* Reagan raking: Ready for yet another Reagan Administration insider book? In her upcoming “What I Saw at the Revolution,” excerpted in Mirabella magazine, former Presidential speech writer Peggy Noonan says Nancy Reagan, by and large, disliked people who believed in ideas, because she thought that meant they were disloyal to her husband. Although Noonan calls Ronald Reagan one of the great men of our time, she also thought of him as a gigantic, heroic balloon floating in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The White House, she says, was “like a beautiful clock that keeps time and makes all the right sounds, but when you open it up there’s nothing inside.”
* Strange cats: Saudi Prince Mohammed al-Fassi has returned to Florida with the goal of plucking unwanted cats from animal shelters and giving them a sultan’s home. “I have strict orders from His Royal Highness to put aside $2.5 million for cats,” said Victor Talaat, the sheik’s personal adviser. “We are going to send Asians through the United States to hunt the cats . . . but they have to be Muslims; they have to have good hearts.” The cats, he said, will have a private veterinarian, nurses and a nine-member staff to feed and bathe them.
* Homeward-bound: Former U. S. Sen. Barry Goldwater said he felt fine Wednesday after being released from a Phoenix hospital where he underwent hip-replacement surgery earlier this month. “If I don’t run out of parts, I’ll probably be here the rest of my life,” said Goldwater, 80, referring to St. Luke’s Medical Center, where he has had several major reconstructive surgeries. Orthopedic surgeon Anthony K. Hedley said Goldwater would receive therapy at his home and probably would be walking with a cane by early next year.
* Royal catch: The Octagon Museum in Washington snared a real headliner to kick off its exhibit on “Sir Christopher Wren and the Legacy of St. Paul’s Cathedral.” Great Britain’s most outspoken architectural critic--Prince Charles--will open the show at a private reception Feb. 22.