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, August 4, 2017

Words with Webster: Ear Furnishings, Plus Friendly Fill-Ins

We have two fun features for you this Friday. First up is Words with Webster, in which he tells us about something…hairy. This is followed by Friendly Fill-Ins.

Words with Webster

Words with WebsterHi, all! It’s me, Real Cat Webster. Welcome to Words with Me. Today’s word is two words: “ear furnishings.” Mommy laughs a little when she hears “ear furnishings,” because it always makes her think of a cat with a sofa coming out of his ear. (I don’t know why she picks something big like a sofa; a stool or smallish occasional table would be more realistic.) Anyway, that's not what ear furnishings are. They're actually those tufts of fur that some cats have in their ears.  You know, like Persians or Norwegian Forest Cats have (please see the helpful illustration below).

I looked up “furnishing” in my favorite dictionary, Webster’s, and it said, “an ornamental appendage of an animal.” Then I looked it up in the Oxford English Dictionary, which says furnishings are “decoration” or “unimportant appendages; mere externals.” It doesn’t say anything about animals specifically. (For the record, I don’t think we could call cats’ ear furnishings “unimportant”; certainly the cats that have them think they’re pretty important!)

The word "furnishing" seems to have first appeared in print in the 1490s. The "decoration" meaning came along 100 years later, and the "unimportant appendages" one appeared in about 1616, in Shakespeare's King Lear:
Something deeper, Whereof (perchance) these are but furnishings. (III.i.20)
 I looked for, like, five minutes but couldn’t find out when “furnishings” was first used to mean the fur tufts in cats’ ears. If anyone happens to know, please share!

Image--How to identify ear furnishings in cats
Use this handy guide to help you distinguish cats' ear furnishings
from common furnishings such as sofas.

Friendly Fill-Ins

Friendly Fill-InsAnd now it’s time for 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 Real Cat Paisley this week, are from Ellen of 15andmeowing, and the next two, answered by old SoLT, are from Annie of McGuffy’s Reader.

Real Cat Paisley’s answers:

1. Meetings? I’m a cat; I don’t do meetings.

2. Rules? I’m a cat; I don’t do rules.

Old SoLT’s answers:

3. The best time to get up in the morning is early—anytime before six is good; after that is “late.”
4. I have learned that generous doses of humor and laughter will help you get through a lot of life’s rough patches.


  1. Oh, Paisley, you are such a cat! Maggie would love you! She is a diva and agrees with you.
    I am an early riser, too. I hate the thought of wasting the day. There is always something to do! I am up at 5:00, 3:00 when I am doing minions!
    Oh...my...gosh. I use humour for everything. Sometimes it may be a bit Far Side, but, it works. Humour is my way of coping. It eases others, too. Even my new doctor commented that I have a great sense of humour. I find it is the best medicine! HUGS!

  2. MOL! Thanks for that handy guide to ear furnishings. You never know when that might be needed!

    Naturally, the best fill-ins are filled in by a cat. Double MOL!

  3. I think it would be a great adventure to be a cat. That white kitty in the example image is just beautiful. :)

    I beat the getting up early in the morning thing by just not going to bed the night before. David and I have always been night people and it works best here in this oppressive Texas heat.

    Laughing can make one feel better and bring levity to a situation, very true. David has always been one for using humor to get through things. That doesn't come naturally for me, I guess because I wasn't raised around folks like that. I'm usually more serious, though have had my moments of making folks laugh (for example, when I surprised David's daddy one day).

    Have a blessed weekend. :)

  4. I must be a cat, too. I don't do rules. Here in Texas the rules, like speed limits, are just suggestions. Have a great week.

  5. Huh. I had no idea about the ear furnishings. That really stumped me. I agree completely with #4 ... without my sense of humor, I wouldn't still be alive. It's particularly helpful with things you can't control that are totally absurd. Our blog is the manifestation of that sense of humor.

  6. I did not know that the ear fur was called that. Thank you both for participating in the fill-ins, great answers. Very true that cats don't do meetings or rules :) Although sometimes during the night I get up and catch my cats having a meeting ( plotting against me probably). You sure get up early, I wish I could but I would need to go to bed before midnight.Have a great weekend!

  7. I wouldn't mind being a cat except for the stinky food and the litter box.

  8. Well, Webster, you are always educating us! We had never heard the expression "ear furnishings"!

    We are early risers around here too. Dad and the fur kids are up well before 6, but I have to confess I sometimes sleep until 6:30 - 7 on the weekends, but that does feel late to me!

  9. I never heard the term ear furnishings referring to tufts of fur in a kitty's ears! The Persian next door has some very impressive ear furnishings! Paisley, Mudpie answered her #1 the exact same way, but the humans are going to have to differ on #3. Anything before 11 is too early for this cat mom.

  10. Never heard "ear furnishings" but it does sound funny. SoLT must be part cat to get up that early. TW sleeps in with me until at least 10 a.m. but we get to bed way after midnight.

  11. Ear hawks, like toe hawks...sound better than furnishings, just saying