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that was 2015

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2015 was the year of the Baby Niece. It was also the year of the spiralizer, but no, I don’t own one.

I flirted with the internet, using paying blogging platforms. One just upped and left with $48 of my hard-earned cash and the other is flirting back with me. I go by Poppylicious. My anonymity still means the world to me. I discovered survey sites and earnt lots of Amazon vouchers to spend on Christmas presents. I rock. Sometimes.

The Blokey turned the big Four Zero. Our kidney continues to do well.

I went to Wales. I went to Belgium. I lost weight with Dukan. I enjoyed a bit of Yorkshire hilly regions. We laughed with a real-life Bill Bailey. The boiler broke and then got fixed. The cats don’t argue quite so much anymore.

Work is slightly pants. It might get pantier, it might not.

Yes, I made that word up.

I am going to endeavour to write more here in 2016. I like writing on sites where I get paid, but I sometimes feel that I’m only writing or commenting to make money, and likewise, that people are only commenting on my posts to make a bit of extra cash. That isn’t what blogging is about to me. To me it’s simply about putting a little piece of myself out there, for the world to see. Or not. It makes me feel more valued, gives me a purpose. Besides, we’re paying for this domain; I should use it more often!

So, happy new year. I’ll be spending mine in bed, snuggled up with Blokey because he has Man-Flu. Huzzah!

Keep on rockin’.

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the littering cat

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Recently in the virtual world people have been posting photos of their real cats sitting in virtual boxes, created by taping a shape to the floor. We thought it was such a nifty idea we’d have a go.

Did our two babies want to play?! Um, nope.

We taped two shapes to the floor. Dora completely ignored them. Qyzen had a look and actually walked around them intentionally. This was a tad disappointing because both of them generally love getting into things they shouldn’t. We left the shapes taped to the floor and went to bed.

Fast forward to this morning and one of our very clever cats {Qyzen} had used the virtual box. Yes, he’d USED the virtual box. He’d sat in the virtual box at some point during the night and left a big steaming pile of poo in it, right in the middle of the living room.

Idiot!

Still, at least he knows to go in a box, even if it is the wrong box.

And it doesn’t exist.

Bless him.

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The Ongoing Saga of the Crazy Cat-stealing Woman

crazy

If this carries on, I’ll have to ring the RSPCA [Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals],” she said.

I am not a violent person. I’d rather stick my head in the sand and my fingers in my ears than face confrontation and argument (so saith the lass who deliberately picked fights with her siblings as she was growing up). I also get anxious to the extent that I tie my belly up in knots and wish the ground would swallow me up in some cataclysmically apocalyptic style, so it was with great trepidation – and incredible bravery – that I stalked across the road on Thursday afternoon, knocked on their front door and asked for my cat back.

A terse conversation including the words not seen for 24 hours, worry about her, anxiety, I’ve asked you before, just put her out, it’s not my problem (me) and but you’re at work [um, no I’m not at the moment], she just comes in, can’t put her out in the middle of the night, why don’t you just keep her in [eh?] (her) and I returned home with Dora in my arms.  She settled down and fell asleep and I was a big meanie when she later mewed pityingly at the door begging to go out, and I didn’t let her.

I let her out the following morning, spent the day shopping with Mumsy and returned home only to be greeted ten minutes after getting in by a knock on the door.

It’s that crazy woman,” I said.

It was indeed that crazy woman.  “Come and get your cat back,” she said to me.  “No,” I answered, “Just put her outside and she’ll make her way home when she realises she’s not welcome.”

The excuses began. She just keeps coming back (her). Well, keep putting her back out (me). It’s cruel (her). It’s not cruel, she belongs to me and I’m asking you not to let her in your house (me). She’s not actually in the house she’s in the conservatory and we can’t shut the windows because it’s too hot (her). That’s not my problem (me). Well, if this carries on I’ll have to ring the RSPCA (her). Excuse me? She’s loved, insured, fed, watered, microchipped and boostered annually; I’m not sure what the RSPCA are going to do (me) …

She hobbled away eventually, perhaps when she realised that she was making me angry.  I honestly don’t get her nerve. Still, I seem to have won this particular battle for Dora has been happily playing, sleeping and eating here, and when I called her this evening she came from a direction which was completely opposite to the Crazy Cat-stealing Woman’s house.

I give it two weeks maximum and then no doubt we’ll be embroiled in another battle.  It may be Dora at the heart of it … they may try and steal Qyzen next. Either way, Bring It On!

the crazy cat-stealing lady strikes again!

[today i am not a nice person]

cat woman

Dear (not really) Crazy Cat-stealing Lady,

No, I will not buy my Dora-cat a collar with a bell on it.  She hasn’t killed four birds, you liar, liar, pants on fire. Perhaps if you refrain from putting cat food out for the other animals she might stop popping over to your house.  Crikey, if you stop letting her in your house (I can smell your house on her, you fool!) she might stop popping over to your house and then she won’t be killing the birds (which she doesn’t kill).

Really, do you have nothing better to do than wait for us to come home from a very long day at work (my bus was thirty minutes late, so a twelve hour day became a twelve hour and thirty minutes day, and the last thing I wanted was to be met with your ugly mug) so that you can then come hobbling over to ask us to do something to our cat, when you can’t even be arsed to stop letting her in your house despite our exceedingly nice requests?

… and breathe …

*SCREAMS* < this is me screaming.

I do feel a tad guilty for turning my back on you and walking away, but really … p!ss off!!

Thanks,

KatieF *kisses* (not really)

PS: If either of my babies come home with a collar on it will be going straight in the bin. When you start paying for their insurance, vet visits and cattery costs, I’ll let you buy them collars, with very jingly bells.  Until then …

and again …

Crazy-old-Lady

She came to my house yesterday.

Can you come and collect your cat?

What the fuck? Does my cat not have legs?

That’s all I have to say on the matter.

Crazy nutter.

the rise of the (crazy) cat stealing lady

1

She’s at it again, the blasted woman.

I didn’t want him (her, I corrected) to get cold, she said.

Really? She went out at 1pm because she needed the loo and I’ve been calling her every thirty minutes or so since then. Please stop letting her in your house because when I call her and she doesn’t come trotting home I start to worry, I said.

Even though you know where he is (her, I corrected), she said.

Yes, I said.

He (her, I corrected) scratched me (shows me a bloody thumb) because he (her, I corrected) obviously didn’t want to come back, she said.

What the fuck? I said (not really.)

I expect she didn’t really like you carrying her from your house to mine. Just put her out of the door; she’ll make her own way home without you having to put your coat/shoes on and nearly fall over in the snow, I said (really.)

Honestly, the woman does my head in. It’s mostly the fact that she advertises the fact that she’s letting Dora in that irks me, as if she believes we’re unfit and uncaring cat owners staff because Dora wants to go out for fresh air, territory checking and toilet needs. Both cats stay in every night and unless it’s going to be really cold, raining all day or snowing I tend to leave Dora out whilst we’re at work. She’s been a part of our little family since May 2011 and this has always been the case. She’s happy, healthy, glossy coated, well fed, insured and microchipped. I shouldn’t have to justify myself and my cat owning staffing abilities to some crazy old lady who has nothing to do with her days but steal the neighbourhood cats.

He (her, I corrected) sits under our car and we feel sorry for him (her, I corrected), she said.

Of course she frigging sits under your car. That’s really close to where you leave the cat food out for the hedgehogs, you nuttering nut bag, I said (not really.)

Shortly before Christmas Dora came home one day with a ribbon around her neck.  Attached to the ribbon was a little note which read something along the lines of, If this is your cat please could you let me know; if I don’t hear from anyone I’ll assume it’s a stray and call the local Cat Protection branch. Mr IHaveNothingBetterToDo, #43 Cat Stealing Lane. When I went round there I actually told them they knew she was our cat because when they previously tried to steal Mog they’d mentioned the little black cat who sits on my shed to me and I’d told them she was ours. Oh yes, they said. We knew he (she, I corrected) must belong to someone because he’s (she’s, I corrected) never around after about 6pm, they said. Then why put a note around her neck, you imbeciles!?

Seriously, just go away and stop stealing my babies!

The most worrying aspect for me was that when she brought Dora home yesterday (although she didn’t because Dora had scratched her thumb and leapt from her arms before she was even halfway to mine, yet she still crossed the road in the snow, with her fluid filled legs to let me know … *sigh*) she spied Qyzy.  Oh, you have another one, she said, far too excitedly for my liking …

Qyzen the Qytten

Once upon a time, not very long ago in the grand scheme of things, Blokey couldn’t understand quite why it was that I wanted a pussy-cat. However, Tabatha completely won him over, despite her shyness and lack of playfulness (she was old). And so Tabatha begat* Mog and in turn, he begat* Dora after Tabatha passed away.

And then Moggly-Moo did his disappearing act. I thought for a very long time that he would come home. It was many weeks before I stopped calling him and I still look out of the window in the front door and expect to see him waiting patiently under the car, as he was fond of doing. In two days he’ll have been missing (presumed dead, but hopefully still just in Reading) for four months, and I will continue to live in hope that he’ll come flouncing up the road without a care in the world for the next fifteen or so years.

When (if) he does he’s in for a shock, one which takes the form of Moggles, the Second.

There is no mistaking Qyzen for Mog when we use only our eyes. Where Moggles was a very fluffy tabby (of brown/golden and gingerish hues) with the most amazingly bushy tail, tufty ears and HUGE paws (a Norwegian tree frog with a dash of Maine Coon and a hint of American Bobcat, no less), Qyzen (and if you know without Googling where this name comes from, then shame on you, you geeky-nerd gamer person) is black with a white bib and white socks. Because he’s so young (born around May 1st) he’s teeny, but his tail is definitely getting fluffier; we doubt he’ll ever be as big as Moggles who was MASSIVE and would have become MORE MASSIVE because he was only two and a half. We’re waiting for Qyzen’s voice to break; he currently squeaks his meows. Bless.

Personality wise we couldn’t have chosen a Qytten so like Mog. It wasn’t apparent when we first brought him home but as the days have progressed he’s just become Mog in Miniature. If I was an odd person I would think that Mog has been reborn and found his way back to us in Qytten form.

As an aside, even though I’m not an odd person, I do actually like the idea that if Mog did die he IS Qyzen. It’s cute in a sickly-sweet way and it’s the sort of thing that Moggles would do; he had a brilliant sense of humour (for a cat).

Qyzen lounges on the back of the armchair like Mog did. He pesters Dora in only the way Mog ever could. On the first night he spent here he fell asleep between the pillows in exactly the same position Mog did the first time he slept on our bed. He is desperate to chew cables like Mog did (and phew! I can see why the previous owners of Mog couldn’t cope with him; it’s hard and frustrating work – worthy of copious amounts of patience – teaching a Qytten not to do something he so longingly wants to do!) His favourite toys were previously Mog’s favourite toys, even down to the way he carries them around in his mouth, and despite all the new toys we introduced him to. He even picked up on the Bannister Game with no encouragement.

I imagine if Mog were to come home they would hate each other, on account of being too similar.

Oh, he likes bread. Mog didn’t like bread.

*not literally, obviously.

just some cat that i used to know

Mog-cat isn’t a particularly affectionate cat.  Or rather, he’s a cat who knows what he wants and if he doesn’t want it you can bugger right off …

He gave me lots of affection that fateful Sunday morning.  He allowed Dora-cat to go out and then he crept into the bedroom and cuddled up to me.  He isn’t a cuddler.  He certainly isn’t a lap cat.  So when he sits on me and purrs away contentedly it’s the happiest feeling in the world, and makes me feel special.  It makes me feel loved.  He followed me down the stairs later that morning but refused to go out when I first opened the door.  Instead he jumped onto the hall window sill and looked at me as if to say, It may be sunny mummy, but I’m not going out! Perhaps he knew he wouldn’t be seeing me ever again.

Shortly after this I opened the door again and he poked his head round to look down the street.  I think I gently nudged him.  After he went out he sat looking at me but made no move to come back in even though I waited before shutting the door, just in case.

But I still feel guilty, for that gentle nudge.

People were enjoying their gardens; there was sunshine and neighbours were mowing their lawns, weeding and washing their cars.  We had a huge hailstorm a couple of hours later. The hail became heavy rain. And Mog didn’t come home.

He didn’t come home later that afternoon either.  I wasn’t too worried; he loves being outside, chasing leaves and checking his territory.  I wasn’t even too worried when he didn’t come in that night as he’s stayed out before.  But then he wasn’t waiting by the door on Monday morning, Blokey didn’t see him all day and he didn’t come home for his tea on Monday evening.

On Tuesday I went straight round to the Cat-Stealing Neighbours after work.  I was desperate for them to say they’d seen him.  Instead they told me they’d been getting worried as he hadn’t visited them since Saturday.  It was the first time I’d spoken to the husband and he seems a little less loopy than his wife.  In fact, he was quite lovely.

I’ve posted leaflets through doors, spoken to other neighbours, put leaflets/posters in shop windows and been up at ridiculous hours of the morning to walk around the neighbourhood calling him.  Birds are so very noisy at dawn, damn them.  I’ve contacted the environmental services department of the local district council and the vets and the local RSPCA … *sigh*

He’s been missing for 12 days now. The not-knowing is the worst thing.  If I knew he was dead I’d be able to grieve.  My biggest fear is that he’s still trapped in a shed or garage locally; it’s been raining daily since we last saw him and people won’t have been in their gardens.  But then I hold on to the fact that if he is trapped there will be spiders to munch on and rainwater may find a way in through a leaky roof or something … But he could be dying slowly and I can’t get that out of my head.  I burst into tears at random.  I still call him a few times a day and everytime I glance out of the window I expect to see him under Blokey’s car (where he waits as he can see the front door) or trotting down the road without a care in the world and the biggest of cat grins on hs face.

I know that the night I don’t call him in before bed will be the night I’ll have accepted he isn’t coming back, but right now I can’t see me not calling him.  And I know he’s only a cat, but he’s my cat … he’s my baby.

Blokey says he’s gone to Reading.  It wouldn’t surprise me, even though it very obviously isn’t true.  He does have a thing for getting into cars … And it’s nice to imagine that he’s having an adventure somewhere, that he’s happy and enjoying life.

Come home, Moggly-Moo …

love, tabatha

(this is what tabatha would have written, if she had thumbs. and knew human sounds. etc.)

Dear Mummy,

I first saw you and Daddy on a beautiful sunny day in the July of 2005. I actually saw Daddy first and meowed at him, desperate for his attention. When you said that you wanted to take me home I was absolutely delighted. I’d been in the shelter for a few weeks and although the people there were lovely, I was craving a place to call ‘home’. I didn’t remember a ‘home’. I think I had one when I was a baby, but all I really remember are streets and loud noises, with men shouting at me and being cruel.

I know you both found me to be really difficult when you first brought me home. I wanted so much to be loved by you, but I was so scared. I didn’t know if this was my forever home, or just a holiday. You were so kind and patient, but the tellybox was so nice to live behind. I could see you, but you couldn’t see me! I liked it behind the settee too, because that way I could see the pictures moving on the tellybox. When you were both out I felt safe, but I started to miss you. When you came back I was so happy!

Your patience and love won me over. I can’t believe that it took me a whole year before I had the courage to sit on your laps! That was an entire year of belly-rubbing and snuggly-ness that I will never get back. And it was another year before I let you pick me up! Why?! Being picked up for a cuddle was the most magical thing in the world. I always let you know how lovely it was with my very noisy purr.

When Daddy went to hospital in 2008 I knew it made you sad, Mummy. I tentatively jumped on the bed to give you comfort, and when you didn’t push me off I knew it was okay. That was when I started snuggling up to you at night. It was heaven.

There were occasions when I was a complete nightmare. The vomiting on the pillow whilst you were sleeping episode, for example. The I can’t make it to the litter tray, I’ll just poo on the rug/jumper/doormat/whatever happens to be on the floor instead episodes. At the cattery another cat tricked me into bringing fleas home … gosh, that didn’t make you as happy as I thought it would. I loved the grass in the back garden; it was the best toilet in the whole wide world!

But Mummy, you made me so happy. Okay, so I didn’t like going in the basket and visiting the nasty man with the needles. And having other people in the house made me nervous (although wasn’t it fabulous the day I finally sat on your Mumsy’s lap?) And yes, I tended to ignore you for a day or so after having to stay in the cattery. But you did make me happy.

And then you suddenly decided I needed a baby brother. Mog!

*hiss*

I know I surprised you by being so mean to him at first, and it did take longer for me to get used to him that you expected, but I was so used to you and Daddy being ‘mine’ that I didn’t want to share you with a ball of fluff who was bigger than me! But I did secretly love showing him who was boss. I think he got the message, didn’t he? And to be honest, it was quite nice being able to assert some authority and not being bottom of the pack … *purrs loudly with delight* When he jumped on the bed on Wednesday morning and snuggled his head against mine it made me happy. It happened in the blink of an eye, but it was special, as though he forgave me for not playing with him, and for hissing at him.

Thank you for loving me and for not giving up on me. And thank you too for the treats, the milky, the decking, the lawn, the big comfy bed, the dirty pond water, the laps, the radiators, the food on demand, the belly-rubbing, the chin-tickling, the conversations you had with me and the attention you gave me.

But mostly, thank you for being with me on Wednesday, for cuddling me and staying with me till the very end. I went quickly, Mummy. I knew it would break your heart if I tried to fight the man with the needle, and it was time for me to go anyway. Don’t cry Mummy; I’ll always be with you, on your pillow or getting in the way of your computer monitor. Love you all (yes, even Moggly-Moo!) …

Be happy,

Love, Tabatha (aka Tabz, Smelly-Bum) x

(Unknown – 30 March 2011, aged about twelve, possibly older)

tales of the cat-stealing neighbours, chapter two

I rang her doorbell last night, despite my belly being completely tied up in knots (for I loathe confrontation and I’m shy too.)

Hi, I’m looking for my cat. I’ve been calling him for an hour. Have you seen him?

She turned away from me and headed to her living room to ask her husband where my cat was. As she did I poked my head round her door and spied my cat looking deliciously warm and cosy, cuddled up next to the radiator.

He’s just … [she gestured towards the radiator]
I know, I can see him. May I pick him up? [what the f*ck! he’s my cat, why did i feel the need to ask!]
It’s his favourite spot, she smiled.

I turned to go, but paused.

May I ask a favour?

She looked at me and nodded.

Could you stop letting him in?
Oh, she gushed. He comes in the back with the dogs.
Oh, well just kick him out when he does.

I could see her frantically thinking and seconds later she responded with,

But sometimes he’s sitting on the bin just waiting for us to let him in.

I smiled pleasantly.

That’s ok. Just don’t let him in.
She nodded. Okay, I won’t let him in. I’ll kick him out.
Thank you.

I told Blokey that she was lying. I am cynical for all the right reasons. This afternoon I arrived home from work and called my Mogglie. My Mogglie failed to come running. A few minutes later I called him again. He still failed to come running. I made a point of putting some rubbish out. Upon going in I was sneaky and peeked out through the window of my front door. Her door opened and promptly closed. Seconds later my Mogglie appeared.

I glared at her house and mouthed rude words in her direction.

*sigh*

As an aside, my Mogglie is very well loved. He has cuddles, favourite spots and plenty of toys. He enjoys his food and LOVES his milky. He has only once spent a night outside, and that was because the bathroom fitter forgot to check he was in before locking him out. He has special Mummy & Me time every morning in the bathroom (don’t ask!) and is allowed treats of meat when Tabatha is out. He really craves chocolate! Mog is currently fast asleep on the chair next to me, purring contentedly. Last night he slept underneath the radiator in the bedroom. Yesterday evening he curled up by the radiator in the living room for hours. He is not a cat who doesn’t know where his heart is and he always comes home. He is just a cat who knows he’s onto a Good Thing when some dotty old couple let him in to a warm house in winter and presumably give him treats. Let a cat in, feed it, and it will always come back for more, however much it loves its home. It isn’t that hard to understand.

Stupid dotty fecking old lady.

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