HelenEdith's Blog

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

Archive for the ‘Cats’ Category

RIP Boonie, 11th April 2013

Posted by HelenEdith on October 27, 2013

We went down to eight cats last April.

On 11th April, I took Boonie to the vet for euthanasia. If I’d realised the extent of his problems, I might have considered it a kindness to have done so sooner, as the vet felt several tumours, which explained his constant hunger coupled with weight loss.

I held Boonie while the final injection was administered and he purred until the injection took effect.

Here is Boonie as I want to remember him:


Posted in Bruno a.k.a. Boonie, Our Cats | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Big Catch-up

Posted by HelenEdith on September 23, 2011

This blog seems to have lapsed in recent months.

All I can say is that life got rather busy.

First it was building works around the house, which necessitated offloading a lot of our possessions into a self-storage unit at Big Yellow from where most of them have yet to emerge. I do actually miss some of them, but have to wonder about others. All I know is that the monthly rent is crucifying us, so we ought to be retrieving that stuff and finding somewhere to put it.

We also acquired two Bengal kittens, Bennie and Tricki, who are now full-grown cats. At least, I hope they are: Bennie weighs in at over 6kg! They haven’t been a total success as they’re not as friendly as the breed is reputed to be – particularly Tricki. Tricki is also a little unreliable and has just had her bedroom privileges revoked again. It cost £19 to clean the rather nice goose feather duvet which in no way resembles a litter tray, at least to my way of thinking!

Then we had a really bad month in July, which culminated in us losing Stephen’s Mum and inheriting her five cats, one of whom turned out to be in poor health. He also turns out not to like having his pills administered.

Feeding nine cats separated into two separate prides and administering daily medicine to one of them has turned into quite a responsibility. We intend to get the cats all integrated one of these days, but they’re still at the stage of being able to see one another through half inch wire mesh. I think the hissing is becoming less frequent and that Bennie may have stopped growling, so progress is probably coming along.

I’ve managed to keep up with the Beckenham Concert Band, apart from their London Open House engagement, which I did not sign up for. We were originally planning to visit the Crossness pumping works and see an engine in steam, but at the last moment we decided to go to a craft show at Sandown Park instead. It turned out to be everything that the Weald of Kent one we’d visited at Penshurst Place a week or two earlier wasn’t: namely that they were actually selling craft supplies rather than just finished products. Mind you, I managed to purchase six pairs of completed earrings and various pies, jams, chutneys and sauces at the Weald of Kent one. We really enjoyed ourselves at the one at Sandown Park, where we split up so that Stephen could “do” papercraft while I did jewellery and knitting. We’d really meant to do jewellery together, but it just didn’t happen, so maybe we will manage it if we go to the big show at Alexandra Palace.

It looks like I’ve acquired another hobby: in addition to my photography and bassoon playing, I have taken up knitting again. I’ve acquired a really good textbook and I’m knitting some squares at present using patterns in the textbook. They’re mostly turning out pretty well. Maybe I’ll get back into crochet and even learn to tat one of these days.

Work had a little hiccup in July as well as everything else that was going on: Xchanging announced that there would be a number of redundancies and we spent over a month on tenterhooks until we found out who the unlucky people would be. I’ve escaped with my job, but it makes one think. Should I try and stick with Xchanging for the rest of my career and go on contributing to the defined benefits pension scheme I’m in; or should I be looking around. I’m staying put for now, but maybe my new hobby should be studying the RPG IV and RPG ILE textbooks to make me more employable should the unthinkable happen.

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Rolo is 9 months old but still very cute

Posted by HelenEdith on April 4, 2010

Rolo with his head on his paws

Here he is, lying down on the stairs with his nose on his paws and his little pink tongue just peeking out a tiny bit!

Rolo enjoys lying on the stairs and can spread himself over most of a complete step.

The other evening, he nearly spread himself over the stairs in an unwanted way though: Stephen and I heard an almighty crash. Stephen rushed out of the 3rd bedroom, where he was using a computer, while I rushed out of the living room. Stephen found a large carton on its side by the bathroom door with its contents strewn about, while I found Rolo clinging to the outside of the balustrades to our galleried landing!

I did try to rescue him, but he wouldn’t let go of his grip on the balustrades and instead he climbed back up. What’s that: 9 months old and already one life gone…?

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Went to the TickedTICA cat show in Swanley last Sunday

Posted by HelenEdith on March 25, 2010

The TickedTICA Cat Club had a show both days last weekend at the Whiteoaks Centre at Swanley.

I thought about going on Saturday, but it was just as well I didn’t as we had a family emergency – fortunately only a small one requiring a rush trip to Stephen’s Mum’s place, but she’s perfectly fine 🙂 – so I managed to fit in a visit on Sunday along with meeting my wind quintet for a morning playing session and visiting the ASDA supermarket in Swanley where I was desperate for some raspberry flavoured soluble Vitamin C. (I don’t like orange or blackcurrant flavours and Boots seem to have discontinued their lemon flavour, so it’s got to be ASDA for raspberry – as they’re the only ones who sell it.)

I’d never been to a cat show before, and having read the rules about taking your cat out early, I was quite surprised when I arrived at 3pm to see people removing their cats. Anyway, I went in and there were still quite a few cats there. My first impression was that the hall had a definite smell of ‘cat’ about it!!!

I saw a totally gorgeous 7-month old Bengal that I would love to be able to take home, but bet I can’t afford. He had won various rosettes – and not just within his own breed. His owner didn’t say so, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they keep him and have him at stud.

I also saw my first ever sphynxes – and even got to touch two of them. As their owners said, they do have a “peachy” feel to them. I liked a sphynx boy with a dark body and very dark face, but the judge only gave him third in his breed, placing two girls ahead of him. One of the girls had some pink skin and some grey skin.

I was fortunate not to be standing too close to an angry tom whose owner was just mopping up the floor. She hung kitchen towel down his cage, and it’s just as well she did as he sprayed again and clobbered the kitchen towel. 😀

The people were very friendly and I saw some lovely cats. I have my doubts about whether a cat show is something that Rolo would appreciate though.

The same club have another show in a month’s time at the same venue and I might go again for another look, but try and get there a bit earlier. I’d love to see that beautiful Bengal again…

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Upside down Rolo

Posted by HelenEdith on February 21, 2010

Rolo in the waste paper box

Rolo spent much of yesterday evening in the waste paper box. It’s one of his favourite places to curl up.

I went to take a peep at him during the evening and found that he had uncurled and was lying on his back with his hind legs in the air and his head curved around the end of the box. He looked totally ecstatic and must have been completely relaxed. As an inside cat, he doesn’t have to worry about predators or other marauders, after all.

I put the super wide angle lens on my camera, got up really close and trusted the image stabilisation function built into the camera to ensure that I got some usable pictures. Rolo did open his eyes during my activities, but I like seeing his eyes open, so I didn’t mind at all. 🙂

He stretched one front paw up in the air, but that picture just showed a blur where his paw was. However, he then rested his paw along the side of the box and that looked pretty good, so I’ve included it below.

Rolo in the waste paper box

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Monty on the stairs again

Posted by HelenEdith on February 21, 2010

Monty on the stairs

Monty really enjoys sitting on the stairs just ready to pounce on any interesting toys which might happen to be nearby – or even Rolo, if he dares to come near!

Monty is generally the dominant cat: I was watching this evening and Rolo was sitting on a chair which Monty likes to use. Monty went and sat by Rolo and gradually crowded him until Rolo got the message and jumped off.

Sometimes Rolo displaces Monty from a feed bowl, but I think it’s only when Monty has decided that it’s time to walk away anyway. If Monty really wants to eat, he can hold his own; and right from the time when he was quite a small kitten, he could make himself amazingly large at the dry food bowl! How a bowl whose diameter was much the same as Monty’s length could be totally dominated by one little black kitten I do not know, but Monty could manage it!

Posted in Monty, Rolo | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Monty and the yellow balls

Posted by HelenEdith on February 17, 2010

Monty sitting on the stairs with his yellow ball in his mouth

Monty’s favourite toy is a very squishy yellow ball. There are a number of these scattered around the house, and I hope Monty knows where they are, because I don’t! They were the ammunition from a child’s toy which was donated to the charity shop where Stephen works. Alas, the toy was broken, so the shop couldn’t sell it, but Stephen brought the ammunition home and it’s been a huge hit with Monty in particular, although Rolo will have a play with it, too.

If I ever find out what the toy is that these balls came from, I think I’d better buy a half dozen of it, in order to keep Monty in a supply of these yellow balls. Some of the ones he plays with are getting very pock-marked indeed.

He carries a ball around in his mouth, and I believe that he actually sinks his canine teeth into it. He can carry a ball all the way up the stairs and then drop it so that it goes plop-plop-plop all the way back down again, followed by Monty – and sometimes Rolo as well!

Monty with his yellow ball between his paws

Monty also bats the ball around on the floor in the way that many cats do; and can be seen in the picture above with a ball between his paws.

He’s got it in his mouth again in the next picture. Sometimes he puts his head to the floor to pick the ball up; other times he picks it up with the claws of one paw and carries it up to his mouth! I’ve also seen him lie on the floor and pick a ball up between both paws and convey it to his mouth.

This is one clever cat we’ve got here! 😎

Monty with his yellow ball in his mouth

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Staring down the stairs

Posted by HelenEdith on February 16, 2010

Rolo looking wild on the stairs

The stairs feature heavily in playtime for Rolo and Monty. They chase up and down them; and they also settle on them ready to spring at each other.

The picture above shows Rolo sitting along a step with his tail hanging down over the riser below. I think he may be contemplating whether to turn into a wild pussycat for a while. The dark blue is a dressing gown belt which the cats have commandeered. They are quite good at moving things around!

Monty with his Monty-look

The first of these two Monty pictures captures Monty’s Monty-ness. He’s had this expression at times ever since he was a little kitten and it gets to you every time.

This was Monty at 2 months of age wearing exactly the same expression!

However, Monty can also wear a very playful expression, as he is doing below. This picture was also taken with Monty perched on a step, and if I were you, I wouldn’t put a hand too close to him while he’s wearing that expression, as he’s probably a very dangerous little pussycat!

Monty on the stairs - and probably not safe to touch

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Monty is becoming a long pussycat

Posted by HelenEdith on February 15, 2010

Monty against the background of a lilac valance sheet

Here are two pictures of Monty in the bedroom. Monty is usually alert or playful or both at once, and I think the picture above has captured that. The background is a lilac valance sheet.

Below, I’ve included Monty stretched out at the foot of the bed. As you can see, he’s becoming a long pussycat. He still looks smaller than Rolo, although the vet’s scales tend to give the lie to this: his black colour is probably what makes him appear smaller.

Monty is a solid little pussycat with a velvety coat. He doesn’t seem to have an ounce of flab on him anywhere, but is a little muscle machine, unlike his brother Rolo, who is a little softer, although I wouldn’t say he’s flabby.

I had to do some work in PhotoShop on the picture below, as it suffered from “green-eye”. This is the cat equivalent of human “red-eye”, as cats’ eyes reflect a different colour than ours do.

There probably won’t be many more bedroom pictures of the cats, as Rolo has blotted his copybook and is now excluded from the bedroom unless under strict supervision; and you can’t exclude Rolo without also excluding Monty, even though he appears to be trustworthy in there.

Monty on the bedroom floor

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Rolo is getting more grown-up every day

Posted by HelenEdith on February 14, 2010

Rolo on the back bedroom windowsill

Rolo is becoming a very handsome ginger cat. Here he is, aged nearly 7 months, on the back bedroom windowsill, where he enjoys sitting on a wooden box and looking out at the birds.

I used my new flashgun to take these pictures and it is so powerful that it looks dark beyond the net curtain, but this wasn’t actually the case. I need more practice at using it: it’s got so many options on it that I’m quite confused!

Rolo on the back bedroom windowsill

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