Friday: Hili dialogue

It’s Friday: another week has gone by, and so we’re a week closer to our demise. But today is a big day in history. For one thing, it’s CANADA DAY, celebrating the establishment of a confederation of provinces called “Canada” in 1867. The U.S.’s equivalent holiday is the Fourth of July, on Monday, so our countries both have three-day weekends (Gus celebrates below). Happy holiday to our Canadian friends, especially those in Quebec, who are also celebrating Moving Day, a strange July 1 holiday on which leases expire.

This is also a momentous day for the theory of evolution, for it was on July 1, 1858 that Charles Darwin’s and Alfred Russel Wallace’s papers on evolution by natural selection were read together at the Linnean Society in London. This was the solution devised when, earlier that summer, Darwin received a paper from Wallace describing natural selection. Darwin hadn’t yet published his theory, which he’d been working on for 15 years, so he’d been scooped by Wallace, and the joint presentation of papers allowed both men credit. Darwin quickly followed up by writing an “abstract” of his theory, On the Origin of Species, published in November of the next year.

On a somber note, it’s the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, which began on July 1, 1916, and lasted until November 18 of that year. In total there were over a million casualties (the Allies had more than Germany), with over 300,000 killed or missing. July 1 was the bloodiest day, with over 57,000 casualties for the British Army alone, including 19,000 killed: the deadliest day in history for British forces. What a horrible waste of life that war was!

Finally on this day in 1980, Canada adopted “O Canada” as its official national anthem.

Those born on this day included Diana, Princess of Wales (1961; she would have been 55 today), the jazz musician Tommy Dorsey (1899), immunologist and Nobel Laureate Gerald Edelman (1929; I used to play touch football at Rockefeller University against his lab’s fiercely competitive team, “The Edelman Boys”), Twyla Tharp (1941), Debby Harry (1945), and Dan Akroyd (1952). Those who died on this day include architect Buckminster Fuller (1983), and actors Robert Mitchum (1997), Walter Matthau (2000) and Marlon Brando (2004). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Cyrus are adorable as they share the sofa. In only a month I will be sitting in that place with a purring Hili on my chest, while a bereft Cyrus will be consigned to his bed.

Hili: I’m an Epicurean.
Cyrus: You are telling me!
P1040507 (1)
In Polish
Hili: Jestem epikurejką.
Cyrus: Mnie to mówisz?

Out in Winnipeg, Gus is celebrating Canada Day with a free cat toy given out at the bank:

Finally, we have the last strip of the Ten Cats series in which the moggies established a hotel, the Cats’ Inn. Today the hotel is hosting a Rats’ Conference:




  1. eric
    Posted July 1, 2016 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    That is one fluffy tummy!
    Happy Canada day to all our readers to the north.

  2. Posted July 1, 2016 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Cute pic. I didn’t know Hili had so much white on her belly.

  3. mordacious1
    Posted July 1, 2016 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Also born on this day (on the same day as the first day of the Battle of the Somme), was Olivia de Havilland (July 1, 1916). Ms. de Havilland is 100 years old today and is the only living adult cast member of “Gone With the Wind”, she played Melanie Hamilton. She won an Academy Award for that role, the first of five.

    • mfdempsey1946
      Posted July 1, 2016 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      Olivia de Havilland was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress for “Gone With The Wind.” So was cast mate Hattie McDaniel, who actually won this Oscar for that film — the first black person to be so honored.

      In all, Olivia de Havilland received five Academy Award nominations (her others being for “Hold Back The Dawn” and “The Snake Pit”). She won two Best Actress Oscars — “To Each His Own” and “The Heiress”. The latter, derived from Henry James’ “Washington Square”, is very likely her crown jewel.

      But perhaps her most momentous victory came against Warner Bros., thanks to her unprecedented and bold lawsuit against the oppressive contract system that prevailed in Hollywood studios during the 1940s. This is a victory that still resonates today.

      All in all, quite a fine career.

      • mordacious1
        Posted July 1, 2016 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        You are, of course, right and I stand corrected.

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 1, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    So Canada’s Independence Day is kind of like ours – not really independence day. Ours is on the 4th, although the signors likely signed on the 2nd. It was a declaration before much of the war to achieve any independence was fought, and even so, it created nothing. What we frankly are celebrating was not achieved until 13 years later, 1789 when the Constitution was ratified – when an actual country was formed.

  5. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 1, 2016 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Here’s a song Chris Hadfield and his brother released today for Canada Day. I like the part about the milk being in bags and the whole “after you” schtick they do at the dock.

  6. Jenny Haniver
    Posted July 1, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I’m sold on “Ten Cats.” It ought to be in in newspapers, in national syndication. Gus is a gnathomaniac (can I coin that word?) and reminds me of my dear departed, goofy long-haired tuxedo cat, Felix, who compulsively licked everything and loved to crunch on the edges of cardboard boxes and paperback books. He died years ago but even now, a fair number of my paperback books and some cartons are decorated with scallops of his tooth-marks and whenever I see them, it makes me very sad that he’s no longer around for me to say “Felix, goldangit, stop chewing on my books!”

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