Monday, October 29, 2007

Fireside tails

After a lovely walk to see the seals, cat fur glowing ginger on the cliff path, there is nothing better than to curl in the prime position, like a china cat on the mantle piece, above the fire.

And as the night dawns and the daylight fades the fireglow brightens and we all gather to its dancing flames.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Coversations on a cliff top.

Late seals

Late seals are still coming to pup on the pebble beach. Two or three small pups sing songs that raise the hair on the back of the neck. Plaintive, yearning sealsongs of the sea. Beautiful. And they feed on the rich seal milk from their mothers and grow fast to beat the early storms of winter that will soon come and threaten their haven.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Soft light and the weight of birds.

Today the day dawned to a soft gray sky, an even light all around and the sea the colour of a herring gull's wing, slate.
Last night the moon could not be seen. Cloud blanketed the night but the brightness of the moon's light shone through and it was a pearly dark. No shadows, still, beautiful, and in the distance a murder of rooks called into the night.
As the sun came up the birds began to sing, more rooks to call and across the valley wild geese of autumn gathered. Apples hang on the leafless trees. Grasses in the garden are golden. Leaves on the rose bushes are turning amber and rose hips shine like bright blood beads on thorn branches.
Blackbirds pick at the sloe berries. Greenfinch and chaffinch and sparrow and titmice strip the bird-feeders and flick in constant busy flight along the blackthorn hedges. Flocks of starling fall from the sky, black clouds of birds that bend the branches of the trees with their weight of numbers.
It is autumn.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bliss and blue sky.

Waiting for paint to dry. How we love these days where the sun melts the frost crystals to pearl beads on the winter grass.
Climbing and balancing....

..hanging from my tail to amuse the cows...

..and whispering secret stories of bird lore to Maurice on the top of the rock in winter warm sunshine.

I can hear a bell chiming, cockerels crowing, the sheep pulling at the grass and wind in the feathers of a bird's wings.
Days like this are bliss.

Jigsaw sky.

Watching the world come to light. The sky moves from velvet dark to pale to blue and clouds catch the sun like rose petals. The night drops its stars. Black branches of the ash tree are drawn against the pale sky in Indian ink, fragmenting it to patches of light and dark, a jigsaw sky with a cat silhouette.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Night, the moon and the neighbour's cat.

It is night again and a thin sheen of cloud covers the stars and the moon shines silver through this subtle veil.
Last week all of the houses around were dark. Not a light shone, not a chimney smoked.
It is not cold. Yesterday a fire burned and we all lay in the luxury of a warm house. Outside in the daytime the sun was warm like summer but as night fell a chill bit into the air and it was good to have a fire, to see the smoke rise dark from the chimney.
Tonight it is not cold, there is no fire and lights shine from all the windows in all of the houses. People come and go from these houses. No cats live there. Apart from in the small white house next door where the old man lives who thinks we are one cat. He does not see well but he is kind and likes to give is food and talk to us in Welsh. He has a cat, and in his garden his lifetime of cats sleep in small marked graves. When the moon is full their ghosts join us to sing in praise of her light. He is old and his life is marked out in cats and there are many, some black, some black and white and some gray. Once there was a ginger cat there, called Ewan, but he left to seek his fortune. Maybe one day he will come back. For now he lives with Nadolig, pied cat, a fierce fighter and hunter, not a lap cat, half wild.
He goes his own way.

Enough ginger

This coat, with its fur and stripes and spots, is the perfect compliment for my rich, dark tabby fur.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The first fire of winter.

The cloak of the night, adorned with stars, spreads across the cold and sleeping earth. The bright half moon is caught in the bone branches of the winter tree, stripped of its leaves by the wind's hand. A pathway of silver stretches over the sea, and tonight the sea sings loud as waves ride to the shore in sets of seven, crisp and turning and silver in the moon's brightness.
Outside the smell of the coal and the wood fire hang in the still air. Inside the house is warm and cosy. The first fire of the winter.
Tonight it is the other side of the moon that shines its silver light in the ink dark sky.

Feeding the birds

I sit like the bright sun in the dark thorn trees. Today I am helping to feed the birds, to fill the birdfeeders. Then the birds will think us a benevolence of cats, a kindness of cats, a generosity of cats, when in fact we are...

A danger of cats, a hunting of cats, a murder of cats.

But She saw me and She chased me away saying, "I do not feed the birds to fatten them up for you, Sharp Tooth. I feed the birds to charm them from the trees and watch their bright colour flash and hear their wings like music as they thread through the thorn trees. So be gone and go catch mice."
We think She is joking and She feeds the birds to delight our eyes. Because She loves us.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Collective nouns.

A murder of crows,
A cast of hawks,
A charm of finches,
A fleet of ships,
A pride of lions,
A leap of leopards,
A parliament of owls,
A rhyme of poets,

A curl of cats.

A meme, collective nouns for a group of cats. In the morning we are a hunger of cats, a threading ginger river of cats, mewling for food from the long night with only the odd mouse to nibble. Then we become a curl of cats, a contentment of cats, a sleeping pile of happiness.

And we tag, a woman who paints mice.
A woman who makes mice.
A man who knows much about the behaviour of cats
(He has a wonderful poem about cats on his blog, called If, well worth a look for a curious cat)
A lady with an eye for beauty and colour.
(What would be the collective noun for so much colour, a rainbow, a pleasure?)
And we tag the ever lovely Daisy, flower cat.

A confusion of memes.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bright Autumn Ginger

Walking in sunshine through autumn bracken, we blend with the landscape.

And we walk together, tails twisting and crossing, as overhead birds dip from the sky to harass our passing with song.

Reflecting for a while.

Whilst Martha and Pixie enjoy yoga in the garden Elmo is more inclined toward pilates. Now, stretch and curl, stretch and curl.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

It is night,

and the world is a dark place. No moon tonight, yet, and the night so dark we cannot see a paw or a whisker in front of our noses. A rich dark.
We are small in the world as we look up to the stars and a river of starlight flows across the sky, a cat's tail of light, The Milky Way. Starlight and satellite.
The houses and trees and hills are cardboard cut-out silhouettes in a paper theatre world of dark.
Nighttime creatures move in the stillness. It is not yet cold, though the year creeps towards winter. Frogs still move on the footpath from the house. The birds that threaded the hedges with bright colour sleep in crowded clusters, huddled for warmth and safety from the sharp toothed night hunters. In the stillness we hear only a murmur of waves on the distant sea shore. At night the beach reflects the stars, diamond light underfoot.
The wind is rising and dry leaf bones rattle on the autumn trees.
A shooting stars burns bright across the sky. We wish

Seal pups and signposts

Today we walked with a publisher lady, over the hill and down to the seals. And the day was a gray day, but the sea stretched out blue-gray and beautiful and there was no-one about. The bracken is rusted, almost to the colour of gingercat. Buzzards flew by and raven gathered in the sky and seal pups, some small and some almost weaned, lay on the beach.
We played on the cliffs. We played on the signpost. Then we came home to stretch out and sleep.

This is my dog

I love my dog and my dog, she loves me.


Radcliffe, Allie and Luna and Ozzie tagged us for a desktop meme, and we thank them. But we had not enough paws between us to press all the buttons so we went searching for another desktop.

And we broke into Her studio where Her desktop is a little cluttered and She was having a busy day.

First She was signing some books as the publisher sent 200 copies of The Snow Leopard to be signed.

Then She finished painting the big picture of the woman, the bear and the two woodcats.

And then She settled to work out some ideas in the sketchbook. Long day, much scribbling.

We tag The Green Knight's Chapel.
We tag The Mouse Woman.
And we tag The Daisy of the big ears.
And we tag The Bad Faery, whose desktop looked too tidy for her own good when we stopped by her blog, but by now will be covered in nuts and pencil shavings.

To get the rules you need to go back to Radcliffe and co. We think we may have bent them to breaking point!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Blue moon.

The most beautiful way to watch time pass is to follow the shadow of the moon. Last night the moon was missing from the sky and only starlight lit the night with singing flames. Now the moon rides the daylight sky.
Soon will be the time of the cat claw moon, the merest hint of a bright crescent, the best time for hunting.
Soon the seals will be gone for another year.
Maybe this year we will have snow.

50 years ago today, far away, people threw up a ball into the sky to float around the earth. It beeped a signal back to earth and all around the world crowds would gather at night to watch as it passed overhead. Now the night sky is filled with satellites that watch and beep, tracing criss-cross patterns through the stars.
People are so strange. The universe is so beautiful.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Leopard coat.

The sky cried all day and the birds flew to the bird feeder and gathered chattering in the thorn trees around the house. Bright sparrows, black sloes. Crows in the ash tree flapped like black flags in the gentle breeze.

Maurice prowled around the village, Elmo slept in the kitchen, Martha kept watch from Hannah's bed and Pixie found the leopard coat.
She painted quietly all day in her room.
At night the stars shone down again as the clouds cleared away for a pink cloud sunset in a dark blue sky.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Homer and the night.

It is the darkest of velvet nights tonight. All the light from the stars is shut away by a blanket of cloud. The air holds moisture and light from the houses casts strange shadows. Noise travels through the water, magnified. A dog bark across the fields sounds close. A fox hunts beneath the birdfeeders, caught in the light from the kitchen window. In Brecon, one of the ginger brethren has passed away. This is why the stars are veiled and the moon is hidden.
Tomorrow the sun will rise on a new day, and there will still be a space where he lived. But those who loved him will remember him and he will live on in their hearts.
Meanwhile, if you feel a need to weep, read the beautiful story crafted by the writer of The Bridges of Maddison County, of Road Cat.

Monday, October 1, 2007

What, no mice?

She did not grow them in her garden. Fed up of tired supermarket vegetables She goes to Spring Meadow Farm where they cauliflowers are purple and the lettuce leaves are shaped like oak leaves and there is a dog with blue eyes.
Her garden is wild and in it She grows mice and birds and lizards and snakes and butterflies and weasels and stoats and rats and dragonflies and, of course, cats.