Cats in Profound Meditation

After all that talk about green tea, we finally got one today. It’s called Let It Snow, and gun to our heads we’d have sworn we’d had it before except that the tin (okay, the packet) is billing it as ‘spiced eggnog’ in the little descriptor and that’s…not how we remember it. And in fairness to the packet, there’s a chance we’re conflating it with previous years’ tea, Snow Day. These wintery tea names do bleed a bit together after a while. Mea maxima culpa and all that.

This particular tea is a lovely winter-day tea, though. Green, and well-spiced, full of apple and cinnamon flavour. It’s such a close cousin to the beloved apple crumble tea that we’ll be stockpiling it and gifting it to various friends this holiday. Well done calendar, well done. But then, you were never going to go wrong with a green tea with hefty helpings of apple and cinnamon.

(NB. We took out the infuser after the first cup to prevent over-steeping, but that may not be necessary. Suffice to say in our experience of Let It Snow it steeps quickly and to a good strength. Experiment at your leisure.)

This evening we’re out at a production of Cats. In the spirit of which, and in light of our great soft spot for Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, here’s a poem from the source. Eliot lost no love over his feline devotions, but ah well, it kept Faber&Faber in print, and it gave us Gus the Theatre Cat. In token of all that, here’s a how-to on naming one’s cat. (Spoilers: The Marschallin Cat hails from the school of fancier names if you think they sound sweeter. But with a name like Field Marschallin Marie-Therese, you knew that, didn’t you?)

The Naming of Cats
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, 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
Deep and inscrutable singular Name


Profound meditation?


Deep contemplation?


Deep irritation with Human Pillow?

Ah well, whatever Miss Marschallin feels about us and the poem, it’s delightful. We shall leave you now to your tea and some deep contemplation of your deeply inscrutable, singular name.


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