False advertising

We took the bus to the airport and another bus to the rental car lot and then we were off on the Road to Kilkenny, as Bob and Bing would have sung if there had been such a movie. What the journey lacked in Dorothy Lamour it made up in Hopeish quantities of nervous sweat. Thanks to R’s heroic suspension of disbelief at being on the wrong side of the car and the road we arrived damp but intact.

According to the guidebooks Kilkenny is traditionally associated with cats. Apparently “fighting like Kilkenny cats” is a stock phrase (of disputed derivation), and the local hurling team is called the Cats. However, we saw no actual cats in Kilkenny. (Also no hurling, although judging by the some of the stumbling youth on the streets on Saturday night, I suspect some hurling did take place nearby.) I had to settle for representations, such as these on the door of St. Canice’s Cathedral:

Come to think of it, it makes sense that there were no live cats around, since the cats of legend “fought and they fit,” like Itchy and Scratchy, until there was nothing left of them except some scattered claws and tufts of tail. And the lack of felines does create an opening for lots of birds. We greatly enjoyed a particular blackbird that sang on the chimney outside our room on a rainy evening. I attempted a video; the camera is as unsteady as a Kilkenny pubgoer on a Saturday night, but R wanted me to post it anyway. You might want to close your eyes.

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