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The one I couldn’t help


Near work I found a man trying to get a cat off the road. He was successful but she went back on and sat down in the middle of the road. She had a collar on and seemed friendly enough so I picked her up off the road and took her to the footpath. When I lofted her I just felt ribs. She was clearly used to being held. I have her a rub under the chin and checked her collar. No tag on collar but noticed she was infested with fleas. I waited until it looked like she was staying off the road and continued to the shop. On my way back to work she was sitting in the middle of the road again. After much deliberation I decided to go back
to work and get a box and walk her to the vet around the corner to see if she had a microchip. She had a desexing tattoo. Someone has owned her at some point. By the time I came back with the box I couldn’t find her. I just keep telling myself at least she’s no longer on the road.


There’s gravy in my ear

What big ears you have

Safffron & Licorice in a post breakfast snooze

One of these days I’m going to pour gravy down Licorice’s ear. Every morning without fail I supply breakfast. I am a loyal subject and feed my 2 furry masters a generous helping. Despite this routine and commitment, Licorice seems to feel that unless she sticks her head over the bowl with great gusto that the food will not land in it. I know the day is coming when gravy will end up in her ear and I don’t really want to explain that to the vet. Perhaps it is this vigorous activity she has each morning that has helped to reduce her substantial girth. The last time the girls both went to the vets there was much cheering when Licorice tipped the scales at only 6 kilos and Saffron at 5.5!

While the girls have been busy losing weight, I’ve been creating a new art quilt for them to distribute their fur on. The first quilt I made is at Andrew’s place. The second I gave to mum for Christmas (last Christmas that is). This quilt is mine. I designed it inspired by Gustav Klimt paintings. I wanted something which suggested a female form but was not pictorial.

While I dabbled in painting fabric for the first quilt I did, this one has had a more concerted effort. It’s been fun making ‘art’ on fabric and then selecting pieces of it to sew into my quilt , together with store bought fabrics.

Quilt Centrepiece

Above is how it looked last Saturday. I’ve left it with my sewing teacher who is sourcing some woven interfacing to help stiffen the piece before trying to attach to the background. Interfacing or not… I’m expecting there will be a few curse words trying to fit the background into those curves. Still, it will be worth it in the end. A one of kind lap quilt for me to snuggle under… next winter!


Cat reluctant to give up sleeping spot

Did you know that wheelchair cushions have a gel insert designed to cushion your bum? Well, they make a slight well in the cushion, which, the cats tell me, is the perfect sleeping spot. Here is Andrew trying to persuade Pickle to get out of the chair.

Reclaiming wheelchair from the ginger ninja cat

A long time between drinks

IMG_4283Somebody stole February; abducted her in the middle of the night and stashed her in a cupboard somewhere. It must be so. In the blog-sphere, February has been swallowed up; surely it must be foul play.

Since February vanished, mum has once again been called an ‘enigma’, a ‘diagnostic conundrum’ and just plain ‘odd’ by her neurologist.

Since February receded from view, Andrew has managed – after much angst – to secure himself the purpose built disabled unit next door. This means no more text messages advising me that I have to be there at a certain time to retrieve dinner from the oven – it will now be at the right height.

Since February was snatched, Christmas presents were framed and hung (see left) and birthdays went by without cake!

Since February was eaten by a great white, I have been to Melbourne and back, with only an addition of Springsteen’s Thunder Road to add to my iTunes library to show for it.

Since February disappeared, I have lost half an employee to university and half a partner as well.

But worst of all, since February flew by, we had to say goodbye to Pippy. She had a cancer that the vet found he couldn’t remove. That was how February ended. I was in the Melbourne convention centre near the end of a seminar. My phone vibrated and I opened it to find the words I was hoping wouldn’t be there. ‘I’m sorry, she’s gone.’ I so wanted to be with my mum and dad but I was 1000km away. I still had to do a presentation, before getting on a plane home. The next day I was able to be at “the mothership”. Pippy ruled that house. Pippy loafed in every square inch of it when she wasn’t cuddling up to my parents. Pippy adored my parents and they her.

I’ve included a few pics of her below doing what she did best, my favourite being the last one in the greenhouse ‘hammock’ that she made for herself and my dad didn’t dismantle because she loved to sleep there.

Pippy Connor

Pippy cuddle

Pippy Loafing

Pippy Sep 08 5

Pippy hamock


Licorice provides work assistance
My day in pictures.

If you have to work on a weekend then this is the way to do it – with cat cuddles!

At first Licorice she was happy to sit next to me. Then she wanted to sit on me. ‘Surely you have a spare box somewhere?’ Andrew says in response to my text pic.

Actually I do!

Licorice squeezes into box

And would you believe… she fits… sort of… but…

Saffron steals box

Oh dear. Box stolen. Flaw in plan. I don’t have two spare cardboard boxes.


Never mind mum! We will help you paint instead!

Wordless Wednesday With A Weary Gesso


Pickle the budding artist

Pickle cannot let a play opportunity go by regardless of whether it involves paint or not. I tried to capture his pouncing on the brush from behind the canvas but once I got the camera out he wouldn’t perform. That said, I still love this little piece of footage – just the way he watches so intently and his head goes in motion with the brush. (And Andrew, that’s how he got that tiny black paint dot on his nose – from this sniff!)

Cat smothers woman to death

Bondi Beach Ball GameI awoke this morning to find someone had washed the air overnight with smoke. All of Sydney is obscured by the haze as if an artist has taken Payne’s grey with a touch of white and airbrushed the entire city. You can smell the smoke everywhere and taste the heat. The weather forecast says 33 degrees. My poor lime tree was baked on the 39 degree day. I forgot to move him. He now looks like an giant tentacled stick insect. His branches are green but the leaves have curled up and mostly dropped. In the hope he may live, I’ve moved him today out of the light. I’ve shut up the blinds to try to stay cool, creating my own little bunker for the day.

I say I awoke to smell smoke, the fact is, I’m surprised I woke at all. I can see the newspaper headlines now: a woman in Sydney’s Inner West has been found dead in her one bedroom apartment. Sheets were found drawn up over her head and her face was cat scratched. A 7 kilo lump of a cat called Licorice still sat upon the corpse still wailing for breakfast.

Honestly, Dr Google said if you want to stop your cat poking you in the face each morning to wake you up, then simply ignore said cat for several weeks. Do not talk to cat, do not push cat away. If need be, pull sheets over head and protect yourself from those kitty claws.

I am licorice, I am fatI assure you quite a number of weeks have passed. Licorice shows no sign of giving up. In fact the more I ‘bury’ myself under the sheets, the most she tries to uncover me; as if digging for treasure. Her foraging is characterised by persistence tangled with force. This is Licorice we’re talking about – she doesn’t do dainty. To be fair it’s hard to do dainty when you are 7 kilos and 11 years old.

Meanwhile at Chateau de Andrew, the boys are going to bed performing the Lumberjack song each night… whereby Andrew is the log. They seem to manage to stay on top of his hip / back, no matter how he rolls. Letting them in the bedroom at night was not the previous routine but Gesso seems to be enjoying the ‘protection’. Andrew has become the ‘peace’ between the two of them – quite literally with his body acting as a barrier between them in the bed. That said,  all aggressive behaviour from Pickle is completely gone; replaced with an over-enthusiastic sense of play. At first it was a very shaky truce. Gesso remained terrified of the playful ginger ninja. However, things appear to be on the up. I was delighted the other day to hear a report of Pickle chasing Gesso down the hall, only for Gesso to chase him right back. Only time will tell how these two fare. Pickle is almost 3 years old now… surely he has to slow down soon?


The cat hotel: 5 star luxury

Recently I’ve heard of not one, but two people getting married where their parents have refused to come to the wedding. Now there may be some people who are so estranged from their parents that ma and pa aren’t even invited. Here this was not the case. It usually takes hearing something like this to make me reflect on how good my parents are to me. I am indeed very fortunate however the praise shall stop there. If you imagine that like sun screen protection factors, there was a public praise factor, then my parents would be about an SPF 3. My parents would be far more comfortable with me airing their faults to the world.

My mother’s fault, I think I have commented upon before. She truly believes that machines are untrustworthy beasts who have a personal vendetta against her. Even toasters! (I’m sure I once wrote a blog post about her favourite INEFFECTIVE toaster but I cannot find it). To be fair to my mum, she does seem to have an unusually temperamental relationship with mechanical objects. Recently she blew up the oven (I want to know what she was REALLY cooking in there). The other day it was the vacuum cleaner’s turn.

My father on the other hand, is not a technophobe – he’s a “close-a-phobe”. Dad has a habit of leaving open cupboard doors, not shutting down the computer, leaving the radio on… and all of this drives my mother batty! I have to smile at this. If I should ever get to be with one person for 41 years of my life and the thing that irritates me most is that they haven’t logged off the computer, then I will call myself very fortunate indeed. Oh actually, I forgot something… dad invariably likes to unpack his orchids in the house. You may not think this is a great problem until you come to appreciate that these ‘little babies’ are usually packed with shredded newspaper… and some of them fall out of their pots en route. This leaves a trail of bark and paper whenever they have been which results in my mother having to interact with the untrustworthy beast that is the vacuum cleaner – or a broom – I don’t think the latter have a vendetta against my mum… or do they?

UpstagedMy parents also run the cat hotel. It’s 5 star accommodation for your most treasured feline companions. My girls have stayed there, as has Pickle and Gesso. My brothers boys – Tilly and Willow – have also called it home at times, and last, but not least, my grandmother’s cat Tiggy.

Best of all, the usual residents (see left for Poirot and Pippy) are reasonably tolerant of the house guests.

It was also Chilli’s home for most of her life. There she was pampered and spoilt and fed on demand as part of her anti-vomit feeding regime. She even got to sit on the kitchen bench as illustrated below – and mum or dad have given her a mat to sit on. If that’s not 5 star luxury I don’t know what is!

So when the daily post put the theme as what luxury could you not live without, the answer was clear – my public praise factor 3, technophobe, bark dropping parents. I am indeed a lucky girl.
Spoilt at the fat farm

Pickle and the aerial cat toy

Finding cat toys that your kitty won’t leave on the floor when they are done can be a challenge. (Abandoned toys + physically disabled person = tripping hazard).

The toy in this video come come with a clip to attach them to the top of a door or other high surface are fantastic. (Same principle as pole toy but you don’t have to hold the end). But last time we had one is died quickly. I now realise why. Pickle chews the elastic rather than the mouse!