Posts tagged with "cats"
Friday, February 2, 2007 10:24:33 AM
OK, time for a Cat Update.
Bembo and Bodoni went to the vet for their booster injection yesterday. £101.50, it cost. That’s damn near $200. Yikes! No wonder London is the world’s most expensive city. We’d register them in Harlech but the vet is only open twice a week for 15 minutes at a time. Good with sheep, though.
Anyway, these guys are supposed to be brothers. Brothers my foot. They are totally different in looks, character, size and temperament. The only thing they have in common with most brothers is that they hate each other and fight at every opportunity. But they were sold to us by the Cat’s Protection League as Domestic Long Hair twins. Bembo has short hair, incidentally.
They’re now about 14 months old. They are treated identically. Bembo weighs 3.2 kilos, while Bodoni — weight for it — hauls around 5.3 kilos. In real weight, that’s 11lb 11oz. That’s a BIG cat. If you know anything about fonts, we’re thinking of changing his name to Thorowgood. Or Falstaff. Bembo sustains his svelte, trim shape at 7lb 1oz.
Bodoni simply eats everything he can lay his mouth on, and when he’s finished his he attempts to nick Bembo’s food, then Padi’s (we’re usually on hand to prevent him) until he resorts to squeezing through the cat flap (just) to go marauding among the neighbour’s cat dishes. There is no hope for him.
Dog update: Padi the Golden Retriever is still with us but everything is slowly failing. He’s deaf, sporadically incontinent (we find the occasional barker’s egg on the floor) and his back legs are very wobbly. He is 14 years, 10 months and 16 days old. Appetite and love undiminished.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006 4:28:34 PM
Regular readers may have noticed a certain lack of gruntle over the past few weeks. Frankly, since I became a senior citizen, virtually everything that’s important and unimportant to me has either gone to pot or suffered a heavy blow.
Apart from the death of my friend Tom, no major disaster has happened. It is simply an accumulation of tiny wrongs and disappointments, one following so closely after the other that they have coalesced into one quaking whole. Death by a thousand cuts suddenly makes sense.
I thought it couldn’t get any worse until I went down to feed the catlets and old Padi on Friday morning. I rang the cowbell to summon them in from the garden and in came deaf old Padi, in bounded Bembo, but there was no sign of Bodoni.
In fact, we hadn’t seen him since bedtime the night before. He had stayed out in the garden. The breakfast no-show was so totally out of character — he would ring the dinner bell himself if he could — that there was no time to worry; I started to panic straight away.
I ran off MISSING TABBY CAT leaflets and papered the neighbourhood, every house on the block, every tree on the avenue. I spoke to neighbours (I’m in London at the moment) and wrote personal notes to the owners of the particular gardens I knew he frequented.
By Friday evening I was reduced to standing at the window staring at the end of the garden, hoping against hope. Saturday was spent in silence. We went shopping for food, and rushed back in to see if the ‘phone had rung.
By Sunday morning I knew he was dead. Nothing else would have prevented him turning up at meal times. We were going to a party at Iain & Gill’s house in Putney Heath. I decided to walk. It was 12 miles away, and it took me 3 hours 10 minutes. I’d have done it in 2’50” if I hadn’t stopped for a drink with Snowdon. Every step of the way I thought of Bodoni.
Monday passed in misery. Bembo was unnaturally affectionate. “We just have to come to terms with it,” I offered. Silence.
At 02:15 this morning I was woken by a frantically purring, bedraggled and slug-infested longhaired tabby cat butting me in the head. I thought it was a dream, a cruel, unfair dream. But Yvonne was having the same dream and the expression of joy on her face was reality enough. I went and made a cup of tea. I prepared some cat food and a saucer of milk which Bembo polished off while Bodoni redoubled his purring practice.
Where had he been? We haven’t a clue. We will never know. He was in good shape, apart from the slugs. He wasn’t wounded. He was eventually hungry, but then he always is.
He was still here in the morning, not that we slept. It wasn’t a dream. He’s back. Oh joy.
There’s always hope.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006 9:15:34 PM
I haven't mentioned fotoLibra in quite a while because I've been obsessing about my incredible age. Although I still put in the usual 16 hour day I also find myself surreptitiously trawling the internet for second-hand Stannah stairlifts, planning for the day when I won't be able to reach the office unaided.
Nevertheless I noticed we've had 480 pictures uploaded in the past hour.
This week I've had another distraction. I mentioned that the gannets ate me out of house and home on Sunday; well they were ably abetted by my tabby catlet Bodoni. He was even seen eating a burst balloon.
On Monday he was looking disconsolate and pulling himself around the garden on his rump. He was clearly in some discomfort. I remembered the balloon, and suddenly started to panic. I've read horror stories about twisted intestines.
The next morning he was off his food (incredible) so that was it -- off to the vet. They wanted to give him an X-ray, a saline drip, keep him in overnight. Anything, I blathered, just save my kitten.
This morning he got the all clear. It was only diarrhea, probably caused by eating burgers with yellow chili sauce. I went to pick him up with huge relief. "Nothing serious," smiled the vet after a long chat about how sweet he was. "Phew!" I sighed. "That'll be £350," smiled the receptionist. I roared with laughter, then noticed they were looking at each other quizzically.
They weren't joking. It cost £350 / €512 / $640.
The cat itself only cost £60 when it was new. I got back to the car to find a "parking attendant" placing a parking ticket on it - 6 minutes over time in a 20 minute parking bay.
Not the best day. We're going to have to sell a lot more pictures.
Sunday, June 11, 2006 5:00:54 PM
I found a hair curler on the bedroom floor on Friday. It wasn't Yvonne's, and it certainly wasn't mine.
Yesterday I found a rolled up ball of Bacofoil, about the size of a ping-pong ball, in the hall.
Today I solved the mystery. Bembo, the little black catlet, was carefully climbing over the fence from next door with another Bacofoil ping-pong ball in his mouth.
I have to face up the the reality that the kitten I nurtured has become a thief. He goes into the flats next door and misappropriates items that he considers are of value.
Yvonne has sent off for a diamond chart from De Beers, and I foresee long nights of cat training ahead.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006 3:04:42 PM
We had a break-in last night. He got through the cat flap, which was locked. It's one of those snazzy ones with a four way lock: fully open, in only, out only or fully locked. When the postman can't get stuff through the letterbox he jams it through the cat flap, whether it's locked or unlocked.
So it's a bit tired, and doesn't put up a lot of resistance to the dedicated attacker, which is what we got early this morning.
I was woken at 4.45 by Bodoni (fat tabby catlet) sitting on my chest and staring at the bedroom door. Something had clearly spooked him, so I woke Yvonne and told her to go and find out what was happening. First report back was a turd on the landing carpet. Second report back was that Bembo (small black catlet) was missing. Third report back was there was an alien cat in the house.
I went down and made a cup of tea. I could see the alien black cat by the dawn's early light, crouching malevolently by the oil tank. Bembo reappeared, covered in cobwebs from some very safe hidey-hole.
Back to bed. No sleep. Noises downstairs. Up again. Alien black cat back inside. Lock it (with me) in kitchen. ABC tries to hurl himself through window. Nearly succeeds. Open back door and ABC rockets out, collides with elderly Padi coming back in. Padi unfazed by any cat antics.
The cats are both freaked. They have never had their territory invaded before. And Bodoni is unusually quiet; in fact, he's dribbling and he's reluctant to open his eyes. I think he's been beaten up, though there are no visible signs of injury. Bembo is fine but extremely nervous. He's more intelligent than Bodoni, and gets out of the way of danger.
They're going to London tonight. It's not a journey that Bodoni needs, or that I want to take. But he's a tough little fellow, and I'm sure he'll be fine.
Saturday, April 8, 2006 2:11:24 PM
It happened on Wednesday. We have two little tom kittens — no, hold on a sec, two beefy catlets, coming up to six months old — and part of the deal with the Cat’s Protection League where we got them is that the poor little buggers get their goolies lopped off at that time.
Bembo is a black shorthaired mog with a grey tail. Bodoni is a bacon-and-egg tabby. They are named after fonts. Collectively they are referred to as The Spawn Of The Devil, because that’s how they behave.
They are strong, fast and evil. No material in the building is safe from them.
Bembo is shrewd and streetwise, Bodoni is beautiful and thick. He hasn’t figured out how to use the cat flap yet.
I had to catch them, stuff them into the (largish) cat basket and cart them off to their date with destiny.
I wasn’t looking forward to it. The cats would never speak to me again, there’d be the continual yowling of kittens in recovery and life would be generally miserable.
In the event they emerged utterly untroubled by the whole procedure. They went in at 08:30 and I picked them up at 15:30, after I was relieved of £78.80 / €112.35 / $137.88.
I’ve just seen a J-cloth attached to a small black cat flying past the doorway. And Bodoni has nicked Timothy the Tortoise’s first slice of cucumber of the year from under his nose. The Spawn Of The Devil are back, exactly as before.
Next time it'll be two bricks and a careful aim. It only hurts if you get your thumbs in the way.