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She has worms. Or she’s a witch.

Must be the change of seasons; the cat is going through one of her periodic Ravening Pig phases. (Hm. Note to self: worming pills).

We call her Grizzel Greedigutt when she does this, from this charming woodcut of the Witchfinder General. Yes, yes…I know it looks like it says Griozzdl Greedigutt, but it’s given as Grizzel in the text.

The text! That’s right, you can read Hopkins’ The Discovery of Witches for free! On your Kindle! Knowing that Matthew Hopkins would have had you hanged as a witch if he caught you doing such a thing!

Mmmm. You know, I realize there was a deeply nasty hysteria in the air, and lots of perfectly innocent ugly old crones and unpopular people with funny looking moles got whacked. But surely some of the people accused of witches were so because they believed themselves to be witches. I mean, this cuts both ways. People believed in witchcraft. Believed it could accomplish all sorts of wonderful things. Who wouldn’t be tempted?

I’m not talking the modern hippie notion of wise women and herbalists. From what I can tell, spells of the time were disease cures, love philtres, aphrodisiacs, money callers and getting back at your enemies. Basically, all the shit for sale that landed in your spam filter today.

We’re still the same old shaved monkeys, aren’t we?


Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: March 7, 2013, 12:15 am

The words change, but the behavior persists.

Comment from Nina
Time: March 7, 2013, 12:18 am

Yes we are.

Comment from Pupster
Time: March 7, 2013, 12:25 am

Heh. Spamwitch.

Comment from Doubting Rich
Time: March 7, 2013, 12:26 am

Are you suggesting that we burn those responsible for spam at the stake? I could probably chip in for some firewood.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: March 7, 2013, 12:49 am

“If The Devil, ahem Spam ahem, God, did not exist, it would be necessary to create him”.


Comment from Spad13
Time: March 7, 2013, 1:05 am

And Doubting Rich beats me to the punch.

Yes burn them at the stake.

As long as they weigh less than a duck. It’s science.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: March 7, 2013, 1:11 am

One of the claims of Wiccans and Neo-Pagans is that Exodus 22:18 should be translated “Thou shalt not suffer a poisoner to live.”

But there was not much distinction between a poisoner and a witch in pre-modern times.

Both could achieve harm to others through occult methods.

Yes, almost certainly, some of those executed for witchcraft really thought they were practicing witchcraft; but what they were really doing, when it worked, was administering herbal drugs and potions, some lethal.

You might want to look up the story “The Power of Every Root” by Avram Davidson, written when he lived in Mexico. It tells of the murder by slow poison of a young policeman by a curandero who is shagging his wife, and knows “the power of every root”. The policeman goes mad before he dies, perhaps possessed. His superiors, who are somewhat afraid of the curandero, decide not to investigate, on the excuse that it would be improper for the secular government to touch on spiritual matters.

Comment from Some Bewitched Vegetable
Time: March 7, 2013, 3:26 am

By the way, Gutenburg also has this book which I found by searching on ‘Witch’ – it popped up first. I haven’t read it yet, but I did like the cover. Maybe I’ll do some more ‘Witch hunting’ on Gutenburg for, ah, purely scientific purposes, you understand


Comment from tomfrompv
Time: March 7, 2013, 6:44 am

Obama can kill all them witches with his drones. And unlike days of yore, Obama don’t need no stinking trials either. If the Prez thinks you’re a bad person, you’re toast.

At least you had a chance with that duck test!

Comment from MIke C.
Time: March 7, 2013, 7:43 am

Well, the whole subject made for an amusing episode in season 1 of The Black Adder, at least.

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: March 7, 2013, 11:15 am

Could be both. A witch. With worms.

I’ll get some firewood. Because, worms.

Comment from Ken
Time: March 7, 2013, 2:47 pm

The Ravening Pig phased may have a seasonal component. Our indoor-only cats seem to be in it too.

Comment from Redd
Time: March 7, 2013, 3:09 pm

So, the poor cat gets burned for practicing witchcraft?

Comment from mojo
Time: March 7, 2013, 3:36 pm

Had a cat named Pywackett once.

Probably woulda burned me.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: March 7, 2013, 7:12 pm

Interesting about cats getting spring appetite syndrome. Our house-moggy is ravenous right now, but I thought that was just because my wife recently started giving her canned tuna, or, as my friend referrs to it, “Kitty Smack”. Breakfast can’t come early enough for our little Familiar and it’s already creeping back towards 5 a.m. Fortunately, Ms. Moggy thinks that only Mrs. Vegetable has the keys to the fridge.

Comment from surly
Time: March 7, 2013, 9:02 pm

Where’s Weasel? Lower left corner.
I’ve seen that “newes” feller before. I’ve got a hell of a weasel image collection.

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