Friday 29 March 2013

des hommes et des chatons

blog all about male models, and their cat equivalents.

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Guest Writer's Cat Of The Week: Boots


Name? 
Boots

Nicknames? 
Horrid, That Bloody Cat, Chairman Miaow

Theme Tune? 
Verdi: Requiem Dies Irae

Age? 
Uncertain. 

Owners?
Marianne Levy and her husband-to-be Rob. Marianne did not reveal my existence on her first date with Rob, something he occasionally mentions, usually after I’ve ruined one of his jumpers.

Brief Biography?
I skipped tender kittenhood, instead springing into the world fully formed and utterly evil.  My early years are hidden in mystery, but it is known that my wicked nature so affronted my first family that they threw me onto the street. Luckily, chance led me to the household of the pushover children’s author Marianne Levy, where all bow before my Terrible Claws. 

A few events of particular note – I once swallowed a needle and held it in my throat, undetected, for a full five days. Ah, the vet’s face when, on my third visit, I coughed it triumphantly on to the table! And let us not forget the occasion when, in events that have never been fully explained, I gave a veterinary nurse a sprained leg. Then there was the time my head enlarged overnight, before bursting the following morning in a glorious shower of hot pus. Happy days!

Catchphrase? 
**** off

Favourite Habits? 
Marianne often finds me making passionate love to her cushions.

What constitutes a perfect evening for you? 
I am a cat of great heft and possess a correspondingly vigorous appetite. My ideal evening would involve a meal every twenty minutes or so, and perhaps a game of ‘claw the most expensive piece of furniture in the room’ or a few rounds of ‘bite Marianne until I taste blood’.

Favourite food?
If ever I deviate from my diet of Very Expensive Cat Food by even a single mouthful, I will vomit with lavish and spectacular abandon. And I deviate a lot.

Defining moment of your life? 
Marianne was delighted to get a call saying Egmont wanted to publish her children’s series, the ‘Ellie May’ books. So, naturally, I chose to ruin the moment with a dramatic collapse from an indigestible hairball.

Any enemies? 
All humanity.

If you could do one thing to make the world a better place for felines what would it be? 
I loathe other felines, so can only envisage making the world a better place for myself. An armoured tank might be nice, with specially adapted controls. And nuclear missiles.

If you could meet a celebrity who would it be and why? 
Donald Trump. We’re both dreadful, and we’re both thinning around the ears.

Which one of the cats in Under The Paw and Talk To The Tail would you like to be stuck in a lift with? 
I would take great pleasure in reducing The Bear to a sad-eyed pulp. 






Marianne Levy’s new children’s book ‘Ellie May Is Totally Happy To Share Her Place In The Spotlight’ is out on 1st April  - order it here, or in any independent bookshop. Her website is www.mariannelevy.com.

Tuesday 26 March 2013

East End Cats



Some lovely photos of some of the most charismatic cats of London's East End from the Spitalfields Life blog.

Sunday 24 March 2013

Four Photos For Those Who've Been Asking The Big Question: "Do Cats Like Playgrounds?"

The answer is "no", by the way.

French Cats Playing Pat-A-Cake

Guest Reader's Cat Of The Week: Milo



Name? 
Milo - In my previous life I was known as Freckle, but Mum said you could tell my proper name was Milo, even in my photos from the refuge.

Nicknames? 
Milo Fanta-Pants, Little Man, Smiley-Milo....and on one occasion that I rarely mention (because I'd done something a bit silly to provoke it) 'You Enormous Ginger Tit!'.

Theme Tune? 
'Love Cats' by The Cure, which Mum sings to me frequently. Sometimes she also sings 'My, my, Myyyyy, my Milo' at me to the tune of 'Delilah'. It's horrendous. I have a special 'concerned look' that I use if I hear babies or animals sounding distressed on the TV. I use the same look when mum sings, which probably tells you all you need to know about her singing

Age? 
I will be three on March 29th...it says so in my passport.

Owners? 
I live with my Mum, and her grown-up daughter. Mum says she is quite boring and doesn't like talking about herself much. My other human is a writer....or trying to be. She's very clever.

Brief biography? 
I was handed in to an animal refuge in Cyprus as a tiny kitten, and I lived there with lots of my animal friends until last November, when I was two & a half. Then me and some of my friends flew in a big metal bird, from Larnaca to Heathrow, and went to stay in Nottingham with some nice foster-people while we were found 'forever homes'. It was a long journey, and I didn't really understand what was happening at the time. Mum saw a photo of me on Facebook and says she fell in love at first sight. Three weeks later, after a lot of form filling, emailing, and other boring stuff that I didn't really understand, I was bought all the way down the M1 from Nottingham to Essex to my new home. I loved it immediately, and within 45 mins I'd explored and was cuddling my new Mum, and purring lots. 

Catchphrase? 
'What are you doing?? Can I watch?'

Favourite Habits? 
Stealing people's seat when they get up to make tea/use the loo, then looking all innocent when they come back, like I'd been there all along, playing ball up and down the stairs at 5.30am, then hiding the same balls under the bedroom furniture, so Mum has to get on the floor & hook them out with a coathanger. (While she does this I sit on her head and purr.) Shouting at that snow stuff  through the windows, and drinking out of people's mugs or glasses while they're not looking.
Also, I like to watch things. Anything really, I'm not fussy, just very curious. I like watching mum wash up (the bubbles fascinate me, but I'm scared of them too) and I like watching her make things, on the sewing machine. She says I get too close to the scissors when she's cutting the fabric, and that I'll look pretty silly with only half a set of whiskers, but I know what I'm doing. I like jumping up on high things, wardrobes, doors, bookcases.... I like to get a different perspective on things sometimes, and explore new things. ( I found a ridiculous chair the other day, has a big hole in the seat!) I also love wildlife documentaries, especially ones with birds in them. They look pretty big on the TV but I'm confident I could catch them if only the stupid glass wasn't in the way. Oh, and licking people's noses when I have terrible cat-food breath. They pretend to protest, but I know they love it really.



What constitutes a perfect evening for you? 
Snuggling with one of my humans on the sofa. I love to be snuggled up tight, with my nose buried in tiny corners, in armpits, behind cushions etc. Mum says I must have some sort of invisible snorkel to be able to breathe, but I'm just comfy like that. Then after my snuggles, a nice bit of tuna before bed, a quick game of 'stair football'  while Mum's taking her daytime fur off and getting her night-time fur on, then I snuggle on the bed with her all night. when it's really cold, and that infernal white stuff falls down, I sneak under the duvet and sleep. Mum woke up to find me laying next to her with my front paws round her neck the other morning. It was a cuddle, honestly; I wasn't trying to strangle her.

Favourite food? 
Tuna, with occasional morsels of Kentucky Fried Chicken if anyone has any they don't want. Gotta love those herbs and spices. I like tomato ketchup too, Which Mum found surprising. Anyone would think she'd never seen a cat eat ketchup before.


Defining moment of your life? 
Arriving at my forever home, definitely. The whole emigrating process was a bit bewildering, but I knew it had to be for a reason....and arriving here was it. I totally love my new home, and my new people, and I try to show them as often as possible, even if they are trying to type emails, knit, cook, sleep... doesn't matter, I have to let them know!! They love me too, I can tell. It's so wonderful to feel so loved, and have a proper home. I know not all cats are as lucky as I've been, which makes me a bit sad....but grateful at the same time.

Any enemies? 
The big grey Wooooh monster. I think it's called a hoover. I'm getting used to it, but I'm not sure we'll ever be best friends. Cars are a bit scary too, I didn't see many in Cyprus because I lived in the country, but there are lots here. I watch them through the windows, but they're a bit big and noisy for my liking

If you could do one thing to make the world a better place for felines what would it be? 
I'd make sure that everyone got their cats neutered, so there weren't so many unwanted kittens, and tell everyone to adopt all the homeless animals from shelters etc. They all deserve a good home like I found. I also think tuna for breakfast should be made law, although the ketchup could be optional. Also, somebody needs to make computers easier for cats to use. We're all over Twitter, and the internet generally, and we have to get the humans to do our typing for us. I tried to send my own tweet a few weeks ago, but only succeeded in sending one of the laptop keys flying across the room. It's a real problem, and somebody should fix it soon!

If you could meet a celebrity who would it be and why? 
I'm not sure I'd be very good with celebrities. I can't imagine they'd be into the whole nose-licking thing, and I wouldn't want to cause offence. Besides, I rather like being the centre of attention myself, I wouldn't want anyone stealing my thunder.

Which one of the cats in Under The Paw and Talk To The Tail  would you like to be stuck in a lift with? 
I love The Bear, he has so many things he's sad about, and I'm quite cheerful, so I'd like to try and reassure him that things aren't so bad after all. But then again, Ralph is totally awesome too, and I'd love to compare notes with him on always managing to look so pleased with oneself. (Mum says I do that too.) Maybe we could all get stuck in a very big lift and have a party?


Why The Bear Is Sad Today


Follow The Bear on Twitter.

Thursday 21 March 2013

Wednesday 20 March 2013

Guest Writer's Cat Of The Week: Spike



Name
Spike

Nicknames
Mr Spike, Spikalike, Spikealicious, His Most Spikealicious King Spike of Spikington (for Sundays), Mr Fluffypants (for being told off)

Theme Tune
Zadok the Priest (the one they use at coronations, royal weddings etc)

Age
7

Owner
Kate Johnson

Catchphrase
“You bow, and taking off your hat, address him in this way: O Cat.”
Brief biography
I was born in humble circumstances, to a single, homeless mother (quite possibly in a stable, who knows). No one knows who my father was, but presumably he was a handsome devil. My sister Sugar and I were adopted by a human who spoiled us rotten, just as she should, and life was entirely pleasant for the first year. But perfection can’t last forever, and a year later the Demon Puppy shattered the peace. The little sister I never wanted. Six months after that, unimaginable tragedy struck when my real sister was killed in a traffic accident. I mourned her for months. So did my humans, until their eyes were caught by a new pair of kittens, Jack and Daisy. The little whippersnappers were, I admit, a distraction from my grief (and the little sods kept nicking my food). After a year or so I even deigned to acknowledge their existence. A little while later those softhearted human dunces took in another cat, a wily little streetfighter who looked like butter wouldn’t melt, and gave her the frankly ridiculous name of Jemima. Look, it’s not that I don’t think girls should learn how to fight, but the wilful fool will keep attacking humans who are perfectly nice to her. I keep trying to teach by patient, wise, peaceful example—never strike your human in fear or anger!--but the little chit won’t listen. Life is, otherwise, peaceful and well-ordered: my humans are well-trained and the food is usually decent. I can come and go as I like, visiting my flock...except that there’s been something wrong with the cat flap lately, because whenever I exit it, I find myself very cold and have to come back in. I want it to be fixed, please, so I can bask in the sunshine and be admired by all passers-by. It’s only fair, after all.

Favourite Habits
Since I am the King of Kings, and a god come to Earth, I pretty much do whatever I want, whenever I want. This mostly involves sleeping, because it’s hard work being this gorgeous. I like to perfect my cute posing skills: my favourites are ‘Here’s My Belly’ and ‘Look! It’s SuperSpike!’. I also quite like hiding in wait for the birds on the front lawn, although how they always spot me I’ve no idea. I like helping my human with her writing: I know she appreciates it when I sit under her chair so she can't move it enough to stand up. It forces her to write more, you see, thereby earning more money to spend on delicious treats for me. I'm considerate like that. I enjoy disrupting humans’ reading time by sitting on their newspapers, and I love helping with Christmas wrapping. It’s not emasculating to appreciate glitter.

What constitutes a perfect evening for you?
A stroll outside if the weather is pleasant. I don’t like the cold and wet, it makes a mess of my perfect fur, and the less said about snow the better (what’s the point of being so physically perfect if no one can damn well see you?). Then I come in and take a seat at the kitchen table to await my evening refreshment. This varies in quality from lovely roast chicken, to fish in a nice sauce, to something frankly disgusting with vegetables. The humans are quite obliging about transferring the food from their own plates to mine, although sometimes I wonder why they bother.

Favourite food
Turkey ham. They buy it specially for me, you know.

Defining moment of your life
They’re all defining, darling. Life is a catwalk.
Any enemies?
Yes. That bloody Demon Puppy. The little insect is only a year younger than me, but does she comport herself with any dignity? Maturity? No, she behaves like the imbecilic infant she once was, and therefore I shall continue to refer to her as a puppy. Noisy, smelly, and if I ever want to enjoy a game of Chase The Human’s Feet With My Claws, she intervenes. I won’t tell you what she did with the catnip mouse. Disgraceful, I call it.

If you could do one thing to make the world a better place for felines what would it be?
Every house should have a cat flap or seven. I like to go and visit my people, you see, because not all of them are lucky enough to have a cat, and I am so magnificent it would be churlish of me to deprive them of my presence. But sometimes I get stuck, like that time I spent two days in a garage.

If you could meet a celebrity who would it be and why?
I’m not sure there’s anyone more exciting than myself. The Queen, perhaps, to try and disabuse her of the idea that those silly little dogs of hers are the best pets. The very notion.

Which one of the cats in Under The Paw and Talk To The Tail would you like to be stuck in a lift with?
Listen, I’m not hugely fond of other cats. They take the attention away from me. I suppose the one who’s always sad looks relatively peaceful, however.


Follow Kate on Twitter

Why The Bear Is Sad Today

Saturday 16 March 2013

Thursday 14 March 2013

Proof That Cats Of ALL Sizes Like Boxes


Why The Bear Is Sad Today


Follow The Bear on Twitter.

Guest Writer's Cats Of The Week: Pushkin And Titus


Names?
Pushkin (the Very Magnificent, obviously)
Titus – I've a modest ego, unlike some I could name…

Nicknames?
P:  Pushkin is a Very Magnificent literary name unlike Fatty Fish Breath or, for the purposes of Twitter, Cat.
T:  Gertie, I think it’s meant to be humorous. My social networking ‘handle’ is CB (for Cat’s Brother). Alas one cannot choose one’s relatives. I refuse to answer to ‘Oi’.

Theme Tune?
P:  Weapon of Choice – Fatboy Slim. Because I’m a lean, mean fighting machine.
T:  We are all made of stars – Moby. Because I am.

Age?
P:  In my prime - I have been in my prime for the past 9 years and I have many more years of my prime to come.
T: I am also in my prime only more so. It is self-evident and I don’t like to draw attention to it.

Owners?
P: The Invisible Woman, who writes in the Guardian about fashion and stuff for older women. She’s supposed to be writing a book and thinking about another one but she spends a lot of time looking out of the window and drinking coffee. I suppose she’s thinking…
T:  I find the ‘invisible’ thing confusing. I mean if she was I wouldn’t be able to sit on her, right?  But I think, therefore I am, so by extension the IW thinks because she writes and is therefore also ‘am’. She definitely has knees.

Brief Biography?
P:  We were were born on a farm in Leicestershire then one day, I think we were about 8 weeks old, The Invisible Woman visited. She tried to kidnap Titus but I wasn’t having any of it, not when I heard he’d be moving to London, so I kicked up and so did he. In the end she had to take us both. We live on the edge of Blackheath, which we both like enormously because of squirrels. It’s only 10 minutes from London Bridge and there’s so much to see and do!
T:  When was the last time you actually went out?
P:  Only the other day I went to the theatre – Pinter I think it was. A bit shouty but Rufus Sewell was awfully good.
T:  I think you’re confusing your diary with someone else’s…

Catchphrase?
P: ‘Psst! Cat here.’ It’s the way I let Twitter know it’s me and not The Invisible Woman so all my followers can get ready to be dazzled by my towering intellect.
T:  ‘Are you going to eat that?’ I can’t bear waste not when there are cats literally starving out there.

Favourite Habits?
P:  Sitting under houseplants waiting for leaves to drop off so I can play with them. Collecting the red rubber bands the postman leaves for me, and playing with them. Sleeping in doorways. Sleeping sideways and on my back in doorways. Sleeping in the washbasin. Sleeping. When I’m not sleeping I like pretending I’m an Arabian Leopard and drink water straight from the tap, like it’s a mountain stream, and I’m in the Arabian mountains chasing furry things and birds and stuff and because I’m an Arabian Leopard I can…. (Enough! – IW)
T:  I quite like watching the pigeons. Sometimes I can persuade Pushkin to give my ears a good clean and that’s, like, total blissikins. I enjoy scratching my chin on the corners of things – books, laptop, loo brush, cupboard doors and the fridge. If I can find a pile of freshly laundered bed linen somewhere I’ll climb up for a kip. The IW’s very good at leaving clean things out for me (I think she knows I like a bit of starch in my pillowcases). Oh, and the 7am catnip mouse delivery and wake up call (full feline aria, sung a capella).

What constitutes a perfect evening for you?
P:  A light supper followed by some A Grade top quality catnip. When I’m nicely fried I like to settle down on the sofa with The Invisible Woman and a box set of The Wire – although I usually fall asleep on my back and start snoring after about half an hour.
T:  Food, I love food. And biscuits. Catnip's not that exciting and I can take it or leave it, which is just as well because someone scarfs down more than enough for both of us. I used to enjoy a good horror flick but we don’t watch them anymore, not since we all watched Spielberg’s Poltergeist and it gave me ideas. Just for old times’ sake I might sit and stare at the wall for 10 minutes just to weird everyone out. Ah, happy days…

Favourite food?
P:  A nice bit of fresh chicken or tuna goes down very nicely. I don’t snack much [fact check please - IW] but I love the morning mystery biscuit hunt.
T:  Well, obviously I like to eat sensibly but if there’s one thing I go mad for, it’s cheese. If I can nick a bit of cave-aged Gruyere I’m well happy. Lately I’ve developed a taste for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. I try to include a bit of roughage in my diet and chew the corners off the pelargonium by the front door but I’m afraid it disagrees with me. It’s a useful emetic though. For the full effect I need to eat some just before bedtime so I can wake at 3am for a good clear out before breakfast.

Defining moment of your life?
P: The Death Stare. The world is now my oyster. (Can I get Worcester sauce with that?)
T:  The discovery of Zen Buddhism. I practise daily.

Any enemies?
P:  I’m not wild about Reuben-Down-the-Road. I sometimes see the IW wantonly tickling his tummy in the street, in broad daylight! Reuben is a shameless apricot tart though so I suppose it’s not without provocation. The Dyson.
T:  The Dyson, the hairdryer and the doorbell. I’m cool with Reuben. We all need some love.

If you could do one thing to make the world a better place for felines what would it be?
P:  My super-power would be thumbs. Then I could open the fridge and feed myself. Sitting and staring at the door doesn’t help. Legalised catnip for all.
T:  No loud noises - so no Dysons, hairdryers or doorbells. I appreciate vets are a necessary evil but a warm thermometer would be nice.

If you could meet a celebrity who would it be and why?
P:  Eddie Izzard. And I would ask him to perform his Drilling Cat sketch just for me.
T:   Choupette (@ChoupettesDiary) who lives with Karl Lagerfeld. Not only is she a hot French feline but she also has her finger on the pulse of the very best fashion gossip.

Which one of the cats in Under The Paw and Talk To The Tail  would you most like to be stuck in a lift with? 
P:  Janet. We’re both charismatic with a tremendous zest for life and boundless energy. While we’re waiting to be rescued we could play Wall of Death (Romper Stomper Rules).
T:  The Bear. It would be a meeting of minds because I too know the emotional pain of allergic fur loss. I have only to cough and a bit more falls off.

Read The Invisible Woman's Vintage Years blog  on the Guardian website . 

Follow her on Twitter.




Tuesday 12 March 2013

Guest Reader's Cats Of The Week: Mai And Smoke





Name?  

Mai (the black one) and Smoke (the tabby one). Mai will be doing the talking, as Smoke is somewhat intellectually challenged.

Nicknames?  

Now that I’m getting older, I often get called Mabel or sometimes even Maybellene. They called the other one The Boy, The Boo, Smokie-Boo or sometimes Smokie-Bollocks (apparently on account of his lack of them).

Theme Tune? 

Well, mine is quite obviously Maybelline by Chuck Berry. Although Jo (one of my willing slaves) likes to change the lyrics to sing, ‘Oh Maybelline, you are my black cat’ and other amusing ditties. Smoke tells me that his is I ran so far away by A Flock of Seagulls. Mainly because he spends most of his time running away from things…his shadow, any slight noises, Jo trying to take nice pictures of him…you get the picture. 

Age? 

A sprightly 16! The boy is 5, coming up to 6.

Owners? 

I’m terribly sorry, but I really don’t understand that question? If you mean whom do I own, then I currently have two quite well trained slaves at my disposal. Jo is a photographer and writer and Phil works for an independent fostering agency, and writes a bit on the side.

Brief biography? 

Phil got my brother and I from the parents of a friend when he was at university in Bradford. Very sadly, my brother Alaska died aged 6 from kidney failure and once I’d recovered from the upset, I began to quite enjoy being an only cat. But then Phil decided to keep trying to bring in new cats to keep me company. He didn’t have much luck – Mr Blue sadly died too, and then Newbie ran off after I gave him a stern hiss or twenty. Unfortunately, Smoke seems rather too keen on sticking around; despite my best efforts to ‘accidentally’ push him off the stairs. He came from The Society for Abandoned Animals in Stretford, Manchester. Phil says that he was absolutely desperate for attention, and made himself the obvious choice. No decorum, that cat. 

Like The Bear, we are both also the cats of a broken marriage, but we’re both very happy with our new slave, Jo because she works from home and is always around to attend to us. She’s been around for a while now and tells me that she and Phil are getting married in the summer. I’m still deciding what to wear.

Catchphrase? 

‘To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance’ – Oscar Wilde. I’m fully versed in this, and encourage all those who meet me to feel the same way about…well…me, of course. Smoke’s catchphrase is undoubtedly a traumatised sounding ‘meep’. He’s permanently one paw away from a full on existential crisis.

Favourite Habits? 

Purring, getting fuss, lying in the sun and sleeping, lying in my cat bed or in my cat cave (both of which live on my slaves’ bed) and sleeping, lying on Jo’s lap and sleeping, walking on Jo’s desk and keyboard when she’s trying to work, sitting on Jo’s lap when she’s at her desk and refusing to lie down when she wants to start work and yelling at Jo if she comes home later than I expected.

Smoke’s favourite habits are trying to avoid the aforementioned existential crisis, tripping people up on the stairs, going out in the rain at 2am and then jumping on the bed and crying until someone wakes up and dries him with a towel.

What constitutes a perfect evening for you? 

I like to start the evening with a little light supper, although I’m extremely fussy about my dry food these days and will only deign to eat it if it’s had a light sprinkling of water on top. If this isn’t forthcoming, I just sit in front of the slaves and yell at them continuously until they rectify the situation. I’m quite proud of how long I can yell for without taking a breath. Then I retire back to bed for a light nap, before coming downstairs for a slightly lighter nap on Jo’s knee. Finally, I take up my position as ‘chaperone cat’, sleeping in-between Jo and Phil to prevent any funny business. And if it’s particularly cold, I like to get under the covers and snuggle up against Jo, meaning that she has to lie rigid for hours in one position. It’s good to keep your slaves under control with simple methods like this.

The boy likes to spend his evenings outside, trying (and thankfully usually failing) to bring in live mice. On the odd occasion he does succeed though, he provides good exercise for Phil, who likes to run around after the mouse with a plastic bag. Most fun to watch! If it’s cold, he tends to stay inside, making a lot of noise and jumping all over the sofa. Sometimes it’s hard living with such a simple creature.

Favourite food? 

Raw chicken and grated cheddar cheese. Smoke likes any meat and will dance on his hind legs to get at it. No dignity, that boy.

Defining moment of your life? 

Apart from finding my forever home, I think my defining moment was discovering murder as my lifestyle choice. I’ll say no more on the subject, but that boy had better watch his back.

Any enemies? 

Like one of your other recent guest bloggers, I really can’t stand the hoover. Jo seems to agree with me, but Phil seems to have an obsession with the thing – it comes out at least once a week. Far too often in my opinion!

Smoke has running battles with most of the other local cats, and often gets chased indoors from the back garden. He then immediately jumps on the windowsill by the front garden to ‘see off the intruder’. 

If you could do one thing to make the world a better place for felines what would it be? 

Ask people to always consider adopting a cat from a rescue centre, as there are so many in need of a home. Particularly black cats like myself, as apparently they are the least adopted colour. Which is such a shame, because we are the most affectionate of moggies.

If you could meet a celebrity who would it be and why? 

Blofeld’s cat from James Bond. I think we’d have some interesting plans to make for world domination. Smoke says that he’d like to Sigmund Freud as he’s got some issues with his mother that he’d like to resolve.

Which one of the cats in Under The Paw and Talk To The Tail  would you like to be stuck in a lift with? 

It would have to be The Bear for me, as he is my male twin after all. Smoke says that he’d just like to meet all of the cats, in the hope that one of them will be nicer to him than I am. 



Visit Mai and Smoke's human's website

Sunday 10 March 2013

Tail Lengths: The Official List

While I was away in Devon a year or so ago and my nextdoor neighbours, Deborah and David, were looking after my cats, they decided to measure the tails of Shipley, Ralph and The Bear, and their cat, Biscuit. As you can see, Shipley was disappointed to come in second, as he'd been CONVINCED his was more longer ten and a half inches.

Friday 8 March 2013

Saturday Bearpic


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Guest Writer's Cat Of The Week: Master Shopcat






Name
Chombol

Nicknames
Master Shopcat, Suggs, Dickhead, Achmagh (Farsi for dickhead), Pushkin.

Theme tune
Most of the time - Rain Dogs by Tom Waits. But when I am exercising (which the human insultingly refers to as my mad half hour), it is totally Wipe Out by the Surfaris.

Age
14

Owners
Pfft. My human is called Mrs.Shopkeeper aka Sally. She writes stuff and works in a shop. I have to share her with her husband Mr. Shopkeeper aka Jamshid.
Catchphrase
“Well? I’m waiting....”

Brief Biography
As I am attached to a Persian shop, most people expect me to be (a ridiculous) Persian (fluffball): I am, as you can see, a superior tabby. I was originally adopted by Mrs. Shopkeeper’s Iranian mother-in-law who admired my long white socks (they are rather special, aren’t they?). Mrs. Shopkeeper was involved with another cat (Fizzy) at the time, but I took a shining to her, bullied the other cat and took over. I occasionally feel a little bit guilty, as the other cat died shortly afterwards, and she was really quite a lady – but fortunately the feeling goes away quickly. I used to spend all my time in the shop window, but then they started selling a lot more food, and seemed to object to me curling up on top of a basket of nuts, so now I am mostly a warehouse and upstairs cat. I am told that I talk a lot (without saying excuse me), and dribble when I am happy.

Favourite Habits
STRING! Anything to do with string. Supervising the daily pigeon parliament from my balcony. Trying to get into the shop...and then amusing passers-by by pretending to be a toy cat asleep in the shop window. Hiding in the warehouse for just long enough to make Mrs. S. really cross. Sitting on the knee cushion of Mrs. S’ posture stool so she has to contort herself while she’s typing stuff. Whacking people playfully through the banisters. Climbing up my chief human to sit in her hoodie. Pushing my humans gently gently while they are sleeping so that I end up with my statutory half of the bed. Showing cuddly toys that I’m the man (best not ask).

What constitutes a perfect evening for you?  
Ten minutes of frenetic string game (I change the rules of this game regularly just so that the humans know who’s in charge). Then I like to help Mrs. S. cook dinner: I can just about reach up to the kitchen work surfaces. The silly people usually try to share their supper with me: they really should know by now that I prefer to ‘help myself’. After they’ve eaten, I usually try to persuade Mr.S to sit still for while so I can wash myself on his lap: it annoys me considerably that he seems to prefer killing things on his computer.

Favourite Food
Raw liver. Tinned tuna, natch. Raw chicken. Stolen pizza. Crunchies. Mrs. S’ houseplants.

Defining Moment of your Life
The moment that I went OUTSIDE. Into the HIGH STREET. And was (allegedly) so scared I just sat down in the middle of the road. Mrs.S. was always telling me that city outside is not like country outside, and that it was best to stay in. I listen to her now. I like inside. Inside is safe.

Any enemies? 
Oh yes. CHILDREN. And suitcases – they seem to take people away. I sulk under the bed if Mrs. S. is headstrong enough to try and go away.

If you could do one thing to make the world a better place for felines what would it be? 
I would make human beings shorter. It’s really quite hard getting to be heard, and I usually have to climb on to the dinner table or the radiator to make eye contact. I would also abolish computers.

If you could meet a celebrity (alive or dead), who would it be? 
Ernest Hemingway, of course. If I am destined to be a cat-loving writer’s cat, I may as well be the cat of a good cat-loving writer. *gazes spitefully at Mrs. Shopkeeper*

Which one of the cats from Under The Paw and Talk To The Tail would you like to be stuck in the lift with? 
It would have to be the Bear. All the others seems to have egos to match mine. I am an only-cat and don’t play very well with other cats...


Wednesday 6 March 2013

Some Toys That My Cats Actually Like





Being stubborn nonconformists, like most of their species, my cats have a history of being completely indifferent to the more expensive toys I buy them, yet often wildly fascinated by the packaging they arrive in. Longtime readers of this blog will remember their indifference to the The Panic Mouse, although they did have hours of fun with the polystyrene beads it was packed in, so my £22.99 turned out not to be completely wasted. I have, however, learned from this experience and have recently largely stuck to more "organic" toys (I'm talking about leaves and pens and crap like that), and the odd packet of uncut catnip - one which my ex-lodger came dangerously close to smoking by mistake - but these new toys from The Frenzy (see below) turned my house into something halfway between a cat crack den and adventure playground yesterday. It was very entertaining, largely because I have always liked to picture my cats as a seventies rock band, and it was interesting to see this band in disarray due to all the classic symptoms we've seen so many times before: drugs, in-fighting, ego wars, chasing some feathers on a long twangy stick, falling in love with a strange furry green vegetable. I wholeheartedly recommend the experience for all procrastinators and fans of VH1's Behind The Music series. 

Check out the Frenzy range at the Purrs In Our Hearts Cat Rescue site. 






















Frenzy toy after twelve hours of special kind of loving from Ralph: