A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to author Roby Sweet. Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Miss Cuddlywumps’ Resolutions for 2014, with Bonus Guide to Being More Like a Cat



 I, Miss Cuddlywumps, am a classically educated cat with a talent for solving mysteries. I am also beautiful and witty. I am therefore already perfect and need no real improvement. Most cats are like this: already perfect in every way. This is why we felines do not normally make New Year’s resolutions. Nevertheless, this year I have made one resolution for myself and all the other cats out there: 

  • For the betterment of the world, we cats shall continue to be our beautiful, fabulous, already perfect selves. 

Reassuring, isn’t it? Now you can enter 2014 knowing that certain small corners of the world (the sunny corners cats like to curl up in) are perfect.

In case you would like to make your own corner more prefect, I have also made a New Year’s resolution for you:

  • Be more like a cat.

Do not be intimidated by this resolution. Begin by accepting the fact that you will never be as perfect as a cat. You are only a human, after all, and therefore you will always have many flaws and your nose will always be unattractive. Poor you. But do not despair, for I have created this simple list to guide you.

The Official Miss Cuddlywumps Guide to Being More Like a Cat:

  • Take naps.
  • Chase mice.
  • Bathe regularly.
  • Do yoga.
  • Meditate.
  • Demand to be fed before dawn every morning.
  • Take more naps.

Even the dullest human should be able to follow this guide, but just in case you are exceptionally dull and cannot chase even the slowest mouse or do the simplest yoga pose, I have one last bit of advice:

  • When in doubt, pet a cat.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Why Are Cats Called Cats?



Cat. Such a simple word, just three letters, one syllable, but conveying so much magnificence. Really, one might expect that we cats would be known by a more regal word. But cat is what you English-speaking humans have stuck us with, and so I, Miss Cuddlywumps, am making the most of it.

I have been making the most of it by sending She of Little Talent to this thing called Internet to explore the origins of cat and report back to me. For once, she has not disappointed. True, she is cooking up an unnecessarily complex answer to my very simple question, but that is how she is: complex and often unnecessary.

To begin with, versions of cat are everywhere in Europe: Italian gatto, Spanish gato, Portuguese gato, French chat, Slovene, Russian, and Polish kot, Finnish katti. All this similarity, but the Oxford English Dictionary says it does not know the word’s origin. So I am left to draw my own conclusions, and here they are:

There is the excellent Latin word catta (from the first century AD). See also the equally excellent Byzantine Greek word katta (from the fourth century AD). That is good enough for me. Cat is from Latin and Greek. We are classical creatures.

Oh yes, She of Little Talent is still in the corner prattling on about uncertainty, ancient Egyptian, and something called Afro-Asiatic, but I shall ignore her. I am classical from the tips of my ears to the end of my white-tipped tail.

Note: Roby Sweet (a.k.a. She of Little Talent) feels compelled to add that the OnlineEtymology Dictionary says the origins of cat are “probably ultimately Afro-Asiatic.”