Sunday, 2 December 2012

First Snow

I'm ridiculously excited right now as it is snowing. I know it is sad and childish but I just cant help it. Just as I can't help craving a big mug of soup to take to bed as my brain somehow insists snow, sleep and soup are a divine trinity.

This is the first snow any of us have experienced living in a house with a garden. As soon as I realised it was snowing I could not wait to get into the garden to take pics and throw some snowballs.

After I'd done that I brought the cats through from the bedroom and opened the patio door to see what they'd do. Magic went first, stood on the step, looked at the white stuff, took half a dozen investigatory steps before coming back in and looking up at me as if I was nuts. She sat on the rug guarding the door and watching Red with incredulity.

Red gave it more of a shot. He spent ages at the doorway, made three forays out onto the snow, which I didn't manage to catch on film as he was too quick. Each time he flew back in shaking his big fluffy paws and making 'gruggly' noises. Then two seconds later was back at the door mesmerised by the white cold stuff and white fluff falling from the sky just begging to be caught.

Another lovely memory in the history of our lovely wee house.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Who's the doughnut

My friend was coming over and I thought I heard the door. However, on looking, there seemed to be no-one at the door but Red was tossing himself over some boxes to get into one of his hidey-holes. When I realised the noise had only been him I said "Was that you, you doughnut...?" before going off and leaving him to it.

Anyway a few seconds later the door was knocked by my friend who greeted me with "Who's a doughnut?" as she came in. Yes, it had been her who knocked on the door, and yes it was Red doing his Greta Garbo 'I vant to be aloooone' impression.

Too Early

Poor Red. I had to be up super early yesterday to take a train down south for work. As is always the way, I'd footered about and gone to bed late, not slept well for fear of sleeping in and woken very early when the three phone alarms (!) went off.

As I dashed about getting ready; well, ok, maybe that is overstating the speed and purposefulness of the activity. I suppose what actually was occurring was me bumbling about like a womble as I am more of a natural owl than lark. Anyway, wee Red was sitting quietly in the hall at the bedroom doorway as I was dressing. As he looked a bit shell-shocked I asked him if it was too early for him to be up. In response he very delicately opened his mouth and very, very slowly did the biggest yawn I've ever seen. It obviously was a big deal for him too as his eyes were rolling when his 'flip-top' head went back into shape!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Meet the locals

I woke up around 5am to the sound of Red making an odd noise somewhere between a growl and that horrible 'I'm going to yak up a furball' one. He was sitting on the window ledge so i got up to see what the matter was. He was sitting bolt upright and making faces at his reflection in the window. I rolled my eyes and tried to persuade him off the window ledge. He moved over a bit but wasnt happy and neither was I when I realised his shadow wasnt following him! Wide eyed I looked again and saw what is quite possibly the ugliest cat I've ever seen which is quite some comment for such a dyed in the wool cat lover like me. Ugly mog was sitting on the outside ledge making faces at my beloved boy. I tried shoo-ing and trying to persuade him to leave but to no avail. I did consider opening the window to get rid of him but was afraid he'd get in or mine would get out. In the end I went back to bed and left them to posture at each other through the window.

This is quite some big leap for Red. Firstly, everything in the outside world terrifies him and he hides under whatever is available or bolts. Yet, last night, there he was guarding our room by taking on an ugly big mog through the window and growling it off his territory while we slept. Pretty impressive for the boy with nerves of candyfloss!

As I went back to sleep I thought how damn cheeky of the cat to sit on the ledge and how I've never had this bother before....before remembering that the last place was on the second floor and a cat on the window ledge would have been really impressive.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Taking time

This holiday weekend I have given myself a really valuable gift. It is more precious than anything right now and a reminder of how life should be lived. A very wise person I know talks about the need to find 'shafts of stillness in your life' and I think this has been a wonderful, unexpected example.

Everyone is busy and has their own worries and commitments to deal with and I've never met anyone who says they have a great life and an abundance of time. So riccocheting from one challenge to another carrying forward concerns and future problems with snatched pockets of 'me' time seems like the norm. I particularly hate the feeling of not being able to do 'everything' which makes me feel overwhelmed and stops me achieving anything at all, which in turn stresses me further. I want everything fixed and sorted and finalised. I hate ongoing 'projects' which drag on as I lose interest, I much prefer putting in some concentrated effort to get something sorted. This is probably why I've never finished the knitted cardigan I began in the 1980's as I lost interest, the pattern and then the wool over time as the ruddy thing just wouldn't be finished! Getting this new house 'sorted', as in fixed, finished and exactly to our taste and comfort is proving more difficult than expected and a rush of unexpected emergency bills all with a minimum of two '00's at the end have wiped out the contingency funds and are making Visa a profit.

Anyway, this weekend has been fun, a word not often used. I took my own advice and treated myself as I would someone I really liked. I did nice things, none of them exciting, but uplifting nonetheless. I got up on Sat am and decided the day was mine and mine alone. It was sunny and the day seemed to hold real potential. I had promised myself I'd watch James Martin's Saturday Kitchen in dining/summer sitting room now that the new chair was fixed. So I showered, dressed in my 'home' clothes and relocated and connected up my bedroom tv and the new freesat box and watched it with a cooked breakfast which was a nice achievement. As it was a lovely day I left Red in the bedroom to sleep, threw open the patio doors and let Magic wander the morning garden. I decided to tackle the minor jobs that would enable me to use the dining/summer sitting room properly, sort the bathroom storage and find/launder our clothes that have been stored since moving. So, by the time I settled down to watch the BBC4 Crime drama at 9pm I'd emptied three suitcases, done 5 laundry loads and hung them out, scrubbed down and sun dried a bamboo chest of drawers which subsequently proved too bulky for the bathroom, set up the tv in the kitchen, given the new leather suite its cream protector treatment and watched some favourite films while pottering about. I texted a friend all through Insp. Montalbano as she was watching it too and I enjoyed some crisps and choccies which I've been abstaining from over this last month. Even going out in the pitch dark and icy cold at 11pm to rescue the last loads of washing I'd forgotten about was a thought, but it gave my heart a lift when I looked in to see the warm glow of the summer sitting room that was now functional. There was a little blip over the other human's behaviour and demands but instead of reacting and letting it drag me back to the depths I decided to review the situation the following day.

In fact I enjoyed this kind of day so much that I decreed Sunday would be more of the same. I chose to leave my usual obligations to sort themselves out and focussed on doing the things that would make my life better which normally I subjugate for others. Another five laundry loads, kitchen cleaning, cooking a nice meal and even a little afternoon snooze after curling up with a book I've wanted to read for ages were all allowed under the new regime. Before I knew it Downton Abbey and bedtime with the book were there.

So what has any of this got to do with my cats? Well, the extra attention both have received has been as good for them as me. Magic is loving getting outside and even barged past me when I went to hang out a fleece. I tried to get her back in but she wasn't buying it. Instead I found her on the bedroom window ledge taunting Red! This is a first as Red is continually terrified of everything. However, as of this weekend, he is actively showing genuine interest in the world outside the windows and not bolting if you come up to the window to talk to him from the garden. So much so, that I am thinking it might be worth trying to harness train him whereas before I'd reckoned he would be unlikely to brave the garden. He is much happier for contact, wanting attention and initiating 'snuggles' and staying to snooze even if Magic is lying beside me. He's been bolder and was challenging Magic by jumping on her and springing at her even when she was growling and warning him off. Both cats are more keen to sleep beside me if I am sitting and they've even worked out the new chair has arms wide and is soft enough for a decent sleep while I watch tv or use the 'puter'. Best of all Red seems to be putting on a bit more weight.

Real life and commitments are looming. However, hopefully this very lovely and unexpected 'shaft of stillness' has recharged my batteries and will help me face whatever lies ahead with a bit more energy and fortitude.

...and I thought wisdom came with age...!

Magic as just done something blindingly stupid which has totally surprised me as I fully expected Red to be the one involved.

The main lounge is somewhere between a storage facility and a 'project' right now. Essentially there is a narrow path from door to the sofa under the window. It had been getting there and was on its way to becoming a functional space for the inhabitants and guests. Then the serial arrivals of the carpet cleaner, satellite installation man, joiner and furniture inspection man over the past few weekends knocked that on the head and has meant the entire house has been upped and moved to completely empty the relevant rooms like a heavy lifting version of pass the parcel crossed with musical chairs. This is why both sides of the lounge have 6-7ft wedge shaped 'rockfaces' consisting of assorted household items awaiting placement or unpacking. On the top of a displaced linen shelving rack were some light items including the red velvet pop-up cat tent which had been tossed up high. I decided to sit in the lounge this morning as I thought it might be warmer than the summer sitting room, or more accurately I couldn't face trying to warm up the leather chair or sofa in there. That was something I hadn't factored in when I bought it!

As I was pottering back and forth with my breakfast I noticed Red sitting on top of the linen rack looking very chuffed with himself. I knew he has a wee cosy nook somewhere underneath where he'd hidden the day before. Anyway as I was sitting browsing the internet I heard an ominous rumble and noticed the red tent had flipped over and had landed on some boxes adjacent to the top shelf. I knew Red was not up there now and that the tent was practically weightless so shouldn't be moving of its own accord. I got up and who's head should pop out of the tent but Magic's with an expression of bafflement as to why she had flipped 180degrees and was now moving backwards very slowly! I rescued my hefty puss and her tent and placed them safely on the floor whereupon she lost interest in the whole enterprise.

Apart from the worrying aspects of what could have happened if she had fallen and what this says about my ability as a responsible adult and cat owner I too was baffled. Magic is a very sensible cat who despises Red's lunacy yet here she was doing something even he wasn't stupid enough to do. Magic is now struggling with the extra weight  (see Jack Sprat posting) and often struggles to jump up, so how did she get up there? Finally, unlike Red Magic is happy to sleep sprawled out anywhere comfortable so why choose a tent on a precarious shelf? The only answer seems to be that you just cant predict what a cat will do!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Territorial Rights

No pictures sadly of this one but very amusing to me all the same. I am sitting out in the garden with Magic so that she can wander around. It was ok while the sun was in the garden but it is behind the fence now and getting pretty chilly. Anyway, it was a nice excuse to bring my laptop out for the firstime and sit on the patio set which has barely been used.

Magic was sitting on the steps beside me and just chilling and listening to an unknown number of birds in the tree argue the toss. Then we heard noises at the fence. We both looked up expecting to see a neighbour but no it was Mr Squirrel who stuck his head over the top! I was surprised and delighted but Magic, my little protector, was outraged. She looked at me as much as 'You wait there while I deal with this...' and lolloped over to it as it climbed down the fence a little. Squirrelly obviously thought better of tormenting the chubby puss just in case she was faster than she looked and scooted along the top of the fence. Eventually when he was further along he ran across the grass and up the other fence into the tree with Magic in half pursuit. Still laughing at it and not sure who got the bigger surprise...Magic at having an interloper or Squirrelly at finding a resident beast in a garden he considers his playground! He is now long gone but she is still sitting guard looking for him.

It's been a day for wildlife encounters. Ths morning I looked out of the windown to see the fence next door with smoke coming from it. Alarmed I looked closed and realised it was steam caused by the morning sun on the very wet fence from yesterday. I looked over at my side only to clap eyes on a large dog fox sunbathing while propped against my fence not 6ft from the house. We looked at each other in astonishment, I turned to get my camera and he got up and headed to the low part of the fence to hop over and go wherever he goes of a morning.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Jack Spratt and his Wife

Red and Magic have been having some weight changes reminiscent of the old nursery rhyme. I've been quite concerned about Red as about two weeks ago I noticed that he seemed lighter than a puff of air and 'folded' into my arms when I lifted him up. Because he is so fluffy it is hard to see if he is losing weight. However, on holding him it became clear that he was seriously light as his little hips were jagged and his spine and ribs were very prominent under the fur with almost no fat or muscle. His little face also seemed pinched when you looked closely. He's always been a skinny little racing snake but I could not work out what had gone on as he was lively and engaged enough just very, very thin. By contrast Magic was getting ever heavier and is now a two handed rugby tackle to lift her.

I tried to work out what could be wrong. Was it the move that had unsettled him- possible. Was he not getting enough food- certainly not the case as he is fed three times a day and Magic lets him eat first from both bowls. Was he ill or hyperthyroid, were his teeth painful, was he retaining furballs- all possibilities but he can crunch whiskas or Felix 'sweeties' and he yakked up a couple of mighty furballs so should be eating ok.Still he was shrinking. So I decided to give him a week with some booster feeds to see if the issue was just dietary before a visit to the vet while observing him to see if I could work out why he was disappearing and Magic was inflating.

The answer, oddly enough, came to me when I was standing in a queue  buying cat food. There are often very dry meaty bits left in the bowls which I end up throwng away and thinking what a waste. It then occured to me that although Red gets first dibs on the food he might be taking the gravy and Magic is eating the food. I watched them looking out for this specifically and that is exactly what was happening.

So, after some supplemental high protein kitten feeds each night he feels a little heavier and his bones seem more padded. He only eats a little at a time, presumably because he's been existing on gravy three times a day but I re-offer it during the evening till he eats it all. Applause for Applaws Kitten food.

I've also dropped the wet feeds to two meals a day so that Magic is not eating the best part of six bowls of food per day.She doesn't fuss about food normally and seems quite content. So hopefully she'll drop a little weight to take the pressure off of her poor little arthritic back legs. She's also been going outdoors with me and, although I wouldn't say she is expending much energy while sprawling on the patio, it does give me time to give her some special attention which balances up the time I am spending with Red during the booster feeds.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Red's despair

As the house move was a considerable one it had been decided that it would be done in two stages with half going into storage 10days before the main move. This was great from the packing point of view as it enabled access again as once everything was emptied and packed it took up far more space than before. This meant shimmying round the reduced access created by the boxes which wasn't great. However, the great day dawned and the first stage container move went ahead.

Sadly, for Red tho', his wardrobe that he slept on was one of the items which went in the container. He was bereft and couldn't quite fathom it out. He'd walk past the space, leap on the bed, onto the chest of drawers, then wobble at the edge as he tried to leap up to the missing wardrobe while looking into an abyss. Somehow no amount of staring at the space or me seemed to conjour up his high level bed.

I made him up some additional sleeping spaces but he likes to sleep in a 'safe' spot either high up or under a bed. So under the bed  is where he spent his last few nights sleeping, probably still wondering where his bed went to....

Blind cats

The new home came with vertical blinds on most rooms. They are very useful and do the job of covering the windows. How long they will last is less obvious. Within the first few days Magic had got her considerable backside wrapped up  in one and in annoyance wrenched herself free thus breaking the bottom weight, ripping the slat, and pulling all the beaded connectors off. Thankfully the previous houseowner had left me a couple of spares as she had a child and knew pets and children were hard on these blinds.

The next blind emergency was Red related but he was much more mannerly about his predicament. We'd all had an unsettled night and as a result the bedroom door was left open allowing access  to the rest of the house which is rare for the cats during the night. I woke again unexpectedly because I became aware of it being very light suddenly. This was because Red was standing very patiently on my pillow with his front paws while staring intently at me trying to communicate.

The problem was that he'd tangled his backside and tail in the slats and couldn't work out how to extricate himself. So he walked over to my pillow dragging the blind as far as he could which was pleated round his backend, hence no window covering to shield the light. Nice he knew to come for help instead of just ripping the blind down like Magic but not exactly ideal at 4am.

Anyway, like a good cat servant, I got up sorted the problem by lifting him out. I told him not to do it again, but really I think this was more for my benefit as, after a wee thank you lick, he pelted off to cause chaos elsewhere. They seem to be getting the hang of not winding in and out now so here's hoping; otherwise this could get expensive!

Cartoon Cats

Something I haven't managed to capture on camera is Red's cartoon run/scattering. This is when he is running from, or at, Magic and can't work out why he either isn't moving, or can't stop, despite his big long back legs going at warp speed. Wooden flooring which doesn't give you any purchase in the hallway would appear to be the obvious answer. Unless you are Red, that is, and then the answer is still a mystery...!


It is all change in our household as we now have a new home. It has been a very busy and stressful few weeks but we have managed it, with the help of some truly wonderful friends, and we are now  located in our new address.

Utter gratitude goes to the wonderful friends who gathered on the day. Without them and their amazing efforts, it just would not have happened. It was a Herculean task and I can barely believe it was managed in the timeframe. I am truly humbled by how hard they worked and unendingly grateful to them.

The fur ones were dispatched to their 'holiday home' at the cattery a few days in advance of the move to minimise distress to them and brought home two days after the move. Before they left they had both learned two new phrases - "watch out, sweetie/Red/Magic" and the more strident "Out the way" which was usually used when carrying something heavy or unstable.

On return, as could have been anticipated, Magic took it in her stride and set to work casing the new joint, assessing the dangers, layout and generally taking stock. Red, also reacted true to form, in so much as he spent most of the first day saucer-eyed and shuddering under the bed. All conversations with him had to be carried out lying prone on the carpet while peering under the bed. He did come out eventually and I think that seeing Magic and the humans being very relaxed and calm seemed to rub off on him. He is getting better but remains hyper-alert and bolts at any unknown or loud noise - no change there then!

The new abode has a garden and patio doors. The intention is to see if they would like go outside.I've bought harnesses as a possible means of gradually introducing them to the world but have yet to try them on them which will no doubt take some getting used to as they dont even wear collars. I've been encouraging them to smell the new smells at the windows and settle into their location. I'd planned to keep them in for a month or so before begining the gradual introduction to outside,

If I go near the patio doors Red bolts out of the room in terror, but Magic remains and appears quite anxious when I go outside to hang out washing. She stares at me through the glass and I suspect she is unhappy she cannot be there in her role as my protector. So, on one of the last washing runs, I held the door open for her to see what she did. I just chattered away to her as normal and she very delicately stepped outside, sniffing around and wandered around without going down the couple of steps. Unfortunately after a very short time I thought I heard a car in the driveway and in fearing the gate would be opened I lost my nerve and gently picked her up and took her indoors. My fear rather than her's.

This was a good start very early on for a housecat who has never been outside. I also reckon if I start trying to train her on a harness she will freak at the indignity of it so I am tempted to play it by ear with her as she is such a sensible little cat. Red on the other hand I will harness train, if possible, as he is a complete liability. The first loud or unfamiliar noise will cause him to bolt and, given his athleticism, he'd be entirely likely to start hurdling the neighbours fences till he got himself even more lost and scared. I also wonder if he will actually ever want to go out or whether he'll reject the chance to tootle round the garden and lie in the sun. Time will tell.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Red's Nemesis

Red's nemesis is currently driving him insane each time he see's it. He has no chance of ever catching it but it doesn't stop him stalking it from afar. See if you can see what it is and where it is?

Some recent pics

No special story to these, they are just some nice pics.

Magic resting on a chair. The photo was taken from under the table to capture her. Nice to see a shot with her awake and in good light to see her coat and Tortie markings.
The next few were taken of Red sleeping on top of the wardrobe. Obviously, it wasnt easy and I just ended up sticking the camera up high and snapping. I really like the second one, even though it was taken with the telephoto accidentally on. It only captures his little chest, shoulder, pudgy paws and pink nose. However, I think it looks like quite an intimate shot, as this is the view I normally have if I look down when he is sleeping all cooried up in my arms.

 The same view but without the telephoto. He just looks sedated in this one....!
 I was tidying the wardrobe and as usual Inspector Furry Paws needs to investigate.
 Just a Furry Paw...

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Bacon Arithmetic

A little sum to test the arithmetic of cat owners.

You make 6 rashers of bacon and split the loin part from the streaky bit and cook separately so that the meat is tender but the fat is completely crispy. (I don't care if it is weird, I like it this way!). You take two loins and two crispy bits for breakfast and leave the rest to cool so that it can be put in the fridge for other breakfasts. You close the kitchen door properly when you leave but later forget and wander back and forth for coffee etc. How much bacon remains?

In this house the answer is one loin and two crispy bits. The culprit, if we exclude poltergeist activity and acts of God, would seem to be Red; as Magic was out cold on the sofa the whole time. Stupidly though, I looked to see if the missing pieces had fallen or been left in the pan....! Anyway reality dawned and as Red sauntered in I reckoned he could just have the rest because if he had been snacking on my bacon then I certainly wasn't going to be eating it. So I offered it to him and unbelievably the little thief sniffed, gave it a lick, stuck his nose in the air and walked off. Blooming contrary beast!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Hot, hot, hot and NOT in a good way

I loathe the heat. I hate being sweaty and I can't stand sunbathing. You can always recognise me on a hot day as I am the scowly, grump in the shade muttering rain spells.

Today is very hot forecast to be around 26 degrees. The cats were fine and enjoyed the novelty of the sun this morning but somewhere around 10am it got too hot. Now they keep draping themselves in various places to see if there is any breeze at all or even just some respite. Red is draped over the top of the wardrobe and Magic had just got off the table beside me to lie on the sofa. She keeps looking at me beseechingly but I have nothing to offer her as I am red hot and sticky myself. I am planning to go and sit in a very cool bath with a good book and although I'll happily run a little bath for her in the bathroom sink I'm fairly certain she'll not be as enamoured with a cool bath as I will!

Cats are very difficult to help in the heat. I used to put ice cubes in the drinking water on hot days but my efforts were roundly rebuffed. Universally, they stare at the foreign object in the water, then look at me with incredulity, then back at the ice cubes, then back at me with a look of growing disbelief and anger at my treachery by giving them water with unidentified floating objects.....! Calm words explaining that this is a GOOD thing do not wash and I end up removing the bowl to replace it with a no-ice option alternately laughing at the look on their faces and muttering "ungrateful wee rats! That's the last time I try to help" etc, etc

UPDATE: Apparently the coolest place in the house is under the damp washing. Both cats know this and have claimed their spot. Sadly this leaves no room for me. It is my washing, and I could claim the airer and all rights to the cool spot but cats have VERY long memories...!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Flat Cat

Poor little Red became a pillow last night. While I was working on the computer he came up and ended up lying on his side between me and the computer, purring and softly pudging the air with his paws. While I was reading a document I leaned over and stroked his fur with my cheek while murmuring sweet words to him. Obviously he wasn't the only one soothed by this as I dozed off and only woke as he struggled up, most likely as my head got heavier on him.

I've had both cats fall asleep on me many times before, and I've fallen asleep beside them, but I think this is the first time I've ever actually fallen asleep ON one of them.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Die a'Horror

Poor little Red he is currently suffering from 'die a'horror' which more correctly translates to diarrhoea. The mispronounciation was coined by a family member many years ago and if you've every had it, then it is probably fair to say that it sums up how you feel more accurately.

Red is otherwise well but he is certainly suffering from a fair degree of 'gastrointestinal hurry' and it is probably my fault. Both cats have taken a real liking to the new Whiskas Bite and Chew sachets. Their diet consists of Felix Good as it Looks or Gourmet with Shrimp. They tend to refuse Whiskas, Kit-e-Kat and all of the lovely Applause or premium foods despite my attempts to vary their diet. Anyway I live in hope and, and as I love trying new things, I bought them a box of the Bite and Chew on the basis if they refused it I could donate it to a friend for their cat or to the SSPCA. This time they went nuts for this and as it was on an introductory offer it was my box of choice.

Normally I buy cat food in industrial quantities so that has been the dining option for a while. However, Bite and Chew wasn't on offer this week so it was back to the Felix as Good as it Looks. Red generally has a cast iron constitution and eats anything he can get in his mouth. Right now the problem is not what he puts in his mouth but what is coming from both gum and bum. He has been pooing like a trooper and tho' I'd have struggled to believe it could get any worse it is even smellier than his usual. How the wallpaper and paintwork hasn't melted is a mystery. In a spirit of going with the flow he has been chucking up furballs and his food too....deep joy! Good job it is a Sunday as I've been kneeling and worshipping the carpet to clean up the vomit and bowing to the litter box since last night. Suffice to say I am not having fun yet.

This does make me think tho', as both cats flip routinely between Gourmet and Felix without a flicker depending on what is currently on special offer. Magic is a vomiter but that is usually from emotion or eating too quickly when she is hungry. So for Red to be affected as he is does make me suspect that maybe Whiskas is not a good addition to the repertoire if it causes problems when withdrawn. My last cat had many problems and one was that she gradually refused all food bar Whiskas chicken sachets, then only cooked plain chicken then she refused all food. She also developed epilepsy around this time so it is questionable whether the diet issues were the cause or symptom of the illness or whether it was all circumstantial. That very old experience made me a teeny, tiny bit cautious of Whiskas which is why I like to keep varying their diet to prevent ever geting into a situation where only one flavour of one brand becomes a fixation. I did reckon that all things considered if they were eating all flavours then it wasnt a problem. However, I think if Whiskas Bite and Chew goes on special offer I may still buy some but only for use as an occasional treat and not as their regular food.

Must dash, I can smell chemcal warfare drifting from the litter box....!

Friday, 4 May 2012


This one is still making me smile. I had an oven pizza and king prawns for dinner last night and ended up chopping up a significant number of my nice prawns for Red who scoffed them at speed. Magic doesn't like prawns but she likes to be involved. Normally, if she is beside me when I am eating I show her what I have, she nods a little Royal Assent then settles down for a sleep. All very collegial and congenial.

I wondered if some chicken might take her fancy so I showed her a little chunk of chicken from the pizza. She delicately inhaled from a distance then turned away with a little supercillious pout. As the chicken was untouched and she wasn't interested I popped it in my mouth. I'd no sooner done this than she rounded on me with a look of absolute scandalised disgust that I'd eaten her little treat.

Apparently, this time the pouting was just a bit of mannerly delay to show she wasn't as uncouth as Red who devours his food. I'd let her down entirely by wolfing her tidbit while she was working out which pinkie should be raised for an impromtu snack. She looked so aghast I couldn't help laughing. I did give her some more chicken but she kept shooting me sideways glances which clearly indicated how disappointed she was by my manners!

God, my Nana would have loved Magic for upholding the standards!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

My brave protector

I am seriously deafened while writing this and am having to contend with a tail swishing over the keyboard. Magic is sitting on the table 'protecting' me from the exceptionally loud police helicopter sitting right above our street. As soon as it appeared Magic got up and came to head bump and paw me and sit beside me. It is funny but is she sitting with her back to me so that she can be watching and assessing the situation. I can stroke her and she will try to groom my hair but she wont let me hold her as she wants to be ready for action. What a wee love she is.

I've no idea what is going on but it has been there for the past 40mins or so and is low enough to blow the roof tiles off, as if we need that again, and the birds outside are going ballistic. Red, predictably, has legged it and is missing-in-inaction again!

As I've said before although this is an urban area we are fairly light on entertainment. So unsurprisingly the place is awash with dog walkers doing an unsheduled walk, bewildered children being dragged very slowly for a pre-bedtime stroll and I've even seen some elderly folk perambulating up the main road with their roller frames.

It is still there and though it has moved once or twice it is still there and VERY loud. I can only hope they find what they are looking for or run out of kerosene and need to go to be refuelled.

Wonders will never cease, an hour into this ruddy annoyance, Red reappeared with eyes like saucers, sadly it was all too much for him and he legged it again. Still, he did try and you've got to love him for that.

Mary, Mungo and Midge

One Morning Red was knocking hell out of fur mouse at stupid O'clock and using me as a trampoline. I was too tired to do anything about it so when he next passed I grabbed the mouse and tucked it under the covers with me. Hardly hygienic but it did allow me some more precious sleep before getting up. That same night it was obviously cold and Magic reckoned under the covers was better than at the foot of the bed. I dislike cats in beds and am constantly changing the pillowcases and bedding or covering it with fleece blankets however, as I am used to cats sleeping at the bottom of the bed and moving around I sometimes don't notice when Magic decides to avail herself of the warm underside of the covers. This morning it made me laugh as when I woke I was accompanied by a fur mouse and a cat who looked seriously disgusted at the mousey intruder. This meant there were three bods in the room that morning who were not impressed with their bedmates. Red was bereft as his mouse had been stolen, Magic looked affronted by the mouse and I was unchuffed at having either sleeping companion.

The High Life or the High Way

Despite the fact that both cats sleep at the bottom of the bed during the winter before they settle down they vie for supremacy over who will sit where. Usually Red likes the top of the wardrobe but on this night he'd had a go at Magic so she stole his favourite space in revenge. Red was so annoyed he didnt think what he was doing and leapt past Magic so that they were both on the wardrobe and worse, he was on the long drop side! They both did a bit of growling and posturing but realised I think(!) that they were a little stuck and it was a little too dangerous for their usual shenanigans. I was horrified and tried to intervene but they were too high to do anything meaningful. I had visions of broken legs and multiple injuries.

Interestingly they resolved it by turning their heads away, like they do when sharing the bed, and pretending the other didn't exist. Who knew cats were just like politicians!

Laundry Hide and Go Seek

Like all cats Red reckons he is invisible if he is under something and is looking at the floor. I was sorting out the clean white laundry for folding when he hopped onto the little shelf under the table which he reckoned made him invisible. When I told him "I can see you, you know..." he made me laugh as he was soooo crestfallen.

'Scuse the dirty laundry on the floor, it was just waiting for its turn in the machine.

Going Somewhere...?

I was recently forced to do some ironing so that some clothes could be packed. I do not 'do' ironing and normally dress to the rule of 1) is it clean? and 2) does it need ironed? If the answer is yes and no, then it is fit to be worn. However, on this occasion I was forced to do a fair load of ironing, for the other human, I might add. Red took exception to the suitcase scenario which always worries him and he decided that he'd better stake his claim to whatever was going on!

Sleepy Cats

No post is ever complete without some cute snaps of them sleeping, or heading that way...

Hairy Paws 3

From the quest to document the size of the angora shovels. From claw to 'wrist' they really don't look like they belong to him...

Snow Bear

Snow Bear, Gregory and Little Ted used to sit on my bed some years ago. Recently I found them while clearing out a wardrobe and all three were looking like a wash wouldn't go amiss. So I popped them in a lingerie bag and washed them. I laughed when Snow Bear came out looking rather the worse for wear and looked like I feel in the morning.

However, after a little brush she looked more like herself and ready to face the day!

Your limousine awaits

Two snaps from their last trip to the vet in their new carriers.

Red is all exhausted and keeping his eyes closed as he hates the vet and the car journey. Magic is giving it longing looks to the outside.

I bought the new carriers as I was finding it difficult to carry both cats when I was on my own and to evict them from the carrier when we got to the vet.  There was also the issue of remembering which cat had to go into which carrier. Red needed the small one despite the fact his is the bigger cat as he needs to be in the foot well otherwise he howls all the way if he can see the scenery rushing past. Magic on the other hand had to rattle around in the large one as she 'HAS' to see the scenery otherwise, she howls all the way. I did try strapping the old carriers into the back seat belts once but they both howled!

These ones come with a shoulder strap, can fit in either foot well or on the seat and also sneakily open at the top. They were expensive but were on special offer. I did initially want to get Red a 'boy' colour but as only the pink was on offer I didn't feel his machismo was worth paying an extra £20 for when he is only in it for short hops to the vet or cattery.

The carriers are a a little bulky but they are worth their weight in gold as you can open the top. When we got to the vet Red had sidled way back and was giving it his self-satisfied no chance you are getting me out look. So when the vet opened the top and lifted him out he put up no resistance and came out like a wet piece of spaghetti with an expression that was simultaneously bemused, affronted and scandalised at having been out foxed! The vet admitted she loves this type of carrier as there is no risky sticking your hand into a waiting set of claws or teeth to get the cat out or the alternative upending the carrier and shaking it like a ketchup bottle. Magic was fine, she just wanted to explore and kept trying to skydive off the table. The injection didn't go down well and as usual she tried to back away which meant she actually backed onto the needle and effectively gave herself her injection! Unfortunately both had fairly awful reactions to their vaccines, which is another post on its own.

Hairy Paws 2

I continue in my challenge to capture the size of the boy's paws. He seems to have stopped growing in height and length and is now putting on his adult weight as I can feel him getting a little heavier. The paws however still look like they belong to another beast entirely as they are huge, angora soft and almost cartoonish.

They are lovely tho' and he is perfectly happy for you to play with his paws when he is sleeping on your lap.

Warning for Suckers

Honestly, if you need to put this warning on your Pet Hair Eraser Vacuum for your customers then you probably shouldn't be selling it to them...!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Foggy Logic

Not a cat related story but funny to me all the same and, quite probably for anyone who knows my Mother, it will come as no surprise either.

I took her to a live recording of a RADIO comedy gameshow tonight and she was very keen and eager about it all. However, it soon became apparent that she was a little unclear on the concept of how this might work when she asked when she'd be able to see herself on the 'telly'! After some explanation which caused the penny to drop I asked her if she thought she had a good face for radio and she told me I was a cheeky swine, which we agreed seemed like fairtrade insults! As it turned out the comedy show was ok but not brilliant and we reckoned we had had had a better laugh in the car especially as it prompted us to laugh about a similar incidence of her 'foggy logic'.

Many, many years ago my heartthrob Paul Coia was presenting a live outside broadcast programme when we were passing one day and I dragged her over to catch a glimpse of him. (I was young and got over it, ok!) Anyway after a few minutes of my Mother's rather odd posing and head bobbing she started literally dragging me away hissing that we had to get up the road quickly so that we could see ourselves on the tv. Apparently she'd been posing to make herself conspicuous so that she could spot herself when she watched the show! Took me ages to explain that she wouldn't be able to see herself on LIVE tv esp. as we were not videoing it in those archaic pre-iplayer days! She was fair disappointed she was not going to see her tv debut.

It was a pretty nostalgic night allround as we went to see the Muppets Movie after the radio recording. What a piece of nostalgia that was seeing all my fav characters. I was totally transported back and sat wondering whatever had become of the Fozzie Bear soft toy I was given by Santa one Christmas. Maybe I should employ a bit of 'Fozzie logic' to see if I can find him! Anyway the night started off on a silly note and just kept going as we sang cycles of Manah, manah all the way to her door! Priceless!

Thursday, 23 February 2012


Once again Red displayed his feartie credentials. He was sitting with me when there was a commotion outside. It turned out to be two numpty neds bawling and posturing up at someone's window in the next building. Even though we are close to a main route we are fairly light on entertainment here and so even a couple of muttonheads shouting counts as a 'bit of excitement'.

Given the rarity of street theatre, on both occasions when I went to have a wee nosy, Red fled from the room. The first time he came back but on the second occasion he'd gone to ground and was very much Missing-in-Inaction.

Magic on the other hand was sleeping on the chair under that window, only woke when I knelt on the chair to have a better look and was utterly unfussed.

I'm guessing that if Red were human his career choices would certainly not include anything security related. I cannot imagine him being a very credible witness with a statement along the lines of "I've no idea what happened as I had my big angora paws over my eyes and ears..."!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Windy Windae

The vile and scary winds today have fair been putting the wind up me and one of the cats. I woke to the bedroom windows being battered by huge gusts and trying to come into the room. As the wind picked up tempo I got more and more concerned and decided it was not safe to pull the covers over my head. Red was also getting quite anxious and kept disappearing behind the curtains then coming back out and looking very disconcerted.

So I carted Magic from her sleeping space, to her complete annoyance, and took them both through to the other side of the house to settle all of us. It was less windy but on looking out of the window I saw the car next to mine had a huge smashed windscreen as the tiles had come from the high building opposite and the street looked like a war zone. I was too scared to go out to see if mine had sustained damage.

Red was a little more settled in the living room for all of a few seconds before he obviously decided it was more than he could take and legged it. He didnt even come out for food which is astonishing. In nine hours I've seen him once when he made a fleeting visit before he fled at the next gust. I still have no idea where he is hiding. The boy is a complete woose with nerves of pure candy floss. Magic has slept through with one short visit to scoff her breakfast.

Update: these winds were much worse than the 'hurricane' the month earlier and apparently the roof tile bombardment had actually come mainly from my building. Another other neighbour's car also got struck although less severely. She was very pragmatic about it, even when commenting that the two dents now took her car from the appearance category of 'a great wee runner' to 'clapped out'! I didn't escape entirely unscathed though as one of the tile shards punctured my tyre:-(

Monday, 2 January 2012

Cosmic Ordering: The Princess and the Pee

There is a popular school of thought that reckons that if you can dream your perfect life and REALLY, REALLY want it then the cosmos will pop it in the post to you. I am sceptical. If this is true then why is a very tall Andy Garcia not in the kitchen of my mansion cooking my dinner while I look out a size zero dress that isn't too loose on me!

Anyway, although I think this is all bunkum this little post illustrates how cosmic ordering might just have occured.

I'd been feeling a little guilty as I'd been very preoccupied and hadn't been giving the cats much of my time. So, I promised myself I'd make more of an effort. Magic got lots of action with the furminator and Red drove me daft with prolonged games of 'mousey mousey'. This is just fetch with a little fur mouse but is apparently as good as life can get! During one prolonged bout I needed the loo and, after telling him I'd be back, I made my exit. I'd barely sat down before the door was thrown open in my face by Red who dropped 'mousey' at my feet. As he wasn't taking no for an answer, and I realised I may be detained a little longer than first anticipated (use your imagination), I ended up sitting there firing the mouse out of the door and continuing the game. As I was musing on the ridiculous situation of not getting peace to go to the loo on my own, I realised a cosmic order had just been fulfilled.

Often as a child I'd dreamed of being a rich Princess ensconsed on a throne, being feted by handsome suitors bearing gifts and riches and vying for my attention and hand in marriage. Incidentally, I blame all the childrens books my Mother bought me and Disney films for this chiffon clad nonsense in the first place. Despite that having been many years ago it seems that I finally got my wish. However, maybe I should have been more specific because there I was ensconsed on a 'throne' of sorts being paid great homage by a handsome young male who wanted my hand, not in marriage, but to fire 'mousey' down the hall to be retrieved.

What a let down. I also suspect under the same logic my lottery winner fantasy has been and gone too. My Father's ticket was the winner many years ago in the Easter raffle at my primary school scooping him the first prize of 27 Creme Eggs.

So, before anyone is tempted to buy into this notion that you can magically order the life you would like then remember this cautionary example, and be specific about what you want otherwise you might get what you wish for.... altho' perhaps not exactly in the way you had anticipated.