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Posts Tagged ‘Cats’

Are things getting you down? Is your shared backyard full of dead plants, in a metaphorical or real sense? Mine is. Here are three things that make me laugh when I think of them, no matter how awful I’m feeling.

1. When she walks down steps, May Blossom has taken to sometimes refusing the proffered hand of her father or me and instead holds her own hand. Independent much? Lacking understanding of the concept of the stabilising force an adult hand can offer? Very, very funny to watch? All of these things.

2. When she wants to warn anyone of anything — that the heater is on; that there is a flight of steps approaching; that the cat is nearing dinner time and could remove the next digit or limb that gets waved near her — May Blossom says ‘Careful, mate’ in the most splendid approximation of H’s voice. (more…)

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It has been a week of ups and downs. I know that every week is, really, but this past week we have experienced the following.

In the down column:

1. My 102-year-old grandmother suffered a small stroke.

2. The fate of our missing family cat, Tigercat, was discovered. It was not pretty and probably involved a fox. Vale, Tigercat.

3. Gusto, who is an indoor cat, got out and went missing for several hours on a rainy night.

In the up column:

1. My grandmother was released from hospital and is now doing well at home.1. May Blossom slept through the night for the first time.

2. May Blossom slept through the night for the second time.

3. May Blossom slept through the night for the third time.

4. May Blossom slept through the night for the fourth time, having learned to put herself to sleep without the aid of any back-rubbing.

5. H and I went out to dinner with friends, and then to a concert. We sat beside the Harbour and ate a tower of food (top level burgers, second level seafood, third level dumplings and sushi). We were extremely cool about the whole thing and to look at us no-one would have known we don’t do that sort of thing all the time. Except maybe the way we kept squeaking ‘WE’RE OUT!’ at random moments and the way H knocked a glass of champagne over our friend Pearl in his excitement might have been tiny signals to the well-trained observer.

When Pearl noted that we hadn’t lasted five minutes before starting to talk about May Blossom, we assured her that we weren’t talking about our daughter May Blossom. Good heavens no, we were talking about our very cool new friend May Blossom, who is a part-time keyboard player for Radiohead and does a great number of other cool things besides. That’s who were were saying had learned to do forward rolls and say ‘wall’ and ‘kiss’. As if we’d be talking about our baby.

6. May Blossom stayed asleep while we were out, and was no trouble to her grandfather.

7. My little brother came home from New York after a year away and May Blossom fell in love with him. She thinks he and his girlfriend are the cat’s pyjamas.

8. Gusto was found. Right beside the house. I used the corporal cuddling method of discipline to punish her.

9. Inspired by a unbelievably pleasant trip to Ikea on Saturday morning, I made delicious Swedish meatballs for dinner. We let three toddlers eat them with lingonberry jam, which it turns out is just red sugar. Result: a epic game of  ‘Boom Crash’, where you run at top speed the length of the apartment and flop onto a pile of quilts.

10. SuperChief showed up one evening with a huge piece of dry aged steak for our dinner. Just for no reason except that he had been to an excellent butcher that day.

On balance, there were more ups than downs, but the downs were pretty big and sad and scary. It was a day before we knew that my grandmother was all right, and call me pessimistic, but I spent much of that day thinking she was a gonner. At 102, it seemed unlikely she would bounce back. Recently she had decided to have her entire apartment redecorated: new upholstery, wallpaper, paint — the works, which is enough to give anyone a stroke, let alone a centenarian. But she is amazing, and she wasn’t going to let decisions about paint colours and fabric swatches carry her off.

The fate of Tigercat is just plain awful. She was a wonderful cat. We were her second family: she moved in after her first family named her Ice-cream and then bought a rottweiler. Good decision, Tigey. I’ll tell you the whole story another time.

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In the lead-up to May Blossom’s birthday, the cake preparations continue. Today’s post is an homage to some of the great cakes of my childhood. The first, and in my opinion the greatest, is my first birthday cake. It was made by my mother in the shape of my brown burmese cat, Quickly. It is not, as H assumed before I resized the image so he could see the cat’s face, a cake in the shape of Western Australia.
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In my family, birthday cakes are a big deal. They’re not a fancy deal, but we get very excited about them. Always have. They are always chocolate cake, and always homemade.* We like to cut them into shapes and decorate them with coloured icing and liquorice and other sweets.

In the lead-up to May Blossom’s birthday, there has been a lot of cake talk. First of all, her Uncle Superchief (my older brother) offered to make it. He suggested it should be in the shape of a rocketship (he is also leading a campaign to restore the suffix -ship to rockets. When and why did they lose that?) with a cat looking out each window (or porthole? Do rocketships have portholes?) (more…)

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