My Little Assistant

My mum often refers to my cat as an assistant. For example when we’re talking on the phone, she’ll ask: “how is your assistant?” My mum has these expressions that are very her.

But the truth is, Pepper is my assistant. Not that she assists me in any useful way, she is just there when I’m doing something, sitting and watching me.

This is her watching me while I wash the dishes. It’s my typical evening routine, I do the dishes at around ten or eleven in the evening, clean the counters etc. Pepper sits there at the doorway and watches me.

The below picture was taken on a different day, but you’d be forgiven for thinking it was the same day.

I don’t know what interests her so much about my washing of the dishes. She’s an indoor cat, her territory is a very small flat, so I guess she needs to find excitement in every mundane thing.

Ladybird

That’s ladybug for Americans.

There’s this thistle (I think?) that sprouted out almost overnight at the entrance to my house–well not my house strictly, I live in one of the flats the house was converted into. I only noticed it a few days ago and it did not please my eye one bit.

Then today when I went out, I saw this:

And a phone shot of the same:

At least something nice came out of it.

The Cat And The Cardboard

A story in eight images, starring my cat Pepper.

“She got an Amazon order. Yay, cardboard!”

Chews it. “Hmmm, I’ve tasted worse.”

“Not very sturdy but comfy enough.”

Testing moves.

“Yes, this is adequate.”

“Not bad actually.”

Contemplating the secrets of the universe.

Sleep, zzzzzzzzzzz…

~The End~

Cats in the Park

I encountered these two cats on my walk in the park, the walk from my previous post.

I took several pictures of this cat, who looked like quite a young cat, perhaps still half a kitten. I first spotted her (I’m going to refer to this cat as “she/her”) at that tree in the back of this photo. She didn’t run when I walked closer to her, but instead focused on something, which I soon saw were two squirrels. She wanted to catch them, or one of them at least. However, both squirrels dealt with the predator easily by swiftly climbing up the trees. One squirrel even–and I swear to you, it did–taunted the cat by shaking its tail and letting out shrieking noises. In fact both squirrels made this noise, and it was the first time I’ve heard squirrels making any kind of noise. And I see squirrels all the time in Heaton Park.

This one ran away as soon as I started getting closer.

The Deer at Lyme Park

As promised, here is another Lyme Park post, this time animal-themed. Because they have deer.

See them, in the distance? (Also why climbing that hill was worth it.)

And here they are, closer. I don’t know what made them come down to the foot of the hill, but they look curious about something.

not deer in headlights

What I know is that they legged it back straight away. Getting this shot was pure luck, it would not have been possible only seconds later.

Apparently, the deer have been present at Lyme Park for over 600 years.

Looking it up, I see that there are a few collective nouns for deer: a bevy, a brace, a bunch, a gang, a herd, a leash, a mob, a parcel, and a rangale (never heard that word before). Oh, deer.

Finally something new to my animal collection that isn’t a cat or a bird!

Although… last September I went for a walk to one of my usual places, the wooded area near my home, pictures of which have featured on this blog numerous times, when I spotted a doe with two little ones. I literally stopped like “eh?” and she saw me too, and swiftly as a deer, they ran to hide away, before I took my phone out of my pocket. Understand that, though it is a wild, wooded place, it’s still the inner city of Manchester, so not a location where you expect this type of wildlife. How in seven hells did they get there, or indeed why they’d want to stay there, is a mystery.

I haven’t encountered them since. I hope nothing bad happened to them.

The Love of a Cat

I’ve been tidying my blog lately; by which I mean sorting out my tags, mostly, and even deleting some older posts. One of the deleted posts was titled “Animal” and I wrote it in response to the WordPress Discover Challenge. (Remember that one? Yeah. They killed that one before they killed the Weekly Photo Challenge. What was good about the Discover Challenge was that you could respond in any way you wanted, using text, photo, video, music, anything. I made four posts for this challenge before it quietly disappeared, all of which I have now deleted.) It was a good post, though, so I decided to repost what I wrote, with better pictures. If you’ve visited my blog before, and even from the title of this entry, you can guess that the animal in question was a cat.

This is from February 2016, one of the first photos taken with my Canon camera

My cat is called Pepper and, as you can see, she is black. Black cats are not popular, they struggle most with being rehomed from shelters, whether it’s due to prejudice or the fact that people think they won’t look good on Instagram–both stupid reasons. And that’s why I like them. Someone has to stick up for the unloved, forgotten creatures.

Chilling?

I’ve learned a lot from Pepper. Without her I wouldn’t have known how magnificent cats are. And most of all, I would never have discovered that I was a cat person. I would have lived my life without this knowledge. She made me know myself better.

Pepper I’m READING this book!

That’s her resting her head on the book I was reading. It’s The Hollow* by Agatha Christie (actually it’s a volume of four novels, also including Three Act Tragedy, Sad Cypress, and Evil Under The Sun), featured in my post about Yggdrasil tree.

People joke about cats wanting to take over the world, but I disagree. They already rule the world. They do what they want and we love them and feed them. Why would they bother? Also, they’re quite lazy. Ruling the world would be just too much work.

Here’s some good quotes about cats:

I would like to see anyone, prophet, king or God, convince a thousand cats to do the same thing at the same time.

Neil Gaiman

Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.

Robert A Heinlein

If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.

Mark Twain

Cats are far wiser than we; their language is silence.

Ki Longfellow

What greater gift than the love of a cat.

Charles Dickens

Dickens got it right. There’s nothing better than a love of a cat.

And finally, let me throw in some Star Trek.

And creative beings too, I’d argue.


*I feel I have to mention this, The Hollow contains some bad antisemitism, so just content warning about that. The book wasn’t fresh in my mind when I did the Yggdrasil post, and only on the recent re-read I noticed how bad it really was. Although *** spoilers, I guess *** the Jewish character is not the victim or the culprit. It’s just a minor character, Midge’s boss, but she’s badly stereotyped.