In Memoriam Boromir, 2010-2023

ginger and white cat curled up on lap

The Kitten, I usually called him here, but his name was Boromir – named for an early strength and boldness which – alas! – he soon grew out of. (Follow link for cute kitten pics!)

In fact, the only cat he would even pretend to fight with was his mother – though he did eventually learn some important lessons about the consequences of not following Rule 1 (Do Not Allow Other Cats to Bite You in the Bum).

He was a skilled hunter, albeit the results were not always to the humans’ satisfaction. The incident of the giant cicada is still seared on my memory, after nearly thirteen years.

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William Wilberforce’s Bucket List

The bucket list is a relatively recent concept, being invented by screenwriter Justin Zackham – first with “Justin’s List of Things to Do Before I Kick the Bucket” (1999), and subsequently with the film The Bucket List (2007). But the idea of having goals you want to achieve before you die – well, that has a longer history.

Consider William Wilberforce, for example. In 1787, at the age of about 28, he wrote in his journal that, “God Almighty has set before me two great objects: the suppression of the slave trade and the reformation of manners.” (By “manners” he didn’t mean etiquette, but rather the manner of living practiced by society at large – what we might call lifestyle or culture.)

Portrait of William Wilberforce sitting with quill pen in hand at a desk covered in books and papers.

None of this “I want to do a bungee jump, and skydive, and go snorkelling in a tropical resort” stuff for Wilberforce. No, he cut straight to the big stuff: destroy the unethical underpinnings of the global economy, and reform the whole culture he lived in. And having fixed his sights on those goals, he threw everything he had at them.

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