Since it’s the cricket season and we’re in the middle of the Ashes Series, I wanted to share this lovely quote from the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. Peter the Cat was the much-beloved feline resident at Lord’s Cricket Ground in North London during the 1950s and 1960s, and it’s clear he was quite a fan of the sport.
When his “ninth life ended” in 1964, Peter was given a singular tribute, becoming the first and only animal to receive an obituary in the cricketing bible Wisden – a real honour, and testament to his reputation at Lord’s:
Cat, Peter, whose ninth life ended on November 5, 1964, was a well-known cricket-watcher at Lord’s, where he spent 12 of his 14 years. He preferred a close-up view of the proceedings, and his sleek brown form could often be seen prowling on the field of play when crowds were biggest. He frequently appeared on the television screen. Mr SC Griffith, Secretary of MCC, said of him: “He was a cat of great character and loved publicity.”
I reckon he would be great friends with the modern-day Barmy Army…
Sadly, it appears there are no actual photos of Peter himself in existence, despite his many television appearances, so you’ll have to make do with a picture of a rather handsome model cat instead!
I am really very fond of kitties, big and small. Ask anyone who knows me well, and they’ll tell you I’m a mad cat lady in training. But I think I would run away screaming if I ever met the Yule Cat…
The Yule Cat is not your average domesticated feline; the sort who purrs like a lawnmower, and is only really guilty of attempting to pinch your dinner and leaving the odd half-dead rodent in your shoe.
The Yule Cat is, in fact, from Iceland, and it seems certain moggies in this part of the world are a little bit… um… different. The National Museum of Iceland explains further:
It was customary in the old rural society that employers gave the employees in their home a new garment and sheepskin shoes for Christmas. This was done to reward the people for good work as the tasks that had to be accomplished before Christmas were numerous and therefore the weeks leading up to Christmas were characterized by a rigorous workload.
The saying went that those who did not receive a new garment for Christmas would be ‘devoured by the Christmas Cat’ which was a fate to be avoided at all costs – whether this meant that the Christmas Cat would eat them or eat their food. Thus everyone worked zealously at finishing all the woolwork and knitting of garments for the members of the household before the arrival of Christmas.
You have been warned.
If you’re in the mood for lots more festive reading, click here!
Remember those grumpy-looking Victorian kittens from my Christmas Day post? Well, they’re back and they’ve brought some friends, who all appear to have been at the sherry over the festive season (it’s the only possible explanation). No idea where the one in the middle got the banjo from, though…
They, and I, would like to wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year (and the rest of 2016) – and to thank you for all your support for Another Kind Of Mind in 2015; it is, as always, very much appreciated.
Now I shall leave you in peace to nurse your hangovers!
Click on the image for more information and source details.
If you’re still feeling festive, there’s plenty of seasonal reading to be found here.
Hmmm. They don’t look very happy, do they? In fact, the kitten on the right looks distinctly cross (because the one on the left has pinched his seat, by the looks….).
I hope you’re all having a wonderful Christmas Day, wherever you are.
It’s also for you if you can’t or don’t (or even don’t want to) celebrate Christmas – I hope your day is a good one too, whatever you’re doing.
And if you’re alone today, well, fix me a gin and tonic and I’ll join you, if you’d like….
Merry Christmas to you all!
(And may you be as happy as some genuinely very happy kittens…)
Incidentally, if you’re still in a festive mood and fancy some more seasonal reading, you’ll find a list of all my Christmas-related posts right here.
Apparently there are rats in Downing Street (feel free to insert your own joke about politicians here, dear readers!); they have, it seems, been spotted scuttling about in the background of several recent BBC TV news reports from outside the Cameron residence. This is no surprise really; rats are all over the place, with many of them settling and breeding happily in our towns and cities – they’re attracted by the food waste and rubbish humans leave everywhere and can rapidly become a problem, creating unsightly mess and spreading disease.
One solution is to acquire a cat, as anyone who has ever received the feline gift of half a dead bird placed lovingly in their shoe will attest to. In fact, it was in order to prevent rats and other pests noshing their way through food stocks and grain supplies that cats were domesticated by our ancestors in the first place (the sitting on your lap and purring like a lawnmower thing was a pleasant by-product of this process).
A Downing Street spokesman has, however, announced that there are no immediate plans to get a feline rat-catcher in, although there is a ‘pro-cat faction’ (the younger Camerons perhaps?) who would, it appears, like to see a new furry member of the Cabinet Office team recruited as soon as possible.
If a cat were to move into Number Ten, it wouldn’t be the first time that Downing Street has had a feline resident. The Home Office and the Treasury have each had a succession of resident cats, including the Munich Mouser (who may have also lived at Number Ten) during both Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill’s terms of office during the 1930s and 1940s.