Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Again with the rampant cuteness

Those geniuses from KittenWar present:

Cats in Sinks!

Yeah. I've been clickin' for a couple of hours now, and the cute just keeps on acomin'.

Just the thing to make me smile - how fabulous are cats? We loves them.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

RIP Bangles

Sad news came to me yesterday, via the computerised interwebs.

My mother's beloved cat, my first ever pet, the mysterious and beautiful Bangles, died yesterday.

I was going to try and write something more about her, but I think that I've already said everything that I could possibly say about her, and how much I loved her. All I can really say now is that I know that her days were filled with sunny spots to lie in, and scritches from her favoured humans, and that she was loved. Goodbye, Bangles girl.

I asked my mother, who had been Bangles' human for the last 12 years, to write about Bangles.

The Cat Who Went On Holiday died today. She was 20; one month away from 21. She was my adored animal companion (or companion animal) for the last 12 years.

Her life: the kitten Bangles slept with her head tucked under my chin, or behind my knees deep under the covers in winter. The kitten Bangles had a cat wonderland to play in - ca cliff covered in a massive old bouganvillea two storeys tall, where she played with Alf and the occasional possum.

The kitten Bangles loved to monster plastic bags. All her life she loved to sit and sleep on paper. She was afraid of thunderstorms and would hide in the deepest cupboard or drawer. All her life she was the queen of the house.

Bangles at seven had to share her life and her space with two kittens. She did not like that. One very hot day during the 1994 bushfires, in Newtown, Sydney, we decided to bathe the cats - mainly to cool them down. The kittens were objecting and being very difficult (and cats sooo love water!) Bangles couldnot resist the opportunity to demonstrate her superiority. She marched over to the tub, and sat quietly and cooperatively while she was bathed, suffered the rubdown, and then sat and cleaned herself with the smuggest expression a cat could have.

Bangles could hide in the garden. For days she would be invisible. It became a kind of game with her and Oma. And when her spot was found, the next day she would be somewhere else, invisible. She was very good at invisible. But when she wanted to be seen, well, there she was.

She loved tail games, tail caresses, always.

The mature Bangles freaked out when she had to move house. She disappeared for six days, but woke me very early one morning in typically arrogant style by running from the open window over my feet and into the house.

She was a VERY early morning person. And sometimes, if I didn't stir quickly enough for her liking, she would walk on my face, and if that didn't do the trick, she would dig her claws, just a little bit, into my scalp. Now there's something that gets a body out of bed in a hurry!

Non-cat people just do not get it, do they?

She was (mostly) a very neat house cat, trained to stay in at night - until her last weeks when because of the weird things she wanted to do it was safer to let her sleep where she wanted - outside. Her solution to being shut in at night was to pee down the plughole of the bath, very neatly.

All her life she loved to be where her people were - she would keep us company in the garden, in her world, because she resented any sun time she had to spend indoors - only the aforementioned storms could effect a voluntary coming indoors during the day.

She was a good mouser - but never ate them. She just played with them and killed them; or later in life she just played with them then got bored and off they would scamper. She learned to cohabit with blue-tongued lizards.

For over ten years she would hide when my elder brother and his family came to visit. It was only this year that she seemed to decide "oh, fuck it!" and shared space with them voluntarily.

In her old age she allowed my ageing mother to make friends with her. She showed remarkable empathy for my mother - a prickly person at best - and they developed quite a loving relationship. Bangles would know when Oma need some TLC, and would volunteer her services. The last person she slept with was my mother.

In all ways she was an unremarkable moggie, except to those who shared love with her. To us, she was the most beautiful cat in the world. I am glad to have had the privilege and the pleasure of being (one 0f) her human companions.

Goodbye, Bangles.

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