Blog Archives

Cat Tinsel

The boys are in for an interesting December as we have decided to acquire a Christmas tree this year. I’ve googled what is likely to happen and I think this could be happening in a living room near me soon.

94 days of Zen

Zentangle Inspired Art 9

94 days of waiting for an answer. At the end of 94 days, the answer may be there, or it may choose to allude us for another 90 days. If it does arrive, the answer could be a relief, or an unwelcome intruder. After over 6 years of ‘waiting’ for an answer, another 94 days really shouldn’t be a problem. It seems quite a while ago that mum was given the probable diagnosis of ‘benign MS’.  Right now, I’d prefer ‘benign MS’ to paraneoplastic neurological syndrome with an underlying lung cancer but I guess we don’t get to choose these things.

One can do a lot of thinking in 94 days. And given my recent history of chalazions, I have the potential to get a few more lumps and bumps on my eyelids from the stress before this is done. So I am trying out a different ‘meditation’. It seems that Zentangles have been around for a few years now. The blend of art with a repetitive action could be just what I need. So I’ve resolved to do 1 a day until we have an answer.

The cats approve of this. It doesn’t disrupt their winter lap perching like painting does. One cat has even been Tangled!

Here are the first few (in order from my first one).

Zentangle Inspired Art 1

Zentangle Inspired Art 4

Zentangle Inspired Art 6

Zentangle Inspired Art 7

Zentangle Inspired Art 8

Zentangle Inspired Art 11

Zentangle Inspired Art 12

Zentangle Inspired Art 13

Zentangle Inspired Art 14

Entangle Inspired Art 15

Cat reluctant to give up sleeping spot

Did you know that wheelchair cushions have a gel insert designed to cushion your bum? Well, they make a slight well in the cushion, which, the cats tell me, is the perfect sleeping spot. Here is Andrew trying to persuade Pickle to get out of the chair.

Reclaiming wheelchair from the ginger ninja cat


AndrewA clever marketer came up with the concept of disABILITY.

Most of the time I would agree that to focus on the ability of people who have a disability is a good thing. Yet, there are times when the disability really has to be acknowledged for the hideous and limiting thing that it is.

Losing more function can be frightening, depressing, soul-destroying, frustrating, not to mention bloody impractical! At the end of several weeks which included all of those things, there ARE some things to be thankful for.

1) I have an amazing partner who despite losing the last remnants of his ‘walking’ and ‘standing’, only managed to lose his sense of humour for a day here and there. Without that wit and comic relief, I’m not sure where we would be right now.

2) We are fortunate to have supportive family, friends and workmates.

3) There are some bloody awesome Norweigans out there who made the molift hoist equipment.

and finally…

4) It doesn’t matter how stressed you become, the cats still give you cuddles. Sometimes two at a time.

Double trouble on the couch

Andrew and Pickle

Pickle’s Folly: A tale in pictures

Pickle's Folly 1

I could do with a nap in the sun

Pickle's Folly 2

Ooh… a bird out the window I hear!

Pickle's Folly 3

False Alarm. Back to sunbathing.

Pickle's Folly 4

You’re taking pictures? Good thing I’m handsome.

Pickle's Folly 5

Wait. Make that extra handsome.

Pickle's Folly 6

Houston we have a problem…

Pickle's Folly 7

It would appear that my sun bed is not entirely stable.

The final fibonacci

Final Fibonacci QuiltIt’s one of a kind. My second quilt. My first and final fibonacci quilt – I’ll never make another: I became just too preoccupied with ensuring that I was making things using things which were a number in the fibonacci sequence (1,2,3,5,8,21,34,55 and so on).

The flowers have 55 petals or 21 (part flower). The 55 petals, use 13 colours, each used only 1, 2, 3, or 5 times. The background is 13 columns, of 8 rectangles each and using only 5 fabrics.

As I said, I became a wee bit obsessed.

The ‘finish’ was a departure from the traditional method because instead of a binding, I opted to face the quilt. I’ve faced many dresses but had not quite appreciated how much fabric bulk there was to be in each corner with this method. Still, it was well worth it. It finished the quilt without changing the aesthetic of the quilt. I didn’t want it to be bordered / framed, I wanted it as it was and the facing gave me that effect.

Yet I am delighted with the result. It is a bespoke piece for my parents. Hopefully they will finally ditch some of the hideous lap blankets adorning the couch and use this one instead.

I have no doubt that mum’s cats will come to love it as much as Saffron and Licorice did during it’s making. Yesterday when I was trying to finish hand-sewing the edge, Pickle even decided to take it for a test sleep when I wasn’t looking. He matches the gold in the flowers, I think…

Pickle on the quilt

By special request

My dad has asked, ‘where is the footage of Pickle and the Carrot?’

No, it’s not a Christmas panto with the pantry contents as stars. It’s the footage of how the great ginger ninja responded to the cosmic catnip carrot.

The carrot’s feathers were very shortlived.

Pickle the budding artist

Pickle cannot let a play opportunity go by regardless of whether it involves paint or not. I tried to capture his pouncing on the brush from behind the canvas but once I got the camera out he wouldn’t perform. That said, I still love this little piece of footage – just the way he watches so intently and his head goes in motion with the brush. (And Andrew, that’s how he got that tiny black paint dot on his nose – from this sniff!)

Cat smothers woman to death

Bondi Beach Ball GameI awoke this morning to find someone had washed the air overnight with smoke. All of Sydney is obscured by the haze as if an artist has taken Payne’s grey with a touch of white and airbrushed the entire city. You can smell the smoke everywhere and taste the heat. The weather forecast says 33 degrees. My poor lime tree was baked on the 39 degree day. I forgot to move him. He now looks like an giant tentacled stick insect. His branches are green but the leaves have curled up and mostly dropped. In the hope he may live, I’ve moved him today out of the light. I’ve shut up the blinds to try to stay cool, creating my own little bunker for the day.

I say I awoke to smell smoke, the fact is, I’m surprised I woke at all. I can see the newspaper headlines now: a woman in Sydney’s Inner West has been found dead in her one bedroom apartment. Sheets were found drawn up over her head and her face was cat scratched. A 7 kilo lump of a cat called Licorice still sat upon the corpse still wailing for breakfast.

Honestly, Dr Google said if you want to stop your cat poking you in the face each morning to wake you up, then simply ignore said cat for several weeks. Do not talk to cat, do not push cat away. If need be, pull sheets over head and protect yourself from those kitty claws.

I am licorice, I am fatI assure you quite a number of weeks have passed. Licorice shows no sign of giving up. In fact the more I ‘bury’ myself under the sheets, the most she tries to uncover me; as if digging for treasure. Her foraging is characterised by persistence tangled with force. This is Licorice we’re talking about – she doesn’t do dainty. To be fair it’s hard to do dainty when you are 7 kilos and 11 years old.

Meanwhile at Chateau de Andrew, the boys are going to bed performing the Lumberjack song each night… whereby Andrew is the log. They seem to manage to stay on top of his hip / back, no matter how he rolls. Letting them in the bedroom at night was not the previous routine but Gesso seems to be enjoying the ‘protection’. Andrew has become the ‘peace’ between the two of them – quite literally with his body acting as a barrier between them in the bed. That said,  all aggressive behaviour from Pickle is completely gone; replaced with an over-enthusiastic sense of play. At first it was a very shaky truce. Gesso remained terrified of the playful ginger ninja. However, things appear to be on the up. I was delighted the other day to hear a report of Pickle chasing Gesso down the hall, only for Gesso to chase him right back. Only time will tell how these two fare. Pickle is almost 3 years old now… surely he has to slow down soon?


When cats don’t get along

IMG_3623Gesso has been pulling out his own fur. We thought we were doing the right thing by taking him to the vet to check for a medical cause before we decided it was an anxiety behaviour.

After visiting the vet, he came home to a very bad reception by Pickle. Apparently it can happen. One cat goes to vet, other cat acts aggressively when it comes home because he doesn’t recognise his scent. PIckle decided to attack Gesso, if poor Gesso wasn’t anxious before, after a vet trip and being jumped on repeatedly by Pickle, he certainly was now.

The following day, Pickle continued to behave very aggressively. So Pickle went for ‘cat time out’ – kind of like the naughty corner; for a week; at the mothership.

We researched the reunion.

We did the scent swapping etc. Pickle has lost all his aggressive behaviour but unfortunately Gesso has a memory. So when Pickle comes up to groom Gesso; or to play, Gesso runs away. He is just plain scared.

The situation is unresolved and rather stressful. Hence the lack of blogging. When there is a resolution, I’ll let you know!