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last updated Sunday June 21, 2009

Underneath the archives


2003 Thoughtcat screen shots courtesy of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine


When Thoughtcat started life in 2003 (see screenshots) the home page was updated weekly with a new thought and a new cat. Likewise, the 'blog' was updated almost daily. Since then real life has kind of got in the way; these days a new thought every three months is hard enough to come by, and as for cats, they never were very reliable anyway (see below). This page records all the original thoughts and cats from those heady days when time was on my side.


Also sidelined fairly early on was the updating of the Poetry and Fiction and Images pages. Originally these were meant to feature work by other people I found interesting, and started out promisingly enough with excellent stuff by my friends Dave Awl, Chris Bell, Cat Milne and Peter Gibbons, but I became less comfortable extending the invitation to the general public (basically, I hated having to reject submissions). Those pages have been kept as they were, but I have no plans to update or add to them. Also not updated for months or years but retained anyway for entertainment purposes are Overheard, Thoughtcat's 9 lives, the Noel Gallagher 4-noun autobiography title game, Spamcat, a very old links page, and a chat room (geddit?) which nobody ever seemed to visit except me - which, if nothing else, gave new meaning to 'talking to oneself'.


Finally, a whole raft of images from archived blog pages were deleted some time ago to save web space. Those images have now gone the way of all flesh - ironically, since my web space has now vastly increased - but I can't be bothered to find them again, so some pictures may not load. Don't worry though, they weren't that hilarious in the first place.





The most merciful thing in the world is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.

HP Lovecraft




Part of the point of doing something is to see how well you can fail.

Simon Rattle




They tell you time is money as if your life was worth its weight in gold.

Bob Dylan




I trusted you with the idea of me, and you lost it.

Russell Hoban




Death is, like, a bit more radical than puberty.





There is a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen




It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.

Ursula K. le Guin




I do look forward to a post-Harry era in my life.

JK Rowling




Paris was a very old city and we were young and nothing was simple there.

Ernest Hemingway




Irony can deflate a windbag in the way that very little else can.

Zoe Williams




'Do what thou wilt' shall be the whole of the law.

Aleister Campbell-Crowley




There's nowhere you can be that's not where you're meant to be.

The Beatles


Ridicule is nothing to be scared of.

Adam Ant


Art's whatever you choose to frame.

Fleur Adcock




ripon (vb, of literary critics): to include all the best jokes from a book in a review to make it look as if the critic thought of them.

The Meaning of Liff




Writing is an act of love. If it isnít, itís not writing.

Jean Cocteau




Love may not be blind; it may see just enough to prefer the dark.


(if you know who actually wrote this, please contact us)




Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.

Edward de Bono



If there's an original thought out there, I could use it right now

Bob Dylan, Brownsville Girl



There was never a time when I did not exist, nor you... nor will we ever cease to exist in future

The Bhagavad Gita



You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test

George W. Bush



So this is Christmas - and what have you done? Another year over, a new one just begun...

John Lennon



Happy new year, happy new year, may you all have a vision now and then of a world where every neighbour is a friend...




Whatever is form, that is emptiness, whatever is emptiness, that is form, the same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses and consciousness.

The Buddhist Heart Sutra



It was enough that she loved me and I loved her; nobody has a right to ask for more. The trouble is, I did. I was the Oliver Twist of relationships.

Steve Miles



Since religion has failed so many people, they look to Art for Salvation. I wish them luck in this enterprise.

Leonard Cohen





More and more I think that madness is the world's natural condition and to expect anything else is madness compounded.

Russell Hoban, Turtle Diary

Quoted on SA4QE





The world-child has been told that this is a world, and it believes it; it is the energy of this belief that binds the world together.

Russell Hoban, The Medusa Frequency

Quoted on SA4QE




She knows there's no success like failure / And that failure is no success at all.

Bob Dylan, Love Minus Zero / No Limit




Nobody can counsel and help you, nobody. There is only one single way. Go into yourself.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet




Graham Greene lost money on his first seven novels.

Adam Mars-Jones (overheard on a radio arts show)



All our final resolutions are made in a state of mind which is not going to last.

Marcel Proust, by way of Dan Rhodes




When are you people gonna get the message? Violence is wrong!

- George Bush, to the insurgents in Iraq - as quoted by Steve Bell





If I'm free, it's because I'm always running.

- Jimi Hendrix





Think I'll pack it in, buy a pickup, take it down to LA...

- Neil Young, Out on the Weekend




Their relationship consisted / Of debating whether it existed.

- the late Thom Gunn, Jamesian (from The Man With Night Sweats)




Why not just write what happened?

- Robert Lowell (via Dave Eggers)




In order to write in a way thatís fully human, sometimes we need to be a little feline.

- Philip Pullman




The task of art is to give the mundane its beautiful due.

- John Updike




If you can be patient - i.e. do nothing - you can do anything.

Chut-Go Th'at

from The Little Zen Companion




In Bangkok last year I noticed a dark halo with a well-defined edge around the sun, in an otherwise blue sky. Why?

Guardian Notes & Queries Questioner



Leisure is the mother of philosophy.

Thomas Hobbes




No matter what happens to me / No matter what my destiny / Lord, protect my child...

Bob Dylan




"We don't do politics in the Department of Homeland Security"

Tom Ridge




Thoughtcats are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup...

- The Beatles, Across the Universe




Are you good at what you do? Submerge your personality.

Bob Dylan



It is not love that moves the world from night to morning, it is not love that makes the new day dawn. It is the longing for what cannot be.

Russell Hoban




The Man of the Woods and the Cat of the Mountains by RB Kitaj


RB Kitaj, The Man of the Woods and the Cat of the Mountains (1973), Tate Gallery, London



Dali Atomicus by Phiilippe Halsman


Philippe Halsman, Dali Atomicus (1948); More info from



Untitled cat by Andy Warhol


Untitled Cat by Andy Warhol





Jones from the classic movie Alien



Vienna (left)


Vienna from

Rising Damp



Masked palm civet


Masked palm civet





Custard from 70s kids' TV classic cartoon Roobarb and Custard




Hodge, Dr Johnson's favourite cat, in a bronze statue outside Johnson's London house


Tournee du Chat Noir by Theophile Steinlen


Tournee du Chat Noir by Theophile Steinlen




Er... a snowy owl? Something has gone terribly wrong with Pottercat this week...



Saggy old cloth cat





Dave Awl (courtesy of Dragon Lady)




Percy (left), from David Hockney's Mr & Mrs Clark and Percy



Compay Segundo: rrraaooowww!!


Compay Segundo 1907-2003



Nicky Campbell's Swimming with Cats


from charlie brooker's



Top Cat


Top Cat



Search for the Giant Squid


Search for the Giant Squid by Richard Ellis



Maneki Neko

Maneki Neko



Club des Amis des Chats by Jean Cocteau







Iberian lynx


The endangered Iberian lynx




"Ali" by U2's Bono, from Peter and the Wolf




Pussy Galore




from the cover of The Cat - The Incredible Jimmy Smith



The Black Cat and Other Stories by Edgar Allan Poe


The Black Cat and Other Stories by Edgar Allan Poe



Takara "Meowlingual" cat translator


"meowlingual" cat-to-human translator



Wrapping-paper cats


Detail from a sheet of Christmas wrapping paper (artist unknown)

Click here for a larger view




Kidogo the Cheetah from the BBC's Big Cats Week



Bangkok kitten


A siamese kitten from the fascinating bangkok cats website



The Cheshire Cat


Tony Blair a.k.a. The Cheshire Cat

taken from the Lewis Carroll Graphics Page



Year of the Cat by Al Stewart


The classic album Year of the Cat by Al Stewart



Cat People


Artwork from the DVD of the cult Natassia Kinski film



Ray's Jazz, London


Ray's Jazz, Foyles, Charing Cross Road, London



The Cat in the Hat


Dr Seuss's Cat in the Hat (currently celebrating a centenary)



Dave Awl, Dragon Lady with Sun Daubs (2004)


Dragon Lady with Sun Daubs (detail) by Dave Awl

Click here for the full Warholesque canvas



Cat illustration by the amazing Alasdair Gray


Illustration from Ten Tales Tall and True by Alasdair Gray



John Lennon, relaxing felinically in the early 60s

From a recent feature in the Guardian which has now mysteriously vanished from their site



The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov


Cover of the new Vintage paperback of The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov








Stained glass cat design


Stained-glass window design by Cradle of the Sun Gallery, San Francisco



Schrodinger's cat (inside) - dead or alive? You decide!



(er, in the box)

The box shown is actually a Concorde galley container and can be bought exclusively from for £95.00 + VAT

(cat not included)



Dragon Lady by Dave Awl


Dragon Lady, 1989 - 2004



The Cat's Meow


Poster for the film The Cat's Meow



The pink, pink panther, the rinky-dink panther...


The Pink Panther




Hobbes (right, with Calvin)









Jasper (front)


Jasper, a "stray American cat" found "wandering in Oxford" this week



Phuket cat


Decorative wooden cat spotted in a Phuket doorway



"Cat" Stevens (c) Dave Haynes


Cat Stevens

by Dave Haynes





Cat-opoly - "a feline frenzy of fun!"





The Infinite Cat Project



Man kann im Leben auf vieles verzichten, aber nicht auf Katzen und Literatur!


Advert for Beer's Bookshop, Zurich

"You can do without a lot of things in life but not without cats and literature"

Thanks to Yvonne for the photo



Flying Jera by Astrud Gilberto

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Blog entries from 26th March 2005 onwards (as well as some of those on this site) are located at


You can quickly skip to the older stuff here



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