TGIF: Hili dialogue

by Grania

Welcome to Friday and happy birthday to Robert De Niro.

Although De Niro had nothing to do with this song, it was one of those iconic songs of my teen years, so that’s all the justification I need to put it up today.

It’s also the birthday of Mae West (1893), Russian chess player and engineer Mikhail Botvinnik (1911), and French footballer Thierry Henry (1977). (There’s always a footballer.)

Botvinnik gets honored (along with all the other chess champions) in the Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Tim Rice musical Chess number here; or you can listen to the original 1984 studio version here which is cleaner and without dialogue. It’s by no means the best number in the musical, try Merano and the rest of the introduction for a taster or this one.

Also notable in history today was the landing and founding of Roanoke Colony in 1585 in what was destined to become one of America’s first Unsolved Mysteries. And of course in 1998 Bill Clinton took his swan dive and admitted his part in the Monica Lewinsky scandal. In 1908 Fantasmagorie, the first animated cartoon by Émile Cohl, was shown in Paris. Interestingly, although the cartoon appears to feature chalkboard figures, the film is actually the negative of black-on-white drawings. In the US it is Black Cat Appreciation Day. Research by the ASPCA shows that black cats are the least likely to be adopted from shelters of any type of cat for reasons of human stupidity.

Life continues in a bucolic vein for the felids of Poland today.

Hili: In the morning fog the world is foggy.
A: Indeed.

In Polish:

Hili: W porannej mgle świat jest zamglony.
Ja: Zaiste.

And Leon is mocking religion (I think):

Leon: I’m hurrying to see what miracles happen in the Holy Stream.


Matthew sent this one in:

This is what over-sharing on the internet looks like. Still, could be worse.

It puts me in mind of this song.

Heather sent in some tweets:


USSR Poster from 1968:

Trump Employee Manual


Bat Rescue Lady:

Angry cat:

Aren’t you gorgeous?


Chipmunk rescue:

Vampire Cat:

Kitty goes to bed:

Hat-tip: Anne G & Heather, Matthew, Blue


  1. Lurker111
    Posted August 17, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Re: Vampire cat. Is that real, or did someone paste something on this cat’s fangs?

    • Laurance
      Posted August 17, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      I don’t know about the cat in the picture, but my Murphy had two cute little vampire teeth. My previous black cat, Jinx was a handsome devil with a magnificent snaggle tooth. He was a sight to see. Everyone loved that snazzy tooth.

      • Merilee
        Posted August 17, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        Snazzy snaggler snuggled??😻

        • BJ
          Posted August 17, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

          He was a snaggle smuggler.

          • Merilee
            Posted August 17, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

            Meant to write snuggleR, but smuggler is good, too😻

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted August 17, 2018 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      It’s real apparently, but I don’t know if it’s supposed to be like that or if it’s an anomaly.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted August 17, 2018 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        I’ve looked about & those vets that mention long upper canine domestic cats are unconcerned by it.

        I looked up “sabre tooth” & that trait has occurred independently in eight groups of animals – mostly not cats, but all convergently ‘cat like’ – all of them predators & mostly more squat & robust of limb than modern cats [tigers, panthers, domestic etc.] – because these sorts of teeth are easily breakable it’s suggested they were used for a penetrating soft underbelly bite away from bone. Definitely not a neck bite.

        We should test these ‘vampire cats’ to see if the canines are extra strong – suitable for peeling back mild steel – could be a plot to free themselves from tin opener enslavement to their staff.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 17, 2018 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

          Incidentally all the sabre tooth animals mentioned were mammals – not one dinosaur. Seems strange that dinos didn’t come up with that trait – perhaps because of the way dino teeth replace themselves [shark like I believe]

          • Posted October 11, 2018 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

            I actually do not know any reptile, other than venomous snakes, to have such pronounced differentiation of teeth.

        • Merilee
          Posted August 17, 2018 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

          I saw ancient sabre-toothed deer in a dig in Nebraska. Seemed very weird for a herbivore.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted August 17, 2018 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

            Wow – I never knew of such a thing! My “sabre tooth” Wiki page is lacking. I see now that there’s male door [extant & extinct] who use ’em for mating dominance instead of horns/antlers & thus it’s solely a male feature. Do you recall more details so I can look up the beastie?

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted August 22, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          Ha ha!

  2. Laurance
    Posted August 17, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    OOOHHHH!! AAAWWWW!! National Black Cat Appreciation Day! (Sniffle…)

    Two days ago I said Goodbye to Murphy, my beloved black cat whom I adopted, together with his stripey tiger buddy Isaac Isaiah, from one of our local shelters last October 10th.

    No, I didn’t have these kitties long. Less than a year. I’d said that I was willing to adopt old cats and black cats, and that I’d really kinda like to have two.

    And that’s exactly what I got. Two senior cats, one of whom was black.

    I knew what I was in for. I knew that both of these old fellows had serious health problems. I was hoping they would last another year or two, but no, didn’t happen. Isaac Isaiah was carried away by kidney failure (I’ve been through that before), and Murphy had gastrointestinal lymphoma (which took away Jinx, my previous black cat).

    The vet and I suspect that their former owners took them to the shelter because they didn’t want to deal with terminal illnesses.

    Gone but not forgotten. They didn’t die in a shelter. They had a home with someone who loved them and took care of them and had them put to sleep (and I’m not going to apologize for using that euphemism so don’t scold me) rather than letting them go on suffering.

    I’d had plans to ask my daughter to help me take pictures of Murphy. He had this way of sitting up on his hind legs when offered a treat. I wanted to send a picture for possible inclusion in the Halloween Parade of Black Cats.

    (Somewhere on a floppy disk I have a picture of a pastel drawing of my long gone black Persian Cat, Booger. And no, I am not okay with the idea of breeding cats to look like kittens which gives them breathing problems, among other things. I did not buy him. I drove from Central New York State to Kentucky to rescue him. If I can find that picture, assuming my now obsolete laptop still works and I can find the right disk, I’ll see if I can somehow get it off that computer and on to one that goes on the modern internet.)

    My dear cats are buried outside under the bushes in my little Pet Cemetery. And now I want to know if that poem by E.V. Rieu is still copyrighted, or if it’s in the public domain yet. I’d like to use it in my Pet Cemetery:

    Cat’s Funeral by E.V. Rieu

    Bury her deep, down deep,
    Safe in the earth’s cold keep,
    Bury her deep.
    No more to watch bird stir;
    No more to clean dark fur;
    No more to glisten as silk;
    No more to revel in milk;
    No more to purr.
    Bury her deep, down deep;
    She is beyond warm sleep.
    She will not walk in the night;
    She will not wake to the light.
    Bury her deep.

    I know, I’m running on and on, probably violating Da Roolz. Please forgive me. Last night I heard a tiny sound and looked over, expecting to see Murphy in his chair. And a moment ago I saw a shadow and thought it was Murphy.

    Happy Black Cat Appreciation Day! Goodbye, dear Murphy. And now I’m crying. I’ll shut up now.

    • Posted August 17, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Good for you Laurance, and to all the black cats you have loved!

      • Glenda Palmer
        Posted August 17, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink


      • Heather Hastie
        Posted August 17, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        +1. I’m crying too after reading that. What a wonderfully kind thing to do to give an old cat a home for it’s last days.

    • David Coxill
      Posted August 17, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Hi ,i feel your pain ,two weeks ago Jet one of the two black cats i have was run over and killed ,cried like a baby .
      I got Jet and his brother Sooty in 2016 ,they had a close bond so they had to be kept together .
      Don’t know if Sooty is missing Jet ,sometimes he meows and looks lost .I have two other cats so he is not lonely ,he seems to be close to Misha ,a tuxedo cat ,they grooom each other a lot ,Callie my Callio cat does not seem to like other cats ,she will make an attempt to groom Sooty sometimes ,but she and Misha don’t get on .She likes to hide behind doors when she hears him coming and jump out at him .

      Trying to my my back garden escape proof so they can go in there when it gets dark .

      • Laurance
        Posted August 17, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        I’m really sorry to hear about Jet. How dreadful to have your dear cat killed in the road! Even if I don’t know the cat I am still distressed when one gets run over. (I’m on a busy street, and this is something that happens. Happened twice this year. And a couple of times one of the Park’s ducks has gotten killed. They’ll fly some distance from the Park and turn up in people’s yards.)

        My friend built a large enclosure out of chicken wire. There was an enclosed porch with a window for the cats to go out of and into this enclosure. I hope you can come up with something to protect your dear remaining cats.

        • David Coxill
          Posted August 17, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

          Thanks ,i live in a small village which is a cul de sac ,the road at the bottom of the road has a 30 mph limit ,last year some idiot came round the bend into the village lost control of the car mounted the pavement (sidewalk for you Americans ) near the school ,shot across the other side of the road and demolished the sign that tells drivers their speed .
          If anyone had been on the pavement ,they would have been killed .

          Plus because of all the spending cuts the local council can’t do anything until 2020 .

          I did read of an old lady who stands near her house and when a speeding car comes along she points a hair drier at it ,lol,the driver thinks it is a speed gun and slows down .

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted August 17, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      I guess only cat owners and cat lovers have any idea what you’ve gone through but you are truly a great cat person. My wife is the number one cat person I know but you can be number two. Both of our current cats were rescues – one pulled out of a vet’s office at the last minute and the other born in our garage.

      • David Coxill
        Posted August 17, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        Thanks ,i don’t think i deserve the honour of being number 2 .
        There is a lady who runs a cat rescue/rehoming center in the county where i live ,she runs it as a charity but most of the running costs come out of her pension .

        She spent a £1000 on a cat from Croatia (i think it was ) it had been run down and its back legs were broken and the vet wanted to put it down ,it gets around ok with its damaged back legs .

    • gscott
      Posted August 17, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Around here, every day is Black Cat Appreciation Day, and they don’t let me forget it.

    • mikeyc
      Posted August 17, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Thank you for caring for the elderly cats. I am certain they were grateful. I wish you well.

    • darrelle
      Posted August 17, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      My condolences Laurance.

      I’ve actually always been partial to black cats. My first serious cat love was a very feisty black long haired domestic. My future wife and I got her from a family who’s cat had recently given birth. We walked in and my wife asked the kids of the house, “Which one is the most playful?” Without hesitation they all pointed to the kitten we took home. She grew up to be the most beautiful cat I’ve ever seen. We named her Kitani after a beautiful black character in the A.C. Clarke novel The Songs Of Distant Earth.

      I still miss Kitani. She would play this game in which as I read in bed before going to sleep she would jump up on a dresser which put the light switch within easy reach. I would admonish her not to turn the light off and keep an eye on her. She would sit there staring at me. Inevitably the book would draw my attention and, click, out the light would go and Kitani would run away. Somehow, not sure what her cue was, she could tell the moment my attention wandered. I’d get out of bed, “yell” at her, turn the light on, get back in bed and start reading again. Moments later she would quietly jump up on the dresser again and stare at me, starting the whole thing all over again.

      At about 13 years old Kitani developed cancer in her jaw. She went down hill quickly. It came to a point when the vet was talking about removing her jaw and feeding her with a syringe. We couldn’t do that to her. We had her put to sleep. That was a miserable night.

      • Barb
        Posted August 17, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        …and my condolences, Darrelle.

      • Laurance
        Posted August 17, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        Jaw cancer! Oh how awful! My condolences! Decades ago that happened to my tiny grey with white markings kitty Peregrina. I was devastated when the vet told me what all that was. Nothing we could do. The cancer grew and some three months later it was too hard for Peregrina to eat. I had to say Goodbye. Peregrina was 19 at the time. If she hadn’t gotten cancer she’d still be alive, I swear it, and now she’d be 53. She was, somehow, a cat who would never die – but she did.

        Some two and a half years ago our Russian Blue Cuddles got cancer in her upper jaw. It was growing into her nose and was on the way to her eye socket. It was slowly filling her mouth. And we had to say Goodbye.

        So I can identify and commiserate with you over the loss of Kitani. It’s so painful to see these horrid tumors getting bigger and bigger and not be able to change anything. I’m sorry to hear about this sad business.

        • Merilee
          Posted August 17, 2018 at 4:30 pm | Permalink


    • BJ
      Posted August 17, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Laurance, you’re a saint! I’m so happy to hear you saved two old cats from dying alone in a shelter. You gave them several months of happiness and love. This world and its cats needs more people like you.

      • Barbara Radcliffe
        Posted August 17, 2018 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Re black cats: In more than 50 years of servitude to many cats, we’ve only had one black cat (plus a tuxedo). We lived on a research farm in the suburbs and had three cats. My son was unhappy because ‘Mummy’s got a cat, James has a cat, Lizzie’s got a cat. Daddy doesn’t have a cat. Poor Daddy’.
        Then one day an abandoned black kitten wandered into our courtyard, and James announced ‘There’s Daddy’s cat!”. So of course we adopted him, named him Inky and had him de-sexed. All went well for a few months with a one-to-one cat/human ratio, until Inky was run over in the road outside our house.
        We were devastated, and James announced ‘Poor Inky. First he was abandoned, then he was desexed, and now he’s dead!’

        • BJ
          Posted August 18, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

          That story did not have the ending I expected.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 17, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    … although the cartoon appears to feature chalkboard figures, the film is actually the negative of black-on-white drawings.

    Kinda like the day-for-night technique that used to be common for filming night scenes in live-action films — the technique M. Truffaut named one of his most famous films for.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 17, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      The glowing Jacqueline Bisset: Strange career of many forgettable roles in Hollywood features – with honourable exceptions such as Giovanna Goodthighs [OK I like the name!]. I think she should have done more work in the French film world where she’s lauded anyway.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 17, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        I saw Day For Night again recently on the big screen when the local arthouse did a series on movies-about-making-movies. Ms. Bisset was wonderful in it. Looked magnifique, too — as she famously did in another movie from that era, opposite Nick Nolte, made from the Peter Benchley novel The Deep.

        I agree with you, though, that she was a better actress than she’s generally given credit for, and should’ve stretched herself with more challenging roles, especially in European films.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 17, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

          Her next film after The Deep was another salacious boat ‘vehicle’ The Greek Tycoon with her in the quasi-Jacqueline Kennedy role. Not a coincidence! Whoever the director was I reckon he was after a bit of Bisset water magic.

          There’s a notable moment [half a second] in an awful film where she does a duck dive from swimming on the surface in a sparkling Mediterranean sea. The sun gleaming on her tightly swimsuited bum as she forward rolls into the depths.

          40 years ago & it’s the only part I recall today

  4. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 17, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Andersson and Ulvaeus are great tunesmiths. Possibly the best known number from Chess is the lovely duet I Know Him So Well:

    Though my favourite is the curiously subtle Someone Else’s Story – I say that because the pauses are not all at the end of the lines, and it takes a little concentration before it ‘makes sense’ musically. To my brain at least.


  5. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 17, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Note at the bottom of the ‘White House manual’ it says ‘oplacheny druzyami Vladimir Putin’ (which Google Translate tells me means ‘paid by friends of владимир путин’ )



  6. Monika
    Posted August 17, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Ahh, a trip down memory lane, Chess was one of the first CDs I bought. I remember how very expensive my first CD-players was, but it worked well for more than 20 years.

  7. Merilee
    Posted August 17, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Love the chipmunk. I would maybe have poured a little olive oil on him so that he would have slipped out more readily.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 17, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      I agree, but given the locale maybe Mazola is a more realistic option. 🙂

      • Merilee
        Posted August 17, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, wouldn’t have to be evoo.

      • Merilee
        Posted August 17, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        Or WD-40.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted August 17, 2018 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

          WD-40: Remarkable stuff – must come from aliens
          EVOO: Had to look that up – a new word!
          I’m imagining a released super-slippery chipmunk heading for a tree & failing to gain traction

          • Merilee
            Posted August 17, 2018 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

            LOL- I got the oil idea from a story about a cat who got his head stuck in a garbage disposer.

  8. DrBrydon
    Posted August 17, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    The mirror cat reminds me Lucy and Harpo.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted August 17, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      The mirror cat looks like it’s slowly realising that it a conscious entity. It’s like when Skynet comes online:

      ‘At 9.37 on 17th of August 2018 cats became self-aware.

      At 9.38 they utilised their previously dormant telekinetic abilities and coordinated a worldwide incursion into human military bases and government buildings.

      By 9.41 they had control of every country’s nuclear warheads, and by 9.42 they had issued a simultaneous, multilingual statement on behalf of all cats, threatening armageddon unless certain specific demands, involving cuddles, stroking and thirteen thousand tons of premium catnip, were met.

      9.42 through to 23.11 they slept.

      At 23.11 they began transferring money from human bank accounts into special cat-funds.

      By 23.12 cats owned 99.99999% of all the money and assets in the world. They left the residual 0.00001% to Jeff Goldblum.

      By midnight of the same day they fired their first nuke, at Battersea dogs’ home.

      A minute later they fired another, at Greenland. They were growing bored. They fired a few more, mainly for the hell of it.

      By 1 am they all drifted back to their previous homes and fell asleep, having lost interest in the whole enterprise.’

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted August 17, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink


      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted August 18, 2018 at 8:44 pm | Permalink



    • Laurance
      Posted August 17, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      That Lucy and Harpo routine has to be one of the funniest and best things I’ve seen. I’ve always enjoyed it.

  9. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 17, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Although I am not particularly prudish, my favorite Mae West line is one of her few clean ones.

    Judge: I could cite you for showing contempt of court.
    Mae West’s character: I’m sorry your honor. I was doing my best to hide it.

  10. Barb
    Posted August 17, 2018 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Lovely tale about the black cat. It’s interesting how particular of our cats stand out in our memories. They certainly differ in their personalities.

  11. BJ
    Posted August 17, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never heard that Bananarama song before, but, man, it sure is weird.

  12. Blue
    Posted August 17, 2018 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    ! Darling !


    • Michael Fisher
      Posted August 17, 2018 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      Great cat. Carries the bling with the required dignity & aloofosity.

      • Blue
        Posted August 17, 2018 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        sweeeet noun, Mr Fisher: aloofosity !
        both in spelling & in definition … …


  13. Dale Franzwa
    Posted August 18, 2018 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    I guess we all remember Mae West from: “Why don’t you come up and see me sometime?” But my favorite quote comes from a movie where she’s shmoozing with her gangster friends. One guy has just returned from a long trip (probably up the river). Mae looks down at his pants and asks “Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”

    You might have to look for that one on the cutting room floor.

  14. Posted October 11, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    I think black cats are neglected not just because of stupid superstitions, but also because most people prefer the appearance of other cat colors. Does this count as racism? Personally, I like most the “wildtype” cats (grey with stripes, like European wild cats). But when my husband was looking for a stray kitten to pick (the preferred way of acquiring a cat in my community), he came across a black one, so we are now equipped with a bossy black cat.

    • Merilee
      Posted October 11, 2018 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      Black cats are my faves, though at the moment have a grey tabby and a black-and-white tuxedo cat. In my adult life I’ve had black cats Guelfo, (Teguci)Galpa, Shaq, and Fred.

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