Crazy Cat

Nothing like putting your friends to work when they visit…. either as official cat photographer of the evening,

… or preparing dinner (and trying to keep Rupert out of it)


It’s official, he’s had the wire removed from his jaw today, and my big bundle of stripey misbehaviour has been signed off as fully recovered.  So, now that the ordeal is over, some photos of the whole experience:
Day after the accident: just home from the vet’s after an overnight stay.  You can’t see it, but he has a wire fitted around his jaw.

Two days later, after another overnight stay, this time to have a feeding tube inserted.  As a result, he had to wear the annoying collar.

For a week, feeding involves mixing up formula, and giving it through the tube. After a couple days when he started to become interested in food again, I was able to feed him fancy moussey stuff off a spoon. Either way, it was all messy.

Finally feeling like playing again, despite the annoying collar. By this point he was desperately chasing after the kittens in the hope of a cuddle, but they were terrified of the collar, and ran away faster.

Tube and collar finally removed, he went straight after his favourite toy.  Very relieved to see he can still carry things around in his mouth, despite the missing teeth.

Nearly 6 weeks after the accident, the final visit to the vet’s today to get the wire removed. As you can see, he is restored to health, and also to his bad habits! After a day without eating because of the anaesthesia, he’s getting into everything try to find more food.

India (16) – Home again

After all the build up, a very uneventful flight, in which I somehow managed to get one of the prime seats.  Arrived in Amsterdam this morning, to deliciously cold air and a sunny sky.  By 9 o’clock or so I was home and reunited with Rupert, Zephyr and Rasha, who looked very pleased to see me.  Rupert looks fantastic, and it’s hard to believe he’s the same cat who was wearing a nose tube and lampshade not so long ago.

Looking back on 2009

That 2009 would be an eventful year was already obvious in January, when Jen became the youngest ever recipient of the T. S. Eliot prize.

5 days later, I turned my own life upside down, by taking in 3 cats – Rupert, Zephyr and Rasha-Ba.  The house hasn’t been quite the same since.

At the start of the year I joined a new choir in Amsterdam.  12 months later, I’m still happy with my choice, though missing the contact with my friends from my old choirs in The Hague and Bowdon, neither of which I’ve been in touch often enough with.

I also finally got round do something I’ve been thinking about for a few years – starting the RSCM Voice for Life program.  I’m still very proud of my little bronze medal!

With the encouragement of friends Emmy and Emily, I took up running again.  I managed to clock up 124km and completed two 5K events, a 6K, a 10K and, biggest achievement of all, the 16K Damloop.

On the studying front, I kept myself more than busy (too busy, in all honesty) with two Open University courses, in Human Biology and Biological Psychology.  The Human Biology course finished with an exam, the Biological Psychology course with a rather bizarre experiment involving chocolate digestive biscuits.

In terms of milestones, I was shocked to realise that 2009 marked 15 years since I left school and 10 since I graduated from university with my Masters degree.  (This also rather alarmingly means almost 10 years in gainful employment.  I think this means I’m supposed to be grown up now.  But I’m not entirely convinced!)

It was also my first full year of house ownership, and I’ve traveled less this year than any other year recently.  By my reckoning I made:

  • 4 trips to the UK (London for the TS Eliot, two birthday visits, and a week long trip to York with the choir)
  • a trip to Slovakia, for a landscape photography course
  • a trip to Canada, to see family and to photograph wolves
  • a trip to Prague with Auntie Janet
  • and of course, the biggie, the trip to The Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica, with a (very) brief stop in Argentina

Knitting is fun…

… especially if you’re a kitten.

Way back when, round about this time of year, Jen, Dad and I took a trip up to Churchill, Manitoba to see the polar bears. We travelled from Toronto – spending 3 days on the train. On the way, Jen taught me how to knit, patiently putting down her own knitting (a hat for Dad) every time I dropped a stitch. My plan had been to make a scarf to wear whilst we were in Churchill, but I didn’t actually manage to finish it until we were back in Winnipeg.

Anyhow, after that I started a sweater, and actually made some decent progress with it, until a certain point when I got confused, put it to one side in the hope that someone could tell me how to fix it, and forgot about it.

Now that I’m about to head off to Antarctica, I’m contemplating having a go at a new knitting project. Nothing too complicated (famous last words) but something to get my teeth into on the “at sea” (and hopefully not seasick) days. First of all, though, I thought I should take out the knitting needles again and see if I could actually remember how.

After a few false starts, I finally managed to cast on, only to discover that Rasha had chewed the yarn right through. Another attempt, and I manage to create a few rows of stockinette stitch, before giving it to Rasha to kill.

New bad habits

The good news is that the new “Rupert-proof” bin is proving to be a success. After 5 days, I haven’t yet found it upturned, or the floor scattered with rubbish. Frustrated in his bin-raiding habits, though, Rupert does seem to be taking out his frustrations by raiding the cupboard shelves for chocolate biscuits, stock cubes, baking powder and anything else that looks like it might make a mess! Now let’s hope that he doesn’t teach the kittens how to use the pedal…

He’s long expressed an interest in the fridge, and unfortunately this week he’s also discovered that it’s actually not as a big a leap as he’d thought. The net result – if I don’t watch out, he jumps in the fridge like a flash when I open it! (See how in the short time it took me to take the photo, the little rascal had already jumped in and tried to make off with the end of a piece of cheese?)

Cat feeding goes hi-tech

Last week I ordered 3 automatic cat feeders from Amazon, and this morning I brought them over from England (wondering all the while why I didn’t just pay to have them delivered here).

Although their primary purpose is to make life easier if I go away, or want to go out in the evenings, I’m hoping that I can also train the cats to use the feeders in the morning, rather than jumping up and down on me, and hour or two before I want to get up.

One small step for Rasha and Zephyr…

… one giant leap for kittenkind … or something like that, anyway.

Except that in all honesty, letting the kittens outside was a far smaller step for them than it was for me. First of all, the wrestling to put their collars back on (especially in the case of Zephyr who took his off 3 times before I could even get him outside!), and then standing back and watching them explore.

As it happens, I haven’t yet taken the supreme step of letting them free to roam outside the garden, though once they got their confidence up, they both started showing an interest in the greater world. So far, though, I’ve managed to keep them (with much disentangling of claws from fence) in the back garden. Rupert isn’t entirely sure what to make of the kitten invasion into what, up til now, has been his place alone.