Saturday 24 October 2009

Ways In Which My Cats Have Brought Me Down To Earth #23455: I Return From My First Ever Film Premier

Me: "I'm home! My friend's film was brilliant, and he was great in it. It has a bull in it, and it's like Paddington Bear and Sideways and Withnail And I rolled into one and funny and amazing to look at! And I met a nice bloke from Peep Show! And I danced to 'Superstition' by Stevie Wonder!"

Cats: "We don't give a crud. We killed a rat."

Wednesday 21 October 2009

Friday 16 October 2009

Black Magic

Not long ago, I linked to The Random Cat Project, a site which seems to be from going to strength to strength at the moment, with random cat encounters from around the world flooding in. I had my own random cat encounter yesterday morning, meeting near my local train station the ineffably sweet black mogger pictured above, who immediately latched on to me and brought to mind a female (I originally typed "feline" there - perhaps a Freudian measure of the fact that I don't really think of Shipley as feline, more like halfway between canine and whatever the "ine" word is for crocodiles*) less obnoxious version of Shipley.

To be honest, I was having a very up and down kind of morning at the time: the sun was shining, and I'd just finished the most lively and good-natured of radio interviews, and been given a guided tour of an exciting new bookshop opening next week in Norwich, but I was also worrying about a very poorly close relative, pondering my still slightly bewildering singleness, and had just had a phone conversation with another close relative who'd been having the most testing of days. There's a split school of thought on the black cat crossing your path: in Britain and Japan, it's considered lucky, but in America and most of Europe, it's thought to be a bad sign. But I can't think how anyone, happening across She-Shipley, could have construed her presence in any negative way. Three minutes of nuggins (see the Under The Paw Cat Dictionary) was enough to make me feel instantly better about the world and a great example of the way cats can soothe our ills. Naturally, I felt a bit self-conscious, crouched down on such a public thoroughfare, and as She-Shipley meowed demandingly at me, I spotted, out the corner of my eye, a large goth teenager coming down the path to the station, dressed in all-black: long sulky fringe, arcane bits of metal hanging off his jeans, impractically warm trenchcoat.

I have to admit that there was a similarly teenage part of me, the part trained forever by my not rampantly violent, not massively small-minded and not at all incredibly homophobic North Nottinghamshire secondary school, that thought "Oooh shit, he's going to call me a puff and knee me in the ear as he walks past, isn't he?" but then I came to my senses, remembered I was 34, and very much my own boss, and that if I wanted to stop and stroke a random cat on the street, I was very much allowed to, and anyone who didn't like it could quite frankly cock off. The teenager glanced across at me as he passed, and down at She-Shipley, and as he did, we exchanged a glance, and I watched his default sulk crack into a wide, unguarded smile, with not a trace of mocking in it. If I experience a more pleasant moment of human interaction than that this month, I'll be very, very happy.

* I just looked it up, and the "ine" word for crocodiles is "crocine".**
** That was a lie.

Sunday 4 October 2009

Reader's Cat Eats Anonymous Cover Kitten

Thanks to Sandra May Veigel for sending this...

Saturday 3 October 2009

Best Boxing Cat Yet?

Three More Reader Photos

Eddie from Emlly:

Daisy from Nicky:

Rosie from Kathryn:

Friday 2 October 2009

Janet's Spiritual Littermate

As Mark astutely pointed out on last night's brilliant episode of Peep Show, it's very unlikely that you'll find your one true soulmate in the same part of the world as you and not, say, a village in Mozambique. Janet's, it seems, is a cat called Dusty in San Mateo, California. Dusty's taste is, however, a bit classier than Janet's, whose findings I have chosen not to keep, for obvious hygiene reasons.

10 Things My Cats Have Disdained Recently: Part III

1. The casual racism (according to The Bear) of the feline internet community, including the dialogue of the two famous talking youtube cats and people who mistake Shipley (pictured above) for The Bear "just cos he is black".

2. The continuing closure of my boiler room door, preventing Ralph scoping the hole in the wall where he lost his all-time best mouse in July, 2004.

3. Janet's new pretentious, out of date neck-based soul patch, as sculpted by the vet in what he claimed was a "blood test".

4. The two cat calendars currently outselling Under The Paw in the amazon cat chart THREE MONTHS BEFORE ANYONE REALLY NEEDS THEM.

5. Ceiling Cat, and other mounting, alarmist religious dogma.

6. Me tweeting six times in a row about Whitesnake in 3 minutes on Twitter and immediately losing 11 followers, one of whom, if I had stuck to the appropriate subject of CATS and not 1980s hair metal, might, if I was really lucky, have borrowed Under The Paw from the library on a whim, and then recommended it to three of their friends, one of whom might, in three months, if I was even more lucky, have bought it in a three-for-two offer at a lower rent bookstore, earning me a royalty of around 37 pence (minus agent fee), thus contributing towards the purchasing of Sheba Tender Terrine With Chicken And Turkey.

7. James Wellbeloved Natural Cat Food Biscuits, and any other biscuits recently purchased "not from the heart" (i.e. only due to being on offer at Pets At Home).

8. The rather lame use of the word "hobo", instead of the better-known, and generally more shaggable, "drifter", in the original 1982 version of Whitesnake's 'Here I Go Again'.

9. Pretty much everything else about the original 1982 version of Whitesnake's 'Here I Go Again'.

10. Anthropomorphism.