A Tale of a Kilkenny Cat

There once were two cats of Kilkenny,
Each thought there was one cat too many;
So they fought and they fit,
And they scratched and they bit,
Till, excepting their nails
And the tips of their tails,
Instead of two cats there weren’t any.
Here’s a tale of one cat from Kilkenny
Who thought Equuschick had ten fingers too many
So she threw a great fit
And she scratched and she bit
But since Equuschick is tough
The cat soon had enough
And the Equuschick grabbed her in both fists, using the teeth plunged deep into her own fingers as leverage and grabbed that cat and plunged her back in her cage and locked the doors tight and that cat is one sadder and wiser mammal now, or would be if, regarding sense, she had any.

Blogging has been somewhat lighter than we had hoped because of a recent minor (we hope) family crisis. A few days ago we received a telephone call informing us that we needed to meet Equuschick at the hospital, as she had gotten in a fist-fight with a cat and would be unable to drive herself home.

The cat (henceforth known as Edwina Scissors-paws) escaped from its cage while being fed, and Equuschick fought Edwina Scissors-paws and succeeded in keeping the beast from her face and putting it in its cage and then went in the office, shut the door and put her head down and bled messily, and somebody fetched her off to E.R.

There are several scratches and at least one bite (which means a deep puncture wound), and her hands are swollen, and cat bites and scratches are nasty, nasty, nasty. Edwina Scissors-paws is a feral cat, which makes her bites even nastier.

When we arrived home from E.R., the Deputy Headmistress spent some time on the internet googling ‘feral cat bites’ and sharing helpful factoids with Equuschick. Did you know that 80 percent of all cat bites result in infection? Or that bites over the knuckles can actually damage ligaments? Or that sepsis can result from cat bites? Equuschick said that the Headmistress should come away from the computer and quit frightening herself with horrors. The Equuschick is still at that age of invincibility and immunity from long term negative consequences, so she was not herself personally horrified.

Nonetheless, Equuschick’s hands, unaware of their invincibility, did get infected, and she had a return visit to our family doctor. She was put on a stronger antibiotic, spent four hours in the office having her hands repeatedly soaked, scrubbed (with a wire brush), and soaked in disinfectant again, and then the
doctor spent some time tweezering out bits of fuzz probably from the towel used to staunch the bleeding at the time of the Kilkenny Cat encounter. The Doctor also gave her a time consuming home regimen involving soaking in various brews, pouring other brews over the wounds several times daily, and plucking catnip by the light of the full moon and burning it in the stump of a newly cut osage orange while reciting the above nursery rhyme- backward. Or so it seems.

The Equuschick’s attitude remains one most accurately described as resentment. She resents the inconvenience, and tells us “It’s just a finger- why are we all making such a big fuss about just a finger? Why is a single finger interfering with my life so much? How can such a small thing cause so much trouble?” And we merely look at the Equuschick, who is 5 feet tall only if she is wearing thick hunting socks, and do not say a word.

The Deputy Headmistress cringes at the thought of what the tiny but mighty Equuschick will say when she sees this blog entry. The Deputy Headmistress knows she only avoids immediate computer retaliation because the Equuschick is unable to type at her usual speed.

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North Korea, Part III

Previous posts on the LA Times story on NK and conditions in NK are
here and here.

Hugh Hewitt emailed some questions about the article to its author, Barbara Demick. He posted those questions and her responses here.

He also links to other blogs that discuss his interview or other aspects of the NK story. The Headmistress wanted to check those blog entries to assure herself of their suitability for the tender years of the Common Room students, but the computer was obstructive.

Narration assignment for Common Room Scholars:

If you could interview Ms. Demick, what are some questions you would ask her?

Is there something you would like to tell Ms. Demick?

Collect your thoughts and write a polite email to Ms. Demick. You will find the address at Hugh Hewitt’s blog.

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Art & Civilisation

When I was madly studying for my CLEP test the Deputy Headmistress/Zookeeper/Head Librarian handed me two books she thought would help me study. One of them was simply titled “Civilisation” and had a photograph of a statue relating to Charlemagne on the cover. When I began reading it, however, I discovered that it is an art history text. This was rather a bummer for my studying purposes, but it is really (as far as I can tell) an excellent book. Because I’m one of those Copy Many Quotes People, I’ve decided to share some of my favorite passages with readers here.

The first sentence that made me think that this book wasn’t going to be your run of the mill text was: “…I may add that the men of the Dark ages took a less patronising view of birds than do the makers of Christmas cards.” Such a practical attitude towards art warmed my heart. Yes, I like sappy paintings (PreRaphaelites, for example) but art should also be something strong and forceful. If it is only sentimental then it is not really art (which is one reason why Elsie Dinsmore books are not good literature, but that’s another tale for another time).

Later on we get an excellent definition of what really differentiates a civilisation from, well, a non-civilisation:
Civilisation means something more than energy and will and creative power…How can I define it? Well, very shortly, a sense of permanence.”
A page later, Kenneth Clark goes farther in this definition, “Civilised man, or so it seems to me, must feel that he belongs somewhere in space and time; that he consciously looks forward and looks back. And for this purpose it is a great convience to be able to read and write.”

What should we conclude, then? That Christians should be civilised (yes, I know I win the “Duh! Award” of the week). We *are* to be looking both behind us and before us (although mainly before us) and this sense of belonging gives us the anchorage to truly produce real art. Not sentimental art, real art.

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A Chance to Help a Child

Joey is a little boy with an incredible story. Some day we hope he’ll be telling ti to everybody. We don’t know Joey, but Joey’s grandmother goes to church with a relative of the Common Room family. Our source told us the following:

Little Joey pulled a big screen TV down on top of him. It crushed his skull. It was feared he would bleed to death before the ambulance could get to the house. But they made it and he was rushed to a critical care hospital in Las Vegas. There, neurosurgeons had to remove a portion of his skull and his brain, both of which were shipped to a lab in Los Angeles for storage and preservation in hopes that once the bleeding and swelling stopped within Joey’s brain that they could be re-attached.

His grandfather died of cancer the day after the accident. The day after the funeral, the grandmother flew out to be with her grandson. Doctors told the family to begin looking for a permanent nursing home, for they said Joey would be a vegetable the rest of his life. Joey’s family hoped otherwise, and they knew people all over the country were praying.

Joey is now home. The information on the website is helpful (and a place to find out how you can be helpful!) but is dated. According to our source, Joey

“has taken a few steps on his own! While at home, he pulled himself up by the couch, stood up, and walked about 3-4 steps unassisted. The doctors keep using the word “amazing” to describe his progress to date.”

Our source also says that

“Any email or card of encouragement you can send to Joey’s family would be greatly appreciated. Initially the out-pouring of prayer and concern was strong, but has tapered off of late. Sharon and Chuck [Joey’s parents] both draw strength from each email and card they receive.”

There’s more to this remarkable story which I am not yet at liberty to share, but please go to the link below and sign the guestbook for them, keep Joey in your prayers, and consider donating to the trustfund.

Here is a link to the Joey Infantino Trust fund.

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It’s about Freedom, 2

The Tulip Girl posted in the comments below:

For what is currently going on in Ukraine, I recommend Dan’s recent post, A Better Kind of Normal.

The Deputy Headmistress is thrilled that Tulip Girl actually looked at something on our blog, and tickled, well, orange, with her excellent reminder. You see, the Headmistress actually found Tulip Girl’s blog from a reference on Orange Ukraine, and forgetting to mention the go-to blog on Ukraine’s march to freedom was a seriously senior moment.

So, rather late, but still worth reading, here’s the link to A Better Kind of Normal.

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