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Cat is the new black


It’s a tea towel, which we had framed courtesy of Images Framing in Anlaby, who I cannot recommend highly enough; prompt, efficient, friendly and very reasonable pricing. They also did the tapestry of Iggy. There is some very nice stuff on madoldcatlady.com – beware :)

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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We are delighted to post this update on Mort – Maureen and Paul are so grateful for his recovery, and for your help :)

It’s been six weeks since Mort went out and picked a fight with a car, a fight in which he came off distinctly second-best. In those six weeks, he has been x-rayed, scanned, operated on for a tear in his abdominal wall and for a diaphragmatic hernia, has spent several days in intensive care, and since then has been at home, recovering.

When we originally took him to the surgery, he had a cut under his eye, all the fur on his stomach had been pulled out and rolled into a massive chunk of felt on his chest, he was passing blood in his urine and we thought he might have fractured his pelvis.

Instead it turned out that Mort had a tear in the abdominal wall which meant that his intestines and spleen were now lying on his rib cage – Mort is one of the few creatures you will ever meet who has genuinely vented his spleen. The amazing vets managed to get all of this put back where it belonged and the tear was stitched up. He also had a tear in his diaphragm, which meant that his breathing was compromised during the operation. I only found out today that through some of the operation the nurses were doing his breathing for him. Miraculously, the vets managed to stitch up this hole as well, and Mort was then moved to a specialised veterinary nursing facility 30 miles away, where among other things the vets drained 500 mls of air from his chest over two days. So, yes, he was also full of hot air. He also had an incision so long it looked as though he could unzip himself and step out of his own furry onesie.

Because the bills were really starting to mount up, and people had begun offering to help, we finally agreed to set up a fund for Mort’s expenses. Mac and Pete Jordan very kindly created a web page for us and then I sat and watched while my PayPal account went berserk. And then the cheques started to arrive.

We honestly had no idea Mort had quite so many friends, particularly when so few of you have actually met him in the flesh. We can’t thank you enough for your generosity in contributing to his fund. Between you, you have paid for the actual operation and covered a significant portion of the after-care as well, which was a great relief for us.. We are so deeply, deeply grateful to everyone for this and for all the moral support in those first few weeks.

Mort is now pretty much his old self. While he recovered from the operation he was happy to lie around snoozing but after a week or so he was clearly becoming somewhat depressed so we started letting him go out during the day. As it turned out, he didn’t want to go far but he really did want to sniff the air and hunt insects. His recovery has genuinely been measured in leaps and bounds as he made it onto the kitchen stool, the counter, the window sill, and so on. As he got stronger and was able to get onto the garden wall, this turned into wanting to inhale as much lawn and mud as he could find, and climb onto our neighbours’ kitchen roof (but we don’t talk about that last and especially not about how he nearly fell off).

In the last week, he’s become Full-on Mort again, and is now bounding round the house, meowing his head off, playing with Rosa and Minnow whether or not they want him to, as well as with his box-den and bits of dried cabbage stalk (Mort has a thing about brassicas). He is also back to waking the humans by sitting on them and purring hard into their faces, in between a little light savaging of their hands and feet. The legendary Mort appetite has also finally returned and he’s back to being a six-pouches-a-day and as many snacks as he can find cat. He is a bit more of a homebody than he used to be, for now at least, and we’re very happy about that.

Today we heard that the surgery has chosen Mort as their Pet of the Month for March, which is a lovely way to round off six weeks of worry.

So, once again, thank you to everyone at Manor Veterinary Clinic for their excellent treatment of Mort, and especially to Rosie and Rocio, who stitched him back together; to Newncourt Veterinary Hospital for exemplary aftercare; to Mac and Pete for facilitating Mort’s own web page, and most of all, to all of you for helping with Mort’s treatment and recovery. He is a testament to the kindness and generosity of the internet community.


Mirrored from the Tribe.

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Lilith on the fish tank

We went into town for a couple of bits on Saturday morning, and while we were brunching in Leonardos (mot much to see at that site, move along), my phone rang. An unrecognised number, but a Hull one, so I answered it.

“Do you have a little cream cat with three legs?” – dear god, not again, I thought, please let nothing have happened to her. But not, she was hanging around outside a house towards the end of the road, and they were kind enough to phone. I’m sure people do this because she is a three-legged monster, but I’m very glad that they do take the trouble.

I explained that she is a roamer, and asked them please not to let her in, or feed her, and she would lurch home in her own good time, and of course, thanked them for taking the trouble. But, of course, she didn’t lurch home. We didn’t see her for the rest of Saturday, nor overnight, nor on Sunday morning. I went out calling for her in the morning, but no sign. So we went to do the shopping, and I thought I’d give this kind person a call when I got back.

And of course, there she was on the bed, curled up with Ron, looking as baleful as ever. She was very hungry, so Lord knows where she’d been this time. I do wish she wouldn’t do this.


Mirrored from the Tribe.

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We got home quite late last night, after seeing Gravity (don’t ask, Pete and I appear to be the only two people in the multiverse who weren’t hugely impressed) and so we were late to bed.

As I snuggled down, I thought “what’s that smell?”. Pete couldn’t detect it at first, but then we discovered that SomeCat had wee’d on the bedspread, just up by where my chin normally goes. We got up, and checked. Through to the duvet cover. Through to the duvet.

I stripped it all off, Pete went and found the spare duvet. Which is horrid. Not king sized, not goose down, not got a pure cotton cover on it. We got back in. We were cold. So I spread my big towelling dressing gown over us.

Bedspread on the line, duvet cover in the washing machine, duvet going to the cleaners later.

Don’t know who it was. Unimpressed. Oh, and SomeCat also took a crap in the shower this morning. Deep joy.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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Sybil the Sybarite

Overnight, the kits appear to have reached some sort of milestone. We had a few musician friends round last night, but at the first sound of an accordion Sybil and Polly fled upstairs; unsurprising, as Henry in particular took ages to get used to the sound of Morris tunes played on boxes. Syb did venture down later, though, and charmed her audience.

This morning, I could hear them galumphing around from downstairs. “Ah hah!”, I thought. “The hob nailed boots have arrived”. (These are issued to all kittens at some point, for additional noise making when rushing about). They are now into running at full pelt, climbing anything in sight, removing the laundry from the drying rack, etc.

And to add insult to injury for the Incumbents, this morning the kits followed me downstairs, and helped themselves to the Big Cats’ breakfast. Two bowls of Whiskas, one kitten eating from each, and three somewhat baffled Huge Boys at the other end of the kitchen, wondering just what had happened. I did the kits a bowl of kitten fud, and bore them away upstairs.

In other, slightly worrying, news, No sign of Lilith this morning, and the weather is foul here. No doubt she’s safe and warm somewhere, but it doesn’t stop me panicking slightly …

Mirrored from the Tribe.

ooh! ooh!

Oct. 11th, 2013 01:33 pm
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SureFlat DualScan catflap

SureFlap DualScan catflap

Just got an e-mail from SureFlap about this – I’ve been waiting with baited breath for this to come out.

We had a microchip flap fitted in the front door when it was replaced a year ago, but it does in-only. This new one is both ways, which I would hope might keep the Piranha Sisters in the house (ho ho).

Have just mailed them to ensure that the fittings are the same, so that (in theory) the current one could be easily* removed, and the new one fitted.

*Probably for quite small values of easily.

Meanwhile, we are preparing for the little darlings’ arrival. This weekend, I shall be attempting to make the house if not kittenproof (because what is?) but at least with fewer places for them to hide, or hurt themselves. Or us.


Mirrored from the Tribe.

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Kittins. Arriving 17 Oct 2013. Lord help us.




Kittins. Arriving 17 Oct 2013. Lord help us.


Lord help us.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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[as seen on Facebook]

When the creator, in her infinite wisdom, looked on the universes that she has created, she realized that a controlling force was necessary to keep it all in balance. Or so the story goes.
She looked at the beauty of galaxies forming, colliding and reforming. She saw the brittle balance between the forces she has created and then looked down at the earth to where man was having trouble arranging his fig leaf.

When she pondered the fine harmonic resonance needed to keep the universe from spinning apart, from fragmenting without order, she decided to create another being to take over the task of management, leaving man free to fight with his leaf.

She saw that man was going to have enough trouble finding the balance between self seeking and greater good to saddle him with the giant task of holding the universes in balance.

It is then, so the story goes, that she decided to share the task amongst one species on earth, a special creation that would accomplish this task without the knowledge of man, lest he try to take that over as well.

Showing even more wisdom, she decided to share the task evenly amongst all the members of that species. Together they would maintain balance by sharing the power given their minds.

From that day to this, one has only to look up at the sky to see that balance has been maintained, they have done a wonderful job of keeping the universes safe for us to do our daily misdeeds. It is time now to recognize the incredible sacrifice this noble selfless species has made to keep all of us lesser species in space.

Shared within their DNA, passed on from mother to children in an unbroken line from then to now, they remember and produce continually the precise harmonic frequency that the universe needs to remain intact. This frequency reaches dimensions of hearing and senses we do not posses. The fragment of the whole that we can sense is comforting, we could not begin to comprehend the part we do not hear.

Thus we find this hard working species devoting their lives to gathering the energy to gain the correct meditative mind wherein the creation of the harmonic vibration is possible. They work alone, when awake, but even when sleeping they work on creating the ambiance for the others to continue their work.

From the time they are in the womb of their mother, they are surrounded by the hum of the right vibration. They will memorize and practice this vibration, they will send it towards the heavens, forced upward by the most noblest of intentions and the purest love.

When in a group they will double their impact, lying close to where the vibration can resonate on multiple echo chambers, even through the very blood and organs of the individual. There is no end to their giving.

The combined frequency, coming from every corner of the world, floats upwards, buoyed by love, to the remedy of the universe, to the saving of us all. The work is exhausting, the work is exact. But even when sleeping the work continues.

There are times of crisis, when more energy is needed. There are times when the energy is wrong and the universe is about to fly apart. That is when you will find them working overtime, creating the correct aura, meditating, 24/7. All this they do without us even knowing and have love to spare for us.

So when you pass by your cat sleeping in the window today, say thanks in silence so as not to disturb the energy. Thank her for your life, for the thankless task she is providing. When you buy food for her tomorrow, remember she is in charge of your future wellbeing. When she gives you that stare, it may be a good idea to pay attention, for all our sakes.

For today we need her to purr her vibration to the universe, so that balance may be maintained. We need her to rest and to meditate, so that she might have the energy to join her force with those of all the other cats. We need to treat her well so she might be disposed to doing so.

Today I thank the guardians of the universe, the warriors of old. I thank you for your love and positive energy and I vow to do what I can to help you in your important task.

Let there be love.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

the lodger

Jun. 13th, 2013 11:34 am
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[link to the video, in case you can't see it embedded]

A friend of ours posted on Facebook yesterday that she was trying to organise the rehoming of a rescue Siamese cat, aged about five, whose owner was no longer able to keep her. And before I could even start working on Pete to suggest that we took her, my daughter Clare fell upon the news with glee. She lost her Siamese boy last year (he had been our Siamese boy first, but went to live with her a few years ago, along with Eskarina, the Balinese wah-bag).

After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, we went to meet the cat last night. And brought her back with us, ready for onward conveyance to Norfolk tomorrow. She is now ensconced in our bedroom in a large dog crate, with soft bed, litter tray and food. She spent last night hissing and spitting at any of the Tribe she could see – a little unfair, as they weren’t remotely bothered by her, and clearly were a bit puzzled by all the fuss. She then decided to try and dig her way out of the crate, so everything is covered in cat litter. I’m currently calling her “Jackson”, as Clare said that she is clearly the Jackson Pollock of cats.

She’s a beautiful, feisty little thing, and I’m sure she’ll settle down well with Poppy the rescue cat. Esk’s reaction is likely to be noisy, and I’m quite glad I’ll be 150 miles away for most of it :) And having driven Siamese cats on long journeys before, I can’t say I’m looking forward to tomorrow, but she will have a lovely life down there.

Or, of course, we could keep her …

Mirrored from the Tribe.


Feb. 11th, 2013 10:41 am
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Certain of the Tribe – Lilith and Mustrum in particular – like to occasionally relieve themselves in the bathroom basin, or the kitchen sink (wee only, I hasten to add!). We don’t find this too much of an issue, to be honest; it’s easily cleaned, and if they must pee outside the trays, those probably the best places (the great outdoors excepted, of course).

We have a lovely, huge shower cubicle in our bathroom. We leave the doors open when it’s not in use, as otherwise it gets remarkably cold in there (the heat from the radiator cannot penetrate the glass doors).  And, as Pete said, it was only a matter of time before one of the little darlings availed themselves of it, and used it as Yet Another Basin. Still, easily cleaned, as we have a dual head shower, one of which can be waved around. But of course, the basin is glass, and the kitchen sink is ceramic, while the shower tray is acrylic, and I really don’t want their dear little claws gouging scratches into it.

But it’s too damn cold to leave the shower doors shut …

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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a festive Iggy

One last photo of my much loved Iggy, innabox. Those golden pears survived, and are hanging above the fire.

I still miss him dreadfully, but I deal with it  - I don’t go to look out the window for him thirty times a day, or keep listening for his distinctive rowl. But I was slightly overcome in Morrisons this week, when confronted with packs of mixed nuts in their shells. Neither P nor I eat nuts, but we always bought a pack for Igpuss, who liked to fish them out of their bowl and bat them round the room. Such little things undo us …

The rest of the Tribe are well and happy, and P is adamant that there will be no more kittens for a while, so we shall continue with a Gang of Four for the time being.

So we all wish you the compliments of the season,  and may your cats be gifted with dew kissed baby grouse in 2013.

Mirrored from the Tribe.


Aug. 21st, 2012 11:49 am
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Pete and I hurtled round to Pets At Home last night (new branch just opened at Anlaby Park, nice and handy for us), and purchased four collars, and identity barrels, for the remaining members of the Tribe, including the part time one. We didn’t buy one for Iggy, because we do truly believe he’s gone for good …

Anyway, they were bought individual carefully chosen collars:

Ron: as he is black, utterly black, with green eyes, we bought him a black velvet collar with luminous green eyes. You can only see the green eyes on this.

Mustrum has a black velvet collar with silver reflective fishies on it. And very splendid he looks too.

Henry has a grey webbing collar with lime green and teal dots on it, which claims to be reflective, and

Lilith has got a leopard print one (we had to, really, dont you think)? Of course, she still hasn’t come home, so I’m going to go up the road later today, knock on the madwoman’s door, and demand she hands my cat over.

Despite my misgivings, they all seemed to accept the collars fine, and to my amazement all three are still wearing them this morning. We shall see …

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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The weather has become quite seasonal here, after a late flurry of warm weather, and we’re noticing a distinct increase of Cat in the house. Here is an unseemly heap on the chair in the bedroom, with Mustrum protesting slightly underneath Iggy and Ron. The heap inhabitants remained unchanged most of the day, although the positioning did alter from time to time.

There were two cats – Henry and Mustrum – on the bed when we woke this morning, and more cats are predicted in this position. They haven’t actually noticed that the stove is being lit yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

It’s so nice to see Iggy in again – we’ve barely set eyes on him this summer, poor old man. I do fear he’s not going to see another winter after this one …

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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It’s just another hole in the door.

We have a catflap in the back door. All of the Tribe use it, but Iggy much prefers it if we open the front door for him. I think that perhaps the back yard walls are a bit difficult for him, now he is a self-proclaimed grumpy old man.

So yesterday, Pete put a catflap in the front door. We’re not worried about the danger – they all swarm out as soon as the door is opened, then go down the passage beside the house, and back over the aforementioned wall (or gate). But if Iggy is not let out, he is sometimes inclined to do his business indoors, and not in the litter trays, so an additional cat flap where he can come and go without scaling the walls seemed a good idea.

While it was being constructed, all the cats hurtled through the hole. Now it has a flap fitted, they’re being prissy, of course. I did bundle Iggy through yesterday, and he came straight back in, so he at least understands it. Mustrum would *not* go through it this morning, though, but I’m sure that’ll all change. Either that, or we have a hole in the door to no real end apart from creating more draught …

Mirrored from the Tribe.

an outing

Jul. 28th, 2010 09:39 am
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Ron and Henry check out the transportation

We – or more particularly, the Tribe – have been suffering an infestation of fleas. Despite two doses of Frontline, and copious spraying with cans of expensive Stuff from the vitinery, Henry has been overwhelmed by the little bitey creatures, and so we decided he’d have to see the vet for something stronger.

The surgery is about ten minutes walk away, and Pete and I had a discussion about how best to convey Henry – initially, Pete wanted to walk him, but he’s a heavy beast (Henry, that is – those who have met Pete will know he is but a slip of a thing :), and I didn’t think he’d like being carried that far innabox. Then Pete decided that his bike trailer would be just the thing, but in the end we took the car. Which took about ten minutes, due to the Machiavellian nature of the one-way system round here, which is designed to stop boy racers steaming through the grid of terraced streets. It works very well, but it makes a short journey much longer in a car.

Henry was admired and weighed (5 kgs!), and pronounced en-flea’d. Sarah the vet said we would need to do the rest, and she would need to see them to have them weighed. Our hearts sank – catching the other four was likely to be a non-trivial task. I assured her that we had weights for the spotty boys from last November, and given that they are alpha male Bengals, we could be quite sure they weighed over 4kgs, thank you very much. But Lilith and Ron were a different matter – I could be positive Lily was under 4kgs, and thought Ron was, but wasn’t sure, so they had to go in.

And so Pete came home, fetched out a stack of bungees, and set to to see how to secure the bike basket in the trailer. We bribed Ron and Lily in with cold roast chickie!, a trick that never fails, and off they went on a nice trip out – he left the cover off the trailer so they could see where they were going, and they seem completely untraumatised by their experience.

All five have now been dosed with Advocate, and the house vacuumed and sprayed once more – let us hope we shall shortly be free of bloody fleas.

** note for self: Iggy and Mustrum 5.5kgs, Lilith 3.8kgs, Ron 4.6kgs (which surprised me), Henry 5kgs.

Mirrored from the Tribe.


Jun. 30th, 2010 11:00 am
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The Tribe are very pleased to welcome Vikki, who is going to catsit for us, in exchange for us rabbitsitting. 80% of the Tribe were inspected and admired; Iggy declined to present himself, but you can’t have everything.

On a more serious note, this is a great weight off my mind, so we’re very pleased to have Vikki on board.

In other news, we have Fleas. We Frontlined all five of them last Friday, and now have discovered that the carpets are alive.  Everything has been sprayed with Acclaim, and other Blob has got the Dyson going full pelt.  Hateful things, flease.

Mirrored from the Tribe.


Jun. 21st, 2010 05:42 pm
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A bunch of the local children have really taken to the Tribe; they assemble outside the house to visit the cats, who spend a fair amount of time in the street because that’s where the sun falls during the day.

I went out to talk to a couple of the kids this morning, who were making a huge fuss of Lilith (who was enjoying every minute of it), and told the boys her name.

“Oh”, they said. “We call her “Angel”".

Dear lord …

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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Warm weather has arrived in Kingston-upon-Hull at last, and we have spent some time in clearing up the back yard, which was a tad overgrown and weedy.

It’s hard for the Tribe – they’ve come from a rural environment, with a stream and trees, and have had to settle into an urban one, where we have no proper garden, and many other cats have established territory. It’s taken them a while, but they’re OK now, I think – Iggy has had a few confrontations, and come home with a fat tail, but he seems settled now, and goes about his area, beating up any cat who gets in his way, as is only right and proper. Lilith and Mustrum now seem fine too, and EnRon – well, they’re bombproof, nothing phases them as long as they have full bowls!

So for the last couple of days it’s been sunny, and the house and the yard have warmed up; and of course, now we’ve cleared the weeds, put down some slabs, etc., it’s nicer for all of us to be in. We have a little bit of flat roof – not much, about 5-6 feet, I guess, which is the kitchen extension, and we always thought the spotty boys would like it up there, as they were very fond of snoozing on the garage roof in Long Ashton. Today, at last, they were up there, enjoying the sunshine – one at each end, studiously ignoring each other, and both rowling and squeaking for attention; sadly, we can’t reach them up there so they had to go without. A bit later, I saw Henry up there, duffing up Mustrum.

Normal service appears to have been resumed.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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An unsatisfactory life; gloom, despondency, misery and starvation

I think they were protesting our culpability at letting it rain outside at this point. That and the utterly inadequate and, what’s more, inedible supplies of food downstairs.

Mirrored from the Tribe.


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