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

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Welcome to CatMinders

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Ms CatCalls goes to a Dinner Party

Cinammon and mixed spices drift about and settle around the house and my tapas dinner party and litter tray headache gently evaporate as I write.
The morning started late as I fell into bed just short of two am after weaving my way home through the late night police cars and taxis that patrol our streets , amazed at the level of surveillance out there . The police raid I seem to have stumbed upon yesterday may be part of something bigger as the police helicopter was also out and about .. maybe some drugs raiding taking place .

I wonder if the dinner party format is really me . I am more of a one to one person or a very tiny gathering person (as in one to two) unless the party is entirely made up of family members of people I know well but its good to do something different once in while and interestingly I was one of the last to leave and probably the only person there who knew no one apart from my hosts ( and attended without a partner) whereas the others were mainly in attendance in pairs . But I do know my hosts very well indeed therefore the undercurrents were fascinating and the twenty four million courses were amazing !

There has been a theme these past few weeks for me of recognising that in reality my life though seeming at times to be sliding into chaos , is rather the opposite in contrast to how others manage their affairs . I have heard recently , thanks to the refreshing openness of others , about friends who have lost train ticks and had to rebook business tickets to the tune of almost two hundred pounds , and last night a family trip to Cuba for four where the day of travel was missed thus costing almost two thousand pounds.

Suddenly my medication and query age related slips seem minor ..... the wrong word comes out ? Hey , who cares ? My daughter writes on Facebook that she was "in a proper good mood until her mother came by and p*ssed in her cornflakes !" ( Actually I thought that one was quite witty ). I forget to return to my car at the appointed time outside work and get a parking ticket .... so what ? It could have been Cuba I will tell myself in future .

And something about doing things differently seems to be what this November is about . I am usually a last minute person but this year I find myself soaking my fruit for my Christmas cake this weekend and today the cake is baking as I write . And whats more I am trying a different recipe . How about "with a hint of chocolate?" Though I conclude that grating Green and Black's dark chocolate with a lack of sleep ( rather than alcohol induced) hangover is much over rated.... still its the result that count . I shall as I usually say keep you posted .

Meanwhile my friend is still in hospital though the staff have she reports closed her door ( and she wonders why ... I have told her she needs to look to her personal habits ) they no longer approach her fully masked and gowned which must be progress and seem to indicate that her TB is not considered Active . She awaits a CT scan . I expect she will wait till Monday at least .

The rain is almost horizontal .
And the dog is blowing a gale .

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Kitty exhibits the CatNip Mice

Woken at four am and then five by the dog pretending to be a toddler with a very unusual and interesting Sleep Disorder . Jealous possibly as the cats had yesterday discovered and unpacked the new catnip mice from ( perfect , hightly recommended ) waiting in the padded envelope to be opened on Christmas morning . Mass excitement and much rolling about the carpet last night when they were presented with two as a Pre Christmas treat .

Or maybe Alice simply had a tummy upset . I closed my eyes tightly and feigned sleep while D muttered and mumbled and took her out at five to see what would happen . Turned out everything happened , and not far from the house . I tell myself that though it was Nat and me who wanted a dog it is D who feeds her large silly treats on Friday nights when he returns late with the shopping . I take no responsibility therefore for the rotten egg bad smells and nocturnal wanderings . And another thing , men wear those ghastly pull -on- quickly- things whereas my jeans take an age to fasten up . Zips and all .

I wake again at six thirty and dream I am back at my former home which had a leaky roof . I wonder if I have turned into my sister who currently has a leaky chimney stack . I listen and wonder.
There is a definite dripping noise which sounds both reassuring and comforting for some inexplicable reason . Perhaps only that I can see by opening my eyes that I no longer inhabit that house where so many unfortunate incidents took place , including a roof which let in gallons of water over the years .

I fall asleep and dream I am at an elite university where we daily gather on a summer lawn , called Great Hall , where there are postings of an interesting and informative nature on a board . As I read the board I become aware of the dripping noise again and soft rain is falling onto the lawn .
I feel quite blissful , and wonder if my friend Michaela , who is in real life very ill , possibly with TB , is healing , and I think to myself , I am in Great Hall and there is water dripping .

I wake , put on the coffee pot and hey , my coffee machine is leaking ! Drip , drip drip ....
I clamber out of bed , pushing the dog to one side and waking D to give him the good news . The bedside table is awash with black coffee : The glass jug contains half a pot of freshly brewed and piping hot brew so I decide to worry later and meanwhile start my day in style . Coffee , bran biscuits and Everything is Illuminated by Jonathon Whatisname Froer Sachs .

After an incident CatCalling last night when I witnessed a police raid and a front door being axed , I prefer to remain in Great Hall a little longer .

(Meanwhile Michaela has been admitted to hospital and is waiting for further tests .... )

Friday, 20 November 2009

Kitty as usual is Livid

Due to D's rare absence from the CatCalls centre last weekend and the catch up shopping trip on Monday there was a Miscalculate of the cat food requirements and an announcement last night that he was planning to make a late night excursion to the supermarket to re stock . As the wind was lashing and he already had a series of work commitments to fulfil , I suggested that we could " fill in " from the cupboard under the stairs until the main shop tonight . D was uncertain , knowing how Kitty takes out any perceived inadequacies of any description on him ( usually his lower legs ) , but fairly easily persuaded in view of the inclement weather and his ( probable ) exhaustion in the aftermath of a trying week.

Early this morning I carefully spoon out a rejected pouch of Hi Life from yesteryear and watch while Kitty and Co sniffs and spurns . Back to me . Now what ? There is a small stock of tinned tuna so I open one of those and carefully spoon out one of those into a cat bowl and place it gingerly on the mat , adding the usual bowl of dried biscuits which are Kitty's favourites . I know there is chicken to come later ( Alice's ) but decide D could see to that at a more reasonable hour ( it is after all still only six am at this point and I am awake this early due to the high winds .)

I can report that Toby tried the tuna . Jess and Pearl rarely bother with anything much . But Kitty is so livid that her usual four portions of Perle Gourmet has not been on offer ( allegedly for all four cats ) that she has also refused her dried food . Doubtless the dog has eaten them all and we will suffer the consequences later . On which subject I shall say no more. Meanwhile Kitty is doing Livid on the table and chasing D around the kitchen grabbing his lower limbs in passing .

Meanwhile Pearl sleeps on .
And meanwhile elsewhere in UK we have Rain .BBC News - Cumbria floods: Body found in hunt for policeman There are floods in Cumbria and a policeman has died in Workington having been lost when a bridge collapsed . Many people have been evacuated from their homes in Cockermouth after the river re routed and flowed down the main street . The tv shows scenes of helicopter and lifeboat rescues of people being taken to a local wool centre where people are staying for duration of the immediate emergency and are describing the water rising inside their homes . Many have had to leave their pets at home , on the upstairs level with food , and are clearly in a state of shock . Cumbria flood policeman's body found Environment
Cars continue to float down the main street . Surreal .

Sunday, 15 November 2009

D is in Torrevieja ( Spain ) meeting Bjorn on his continued cycling journey from Oslo to South Africa drawing attention to the plight of refugees world wide but particularly in Africa . They are collecting football shirts to be sewn together for the Cup Final 2010 , see Bjorn's website for the latest update . Home The Shirt - Forget me not 2009/10.
Meanwhile my sister and me indulge in a mini makeover session at the Bobbi Brown counter and I leave with some Forest green eye liner which I try to apply myself this morning , with reasonable results ( ?) .
I show up at my first CatCall ( two in one weekend , a record for the Autumn months) and all goes according to plan . At the second , however , as I am locking up I hear an odd noise upstairs . I re enter and go up .
Cat Number One is located on the bed . Cat Number Two is of course under the bed and out of view . I am not permitted to see her , in case I turn her into a warty toad . Occasionally , if I look very hard I may be rewarded with the tip of a tail or the glint of an eye . I try not to mind . Cat One stares hard at me and purrs a bit . I squat down and say hello wondering if the noise I heard was her .
She fixes me and we stare at each other whilst I ponder . We look into each other's eyes and I note how she fixes me and the flecks of light that bounce back at me . I am uncertain what she sees. Without warning , she arches her neck and throws her head forward , and her pink tongue protrudes . I will say no more . Cat lovers amongst you will understand when I say it crosses my mind that had I left five minutes earlier , I would not have had to clear up this ghastly mess. I down tools ( my bag ) and peel off my coat . I set too with plastic bags ( easier just to scoop it all away ) and wipes and cloths . Within minutes there is nothing left but my questions ... Puss Tell me this ... Was it my eye liner ?
Should I stick to my grey in future ?
Puss says nothing , back in the kitchen , restocking ....
I shall never know .

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

I am so wasted ?

I love this card (Its a greetings card in case that isn't clear) on so many levels . I think I bought one ages ago to send my niece but I cant recall now whether I actually sent it to her or not . I wasn't sure if she might take it the wrong way . Its the kind of thing I would think applied perfectly to me and would be delighted if someone sent it to me but you can't always be sure how the recipient will react , especially after a heavy night on the sherberts , which they might , mistakenly assume you're referring to .
So when I saw the card again recently in our Borders , I surreptitiously whipped out my camera and took a snap , all unable to resist its many messages.

"Of all the thing Ive lost I miss my mind the most "Then it struck me that this one was probably of even more relevance to me , and is probably why I am so wasted , and on so many levels . Losing my mind due to my ever increasing intake of epilepsy drugs is a source of constant internal conflict for me at present as I am not so much losing my mind as losing my words. I kind of know what I am doing but I am slowly losing my ability to express what I am doing .

I halt mid sentence much of the time and wait to see what will emerge . And often , nothing much does emerge . And I wait , then take a stab at it and ... poppycock pours out .

Still I live in hope that the migraines will ultimately pass and the medication with it and then my words will be back .

Until then I will go on looking at the cards .

There were dozens that applied to D . Those depicting men polishing flash cars with two fat seagulls perched above on a chimney pot watching and waiting and indicating impatience for them to finish " If he doesnt hurry up and finish that polishing I'm going to have an accident here " .

Or ...If men loved their women as much as their cars blah blah ....

Or two rather neat penguins on an ice floe in the ocean , one saying to the other " I 'll have a quick tidy up here whilst you go and get the takeaway supper ."

I have been investigating Twitter recently , wondering if it would be easy to Tweet ( fewer words needed after all ! ) . It took me ages to get the hang of it . the concept is so very different and it has been one more thing to take me away from my beloved blogging besides all the other things ( sleep , life , Six Feet Under boxed sets from the library , Books and the new City library which has opened oh joy oh bliss, so many people to meet for coffee in Lui s as ever , dog walking , CatCalling , the DayJob , Google , and oh Holby City on Tuesdays . My life as you see is so full .

But Twitter does not include the people I want it to include , most sensible people having looked and left .

I shall attempt to continue to do both .......

Sunday, 1 November 2009

An Education .....

Somewhat , ( though admittedly not much ) anxious at the Autumnal prospect of Falling into a Rut , I vowed to book myself a night out no matter what last night , forgetting that it was Hallowe'en . Come seven pm the odds were stacked against me . Saturday night and therefore venturing out meant that I would inevitably miss Casualty , about the only TV thing I watch , well apart from Holby City of course . I am nothing if not predictable and I do love hospitals , having become accustomed to them over the years .
Then of course the lateness of the hour . I had been building up to seeing a film and was particularly keen to see Lynne Barber's memoirLynn Barber: My age of innocence - Times Online transformed by Nick Hornby and the Danish director whose name temporarily escapes me , out from Friday inwards at Oh Bliss the Tyneside cinemaTyneside Cinema: Welcome to Newcastle’s newest cinema - and a brand new kind o in Newcastle thus giving me the opportunity to inspect its recent transformation and for me to step back in time to my twenties when I was in the habit of seeing every film that came out , often on my own . - An Education An Education was billed to start at Nine pm . Nine pm ! Usually the time I would be thinking of changing into my night time attire in the interests of comfort , and shuffling off to watch a few episodes of Six Feet Under since I discovered the Boxed Sets at the library .
Could I really be tootled to get changed into suitable Going Out clothes , apply make up even , brave the storm which was forecast , find a parking space in town and calculate the time it would take to drive there in order to arrive at the correct time for the film . Did I really even want to see the film that much ? Enough to go on my own ? I had made a half hearted effort to invite a friend but she was indisposed , having flu . I didn't try anyone else , partly wanting to go it alone . Partly wanting to make it easy to drop out if I wanted to .
But ... you know what , I did it !
Donning an outfit of Nat's , I pushed myself out the door , drove off there in good time , parked no problem , though walking up a back alley in town I did have a few qualms when encountering a few lonely souls dressed in ghoul outfits , with black and grey robes and the scream masks . As they approached me in turn out of the shadows , I kept my pace up , stilled my beating heart and thought , at twice their age and some , I am probably as scary in this dark back lane ! Just Keep walking .......Arriving in good time , I found the Tyneside coffee rooms open and the young waitress admired my Hard Rock Cafe brooch I was given in Barcelona . And the film .... oh the film was so good . So many memories , of Twickenham , of riding around in a car like the one the older boyfriend had whilst staying in Teddington myself so many years ago blah blah .....And the city when I emerged at eleven or thereabouts was heaving with the street cleaning machines and literally a plethora of witches ghosts and assorted spectres so many that it was impossibly to be alarmed . I walked back to my car on air , in a throng of people , so glad I made the effort .

Migraine Days

Migraine Days

Flower and Bee on a Sunday

Flower and Bee on a Sunday

art on a sunday

art on a sunday