Thursday, 30 September 2010

Tortureshell Tuesday Early: I'm a Prisoner

Ok, so it's not and I'm not, but it was and I was! Tortureshell Tuesday and a prisoner, that is. Allow me to tell all, and also explain Tortureshell Tuesday which has its official launch earlier than I was planning, thanks to last night.

My human had the idea for Tortureshell Tuesday when she saw a rehoming advert. Read our Tortureshell Tuesday Post
to see the advert and the build up for this event. Anyway, here's what we have to do.

Peoples in England call us torties naughty torties because for them it rhymes (they have a funny way of missing out the r sounds when they make talk noise). We have a reputation, and I say, if you've got one of those, you should uphold it! I know that many of you others blog for things like Wordless Wednesday, and even that there is already a Tortie Tuesday, but it's not specific enough to keep our street cred for being the naughtiest cats around in full bloom. Accordingly, I created the Tortureshell Tuesday.

To take part in this event, you need to have done something very naughty. If you were unfortunate enough to be caught in the act and your peoples got a picture of you on the flash box, post that up, but the main drive of this is to get you all to write about what you've done. I see that some of you rely on the pictures to tell the story. My human says she'd like to read the stories of your naughtiness and can't do that if they're told in pictures. Really though, I'm doing this to help you. If you let the picture talk for you, you're relying too much on your peoples to help you speak your mind. That's dangerous. They can twist things so badly to make you seem like you were in the wrong. That brings me to the next point.

We cats all know that we never could possibly do anything wrong, but we also know that the peoples sometimes take a different view. "get off the table," "Don't eat my food," "Stop clawing my foot under the blankets when I'm trying to sleep," "Shut up. It's 3 AM and I need to sleep!" To get you thinking outside the box, for Tortureshell Tuesday, you must think of something you've done that the peoples don't like, write about what you did and why you did it, post a picture if you have it, then sit back and laugh in triumph as you watch your peoples get angry with your rule-breaking. If you're not a tortie, don't let that stop you. The more we rule-break, the better the control we'll have over the peoples. Remember this and get naughty! In the spirit of Tortureshell Tuesday, even though it's not a Tuesday, I'll post my events of last night.

I don't have a picture, but if my human had a flashbox, she would have caught me crouched on the sofa, scratching away, busily trying to bury my... Yep, you've guessed it. I did it again.

In our house, the human has this stupid rule. "You shall always go to the toilet in your litterbox and nowhere else." I broke it, and I did it with style! Allow me to outline the situation to you though.

Yesterday when she came home from work she brought a big box in the door with her. I knew it had been there for a while. I heard the postman leave it for us, but as I'm not big enough to reach the door handle, I couldn't open it to let him in. As soon as I'd allowed her to stop cuddling me she went to open it. There were two very, very good things inside it. The first was the biggest bag of food I've ever seen! It was bigger than me! The second was a new toy. It's a track that has a ball in it. no matter how hard I whap the ball, it stays in this track, so I don't lose it under the sofa. It's a really fun thing to play with. For any of you who are interested, tell your peoples to buy the Feline Play Circuit.

While I was playing, she got distracted. She said she had some of the work hunt thing to finish, but all she did was go on the computer. I sneakied out to take another peep at that treasure trove, that absolute mountain of food. Do you know how glorious that amount of food looks when you can see it all at once? When you can smell it? Well, I could've done if there wasn't plastic in the way. "Ah," I thought in total awe and reverence, "The cat Gods surely live at the top of a mountain like this." In the midst of my deep worship of the holy bounty set before me, surely sent from above, I decided something. I wanted it, I wanted it all, and I wanted it now! So I told the human. then I told her again, then some more, then really, really loudly. She took no notice, and got up and started to clean. Clean! I ask you! This made me so, soooo mad. Can you tell? I needed her attention. I needed to make a statement. I needed to lay down the law in this house of mine, to make her give me what I wanted and when I wanted it. I knew there was one sure-fire way to get her attention, but it was not without its risks. Still, I was full of righteous indignation, and with my heart swelling with it I climbed the side of the couch, squatted, and, eyes fixed on the human all the while, I did the do.

Here, friends, is where things take a slight turn for the worse. You know as well as I do that when you're done doing the do, you gotta scratch to bury it. I was on the sofa, so this was a bit more difficult than usual. I scratched with gusto. I wanted to spread the message as thin as possible. Maybe then I could bury it. But you know what? She heard the scratching and she swooped down on me as quick as you like. My human is too clever at times. She's good at catspeak so she knows how to tell me off in the propper way when I've done something she doesn't like. She put the mommacat grab on my scruff, got down so that I couldn't avoid looking at her, then hissed at me long and hard. I, of course, tried my hardest to get away, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I scratched her good. I'm only sorry I didn't manage to put the bitey on her. Yes, I was still filled with that righteous anger and I was gonna make sure she knew about it! I went to town. Claws, teeth, voice, wriggles, all of it! She was gonna get it, and get it good.

I won. She let go of me, but my freedom was short-lived. She chased me and thanks to that confounded, horrid, stinking dirty bell she's put on my neck, she even managed to catch me. Seeing my total unrepentence (well, what do you expect. My word is law!) and remembering how frequently I'd broken this pretend rule lately, she decided that she needed to take action. And you know what she did? She put me in the bathroom. She locked me up! It was terrible! I was in there for a gajillion and ten years without food and water (if you discount the bowls she'd hidden in plain sight... I know your tactics, human,). I had to lie on the cold floor because I just knew she'd have put spikes in the fluffy bed she'd left so cunningly in there. I was cold beyond belief but I knew if I went near the heater which she'd left on that a mysterious people forcefield would trap me there forever and I'd cook in my own yummy juices. So there I sat, huddled, alone, crying my misery at an uncaring, closed door and a seemingly deaf human. It was terrible, awful! Words can't describe the horror of that place!

The human has used this awful technique before when a cat has been stubborn about using the litterbox. She says it works if it's not overused, which she wouldn't do anyway. Overused? I almost died in that desolate, baren, foodless place last night, and she says overused! Apparently if we're in a small space with food, water, bed and box, we'll use it because we won't soil our own bedding or go too near the food bowls. I did use the box, but that's because I was desperate, not because I was caving in and hoping she'd let me out once I was finished. She did let me out, but that was purely incidental.

So there you have it. I've tortured and been tortured on this Tortureshell not Tuesday. I'm so happy to be free, but I was angry enough that I thought about leaving another sign of my discontent straight after she let me out. Then I remembered the prison and thought I'd better wait a bit until she forgets this infraction. It won't take long. They have a pathetic memory, peoples. She cuddled me good last night, which just goes to prove my point. If she was mad at me, she wouldn't have done that.

So now it's your turn. Tuesday will be the launch of my creation, but I thought I should put up a post early to show you all how it's done. See the things I go through for you? I was hissed at, jailed, I almost died just for you! I want extra street cred points for this!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Review: Rosewood Options Deluxe Open Top Carrier

I've persuaded the human to write about this after listening to her very frustrated gruntings and grumblings over the last few days. On the way to the show on Saturday, I finally convinced her that the carrier she had for me, whilst being one of the best ones she's seen, is just too small for me. What's that you say? I used to fit fine when I was brought home from the other place I lived at? I've put on weight and that's why it's too small now? Ridiculous! We all know that the reason I'm bigger is because of my extra floofiness for the show. The softness of my yummy tummy is not fat, it's furr. Still, the fact remains that I need a new carrier. The human says she's pleased. I was too boney and unsquishy when I came from the last place, so she doesn't mind that my, erm, floof has gotten a bit bigger. I'm not too squishy, and nor am I going that way, so she's happy. I keep telling her that squishy is good and she should give me more of the stinky wet food to get me that way, but this time, she said that the more moneys she has to spend on new carriers, the less is left to buy me all that stinky goodness. I had to concede the point, to my unhappiness. Seems peoples can use logic too.

But, yet again, I digress. She started looking on the internet for a new carrier. She usually reads lots of reviews before she swaps moneys for anything, but when it came to cat carriers, she just kept coming up blank. Sure, there were lots of short ones done by customers, but nothing in-depth like she wanted. "Well, human, why don't you alter that and write your own?" I said in a fit of peak last night. I'd just had enough of her griping at this point. She was so distracted that she replied, "Shush, Tia. It's not food time yet, and all that meowing is making it hard to hear the computer." Honestly! She wasn't even listening to me propperly! I told her later on though, and it seemed to get through.

I'm going to let the human write the bulk of these reviews, because peoples care about things we don't, like how heavy it is, how durable, and that sort of stuff. At the end, I'll give you my take on it. So, take it away, Human.

Review: Rosewood Options Deluxe

I didn't choose this carrier for myself. I was given it by an ex-friend breeder that I got my first ever Russian White kitten from. It was love at first sight though, and I don't just mean the fluffy white ball of yumminess that was inside it! If you go to this link
I think you can see pictures of it. The one I got was the Deluxe open top, size 1.

For many cats, travelling is a stressful time, and there's nothing quite like being able to fasten those huge, stroke-me eyes on their owner at a time like this. The Rosewood is excellent at facilitating. Its top and front are completely wire, the front having a square, grid-like pattern and the top being arranged with the wire in rows. The holes in the front are big enough that you can get your fingers inside for a quick, reassuring chin tickle, but unfortunately, they're also large enough for paws to come snaking out of. If you have a cat who will slash and grab when frightened, this carrier is definitely not for you, unless you leave it facing away from you, that is.

The carrier opens at the front and at the top. This latter is a distinct advantage if you have a cat who likes to go star-shaped as soon as you try and bundle them in through the door of a conventional carrier. It's also an added bonus at vet surgeries. for the very nervous cat, injections can be given whilst still in the safety of the box. For the feisty one, coming out through the top means less exposure to claws and teeth for the poor unfortunate charged with the dubiously delightful task of removing the caged fury from its sanctuary. It also facilitates a quick stroke, although you have to be careful that the cat doesn't flip the other way and wriggle free. Both doors feel incredibly stirdy. The wire isn't flimsy at all, and stands up well to the test of time. I've had mine for a year now. It's travelled lots, been through a house move, had heavy things dropped on it, been on trains, buses and goodness knows what else, and neither door has a scratch on it yet. The handle is afixed to the top door, but even though I use this to carry it, I've never been worried about it slipping or breaking.

The handle itself clips to the door rather than being fixed there, but seems in little danger of snapping off. However, due to its design, if you use it, the carrier will swing a little as you walk. I usually tuck the box against my hip as I'm walking, so this isn't a problem for me, but if you like to use the handle and you have an active or easily spooked cat, you need to bear this in mind. There are two d-rings on the top to attach a shoulder strap to, but as I haven't used one, I don't know how well this works.

Both doors have strong catches. The top has two which slide across to clip a section of the wire against the thick plastic frame. The front door is a single-handed, spring-loaded catch. You place a finger and thumb against two pieces of plastic and squeeze them together. This retracts a metal pole which goes from top to bottom and inserts into two purpose-built niches in the frame. When I first saw this, I was very dubious about whether it would hold if a cat really wanted to get out, but after trying it with three different wriggling furballs, I can attest to its strength. The front door can be altered so that it opens on the left or the right, so it doesn't matter if you have a dominant hand.

The carrier itself is made of very thick plastic. The top half is vented at sides and back to facilitate good airflow, but with its open top and front, I thinkk this was a bit of over-kill. It lets the cat peep out of the sides though, so it does have its good points. Although the plastic is thick, it is quite slick on the inside, so if you're going in a car or moving vehicle, you will need to put a blanket inside to prevent your pet from slipping from one side to the other. There are seatbelt slots in the top which will stop the carrier slipping around on the seat of the car, and I've read somewhere that it's airline approved, although as requirements vary so much, it's well worth checking before you travel.

There are four snap clips plus two twist clips holding the top half of the carrier to the bottom. Pull this apart and it is very, very easily cleaned. Due to the plastic being slick inside, if you have a cat with the unfortunate habit of going to the toilet or puking during journeys, wiping is absolutely not going to become a chore for you. Again, I know this from painful personal experience. The carrier is very slightly fiddly to put together, but as this feature wasn't designed to be used when the cat is still in it, it doesn't pose any real problems. You can change the hinge side of the door when the carrier is broken in half.

The only size which comes in this open top variety is the size 1. Bigger carriers are avaliable, but they're all closed at the top. I was disappointed in this, for if it had been larger, I would have simply bought another when my cat outgrew the first. If you have a fairly small cat, or want a really good carrier for a kitten, this is good enough that you won't be disappointed if you buy it. However, if you're wanting something which will last as your fluff-ball grows larger, this is probably not the one for you. The carrier comes in a choice of colours, none of which are displeasing to the eye, or so I'm told.

In summary, this is an all-round good carrier. Pros: Good, thick doors, excellent closing mechanisms, stands up to the test of time, thick, easy-wipe plastic, easy visibility for occupant, seat-belt slots, opening top. Cons: bad handle design, size issue, paws can fit through front door, slippery inner floor, no collection gutter for urine or spilled water, danger of losing two twist clips at the front as they totally detach. In spite of these, i would still recommend the carrier. Rosewood, please make the larger two with an opening top!

End of Review!

Now that the human bit is done, here's my thoughts on it. It is too, too, too small! It's also too well made. When I try and get out, the door doesn't even open! On the way to the show I pulled at it with my paws, even mashed my face against the bars of that horrible jail cell. Ok, the face mashing was mainly to get a head rub, but if the door had given I'd have climbed out for one, so it still counts as an escape effort, right? If I bump my head off the top to try and make it open, all I get is hard wire. It's not going anywhere! The wires are too close together for me to get a paw out to undo the clips. I hate you, Rosewood!

I do like the way I can see out all round though. I can keep an eye on that pesky human of mine, make sure she's safe. It's hard owning a people sometimes. It's definitely not a responsibility you take on lightly, let me tell you that. Even though the carrier is small, there's still room for some food and a ping pong ball in there with me, so it's not an absolutely awful jail.

That's enough from us for now. We are going to see the skin lady vet today. I wonder if she'll be nice? We'll post about that today or tomorrow, I'm not sure which. Depends on whether I'm too tired after eating all the fish I'm going to get her to give me tonight. I want to know something though. Some of you others manage to get asked to review all kinds of things, from cat trees to carriers, to foods. How did you do it? I want to find a roomier jail! The human says she has some more coming in the post, whatever that is. I don't know if I'm looking forward to it or not. She tells me there'll be cardboard boxes though, so it's not all bad.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Molly Matters

I'm trying to convince myself she does. Well, that's not exactly true. She's all right, as stupid hound dogs go, but she's been taking up so much of my human's time over the last few days that she didn't even manage to post yesterday. I'm a nice cat. I'll talk about Molly before I get onto my stuff, so here goes.

I mentioned just after my human got back that we had Molly news. That news is that Guide Dogs think she has something called Arthritis in her left hind and right front legs. The human says that this is the same as what Fatcat had and it means joints are sore when they move. Molly is only 6, so she shouldn't have it already. I'm never going to get old, so I don't have to worry about it, I don't think.

When the human heard this, she took her to our own vet to have it confirmed. She'd noticed Molly walking slightly funny, but she's done this for so long and been checked so frequently that the human wasn't worried at all. She kind of swings her back left leg instead of bending the knee, you see. The vet (it was our nice vet man again) had a look at her and said that he thought it would be worthwhile having x-rays done to confirm it. That sounds pretty scary to me, but Molly's had it done before. They just make her very sleepy and then put her under some sort of peoples machine that takes a picture of her bones. It's just as well she's asleep. If she was awake and saw bones, she's so stupid that she'd try to eat them, even though they belong to her! I'm sure this is why they make sure she's snoring so hard that she never knows about the pictures.

The human got up really early again yesterday so that she could take her there before she went to the strange work thing. I think when she goes to work she's hunting. She says if she didn't, she wouldn't be able to give me food every day. Hunting is how you get food, so it's logical to assume, right? She never comes back with food from the work hunt, but she says they give her the stupid money things that she takes to the place where peoples hide their kills and swaps it for my food. I still can't believe any sensible peoples would take moneys for food, but she says it's true.

She left Molly with the vet. It wasn't our nice vet man. It was a lady vet but that was Ok, because she wasn't examining her. She took her to a cage thing in the vet building where she stayed until they made her sleepy. My human didn't go to the work hunt though. She came back home and stayed there for a while. (human note: I was lucky yesterday. My PA called to say she couldn't make it in. Without a dog and a PA, I'd lost all my available guides. I haven't learned the routes with a white cane yet, so couldn't go alone. Yippee! Day off for me! Do you hear me complaining?) I was a bit concerned that she hadn't gone until I noticed there was still food in my bowl. It seems as though she had enough moneys to swap, even though she was home for a day.

Hoover lady came over again a little while later, and she and the human went out. They came back with lots of different material. The human says she's fed up with me scratching at the collar, so Hoover lady has agreed to make me lots of different ones out of different materials to see if they can find one I won't scratch. I'm going to scratch anyway, but I think it's more fun to let them find out the hard way, don't you? If I do it really, really quietly, she might not even know! Do any of you have tips for stopping bells from jingling? That would make my life a whole lot easier.

As soon as Hoover lady left, another lady came. Judging by the dog stink of her, she was from the peoples who gave Molly to the human. She calls them Guide Dogs. Even though she was stinky, I kind of liked her. She's good at chin scratching, and she's excellent at admiring my yummy tummy. I even let her cuddle me, but that was after she'd assured me she had cats of her own. A dog people with cats? Ok, so she's not all bad, and it's so nice to hear I'm beautiful.

Speaking of beautiful, thank you so, so much for all of your comments on my pictures, and thank you so much to Whicky for posting them! A huge thank you also to Praline for the header on the blog. Isn't it pretty? I have them to thank for my pretty face staring at you all from your peoples' computer thingies! The human and I are sorry that we haven't responded personally to all of the comments you left. She says she's going to try and do some of them at the end of this post.

But look, I'm getting distracted now! Sorry. It always happens when I'm thinking about more than one thing at once. The human and stinky dog lady made talk noise for a little while, and then she left. After a little while, the human went back for Molly, but when she came home, she was very sleepy and upset. She kept crying all the time, until the human got so worried that she phoned the duty vet. Molly loves food even more than me. I thought I'd be sneaky and grab some of hers last night because it was yummy chicken and rice, which she doesn't usually get. She'll chase me away from the bowl when the human tells her she can eat, but last night, she just stood and cried. Now please don't think I'm going soft, but I actually felt kind of sorry for her, and if you ever remind me I said that, I'm gonna deny it all the way! you could see she wasn't herself, and she never stands with her head drooping like that. I gave up the bowl myself. I knew I could hassle some more food out of the human later, but molly has more trouble with that. Well, she ate, but it took her about four times as long as usual, and that worried us more than anything else. You know what she's like for food. Remember the cat food incidents?

When she showed signs of wanting to go to the toilet, but not wanting to squat, the human called the vet. They said she was probably just very sore from being pulled around for the bone pictures, but that if she got worse, they were there all night and we could bring her in. The human decided to wait and see what happened, but she slept with the door open so that she could listen to Molly.

This morning, she was a little better, but she still won't go to the toilet unless she's really, really needing to, and her walk is very, very slow. The human says her work is all over the place. They missed the door to the office today, whatever that is, and Molly is not even going half her usual speed. She's phoned the vet person at Guide Dogs to see what they say. She'd have taken her already, but the whining has stopped completely, so she's not sure if it's all pain related and whether she should wait or not. She's taking me to the vet tomorrow anyway, you see, so she's wondering whether to combine the two.

That's really all that's happened. My human has some things to tell you before we get to the comments though.

So it turns out that Molly has mild to moderate arthritis in hips, shoulders and elbows. She has an ongoing soft tissue injury to the right shoulder plus, judging by the gait, the start of cruciate ligament problems in the left knee. The x-rays didn't show this, but they don't when it first starts up. They've put her on injections for the arthritis, plus glucosamine supplements. They also want to start her on a course of hydrotherapy, but Guide Dogs want to negotiate a deal with the surgery before we start her. I hate waiting for treatment just because of money, but hydro's super expensive, so Guide Dogs have got to pay for this themselves. I now fully appreciate why she snapped at me, and because of this, I've been able to rationalise it and keep working with her. I've made adjustments in the house to take food well out of her reach. Poor Tia has to climb through an obstacle course to get to it now! I'm going to keep her on, but really scale back the work I do with her so that she can be as comfortable as possible. I doubt she'll work much longer in any case before she's ready for retirement, and I don't want her shipped from home to home before that happens. If the truth be told, I'm kind of relieved in a way that I can keep her without being scared of her. I love her too much to give her bakc, and I really wasn't looking forward to doing that. Update: Guide Dogs have just called me back. We'll be returning to the vet today. I feel like I've spent the most recent part of my life there! Molly last Thursday for skin injections, Tia on Sonday, Molly yesterday twice, and then again today. Tia has to go back tomorrow, and if everything's sorted on time, Molly will be there on Thursday for the start of her hydro. Even if she isn't, we'll be bakc on Monday for the second of her four injections for arthritis. It feels like it's never going to end!

Now that the human bit is done, it's time to answer some of the comments. Miss Kitty, my human doesn't use a flash box thing or Photoshop for photos. Her eyes are broken, you see, so she can't use either. It was the photographer man who took those at the show, and there was no alterings. The blue background is what I was standing in front of. My floof needs no prettification on photoshop either! Clowder, I'm going to get the human to have a look at Flickr to see if it's any better for us to use. Thanks for suggesting it. Hestorb, that's some good effort with all your noise on going to the vet! Did it make them stop taking you? I just tell my human off when she takes me there, but as I do this pretty much every day, it doesn't bother her all that much. She's hard, is my human. The starving kitten miaow that I do doesn't even get me extra food!

To all of you, the human feels the need for me to re-itterate that if we're not leaving comments on your blogs it's because we are struggling with it. My paws aren't good for using computers and her eyes are broke. She can't do the visual verification thing to leave a comment, and some of them just don't work with the software that she has to use. It's a little robot man thing that talks to her and reads what you all say, but sometimes it doesn't read everything. She's so glad that you're all still coming to the blog even though we can't always show you that we're reading what you say!

The human says she has to go now and take Molly to the vet. We'll update you as soon as we know more. Keep checking back to the blog regularly. Even though we won't post a new link on CB, we are going to email pictures to Whicky. If he sees it today, you'll get one of Molly to look at! So although they don't go up at the same time as my regular posts, they'll be there from time to time.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Easy like Sunday

Even though I had an unexpected event today, it's still been a pretty relaxed Sunday for me at least. The human's been running around cleaning. I, on the other hand, just sit and watch. I occasionally help her by going to the kitchen and miaowing very, very loudly, just to remind her where the fish is kept. Let it not be said that I don't do my chores!

This morning, the human made up for my lack in sleep yesterday. She slept in really, really, really late! When I say slept, I mean lay in bed. She woke up way past the usual sun up, go out time, then she put on a book to listen to and kind of just dozed for ages, until the sun was right up in the sky! We haven't done that ever, as far as I can remember. When it was time to pull my body out of bed, I was rested and refreshed, so much so in fact that I thought I'd go play with my catnip carrot. She finally got me one! Some peoples brought lots of cat toys to the show yesterday and put them all on a people table. They were swapping toys for the thing the human calls money. She knows toys are worth more, so she gave them some of the stupid money and they gave her my carrot, and lots of other things. how stupid are they for getting the bum end of the deal!

After the human had made more talk noise with Bug (incidentally, Babycat, you can tell him he's moderately safer today), the human picked me up for what I thought was a cuddle. But it wasn't to be. I got stuffed once more into that stupid, stupid carrier. I've told the human she needs a bigger one now, and she actually agrees. She says she needs one with a front and top opening, and she'd prefer both to be caged so that I can see and hear her easily. It needs to be very stirdy for us to take to shows. If any of you other cats use them and have something you could recommend, I'll tell her to get that one. I'd rather take your word for it than ask her to go looking herself.

After a short car trip, during which I talked to her the whole time, we arrived at the vet's place. I've told you that I don't really mind our vet, especially this time because the human said she had made sure we were going to see the nice man vet who I like. We did see him, and he looked at me very carefully all over. The only thing I don't like about the man vet is that he doesn't take time to give me scratches and he smells funny, like dogs and rabbits and all kinds of things. His hands are nice and gentle though, and he doesn't move me really quickly or be even the littlest bit rough with me like some of the others are. The human says it's because they're busy and kind of lose sight of the fact that you should treat every animal like you'd want your own to be treated. She says they get caught up in the fact that it's their job. I don't think this is any excuse though, and neither does she. This is why we try and always see the man vet, because he takes time with us every time.

Today he was very interested in my scabs. To be honest with you, I'm starting to regret ever scratching my neck like this. It's gotten me a lot of poking and prodding and some unwanted attention, but when the urge to scratch hits me, it's kind of hard to remember that. He said a lot of words to the human, but I'll let her tell you that bit.

Human: In essence, the vet agreed with me. I took Tia there to be checked for a final time, just to back up my claims (when I make them, which I intend to). He said that her scabs might have been acne, but judging by the presentation, it shouldn't have been branded as such. Acne is pustular, not scabby, and Tia only has scabs. He says they could have been pustules at one time or another, but they definitely weren't now. It could be many things, but didn't look like any of them. He confirmed that it was most likely she was simply collar scratching as I'd said, but has recommended that I take her to a skin specialist on Tuesday. That way, when they write the letter to give Tia the all clear, and he's almost certain she'll be found to be such, no vet at a show can challenge it, as it's come from a skin specialist. It means more money, but I think I'm going to use my insurance for this. He's sent us home with antibiotics because they worked last time, and another bottle of shampoo at my request. Cindy's problem looked kind of like Tia's, so if the shampoo worked for Cindy, then it might work for her. Better to cover all bases, I figure.

So, as you can see, cat friends, this means another trip to the vet, plus a lot of bathing with that stupid, stupid stinky stuff! I'm less than pleased at the thought of the baths, but I'm wondering if the skin lady vet will be nice like the man vet. I guess I'll just have to wait and see, eh?

When we got home from there, it was time to play with the Catnip Carrot again. Oh, I just love the feathers on the top! I bunny kick it like crazy too. I just can't help myself. It's so, sooooo goooood! Today when I'd finished playing, I just had to come and flop on the human's lap. I was so blissed that I went to sleep all folded over myself. My head was down and my back leg was almost up by my ear! My human says I looked like a ball.

That's pretty much all that's happened today. There's not much excitement to report, so it's been a perfect Sunday. I apologise for the terrible typing last night. You can see just how tired the human was when you read it. She didn't even realise it had happened! To all of you who left comments, thanks so much for supporting me. It's nice to know you think I'm beautiful, and the human says it's also nice to know she wasn't over-reacting to the bad vet people yesterday. Clowder, the human is annoyed too. They were hoping, judging by the facial expressions that Hoover Lady (her PA) described to her that she'd just go away and stop insisting that she was given more than a cursory explanation. I'm glad my human's made of tough stuff and took no notice! I've taught her well. Zoe, thanks for the link, but we're still stuck. The human's eyes are broke, you see, so the usual way doesn't work for her. The computer man who speaks to her (human note: a piece of software which reads text on the screen) won't read that part of the blog website, so she can't upload pictures. Whicky, it's nice to see you around again! My human did rant something about disability discrimination yesterday when she came back to the pen, and she's already emailed the chairman with other issues. This is going to be another added to the list, she tells me. We know what you mean about shows. There are a lot of cats there who are unhappy. Yesterday the human saw a kitten who was just running in circles in her pen, and it made her upset. The cat a few pens down from us was so desperate to get away that he not only crawled under his blanket but got under the litter tray too! Me though? Well, I just went to sleep in the middle of my snuggle blanket with my feet in the air. I was showing off my yummy tummy to all the peoples, and they liked it! My human says that if I showed any kind of stress behaviour past what's normal for a cat initially getting used to a new place for the first little while, she'd not take me to shows any more. She doesn't think it's kind to do that to us. By the way, there's always a place for rough, tough mancats! Wait, maybe that's just in my daydreams. Ah, who cares! Thank you for your offer of hosting pictures, Whicky, and for your advice, Clowder. The very kind Praline and her people have been signed up as guest bloggers, and have offered to put the pictures in the posts that I make. If you see that something's been posted by her, you'll know why. It's really me in disguise, with a helping hand from her! I'll do the same for you, Whicky, and then I can email my pictures to both of you. That way, I'll have two helping, and we can get them posted as quickly as possible! Thank you so much for all your offers of aid. It frustrates the human no end when she comes up against a barrier like this, and me because my paws just aren't made for typing, otherwise I'd do it for her.

Anyway, enough from me. She's just put some chicken down in the kitchen, so to be polite, I'll go eat it!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

The Big Day!

The Big Day

I am very, very sorry that I didn't post last night as I said i would. i tried, I really did, but what with all of the preparations, I just didn't have time. The human spent ages trying to transfer pictures that Hoover Lady took from the mobile phone to the computer so that we could put them up, but it just wouldn't work. By the time she was done with that, we only had five hours of sleep left before we had to get up, so we thought we'd better get snoring!

This is going to be a joint effort between me and the human tonight, mostly because she wants to rant about things I don't find important. I'm also swatting the human until she puts up some of the pictures we had taken today. I don't know what they'll be like, nor where they'll appear, so all comments are welcome! I've also decided to start a bit of a running trend. We had 27 pictures taken today, and of course, the human doesn't know what most of them are. I thought I'd make a game out of it, firstly so that you could join in, and secondly so that the human can get an idea of how photogenic I am. So, here's the challenge. Each time we put up pictures in this show series, if you're up for it, see how good you are at describing them. I hear peoples say that I'm pretty all the time, but I want to know what the more intelligent species thinks.

Anyway, enough of this. I promised to tell you about the experience of showing, and I'm a cat of my word!

We show under the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy in the UK, and today we were at the North West Cat Club show just outside Manchester. The day starts very, very early, too early if you ask me. The alarmm went off at 5 AM, and when i say the alarm, I actually mean Bug. He called my human, but I tell you something, if he'd have been here, I'd have boxed his ears for him! It's all very well me waking up the human, but that does not work the other way round. I need my beauty sleep (I'm a celebrity after all), but this morning, I didn't get enough! I thought things would be Ok though. The human made sleepy talk noise with Bug, then got up to go in the horrible shower. Meanwhile, I curled up for a second sleep. But this was not to be.

As soon as she was dressed, she came and got me "for final grooming, Tia". Final grooming? I'm beautiful enough already, woman! The brushing didn't take long. you should always prepare mostly the night before, and we had. It only took a few minutes to fluff me, and then it was into the horrible, nasty, stupid carrier. I was grumpy already, having been so rudely awakened (tell Bug to watch out, Babycat, for my temper is still big!), and i found the carrier absolutely intolerable. I did what I always do when I'm dissatisfied about something. I shouted at the human. And I shouted and shouted and shouted. She didn't listen though. I swear sometimes that she doesn't understand decent language.

She checked that she had everything she needed in my show bag, and then it was off. Hoover lady arrived and we got into her car. Now this is where the human redeemed herself, although only slightly. Because I'm good and lie down in the car, if we're going on a long journey, she lets me sit on her knee instead of in the carrier. This morning I did this, and I even let her clean my eyes a final time on the way to the show. I've mentioned already that I was grumpy. Now that Hoover lady was here too, I decided to shout at her. The trip took over an hour, but that was Ok. My voice didn't get tired.

When you get to the hall, you have to join a long line of peoples who all have their owners in carriers or baskets. They take us to see the horrible vet peoples before we can go in our pens. This is to make sure that none of us are carrying nasty infections that could spread to other cats. I don't think I should be vetted in. No infection would dare come near me. Our vet people was a lady people and she was quite nice. She noticed my three scabs on my neck, but when the human explained that I liked to try and scratch my collar off and that I had to wear one so that she would know by the noise of the stupid, stupid bell where I was, the vet lady said it was Ok. She also said she'd had me tested for ring worm and cleared of the possibility of bacterial infections just in case it was queried at the show, and this put the vet lady's mind at ease.

once the vet lady had signed our papers, we got to go into the hall with all the pens in them. The pens are quite big, and they're solid at the back and sides so that we can't see any other cats who are next to us. I'm kind of glad. Some of them have awful language, and hiss and swear all day long. Others spray, well, the stupid mancats spray. What's the point in marking the pen? Anyone with intelligence knows that it's only yours for a day, so why waste the effort. They'll only clean it anyway. They are in rows, and each pen backs onto another one. The top and front are caged, so we can see out. We can even get our paws out to smack people or pull them in for scratchings and chin rubs if we're careful about it. We were pen number 11.

When we'd found our place, the human started unpacking her bag. She'd brought me a small litter tray with litter in it, a really thick, snuggly blanket, and food and water dishes. She brought some water from home for my bowl so that I wouldn't get a tummy upset from strange water, and she even gave me food when I got there. I wasn't interested though. There were too many strange cats and peoples who had to be studied. I was really busting for a pee-pee too. I usually go first thing in the morning, but because I'd been wakened so early (I'm coming for you, Bug), I didn't get a chance. I didn't want to go in my tray with so many people watching. I knew it would get quieter later, so I just waited.

My human went away for a little while then. She said something about signing a form, whatever that is, but she was soon back with her brushes and combs, making me extra super fluffy now that I was in my pen and wouldn't be moving any more.

I mentioned that we'd be having some friends at the show. You remember my man friend from a little while back? The first one I went to see? He was there, and only two pens away, too. Oh, my heart was all a-flutter! His daddy was there too, and boy was he noisy. You think my voice is loud. Every time someone walked past him he'd chat to them, and there were a lot of people! My human talked to him for a while, until I got jealous and called her back.

Once I was settled, the lady people who managed the show said in a very loud voice (human note, she used a microphone) that it was time for judging to start. After a quick chin tickle, the human left me. She's not allowed to stay with me when the judge peoples are looking at me. She stayed close enough to watch the first judge man take a look. He is the important one, and he liked me! He was saying all sorts of nice things, so much so in fact that I showed him my yummy tummy, and even blew him kisses when he put me up near his face and looked deeply into my eyes. I wonder if he loves me?

At this point, the human and Hoover Lady went out of the place I was in. They couldn't talk to me until three hours had gone by, so they went for food. When they came back, I'd been given a shiny rosette, but the card telling my breed and pen number had been turned around. The human was not happy when Hoover lady read her what had been written on it. It said, "Do not judge. Owner to contact duty vet immediately". She seemed quite worried and went away for a long, long time.

Human paragraph: Ok, she warned you. I'm going to rant, and I make no apology for doing so. As mentioned before, Tia has three scabs under her chin from doing her "get this collar off me now, now, now" routine with the claws. I'd explained at vetting in why they were there, but after the first judge had looked at her, another had come along and noticed them. She called the duty vet, who put the do not judge sign on Tia's pen after examination. When I spoke to her, the first thing she said to us was, "Oh, you're the scabby one." "Pardon?" was my first response. Scabs? I didn't have any. "You're the scabby one," to which my PA replied, "No, not me personally." The nice vet then clarified that she meant "pen 11, not you". "I didn't know my pen had scabs," I thought to myself, but decided not to let loose. One of us on the attack was enough at this stage. She went on to say that Tia had been rejected because of the scabs. I told her the same thing that I'd told the vet earlier that morning. Yes, she did have scabs but it was from scratching at a collar which needed to be there so that I could tell where she was, and be sure that she hadn't run out the door as I was coming in. It was a necessity. The vet disagreed. Apparently the scabs were not due to collar scratching.

Show cats don't usually wear collars for the reason that it flattens the fur. On a Persian, this band of flat hair is more than evident. When I pointed this out and stated that you could see the scabs followed the line of the banding, she disagreed. She then said that Tia probably had acne because of a dark patch on her chin. Newsflash, all torties have dark patches on their chins. That's part of being a (insert swear word here) tortie, you idiot. I gave her the verbal equivalent of the polite version though. She then said she could slap me with a ring worm injunction for scabs like that, which would mean I couldn't show until I'd had expensive tests to prove otherwise. I don't like threats like that. I told her, still politely I am very proud to say, that she couldn't, thank you very much. I am a responsible exhibiter and had already ruled out the risk before considering bringing her to the show. I'd also put her on antibiotics to minimise the chance of any spread of possible bacteria to other cats.

If a vet says a cat is not to be judged, it's either because that cat is aggressive, in evident distress or infectious. Tia was quite obviously none of the above. The vet didn't ask for a clearance certificate to be completed by me in order to show again, and this is standard procedure for an infectious cat. I went to a few other breeders and exhibitors and asked them for their opinions. Not one of them, on seeing the scabs, was worried about holding my cat, cuddling her and potentially spreading disease back to their own furries, and that means a lot given that they're usually so protective of infection risk that you can't often even touch their cats if you don't sanitise your hands first. I told them the circumstances, and they all agreed it was ridiculous. In essence, I was being penalised because I had a disability which required my cat to wear a collar for her own safety. I took my complaint to the show manager. After following her for ages and numerous promises of "I'll be with you in just a minute," I managed to pin her down for a total of two. I explained my case and got, as a response, "well, it's a beauty contest, you know." Oh I did know, but pointed out, very slightly less politely at this point, that it was a contest where cats had to conform to an agreed standard of points to win awards, which mine did. She said she'd have a word with the duty vet, but somehow didn't manage to find the time either to do that, or to tell me she couldn't until I cornered her again at the end of the show. I made mention of the fact that I'd like this to be sorted soon, for if I wasn't happy with the outcome I'd take it to the chairman. I told her I was meeting him soon, hopefully, and that I'd like to finalise this particular issue with him then. "Oh, it's not that I'm ignoring you. Please don't think that. It's just that I'm so busy. Here, have my email address. I promise I'll have a word with the vet, but could you just email me to remind me? I don't want to forget, and I receive so many instructions on these days that it's possible. I don't want you thinking that I'm ignoring you, and we'll get this resolved." With rather a lot of cynicism in my heart about what motivates people, I took the email address. I trust you to know where I'm coming from here. Anyway, that's the end of my bit. I wil keep you posted about what the outcome is, but I intend to take this all the way to the top if I need to.

The human came back a couple of times over the next hour or so. She seemed angry, but when she came, she brought very nice peoples with her. All of them got me out of the pen and gave me extra good cuddles. They even rubbed my chin and commented what a pretty girl I was! Well, duh. I know this already. My human seemed to like them a lot.

Towards the end of the day, she fluffed me a little again, then took me over to another pen. This one had a man by it, and he had a big flash box. he said he was a professional, whatever that is. He put me in the nice pen, but after that, it wasn't nice any more. His flash was so bright. Apart from that, I had fun. He would tap the sides to get me to look different ways. He even tickled me with a feather, which, of course, I tried to catch. I like posing for photos, or, I did today. It was my celebrity day, so I thought I'd better work it good for the camera. You can tell me what you think of the results if the pictures load.

All the way through the afternoon, there were even more people there. My human called these members of the public. They'd come to see all of us cats. My human stood by my pen, because it's her job to talk for me at these times and tell everyone all about me and how pretty I am. Not many peoples understand cat as good as her, you see. Lots of little sticky peoples wanted to touch me, but my human knows I have a limit when it comes to scratching. I like peoples who cuddle, not peoples who pull fur. She let some of the older ones cuddle me, but only until I told her I'd had enough. Then it didn't matter how much they asked. They couldn't see me any more. She's a good person, my human.

After a little more time in the pen, it was time to go home. It was back in the carrier for me. I must say, I wish more judge peoples had come to look at me. I like what I won, and can't understand why the human's so upset about the fact that the others didn't look. I know it was because they didn't need to. They know I'm the best. They know I know it too, which is why I didn't need visible evidence that I'd won. Even though we all know I'm the best, it still would have been nice to have more head rubs and scratches.

All of my competition things are white. They have to be because everyone else's are. Mine was the nicest white though, and I didn't even dirty my blanket with litter mess like the rest did. Some of them even sat in their litter trays, and one of them climbed underneath his. I furred up my blanket real good. Do I get a prize for that?

I got to sit out of the carrier on the way back in the car, but I must say, I was glad to get home. When we arrived, the human fed me lots and lots of fish and cuddled me even more than the fish she fed me. She showed me all the new toys she'd bought for me, but that will take a whole nother post there's so many! For now, I like my own space. She knows not to come looking for me after shows. I've been touched all day, and as much as I love her, there's a limit to my touching tolerance. I've sat with her a few times, but not as much as normal. I'm cuddling with her now, but on the other cushion of the sofa. I have to keep my mind on what I'm telling her to write, and her scratching distracts me because it's so good.

I'll sleep well tonight, and so will the human. We are both very, very tired (did I mention I'm coming for you, Bug?). We're going to put up three pictures out of the 27 that we had taken. The human says she thinks there's one where you can see my super cute tongue. I was practicing the bored, famous person yawn. I think I pulled it off.

Humate: Ok, t sachingealms ofculus ht.icappctus.W? BGols'accessible for me. I've tried everything i can think of short of just posting them on the web and linking to them. I don't really want to do that. i don't want anyone being able to tdownload them at will. ineed help here. Is there any way of anyone else being able to put them p for me? I have loads of them to share, and now that 've got them, want you all to see them! If any of you can tell me a way of overcoming this, I'll put them up straight away. I think people can guest blog with each other, can't they? If so, and one of you would like to voluneer to do the pictures in my posts, I'll set you up... if you tell me how. I'm desperate at this point!

Friday, 24 September 2010

The Show Approaches

Oh yes it does, and I can't help but start to get a little bit excited about it. My human's trying desperately not to get too hopeful. She spoke to one of her judge friends yesterday (they're the nice strangers who take me out of my pen and scratch me and look at me all over and tell me how beautiful I am), and they said that the judge people who is looking at me in my most important class is a tough one. He withholds prizes more than he gives them apparently. My human says I'm not the most outstanding of show cats. She got me because she love dme, not because I'd do well at a show. The fact that I'm good enough to enter wasn't the driving factor. It's just a nice bonus. I have too much dark coat on my body to be perfect apparently, but me and my human agree that I'm the best cat there is. I told her that I'd make the judge people agree too, and she's not to worry. She says even if we don't win a single thing, she'll still be taking home the best cat in the whole show. Smart lady, my human. I reminded her that at my very first ever show, I won one of my opens where you get prizes to have a big title like champion cat, won a best of breed, and got second in another open plus one of my side classes. For any of you who know showing, the reason that there were two opens was because it was a double show. That's not bad for a first timer now, is it!

I'm also going to see a couple of old friends at the show, but I can't tell you about that until the show is over... Rules and all, stupid things.

Anyway, back to preparations. My human didn't do an awful lot with me last night. Usually the day in between powdering and the final preparations is my rest day. She did have a go at stripping me though. This sounds painful, but it's not. My guard hairs are very, very dark, and this isn't good when you're showing off your beautiful tortiness to the judge peoples. Usually, peoples pluck these out. Again, that sounds like it hurts, but it doesn't, because they don't pull the hair hard. The good ones ease it out with their fingers. Guard hairs are longer than the fluff of my undercoat, but even though the human knows the difference in length, she's worried she's pulling out my light hairs. She did a couple, but then stopped. She's asked some of those old friends to help us do it on the morning of the show. I don't mind this. I purr all the way through. The friends say it takes days to do it propperly as you should only do a little at a time, but they're going to see what they can do for us. Thank you, friends!

Tonight, I know what's coming. Hoover lady has arranged to be there when the human gets home from work so that I can have my pedicure. I don't keep my own nails short. Why do that when you have servants to do it for you. I'm a celebrity show cat, after all, and all that scratching on the post is too much effort. I'd rather dig at things I'm not supposed to, but as they're soft, they don't keep my nails short. Hoover lady is too worried about doing it on her own and needs the human to talk her through it each time. Mummycat will probably have hers done as well, even though she's not a celebrity show cat. My human is a good cat person, so she doesn't mind doing it for her.

Once my nails are done, the human is going to get out the dryer and blow all of that stinky powder out of my fur. I am crazy fluffy after this is done because my furr is sticking up all over the place. I wish we could get a picture, but I don't think Hoover lady will wait that long, and the human can't take them on her own. Once that is done, she will brush and comb all of the dead fur out of my coat. I'll be soft then, but not all the way fluffy. That is a last minute thing done at the show hall.

Right now I'm enjoying the peace and quiet of the house. I'm chasing ping pong balls (a famous cat has to keep fit and trim after all) and cleaning and cleaning myself for tomorrow's big day. My fit drive will probably go out the window as soon as I see fish, but we'll not talk about that just yet, will we? In any case, the human has a lot of work to do. When she finishes with me, she'll do Mummycat again. She needs another brushing and then the powder taking out of her coat, plus her nails clipping. Then the human has to make people food for her and hoover lady for tomorrow, and pack all of the things I will need like a blanket, litter tray, food and water, and the really important things like a ping pong ball, my favourite mousie and a ribbon for me to pounce. You're only supposed to have one toy at the show, but I get spoiled. Why? Because how could you resist spoiling the best cat in the show more than all of the others? She just hides them when the official peoples and the judge peoples pass by.

I will talk to you later on tonight and let you know if she has been able to follow all of my advice on how to make me look even more beautiful than beautiful!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Powder Ping Pong

Ambiguous title you might think, but let me ramble in my usual way and all will become clear.

I have told you before that I am a very beautiful cat. This fact is common knowledge if you ask me, but there's no harm in stating the obvious again. Peoples might be reading this blog, after all, and they're pretty forgetful. In any case, I'm so beautiful that I sometimes go to cat shows to show off what Praline
calls her "floof". I also show off my pretty whiskers and even how good I can miaow too.

Because I have a long coat, it takes quite a lot of preparation to have me looking my best for a show, not that I don't always look great, you understand, but a little touch-up can work wonders. Now, I'd done my work. I'd groomed myself all over with my rather capable tongue, and thought I was looking pretty good. The human had other ideas though.

"Come here, Tia," said the human, and because I like her cuddles, I came. But this time, it wasn't for a snuggle. She picked me up, brought me to the bathroom, set me down and got out the comb and brush. Again, I didn't worry. I love being brushed. The human uses a soft slicker, and it feels just like a Mummycat's tongue when she washes you when you're very small. Even the comb is good. It lifts out all of my dead fur so that I don't have to swallow it when I clean myself. she's thoughtful, is my human.

She started by brushing the tangles from my fur, but then she got out the powder. This is where I started to get cross. I've had this done for shows before, and whilst I agree that it does separate the hairs of my coat beautifully, I don't like the smell of it. The human buys stuff that is as lightly scented as she can find, but what is light to her is heavy to me, given that my nose is much better than hers. She sprinkled this horrid stuff into my undercoat, then combed it all through so that my fur was dusted lightly in it. It makes a big difference, and makes me look way more fluffy because it lets my coat separate. For any cat that is prone to knotty furr, I would recommend you get your peoples to use this despite the horrible smell. It makes the knots come out so much more easily without all of that nasty tugging. If they do use it though, be sure to complain loudly. You can't have them thinking they can do what they like to you and thinking it's all right. A fight is always necessary even if only to save face.

Once I was all brushed through, she picked me up for a cuddle, mumbling something about how I'd covered her in the powder because I wouldn't let her do my yummy tummy without cuddling right down on my powdery back in her lap. She'd just put clean clothes on, but as my human is a good cat person, all she did was grumble about how they needed washed again while she gave me scratches and face rubs.

But now I was faced with another problem. I had to clean myself all over again. I was pristine before, but now I was covered in this strange peoples smell. She put me in the living room, and while she went and got Mummycat, I got to work. It took me some time, but I'm diligent and managed to have it done in a few hours. My human knew I'd do this, so was careful how she put the powder on. She got it right down to the roots of my fur, and while I've covered the stink by grooming, there's still enough left in my undercoat to keep me puffed and fluffed. She says she'll blow that out with a hair dryer on the day of the show, but by that time it'll have done its work, and I'll be even more beautiful, if such a thing is even possible.

The human powdered Mummycat because she had knots in her tummy because Hhoover lady didn't brush her enough, but Mummycat, on being taken from the bedroom, blung to her like something called a limpit. My human says that's a really sticky thing. Mummycat just wouldn't let go, so she ended up combing the knots out of her tummy whilst hanging Mummycat clamped claws to her sweater. If she thought she was covered in powder by the time she was done with me, that was nothing compared to what she had on her this time, but again, she didn't mind. Mummycat says she just snuggled her cheek down against the top of her head and told her it didn't matter anyway, that she should have known better and done it in Mummycat's room regardless of the mess anxd the hassle it would cause her to clean it up.

So, as you've probably gathered by now, I'm going to a show on Saturday. I can't say where or with which cat organisation because that's against the rules and if I tell you I'll lose prizes if I win them, but if you're prepared to travel to the north of England if you want to meet me, send an email to my human and she'll tell you where. The show is this Saturday.

The shopping arrived last night as it was supposed to, and low and behold, there were two packs of tinned tuna, not just one! She also got chicken and ham and something called corn beef, but she wouldn't let me have any of these. I didn't mind though. I got my yummy fish last night before bed, so I was happy.

I also got another nice thing last night... The return of my ping pong balls! I've only had one over the last few weeks. Hoover lady is a neat freak. She says that a cat can only play with one toy at once, so only one thing needs to be out at a time. I disagree. I need them all out. I hunt them, then hide them in a safe place for later, but once I've hunted one, I need another one to play with This means there has to be lots and lots and lots on the floor. My human thinks I forget where I hide them because I'm always so surprised and delighted when I find them. I just pretend for her amusement though. Hoover lady had moved the box where the ping pong balls are kept, but last night, the human found it. She gave me loads of balls, and dumped the rest of the toys out on the floor. She doesn't mind the mess, so I hunted and hunted and pounced and chased those balls all over the place! I even hid one under the human's bed. I know that's a safe place because the human spends so much time there. I only sleep when it's safe, and she sleeps when she makes the slow breathing and snoring noises in the bed, so that proves it for me.

Anyway, that's all for today because I have more balls to find! I've got to also say welcome back to the peoples who are reading the blog once more. Do your peoples have ping pong balls too? Do you ever get powdered? Are your peoples as crazy as my human?

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Worried Wednesday

Yes, I am worried indeed. I think I'm losing my friends! Impossible that others would stop loving me, I know, but since I've got back, only two have commented on what I've written, compared to the 18 or so when I left. Have I done something wrong? Was my pee-pee problem too much to handle? If so, I could always make a promise never to do it again... Until the next time, that is.

In any case, I've had a fairly good few days. The human is mostly around to cuddle except when she leaves to go to the work thing, and mummycat is eating again, although not that much really. The human's still worried about her, but if her miaowing is anything to go by, she's more than healthy! She's been making a right old noise. It even kept the human awake last night, but when she opened the door to try and coax her to come sleep with us, Mummycat, after taking one look at the big, open space of the house, ran and hid in her litterbox. The human got mad, saying that the breeder who had her should have socialised her better instead of keeping her in a cattery. Before she decided to send her back to our old house, she spoke to a lot of friends she has who have lots of cats. They told her that there are some cats who never adjust to home life if they've been in a cattery since the day they were born. They say it's rare, but after about three months of trying, my human thinks she might be one of those poor unfortunates. It's making her eyes run when she thinks of how Mummycat is happiest in those kind of conditions, and she really wishes she could do something about it, but she's out of options. Now, given that Mummycat's not eating, is obviously very unhappy, and is losing weight rapidly, she needs to do what's best for her, even if she doesn't like it. I keep telling her she'll be Ok. Mummycat's sister is there, and although I hate her with a passion, they get on great.

My human says I'm to tell you a bit more about Alaska and Canada today, but I'm getting tired of talking about it. I'll tell you some, but I'm going to keep it short.

In Canada, she had a brilliant day where she went tubing and flying, all in the same afternoon! Tubing is where you sit on a big inflatable ring in the water. It's tied behind a boat. The idea is that the boat pulls the ring and tries to flip you off into the water. Again, my point that peoples have no sense is illustrated. Why on earth would you sit on something in water in the first place? And what's more, why would you voluntarily allow yourself to be dunked in the horrible wet stuff? I showed hoover lady what I thought of water on Saturday when I scratched her good as she was bathing me, but my human doesn't even do that. She did ask not to be tipped though. She doesn't like that bit. Bug's cousin was driving the boat, so he was nice and didn't do it to her.

Bug's cousins have a friend who owns a little plane that can seat two people. The people is a flight instructor, so the aeroplane has two controls. Because of this, both Bug and my human got turns to fly in it. Bug did loops, but the human was too scared. I can understand this. Being up high is great. We both agree on this, even though she doesn't make the same efforts at home as I do to find high places. I'm the one who climbs on tables and cupboards, not her. But being high and upside down is another matter.

That's all about the holidays for today. I'm going to email a photo of myself to Zoolatry's people
in the hopes that she'll get her people to photoshop it for me. That way, I can at last have a photo on my blog, and you all get to see the yum yum that is me.

There's more good news too. The tuna comes today! The human's more excited about the chocolate in the shopping, but for once I don't mind that she hasn't a very good brain. If she leaves the fish alone, it means there's more for me.

Until tomorrow, you faithful two.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Pee-Pees and Polar Bears

The human went away today again to the thing she's called work, so I've had the time to think about my post and make it a good one. I've also got privacy to tell you about a naughty little problem I had when the human was gone for such a long time. I don't want her seeing my words today. She thinks I'm super good and never naughty, but this is a post for Scafflaw week if ever there was one.

I've told you that I have mixed feelings about hoover lady, haven't I? When I sent my human away to help Babycat, I knew that hoover lady would be doing things for me like cleaning my box and giving me yummy food, but I didn't know that she'd also be living in the house most of the time. She and the human said this was to stop me and Mummycat getting lonely, but I could have done without that company I'm sure. Well, when this cat don't like something, you can guarantee she's gonna say something about it! What I said was very stinky and very evident. A few days after the human left, I did something I know I'm not supposed to do. I did a number two mess on the sofa, on the bit that my human always sits on, but which was now covered in hoover lady's smell. I was only trying to protect my human's territory, but hoover lady got cross and took away the blanket the human puts on the sofa. She even washed it and covered it with stinky people clean clothes smell!

I wasn't happy about that either. What was to be done, I asked myself. I needed to stop hoover lady coming into mine and the human's snuggle zone, but if I did a number two, she'd just take it away again. So, I launched the next attack. I did a pee-pee.

This one worked better. Because of the colour of the blanket, hoover lady didn't see the stain. Now the sofa smelled of me, but hoover lady didn't know. She cleans all the time, so her nose is always filled with stinky clean people smell. I think that's why she didn't notice. Unfortunately, it didn't stop her sitting there, but whenever her smell got too strong, I just topped it up with a strategically placed dribble here and there.

When my human came home and sat down though, that was the first thing she smelled. She has a good nose for a people. I guess it's because she pays attention to what she's sniffing given that her eyes can't tell her where the pee-pee is. She didn't shout at me much though, so I guess she fooled herself as to the reason why I did it. You see, my messing corresponded with idiot hoover lady changing my litterbox depth. The human keeps it nice and deep cuz I like to kick and bury my number twos. I'm a lady after all, and having that lying around is not very mannerly. Hoover lady only put a shallow layer in the box though, and the human has convinced herself that this is why I scented the sofa. I did that once before when she tried to make me use pine litter, so it was easy to make her think along the same lines twice. If she knew I'd done it to mark our territory though, she'd be mighty cross, which is why I'm writing this in private.

She's still tired from all of that flying she did. I don't know how she flew because most of the birdies I see are way too small to carry her, but she doesn't lie, so I suppose I'll have to believe her. She says I should tell you about the polar bear today. Don't worry. It didn't eat her, even though she lay on it's tummy!

The human, Bug, Bug's mummypeople, the mummypeople's peoplehusband and Bug's cousin were all in Alaska together, and they all went to see a place called the Ice Museum in Chena. I wouldn't like it. Ice is far too cold for me, but peoples are silly, so they didn't have the sense not to go. This place is a building totally made from ice. It used to be an ice hotel, but the fire people closed it down because the fire safety regulations weren't met. I ask you! You can't set ice on fire, so why does it matter! Once again, it just illustrates the reason why Whicky calls his peoples apes. Here, I'm afraid I have to agree with him. I mean, what's the worst that could happen? The ice might melt, they might have to swim to safety, but they could also play with their rubber duckies on the way, so they'd have fun. Incidentally, the human brought four of those home and put them on the far edge of the bath. I'm trying to work out how to get them without getting too close to the dangerous tub where all the water comes from. Any ideas?

Anyway, back to the story. In this ice museum there are lots of different sculptures all made from carving blocks of ice. The tour guide was silly too. He said that the human and Bug couldn't touch anything. How were they going to see if they couldn't touch? They see with their hands, but the guide didn't care. They touched anyway, but were as sneaky as a cat in doing it and hid behind other people so that the guide couldn't see them. The human said that the ice feels like really shiny, smooth glass or maybe even cold, slick metal. That's how smoothe it is.

As I said, they had lots of sculptures there. There was a princess and a horse, a moose and even a chess set! She touched some lovely spiral roman collumns that were by the doorways and then there was the bar. This is about 35 ft long and is solid ice. It's even held up by ice pillars. You can get drinks there in ice glasses too.

Off the bar, there are a number of different rooms. There is an iglu, a christmas tree room which has lights frozen into the ice tree so that the decorations look like they're sparkling, and even a room where the bed is a polar bear. He looks like he's on his back with his head up, watching all of the peoples who sleep on the bed which is in his tummy. The human had him as her favourite. There was even an ice outhouse! The human didn't use it. Thank goodness, I say. It wouldn't be fun to put bare skin against ice, nuh-uh! I suppose she has some little sense after all.

When they came out of the ice place, Human and Bug's hands were very, very cold from all the sneaky touching they had been doing, but neither of them seemed to mind too much. If I wasn't too busy pee-peeing on the sofa, I might have let the human warm them on me, but I had more important things to do at that point.

Well, I suppose that's all for today. Except that I forgot to mention the most important thing. Today and yesterday there has been no wet food! The human says she's run out of tuna, and I won't eat the yucky chicken that hoover lady brought. Human says her shopping doesn't come until tomorrow, but what do I care? I'm wasting away here! It's not fun at all! I've been crying and crying at her, but it hasn't worked. I even cuddled right up on the pillow with her last night, then wormed in by her tummy, thinking that if I was extra sweet and slept extra tight-close and snuggly with her that she'd give me some fish in the morning, but she didn't. I'm going to try the ever-so-sweet and cuddly Tia face when she gets home to see if that does the trick. Watch this space!

Monday, 20 September 2010

The Human is Back!

Yes, yes, yes, she arrived back today! Ahem, excuse me. I know it's not fashionable for us cats to show our excitement like that, but really, she's back! She even brought a suitcase with her, although she says I'm not allowed to play in it as it contains something called gifts. I know they're all for me, so why I shouldn't romp in them I don't know, but she won't be persuaded.

She arrived back this morning, well, in the middle of the dark time really, because the sun was barely up. When she came through the door she even sounded tired when she called my name. Now, cats, I'm sure you'll agree with me that when your peoples have been away for a time, the correct thing to do is to scorn their attempts to cuddle you when they get home. If they've been away for a long time, we are to ignore them until they give up, showing them that we haven't forgotten that they abandoned us, then, just when they lose all hope, jump onto their lap and show them how much we've missed them.

I did this, and in my opinion, I pulled off the first part well, or rather, I had the potential to. When the human came in, I didn't just ignore her. I hid. She pushed the suitcase through the door, dropped all her bags and flopped on the sofa. Still, I ignored her. But then she started to call me. I struggled, but I'm afraid to admit that I lost the battle. As you know, I missed her dreadfully, and at the sound of the voice, I crumbled.

I've told you that I never jump directly onto the human's lap, but today was an exception, and she didn't seem to mind. In fact, she seemed to quite like it. There followed an extatic half hour of cuddling, tickling and general admiration on her part.

She disappeared for a time after that, and I got worried again that she'd go away and not come back for more time, but she was only gone for a short while, and when she did reappear, she had mummycat's smell on her. She says mummycat was so happy to see her that she even miaowed very loudly and let herself be picked up, something she's usually too timid to allow. The human is very, very worried about her though. The apetite supplements worked while mummycat was taking them, but over the last three weeks, she's lost a lot of weight and is really quite skinny. The peoples that we lived with before the human have said they'll have her back the Friday after this one, and the human thinks this is probably best for her. She's still too timid to come out of the room and she's obviously unhappy in there on her own. The human doesn't like to see any cat shut up, so even though it keeps mummycat happier than if she was given the full house, it still upsets her to see it.

There's so much to tell you that I don't really know where to start. It'll probably take a couple of days, but as my human's so forgetful, I'm going to list the things I'll tell you about here. First of all, and most importantly, there's the mousies she brought me home. Then there's the things she did like gold mining and visiting native villages and going in hot springs and lots more besides. I don't know what most of these things are, so I'll probably let the human talk about them. Then there's the news on Molly which I may or may not tell you today. After that we have the human's training of Babycat's people plus my pee-pee problem while she's been away. In true cat style, these aren't listed in the order I'll talk about them in.

I suppose I should do the Babycat's problems first of all, as they're the reason I sent my human in the first place. When she got there, she did a quick scan of the situation and decided that the Babycat didn't need as much help as we thought. He, in typical kitten fashion, over-dramatised everything. The human watched Babycat's people with him for a time, then determined that, like every kitten, the Babycat got pretty much what he wanted when he wanted it. Ok, the people doesn't cuddle him all the time, but 80% isn't bad. All right, he doesn't get wet food every day, but he does have dry on demand. See, I'm luckier there. I have both. The human didn't feel that Babycat was starved, so she didn't say anything. Now for that, I'm cross with her, and I plan to tell her so when I'm done showing her how much I missed her. Every cat deserves stinky wet food!

There's some breaking news though. Turns out I've met Babycat's people before. When the human came home, his smell was on her and I remember it, although it was a long time ago. The first time I saw the human, he was with her. He tickled my tummy and he played with me at the place where I used to live with Mummycat and the others. He also did things to get me a little mad, just to make sure I wouldn't bite or be nasty. The human said she was a bit worried because, when I play or get cross, I'm a bit handy with my claws as I've told you before, but I never do it to seriously hurt. Babycat's people convinced her to take me home anyway, so I guess I should kind of like him, right? He also cuddled me when this place was a big and scary new place. He's good at cuddling, but also good at knowing what annoys me. He talks a lot too. I've decided that he should be called bug, but for a number of reasons. Firstly, he's a cuddlebug. Secondly, he's gotta be a lovebug because he got me lots of love from my human and he also gave me love too, although I like the human's better. Thirdly, he knows how to bug me when he fluffs what he calls my bellyfur, and when he tweaks my nose. Fourthly, he's a talkbug cuz he never is quiet!

Now that that's decided, I can get back to my story. If I'd known it was Bug that was Babycat's people, I'd never have sent my human. For all the reasons outlined above, Bug is a good cat person, so there's no way he'd do anything bad to his kitten, except bug him of course.

Bug also has an older cat named Cara who my human thinks is an absolute sweetheart. I suppose I should dislike Cara for this alone, but I can't find it in myself. I'm too happy to have the human back. She says that Cara is a real teddy bear. Cara doesn't seem to mind though. She slept with the human a lot, and even cuddled her like I do when I lie on my back and headbut her until she tickles my yummy tummy.

This is where the trouble starts though. Babycat has a bit of a problem with Cara and spends most of his time chasing her when she dares to come out from one of the hiding places that she chooses to stay away from him. My human thinks it's because he's very attached to and possessive of Bug and doesn't like it when Cara gets attention or even looks like she might be wanting some. He's also a kitten though, so as well as being dominant, he's wanting to play some of the time. Splatcat(the nickname given to her by the human because of the way she flops over for a tummy tickle) is too old to play with babies, so she just hisses at him and then runs away. The human tried to teach her to stand her ground and kick his baby butt just once so that he'd leave her alone, but teddies don't fight, and so she just kept running. The more this happened, the more upset the human got. She doesn't like to see animals unhappy. Bug is doing what he can to rectify this though.

After spending a week at Bug's living place, the human and Bug left both of the cats to go to a place called Alaska, which is apparently super cold in the winter, or so says the other cat the human calls Fatcat who lives with Bug's mummypeople. This one is lovely, or so she says. She's really old though, and has sore bones, so you have to be really careful when you pick her up. I'm glad I'll never get like that.

Alaska was where the human and Bug went looking for shiny gold and visiting Athabascan indians and all sorts of exciting things, but that's for another post. I've had to sacrifice my place on the human's knee so that she can type this, and I'm not happy about it. I'm done posting for now so that I can cuddle again. More tomorrow.

By the way, keep an eye out for Tortureshell Tuesday. I plan to launch it very, very soon.