Saturday, September 08, 2007


Above, you see a picture of a tree.

Now look at this picture. Do you see any trees? Well, yes, there's a picture of a tree, or at least half a picture, and there's a plant, a crassula, just visible to the left; but do you see any actual trees?
No, you probably see an archway which leads from the front part of our hall to the back part.
Here's a view from the opposite direction. You may see a kitten's ball there, but does the archway look like a tree to you?
It looks like a tree to Sirius.

Here's Sirius. He's ignoring his scratching post, and just about to mistake the archway for a tree. I haven't got a picture of him climbing it, because when he does, I'm busy shouting at him rather than taking photos. But he's very good at climbing it - two legs on each side of the arch. The arch has textured paper on it - now rather shredded textured paper.
When we shout at him in such circumstances, he looks round ("What? You don't want me to climb this tree? Oh dear!") and slides down.
This doesn't really improve the shredded-paper situation.

It's really hard, at least with my not-very-terrific camera, to take nice pictures of black cats. They either turn out looking a confusing mix of undifferentiated kitten parts...

... or look rather sleek and evil. As above. Note variety of rugs which we vaguely hope may protect our new sofas a bit longer.
Actually, the terrible twins are sweet and fluffy. Most of the time. Next week, we're going to let them outside. Maybe the advent of real trees in their lives will limit the damage on our wallpaper. Do you think?
(In answer to your question, Meggie, the book group member who cooked the first meal did have a (fairly new) wife but I think he mainly cooked the dinner. Mind you, he's since left the group - no one really knows why. Maybe his wife rebelled... she wasn't in the group.)


  1. Black cats are hard to photograph, but you do a pretty good job! Although I am disappointed that you haven't captured him shinning up your archway.

  2. All your readers now know the difference between trees and archways. It's time to take the picture of the tree and show Sirius.

    I'd never realised that kittens were so much work. Or is it just black kittens?

  3. That was cleverly written, Isabelle. I wondered what you were leading up to with the tree business. Shredded wallpaper??? Aren't you sick? But they are cute and entertaining... and you love them... and your family loves them... and we all love them. So, cover your house with plastic until they grow up.

    My daughter's new Westie is so naughty right now. She's pulling her hair out. And this too shall pass!

  4. Maybe once they are outside they will realise what a tree is??? Perhaps?? Or you could always paint a mural of a tree on the archway!

  5. I'd forgotten about the joys of shredded wallpaper! They stop doing that when they get older and discover the joys of stealing food from the 2legged people with whom they share living quarters (I have the main culprit lying beside me as I type who nabbed the FB's dinner this evening while it cooled!)

  6. Well,yes - I guess sunny is the operative word, and continues so, without rain. I think even our politicians are beginning to panic just now. It is nice though, to sit in the sun at this time of year, and enjoy the beauty that abounds!
    Those cats must be great fun. I always seem to acquire cats that aren't very adventurous inside.
    Mind you, our last cat learned early in her life never to prevent me with a well caught prize. I have chased her all over Eltham in an effort to rescue a bird before she crunches it to death. If ever she had a catch, and saw me, she would take off like greased lightning around the side of next door's house. Wise cat, poor creature in her mouth. We did laugh though when she bit off more than she could chew, whilst only half grown. Caught a baby wattlebird she did, and we heard this terrible rumpus, and went racing outside, to find her cowering over a large baby bird, not quite knowing where to grab it, whilst being dive bombed by very angry parent birds. One successful rescue, and one totally demoralised cat who learned NEVER to attack anything larger than herself! It might win the tussle!

  7. You know, I was beginning to feel the overwhelmingness of my failure as a housekeeper and mother, given that I can't get a comb through my childrens hair (and look at yours!!!) and that one has to kick things aside to make a path through the living room,
    therefore I was somewhat heartened firstly by the fact that I don't have the only shredded household, and secondly,
    I was oddly comforted by the washing basket.

    Yes, true, it has been emptied and no doubt the clothes folded and put nicely into the cupboards, but I am feeling the better for having glimpsed it in the hallway.

    Ahh. Thank you Isabelle.

    By the way, this may sound stupid but what are you generally wearing outside right now? (Warmth-wise)

  8. Try bringing in a nice chunk of actual tree (Firewood?) and leaving it in a strategic spot...sprinkling it with catnip works too (and they're fun to photograph then!)

  9. Thanks, Isabelle.

    If you multiply the basket to the power of ten, that would be my house. Your place is lovely and orderly!

    Your weather sounds like our weather, it's just that you get sudden "hot spells" so that if you are wearing warm things you almost expire.
    I was packing icebreaker tops (nz thermalwear) and coats... I remember October being quite cold. I do have a dinner to attend and not too keen on wearing
    twenty layers.

    Edinburgh's an hour or so away, isn't it?

  10. Thank you for answering my question. Perhaps the new wife was a little jealous of his book club friends.
    I do enjoy reading of the exploits of those kittens. We once had a kitten called Taffy, & he was such a placid little boy. He was rather intimidated by birds, & certainly never caught any. Nor did he shred any furniture.

  11. It made a *huge* difference to our kittens' behaviour once we let them outside. They went from being completely CATastrophic, to just plain manic. We still get the occasional shredding of items...but use hissing and a water-spray bottle to discourage it!

  12. I think you do a great job of taking pictures of the little black devils. They're SO cute -- and keeping us all entertained. Although, could you please try harder to get a pic of Sirius climbing the wall? Just sit there all day with your camera by your side -- I'm sure you have nothing better to do. LOL.

  13. Oh I just love those kitties!

    They are rascals, but I love them!

    Probably because they aren't shredding my wallpaper!

  14. When one of our cats was a kitten she would climb up the door and hang from the door knob! It is really hard to photograph black cats, one of mine ends up looking like a snake and the other just seems to be one big black ball with eyes!

  15. Agreeing with the other comments here about the difficulty in taking good photos of black cats. Topsy's eyes always look like headlights on a roadtrain truck, unless she closes them, then she looks like a black lump of nothing in a photo. Love the one of the black legs waving in the air! Reminds me of a tarantula...

  16. Well at least you won't have to call the fire brigade to get them out of that tree!

  17. Perhaps my grandaughters would like to have your cat - because they can both climb up the doorways with one foot either side, right to the top. I'd send you a photo if I had your email address.

  18. It was so nice meeting you on Sunday! I'm back home now, the first night home one of my cats spent hours chirping and warbling at me while trying to shove his face up my nose. Taking occasional breaks to affectionately headbutt my husband in the eyeball.

  19. Shredded wallpaper... I remember my Dad refusing to re-do the walls until my Moomin stopped the cats having a go at them. I had completely forgotten that they do that! :oD

    What I do know is that when we had a bit of fallen tree (rather large branch) in the back garden it was a very popular scritch scratching post for our pudders, it was like a twig once they'd finished with it. So perhaps when they get outside they'll stop attacking the archway.

    Love the all legs and fur picture, and the way that little pudders enjoy their sleep soooo much! :o)


  20. Are you sure the world outside is READY for them?

    Public announcements .... government health warnings ... spring to mind ...

  21. Isabelle - it was my grandaughters that can climb the door posts, not the cat.