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 18, 2017

Words with Webster: Eclipse, Plus Friendly Fill-Ins

We have two fun Friday features for you today. First up is Real Cat Webster, who has a sunny word (or should I say, sunny with a chance of sudden darkness?). And then we have Friendly Fill-Ins.

Words with Webster: Eclipse

Words with Webster badge
Hi, everybody. It’s me, Real Cat Webster. Welcome to Words with Me. Today’s word is “eclipse.” If you live in the United States like I do, then I bet you have heard this word a lot lately. That’s because next Monday, August 21, there will be a total solar eclipse that crosses the country from Oregon to South Carolina. Mommy is disappointed that we won’t get a total eclipse where we live. I told her she could probably see it on YouTube, and she said that’s not the same.

Now about the word. “Eclipse” means “the obscuration of one celestial body by another,” according to my favorite dictionary, Webster’s. This means that one thing out in space gets in the way of our view of another one. This word has been around for a very long time, since at least 1374 or thereabouts, when Chaucer included this sentence in his translation of Boethius’s De consolation philosophiae:
When the moon is in the eclips.
Later, in 1608, Shakespeare wrote in King Lear,
These late eclipses in the Sunne and Moone portend no good to us. (ii.103)
Let’s hope that the coming eclipse portends something good, like people getting along with each other and not being mean.

2017 Solar Eclipse Across America--Adobe Stock image
The path the eclipse will take across the continental US.
Adobe Stock image.
Anyway, our English word comes from Old French eclipse, which comes from the Latin eclpīsis, and ultimately from Greek εκλείπειν, which means literally “to forsake its accustomed place, fail to appear.”

That is all very interesting, but I’ll bet you’re wondering what eclipses have to do with cats, right? Well, according to what Mommy and I found online, not a lot (but come back tomorrow for our Caturday Art to see one thing we did find!). Your cat probably won’t even notice that anything is different, other than the humans are acting all weird, putting on funny glasses and going outside to stare up at the sky. (Seriously, your cats will probably be fine; they’ll just think that you have finally gone off the deep end.) BUT … (cue ominous music) … during the 2015 eclipse across the UK, at least one person tweeted that the animals, including her cats, were “going nuts.” Other people reported their dogs acting weird (as if that’s news, right?). Those reports seemed isolated though, but we’d be interested to know if any of you cats out there get any strange feelings or urges during the eclipse.

Friendly Fill-Ins

Friendly Fill-Ins badge
And 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. If someone were visiting my area, I would recommend a visit to the cat tree in our sunroom. It is really neat and provides a perfect view of the backyard. (Old SoLT adds, You must see the monuments in Washington, DC, if you have never been, whichever parts of the Smithsonian most interest you, and in Baltimore, the Inner Harbor and National Aquarium.)

2. My favorite room in my home is the sunroom, obviously.

Old SoLT's answers:

3. Back-to-school time makes me think of getting spiral notebooks and office supplies on sale.

4. My favourite year of school was none of them, because, oddly, although I’m really curious and love learning new things, I never enjoyed school much. Fourth-grade recess was pretty fun, I think. I remember playing basketball a lot and also running through the middle of the boys' dodge ball game. Good times!


  1. Our dogs act weird ALL the time, so I doubt the eclipse will effect them.

  2. Ooohhh, "obscuration"- this is today's big word! (Ignore that. Dad can be an ass sometimes) Anyway, we're looking forward to the eclipse. Sometimes I wish I had an excuse for all the times mom and dad act weird. Guess that's just the way they are... Happy weekend, y'all!

  3. Oh I'll be watching the cats closely. I know from past eclipses that birds go a little crazy - singing their night songs as the eclipse starts, then going quiet, then singing their morning songs as the eclipse ends.

  4. I enjoyed your recess memories. Good times, indeed. The cat tree and sun room sound great! So does the harbor! I need to check sales for some paper, etc. Have a great week! HUGS.

  5. I didn't really enjoy school either - but I think it was more the social aspect that was the problem. I couldn't relate to the other girls so I spent recess playing kickball or four-square or tetherball with the boys. And I became an outcast with the girls. I love learning too - the internet is truly a blessing because my mind goes off in all kinds of questions and tangents. We're in the line of totality and we'll let you know how it goes (really, with Bear and Ellie ... strange is now normal, so ....).

  6. Very appropriate word choice, interesting facts too. Thank you both participating in the fill-ins. The cat tree in your sunroom sounds wonderful. I have been to DC and saw some monuments, but didn't get to the museum.Have a great weekend!

  7. We are at 80% totality, but I'm still gonna go to the local science center and watch using telescopes! Am I the only one who wants summer to last for another three or four months?

  8. thanks for the interesting facts. And yes, a sun-room would be nice - that would probably then be my favorite room of the house. Love your blog!

    Blessings and have an awesome week!


  9. I haven't been paying much attention to news of the eclipse until the last few days. In my area they're saying a 60-70% eclipse. It'll be interesting to see if the kitties get weird (or wired!) I wasn't a huge fan of school either...

  10. When we had an eclipse in the UK it did not affect the cats at all. The birds went quiet as they thought it was night but the cats were not impressed!!