Letters To My Grandson: Cat Warfare…Sir Winsome Perchkill

winston-churchill-cat

Dear Grandson,

Wow, did we get rain last night.  Over five inches, there are puddles everywhere. The storms were fantastic last night, the lightning and thunder continued non-stop for hours.  Great show!  I love a good storm.

During constant roar of the booming thunder, I was reminded of a famous cat from World War II who was named Sir Winsome Perchkill. Sir Winsome Perchkill was a survivor of the “London Blitz” and was the pet and close adviser to the man who understood from the very beginning that Hitler was a nasty customer and not to be trusted.  The world, especially Europe, is free today and Hitler and his evil Nazi armies were defeated, because of a gruff old man who did not and would not ever surrender named Winston Churchill.

I bet you don’t know about the London Blitz.  “Blitz” is part of the German word “Blitzkrieg” which means “lightning war.”  It is a war strategy where you attack first, taking your enemy by surprise with overwhelming power and moving very quickly to conquer them.  Cats often use this strategy on birds and the Nazi’s used type of warfare on many of the countries in Europe.

So it was no surprise to the British, who live on a large island off the European coast, when German bombs started to fall on their county. At first the bombs were targeted at factories, but it wasn’t long before the bombs were killing men, women and children.  In one six-month period the Nazi’s dropped tons of high explosives for over 267 days in a row.  London, the capital of England, was targeted 71 times.  In September of 1940, London was bombed by the Germans for 57 nights in a row.  More than one million homes were destroyed and 40,000 civilians were killed. To save the children of their cities, the children were taken from their parents and sent to live with strangers in the country until the war was over…years.

During all of this World War II misery, both Sir Winsome Perchkill and his human, Sir Winston Churchill, encouraged their fellow citizens displayed courage, exampled unwavering resolve and led their people to victory over Hitler.

Sir Winsome Perchkill’s human was born with red hair in a palace on November 30, 1874.  That was two years before U.S General Armstrong Custer was killed, riding horses, at the battle of the Little Big Horn, but that is another story. The point is, it was a long time ago.

It is said that God, gives us the talents we need for our destiny in life. This was certainly true for Perchkill and Churchill.  Especially true for this cat’s human…Churchill. Even as a young child, Churchill was very patriotic, independent and a bit of an ornery brat by nature.

While Churchill did grow up to be a great war hero and leader, like many famous leaders he was not super human or even perfect…not as a boy, nor as a man.  Not in behavior or physically. Although Churchill was very smart, he was not a good student and did not get great grades.  He was, however, very good at math and history.  Then, too, as an adult he became one of the world’s greatest speech makers of all time; however, as a child he had trouble talking, because he had a “lisp”.  A lisp makes everything a person says sound like it has an “s” in it. I bet he was bullied in school for that.

I also bet that his mom once wanted to teach him a lesson about not following other kid’s bad examples.  I am sure that she said to him, “Winston, if all your friends are going to jump off a bridge, are you going to, too?”  Being the non-listening type, he probably went right out to show his mom that following the wrong crowd and jumping off bridges weren’t such bad ideas.  Well, when he was 18 years old Churchill fell 29 feet from a bridge and almost died. He was unconscious for three days and in bed for several months. Sometimes, mom’s do know best.

It is amazing how people that save the world come so close to dying when they are young. Like when Abraham Lincoln was kicked in the head by a horse when he was a kid…right in mid-sentence. He was unconscious for quite a while. Just as his family gave him up as a lost cause, he woke up talking.  He actually finished the sentence he was saying before getting kicked by the horse.

Which reminds me.  After World War II was over,  Winston Churchill when staying in the Lincoln bedroom at the White House saw President Lincoln’s ghost.  Churchill had just gotten out of the bathtub and was totally naked.  He said to Lincoln’s ghost, “Mr. President you have me at a disadvantage.”  The ghost did sort of freak Churchill out and he never stayed at the White House again. That is just a good story, I don’t care who you are.

During World War II and when the Nazi’s bombed London, Churchill was older than your grandpa. It was almost like serving his people during that war made him feel younger. People thought that his energy and leadership skills were limitless.

Churchill is known for his great speeches of unwavering resolve. The little boy born with red hair, a bad attitude and lisp grew into the man who led his country through the darkest nights of war on to the brightest of victories. Many of his war speeches are famous.

Such as,

“… we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

Or,

“ Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say,  ‘This was their finest hour’.

Churchill believed in God and that his duty on this earth was to stand up to evil, do what is right regardless of the the personal cost and to save his nation. So, that is what he did. That does not mean that he never felt fear, I am sure he did. But, he knew that fear is just a emotional reaction…courage is a choice. People are not born brave, they chose to be brave.

Interesting his most famous war speech was also his shortest….just five words.  He walked onto a school stage and said to the students, “Never, never, never give up. “  Then he left the stage.  I always wear those words on a necklace…they helped me be brave during my cancer battle. When I was discouraged, I would read those words, remember Winston Churchill and the brave people of Britain. Giving up was just not an option for them or me.  Sometimes, in life you go forward just because you have no other choice. Sometimes, you just have to be too ornery to quit.

Hope your new chickens are getting along with your old chicken.  There is nothing worse than a bunch of old hens pecking at each other.  Good luck, with that.

Sending lots of love and hugs,

Grandma Pat

 

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