Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Kiffer's tale

Kiffer: I wasn't lost. I had a home and a woman to live with. But there were dogs, big and bad, and cars and streets and I was caught by the big bad black dog and shaken. I have lost 3 of my 9 lives and the woman I lived with thought I would be safer here.
Maurice brought me a mouse today. He is handsome and kind. Not sure about Elmo though. He hisses and spits and bats my head and then follows me. But the sofa is good and the food is ok and outside is very green.
Maybe tomorrow Maurice will bring me another mouse. I tried to eat the last one under Her bed and Maurice said that was not a good idea as She does not like mouse guts under Her bed. Funny woman.
It is raining. I can hear it running down the roof and pitter-pattering on the windows. All cats are sleeping, curled in warm places.

On closer inspection

Elmo: Hey, Pixie, I think it is a cat!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Conversations overheard in a tree

Elmo: Did you see it?
Pixie: What?
Elmo: The new one. Is it a cat?
Pixie: Are you stuck?
Elmo: Elmo's don't get stuck.

Pixie: If I stand like this the sun really makes my fur shine.
Elmo: Yes, but did you see it! Why does She want another one? Look, I can stand on my front paws!!!


I try to make sense of things. One minute I was walking along a street full of houses, looking for a child to sleep on, then I was bundled into a basket and put into a car, taken to this house, which I might say is none too clean, full of dogs and cats. So many.
It is quiet in the house. There is food. I feel a little lost but the beds are warm. Outside there are no cars and the street is very very wide, so wide I cannot see the other side of it. Maybe this is where I will live now?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Climbing lessons with Elmo no 2

If you cannot find a rock for climbing a tree will do. Always be encouraging to others.
"Come on Maurice, just reach a little higher and pull with those claws. You can do it!"

"If he gives me any more advice I will pull his fur out, the cheeky sprat", said Maurice through gritted whiskers.

The best kinds of trees are the ones with the wind twisted branches. Climb as high as you can before the thin branches begin to bend beneath your weight. And never ever admit to being stuck.

"Hey, Maurice, look at me! Does my bum look big in this?"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

We are worried

The birds that flitter through the branches outside Her studio have flown into Her painting. Now She is painting dragons. Where do they come from? Do they also live in the blackthorn bushes outside the house?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Just perfect

More birds

Over the warm weekend we watched from the window as birds flitted around the feeders. House sparrows...

and robin's with scarlet breasts.

At first when the blackcaps came they were wary and shy, hiding in the tight tangle of clematis, but they soon grew confident and both male and female came to the feeders, dusky monochrome delicate birds.

And the great and sharp beaked rook came too, bead eyed and glistening with purple and blue shining in his midnight plumage.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Climbing lessons for cats by Elmo

First find a rock in a high, wild place.

Try not to get stuck, but if you do..

..twist and turn a little and then... to the great god Bastet that a wild honeysuckle will hold you up...

...until you reach a place of safety.

From there, act casual. Cats do not get stuck whilst climbing.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mysterious cats

If I live for a million years I will never understand how the cat managed to do a poo underneath the litter tray. It's a mystery.

The day full of birds

We watched bright birds all day, through the window, and they danced through the trees that still hold tight to their winter branches while the sunshine brought butterflies and the promise of summer, and even the first lizard of the year.
She painted quietly through the day in Her studio.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A ritual of night time

Night. We have curled the evening in warm sleeping dreams by the first fire in a few weeks, melting cats, then out into the night to walk the bounds of the village with dogs before deep sleep. The sky is bleached of stars by the half moon and the silvered pathway awash with deep pools of shadow. Not a breath of wind, not a moth, not a leaf stirs. All is silence. The night belongs to the cat's eyes and is bright with sky dancing bats.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Evie the Beautiful

A new friend came to visit today to help Her with one of Her books, Evie, the Beautiful. Soft and full of cuddles.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Leopards and mice and wonderful things

This morning a parcel came and in it three lovely mice, for us! The parcel is from The Snow Leopard Trust, who are now selling Her book, The Snow Leopard, to help to raise money for leopards. They are hoping to use a couple of the paintings from the book to raise money also and thought we might like these mice, made of felt in Mongolia. The Leopard Trust work with the people who share the mountains with the leopards, though there are so few of the cats left now, maybe only 3 500 in the wildlands.
The Trust sells beautiful things made from felt from the sheep that people keep there, where life for all is a balance. The fate of the leopard is tied closely with the fate of the people.

We are very pleased with our mice and I chose this one to be mine.

And last week we heard that the book is on the Highland Schools' Book award shortlist, though it seems She has to go to Scotland for this and we cannot go. And it has won the the Prix de l'Education Enfantine in France. And also it is on the shortlist for the 2008 English 4-11 Best Children's Illustrated Book Awards run by the English Association.
The winner of the English Association award is Varmints by Helen Ward, illustrated by Marc Craste and is very beautiful.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Working hard

The day started well as Bella decided that my head was not as clean as it could be.

Later in the afternoon She decided to think for a while about work. She often does this in the afternoon, around 2-ish. So I watched over Her while she worked hard at dreaming, purring a cat song and keeping Her head warm.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

More tails

In the early morning light Maurice found that Larry's tail made a tasty snack.