Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Thankful Tag

This entry is a little different than others I’ve written, as it is more about myself than the cats. (All of the cats’ ears just went up, and their indignation is rising; they didn’t think there was a ‘myself’ beyond serving their needs.) A blogger pal over at Tomcat Commentary by Tim tagged me in a ‘Thankful Tag’. Like Tim’s dad, I don’t generally indulge in ‘tags’ and similar things, but, as he wrote, this is a fun one. And I appreciate that other bloggers read what I write, Tim’s dad going so far as to list mine among five that he enjoys. So I sat down to think about myself a bit.

Though the rules for this ‘tag’ are flexible, I decided to follow Tim’s dad’s lead, and list five things that make me happy, five pieces of music that I love, and five blogs that I enjoy.

There are many things that make me happy though, being rather undemonstrative, this may not always be apparent.

1. My cats. They drive me bats sometimes, often around meal-times, and I would have twice as much time and money available without them. But when I think of what I could spend the time and money on, there aren’t many other things that would bring me such joy.

2. Writing. I enjoy writing, though paradoxically, I assert that the act of writing is often difficult and frustrating. But there is a sense of accomplishment when I have completed a work, and it makes me feel good.

3. Listening to music. I enjoy classical and baroque music, a genre of solo piano music and some folk and pop. In the “Narnia” stories, by C.S. Lewis, the divine lion Aslan creates the world by singing. J.R.R. Tolkien’s account of the creation of Middle-Earth and other lands is a tale of angelic music. So it is with terrestrial music; it too can transcend and create.

4. Being able to return to bed and sleep a couple more hours after waking at six o’clock on weekends to give Tucker his insulin. On weekdays, I must stay up and go to work. Days off, I go back to bed - usually to be kept awake by Cammie or another animal walking over me.

5. Learning. I don’t really care for all learning. Learning something new at work, for instance, means only more work. But learning in my field of interests brings an understanding that is akin to a door opening to a new world.

My short list of music certainly does not include all that I like, nor should it be taken for a list of my favourites, as I will probably think of one I enjoy more than any other as soon as I publish these. In no particular order, and with links to them on YouTube, here is the music.

"Bright Eyes" – sung by Art Garfunkel (comp. Mike Batt): from an excellent film adaptation of my favourite fiction book, Watership Down.

"If You Could Read My Mind" – written and sung by Gordon Lightfoot: my favourite song.

"The Mary Ellen Carter" – written and sung by Stan Rogers: a great toe-tapper about perseverance.

"String Quartet in E flat major, Opus 0 (Adagio)" – composed by Franz Josef Haydn: beautiful melodies from a young Haydn.

"Flight of the Eagle" – composed by Brian Crain: breathtaking landscapes rendered into music.

Before I list the blogs that I favour, please know that these are not all of the ones I like or even all of those I follow. None of these bloggers need reciprocate with a ‘tag’ of their own, as I know that some of them are very busy, and others may not search the internet all that often themselves. So, again in no biased order, these are some blogs I would recommend others at least to visit.

1. Feral Cat Behavior ( Yes, note the American spelling. Mary Anne is a cat-rescuer who, though she has some dedicated volunteers helping her, is running essentially a one woman-rescue in a district that is not always kind to homeless animals. She rarely refuses to help (I can’t think of an instance). Take a look at her blog (she doesn’t add to it every day) and maybe extend a helping hand now and then, if you are able.

2. Musings on a Small Life ( The lady here is a fellow Canadian, living in the humidity capital of Canada, it seems, along Lake Ontario. She has insights into work, neighbours and life in general, some wonderful photographs, and two loveable mancats.

3. Strange Company ( Undine has cats and loves them, but her blog is about the weird and wondrous, scary and bizarre, from unsolved murders to ghosts to disappearances. This is one interesting column; where she gets all this stuff, I have no idea!

4. Read Like Me ( You may know Poppy Q, the big New Zealand cat who lives with her mum in the Antipodes, and has her own blog. But her mum has a blog, too, and gives short reviews of the books she reads. She must go through five or six a week (voracious, indeed) and throws in the odd motion picture, too. Her reviews are concise and to the point.

5. Tober, the Thorntown Library Cat ( Sadly, Tober died late last year from cancer. He had been the cat-in-charge at his town’s library and blogged about that fine institution, and the life he led there. His successor is Chance, another orange boy, like Tober. Chance has some big paw prints to fill, and, as with his predecessor, doesn’t blog every day. But if you get the opportunity, visit Chance. He’s a fun, observant fellow.

That’s it for this long-winded entry. This was hard work but fun. I’ll be back to writing about the cats who dominate my life in the very next article.


  1. It's nice to read a bit more about the human servant and person behind the blog for a change. :-)

    "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring." Aahhhhhh. One of my own favourites. Bobby Darin's "Beyond the Sea". Oh, I might have to do a post on this myself. :-)

    And all the years I've been following Poppy I've had no idea that her mum has her own blog! I just went and left a comment, will be sure to add it to Feedly.

    Thanks kindly for the mention. I can think of so many other blogs that post more interesting things than I do -- mine is, after all, a small life. :-)

    1. Just today, I'm listening to the CBC and hearing so much music I could have included.

  2. Thanks for including me, John. :)

    Funny thing, I was listening to "If You Could Read My Mind" earlier today. Gordon Lightfoot did a lot of songs I love.

  3. I enjoy reading your blog very much, so It was great to hear about "the person behind the blog". We know all about Renn, Josey, Cammie and Tucker, so it was nice to hear a little about their "Dad".

  4. It is so nice to learn a little about your likes. Bright Eyes and If You Could Read My Mind are among my favourites too.

  5. Jackpot ! General me & mom don't blog much on this day. So it's great to get to know the human part. My pawrents, they are no different. Simililar Style =^x^= but probably different in details.

    Some blog of your friends are my friends too. and me love them =^x^=

    Have a great weekend

  6. What a wonderful post you should do more of them John!

  7. Thanks for including me too John. At times I am sure you have been the only one reading, although like you I write for myself as an outlet. Loved your glimpse of favorites.

    I tried to read Watership Down many times as a teenager but never got it. It is funny how different books or music resonated with different people.

    Julie Q

    1. I feel the same about the classics, Dickens, Dostoeyvski, Hardy, etc. I would love to read them but can't get through them. As for "Watership Down", I bought it when I was in school, but didn't get serious about reading it until years later. It's now my favourite fiction book.

      As for your blog, I feel that there are many blogs deserving of attention but which are 'crying in the wilderness'. As long as we write for our own enjoyment, though, we can write alone.

  8. I cannot believe it has taken so long to enjoy your post. Thanks so much for the very nice selections all. The blogs each sound very interesting and the music has brightened the toils of the ending work day. I have not read Watership Down but did read Tailchasers Song which many said was its equivalent. I will now have to get the Buns saga and see for myself
    Have one heckova day
    Pete and Family