Sunday, October 30, 2011


The Queen has been pootling everywhere about Australia in the last couple of days, wearing hats, waving hands, and generally being present in the moment in that quietly satisfied way she seems to have. As she's gone here and there she's been giving journalists plenty of opportunity to get fussed about politicians causing perceived breaches of protocol by either doing or not doing some very small but important or unimportant thing in the royal presence of her royal person, although of course the journalists are neither sure what the breach nor what the protocol is; she's caught a royal tram for a couple of blocks, making me wonder if she used a royal Metcard or a royal Myki*; and she's attended CHOGM, whatever and wherever that is.

By an odd coincidence, just as the Queen has been pootling all over Australia in the past week, so have our cats, Harriet and Bea, been pootling all over our backyard, jumping over fences, popping their head in the door to make sure it's still open (and that it's still letting in the cold air) and trotting off to jump over other fences, and generally being present in the moment in that quietly satisfied way they seem to have. Do you see where I'm going here? It seems to me that the position of the Queen and my two cats could very easily be reversed, and such a solution, once it has suggested itself to us, cannot easily be denied, as it would provide a good deal of variety and excitement for all concerned.

To that end, I have drawn up this revised itinerary for the Royal Persons and also for the Queen... I mean my cats.

- Toddling up and down and round the backyard, occasionally crouching down in a corner and opening the royal mouth to see if any pigeons will accidentally fly in.
- getting the royal bangers and mash from the royal bowl on the floor.
- more generally backyard exercises, popping in and out of the house, maybe climbing onto the roof once or twice via the water tank.
- climbing all over my keyboard while I am typing, and creating the neologism 'ZASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSss!' by accidentally tripping over some of the keys.
- rest of the day - sitting in a box and quietly meditating upon future royal duties.

- Receiving the general applause and acclaim of crowds.
- Catching the Feline Tram up St Kilda Road, chasing one another up and down the tram and hiding behind the seats until it's time to get off.
- Opening the new Royal Children's Hospital, mostly by chasing the ribbon around the room for 20 frenzied minutes and then curling up on one of the new chairs and sleeping.
- Catching the plane to CHOGM, sniffing under the seats of all the participants and playing with everyone's shoelaces.

Of course there will be a great deal there to get used to but in time I'm sure the cats will come to understand their new duties and perform them with alacrity. In the end this being a royal thing seems to boil down to posing for appropriate photo opportunities, and I know our cats do that VERY well. So it shouldn't be too hard for them. What do you think?

The Queen. She may rule over entire nations, but is she up to the rigorous standards of box sitting and biscuit eating that our cats have set?

UPDATE! - Bea is in my lap - again. Not only is this not on the itinerary, but I can't very well do anything on my own itinerary either. Bung goes that plan.

Then again I suppose if the Queen were sitting in my lap in the way Bea is that would be a rather sizable breach of protocol. (I'd better check with an authority on that one, though, just to make sure.)

*That's not the only thing I wondered about the royal tram. Other questions that arose before my mind when told about this mode of conveyance: what if they accidentally caught the wrong tram and ended up in Box Hill? Did the ticket inspectors get on? Were there the customary Melbourne Drunks On The Tram, and did they stick to protocol by offering the royal persons a swig from whatever it was they were carrying with them, etc etc etc.


Anonymous said...

Images of QE II (the woman, not the ship) sitting on your lap have flashed, unbidden, through my mind. She's smugly satisfied in that feline kind of way.

Perhaps I could sell this scoop to your authority on Royal etiquette. After all, that's about as much substantiation as they would need. The fee would just about cover the counselling I now require as the result of your post ;)

TimT said...

I just KNEW when I put that update in that that image would be the talking point.

Maybe there are just some things that cats were born to do that royalty can't/shouldn't attempt. Like that.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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