A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Cats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cats. Show all posts

Friday, 24 June 2016

The Week That Was... 24th June 2016


Always remember to plan aheadI'm wondering if there's any such thing as a normal week in the Anderton house?

Here, it's more a case of define normal, move the goalposts several times and just run with it. I've decided that it's good to find humour in the ridiculous. I suspect it's the only thing keeping me sane.  
 
This was my week...

Monday
Monday evening provided a welcome reprieve from the rain and we ventured out for a walk and came home via the pub. There is something rather indulgent about sitting in a beer garden on a Monday night and drinking Pimms in the sun. Life's too short not to enjoy a glass of something on a Monday don't you think? Note to self: make the most of the great British weather whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Why  I don't send Mr A into town all that often
On Thursday Mr A went into town to run a couple of errands. As I arrived home late that evening, I asked about his day and it transpired that as there was a queue in the bank, he promptly turned around and left again and instead of picking up the couple of items I'd asked for, this is what he bought...

                                                   2 French lavender plants
                                                   A bag of compost
                                                   Some rechargeable batteries
                                                  A thoughtful gift for the love of his life...

Abandoned cat toys on a wooden floor

In case you were wondering, this is the love of his life and here they are curled up on the sofa...

Man and cat curled up on the sofa
 
The cat has never ever played with anything that's a conventional cat toy. She prefers getting hold of things she isn't meant to have and fixating on them for days. She will sulk if you take it off her and so we've mostly given up. She looked at her gift on the floor, shot Mr A a withering look and wandered off into the garden for several hours.

Daughters
Sophia arrived safely at Camp in Oregon and we managed to Skype on Sunday. The camp looks unspoilt, rustic and she is enjoying herself immensely. She won't be home until September. After last year's Camp America trip, followed by travelling around for 3 weeks, I am feeling more relaxed about her being away this time. If you love them, you have to let them go, right? Oregon is 8 hours behind the UK and I find thinking about what she might be up to at any given moment strangely comforting. I have no idea why this is.

Olivia, meanwhile has been on a work experience placement and arrives at home next week along with 3 year's worth of whatever it is they accumulate at university. 

Reading
I've recently finished reading To Be Continued by James Robertson. This will be reviewed at a later date on the blog, but was a thoroughly enjoyable, slightly surreal read. Thanks to Penguin for the advance copy.

The week ahead...
If I'm not around much over the next few days, it's because I'm in Cornwall collecting Olivia from university and will be staying for a few nights. Beloved daughter has already made plans and we're off to the local rum bar for cocktails and maybe the gin palace... as well as packing up all of her belongings ready for the move home.

Gin Palace in Falmouth


Have a fabulous weekend. See you when I get back x

Izzie

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton


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Saturday, 28 May 2016

National Hug Your Cat Day 2016


Hug your cat day, kitten, kitty, catostropic, adopt a petI didn't grow up with a pet.

We had a rabbit for a year or so, but after some skin pin-prick allergy tests when I was about eight, it turned out that I was allergic to the floppy-eared creature. While out on my swing one warm sunny day, I noticed that the bunny was no longer in residence in his hutch inside the greenhouse.

Questioning my mother on the subject, she admitted that the rabbit had died and she hadn't wanted to upset me. I suspect the truth was probably more brutal, and that 'Rupert' succumbed to a fox with hungry cubs after successfully digging a hole from the greenhouse in a bid for freedom once too often. My mother is silent on the topic to this day.

I pestered for a Labrador puppy after that. Naturally, this fell on very deaf ears. 

Fast forward twenty-five years or so and twin daughters, Olivia and Sophia nagged for a pet of their own. I suspect that one daughter's first words might not have been your usual, 'dadadada,' but 'dat,' instead - this translated into cat. She was utterly fixated on any feline and just as soon as she learned to walk, any utterance of the word, 'dat,' meant that she had spotted some unsuspecting fluff-ball in the distance and was about to do a runner. If the cat was daft enough to hang around, she would have loved it to death given a couple of minutes in its company.

After several years of nagging, I finally caved. The girls were almost seven and there was room for one more something to love in our lives.

I made a couple of calls to a local cat charity and we endured a scary home visit to assess our suitability as cat owners. I already had twins and no one had done any checks then. Perhaps if they had, they'd have realised how woefully unprepared I was to take on the role of mum to not one, but two small babies, never mind a cat. We were approved as potential adoptive parents and asked for our preferences on kitten type. I'd always had a thing for tabbies, but as the kitten was a gift for our daughters' 7th birthdays, the choice was theirs to make.

One Saturday in July we set off to choose our kitten. Seven adorable faces stared back at us from the confines of their makeshift home. Number eight hid in a corner, nuzzling into an old jumper and pretending to be asleep. This one had attitude and hissed as she was removed from the security of her hiding place. 'Ah, this one's feral,' said the helpful lady from the adoption centre. 'She might not be suitable for re-homing with a family.' Obviously, this was the one our daughters wanted despite the splayed claws and feisty temperament.

After much love and perseverance, the kitten was deemed OK for re-homing with a family. Several weeks later we returned to take our tortie-tabbie, feral rescue baby home. We bundled the latest addition into her cat basket and once at home, she explored tentatively, before finding her paws and claiming the house for herself.

Cute.

Yes.

Well to look at anyway.

Her many talents included...

1. Curtain shredding.

2. Carpet destroying.

3. A knack for getting into spaces she couldn't reverse out of (cue: spice and wine rack dismantling during the first week).

4. Eater of bugs - flies, spiders, wasps. You name it. She's probably eaten it.

5. Phenomenal toe-biter.
  
6. Flinging herself around the house at great speed.
  
For those first few weeks I wondered what the heck we had done? Others might rave about the joys of cat ownership, but I wasn't feeling it.

And then, came a breakthrough. Exhausted after a full day of exploring, shredding and eating things she shouldn't, the kitten clambered up on the sofa, nestled down in my arms and promptly fell asleep. She looked so cute that I hadn't the heart to move her. Apologies for the pic quality - this is pre-digital era and my daughter has chopped the original picture to fit into her kitten photo album.

Kitten, adopt a cat, Kitty, catostropic

Finally, I got it.

This tiny bundle of fluffy gorgeousness had finally deemed us worthy of her company and felt safe enough to trust us. I may have sobbed with relief.

And so, as she turns 15 next week, it's hard to sum up the previous years with our gorgeous 'Kitty' (the girls got to name her too!). She dishes out unconditional love and the very best hugs. Knows when someone's having a bad day and does her best to make amends. She fills the house with laughter and dishes out playful swipes and bites when anyone's pushing their luck. She has my husband firmly wrapped around her four tiny white paws and also has her own Twitter account @catostropic

Crazy? Moi?

Probably.

4th June also happens to be National Hug Your Cat Day... as if any excuse were needed.



Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton
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Monday, 10 August 2015

Things I want the cat to know...

In honour of International Cat Day on Saturday I have written this post and dedicated it to the family pet...

She's our third baby, currently the only child at home and there are times when I'd rather talk to the cat, than my husband. But after sharing our home for fourteen years - there are a few things I wish she could grasp. All of the following would make my life so much simpler...

1. Not every tin of food in the house actually contains tuna... so quit miaowing and wrapping yourself around my legs when I open a can of something. Beans, sweetcorn and spaghetti hoops aren't anything a cat needs to eat. For the record, tuna is served once a week - usually on a Monday.


2. When I ask if you want to come in - I am not being mean. Often I'm heading off for the entire day and only trying to be thoughtful. I don't appreciate being told off and glared at when I do eventually arrive home again.



3. Your sisters are away at university and when you see them on Skype, they are not actually at home. So please stop wandering all over the house looking for them and miaowing pitifully. Yes, I know you love them.

4. Worming tablets, flea drops and trips to the vet will not kill you. We do these things simply because you are loved, and we want for you to lead a long and happy life. They are not dished out as punishment.

5. You are the third baby we never had and for that reason, I can never dish out too many kisses, tummy rubs and hugs. I'm sorry if it all gets a bit much sometimes. You are one of few things in life that I never grow tired of. So humour me... I'm the one who feeds you.


6. When you fling your collection of pink bells under the sofa and can't extract them again with your paws... I am not always going to drop whatever I'm doing and find them. No amount of sulking will change this - even though you're almost too cute to resist. You could always try Daddy as you seem to have him completely wrapped around your tiny paws.

Kitty sulking

7. Not every seat in the house belongs to you. And if I want to sit on the sofa, you will be extracted and placed on my lap. It's my sofa too, that's how it is.

8. Whenever you see birds on the TV, there's no point in stalking them - even though we find this completely hilarious. 

9. Dipping your paws in the water bowl and wandering all over the house and furniture leaving paw prints is not one of your finer points. Why do you always do this just after I've cleaned?

10. For the record, you do look adorable in a tiara... I know you don't always agree.

No, I will not wear a tiara
11. You are not a sheepdog, so stop trying to round up members of the family and insisting they all watch TV at the same time. I know you like to see us together and that's sweet, but not always practical.

12. I love to dance and sometimes, dancing with you is the best thing ever - especially after a couple of glasses of wine. Obviously, I need to apologise for this, that does not mean I'm going to stop though.

13. Like Pavlov's dog and his bell, you've learnt to associate the smell of baked potatoes with delicious servings of tuna in your bowl. We don't always have tuna with baked potatoes and sometimes we like to mix things up and have chilli, salad, beans, or cheese, instead. Stop pestering me every time you pick up the scent of potato with your cute pink nose and stop sitting on top of my laptop!

And finally, here's something I'd like to know about the cat...

As she has more followers on Twitter than me... is this what she does all day when I'm not home I wonder? Check out Kitty's Twitter account here: @catostropic

Is there anything you'd like your own pets to know?

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton




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Monday, 22 June 2015

It's a Cat's Life

Tortie-tabby, unimpressed, KittyWe've always thought of the cat as the third child we never had and she holds a special place in our hearts. Now that she's our only daughter at home, the poor creature is in a perpetual state of confusion, as Olivia and Sophia arrive home and leave again many times throughout the year. Kitty just gets used to their company and the mayhem of family life, as they pack up and leave for university and the house is quiet all over again.

She can be grumpy for several days when this happens and  Mr A and myself feel guilty about our responsibilities as pet owners. A cat can do that to you. Kitty has grown up with the girls, so I guess it's only natural she's going to miss them when they're away. You cannot explain these things to a cat however, and so, we try to make amends by interacting with her (even more than usual) and filling her bowl with tuna, rather than the dried food she usually finds there.

On Thursday evening, the cat was in full grump mode. She sat resolutely on one of the sofas, glaring at the two of us with her claws splayed. There's nothing quite like an unhappy feline to tug at the heartstrings and the need to cheer her up was overwhelming. First I extracted her from the sofa and gave her a good brush... something she loves.

Cat, claws, sofa

As soon as I'd finished, she leapt off, plonked herself back on her sofa and resumed looking stroppy. Mr A picked her up and dished out lots of fuss. Again, she jumped off and returned once more to the sofa. This made the two of us very sad indeed.

Cat, sofa, unimpressed

It was getting late and we'd had one of those days that requires putting to rights over a bottle of wine. A couple of glasses later, as the cat sat looking as though she was plotting our demise, Mr A said, 'I wonder what's up with Kitty?'

Sofa, stroppy cat

I have no idea how it happens, but you know how everything becomes clearer after wine? Well, I had one of those alcohol-induced thoughts that are so brilliant, you can't fathom out why you hadn't thought of the answer before... 'I know what's wrong with her.'

'You do?' said Mr A.

'Yep... the cat watched me leave on Tuesday morning with Olivia and I arrived home without her. And in the early hours of Friday morning, we left with Sophia and she didn't come back either. I bet she's wondering if she's next.'

Mr A was giggling at this point, the cat however, remained unimpressed.

Cute cat, white paws

I have no idea how a cat's mind works and that's probably for the best, but we're trying to make amends before everything changes again next weekend. We're going away for a week and leaving our niece in charge. We may have to leave several tins of tuna, a couple of bags of Dreamies and an assortment of little pink bells for the cat to swipe all over the floor.

One thing's for sure -  Kitty will be plotting her revenge the whole time we're away.

cat, plotting, revenge


Until next time...

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton



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Saturday, 27 December 2014

The Week According to Cats on Twitter

Cats, Twitter, Kitty, Week
I've mentioned previously on the blog that Mr A is besotted with our rescue cat, Kitty. She has her own Twitter account where she interacts with followers from all over the world. And in case you were wondering, this is what cats on Twitter get up to all week...







Welcome to Kitty Loaf Monday...where cats tweet selfies looking like loaves of bread.
For years I have been getting this wrong as I've been calling this her roast chicken pose...

Cats, Twitter, Week, Kitty, Kittyloaf Monday

This is closely followed by #tunatuesday with pictures featuring erm... cans of tuna and cats feasting on their favourite food. Here's a snap photoshopped for the cat's Twitter account...

Tuna Tuesday, Week, Cats, Twitter

Next it's #whiskerswednesday with umpteen pictures of cats' whiskers. We've been hoarding these for quite some time in the Anderton house, please tell me you do this too?

Whiskers Wednesday, Week, Cats, Twitter

Sadly, there's no designated cat day for Thursday, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. Here's a pic of the cat snoozing in the garden...

cat, sleeping, garden

Instead of celebrating #followfriday the cats of Twitter celebrate #jellybellyfriday with yep, you guessed it lots of gorgeous photos of tummies...

Jelly Belly Friday, week, cats, Twitter

On Saturday you'll find the cats celebrating #caturday... and here was me thinking that every day was Caturday?! Here's one of my favourite snaps of Kitty wrapped in our her throw...

Caturday, week, cats, Twitter

There's also no hashtag for Sunday, but Mr A is attempting to launch #sofaloafersunday and to be fair this is what she does most days - here's a snap of Kitty and Mr A watching Furry Vengeance together. For those of you who haven't seen this film - you really should - it's fabulous.

Week, cats, Twitter, watching TV

So that's the lowdown on cats on Twitter. A place where cats from all around the world unite, compare notes about their owners and generally talk nonsense. Don't you just love it?!

Find Kitty on Twitter: @catostropic

Until next time...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton

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Friday, 5 December 2014

I Don't Know Why She Does It

Izzie's pretty tied up at the moment, (not literally) so she's asked me to jot down some mewsings and share them with you. As family pet in the Anderton house I see more than my fair share of strange behaviour and most of the time I have no idea what they're all up to. But right now, I'm wondering if anyone can explain why my owner human is even more insane than usual?

Here are a few examples of recent behaviour I've spotted while curled up on the sofa feigning sleep...

1. She returns home looking extremely knackered and carrying lots of bags.

2. She keeps wrapping the contents of these bags in brightly coloured paper and losing the end of the 'sodding tape,' her words, not mine. She isn't pleased when I chew the ends of the ribbon on any of her parcels and then swipe off the bows.

3. There is talk of a tree coming into the house in the not too distant future. I don't get why you would bring a real tree indoors, but in previous years I've seen this as a treat for yours truly, used it as a scratching post and reached the summit many times. A few baubles may have been sacrificed during my climbing expeditions - but it was so worth it.

4. The kitchen cupboards are so rammed I have a feeling we have a least ten people coming to stay for quite some time. I am plotting my escape.

5. My sisters will be home from university soon which can only mean one thing... trouble's brewing. She gets ridiculously excited about this and I'm happy to report that I receive slightly less attention as she lavishes affection on them as well as me. There's only so much love one cat can take. As I haven't seen any evidence of my cage making an appearance from the back of the shed, I'm optimistic they're not going on holiday and putting me in cat-jail.

6. Most evenings she can be spotted on the sofa scribbling in cards and licking envelopes... is this normal?

7. Yesterday afternoon she curled up on the sofa and watched one of those soppy Christmas movies. Personally I'd have preferred Fast and Furious anything, but as Mr A wasn't home there was no one around to help wrestle the remote off her. She may have sipped on a small rather large glass of something medicinal... I have no idea what was in there, but it seemed to cheer her up.

She's lucky I can't tell anyone what she gets up to. As for recent behaviour exhibited in the house I really have no idea why she does it. Can anyone enlighten me?

I know that it's going to be Christmas soon and here's hoping she remembered to buy a little something for me. In my recent letter to Santa Claws, I pointed out that I'd been exceptionally well-behaved this year and asked for an endless supply of tuna. If she buys me another pointless cat toy and a new collar, I'll be asking for the gift receipts and returning these the day after Boxing Day. I think these are the feline equivalents of socks and tea towels and you'd think that as I'm always losing collars while out on my daily constitutional would be a pretty good hint that actually, I hate wearing one. And while we're on the subject I'm supposed to like something called catnip... she can't smell it, but apparently it's supposed to make me go crazy. Seriously, why bother? Isn't there enough crazy going on already in my house?

Is any of the above going on in your home too?

Until next time, when I'm hoping that things might be back to normal... whatever that might be.

Copyright©2014 Kitty
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Monday, 16 December 2013

Home Bird

Hubby thoughtfully purchased a couple of tickets for Sarah Millican's 'Home Bird' tour for my birthday back in February. It has been a long wait until December, but on Friday we headed to Wolverhampton Civic Hall for her fourth and final date in the city.

The title of the show hints that Ms. Millican's discovering the delights of all things domestic. This year she's settled into a new house which features a couple of 'biscuit rooms' (aka the lounge and the kitchen), along with her partner of seven years and an increasing number of cats. In fact, she misses the cats so much, that friends who are entrusted with their care in her absence send regular pictures and updates - cute!

Sarah looks very festive indeed in a gorgeous red-spotted dress and bunny slippers to complete the outfit. As always, I'm taken aback by Sarah's innocent, mumsy face and the casual sprinkling of some incredibly rude anecdotes that you probably wouldn't appreciate if you're not that way inclined. Frequently the audience are left to jump to their own dirty conclusions following a random comment that hints of intense smut - there was nothing this particular audience didn't get!

I'm certain that her unhealthy fixation with bodily functions is something only an adolescent male of the species should be obsessing over! And her description of the abbreviation 'L.F.D.' will go with me to the grave, despite being something that every female in the audience was howling in recognition over.

We're all familiar with Sarah's journey into stand-up comedy following divorce, and know that she and her current partner have a great relationship. Her real-life anecdotes make you wonder if he ever gets to veto any topic, or whether she's hastily scribbling down notes for future material at every available opportunity. Incidentally, he is still getting it wrong on the gifting front and Ms Millican mysteriously received a shoehorn for her birthday this year. It appears that he takes everything quite literally and that Sarah would do well to drop the words 'Tiffany,' 'endless supply of biscuits' and 'more cats' into their conversation more often. It appears he also dislikes shopping and never manages to say the right thing in the changing rooms, which is a shame as Sarah's completely besotted with John Lewis.

Should you ever get to go on a dirty weekend you'll learn exactly what to take - although not for the reason you were thinking, after Ms Millican explains in her own sweet, yet filthy terms why this might come in handy.

There is a little treat for every member of the audience on the way out - it's entirely up to you to choose what type of person you really are.

The Home Bird tour continues until May 2014 and if you're lucky enough to have tickets, you're in for a treat.


A thoroughly enjoyable evening 4/5



Copyright © 2013 Izzie Anderton


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