Saturday, October 31, 2009

Prayers in the wind of the world.

Prayer flags in the wind carry prayers around the world for many more days like this, as they unravel in the breeze. Yesterday Kath came and gave Maurice two injections and today his breathing was better and mischief reigned in his bones as he raced birds up the tree and soaked the sunshine deep into ginger fur.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Maurice: We wait, curled in warm places in Glyn's barns or his kitchen, until the men with hammers and drills have gone. In the evenings there is a fire now. Everything in the house is different.
Today we walked a little way, but something steals my breath. I cannot go far from home and She seems sad because of this. I look at the sky, the birds, secret ways through bushes of thorns. I listen to windsong and birdsong. I feel autumn sun and leaf fall. I smell damp air, crisp leaf and I can hear a falling leaf rustle, a bird wing flit, a moth breathe. I am a cat.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


It is not just because Daf is a catcher of fishes that we, the ginger-clan love him. (Even Maurice sits on Daf and allows him to stroke him!) It is not because Daf has a beard that is the same colour as our fine fur. It is just because. So this afternoon we let him sit by our fire.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fire cats, fire dogs.

Dancing firecat of ginger flames warms the house once again. So good, so warm. Outside a wren shouts at the dark bruised sky. It has been a day of rainbows and the world shines like a wet pebble. Beautiful.
We are warm.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A wish or two.

The wind fell away in the early afternoon. Clouds cleared to blue sky and we un-peeled from corners and cushions. She is frustrated as something called facebook will not let Her comment or post. But we are happy because She is home (though we wish that She would stop making smells with things She paints on wood).
The night is dark. It is a blessing that it is not yet cold. We wait with less patience each day for the fire to be lit. Soon, it must be soon.
And Maurice breathes heavily even when resting. This is not good.
Soon all the building work will be done, the fire will be lit and the moon will come back. Soon it will be cold outside and She will settle to rest and to paint. Soon all will be well. But not yet.
Beneath the tree we wait to catch an autumn leaf. Each leaf that falls will touch the ground but if we can catch a falling leaf or two we can make a wish, or two. Tonight we need a wish, or two.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Salt winds from the south west.

A fierce wind blows. All day it has built itself into something strong and now in the dark time of night it rages, biting the air with cold teeth. It rattles the doors and the windows too and pushes at the house.
But She is back and when She walks the dogs in their night time hunt around the soon to be sleeping village we go too. No bats tonight, though yesterday they called out of the mild night's darkness. No owls. All are blown to roost. Only the fast falling cat shadow pools of darkness that rampage with the wind around hedges and hollows.
Back in the house we curl, still waiting for the first fire, still hoping for a peaceful lap, still waiting..... and listening to the wind's night song in the fragile leaves of autumn.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A postcard home.

Dear Cats,
Hoping that all is well with you and that you are keeping an eye on the builders. Cheltenham is full of autumn, golden leaves that flutter down to the ground to land, leaves that you would love to chase and that would compliment your beautiful ginger fur with their golden contrast.
I have seen no cats here so far, though there is a fountain with horses.
I miss you all.
I have dragons to paint today. Yesterday I told children all about you and how Pixie and I will be doing a book together and I wonder if Pixie will be invited to festivals to curl up and sleep and dream to show how she got the inspiration for her book. Maybe not. It is busy with cars and people and husstle and busstle and maybe not the best place for a cat. The best place for a cat is at home and soon I will be baack and can tell uou of ny adventures while you curl on my lap and purr your adventures to me. I look forward to that moment.
Yours, Jackie

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The scent of adventure and star music.

In the morning we woke to an early morning light fractured over windows by rain drops dripping.We slept. Max and Me in the cat basket carelessly left out, Martha and Kiffer on Her bed and Elmo on the new cushions She bought for us on the kitchen chairs. We think that Maurice was visiting Mr Griffiths as he was nowhere to be seen.
We did not notice when the clouds passed over and sunshine filled the land through muted air filled with salt and sea spray, lighting the land in soft autumn colours.
Maurice came home in time for supper, glowing ginger bright like a fire. Where he had been he would not say, though he smelled of adventure.
Now it is night. The sky is dark, pinned with stars. Together we prowl, made monochrome by the night, not yet cold, and still we look forward to the time when the fire will be lit and the scent of smoke will colour the scent patterns of night.
Across the field badgers call and he dogs prick up their ears. They would hunt if they could but She calls them back and listens to the night time song of badgers and the distant roll of sea and the star music of the dark.

Elbowing my way onto the cat blog again!

A quick update on Maurice.
On Thursday Maurice and I went to the vets and saw Kath who hadn't had time to see his xray but had spoken to both Tori and Moira. It seems that his xray was inconclusive. Kath gave him an antibiotic and it seemed to clear his breathing so that he no longer looks like a pair of bellows. There is still a problem, still a couple of areas on the xray that are difficult to explain, but his breathing has eased and he looks so well in coat and condition, bless him.
So now we just have to wait a while and see how he is and enjoy each moment.
The cats are all making the most of the new kitchen, which they think has been redesigned especially as a cat gym for them!
And we would all like to say thanks for all the support we have been shown so far, for all the sharing of stories, for everything.
Jackie (otherwise known as She, or The Cats' Mother)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Small pleasures and the thoughts of cats, on coffee, the wind and laps.

She was a devil to wake this morning! Not only did we scritch scratch at the door, we had to go around outside in the cold and the wind and sritchety scratchety on the freshly painted windows. That seemed to do the trick, though She was not most polite when She let us in! Someone got out of the wrong side of the bed at 5.30!
We ate while She made that bitter stuff that two legs drink, then I sat on Her book in a most charming way. Just the right sized pages for a small-and-ginger.

In the early morning the darkness holds on tight to the world and will not let the day begin. Outside the wind is strong, bending the tree and stripping away wind burned leaves. The wind finds ways into the house and we wonder why She does not light the fire. But we find that if you run around the house very fast it is possible to stay warm.

So we huddle together for warmth.
When the builders came She bought them a big pot of coffee. It was to be hoped that by the time they reached the end of it they would be working somewhere else, making someone else's house fill with the fine dust that seems to follow them everywhere. They are on the third massive pot of coffee now and still here.
We are looking forward to an ending to all this upheaval, a fire, and a warm lap.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cold rain is falling.

Rain beats hard on the roof. All cats gather together, a pool of warm ginger. We wait for Her to light the fire, but so far She does not.
Maurice continues to breath like a bagpipe playing a fast tune. We will know more on Thursday.
At least we now have a roof for the rain to beat on!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The day after the vets.......

........She let me roam where I wanted in Her studio. Even let me walk through the paint and help Her sign some books. And the day after the x-ray I glow like fire, sparkle and shine.

I am one loved-up-dayglow-bright-orange-man-cat!

The cats let the human speak.

An x-ray of a cat is a very beautiful thing, like a fine drawing of muscle, bone, tissue. Delicate, a perfect drawing in twilight tones that reveals the perfection of how a cat is made.
But this x-ray is of Maurice and it shows that within his lungs there are patches, consolidations of tissue that can only be tumours and spread over his lungs is a shadow. For a good many months now Maurice has been breathing heavily, long before the building work began. Kath, my friend who is a vet, noticed it first. I thought he was just purring at the time. Lately he has been more laboured, so there could be no mistake.

After a night at the vets he is glad to be home. Moira had managed to take the x-ray without anaesthetic, not knowing what the problem was and not wanting to put more stress on him, so gentle a vet to calm an animal so that he could just lie still and be photographed. We are so lucky to have such people, and Moira was so good earlier in the year when Pixie was ill.

This morning his breathing would seem to have eased. Yesterday he was given a steroid injection and if this works it should prolong his life, but more important than that, give him a good quality of life. The cancer may grow, probably will grow. At some point in the future I will have to decide when that quality of life becomes too low for him. Because the change has been so gradual so far it is hoped that this will be many years away, but it could be months. I was shocked to find that Maurice is only six years old. Only six years. Such a wonderful cat, it is as if he has always been with me.

Last night we walked in the moonlight around the village. By the village well Maurice was there, tail high and happy. He jumped up into my arms and wrapped his paws around my neck. Even in the moonlight his orange coat burned with a rich bright flame.
These are moments I will treasure and every time I see a falling star I will make only one wish.