Bad weather and nothing much to do.

Mr Midnight and Sir Winston sat together  on the top step of the porch and   frustratingly stared out  at the rain  as it gently  “kissed”  the ground.

MM-Avatar  I´m not so keen on all this wet stuff continually  “clogging”  up my fur.  It´s been like this for what seems like an eternity.  How am I suppossed to get about if what humans call “the weather”  is always dark and wet?

SW-Avatar Daddy said something about it having been cold and wet in the Black Forest since September of what he calls, last year.

MM-Avatar Well there has certainly been very little of that warm,  bright thing in the sky having stroked my back with its rays this year. Why do you think it´s always bad weather these days  Sir Winston?  Even the humans are getting mardy.

SW-Avatar Maybe it´s always been like that. You know, change.

I´ve often heard humans call this weather phenomena “climate change”,  but if this “climate change” is true, they don´t seem to want to attempt to do anything about it.  There must also be natural factors involved as to why we have had to  sit on the porch so many times this year, but this “climate change”  thing  seems to have  been catalysed by humans to a large degree.

MM-Avatar What have cats got to do with climate change?    Catalysed?  That sounds quite disturbing. Does it mean that a cat has been liquidated?  Poor cat!

SW-Avatar No, no, Mr Midnight!. Don´t worry.   A cat has not died.

Catalyse basically means “to speed up” or accelerate a process; thus, humans have contributed a great deal to the present outcome of this climate change thing through their lifestyles and attitudes.

Climate change would have happened anyway, but most probably  at a much slower pace.

By the way Mr Midnight, the word “liquidated” is a long word for you to use. I´m not used to hearing such long words from you.

MM-Avatar Well I´m not just a pretty face you you know!

Can I now  blame daddy for the atrocious weather conditions – afterall, he is  human?

SW-Avatar I suppose you can and you can´t.  Although he seems to be quite concious of his activities,  he can´t  step out of the vicious circle of his environment so easily.  On the other hand, the rapid  change in weather conditions, as is probably the case with natural disasters, although being horrific for those involved, could also be part of a natural cleansing process.  At present,  we seem to have lots of rain in the Black Forest, most probably  because things need to get “clean” again. (Energywise). The same could also be said for the heavy winds we seem to be experiencing.  All the “rubbish” (bad energy) gets blown away with which to help “cleanse” the world.

MM-Avatar But it still  looks as though  the humans are going to destroy our planet. That´s not very nice.

SW-Avatar I don´t think so Mr Midnight – at least not entirely.

Can you recall the vibrations we feel – you know,  the movement of our planet when we sit on the grass for example?  Those vibrations are part of the universe and the universe is something much greater than humans.  We are all part of the universe (cats, dogs, humans and fish etc.)………..

MM-Avatar I like fish.

SW-Avatar………..and the universe is in constant rotation and change.  Not even humans are able to do anything about this fact. Most humans are not even aware of the universe which surrounds them anyway.  As regards  our planet, the only factor we can rely upon, is the factor of change.

MM-Avatar Which is something humans and cats are not particularly fond of.

SW-Avatar A very long time ago, some human cultures were more in-touch with the universe than “advanced” cultures of today. For example;  last year, (21.12.2012) many human earth inhabitants believed that the world was going to end.

MM-Avatar That´s ridiculous. Why would it want to “stop” on the 21.12.2012?

SW-Avatar I have no idea Mr Midnight, humans seem to love tragedy.  Humans based their belief on an ancient  Mayan calander which indeed, did predict the “end of an era”, with many believing it to be the end of the world.  Because of the human races tendencies and fascinations for sensation and  gloom and doom messages,  many obviously wanted to sooner  believe  in negativity.

If having checked other sources, one could also have come to the conclusion that the 21.12.2012 was indeed, not the end of the world but the dawn of a new era – that of the Age of Aquarius, and also having something to do with the 26000 year energy cycle.

MM-Avatar Well I know all about that Sir Winston – it is embedded in my soul and guides my instinct, but I don´t think we should discuss it here because what is obvious to us cats (and other animals), is not very obvious to most human beings.

SW-Avatar You´re quite right Mr Midnight. We don´t wish to frighten the readers away.

MM-Avatar Let´s continue watching the wet stuff fall out of the sky for a while and then go downstairs into the cellar and grab  a few food sticks.  It´s nice and cozy down there.  I´m getting used to the Black  Forest coldness and wetness anyway.

SW-Avatar OK. Give me 5 Mr Midnight!  That sounds like a great idea.

 

(C) mags 2013

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Taking things too seriously (Eurovision Song Contest and Philately)

author-Avatar  Last night,  Mr Midnight, Sir Winston and myself did something we very rarely do.  We sat on the sofa and watched the Eurovision Song Contest.

MM-Avatar ……and I must say that I was bored to tears and that it is an occurence which I will not repeat. If it hadn´t have been for the nice food-sticks lying on the table then I would have gone out earlier. Humans  tend to take things  too seriously.

author-Avatar What do you mean by claiming  we tend to take things too seriously?

MM-Avatar That German reporter bloke (Herr Peter Urban)  kept on complaining that the German contestant was not as bad as she had been made out to be.  As it became even more apparent that the poor girl was going to be near the bottom of the ranking table, Mr Urban seemed to not understand the world anymore.

The show is only light human entertainment. One shouldn´t take it all so seriously. As a matter of fact, humans shouldn´t take themselves too seriously either.

Daddy is now  used to his country (England) losing at the Eurovision (and at most other sporting events as well) and seems to be now immune from such defeats. He just doesn´t take things too seriously.(most of the time)  😉

author-Avatar Well I couldn´t agree more Mr Midnight. I think  I´ll be joining you next year if you decide to go out instead of watching the show.

SW-Avatar I found it quite interesting with some of the acts having a bit of professionalism about them – but there again, my high-demands of what is to be termed  as  being quality, demanding music,  generally  ascend  much higher than what I saw last night. I think my favourites were Italy, Holland and Norway.

author-Avatar I also found Italy to have a certain amount of sophistication within the music.

MM-Avatar Well as you already know, I wasn´t keen on hardly any of it.  Most singers tended to “shout” or “scream” their message as though singing as loud (and screechingly) as possibile means that you are a better singer. In my opinion it is the power behind  a singers voice which gives quality to a song and the art of singing powerfully (with a certain softness) seems to be a task many are incapable of. Still, I don´t take it all too seriously so it doesn´t matter.

SW-Avatar I believe that Mr Midnight is correct in thinking that what seems to count in this contest is how loud you are.  Other factors of which the majority of the audience seem to love,  seems to be the colourful special effects, the lightly clad ladies and the shambles of the televoting system.

MM-Avatar You can say that again Sir Winston!  What  a shambles!  It´s all seems to be like a great big kindergarten (naturally without the lightly clad ladies!).

author-Avatar I suppose that  if one doesn´t take it all so seriously the Eurovision can be acceptable to watch. I vow virtually every year to never watch it again but when May comes around  (and I have no other appointments) it will  usually take me within its grasp.

SW-Avatar If they want to get a bit more professionalism and higher standards  into the show  then they should at least change the voting system and strip away some of  the razzamattaz so that the “Song” is in the foreground of things.Dancing, acrobatics and acts which lean towards a more “idiotic” sense of song may appeal to the masses  but have hardly anything to do with the main object of the show – that of finding out who has the best “Song”. But maybe the Eurovision committee doesn´t want the show to become  too professional.  Some of its viewers may not understand it anymore.

Out of the 26 competitors, 5 were  Scandinavian countries and 11 were from Eastern or South Eastern European  countries.  At least the voting audience do not  take this Song Contest seriously because most seem to  only vote for their neighbouring countries. With such a large dominance of North European and East European countries; it´s no wonder that last nights  voting was heavily swayed towards Scandinavian or eastern european countries. It´s the same every year, regardless of what countries are involved.

Mr Urban – don´t take this contest to heart!  The Eurovision Song Contest is just for fun and not a music institution for high standards of quality. (Although some of the acts are still professional)

.MM-Avatar I understand that originally, the Eurovision Song Contest originated as a platform  with which to help unknown musicians find stardom. Nowadays, anybody seems to be able to get on the show (especially those having influential people behind them).

author-Avatar Next time the Eurovision is on, I`m going to sort through some of my philatelic items instead. Its certainly more fun and a nice way with which to close the day.

SW-Avatar Can you remember last week daddy when I accidentally trod on your stamps? I´m glad to say that you have a sense of humour.

author-Avatar At first I was a little startled,  but then I thought that worse things  happen than having a stamp pierced.   When I had managed to pull the pierced stamp off your claw I couldn´t help but be amused. You had punched  a hole through Mr Ulbricht of the old  East German regime.

SW-Avatar I believe that Mr Walter  Ulbricht was the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (East).

author-Avatar That´s correct Sir Winston.  It really made me laugh, especially when you were hobbling around the room with Mr Ulbricht clinging to your foot.

MM-Avatar Thank goodness it wasn´t one of your rare stamps daddy otherwise you may not have seen the funny side of things.

author-Avatar Thats quite  possible as well Mr Midnight but I still believe that I would have tried to have not taken  things too seriously.

MM-Avatar Can you show me that funny stamp with the camels printed on it? Before having seen this stamp, I hadn´t seen a camel before. It is a strange creature.

author-Avatar You mean the Sudan Telepgraph stamp from 1898?

MM-Avatar Yes that´s the  one.  Why don´t the readers try and guess what the third camel from the back of the queue is saying?  He is the camel who is   turning his head backwards towards the two chappies behind him. Show the stamp please daddy.

author-Avatar Mr Midnight´s favourite stamp.

Sudan_1p_military_telegraph_stamp_c._1898

MM-Avatar I think the third camel is saying something like:-

” I don´t wish to make a fuss but I think we´re going in the wrong direction!”

SW-Avatar and I think he´s saying:-

“Shouldn´t we be going over there?” or “Do any of you two chappies know who´s leading this train?”

author-Avatar I would be open to any further  suggestions.

Who said that philately is boring and for old men?  If you don´t take philately too seriously  it can be rather inspiring and a lot of fun. Of course if you do take philately seriously, it can also be inspiring and a lot of fun!

MM-Avatar I didn´t say your hobby was for old men daddy. It must have been somebody else. Still, you seem to be inspired and have bags of fun either when you take philately  seriously,  or not. What a great way to get through life!

Language and Identity

      Sir Winston was asleep in the hedge when he was suddenly awakened by a strange sound which somehow seemed familiar, but was not.  The noise  made a deep, grating sound with  odd  traces of wheezing   being emitted. Not being alarmed, Sir Winston came out of the hedge, stretched his long body, leisurely  opened and closed his claws,  and slowly adjusted his eyes to the brightness of daylight.

After having focused, he noticed that the weird sounds were coming from  Mr Midnight who was laying nearby in  the flower beds.

Had Mr Midnight got hayfever?, he thought.  Sir Winston moved from his comfortable position and went to find out what Mr Midnight was up to.

SW-Avatar Whats wrong Mr Midnight, you woke me from my sleep.  Are you having problems?

MM-Avatar There´s nothing wrong with me you cheeky rascal. I´m sorry for having woken you but I was just practicing one of my foreign languages. You know – the language  our neighbours  four legged friend seems to speak.

SW-Avatar But he´s a dog!  Why would you want to try and speak his language? You´re a cat!  Cats don´t go around barking and growling.

MM-Avatar Well I think he´s got a cool language and I want to be as cool as Mr Dog next door.  He seems to have a lot of fun,  even frightening people sometimes  with his  dandy art of communication.

SW-Avatar And I think it´s all rather ridiculous that a cat should want to try and be a dog.  Every creature has it´s positive and negative attributes and being a cat certainly has many advantages.

author-Avatar Now what´s up with you two then?  You both seem to be in a bit of mood at the moment.

SW-Avatar Mr Midnight was just explaining how cool it is for a cat to behave like  a dog, or words to that effect.

author-Avatar Whatever for?  If you´re a cat, shouldn´t you behave like a cat?

MM-Avatar I was only practicing my dog language daddy. It seems to be cooler than a cats language and anyway, it can´t be a bad thing to want to learn another language.

author-Avatar Yes, that´s true. One can never have enough foreign languages under ones belt but one should also not forget ones true identity.

MM-Avatar I don´t wear a belt daddy but does that mean I may still continue with my studies?

author-Avatar You may do as you please Mr Midnight (you usually do anyway!) but try not to copy another´s way of living. Be yourself – you´re just as magnificent (and as cool) as anybody else. Let me give you  a few examples from my daily life.

My garage door has an advertisement upon it from a local businessman. On the eve of the 1st of May, my garage door was deliberately defaced with graffiti by the local youths of my German village. Thank goodness they only used chalk,  so  their prank was  not  taken too  seriously. However, I found it quite  amusing that they obviously, have problems  spelling  simple  english words.

Among other things, they had written the word  “Looser” , many times, next to the advertisement on my garage door. It is quite common to want to “copy”  the english/american language in many forms of conversation in Germany, but if wanting to write foreign words in public, such as the word  “Loser”, should one not  at least,  look it up beforehand,  as to how it is  properly written?

Who is the loser now?  It´s certainly not “cool” to use another language in public without knowing how the words are properly written or spoken.

MM-Avatar That is why I´m practicing my “foreign”  language  daddy. I don´t want to make myself look ridiculous in public.

author-Avatar Which is certainly a good thing Mr Midnight.

The native english-speaking world (at least those who are living in the UK)   are usually quite hopeless at foreign languages with many other countries citizens having a better grasp of our (english) language than we of theirs.

I believe that most native english speakers would freely  admit that they were indeed, not a genius of foreign languages. (There are exceptions!)

Languages are changing all the time and the French language still plays a large part in many english words of today.  French authorities have also  decided to continue their ban  of english words with which to “protect and modernise” their own language – a move which helps preserve the French  “identity”.  In Germany, the clocks seem to run differently with it being common practice to want to adopt almost anything that happens to come from the United States – including the use (or misuse) of the english language.

SW-Avatar What do you mean by misuse of the english language daddy?

author-Avatar That it is a shame that although many citizens of my country (Germany) master the english language much better than most english people master a foreign language,  correct english  pronunciation is often ignored. Most are under the impression that the english language is so easy to learn.

It does not matter if a normal citizen pronounces foreign words wrongly (I do it all the time! )  🙂 but if one is  being paid for ones “english skills” (such as a news presenter,  radio or TV journalist or any other professional  english-speaking vacancy) then one should be fit in languages (at least in the english language) when presenting oneself before the general-public.   Afterall, the TV consumer will be under the impression that the newscaster has spoken the words properly. There seems to be something wrong with  the German education system as regards proper english pronunciation.  Even when leaving the topic of dialects or American /English pronunciation differences by the wayside,  it is still  quite typical to hear the constant eradication of the letter “a” into an “e” sound when pronouncing “english” words.

SW-Avatar ……..Possibly because the natural flow of the language has not been understood. If you use a language and are unable to detect the fine trimmings  of that language then it will obviously sound a little weird to native ears.

author-Avatar German people  have   corrected  me many times as to my pronunciation of english words.  I mean; I´m english. I think I know how to speak my own language.

MM-Avatar You must speak a strange accent daddy otherwise the good people wouldn´t criticise you.  What would they call me if they pronounced what I am in the english language?

author-Avatar Based on experience, you would be called a “bleck ket” instead of a black cat.

MM-Avatar And with which to compare; what if we “played with the letters” when saying what I am in the German language?

author-Avatar …..then you would be called a “Schwetze Ketze” (properly written Schwarze Katze) which to my knowledge,  would mean that you were  an “heretic gossiper”.       (Schwaetzer = gossiper,  Ketzer = heretic)

MM-Avatar I don´t think I like the sound of that. It  doesn´t sound nice daddy. I can see how important word pronunciation really is. All sorts of misunderstandings can happen.

author-Avatar The english language seems to avoid any such confrontations by simply changing difficult to pronounce  places or words  into an english sounding name.

I told you that we were useless at languages!  Koeln becomes Cologne, Muenchen becomes Munich, and Jerez in Spain becomes Sherry. Problem sorted. One  has to accept that one is sometimes poor at foreign pronunciation.

SW-Avatar I want to stick with my identity daddy so I will continue to use my “cat” language. For example:- Multiple meows for excited greetings. A drawn-out mrrrooooooowwwwww for a complaint or displeasure. A pur for close attention or contact. A hiss for a sign of aggression.

We also use body language. Such as me twitching my tail when being excited or anxious.  Tail vibrating when very excited to see you. Dilated pupils when playful or excited, as well as meaning aggression, and rubbing against you to “make you my own”.  If I give you a lick; that is the ultimate gesture of trust.

We have many other sound and body languages but I do not wish to bore the readers.

author-Avatar It is important to be who you really are and to not be a copy of something that we are not. If we discover  our true identity, we will be at our most happiest.

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To close, one last scenario I experienced at the supermarket not so long ago.

The other day I was “fishing” around  for a pizza in the deep-freeze department of my local supermarket.  I couldn´t help over-hearing the conversation of the two old ladies standing next to me. (They spoke in loud tones).After also having rummaged around the freezer  for the right pizza for their evening meal, one of them commented (conversation was in German!);

“Doris, why don´t we take that nice “Schinken” (Ham) pizza? You know that I like a bit of tasty “Schinken”.

“Alright Hildgard, I´ll look forward to eating that”

Doris  picked it up and  placed it in her basket.  At the same time, I couldn´t help noticing that the two old ladies either couldn´t see properly or that they possessed little  knowledge of the english language.

It is quite common within German advertising to want to appear cool and modern and it is with such a mentality, that large areas of the general-public are simply  ignored with companies   packaging their products with large amounts of “English/American” words and slogans .

I thought to myself; Shall I tell them or not,  and  partly because of the situation appealing to my sense of  humour and also  believing that no harm would be done otherwise, I decided against informing them of their mistake.

They had mistaken the word “Schinken” for “Chicken”!

I could imagine them sitting around the table with their glass of red wine and Doris commenting;

“Hildegard, this Schinken (ham) tastes a little bit like “Huhn” (Chicken)!

SW-Avatar You see daddy, it is important that one attempts to live ones true identity, even though things are obviously, not always in our hands (or paws)!

MM-Avatar Did somebody say something about making a pause?

Bureaucracy and reality

      “Bureaucracy is the art of making the possible impossible”.    

                   ( Javier Pascual Salcedo)

author-Avatar I found this line to be so appropriate for many of todays  governmental bungling activities that I had to place it in my book, “Nice Place, Shame About the Human Race” at the top of Chapter 20;  “Advanced Germany? Lobbyism and Nursery-School Politics”.  In my opinion, it simply sums up the mentalities of most of our Western Governments.

SW-Avatar But why do humans need this bureaucracy thing if it makes your lives that much harder?

author-Avatar Well to some extent Sir Winston, I believe the need for  bureaucracy is beneficial for  society – it creates structures, protects the individual and helps produce fairness among society.  At least that is what I think it is  supposed  to do.  Problems seem to arise with beaureaucracy  because  those making the bureaucratic rules have a tendency to loose touch with reality and seem to revel in their (mis)use of appointed power.

SW-Avatar Why can´t humans just use their natural instincts to protect themselves and to steer them through life as to what is to be found as “fair” ?Mr Midnight and my feline friends do it all the time.  To my knowledge, I am unaware of  cat bureaucracy.   We live in the moment and get on with our lives.

author-Avatar Possibly because many “modern” humans seem to have lost most of their natural instincts. After having lived in artificial environments  for so long, many  seem to now not  know how to live in any other way.  One will often moan about ones surroundings,  but through  convenience, will carry on adhering to structures of yesterday and avoid much needed reforms.

SW-Avatar That is a very dangerous course of action. As you already know daddy, I don´t like things being moved about in the house  too much either but that is part and parcel of “life”.  Whether we like it or not, life is always on the move. It never stops and will always force changes.

author-Avatar Well many “modern”  humans still need time to get to grips with that idea Sir Winston. Change remains  uncomfortable for many. They would obviously much  sooner carry on avoiding our changing  surroundings and continue to live their lives as though living in the european boom years of the 1960s /70s.  When things get ugly,  they then fail to understand why they may have lost their job or lifestyles, and will then  moan about the incompetences of others.   Such a tactic is possibly only human nature. Because bureaucratic institutions are also only human, they too,  will often fail to understand the need for change and adptation to more realistic policies.

SW-Avatar It sounds as though humans are frightened of the future. You seem to stick in your past because the past is what you all know. The future is always uncertain. To tell you the truth, I can´t think towards the future. Cats (as is the same with all animals) only live in the moment.

author-Avatar Which is a great way of living Sir Winston but humans do need to plan their futures. Its just a shame that we always tend to  trip up over our shoes in the process – such as  wanting to move forward, but at the same time,   placing too much emphasis upon policies made from times past.

SW-Avatar At the time, those past policies may have been correct, but a review and possible reform in some areas of those past policies must be seriously adopted if your “human race” is to succeed into the future. We cats love to stretch and keep our bodies flexible. Why is the human race not as flexible with its ideas and actions?

author-Avatar We obviously need  anguish and hardship with which to function properly.

MM-Avatar Sounds whacky to me.

author-Avatar Take the European financial crisis for example.  I don´t know how long our financial crisis has now been on the go but there is not even a hint of a solution to our euro dilemmas in sight. Months fly by and our European governing bodies seem to stagger from one dilemma to the next. One area of concern is half-heartedly patched up and two more “holes in the system” appear.  If the roots of the dilemma are not sorted, (bank system being the main culprits) how is the ongoing euro crisis ever going to find a solution? Virtually month for month, a new country is added to the long list of countries requiring european financial bail outs. It´s a right mess.

It appears to be a   modern  human mentality  to want to “have something” without having done ones homework and weighed up all the pros and cons before executing ones policies. The “Euro” campaign was never properly thought out (having very few safety mechanisms).  Bureaucratic “mega-developments”; such as Germany´s “Stuttgart 21” project (a very expensive underground main railway station development) or the “way-out-of-control” financial disaster of the new Berlin Airport project being just a couple of  major financial disaster calamities of our “ruling elite”.

SW-Avatar Have you all gone completely mad? How can you want to stick in the past and want to live your lifestyles in the present, when your surroundings are changing at a rapid pace?

author-Avatar I think we have become blind to reality.

As of yet, the German citizen has not really been confronted with the hard austerity measures having been  put in place in many neighbouring European countries, (thank goodness)  with many still choosing to continue to live their lives  in a dreamy world of yesteryear. Indeed, until something happens, why should we all start to panic?

The truth of the matter is that there are sadly still many areas of the German workplace who believe that they are victims to society and  have an automatic  right to receive even higher  rates of pay. There is nothing to be said against moderation but the trend does seem to be one of  “take as much as you can get”, regardless of job security or not. I suppose the crying and moaning will come at the dawn of realisation that one may have bitten off more than one can chew.

SW-Avatar Can you give me an example for this “greediness”?

author-Avatar One extreme example could be the present strike wave in Germany; in particularly the one involving the German  car making industry.

Porsche, a sports car manufacturer, as well as Mercedes Benz have been particularly hard hit. The two companies are just down the road from me (Stuttgart area). The Unions want  5.5 %  more pay (12 month contract).

This may appear acceptable but Porsche has voluntarily given their workforce (every worker) a bonus payment of 7600 Euro (2011)  and 8111 Euro (for 2012) on top of their normal wage. This procedure is now quite common practice  in German car-making circles with Audi also issuing bonuses of about 8000 Euro to its workforce.

Has something somewhere gone completely out of hand?  Why would one  want to bite the hand that feeds?

Its nice that some companies try and take care of their workforce but I cannot understand how  so many people can get so  greedy and want  to strike when they are well looked after and the rest of Europe is thrown into financial turmoil.

What happens to the workers at those car plants  when there is nobody left (no money left) to purchase those nice motor cars?

Will they also feel that they are victims?

SW-Avatar That´s amazing.  Are there other examples for your greediness and living outside of reality?

author-Avatar There are loads Sir Winston but I will only mention one final comment.

It is a shame that people do not look at their wage slip properly. In Germany, there is so much tax taken out of the pockets of the general-public that many find that they have less to spend then they used to have.

SW-Avatar That would explain the obsessions for striking.

author-Avatar Whereas it is the “Net” wage which will  most interest the employee, it is the “Gross” wage which is actually paid out. Through  propoganda transmitted on various German  media channels, the German  general-public now  has the impression that the German State is poor and has little money with which to attend to all of its duties.  This fact is simply false.

The tax yield of the German State has constantly risen, especially  over the last 5 years, to an astronomical figure of over 600 billion Euros.

Is it no wonder that one finds it difficult to get by on a high wage?

MM-Avatar Daddy I´m getting hungry. Can we talk about something more pleasant next time?  I have hardly had a chance to say anything and now I´m off to look for my food-sticks.

author-Avatar O.K. Mr Midnight,  although Sir Winston kept grilling me with his inquisitiveness.

SW-Avatar See you next time (if you want) 🙂

Our loud world

————————————————–

It´s a sunday morning;  a little after ten, and I´m sitting on the top step of our porch;  bathing in the gentle rays of sun that at long last,  stroke my face.The air smells sweet (a hint of summer?) and is  still a little crisp from the night before.   I watch “the lads” on the unmowed  lawn  infront of me. They both seem to be occupied by something.

Mr Midnight is  not far away from me and is  crouched  with his  face just visible above the grass,  his big black eyes displaying signs of madness.Sir Winston is at   the other end of the garden, flanking Mr Midnights position, and begins to cautiously creep forward in his typical “cat”  stalking manner.

What are they up to?

—————————————————

MM-Avatar  What is Sir Winston playing at!.  He´s not going to have a chance in hell coming in from that position.

—————————————————

Mr Midnight obviously decided to take the initiative himself because quite suddenly, he raised his bum ever so slightly, wiggled it from side to side,  and unexpectedly pounced towards whatever had attracted his attention.

The bee majestically  floated upwards towards the sky,  as if having all the time in the world.

—————————————————-

SW-Avatar Why did you have to be so impatient   Mr Midnight?  I heard the bee sucking on what humans call a flower, so we had plenty of time. It was preoccupied.

MM-Avatar But as  you know,  you´re not as small as you once were.  Approaching from that side of the garden meant that you were blotting out the warm, light yellow thing in the sky which would have created a shadow, thus alerting the flying humming thing.

SW-Avatar I hadn´t thought of that Mr Midnight. I should have come from the other side. I only wanted to play with it – sorry for having made  a mess of things.

MM-Avatar Don´t worry about it Sir Winston, we all make mistakes 🙂

author-Avatar That seemed to have been a lot of fun  boys – but how did you know there was a bee in that flower,  I didn´t hear anything?

SW-Avatar Well to tell you the truth daddy, we often have difficulty detecting things like that but at night and on what humans call Sundays, we are more able to identify with our surroundings.

author-Avatar How do you mean Sir Winston?

SW-Avatar Fundamentally;  that a human world is a very loud world.  Humans obviously love to live as well as fast  lives, also very loud lives. If humans  do not  like loud lives, then they have evidently become so used to their surroundings that they do not know any other way of living and have accepted the loud “intereference”.

MM-Avatar  ….or most humans are now a little deaf and it seems to not matter how loud their surroundings are.  Only the other day, a fast moving machine like daddy has (although daddy informs me his machine moves more sedately – believe that if you will!) 🙂  nearly ran  over me.  The occupant was a young man and the bass tones emitting from his machine were so deep that my whiskers wouldn´t stop vibrating.  My ears hurt like hell – It wouldn´t be a surprise if that young human being suffered hearing problems at an early age.

author-Avatar Well I must agree that I have also noticed how loud our planet is. Interference surrounds us wherever we seem to go. It is no doubt a necessity to create noise if wishing to survive a modern-day living but some emphasis must also be placed upon more quieter surroundings if wanting to care for ones body more seriously.

It is quite amazing that you were both able to detect that bee in the flower without even having seen it.

SW-Avatar That is because feline hearing capabilities are  far more superior than that of human hearing. A typical human hearing range is around (in Hz) 64 – 23,000 whereas compared to us cats,  we hear in ranges between  (in Hz) 45 – 65,000.

MM-Avatar One could say that the higher tones are our speciality.

SW-Avatar ……and that is why we are able to hear the grass grow, hear diferrences in movements of air,  identify the movement of a worm underneath the soil….

MM-Avatar ……..and be deafened by noisy humans driving machines on two round things, be submitted to screeching sounds created by work machines,  be made to  have to put up with horrible objects that  make the green stuff short (but smell nice), and have to accept repeated fascinations for loud mobile phone ringing or loud objects that stroke the floor of the house twice a week.

SW-Avatar They call that a vacumn cleaner Mr Midnight.

MM-Avatar Well its all the same to me.  Things which make terrific noises  should all be forbidden. It is so disrespectful to us cats.

SW-Avatar Although the world is supposedly for all creatures, planet earth is still very much “controlled” by the human species. You´ll just have to accept that humans prefer to live in a loud environment and we cats will have to “like it or lump it”.

MM-Avatar Well I´m not one for “lumping” so i´ll go with it.

author-Avatar I must admit, I find it difficult to   imagine a world without noise, even if that world without noise was only for half an hour.  From a noise point of view;  it must have been fantastic to have lived in the 18th century. The only sounds being emitted would have been natural ones such as birds, horses trotting through the town, the general hum of people or other such “gentle” sounds.

Due to  our love for fast-paced lifestyles, gadgetry and constant accessability, many natural avenues of contemplation seem to have become switched off. What seems to count is that we are  constantly available – for everyone;  and at the same time, we forget lifes natural needs for being “in-contact” with ourselves.

SW-Avatar  That sounds a little naive daddy but I understand your slight frustrations.

MM-Avatar It´s no wonder that most humans seem to suffer some form of stress symptom.  You do not allow yourselves quality rest and are obsessed with your noisy devices.  You are so intelligent, but it seems a pity that  your intelligence is not put to use more often.  I will not give up hoping that you will one day, see the light.

Anyway, after having  stalked that bee and now spoken with my “bloggers” I think I´ll go and get “40 winks” and curl up in my basket.

It was nice having spoken with you all. Bye bye.

SW-Avatar….and I´m going to now think about what Mr Midnight said about stalking tactics. I don´t want to let him down next time.

author-Avatar I must apologise for Mr Midnights insensitivity towards the human race. He really cannot stand loudness but I hope he hasn´t offended anybody. I´ll write again in a week or so.

All the best.

 

 

 

Take good care of yourselves!

author-Avatar Today is the 1st of  May – a public bank holiday in  Germany, which although being related to the celtic  festival of Beltane and the Germanic festival of Walpurgis with  pagan origins,  had first been made  a German  public bank holiday in 1933 by the Third Reich.

1Mai

A national bank holiday postcard from 1934. (From my philatelic collection).

This now  allows me a little extra time to write another short piece on my blog. The motto of the day by the German Trade Unions  on this “Tag der Arbeit”  is the worthy causes relating to  the “Euro crisis” and solidarity.

MM-Avatar I   don´t understand the fascination for wanting to collect brown pieces of hard paper with disturbing pictures upon them. The gentlemen on the postcard  don´t even  seem to be having a good time. Their faces are as long as a wet weekend.  Just look at all the happiness and joy on their  faces. I thought you said it was a public holiday?

author-Avatar The postcard is from a different period of time Mr Midnight. In those days there was not much fun and games, although by the expressions on their faces, the postcard could also have been taken from today (but obviously without the ominous flags of the past flying  in the background).

MM-Avatar Are there any postcards with gloomy looking cats printed upon them from yesteryear? I can´t imagine that my ancestors never had much fun and games.

author-Avatar I suspect that cats have always had fun. You avoid living complicated lifestyles and know how to look after yourselves properly.

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Mr Midnight unexpectedly felt an itch on  his back and with his  legs spread-eagled, he quickly started licking the irritating area with which to relieve himself. At the same time, Sir Winston crawled out from underneath the security of the sofa and noticing Mr Midnights intensive “care-program”, he too, plopped down infront of me and started washing himself behind his ears and over his head with his paw.

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SW-Avatar It´s most important to look after oneself  properly daddy. I love to keep myself  nice and clean and my body actively flexible for lifes many situations.

author-Avatar That sounds quite reasonable Sir Winston and  I must admit, unlike  us humans,  you cats do tend to  take care of yourselves properly. You keep yourselves clean. You eat only what you need to eat (occasionally Mr Midnight does over-indulge a little although his figure still stays the same, the lucky devil). You take plenty of exercise and most importantly, you sleep enough with which to regenerate your body cells.

We humans are supposedly, the most intelligent creatures  upon the planet, but we do seem to  have massive problems in getting the basics right.

MM-Avatar Sorry for having to attend to that itch. I couldn´t quite  locate the little whippersnapper. Now where were we?

author-Avatar Basically, I was just talking about the difficulties  human beings have of  taking care of themselves properly. Even when  we have a public holiday, most of us find it  difficult to relax. We seem to always be working.

SW-Avatar I have read that  humans now seem to like contracting your new illness called burnout syndrome. It seems to be   getting quite popular.

MM-Avatar I´m sorry to have to keep asking questions but what the hell is burnout?

author-Avatar It´s an emotional illness that eats you up from within because of prolonged stress situations, nervousness and tiredness being just a couple characteristics being related to this illness. Put  simply, one is  overwhelmed by lifes persuasions that one literally “burns-up” .

MM-Avatar Good grief, do you think Sir Winstons friend from the last posting, squirrel, has burnout. He´s nervous most of the time.

SW-Avatar I think squirrels are allowed to have burnout because it is part of their nature.

author-Avatar Well I´m not sure about that Sir Winston but if you´re correct, squirrel does seem to be able to cope with his burnout.

MM-Avatar You never hear about “burnt-out” cats. Why do you all have to take life so seriously and be obsessed about collecting those paper things with numbers printed upon them.

SW-Avatar You should all learn to try and take care of yourselves.

author-Avatar Music sometimes works to calm the senses.

SW-Avatar “Music” is  the word you use for making a (pleasant or not so pleasant) noise with strange looking objects. Although I am a bit of a fan of daddies artist, Ryuichi Sakamoto, I know of another artist by the name of “The Three Degrees”. (whatever that should mean)       🙂

In 1975. they wrote a piece of music called “Take good care of yourself”. If humans like music so much, why do they not digest the wisdom of some of the lyrics they like?

author-Avatar Possibly because we forget things very quickly and are too wrapped up in our working environments. We have a lot of wisdom but often choose not to use it.

MM-Avatar Well that sounds whacky to me. You think you know everything and choose not to use it. Very sensible.

Chill out and try to  be as cool as us cats.

SW-Avatar Humans need time to sort things out Mr Midnight. One day, they may get “it”.

author-Avatar Although having  not much relevance to economics and the workplace, our “little talk”  reminds me of a formula I learnt at school in physics.

MM-Avatar I´m not even going to ask what physics means!    😉

author-Avatar Work = Force  x Distance.  In physics, the factor “Work” is expressed in Joules, Force in Newtons and Distance in Meters.

MM-Avatar You´ve lost me already. I think Sir Winston has to take over. Maybe he can explain this “physics” stuff  to me later.

SW-Avatar Can I take over daddy? I think I know what you want to say.

author-Avatar Go ahead Sir Winston.

SW-Avatar If today is the “Tag der Arbeit”, (Day of Work), then we could try and use the formula in a diferrent way. For example:-

The factor “Work” is displayed on the left hand side and has a factor of 100%.

The factors “Force ” and  “Distance” are displayed on the righthand  side and together, equal 100%.  The equation must remain balanced.

We could define  the “work” factor as being the total amount of pay we receive for our labours.

“”Force” is the amount of effort we put into our labours and “Distance” could be the length of time we work attending to our labours.

Thus: To receive our 100% wage we have to put in a certain amount of effort and time. (A 100% wage could be the figure we agreed on when having attained employment.)

If the “work” factor is increased (because of demands for more money) then would it not be logical to assume that either the “time” factor, or the effort we put in, must also be increased with which to maintain an even status-quo?

author-Avatar I couldn´t have put it better myself Sir Winston, although what we have just stated is rather basic and requires other factors and variables.

SW-Avatar But at least to a certain degree, it would explain why so many humans have now contracted this burnout syndrome.  Many place their dissatisfactions and burnout problems solely on the workplace and avoid the possibility that spare time and family matters are ALSO a contributing factor towards contracting burnout.

author-Avatar If we want more money from our employers, then as the example above may illustrate, we may have to put more effort into our labours which at some future point, may result in an overload of bodily functions and burnout.

Because our societies are based on creating money, our labouring must also be financed by somebody, somewhere.  Nothing is for  free in the societies we have created but  perhaps we should try and not place so much importance upon always wanting more money.  If being honest, it doesn´t seem to make us really happy does it.

MM-Avatar You have totally baffled me so I think I´m going to have a light snack and then I am going to get some “shut-eye”.

SW-Avatar Please people, take care of yourselves. Chill out, slow down, and be kind to yourselves a little more.

author-Avatar Thanks for your time. Until next time, bye for now.