Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pompeii and Circumstance (or) I Lava You Just The Way You Are

As I have often stated in the past, my two leggers are major history buffs. They seem happiest when they are watching or reading about some ancient culture or calamity. From the American Civil War to the ancient Egyptonians, they study and discuss it all.

For the most part I tend to ignore them whenever they are engaged in their hobby. However, once in a while, they begin studying something that peaks my interest. This usually involves some sort of two legged folly that never ends well for the parties involved. Add a little mayhem, death and destruction, and I am hooked.

Recently, they have been watching a lot of shows about an ancient Roman city called "Pompeii". Since I have been watching these docu-thingies along with the two leggers, I now consider myself the world's leading authority on what exactly went down so long ago.

My studies have once again led me to an inescapable conclusion:

Two leggers are dumb.

Let us examine the story of Pompeii..........

Pompeii was a city near the Bay of Naples in Italy. It was founded by the Romans. Around this time, the Romans were arguably the most dominant culture on Earth. Their empire stretched from England to Egypt. The Mediterranean Sea was basically a Roman Lake. They had millions of square miles to settle in. Millions of miles where nothing more dangerous than a thunderstorm or minor earthquake ever happened. So did they settle for living in these relatively geologically quiet areas?


The founder of Pompeii, was an ancient Roman real estate developer named "Pompeii The Slightly Elder". He was the older brother of "Pompeii The Younger" and little brother of "Pompeii The Quite A Bit Elder". Being a middle child, Pompeii TSE, or Edwin as he was known to his friends, decided to move away and start a new life away from the rest of his family. Sometime around the year 80 BC, Edwin set off in search of a spot to settle and start a new housing development. After several hours of searching, Edwin spotted a small village nestled at the base of a giant smoking mountain.

Now the reason that the village was so small was the fact that every now and again, the mountain would awaken, look down, say "Hey! Who put these little pests down there?" and then proceed to spit lava down upon them until they either died or left.

But Edwin saw an opportunity. Where others saw lava flows, he saw "pre-cleared land". Where others saw flaming rivers of death, Edwin saw "self-paving roads". Where others saw a flaming fountain of fire and brimstone, Edwin saw "free nightly firework shows".

Soon through the use of early infomercials and celebrity endorsements, Edwin was able to turn the tiny village into a teeming center of commerce.

It wasn't long before Pompeii grew into a major tourist destination featuring hot springs, locally produced wine from the grapes that grew so well in the rich volcanic soil and a scenic beachfront where rich Romans could take off their bedsheets and frolic in the surf.

Certainly there were drawbacks. Sometimes a large gobbet of lava would shoot from the volcano and squash a burning tourist. Occasionally one of the hot springs would go critical without warning and make Roman soup of anyone unfortunate to be bathing at the time. But aside from the persistent underlying smell of seared flesh, Pompeii was an extremely pleasant place to live and visit. 

All that changed in early 79 A.D.  The volcano, Mount Vesuvius (Vesuvius is a Latin word meaning "destroyer of all things flammable, non fire-retardant and two legged") woke up and decided that a bit of landscaping was in order. It gave the locals plenty of warning by grumbling, rumbling, spitting up a bit more lava than is socially acceptable, and generally shaking things up a bit. But did the two leggers take the hint?


They threw volcano parties, invited all their friends and in typical two legger fashion, denied that anything was amiss right up until the moment that they were covered in ash and wading in lava. Then they ran around complaining about the heat.

Almost two thousand years later, archeologists discovered Edwin's lost city and began excavate the site of the disaster. They found charred buildings and ruins that had been remarkably preserved by the smothering affect of the volcanic ash. Most amazing of all, they discovered the remains of the denizens of Pompeii. They found the bones of two leggers who had desperately sought shelter from the cataclysm. They found skeletons of dogs, horses, pigs, sheep and chickens all perfectly intact.

This brings me to the point of this post.

Of all the remains found in the ruins of Pompeii, there was not a single cat.

We know for a fact that cats were present in Pompeii before the eruption. Preserved murals and mosaics within the ruins show that cats were extremely prevalent throughout Pompeian society. However, search as they might, the archeologists were unable to find a single shred of evidence that there any cats present at the moment the mountain blew up.

They searched in every conceivable hidey hole. Every box, bathroom, the tops of the refrigerators, under every bed and behind every curtain.

No luck. The scientists were mystified.

However, for anyone who knows felines, there should be no mystery at all.

At the very first rumblings of Vesuvius, at the first flying blob of lava, at the first billow of smoke rising from the top of the mountain, all the cats looked up and thought, "Gee, I hear that Greece is nice this time of year.". They then built small twin-hulled boats and set sail for less cataclysmic climes.

Thus proving once again that cats are the superior species.

The twin-hulled boats they built are even named for their mass exodus.



  1. LOL! (Vesuvius is a Latin word meaning "destroyer of all things flammable, non fire-retardant and two legged.")
    I wonder how many catamarans were needed?

  2. Cujo, you amaze me with your insight into these events. I wish you had been my history teacher in high school, because you make so much sense. :)

  3. Another AMAZIN' blog post, my friend. Never knew that 'bout catamarans, before. Now I do. THANK YOU! Always good to learn new things.


  4. This is the precise weblog for anybody who needs to seek out out about this topic. You notice so much its almost arduous to argue with you. You positively put a brand new spin on a subject that's been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply nice!

  5. Great article, Thanks for your great information, the content is quiet interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.