Wednesday 31 December 2014

Honours Among Thieves

In my morning rounds, it's my custom to wait by a particular fence for a few minutes; I've found by observation that there's a particular hole underneath the aforesaid fence providing a convenient route for passing mice, whose footprints have steadily worn a small trackway. And I'm never disappointed if I wait there, since some hapless rodent is certain to pass by.

In a similar fashion, my annual routine at this time of the year is to join with my vulpine friend Feaxede the fox in the blessed anticipation of the Northumbrian New Year Honours. We eagerly listen out to the ramblings of Beeby See and other soothsayers to catch news of the eagerly-awaited Awards. We can hardly contain our excitement as the names of the nominees is put forward, and our hearts simply burst for joy! Happy days!

These Honours are awarded by the Supreme Monarch of Northumbria, the ancient King Alhfrith, although I shouldn't hestitate to point out that the Great Chieftain doesn't actually play any part in the selection of those nominated to receive these awards; such labours are infra dignatem for such as he. Fortunately, he has a legion of politicos, diversity co-ordinators, pigeon psychologists and sociopaths to take up the menial process of selecting the recipients.

There are three separate categories of awards: Distinguished Order of the Northumbrian Kingdom [DONK], Hero Of the Northumbrian Kingdom [HONK] and Bachelor Of the Nothumbrian Kingdom [BONK]. Each individual nominated to receive such an honour is supplied with a reason for his or her award; this is usually prefaced with either the phrase "For services to.." or "In recognition of..."

Most of the recipients are names unknown to the Northumbrian populace, since most of them are people who don't actually exist, but whose inclusion provides some measure of proof that the selectors have actually been doing something to earn their Holy Groats. However, some are awarded (with fanfares) to leading celebrity drunks, homeopaths, luvvies, vermin, politicos and criminals. Those servants of the public who've managed to set one particular community at the throat of another (for example, Vikings against Caledonians) are granted an honour in recognition to their services to the Great Goddess of Diversity. And so it goes. On occasion awards are even granted to ordinary members of the public who've given their time in the service of others or who have performed some outstanding act of courage.

Such excitement for these awards as ours isn't restricted to members of the animal kingdom, either. I went on a fact-finding mission to find out what the average Northumbrian thought about these New Year Honours, and I was suitably impressed by the response I found. One fisherman I asked was so animated about it that he spat; fortunately I wasn't within the trajectory of the fluid utterance. A market trader I questioned look blankly at me, leaned over to one side and sent a noisy explosion from his hind quarters, accompanied by a noxious invisible cloud of colonic gas.

I can emphasise enough how exciting these awards are; even the humans have a visceral affection for them!

Tuesday 30 December 2014

The Pox Docks

Your Cat hopes that you've had a very good Christmas; mine was spent in the usual territorial wanderings, but none of the usual threats to my Kingdom could be bothered to stir their idle bones to challenge me, so it was a relatively peaceful day, with a respectable catch of mice and a haddock supper to make it complete. All that remains now is the forthcoming festivities for the New Year, which, in the Northumbrian Kingdom, is a suitable pretext for excessive mawkish sentimentality and drunkenness. Your Cat will go to ground; I value my peace and quiet.

Not so the soothsayers, who are currently very excited at the sudden arrival of the Wibbler Plague – the latest illegal immigrant to these shores. As your Cat is given to understand it, the Wibbler Plague is an exotic friend of Guardy-Ann, the self-awarded Soothsayer Of The Year for the thirteen thousandth time in succession. With a shared hatred of the human race, and being no respecter of godliness, creed, colour or biscuit, Guardy-Ann and the Wibbler Plague have a great deal in common, although to be fair, at least the former commands some loyal following and affection among the bongo-playing unwashed, yogurt weavers, arty luvvies, magic mushroom-chewing Redistributionists and the kindergarten educators of the Realm, whereas the latter is no man's friend, piggy-backing its way around the places it infests, hopping aboard the hapless humans who unwittingly carry it over to their social circles. In this manner the Wibbler does its grim work.

Dagwald Caedmeron – the Principal Nosedrop of the Tree/Liberationist Aliance Administration – is wringing his hands and wondering what to do, since the constant jabbering of the soothsayers seems to strongly suggest that the pestilential pox will engulf and overwhelm the entire Kingdom within a few days, leaving a trail of death, dog droppings and destruction in its wake. Various incantations and herbal remedies have already been tried by physicians in specially woven gowns in order to combat its malign influence, but these have so far failed to bring its nefarious activities to an end.

However, your Cat has already come up with a solution to the Wibbler Problem, and its execution is both simple and elegant. All that Caddy Boy needs to do is to have a quiet chat with Ruswald the Brat and ask him nicely to give the Pox a ride to the self-styled Valhalla Viking Republic of the Levant, who are running berserk in that neck of the woods in an orgy of throat-cutting and bloodlust. He'll do the most valuable service to Northumbria. After all, Guardy-Ann needn't be told a thing...

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Wintervaltide Greetings from Northumbria

Everything is grinding to a halt here in the lovely Dark Ages Kingdom of Northumbria as the festive season fast approaches. The labourers have returned to their hovels - or, in most cases - to the inns, where ale and mead flow down their gullets in industrial quantities; the fishermen and market tradesmen have similarly retreated to the aforementioned haunts, leaving their wives to prepare bread and seasonal dishes for the forthcoming Christmas feast.

There's an eerie air of stillness upon the Kingdom which is only occasionally punctuated by the grunting of assorted beasts in their barns and the distant bleating of politicos and the braying of soothsayers. Such relative inactivity affords your Cat a well-earned break from the relentless daily chore of maintaining the territory and defending it from young feline pretenders, who are all probably curled up in front of their home fires, bellies replete with chicken dinner leftovers.

The Abbey of Streonaeshalh is preparing for the midnight mass tonight and the services tomorrow, and the monks and priests are making all the necessary preparations for the throngs who will doubtless be filling the place. My master Caedmon is composing some verse to mark the season. It's not a good idea to interrupt him when he's in creative mode; I value my continued existence too much.

At the darkest time of the year it's quite appropriate that humans celebrate the entrance of the Light of the World into a stable in Bethlehem. Admittedly, all of the leaders of the church acknowledge that the feast of Christmas has been superimposed over the ancient Roman pagan feast of Saturnalia; the precise date of the Redeemer's birth isn't known, and no traditions exist to suggest its chronology. Suffice it to say that this doesn't really matter, since the arrival of the Eternal into the realms of time and space are the occasion for rejoicing and reflection at any time.

A very Happy Christmas to you all!


Tuesday 16 December 2014

Brat Droppings

There's been very little to disturb my existential ennui since I last posted, and I've been quite content to patrol my substantial territories, chase and catch mice, rats, politicians and other kinds of vermin. Life rolls on here in Dark Ages Streonaeshalh, and the human population are - as ever - captivated by the footballing prowess of Madcaster Untied, not to mention the assorted ramblings and scare stories about Viking fanatics and noxious poxes and plagues from the soothsayers, most especially Beeby See, who's regarded with a touchingly misplaced veneration by the majority of the Northumbrian Saxons. One of Beeby See's favourites at the moment is a shambolic character who answers to the name of Ruswald the Brat. The aforesaid has been promoted by the aforementioned soothsayer to an embarrassing degree, and he's been wheeled on at every available opportunity to pass on the Delphic oracles that drool gracelessly from his loosely flapping chops.

Ruswald the Brat – a professional imbecile aged fifteen – has made a great deal of his fortune by appearing in public and pretending to be a court jester. His notoriety comes from his ability to insult, offend and poke fun at various groups of people, and to write books that buyers pretend to have read for fear of not appearing hip, cool and trendy.

Ruswald the Brat is a man of unfathomable profundity whose vacuousness threatens to swallow him entire; his impressive mastery of the Anglo-Saxon language is only equalled by his inability to understand the individual words he uses - along with the meaning of those phrases randomly strung together like beads from them. Nevertheless, this hasn't failed to impress Beeby See, and such erudition (or whatever passes for it) has also endeared him to scores of window-licking admirers who desire to emulate him.

The Brat's popularity with Beeby See owes to the fact that he isn't averse to airing his abundant ignorance on matters political, and since his blurred thought processes are the result of the consumption of industrial quantities on Magic Mushrooms over the greatest part of his life, his sayings find a certain resonance with some Redistributionists. He's even urged the Northumbrian population not to vote, this being for the alleged reason that all of the political factions are owned by the same cartel of greedy merchants, thus rendering the political process pointless. To add to his impressive list of achievements, he's also criticised the Tree/Liberationist Administration for its imposition of the so-called Pantry Tax – a charge for those tenants of hovels and A-frame houses who use the spare room as a food store rather than a bedroom for a needy mendicant. His fulminations against those who take measures to preserve their fortunes from the clutches of the Northumbrian Exchequer have also carved him a place in the diseased hearts of the Redistributionists as a Champion of the Poor.

When challenged by a soothsayer's lackey about his own sumptuous residence – which he's rented in order to avoid paying taxes on his substantial fortunes – the poor Champion of the Poor has resorted to choicest Anglo-Saxon Anglo-Saxon turns of phrase against the hapless questioner, followed by the swift projection of horse manure.

The sophistication of his arguments is manifesting itself; your Cat predicts that a life of obscurity awaits him...

Monday 10 November 2014

Who Wants To Be A Milliner?

Ever since the Redistributionist Faction assigned me the task of coaching Edweird the Milliner to improve his standing in the political life of the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria (didn't I tell you about that? – I thought I had…), I've noticed some considerable improvements in his standing before the electorate, and I'm certainly pleased with the outcome so far. Please pardon my modesty.

Naturally, it comes as a complete mystery to me as to why the Redistributionists should elect to choose a common-or-garden moggy to groom their Great Leader for stardom and greatness; perhaps it's because I'm endowed with a measure of astuteness and impartiality that evades the stock-in-trade human contenders for the post. Needless to say, the rewards from my work are lavish, since they've been redistributed from the Northumbrian public purse into their treasure-chests. If Dover sole, smoked salmon and caviar are good enough for a Redistributionist politico and a trade guild baron, they're certainly good enough for me!

One fundamental priority I've implemented is to seriously attempt to make Edweird the Milliner look vaguely human and sane when under the public eye. This has been a severely difficult task for me to achieve, but in our daily coaching sessions (one hour, full fish expenses paid) I've managed to accomplish a breakthrough; Eddy Boy now knows how to pull the correct face when presented with a hedgehog pie, and also how to appear when he starts to attempt to eat it.

Part of the syllabus I've set for Eddie is also eye and mouth training. This has also been something of an upward struggle, since these two features of his physiognomy have habitually struggled in mortal combat with each other on the arena of his face. One mark of the improvement that my training has managed to accomplish is that now, his eyes roll inwards while his mouth is closed, and conversely, his mouth contorts into its customarily peculiar shapes while his eyes look ahead. This is by no means the fulfillment of my training sessions, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.

Such is the measure of my success thus far that already Eddy Boy's popularity has already soared in the esteem of the electorate, and among his colleagues, only a few thousand voices are now raised in dissent and in favour of a replacement Chieftain. He is being groomed to be the next Principal Minister!

All that remains on my list of outstanding objectives is to teach him how to not call for an independent public enquiry every five seconds. Now that's a tough call, if ever there was one…

Wednesday 29 October 2014

The Revolt Of The Water Fairies

To break the torpor which has overcome this Cat has been one serious challenge. For weeks now, I've been so occupied with the maintaining of my kingdom - fending off pretenders to my throne, administering a salutary thick (or torn) ear where necessary - along with cleaning its precincts of mice, rats, politicians and various other species of vermin. Such activities have been sufficient to occupy my paws, claws, teeth and intellectual powers. While the soothsayers have regaled me with tales of woe about the Great Wibbler Plague - which reputedly attacks the fragile constitutions of human beings and renders their brains into a gel-like mush while transmuting them into gibbering clones of Edweird the Milliner and Dagwald Caedmeron -  I've chosen to turn my ears and eyes into a more parochial direction.

Nevertheless, I've been re-animated by the excited reports from Beeby See and other soothsayers about the forthcoming collective action announced by the Water Fairies in response to the harsh strictures imposed upon them by the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration.

For the sake of my uneducated readers, the Water Fairies are a mythical species of human being who live under rules, terms and conditions of their own. In a parallel universe, to put it another way. Their function is to sit together in communes, play cards and tell jokes among themselves until their daily responsibilities are fulfilled, and then to go home, once they've been succeeded by the next shift. Occasionally they are called to drop their cards and suspend their stories in order to dash elsewhere to administer water to house fires, thus extinguishing them to the relief of the hapless householders. For thousands of years this comfortable arrangement has existed, and the Water Fairies have happily drawn their wages and their old-age stipends from the public purse.

Other services however have been less favoured, and have been customarily obliged to spend their working days dashing to and from in the interests of public health or civil order. Naturally those transporters of the Sick and Ailing to the witch doctors of the Northumbrian Herbalist Service have been resentful of their water-bearing peers, and have failed to understand why they should enjoy such lavish benefits while they have to endure all manner of woes in the routine execution of their duties.

The forthcoming weeks are going to prove to be quite interesting while the Water Fairies play cards and tell jokes to each other outside their communes around their braziers. Their day isn't going to be vastly different from the one they spend in harness. Their replacements in the case of emergency are yet to be selected...

Thursday 25 September 2014

Invisible Friends and Fiends

The Redistributionist Faction's Annual Unfortunates' Outing And Picnic is now over, and your Cat is eagerly awaiting the Liberationist and Tree events. What's for lunch?

One clear message that sounded loud and clear from the Redistributionist jamboree was the New Discovery that Edweird the Milliner - the Principal Fruitcake of the aforesaid faction - has hidden influences who inform his daily decisions. In his twelve-hour oration to the enraptured assembly of acolytes, dust-mites, stalactites and stalagmites, he referred to a blessed encounter with a friendly character answering to the name of Gariff. It would seem that Gariff has been having a hard time of things lately, and Eddy Boy has promised to muster the considerable forces at his disposal to make his life better - under the precondition that he votes for the Redistributionists at the next Great Count. Which is nice. Sadly though, not one Redistributionist actually knows who this Gariff is, since no one has ever claimed to have seen him. Your Cat loves mysteries!

I decided to do some research of my own, and during the course of my enquiries I discovered that Eddy Boy has been chewing a particularly potent species of mushroom: his own exclusive stock. This solves the mystery and explains why Eddy's marathon oration omitted the small matter of the Great Northumbrian Deficit (which was left as a parting gift by his own faction when they presided over the Kingdom of Northumbria's decline under the wise and sane counsel of the jovial and monocular Guffmund the Brown). And since the Dear Leader hasn't mentioned the Deficit, it follows that his henchmen and adoring sycophants and elephants haven't mentioned it either: it's a persona non grata. It simply doesn't enter the Great Conversation because it doesn't figure in the Great Narrative. In short, it simply doesn't exist.

Edweird the Milliner has a great future eluding him. Prepare for government, cupcakes. And don't forget the mushrooms...

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Fascinating Rhythm

Following the shocking abdication of the Caledonian Queen Angus McTrout, your Cat has been interested to a subatomic degree by astounding new developments in the politics of the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria

Since it was recently decided by the Caledonian public that the fantasy of self-determination and separation from Northumbria proposed by the retired monarch was a prospect dogged by potential disaster, distress, deprivation, depravity, desolation and biscuit, Dagwald Caedmeron - the Principal Demagogue of the Tree Faction and Archdeacon of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance administration - has promised to grant the Picts and Scots a greater degree of freedom. This will enable them to mind their own affairs in the wild, wet and wintry wastelands of the North. Inevitably, this involves the principle that Northumbrians should henceforth solely have their own representatives in the Witangemot, taking decisions which affect Northumbria - and that existing Caledonian politicos representing their own kinsmen should be banished to their own homeland, where they can inflict their peculiar band of misery upon their own compatriots.

This is a matter upon which the Tree Faction is roundly agreed - and this augurs no great sacrifice for them, since none of their number would ever dare to be found in any constituency north of the River Tweed. However, the Redistributionists - whose inviolable Creed includes the holy dogma of Equality and Fairness for all those who are deluded enough to agree with them - stand to lose the prospect of future electoral success in the next Northumbrian Great Count: not an insignificant number of the mushroom-chewers represent Caledonian parishes. Understandably their Princess, Edweird the Milliner, is deeply unhappy about this prospect, since it obliges him and his motley cabal of acolytes to resort to violent armed struggle in order to gain power and win the hearts and minds of their detractors. 

Once again, it's that time in the cycle of the year where the various factions of the Realm converge on a hapless location so that they can indulge themselves in an annual orgy of rhetoric, rat's whiskers and rhubarb in their respective Annual Unfortunates' Outings and Picnics. Much mead, ale and finest Frankish wine are consumed - along, of course, with industrial quantities of magic mushrooms - an ingredient essential for the business of such political posturing. The Redistributionists have already started theirs, and the smell of beansprouts, boiled cabbage and dog breath - along with the sound of bongoes - already saturates the air around them to a radius of about fifteen thousand miles. Edweird the Spheres - the mendacious and fantasy-fuelled Treasurer of the Shadow - has outlined his fifteen thousand-year-plan for the economy of the Kingdom. More ingenious ways and means have been devised under the influence of the sacred fungus in order to further impoverish and punish the working Northumbrian and to reward the industriously idle.

Like the fine ales, meads and wines, the fantasies continue to flow in measures which are inversely proportional to your Cat's fast waning fascination…

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Getting Unknotted

For some considerable time now the soothsayers have been in an exalted state of excitement concerning the imminent Wee Votie north of the Northumbrian border, which will determine whether or not the Caledonians will run themselves as an independent kingdom, thus disconnecting the close ties which hitherto have bound the kingdoms together.

There have been debates between politicos of rival factions; the chief protagonist on the side of independent-minded Picts has been their spiritual leader, the well-fed and immensely self-satisfied Angus McTrout. With a smugness trespassing the borders of severely delusional self-confidence, the Wee Chiefie has capably dismissed the contrary arguments with a majestic sweep of his overloaded and quasi-poetic rhetoric. Invoking the memories of a past which - if truth be told - never had the misfortune to happen, he appealed to a Golden Age of Caledonian supremacy, poets, kings, glorious battles, Pyrrhic victories, free oats, uisge beatha gently trickling in torrents through the burns and braes of the Sacred Land, along with other word-paintings of similar nonsense. Your Cat should point out that such tales owe more to the vast consumption of magic mushrooms, washed down by the aforesaid distillation.

The primary rivals and defenders of the existing arrangement in these debates have been Caledonian Redistributionists; Tree politicos have been notably absent, since on that side of the border their popularity  is matched only with that of a free range dog's colonic droppings on a butcher's bench. Since the Trees therefore have no reason to to engage in debate with the rebellious Picts, the Redistributionists have been obliged to take up the mantle; should the Wee Votie decide that Caledonia is an independent political entity, they stand to lose not an insignificant number of politicos from the Northumbrian Witangemot. The result of this would be utter tragedy, since it would thus guarantee that a Redistributionist majority will never happen in the future. Try - if you can - to imagine this Cat's heartfelt tears.

One sticking point in the debates - which, like a dialogue of the deaf - has involved irritable exchanges of attitude rather than arguments, has been the issue of the proposed new Independent Caledonia's currency. Since the separation would involve the severing of the purse strings from the Northumbrian exchequer, cold logic would decree that the Picts and Scots would have to establish their own currency - thus following through their independent zeal to its ultimate conclusion. This is evidently too much like hard work for the Wee Chiefie, who in his customarily complacent manner has instead that they will retain the Holy Groat, since they will continue to need supplies of the filthy Northumbrian lucre to maintain their existing dependence on magic mushrooms. And Caledonian currency would be worthless in the Northumbrian realm...

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Pails Into Insignificance

It's so gratifying to know that while the Levant is in turmoil and all manner of injustices and horrors are routinely being played out throughout the world – including in the delightful Redistributionist-infested settlement of Rodreham - the soothsayers have seen fit to serve the unreflective masses with yet another hearty distraction.

It all commenced the other day when the Professor Emeritus of Unclear Physics and Retired Chieftain of the as yet undiscovered land of Ultima Thule – a certain Gerhard the Shrub by name – had the contents of a pail poured over him by his spouse. This purportedly was a means enabling him to draw some attention to himself (which for him had been a commodity in rare supply for several years), collect money in support of sorcerers' research into some incurable malady, as well as challenge some other attention-starved ex-politico to a feat of similar folly. As your Cat understands it, the contents of the bucket were iced water, which is usually more constructively employed to preserve fish.

Once the first stone was dislodged, the dam proceeded to burst, and even in the streets of Streonaeshalh one can behold all manner of men, women and children pouring buckets of icy cold water over each other. Monkey see, monkey do.

As a longstanding member of the feline community, this Cat finds this spectacle bizarre and incomprehensible; none of my peers would ever welcome the experience, but would rather entertain themselves by running a mile over hot tiles to evade such a fate.

This phenomenon is nothing new, however. The Redistributionist, Tree and Liberationist politicos adopted this habit years ago; when this present trend is long forgotten by the public consciousness, they'll continue to doggedly cleave to their own sacred tradition. However, they like to use less noble contents for their pails, choosing rather the freshly garnered outpourings of human alimentary systems and bladders. They tip them over their rivals (who reciprocate in like manner) in the hope that they'll smell even worse than they did before. They never do, of course…

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Clone Ranger

What I'm about to tell you is on complete confidence - please don't pass this on to anyone else. You won't believe this - in fact I haven't even told my master Caedmon, since I know he'd merely dismiss this as being a feline flight of fancy. It isn't.

The other night, I was on my customary evening patrol of my territory around the lovely Northumbrian settlement of Streonaeshalh. It was a quiet night, punctuated by the occasional callings of my nocturnal avian friend and fellow hunter, Doctor Hoo and his associates.

In the darkness I reached a field adjacent to some woods nearby, and was about to cross it when my attention was drawn by a strange and unfamiliar whirring sound. When I looked in the direction of the noise, I saw a strange object in the middle of the field; it was larger than a house, but was of a shape reminiscent of an enormous soup plate. This unusual structure emitted a series of pulsating lights.

Mesmerised, I watched as a door opened in the object, and two figures emerged into the doorway, lit up by the blinking luminescence. The figures looked vaguely human, and as I approached in my usual feline curiosity, I saw that both figures looked identical to the Redistributionist Grand Mufti, Edweird the Milliner.

I greeted them, and they approached me to investigate. I asked them who they were, and where they had come from, and one of them replied that were celestial rangers; they'd travelled the expanse of the skies from a faraway world called Redistributia, and they were on a routine visit to our world.

When I asked them the purpose of their visit, they told me that they had come to relieve Edweird the Milliner of his shift, and to replace him with another of their kind, thus enabling Eddy to return to his home for some rest and recuperation.

I asked them if they could also please replace Dagwald Caedmeron - the Cupcake-In-Chief of the Tree Faction. They told me that training was already in progress, and his successor would be arriving soon...

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Edweird's Grand Day Out

Your Cat has awakened from his customary slumbers to announce that Edweird the Milliner has taken an interval from his astonishing victories; taking the Golden Opportunity of a lifetime, he's taken a ride on a barque, sailing to the distant shores of the as yet undiscovered land of Ultima Thule. How exciting!

Surrounded by an entourage of sycophants, elephants and assorted hangers-on, Eddy - the as yet undiscovered leader and Great Expectation of the Redistributionist Faction - has paid a courtesy visit to Bugrake O'Barmy, the as yet undiscovered High Chieftain of the aforesaid kingdom. All at the expense of the Northumbrian taxpayer, you'll understand.

The primary purpose for the Great Leader's outing is so that he can present himself before his adoring acolytes as a Great Statesman and potential Once And Future Principal of the Northumbrian Kingdom. However, such overweening ambition and delusion is fed by a constant diet of flattery, flatulence and a continual and industrial quantity of the Sacred Mushrooms, which empower the imaginations of their feckless consumers and carry the enraptured mind into states of glittering and unreflective bliss.

The secondary reason for the visit is so that Eddy can sit in dumbstruck reverence at the feet of the Grand Master, in the eager expectation of catching some of the morsels of holy doctrine that drip from his mellifluous chops. He's particularly interested to discover how Bugrake O'Barmy has managed to maintain his spellbinding power over his warlike clans, and how he rules over them without actually taking any constructive decisions. He also wants to learn the secret of Bugrake's phenomenal command of rhetoric, rhubarb and oratory - qualities which are conspicuously absent from the Milliner's otherwise awesome arsenal.

The Ultima Thule Chieftain will doubtless have been delighted to take a few hours of his time to spend in the presence of the Prince of Obscurity to chew the fat with him. I wonder if he'll have remembered Eddy's name - or where he came from?

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Caddy's Last Stand

Having inspired the Northumbrian football team and their mascot Wade Rune to lose the coveted Holy Roman Empire Cup and to return to their native shores to a rapturous welcome, Dagwald Caedmeron - the Loved and Revered Tosspot and Despot of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration - has been fighting and losing battles of his own: not within the football fields of Ultima Thule, but rather within the hallowed halls and courts of the aforesaid Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire).

The bone of contention has been the appointment of the new Emperor and disappointment of the present Monarch, His Holiness Emperor Jose Borracho. The new Caesar-in-waiting is a hitherto unknown council warrior called Claudius Junkbond - a deeply loved and popular unknown among his immediate circle of lackeys.

It would appear that the new chieftain-elect - whose appointment (strangely) doesn't happen to rest upon the electoral support of the hordes of loyal tribes, clans and kingdoms - has a penchant for the finest wines of the Empire. At all times of the day. And night. Every day. All, of course, at the expense of the Holy Roman Empire taxpayer, who is too preoccupied with his survival as well as the latest football results from the soothsayers and other assorted rumour-millers. This is a golden opportunity for him to pass from obscurity to complete oblivion. In luxury and biscuit.

It isn't that Caddy bears any personal antipathy towards the new Emperor-elect, however; he's seized on a vital opportunity to curry favour with his disenchanted disciples back at home, who are rapidly deserting his teachings in favour of the anti-Empire rebel, the plain-speaking, mead-quaffing Nickwald the Forager. The logic is that if Caddy Boy is observed to make a valiant stand against the appointment, he will be perceived to be a Principled Princess of the People, and this will successfully woo hearts and minds.

Success is guaranteed... isn't it..?

Friday 20 June 2014

Owl Be Blowed

One remarkable piece of news came to this Cat's ears recently; it appears that the Redistributionist Faction - led by their inspirational mascot Edweird the Milliner - have pledged every family in the Kingdom an owl.

As far as initiatives go, this certainly takes the biscuit for inventiveness and off-the-wall thinking. However, I wasn't content to let the matter rest merely with the ranting reportings of rabid soothsayers; I decided to find out more and to consult my recently-acquired friend and nocturnal colleague Doctor Hoo.

I found him sitting on a branch, keeping an eye open for mice and voles, as is his usual custom. I greeted him, and he swooped down to talk to me. When I asked him if he'd heard of the Redistributionist pledge to supply the human population with his fellow avians, he told me that he'd indeed heard about it only earlier in the day. However, in the course of the day's hunting, he'd subsequently encountered a remarkably tough and forthright mouse who answered to the name of McKee. After putting up a spirited fight with Doctor Hoo, the plucky mouse was allowed his freedom. Before the trusty Doctor released his worthy prey into the wild, he asked him who he was. McKee answered that he was a religious leader and prophet amongst his fellow rodents, and he predicted that one day his name would be a byword, an inspiration and a benchmark for all politicians and rulers throughout the human world.

Astonished by the mouse's prophetic insight, Doctor Hoo asked him if he'd heard about the plan to introduce an owl to every human household in the Kingdom of Northumbria. McKee sagely told him that the promise - as they do from all politicos - would come to nothing within hours of its initial utterance...

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Fighting Frenzy

The latest Great Issue to awaken this old Cat from his slumbers is the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire) Cup, which is a football contest that is fought every forty thousand years between competing kingdoms for the coveted aforementioned trophy. The soothsayers are in a state of perpetual ecstasy and slobbering excitement about it all. Bless.

The noble sport of football was originally introduced to the Kingdom of Northumbria and the British Isles by the ancient Romans, but was - to all intents and purposes - invented by the Northumbrians so that they could complacently claim the game as their own.

The ruling elites of the Realm are naturally very enthusiastic about the game, since it's an ideal means to keep the Northumbrian citizenry in a perpetual state of docility, thus distracting their minds and hearts from more sinister entertainments - for example, rising up and lovingly severing the connection between King Alhfrith, his court and his politico executives from their heads. This therefore explains the prominence of teams like the world-renowned Madcaster Untied and its twinkle-toed prima donna Wade Rune, whose weekly salary exceeds the Gross Kingdom Product of the very Empire.

The Northumbrian national team is carried by a wave of eager expectation by the population; such anticipation however bears no correlation to the past endeavours of the Realm's side, who've signally and faithfully failed to deliver anything to the adoring crowds except disappointment, disillusionment, discombobulation and biscuit. In that order.

However the Team's Supreme Coach - Tondvig the Blur (who also serves the coveted role of Supreme Mendacious War Envoy to the Levant) has emphatically denied any responsibility for the team's past failures, and has urged the Kingdom to wage warfare on the barbaric and uncivilised hordes of Viking and assorted exotic teams. Such rallying cries are usually accompanied by the consumption of industrial quantities of magic mushrooms, which are the primary source of inspiration for such derring-do and dogbits.

Your Cat is equally excited.

....What was I just talking about? - My mind has gone walkabout...

Monday 2 June 2014

Stepping Down and Stepping Out

Rumour certainly spreads fast here in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria. Here was I, minding my own feline business - you know, managing the affairs of state of my sovereign territories - when I was suddenly accosted by my vulpine friend Feaxede the Fox, who was approaching me at considerable speed and seemingly breathless with eager excitement. I knew from the moment my eyes beheld him that he had something terribly important to tell me.

Hardly able to get his words out in a coherent stream of consciousness, he eventually blurted out that the soothsayers have been animatedly telling the populace that His Excellency King Jose Borracho - the Most Elevated Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (which has no legitimate claim to holiness, Romanness or even the vaguest pretensions of being anything like an empire) has taken the Momentous Decision to step down from his duties as Supreme Posturer of the aforesaid realm to spend more time keeping bees, collecting fees, felling trees, making cheese, sailing seas and wallowing on the meagre trillions of Holy Groats that he and his delightful henchmen have lovingly extracted from the long-suffering taxpayers of the kingdoms under his sway. Hooray for Jose! Couldn't happen to a nicer fellow.

Naturally, Nickwald the Farrago - the fast-talking, slow-walking Supremo of the Northumbrian Independence Faction and expert quaffer of fine ales - will be highly delighted at this stunning development; having recently won a significant number of places for his acolytes at the Round Table at the Court, he'll doubtless be gratified and delighted in equal measure. However from all accounts, he'd better stave off his enthusiasm for now; this Cat gathers that the Supreme Posterior Parking Place of the Evil Intergalactic Empire is only reserved for close members of the Inner Sanctum, and plain-dealing outsiders are far from welcome to those hallowed halls of rhubarb and biscuit.

The professional wager-mongers of the Realm have already been placing bets on the Most Likely Successor to the Holy Throne, and the favourite by far is Tondvig the Blur, the mendacious gadfly Prince and former Redistributionist Satrap of the Northumbrian Province.

I think I'll take a nap...

Tuesday 20 May 2014

The Story So Far - Part 79

The lovely Kingdom of Northumbria is gripped by a confederation of evil robber barons from the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire), who have steadily tightened their grip over the land through the three major political factions, who are all worshippers of the false goddess Redistributia. Although the three factions appear to publicly disagree among themselves with regard to the way in which King Alhfrith's realm is to be administered, they are all part of this deadly collusion.

On the horizon emerges the figure of Nickwald the Farrago, the blunt, straight-talking chieftain of the Northumbrian Independence Faction, who has gathered a motley model army of broomstick and pitchfork-waving yeomen, who have all become disaffected, disillusioned and disgusted with the increasing dominance of the Holy Roman Empire in the affairs of common-and-garden Northumbrians - and who are Deeply Concerned about the increasing numbers of exotic peoples entering the Realm from the Norse lands, the Levant, Barbary, Outer Bongolia and other distant shores to steal their produce, tell unlikely fortunes, to sell poor quality clothes pegs and to proselytise unsuspecting aboriginal Saxons to the bloodthirsty Viking religion.

In desperation, the 3 established political factions wage a warfare of rhetoric, rhubarb and biscuit in an attempt to dissuade the Northumbrian populace from supporting them. Part of their foul strategy is to attempt to entrap Nickwald the Farrago into making a fool of himself by admitting to some measure of xenophobia, and at times, the intrepid hero, shaken and brain-addled through tireless campaigning, has fallen into their snares. However, these setbacks have by no means dampened the enthusiasm of the new model army, who are consequently more resolved than ever to decisively defeat the sinister triumvirate in the forthcoming Battle of Ballotburn.

Will Dagwald the Caedmeron make more false promises to the Northumbrian people and restore his grip over the hearts and minds of the Realm? WIll Edweird the Milliner provide umbrellas when he orates the weather forecast? Do Nickwald the Blaek Clegge and the Liberationist Faction really exist? Will Nickwald the Farrago win the day?

This Cat can hardly contain his.....  ...err....

Wednesday 7 May 2014

At Large

Being an elderly feline, your Cat is sorry to have to interrupt his slumbers to inform you that a dangerous politico has absconded, thereby shortening his term of penal servitude in the Witangemot. If you happen to chance upon him, you must NOT by any means make any attempt to apprehend or even challenge him, as your efforts are likely to be rewarded by a swift blow to your cranium - or kneecaps. Mark this Cat's words well.

Magward the Gruff is a notorious politico blessed with a fearsome reputation; having been honoured amongst his fellow criminals of the Tree Faction as the Secretary for the Advancement of Kindergarten Learning, he's been granted the epithet of the "Schoolcrusher" for his less than delicate handling of the aforementioned educational establishments, not to mention their pedagogic attendants, who are devoted to the imaginary, magic mushroom-fuelled wisdom of their soothsayer Guardy-Ann and who are also faithful acolytes of the Blessed Cult of the Goddess Redistributia. These pagan worshippers have been treated by the Gruff with ill-disguised contempt, which in turn has provoked them to respond with characteristic venom, spite and biscuit. The children - innocent bystanders in such a conflict - have been dismayed, since their development into responsible and well-informed and rounded adult human beings has been subjected to significant setbacks as a consequence of several years' worth of teachers' strikes. Such a pity.

It had been largely hoped by the long-suffering Northumbrian public that the Schoolcrusher would be confined to an oubliette somewhere where he could serve out the rest of his days in solitary reflection over his misdeeds, but owing to the pernicious laxity of the contemporary justice system, Magward the Gruff has managed to escape his incarceration, and is currently wandering to and fro like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

I don't think he'll be recaptured anytime soon, though; I gather that most people would run a mile if they caught a glimpse of him...

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Moses Deposed

After a joyous Easter celebration here in the beautiful Kingdom of Northumbria with the Spring blossoms in full bloom and mood of cheerfulness in the air, the soothsayers have returned to their labours of love with sombre and sobering tidings for the people of the Realm.

It would appear that Dagwald the MosesAelric the Forger's Son's anointed and appointed successor to the throne of Madcaster Untied - has been deposed from his seat, and the reins of his reign are to be handed to another as yet unnamed pair of hands.

The entire Kingdom has consequently been in a state of stunned silence. Moses was the one in whom was invested all the hopes and aspirations of the people; his appointment (which has sadly turned out to be a disappointment) was designed to lead the people out of the bondage and ignominy of football obscurity and into the glory land of Championslig - a delectable land flowing with milk, mead and biscuit. 

However, after a less than perfect beginning to his reign, the people have instead been led into a parched and endless terrain of rocks and sand, and it's been feared that this could herald a protracted period of wandering in the wilderness. As with his more widely-known Biblical and prophetic namesake, Moses has been forbidden to enter the Land of Promise; it's as yet to be told as to whether or not he was allowed a tantalising glimpse of the land from a distance.

However, as an antidote to the current mood of pessimism and gloom, Dagwald Caedmeron - the Holy Patriarch of the Tree/Liberationist Faction Administration - has called on the Kingdom of Northumbria to return to its Christian values. WIll the Redistributionists and the Vikings heed his clarion call? Will Madcaster Untied subsequently return to the days of glory?

The entire Kingdom is biting its fingernails, waiting for the answer. Your Cat doesn't really give a rat's rump...

Wednesday 9 April 2014

The Little Lost Pig

I chanced upon an unusual sight this morning as I patrolled my territory: I encountered a diminutive pig, shuffling vaguely around and looking rather disconsolate. I could see that it was a sow; she'd not only the characteristic pig smell which marks them out as creatures whose company a self-respecting cat wouldn't naturally seek - but the aroma was overlaid by an additionally offensive odour which I immediately identified as the scent extracted from the bowels of the Common Porpoise - a fragrance that is highly treasured by certain humans for reasons best known to themselves. Some cats quite like this, but I personally find it repulsive to the point of nausea.

I asked the pig's name, and she told me that her proper name was Milly; she'd recently been found by her owner to have raided the farm's family larder and gorged herself to bursting point on human delicacies to which she hadn't been rightfully entitled. However, from her bearing I could immediately discern that she had no sense of guilt or remorse whatsoever over such a transgression; her only sin was to be discovered. Having been obliged by her master to grunt a cursory apology to the householders, she'd thought that such a grudging gesture would naturally suffice, and life would surely continue in the same vein. The farmer - a devoutly unprincipled man - had assured Milly that she was forgiven, and that was the end of the matter. However, the rest of the householders - as well as the neighbours (who feared for their own larders as well) - bayed for her summary dismissal from the farm.

Since the stench of Eau De Common Porpoise was so deeply ingrained into her tissues, she'd be no good for meat - it would be hopelessly inedible. And such deficiency in moral character was hardly desirable fro breeding purposes, so she was banished from her familiar sty - hence the wandering.

I muttered a quick farewell and made a hasty exit. The smell was just too overpowering...

Monday 7 April 2014

Plain and Simple

As I was musing over the parlous state of human political affairs in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria, I was visited by an extraneous thought which in consequence has propelled me into a zealous campaign mode. Beware of a Cat on a mission!

During one of my mouse-chewing reveries, it occurred to me that all of the three principal political factions in the Kingdom have the greatest majority of characteristics in common. 

For a start, they're all equally committed to plundering the long-suffering Northumbrian yeoman, tradesman, craftsman and artisan for every Holy Groat that they can extract - at the pain of death, dungeon or dog biscuit. They're also single-mindedly devoted to the appropriation of such funds for their own aggrandisement, as well as to bolster their own scanty fortunes. Moreover, it's abundantly evident that they share a healthy contempt for the poor unfortunates whom they pretend to represent in the chamber of the Witangemot talking parlour where their pontificating and posturing can be witnessed. Furthermore, they all - to the last one - favour the uninhibited growth of the Northumbrian State so that it ultimately dictates the last minutiae of the average common-or-garden Northumbrian's brief span of years in this vale of tears.

With all of this considered - and bearing in mind that each of the main factions has its own distinctive name, tradition and colour (the Trees are symbolised in blue, although their symbol is a green arboreal device; the Redistributionists use red to symbolise the danger they represent, and the Liberationists are a sickly yellow to depict their gritty and courageous moral fibre) - it occurred to me that they're all essentially identical. Perhaps the Trees may claim to (allegedly) save the hard-earned tax revenues while the Redistributionists purportedly spend it like water, but, all of these cosmetic differences aside, they could all be repackaged as one solitary State faction. It all makes it so much easier for the wealthy Northumbrian establishment to manipulate and manage.

So your Cat is campaigning for Plain Packaging for the main factions. This will then discourage the children of the Realm from becoming enmeshed with sordid and soul-destroying political habits. Their tender minds must not be depraved any longer with ideas of making the Kingdom a better place in the name of whichever colour they decide to fly.

This Cat is proposing a uniform brown colour for all of them - the shade should match the colonic outpourings of a dog's diarrhoea. That'll put the little blighters off...

Friday 4 April 2014

Passing Clouds

The soothsayers have all been in a state of great excitement for several days now. This highly irregular occurrence owes to the fact that the weather has created a gentle southerly breeze, which, as well as introducing milder temperatures to the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria, has also blessed the land with a shroud of miasma, bringing to the landscape a foggy film of North African dust, which has delighted all the housewives of the Realm whose principal hobby is cleaning. The gardeners are also very pleased, as they are now able to admire their assorted spring blooms in a uniform hue of beige.

This unusual cloud has enveloped the entire land, introducing fresh aromas of rotting vegetation, decomposing fish, dog waste, canine breath and fermented beansprouts.

The speculations of the soothsayers all seem to attribute blame for this to polluted air from the direction of the Holy Roman Empire (which can't legitimately claim to be holy, Roman or an empire). This explanation would seem to carry some reasonable weight; however, this Cat can't help but wonder if the origin of it is somewhat closer to home - especially since it also seems to be proceeding from the general direction of the politicos. My master Caedmon has helpfully suggested that these smells are a manifestation of the odours of inverse sanctity. I think he's right...

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Hoo'd Believe It?

Since my last posting I've gained the acquaintance of a new associate in the animal kingdom - or, to be more precise, in the avian realm.

I met Doctor Hoo a few nights ago while I was conducting my nocturnal patrol of my territory. His loud cry (from which I suppose his name derives) revealed that it was an owl: a rival hunter of small rodent creatures, similar to those of my own dietary preference and an educated and worldly-wise bird to boot.

Although cats and owls don't normally associate (except perhaps on rare occasions in small pea-green boats), I struck up a conversation with him, and after a short time I discovered that we actually have a great deal in common, not only being like-minded in the hunting stakes, but also taking a keen interest in the activities of the wiser human world.

Indeed, my new friend also told me that he'd recently heard from the soothsayers (whom he'd eavesdropped from various eves) that a Major Disaster and Catastrophe was going to befall the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria. Famines, wars, floods pestilences, plagues, locusts, dog breath, deep darkness, frozen wastelands, frogs, boils, bongoes and biscuit were the prognosis with which they were soothing their eager-eared audiences. Woe, thrice woe and rhubarb. I immediately reached the conclusion that this new piece of apocalyptic had all the old familiar hallmarks of the Grand Druid Moonbat - the Grand High Wizard of the Holy Mother Earth Cult and his legions of well-paid alchemist acolytes.

It would appear that Doctor Hoo was inclined to accept such prognostications at face value, so I assured him that I'd heard all of this before. I've heard prophecies concerning the Ten Plagues of Egypt and rivers of blood so many times before: if I had a fish for every one I've heard, I'd never need a dinner again. Ever.

I told Hoo not to worry; the antidote to such tales was close at hand. All that the human population have to do is to eat fifteen different types of vegetable every day, and all would be well. It's worked before...

Monday 24 March 2014

Edweird the Weird?

On this typical Northumbrian Spring day, the Soothsayers are as ever busily reporting on the Momentous Things of life which have a bearing on the existence of the everyday common-and-garden Northumbrians.

Today we've been greeted by the message that a survey has been conducted amongst the denizens of this beautiful Realm concerning their opinion of the Great Czar-In-Waiting, the smart-talking, slow-walking, slobbering Redistributionist Faction supremo, Edweird the Milliner. In eagerly expectant anticipation and biscuit, the Northumbrian populace has been anxiously awaiting this vital piece of information, and their collective patience has been more than adequately rewarded. (Contrary to the misleading clues furnished by his family name, Eddie Boy's chosen station in life is not in fact a maker of high quality hats, helmets and headgear; his chosen profession - like that of his Tree and Liberationist peers - is aristocrat. Having seized the Redistributionist Crown from his more personable and communicative, banana-waving brother Dagwald, Eddie has been anxious to stamp his unmemorable mark on the Faction, and to assertively lead his merry band to the Promised Land of Fairydust and Fairy Shares of Poverty For All.) Good luck with that.

The Soothsayers however are reporting that the average Northumbrian man and woman in the street thinks that Eddy is rather weird, which may have some bearing on his electability when the Great Northumbrian Witangemot Selection takes place next year.

Your average Cat thinks differently, however. Having observed Eddy from afar, and listened with bated breath to the utterances from his overactive salivary glands and chops (both the news and the weather), I can state that Edweird the Milliner is not in any way bizarre, strange, idiosyncratic or even slightly odd. It's perfectly normal for a Redistributionist to dance around fairy rings of fly agaric mushrooms at night. After all, they all do it, don't they...?

Wednesday 19 March 2014

De-bloat Groat Float

Your Cat would like to apologise for a lack of communication over this last few weeks; this is chiefly attributable to a catatonic (and why not dogatonic?) state of disillusionment on my part with the turgid details of human history, narrative and biscuit. Some details have been too horrible, tedious, repetitive or downright boring to comment on...

However, this feline has now been suitably re-illusioned, and with a new spring in my step, a new Spring in the air (not to mention a dodecatonic song in my heart), I'm now ready to take on the world and enthuse about new developments in the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria.

And what better to rejoice about than the recent announcement from Oswine, the Grand Vizier and Keeper of the King's Treasury? The Momentous Announcement is that the Anglo-Saxon Groat - the staple of the Northumbrian economic system for untold millennia  - is going to be redesigned! Hooray for Oswine - and a welcome shaft of wit to cheer the heavily-laden masses! Such cheer and anticipation in boundless abandon and a bun dance.

When I shared the news - disseminated by the soothsayers in a fit of existential angst, boredom and crabcakes - with my vulpine friend Feaxede, he was positively overjoyed. As an instinctively progressive Redistributionist (despite abandoning his mother ship the Redistributionist Faction some time ago), Feaxede was excited that some measure of Change was at last coming to the Kingdom. However, apart from the fact that I have a fundamentally different ideological outlook to my foxy friend, I really can't say that I share his enthusiasm for this new development. Especially when I later discovered that the new coin of the Realm will be modelled on the diminutive Anglo-Saxon farthing, and will be adorned on one side with the jowls of Holy Empress Jose Borracho, the Mint Imperial of the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an Empire). I also understand that special glass lenses will be needed in order to identify it...

Friday 7 February 2014

Caddie’s Caledonian Cri De Coeur

News has reached this Cat from the sacred auguries of the soothsayers that Dagwald Caedmeron – the Archangel Cake-In-Chief of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration – has been on a visit to the wild and inhospitable uplands of the Caledonians.

Surprisingly, the reason of his visit hasn't merely been for recreation, rhubarb and uisge beatha; nor, it must be said, has it been to survey the rugged crags and cliffs, banks and braes in the howling rain and driving wind. This visit has been of Momentous Importance – well, at least to himself and his sycophantic window-licking acolytes. He's gone to those barbaric realms to appeal to them in the light of the forthcoming Wee Referendum Votie, the results of which will determine whether or not the Caledonians remain in the existing loose affiliation to the lovely Kingdom of Northumbria.

The High Chieftain of the Caledonians – Angus McTrout – has never concealed his desire to pull away his people from the benign Anglo-Saxon sphere of influence, and has tirelessly campaigned among his compatriots to persuade them of the beauty and the utter necessity of separation from the wicked Sassenachs (for whom he has the highest regard and the deepest contempt).

In spite of this posturing, many Caledonians are either ambivalent or unconvinced by the rhetoric, having realised that such a separation would spell out ruin rather than romance, since the average Northumbrian taxpayer has unwittingly helped to maintain the Caledonian Kingdom in magic mushrooms, Holy Groats, oats, boats, coats, goats and stoats. How possibly could they support themselves if the goodwill of Northumbria is withdrawn?

In view of this, Caddy Boy has ventured over the border to address the Caledonians and appeal to those of their number who are of two minds.

This Cat sincerely wishes him well, but somehow suspects that the majority of the indigenous populace won't understand a word he says – unless he affects an appropriate accent. Perhaps the uisge beatha will help; after a few bottles of it, his speech should be slurred enough to be discernible…

Tuesday 4 February 2014

On The Run

I was quite intrigued to hear this morning from the soothsayers that a crocodile has been reported as having been seen loose within the Kingdom of Wessex.

For the benefit of those who are unaccustomed to the intricacies of life on these glorious islands, I must point out that crocodiles are not indigenous to the Northumbrian, Mercian or Wessex lands; indeed their own native habitat is to be found in the warm currents and sultry banks of the river Nile, along with other similarly humid regions where, in similar fashion to a Trade Guild chieftain, they indolently lounge in the sweltering heat, cheerfully tearing off the leg of a hapless passer-by for a tasty snack.

Naturally such a sighting has been greeted by a mixture of incredulity and panic by the Anglo-Saxon public; some have automatically assumed that such stories are apocryphal fancies designed to keep the gullible and malleable public in a state of fear, dread and biscuit. Others are genuinely afraid lest they should return home to their hovels to discover the creature making itself comfortable while digesting their family members.

Your Cat is quite sure that such accounts are indeed bona fide; the fact that the Slimy Yeoman has recently been deselected by his Tree Faction constituency is surely not inconsequential. After all, it's not natural to see crocodiles in trees, is it?

Thursday 23 January 2014

Strike Up The Banned

After weeks of sheer torpor from the politicos and the soothsayers, your Cat is pleased to announce a welcome break!

It's been announced that in certain shires it has been proposed by local aldermen to ban food from the lunches provided at the kindergartens. Their sustenance henceforth is to be the application of fresh, steaming supplies of dumplings of knowledge.

Breaking this new development to hosts of eagerly salivating soothsayers, the spokesman stated that this measure was being put forward in a bid to quell the unhealthy tendency of the present emerging generation to grow, which in turn necessitates a demand for even more nourishment to sustain this disturbing trend - hence a vicious spiral of supply and ever-increasing demand.

Many soothsayers decided to try to ascertain the mood of ordinary Northumbrians, and were pleasantly surprised with the responses they obtained. To a man, those who were asked for their views ventured the opinion that such measures were a Good Thing, and that the local authorities concerned were taking a responsible step to deal with this problem.

Naturally, those regional politicos who've submitted this proposal - evidently as a measure to prime the public for its intended introduction - will continue to wine and dine (at the taxpayers' expense, naturally) and to expand their own abundant waistlines.

What they've failed to anticipate is the forthcoming crimewave, when starving children are seen to break into bakeries and Viking fast food outlets to steal bread and ratburgers...

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Honour Off

As we stride (or, in my case, prowl) confidently into another year, your Cat would very much like to take the opportunity to wish you all a very happy New Year in these turbulent Dark Age times. May mice ever be within your reach and fish be in your bowl!

The passing of an old year and the entrance of a new one affords Dagwald Caedmeron - the Archpalooka and Dancing Bear of the Tree/Liberationist Alliance Administration - a golden opportunity to grant awards to the more deserving members of this lovely Northumbrian realm. Each new year is invariably accompanied by the naive and childlike excitement of the soothsayers, who anxiously and endlessly speculate as to who's likely to be next to receive the highest honours that Northumbria can award its notable subjects. Without exception the resulting list of prizewinners ends up taking them by surprise.

I've just heard through my feline contact Lareow - the Rodentfinder General of Caedmeron's household - that one recipient of such an award as the Order of the Ancient Spheres is none other than Caddy Boy's personal foot groom. This particular lackey certainly deserves the honour - along with another servant whose responsibility is to tie the laces of the Great Leader's footwear (his wife - in open defiance of the terms of her marriage contract - has steadfastly refused to perform such a task for some unknown reason).

On careful consideration of this unusual award, this Cat has reached the conclusion that this honour is justifiably merited; only a minuscule percentage of the Northumbrian population would possess sufficient reserves of courage to remove the potentate's footwear without recoiling in horror, let alone scraping the hardened skin from the Great Man's heels and removing the dark and sinister deposits from beneath his toenails. Moreover, it must demand extraordinary powers of endurance to politely ask the despot where he's planning to go on his holidays, and whether or not he requires something special for the weekend.

Without doubt it's an infinitely more honourable occupation that the one his master is engaged in...