Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Cats Get Medieval

Welcome back, gentle readers!  Yes, I have survived the holidays, with much mirth and joy and crushing my sister at backgammon.  Well, trying to crush her.  You see, the goal of backgammon is to get all of your little pieces into the trench before your opponent gets his or hers in his or her little trench. goal in backgammon is to knock off my opponent's pieces as many times as I possibly can even if it's not a strategic move.  This causes me to either lose big or trap my opponent hopelessly.  My sister does not approve of this approach to the game, and she used a somewhat expanded version of her normal vocabulary to make that clear to me.

Fa-la-la-la-la and rejoice in the double sixes!

Now that I have returned to my home and spent the last two weeks undecorating the house, I thought that I would share with you, devoted friends, my most successful gift-giving experience:  I bought the cats a genuine cardboard medieval castle for Christmas!

Leia stakes her claim to the castle
And while my other friends and relatives expressed their appreciation for gifts with hugs and exclamations of delight and waiting until I'm not around to put the gift in the to-be-exchanged pile, the cats have really gotten into the whole spirit of castleness, repeatedly attacking it and one another with glorious and fur-flying enthusiasm.

Spike Sleepily Standing Guard Against a Sneak Attack
Moreover, and even more impressively, when I posted photos of the Cat Castle on facebook, seven of my friends immediately went out and bought one for their own medieval kitties!  Since most of those friends are fellow medievalists, it occurs to me that this may be my major influence on my field:  persuading generations of medievalists (okay, six) that Cat Castles are essential for the medievalist's household.  And, really, I'm okay with that.

The castles, which you can buy from the good people at Petco (who undoubtedly read this blog assiduously and will send me a free castle so that Spike and Leia can each rule in their very own demesne!), come with a set of medievalish stickers.

Look!  Sticker art!
But, you know, it occurred to me that the medievalish stickers were just a touch too anthropomorphic.  I mean, cats do rightfully see us as their servants, and they might pity us enough to let us stand in clanking armor in miserable weather to guard their castles, but this knight is somewhat small to be a proper feline protector.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that should a human being of this stature appear at the Cat Castle, well, things would turn out otherwise.

So for the sake of realism, I added a few artistic flourishes of my own:

Sir Soon-to-Be-Disemboweled
That's better. 

Happy New Year!