Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Blog About Cat

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  • Paul Campbell,

    we have a lovely piece of native bush in our front yard - lots of birds, tūī, kererū, bellbirds, fantails .... so we belled the cat as a kitten, she's managed to bring home only one bird so far, the smallest waxeye I've ever seen, might have fallen out of a nest.

    In the back yard we have a great walnut tree, in the winter without it's leaves it's a fractal wonder and the cat can move around it in the fractal dimensions up and down to get from place to place - she just doesn't seem understand that the birds are out of this world and can more around the tree free of the distances she has to travel

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2033 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Dejected Tail is a well-known post-traumatic psychosomatic injury

    That was my operating assumption the last time Huckle came home from a catfight with a noticeable droop. A couple of days later, his tail was still drooping, and I discovered - an hour before the babysitter was due to arrive on the night of my 40th birthday -- that there was in fact a horrible festering bite underneath the fur.

    How much I love my cat: I took him straight round to the after hours vet in all my finery. How much my partner loves me: he paid for dinner AND the ruinous vet fees that quadrupled the cost of the evening, without a murmur of complaint.

    (This is the man who regularly revives the line from the New Yorker article about kidney transplants for cats: "Why not just perform a collar transplant instead?").

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Lucy - I have a difficulty about keeping a cat totally indoors = I mean,it's an animal;intrinsically it has to have a relationship with an environment =not just inside a house...

    Fair enough; you'd need a pretty big house to make it work. Our Manx does spend about 95% of her time indoors and refuses to use anything except a litterbox, but she does like to sit on the front steps now and again. And chase other cats.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2092 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    Oh, you have a Manx?! I had one when I was a child; black and white, no name. It came from somewhere in the neighbourhood and adopted us. Fiercely independent it would sleep in one of two places; the laundry room cupboard or in my bed at night at my feet. It would jump up and half asleep I'd lift the covers so it could crawl down to my feet... weird.

    I was the only one that could touch it or pick it up. Sadly it got some horrid growth on its nose and had to be put down. But that cat was cool.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 639 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Welch,

    @Islander: We have a Maine Coon; it's an indoor\outdoor cat that doesn't have a garden so it wanders the mean streets of Freemans Bay. It's far too inquisitive for it's own good and the couple of times its gone missing we've asked around the neighbourhood and yes, it had been in every house at some stage or another. Personality a lot closer to a dog than a cat; it likes just hanging out near you but won't sit on your lap. Loves water and doesn't think twice of coming in drenched from the rain.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Personality a lot closer to a dog than a cat; it likes just hanging out near you but won't sit on your lap

    Yeah, Colin's a doggy sort of cat too. He clearly likes us a lot, will mooch around looking to be picked up -- but doesn't do laps.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18521 posts Report Reply

  • Ngaire BookieMonster,

    What's wrong with blogging about cats?
    :D

    Previous kitty (Blimpy) was very dog-like, followed me around, begged for food, would roll over so you could tickle her tummy, etc. We wondered if she was brought up with a dog (she was a stray and we had no idea where she came from).

    New kitty (Kittie) isn't very doggy, but still mad.

    When I think about it, all my animals have been mad which leads me to one conclusion -
    there are a lot of mad animals in the world.

    At the foot of Mt Te Aroh… • Since Nov 2009 • 173 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    I had a Manx when I lived in Canada. She (Afra) was a character - she loved water and was not at all scared of the sea. In fact she would happily swim out to the dinghy.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 633 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    what a feline and other flash fee lines...

    Srsly. Indeed, if Russell wants to blog daily about the size and consistency of his cat's shit, that's his prerogative, Bobby Brown styles.

    Surely this could be read as merely
    "going through the motions..."
    ;- )

    I'm sure our vet doesn't see us as fellow humans
    he looks straight at us and sees - a holiday in the islands, a new Jet ski, anything but bipeds...
    but he does a good job on the cats and that's
    what's important...

    go Colin!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4555 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Many years ago I lived out by the beach - the cat would come walking with me along the beach in the evenings - not like a dog though, she would slink through the dunes keeping pace with me as I walked, I guess all that water was just too scary

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2033 posts Report Reply

  • Sarah Horth,

    About American cats - they do have predators there - coyotes, mountain lions, eagles, hawks - that can kill outside cats, that is part of the indoor cat reason. My hubby had 3 indoor cats in Washington State (big house so lots of room to play), sadly one got out and was never seen again.

    We apartment- and cat-sat in Seattle in a one bedroom apartment - and with a 9 month old Abyssinian called Habibi. Made me very sad she couldn't go outside, it was all she wanted to do. She would throw herself at the window screens when she saw passing birds. I felt mean keeping her inside, so I would take her out to play in the apartment building corridor.

    Now we have a big ginger tom who used to bring in rats, play with them under my bed,and end up eating the whole thing except parts of the innards, but now he has mellowed into middle age by sleeping lots and being a lap cat. He likes company and just to hang out with whoever is home.

    Seattle • Since Aug 2009 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Americans are really into indoor cats, and are likely to look askance at you if you have an indoor-outdoor cat. I have even heard people say that having a free-roaming cat is animal abuse, which I find quite strange.

    Canadians too. I believe some city councils have passed bylaws saying cats can only be outside if on a lead (attached to owner), a la dogs. The local council here has detailed instructions on how to trap the neighbour's cat (alive) if it wanders onto your lawn.

    I think these phenomena are linked to a North American obsession with property rights and property boundaries, something which cats are clearly oblivious to (whereas dogs are more easily contained by things like fences, and thus can be allowed outside with fewer fears of neighbourly retribution).

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Patrick,

    Our cat has asthma and is allergic to cat food.... well, allergic to the proteins found in beef and fish based cat foods anyway. So she has special vet-only-ultra-mega-expensive biscuits.

    When they were checking her allergies originally, they were working on the allergy line, then if she didn't respond to that the diagnosis was more than likely going to be depression, and the remedy cat Prozac - that took a little getting our heads around, I mean what's a cat got to be depressed about?

    She will quite happily hiss at you whilst purring madly if you pat her where she doesn't want to be patted. She is skinny yet manages to take up more room on a bed than a person, and appear to weigh more than a large dog when you try to move her.

    Her official name is Stripey, but she is more often known as Doofus.

    Rangiora, Te Wai Pounamu • Since Nov 2006 • 232 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    How about making no noise unless there's a rumble on?

    I thought Russell's story was about a rumble. A particularly feline rumble. One that apparently those of us with cats (or those of us who wish we did) were quite happy to read. Because not everything we read needs to be about unbundling of local loops and ETS agreements and the like.

    How about making no noise unless you've got something constructive to say, Pete?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1127 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    From Turtle Diary, by Russell Hoban:

    Frost this morning. Sharp it was, the air rang with it. I got up early and walked down the New King's Road to Parsons Green. Near where William lives there was a dead cat by a bus stop, pretty well flattened out. He looked as if he'd been run over by a lorry. A grey stripey tom he was with a head like a Roman senator, one eye open, one eye shut. His whole corpse seemed expressive of the WHAM! when his life met his death. He looked as if he'd been one hundred percent alive until the lorry closed his account in the flower of his tomcathood and his mortal remains were cheerful rather than depressing. To live with a yowl and die with a WHAM!

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 633 posts Report Reply

  • Julian Melville,

    @Islander - we have a Maine Coon. He catches the occasional bird but not huge numbers (and we're in an area stuffed with birds). It's not for want of trying though, he hangs out on the roof watching the nest that's in the corner of the gutter. He's the most chilled-out cat I've ever met, he's handled three house moves and two small children with no stress whatsoever. Tends to just hang out with neighbourhood cats rather than trying to argue with them. Will make a beeline for the lap of whoever in the house is most unlikely to want him, particularly loves allergy sufferers and will seek them out.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 182 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I'm finding it hard to read this thread without taking an antihistamine.

    But here's something gentle

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2009 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Will make a beeline for the lap of whoever in the house is most unlikely to want him

    Isn't this a truism when it comes to cats? :)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1127 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Yes Russell you are correct - cats are a non-story, unless you want to be one of those journalists that hosts answers to readers' gardening questions.

    Sorry, I'm just not your guy for gardening tips.

    How about making no noise unless there's a rumble on?

    Ah, Pete -- you've rather missed the pointed, haven't you?

    In other news, I have finished that column in time for lunch.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18521 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    I'm finding it hard to read this thread without taking an antihistamine.

    My nose is twitching too. Sounds like Colin is a bit Cool for Cats...

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Bruno Bozetto's ghost kitty:

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3328 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Sorry, I'm just not your guy for gardening tips.

    You mind if I bags that one Russ? The herb garden we built over summer is doing great (fresh oregano, marjoram and thyme in last night's pasta were a treat) and as soon as winter is almost done I'm going to build a vege garden for spring planting - I'll be sure to post on it and answer any readers' questions...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1127 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I'm looking forward to that, Damian. Can you also give tips on how non-gardeners can grow things in Wellington's gales, and maybe also how to clean out a 40 year old fishpond without disturbing some monster goldfish. (One seems almost as big as the neighbourhood cats that come to watch and drink from the pond - to keep on theme)

    I've been dipping into Barbara Kingsolver's Animal mineral vegetable which is a wonderful year long gardening book.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2009 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 633 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    Will make a beeline for the lap of whoever in the house is most unlikely to want him

    Isn't this a truism when it comes to cats? :)

    I've never understood how they know in a group of people which one is the allergic one, and why they do it?

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 639 posts Report Reply

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