Archive for April, 2010

It’s been a strange old week. Last week, I told you about my need for company and how it was rewarded on Monday when Coco moved in. Well, on Wednesday, Coco left me so my reward was a very brief one. But later onWednesday Fara joined me, she is also a gorgeous cat, so since Wednesday I’ve been trying to woo this beautiful young cat. She like Coco comes with an impressive pedigree but she is playing hard to get. Every time I make a move she gives me a clout over the head for my troubles and she hisses at me like a snake. But as I have said before on this blog I will succeed. So no company for weeks and like the proverbial bus two lovely companions arrive in the same week.

Fara Waiy

I do like this time of year with its lighter nights; lots of birds in the garden and dad and mum working and sitting out in the garden makes it fun place to be. The weather has been great and because mum and dad are on holiday and have been at home most days I’ve been allowed to wander round the garden to my hearts content. Mousa, the one I battled with the other week, has been out on his harness. I’m not sure that a big tomcat like him should be seen on a harness but he seems to be enjoying it and dad is happy with him. As long as he, dad that is not Mousa, doesn’t try to put me on a harness we’ll be fine. The neighbours I think see dad as the one that’s behaving strangely as he wanders round the garden with this huge cat on a leash.

Mousa is being trained on the harness because he has behavioural problems and is very aggressive. He is an exceptionally large powerful cat and is a stunning example of his breed. He was a big softy who loved dad and would sit on top of the couch until dad came home from work and as soon as he arrived Mousa would ask to be picked up and cuddled.

As he got older, he like me was difficult to keep in the house. As entire cats we like to make our mark by spraying. We love the smell but mum and dad don’t, especially in the house, so we moved out to the pens. The pens are fine they have heating and lighting, a huge amount of spac,e and we get out and about in the garden. Things went well until last summer when the next door neighbours got garden contractors in. The contractors took chain saws to the trees behind the pens and scared the wits out of us. Mum and dad were at work when all this happened so they didn’t know anything about it. The workmen accidentally cut through all the power cables to the pens and because Mousa lives in the front pen he saw it all. I ran and hid in my cabin as did the other cats but Mousa had no fear of people and stayed out to watch. We think that one of the workmen came into the pen to check on any damage they might have caused and somehow scared Mousa. Whatever happened, since that day Mousa has been difficult to handle, biting dad and scaring mum. Dad has been working with him for weeks now and has managed to get Mousa to walk on the harness round the garden and he is handling much better. I wouldn’t have that patience.

Dad says he has to go back to work next week so my freedom will be curtailed. He also says, if his Bernie book is successful, things will change but until then I have to wait until he returns home from work every night before I can stroll the garden. He also says that he will continue to work each night with Mousa as he is responding to the attention and support that dad is giving him.

Mum has more confidence and is now happy to speak to Mousa and dad says he won’t give up.

Dad is  continuing to work hard on his book  ‘Bernie Bolts Bergen’ , The book is, I think, beginning to look really good and will be ready to launch soon so dad won’t give up there either.

I won’t give up on Fara because if I’m lucky I will be rewarded with another gorgeous feline companion. A hat-trick of lovely friends in as many weeks would be such a wonderful way to start summer.  If I’m lucky, I’ve been lucky so far this year, 2010 could just be my year.

So if you feel something is worthwhile don’t give up. Until next week I’ll leave you with the words of Peter Gabriel

‘Don’t give up
‘cos you have friends
Don’t give up
You’re not beaten yet
Don’t give up
I know you can make it good’

Purrs and meows




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Since last week’s blog I have spent my entire week sitting longingly outside the girl’s pen staring at Coco.  Normally I would run around the garden, chase the odd sparrow and robin, chew a bit grass and laze around. Not this week, as soon as I was let out of my pen, I ran round and sat outside her pen. Every now and then I would get up and spray either the nearby bush, the pen and even Coco. The latter caused problems as she would run to the opposite side of the pen and lick frantically until she was clean.  I sang as much as I could through the day and night, much to mum and dad’s displeasure and, apparently,  the neighbour’s,  and  every now and then when forgot the words to my love songs, I shouted out as loudly as I could, just so she knew I was still there.   I suppose in any other walk of life my behaviour would be classed as stalking but I’m a cat, a tomcat, so I’m expected and I’m allowed to behave like this.  Towards the end of last week Coco’s ardour seemed to cool off and I was worried but I kept going. Another week of celibacy had passed.

Yesterday, Coco’s interest seemed to return and I sang as loudly and as clearly as I could, much to the displeasure of Mum and Dad, and the neighbours, but it seemed to work. Today, I sat in the garden and crooned outside her pen. Dad distracted me and somehow sneaked her into my pen. He shouted on me, I ran over, as I always do to see what he wanted. It was only then I realised that my dreams had come true and Coco was in my pen.

Coco: The love of my life

I sprang immediately into action but Coco was more interested in Mousa in the next door pen. Now I know that Mousa is a strikingly handsome guy, a Grand Champion and a big strong cat with all the attributes that one would expect. I managed to sneak a photo of him in  So far though he hasn’t sired any kittens and I have. Coco and Mousa spent some time together before and it would appear that she really likes him. She was previously Rhumtetum’s gal and I think she sees a lot of Rhumtetum in Mousa. Her whole time in my pen has been spent  purring, whimpering and meowing to Mousa. Every time I have made any sort of move she has walloped me.  Mousa has attempted to intimidate me from the other side of the separating mesh by pushing his chest out, stretching to his full 5.5 kg weight and fluffing his fur making him looking even bigger than normal.

So today I made a number of advances, the majority of them have been unwanted and I’ve received a couple of swipes for my troubles so mating is going to require judgement on my part as well as timing. I know I don’t have the classy pedigree, the Grand Champion medal and rosettes, the good looks or the sophistication of Mousa but I’m still a decent looking bloke and my track record as a loving daddy is way better than his. I know how to behave myself and unlike Mousa I don’t need to be harnessed and walked like some silly dog,  I can manage that all on my own.

Mousa Catcha - The third person in this relationship

Mousa has watched my every move and attempted to talk to Coco every time I have attempted to perform which is causing me real problems.  I am not an exhibitionist but a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do, so I will persist.  Meantime, Coco still wants to be in his pen. While she is in my pen, she is mine but the victory feels a hollow one.

I will do my best and I hope that I can win her over. I may be able to report success by next weeks blog until then wish me well   in my endeavours


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Well, that’s the first week of my hols over and what have I achieved?

The start of the break was Easter weekend which was taken up by the usual family stuff.  I did think I would manage a couple of bits and pieces including working on the book but it was not to be. Even though I didn’t do much work on the book, the weekend was a good one and it is important to spend time with loved ones.

Over the last few years life has been hectic so the house has been in need of some decorating, the need is even greater as my aunt is coming over from Seattle, so part of this weeks plan was also to decorate.  My father also asked me to paint two ceilings in his house so, yet, another day was spent decorating.  Not having lifted a paint brush for some time I underestimated the amount of time needed and the size of the task in my own home. So Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and today involved preparing for and decorating my house and my fathers. Wednesday I lost to a last minute meeting called at work. I also had to find time among the decorating and the work meeting to work on the book. Over and above these tasks I had promised to spend some time with our largest male cat, Mousa Catcha, to regain his confidence for handling, through using a harness (more of that in Costa’s blog).

Did I achieve it all? – Yes and no.  My father’s ceilings are done, my living room (lounge), stairs and landing are nearly finished and, even though I say so myself, look really good. So my OH and me are really pleased but there is more to be done. Mousa’s handling is better and so the time spent with him has been worthwhile but he will need more time.The book editing is finished but the cover and the website still require work. Other aspects of the book still need to be sorted. I had also hoped that I would have received a little feedback on the book but that didn’t happen and I feel a little let down but that’s life. The upshot is that there is still a lot to do and I’m behind with my targets.

I have a week left on my hols and, in addition to finishing off last weeks tasks, I have another list of tasks that await. I could complain because of lost time and the fact that the book plans have slipped.  In moving stuff round the house I found things that we had forgotten about; old letters (of historic interest (old UK Prime Minister signatures and a Dwight Eisenhower letter), medals, original political cartoons  and photographs, some of which I will blog about another day. I also found a little book of quotes and have pinched the following quote;

‘Take time for all things: great haste makes great waste.’     Franklin.

I have a week left to achieve what I set out to do for the two weeks.  I also need to spend time with my loved ones and the launch date for the book needs to be confirmed, so it will be a busy old week for a holiday. I could argue that that’s half my holiday gone and there is no time but I have a week to do the things I want to and spend time with those I love.  The glass is half full.

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‘ sings a streetsus serenade’

Over the last few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of serenading at night. The girls next door have been singing too and I thought it was my job to make sure that they know that I’m available.  The girl who does the most singing is Coco, she is a stunner. I’ve posted her picture before but just in case you haven’t seen her I’ve included another pic.

Who can blame me for singing to such a gorgeous looking girl. The thing is that she sings back. It’s like Romeo and Juliet in that Dire Strait’s track where I sing ‘You and me babe, how about it’  and she meows ‘ yes’.

We’ve both been locked down the last few nights again to shut us up and to stop us disturbing the neighbours but I’ve managed to break curfew a couple of times this week though. On Monday I figured out how to open the window catches of my pen and climb out via the window. As soon as I get out I sing to Coco to let her know but that resulted in dad doing his grumpy bit at 3.00 am as he locked me down again. He screwed down the window catches. By Wednesday I had worked out how to move the cat flap locks  and escaped again. But mum and dad hadn’t worked out how I managed to get out, they thought they had forgot to put the locks on. Mum was up at 4.00 am and then 5.00 am, Dad got up at 6.00 am, in a really grumpy mood, by that time he had figured out my escape route. So now I’m really locked down at night.

The trouble is Mum and Dad; they don’t think I’m right for Coco. They think that she is special. She is a champion show cat and has won lots and lots of rosettes at various cat shows and her colourings are quite rare. Breeding her with me would result in tabby kittens that looked like me.  The last time she had kittens they were as pretty as her with her markings.  It’s almost as if they think I’m not good enough. Again, it’s like the song

‘I can’t do the talks, like they talk on the TV
And I can’t do a love song, like the way it’s meant to be
I can’t do everything, but I’ll do anything for you
I can’t do anything ‘cept be in love with you’

Mark Knopfler, Dire Straits

So where does this leave me? Well I need your help. If enough people respond and say let Costa and Coco get together, Mum and Dad might relent. So I need your vote. You will have to take my word for it that Coco is a willing partner in this and needs your vote too.

Remember a tweet or comment saying ‘Costa and Coco together’.

If there are no votes I might have to resort to a personal ad in ‘Our Cats’.




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Easter Break

Easter break or spring break, if you prefer, feels like it has been a long time in coming. The last few weeks at work have been very tiring and almost manic at times as a result of staff absences, student issues and other work pressures. This has meant that time on the book, over the last few weeks, has been squeezed in.

Good Friday was my first breather from the seemingly relentless chase of these weeks. I had thought I would get up a little late, have a late breakfast and then back to the computer to finalise the book. However, we had agreed apparently to babysit for one of the grandkids, so plans to re-key were set aside and and off we went. We took the train across to Edinburgh, a 30 minute journey, and went to the National Museum of Scotland (NMS). The visit was excellent and grandson enjoyed every minute of it. We didn’t manage to see all the exhibits, he  is only 6, and there is 6 or 7 floors of exhibit to see but nonetheless a good time was had by all. If you ever have the opportunity to  visit the NMS please do so, it is certainly worthy of your time.

While there was no work done on Bernie’s story the visit provided the working title of the next book. I must finish off Bernie’s story first but the broad plans for the next book now have a focus. The day finished with us taking said grandson home, having a curry with his parents and then sitting til late evening. Result – a late morning this morning and another change of plan.

After a late breakfast we decided we were in need of fresh air. So we jumped in the car and drove to St Andrews. This old university town holds a special allure for me. I must visit the town umpteen times a year, walk its old streets, use its restaurants and coffee shops, watch the golf and walk the marvellous beach (if you are old enough to remember it is the one used at the beginning of Chariots of Fire). I do have in my head a quirky golf story for young kids that would need an illustrator but it is some way of from being firmed up so enough of that for now. The old place was busy, it is amazing that this smallish town in the East Neuk of Fife attracts people from all over the world because of a game with a stick and ball. I think that is also part of the town’s attraction for me, as we can hear different accents, dialects and languages in our little corner of Fife.  Today, there was a little antiques fair and a book fair to visit so it made for another good day.

The two day break I think was needed. It has put the plans back a little but I’m now off for the best part of two weeks so catch up is possible. The book launch date I’ll sort over the next few days and I hope to blog about the various stages as we go. Meantime I’m in the good books with my better half and grandson and have a working title for the next book.

Happy Easter

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