Thank you...

... for taking the time to stop by. I hope some of these ponderings will resonate with you.

Leave a comment if you want to - your contributions are more than welcome.

(Unless stated otherwise, all text & pictures are © Lee Labuschagne, all rights reserved.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

1+1+1 for 365, day 10: Old Possum's delightul cats

“When a cat adopts you there is nothing to be done about it except put up with it until the wind changes.” T.S. Eliot

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats - T S Eliot

I'll get to the serious, "big" things that Thomas Stearns Eliot wrote later. In fact, he is one of my favourite poets (Blake, Keats, the South African poets Uys Krige and Elizabeth Eybers some of Yeats and Milton are some of the others). 

But this volume  is the delightful one with light verses that most people who has seen the musical "Cats" know by heart.  It is playful, sad, sentimental, funny and generally whimsical entertaining for the whole family - not only for cat lovers. Eliot originally wrote these verses about practical cats for his godchildren and included it in letters to them during the 1930s.  In writing and sending them, he used the nickname name "Old Possum", which  Ezra Pound - his friend and fellow author - had given him.

Of course Andrew Lloyd Weber's musical was - and is - wonderful. I loved it when my sister took my mom and I to see it years ago shortly after it opened for the first time in London. I enjoyed it equally as much when my sis once again took me along to see it here in Cape Town last year as a birthday gift. 

The musical and the poems always carry an association with my family because I also fondly remember reading the verses out loud to my mom one Christmas time just for the joy that these verses always bring.

I've had my illustrated volume for ages and still treasure it. It came in an edition that reprinted the illustrations that Nicolas Bentley had made for a 1940 edition. An inscription in my little volume also tells me that I bought it all that time ago in London.

So even if you know them all - or most of them already, via the musical and the CDs - grab your copy of this volume and sit down with family and/or friends to read the verses out loud.... you won't be sorry.  Alternatively, any other book of poetry or even short stories will do over a glass or cup of something to drink.  We don't have to stop doing that just because there are no kids in the house who demand a bed-time story, or we a formal audience for a book/poetry reading evening...


Coco - among the  many cats who have had a special place in my heart,
Coco was one of the most special.   She was  a Calico Persian small in build but huge in spirit and
my companion for 14 years. Even though I lost her few years ago, I still miss her dearly
Picture & text: © Lee Labuschagne - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

TODAY'S WEBSITE: - Go along, have fun and giggle at the LOLcats.


  1. That is such a beautiful picture. I think they always stay in our hearts.

    And the quote: too cute and too true :)

  2. Yes Suki, they do...

    BTW look out for quite a few books that I have lined up and that deal with astronomy in some way or the other. You're welcome to send others in this direction too:)


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