Categories
Donncha

Our Family Cat, Puss

You know, we never named our cat. I like to think it’s because cats are always half wild and you’re never sure what they’ll do. That’s certainly true for Puss. One moment you’re rubbing her soft fur, or scratching behind her ear, she’s purring and you’re relaxed. The next moment she has her claws into your wrist and her jaws are going for the flesh between your thumb and first finger.. ah.
Come to think of it, that pain doesn’t compare to the time she got caught up a tree in a gale. Yours truely had to go up fetch her down. As I dropped her down to my brother on the ground she did not want to let go of my hand at all!
She was a damn lucky cat too. While holidaying with my aunt, my brother and sister found her in Co. Cork up the side of mountain trail. She was meowing and thin and looking for food. For some reason they took her the many miles home to Cork. In the late Summer of 1989 we didn’t have a pet, never had one, and weren’t going to have one. However despite that, it was clear from the start that she adopted us.
“I want food!” “Give me attention!” “Go away, I’m tired!”
Such is the life of a cat.
Did I say she was lucky? She’s had her scrapes. On St. Stephen’s Day (Boxing Day) 1990 she jumped out of her box late at night. Unfortunately there was a fishing hook hanging down from the shelf above. She got caught in it and raced up the garden in great pain. When I heard the commotion, the meowing and the crying, I raced outside in pijamas, picked her up and cradled her as I took her indoors. The hook had lodged in her belly and her paw had stuck in the briars at the other end of the hook. I cradled her for what seemed like ages while my father rang a vet. I’m not sure at this stage did he call out to us, or did we call to his surgery, but he sorted her out. We continued to bring both Spring and Puss to the same vet for the last 14 years.
I rang home last Saturday to hear bad news. Unfortunately, Puss hadn’t been too well of late, she wasn’t eating, and was very lethargic. When I left for Chicago I guessed there might not be too much time left for her. I was right.
She was put to sleep last Wednesday. It must have been very hard on my father and brother to bring her to the vet, but it was the only humane thing to do.
Cats are known to be solitary creatures, they like their own company and shy away from human contact. Maybe that’s true in the wild, but I wouldn’t believe it for a moment when it comes to domesticated cats. Puss was part of the family, as was Spring.

Categories
Ireland When-in-Ireland

Gardaí prevent summons on Taoiseach

First I laughed at this, but then I though, “wtf! Why right do the police have obstructing a solicitor doing his job? Even if it is to issues a court summons to the prime minister of Ireland! This story has the scoop. (Thanks to Sharrow on IRC for the link)

[Solicitor John Devane] said he intended calling for a bench warrant for the arrest of both Mr Ahern and Mr Smith if they failed to come to the court on 12 June.

Categories
Photography

photoSIG: Sunset over Cork – I …

photoSIG: Sunset over Cork – I was just a bit hungover on New Year’s Day. It was after 3pm when I finally dragged myself from bed and when I looked out the window I saw a beautiful sky outside…

Categories
Donncha When-in-Ireland

John Tierney, friend and class …

John Tierney, friend and classmate, died in 1996 in a car accident in Limerick. I debated long and hard with myself all day whether I should post this or not. I searched extensively on various Irish news sites for reports on the crash but to no avail. Their archives just don’t go back that far. A search on ireland.com found an article about it (second link on that page), but it’s subscription only so I can’t link to it. It seems so meager and little to do but hopefully if my classmates google for details about the accident they’ll find my webpage and this commentry.

The photo below is a detail from the college newsletter of the week following the accident. I found it while cleaning up at home and took a photo of it with my digital camera.

If you’re reading this and you write a weblog, please link to this commentry with John’s name in the link, I want there to be something to find..

johntierney-whatson-obit-1996.gif
Categories
General

The Irish abortion referendum …

The Irish abortion referendum is going to happen on March 6th.

The Catholic Bishops of Ireland released a leaflet describing their stance on the abortion issue. They’re calling for a YES vote. The Pope is also calling for a YES vote. Unfortunately they don’t have a website I can link to but here’s a Google search to find related links.

If you vote NO then the status-quo will still be maintained. That is,

  1. The threat of suicide is a ground for abortion in this country.
  2. Women will have the right to information and travel.
  3. I think that it’s possible that abortions happen in this country already to save womens lives. At least that how I interpret point 3 below.

If you vote YES then:

  1. Suicide will be removed as a ground for abortion.
  2. Provide for a law on abortion that can only be changed by another referendum.
  3. Give constitutional and legal safeguards to medical practices where interventions are made to protect the life of the mother.

Nobody likes to think about abortion. It’s easiest to simply vote NO and get on with life. Fortunately there’s been plenty of arguments on radio, television and other media so people are getting some information. The booklet provided by refcom.ie is also very informative.

Here’s some arguements for voting YES:

  1. The threat of suicide is a phsycological issue that can be treated by councilling and treatment. Research and studies show that pregnant women are less likely to commit suicide. Other research shows that abortion itself appeared to be a significant factor for suicide.
  2. Acting on the above, we should protect all life, this is how I perceived the Catholic stance. They want to protect life, full stop. Catholic priests read out a letter from the Bishops this morning at masses, in which they stated that (to paraphrase), “a YES vote is the most appropriate in this case”.

And for NO:

  1. At present a woman can get an abortion in this country if she is suicidal. She should have as many options as possible for treatment of that condition.
  2. It’s up to every woman to decide whether or not she should have an abortion, not someone else. (ie. the voter)
  3. The Labour Party is advocating a NO vote. Party Leader, Ruairi Quinn says, “Whatever else this proposal is, it’s bad law and law making. What the Government through the Attorney General Michael McDowell is proposing to do is to write a Bill into the Constitution. What this means is that if it is passed, the only way it can be amended – even if it is found to be flawed – is through another referendum.” He also states that it is, “an attempt to roll back on women’s rights, and is asking questions of the electrorate that we have benn asked before.” The referendum of 1992 asked the same question.
  4. The Mother and Child Campaign advocates a NO vote because it sees in the proposals the potential for the introduction of a more liberal abortion regime than currently exists in this jurisdiction. As Tommy Keaveney, a spokesperson on behalf of the group, explains, “The proposal allows for the intentional killing of the unborn. It states that abortions can be carried out based upon the reasonable opinion of an indicifual doctor. As far as we’re concerned this isn’t good enough, as it allows for unscrupulous doctors to dismember an indiividual child.”

Most of the above came from the Referendum Commision leaflet, and an Inside Cork article from last week. The second link here may expire by next Thursday.

The issues are not as clear-cut as they appear above. It does appear that the referendum is flawed in ways I cannot summarise here, but hopefully the links above may help you decide which way you’ll vote on Wednesday.

Feedback

“. . . but you didn’t mention that it’s a hack of a piece of legislation that Microsoft would be proud of.” – Liam.

“. . . that abortion will be only the second crime that is entered into our constition, the other being treason. Yep that’s right no murder, rape etc in the constitution. And considering that the recommended sentence being talked about is a 12 year sentence, whereas sex offenders etc get 6/12 months, me thinks the yes campaign is talking through their ass.” – Gearoid.