HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Archive for September, 2009

A slumbering Rolo

Posted by HelenEdith on September 26, 2009

Rolo asleep on the sofa

Rolo asleep on the sofa

Rolo asleep on the sofa with a grin on his face

Rolo asleep on the sofa with a grin on his face

Rolo asleep on the sofa

Rolo asleep on the sofa

Rolo in repose can be very cute. He curled up on a cushion on the sofa, partially obscured by a large envelope, and the parts of him that remained exposed exhibited a very large cuteness factor.

I think the top picture is the cutest, but I do like the grin on his face in the second picture, and who could resist the little pink pads on his paws in the third picture! 😎

The fleck of hot pink on his coat is not a fault with the camera. I was just about to take the Rocket Blower to my sensor when I realised the pink dot was only appearing on pictures of Rolo, so I investigated him a little more closely and found a very small piece of a hot pink feather boa on his coat. 😀 He obviously doesn’t know that boys aren’t supposed to like pink… 😆

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Rolo, our “little lion”

Posted by HelenEdith on September 26, 2009

Rolo, our 'little lion'

Rolo, our 'little lion'

Rolo is a fun kitten. He just relaxes into you, purrs continuously, and loves having his tummy rubbed. You can do this without getting scratched and he just looks ecstatic.

When he sits up and looks, he’s got a definite “lion” look about him. I’m not sure that I’ve quite captured it here. It’s undoubtedly something to do with his colouring, though.

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Such clear-eyed innocence!

Posted by HelenEdith on September 25, 2009

'Mr Innocent' Monty

'Mr Innocent' Monty

Monty can wear the most innocent of expressions, but I have my suspicions that he was the first one up the towels and onto the bathroom windowsill today. The first I knew of it was when I heard the thump all the way downstairs in my study as some of the items previously stored on the said bathroom windowsill started to occupy a new position on the bathroom floor.

I took exception to the towels being among the items now residing on the bathroom floor, and decided to exclude the kittens until we’ve had a good tidy-up, because now they can get on the towel rail and the windowsill, they can also get on the vanity, and I hate to think what chaos they can wreak on there! 😉

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Spotted Dick back on council menu

Posted by HelenEdith on September 23, 2009

The council received abusive letters after renaming the pudding

The council received abusive letters after renaming the pudding

I just saw this on the BBC News Website: Spotted Dick back on council menu

It gave me quite a laugh! 😆

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Rolo and Monty are becoming distinct personalities

Posted by HelenEdith on September 21, 2009

Rolo and Monty on the sofa

Rolo and Monty on the sofa

Rolo and Monty like curling up together, and they have taken a liking to “Mum”‘s place on the sofa. 🙂 It isn’t unusual to see one kitten almost on top of the other, as in these pictures, where Monty is the kitten on top. Monty will also do this if Rolo is on my lap and Monty wants the spot. He doesn’t do anything drastic: just sits on Rolo until he moves a bit and then gradually takes over the lap position until he’s in his favourite position along the channel created by my thighs. This is a position which is safer when I am wearing a skirt: if I go to sleep on the sofa with Monty in this position and my legs flop apart when wearing trousers, Monty is apt to get deposited onto the floor!

Rolo and Monty on the sofa

Rolo and Monty on the sofa

Monty is still the silent kitten. He can make himself heard if he wishes to, but generally he doesn’t wish to very often unless he strongly disagrees with something, like the day when he had something unspeakable on his back paw and I decided to wash it off for him! He had plenty to say about that – and also has a great deal to be said about being confined to the cat carrier.

However, it’s Rolo who has the more frequently used vocabulary. He’s been doing a purry chirp almost ever since he came to live here. It seems to be a call to Monty. Occasionally Monty makes the same noise, but it’s usually Rolo.

Rolo has also perfected the tiny and pitiful meow. This has to be loud enough to be heard, but soft enough to give the impression that he’s small and defenceless and probably neglected! I’m occasionally the recipient, but Stephen has been getting it when he shuts himself in the back bedroom where his computer is. Rolo and Monty are not allowed in there as there are things in there which they could damage, and they therefore badly want to get in there. They know Stephen is in there and Rolo turns on the little mews until Stephen can stand it no longer and emerges to see what’s the matter with Rolo. 🙂

Monty is the smart kitten. As well as knowing how to make Rolo move over for him without Rolo realising that he’s doing it, Monty is the one that understands the finer points of litter tray etiquette and how you need to turn around to where your bum was before starting to cover up. Rolo still hasn’t quite got the idea of that! Peeuuuw!

When it comes to food, Rolo prefers moist food, although he will have a bit of dry food. Monty is getting through a lot of dry food, and sometimes walks away when offered moist food. One of them drops IAMS in the water dish, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s Rolo. He’s the one that picks his food up to eat it outside of his feed bowl. It’s odd that it’s mostly IAMS that ends up in the water dish. Maybe its 4-pointed star shape is harder to manage than the shapes of some of the other dry foods. I’ve stopped offering IAMS for the moment. I don’t need to, as there are plenty of other choices available – and many of them are in this house, as our pussycats seem to be getting nothing but the best. They are dining on a choice of Hills Science Plan, James Wellbeloved, Royal Canin and Purina One. Today, they had cleaned up practically all that was down for them – and it was a not inconsiderable amount. Their capacity is definitely expanding!

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Busy Weekend

Posted by HelenEdith on September 21, 2009

Garden of Remembrance, Biggin Hill RAF Chapel

Garden of Remembrance, Biggin Hill RAF Chapel

The weekend just gone was London Open House Weekend. I had lots of plans, including some of the places with connections to Napoleon III, who lived in Chislehurst, but in the event, my plans were bigger than my capacity for carrying them out.

On Saturday, we visited the Oakley Hotel for Cats, where Rolo and Monty will be taking a holiday while we are taking a holiday in Wales. We wanted to have a look at where they will be staying. It comes very well recommended and they look after the cats very well there. I think that Rolo and Monty will prefer it when they get back home, though – although one never knows: they might enjoy the chance to socialise with other cats!

Then I delivered Stephen to the Harris HospisCare shop in Biggin Hil and I went to the pet shop in Biggin Hill for some dry kitten food. I stopped off in the library as well and selected some library books. I still haven’t finished reading the Michael Jecks book I bought at Polhill. It’s a hardcover book with a pristine dust jacket and I don’t dare chuck it in my backpack or it won’t stay pristine. So I really need some reading matter for the train.

I then decided to visit the RAF Chapel of Remembrance. It is a participant in London Open House, but it turns out that you can visit at any time. Anyway, I was going right by, so I turned in and found it to be very interesting. The picture at the beginning of this entry was taken in the Garden of Remembrance, where there is a rose garden planted completely with one variety of yellow roses. There is also a huge wisteria there. I will have to make a return visit in the spring, when that will be absolutely gorgeous.

Altar and honour rolls, Biggin Hill RAF Chapel of Remembrance

Altar and honour rolls, Biggin Hill RAF Chapel of Remembrance

Having strolled around the garden, I went inside, where the caretaker had no objection to me setting up my tripod, although he did tell me to take care of the floor. I ensured that the soft feet on my tripod legs were screwed down! There was lots of interest in the chapel and I will make a return visit at some time – possibly when the wisteria is out in the Garden of Remembrance – as I didn’t photography nearly everything of interest.

As you might expect, the predominant colour scheme was red, white, and Airforce blue. There was also a lot of Spitfire and Hurricane symbolry to be seen. The caretaker told me that the large candles on the altar were a gift from Australia. There is also a memorial to American airmen who volunteered to fight in the RAF before America entered WWII.

The stained glass in the main chapel is themed, with windows of matching colours on opposite sides of the chapel. I only photographed one of these windows, but may return to photograph some more.

There is an area to the rear of the chapel where a display was set out, where I found out that several Biggin Hill streets are named after women who were decorated during WWII. I also found out that the Spitfire and Hurricane replicas which guard the chapel are 20 years old and showing their age and an appeal has been launched to replace them. There is some stained glass in the rear area which I would like to go back and photograph: in one window, women radio operators are depicted, while in the opposite window, parachute packers are shown.

I spent so long in the RAF Chapel of Remembrance that I didn’t have time to go back to Chislehurst before Stephen was ready for collection from the Harris HospisCare shop, so I returned to the High Street and went into Waitrose to pick up some shopping and Stephen met me in the car park. We went home and spent a quiet evening with Rolo and Monty.

The Sunday agenda involved a car boot sale in a field on the outskirts of Biggin Hill. We were rather late arriving and ended up splitting up and doing the boot sale separately. I came home with 6 paperbacks (I’ve got plenty of train reading now!) for £2, some plastic cooking utensils (Stephen wanted to know why I bought them and I said it was because I could never find a clean utensil when I wanted one so we obviously needed some more 🙂 ) and a small one-cup black cat teapot which can join Jessie’s teapot collection. My carrier bag also had a few things that Stephen found. Stephen seems to find larger items at car boot sales than I do. He lugged a couple of briefcase-sized items back to the car!

The car in question was the VW Golf, as Stephen was having some 4-wheeled driving practice. We need to start making sure he goes out in it as near to daily as possible. He should be ready for “finishing” by a driving school soon – provided that he takes his theory and hazard perception tests. I would have thought that as he already holds a motorcycle licence that those could have been dispensed with, but apparently not. 😦

We returned from the boot sale via a garden centre where we stocked up on yet more dry kitten food. On arrival home, we flopped on the sofa. Stephen ended up with Monty and I ended up with Rolo. Eventually I left the sofa and cooked two of the three beef escalopes that I bought in Waitrose on Saturday. Stephen had microwaved vegetables with his, but I had a salad with mine, and the salad took longer to prepare than I had anticipated and the steaks therefore ended up a bit more well done than I’d intended. There’s a third steak left which Stephen can eat. I have a load of smoked fish to keep me fed for several days. I succumbed while I was in Waitrose, and it’s making a tasty kedgeree-type meal for me.

Rolo has learned how to do a tiny but definitely audible and very pitiful little mew. He was using it on Stephen when he was shut in the back bedroom where there are far too many things for little paws to get into for Rolo and Monty to be granted access. I think it may sometimes mean “I’m hungry” but I’m not altogether sure. Sometimes it might just be a call for attention. He does have other calls. He’s been using a vocalised purr-type chirp almost since we’ve had him. Monty can do it too, but Monty is usually silent until he is angry about something.

And on that note, I’d better say a final goodnight to our two little hooligans and take myself up the stairs to bed, where I should have been at least an hour ago!

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Two cute kitties

Posted by HelenEdith on September 14, 2009

Rolo snuggled on a soft blanket near the front door

Rolo snuggled on a soft blanket near the front door

Rolo is a very pretty pussy. Here he is with the sunlight on his face, snuggled up to a soft blanket near our front door. It is developing into a favourite spot with both kittens. I don’t know whether it’s the light or the warmth which is the attraction, but they are happy to go to sleep there during the day once they have worn themselves out playing.

Monty posing with his front paws crossed

Monty posing with his front paws crossed

Monty is also cute. Here he is, sitting with his front paws crossed. He’s not far from Rolo. Sometimes they curl up together, but we think that Rolo likes to sleep more than Monty does. Rolo will probably turn into an “ideal family cat” with whom you can do anything, while Monty seems to be more of a cat with a mind of his own. We’re hoping that he grows out of using his claws so much. When we got him, his default claw position was out! He seems to be mellowing a bit, but he’s still “His Clawship” at times!

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First injections

Posted by HelenEdith on September 14, 2009

Monty "His Clawship" looking as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth

Monty 'His Clawship' looking as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth

Last Saturday, Rolo and Monty went to the vet for their first injections for flu, enteritis and leukaemia. It was Laura’s day off, so they saw Chloe instead. She examined both of them and pronounced them in good health. She couldn’t hear Monty’s heart murmur, so maybe he’s grown out of it, or maybe now he doesn’t have the sniffles he’s under less stress and it isn’t apparent.

I chose for Monty to have his injection first, as he’s a clever little cat and I reckoned that he would figure out what was going on if Rolo went first. In the event, Monty was very good, just crying briefly as the needle went in. Maybe Rolo picked up on what was going on, because he was harder to contain on the examination table, but he too got his injection with just a little cry; and nobody got scratched at all.

Not even Monty scratched anybody. He was very good indeed for a kitten with his well-developed claws. We’ve only had him for two weeks and already he has a nickname: His Clawship!

When they saw Laura the Thursday before last, Rolo weighed 1kg and Monty was a little less. I thought that Monty was still smaller, but the scales told a different story: Rolo and Monty both weighed in at 1.20kg last Saturday. I still think that Rolo is longer and taller, but Monty must be becoming more solid within a compact frame.

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Brotherly love – or a stranglehold?

Posted by HelenEdith on September 12, 2009

Is this brotherly love or does Rolo look as if he'd like Monty to unhand him?

Is this brotherly love or does Rolo look as if he'd like Monty to unhand him?

Rolo and Monty love playing together. Sometimes they chase each others’ tails; sometimes they get nose to tail and each one attempts to rake his hind legs over the other’s face (violent little kitty-cats, aren’t they! but they seem to know how far to go not to hurt each other) and sometimes we get a situation like this where one or both get their front paws around the other’s neck.

Monty is the smaller of the pair, but he can definitely hold his own in exchanges of this nature. In this case, it looks to me as if Rolo is coming off the worst: he looks decidedly less happy than Monty does. One would almost think that he’s desperate for the pressure around his neck to be eased!

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Monty is still only a little pussycat

Posted by HelenEdith on September 12, 2009

Monty on the stairs. His little tail doesn't make it all the way down the riser to the next tread!

Monty on the stairs. His little tail doesn't make it all the way down the riser to the next tread!

When there is no reference point, it can be difficult to tell what size Monty is. He looks quite grown-up when he watches the TV. However, when he sits on the stairs (which he can bound up and down very easily) it becomes apparent what a little pussycat he still is: here his tail is hanging down the stair riser and it doesn’t reach as far as the next tread!

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