Sunday, 25 January 2009

Happy 250th Birthday Rabbie!

Jacqueline, Pencil on paper, circa 1975

"My love is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June :
My love is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I :
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun :
And I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only love,
And fare thee weel a while !
And I will come again, my love,
Thou’ it were ten thousand mile."

Happy 250th birthday Rabbie!

It also happens to be my mothers birthday, even though she's gone these past 20 years.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Very Bad

It’s very strange how words, often spoken in jest, can come back and bite you on the arm - literally.
Last week when I replied to comments from ‘Susans’ I quoted Mae West with her famous words - “When I’m good I’m good, but when I’m bad I’m very bad!”. Now I don’t know who is the worst here but when Sparky’s increasingly aggressive behaviour towards me reached a scary pitch I had no choice but to return him to the cattery.
The first couple of incidents I just passed off as initial nervousness by him at being in a whole new environment with people he didn’t know yet, but as the week progressed he started attacking me, hissing and baring his teeth and lashing out. In the first major attack he managed to claw my forehead with deep cuts, just above my left eye, and in the second, while I was preparing a bedtime meal for him, he launched himself off the kitchen unit and bit me on my arm. I threw him off but still he was hissing and snarling, facing up to me. I don’t know what I did to provoke this but it left me badly shaken. Next morning when I came down to give him breakfast he was still bristling at me and made to go for my leg. I couldn’t handle this and no longer trusted him wondering when next he would turn on me. Although he hadn’t attacked Jacqui yet, apart from a bit of hissing, I couldn’t allow that to happen - she would freak out if it did and I thought it was only a matter of time. I decided there and then that I had to return him to the cattery which I did on Saturday. It broke my heart. I feel so sorry for him. We were told he had behavioural problems without specifying what they were and I just thought it was finding himself in a Rescue Centre cage with lots of strange people and noise - nothing a bit of TLC wouldn’t cure. So now I am without a cat again and don’t know if and when I will try again.
A sorry tale, and one that causes me a lot of sadness and pain, but another experience of life which I have learned much from.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Introducing Sparky!

Yesterday we went down to the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) dog and cat rescue centre in Hamilton [just about 5 miles from East Kilbride] to see in person which poor animals they were holding and offering for re-homing. They had some beautiful animals many of which were in pairs [ J could not deal with two at a time (even though I could!) so we limited our viewing to single cats].
"Gizmo" was not the prettiest cat (I was not particularly looking for Miss, or Mr Cat 2009) and he was quite old at 9years (that also was not a problem). He was very, very friendly, and anyone would absolutely love him, especially children, so it seemed to me he was not in any desperate need of me.
"Mustafa" was a fabulous bright orange British Tabby who endeared himself to everyone who approached his cage and meowed constantly (would that get on your nerves, or what?). Again he seemed to be suitable for a family with young children.
When I set off yesterday on this quest I had two things in mind: to be open minded, and to be open hearted.
Three things in mind: to seek to give an unfortunate cat a new, loving, home. It could be the oldest feline who has lost it's owner aftr many years and in desperate need, or like, 'Sparky', been abandonded and showing some behavioural problems stemming from lack of TLC:

First photo. Here he is. Totally agitated and unsure of his surrundings he is, to start with constrained to the kitchen. So he's checking out the high surfaces with eyes like saucers.

Sparky doesn't stand still for a moment at present to get his photo taken!

Ah, got him on the prowl, now introduced to the Living Room.

Calming down a lot, here he is on a kitchen chair with his big saucer eyes!

Then, after a while , he settles down on my lap (which is amazing after only one day) and sleeps a happy sleep.
As I write this he is on my lap watching everything I do!
Sparky is the name I have given him since I didn't really like the name he came with which was Fletcher. He is about a-year-and-a-half to 2years old and found abandoned in an empty house. I presume Fletcher was the name on the door. So I don't want to lumber him with a name from his unfortunate past. Today, giving him the run of the house (which has been an exciting day of discovery) he has settled and changed almost beyond recogintion. He is developing a confidence already, and is more than happy to sit on my lap for a bit of petting.
So welcome Sparky - you are now international, and can expect not only a lot of petting but a lot of drawing too!