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More Cat Stuff
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Author:  Nanohedron [ Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:03 pm ]
Post subject:  More Cat Stuff

So I was (re)acquainting myself with the famous 9th century Irish poem Pangur Bán, penned by a monk about his pet cat, and while I know just enough Irish to understand the cat was white (bán), what was this "pangur"? I soon found out that in Old Irish it meant a fuller, but the possibly Welsh-derived word wasn't defined any further, so I took this as a fuller of cloth, rather than as a groove along a blade - not that either made any more sense than the other to me at the time. I've also read that "Pangur" was in its day commonly recognized as a cat's name (similar to "Fido" for a dog, I suppose - which, by the way, is exactly why I once named a cat Fido). But a fuller? How on Earth do you put together a willful cat and the humble, workaday trade of finishing textiles? Then it hit me:

GIF of a cat kneading, which resembles waulking (a fulling technique)

I do believe I nailed this one.

Author:  Squeeky Elf [ Tue Feb 04, 2020 1:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: More Cat Stuff

Your theory may be correct, but it will knead some verification.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: More Cat Stuff

Squeeky Elf wrote:
Your theory may be correct, but it will knead some verification.

Indeed, I have gone prowling for it, but there's hardly a whisker.

So far I've come across only one other instance of the same - and I dare say sensible - conclusion, but being in the minority doesn't daunt me; in a monkeypile of propositions based only on poorly-informed guesswork, the rest are IMO overthinking it way too much. One particularly prevalent example: Since the cat is white, it's named "Fuller" because of its pure color. But bleaching and fulling are not the same thing; fulling is essentially a felting and lanolin-removal cleaning process. Most generally when it comes to woolen goods, fulling was done on already-woven new cloth like plaids, and why would one want to bleach what has been dyed? A slight twist on the color theme is that the cat was perhaps named for fuller's earth because of its color. But there are a couple of additional problems with these ideas: If I had a white cat and called it "Snowball", it would be enough; "White Snowball" would be taken by all as overkill, so by the same token, if fullers and/or fuller's earth already imply whiteness, then "White Fuller" would be just as redundant. Besides, if you go looking for images, fuller's earth comes in all sorts of colors. What about that? And we've already established that fulling is not bleaching per se. For my part, I apply Occam's Razor: Whether you use fuller's earth, stale urine (yes, that was used), or what have you, the common theme to fulling is the kneading process. It's quite simple, really. I leave the overthinkers to struggle with their ornate maybes; for me, the answer couldn't be more clear.

Since "Pangur" is to cats as "Fido" is to dogs, if I had a black cat I could call it Pangur Dubh and there should be no dissonance to it. In that light, Pangur Bán's color was simply incidental, other than being useful in the poem's rhyme scheme.

Author:  Squeeky Elf [ Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: More Cat Stuff

You’ve clearly given this some thought.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: More Cat Stuff

Squeeky Elf wrote:
You’ve clearly given this some thought.

I've been accused of overthinking, myself. :wink:

But in this case it took a lot more work to write about than to go through the mental process. That took hardly any time at all, because I was already familiar with most of the points covered; you just put them together, and the rest takes care of itself and forms a tight little packet that you open up when it's time to lay things out. I did have to look up fuller's earth, though, because I wondered what colors were actually involved. Some are even red, green, or almost black.

But back to kneading: I had a she-cat who to my eternal discomfiture liked to knead on my crotch, and with what I could swear was a sly look, too, the naughty girl. Needless to say, I always oriented her to other, less fraught surfaces like my leg. It was probably all part of the game.

Author:  Squeeky Elf [ Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: More Cat Stuff

I used to reside with a great ginger tom cat named Wilson who would mess with me every time I played a whistle. Sometimes he would come out of nowhere and knock the whistle out of my mouth. If I was missing a whistle he was probably laying on it. i might not see him for days, but as soon as I picked up a whistle he would come and howl at the door. I could never tell whether he loved whistles, hated whistles, or thought they were animals. I miss that cat, he was a worthy adversary.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: More Cat Stuff

That's the thing about whistles, isn't it: you never quite know. Did you ever play low whistles around Wilson?

The same cat I just referred to was something of a music critic herself. It seemed as if she could tell when my fluteplaying was good or off its game; if it was a new, stirring tune and I was doing it fair justice, she would jump into the armchair and go crazily flipping about like a stoat while peeking at me to check on my composure - and let me tell you, it was hard not to laugh. But if my playing left something to be desired, she would just sit there and give me this baleful "Really?" look. She had an ear, that one. She liked the two or three-person house sessions and stayed close by, sometimes rummaging through a backpack when she wasn't rubbing against your leg; she got energized when there was live music in the house, and high D or Eb whistles never seemed to bother her. She also clearly liked flat set uilleann pipes; I think it was the soothing pitch combined with the "Nyah" thing. She loved the Kitty Lie Over album and would jump into my lap, purring like blazes. One time I was playing my C set with the drones off, and she came up and sniffed at the bass drone - well, of course I had to switch the drones on then! You should've seen how high she boinged up into the air. :lol:

The cat after her (no, it wasn't a heart attack from the drones, just eventual old age) didn't have much time for music either way unless it was Julie Fowlis, and then he'd sprawl on the floor, conked out. And that was pretty unusual, because he was otherwise a nonstop bundle of energy.

Author:  Squeeky Elf [ Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: More Cat Stuff

Nanohedron wrote:
That's the thing about whistles, isn't it: you never quite know. Did you ever play low whistles around Wilson?


Yes, and also the flute. He would stare very intensely with a wild look in his eye. I used to joke with him about going after the ‘big game.’ I can’t even imagine what he would have made of the pipes.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: More Cat Stuff

Squeeky Elf wrote:
He would stare very intensely with a wild look in his eye.

That had to be unnerving.

Author:  Squeeky Elf [ Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: More Cat Stuff

It was. It was the same look that he had the time he caught a snake and was carrying it around in his mouth. Big cats, little cats, they’re all the same animal when you get down to it.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: More Cat Stuff

I know the look well.

Image

Author:  Squeeky Elf [ Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: More Cat Stuff

:lol: He looks like he’s hearing drones for the first time.

Author:  Nanohedron [ Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: More Cat Stuff

"You are seriously provoking me with that wheezy thing, and trust me: you do NOT want to face my wrath."

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