22

Snoops and Kommando: Famous British Kitties

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Hello. Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. Mom says she has something called a writer’s block. We really don’t know what she’s talking about since we haven’t seen any new blocks.

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At any rate, we looked through our files and thought that maybe you would like to hear about some famous kitties. There were quite a few to choose from, but somehow this list ended up being all British. (Mainly because some of the other kitties came to a sad end or were actually TV or Internet stars.) Or maybe the Brits keep better records of their cats.)

Some of these kitties lived a long time ago. Since we couldn’t get pictures of everyone, we decided that it would only be fair to not show anyone. (Besides, some of the pictures are licensed and we found out we can’t pay with mice.)

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Beerbohm – Beerbohm was the resident cat at the Globe Theatre in London (now the Gielgud Theatre). He loved to walk into dressing rooms and attack whatever props he could find. He also made himself at home on the stage, walking through many productions. As a sign of his popularity, he is the only cat to be given an obituary on the front page of the industry magazine The Stage.

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Crimean Tom – During the Crimean War, Sevastopol was under siege for a year. When the British and French troops finally liberated the city, the residents were starving. Tom had survived the war, looking well-fed and healthy. The soldiers followed Tom one day to a store room full of food. Tom had saved the food by eating the mice and rats that tried to eat it. The store of food kept the soldiers from starving. Tom returned to Britain with one of the soldiers.

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Faith – Faith had been adopted by the rector of St. Augustine church. During the London Blitz, she took her kitten, Panda, to the church basement. Every time Panda would go upstairs, Faith would bring him back to the basement. St. Augustine was near St. Paul’s Cathedral, which was destroyed (except the tower) by the Germans. The only creatures that survived the bombing were Faith and Panda. She was awarded a medal for courage by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

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Simon – Simon was a British kitty who lived on the HMs Amethyst during the Chinese Civil War. In 1949, the ship ran aground and was stuck for three months. Simon has been wounded by a shell blast, but continued to protect the human food by killing rats trying to eat it. He also kept morale up. He was awarded the PDSA Dickin medal for bravery. He is the only cat to have received this medal.

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Unsinkable Sam – When the German Battleship, Bismarck, was sunk by the British Navy, only 100+ men and one cat survived. The British HMS Cossack rescued the cat and named him Oscar. Unfortunately, the Cossack was torpedoed near Gibraltar. Oscar survived again and was renamed Unsinkable Sam. He was rescued by the HMS Ark Royal, which was torpedoed near Malta. After surviving three shipwrecks in six months, he was taken to Britain to live out his life on dry land in a seaman’s home.

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Wilberforce – Wilberforce was the Chief Mouser at No. 10 Downing St., the home of the British Prime Minister. No. 10 Downing St., is almost 300 years old, and has a number of resident rats and mice. The Chief Mouser is responsible for keeping the vermin under control. Wilberforce was considered to be a top-notch mouser. He has had the longest tenure to this point, serving every PM from Edward Heath to Margaret Thatcher.

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Wyatt’s Caterer – Sir Henry Wyatt was imprisoned by King Richard III. He made friends with a cat who brought him food (mainly birds, not rodents). Eventually Sir Henry was released by King Henry VII (who defeated Richard III in battle and took the throne). A memorial to Sir Henry credits the Caterer with his survival during his imprisonment.

These cats are pretty impressive. There are many other cats who have saved humans from fires, medical emergencies, and gas leaks in their homes. Cat are also emotional and therapy support animals. Our purrs are therapeutic. You can see why cats rule. (And we’re beautiful too.)

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17

Cat Forum: Interview with the Cats from Down Under

(Orion)

Greetings. Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. We have a pawsome interview for you today with the cats from Autistsix, It’s a great blog, except the cats don’t get nearly enough space. It’s about a family who live in Australia,which is apparently Down Under something. (The editors said to include it.) The lady who writes it says the whole family is a little unique because of something called Autism Spectrum Disorder. We don’t really know what she’s talking about; as far as we can tell, they aren’t any stranger than a lot of the other humans we know.

(Pixie)

Would you please introduce yourselves?

Orion – I am Orion Prince of Burmese Tigers, I am also a star.

Smokie – I’m Smokie, pleased to meet you.  I am a puppy cat.

Pixie – I am Pixie, I am confused, oh wait that’s not what I mean, I am a Princess.

Echo – Hello, a pleasure to meet you both.  My name is Echo and I am a cat.

(Smokie)

 It seems a little hectic around there sometimes. How do you keep your cat Zen?

Orion – I run round and round the house until I am sleepy then I find someone to cuddle me.

Smokie – I just live and let live until something becomes intolerable, then I bop it on the head and nap.

Pixie – On a leather band around my neck, whoops, that’s my tag.  I don’t know where I put my Zen.  Do you think Echo stole it?

Echo – I avoid the others.

(Echo)

Do you hang together or are you hissy sometimes?

Orion – I love everybody.  Echo seems grumpy sometimes when I helps her diet or wake up and Cherry Bopple gets grumpy sometimes but I don’t know why.  Rabbits knock you over if you play rough and rats can bite if you poke them, so don’t do that.

Smokie – Unfortunately in my role as ruler of the cats I occasionally have to discipline the others.  Pixie keeps being a girl cat, Echo is evil and the kitten can get a bit too big for his boots sometimes.  But really it is only Echo that I get really mad at.

Pixie – My stupid brother Smoke thinks he’s my boss.  But he is better than that evil Echo.  When I was younger she was mean to me so now I just smack her in case.

Echo – I live with the stupidest cats that ever lived and yet they expect me not to hit them.  I simply don’t understand.

(Cherise)

How many creatures do you live with (furry and not)? Do you get along with everyone?

Orion – We have humans, and dogs, and rabbits, and rats, and fishies and birds.  My bestest mate is Cushion the dog.

Echo – Charles you little ignoramus.

Orion – Where’s the amus?

       (Echo rolled her eyes.)

Echo – There are only 5 people in this house that I do not loathe; Mum, Dad, Cat and Tabby (both humans) and the dog Charles.  All the others are uncouth ruffians who don’t know how to treat a lady and don’t have a sense of humour.

Smokie – My best friend is Cherise AKA Cherry Bopple Berry we have hanged together since I first arrived.  Charlie is a great cushion.  Grandma’s dogs worship the ground I walk on which is great but they also love Orion which kinda takes the sheen off their adoration but they are great guys.  The rabbits are cool, the rats are great fun, I play with them and they feed and groom me,  I let them keep my shed fur to sleep in, I love those guys.  I like watching the birds and they sing to me, but they get a bit flappy if I try to touch them so I don’t.  I like to watch the fish but my best wet friend is the axylotyl, he and I touch through the glass.

Orion – Yeah I’m the same; I love all the other guys here although I play with the rabbits and watch the rats, the reverse of Smokie and the different best friend dog. Oh and the birds love me, I climb up on their cage and play with’em and then a hooman comes and takes me away but my birdie buds cry and squwark until I am allowed to go back, ‘cept at night, sleepin’ birds have no sense of humour, like sleepin’ Echo.

Pixie – Rabbits smell funny.  Rats feed me and groom me I love them.  Birds flap, fish are wet, and dogs are rough.  I do like the spaniel Snuggie though, he is soft and gently affectionate, I like him more than the other cats.

Orion – ‘Cept me!

Pixie – Except you, Sweetie.

Echo – Moron, the spaniel, WHOSE NAME IS CHARLES, is a dog.

Pixie – I don’t think so!

Smokie – No Sis, he’s a dog.  He’s just not a terrierist!

Pixie – Oh, I don’t hate dogs, I hate terrierists.

Do you have a favorite human?

Orion – Mumsy and then all of ‘em.

Smokie – Tabby slightly pips Dad.

Echo – Dad and Mum then human Cat.

Pixie – Mum, then Tabby and Cat.

Do you think you get enough cuddle time?

Orion – Hoomans are difficult; they want cuddle when I want run and they are doin’ stupid stuff when I want cuddle, but Mummy usually stops when I ask.

Smokie – No, I want cuddles much more.

Pixie – I want cuddles when I want them, and I almost always get them.  The secret is, scratch people until they cuddle you.

Echo – I never get enough cuddles.

Australia sounds kind of scary with big spiders and other things. Do you go outside?

Orion – Spiders are fun and yummy but they make Mummy scream and snatch me up.

Smokie – Spiders are dangerous so a nice man comes around and sprays around the house so we hardly ever see them.  He cuddled me and called me handsome last time.

Echo – The new house has no spiders, I miss them they were fun and tasty.

Pixie – Which ones are the spiders again.

Orion – I am not allowed out because Burmese are too clever to avoid danger or cars, plus I am so beautiful and friendly that I will get stolen.

Pixie – I have enough trouble finding my way around inside.

Smokie – We aren’t allowed outside there are cars and stuffs that eat cats.

Echo – We aren’t allowed outside because apparently the sun can kill us.  Another cat fell asleep in the sunshine outside and when Mum and Dad found her she needed them to put water down her throat and she almost dies.  And there are these things that look like rope ties but they bite and poison you call snakes.  They are so irresistibly wiggly that they have killed lots of outside cats.

Smokie – How do you know all this stuff?

Echo – One, I’m not stupid!

(Smokie bopped Echo.)

 Smokie – Really, yet you didn’t see that coming.

Echo –   Two, I’m older.

Pixie – Echo is really, really old.  I mean ancient, older than… you know old stuff.

Echo – Yes, thank you Princess Pointless!

Pixie – Smokie!

(Smokie bopped Echo again!)

 Echo – Finally, I actually listen!

Smokie – So you know because you are old!

Where’s your favorite place to nap/hang out?

Smokie – It is duty to sleep everywhere so that all recognize my dominion.

Pixie – I like bookcases in high traffic areas so I can get cuddles.  I sometimes get confused, but apparently I am not a book.

Orion – I mainly sleeps in doggie beds near Mummy or if she’s out Grandma, but I also love beds and my cat tree (top spot) next to Smokie, on Cushion the spaniel, and places that annoy Echo.

Echo – Couches in one of the two front rooms.

Do you have favorite snacks? Do the humans share their food?

Orion – Steak or prawn pieces from Mummy’s plate, Mummy is a great sharer, the others make me steal.

Pixie – Mummy plate fish.  There are quite a few Mummy plate foods I like.

Smokie – Chicken flavoured noodles.  Mum shares but if I want a lot of noodles I have to steal and run.

Echo – Fancy Feast Party Treats.  People food is for dogs, or morons.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Echo – I am not volatile, I just have high standards.  Oh and I like scratching things at random as a joke, because I have a sense of humour.

Smokie – Peace out, guys.

Pixie – Add to what?

Orion – Make sure you spell me name right; O… ask Mummy!

7

biadh airson smuain*

*Scottish Gaelic for

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The four young male rats were gathered for their weekly feast behind Ben’s Burger Barn. They all agreed that Ben had the best dumpster in the area. And if they got there early, it wasn’t very crowded.

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Danny: Mmmm! This is living.

Charlie (mouth full): mumble, mumble

George: Yeah. Saturday mornings are the best.

Steve: Guys, this is my last Saturday here. At least for a while.

(The others look at him, stunned)

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Danny: Where ya going that’s better than here?

Steve: Remember the money I got when that lady called me “dirty vermin” at the concert?

George: And you convinced the judge that you were so traumatized that you couldn’t work for a month?

Steve: She needed to pay. I didn’t want her to do it to anyone else. Anyway, Nicole and I are going to open a restaurant.

Danny: Nicole? Isn’t she that lab rat who convinced you to go to the concert in the first place?

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Steve: She’s wonderful. She’s pretty and smart and really nice.

Danny: Sure. She’s probably going to take your money and run away. You’re a street rat. You don’t belong with her.

Steve: You’re just jealous. You’ll never meet anyone nice hanging around here.

Danny: You sound like my mom. Go ahead. Have your fancy adventure. We’ll see you back here in a month, broke and lonely.

(A month later, Steve does come back.)

Danny: I knew it! It all blew up in your face, and you want to come back to your old friends. I’ll have to think about it.

(The other two rats were happy to have Steve back. They didn’t know what to do.)

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Steve: Actually, things are going good. The restaurant is going to be opening in about six weeks. I wanted to invite you guys for the first night.

George: That’s great Steve, count me in.

Charlie: Me too. Do I get free food?

Danny: Wait a minute boys. I’m not sure we want to associate with the type of people at his restaurant. What kind of place is it?

Steve: It has two rooms. In one room, we have sofas and a fireplace. Folks can have snacks and drinks in there. Maybe read or use their computers. The other room is more of a regular restaurant.

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Danny: Sounds kind of ritzy to me. What’s it called?

Steve: biadh airson smuain

Danny: battah arsa smoon? What does that mean?

Steve: I’m not really sure. But she didn’t like my idea: The Rat’s Nest.

Danny: I told you she was a snob. Rats only?

Steve: The dining room is. The reading room is open to anyone.

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Danny: That’s it. I’m outta here. We are not going to a place that serves anything that walks in the door. C’mon boys.

(The restaurant opened on time. The food got excellent reviews. But the real success was the reading room. It was so hard to find something cosmopolitan in the suburbs.

Finally George and Charlie convinced Danny to see what it was all about.)

Danny: Fine. I’ll go. But just so you guys will stop yammering about it.

(They washed their faces and slicked back their fur. They actually looked pretty good. When they got to the restaurant, there was a line down the block. They told the doorman that they were friends of Steve’s. They were escorted through the reading room to the restaurant. Steve was talking to a customer when they walked in.)

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Steve: Guys! It’s good to see you. Come meet Nicole. Niki, these are the guys I was telling you about: Danny, Charlie and George.

Niki: I’m so glad to meet you. Steve has been wanting to get together for a long time. Please have a seat.

Danny (to Steve): We can’t stay. I can’t afford to eat at a place like this and neither can the guys.

Steve: Don’t worry about it. Get whatever you want. I’ll take care of it.

(The guys ordered steaks. They left the bones, unsure if it was bad manners to eat them in public. When the family next to them started crunching, they happily cleaned their plates.)

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Niki: Did you enjoy your meal?

Charlie: It was great.

George: Even better than the Burger Barn.

Niki (laughing): I’m glad to hear it. Please come back soon.

(The next day, the guys were talking about what a great place Steve had. Three very pretty girl rats were walking the other way. They lived in the neighborhood, but had always ignored Danny’s group.)

Violet: Danny! Hey Danny! Stop.

Danny (puzzled): Hello Violet. What’s up?

Violet: We saw you guys coming out of biadh airson smuain. I never knew you were so civilized.

George: He didn’t really (mumph)

(Charlie put it hand over George’s mouth)

Danny: It was the first time we went. But we’re going back soon.

Violet: And all this time I’ve been thinking you were just a common street rat.

(Violet took Danny’s hand and they walked away talking.)

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(pictures courtesy of Google Images)

6

Bedlam in New York

(Bedlam refers to an English hospital for the insane. During much of its 600-year existence it was noted for its screaming, moaning “inmates”, who were often held in chains or locked in rooms. Others were allowed to roam the halls and generally left to their own devices.)

As reported by archy and mehitabel

Based on information from a former patient, we have been looking into conditions at Stringham Hospital. As you may be aware, Stringham specializes in behavioral medicine and psychiatry. We have changed the names of the patients in the interests of privacy. Further, we would like to point out that there are “bad apples” in every species.

Ed’s experience started with a visit to Dr. William Igor. Ed went to see Dr. Igor with what he considered to be a common case of depression. Dr. Igor prescribed a well-known mood stabilizer which had the effect of worsening the depression, as would be expected. At his follow-up visit, Ed reported increased depression to the point of suicidal thoughts.

Dr. Igor thought that was very bad and immediately admitted him to Stringham Hospital. Ed wanted to just quit the medication, so Dr. Igor had him admitted involuntarily as a threat to himself. Being admitted involuntarily meant that Ed could not sign himself out.

At this juncture, we should point out that Ed is a muscular Nonsense rat (ed. Note – it’s a real breed from India) and Dr. Igor is a rather small Siamese cat.

As soon as he reached Stringham, Ed needed to show his insurance cards. He never saw them again. He also had to hand over his watch, wallet, and all other personal items. (As a rat, it was a relatively simple process.)

Next step was to see the doctors. He was accompanied by two large alley cats. There was a panel of 5 Norwegian Forest Cats. They looked at Ed and started talking amongst themselves about lunch. Without asking Ed a question, they told him he was obviously demented. They told the orderlies to “Take him to cell 6, oops, we mean room 6.”

Six turned out to be a rather large room with about 20 animals of various species. There were a couple of large snarling dogs chained to one wall, rabbits scratching at a pen to get out, bats in a mesh cage, and several guinea pigs who looked catatonic. The rest of the animals were running around the room chasing each other.

Ed looked around. There was cat litter in each of the cages and a large litter box in one corner. He almost gagged and said to one of the orderlies, “Do you ever change the litter?” “Of course. It’s done every Wednesday.” Ed turned green (not easy when you’re covered in fur). It was Friday.

The orderlies turned to go. Ed asked, “What do I do now?” The cats smiled evilly and told him, “Just behave and do everything you’re told to do, and nothing will happen to you.” They locked the heavy door behind them.

Ed sat in a corner, dejected. Soon a white rat joined him. “Name’s Pavlov. Who are you?” “Ed. Why are you here?” “Went to the doctor for a sore throat. He said it was a sign of neurosis. Got thrown in here. That was six months ago.”

Ed was appalled, “Why are you still here?” Pavlov looked at him sadly, “Once you’re here you never get out.” “That’s ridiculous. It’s the 21st century. Who’s your doctor?” “Dr. Joseph Boris.” Ed remembered seeing Dr. Boris’ name on the door of Dr. Igor’s office.

“Pavlov, are there any other patients of Dr. Boris or Dr. Igor here?”

“Now that you mention it, most of us were admitted by those doctors. Or Dr. Bela.”

“What happens during the day here?”

“Not much. We’re not allowed to have books or magazines or TV. Sometimes they take some of us out. Those guys usually come back looking like that.” Points to the guinea pigs.

Ed notices that in addition to the drugged animals there are also some in coats tied behind their back. “What’s up with them?”

“Medication doesn’t work. Those coats aren’t very effective though. You can chew through them in a couple of hours.”

“Does everyone come back like that?”

Pavlov looks away. “A lot don’t come back.”

They ate their dinner of dry kibble and went to bed.

In the morning, Ed was among those chosen for an “exercise.” He was strapped to a chair, than felt a poke in his shoulder.

The next thing he remembers is waking up by the river with a note: “Hope you enjoyed your cat nap.”

 

Coming soon: Part 2: Is there a problem or is Ed really mentally ill?