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, October 13, 2017

Words with Webster: Kitten, Plus Friendly Fill-Ins

We have two fun Friday features for you today. First up is Real Cat Webster, who has a familiar word to share. After that, it’s on to Friendly Fill-Ins!

Words with Webster

Words with Webster
Hi, everybody! It’s me, Real Cat Webster. Welcome to Words with Me. Today’s word is “kitten.” I picked this word because of the word(s) a few weeks ago, “Saturn’s Kittens.” At first I figured everybody knew what a kitten is, but then I thought, “What if someone doesn’t?” So, I looked in my favorite dictionary, Merriam-Webster’s, and it said a kitten is
a (1) :  a young cat  (2) :  a cat less than nine months old — used especially in relation to competitive showing
b :  an immature individual of various other small mammals
Then I went over to the Oxford English Dictionary, where I learned that “kitten” has been around for a really long time—over 600 years. With the meaning “a young cat,” the word first appeared in print (as far as we know) in 1377:
Þere þe catte is a kitoun þe courte is ful elyng. (William Langland, The vision of William concerning Piers Plowman)

I thought we’d better move ahead about 200 years to Shakespeare:
I had rather be a kitten and cry mew, Then one of these same miter ballet mongers. (Henry IV, Pt 1 III.i.125, 1598)
That’s better; at least I understand the first part of that quote!

The English word “kitten” seems to have come from the Anglo-Norman “kitoun” or “ketun,” which is in turn from the Old French “chitoun” or “cheton,” an “obsolete variant of French ‘chaton.’”

Since it’s getting close to Halloween, I thought we should end with a black kitten, so here is a quote from Merlin, or The early history of King Arthur, from 1500, although the text was composed around 1450:
He caste his nett in to the water, and drough oute a litill kyton as blakke as eny cool.
Black kitten on a jack-o'lantern, #kitten #jackolantern #blackcat #Halloween

Friendly Fill-Ins

Friendly Fill-Ins, McGuffy's Reader & 15andMeowing
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. Keep calm and take naps. Obviously.

2. An empty food dish disappoints me.

Old SoLT’s answers:
3.  Peppermint tea is my favorite afternoon drink right now. The mintiness gives me a little boost that I need after lunch (when, let’s face it, it would be way more fun to take a nap than go back to work!).

4. In retrospect, I should have just given up a half hour ago and admitted that I don’t have a good response to this one!


  1. Webster, I like your style. I love the Merlin quote! I read The Once and Future King when I was a teen. It is still a favourite of mine.
    Mint tea is wonderful, always a great treat! It is good for settling upset tummies, too. So is catnip tea, Granny always said.
    Your #4 is spot-on. That one was a bit difficult. You rocked it. Hugs!

  2. I always find your words with Webster interesting and I am not kitten you :) Bad joke.
    Great fill-ins, thank you both for participating. I have never had mint tea, but it sounds good. I am with you on the naps Paisley :) Have a nice weekend! XO

  3. My husband competes with our cat for being the best napper in the house. I am sure both would agree with your #1. I agree with Old SoLT as I'd much rather take a long nap after lunch than go back to work as well.

    I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

  4. My Mom loved peppermint tea ... it just made me sleepy! Paisley, I bet most cats agree wholeheartedly with your answers :)

  5. Should the dictionary simply put "SQUEE!" next to the word, 'kitten'?!? I think so!
    In retrospect, when The Hubby offered to corral Sweeties kittens 'way back in 2009, I should have let him do it. All of these years later, I'm still worrying about them.

  6. Who knew so many words could have such a history? I have no idea what that first line says either though LOL. Funny, I adore peppermint in just about everything...except tea! (Of course I'm not a huge tea fan anyways.) Maybe I need to give it another chance.