Monday, 6 May 2013

Cat teaches mice tatting!


Just read the poem below and you can see that a cat can teach mice to tat!

Martha Ess's mouse (with a lopsided neck!)

Jane's cat (teasing the mouse!)














The Old Gumbie Cat
From Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot

I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots;
Her coat is of the tabby kind, with tiger stripes and leopard spots.
All day she sits upon the stair or on the steps or on the mat:
She sits and sits and sits and sits - and that's what makes a Gumbie Cat!

But when the day's hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat's work is but hardly begun.
And when all the family's in bed and asleep,
She slips down the stairs to the basement to creep.
She is deeply concerned with the ways of the mice -
Their behaviour's not good and their manners not nice;
So when she has got them lined up on the matting,
She teaches them music, crocheting and tatting.

I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots;
Her equal would be hard to find, she likes the warm and sunny spots.
All day she sits beside the hearth or in the sun or on my hat:
She sits and sits and sits and sits - and that's what makes a Gumbie Cat!

But when the day's hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat's work is but hardly begun.


As she finds that the mice will not ever keep quiet,
She is sure ist is due to irregular diet
And believing that nothing is done without trying,
She sets straight to work with her baking and frying.
She makes them a mouse-cake of bread and dried peas,
And a beautiful fry of lean bacon and cheese.

I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots;
The curtain-cord she likes to wind, and tie it into sailor-knots.
She sits upon the window-sill, or anything that's smooth and flat:
She sits and sits and sits and sits - and that's what makes a Gumbie Cat!

But when the day's hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat's work is but hardly begun.
She thinks that the cockroaches just need employment,
So she's formed, from that lot of disorderly louts,
A troop of well-disciplined helpful boy-scouts,
With a purpose in life and a good deed to do -
And she's even created a Beetles' Tattoo.

So for Old Gumbie Cats let us now give three cheers -
On whom well-ordered households depend, it appears.



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Which leads me to say that in September I have offered to help at a Craft Day when, along with other crafts, people will be invited to learn  tatting.  Not sure I will be any good at teaching but will have a go.  After all if a cat can teach mice there is hope for me!

6 comments:

  1. Very cute post! Love the amazing whimsical poem by the famous T S Eliot, which probably has a deeper meaning, even though written for his godchlidren. I didn't know the 'Old Possum'poems were the basis for 'Cats'! (Read that in Wikipedia) It's amazing to see where 'tatting'shows up in literature or cartoons!

    You will be wonderful at the Craft Day! They will be amazed to see your work and to see your beautiful shuttles! Even though you
    probably won't be selling things(?), I think there will be a demand for
    the shuttles and the items you are displaying! Be prepared for a lot of
    interest!

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  2. I had never read that poem - thank you for posting it! As for teaching: for me, I had to do "the flip" as a one-on-on. Then, I could help where people got snagged. Best of luck~!

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  3. nice cat and mouse. I like them. That is a neat poem. Not one I had read before. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I had that book as a kid and in my twenties lent it to somebody who dropped it down their toilet. I HAD to go and buy another copy because I love it so much. Thanks, little sister. Memories.

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  5. I love this, not seen this poem before, your mouse looks great and the cat looks beautiful, I am sure you will have a great day, and teaching tatting well you will be brilliant I am sure you will get several people tatting, and at least new tatters.
    Margaret

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