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:
On a morning from a Bogart movie
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
– Source: LyricFind; Songwriters: Alistair Ian Stewart / Peter John Wood
Year of the Cat lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group, Carlin America Inc.
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.
Broken In: A Novel in Stories was semifinalist for the international 2020 Hawk Mountain Short Story Collection Award and Finalist for Greece’s 2021 Eyelands Book of the Year Award (Short Stories). Tsunami Cowboys was longlisted for the 2019 ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Award. The Trail Back Out was American Book Fest 2020 Best Book Award Finalist: Fiction Anthologies, Runner-Up for the 2021 Top Shelf Award, 2021 IAN Book of the Year Award Short Story Collection Finalist, and awarded a 2021 Wishing Shelf Red Ribbon. The title story The Trail Back Out was longlisted for the 2021 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Award.
Click here for my author page to learn more about me and purchase my books.