Random Musings of a Woman with Too Many Cats

And a field of study that few people know much about...

Monday, June 27, 2011


Metella Porcia is my old handle on a now-defunct social website called AncientSites that I belonged to ten or so years ago .  It allowed people with an interest in ancient civilizations (well, at least some of us had an interest in them) to meet online and discuss our interests, play online games, and-- well, essentially it was similar to Facebook .  I chose the handle I did as a sort of joke-- the Metelli and the Porcii (Portii--the family name was off of a list and whoever chose that one misspelled it) were two of the most hidebound conservative families in late Republican Rome.

 My own political inclinations are pretty far to the left: I think one of the main functions of a good government is taking care of those who most need protection, and that those include the poor, the victimized, the sick, the young and the old.  Although I strongly believe military spending is vital for the protection of a country, I do not believe that spending several times as much money as any other country in the world on the military is likely to do anything other than encourage military adventures abroad.  I also think that continuing to throw money at the very rich has very little effect on job creation, at least job creation in the United States, and I don't believe continued refusal on the part of the Republicans to consider restoring tax levels to pre-2001 levels for the very wealthy will make the fiscal crisis any better.  I do think that continuing to disassemble the social safety net will eventually lead to societal instability and unrest, and that defaulting on our government's loans will cause the economy to collapse completely.  I wonder if people like Ryan and McConnell have thought at all about what they might be creating.

I think that how our country taxes needs to be more equitable, with corporations and the very wealthy paying a greater share, and perhaps --just possibly!-- tax credits being tied to job creation in the United States!  I think also that we should cut back on military spending, and use the savings to fund programs that help more of the lesser privileged people in this country: programs like WIC, more money for education--including grants (less emphasis on loans!) for higher education, retraining for jobs, and healthcare for all (yes, I do mean single payer!).  Right now we have a privileged upper class that is doing very well indeed, while the majority of people in this country are not as well off as they were thirty years ago.  I find this a frighteningly unstable situation, and I think we need to get it fixed.  

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I got interested in Classics because of Walt Disney's Fantasia.

 I saw the movie when I was five or six, and really loved the segment with Beethoven's Sixth Symphony (a piece of music I still love, by the way).  Of course, now I find it amusing how the Disney animators mixed actual mythology (thunderbolts forged by Cyclopes for Zeus) with pure fancy (a whole family of winged horses when Pegasus was the one and only)! 

Whatever.  My five year old self was captivated, and I wanted to know more.  A few years later, I found D'Aulaire's Greek Myths at the library, and really started learning about mythology.  As I got older, my interest spread to other cultures besides Ancient Greece and comparative religions as well.  In high school and college, Joseph Campbell was my hero.  I'm still interested today, and honestly the interest in comparative religion has done much to inform my own (rather unconventional) religious views also.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I should have said that we were down to five (from six) when poor Phoebe disappeared about three months ago.  I really can count, I promise!

Why "Cats and Classics"?

I chose this title for my blog because I spend a great deal of time thinking about both of these subjects.  They also have a rather nice alliterative quality...

I think about cats because I live with five of them, which is really a little crazy but it's not my fault.  Last year when I moved to Frederick, I didn't know that my house came with a feral cat, and that she had produced a litter of kittens days before we moved in!  My boyfriend Gerry, with whom I live in two places (more about that in another post!) had two cats, Phoebe and Jade, and I had one, Spots.

I had just lost a dog, and really intended to get another, but then, we discovered our surprise residents.  Being tender-hearted types, and also thinking that my daughter, Natalie, who lives with us half the time and with her Dad half the time, would enjoy raising some kittens, we borrowed a trap from the local no-kill shelter and brought everybody inside.  We thought we'd keep one or two kittens, but ended up with three for a total of five cats, and no dog.  Such is life...

Why Classics?  Why indeed...

I got a BA in Classics from the University of Oklahoma, and I enjoyed getting the degree quite a lot.  Unfortunately, one of my former husband's Electrical Engineering professors had the most typical reaction to my course of study.  First, he asked me what instrument I played, and then when I told him I was, in fact, studying the language, history and culture of Ancient Greece and Rome, he said, "Don't worry dear, stick with Ben and he'll support you."

Personally, I think I'd make a great Founding Father, but there isn't a great demand for those right now.

Never-the-less, I love the Classics, especially the history and mythology, and I'm glad that I have studied them in some depth.  Now that I'm no longer "sticking with Ben" I'm working on a degree to teach English in high schools however.  It's much more likely to result in an actual job.

About the instrument: I don't actually play an instrument, but I do sing, and I like classical music too.