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, 27 March 2010

The Gopher, the Fox , the Hot Cross Bun and the Simnel Cake

Against my GP s advice I have increased my migraine preventor. I'm so tired of the constant migraines. As a consequence , when D saw a fox in front of the house at three am and woke me to look at him ( or her) I stayed put.I have had weeks of reading from five am onwards. I am exhausted, and it was liberating to sleep.
I was awake , thinking , Nice , fox , glad you can see him , glad I can stay here . The greyhound also slept on . The greyhound is often asleep.
Today , in a break from food preparation , whilst wondering if the hot cross buns were going to rise , having had to use quick yeast rather than the real thing , I looked on Silliyak's blog and discovered that what looked like a fox had appeared in front of his house . He noted that his fox ( at least it looked like a fox , though maybe it was some unknown American creature ) was chasing Gophers. A gopher was not a thing I had ever heard of . Hence a google search and .. I bring you Google Images , though I am noting ( later) that I am bringing you the same Gopher twice . And one of the Gophers I planned to bring you , is missing . Oh well .
Later there may also be a simnel cake and hot cross buns . Nothing is certain though . My dough seems a bit damp and sticky and N needs a lift somewhere .
Such is life .
The simnel cake is good , though not yet decorated . I shall save the apostles balls until we arrive at our destination . Thus no photo today . And the buns .. well the jury is still out . Its a long haul this baking with yeast business.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Fairytale Garden

For the last two or three weeks I have been endlessly waiting . Waiting for things to happen, to get rid of this endless cold and pressure in my head which has resulted in more than my usual share of migraines and general headaches . Various remedies have been tried. Keeping going . Not keeping going . Sleeping . Resting . Taking pills . Not taking anything . More resting . Reading , endless reading .

Books I have read

Keeper by Andrea Gillies

William Burroughs book Running with Scissors

Nicci French Till Its Over ( Or something like that )

Barack Obama Dreams of my Father

The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad

Hilary Mantel s autobiographical book to do with ghosts . It has ghosts in the title. I should go and check this upstairs really .

A book of short stories by Alice Munro .

And several others .

I saw a play by Alan Bennet , Enjoy . Which I did . Fifteen minutes into the play I almost whispered to my friend " Is this the comedy or the darker play then? " as he has two out and I had heard one was funny and one was not . By the end I was under no illusions .

The cats above are pictured At Home in their fairytale garden , breaking the ice in the ornamental urn , and shivering as they drink . There should also be a short video clip which I took entirely by mistake . Which is quite normal for me when I have not used the camera for a while . But its cute I thought, though a bit wobbly . I wish I had captured the Girls hunting the mice they brought me . Or maybe not .

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Gibside ( National Trust)

Some pictures at Gibside near Rowlands Gill . A misty slightly damp day for photographs but a nice antidote to tomorrow which is the day Nat and me go to chose her ( or try to chose her ) prom dress for June .
The second photo is of a horse made of recycled junk highlighting the need to re-use and recycle the earth's resources .
The top picture shows two slightly grumpy very muddy characters parked up outside the coffee shop after their walk ( don't you just love the National Trust coffee shops ?)
So grateful for Alice who though tall and skinny and takes some folding to fit into the tiny green car , has such teeny feet that she makes barely a mucky footprint on the seats or indeed the floors and carpets at home .

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Michael Foot

#t=3m55 Micheal Foot has died . My attention was drawn by India Knight to a clip from the first ever episode of Question Time when Mr Foot waxes Lyrical about corporal punishment . Marvellous . I hope the link works . I will check before I post .

A lovely Spring day though with ice on the path leading down to the beach .
I have CatCalls and one of the elderly cats I visit tries to drink from the frozen pond in the fairytale garden . She stoops down over the ice and tries to scoop up water in her paw to slurp . This seems a tedious process to me so I go back indoors and return with a kettle full of cold water and pour water over the ice which fills a decorative stone urn which I often see her and her sister drink from ( of course there is a full bowl of fresh drinking water in the kitchen but I know no one is going to drink from this- far too simple) . I teeter back across the frosty grass and wait . Puss comes back up to the urn and drinks for several minutes from the urn . Her sister watches with scorn . I take my camera from my jacket pocket and squat down at her level to take some shots . As I bend I notice that the poor lamb is so cold from drinking the ice cold water that her legs are shaking . I go over and stroke her and try to coax her back indoors where the heating is always left on for the cats and the water is a few degrees warmer . She glances up and me and acknowldeges my concern then continues to drink . Ah well , I tried.
Photos to follow at the weekend .

Monday, 1 March 2010

The Gift Relationship

When I studied Anthropology many moons ago ( mostly in an attempt to avoid the Sociology lecture halls ) I spent many a happy hour in the library stacks ferreting out tomes on the Gift Relationship and its meaning in cultural life .

I am therefore not one to take lightly the meaning behind an offering of any kind , however small and squished.
But I did begin to wonder what it was with this past week when I received my sixth tiny mouse, deceased , bloody , and in some cases , decapitated. In one case , just the head , if you please and thank you .

All laid out for me , in not one but in two CatCalls households and thus the offerings were the work of two or possibly four cats though I have my money on the former, both females of the species, clearly trying to tell me something . Or perhaps to offer me a Bonus for services rendered.

Cat One watched with interest as I scooped up the tinies in a couple of tissues whilst formulating a plan of despatch (finally involving the garden and a few words of broadly Buddhist slant, it is what it is etc ) , her whiskers whisking and her face moving up and down in tune with my actions , not wanting to miss anything .
Cat Three in House Two snored heavily in the bedroom , her lack of interest palpable .

Surely this torrential rain is not the weather for elderly cats?
Fingers crossed that there are no more surprises tomorrow .

Migraine Days

Migraine Days

Flower and Bee on a Sunday

Flower and Bee on a Sunday

art on a sunday

art on a sunday