Follow the reluctant adventures in the life of a Welsh astrophysicist sent around the world for some reason, wherein I photograph potatoes and destroy galaxies in the name of science. And don't forget about my website,

Friday 27 July 2012

History Lessons

What with all the sightseeing and assorted shenanigans of late, I almost forgot something very important. Something small and fluffy wid a widdle nose an' widdl wegs an' a widdle tail an' that goes "maaaaow !" Yes, you've guessed it,  for two weeks - just before gallivanting off to New Mexico - I got to experience life with Egypt's greatest Pharaoh, Ramesses.

Err, well, alright, it was an 8-week old kitten named Ramesses. The title of this post is, in fact, A Lie. I've no idea why the name Ramesses was chosen, because there's not a lot of similarities between Ramesses the Great (or even any of the other Ramesses, come to that) and a small fluffy kitten. Let's compare :

This incredibly poorly named fluffy creature has many advantages over a Egyptian Pharaoh who's been mummified for 3,000 years. For one thing, having a kitten around the house doesn't tend to freak people out in the same way that a preserved corpse would. On the other hand, corpses don't tend to pounce out unexpectedly on people, claws outstretched with an expression of mad, psychopathic glee :

Another important difference is that the dessicated bodies of Egyptian rulers aren't known for looking adorable if you put them in a box, or a bag, or indeed anywhere else for that matter.

On the other hand, while both the Ramesses were/are fully house trained*, the pharaonic Ramesses weren't known for an obsession with trying to eat internet cables. Ramesses the Kitten, on the other hand, was particularly fond of the antenna on my wi-fi router. Possibly, being an astronomy cat, he was trying to stop me from generating RFI.

* At least I assume so. There's no mention of Ramesses the Great crushing the Hittites and then pooping everywhere, so this is probably a safe bet.

Finally, if you take an Egyptian ruler and stuff him in a washing basket, you'll be in big trouble when he gets out. If you take the corpse of Egypt's greatest ruler and roll it around inside a washing basket, you won't live very long. But if you put Ramesses the Kitten inside a washing basket, you'll get an evening's entertainment.

While I haven't had a kitten since I was about 8 years old, and like all right-thinking people know that cats are the higher form of life, I had mixed feelings about giving him back (fortunately, this was immediately before the Socorro trip, so I had no choice). Having an adorable fluffy kitten is one thing. Having it continuously attack everything in sight is another. Especially at 12:30am. So, the house is calm, once again. And quiet. So very quiet...

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