Clio, the Proclaimer

(Greek: Kleio)

Clio was one of the nine muses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Living with her sisters on Mount Helicon, the muses mediated the arts to humanity, under the protection of Apollo.

Clio is the muse of history. She is usually depicted with her attribute, a scroll, and sometimes with a chest of books and/or a crown of laurels.

Of all the muses, Clio is one of the most rarely depicted, though she figures prominently in an allegorical painting by Vermeer, from the 17th century.

According to Apollodorus (Library and Epitome, 1.3.3), Clio twitted Aphrodite with her love of Adonis, and in consequence of the goddess' wrath, Clio fell in love with Pierus, by whom she bore Hyacinth.

Majestic Clio touched her silver wire,
And through time's lengthened vista moved a train,
In dignity sublime;--the patriot's fire
Kindled its torch in heaven's resplendent ray,
And 'mid contention rose to Heaven again.

-from "An Ode To Music" by James G. Percival

Clio is also my cat. Also referred to as the Flying Wondercat, the SchizophreniCat, Stupid Cat, Weirdcat, NeurotiCat.

Excuse me for a second as I settle into my easy chair and let my eyes get misty.

Our old cat had died two days after we decided that it wouldn't hurt to adopt a kitten. It wasn't out of spite; he was really old. We all missed him, so about a week and a half after we'd cleaned out his litter pan for the last time, we drove the hour and a half to Phillipsburg with my best friend to adopt one of her aunt's kittens.

"There are three orange ones and one black one," She told us, opening the door. "Jackie said you had dibs on the black one, right? Are you just taking that one then?"

Being the fourteen year-old girl that I was, I'd already become enamored to the entire lot, all of them mewing and pawing around in their cardboard box and being somewhat pathetic. "Mom? Can we get another one? To be mine, I mean, the whole family's really, but sort of mine, since it's my friend who told us about the litter and since Custer died don't you think the black one will get lonely by himeself? And look at this one, she's so cute, she reminds me of Kitty..." I babbled and trailed off.

"Yeah, okay, pick one. They'll have to send them to the SPCA if they can't find homes for them... How about that one?"

"I like this one."

"That one? Why? She's scared of people."

"She's not scared of me."

"(supernova), She's cowering."


I walked away with that kitten, that little tiny crying ball of fluff, and I was determined to turn her into a wonderful cat. Two years later, I've almost succeeded. She weighs 7 lb, she plays nicely with her brother, and she's almost learned not to be afraid of her own shadow.

One of her most curious habits is flying. It's my fault; I taught her to jump almost 6 feet into the air to catch Koosh Balls, and now it's not uncommon to see her stare v. seriously at a butterfly for a few seconds, then run accross the yard and jump straight into the air to catch it. She usually succeeds.

She also has a neurotic fear of daylight. After sunset, we can't let her outside because she won't come back in until dawn -- but anytime from 6 AM to 8 PM, she won't stay outside for more than 5 minutes before coming back inside to make sure the world hasn't ended yet.

Her brother, Gunsmoke, is infuriatingly well-adjusted, and I don't think she likes it very much. Sometimes, when I am engaged in late-night conversations with Clio, she tells me these things with great embarrassment: Yes, there is sibling rivalry among cats!

The most cuddly wonderful senseless creature in the world.

Cli"o (?), n. [L., fr. Gr. the proclaimer, fr. to call, tell of, make famous.] Class. Myth.

The Muse who presided over history.


© Webster 1913.

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