Picture from: The Telegraph 11 November 2010
I love owls! I love pussycats! I can really understand why an owl and a pussycat would get married. But more of that in a minute!
The above owl and kitten have become best friends after a litter of abandoned kittens was taken to a bird sanctuary in Hampshire, UK. This kitten has become inseparable from Nigel, a white faced scop owl.
I’ve always loved cats. I grew up with them. However, I didn’t discover owls until around 10 years ago when I was in Cornwall and visited an owl sanctuary. While there I saw some little baby owls (owlets?) which were sitting on a bar right next to the walls of the cage, where I was able to touch them. Now it may not have seemed like the most sensible thing to do, to stick my fingers through the gaps in a cage so that a wild bird could get them, but it was a wonderful experience. You know the way when you rub a cat on its chin and under its ears it rubs against you? Well that’s exactly what these little owls did! And their eyes were so like cat’s eyes. I was enthralled and in love from that moment.
So since that time the idea of an owl and a cat getting married, as they do in the poem ‘The Owl and the Pussycat, seemed completely logical. They are so alike.
And to make this poem even more special, I read it at the wedding of very good friends a couple of years ago. It did raise a few giggles as I said ‘ Oh lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are… What a beautiful Pussy you are’! But I didn’t care. Sometimes I just have no shame.
Here for your enjoyment, or a a reminder of its loveliness, is the whole poem:
The Owl and the Pussy-cat By Edward Lear
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
‘O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
What a beautiful Pussy you are!’
Pussy said to the Owl, ‘You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?’
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.
‘Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?’ Said the Piggy, ‘I will.’
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.