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Press This Fido

Attention WordPress. You’re on notice. This evening, I uncovered a catastrophe of epic proportions. A catastrophe which must be addressed to maintain balance in the universe.

Readers, I hope you are sitting down. Brace yourself. Here it is.

Dogs have made it to the wordpress tag cloud. Cats have not.

 How could this have been allowed to happen? I’ve just told Saffron. She’s outraged. Well, to be honest she’s sleeping. But if she weren’t sleeping she’d be out in the street burning her bra with Germaine Greer and championing feline rights. (Not at all sure what feminism has to do with felinism but it was the first thing that came to mind).

So ok, here’s my plan. Isobel, Flossie, Animalartist, Oldcat one of us has to get on Freshly Pressed. I want front and centre a blog post protesting canine feline inequality. I want hundreds of proud cat servants tagging their posts appropriately with four little letters (cats), so they can take their right of place next to dogs.

Perhaps wordpress only allows animals with eyebrow muscles to make it to their tag cloud. Well, that’s just unfair. How heartbroken do you imagine Licorice will be when I tell her that it’s down to missing eyebrow muscles that she has to be searched for and cannot simply ‘be clicked’?

Yes, guys, one week into housesitting 4 cats in a one bedroom unit, I’ve lost it a little.

I want the boy to return. When here’s here the cups that I put in the sink magically wash themselves and levitate back into the cupboards. When he’s here, well, I’m there (being home).

Today I ended up wearing a t-shirt with paint on it to work. I apologised to my boss for my appearance. I explained I only packed limited clothes and didn’t check for paint spatters first.

As for the ‘cat farm’, as Andrew is calling this temporary feline storage arrangement, tonight it’s gone a little pear shaped. Well, pickle shaped to be precise. For some reason Pickle wants to chase everyone. Licorice, Saffron and Gesso are all fair game. Neither is the preferred ‘chasee’. He did go into a momentary lull while I was watching television. As soon as I turned out half the lights to go to bed it was ‘game on’. He probably heard me typing about cat inequality and it got him all fired up. Segregation has been re-instated. I’ve taken refuge in the bedroom with Licorice and Saffron. Poor Gesso will just have to outrun him until he decides it’s no fun anymore.

However back to the task at hand. So, do I have your assistance fellow cat lovers? Are you ready to tag? One word – cat plural. I don’t care which kind. Any cats, all cats, as long as they’re cats. Deaf ones, fat ones, old ones, new ones. I want blogs being tagged with cats. They can be three-legged, blind, neurotic or ragdoll happy, I don’t care. Torties, calicos, black, white, tabbies, ginger ninjas and even pink ones; it’s time for cats to take their pride of place in the wordpress tag cloud. If I don’t see a freshly pressed cat by the end of the week, I’ll be upset. C’mon! Your aloof independent cranky masters are depending on you: be the dutiful cat servant and tag your posts now. Together we can build a ‘cats’ tagging army and give those dog lovers a run for their money.

PPM Scientific Fact or Fiction?

I caught a snippet of Yes Minister the other night at its best. For Hacker and Humphrey fans it was the episode which sees Hacker describe Buranda as a TPLAC (Tin-pot little African Country). While it’s clear that as far as back as the 1980s, TLAs and FLAs were commonplace among people (Three lettered acronyms and Four lettered acronyms), I wonder when they hit the pet, and in particular, the cat world.

I give you 3 examples.

The first came from my vet. Saffron has FIC. For a second, I wondered why Saffron looked terrified. Then I realised, oh, she must be having a instance of SAC (severe acronym confusion). She was greatly relieved when I told her that FIC stood for Feline Idiopathic Cystitis not the Fur Industry of Canada.

The second instance of PRA (Pet Related Acronyms) came via my mother’s neurologist (where else?). He noted a cat hair on my mother’s clothes and struck up a conversation about the culprit. I asked, do you have a cat Professor?

Oh she died. She was senile. Unlike dogs, she didn’t have CCD. Have you heard about that? Yes, they’re calling it Canine Cognitive Dysfunction. Have you heard such a thing? Does your dog look at you strangely? Does he stare like he cannot remember who you are? Then he may have CCD.

I kid you not. That was the speech the professor came out with. Thanks to a neurologist, I became aware that CCD was the new senility for dogs.

The third PRA to make it into the venacular (at least in my family) is PPM. Are you wondering what Parts per Million has to do with the cats? The ratio of flea dirt to cat fur perhaps. Or if my kitties are addicted to Peter, Paul and Mary? No, only one of them is deaf. That can’t be it.

For those shrewd people who have used an Acronym Finder to decode PPM, I assure you that Licorice has not got a permanent pacemaker; though with her magnificent belly I do wonder whether her arteries may be bearing a little more fat than the slimline Gesso.

No, PPM, stands for Pre-Poo Madness. I want to know whether this is scientific fact or fiction? I’m convinced it’s a genuine condition.

How is it that I have had numerous cats, living in different households, who, as if possessed by a banshee desperate for its evening cocoa, howls around the house at full speed.

PPM is marked by a distinctive pattern of running wildly; furiously; without care about what you will smack into and then freezing for a full second before turning 180 degrees and hurtling back the other way. Please, someone out there tell me that your cat has PPM. I will feel so relieved to know that it is not just my girls and boys who are subject to this terrible state, from which they can only escape after using their litter tray to poo. I know that I have a few dozen followers and right around the globe as well; most of us blessed to spend our lives as cat servants. So write to me and let me know if your moggy has Pre-Poo Madness. It could be simply an Australian disease, kept safe within this continent by our island borders. Or maybe it is global; I so want to know.

I fear in writing this post that AA has reared its ugly head. I refer not to Alcoholics Anonymous but Acronym Addiction. I wonder if there is an AAA for that?

The tough questions

You know when children go through that phase of asking ‘why’ more times a day than their life is worth? Some days I think I never left that zone. When I’m at work, I’d like to think that my ‘why’ questions are helpful or in the latest parlance, ‘value-add’.

When at home, sometimes I want to ask the tough questions. Things like:

  • why does traffic snarl?
  • why does some cat poo float and not others? and
  • what is the purpose of snot?

These critical questions shall have to wait, for tonight, I have a fourth more burning question.

Why does food which is bad for you taste good and ‘good’ food taste, well, bad?

If a carrot is so much better for you than a raspberry and almond muffin, why does the muffin win the taste war? And why is it that it’s the BAD item which is called ‘comfort’ food. No one says a salad is comforting. Take that muffin again for a moment. MUFFIN. Yes. Does it not sound more like a hug than a stringy, pathetic piece of lettuce? (Yes, those added adjectives give away my bias).

I used to fit here without issue

When I started lite n’ easy last week I tried to tell myself that food is fuel. Food is like sleep; a necessity but one can have too much of it. Of course, this argument sucked; it wobbled at the first sight of challenge; it fell quickly on its sword as I reminisced about how much I love my nana naps.

I actually think I’d fare reasonably well, were it not for stress induced eating. (That’s code for: ‘I had a bad day, now give me some chocolate.’) So perhaps I should focus less on the food and more on the stress?

Take today as an example. I wanted to call the person a short sighted, narrow minded fool. I did not. I ate the said raspberry muffin instead as the consequences of saying what I really thought were not as palatable.

If you’re thinking this is one of those blog posts with a neat beginning, middle and end, with the moral all sealed up and delivered, you’d be wrong. I don’t have an end to this post. I’m not quite sure what to do when I get stressed; I’m not sure how to avoid the chocolate slice; the corn chips or the naan bread.

My only idea is they should allow cats at work. Particularly 5 month old deaf ones. While the old girls are asleep on the floor, Gesso is chasing the invisible monster. He makes me laugh. Perhaps I could smuggle him in to my office… do you think anyone would notice?

Houston there’s peas in my korma

Week one of Lite n’ easy. Week one of carefully dodging evil ingredients. So far I’m finding that the chefs at lite n’ easy like to chop the food small. This does not bode well for the food separatists among us who feel compelled to remove the offending articles. The first night, I was trying to avoid the onion. Tonight, the peas were testing my fine motor skills with my fork. My dinner contained an obscenity of peas.

Knowing that obscenity was not the correct collective noun for peas, I googled it, only to be exceptionally disappointed. A murder of peas? A murmation? A mass killing or a mutations? No, it was a pod of peas. How outrageously dull.

While I was internet surfing for collective nouns, I checked out whether Andrew was fibbing regarding the clowder of cats. He was not. Evidently ‘c’ words are popular for cats… a clowder of them; a cluster, a clutter, a kindle. I think it’s time we used some poetic licence and got my favourite furry friends a better collective noun. I mean seriously, owls get a parliament, racoons a nursery and rhino’s a crash; surely cats desire better than a clowder.

I hereby call for suggestions. If I get one good enough, I’m sure that the Oxford dictionary will admit the current terms are pathetic and change it, yes?

What about a flea of cats; a hairball of cats, or a whisker of them? I look at Saffron and Licorice. Nope, they’re far too fat to be ‘grouped’ by fleas, hairballs or whiskers. Perhaps I should go with a donut of cats; a souffle of cats or a double whipped cream choc tart with a cherry on the top of cats (Licorice would almost certainly make it in the last one).

On a tangent (as if going from peas in my korma to a surfeit of skunks wasn’t enough) I wonder what the collective noun for blogs is? So I googled it. (Google answers all). It seems I’m not the only one who has been wondering. I found an old post from 2007 which invited readers to submit their suggestions; and submit they did. Among my favourites were:

  • bridge of bloggers
  • gaggle of bloggers
  • google of bloggers
  • an inbox of bloggers
  • an irrelevance of bloggers

More here. Then I moved on to Richard Watts’ blog: Man About Town to discover a few more.

There were a number in the self-depricating vein of ‘an irrelevance’:
  • an opinionation of bloggers
  • wanktative of bloggers.
  • an inbreeding of bloggers
  • a blot of bloggers
Then there were a host of ‘technical’ and ‘geeky’ attempts
  • a div tag of bloggers
  • a typepad of bloggers
  • a block-quote of bloggers
  • a cross-post of bloggers
  • a toggle of bloggers
  • a thread of bloggers
  • a flickr of bloggers
  •  a repost of bloggers
  •  a click of bloggers
and my favourite:
  • qwerty of bloggers
And just think! All this started because there was an obscenity of peas in my korma.