Category Archives: cat

Doggie and Kitty Revisited

Here’s a post from 2012. It was taken when Douggie the doggie was just a few months old and Shazza the kitty was about six weeks old.

I tried to repost the original but I couldn’t work out how to do it and it’s too ute a piture to just let it go so here it is:

Douggie & Shazza

They quite liked each other then but now that Shazza is all grow up she hates Douggie, even though he tries his best to be friendly, in the way that most dogs do. Funnily enough she seems affronted by his attention.

Golden retriever puppy and cute kitten

Missing cat returns home

Big news hit the local newspaper here recently. “Missing cat returns home after eight years. Owner hopes it hasn’t come home to die.”

Wow! Anywhere that can have a quarter of page three dedicated to a cat coming home will do for me.

What was on page one? A story about an old building being closed for the third year running. Again. Wow! You’d think that have stopped being news after the original closure of it’s doors. Some stories just run and run.

News like this I can cope with. I think I’m going to like living here.

Happy Birthday Pebbles

Happy birthday Pebbles!

Our little black cat, Pebbles, the very Pebbles who inspired the name of this blog after I once again tripped over her  in the middle of the night, has reached the grand old age of twenty. We don’t know her exact birthday but we believe it to be somewhere around new year.

I remember the day we got her, and the reason why. Let’s take a walk down memory lane together, dear reader and I’ll share my story with you.

Lashes, little more than a curly haired and hazel eyed toddler suddenly and out of the blue  developed a profound fear of cats.  Hardly able to walk down the street without screeching like a banshee every time she saw one, we decided action was needed.

” We’ll get a little, cute kitten, everyone likes little, cute kittens, don’t they?”

“What? To scare her with  every time she misbehaves?”

“No, love. To help her over her fear of cats.”

So started weeks of trying to find a cat. The RSPCA had none, neither did the Cats’ Protection League. After a long trip out to a cat sanctuary, they told us they’d heard of a place near where we lived that had cats they wanted rid of.

We drove all the way back to visit the people with the spare cats.

It transpired that they already had dogs but had taken in a cat out of the goodness of their hearts. This cat promptly had kittens, and before they’d got rid of them all, one of the kittens had had kittens. These people were all catted out. If they never saw another cat again it would have been too soon. Their lives had been a mess of yowling, barking, fighting, pooing smelly animals ever since they’d done their good deed.

In we walked, “We’d like it to be a boy.”

“This is a boy.” they said as they thrust a bundle of black fur at us. To be honest if we’d have said me wanted a martian they’d have told us it was one.

For about a nanosecond, this little, black ball of fluff sat trembling in the palm of my hands. “We’ll take it.” I said, assessing the sadness of it’s situation rather than it’s suitability as a pet for our darling daughter.

As soon as the words were out of my mouth this harmless little kitten turned into a whirling dervish of the grandest magnitude.  It launched itself from my hands onto the sofa, bounced of the sofa and ran round the walls at lightning speed like Evel Kneivel riding the  wall of death. Off  the wall it finally came, by taking a flying leap halfway across the room onto  the curtains which it used as a springboard before  finally coming  to rest – hanging off the tv. It only came to rest there because it got a claw stuck and couldn’t move.   I think that the poor thing had had to fight to not end up as a dog snack from the moment it was born and had learned how to make a quick getaway. Certainly it’s survival skills had been honed to perfection and it was definitely nippy on it’s feet.

I walked over and plucked her ( Yes, her. Not him as requested) from where she was dangling helplessly in front of the television screen.

By now the owner had given up trying to tell me what a lovely wee thing it was and just looked at me wordlessly, imploring me with her eyes to take it away but obviously thinking we wouldn’t after it’s display of ‘cute kittenness.’

Of course we did take her, although we spent the whole drive home wondering what the hell we’d just done.

So that was the inauspicious way Pebbles came to be part of our lives. I’d love to tell you that she was the perfect pet, loving, friendly and relaxed but it would be a lie. I do think she appreciated us for giving her a peaceful and dog free home but   she has never got over her nerves and she continues to be  neurotic, anti social and aloof  but we love her.

Happy birthday, Pebbles.

£2 a toe

The trip to the vet was carried out amazingly smoothly this morning. Boofuls had the cat basket ready and hiding in a convenient place then he lulled the cat into a false sense of security, carrying her downstairs and backing in through the kitchen door so she wouldn’t see the box till it was too late.

That didn’t stop her putting up a fight but it was a fight she knew she’d already lost so she didn’t battle for long. The usual format is for her to wriggle all four feet out of your grasp and then brace herself, locking her knees (do cats have knees) against the edge of the cat box all the while howling like a banshee.

Of course, it’s a different matter at the vets.  No fighting there. There she gets as far to the back of the box as possible, just out of reach of my stupidly short arms. The only option then is to tilt the box she slides out and ends up on the examination table in an undignified heap, disorientated and eyes blinking against the bright lights.  Haha!! Advantage to the human!  Do the deed before she regains her composure.

The vet grabbed the clippers and began to snip away, the cat, much to the surprise of all of us, hardly moved at all. The only sign she was still alive was an occasional squeak and the rapid beating of her frightened little heart that I could feel through her fur.

Five minutes later and the deed was done.  The cat was declared to be in incredibly good condition for 19. The obligatory antibiotic was administered ans we were sent on our way with a cheery, “That’ll just be £40 please.”

Just? Cough. Splutter. That’s £2.00 a toe!!!

As I write this a jet plane appears to be doing low circuits above my house. Six times now it’s gone over, making it’s almighty din and I can just hear it coming back again for another go.  What a racket. If it carries on the bloody cat’ll have a heart attack and snuff it. What a waste of my £4o that’ll be.  Tsk.

Nearly due a telegram from the queen

After a quick tot up yesterday, we realised that our old cat is very near due a telegram from the queen. If she can only last a few more months….

Our people/child/dog/attention/vet  intolerant delicate little ingenue witch cat has reached the grand old age of  19 which is 92 in human years.   As you can expect at that kind of age, she is a bit rickety. The eyes have clouded over and she limps occasionally, ‘specially when the weather is cold, not that she goes out much these days.  She just holds court on the landing where the warm pipes are, and sleeps her days away.

Yesterday, during  a rare moment of playfulness with Boofuls, he noticed that her claws have grown so long they are stating to curl under. Ow! Ow! Ow!  I’ve felt those claws and they’re bloody sharp.  That means yet another trip to the vet then. That’ll be fun. NOT!

There is a grave danger that one or both  of us, or the vet or all of us will lose our faces tomorrow courtesy of those claws. She doesn’t take kindly to being messed around with, this cat. That’s always supposing we can get her to the vet’s  in the first place.

She seems to have a bit of a sixth sense when it come the the arrival of a cat basket and she can’t half shift a bit smartish on those feline tootsies when it suits her. I can see a bit of a pantomime ahead.  When she doesn’t want to go out she runs downstairs and hides under the table, when I shoo her out she runs back upstairs so we can repeat the whole performance two or three times. I swear I can hear her laughing at me puffing and panting as I teararse round the house.

Here she is in her usual spot looking all sweet, innocent and harmless. Don’t be fooled, she is a finely honed killing machine. Many a small furry or winged creature has lost it’s life because of her. Doesn’t she look gentle? Don’t get too close to your monitor or she’ll have you too:

Black cat

The other cat, you’ll be glad to know has made a full recovery. he still looks like he’s been pulled through a hedge backwards. Mostly because  every time I’d administered the greasy ‘orrible ear drops that the vet gave us he’d give his head an almighty shake and most of the thick and unctuous liquid went all over his fur. It might take a while before he regains his usual regal features:

Sulking Ragdoll cat

That floppy ear and the bedraggled coat make him look a bit of a bruiser, don’t they? He’s not at all. This cat is the most gentle creature ever.  Oh how deceptive appearances can be.

Mrs Woofy and me had a lovely walk on the moors today. It wasn’t in the least bit cold, instead it was foggy and gloomy, I suppose you can’t have everything.  Here are a few foggy photos taken on my phone. Yes, I know I’m overusing the lomo app, I just love it.

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Doncha just love that heart shaped puddle?

It’s still quiet

But the visitors have all gone now, Big N and Boofuls have gone to work and I’m supposed to be processing the photos from last weeks wedding reception we shot with the huge bride with no neck. Instead of course I’m chuffing about on here talking to you.

You’ll be glad to hear that the snow has finally arrived. I don’t think there’s much danger of being snowed in as it’s a bit paltry as far as record breaking snowfalls go but it’s enough to keep me happy.  As soon as I’ve got my work done I’ll be out with Mrs Woofy making the most of it.

Talking of Mrs Woofy, the first casualty of the snow was our agility class tonight. That was cancelled before the snow even arrived! Bob got a message on his mobile last night informing us it was cancelled. Why on his mobile? Good question.  Obviously, yet again when I’ve been asked for my number I have automatically given Boofuls.

I’d be hopeless at having an affair – can you just imaging it:  ‘So baby, give me your phone number.  ‘ Oh yes it’s….. and I’d only end up giving then Boofuls number.

We took the sister and her boyfriend to Dunsop Bridge yesterday to have a look at the house we lived in when we first moved north.  It’s always a funny feeling, going back there even though I don’t remember much of it.
What I do remember though is the day I started school, walking up the hill hand in hand with my brother like something off a Hovis advert. I also remember thinking how lovely it was and that when I was a grown up I’d live in the countryside and now I do! Mum was a townie through and through, she absolutely hated Dunsop Bridge and hauled her backside off to the nearest big town at the earliest opportunity.

It’s funny how you just accept things from your childhood as being normal, which of course it was to us. It’s only when you talk with other people and see the look on their faces you realise actually how bizarre it all was. At the risk of turning this post into an episode of Jeremy Kyle I think it’s fair to say that as a family we were more than a lot dysfuntional.

One day I may dig put and write down some of the memories I’ve buried deep in the recesses of my brain.  But then again, why stir up old stuff that wasn’t very pleasant?  Let sleeping dogs lie.

After Dunsop Bridge we went to the Inn  at Whitewell. Being tired and hungover after a whole weekend of partying we decided yet again that we couldn’t cope with our dance practice in a -5 degrees, grim church hall so we snuggled up on the settee, ate chocolate and watched ‘The Fourth Kind’,  A film about alien abduction instead. Apparently a true story, it was a good watch.

The announcer had said at the start  of the film that it would disturb our sleep – and it did. (Wow!!  The power of suggestion!)  I was lying there in my bed, dozing on and off  imagining all sorts of things when suddenly there was a knock at the bedroom door followed by a scratching noise. My blood ran cold.  “They’re coming to get me!!!”  The scratching noise happened again followed by an eerie wail.   Then the penny dropped: “Sodding cat!!!”

I leapt out of bed and opened the door to find the cat staring up at me with his legs crossed.  ‘I need a wee,’ he wailed pitifully.  I let the cat out and then ran back upstairs to the warmth of my bed and settled down for yet more creepy dreams. I really shouldn’t watch these films, Im far too suggestible. And now I’m far too knackered to get on with anything meaningful. Shame really I’ve got loads to do.
OK. Bye for now.

This is the Life

What’s going on? Sitting here on a Thursday afternoon, glass of frizzante in front of me, the prospect of a lovely dinner followed by an evening lovlier pud and all courtesy of M & S’s,  ‘two for a tenner’ deal.

I’ve got that Friday feeling  – and it’s only Thursday!  (hang on…slurp ).  I have absolutely no right to have that Friday feeling today as I still have a ton of work to do including the stupidly late accounts.  I’m expecting the accountant to phone me and give me grief any day now.  I’m going to blame B – for the Friday feeling, not the accounts not being up to date – because he came home from work early so it feels like a Friday.

I’ll probably regret it  all later when it’s time to go out dog training and I’ve got a thick head and only want to sleep but at the moment it’s all very sophisticated and makes me feel like there is still a hint of summer in the air even though the clouds are glowering and threatening to empty tons of water on us at any moment, probably the very moment I take the dog for a walk as that seems to be the routine of late.  In the meantime though I’ll just sit and chat with you.

So. How have you been? Family all  alright? Work ok? How’s your bunions?  Good, good.

Me?  Ohhhhhh, it’s all good here.

We went to view a house we LOVED the other day. Now I know I loved the last one we went to see but that was only in lower case. We LOVE this one!  It’s at the end of our field.  That brilliant  medium I went to see told us we’d move to a house on the edge of where we live now.  Our buyers are due to turn up any day now and funnily enough I saw a huge beamer coming out of the top of our track earlier, I had to reverse to let them out.  They must have been doing a recce.  Asking price only, please. No offers.

Our posh cat spent a night on the tiles the other night. I don’t know what he got up to because all the wedding tackle was taken car e of years ago but whatever it was he got up to he was absolutely exhausted when he came in the following morning.  Taking up his favoured sleeping position on the back of the chair, he never moved all morning until it was time for me to take N to work. “Throw the cat out of here will you please, N.” I said.

N picked up the very floppy cat and place him on the stairs, elegantly draped over two steps. Five minutes later I walked past and the cat was still in exactly the same position as N had left him in, and fast asleep. he wearily opened one eye as I went past him and managed to get up another 5 steps before stopping for another short kip. It took him all day to recover from his night out, I’m sure I heard him saying to our other cat, “Never again, uuuuuuurrrggghhh.’


The Wednesday walk was good last night, for one: it didn’t rain till the last 10 minutes and not much then and two: the laugh we had.  The walk started, as it has all month, in Pleasington.  Fifty or so of us intrepid walkers set off for a brisk walk up through the yellow hills, so called because of the huge amount of gorse bushes. We got to the top in about half an hour, not bad going.  At the top of the hill there are magnificent views right across to the coast as well as a little natural lake which is quite pretty . Well, lake might be a bit of a grand word for it, it’s actually more like a pond. A small pond; more of a largish puddle really, but still a lovely spot.

As we approached the summit one by one we all noticed the young couple who’d obviously thought  they’d found a romantic, secluded spot where they’d never get disturbed as it was miles from anywhere.

Complete with blanket, picnic and champagne, they blushed furiously as fifty hikers went past with huge grins on their faces. “Lovely evening for it.” One wag said, which made them blush even more as ‘it’ had clearly been on the agenda.

To make it (the situation, not ‘it)  even worse (for them, not us) it was the very spot where we stop for a rest for a few minutes. There was absolutely nowhere for them to hide so they steadfastly tried to pretend we just weren’t there.  After a few minutes we set off on our travels again. We could almost hear their sighs of relief. The relief wouldn’t have lasted for long though, as we set off up the next hill a group of fell runners, about fifty of them ran down it, straight past…. yup, you’ve guessed it. Poor things.  I’d have given up and gone home.

Friday already?

Apart from the fact that I can still hardly walk I’m really looking forward to today. Me and my friend Maddi are off to the Trafford Centre. I haven’t been there for ages and ages!!

I’ve seen a couple of dresses that I think will be lurverley for when me and B re affirm our vows in November so I’m doing an advance recce with Maddi and then I’ll go with my girls for the final say so (maybe).

Doggy boot camp was fun last night, the dog is an absolute genius!!!  Next week she has to take and exam -don’t know how she’ll go on with the written part. hehe.  One of our neighbours takes her bonkers border collie to the same class and after school she came down to ours for a brew (cup of tea to non lanky folks. When I first moved her as a small child I’d never heard the expression, ‘brew’ before, it conjured up all sorts of images of witches and cauldrons. I was so disappointed to find out what it really meant).  While we sat outside enjoying the late evening calm and quite a prettty sunset after a grim day, the dogs took it in turns to chase each other round in circles at breakneck speed. Of course poochie gave up first because she’s 3 years older and a lot less wiry that a year old border collie.

During the class the trainer had mentioned about some of the handlers having less experience than others so at the end I told him that I’ve never had a dog and I haven’t got one now. He looked at me with incredulity and enquired as to why I was training her if she wasn’t mine. He seemed more than happy with my answer that as I’m the dog walker I need to know she’ll behave.  I’m not terribly sure about his suggestion that I take over as the alpha in the pack, it’d be different if she lived with me but at the end of the day she’s still P’s dog and I think it’s only right that he’s in control. Just my opinion.

Poochie stayed over at our house last night because now she’s in the grown up class I’m not getting home till almost 10 pm.  When the cats realised she was staying they both looked in horror and after being scooted off the landing to go out for their late night pee they flatly refused to come back in again. Oh, that’s going to cost me. They’ll be venting their fury at the dog being in the house in their usual manner – by scratching at the stairs carpet till it’s in shreds.  Just tell me again why we have pets?

never work with children or animals

Stopping off at C’s this morning for a coffee and a gossip before she went to work I arrived just in time to see her pin the baby to the floor in order to clean her crusty, shiny nose with a wet wipe.  In common with most babies, E isn’t totally keen on having her face washed and particularly not with a cold, wet wipe.  

She was voicing her discontent in a shrill, screechy, ‘I’ll have the NSPCC on you’ kind of way when the cat came running to see what all the fuss was about.  This was noteworthy for a start, my cats would have legged it out the nearest door and got as far away as possible as quickly as possible. At this point I have to tell you something about C’s cat. It’s not like any other cat I’ve ever known, she seems to think she’s human. Not only that but she also seems to think she is the baby’s protector and never goes far away from her.

 So, the cat,  clearly distressed by the screaming,  was trying to placate the baby by licking her head and  generally sticking close by her till she was sure she was ok when she lay down close by and kept a wary eye on things.

Once the torture face washing and screaming was over, C offered the baby a cuddle by way of compensation.

E’s face was a picture!! She’s perfected the art of the dirty look. I thought I could give dirty looks but by God, I’m an amateur compared to her, you’d shrivel right on the spot if she turned it on you.

Fixing C with the dirtiest of dirty looks she then turned her back on her to go and lay her head on the cat and give her a cuddle instead. The cat responded by putting her paws round E’s head and returning the hug. the pair of them laid on the floor hugging and giving C the evil eye!!!  If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I’d wouldn’t have believed it.


Driving home this afternoon I was halfway up the lane when a pigeon flew in front of the car. Nothing unusual in that, I can hear you thinking, and you’d be right. 

Except that this kamikaze pigeon decided to fly at windscreen level directly in front of my car. It’s little wings were flapping furiously trying to stay ahead of me, it obviously didn’t have the intellect to realise that a swift yaw left or right would cure it’s problem. I had to brake  hard to avoid the last thing to go through it’s mind being it’s arse (think about it).


N and me have been doing extremely well with our keep fit routines on the Wii Fit.  At least four times a week I do my exercises, aerobics, yoga and muscle stretches. Arms, legs, shoulders and back. I was feeling a bit pleased with myself when the machine sudenly pipes up. “When you’re ready to work on those stomach muscles, I’ll be ready”. What!! Nagged by a machine?   It’s a bit too clever for it’s own good, that Wii!


The plumber came and sorted out the central heating tonight.  It’s heaven to be warm at last. He’s my hero.  The dog was here this afternoon and we were both in the office, me as normal at my computer, designing a new advert, the dog asleep at my feet, when I thought I saw someone go past the back window. Going to the back door, dog at my heels, I opened it ( the door, not the dog) and nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw the plumber  stood there, huge smile on his face, holding the innards of my boiler aloft like a trophy. Jeez! Go to the front door and knock like everyone else does, you might save the dog from a nervous breakdown!

 The dog let out the feeblest of  feeble, woofs’, when she saw him and stayed close by my side, practically peeping out from behind my skirt like a two year old (actually, she is a two year old).  Hell, I’ve spent weeks trying to get her to heel.  Never mind the hundreds of dog treats she’s consumed, all I needed was a plumber to scare the bejesus out of her! 

 When I shut her out of the way in the living room she went bloody crazy, barking and snarling like a rotweiler.  Such bravery!


It’s been a crappy few days one way and another. I was looking through my archives this evening cheering myself up when I found this post. It’s extracts from letters sent to Islington Council.  Worth a second read, it made me laugh till I cried, always a good thing:

 “I want some repairs done to my cooker as it has backfired and burnt my knob off.” 

“I wish to complain that my father hurt his ankle very badly when he put his foot in the hole in his back passage.” 

“Their 18 year old son is continuously banging his balls against my fence.”

 “I wish to report that tiles are missing from the roof of the outside toilet and I think it was bad wind the other night that blew them off.” 

“The lavatory seat is cracked, where do I stand?” 

“I am writing on behalf of my sink which is coming away from the wall.” 

“Will you please send someone to mend the garden path. My wife tripped and fell on it yesterday and now she is pregnant.” 

“I request your permission to remove my drawers in the kitchen.”

 “Can you please tell me when the repairs will be done as my wife is about to become an expectant mother.”

 “I am still having trouble with smoke in my built in drawers.” 

“The toilet is blocked and we cannot bath the children until it is cleared.” 

“Will you please send a man to look at my water, it is a funny colour and not fit to drink.”

 “Our lavatory seat is broken in half and now it is in three pieces.”

 “Would you please send a man to repair my sprout. I am an old age pensioner and need it straight away.”

 “I want to complain about the farmer across the road; every morning at 6am his cock wakes me up and it’s getting too much.”

 “The man next door has a large erection in the back garden, which is unsightly and dangerous.”

 “Our kitchen floor is damp. We have two children and would like a third so will you please send someone around to do something about it.”

 “I am a single woman living in a downstairs flat and would be pleased if you could do something about the noise made by the man I have on top of me every night.” 

“Please send a man with clean tools to finish the job and satisfy the wife.” 

“I have had the Clerk of the Works down on the floor six times, but still have no satisfaction.” 

“We are getting married in September and would like it in the garden before we move into the house.” 

“This is to let you know that our lavatory seat is broken and we can’t get BBC2.”

Oh my Gawd!

  I woke this morning to a horrendous racket outside. You know how a noise incorporates itself into a dream? Well, that’s what happened to me this morning. In my dream a large machine was making all manner of noises but as I clambered back to consciousness I realised that the noise was coming from outside my bedroom window.

I poked my head out of the window and cried out “Oh my Gawd”, waking B from his kip in a panic, wondering what the hell was going on.

At some point during the night the snow had returned with a vengeance, everything is white, blizzard conditions meant that I wasn’t able to see across the valley or even past our own garden, which made identifying the source of the noise a bit trickier. Looking down to where the noise seemed to be coming from I realised I was looking at a white cat.

“Funny’, I thought, ‘that white cat sounds like Java. CRAP!! It is Java!!!’  There he sat, howling his little brains out, “GET UP YOU MORONS!!!!”

I quickly ran downstairs to let him in and he darted past me to his favourite spot by the radiator to dry himself off, all the time howling like a banshee. That was one upset kitty.  Well y’know, cat, if you refuse to come in at night then these things will happen.

We’ve had a little spate of cats disappearing for hours on end and with cats as old as ours it is a cause for concern. You can’t help but think they’ve been carried away to kitty heaven.


They’ve discovered that one of the panels round the hot tub is loose so they’ve been kipping in there, all snuggly and warm. I noticed Java sneak in there on New Years Eve while B and me had our customary New years bubbly and watched all the fireworks across town while we wallowed in the tub to greet the new year.

Bob  fixed the loose panel yesterday but obviously forgot to tell the cats, hence one very white, cold and unhappy Java this morning.

I’d have to say the hens are less than impressed with this weather. Not having the luxury of a hot tub to snuggle up in they flatly refuse to come out of the shed, even for food.   I’ve been out this morning with a few tasty titbits for them and they looked at me aghast when the door opened and they saw the snow. There was much scuttling backwards as they all got as far away from it as possible. They soon scuttled forward again when I shoved their food in.

Here’s me looking gorgeous in my dressing gown,  wellies and B’s coat, just returning from letting the chooks out.

We’ve had a couple of inches of snow in couple of hours and it’s showing no signs of stopping yet. Dammit!! I wanted to go and sign up for that 4wd today. Now I need a 4wd to be able to get there. Catch 22, much.

Now for any stray Canadians, Americans or Eskimos. I know that this isn’t a lot of snow by your standards but it sure is by ours. The last time I remember a winter with this much snow was in 1976/7.

Better get my wellies on and get walking if I want to go anywhere today.

Snow!!  Magic!!    Think I’ll get out with the camera this afternoon.  ttfn