Al Stewart was born September 5, 1945 in Glasgow, Scotland. He writes and sings what might best be called historic folk-rock. One of my favorite songs by Al Stewart is 1976’s Year of the Cat. Some years ago I met my sister Pam in London and took her to Cats for her birthday.
“Jadi!” Pam whispered towards the end of the show. “Why is that prostitute cat climbing a ladder to heaven??”
“Uh, Pam,” I whispered back. “Think! What has nine lives?”
But back to Year of the Cat…. The lyrics begin like this:
In a country where they turn back time
You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre
Contemplating a crime
She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running
Like a watercolor in the rain
Don’t bother asking for explanations
She’ll just tell you that she came
In the year of the cat
Songwriting doesn’t get any better than this. In his honor here is the post I wrote about his feline friends. – Jadi
I used to lead a writers’ group. I once compared the job to herding cats and the group loved the description. It became one of my official titles: Jadi Campbell, Herder of Cats.
Try to herd cats sometime; it simply can’t be done. Close your eyes for a minute and imagine a basket in the middle of a long room. The basket opens up and out pop fifteen cats of all ages and breeds. Can you picture them? Long hair, short hair, Manx, kittens, tomcats, calico, tiger striped, Egyptian, Persian, running, sitting abruptly to wash a paw, tumbling, chasing one another, purring, wandering away in all directions. Now, keeping your eyes closed, try to get those cats to all head in the same direction – the one that YOU want them to go in.
You will open your eyes and comprehend it is impossible to get a single cat to do what you want them to, much less a clowder of them.  Not only that: you start sneezing, because you’ve discovered you’re allergic.
NOTES:  Yet another word to describe a group of cats is a pounce of pussies. Even better is the definition for a group of feral felines: A destruction of wild cats. © Jadi Campbell 2017. Previously published as The Animal Kingdom: A Clowder. All photos © Uwe Hartmann. To see more of Uwe’s animal photos and pics from our trips go to viewpics.de.
My books are Broken In: A Novel in Stories, Tsunami Cowboys, The Trail Back Out and Grounded.
Click here for my author page to learn more about me and purchase my books.
2 thoughts on “Today’s Birthday: Alastair Ian Stewart”
Before retiring, I helped manage a law firm with five offices and 160 lawyers. That was tantamount to herding cats!
Or swimming with sharks! 5 offices and 160 lawyers sounds like a lot to manage!