Day to day musings of a cat minder/ sitter in North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne . For details of services go to

Welcome to CatMinders

Welcome to CatMinders

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Freakshow at the Baltic

some freaky things and a view of the bridge as seen through the lift shaft ....

Baltic Art, Andy Warhol etc

Art at the Baltic this afternoon . Andy Warhol , or art in the style of , and an exhibition called Freaks of Nature or something of that ....( Freakshow, an unnatural history)
Some pictures to follow . The stormy skies outside the Baltic Flour Mills heralded rain but like much of this week , it never materialised . Makes a change after the rain of the last few weeks , flooding etc .

No 61

Coffee after more CatCalling in the garden of No 61 tearooms in Tynemouth .

King Edward's Bay , yesterday

Late afternoon . The sea is cold enough to freeze your ankles . How are all those people swimming ? How is D swimming ?
I can spot both Laura and Harvey at the shore to the right but unless you know them , you perhaps can't . Harvey is in a stripey top and L is striding purposely towards him .


My second day of CatCalls at one of my favorite places .

Favourite for many reasons , one that they were one of my earliest families , they have a garden that I love , part of my tasks being to feed birds and fish out there and also to do with the happy feelings in that particular house .
When I started out my daughter was much younger and she liked to come with me and help me . She named the garden the Fairytale Garden and this is how I still think of this job " Im off to the Fairytale Garden now " and everyone knows where I mean .
The bird feeding is serious stuff here , as there are bird feeders galore hanging from trees and with benches strategically placed to ease the task and provide a resting place for the boxes of sunflower seeds . Laura came with me yesterday and spotted mealworms in a container but I decided to exercise my right to ignore those as though I'm sure they weren't alive they still had a wriggling look about them . Mealworms are best left to the experts .

I still feel the absence of the biggest and friendliest boy cat who was part of the family but is no longer with us . He loved company and would invite us to sit down with him in the sitting room and give him a few cuddles once we had come in from the garden duties .
The girls are a little less friendly and how much I see of them seems to depend on how hungry they are , though yesterday there was quite a lot of maiowing and affection and L was of the opinion that she was trying to tell us something .
Later we discovered a poor dead bird under the feeders and wondered if this was the work of the sparrowhawk , though if this was the case the bird would have been taken away ?
Equally I would have expected a bird caught by the cats to have been brought into the house ...? A mystery . Either way , I will need to decide on disposal . At Debbie's there are frequent baby mice brought in as gifts , and we have an agreed routine that they are wrapped in a tissue shroud and committed to the compost though with a few words said over them .
I feel that in this case, having eyed up the compost bin , a burial is more fitting . I will ask D to help later , remembering previous disastrous burials I have conducted , and of which I will say no more ( on this day at least ) .

The feeders have gone down considerably since yesterday so I top them up again .

One of the things I love about this job is the opportunity to spend time with cats , but also there is something fascinating about houses . Interesteing how people live and the space they create for themselves and the feelings that attach themselves to a property when it becomes a home .

This particular house is relaxed , comfortable, light and somehow uplifting and only the alarm system gives me any cause for hesitation . Odd therefore this morning when as I crouch outside the front door the better to find the keys in my bag I think I hear something inside and have to steel myself slightly to go in , hurtle across to the alarm and do the business there before checking to make sure there is nothing or no one sinister inside . The feelings don't immediately fade so I lock myself into the house , something I rarely do , then open the garden door knowing that being out in the garden and announcing my arrival to the cats will restore my equilibrium .
And of course as soon as one of the cats approaches me noisily , everything is in its place again and I know the noise I heard could have been anything , the cat flap , the heating system , traffic outside , any of the hundreds of groans and creaks that are in all houses . ( heating system? In August? I will console myself with anything !) But I do a quick check around inside the house before I start preparing the cat food , making sure there is no one lurking .

I am rarely spooked in other people's houses , though some have definite vibes attached which I think are to do with the past . Ive also had experiences of things not being where I left them , or things I've left one way being another when I arrive . I have an almost photographic memory for how I left a room and can always sense ( or notice ) if someone has been in whilst Ive been out . Some families have cleaners , though this is rare when they are away on holiday and this sometimes explains things . Occasionally it turns out that other family members have keys and pop in to check on things , though usually I will have been warned about this to avoid being startled should we all turn up at once .
But just occasionally there will be a house I feel wary in . Its never stopped me doing what I do . I've lived in ( and arguably do still live in ) houses with odd goings on and its been a source of fascination rather than fear .
Today for example I couldnt find the fish food scoop anywhere . I looked everywhere and finally , knowing it was there , right there yesterday , I look in the pedal bin and hey presto , there it is . Now that could have just been me absent mindedly dropping it in there instead of in back into the fish food box situated alongside . Or something else ? Who knows ?

This redbubble site is great ! I spent an hour last night putting some of my photos on and have already had some comments last night and early this morning . Its just so exciting to get feedback . To know that a picture I took and liked has been looked at by someone else who has then had enough interest and feelings about my picture to take the time to write something . Its the same as when I got my first comment on my blog . I was squealing with excitement at that point .
Its easier to get though than to give , takes some confidence to leave a comment on someone's work or their blog . As I found when I first starting out in this adventure . In Spring this year I was ill , in and out of bed for weeks . Couldnt stop coughing , losing weight , almost unbearable chest pain . Some days I just couldn't begin to imagine being well again . Emails were one of the thing that kept me sane , and the newspaper each day , which D would bring up to my bed as soon as it arrived . A letter in The Times one day from Tim Wills in support of blogging , as it seemed an earlier report had dismissed most blogs as nothing but boring old rambles ( Im guessing here ) . As the day stretched in front of me , I logged on and onto his site which was then called Get Well Freddie Get Well Freddie.... though the name changed later as it became clear to them that their baby wouldnt get well . As soon as I logged on I was addicted , stepping into someone else's world , a window into a life lived in hospital with a very sick baby , Tim's humour , his ability to see the bigger picture , to express anger without sounding bitter . There were pictures of everything , of Fred , mostly in his cot or in his parents arms , of himself and Rachel . It was real , stark , and it helped me focus . But it was a while before I dared to leave a comment . All those on the site seemed to be from friends , from people who had met and knew Fred , who knew the couple or their parents and had something meaningful to say . But it wasnt long before the desire to communicate took me out of my feelings of who am I and how can I think I have anything to say to them ? It wasnt long before I had an e mail back responding to the comment and telling me a bit more about things at the hospital .
As always I digress , this started out as a comment about how hard it can be to leave a comment and ended up being about something else . I recently logged onto the Freddie site , though I know Tim has stopped posting except very occasionally , but for some reason I wanted to look again and read some of the older posts . The site has been taken down as the provider is doing some redecoration I guess . Im sure it will return .

Migraine Days

Migraine Days

Flower and Bee on a Sunday

Flower and Bee on a Sunday

art on a sunday

art on a sunday