I took some shots from the window earlier in the month. The top two with camera, the last one with smartphone. (It’s not snow, it’s frost.)
Temperatures plummeted to, like, minus eight degrees Celsius, and I was legit worried it would never get warmer. Cold snaps like this tend to last two to three days; this one went for longer than a week. It was awful. I still went for my usual walk in the park on my lunchbreak, but I had to keep my hands in my pockets. There was nothing to photograph anyway.
Luckily it got better, now it’s back to the normal Manchester weather of grey skies and rain, and much warmer temperature.
I’ve not taken any pictures since 9 December, apart from this one of Pepper chilling on the kitchen radiator:
Although “chilling” is probably not the right term here. More like “warming”.
Depressing post is depressing, but it explains why there was no content on the blog. I’m not depressed, in fact I’ve been reflecting that 2022 has been a quite good year for me.
I don’t have any concrete plans for any Christmas-themed post, but I’ll probably slip something in, because I usually do.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cats are far wiser than we; their language is silence.
What greater gift than the love of a cat.
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.
My cat is very unbothered by *points at everything in the world*. What matters to her is what has always mattered to her: that she gets fed and finds a comfy place to chill out. This sometimes means she steals my spot, for which I have to fight her for.
She is constant.
However, she is also constant in other ways.
Pepper came to my life seven years ago. She’s been with me while I went through all the stuff I went through, the good and the bad and the ugly; she’s never left my side. She may not be able to speak human, but she’s still a faithful companion. Better than other humans, often. She’s not the one who, for example, disbelieves me when I tell her something. She’s not the one who dismisses my trauma or handwaves my worries and fears. She doesn’t belittle me and she never laughs at me.
There is evidence that pets are good for our mental health. Of course, everyone who has a pet knows this, but it’s good to have it backed by science nevertheless.
Sign on the floor in the Arndale shopping centre in Manchester.
At the entrance to my local park where I spent so much walking this year.
Sign at the door to my launderette. It makes it very clear.
Sign on the side of Selfridges department store, a popular spot for sitting. I mean the side of the store is popular spot for sitting, not the actual store. So they put the sign there for people not to sit there.
Narrator’s voice: nevertheless, they still sat.
Sign on the Metrolink tram.
Construction site. The sign is also concealing a wheelbarrow, which was parked further up the road, after the yellow barriers in the distance. You know how I love my wheelbarrows. See what this virus is doing!
Staying at home not only helps save lives, it also gives one an opportunity to snap some neat cat pictures. My living room faces east, so gets the morning light. Light is most essential when you have a black cat, it also shrinks the pupils in her eyes, making them greener. Normally I would be at work at this time.
Here are some pics of Pepper supervising me while I’m homeworking.
Those damn birds outside.
Wearing the ribbon with a little bell from Lindt chocolate Easter bunny.
I’ve not been on my blog for a few days and so it passed me by that it was its birthday on 2nd September.
I get “dry” phases when I don’t post on my blog (because I don’t have anything to post, or I don’t know what to post or I’m too tired to post). This time around it’s not exactly the case as there is something I want to post about, only it’s more text-heavy so, as is ever the case with me and writing, it’s going to take me time to come up with the words.
Well that’s it, I don’t have anything else. Here’s my cat in a box:
You are the Great Cat, the avenger of the gods, and the judge of words, and the president of the sovereign chiefs and the governor of the holy Circle; you are indeed the Great Cat.
inscription on tomb in the valley of the kings
It’s actually my cat Pepper. But all cats think they’re gods so who’s to say she isn’t?
Please, if you’re reading this and and are looking to adopt a cat from a shelter–consider a black cat. They are the ones that are most difficult to find home for. People still have some prejudices about them (though how can you claim to be a cat lover and have prejudice about black cats, I don’t get) and also, I read somewhere that, apparently, another reason is that “they don’t photograph well so they don’t look good on Instagram.” If that is true, then… well, check out my blog.
As you can see, it is perfectly possible to take nice pics of black cats. And that was taken with just my smartphone, not a DSLR camera. You just need a lot of light. I was really lucky to get that shot, it was Saturday morning and sunlight was pouring into my bedroom and she was sitting on the window sill. It’s probably my best picture of her.
It’s the 7th day of the new year and by now, I should have posted a photograph of something to do with sky–sunrise or sunset or perhaps a moon, as I usually do at this time of year. I’m not doing that because I have no such picture; I’ve not taken up my camera this year yet. So, instead, here’s the photo of my cat Pepper, being a, well, cat.
I try to post pictures of my Pepper only when it’s appropriate–this is not a cat blog. At least I pretend I’m in charge. Of course, Pepper only looks at me like, are you kittin’ me? Any cat owner knows we don’t boss them, they boss us.
So, you know how cats do this thing when they suddenly, without warning, go berserk and run round like crazy for no reason. Apparently it’s to do with them conserving too much energy, which they need to burn. (Tough I personally prefer the more interesting theory of cats chasing ghosts or aliens.) Pepper likes to do this on weekend or Bank Holiday mornings when I sleep late and chill in bed. She shoots from one end to the other (I live in a tiny flat) then stops at my bed and frantically attacks the bedstead with her claws. It could be described as something like this: wobb wobb wobb whoosh d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-r chachadada bang hooo and I realised, hey, it sounds like a dubstep song!
I love this tune. It also features one of my favourite artists–Dizzee Rascal. Enjoy!