally bear absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to smelly-footed Redistributionists - are the most despised Faction in the Realm for their devotion to expediency and their abhorrence of any kind of principle, this pronouncement of Doom for the Wealthy is a stroke of unmitigated genius. It's even more remarkable when this Cat considers that Cleggo is himself as rich as Croesus, having amassed his hard-earned fortune through the cultivation, marketing and distribution of magic mushrooms and dog tripe. Does a pig vote for a roast dinner? Politicos know how to avoid the taxes they impose on ordinary Northumbrians, and have perfected the skill of avoidance to a fine art. Does he also realise that the Wealthy will simply up sticks and disappear elsewhere, thus emptying the economy of their own riches?

It's going to be fun in the next few weeks...

Wednesday 29 August 2012

Mouse Manoeuvres

During the course of my routine expedition the other day, I encountered an unusual mouse. In all my feline experience I can categorically declare without fear of contradiction that I've never met a talking rodent, but this time all my preconceptions were immediately destroyed.

I'd seen him under a log in the nearby wood, and I was about seize him with my usual lightning manoeuvre, when the little creature hesitated, and then proceeded to dart around, changing direction several times a second. This naturally stretched my reflexes beyond their natural limits, since under normal conditions a small rodent will adopt the frozen-rabbit pose, haplessly awaiting his fate with numbed terror.

Eventually, exhausted, I abandoned the pursuit, and I congratulated the mouse on his outstanding skills of evasion. He looked terrified - albeit somewhat relieved to have gained some respite. I asked him his name, and to my complete astonishment he timidly told me that he was called Caedmeron. He then swiftly disappeared down a hole in the log. Interview over.

As I ruminated on this encounter, I realised that there was no alternative name for a rodent endowed with such outstanding qualities...

Tuesday 28 August 2012

The Invocation of the Moonbat

While I was occupied the other day, meaningfully lurking in the background, fine tuning my lion impressions (I like to do this every now and then - it has the twin benefit of entertaining the soothsayers, as well as keeping unreflective members of the Northumbrian public on their toes), I was accosted by my vulpine friend Feaxede, who'd apparently been searching high and low for me. As soon as I perceived his outline trotting hastily towards me, I could guess what was coming; he's a very excitable creature, and as soon as he gains the slightest scent of political scandal, rhubarb and business in the air, his instinctive reaction is to offload it all onto me. I also think he like to be in the know about these things before I'm aware of them.

He animatedly told me that he'd just caught wind of an exciting new development involving His Holy Eminence Pope Georges Moonbat - the High Priest, Sacred Witch Doctor-In-Chief and Canis Corpus of the magic mushroom-fuelled, sword-swinging Global Warming Cult. For those who are unfamiliar with this bizarre and esoteric sect, they are a coterie of like-minded individuals who have espoused the irrational belief that the temperature of the world is being raised because of human activity - especially through lighting too many bonfires and firing too many kilns, charcoal burners and forges. Their wild-eyed vision is for an earth where every human being who lights a fire for warmth or work pays a large number of Holy Groats by way of punishment (or taxation, as it's called), thus releasing more currency into the hands of the politicos and Global Warming priests, who are then enabled to live lavishly on the ill-gotten fat of the land while the remainder of the population suffers deprivation and poverty, or freezes to death in the middle of winter for want of vital warmth. As one can ascertain, such adherents of this wild faith have scant regard for the needs of others, since their own religious vision - inspired by the chewing of the sacred 'shroom - trumps every other consideration.

The Moonbat has recently declared that he's invoked his god to pour down the vials of wrath and damnation upon those who doubt and ridicule his holy creed. He sounds a nice fellow - I'd love to meet him. I just need to perfect my roar and develop a taste for bad meat...

Friday 24 August 2012

Blessed Reconstruction

A touching but rather embarrassing story has reached the ears of this Cat; the other day I was at the quayside in Streonaeshalch, tucking into a herring snack (with mackerel chaser) that had been kindly donated to this particular member of the feline species by one of the fishwives, when the hissing of a familiar but distant voice reached my ears. I looked around, and finally discerned the shape of Feaxede the Fox, who was furtively lurking in a nearby alleyway, trying to avoid too much public attention.

He told me a tale that had reached his ears during the course of his perambulations. It was about a devout elderly woman who by force of piety and habit graced the pews of a church somewhere in an Iberian principality. Within the chapel was an alabaster statue of the Madonna, which at one time had been a splendid piece of craftsmanship, but in recent times - through persistent neglect from the priests and the stewards of the congregation - had become chipped, scuffed and decrepit. What had been finely-chiselled features on the face of the Virgin Mary and Child had become a misshapen apology of the human form. Those responsible for the running of the fabric of the chapel hadn't regarded the statue as their first priority, so for some years it sat apologetically on its plinth, sadly appealing to its past glories.

The elderly woman decided that enough was enough; since the bishop, the deacons, priests and the stewards of the church weren't going to attend to the statue, she would embark on her own special project to restore the image to its former splendour. With some help from equally pious friends, she managed to take the Madonna and Child to her home, where she undertook her project to restore it to its pristine condition.

After several months of devoted work, she returned the statue to its original place in the chapel, covered with a veil. A special service was called for the re-consecration of the image, and with due pomp and ceremony, the local bishop performed the unveiling. The story goes on to relate that when the cover was removed, a loud gasp went through the members of the congregation when they saw the newly-reconstructed version. Sadly, those intakes of breath didn't all proceed from admiration: the face of the Madonna had a distinct resemblance to the physiognomy of Edweird the Milliner, and the Child's face looked remarkably like that of Dagwald Caedmeron. Some of the congregation regarded this as a miracle, and duly gave the statue veneration. However, some regarded it as the Abomination of Desolation, and called for its immediate removal from the sacred precincts of the chapel, as the poor old woman evidently hadn't a clue as to what she had been doing. This Cat thinks she knew exactly what she'd been doing, and there was a deeper significance behind this reconstruction. When I've worked out what it is, I'll let you know...

Tuesday 21 August 2012

The Fugitive

Recent developments concerning Guffmund the Brown - the fugitive from the hounds of justice, retribution and tripe - have taken some surprising turns. For the benefit of the uninitiated, Guffo - the outgoing, personable and devil-may-care former Great Exemplar of the Redistribution Faction - has been discovered to have leaked enormous quantities of gold in the Northumbrian treasury to Barbary pirates, selling it to them at a rate which was minutely proportionate to its actual value. The proceeds from this bizarre transaction went to subsidise three seconds' worth of wages for the pigeon psychiatrists, fish quota accountants and diversity administrators of the Realm. Popularity carries an infinitely high price.

When certain powerful and influential figures discovered Guffo's misdemeanours, the sound of baying was heard throughout the Kingdom, and Guffo had no choice but to seek sanctuary from his arch-enemy Dagwald Caedmeron - the Head Girl of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration in the Embassy of the (as yet undiscovered) kingdom of Equatoria, where he's been feasting at the expense of the Emissary on guinea pig stew and cebiche, washed down with pisco sours.

There have been expressions of support for Guffo from very unlikely quarters, especially since the soothsayers - especially Beeby See and her foul-breathed bosom pal Guardy-Ann - have skilfully reinterpreted this development as a classic case of persecution and a vicious attack on personal freedom, human rights and rhubarb. After all, they argue - any Principal Minister has a divine right to dispose of trash to whomsoever he pleases; if such oppression happens to Guffo, it'll soon be the norm for the agents of the Realm to seek and destroy any individual who privately engages in acts of stupidity. Among the chorus of Guffo's supporters is the Galleywasp - a blustering politico who has redesigned his own peculiar brand of Redistribution into his own minuscule Contempt Faction, and, incidentally, has a penchant for pretending to be a cat in the presence of ageing female songsters. How utterly distasteful. I want to heave... excuse me a moment..

My own perception - although I'm just a simple kitty - is that Guffo deserves friends like the Galleywasp. After all, for Redistributionists, only the best will do. Good luck with that, Guffo. You're going to need it...

Friday 17 August 2012


Oh, dear me. It's taken this poor old Cat a long time to recover from the frenzied excitement of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire) Games; I haven't slept so much for at least four years. Having heard form the animated townspeople of Streonaeshalch (and of course, the equally excitable Feaxede the Fox) that the Northumbrian Games Team has succeeded in winning sufficient gold awards to either offset the Great Kingdom Deficit for a year - or supply the Redistributionist Faction with sumptuous lunches for at least a week - (I reckon the latter is the more likely outcome), things had started to settle down, and I was quite content to exercise my paws and claws in the kind of pursuits we cats are best known for - rather than writing profound and serious blogs.

However, there's been an unholy fracas reported by the soothsayers of late which has grabbed the fevered imagination of the Northumbrian populace, and it's quite entertaining. It involves Guffmund the Brown - the cheery, joke-cracking, fast-talking psychopath who formerly led the Redistribution Faction, and who single-handedly saved the world from the savage ravages of solvency. Guffo - best known for his absence from the hallowed chambers of the Northumbrian Witangemot and the halls of power - has been immersed in controversy in recent times, and as a result has made some very powerful enemies. Having sold off (or 'leaked', as it's technically known) the gold reserves of the Kingdom to Barbary pirates for the princely sum of seventeen Holy Groats, not an insignificant number of Northumbrians (who don't happen to be economists) are upset, since they fear that the Beautiful Realm has been sucked into the vile vortex of bankruptcy, ignominy and biscuit. Calamity and treble woe thrice over.

Consequently, there's been a price on Guffo's head, as noblemen, serfs, chickens and pigs have demanded that he be apprehended and brought to account for his villainy before the Northumbrian Football Association, whose judicial processes are - to say the least - brutal. Poor Guffo has had no option but to seek refuge from the hounds of retribution, and has recently ensconced himself in the embassy of Equatoria, some obscure outpost of the (as yet undiscovered) land of Ultima Thule. Since the understanding hitherto has always been - in line with the Old Testament teaching on the Cities of Refuge for fugitives - that an Abbey or an embassy is off-limits to the baying packs of bloodhounds and Costumed Thugs, therefore affording some respite from the pursuers, it's strange that Dagwald Caedmeron - the Senior Mistress and Angel Cake of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Adminstration - has declared that he will send in the legions of Northumbrian yeomen - armed with spears, swords and a few kind and well-chosen words - to storm the embassy and to seize the hapless Guffmund. The Equatorian Emissary is quite upset, and has stated that to do such a heinous thing would result in hostilities between the two Kingdoms, as such an act would violate its sovereign rights and dignities.

This cat thinks that Caddy Boy has been eating the magical mushrooms again. When they finally wear off, he's going to wonder what led him to to something so bizarrely stupid and rash. I'm sure his long-suffering wife will have a few sharp words with him...

Friday 10 August 2012

Hopped Out

While the Northumbrian Kingdom has been under the spell of the Holy Roman Empire (which is as holy as Guardy-Ann's underwear, Roman as Erik the Red, and is a lampoon of an empire) Games, there's been an interesting election taking place in the settlements of Celle and Bullock Smithy. This election has been called to determine whether or not the citizens of those Cestrescir towns want the opportunity to vote regarding the Kingdom's continuing thraldom to the aforesaid Evil Intergalactic Federation.

The majority of Northumbrians - intoxicated with mead, ale and the successes of the Northumbrian Games Team in winning golden honours in stone-throwing and various kinds of competitive enterprise - have been blissfully unaware of this development; this ignorance without doubt owes to the fact that Beeby See, Guardy-Ann, the Windy Pedant, Dellymell and other soothsayers haven't passed on the news to them. The charitable side of this Cat (for there is one, to be sure) would suggest that they've all been so engrossed with the distractions of the Games and the resulting golden awards, which, incidentally, will be  forcibly seized from the successful athletes and - in line with contemporary political dogmaredistributed into the back pockets of the politicos and their friends, purportedly in the Greater Interest of the Colossal Deficit). But on the other hand, my suspicious nature puts forward an alternative hypothesis. The result of these minor plebiscites has been an overwhelming vote in both places in favour of an opt-out-of-the-Empire vote for the entire Northumbrian Realm. This is not what the politicos and their noble moneylender friends want to hear, as they enjoy all the cosy benefits of continued servitude to the leaden and unimaginative rule of Emperor Jose Borracho and his limp-minded accomplice Hermit the Rumphole.

Since the process of de-mockery-cy in this lovely Kingdom is merely a piece of window-dressing to present to those knuckle-draggers unreflective enough to accept it as the real thing, the votes and aspirations of ordinary Northumbrians are studiously ignored by the myriads of political princes and their hangers-on.

Sooner or later, Northumbrians are going to cotton on to this. And when they do, Dagwald Caedmeron, Edweird the Millner and their ilk will be taking part in another event - the High Jump...

Wednesday 8 August 2012

The Cat's Ethics Lesson

In recent days, my friend Feaxede the Fox has been bombarding me with questions about the Northumbrian socio-political scene. He's a curious creature - I'd almost put him on a par with we cats, but that perhaps would be verging on hyperbole. Nevertheless, I have to admire him for his enquiring mind, as well as his thirst for knowledge (which is amply evidenced in his regular forays into the Streonaeshalch municipal dump for the sake of research).

Yesterday, we were having one of those discussions, and out of the blue he asked me about human criminality. You must bear in mind that we creatures are not mired in the morass of human ethics; we're simply not moral beings. We don't have to be. The reason for this is simply that we didn't transgress the Almighty's moral imperative in the beginning; therefore we're not stained by the moral imperfection of fallen humanity, and we share none of the responsibility for it. (However, we have to put up with the wider consequences of the original human transgression; that's why we have to die, and it also explains why some of us critters are more partial to a diet of meat rather than leaves and berries.)

Since Feaxede was anxious to know about these things, I was only too glad to oblige and pass on to him the benefits of my Christian education from my master Caedmon. I told him that there are three grades of criminal in the Northumbrian Kingdom and in the wider world beyond. The largest group consists of those who are low in human sociological ranking. These are people who steal, rob, extort; those who kill other human beings, or allow their pet dogs to adorn the pavements of the Realm with their curled offerings. This low-grade category of criminal is the one that is most likely to grace the oubliettes and dungeons of the Realm, as they've been unfortunate enough to have been apprehended by the Costumed thugs.

The second category of criminal is the politicos. This is an elite group of parasitic humans who steal, rob, defraud, bribe, bully, patronise and extort; they vote for the killing other human beings in warfare, and freely allow their pet dogs to adorn the pavements of the Realm with their curled offerings. They sit aloof from the other criminals, and because of this they affect a supercilious attitude towards those they 'serve'. Occasionally one may be apprehended and subjected to the processes of human justice. But this is rare.

The third category consists of the moneylenders. This is getting repetitive...

Thursday 2 August 2012

Into Another Trap

The excitement is currently at fever pitch here in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria, as the Holy Roman Empire Games (no connection with holiness, the Romans nor an empire) gains its inevitable momentum. Dagwald Caedmeron - the Chicken Supreme of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration has been putting in unannounced special guest appearances at various events and sprinkling fairy dust, the result of which is that all the Northumbrian participants in the Games events he's attended have spectacularly lost.

The greatest achievement so far has been the success of Braedwald the Wigger, who - fresh from his conquest of the land of the Franks and victorious tour on his two-wheeled trap, has also won the Holy Roman Empire Games Trap Contest in spectacular fashion, and has consequently received the Golden Honours. A life of glorious obscurity awaits him as politicos fall over each other to take the credit for his successes. But he has also - on the heels of his victories - been quick to open his facial trap to recommend yet more legislation for the Witangemot. He deems it Vital and Necessary that all Trap riders wear a helmet while travelling, lest they fall off their vehicles and occasion serious injuries to their pates. Naturally, the politicos are ecstatically pleased and excited at the idea of passing yet another law to keep company of the three hundred million others that have already been fashioned and written into the statute book by the political elite. To be sure, it's becoming something of a challenge to discover what area of human life and activity (if any) hasn't in some way been either restricted, constricted or banned by the freedom-loving overlords of Northumbria.

As I relate these things to you, I'm given to understand that a new law is currently being drafted to make it an offence for Beoris the Blond - the charismatic and entertaining Feudal Lord of Yorvik - to be suspended over the heads of the citizens on a wire. But we can be certain that for all this half-witted pettiness, the politicos won't legislate against themselves and their factions...