02 Jul 2022

Gerry Moran's Kilkenny Miracles

Gerry  Moran

Gerry Moran

So, what the hell happened to the cat? The small cat. The small, black cat that I passed regularly on my way into Kenna’s butchers for a few sausages or lamb chops. The cat was there for ages, sure it was part of the street ‘furniture’. And then, suddenly, out of the blue, without a word of warning, without so much as a by-your-lave the cat vanished! Now tell me I’m not the only one who misses the cat. And please tell me you know the cat in question.
You don’t? Well the cat in question ‘sat’ on the corner of Friary Street just there at Pauls drapers minding its own business, not putting an in or an out on anyone. Actually I do know what happened to the cat. I just don’t know for sure who did it. The cat, I can tell you, wasn’t killed or cat-napped or devoured by dogs. The cat was, and wait for this, the cat was DELETED!
An appropriate, and perfectly apt, word for this digital age in which we live. And the cat was ‘deleted’ not by a computer programmer but by a painter or to put it in lay man ‘s terms the cat was painted over. Not a matter for the ISPCA, I know, but still I, for one, would like to see the cat back.
So, any chance that the painter, or painters, in question would ‘resurrect’ the cat, bring it back to ‘life’ so to speak and perform a ‘miracle’ on Friary Street!

The Big knocker
From the little black cat to the Big Knocker. That’s right the BIG KNOCKER! Who has the Big Knocker I’d like to know, as would a good many other interested parties.
The Big Knocker in question used to be on the big door of Kilkenny Castle until the night of 11th August 1967 when it went missing and hasn’t been seen or heard of since! (and thank you, Frank Kavanagh for that bit of info) But it has to be somewhere, here in Kilkenny perhaps, or in some other county, or maybe it went abroad though I don’t imagine it travelled out of the country on account of its weight and size.
It’s not exactly something you’d stick in your luggage and can you just imagine the scenario at customs. ‘Excuse me, sir, but could you step to one side please and explain what you’re doing with this Big Knocker?’
Or maybe the Big Knocker takes pride of place in someone’s house, in the garage perhaps or maybe it’s used as a door-stop. Then again it may be stashed in the attic alongside the antique heirlooms because it is, after all, a collector’s item.
And can’t you imagine the shenanigans come party time in that house when several G&Ts, whiskeys and glasses of wine have been consumed and the ‘bean an tí’ is a tad tipsy and loose tongued. I can hear her now, loud and clear: ‘Seamus, Seamus, show everyone your Big Knocker’.
Oh dear, that would be great fun indeed as they all troop out to the garage to ogle Seamus’s Big Knocker!
In the meantime, folks, keep an eye out for the Big Knocker at the car boot sale – you never know when it might pop up or appear.

Finally, and while I’m on the Kilkenny Mysteries, where’s the little shoemaker from Brown’s (now Michael Dore’s deli café) window gone? Browns, which sold leather and men’s shoes is long gone and alas the little shoemaker has gone with it.
I’d love to see that little fellow again. One of my fondest childhood memories is of standing at that window and looking at the little shoemaker tapping away on the sole of a shoe ‘perched’ on a little last.
It really was magical for us bright-eyed, innocent children. I presume some of the Brown family have him (I’d like to think that he’s in safe hands) but I would dearly love to see him again. And the little black cat. And the Big Knocker!
P.S. A wee question: Dore’s Café was once Browns but what was there before Browns? A tasty little question for sure and I didn’t have a clue until I coincidentally bumped into Leo McAdams on the town who duly informed that Browns was once McAdams, a draper’s, and that he was born there!

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