black and white cat in black and white

Cassie, my plump little black and white, soft-furred puss, in, well, black and white…

time for a nap 4

And yes, her fur is even softer than it looks here and having her belly scratched is one of her favourite pastimes; she is the Tummy Tickle Tiger and often manages to curl up next to me in such a manner as to make sure she’s in position to have aforementioned portly tummy tickled, which is, of course, just a pure coincidence she tells me…

time for a nap 2

Ciao, Pussycat

I fed my furry girls some kitty food that came with Italian wording as well as English: “Per chi fa la bella vita, per Gatti D’Appartamento.” Now Pandora is zipping round the flat on a small moped while Cassie is reclining on the sofa with a glass of Vermouth and muttering “ciao, baby” at regular intervals while watching old Sophia Loren movies.

(all that Italian has tired out Cassie who decides on a mid-afternoon nap in a sunbeam)

Hunting

How quickly a gently snoozing cat can go from being curled up sleepily on the sofa to manic hunting mode; a moth got into the flat and went fluttering past the candles. Cassie’s eyes snap open and she pounces, from rest to leaping into the air after the moth in seconds, a little urban tiger stalking her little jungle. Does that make her a ‘tiger moth’ :-) ?

Bugs and moons and cats and cushions

I got totally floored towards the end of last week with what I presume was a bug; started as a bit of a headache, noticed it was a bit harder focussing on the computer screen at work, popped a couple of Anadin and didn’t think too much of it till I got home, couple of hours later my arms and legs feel like lead and my head feels like a mix of cotton wool and space dust, so I crawl into bed ridiculously early. Cue very sleepless night waking up either roasting and drenched in sweat (I don’t mind being sweaty in bed, but for the right reasons only) or shivering so badly I shook myself awake (very weird, don’t remember the last time I shivered). And all through it weird, linking dreams where I seemed to be walking through scenes of classic black and white movies (I think I was looking for Louise Brooks but she proved as elusive in my confused dream state as she was to most in real life). Interestingly even when half awake the dreams kept running. Add in some nasty dizziness and fatigue and you have yourself a nasty bug that seemed to come out of nowhere; fine in the morning, feeling iffy in the afternoon, utterly screwed by evening.

Next morning it felt like a very bad hangover, the sort you wake up from and find you have the hangover plus you realise you are still a bit drunk and crashing around, stumbling with no co-ordination and still either too hot or too cold. Found out since then that a couple of my family got hit with the same thing from nowhere, so presumably there is a nasty virus going round (that will teach me to juggle those ducks on the canal). Still a bit tired and feel the odd little resurgence of it, but not too bad now; forced myself off with a mate for a very long walk (yes, with Bruce the greyhound too, all excited as ever when he sees us putting on jackets “oh boy, oh boy, we’re going for a walk!!!”) to try and get the blood circulating before going off to check on Dizzy while Mel is away visiting her cousin in Norway. Naturally Dizzy took advantage of me feeling a bit drained still today to curl up next to me and use bits of me as a pillow. And talking of pillows, I got one of my photos of Dizzy looking incredibly cute and slumbering in the sun on a rug out in the garden and had it printed onto a big cushion last year for Mel’s birthday. I have been waiting patiently for her to curl her little furry form up next to it and stay there long enough for me to get a picture of her with it; naturally whenever I have seen her in front of it she has moved by the time I get the camera to take a snap, but after months and months of waiting I finally got that picture and here it is, Dizzy with the Dizzy cushion!

I also managed to get out for a little while on Saturday night and saw some of the lunar eclipse – amazingly we had a pretty clear sky for once in Scotland (poor Mel didn’t in Norway, clouds spoiled the show). There was a reddish-pink tinge to the moon for a while, it was a fascinating sight, must have been terrifying to people in the pre-scientific period of history (which is most of it, really) – one of my Fotolog friends, Foxglove, has a cool image on her flog here. Would have been a great night for doing a virgin sacrifice, although the only Virgin I wanted to slice up on a pagan altar as the moon was swallowed by Those Who Cannot Be Named would be sodding Richard Branson’s Virgin who have been busy posturing against Murdoch’s Sky this week which is great for them but a real pisser for their customers who suddenly found out they’d lost access to a bunch of their favourite major shows literally overnight (thanks for the advance warning, Branson, you numpty).

One company blames the other of course, both give contradictory reasons why talks broke down, all I know is I was with Telewest for years and subscribed to them because it was the only way to see certain import shows. Branson’s “we must be involved in every industry that exists” Virgin company takes over and a few weeks later the biggest entertainment channel is gone and a lot of folks will miss the next eps of their favourite shows this week while Murdoch and Branson engage in a pissing contest instead of looking after their customers, which is a poor way to run a service. I also notice that despite losing the biggest channel Virgin hasn’t offered to cut my bill to reflect this and actually boasts they are offering us more choice through a programme on demand service which gives us access to old programmes instead; that makes up for losing the latest new import shows like Galactica, Richard, thanks. Twonk.

I’m no fan of Murdoch but since his Sky has some of the programmes I want to see I need access to that and since I paid for that (and am still paying the same amount) but having it cut at no notice by Branson who has a long-standing personal and ongoing really ticks me off. And the fact he is still charging me the same amount for less proves that customer care is not on top of his agenda. Jeez, to think someone is willing to pay 100K to fly into space on one of this arsehole’s rockets when they get going…

Fireside kitty

Outside it is freezing; crisp, sharp, cold air, breath misting in front of passers-by as if it was smoke and their mouths the chimney for the furnace of their body, trying to warm itself against the winter night; clear sky above and a large, crescent moon hanging in the darkness. But not inside, oh no; in here it is warm and comfortable. The fire flickers happily while the candles cast amber shadows across the room. Pandora has the sofa to herself and settled down for a semi-snooze, her huge eyes opening from time to time as if to make sure everything is okay and to see what I’m doing. Her sister Cassie has settled herself down on the new rug right in front of the fireplace and is purring away, her plump little furry body settled down in the prime warm spot of the room in that way that cats do so well.

Cassie tries out the ‘Andy Capp’ position but prefers the new rug in front of the fire to Andy’s normal sofa.

Yes, she is indeed a portly puss, being both middle-aged and an indoors kitty, but that fur is even softer than it looks and warmer than usual as she toasts herself by the fire. I can feel the vibrations of her contented purrs right through her little body; that’s one happy cat. Which of course makes me very happy and relaxed too; all the problems of life slip away for a brief spell because it is all but impossible to worry or feel down when you’re tickling a happy kitty’s warm, furry tummy. One of life’s simple pleasures, curled up next to my girl.

Ahhhh, pure contentment… I just couldn’t take pics in such low light without a flash with the old camera, but this new one seems to handle it quite easily.Funny how on the first night of winter when I lit the fire for the first time since the previous winter the cats somehow knew, even though they were asleep in another room and came trotting through right away and promptly curled up in front of it. Just put down a new rug from Ikea the other day – obviously it has already obtained the Cassandra Seal of Approval. She looks so sweet and innocent here, but tomorrow it will be totally different as she jumps on my head to wake me up in the morning… Wouldn’t have it any other way of course.

Dizzy in the dark

Dizzy in one of her little hidey-holes, happily curling up in among Mel’s clothes partly for comfort and partly to make sure even freshly laundered clothes are still covered in fur. I was surprised this even came out – my wee old camera doesn’t have a low light setting so I improvised with the penlight on top of it and it worked.

Let sleeping cats lie

As I type this Pandora is curled up on the sofa, slumbering away as cats are wont to do. Little meows are to be heard occasionally while her huge, creamy white paws keep moving and her whiskers are twitching. What do cats dream about? Milk? Mice? Mice in milk? Or maybe she dreams of dangling a length of wool and watching me bat it and chase it for a change.

What a coup

Can I just take this opportunity to remark about today’s story about Mark Thatcher’s arrest for allegedly taking part in an attempted coup in an African country? I would just like to say a heartfelt and considered HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

Yes, I know it may well be the sign of a poor man to laugh at the misfortune of another, but frankly it’s just too fun to pass up on seeing this man who was referred to as ‘Thicky’ by his school chums at his posh private school and who has traded on the name of his evil former prime minister mother and used her links in a way that would make a Bush family member proud to make more business.

new toy

On a good news front however, I picked up my shiny new toy today – a Toshiba laptop. It will take me ages to transfer over files accumulated on my ancient pentium desktop, but at least I have my existing email etc set up on the shiny little new machine. Very sexy and I’m very pleased with it – except Windows Xp seems deigned to stop people like me who know how to fiddle with things fiddling with things… I’m sure I’ll figure it all out eventually – unless is succumb to playing a nice new state-of-the art game, the type I couldn’t play on my old machine. Yes, I’m just waiting for Alex to supply me with new games distractions so I get bugger all work done on the new machine.

One drawback to the new computer – it is a nice thin plasma screen. This means no hot monitor for my cats to sleep on, they are most distressed. Still, I will take this opportunity to start training them up on anti-terrorism measures. The big puss, Pandora, is the tactical cat, designed to clobber the enemy by… well sitting on their laps and purring. Cassandra (Cassie) is the smaller cat and to be used for swift, surgical strikes. Ha, no Al-Queda plague infested rats being unleashed near me! Back to the new toy oh how my poor bank balance screams for mercy. But the old machine was not only from the Triassic era it was now making sounds like the last Huey out of Saigon in 1975, so it aint long for this world. That’s my justification and I am sticking to it!