Thursday, 17 October 2019

First, bell the cat

One staple of wargames blogs is the story of how gaming has been disrupted by cats. My being  bit of an ailurophobe has led to that sort of posting not featuring here - until now....

I had intended to post today about a rare double wargame Wednesday, with firstly Keith visiting the annexe for some To the Strongest!, followed by visiting the legendary wargames room to conclude the game that James and I had enjoyed so much the previous week. The first half of the plan worked fine, with Keith taking a liking to the rules, with which he was able to draw a number of parallels with the DBMM that he usually plays. I set up a simple Romans v Celts game on a featureless tabletop and suggested he played the latter as, while they would probably lose, they were were more interesting. He did so, but ignored my instructions to lose by routing the Romans in double quick time. The replacement morale rules in Ever Stronger can be very unkind to formations who stand in a couple of lines on the defensive against attackers arriving piecemeal depending on the vagaries of initiative. I think another game with more complex terrain is in order. The chariots are still crap.

Events were then disrupted by the unexpected arrival of Coral Laroc - previously mentioned on this blog more than once, but whom I hadn't seen for about eighteen months - with her cat, demanding a shower (Coral not the cat). There is naturally an interesting and immensely complicated backstory as to why she arrived out of the blue after such a long gap, why she wanted to perform her ablutions at the Casa Epictetus, and why she brought the bloody cat with her. However, this blog is dedicated to, and focused on, wargaming and has no space for digressions such as that. The part that is germane to us is that when she came downstairs after her shower it transpired that the cat had disappeared. There followed a lot of finger wagging in my direction before she produced a cat-finding app on her phone, which rather led me to believe she (the cat not Coral) is a bit prone to sloping off when she feels like it. Anyway, said app identified that the cat was either behind or underneath one of the fitted cupboards in the kitchen. It was at that point that I decided to phone James and tell him not to expect me. 

So what we had was a cat that we could neither see not hear and which we didn't know whether was alive or dead. Now, some readers may be feeling the same sense of recognition about this scenario that I was. We were, it seemed, repeating Schrödinger's famous thought experiment about the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, in my kitchen. My main conclusion from the available evidence was that my own Verschränkung with Ms Laroc and Daizee was greater than I wished it to be. Sadly the distinguished physicist was not very specific about how one got the cat out of its box and so we were left very much to our own devices. The former Mrs Epictetus owns a Jack Russell and so my suggestion was that we commandeered that and set it to flush out the cat. However, I was persuaded of the dangers that we might end up in an 'old lady who swallowed a fly' situation with ever larger mammals needing to be introduced into the house in order to reach a conclusion. In the end therefore I reached for the toolbox and partially dismantled the kitchen, allowing cat and owner to be reunited. Instead of throttling the beast, as it deserved, Coral appropriated a tin of tuna from one of the cupboards still standing and fed it "to try to help it overcome its trauma". The world has gone mad.


  1. Sounds like you're in dangerous territory there. All things being equal, I'd be looking to give it a sly kick to put it off wanting to return to Casa Epictetus (the cat not Coral).

  2. You had to get the cat out, the smell would be terrible if you didn't, well certainly after the first week or so!
    Best Iain