Monday, 21 October 2013

The Bear and Biscuit's Last Goodbye

I'm moving house tomorrow. This means that The Bear, my oldest cat, will be parted forever from his unrequited Last Of The Summer Wine love interest, Biscuit. As those who've read my cat books will know, Biscuit is the Nora Batty to The Bear's Compo: a grumpy elderly lady cat owned by my nextdoor neighbours, Deborah and David, who doesn't suffer fools gladly, and who, for many years, The Bear has unsuccessfully attempted to woo, mostly by staring mournfully at her with his nose pressed up against nextdoor's kitchen window. The other day, I received the following message from David:

"I just went downstairs, as Biscuit was making a racket. The Bear, who we haven't seen for weeks, was on the other side of the window, clearly making one last heroic effort to say his goodbyes. I got there just in time to see him forlornly slope off as the one true love of his life scratched disdainfully from the other side of the window pane, and with a flick of her paw, dismissed him for possibly the last time."

A pie chart I made about sleep and cats

Extracted from The Good, The Bad And The Furry: Life With The World's Most Melancholy Cat And Other Whiskery Friends

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Guest Reader's Cat Of The Week: Alan (who lives next-door)


Mister Man
Little Sod
Alan Balls

Theme Tune?
I am the Walrus

2 years, maybe less.

I don’t have owners, I have staff.

Brief biography?
I was a tiny kitten, who turned up one day, refused to go away, and then grew to the size of a modest bungalow. I was repeatedly mistaken for my younger brother Graham, but he has since gone travelling.

I’m twice the cat you’ll ever be.

Favourite Habits?
Scratching, eating, going mental at exactly 4:30 every bloody night, pissing everywhere.

What constitutes a perfect evening for you?
Eating, snoozing, eating, snoozing, eating, and then, if there’s time, some snoozing.

Favourite food?
I eat it too quickly to notice.

Defining moment of your life?
Being scandalously mistaken for my younger brother, for which there was only one, curtain based, remedy.

Any enemies?
I am currently in an uneasy coalition with Miss G Biscuit, the better to combat the evil cat empire next door.

If you could do one thing to make the world a better place for felines what would it be?
Food pit stops established every 50 yards along common routes.

If you could meet a celebrity who would it be and why?
The following, so that I might listen and learn from their wise, prophetic words:
Cat Stevens – “When my little kitty gets out, there's gonna be a party”
Moggie Sugden – “I ought to ring my neighbour and ask her to look in on my pussy
Miaow Tse-tung - “To read too many books is harmful”

I know this is a weird question, as you have met the culprits in person, but, had you not done, and only read about them in the books, which one of the cats in Under The PawTalk To The Tail and The Good, The Bad And The Furry would you like to be stuck in a lift with?
I have attention deficit disorder, and therefore have unfortunately not been able to get to the end of that very long question. Ooh look, what’s that over there? Sorry, what did you say?

The Good, The Bad And The Furry - featuring more about Alan - is published 

The Good, The Bad And The Furry is published today!

Order The Good, The Bad And The Furry  from Waterstones.

Order The Good, The Bad And The Furry from amazon.

Order The Good, The Bad And The Furry from Kobo.  

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Guest Writer's Cat Of The Week: Mr Pussy, owner Of Spitalfield's Life's The Gentle Author

Mr Pussy

They call me 'Rosemary' as a tease sometimes -  it is the name my first owner gave me as a kitten when she thought I was girl. Hence the gender confusion.

Theme Tune? 
Maybe it's Because I'm a Londoner...


My first owner was a kind old lady called Valerie who loved gardening, and since her demise I live with the next generation.

Brief biography? 
Born in Mile End, then five years in Devon catching rabbits and moorhens, but now back in the East End for good.

In the midst of life I woke to find myself living in an old house beside Brick Lane in the East End of London

Favourite Habits? 
Perching on a window sill and looking down imperiously. Licking up fresh running water in the sink. Sitting in patches of sunlight.

What constitutes a perfect evening for you? 
Stretched out before the wood-burning stove in an insensible stupor of warmth.

Favourite food? 
I am partial to licking chicken liver pate off a finger.

Defining moment of your life?
The death of my mistress Valerie seven years ago. I search for her everyday and still live by the routine that I established with her. I have not given up hope she might come back. Like Hamlet, I wear my black coat in eternal mourning.

Any enemies? 
A Staffordshire Terrier by the name of Trigger that lives nearby.

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

If you could meet a celebrity who would it be and why? 
William Shakespeare, because we share an instinctive appreciation of the lonely poetry of the night.

Which one of the cats in Under The PawTalk To The Tail and The Good, The Bad And The Furry  would you like to be stuck in a lift with? 
Unquestionably it would be the Bear. I recognise a soulmate there, as one who instinctively understands the melancholy poetry of life.

The Gentle Author's London Album, a magnificent hardback album of more than 600 pictures of London appearing in print for the first time, is published on 17th October

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Bear, clearly ECSTATIC to finally have his face on a book cover

The Good, The Bad And The Furry.

NSFW: Some of the best swearing Shipley has done in the last week

"Lap up my peppered ballstick."

"Massive archives of steaming cheese."

"Fuckleberry Finn."

"Dribbly adventures with amazing jam."

"Spermy twigsticks."


"Mother of spunk!"

"Wax my downstairs whiskers."

"Pan-fried dongle journeys."

"Whispery twits."

Some more swearing Shipley has done recently.

And some more.

Read more about Shipley's foulmouthed ways in The Good, The Bad And The Furry.