Friday, 25 September 2009

Getting into a flap!

It's time to come clean.  I've been pondering whether I should or not for ... oh ...... at least a day and a half.  How dotty am I?  Answers on a postcard please ☺ 

I have mentioned once or twice how both the cats like to sleep away the day up in the rather grandly named summerhouse (it's actually a shed with windows).  We've provided them with a nice soft chair each - originally the chairs were for the bipeds in the family, but somehow .... well you know how it is!  So each morning come rain or shine I toil up the garden with my freshly laundered just-got-out-of-bed early morning all-over body pucker (I resemble a relief map of Snowdonia) and open the door so the two moggies can avail themselves of the comforts within.  

Aside; why is it the neighbour always picks the same moment to nip out and leer a good morning at me before I'm harnessed into my daytime attire?  I don't think he likes me much! 

Anyway, moving on.  After several months of doing this (opening the door) it started to protest at being left open all day (and some nights) and got a bit too big for it's frame.  Enter Robin our gardener chappie:

"I could put a cat flap in and then you wouldn't have to scare the wildlife every morning by going outside, and it would give the door a chance to recover!"

Hurrumph!  A sensible idea! But isn't that taking pet care into the realm of the eccentric?  Probably; but anyway we agreed and I thought that that would be the end of it. Not so.  A few days later he turned up with a 4-way all-singing all-dancing cat flap contraption for £14.95 from B&Q.  "Great" I said !  He disappeared up the garden.

After several hours of huffing and puffing, three mugs of "builders", copious amounts of glue and paint and a bit of nifty man-handling of a jig-saw, it was in place.  A true work of art - Damien Hirst eat your heart out!  Now all we had to do is introduce it to the cats. 

Now Austin is spooked by his imaginary friend, but Tigger was game.  So I put some food on the inside of the shed and held the flap open from the outside.  Tigger was through there like greased lightening.  I shut the flap. Austin looks on with bemusement. Silence except for the sound of a masticating cat inside. Then more silence ...... I take a peek. There's Tigger looking up at me from the door waiting, oh so patiently, for it to be opened.  Not fazed I stuck my fingers through the flap and eventually Tigger slid through.  He glanced at Austin:

"piece of cake; you just gotta get her to keep that flap thingy open!" 

I went to fetch my camera for the next installment and instructed my nephew (Thanks Davy :>) to aim in the general direction of the cat flap and shoot.

Not a great success, but we live in hopes.  Meanwhile the door remains open :>)
And my wrinkled persona continues to frighten the fauna - but you are not getting a close-up photo of that :P 

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Just love these two!

I see these two beauties whenever I take my walk up the road.  They (nearly) always come and say hello :>)

I took the photos on my mobile, so quality isn't great; also, because of the light, I couldn't see where I was aiming lol.  Not so bad for all that ☺

Monday, 21 September 2009

Α - Cosmic Ordering - Ω

This is in way of a digression from the usual cat stuff - but not so much from the other meaning of catachresis i.e. my brilliant (but not unique) ability to misuse words ;>

I've just been reading in the Daily Telegraph that Noel Edmonds has launched an iPhone application for people who believe in the New Age philosophy of Cosmic Ordering!!

This astounding bit of news has set me off on one of my flights of fancy (maybe it's a cosmic flight) about how the Cosmos deals with orders that come in from us mere mortals? I mean is it like online buying from Amazon? Or maybe one has to outbid other interested parties, as you do on ebay? Does the great Cosmo have a giant warehouse from which all orders are processed? I've just looked "cosmos" up in a dictionary and it says:

"In its most general sense, a cosmos is an orderly or harmonious system. It originates from a Greek term κόσμος meaning "order, orderly arrangement, ornaments," and is the antithetical concept of chaos. Today the word is generally used as synonym of the word 'universe' (considered in its orderly aspect).

Leaving aside the dilemma this leaves us regarding the polar clash of civilisations i.e. when cosmos and chaos become inextricably entwined here on earth (e.g. hurricane, tsunami, Austin and Tigger!), I continue my muse and wonder how we managed to imbue a "system" with a personality? Is this something to do with pantheism, which is the view that everything is part of an all-encompassing immanent God? In pantheism, the Universe (Nature) and God are considered equivalent and synonymous (got that from Wiki!).

Maybe so. However that still leaves the knotty problem as to who it is who processes all these orders. Even though there are places on the web where you can "submit your cosmic order here", some poor devil still has to wrap them up and send them out? Perhaps I should send for "Cosmic Ordering for Dummies"! You know I don't think Mr Edmonds has really thought this one through!

Here is a view of the local cosmos from my window

Thursday, 17 September 2009

The killing fields!

I have mentioned before that Austin has a tendency to leave the dead carcasses of his murder victims outside my bedroom window in the rather grandly named "courtyard" - but which is really just a couple of paving stones and a retaining wall. Have to say though that on a balmy summers night, what with the cream coloured walls of the house and the way it is designed architecturally, there is a distinctly mediterranean feel to the place.

Sadly, balmy summers nights have been in rather short supply the last few years. Anyway several times of late I have drawn back the curtains in the morning to a scene of carnage on the paving stones; anything from shrews to voles to baby blue tits. But then this morning there was a fully grown robin lying mutilated on the ground. I don't know why this should upset me more than the rest, but it's red breast was so vivid and warm and colourful, in stark contrast to the dull grey of the cold stone ground. I was poleaxed because I was still half asleep when I drew back the curtains and the scene unfolded like the first act of a Shakespearean tragedy!

This was yet another present to me from Austin; it was beautiful and it was dead! The incongruity of the sight did manage to penetrate my sleep sodden brain; the poignant beauty and delicacy of this death at variance with the bold brash birth of the brand new day. The end and the beginning played out in a tableau before my eyes. Here was the reminder to us all that death is midst of life.

Austin, being rather more prosaic and earthbound, popped his head up from under the window. His tail shot up like an exclamation mark!

"Look what I've done!"

"Yes; thanks my boy. I guess you're only doing what comes naturally, but I wish you wouldn't implicate me as an accessory after the fact", as I trudge wearily to fetch a shovel and some paper :<(

NB What Austin doesn't know is that this afternoon at 4.10 precisely he will be at the vets having his annual check up and booster shot. Now I'm not in the least vindictive and I know he won't make the connection, but he hates the vets; so you can't blame me if, on this occasion, I feel just a little less sorry for him!!

Monday, 14 September 2009

Cat - or Cats ?

I have been cogitating recently over the exact number of cats I actually do have? It has definitely exercised my one working brain cell. You see Austin is kosher; no, I don't mean he complies with Jewish dietry laws, but he is legit. I traipsed to the RSPCA rescue centre in Colwyn Bay and filled in the forms, did and said all the right things, then voila! he was mine - even though he wasn't the dog I originally went there for!

I have to say though that on the whole he has tried very hard to assuage my disappointment
by behaving as much like a dog as is possible for a cat to do without losing any of his innate catness and an ounce of his cat dignity.
Tigger, on the other hand, arrived by the back door - literally!

One day I was in the little kitchen downstairs (well, it's just a utility room really, but it has aspirations!), and I heard a scratching and Austin's distinctive
I-am-pretending-to-be-pathetic-so-you'll-take-pity-and-let-me-in mew. (I have mentioned before that Austin's vocal repertoire is quite extensive, but he knows that particular sound always means he will melt my heart and get his own way!). I opened the door, Austin paused and looked to his left, and round the corner came this gorgeous tabby (just-a-bit-larger-than-a) kitten. He came through the door like he'd been doing it forever! Austin, looking a bit embarrassed, followed.

We called him Humbug to start with, as he resembled one of those mint concoctions, but he seemed a little hurt by it. I realised why he might be a little discomforted by this moniker as when I looked it up, I found it also meant baloney, bilgewater, bosh, drool, taradiddle, tommyrot
, tosh, twaddle! Resisting the temptation to call him Taradiddle (which I feel is an excellent name for a cat) we eventually settled on Tigger; although I don't know why we bother as he doesn't answer to it - or anything else really.

Anyway he settled in very quickly after the initial wall to wall and floor to ceiling nose inspection. But my
original question was how many cats do I have? I mean how much time does he have to spend here eating Austin's food and sleeping in Austin's bed before he can legitimately go round and tell everyone that he's moved and now lives at no. 42?*

Ok so we didn't choose him, but he chose us and Austin thinks he's the best thing since sliced cooked chicken
breast: though I do wish they wouldn't keep trying to take great furry chunks out of each other!

*We don't actually live at number 42; we don't have a number. Happily we are amongst the few who still have a name :>)

Thursday, 3 September 2009


A bit of inter-feline strife. Tigger has the balls but Austin always wins! They love each other really, but boys will be boys :>)