Tag Archives: cat

Cat Catechumen

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When I first saw this week’s strips I was skeptical of the feasibility of a cat living in a church. I know that businesses, nursing homes, and libraries have kept cats in the past; I’ve seen the same puff pieces in the lifestyles section as everyone else.

But with roughly 20 percent of people having some level of allergic reaction to cats, I had a hard time believing that any church would risk annoying congregants and turning away potential parishioners by letting a feline frolic through the foyer. On the other hand, Tom steals more story ideas than Shakespeare, there was a good chance he’d come across some fluffy choir cat story on the news. So I went on a quest to find church cats.

After cutting out the results for the undead monster cat from Pet Semetary, I found, among others, the following adorable moggy muffins curling up between the pews. And really, aren’t cat pictures better than trying to find something to say about Lillian talking to Dinkle about vermin?

Samuel Emmanuel who lived at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Southern Pines, North Carolina from 2000 to 2006
Simon, who has lived in The Church of the Advent in Boston since 2012
Doorkins Magnificat, who lived in the Southwark Cathedral in London from 2008 to 2020, and became a minor celebrity/church mascot.

Canterbury Cathedral has several cats, and a few made the news this past year for sneaking into the live streams of The Dean of Canterbury’s prayers.

Canterbury Cathedral cat steals the show during sermon - again! | Meridian  | ITV News
Tiger, who also loves pancakes.

Sadly, back in 2013 the cathedral mourned the loss of one of their sweet sneaky boys. His name? Laptop.

Laptop: Canterbury Cathedral Cat Remembered | Canterbury cathedral, Cats,  Kitten meowing
Suck it Bingo. Here’s the Lion King of uniquely named church cats.

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Black Cat Familiar

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Yes Dinkle, we know. We know you know all about mascots. Just like you knew all about playing music and directing and fundraising. You’re a former high school band director. WE ARE PAINFULLY FAMILIAR WITH THE CONCEPT.

And who isn’t familiar with mascots? Was he being ironic? If so, why did we need an entire panel of him imagining a school logo?

And in what universe does this exchange not come across as extremely dickish? Lillian was explaining that the cat was the mascot, she wasn’t asking if Dinkle knew what a mascot was.

It would be like showing a friend your new Jeep and having them roll their eyes and tell you that they are familiar with the concept of internal combustion engines.

And Dinkle is imagining the school logo. He didn’t even have the decency to remember the actual live goat he bought to stand on the sidelines and nibble chemically treated turfgrass while watching the Scapegoats lose. Paul deserved better.

Our Funkistorian Billy The Skink posted these back in 2018. But for any of our more recent readers, a little journey back in time.

FW9-26-83
FW9-27-83
FW10-1-83

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There Were Some Bats Who Had A Cat…

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The knowing smirks exchanged by the characters today signaled to me that there was supposed to be a joke somewhere in here, even though I didn’t see it on first glance.

After hours of careful study and research, I’ve decided the joke was that the cat is actually named Bingo because St. Spires, like many churches, supports itself with organized charitable gambling.

Which lends weight to St Spires being Catholic. Church Bingo tends to be a Catholic exercise, though in big cities, it might be Jewish. Back in the heyday, Protestant ministers would lambast Bingo as a vile and immoral game of chance, really no better than the indulgences that had once funded the papacy. Even today, some churches struggle with the morality of making their money from hosting gambling, often by people outside their congregation.

But back in the Great Depression, Bingo kept many parishes from shutting their doors. Edwin Lowe, the man who first sold the game under the name BINGO, claimed he was approached by a Catholic Priest only months after he first started selling Bingo. It was because of the concerns of this priest that Lowe contacted Columbia University math professor, Carl Leffler, to create thousands of unique Bingo cards, so there would be less repeated winners. According to legend, the math professor subsequently went insane.

Of course, Lowe only improved and named an already existing game. The first attestations of a bingo-like game date all the way back to Italy in the 16th century. And the word ‘Bingo’ also predates association with the game by centuries. Lowe claimed that he chose the name after a player of ‘Beano’, the game’s precursor, shouted ‘Bingo!’ when she won. In the 1920’s, the word ‘bingo’ had become an expression of surprise and success.

The semi-nonsensical word had been circulating for a long time. Before most of us have ever played a game of Bingo, we are taught the nursery song about a farmer’s dog. And that song is older than the US Constitution. The earliest printed version of the song with a dog named Bingo was listed in The Humming Bird songbook in 1785.

“The farmer’s dog leapt over the stile,
his name was little Bingo,
the farmer’s dog leapt over the stile,
his name was little Bingo.”

But WHY was the dog named Bingo? Well, the answer may be in the forgotten second verse.

“The farmer loved a cup of good ale,
he called it rare good stingo,
the farmer loved a cup of good ale,
he called it rare good stingo.”

The farmer was a raging alcoholic.

See, the song was originally a drinking song.

And some of the earliest attestations of the word ‘bingo’ list it as a slang term for brandy.

So if the cat isn’t named after gambling, she’s definitely named after booze.

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CATalogue of Nonsense

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I’m sorry, WHAT?

In what place in this tiny choir loft was this cat hiding?

The church allows a cat in the choir loft? Thereby excluding anyone with feline allergies from choir participation, if not church attendance?

These ladies force a cat that appears social to live alone in a tiny choir loft, with companionship only a couple hours a week during practice and services?

These dumb ladies never thought to mention their cat to Dinkle, their choir director of weeks, if not months, (if not years, given Sunday’s strip)?

They’re still insisting that the Choir Loft is a perpetual man-free zone only recently invaded, when Dinkle has been their choir director for weeks, if not months, if not longer?

Even if the cat was hiding, Dinkle failed to notice litter boxes, food dishes, cat beds, an omnipresent layer of fine black hair covering every surface?

And, the most important question of all: Mopey Pete and Minty’s middle-aged daughter travelled back in time to before her birth to participate in the all-female church choir in Centerview?

Is this an extended, Back to the Future incident?

Or has she come back to prevent some kind of horrifying future apocalypse?

Does she have to work to ensure her own birth?

Does she have to work to PREVENT her own birth?

Is Minty Pete the CAUSE of the horrifying future apocalypse?

Is this poor middle-aged woman in a weirdly tight striped shirt actually burdened by the deaths of a thousand future innocents, and carefully planning her own temporally displaced suicide for the betterment of future mankind?

Wouldn’t that be a much better story than what we’re getting this week?

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‘Sometimes dead is better.’

Link To Today’s Strip

Happy May, Funkysnark Fans! Comic Book Harriet here, ready to push us through another couple weeks of this horror show, much like the shambling hulk that pushed the cart through the haunted murder attraction in House of 1000 Corpses.

Prepare yourselves for…. Strip of 1000 Smirks!

Many thanks to Spaceman Spiff for guiding us through two weeks of some of the weirdest storytelling to come out of Funky Winkerbean for a while now. It was like each day brought us another level down deeper into another tangent of meaninglessness. Never has a story that begins with a man buying doughnuts for alcoholics and ends with him nearly dying to save a CD player been told with such astounding lack of passion or sense.

Now we’re back to the Dinkle pandemic that has been sweeping this strip for the last year. We’ve had nearly 50 days of Dinkle since November (the traditional start of Dinkle season.) This is my third shift in a row where I’ve gotten Dinkle arcs. First he was teaching piano lessons, then he was substitute teaching, and now I get my chance to get in on the ‘Dinkle scores a choir harem’ action.

But maybe the Dinkpocalypse is coming to a close soon. Today we get an exciting celebrity cameo: the undead hell cat from Pet Semetary, Winston Churchhill. I, for one, am eagerly anticipating Dinkle getting his scrawny arms ripped to shreds like chicken drumsticks.

#1 Church Cat

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