Friday 25 November 2011

The Mouse Therapist

We were still at an impasse over the "going out" thing. Mornings were ok, even if it was dark; but evenings? Nope! He would cross his legs until about 5 a.m. This is when I trip up over him as I'm stumbling to the bathroom and he's been standing guard outside my bedroom door for the past five hours. Conversation as follows:

Austin: Me-ouch!
Me: Why do you always place yourself where I'm going to tread?
Austin: Thought you would see me!
Me: Well I didn't!
Austin: You should have known I was here.
Me: Why should I?
Austin: I want to go out.
Me: Well you can't.
Austin: Why not?
Me: Because you can't! And anyway you should have gone last night!
Austin: You're going now!
Me: Use your litter tray.
Austin: Prefer outside privvy.
: Well I don't, so budge off!

He looks at me as if I'm Cruella DeVil but without the compassion! We need a plan B. So ……

…..later on that day when it gets dark, enter…...
…..Martin the Mouse Therapist
It was love at first sight….
"I love you sooooo much"

"Let's play death-watch-mousie"

"I watch you with my evil eye and you die, kay?"

But Martin had a little secret that Austin didn't know. His nose had strange powers. It lit up powerful red and beamed and darted all across the floor.

This drove Austin crazynuts so he chased it all around and up and down. 
All over the living room, up and down, up and down. 
He chased down the stairs, down and down. 
Along the hall, up and down, up and down.
He raced from the bedroom all the way along to the front door, up and down, up and down, up and down ….. and …….. open the door and …… outside!!!  
Close the door. 
"See you later Austin"!
Game set and match to Martin I think …. except Martin has now stopped beaming and darting!  But Austin is back to his old self and can't see what all the fuss was about!!

Wednesday 16 November 2011

It's a bit galling when ........

....... your all-in-one printer/scanner/copier has more of a social life than you do!

It is so state of the art that it comes with its own email address and games console! It gets messages in the night and downloads apps. I can't be sure, but I think it might be GPS enabled and spying for the KGB!

It's so independent that I reckon it's out surfing the interwebs, networking with all the other "all-in-ones" and plotting to take over the world on Facebook!

I'm terrified of it! It seems to turn itself on and off willy-nilly and plays a merry little tune before it coughs, heaves a little sigh and goes quiet. Then just when I think it's safe it decides I should play a game of Sudoku when actually what I really want to do is sort out the scanner settings!

It is also wifi enabled so there is no plug involved. I could be in another room minding my own business on the iPad, accidentally fumble and rest my thumb on "print" and end up with the complete works of Shakespeare on single sided A4 white, when all I wanted was to download the latest freebie from Amazon. And what the wingdings is a proxy port?

It copies, sorts photos, scans, sings, dances and does impressions. The one thing it doesn't do is print what I want!

Sunday 13 November 2011

An Extraordinary Book!

Book Review - The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey, A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary

I am delighted to have the opportunity to review this book now Austin has given it his very positive considered opinion; here are my thoughts.

To handle it's a lovely weighty tome even though it has a soft cover and visually it is stunning. This is because each glossy page is a well thought out piece of art combining narrative, graphics and photos (the latter beautifully taken and produced by Deb's fiancé, Dan Power). The attention to detail shows this is a labour of love. Also it is funny!

What is it about? At the centre of the story is the love affair (no, it really is!) between Zee, a characterful and lovable Maine Coon (being a Brit I had to look that up in Wiki) and Zoey a beautiful strong willed, but tiny, Bengal. Because of the subject matter I thought it might be a bit twee, but to my delight it is anything but!  The story takes off when the kitty liaison accidentally produces four kittens after Deb misses the narrow window of opportunity to get the cats "seen to"!  When she starts sending weekly kitten update emails to friends and family, there gradually forms a germ of an idea for a book.

Deb's own life events are interwoven into the story of Zee, Zoey and the kittens; her ups and downs, joys and sorrows; family, other pets, both past and present are all part of the patchwork of her life and are included in the narrative which adds depth and perspective.  

One major event is when both Deb and Dan are made redundant on the same day! The emotional and economic turmoil that inevitably follows and the way they deal with it shows great resilience and determination to overcome. The cats (and especially the growing kittens) are an intricate part of this process.  Deb has gained a great deal from interacting with her menagerie and her observations are insightful and humorous. She shows how our kitties can turn the ordinary life events into extraordinary experiences and how, seen through their eyes, we can embrace the simple and uncomplicated to enrich our lives.

When you come across a beautifully produced book like this, you might be forgiven for thinking that it's all about the pictures, and the words are somehow inferior or of secondary importance; but in this book both are of equal value. The writing is stand out and can stand alone, but to have both the stunning photos and the warm and amusing narrative is ... well, it's a two-for-one offer you can't refuse. It is unique!

Some random things I have gleaned from my reading of the book:
Cats don't care if you like them on facebook! 
Deb's gynaecologist thinks she is a certifiable nutter! 
Cats can switch on the tv and watch Jeopardy!
Fleas can be hilarious, but only when they have a death wish! 
Both Deb and Dan are allergic to their cats!
Oh and there is a brilliant chapter on Cattisms and Cattitudes. All cat owners will relate and laugh!

I could say a lot more, but hope this has whetted your appetite to want to check it out for yourself. It would make a terrific Christmas present. ..  just saying!

This is the first book by Deborah Barnes and I hope it won't be her last!
I suspect that all readers of my blog will enjoy it, whether they are cat people, dog people or people people!

You can reach Deborah and see plenty more of all the beautiful cats on the wonderful Zee & Zoey website. Check it out. You won't be disappointed :-)

Thursday 10 November 2011

Is it possible ........

........ I'm the only person in history who has had to resort to calling their cat OUT at night?

Nope! Didn't quite make it this time. But each day a little further. The problem is, he really wants to go out, he always used to go out, but now he finds he can't go out after dark and it's driving him crazy! His routine is shot!

Poor little guy! Ever since the bombing fireworks incident at the weekend he's been trembling in his little furry boots. So now he either waits until about 5 in the morning (when danger is no longer imminent and we're all fast asleep!) or I have to go out with him and watch his back. It's getting a bit wearisome trailing around after him like some lackey and I'm not sure the neighbours fully understand why I feel the need to poke around in the bushes at night! Consequently there's been some curtain twitching and I'm anticipating a visit from the local constabulary at some juncture!

Anyway, Austin is now officially in therapy and needs lots of support and TLC.

Tuesday 8 November 2011

The Great Escape!

I think the whole world knows by now that Austin was missing for 13 hours this week!

Talk about overreacting! I was beside myself - which is actually very difficult to do in reality.  It all happened like this: Sitting comfortably?

For the benefit of non UK readers of this blog, I'd better explain the tradition of Guy Fawkes Night. Way back in 1605 some Catholic malcontents who were fed up with the Protestant King James I, decided to blow up Parliament in this thing called "The Gunpowder Plot".  You can read about it in Wiki, but that's about the crux of it.  Oh except they failed and were caught! Guy Fawkes was one of them and because he had the right name, it was decided that henceforth there would be celebrations in the form of fireworks and the ritual burning of an effigy on Guy Fawkes night. Spooky isn't it! You would think that Mr and Mrs Fawkes when coming to name their precious child, would twig that he might get up to no good at a later date! 

Anyway, being the peace loving, forgiving nation that we are, we have of course celebrated this avidly, religiously and with great gusto every year since, on November 5th.

However, the lame brain element within British society do seem to have a problem with dates i.e. successfully managing to organise a conflagration on a specific day is beyond them. This year November 5th came and went and November 6th arrived when one would think it was safe to let the cat out in the evening .... Well? No! Actually! Both Austin and I forgot. He went out at about 4.30 pm and before it got dark just before 5, all hell was let loose in a neighbour's garden. So much so that I, who had actually been in a war zone, thought we were being bombed! Of course, Austin, not being up on his history and politics, also thought we were being bombed and decided this was his opportunity to make a run for it. 

This was a rather silly thing to do, as the temperature that night went below freezing and even though he has a nice thick fur coat, I haven't, so it got a bit drafty trailing up and down the road in my winceyette clutching a flickering torch shouting "Here boy! Austin! Poo!". If nothing else the dog walkers and drunks passing by were highly amused!

To cut a long story shorter, he finally appeared the following morning at 6 with his fur all ruffed and a stary look in his eyes. Since then he's been doing his loaf impression a lot!

His bid for freedom was unwise, even if he does feel he was driven to it. It's cold out there! 

Austin's educational timetable now includes a couple of hours a week studying British history. Oh, and we've also agreed that he will no longer go outside at all between the months of October and December, just to be on the safe side!

Friday 4 November 2011

Austin is brought to book!

 This book is really good!

I'm now going to flick the page over? ....

 .. ok so I'm not actually reading the words ....... 

....... I have 'diss leck see ya'!

Austin's input notwithstanding, coming soon to a blog near you: a review of the debut book by Deborah Barnes "The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey - A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary

Check out the video here

Pssst! Don't tell anyone, but it's brill and triff!