Saturday, 31 March 2012

A - Z Challenge: A is for Ailuromancy and also for Robert Aspirin

is for

            PART 1:
            WHAT IS IT?
Ailuromancy or Felidomancy is the art of foretelling future events by the observation of cats or felines movements.
We get this one from the Greeks who generally used it most to predict the weather, which makes sense since if there’s one thing that a farmer needs to know its what the weathers going to be like tomorrow and if there's one thing a farm will always have it's a farm cat.

Pictured: Typical farmcat of New Zealand.  Excercise Caution.

            WHERE DO YOU GET IT?
Anywhere you can obtain a cat and/or a fire. For those that strive for authenticity you should travel to Greece and, disguised as a gypsy to throw any interested parties off the trail, take a cat from the closest farm. After managing to evade customs and several shady underworld figures [1] it will no doubt be more than willing to tell you what the weather will be like tomorrow.

            USING IT IN REAL LIFE:
The actual divination itself depends on how the cat acts around a fire. If, for instance, it turns its tail to the fire then a change in the weather is fast approaching and the farmer should be on the lookout for rain or a hard frost. However if the cat lies curled up with its forehead touching the ground then it means that stormy weather is on the way.
            USING IT IN WRITING:
Don't limit the divinations of cats to just the weather. A quick search on the Internet shows the huge influence our favourite furry mousetraps have had on us.
  • a cat washing its face or ears means rain is coming soon.
  • a cat following you, means money coming your way. [2]
  • A cat washing one ear three times, expect visitors from the direction in which the cat is looking.
  • If a grooming cat puts its paw around its right ear, it was said to mean that a gentleman will soon come to visit; around the left ear, it meant a lady.
  • If a strange black cat suddenly enters your house, it is a omen of good fortune. However, do not try to chase it away or harm it in any way, because bad luck will then befall you.
  • If a cat sneezes the day before a wedding, in the USA [3] it means bad luck, but elsewhere it is supposed to mean the marriage will be a happy one.
  • If a white cat crosses your path, you are a very lucky individual. Meeting three black cats in succession it is also good luck, as well if a gray cat crosses your path.

It could be used to get the hero on his journey, or even brought into play when he's feeling at his lowest.
Maybe they could dismiss the whole thing as foolishness, coming as it does from the actions of a mere cat. 
If your resident magic person needs a quirk then allow them to become an expert at this particular form of divination.
Maybe they give the wrong prophecy to someone who shouldn't be able to fulfil it, for money, at the request of your baddie.


            PART II:
is also for
Asprin, Robert – Myth Adventures

This series is something of a favourite from a long time ago. It follows the adventures of the demon (short for Dimensional Traveller) Pervect, Aahz who has lost his magical abilities [4] and his apprentice Skeev, who hasn't.

Skeev is our eyes and ears into this world and as he is just starting out in the respected fields of magic, dimensional travel and conjobs the reader is never really in over their heads since it's quite natural that things like his universe is known as Khlad and his people are known as Clods. A female troll is naturally a trollop and if you think you've gotten a good deal from a Deveel, who run the Bazaar where the pair eventually settle down, first count your fingers, then your limbs, then your relatives.

As you might have guessed many of the names of people and places are puns on various things and there are a few groaners amongst them. [5]
I would recommend this author to people who like Terry Pratchets Discworld or even the Xanth novels by Piers Anthony.

  1. A deed only made more difficult by your tendency to cackle maniacally at inappropriate times.
  2. Or that you have food and therefore less money but more importantly. Food!
  3. From what I can tell this dates from when the common name was The Americas
  4. Through the latest in a series of practical jokes with Skeeves former master, Garkin who was suddenly assassinated before he could restore them.  This is the major plot of the first book.
  5. Although not on the scale of the Xanth series, I don't do that level of masochism.

The Absolutely Abstemious Ass,
who resided in a Barrell, and only lived on
Soda Water and Pickled Cucumbers.


  1. Hello fellow A-Z Blogger.
    Love the cat pos. As a cat lover living in Greece, I can relate totally!
    Good luck with the challenge

  2. You wouldn't mind trying it out to see if it works would you? All I have is a pet rock and he never predicts anything.

  3. love it, I think...

    Great start... to the challenge "A" is for Awesome!
    Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
    A to Z Co-Host
    IZOMBIE: Visit the Madness

    please take off word verification:
    Go to dashboard, then to settings, then to comments, and move down to Show word verification for comments?... then turn off.
    you can always leave your "Comment moderation" on, this way you still can choose to keep control.

    1. Thanks. I'm trying for an even blend of obscure, the macabre with the slightest hint of helpful.

    2. and NOW word verification is turned off for certain. Sneaky thing decided to switch itself on again.

  4. I loved the Cat article. That is very interesting. . . Guess I'm gonna have to watch my cats more often. . .

    Konstanz Silverbow
    A to Z Co-host

    1. That's the attitude. Constant Vigilance!

  5. 1] count me in as a new jabberwockian... specifically being an ALICE super-duper fan!!!
    2] using AILUROMANCY right now, i would venture to say that today brings, as does all week, a long nap. At east that is what Fletcher here wants us to believe. [she's my cat]

    Violet @ Revolution ~ Evolution

    1. Welcome then welcome to this mockery of wockery. I didn't consider that cats might be using this against us.

  6. Just have to find a costume and set something on fire...I'll let you know what my cat says afterwards!

    1. I've got ten bucks on him saying something sarcastic.

  7. Very interesting reading (and I love cats!)

    1. They do tend to come in handy from time to time, the long haired ones make excellent mops.

  8. Great post, now will have to watch the kitties. Here in the Alabama boondocks......we watch the cows for signs of rain or storms lol. I guess there are crazies everywhere. :p

  9. Cow 1: "Yep, storms acoming"
    Cow 2: "should we tell the farmer?"
    Cow 1: "I would but I've hurt my leg"
    Cow 2: "Uh yeah. Me too"

    -Typical NZ conversation between cows