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Enough with the painting Gesso

White Gesso wearing his new patch of black Gesso

Yup. Regular readers will know what this ones about. The little furry bugger did it again.

This time, he’s opted for black paint not red. Actually he’s chosen more wisely. This time it is acrylic not oil paint. Why the cat has such an obsession with paint, I do not know. All our cats have done it at one point or another but not to the extent of this little guy.

Perhaps when we named him Gesso, after the white chalk-like paint used as a ground in art, we cursed him to forever have a fascination with paint.

So once again tonight, white Gesso met black Gesso and ended up as grey Gesso (after I washed him that is). He’s remarkably tolerant when being washed. I know many a cat who would tear me to shreds. He protests and tonight he bit me once but I escaped with no scratches. Evidently he bore no grudge against me, for about 30 minutes later he came and sat in my lap.

Perhaps we should rename this guy so he stops thinking Gesso is a good thing! Hmm… what would you call him?


Press This Fido

Attention WordPress. You’re on notice. This evening, I uncovered a catastrophe of epic proportions. A catastrophe which must be addressed to maintain balance in the universe.

Readers, I hope you are sitting down. Brace yourself. Here it is.

Dogs have made it to the wordpress tag cloud. Cats have not.

 How could this have been allowed to happen? I’ve just told Saffron. She’s outraged. Well, to be honest she’s sleeping. But if she weren’t sleeping she’d be out in the street burning her bra with Germaine Greer and championing feline rights. (Not at all sure what feminism has to do with felinism but it was the first thing that came to mind).

So ok, here’s my plan. Isobel, Flossie, Animalartist, Oldcat one of us has to get on Freshly Pressed. I want front and centre a blog post protesting canine feline inequality. I want hundreds of proud cat servants tagging their posts appropriately with four little letters (cats), so they can take their right of place next to dogs.

Perhaps wordpress only allows animals with eyebrow muscles to make it to their tag cloud. Well, that’s just unfair. How heartbroken do you imagine Licorice will be when I tell her that it’s down to missing eyebrow muscles that she has to be searched for and cannot simply ‘be clicked’?

Yes, guys, one week into housesitting 4 cats in a one bedroom unit, I’ve lost it a little.

I want the boy to return. When here’s here the cups that I put in the sink magically wash themselves and levitate back into the cupboards. When he’s here, well, I’m there (being home).

Today I ended up wearing a t-shirt with paint on it to work. I apologised to my boss for my appearance. I explained I only packed limited clothes and didn’t check for paint spatters first.

As for the ‘cat farm’, as Andrew is calling this temporary feline storage arrangement, tonight it’s gone a little pear shaped. Well, pickle shaped to be precise. For some reason Pickle wants to chase everyone. Licorice, Saffron and Gesso are all fair game. Neither is the preferred ‘chasee’. He did go into a momentary lull while I was watching television. As soon as I turned out half the lights to go to bed it was ‘game on’. He probably heard me typing about cat inequality and it got him all fired up. Segregation has been re-instated. I’ve taken refuge in the bedroom with Licorice and Saffron. Poor Gesso will just have to outrun him until he decides it’s no fun anymore.

However back to the task at hand. So, do I have your assistance fellow cat lovers? Are you ready to tag? One word – cat plural. I don’t care which kind. Any cats, all cats, as long as they’re cats. Deaf ones, fat ones, old ones, new ones. I want blogs being tagged with cats. They can be three-legged, blind, neurotic or ragdoll happy, I don’t care. Torties, calicos, black, white, tabbies, ginger ninjas and even pink ones; it’s time for cats to take their pride of place in the wordpress tag cloud. If I don’t see a freshly pressed cat by the end of the week, I’ll be upset. C’mon! Your aloof independent cranky masters are depending on you: be the dutiful cat servant and tag your posts now. Together we can build a ‘cats’ tagging army and give those dog lovers a run for their money.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Peaceful

Gesso and Saffron meet

You have got to be kidding me! The weekly photo challenge is ‘Peaceful’. There is not much peaceful about my life right now. I’m houseminding with four cats in a one bedroom unit! Peaceful is not the first word which comes to mind!

Saffron and Licorice have been assigned the bedroom and Gesso and Pickle the living room. Then today, for the first time, Gesso and Saffron met face to face.



Grrr. Hiss. Contempt on Saffron’s face. (Meanwhile Licorice, who was sitting next to Saffron sat as if nothing were going on).


Well perhaps if you were Gesso. At least he could not hear Saffron’s grumbles.

Supervised introduction over, they have been separated once more. I suppose that counts as relative peace.

In a pickle

 There is a woman I sometimes see walking underground through the QVB. She uses two crutches and swings her legs (together) forward to walk. I’m sure when meeting someone with a disability, one of the first thoughts would be regarding the physical exhaustion just to get around each day. Yet sometimes I think the mental tiredness is just as bad. The thoughts and planning never cease. As an able bodied person if I want to go check out an art store – I just do. Worry-wart that I am I tend to get concerned about where I’ll be able to park and how long but other than these things, I can pretty much go to any art store in Sydney I choose. With a physical disability, it’s just not so easy.
Recently 4 and I set out on a mission to acquire a kitten. Before we could go get one, I first rang Cat Protection Society at Enmore to check whether we could get in there with the wheelchair. Fortunately the kittens are on the ground floor and although a tight squeeze, we would fit through the hallway.
Next was a check of the whether forecast. Ala Dustin Hoffman in rain man ‘we don’t go out when it rains’. Well, at least we try not to. The tyres slip, the wheels are wet to push and it’s just generally unpleasant.
Ok, now we can access the builing and it isn’t raining – where are we to park? I used to think that all that was required was a park close to the premises; and often one can find a disabled park. Wrong. I’ve since learned that even some disabled parks are off limits if the gradient of the road is too steep. (By steep I’m not referring to something the slope of the gap here. Even a subtle gradient on the wrong day can be too much).
Next 4 and I spend well over an hour – if not more – discussing which kitten would be best. Unfortunately some animals spook with the chair. I’ll never forget the black swan that decided to stalk Andrew at Centennial park. I guess he saw Andrew as one even bigger black swan. After much consideration, we settled on the kitten we were to name pickle. He seemed a very confident little man and we figured he wouldn’t be afraid of the chair. We were right. He wasn’t frightened of the wheels. He didn’t seem to care whether when in Andrew’s lap he moved across the floor. What a fantastic choice.


Other little things cropped up yet we managed all these. Then pickle started attacking the walking stick and getting under Andrew’s feet when he tried to walk. Uh oh. This is one thing we hadn’t considered. Nothing 4 did seem to deter pickle from getting under Andrew’s feet. After all, he is but a kitten and life is one giant game.

A common way of deterring cats – a quick short sharp spray with a water bottle – was one of my first thoughts. However I’d already tried this to deter pickle from stealing the food on my dinner plate and he was unphased by it. After adjusting the strength of the spray to be a little firmer, pickle did seem to dislike it. Unfortunately what I hadn’t thought of was that this put water on the floor, creating a slip hazard. All our planning seemed to be unravelling.

I think this is one of the most distressing things about a disability. At a fundamental level you think it simply inhibits physical movement. Yet it affects so much more. The more movement is impaired, the more it seems to cut off some of life’s pleasures. The thought Andrew may not be able to keep pickle because he could cause him to trip and fall was heartbreaking. Cats – and pets in general – are such a joy. The offer laughs, companionship, and – at least in my case – someone to talk to. (Licorice, Saffron and I have conversations every day). Andrew has already had to give up on his dream of owning another dog. Cannines are just a little too hard to handle and many do not like the wheelchair at all. To think that Andrew may not be able to have a cat either, just seemed especially cruel.

I’m pleased to say that we have come up with a few options for trying to prevent pickle causing a walking hazard. There is no magic bullet but we have enough ideas for the moment. I’m very thankful to the girls at Cat Protection Society for trying to assist us in finding a solution. So far it seems that pickle isn’t very keen on the orange oil we have dabbed on the end of the walking stick.

Yet just as a disability seems to take away many of life’s pleasures; weirdly, it brings some too. It may sound corny but one comes to appreciate some very simple things indeed. 4 and I spent the early part of Saturday evening watching the sun set over La Perouse. I was fascinated by a man flying a ‘parachute’ like kite and Andrew enjoyed the passing cars – in all shapes and sizes.2011-01-29 Kite Ship and Sun

We both love acquiring fish and chips and sitting watching a view. There is a delight in watching dogs playing in the park. Discussing the array of fashions displayed on a short drive through Enmore and Newtown is a favourite pastime. There are many more however it’s getting very late. (11:20pm and I have to work tomorrow). Below are a couple more pictures from Saturday night at La Perouse.
2011-01-29 Kite Surfer
2011-01-29 Kite Surfer II
2011-01-29 The absent fisherman
2011-01-29 Fishing at Dusk