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When my daughter Christina got to law school in Philadelphia, she wanted a kitten. She got one from a friend’s parents in upper Pennsylvania, who already had 17 rather inbred cats. She named it Chairman Meow and true to its name it was dominant, vocal, demanding and was a voracious eater. Christina often commented that it’s full button appeared to be broken. When she returned for her first visit back to California, she took her kitty to a cat boarding facility in Philly. Upon announcing its name, they calmly informed her that her animal was the 11th such feline they had boarded with the name Chairman Meow. She was crestfallen.

Chairman2

I think everyone who names a pet tries to go for something unique and descriptive. Secretly many are hoping their pet will be the next Grumpy Cat. Many are looking for that one name that will help their pet capture the imagination of the masses, cat-apult their cat to stardom and maybe even lead to some form of monetization. Thus the rise of the evil dictator cat names, the Chairman Meows, the Kitlers, the Pussalinis, the Catsros and even the Meowseph Stalins. It has been noted that dogs have masters but that cats have servants. So before you decide to name your cat after an evil dictator, try and decide whether you want to be your cat’s servant or possibly its slave.

Kitler

When it comes to our present election season, it seems there are a lot of cats vying for power. How about Hillary Kitten, Gato Rubio or Purrney Sanders? When it comes to Trump, what seems to work is “Clump” but I wouldn’t want to litter your mind with any bathroom humor. People may point out that someone with a feline disposition already has a huge influence in the White House…could that be Meowchelle Obama? You Cat to be Kitten Meow as we say in our house!!!!

Truth is one of the human race’s first tasks in the Garden of Eden was naming the animals. It seems like Adam had no problem coming up with appropriate names. I mean elephant, cheetah and hippopotamus all seem to fit. I think since eating from that tree, our skills seem to have deteriorated. A Google search of cat names yielded such choices as Catastrofee, Jaspurr and MeowColm X. When it comes to going celebrity in our cat naming one can only begin to cringe. How about Catrick Swayze, Brad Kitt, Fuzz Lightyear and Leonardo Dicatprio.

Bottom line is we need cats that are appropriately named and that we can live with for four, eight or 14 years to come. One tip that may help you in making a good choice and enable you to be more like Adam in the Garden is just to name what you see. Christina bought Chairman Meow home and dumped her (in a weak parental moment) with her unsuspecting parents. She then went back for a second year in law school and found another inbred Pennsylvania kitten. This time she just named what she saw and got Patchy.

Patchy2

Patchy or Patch Patch, as we call her, has the most pitiful meow and is skinny as a rake. She has none of the dictatorial tendencies of Chairman. A look at the top 100 most popular cat names on cuteness.com reveals that this “name what you see” strategy may truly work. In those top 100 you get names like Oreo, Mittens, Ginger, Boots, Snickers, Rusty and Socks. So the moral of the story is to be careful how you name your next kitten or leader. You may just get what you choose.

A farmer named Muldoon lived alone in the Irish countryside except for a pet dog he had for a long time.
The dog finally died and Muldoon went to the parish priest, saying “Father, the dog is dead. Could you possibly be saying a Mass for the poor creature?”
Father Patrick told the farmer “No, we can’t have services for an animal in the church, but I’ll tell you what, there’s a new denomination down the road apiece, and no telling what they believe in, but maybe they’ll do something for the animal.”
Muldoon said “I’ll go right now. By the way, do you think $50,000 is enough to donate for the service?”
Father Patrick replied “Why didn’t you tell me the dog was Catholic.”

St. Patrick – Although many enjoy parades and drinking on St. Pats Day, very few know his real story. My own family name came from St. Fillan, an Irish priest who went from Ireland in the 7th Century to bring Christianity to Scotland. A year ago I took my wife and daughters to Strathfillan in Scotland to investigate some of the family roots. I found this historical sign out in country field and had my wife snap a photo. It looks like some of those early Irish were a lot more spiritual than people give them credit for.
Fillan Irish Missionary

The text read – Fillan was a traveller on foot…He came to the area to spread the teachings of a Christian way of life to the Scots and to the Picts…The ruin in front of you is the remains of a priory built in recognition of Fillan’s teachings, which following his death lead him to be made a saint. St. Fillan cared for the area and it’s people. We should do the same.

I took excerpts from http://www.biography.com/people/st-patrick to give a quick overview of St. Patrick’s life.

St. Patrick, apostle of Ireland, was born in England around 385AD. Surprisingly, St. Patrick himself was not raised with a strong emphasis on religion. Education was not particularly stressed during his childhood either. When St. Patrick was 16 years old, he was captured by Irish pirates. They brought him to Ireland where he was sold into slavery in Dalriada. There, his job was to tend sheep. Saint Patrick’s master, Milchu, was a high priest of Druidism, a Pagan sect that ruled religious influence over Ireland at the time.

St. Patrick came to view his enslavement as God’s test of his faith. During his six years of captivity, he became deeply devoted to Christianity through constant prayer. In a vision, he saw the children of Pagan Ireland reaching out their hands to him. With this, he grew increasingly determined to free the Irish from Druidism by converting them to Christianity.

Missionary Work
The idea of escaping enslavement came to St. Patrick in a dream in 408AD. In the dream, a voice promised him he would find his way home to England. Eager to see the dream materialize, St. Patrick convinced some sailors to let him board their ship. After three days of sailing, he and the crew abandoned the ship in France and wandered, lost, for 28 days—covering 200 miles of territory in the process. At last, St. Patrick was reunited with his family in England.

Now a free man, St. Patrick went to Auxerre, France where he studied and entered the priesthood under the guidance of the missionary St. Germain. As time passed, St. Patrick never lost sight of his vision: he was determined to convert Ireland to Christianity. C. 431, Pope St. Celestine I consecrated St. Patrick Bishop of the Irish, and sent him to Ireland to spread “The Good News,” or Christian Gospel, to the Pagans there.

Upon his arrival in Ireland, St. Patrick was initially met with hostile resistance. But St. Patrick quickly managed to spread Christian teachings far and wide. Through preaching, writing and performing countless baptisms, he convinced Pagan Druids that they were worshiping idols under a belief system that kept them enslaved. By accepting Christianity, he told them, they would be elevated to “the people of the Lord and the sons of God.” Throughout his missionary work, St. Patrick continued to promote the conversion of Ireland to Christianity by electing Church officials, creating councils, founding monasteries and organizing Ireland into dioceses. St. Patrick died around 461AD in Saul, Ireland. He is said to have been buried in Ulster, County Down, Ireland.

Best quote – “If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples, even though some of them still look down on me.”

Just this past weekend I was contemplating how confusing it must be for foreigners to grasp the nuances of the English language. We have certain rules but sometimes the exceptions to the rule comprise a longer list than the rule itself. Take a word like “bear,” which can mean a large fuzzy animal, a verb (to grin and bear it) or pronounced the same it can mean a cupboard is empty or a naked person. There are literally thousands of such confusions in the English language. I also lived for three years in Germany and understand a little of the precise manner in which the Germans view everything. When they follow a rule, they really actually follow it. It was therefore hilarious to me to read the following attempt by the Europeans to fix the problems in the English language in order to make it, instead of German, usable on the continent – enjoy:

Euro-English Instead of German

The European Union commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty’s Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as Euro-English (Euro for short). In the first year, ‘s’ will be used instead of the soft ‘c’. Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the hard ‘c’ will be replaced with ‘k.’ Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome ‘ph’ will be replaced by ‘f’. This will make words like ‘fotograf’ 20 per sent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent ‘e’s in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing ‘th’ by ‘z’ and ‘W’ by ‘V’. During ze fifz year, ze unesesary ‘o’ kan be dropd from vords kontaining ‘ou’, and similar changes vud of kors; be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil b no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer. Ze drem vil finali kum tru.