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La Misha Verte

13 August 2003

It's always a thrill to discover a friend's hidden identity. When that friend is the cat you live with, then joy is unconfined - even if it is slightly embarrassing to have taken so long to find out. No surprise, that it needed someone else to disclose her secret; ain't that always the way?

My little Misha-cat - of course she was keeping something from me. No cat could be truly so cute, so quiet, so contented. The clue was in the name, if I'd only thought to follow it up; but she's always known as Misha, no one ever calls her Artemisia. Any more than they call me Charles...

That may change. Artemisia absinthium is, we learn, the Latin name for wormwood, and the origin of absinthe. Could a clue be more blatant? It's true, it is true: Misha is la fée verte, the Green Fairy of legend and renown. Behold the evidence, dispute it if you dare...

Artemisia absinthium

In the film Moulin Rouge (which I saw on a three-inch screen forty thousand feet above the Atlantic, so I think I can be excused not paying attention), the Green Fairy is played by Kylie Minogue. This week, I have been struggling with the notion of my sweet Misha having a fey and louche underside (though I really should have known - her Christmas colour was always green and spangly); I have decided to postpone till next week any consideration that her secret identity is really a petite Australian soapsud.

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© Chaz Brenchley 2003
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.