Saturday, 14 February 2015

Guest Reader's Cat Of The Month: Peaches


Perfect Purry Peaches Pink Nosed Pussy Cat, Cheesey Peas, Peachey or Pea. 

Theme tune:
Beethoven’s Pastoral, especially if it is whistled by Jane.  I also get excited if she whistles the theme from The Great Escape. 

13 ½ 

I have lived with Jane and Richard and their two daughters since I was a kitten.  I don’t consider them as ‘owners’, they are my dedicated staff.  

Brief biography:
I am a pure Bristol cat.  Jane rescued my mummy Jenny-fur-purr, when she went to collect some ducks for the Community Farm she worked at.  Jenny-fur-purr was meant to go to another home but the person adopting her changed their mind.  I was born onto a towel in a cat basket under the dining table whilst Jane was out running a course on willow sculpture.  Unfortunately I was born with a virus that caused my eye problems.  Jane and Rich kept my sister Apricot-Echo and I. We moved to Buckinghamshire when I was 6 months old to a house with an enormous garden.  Sadly Apricot-Echo died suddenly 4 years ago, we think she ate something poisonous. 

Purrriiip! This translates as ‘look at me, feed me, cuddle me and GET UP AND FEED ME’ I also use it to demand that the fire is lit for me on cold nights.

Favourite habits:
Sleeping, eating, looking really cute, washing my beautiful fur, playing with my Plague rat, chasing Katy Kitty Beans around the bedroom as if we were participating in an old style Wall of Death motorbike show.  I also enjoy cuddling up on Jane, duvets, cushions or in front of the log fire. I like sitting on the third stair up to wait for Jane when she comes home from work.  Giving Rich nose rubs is fun too. Sitting on Jane’s pillow and waking her up in the small hours of the morning by batting her on the face or occasionally sitting on her head, this is the best fun a cat can have! I also like to leave my stinky fish toy lined up equidistant to other objects, such as the edge of stairs, doorways and furniture.  Given my virtual blindness, I am millimetre perfect at this.  The dumb humans thought that each other were responsible for this until I was observed leaving it pointing directly at the bedroom door.  Jane has even got the tape measure out to check up on my perfection!  

Perfect evening:
Once I have full belly, I like nothing better than to sit on Jane, especially if she has a woolly jumper on.  If I am really lucky she will be watching rugby or reading a good book which means that she sits still for more than 10 minutes and I can really slob out.

Favourite food:
Any meat or fish, cheese, gravy and marmite.

Defining moment:
When I was 4 months old, I was wandering along a wall near a footpath when some idiot scooped me up and took me to the RSPCA shelter.  The idiot thought I was unloved because of my eyes.  My eyesight is terrible and I had been booked into have the really bad eye removed by a vet but it had been postponed due to a death in my staff’s family.  Thankfully Jane called all the right people and I was quickly traced to the RSPCA shelter.  Rich came to collect me and the nice RSPCA staff did not have to ask for proof of ownership because I heard Rich’s voice and when he picked me up I rubbed his nose, cranked up my best purr and would not let go!  Until this time I had only ever followed the sound of Jane’s voice or her finger clicking.  Afterwards I learnt to trust Rich, he is my saviour but I do not trust other people at all.

Gonads and the ducks.  Gonads is a young bully cat who lives in one of the houses nearby.  He jumps on me when I go out to use the garden ‘facilities’.  Jane calls him Gonads and says she’ll have them if she catches the (Bleep bleep) git.  I am not sure what that means but it doesn’t sound very nice!  The ducks were cute at first and I spent a few months watching over them, they quickly grew up and now they chase me through the cat flap and nip my tail!  Jane says it is because I am fox coloured, they don’t do it to Katy who is a tortoiseshell.
If you could make the world a better place for felines, what would it be?
I would like all cats to have good food, lots of love and a warm open fire to curl up in front of.  Jane says I should also want all boy cats to have their gonads removed, I think she is very rude!

Which celebrity would you most like to meet?
According to Jane, we do not ‘do’ celebrities. I would pick someone intelligent and kind to cats. I’d like to meet Tom Cox.  Even if Tom’s books made Jane laugh so hard I fell of off her lap several times whilst she was reading them! If not Eddie Izzard, he does some excellent stand-up cat comedy.

Which of the cats in Under The PawTalk To The Tail or The Good, The Bad And The Furry would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?

I’d like to meet them all. I am most torn between The Bear, Janet and the gorgeous Shipley! I love the description of Janet making friends with a senile fox, I think Janet could introduce me to some foxes so that I can get revenge on the ducks!  I have never sworn in my life, I spat at Katy Kitty Beans when she arrived 2 years ago but it would be great if Shipley could teach me to say some really bad swears like fucklecopter or spunkferret. If I met The Bear I would lick his ears and give him lots of cat kisses.

Friday, 6 February 2015

A Brief Guide To The Stars Of The @MYSADCAT Twitter Account

The Bear - aka @MYSADCAT - is, by some distance, the most polite cat I've ever met. When he wants food, he asks for it not with a meow, but by nodding eagerly towards the food cupboard. Now 19, and a bit of a Benjamin Button cat (he's starting to look something like his age now but looked older at 5 than he did at 17), he has more of a meeoop than a meow: a noise that, despite its gentle nature, can pull noisily at your heart strings with its central question, which usually seems to translate as, "Can you tell me why I am a cat, please?" While other cats throw their weight about in various ways, punching each other & killing rodents, The Bear adopts a pacifist lifestyle and prefers to spend the day following me around, staring at me with his big saucer eyes, which seem to contain all the world's sadness. I did once catch him sitting alone with a dead mouse but I think another cat had killed it, and he just wanted to read some elegiac poetry to it.

"Can cats actually have sideburns?" you might wonder. The answer to the question, for anyone who has encountered Ralph - aka @MYSMUGCAT - is an emphatic "Yes!" Frequently compared to such hirsute mid-20th Century male pin-ups as Jim Morrison and Parallax View-era Warren Beatty, Ralph is simultaneously the most pretty and the most narcissistic of my cats. His beauty comes at a price, though - largely that of being a magnet to parasites and other creepy-crawlies, never more so than during the autumn of 2012, when he averaged around two slugs on his back per day. This wasn't ideal, especially when I found one of the slugs swimming around in my unattended morning cereal. That said, I found the image of the slugs on his back wasn't quite so bad if I imagined that each one was a small snake riding a horse. Ralph is also known for being able to meow his own name. It's a clever habit. Alternatively, perhaps he's just one of those annoying cats who like to refer to themselves in the third person.

Imagine a fur-covered mix of Malcolm Tucker from The Thick Of It, a medieval fool employed to entertain those who pay for his food, a punk rock musician and an unusually large, especially persistent meat fly, and you pretty much have Shipley - aka @MYSWEARYCAT - down to a tee. Picked as an "extra", way back in 2001 when I adopted his brother, Ralph, due to the fact he was the runt of the litter and I felt sorry for him, he soon grew into a personality that was anything but runtish, and got into the habit of walking around the house swear-meowing, batting The Bear on the head and chewing any paperback book I was remiss enough to leave lying around. Shipley is constantly in my face, talking trash. This persona can only be defused by picking him up and turning him upside down, at which point he will become as mellow as a Grateful Dead fan at a "legalise cannabis" fundraiser, and purr in a such a powerful way, you suspect it could serve as a renewable energy source.

Princess was born into a cultured environment in Kilburn, West London, in February 2012, then, a few months later, cruelly transported into a far less cultured one, in Norfolk, by her new owners and given the name of a dead American man from the 1800s. Roscoe now lives in Devon with three male cats, all of whom are much older and much bigger, but significantly less hard, than her. Her hobbies include hedgerow admin, flirting with strange men at the pub near our house, dancing into the kitchen on her back legs whilst doing "paw high fives", and eating human hair. She is still feeling very bitter about not being picked to star in the new Batman film, although has hopes she will not be overlooked for the sequel 'Batman Returns: As A Small, Businesslike Female Cat'.

George is a former stray who lived here in Devon with me for six months: first in a bush in my garden, then - after I'd taken him to the vet to get his unusually huge balls cut off - on various chairs, cushions and freshly washed jumpers inside my house. I'd initially thought he was a rough cat from a nearby problem area putting the muscle on The Bear, Ralph, Shipley and Roscoe but he soon transpired to be a lover, not a fighter. This was confirmed during his first week living here, when he purred at a bee. He was, however, a little too much of a lover, his sex drive and his lust for Roscoe not diminishing, even post-castration (hence her escapes to the pub). Out of fairness to Roscoe, he now lives at my mum and dad's house in Nottinghamshire, is getting increasingly round, and experimenting with various new sounds - one of which, my mum tells me, is "like a quiet cockerel".

The Bear, Ralph, Shipley and Roscoe all feature in my books Under The PawTalk To The Tail and The Good, The Bad And The Furry.

If you're in America, you can pre-order The Good, The Bad & The Furry (out in April) from Barnes And Noble, Apple or Amazon. If you can't wait that long, Book Depository sell the British version with free worldwide delivery.

If you're in the UK and want to support independent publishers, the best place to order from online is Hive

My new book Close Encounters Of The Furred Kind (which features George, as well as the other cats) is published in October.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Guest Reader's Cat Of The Month: Simba


Naughty Paws, Stinky Butt and Baby Boo (which I secretly love)

Theme tune?
Break Stuff by Limp Bizkit.

4, although I can always hear the tall ones saying I act about 4 months old.

Misti and Tobias.
Mum always gives me the best belly rubs until I give her an over zealous nip to tell her that's quite sufficient and dad let's me sit on his chest blocking the view of his favourite television shows just because I'm a handsome panther.

Brief biography?
I came to live with the tall ones after they saw an advertisement in a shop window and the next day they came and saw me.
I was the only one who was sitting nicely with my foster parents whilst the others were acting like savages so they decided that I was the one for them.
The next day when they came and got me I was caught in a rather unfortunate situation where my sister had got me in a headlock then I proceeded to bite her in the face to get set free... I heard mum and dad say perhaps that I wasn't quite as placid as they first thought!

'Play with me'

Favourite habits?
I like to drag my elephant toy up and down the stairs, meowing loudly to announce my fresh kill. I also enjoy smashing things. One time mum received some lovely purple glass tea light holders as a gift, so I knocked all 4 of them off the shelf one by one because I thought they were cursed. You're welcome.

Perfect Evening?
Mum gets in at 6:30 every day, then at 7 on the dot I come downstairs from my nap and start announcing that I would like some dinner. It would be followed with cuddles on the blanket whilst nestled in between mum and dad and then I like to end the night playing 'wild panther' where I run around the room acting like a possessed demon.

Favourite food?
Mini doughnuts. I freaking love these things so much that I once broke into a box of them, stole one and then ate it under the table.

Defining moment?

I suppose that would have to be the time I escaped the house for the first time. I'm a house cat you see, mum says the road outside the house is too busy and apparently I'm not too street smart (which I totally disagree with). Anyway, mum and her sister were outside in the garden having loads of fun and I was getting jealous so I decided to jump up to the tiny top window in the dining room and squeeze my body through it, mum heard me telling her that I needed help and they burst out laughing which I thought was quite rude seeing as I was stuck half way out the window then landed on the ground and belly crawled towards her. Needless to say I haven't tried this again.

Mum has a friend with a really mean siamese cat called Claudia who hates me for no good reason.  Claudia has been in MY house twice now, to which I welcomed her with friendliness and was received with beastly behaviour, hissing, growling and her chasing me.
This was quite an embarrassing ordeal as I am twice her size but she is really vicious!
Mum says I'm getting a little sister soon so hopefully I can train her and  she will help me defend my castle better.

If you could do one thing to make the world a better place for felines, what would it be?
Ban hoovers. Like why do then even exist? All they do is make my carefully placed gribbly bits disappear and make such a terrible noise that I have to retreat to the top stair and watch it until I am certain that it's been locked away.

Which celebrity would you most like to meet?
Jackson Galaxy. He once made a really mean siamese cat turn into a nice one so maybe he can help me with my siamese bully.

Which of the cats in Under The Paw, Talk To The Tail and The Good, The Bad And The Furry would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?
Shipley. He seems like he's up for a laugh and would enjoy a good ole tea light smashing.