Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Worrals feels the cold....

Worrals IS made of silly putty; this was also pretty much the position I discovered her sleeping under my duvet in bed this morning, all unnecessary on her back.

I've noticed when I take Worrals out for a walk on her little harness she very quickly starts shivering - and can do so indoors too before the fire is lit.
She does like being under a duvet on the sofa:
She likes less being under a duvet under Biff:
Can you see a jaundiced little face peeping out wondering what this big fat lump is on top of her?  Biff is perfectly contented here, a kitty is where it's supposed to be, crushed beneath his iron boot....well, bum anyway, which at least begins with the same letter, innit.

So I've made her a little quilted jacket.  As you can see she was a little suspicious of it at first, those ears are a trifle antsy:

And then she realised it was warm and got a lot happier:

When the fire is lit she's quite happy to charge about and Look! she Found The Green Tickler!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

we still have a hedgehog in the bath but I think he's a knarl.....

Anyone familiar with the world of Harry Potter knows that you can sort hedgehogs from knarls by offering food or milk - hedgehogs tuck in and knarls display deep suspicion.
Barty is deeply suspicious and hisses like a steaming kettle.  He does tuck in however when he thinks nobody is noticing. 
So, wanting a bath, we take his big cardboad run out of the bath and put it in the bedroom.  When we emerge it it to find a hole in the corner where Barty has been doing Charles Bronson as Danny the Digger impressions and no hedgehog.  Fortunately Rebel, who takes her duties towards 'her' hedgehog very seriously is squeaking plaintively and showing us the big clothes press.  Look, she said My Hedgehog is Lost.  What Are You Going To Do About It?  Sure enough, the sounds of an irritated tea kettle are issuing from beneath it.  [Does he think he's a badger or something?  I believe it's badgers who can change into tea kettles in Japanese mythology]. 
Fortunately I can just get my arm underneath the press.  By the expedient of lying flat on the floor I can even reach to the back.  There's a plug box lives under here too and part of my mind is thinking 'please don't pee in the electrics Barty, fried hedgehog and a fire hazard I can do without'.
So, with Rebel's encouragement, giving me little p'rr'ps and getting in the way I get four fingers underneath Barty's belly [and by the way he is very prickly] and jiffle him backwards somewhere between tickling him into submission and bowling a googly backhanded.  Apart from having found some of the fluff and cobwebs Merlin has missed he seemed none the worse for his adventure and I left him stuffing his face after having done things to his box with a load of duct tape.Rebel resumes her usual perch on top of the 'hut' bit of his house dangling over to watch, purring in satisfaction that all is now in ordnung again.
So is he a knarl? 
 Worrals and Merlin had to inspect him too of course, but there's no question but that he belongs to Rebel - she said so.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

We've been busy....

A bit of a rollercoaster since my last post.  First may I point out that the patchworked curtains work a charm in keeping the room warm and hanging a makeshift door curtain does too, all of which kitties appreciate.  And not just for the warmth.....kind of Worrals to go after the cobwebs for me!
Merlin can climb UP but his idea of getting down is to shut his eyes and hurl himself into the arms of the nearest human.  Safer targets like his friend Bethany's hat attract him more....

We still have a hedgehog in the bath, Worrals and Merlin watch him if they've nothing better to do but Rebel likes to supervise cleaning him out.....
We had a nasty bout of worms which necessitated Milbemax, Drontal wasn't man enough; and the kitties were very sorry for themselves for a couple of days while all sorted itself through but the big cats rallied round, even Biff was tolerant, and Jasper really rose to the occasion for his baby brother

Fenella would like you to know that she has nothing to do with the kitties but is in charge in the kitchen - here she is taking care of my linen basket.
I love the tiny bit of tongue.....

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

We have a hedgehog in the bath

You may ask, as the kitties did, why do we have a hedgehog in the bath?
Because he's a bit dippy as well as marginal in being big enough to hibernate.  We have a walled garden and take on disabled rescued hedgehogs; we already have blind Cecily and one-eyed Mary-Anne; this is a little boy, named promptly Bartimeus because I was raised on Bible stories.  In Harry Potter reference however, he is a bit of a Barty GROUCH. 
what actually tickles me is how close this photo is to the picture I drew for one of the Tabitha Tabs stories.....
While I'm here, I'd like to advertise Ros Rumbold, who runs Hedgehog rescue, Ipswich.
Ipswich Hedgehog Rescue

No problems!

I wanted to photograph Merlin lying on his back but he stretched - doesn't it look like he's trying to get rid of the paparazzi taking too much interest in the state of his non-nuts?
Merlin bounced back from his little operation very well, but was pleased to have some attention from his sisters....

washing is fine, but Rebel DOES take liberties.....

The big boys are getting more accustomed to being laid on, purred at, kissed and wriggled at by kitties; Biff isn't that pleased but he puts up.  LOOK at his face.....
 and Jasper is cool with the whole business.
If you had been wondering about Worrals here she is - she's been very busy with her catnip mouse

Rebel has been helping me.... well she thinks she has.  I've been thickening my curtains for the winter with random patchwork, and Rebel has to hold things down for me....

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Merlin has been BRAVE

Merlin now no longer has balls.
He was a brave boy although he called the vetinary nurses a few rude names.  When he was back in our friend's car, I opened the cage and he leaped straight into my arms to kiss me left and kiss me  right.  I was very pleased, because a Russian Blue is takes their time to give trust and I was afraid of damaging that.  However he obviously decided 'they' had made his bum sore and 'we' were rescuing him.....  they warned us that his appetite might suffer.
First thing he did when we got him home was to go to the kitchen and ask for chicken......

With apologies to Alexander Pope:

Brave Merlin, pard of virtuous velvet paw
who brav'd the steel of vetinary lore
victorious comes to take his rightful place
within the last bright beams of Apollo's face
where filled with virtue [and with chicken too]
he might forget it's sore to use the loo. 

And here are some more Merlin pics.  First may I share the very silly one of Merlin with Biff - yes BIFF!!! having slung himself backward and showed Biff his throat.  I don't think he was submitting to Biff so much as just being Merlin tossing himself enthusiastically into a silly position.

Merlin is glad to be back with his sisters too:

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Tabitha Tabs and the lost p'rrr

This is the first of a series of stories about Tabitha Tabs which I am hoping to publish. I've been telling the stories extempore to children for years, so I'm putting them together in a fixed form.  I hope you enjoy.  Please be aware that the story is copyright to me and so are the pics; if you want to use anything from this story I would ask the courtesy of asking permission.

Tabitha Tabs and the lost p’rr

Tabitha Tabs was a kitten who lived with her mummy, Dorcas, in the barn of a farm called Brockhall, somewhere south of a place called Norwich.  Tabitha’s brothers and sisters had all gone to be with their own special humans, but Dorcas had chosen Tabitha Tabs to be her special kitten who stayed with her. Tabitha liked nothing better than snuggling up to her mummy and being washed, and when she was washed she would p’rr and p’rr and p’rrr.
This morning was not such a good morning though.  The farmer’s wife had taken Dorcas to see the vet because Dorcas did not think it a good idea to have any more kittens; and Tabitha Tabs was all alone in the barn.  She tried to p’rr to make herself feel better – but no p’rr came!
“I have lost my p’rr!” said Tabitha Tabs.  “I must go and look for it!”
She squeezed out through the hole in the bottom of the barn door because the farmer had left the door shut today; and went searching.
First she came to the pond.  The ducks were sunning themselves on the bank, and preening with their beaks, shaking their tails every now and then.  Tabitha thought they looked very silly but it was a mistake to mention this.  Beaks were dangerous. She trotted forward, careful to avoid the geese who hissed and chased kittens. The ducks all got up.
“Quack-wack-wack waaarck what do you want?” said the biggest, whitest duck.  Tabitha found her a bit scary; she looked too much like a goose.  But she had to ask around.  That was what people did when they lost something, like when the farmer’s wife had lost her earring, she asked everyone if they had seen it.
“P-please,” said Tabitha, timidly, “I’ve lost my p’rr; have you seen it?”
“Quarck-wack-waarck of course not; what would a stupid sound like that be doing in a nice place like a pond?” said the duck rudely.  “Go away or I might peck your tail.  It looks like a nice juicy wriggling worm.”

Tabitha Tabs went hastily away and jumped up onto the wall of the pigsty.  Henrietta the sow was nose down in her breakfast snuffling and grunting contentedly.
“Oh please” said Tabitha Tabs, from the wall round the pigsty "Have you seen my P'rr?  I seem to have lost it."
“Snuffle, grunt, schnort, what?  Is it good to eat?” said Henrietta.
“I don't think so” said Tabitha Tabs.
“Then I don't think I have, gruffle, snort” said Henrietta.
Tabitha Tabs jumped down with her own snort.  Henrietta was not interested in anything except food.
Tabitha Tabs almost landed on Patch, the farmyard dog when she jumped down and she hastily jumped to one side.  Patch was friendly enough – if rather noisy – but nobody likes being landed on.  Patch was not a proper sheepdog, but he helped herd ducklings and chicks and could find nests for the farmer’s wife when the hens had decided to be broody outside of their coop.
“Wuff-Ruff! Look where you’re jumping young Tabitha!” said Patch.
Tabitha butted her face against him and rubbed against him in apology.
“I’m sorry Patch” she mewed “I’m looking for my p’rrr; it’s lost.”
“Dear me!” said Patch “Well that’s what comes of having such a silly way to show that you are happy; you should wag your tail instead” and he wagged his to show that he was happy.
“Oh I don’t think so” said Tabitha Tabs. “Cats only wag their tails when they are cross.”
“Cats are awkward, Wuff!” said Patch “I’ll look for your silly noise, young Tabitha; but wuff-ruff, I’m too busy to stay around, Speckledy has gone broody again and the Missus relies on me to find her nest, Wuff!”
Tabitha dragged sadly to ask the sheep in the field if they had seen her p’rr; but the only one who would bother to talk did not seem to understand.
“Maaaah, you should try bleeeeeating insteeeeead” she said.
“Stupid creature” said Tabitha Tabs crossly and made her way back to the barn. If she was going to be miserable, she might as well be miserable in a comfortable nest of straw.
Inside the barn she startled a mouse who started to run away.
“Oh please!” said Tabitha Tabs “I won’t chase you this time if you will only tell me if you have seen my p’rr!”
The mouse stopped, cautiously.
“Oh you silly little kitten!” he squeaked “Your p’rr isn’t lost; you’ve just mislaid it because your mummy isn’t here! It will come back on its own when she does!”
“Oh!” said Tabitha Tabs “Do you think so?”
“Yes” said the mouse, and scuttled off in case Tabitha Tabs changed her mind about not chasing him.
Tabitha Tabs curled up and went to sleep.
When she woke up, her mummy was there, smelling of horrid vet smell, but it was her own mummy!
“P’RRRRRRRR” said Tabitha Tabs “Oh mummy, I have my p’rr back!  That mouse was quite right! You are home and my p’rr is home and everything is all right!”
“Silly little kitten” said Dorcas and washed Tabitha Tabs’ ear firmly.
Tabitha Tabs started to p’rr as though she would never stop!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Kitty quotes of the day

Kitty Quotes of the day:

‘Sister, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters’ – Irving Berlin
Worrals and Rebel like to curl up together and wash each other. This usually leads to a fight…….

‘Did you never see the picture of we three’ – Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
And as much trouble when they’re awake as Feste, Sir Toby Belch and Maria.  The kittens are a comedy act on their own.

‘To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.’ -Helen Keller 
Why Fenella should choose to sleep in the pot of grass I’ve brought in for the cats to nibble in inclement weather I don’t know but it’s lost its spring and I may have to change it……. doesn’t she look like one of those fluffy ball-shaped cacti?

‘I want to be alone’ – Ingrid Bergman
It’s his chair, he carried it home and he doesn’t intend to share it with kittens.

‘A mighty hunter before the Lord’ – The Bible
Nimrod she ain’t….. but she loves tiny scraps of foil or paper to chase around.  Here she has it in her mouth and I’m lucky to catch this because the next move is to trot up the sofa to drop on my lap with the demand that I throw it again. 

I've just discovered that the two sisters of our kitties still haven't found a home.  They are both black with little white tufts of bibs, and have the delightful temperament of all part Russian Blues, and will need to be taught to trust.  Anyone in the Ipswich, Suffolk area in the UK do contact me and I'll put you in contact with the shelter, or visit The Animal Welfare Centre on Cauldwell Hall, Ipswich. 

Just Jasper

Poor Jasper is pantophobic. 
He really is afraid of his own shadow, though with his brother Biff around he’s good to stand up to most threats, like a really aggressive leaf falling off a tree.

Funnily enough though he’s adapted to the kitties best and is tolerant of being slept against and even on bless him.  He took a while to get to know the elderly Persian we took in, Griselda, but he did take to her in the end and actually slept snuggled up to her on my lap while she was dying.  I’ve never known a cat to do that before. He was afraid at first of her big staring owl eyes, but he became reconciled enough. and when she was dying he came and lay down beside her and gently washed her.  He has never taken to Fenella in the same way, but he seems to equate our little grey Merlin with his lost grey friend because he’s gentle and cuddly with him. Who knows what goes on in his little pussy mind…..

. Jasper is very sensitive to mood and comes to give me a cuddle if I’m low.  A very special little cat.

We took Jasper because he was reckoned at the shelter to be too wild to home.  Well, claustrophobia in the cages might have had something to do with that.  His nickname is Mr Softee which gives some idea of how wild he is.  And he has a big fluffy white tummy.  He was a poor skinny creature when we first took him in, but he soon filled out.  A bit too much for a while….

His other nickname is Mr Woo because it’s the sound he makes ‘woo?’ when he comes in.  He also prootles, which is the only way I can describe his flute-like purry noises. In the morning he lands on me with a ‘woooo!’ to tell me that it’s time for breakfast but not until he has had his ears done.  He has recently had the shock of landing on a duvet that wriggles and turns out to be inhabited by Worrals or Merlin [and once, shock horror by both] which he finds disconcerting. 
Jasper likes to kiss, but very coyly, looking away before he butts.  And he just loves to sit on my lap. 
He likes less being washed by Rebel but he puts up with her sitting on him to do just that......She's a little exaggerated in size by the wide angle lens in the pic below.