Pumpkin Pals

When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.

Anonymous

oscar and his new pals
Oscar and his new pals, Pumpkin Pat & Lantern Len
Photograph: by Ed
Oscar took a shine to this poem by an anonymous author, so we have used it for his Halloween post. Oscar tells me this really is the best time of year for all black cats!

Happy Halloween, with love from

little Oscar and Ed.

Poussie Poussie Baudruns

front cover illustration
Jennie (where a boy becomes a cat!) Book Cover
Photograph: Ed @ Moggyblog

Poussie Poussie Baudruns

Old Traditional Scottish Nursery rhyme

‘Poussie, poussie, baudrons, Whaur hae ye been?’ ‘I’ve been tae London, Tae see the Queen.’

‘Poussie, poussie, baudrons, Whit gat ye there?’ ‘I gat a guid fat mousikie, Rinnin’ up a stair!’

‘Poussie, poussie, baudrons, Whit did ye dae wi’ it?’ ‘I pit it in ma meal-poke, Tae eat tae ma breid.’

In this old Nursery rhyme it seems that the baudrons (or cat) has saved the mouse he has caught to make a sandwich later. The baudrons translates as “a cat” or even “an affectionate name for a cat”, or “a happy cat (re: the word mimics the purring sound of a cat)”. Reference: The Nursery rhyme is taken from the preface of the book ‘Jennie’ by Paul Gallico. The book was first published in the USA in 1950 as ‘The Abandoned’. The book is a fantasy story about a boy who loved cats so much that he would bring in the local strays and neighbourhood cats off the street to keep in his bedroom (mother is not pleased!). Without giving too much away the boy is himself turned into a cat. The book is a narrative of the cat’s adventures.

The Naming of Cats by T.S. Eliot

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter, It isn’t just one of your holiday games; You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter When I tell you, a cat must have Three Different Names.

First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily, Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James, Such as Victor or Jonathan, or George or Bill Bailey – All of them sensible everyday names.

There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter, Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames: Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter – But all of them sensible everyday names.

But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular, A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified, Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular, Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?

Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum, Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat, Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum – Names that never belong to more than one cat.

But above and beyond there’s still one name left over, And that is the name that you never will guess; The name that no human research can discover – But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.

When you notice a cat in profound meditation, The reason, I tell you, is always the same: His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name His ineffable effable Effanineffable Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

‘The Naming of Cats’ by T.S. Eliot

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer, by T.S. Eliot

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer were a very notorious couple of cats As knockabout clown, quick-change comedians, tight-rope walkers and acrobats They had extensive reputation. They made their home in Victoria Grove That was merely their centre of operation, for they were incurably given to rove. They were very well know in Cornwall Gardens, in Launceston Place and in Kensington Square They had really a little more reputation, than a couple of cats can very well bear.

If the area window was found ajar And the basement looked like a field of war, If a tile or two came loose on the roof, Which presently ceased to be waterproof, If the drawers were pulled out from the bedroom chests, And you couldn’t find one of your winter vests, Or after supper one of the girls Suddenly missed her Woolworth pearls:

Then the family would say: “It’s that horrible cat! It was Mungojerrie or Rumpelteazer!” And most of the time they left it at that.

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer had a very unusual gift of the gab. They were highly efficient cat-burglars as well, and remarkably smart at smash-and-grab. They made their home in Victoria Grove. They had no regular occupation. They were plausible fellows, and liked to engage, a friendly policeman in conversation.

When the family assembled for Sunday dinner, With their minds made up that they wouldn’t get thinner On Argentine joint, potatoes and greens, And the cook would appear from behind the scenes And say in a voice that was broken with sorrow: “I’m afraid you must wait and have dinner tomorrow, for the joint has gone from the oven-like that!” Then the family would say: “It’s that horrible cat! It was Mungojerrie–or Rumpelteazer,” and most of the time they left it at that!

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer had a wonderful way of working together. And some of the time you would say it was luck, and some of the time you would say it was weather. They would go through the house like a hurricane, and no sober person could take his oath Was it Mungojerrie–or Rumpelteazer? or could you have sworn that it mightn’t be both?

And when you heard a dining-room smash Or up from the pantry there came a loud crash Or down from the library came a loud ping From a vase which was commonly said to be Ming Then the family would say: “Now which was which cat? It was Mungojerrie! AND Rumpelteazer!” And there’s nothing at all to be done about that!

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer, by T.S. Eliot

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer, by T.S. Eliot

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer, by T.S. Eliot

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer were a very notorious couple of cats. As knockabout clown, quick-change comedians, tight-rope walkers and acrobats. They had extensive reputation. They made their home in Victoria Grove — That was merely their centre of operation, for they were incurably given to rove.

They were very well know in Cornwall Gardens, in Launceston Place and in Kensington Square — They had really a little more reputation than a couple of cats can very well bear.

If the area window was found ajar And the basement looked like a field of war, If a tile or two came loose on the roof, Which presently ceased to be waterproof, If the drawers were pulled out from the bedroom chests, And you couldn’t find one of your winter vests, Or after supper one of the girls Suddenly missed her Woolworth pearls:

Then the family would say: “It’s that horrible cat! It was Mungojerrie — or Rumpelteazer!”– And most of the time they left it at that.

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer had a very unusual gift of the gab. They were highly efficient cat-burglars as well, and remarkably smart at smash-and-grab. They made their home in Victoria Grove. They had no regular occupation. They were plausible fellows, and liked to engage a friendly policeman in conversation.

When the family assembled for Sunday dinner, With their minds made up that they wouldn’t get thinner On Argentine joint, potatoes and greens, And the cook would appear from behind the scenes And say in a voice that was broken with sorrow: “I’m afraid you must wait and have dinner tomorrow! For the joint has gone from the oven-like that!” Then the family would say: “It’s that horrible cat! It was Mungojerrie–or Rumpelteazer!”– And most of the time they left it at that.

Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer had a wonderful way of working together. And some of the time you would say it was luck, and some of the time you would say it was weather. They would go through the house like a hurricane, and no sober person could take his oath Was it Mungojerrie — or Rumpelteazer? or could you have sworn that it mightn’t be both?

And when you heard a dining-room smash Or up from the pantry there came a loud crash Or down from the library came a loud ping From a vase which was commonly said to be Ming– Then the family would say: “Now which was which cat? It was Mungojerrie! AND Rumpelteazer!”– And there’s nothing at all to be done about that!

The Owl and the Pussycat, by Edward Lear

Edward Lear, the artist and author of Nonsense Verse, was devoted to ‘Foss’, his tabby cat. So much so that when he decided to move house to San Remo in Italy, he instructed the architect to design a replica of his old home. Lear did this, it is reported, so that the daily routine of the tabby cat Foss should not be disturbed, and so he be caused the minimum of distress at the move.

[ I ]

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea In a beautiful pea green boat, They took some honey, and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above, And sang to a small guitar, ‘O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are, You are! What a beautiful Pussy you are!’

[ II ]

Pussy said to the Owl, ‘You elegant fowl! How charmingly sweet you sing! O let us be married! too long we have tarried: But what shall we do for a ring?’ They sailed away, for a year and a day, To the land where the Bong-tree grows And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood With a ring at the end of his nose, His nose, His nose, With a ring at the end of his nose.

[ III ]

‘Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling Your ring?’ Said the Piggy, ‘I will.’ So they took it away, and were married next day By the Turkey who lives on the hill. They dined on mince, and slices of quince, Which they ate with a runcible spoon; And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, They danced by the light of the moon, The moon, The moon, They danced by the light of the moon.

The Owl and the Pussycat – by Edward Lear.

Lear’s drawings of the striped tabby cat Foss are well-known, one instance being in this image which accompany his rhyme “The Owl and the Pussy Cat.”

Owl and Pussycat Illustration

How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear, by Edward Lear

[In which Edward Lear mentions his old friend Foss the cat]
Old Foss the cat
Old Foss the Cat
Artist: Edward Lear

How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear – by Edward Lear

How pleasant to know Mr. Lear, Who has written such volumes of stuff. Some think him ill-tempered and queer, But a few find him pleasant enough.

His mind is concrete and fastidious, His nose is remarkably big; His visage is more or less hideous, His beard it resembles a wig.

He has ears, and two eyes, and ten fingers, (Leastways if you reckon two thumbs); He used to be one of the singers, But now he is one of the dumbs.

He sits in a beautiful parlour, With hundreds of books on the wall; He drinks a great deal of marsala, But never gets tipsy at all.

He has many friends, laymen and clerical, Old Foss is the name of his cat; His body is perfectly spherical, He weareth a runcible hat.

When he walks in waterproof white, The children run after him so! Calling out, “He’s gone out in his night- Gown, that crazy old Englishman, oh!”

He weeps by the side of the ocean, He weeps on the top of the hill; He purchases pancakes and lotion, And chocolate shrimps from the mill.

He reads, but he does not speak, Spanish, He cannot abide ginger beer; Ere the days of his pilgrimage vanish, How pleasant to know Mr. Lear!

How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear – by Edward Lear