What´s the purrrpose?

       I´ve asked you this question once before Sir W. but I´ve gone and forgotten again.

What do you think is the purrrpose of our existence on the planet?

       I think I´m here this time around to simply look after you Mr Midnight.

       Well, that´s quite nice because I thought exactly the same; that is, not that I came here to look after myself but to take care of you.

I believe we cats are quite good at taking care of things.

Let´s ask daddy what he thinks about his purrrpose in being here. Purrrhaps he´ll say that he´s here to look after us two. That would be quite nice wouldn´t it Sir Winston.

Daddy, what do you think is the purrrpose of your existence?

       I´m not quite sure Mr Midnight. Perhaps I´m here with which to gain further experience for some future life.

       That sounds quite plausible for my ears. Gaining experience is always a necessity if our souls are to progress.

       And you really believe that human beings will believe in such a notion Sir Winston?  I suspect that the majority of human beings living in our neck of the woods would appear to believe in something quite different.

        Quite true Mr Midnight, but there are some people dotted around the planet who share a similar concept to ours.

       Well, nobody really knows do they? If we did keep coming backwards and forwards then we all seem to forget so easily. I wonder why we cannot remember anything about our previous lives.

       Purrrhaps our minds are going. In my opinion, some people seem to have already lost their minds, but I´m only speaking as a cat and am therefore, a little biased towards human observation.

       There must be a purpose for our existence.

      Why?

Do we really have to have a purrrpose?

       I think we must have a purpose because otherwise, life wouldn´t make much sense to me.

       Purrrhaps a purrrpose for our existence is to simply have fun and to enjoy our experience.  That´s why I love feeding time. That cat milk daddy dished up the other night was super-dooper.

       Drinking nice milk is perhaps a reason to exist Mr Midnight but whatever the reason for our existence, we should all try and make the best of our short stay on this wonderful planet of ours.

       Okey dokey! I´m heading straight for the kitchen.  It looks like daddy´s going to make my life even more pleasant.

       Who mentioned anything about feeding time just yet?  I certainly didn´t.

       You know how easily Mr Midnight gets confused daddy.

       OK boys. I will make your existence even nicer.

       Goody, goody!

 

(C) Copyright MAGS 2018

 

 

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Where are the positive role models?

       I love sitting here on my favourite step in the garden. It´s such a pleasant day and the air angels smell really, really nice. What a wonderful kingdom I live in.

Oh, hello Sir Winston, nice to see that you are also up and about on this fine, warm day.

       Well, I am not really “up and about”; I am more like “lying down and about”.

       You do have a funny way with words Sir Winston, but it´s nice to see you still have your humour in place. Humour is the medicine of life.

In a way, you are a bit of a role model for me Sir Winston because no matter what the situation, you tend to enlighten me with your humour. You never seem to lose your humour.

As for me, I tend to get easily frustrated when things don´t go my way. Still, no cat´s purrrfect are they!

       Well, as you are aware, I do have many faults . . . . .

       . . . . . like when you “accidentally” drank all of my milk out of that saucer thing the other day?

       Sorry about that Mr Midnight, I couldn´t help myself and if it is of any help, I did feel rather bad about it afterwards.

       I should jolly well hope so!  Still, let bygones be bygones, eh? 🙂

       I`m glad you still like me Mr Mr Midnight, and admitting that I am sometimes a kind of positive role model for you pleases my heart.

Do you think there are any positive role models left in the human world Mr M. ?

       From my observations – I very much doubt it.

I suppose daddy could be seen as being a role model for me, but I don´t think that would count would it? It would be a little biased and making him my role model just because he strokes me and opens those wonderful tins everyday for me doesn´t count either I suppose.

Public figures who also, happen to be positive role models are very rare these days Sir Winston.

       I thought exactly the same Mr M.  It´s a shame isn´t it. I feel a society needs positive role models. The human world appears to be saturated with lies, fake stuff and greed. There must be a few people out there who are still interested in proper values.

       Oh, I´m sure there are Sir Winston, but they are just very difficult to find. Naturally, nobody is going to openly admit that they occasionally stoop as low as to lying, faking or being greedy, but that in my opinion, is where things start as to being a positive role model. Being truthful to oneself.

I suppose it´s only human (and catly) to occasionally do things we would sooner not but at least we should acknowledge the fact and not pretend that we are all little angels.

       Of course we are all little angels. The angels live in our souls.

       Yes, I know, we all have goodness within us. We should just let it shine more often.

       Well, I think that there are not many positive role models left simply because we all tend to want to live conveniently and are rather lazy.

       Perhaps the humans have observed us pussycats for far too long.

       That could be a contributing factor. But seriously Mr Midnight, I think that it is much easier for our present society to focus their attentions on lower energies and values than it is to look up, and focus, on positive role models. To orientate oneself on a positive role model may require hard work and initiative if one it to achieve the same high standards. It is much easier to attain low standards.

       I don´t like your patter but you could be correct in your assessment Sir W.

I suppose at the end of the day, the individual can only choose if they wish to positively form their character or not. As for me, I believe it is well worth while. Acquiring positive values and displaying them in public is indeed, a rarity, which makes one stand out in the crowd.

Thank you for being a positive soul for me to attain better standards Sir Winston.

       Please, please Mr Midnight, don´t make me blush!     🙂

(C) Copyright MAGS 2018

 

Change

I find that Saturday afternoon has always been something special to me. Although I have always worked Saturday mornings, when I get home in the early afternoon, there always appears to be some kind of magic in the air. Perhaps it´s the knowledge that the “working week” has finished for me and I have a few days ahead; or perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I can now take my time attending to my many household chores with the conservative knowledge that Sunday will be the day of rest (at least in our part of the woods!).

Such an afternoon had once again, crept up on me, and I had decided that I would go into the garden to dig up a piece of the lawn in which to make a flower bed and plant a few small bushes.

       What on earth is going off daddy. You´re ruining our little patch.  Are you allowed to just go and change our kingdom like that?

       I thought I would make the garden a bit more interesting. You´d have another area in which to sit.

       Well, I was quite fond of our green kingdom as it was. I know the garden off by paw – what with its many pleasant smells and adorable features.

Now it´s going to be different – AGAIN!

       What´s he up to now Mr Midnight?  The kingdom looks a right mess. It was all nice and pretty before daddy got his botanical gadgets out of the shed.

       Boys please! I thought I would tidy the garden up a bit and make it a bit more attractive for you.

       I bit more attractive?  It looks a right mess.

       I have just started Mr Midnight. I know it doesn´t look much at the moment, but if you would try to be a little bit more patient, it will look a lot better in a couple of hours.

       But why put all the time and effort into it daddy? It looked fine before you started. The green kingdom has always looked how it has. I liked it as it was before.

       Don´t you feel we could do with a little change sometimes Sir Winston?

       Change?  A cat who wants “change” must be ill somehow.  We cats are not so keen on change.

       I can vouch for you Sir Winston. Why change something when you´ve got used to something? It´s nice keeping things just as they are.

       Well, I am quite aware that the modern human race has a big problem with “change” and adapting to new environments but I never thought you two would adopt such a stance.

I am only attending to this small piece of garden. It´s not going to change your lives. You never know, in a few weeks you may even like what I have done.

       We´ll see daddy. We´ll see.

       You carry on then. You can´t leave it like it is. It looks terrible. What will Mr Dog from next door think?

       I´m sure Mr Dog will be over the moon when I have finished. Unlike you two, he´s very flexible to adaption.

Life is always on the move and never stays put, so a small change in the garden isn´t going to do any harm.

We´ll see how you like it when the garden is in full bloom. I think you´ll be surprised if you accept “change” as a chance for something better.

(C) MAGS 2018

The changing weather

       We´ve been having quite a bit of snow these last few weeks, haven´t we.

       I´m not too keen on all that white stuff. It´s so terribly cold underfoot.

       I´m quite fond of it myself. It looks so very pretty and it appears that nature slows down, or even falls into a deep sleep. I love sleeping.

       I suspect you don`t mind the white stuff because you don´t have to shift it all in the morning, Sir Winston. That´s daddy´s job.

       Snow is all part and parcel of living in the Black Forest in winter but to tell you the truth, my British roots prefer a life without all this snow.

       Why do they make it all white daddy?  Is it because they want to make our world appear pretty again?

       “They” make it snow simply because that´s how our weather system works Mr Midnight. When at the right temperature, moisture in the air turns into snow.

       Weather systems are changing all the time Mr Midnight. I find that things are getting more dramatic as the years go by.

       That must be because of the humans. They love faffing about with everything and one reaps what one sows.

       Some of us humans believe the changing weather has nothing to do with human existence.

       You could have fooled me!  🙂

       I believe it has something to do with the natural behaviour of our planet and catylistic attitudes and lifestyles of the human race.

       I think that most of us humans are aware that climate change is moving at a rapid pace, but because we are humans, the individual believes that he/she cannot do anything about it.

If applying such a mentality, it becomes obvious that our futures are going to change quicker than most of us want to believe.

       Us cats just look after ourselves. I thought you humans were a little cleverer than our cat philosophy.

If you all made a slight effort to rectify your lifestyles then future generations would also have a chance to enjoy this wonderful planet.

       I´ll not give up. I still have hope.

       Some of us humans are getting to grips with the climate situation and although it´s a hard and difficult path, I do believe we will get there in the end. Afterall, anything with a value is worth fighting for.

(C) Copyright MAGS 2018

Intolerance, authoritarianism and nationalism

It was a wet sunday afternoon and Mr Midnight, Sir Winston and myself had decided to go upstairs into the study to make a comfortable afternoon. I made a fresh cup of my favourite darjeeling (Steinthal First flush) and then went upstairs with my two lads close behind. After a while, our topic of conversation turned to a topic which was becoming more and more prominent every day in the world news.

Here is a jist of our conversation:-

       I don´t understand it all. So much victimhood and dissatisfaction uncontrollably seems to spread around the “modern” world like a mad virus.

       I think that´s partly due to the new craze of the times.  That crazy thing called Nationalism.

       There´s lots of information here in these books daddy about your human thing called Nationalism.

I think Nationalism is an evil.

It causes wars, its roots lie in xenophobia and racism, it is a recent phenomenon – an invention of the last few centuries – which has been of immense service to demagogues and tyrants but to no one else.

       Quite true Sir Winston. Disguised as patriotism and love of one´s country, it trades on the unreason of mass psychology to make a variety of horrors seem acceptable, even honourable.

       I see what you  mean daddy.  Here´s an example:  if someone said to you, “I am going to send your son to kill the boy next door”, you would quite rightly hotly protest. But let him seduce you with  “Queen and Country!”, “The Fatherland!”, “My Country right or wrong!” and you will find yourself permitting him to send all our sons to kill not just the sons of other people, but other people indiscrimanately – which is what your bombs and bullets do.

It´s a mad, mad world out there!

       Look daddy in this book. That not very nice gentleman, Mr Hitler, once said, “The effectiveness of the truly national leader consists in preventing his people from dividing their attention, and keeping it fixed on a common enemy”.

       That man was truly off his rocker wasn´t he. How ill can one get.

       Here´s a quote from Goethe who once remarked that nationalistic feelings “are at their strongest and most violent where there is the lowest degree of culture”.

       That Mr Goethe was a smart fellow wasn´t he.

       But he also proves that nationalistic tendencies are not only a sign of our present times because he died quite a few years ago.

       Nationalists take certain unexceptionable desires and muddle them with unacceptable ones.  We individually wish to run our own affairs; that is unexceptionable.  Most of us value the culture which shaped our development and gave us our sense of personal and group identity; that too is unexceptionable. But the nationalist persuades us that the existence of other groups and cultures somehow puts these things at risk, and that the only way to protect them is to see ourselves as members of a distinct collective, defined by ethnicity, geography, or sameness of language or religion, and to build a wall around ourselves to keep out “foreigners”.

It is not enough that the others are other; we have to see them as a threat –  at the very least to “our way of life”, perhaps to our jobs, even to our daughters.

       Your human idea of nationalism suggests that of a “nation”. The word is meaningless: all “nations” are mongrel, a mixture of so many immigrations and mixings of people over time that the very idea of ethnicity is largely comical, except in places where the boast has to be either that the community there remained so remote or disengaged, or so conquered, for the greater part of history, that it succeeded in keeping its gene pool “pure” ( a cynic might say “inbred”).

       I do hope you humans get your act together because we all, even little pussy cats, have the same basic wishes in life; namely to live in peace and be loved.

       I´m going down stairs now to get another cuppa. All this stuff about nationalism on a Sunday afternoon has dried my mouth out.

       I couldn´t agree with you more daddy. Our topic this time round is very dull and dry. I think  I will join you and have a large bowl of milk.

       I´m all up for that, but before we go, allow me to quote some wise words from a Mr George Bernard Shaw.

He said; “Patriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it….”

His words certainly make me think!

 

(C) Copyright MAGS 2017

* This article was based on an extract from the book “The Meaning of Things” by A C Grayling.

The decline of good manners

DSCN0634       I was always of the opinion that humans loved their rules and regulations Sir Winston.

Come on. Let´s go inside and ask daddy what he thinks about it all.

MM-Avatar       Daddy, daddy.  We were both outside, basking on the boulders over-looking the place where you humans put your smelly machines by the school, when we happened to notice how selfish  you humans sometimes can be.  I mean despite all of your rules and regulations, most of you avoid abiding by them.

SW-Avatar       What´s the point in creating rules when you don´t abide by them?

Oh yes, most of you believe that you are correct in your actions but because most of you are  busy and  rushing about all the time you all seem to forget one very important aspect to living in a community – that of possessing decent manners.

author-Avatar       Has something attracted your attention?

MM-Avatar       Well we find it quite interesting that you humans seem to expect things from everybody else but you hardly manage to live by those standards yourselves.

SW-Avatar       Actually, the scenes we  observed were really quite comical.

Your motor vehicles were all “parked” at the school at strange angles;  some  owners obviously requiring two parking spaces in which to park their vehicle.  All of a sudden,  the humans who drive those smelly things all tried to leave at the same time with hardly anybody  happening to show respect or  courtesy towards the other.  From our vantage point atop the boulders it looked like mayhem and madness.

MM-Avatar       I would have thought that thoughtful behaviour would be common decency in such a situation but you humans appear to be frightened of being the last or frightened somebody else could get the better of you.  No wonder most of you only seem to think about yourselves most of the time.  We cats are much more considerate towards one another. 🙂

author-Avatar       You both could be correct in your assessment.

The “modern” human world does seem to have sadly  lost most of its principles as to what is to be termed as having good manners.

MM-Avatar       Well a good start towards setting the right tone would be if you could  all manage to smile a bit more when in public – that is if you could steer your eyes away from your mobile phone thingys.

We cats can´t smile very well although Cheshire Cat did have a go once by grinning all the time.

author-Avatar       I think human beings should all take a refresher course in how to behave properly in public. Here´s part of an article I found on the internet the other day. I found it on Daily Mail online.  Here´s the link:-

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2620496/Queue-jumping-swearing-making-calls-till-manners-decline-judge-theirs.html#ixzz3DBLCLlIu

And here´s what they had to say:-

“Emma Soames, editor-at-large, Saga Magazine, said: ‘Despite many of us saying we judge others by their manners it seems that we all need to take a refresher course in acceptable manners.

‘It’s startling that so many people avoid holding doors open and giving up seats on public transport and don’t seem able to detach themselves from their smartphones to give people, even their friends, the courtesy of their undivided attention.’

More than a third of adults say they would tell people off for bad manners, with that figure rising to almost half of over 55s, this age group is also most likely to judge someone on the standard of their manners.’
WHAT TABLE MANNERS DO YOU THINK ARE MOST IMPORTANT?

1. Chewing with your mouth closed

2. Not having your phone at the table

3. Thanking people who have invited you to dinner

4. Not playing on games consoles at the table

5. Waiting for all meals to arrive before starting

6. Using your knife and fork correctly

7. Not clearing up plates while someone is still eating

8. Bringing wine or flowers to a dinner party as a gift to the host

9. Making an effort to make conversation

10. Keeping elbows off the table

11. Asking to leave the table when you’ve finished

12. Finishing all food before you leave the table

SW-Avatar       Well at least some of you humans are on the ball.

As we have already mentioned, we cats don´t need any of your human manners but then again, we´re still in contact with our intuition.  You humans should use your manners more often because you are very social creatures and you would all make your lives a bit easier if you were more polite and respectful towards one another.

author-Avatar       I must agree that it is nice to know that some people ARE strong believers of good manners.

To finish off, here´s a small diagram from the Daily Mail Online feature which illustrates “Manners” in the UK.

blog manners

If you can´t read it properly, either click on the diagram or  insert the Daily Mail link into your browser.

MM-Avatar       Don´t get too down-hearted folks.  Just let it all hang out and show the folks YOUR decent manners.  You´ll be amazed at the results!   😉

 

(C) Copyright mags 2014

The New Year

MM-Avatar       What was that terrifying din the other night?  I was scared out of my wits.

There I was, half asleep,  curled up nice and tightly in my box  with Sir Winston purring away perched on top of daddy when suddenly, this almighty horrific racquet burst through the tranquility of our late evening.

Things you call “bells” were ringing  loudly, the sky was unnaturally  illuminated with fantastic  colours and the smell I smelt afterwards was atrocious.

The worst thing about it all was the painful sounds which continually disturbed the peace.   The two of us didn´t know where to run so we both dived under daddy´s bed and as  scared as hell, decided to wait it out.

SW-Avatar       What a night.  Daddy tried to comfort the both of us but we weren´t having any of it.  The whole situation was quite horrible and fur-raising.

What was going off?  It´s happened before but a very long time ago.

author-Avatar       I can imagine  you suffered a most terrifying ordeal.  I´m afraid there is nothing I can do about the situation.  People love their fireworks.

It only happens once a year so I´m afraid  you´ll both just have to grin and bear it.

MM-Avatar       If you´re afraid,  what are we supposed to do?

author-Avatar       Humans all over the world love to celebrate the beginning of a new year.

SW-Avatar       And what about the animals who do not have it as comfy as Mr Midnight and myself?  They´re out all night and haven´t got the foggiest idea what is happening.  They must be absolutely out of their minds with fear.

MM-Avatar       I don´t think  humans are particularly bothered about other animals Sir Winston.  If  humans believe that they are the highest species on the evolutionary ladder then then will disrespectfully, carry on with their goings off.  Just like daddy said, we´ll just have to grin and bear it.

Cheshire Cat must have had to endure quite a lot of disrespectful human behaviour because he was grinning all the time.

author-Avatar       We humans do not mean to cause any harm and I´m sure that the majority would curb their partying if they knew the pressures and fears most  animals had to suffer because of human frivolity.

MM-Avatar       Well I´m all up for pawtying and laughs but does it have to be so seemingly decadent?

author-Avatar       We´re not aware of our actions – we just want to have a good time.

SW-Avatar       What is this “New Year” thingamajig anyway?

author-Avatar       All cultures and religions have differing dates for the start of their new year. The “modern world” aknowledges the start of the New Year on the 1st January.  Basically, New Years eve is a time for family and friends to celebrate the start of the coming New Year and with which  to reflect on the passing of the old year.  It is a very old tradition and celebrated all over the world.

MM-Avatar        I don´t like eating dates – they make me go to the loo.

So humans all over the world celebrate their New Year on this one night at the end of december?

author-Avatar       No Mr Midnight.  We celebrate on the 31st December because our New Year commences on the 1st January.

Jews celebrate their New Year  (Rosh Hashannah)  between mid September and early October.

Islamic parts of the world have based their calendar on the Lunar Calendar (354 days)  beginning in the year 622 AD in the honour of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

In India, each State and branch of Hinduism has its own date (usually between March or mid April)

The Chinese New Year  (Lunisolar) is between the 21st January and the 19th February.

Over the years, there have been a few changes to the calendar system in Europe. Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian Calendar in 1582    with England changing it´s calendar from the Julian to the Gregorian  in 1752. Up until the 20th Century, the Eastern Orthodox Church still used the Julian Calendar.  In fact, there are  many types of  calendars used all over the world today.

SW-Avatar       You humans certainly love your calendars and mathematics.

For us cats and other animals, time doesn´t matter. We live in the moment. We do not need a calendar.

MM-Avatar       And it looks like  you humans don´t really know the true beginning of your calendars anyway.  From what you´ve said above, nobody seems to have a clue as to when a New Year commences.  You all use your seperate beliefs.  Still, if it makes you happy.   🙂

SW-Avatar       If you must use a calendar, wouldn´t it be logical to start a New Year on your  22nd of December?

author-Avatar       And why should we?

MM-Avatar       Because it would make a little more sense. You have calculated that European inhabitants  live in the Northern hemisphere and your winter solstice occurs on the  21st of December.  The winter solstice (beginning of winter)  has the longest night and therefore, everyday that proceeds makes the night a little shorter.

It would therefore be logical to start a New Year when the days start to get longer.

author-Avatar       In ancient times, the winter solstice had deep, cultural significance and was one of the biggest festive events of the year.

Nowadays, the solstice  seems to pass us by.

MM-Avatar       That´s probably because you Christian humans have got that Jesus guys birthday on your minds.

SW-Avatar       I suppose it doesn´t really matter in what year we all live. The main thing is that people are nice to one another and that they attempt to live their lives in the moment.

MM-Avatar       That´s right Sir Winston.  So next time you all wish to play about with your fireworks and make a terrific din, we´ll try to ignore your strange pawtying antics and chill out as best we can.  We cats are usually, quite cool anyway.   🙂

MM-Avatar  SW-Avatar  author-Avatar      Have a great  New Year, whenever that may be !!

Copyright mags (C) 2014