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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.


Licorice and Saffron meet the Catnip Carrot

‘I’m looking for a toy to wear Pickle out,’ I said.

Dedicated Cat Protection Staff Member recommends a Catnip Carrot. She promises me that this toy never fails. I order one. I wait. I brought it home and this is the reaction. (For those of you who find it hard to tell my girls apart – I can’t think of why?! – Saffron is first to check out the carrot).

What can I say? At 11 Licorice can still beat the crap out of a catnip carrot. Good call Bronwyn. Excellent advice as always. Let’s hope Pickle likes his just as much.

Saffron’s Product Review


Sticky paws – sticky strips you put where they scratch to stop them scratching.

Some cats meow when they want your attention. Saffron has an alternate method, namely scratching at things – particularly hard surfaces or paper.

My couch is perfectly in tact. She doesn’t arch her back and claw the couch – she is a good girl and saves that for the scratching post. However reasons only she will understand, she loves to jump up on the cupboard and at 5:30 in the morning and ‘scratch’ the cupboard top.

Meanwhile, Licorice deploys the more traditional method of waking owners. Each morning, about half an hour before the Saffron scratching begins, Licorice starts the paw in face – walk across pillow – swing your owner and dosey do. But back to my little scratching friend.

So a while ago, I thought – I’ll outsmart you Saff. I acquired some ‘Sticky Paws’ from Cat Protection. Basically long strips of sticky stuff which you can apply to the area they tend to scratch.

I covered 75% of my cupboard top with these strips – all running at an angle.

It worked.

She stopped scratching the cupboard top…

…and just moved her attention elsewhere!

Again any hard surface, or paper, is the item of choice. I have to show you this morning’s effort.


Your sticky strips may deter cats but it seems your packaging does not!

I didn’t actually realise I still had the packaging. It’s been months since I bought the sticky strips. But Saffron ‘uncovered’ the packaging from somewhere and proceeded to chew bites off the paper (and spit them out) until I found myself well and truly awake!

Whenever this happens, I try very hard NOT to get up at that moment. I don’t want to reinforce her victory. So I set the alarm for a few minutes time and force myself to put up with her destructive behaviour until the alarm goes off. Then I get up to the alarm as if it had nothing to do with her. I do wonder sometimes whether she thinks her scratching makes the alarm go off…????

Sometimes I wonder whether I should coat my lap in ‘sticky strips’ when I actually want my lap for myself.

I had no sooner booted up the computer to write this post about Saffy’s morning antics, when both of them, leapt into my lap where my laptop was about to go.

Typing over the top of cats, can be a challenge!

It seems that laps are for cats and not laptops. At present, we have reached a compromise situation which looks a little like this…

Lap is for cats, not laptops

That is Saffron on about 2/3rd of my lap and my laptop perched on the remaining knee. It makes for rocky and uncomfortable typing so this blog post is about to end (and Saff will be victorious).

Actually this is reallly about to end because Licorice has weeviled her way between me and the keyboard and I am now typing over the top of her.

And Saffron is snoring…

If she’d bloody slept past 5:30am, she wouldn’t need a nap now!

Is that a cat in your luggage?

‘You have to turn your phone off, so you don’t get international roaming fees.’ says Andrew.

‘Well, what am I to use for an alarm clock then? Without my phone and Licorice, I’d be lost!’

Hmm… Licorice in the luggage.The first challenge there would be whether she would fit. Licorice has a wider than average girth. That said, she is a cat. If any creature can fit itself into a space that is too small for it’s body, a cat can! Challenge one dismissed.

The second challenge would be convincing her it was a good idea.

Second challenge dispelled. The girls have ‘packed’ themselves.

Suitcase? What suitcase.

Suitcase? What suitcase.

Third challenge? Customs.

‘Miss, you appear to have some organic matter in your luggage?’

Hmm… cat alarm clock plan fail. Ah, but it would have made a good story for Border Security!

Little Chilli


Today it was time to say goodbye to Chilli who has been in our family for almost 13 years.

She’s had a number of health problems over the past few months and this morning at about 7am she took a turn for the worse and we knew it was time.

Typical chilli – whenever she had a bad turn it was rarely during business hours. Mum and I sat with her waiting until it was near 10 when the vet opened.

With so much trouble breathing, the kindest thing to do was to put her to sleep. She drifted away very peacefully.

We took her home and put her near the rose mum and dad just planted for their 40th wedding anniversary.

Chilli loved to have conversations with mum, dad and I. She was a great talker, good at rolling and having a little tummy rub and watching the world cautiously from a distance. She will be missed.

Inspecting belly button lint

Monday is a day I dread. Not Monday per se. Just this Monday. It is periodic inspection day. I hate rental inspections. It’s not that I have anything to hide; there are no stains on the carpet, or chunks missing from walls or broken appliances. It’s that a stranger comes, walks around my home and then looks down on me. Last time it was that I hadn’t cleaned the track on my sliding doors. The time before that it was that the top of my kitchen cupboards were dusty. I’m surprised that they haven’t said I’ve deposited too much belly button lint in the shower recess.

And to avoid these comments, which really seem inevitable as they always find SOMETHING to complain about, I run around for several days beforehand madly cleaning. It does not make for a relaxing weekend. The much hated rental inspection is one of the reasons I dream of owning my own place one day; or at least paying a bank a ridiculously large sum of money for it over decades of my life. Wouldn’t it be lovely if no one sneered at my dust every six months? If I could put those wave style cat beds in the walls for the girls to lounge in as they see fit? If I could hang my pictures with something more secure than a sticky hook or blutac?
Chilly cat

At least this time, the girls will be spared inspection. They are staying at Andrew’s place until Monday afternoon. I’m letting him enjoy the experience of 4 cats in a small space for a while. I’m hoping that he will no longer tell me that he’d love a black cat to go with the white cat and the ginger cat, as he will realise more than two is chaos. At any rate, his one cat of each colour just won’t cut it as I think there are at least 6 ‘colours’ of cat. Moggy cats that is. I’m not talking your fancy schmancy cats. Just the garden variety. It must be at least 6: Black, White, Ginger, Grey, Tabby and, the magnificent, tortoise shells. (I’m not at all biased). I’ve been carefully doing a stocktake of cats in my life. I think there have been:

  • 2 gingers
  • 1 tabby
  • 2 black
  • 1 black & white
  • 1 grey & white
  • 1 deaf and white
  • 1 calico
  • 4 torties – 1 grey tortie; 1 tortie plus white (chilli pictured) and 2 dark torties

Mum, what was streisand? (Besides a cat with a bad nose) Anyway, the purpose behind this cat stocktake is I’ve started to wonder whether ginger ninjas aren’t the most social of cats? I was about to say that I’ve never had a ginger cat before Pickle but then I realised, there was another (not called Skywalker). Yet I have no memory of the other ginger. Mum and Dad got him with the house. Buy a house, get a cat.

Hmm… I wonder if I ever manage to own a place – and avoid inspections – whether I too will get a property complete with bonus cat? I hope not. If I did that, I’d have to let Andrew have a black one. My mantra at the moment is 2 ‘children’ each!

If this post wasn’t incoherent enough, I have one last tangent. Why is the tagging helper suggesting I add “race and ethnicity in the United States census”?

a) I’m not in the United states

b) I said I was doing a stocktake; not a census

c) I’m not sure cat colours qualify as race or ethnicity

d) yes, I’m avoiding writing that blog post with 42 words in it. Combobulate has me stumped. Not to mention anthropomorphism.

What say you?

The scoreboard

Don’t adjust your screens… it is almost the same photograph as a couple of entries ago – she’s just turned around! She’s exhausted from all the energy that she has been using up trying to avoid taking her calming tablets.

My experience with chill is almost like one of those classic pet owner / tablet comedy sketches.

Buried in cheese… what is that mum? Some strange yellow thing I’m not touching.

Crushed up in cream. Two licks. Nice try mum but I ain’t drinking that.

Buried in one small piece of chicken. Said piece of chicken devoured around the edges and tiny piece with tablet left in it… well, left!

So after all that I resorted to the traditional method of pushing the tablet in her mouth and rubbing under her chin to get her to swallow. This won me 3 victories, although not without the tablet being spat out at least once. It also handed victory to chill who after three times of spitting it out left me with a slimy tablet that I had not the slightest inclination to try to push into her mouth a third time. Her second victory was far less dramatic… she simply pretended to swallow and when I let go she spat it out in disgust.

I advised my mother of the 3 to 2 scoreboard. She had one final suggestion – put a bit of butter around the tablet and maybe when I put that in her mouth she would suck the butter because it tasted good and swallow.

No prizes for guessing… she sucked the butter – every last bit of the butter – and then spat out the tablet. So I took a deep breath, picked up the tablet and had another go.

The score now stands at 4 to 2 my way!