Monday, 31 October 2011

Halloween update

There have to be cats on Halloween, it's obligatory. 
So here are a few having fun just as an excuse to post kitty pics

Worrals seems to have got herself into most of these, but then if there's anything going on Worrals gets herself into it.  Rebel would like her fans to know that she does NOT like helicopters: the police 'copter went over low when they were out for a constitutional and she twitched her lead out of my husband's hand and lit off for indoors at light speed.  Merlin thought it was a bird [or dinosaur] and swore at it, claiming Catch It He Could and Worrals, unmoved, continued eating grass.
They love to sit on the windowsill watching the dinosaurs [or birds] in the trees and promising the birds [or dinosaurs] What Will Happen when kitties are allowed out.

Biff, Jasper and Fenella are not impressed with impending winter and Biff complained today that someone had actually delivered October weather in October. 

Friday, 28 October 2011

Blogging Biff

“Yeah, well, I’m a wide boy, innit….masseeeve!”
You can almost hear Biff say it….. you CAN actually hear Biff say ‘Mmmmraaaaek!’ all the way up the stairs when he comes in, announcing his presence until someone comes to greet him.  Then the word changes. ‘MHEM!’ he says, as close as he can get to saying ‘ham’.
Yes he gets his ham – and ‘white ham’ aka sliced chicken.
No we don’t get it for ourselves, only for the cats. 
Yes we are insane.
Enough questions, already, let me get back to a Biffography. 

Biff is convinced that he is a black panther.  He is also convinced that he is the alpha male of the neighbourhood and I don’t just mean cats.  This has led to some nasty abscesses from taking on both Leo and Max across the road both at once and from the fox. 
He has a down on greyhounds and whippets – one was set on him once and he has never forgiven the entire breed – and will chase them.  Other dogs he just expects to kow tow to him. 
He expects pole position by the fire on his cushion and he expects to occupy any place he feels like.  Even the tortoise shelter. 

Oh and the comfy chair?  It’s his chair.  He carried it home.
Well he met me at the top of the hill and walked home with me, sitting on it firmly every time I put it down for a rest.  So he claims he carried it home….

Like any good wide boy, Biff likes to go out for a takeaway.
When this consists of woodpigeon or collared dove there is no real problem – apart from the feathers – but when he has a magpie it upsets his innards.  Biff eats everything he catches; he lived the first two years of his life semi feral and his ma taught him to hunt for real, not footling around at it like softer cats. 
I have been told by a neighbour that she doesn’t mind him keeping the pigeon population down, she just wishes he would not bury the feet and beak in her dahlias. He has been known to bring in the remains and drop in the lit tray; well I guess it is there for waste. 

Why Biff?  Well we did not name him, he had been lumbered with the monicker ‘Salem’ in the shelter when he was taken there, and his first dad named him Biff for his habit of poking a boxer-like paw into his face to point out it was breakfast time.  We inherited him and didn’t think he needed a name change. It suits him too well. He is always the one in pole position by the fire; the pic below shows him on HIS cushion firmly keeping Griselda [died this February] in her place.
I’m not sure sometimes he shouldn’t be surnamed Kray. 

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

What's new, pussycat....

Biff finally has decided that life is too short and the evenings are too cold to continue to boycott kittens.  He woke up evening before yesterday to find they were sprawled upon his back and bum and beyond a brief burst of invective he did nothing but go back to sleep.  They were nice and warm....alas the camera was on charge which is what comes of loaning one's son the spare batteries for a couple of weeks two years ago.
However he did join them on the bed yesterday.....not close too, but it's a start.

Merlin's balls have been whispering to him, telling him to mount his sisters.  Fortunately the instructions haven't been any more specific than that and once up he's not too sure what to do next.  Which being so, he generally falls off and washes thoroughly.   The girls are mostly irritated by this so he gets his ears boxed.  He does however now think he might be in charge until Worrals holds him down and washes him.  Roll on November 9th when we shan't have any more worries about his incipient maleness.

The rest of this post is a gratuitous excuse to share some photos.

The girls are helping me with my sewing here.  I got tired of my curtains which are also rather thin so I'm transforming them and adding layers by covering them with crazy patchwork in three greys, black, rust and peach which are in a kind of Renaissance pattern on a number of furnishing samples I have as the basis.  Worrals is a good girl and jumped back when told 'No, HOT!' about the iron; Rebel is a bad girl and tries to eat pins or pat at the needle while I sew.  Here they are holding the curtain down so I can't do anything dangerous to it.

have you ever seen anything dafter than this? oh wait, the one below.....
 And just to finish with, Merlin off exploring.......

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Update on all the kitties

Fenella is quite back to normal after her ordeal and doesn't see what the fuss is all about.

Worrals discovered an old catnip pillow I bought for Jasper a long time ago that he proceeded to ignore; Worrals and Rebel particularly get a lot of mileage out of it, tossing it in the air and juggling it with their front paws. They did let Merlin have a go today but his idea of playing with it is to hold it on his tummy while he writhes on his back.  The girls got so excited by the whole business they were doing Bruce Lee impressions, jumping in the air and performing karate kicks at each other.  I was too intrigued to run for the camera.....
Besides, I hadn't cleared away the debris of their overnight endeavours.
We have brought the tortoises in for the winter and they live in a box of hay under the end of the bed, as out bedroom is unheated and provides about the same temperature as a well insulated garden shed.  It only dropped below freezing once last winter and we had insulated the tortoises well.  The hay is of great fascination to all the kittens, especially Merlin who likes to attack stray strands and kill them firmly.  The tortoises themselves are to be wary of - stones that move are not necessarily safe - but the hay rustles beautifully when you jump in it.
Hence I have to deal with bits of hay spread about the bedroom.......
Their scratching post lives in the bedroom too, I made it to go in the bath when we had 6 kitties in the bathroom, to give them a bit more to play with, it's a 3' length of sycamore nailed to a board, with a cottonreel hung from the projecting branch I left on it.
Sycamore in England is the Acer pseudoplatanus, a maple, not the American sycamore which is a plane tree of some description.  It's a nice dense wood that they can't hurt themselves on or chew splinters off, which is why it's good to make wooden spoons with.

Biff reckons he'll get on better with Kitties when [a] Merlin doesn't smell so male and [b] all of them have stopped being so Suddenly.

Jasper and Fenella have both had tummy upsets which made them a little unwilling to associate with kitties for a few days - Jasper retired to my underwear drawer and Fenella to the banisters where I hang the extra duvets and blankets to air before they go out for the winter, perfect for cats to kip on - but both are now back in fine fettle and would like to thank their friends and fans for their concern.

Remarking on Rebel

Rebel is not perhaps as well photographed as the others, except when asleep, largely because she tends to be unexpectedly elsewhere between depressing the shutter and the camera firing.  I have lots of pictures with bits of her in – usually her tail – as she heads somewhere else. The phrase, ‘that’s Rebel that was’ suits her very well.

Rebel loves to go outside on her little harness and lead and chase insects; she has an affinity for water.  Today she dragged my long suffering husband through the wildlife bog by leaping firmly and landing in the little pond whilst in hot pursuit of a blackbird.  She normally finds a puddle or one of the ponds to land in when in pursuit of insects and then walks about, shaking each wet foot in fastidious horror that she should be wet.
She regularly inspects us in the bath and has fallen in twice; she really cannot credit that her humans would immerse themselves in y’actual real, genuine wet water.  Of their own accord.  Voluntarily.  She sits precariously on the side of the bath chatting away – she’s very vocal – in disapproval over the whole business.  The first time she fell in was a lack of attention walking round the bath and a slippy bit where the side was wet; the second time was when she lost concentration because there was a spider she had to jump for…..

Rebel likes spiders. But only in a culinary sense.
The other evening she was climbing round the back of my neck, and I thought ‘she’s being unusually affectionate’ – Rebel isn’t cuddly like Merlin and Worrals are – but no.  She was being affectionately involved in pursuing a harvest spider that was walking daintily across my plait.  Soon horrid crunching noises were to be heard in my ear as she sat on my shoulder and out of the corner of my eye I could see legs disappearing within. 
I’ve never known a black cat that was not a demon hunter/huntress. 

Rebel has a preference for male company and will sit on my husband’s lap or that of a male friend, on Jasper and on Biff.  Jasper tolerates this but Biff clips her round the ear and informs her that kittens should be seen and not heard and that at a distance.  Rebel rather burned her boats with Biff by forgetting herself when she was about 8 weeks and savaged his tail.  Biff has not forgotten this and nor has he forgiven it.  I can’t say I really blame him….

Rebel has the characteristic shyness with strangers, that comes with the Russian blue blood, but she is more adventurous than her siblings and will explore new things more readily.  She was the tiniest kitten of all but she has grown to be the heaviest of the three we have, a more compact shaped cat than either. 
She is now a sleek black panther and no longer looks at all like a fruit bat. 

Monday, 10 October 2011

Wanderings with Worrals

Worrals is definitely made of sillyputty.
When picked up she goes all limp and unnecessary like a Ragdoll cat and can be poured out of your hands back onto a cushion almost as though she were completely boneless. 
She also sleeps in the silliest positions that she almost has to be made of silly putty to get into.

She has a significant amount of the personality of her Russian Blue forebears; she is gentle, loving, yet very shy with strangers, and has a penchant for gently patting and stroking our faces with a velvet paw.
She also has pads that are almost lilac like her brother.

Worrals likes to suck clothing, preferably either cotton jersey or velvet.  This, poor little article, is on account no doubt, of having lost contact with her mother at so young an age.  She and Rebel were considerably smaller than the other 4 kitties when we took them on so I’m inclined to suspect they may too have been conceived later and were slightly premature.  They looked less developed too for the first week or two. 

Worrals likes to climb.  The more inconvenient to people around her the article she is climbing, the better she likes it.  Her favourite is the door curtain which she will swarm up and then dive-bomb her siblings from half way up it.  I have yet to tell my son that she climbed his leather Herr Flick coat to get to the top of the coat rack.

Worrals is  certain of one thing. She is in charge.  She is the one who initiates washing with the other two and she likes to lie on them.  As she is generally an adventuress who likes to lead them into trouble, they put up with it. 

She is however very distressed if she is not sure where we are, and comes running to find us going ‘WEEEEEEE’ like a guinea pig.  When we had an enlarged hatch to the loft put in she got very distressed when I went to inspect it and declared that The Hole Was Eating Mummy. 
She sat on a chair gazing at it suspiciously all night the first night it was there…..
Generally the piercing ‘WEEEEEE’ means ‘I am about to jump on you, wake up and let me down the duvet’.
Compliance is the easiest course, though when she then wants to suck my nightie, not always as comfortable as might be…. She makes a lovely little hot water bottle though, curled up against me!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Mostly Merlin

Mostly Merlin

Merlin is made of plush.
He really is…. He feels like a high quality pre-war plush toy.  It’s to do with his Russian Blue heritage and those long silvery guard hairs I guess; and he is a very affectionate little cat!
It is another feature of the Russian Blue that they like to pat your face with velvet paws [and his pads are violet, so sweet!] which Merlin does; and he also is the world’s champion kisser! 
There I am, lying in bed, and up he comes, straight under my chin to kiss me left and kiss me right and then almost fall over into a curled up pile of ecstatic purr.  I’m less enamoured of having my eyelids washed when he wants me to wake up and take notice of him though; and having the inside of my ear washed by a happily purring bundle of plush is sweet but really very ticklesome.

I suppose he likes to wash me because he spends a lot of time being firmly washed by his sisters…. In revenge he leans on them or lies on top of them to sleep.

Merlin is due for the unkindest cut in November but he has discovered in the meantime He Has Balls! Which he kindly reverses to show anyone who might be interested.
“Look!  I have balls!  I don’t know what to do with them yet, but aren’t they magnificent?”
He also loves to show off his tummy and sleeps quite voluptuously with his paws outflung.   

One of which pics I had to tinker with…… I like to think it would annoy Hitler, who didn't like cats.  Stupid man......