Dear readers, I am back from a wonderful trip to Ireland, about which I will be writing here (and in other places) anon. I wanted to start with a picture of myself taken on Whiddy Island, Ireland. I rarely post — and even more rarely appreciate — pictures of myself. But I truly like this photo, because I think it sums me up in a frame. I will write more about this photo later, and in particular this cat, but for now I would just like to thank my colleague Hermann Low for taking and sending it. Danke.
They deserve our respect:
Everything alive is essentially a mystery, and pigeons, with their extraordinary mental and physical powers, are more mysterious than most. They were domesticated thousands of years ago, long before chickens or ducks, which makes them the bird on Earth to which we have the longest close relationship. Pigeons matter.
If you go to my National Geographic page, and scroll through my photos, you will see a few pigeon pics. Also, a couple of previous blog posts concerning pigeons: here and here.
Ahmed Bharoocha – first part is cute, second part is that to which the title of this post refers.
Was away on a trip, hence the lack of blogging. Will post about our trip (a couple of weeks away in Europe) later, but to begin with, a birdie in the Luxembourg Gardens. I think he looks very French.
It’s his day and as such, I will link back to what I put up on this site two years ago – my favourite Burns poem, To a Mouse. (Yes, I realize the actual name of the poem was not simply To a Mouse.) Burns must have been something of an early animal rights guy, because he also wrote The Wounded Hare:
Inhuman man! curse on thy barb’rous art,
And blasted be thy murder-aiming eye;
May never pity soothe thee with a sigh,
Nor ever pleasure glad thy cruel heart!
Go live, poor wand’rer of the wood and field!
The bitter little that of life remains:
No more the thickening brakes and verdant plains
To thee a home, or food, or pastime yield.
Seek, mangled wretch, some place of wonted rest,
No more of rest, but now thy dying bed!
The sheltering rushes whistling o’er thy head,
The cold earth with thy bloody bosom prest.
Perhaps a mother’s anguish adds its woe;
The playful pair crowd fondly by thy side;
Ah! helpless nurslings, who will now provide
That life a mother only can bestow!
Oft as by winding Nith I, musing, wait
The sober eve, or hail the cheerful dawn,
I’ll miss thee sporting o’er the dewy lawn,
And curse the ruffian’s aim, and mourn thy hapless fate.
Bukowski wrote this lovely poem about (his) cats:
I know. I know.
they are limited, have different
but I watch and learn from them.
I like the little they know,
which is so
they complain but never
they walk with a surprising dignity.
they sleep with a direct simplicity that
humans just can’t
their eyes are more
beautiful than our eyes.
and they can sleep 20 hours
when I am feeling
all I have to do is
watch my cats
I study these
they are my
How about this lovely guy? Saw him in Sudbury Thanksgiving weekend.
I am catching up here on things about which I should have posted earlier – for example, the death of animal advocate Tom Regan, someone who has been a big influence on my thinking. One of my favourite Regan quotes:
Because we have viewed other animals through the myopic lens of our self-importance, we have misperceived who and what they are. Because we have repeated our ignorance, one to the other, we have mistaken it for knowledge.
Check out his library here.
Here are some more kitties from my visit to Rome’s Protestant Cemetery.
A mighty hunter!
Still life with pine cone.
Alert black and white chap.
Orange cat contemplates life at Keats’ grave.
There is a managed colony of stray and feral cats living in Rome’s Protestant Cemetery. I think they like being near the pyramid: reminds them of when they were gods. I have many pics of them, including some here at my Flickr page (if this is not public, forgive me) and here at my National Geographic page (it definitely is public). I’ll start with a few and post more in days to come.
Calico beauty (if you look at my old photos from the links above, you will see that this kitty has been thriving at the cemetery for a few years).
Kitty on a tomb, using it to get up into a tree.
Kitty in the tree.