I see there’s been a lot of activity in this group.
It’s going to take me a bit to go through it all.
Sorry for the absence.
The past few weeks have been fairly life heavy.
Three weeks ago, Bastet my ancient cat of 18 years died.
So, that left me bummed.
The next week, my car died.
That left me scrambling.
Since then, I’ve learned the local bus routes and got my bike tuned up – I live a mere 5 miles from work.
Once that was taken care of, my wife and I noticed that the house was really empty without a cat. So, she started searching the adoption boards.
She asked if I had any preferences. I told her to choose a sad cat that nobody else wants.
She found a Black & White American Short Hair (Tuxedo) – a feral who was rescued when it was found with its front right leg crushed (eventually fully amputated), and who can be aggressive when overstimulated. I’ve had a cat who also had the overstimulation issue, so it wasn’t a big deal to me.
On this past Saturday, we adopted him.
The place that rescued him named him Ringo. That’s a fine name, but then I remembered someone from Roman history – C. (Gaius) Mucius Scaevola.
In the early days of Rome, they were at war with the Etruscans. Gaius Mucius, a young soldier, went to the elders and pitched a plan: send him in at night to infiltrate the Etruscan camps and assassinate their king. The elders approved. However, Gaius Mucius failed in his attempt and was captured. Brought before the king to stand trial, Gaius Mucius told the king that Rome had 300 other assassins waiting to step up and finish the job. He then placed his right hand into a nearby flame, and as his hand was burning swore that Rome did not fear him and would defeat him.
The Etruscan king sent Gaius Mucius back to Rome alive, and then sued for peace.
The Romans made Gaius Mucius a hero and gave him the nickname Scaevola (the left-handed).
And so, as Ringo settles in (he already has), he will notice that his human servants will start calling him “Sky” rather than “Ringo.”
Sky, or more formally C. (Cattus) Mucius Scaevola.
Dime has asked me for a weekly example or quote in Latin. And now that I have Sky, I thought it would be fun to give Sky a Latin language page on Twitter and post a weekly* “Cat Thought” in Latin. (*Weekly = I’ll try for weekly, but really when I get to it).
So, I have Sky’s Twitter account up: https://twitter.com/CMuciusScaevola
And I have Sky’s first Cogitatum Catti (Cat Thought), and that thought is in the form of Latin verse.
One of the most famous Roman poets was Martial. Imagine if Henny Youngman was a poet and spoke Latin. Martial was famous for his comic (often insulting) two-line verses. A lot of them translate well to today’s humor – they’re actually funny.
Martial’s two line form was known as the Elegiac Couplet. I won’t go into too much detail as it’s kind of advance Latin. If you’re interested in more info, then Google is your friend.
I will post the poem, then the poem marked up for scansion (poetic analysis of meter), and then the translation.
“Dē mensā descende!” mihi acclamat mea serva.
At quā rē posuit serva cibos mea ibī?
“Dē mēn/sā dēs/cēndĕ!” mĭ/hi-ācclā/māt mĕă / sērvå.
Āt quā / rē pŏsŭ/īt || sērvă cĭ/bōs mĕa-ĭb/ī?
“Get down from the table!” my servant girl yells at me.
But why did my servant girl put food there?
The cat thought of the week*.
Enjoy, or not.