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. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Words with Webster (Clowder) and Friendly Fill-Ins

We have two fun Friday features today. First up, Webster will tell you all about clowders. Then we’ll do some Friendly Fill-Ins.

Words with Webster

Words with Webster badge

Hello, friends! Most of you probably know that one word for a group of cats is “clowder.” But where does that word come from?

Well, Mommy helped me look up clowder in the Oxford English Dictionary (we had to get out her library card), and we found out our word doesn’t even get its own entry there. Instead, it’s listed as a form of “cludder,” which is “a crowd, heap, cluster.” And that word is a variant of “clutter.”

That's when I got kind of confused, because I always thought clutter meant something that's disorganized. Then Mommy reminded me that a whole bunch of cats can get very disorganized. So I guess it's okay.

But back to “clowder.” The OED lists 1801 as the earliest known usage of “a clowder of cats.” The word appeared in a book called The Sports and Pastimes of the People of England, by Joseph Strutt (by the way, that book is also called Glig-gamena Angel-├░eod, if you want to be really authentic). Why a clowder of cats appeared in this book, I can only imagine.

Friendly Fill-Ins

Friendly Fill-Ins badgeAnd now to Friendly Fill-Ins, from 15andmeowing and McGuffy’s Reader. They are a fun way to learn a little bit about the authors of the blogs you read. The first two questions, answered by old SoLT, are from Ellen of 15andmeowing, and the next two, answered this week by Real Cat Paisley, are from Annie of McGuffy’s Reader.

Old SoLT’s answers
1. My favorite herb or spice is—Ooh, it’s too hard to pick just one. Thyme and cinnamon are favorites, and I also like paprika. Then there’s mixes of spices—chili powder and curry powder get a lot of use in my kitchen!

2. An herb or spice I dislike is…well, I’m sure there is at least one, but right now I can’t think of any.

Real Cat Paisley’s answers
3. Lately, I have been working on finding new ways to scare the dog. The possibilities seem endless!

4. This Winter was weird. We have not had any of that white stuff that falls from the sky, and the people keep complaining about “seesawing temperatures,” whatever that means.


  1. Clowder, cludder, clutter - any are better than chowder.

  2. I have a clowder of cats, but they seem very organized :) Thank you both for those great fill-in answers. You are making me hungry with your list of spices. :) And Paisley, good luck finding ways to torture the dog- the best thing is to break something and act like the dog did it. Have a great weekend!

  3. I bet 4 cats would be considered a 'clowder', right? :)

    If you find some great new ways to scare the dog, Paisley, can you share? I'm sure my cats would love new ways to scare our dogs! ;)

  4. I've always wondered where "clowder" came from. Most people think I'm saying "chowder" when I say the word. But I like that cats have their own word for a group (at least as far as I can tell).

  5. I agree with you on spices! Poor dog. Chloe Jo loves her dog! Kenzie has learned to love the cats, too. I hope a mild Winter means a mild Summer! Hugs!

  6. Seems like we never have snowy, cold winters anymore...maybe I'm the only one but for once I wish we could have a cooler than normal summer too! That is a strange sounding book to reference a clowder of cats, doesn't it?

  7. Seesawing temperatures are when it is warm enough to play on the seesaw, right? Have a great weekend.

  8. We got all of two seconds of the white stuff. It melted before it even landed. Very disappointing, but I shouldn't really ever expect to get snow down here on the Gulf Coast of Texas. It is great when it does happen, though!

    I couldn't think of any spices that I disliked either. I haven't met one yet. :)

    Have a blessed weekend!