Sunday: Hili dialogue (and baby Leon monologue)

Good morning! It’s Sunday (Ceiling Cat’s Day), August 13, 2017, and mirabile dictu, I have overslept. I guess I needed it. It’s National Filet Mignon Day, and while that may be the most tender cut of beef, I prefer the tougher but more flavorful (and bigger!) portions like hanger steak or ribeye, though I rarely eat beef. It’s also International Lefthanders Day, focussing on the microaggressions and difficulties faced by America’s most silent minority.

I woke up to find headlines about the chaos in Charlottesville, but am writing this before I read the news. I’ll have a bit more to say about it later, though I note that my very short post last night accrued a lot of comments, and there was some acrimony and name-calling. Let us not start being uncivil just because others are engaged in physical violence.

On this day in 1876, Der Ring des Nibelungen premiered at the the recently completed Bayreuth Festspielhaus. I don’t like Wagner at all, but many of my friends love his music, and one friend in particular travels the world to see the Ring Cycle over and over again. Well, to each their own. On August 13, 1918, women first enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, with the first enlistee being Opha May Johnson. That didn’t last long, for soon all women, including Johnson, were taken off active duty.  On this day in 1961, and I remember it well, East Germany suddenly closed the border between East and West Berlin (ostensibly to protect East Berlin from incursion!), and the DDR began building the Berlin Wall.  On this day in 1969, the Apollo 11 astronauts, who had gone to the Moon, were released from a three-week quarantine (I’d forgotten that bit), had a ticker tape parade in New York City and, later that evening, a state dinner in Los Angeles, where Richard Nixon awarded them the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Notables born on this day include Annie Oakley (1860), Bert Lahr (1895; the Cowardly Lion), Alfred Hitchcock (1899), George Shearing (1919; Jack Kerouac called him “The Great God Shearing”), and Fidel Castro (1926). Those who died on this day include Eugène Delacroix (1863), Ignaz Semmelweis (1865), Florence Nightingale (1910), H G. Wells (1946), Mickey Mantle (1995), Julia Child (2004) and Les Paul (2009).

Delacroix, unlike many other artists, was an avid and accurate painter of cats large and small. Here are a few of his works:

“Six studies of cats”, ink on vellum paper

A young tiger playing with its mother” (I’ll try my French here, since I’ve seen this painting, and say that the original title was “Jeune tigre jouant avec sa mère.”)

“A cat meowing (chalk and wash)

“Roaring lion”

“Small cat playing”

Meanwhile in Poland, there was a terrible storm on Friday evening (it didn’t strike Dobrzyn, but was close), a storm that killed people and leveled forests. As Reuters reports, five people were killed (including two Girl Scouts sleeping in a tent that was smashed by a falling tree), 30 injured, and 800 buildings were damaged. Malgorzata sent me this video of the aftermath:

But Hili was indoors during the inclement weather. Before the storm she was bantering with Cyrus:
Hili: I know very well what you are planning.
Cyrus: And what is it?
Hili: Don’t pretend you don’t know.
In Polish:
Hili: Dobrze wiem co planujesz.
Cyrus: No co?
Hili: Nie udawaj, że nie wiesz.

Elzbieta, half of Leon’s staff, has started posting old monologues from when the Dark Tabby was just a kitten. Here’s one. (Wasn’t he cute? But his seriousness was evident right from the start.)

Leon: When I’m sitting like that I’m growing, aren’t I?


  1. Randy schenck
    Posted August 13, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Terrible storm in Poland. I would just estimate from the video, winds of 100 mph/160 kph. Would assume property was destroyed as well.

    Sunday would be the best day to oversleep, if there is such a thing when retired. Doing what others seem to do on Sunday is certainly not worth getting out of bed for at all. The cats look very good today.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted August 13, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      I assume that it is “Lucifer”, the extreme high pressure warmth, that drives these storms. A storm, likely the same, was supposed to ravage southern Sweden Saturday morning and there was a Class 1 warning (lowest severity – still a lot for a storm). But the weather, being what it is, changed and there was little if any problem.

      I dunno about attribution of this individual bad weather and its eventual extreme parent. But I know that in Trump’s world the now known increased frequency and severity of extremes and their connection with global warming simply did not happen.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted August 13, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        Yes, and Lucifer, the same thing that causes many to get up on Sunday morning and drive off to those large tax exempt buildings and sit for an hour or two listening to stories with no evidence or reason to support them.

        The extreme weather events are now normal and regular until the next round occurs.

  2. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted August 13, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Hili is playing serious head games with Cyrus.
    As is right and proper.

    • bbenzon
      Posted August 13, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Yes, she seems particularly clever.

  3. Hempenstein
    Posted August 13, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Close to Dobrzyn could still mean hard winds. Any damages to the cherry orchard?

    • Posted August 13, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      None at all. But the harvest was very poor this year (I don’t even think they brought in pickers). But Malgorzata picked enough with her own hands to keep me in pies during my visit!

    • Malgorzata
      Posted August 13, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Yes, the winds were very strong but we must’ve been somehow at the end of the worst. Not one tree, neither in the garden nor in the orchard, suffered.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted August 13, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        Yes, often those straight wind events are restricted to a path, maybe only a few miles wide. Sometimes caused by one or a few very large cells. Something seen in the American Midwest quit often and even mistaken for a tornado.

      • Hempenstein
        Posted August 13, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        Glad to hear that the orchard’s OK. The video footage looked like the aftermath of a tornado.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted August 13, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Glad you’re all okay Malgorzata. The storm certainly made one helluva mess!

      • Kevin
        Posted August 13, 2017 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        Still, that’s a lot of trees down.

  4. rickflick
    Posted August 13, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Quit a storm. Cyrus is going to mark his territory.

  5. Posted August 13, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    What an apocalyptic damage and saying that there is no climate change.

  6. Monika
    Posted August 13, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    I love that pic of little Leon. Serious kitten is serious!

  7. Posted August 13, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Wagner is an acquired taste. I regret acquiring it.

  8. Posted August 13, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Wagner’s operas aren’t too long. Life is too short.

  9. Posted August 13, 2017 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Apropos lefthanders: scissors. Righthanded scissors are torture.

    My sister once gave me a fridge magnet that read “Hire more lefthanders, it’s fun to watch them write”.

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