Archive for October, 2010


Rhumtetum 12/11/99 -26/10/09

This time last year we said goodbye to my dear friend Grand Champion Admilsh Rhumtetum. We promised that we would never forget him, an easy promise to make because we never will. Only pet lovers can understand the attachment between animal and human, and some would argue that cat lovers understand even more so.

He was born as one of a litter of 5 which included 2 lilac selfs (posh for grey cats, one was Nemie Sabie, sadly also no longer with us) and 2 long haired exotics (throw backs to the Persian in the breeding, both of whom are alive and kicking with their respective owners). This was our very first litter, but even though we had very limited knowledge of the breed there was something special about this kitten. He wandered around the house and there was nothing stranger than seeing this large young tom, of about 12 months suckling from his mum, Torsay, who is sitting with me as I write this, who was, and still is, considerably smaller than her son at that time. He loved to play fetch and would come to the whistle and he would sit and wait for me every night waiting on his evening cuddle.

At his very first show down in England I remember being stopped by a judge who asked me if I had seen the most stunning British Shorthair kitten that she had ever seen. By the age of 22 months he had achieved his Grand Champion status, the highest that could be achieved at that time and he collected rosettes and certificates for fun. His success didn’t go unnoticed, a jealous competitor determined to halt his continuing run of wins sprayed him with perfume. While he still won at that show, future shows became problematic especially if the judge smelled of perfume; male judges he was happy with. Despite his behaviour he still kept winning but we retired him from the bench as it seemed unfair to him and we were wary in case he decided to bury his teeth in someone’s hand. I still have memories of him and Nemie being walked on their leashes at a motorway service station on route to a show. They spotted some young rabbits and decided to give chase; my OH was almost pulled down a hill and off her feet by Nemie such was the strength of both cats.

He wasn’t all sweetness and light. He had a strong territorial urge, woe betide any other tom, young or old that came near him. Yet, he was gentle with visiting queens, he would let them feed first until they had been with him for a few days but once the courting was over, first pickings were his. Most remarkable was his relationship with a visiting Robin that had found some way into his pen and would sit and eat from his food bowl. The bird visited often and not once did he chase it away.

Winter Cuddles

His line continues; we have two Grand Champions sired by him and there are other show cats and beautiful pets dotted around the country, and abroad – Bernie, an international champion, being one of them. All are stunning and characters in their own right. But there will only ever be one Rhumtetum.

As I close my eyes I can still hear his beautiful low rumbling call which will no doubt be reverberating across the Rainbow Bridge at this very moment.


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Amidst the news of spending cuts, spending cuts and even more spending cuts this morning, a couple of statements confirming the start of the wintry weather, as if de-icing the car wasn’t enough, sneaked across the radio airwaves a few mornings this week. A week or two ago, I mentioned that pink footed geese had arrived at a local nature reserve and on Wednesday morning the BBC weather forecast mentioned the early arrival of Bewick Swans in England as an indicator of a potentially cold winter ahead. For us in Scotland, the real signal that winter has arrived is the mention of the Cockbridge to Tomintoul road in the the traffic and weather report and sure enough those wonderful names floated across the radio waves.

When the clocks go back next weekend I will be driving most of my journey to work avoiding the snow and ice mainly in the dark. This week, though, it has been a pleasure driving for most of the week in gorgeous winter sunshine showing off the beautiful autumn reds, browns and golds of the trees as the leaves fall to the ground.

Loch Leven, which I pass by each day, has looked incredible and the pink footed geese have been evident in their numbers; as well as a few deer, magpies, who I have to acknowledge as I pass them, buzzards and a white tailed eagle. Every day I pass by, I moan because I haven’t a camera with me. I promise if I do I’ll post the pictures.

What no pictures of cats I hear you say. It isn’t possible to have a Rhumtetum blog without a cat picture so as not to disappoint I have included a picture of Bernie and his sister, Teaser, who still lives with us. As for his book I’m holding all the promo stuff back until the book is available on Amazon.

Loving Purrs to all

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The title of this blog is borrowed from the title of a song by one of my favourite bands, James. As I struggled to load material to Cafepress last night the words of the song came to mind. This last week has been full of frustrations; Bernie Bolts Bergen is still awaiting its Amazon listing; the web page that we designed for my other half’s business has to wait 24-48 hours before all the links go live; due to work load I have been unable to find time to write my blog or develop the new book idea and/or even finalise the promotional aspects of Bernie’s book because of the Amazon thing and I am now way off plan. I even struggled to find time to tweet. Just to prove the point my internet connection crashed in the middle of writing this blog.

‘All this frustration
I can’t meet all my desires
Strange conversation
Self-control has just expired’

I could have thrown a tantrum but my days of tantrums are gone now; I could have thrown things at the TV, but that would cost too much; I could have shouted at the cat but that would have required a decision as to which cat to shout at, bearing in mind we have 10. Costa, one of our Toms, would have thought that the shout was a form of affection and would have run towards me; the other boys would have probably looked at me in disgust, the girls may have slowly raised their bodies off the sofa and the bed and then slowly walked away, while old Torsay might have raised her head or, more likely, a single whisker. In any case when you are bottom of the pecking order behind 10 cats there doesn’t seem much point in throwing a tantrum

A little clip of a young Bernie expressing his frustration.

‘Stop stop talkin ’bout who’s to blame
When all that counts is how to change’

The promotional plan for Bernie Bolts Bergen has to be reworked. Meantime I’m off for another beer before this network of mine crashes once more.

Frustrated Purrs


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I saw a recent tweet that said publishing required courage, I have to say that I fully agree and if I’m honest I hesitated and dithered a good bit, over a number of days, perhaps weeks, before eventually pressing that ‘approve’  button.

My fear existed at a number of levels: firstly; would anyone like the story, secondly; after all the editing did the story still hold together and thirdly; had we managed to sort all the typos, glitches and more importantly the grammar. Numerous proofs were ordered, checked, amended, returned and rechecked. Eventually, after much deliberation, soul searching and a lot of hours of application it was time for Bernie Bolts Bergen to take those first faltering steps into the printed world. So you can purchase it on Lulu and I’m waiting for it to appear on Amazon. There is also a kindle version.

After these first few steps, Bernie went on to great success, I hope the same will be true for the book. Feedback on Bernie Bolts Bergen has been really good.

I promised another bit of cuteness. Yesterday was my granddaughters 1st birthday, her party was today, so a rare person picture on Rhumtetum’s blog.

Lots of purrs


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