Now, us cats are widely known for our gastronomic approach to the fish… after all, why waste time observing the aesthetic when you can tuck in to some damn good nosh? But my laser focus on the subject was temporarily interupted when the resident wobbly one recently staggered back from the ale house of choice mumbling something about rings, trappist monks and fountain-dwelling fish. For a moment it just sounded like the usual garbled nonsense that emerges from one who spends an hour or two longer than is wise in dens of intoxication.
A word of warning… this tale starts with a somewhat obscure reference to rats, a most unpleasant subject to interrupt the joys of your festive celebrations! And as for the idea of ‘Premium’ black rat, I can only hope that that is overdone in cajun spices.
Anyway, back to the original inspiration for this tale… it appears many years ago that Countess Matilde of Tuscany accidentally lost her wedding ring in a fountain somewhere in Belgium. Though I am rather suspicious already… what was a recently widowed countess hoping to find in Belgium, and was the loss of the ring accident or providence? I leave you to speculate on questions of such magnitude.
For those of you into religion, and other sources of miracles, it seems that while Matilde was praying (for what you may continue your own bizarre speculations), a trout appeared from out of said fountain, with her ring in its mouth. Being an avid studier of the fish I can only suggest that rings play havoc with their digestion. However, like all grateful souls, it appears that Matilde decided there and then to build a monastery on the site; and probably in consultation with her google maps app realised she was in a place from henceforth to be known as Orval.
My resident ‘imbiber general’ informs me that this was the least interesting part of the whole story. It seems that the trappist cistercian monks who took up residence in the new gaff had loads of time on their hands after daily prayers were completed. So, like all men who easily succumb to boredom as a tactic for avoiding the usual domestic chores they took to developing a hobby, most notably home brewing. From that day onwards they have been spreading joy to the world through something that Fat-Freddies-Cat describes as ‘liquidised hops’. Meanwhile my resident knobhead tries to convince me that it tastes better out of the designed for purpose glass… well at least it looks good; so I leave you with a festive image: