The Church Mouse Speaks

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Church Mouse Speaks

The Church Mouse Speaks
August 2, 2006
Happy feast of St Peter Julian Eymard, whose devotion to the Blessed Sacrament led to the founding of 2 orders of priests and 1 order of nuns. He was a busy man. It is also the feast of Eusebius of Vercelli, a bishop, whose interesting life included defending St. Athanasius (not an easy thing to do--this is the man who threatened to punch Arius in the nose at the Council of Nicea. Rumor has it that St. Nicholas actually did punch him, but that's another story.) Eusebius moved more times than an illegal alien running from the INS, but he took the time to sock it to the Arians wherever he went. Old and tired, he finally made it back home to Vercelli, where they were actually glad to see him. His last years were so quiet and peaceful that nothing is known about them.
Big fun at the little house this morning. Bath was running. Phone was ringing (guess who?) Stasi was investigating bath, startled by phone, and fell in. Her considerable girth posed a bit of a challenge for getting out, but she sure didn't want any help. She finally scrambled over the side and fled the bathroom, leaving wet footprints all the way to the dining room table. She was still grooming herself and trying to look casual when I left for work. Bouncer thought the whole thing was hilarious. Stasi was not amused.
If things are active at the little house cat-wise, you should just look at 1405. With Julie and Tori-Ting moving in, the cat population is up to six. Will once had a book entitled Nobody Should Have Six Cats. As I recall, the solution to the six cat problem was adding a seventh. Hmmm.... Anyway, Tori is still Queen of All She Surveys, but Julie has decided she'll simply murder the competition. As she lacks front claws, her threats are missing a certain veracity, and the boys mostly ignore her, which seems to infuriate her even more completely. She whacked Bombay across the face. Now you must remember, this is kitty clawless attacking kitty myopic and cross-eyed. Bombay didn't even bother to hiss. Julie was completely nonplussed. She then attacked Boston, who, feeling that she must desire conflict of some sort, chased her into the bedroom closet. So... Bombay is napping on the bed, Tori is hissing from the top of the bed, Boston is pacing back and forth in front of the closet door, growling quietly, and Julie is doing a fairly good Banshee imitation from inside the closet. Welcome to the cat house!
Squeak! Ma

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Church Mouse Speaks
Feast of St. Cyril of Alexandria
Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria and Doctor of the Church, who died in A.D. 444, was a really cranky guy. He is perhaps best known for his peppery writings against Nestorius, with whom he was arrested on his way to the Council of Ephesus (an early case of election-rigging . . . Nestorius' party figured if they couldn't get to Ephesus in time, neither would Cyril) but over whom orthodoxy ultimately triumphed. Nestorius "retired to the Egyptian desert."
Stasi and Bouncer are getting along much better than Cyril and Nestorius. They play a game that reminds me of Winnie-the-Pooh. Remember when Pooh and Piglet were walking around and around the tree with Tigger in it, because they didn't know it was Tigger, and Pooh thought it might be a Jagular, and you have to be very careful of Jagualrs, because they drop on you? Well, Stasi positions herself on the dining room table with one paw hanging over the edge in tatalizing fashion. Bouncer circles the table, going faster and faster, until Stasi does her Jagular imitation and drops on him. Ooof! The next game leads me to believe at least one cat is a Terry Pratchet fan, because it looks very much like the game described in his novels as "Chase My Neighbor Up the Passage". This game managed to knock a large clock off a table. The next game was "Hide and Maybe She Won't Seek." I hope with all this running around they may both lose a little weight. Squeak! Ma

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

February 15, 2006

Happy day after the feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius! Happy Birthday to Mamma Janet in heaven! Happy birthday to Jean Donohoe! Happy birthday to Our Liz, tomorrow! Whew! By the way, Chandler Children, your Grandparents' wedding anniversary is the 19th, and this'll be the first with Grandma on earth and Grandpa in heaven. You might just give her a call or something. Aunt Pat should be with her by then, which will help enormously . . . and Grandma's birthday is February 26th. I know you all remembered, but I just wanted to remind you. Happy belated birthday to Will, who was born February 6th. Many wonderful people were born in February. Quite an accomplishment for such a short month. And in the "how old do you feel" department: Michael Fink is getting married on Saturday at Sacred Heart. Whoa. I think I'll go chug some Geritol now. It is not made with soybeans.
Squeak! Ma

Monday, January 16, 2006

January 17, 2006

Happy day before the feast of St. Anthony, Abbott, patron saint of animals along with St. Francis Assisi and hermit extraordinaire. I have placed myself under his patronage. The grandcats and I are having great fun, unrolling thusly: Day one, evening: What cats? I don't see any cats! O wait, that grey lump halfway under the couch is probably Stasi... Day two early morning: Sticky appears, demanding breakfast. The grey lump turns around, showing eyes and an ear-and-a-half. It is indeed Stasi. Day three, about midnight: I have a vision in the night of a huge black and white cat eating the leaves on the plant beside the bed. On waking, I check the plant, which has indeed been munched upon. So Smudge is here somewhere . . .Day four: Bouncer comes out of hiding (he's been behind the stove in the back room this whole time, emerging only to snatch a mouthful of food, complain about the fact that somebody dropped the feline Mafia off at his house without consulting him, and retreat again). Sticky sees him and hisses. Bouncer flees ignominiously. In the evening, which is quite cold, Sticky decides a warm bed is the better part of valor, and crawls in with me. Stasi, assuming that it must be at least partially safe and probably warm, snuggles at the foot of the bed. Smudge makes another foray upon the bedside plant. I move the plant. Frustrated, Smudge nuzzles under the covers, where Sticky bats his nose. Smudge flees. Day five: Smudge and Bouncer are now hanging out in the back room. Smudge prefers the IAMS dry food to the Purina dry food, so his dashes to eat are further down the hall. Stasi has discovered the upholstered chair by the window in the dining room, and spends her day looking out on the alley. Sticky wants the blinds up and the curtains pulled aside, thank you very much. Smudge takes a bite of rosemary and decides he doesn't like it much. Day six: There has been a certain amount of neutral nose-sniffing. Bouncer decides to do what he enjoys doing while I'm taking a bath, which is balance precariously on the edge of the tub and swish his paw in the water. Sticky decides to do the same thing. Within a few seconds, they catch sight of each other. Lots of hissing, some scrabbling, but, thank goodness I have no feline company in the bathtub. Liz, I hope you are having lots of fun, because I certainly am!
Squeak
Ma

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Church Mouse Speaks

Friday, November 11, 2005
Happy Feast of St. Martin of Tours, a very famous soldier-turned-monastic! Coincidentally, happy Veteran's Day! Peeg, I hope you are feeling better.
Linus and I had a horrifying experience last Tuesday, when we were attacked by a pit bull. Linus' leg was chewed to hamburger. The owner kept saying "I don't understand it, she's such a sweet dog!" At least he's paying the vet bills. The up side of this is that now we've got a vet in Birmingham, not far from the little house, and Linus, Lord love him, seems basically unaffected, personality-wise. He just keeps looking at his leg, which is completely encased in a huge bandage. The looks seems to say "This hurts. Why?" Fortunately he can still get into the cab of the truck, which means our routine is relatively the same, except that we're seeing quite a lot of the Birmingham vet. The attack was truly terrifying: the dog shot out of nowhere, no barking, no growling, no warning, and latched on to Linus' leg, then started working up the leg like a demented sewing machine. She was frighteningly close to his neck when her owner managed to pull her off. The leg looks like stitched together hamburger. That's as close to a Pit Bull as I everwant to be again. Okey dokey. Choir Camp is about to begin, so I'm off to work on Vivaldi. Liam, you'd enjoy this piece, it has lots of violins.
Squeak! Ma

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

October 11, 2005

Happy day after Stacy and Peeg's wedding anniversary! Happy day after Columbus day (observed), and happy day before Yom Kippur! Many wonderful things have happened since August. In no particular order: I got to spend almost a week with the most fabulous baby in the whole world, who is now nine months old, motorized, and curious about everything. Also eating food and speaking words. I don't know about Liam, but I had a wonderful time.
Last weekend was the Fiddlers' Convention. Sadly, Will, Meghan, Liam, Liz, Josh, and Nick were unable to attend, and were greatly missed, but those of the old guard who could be there had a good time. Joey brought Patrick, now six, whose resemblance to my brother Patrick at the same age is amazing. Maybe it's the name. He's quite an artistic talent. It's nice to be able to look at a six-year-old's art work and identify, say, Tweety Bird, instead of offering that old chestnut "how nice, why don't you tell me about it..." (Of course, there are certain artists, say, Jackson Pollack, to whom I'd say that anyway.) Jamie and Allie were there, Dave and Donna got formally engaged(according to Jerry, I did not actually see this happen), Dave entered the mandolin contest, Joey and Joseph did a really terrific rendition of "Roll in my Sweet Baby's Arms". The hit of the evening for me was a youngster who couldn't have been more than eight, who accompanied himself on the banjo while singing one of those mournful songs about "do her blue eyes miss my manly arms around her" with great feeling. (This is, I think, the same kid who sang "Big Rock Candy Mountain" without accompaniament last year, and forgot the words.) October second was the annual blessing of the animals in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, and the Bishop was out of town, so Fr. Donohoe agreed to do the blessing. Very sporting of him, considering...at least this year there were no snakes. One man brought two Great Danes, there was a Redbone hound howling through the whole thing, and two little girls, whose mother always dresses them beautifully, brought pet hamsters which matched their hair. Yep, the little blonde had a golden hamster and the brunette had a brown teddy bear hamster. There were also several hermit crabs. At some point during the blessing of individual pets, Father got distracted and started saying "I baptize you" instead of "I bless you." Steve insists he wants a baptismal certificate for Frances. The bishop, when he returned, apparently called Father Donohoe "Father pooper scooper"and in retaliation, Father Donohoe claimed to have cleaned up the front yard of the rectory with some pointy hats he found in the sacristy. The bishop's comeback was something to the effect of "I may be retired, Donohoe, but I'm not dead!"
Squeak!
Ma

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

July 13,2005

Happy Feast of St. Henry, a man worthy of admiration for many reasons: he was a Holy Roman Emperor, he drove Boleslaus I of Poland (murderer of Good King Wenceslaus, also his brother) out of Bavaria(his home country), and he maried a lovely woman named Kunigunda (try to say that three times fast...)! Why is it that (in the immortal words of a college buddy) the Good Samaritan always gets it in the end? Bouncer is currently undergoing surgery. Supposedly simple surgery. Guess again. The little monster is a cryptochord, which means major surgery to have him neutered. Not only is this surgery far more expensive and extensive, but it requires a period of convalescence and a return to the Vet to have staples removed. I wonder if he'll still be speaking to me when I pick him up? Since the alternative is continuing to be scent-marked in the middle of the night, que sera sera. Jerry is at this very moment winging his way to Japan, where I hope a marvelous time will be had by all. Kudos to Liz, who got up at 5:00 am to take her Daddy to the airport. Jerry tells me I'm supposed to pick him up. I hope he remembers to tell me when! On the Greyhound front, Linus has figured out how to get in the bath tub at the Little House without turning on the water. That's where I found him yesterday, looking morose. He really does dislike thunder.
Squeak!
Ma