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Yes, I want my nose Licorice

Licorice does winter

Licorice – 11 year old Tortie from Cat Protection Society

Licorice’s habit of ‘poking me awake’ appears to be getting worse. I have tried very hard not to ‘reward’ her, by not getting up until the alarm goes off. Yet it seems like she is getting more persistent. So this morning I consulted Dr Google (as many people do). Hmm… I thought I was ignoring her, but I have sometimes ‘pushed her away’ and that seems like in cat terms that’s a response. As is any talking – even if it’s no. (This morning I’m pretty sure there was a loud ‘no’ when Licorice decided to ‘stroke’ my nose. I’ve checked and there isn’t a big scratch down it but it feels like it!)

Oh dear, I shall have to reaffirm to throw the covers over my head and do absolutely nothing to encourage her.


Saffron – 8 year old tortie from Cat Protection Society

Meanwhile Saffron was doing her morning routine – paper chewing again! Stupid me had left at piece of paper out in the bedroom.

While it may sound like I’m grumbling, I am still very happy to have them around today. Our family cat Pippy is quite sick at the moment and it’s meant the girls – and boys – have been getting extra cuddles.

Pippy has come down with a mystery illness. The vets are baffled. She is negative for FIV and ‘Feline Leukaemia‘ and it’s not cat flu either – certainly a relief; although FIV seemed very unlikely as Pippy doesn’t get into cat fights. Yet she is still a sick cat, although hopefully has turned the corner. Her temperature is slowly coming down and she is starting to eat again – if she is handfed by the vet nurse mind you! Mum, dad and I went to the vets on Friday afternoon to see her. She is sporting a new haircut – completely shaved underbelly and some off the sides too (I presume that was so they could do the ultrasound). Her eyes are still weeping, she is still snuffly and has developed a bit of a waddle when she walks, but there was a bit of spark. I put her down on the floor and she made a beeline for mum. It was very cute. Since Friday apparently her temperature has dropped a bit. She’s been sick for a week. Clearly a fighter though and I’m more optimistic now that she will pull through this. It was looking a bit grim on Wednesday / Thursday.


Pippy as a kitten in 2003 – RSPCA cat.

Since I’ve already put pics in of 3, I might as well feature the entire fur family. I never know how to answer the question, how many cats do you have? Especially while Chilli was alive. I tend to say 2, or 4, depending on the context.

If you are new to my blog, then here’s the quick version of why that’s a confusing question – I adopted Chilli in 2000. When I moved out of my family home (where Pippy and Poirot also live), I took Chilli with me. However, Chill was a bit of a special needs cat and for her well being went back to live with mum and dad. So I was catless. So in 2009, I adopted Licorice and Saffron (above). My fur family was complete. Then in 2010, I met Andrew (a man, not a cat!). Andrew didn’t have any pets. After swearing that he didn’t want one, he started to warm to my girls. So, with time, we adopted Pickle the ginger ninja and Gesso a deaf white cat. They live with Andrew but if they need to go to the vet etc, then I’m responsible. I guess you could say, it’s a shared custody arrangement! So you see, that’s why it’s hard to answer how many cats I have!


Pickle, age 2 1/2 and Gesso, about 1 1/2 – both from Cat Protection Society

Poirot June 2008

Poirot – aged almost 16 – RSPCA cat.


It’s been a week of coming home to just start work again. I’m preparing a 2 hour workshop for a conference – hence the lack of blogging.

In the furry circles it’s business as usual. I think Andrew is needing to negotiate his place in the bed. As I write this, Licorice and Saffron have placed themselves on my overcoat. No wonder when I was at the quilt show last week, one of the stall owners asked me if I had a cat! I looked down at my dress to find evidence of the awesome foursome.


Gesso the deaf white cat does Jumpin’ Jack Flash

I awoke this morning to text message from Andrew – ‘I’ve made a video of Gesso!’

The link is below. Unfortunately the words at the front are too quick to read, so here they are:

“One year ago… on a day just like today… I went shopping with my girlfriend… Neither of us were to know that our lives would never be the same… we came home with a deaf white kitten… and although it was cute… we didn’t know that it was absolutely mental… but we love it dearly… especially that crazy fluffy tail… we have nicknamed it… the arctic  squirrel. Here is some footage. I hope you like it.”

There is a guest appearance by Pickle, the ginger ninja.

If the link doesn’t appear below, you can go directly to Andrew’s youtube page.

Postscript: The stickler in me wants to clarify we did go shopping for a cat – it wasn’t some spur of the moment adoption. I take my cat responsibilities very seriously!

Merry Christmas Everyone

A very quick post as I’ve still got to wrap presents for my brother’s family!

I felt like a photograph today and here’s one of my favourites. It is from late October 2011 of Andrew and Gesso.

An old photo from when we first adopted Gesso

An old photo from when we first adopted Gesso

Andrew’s facebook status says it all

Andrew's facebook status says it all

The best toy for a deaf cat

It seems hard to predict which toys Gesso will enjoy. His deafness seems to mean that some items are of no interest to him. I’m not sure whether it’s because once they move out of sight a rod and stick toy loses it’s interest as he can’t hear it. Strangely, the red dots from the laser can also disappear but Gesso keeps looking for them.

Andrew shot this piece of footage of his antics.

If the embedded link above is not working please go to the youtube link.

PS: If anyone in Sydney is looking for one of these laser toys – it changes shape at random – I got it from Cat Protection Society in Enmore.

When disability is no slow dance

Andrew and Gesso

Can you imagine watching the person you love lose their ability to be independent?

I know some of you absolutely know what this is like.

After working in the disability sector for a while I know that much is done to show what people with disabilities can do. Slogans such as ‘don’t ‘dis’ my ability’ being a perfect example. People I know who have a disability often inspire me with their resilence, persistence and ingenuity.

Yet, some days there’s no pretty side. It’s just bloody hard.

Regular readers of my blog will know I’ve been dating Andrew for a couple of years now. Over the last couple of years I’ve watched as Andrew’s muscles have further wasted away. Things he could do two years ago, he absolutely can’t today. I remember about 18 months ago, Andrew and I attempted to ‘slow dance’. Looking back on it, how ridiculous were we? A guy who couldn’t walk unaided, cannot lift his feet properly, trying to slow dance. Andrew got himself to vertical. He held on to a table with one arm and to me with the other. We had the music on – candles too – but we didn’t actually move!

While slow dancing is clearly history, I’m not ready to let go of Andrew leaving the house independently just yet.

It’s hard to describe what Andrew goes through to get in and out of the car, so we took a video. Lately, it’s been getting harder and harder. Some days, Andrew just physically does not have the muscle strength to lift the wheelchair into the car. So he stays home. 40 is too young to be confined to the house! 

The hardest thing is there are options out there, he just can’t afford them.

We’ve tried approaching charities for help with vehicle modifications. It’s been tough. I can understand why there are such high frustrations in the community of people living with disability. I got sick of being asked – ‘is it for your son?’

No. It’s my boyfriend.

‘Oh, we only help children.’

Or worse:

‘yes, we can help, but we have a 2 year waiting list.’

So, we are trying to raise the money ourselves. I’ve never attempted to raise money for anything before. While I have always worked for charities which rely on donations to keep going, I’ve never been the one calling charities asking for help.

We first looked at the Abiloader, which was going to cost at least $15,000. Now we have found a plan B, which is $8,500.

Please, watch the video and if you are moved by it, please help by making a donation and/or sharing it among your friends.

Thank you.

Link to video or view below.

You can read more of Andrew’s story on his blog.

Donations of support can be made via:

St.George Bank of Australia
Fund raising account number: 485 558 044
Branch/bsb number: 112-879
Account name: Geoffrey Andrew Grant
Andrew’s email address if if you want to contact him or just ask him anything. If you subscribe to his blog (or if you’re already on mine!) we will keep you updated.

Gesso goes fishing

Not the nine o’clock fireworks

We set out to take photos of the 9 o’clock Darling Harbour fireworks show. We returned with this snapshot instead.

Louis Vuitton Paparazzi King St Sydney

5 men all taking photos with their phones of louis vuitton window

What was so fascinating about Louis Vuitton’s King St Sydney window, I’ll never know. The sight of 5 men snapping photos with their phones of whatever was in the window was a little bizzare indeed. Louis Vuitton worshippers perhaps? I thought their silhouettes against the red window made for a great photo in itself.

While I’m sharing photos, I have to include this one of Gesso. I was very pleased as I took it using the manual mode my camera (Canon 550d).

Gesso sleeps

[70-300mm lens at 70mm, f/5 for 1/10 sec.]

Yes, he’s beautiful when he’s quiet.

The broken crockery we found on the floor when arriving at Andrew’s place last night was nothing to do with this little sweetheart. I think I jinxed myself by thinking it would be nice to go home to my peaceful – ADULT – girls. That’s why I heard a thump during the night and woke to find my Wii on the floor. Unlike Gesso, Licorice and Saffron are smart enough not to sit next to the evidence. Indeed – PLAY with the evidence. Andrew yelling at the [deaf] cat to stop playing in the ceramic shards was hilarious – after the fact. For a girl who hates domestic duties I’m getting pretty good at cleaning up at Andrew’s place, thanks to this little devil.

White cat cant jump