Having watched a number of screwball comedies from the thirties, as well as the Three Stooges, the Marx Brothers, and other old movies recently, I have more and more come to value silliness. Anything that promotes laughter and relieves tension must be celebrated.
In a sense, my interest in cats is related to my love of silliness. I find cats inherently amusing. So today I am writing about news from the world of cats, thanks to Pauline Dewberry, who celebrates her 10th year of writing and editing the Mewsletter from Kent, England (www.thedailymews.com). She has a world-wide audience for her unique, award-winning mixture of health news, quizzes, stories, book reviews and helpful links. She has maintained this even while undergoing a series of harrowing chemotherapy treatments that have proved successful.
The current issue, while informative and enjoyable, ranks high on my Silliness List because Pauline has included the following news items:
1. May 13, which is around the corner, is the date--if you happen to be in Ypres, Belgium--of the Kattenstaat. The WHAT? It's a parade of huge cats, made of papier-mache at the annual Cat Festival. Check it out: www.toerisme-ieper.be (You don't have to speak Flemish or French to go!)
2. You'd rather see people dressed up as cats? So would I. Last year, 800 folks, mostly Welsh, I would imagine, showed up in various costumes in the metropolis of Bridgend, Wales, which boasts of having the largest gathering of people dressed as cats in the world.
3. We all know that cats inspire writers, something I point out in my book (still available on Amazon): Writing with Cats. But they also inspire painters. Did you know there was a Society of Feline Artists and that they are having their annual exhibition late this summer? Could it be that the paintings are produced by cats? To find out, go to www.felineartists.org.
As you may know, I occasionally comment on the amazing number of specialized organizations out there, like the Cloud Appreciation Society and the Cat Writers Association, of which I was a proud member; and I save news items about offbeat or eccentric things that occur not only in the UK but in the USA as well. (Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org).
If "there are no ordinary cats," as the writer Colette said, there are no ordinary people: each of us has our own idiosyncrasies that deserve to be celebrated. And I am happy to celebrate the work of Pauline and her Mewsletter. If you are a cat person, write to her (it's free!) and enjoy this e-mailed newsletter.