This poor timing was my fault; Possum and my husband will do anything to keep me from yelping "Tip! Tip!" and leaning sideways at an acute angle whenever I see a cruise ship in those ads. I know it's rude and probably immoral but I don't care. It amuses me. Except for transatlantic crossings where you shut yourself up in your cabin in New York and read Evelyn Waugh through foul weather until you emerge in Southampton, any so-called "luxury" cruise is my idea of utter hell. I will list my reasons some other time because there are so many. (I'll probably be forced to take a Nile cruise someday, but it won't be "luxurious." It will be the kind where they submerge the boat shortly before the passengers board to drown the rats. The only "entertainment" will likely be me jumping overboard when I've reached my limit. Can't swim.)
But I digress.
We had first heard Possum's tales of his aristocratic Norwegian family background last summer and fall. I'd been eagerly awaiting another installment, mainly because the more he said, the more ways I might find to poke holes in his story. I thought it was ridiculous. Could there be a Norwegian mafia? Was there really a transatlantic crossing that landed his family in Shrewsbury?
I googled "Norwegian mafia" and was amazed by what I found. Tea Party congressmen making half-decent jokes about "sleeping with the lutefisk." There's even a game:
Even so, I didn't find any mention of cats in any of the pages my search turned up. But cats have always had their ways of keeping themselves out of the press. (For example, you never read about how certain politically astute cats exercised their influence on Churchill and Roosevelt, which had a strong, positive effect on the course of World War II. I'm still waiting for that book.)
I knew I wouldn't find out anything about the Norwegian Witness Protection Program on Google, but if there's a mafia, there's got to be a WPP, too. According to Possum, his parents are either in it, or dead.
I also determined via web-sleuthing that Possum's family could indeed have come here via one of the occasional transatlantic crossings of the Norwegian Dawn, which typically sails the New England coast in the fall, the season he arrived.
Trying to look imperious and aristocratic. Failing.
So it was natural to believe Possum when he announced that he'd recently received tidings of the deaths of some relatives in Norway, including his esteemed Uncle Podmere, the head of the family, and Podmere's two sons and heirs, Poultis and Osmenius. I don't know how Possum receives these communications; he won't tell, he just glares at me. I hate it when he does that.
My theories are that news either travels telepathically between related cats, or they use a network of tiny flying insects, or they've found a way to glom onto our fiberoptic cabling. If you have any other ideas, let me know.
At this point, the last episode of Downton started running again, and we all wanted to see it. Possum said we would talk more afterward. I'll end this here and tell you the rest later.