Somewhat feline

Christmas is coming: did you know? … (Gentle reader is instructed to hold that thought, while he considers what follows.)


The last message in the combox of this Idlesite, when I removed it some months ago, said something to the effect, “You have cut off your nose to spite your face.” It was a variation on Van Gogh, I suppose, to disallow Comments. By several experts in our aging “new media,” I was told that they are the key to building an audience: people enjoy reading their own stuff, and everyone likes to watch a mudfight. I was also taught, even before I started this thing, that it must have photographs and videos to catch attention; and that I’d be a fool not to take advertisements, or to go fussy about what kind to accept, or how they popped up or blared out. Twitter, Facebook, and other googaws were earnestly recommended. Too, I was informed that donations through PayPal would only become significant if I did frequent and highly visible begging campaigns.

“Statistics” come with the dashboard of a blog, and though allergy prevents me from consulting them often, I did notice that my “dailies” took a big hit after the combox closed. They’ve been crawling back since, but PayPal donations have not recovered. The good news, on the other hand, is that in shutting down an increasingly time-consuming and vexatious distraction (for me), I also closed the principal channel for spamming and DOS attacks; my remnant may have noticed that these Essays in Idleness have not been taken down for a while by the Evil Hacker Fairy, or fairies. This I would count as the blessing.

But clearly, I must do something to improve revenue, for I continue penurious. From the start of Advent, I began posting every frigging day — and intend to persist, whether or not I have something to say. That certainly seems to help the numbers a bit.

And today, I think it is time to try cat blogging.


A reader remembers “Puddy Cat” (1981–97), her favourite pet from a Catholic childhood in rural Quebec — preferred even to a collie-shepherd dog named Monchou, and a quarter horse, named Gentle Ben. Taken in as a stray kitten, Puddy Cat was also adored by Monchou; and the horse, too, was enchanted by the little fur ball.

Once grown, she (the cat) slept all day, out of view except when eating. The other exception was when she (my correspondent) was saying the Rosary with her father. The cat disdained the saying of it at the dining table. Nor would she join them on the sofa for any general conversation. But when the Rosary was said on the sofa, by father and daughter from opposite ends, the cat would infallibly set herself in the middle between them — and this, from the minute they began the Creed.

(Sometimes she would bat at the dangling beads, but usually curl in sublime contentment.)


We have, up here in the High Doganate, a very large inventory of cat stories — larger, perhaps, even than the Russian or Chinese inventory of nuclear missiles. And let me fairly warn gentle reader, that if PayPal donations don’t step up, we are prepared to use them.


Another dangerous, arguably post-conciliar novelty that I contemplate, as a bait for cash, is the “Command Performance.” For the modest sum of fifty undervalued Canadian dollars, gentle reader may consider that he has paid, as it were, a “subscription” to my ramblings for a full year. But for Five Hundred Dollars, I will entitle him to assign me a Topic for one of these daily effusions, and promise to belabour it for at least five hundred words. Now surely, that is an offer which will appeal to every right-minded person, and only those less monied than I will be able to refuse.


Did you hold that thought right to the end? Well, if you didn’t, fear not, I will remind you: Christmas is coming!