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All I want for Christmas is a wheelchair lifter

The car has been at the engineering shop for 2 weeks. The lifter has landed on the roof but apparently the seat modifications aren’t completed. Like nearly everything in the disabled world; it is happening very slowly. I am getting pre-Christmas crankiness.

Andrew and I went to the shops today – in my car. The wheelchair lifting part was all good – when we’re together that’s my job and I manage it with reasonable ease. The getting in and out of the car without a fixed transfer board – slightly more tricky. Not to mention that my car is somewhat smaller in the door cavity than his – really not ideal at all.

Pickup of the car is scheduled for Wednesday. I have my fingers crossed for Wednesday. And my toes. And my legs. I’m crossing everything.

Satin stitching the wheel on the quilt

Satin stitching the wheel on the quilt

In the meantime I’ve started to stitch the wheel onto the quilt. My first attempt looked like a pizza. A blue and purple pizza but a pizza just the same.

My second attempt, I cheated. I used the wheelchair wheel and like a 3rd grader – traced it! Harder than you may think as the wheel is not perfectly flat.

Then when it came to the stitching I found that the top layer was all puffy. All those hand basting stitches to keep the batting, backing and top together weren’t holding it down enough. So, with some swearing under my breath, I set about unpicking 2mm satin stitching.

I dragged the quilt to the armchair – I may as well be comfy.

Licorice appeared. Licorice was persistent. We reached a compromise. She could sit on the piece of fabric resting on the footstool as long as I could hold on to the end I was still unpicking. Minutes later – Saffron wanted her share of the quilt. Nevermind that Licorice was already sitting on it; she just climbed up and wriggled her way in. The funny part was watching her slowly descend. It wasn’t a quilt – it was quick sand. For Saffron had decided to sit on the quilt but between the footstool and my on the armchair. Eventually I gathered up enough of the fabric and pushed her enough onto the footstool that she stopped sinking.

Of course I just had to take a photo.

Double trouble on the quilt

Double trouble on the quilt. Licorice (left) and Saffron (right).


Were you planning on quilting?

Saffron on the quilt... again

Were you planning on quilting today? Hmm… I have other plans. This is a nice comfy place to sit. I don’t want to move. And just to make extra sure you are hearing me, I’m giving you THAT look!

The cat who dislikes bipeds

The wheelchair may freak the cat out, they said. They may run from the wheelchair. It may be big and scary.

To that, codswallop say I!

Gesso is doing his usual and running away from me again. I go to pat him, approaching slowly and so he can see me coming. He runs away.

‘Hop in the wheelchair’ says Andrew.

I jump in. Gesso stops and looks.

Andrew prompts: ‘Give him the signal’.

I move the fingers on my hand like a quacking duck. (Andrew has been trying to teach Gesso that this signal means come. Teaching a deaf cat – good luck with that. A regular cat is bad enough at coming when called!)

To my surprise, this bundle of white fluff, runs back towards me. I pat his head. He is no longer terrified.

IMG_2936So it would seem that Andrew’s theory is right. Far from being scared of the wheelchair, as some feared he would be, he is afraid of bipeds! How strange I must seem – this tall creature that moves quickly through the house.

It’s been a tough couple of weeks catwise, what with losing chilli and now, since Tuesday, Saffron having acute cystitis. She’s been to the vet – TWICE – and is going back tomorrow. Third time lucky? She has improved ever so slightly (meaning less blood; still frequent – small – urination).

The upshot of all this is Saffron has been confined to the bathroom for the past few days. I’m sure that this freaks her out a little more, however, she is wee-ing (or at least attempting it) so frequently that I can’t trust her outside the bathroom.

Licorice is highly unimpressed as she too, has been calling the bathroom home for the past 4 days. (The girls don’t like separation and I have few other places to put a litter tray should I lock Licorice out of the bathroom). So I am left with one cat who squats frequently and one who is just plain grouchy. She lets me know of her displeasure at every possibly opportunity.

So it would seem there is one member of my furry flock left; is he grumble-free? Well, bipeds are most certainly ok with Pickle. As far as I know, his bathroom business is all in tact and he has the run of the house. So all in all, I think the ginger ninja is a happy camper. Here’s a photo I captured of him earlier this evening.

HIs whiskers look rather grand in profile!

HIs whiskers look rather grand in profile!

Licorice and Saffron meet Mister Turtle

Licorice, Saffron meet Mister Turtle

This evening Licorice and Saffron had an unexpected visitor. My neighbour’s turtle got a little adventurous and escaped his/her pond into my back garden. After being rescued, she decided to introduce her pet to mine. I was a little apprehensive – will they hurt him? She assured me that turtles have good protective mechanisms and with us both watching it would be fine.

The girls were baffled! After the turtle left, the girls spent quite a few minutes looking for the intruder. However 5 minutes later, exhaustion set in and they returned to sleep!

The treat stealer fails

Licorice seemed to be quite skilled at stealing the treats Saffron had so diligently retrieved from the treat ball. It is clear to me that Licorice has also been stealing some of Saffron’s dinner. However, I think Saffron has finally figured out how to outsmart Licorice! I took this video tonight and Saffron is certainly now getting the lions share. I love the way licorice (right) looks at me at one point with her sad face!

If the above video doesn’t load, go directly to the flickr page.

I want to stress that it’s 1/4 of their food allowance in the ‘treat ball’. They are overweight and don’t need treats. I’m putting it in the ball because Saffron has finally figured out how to get most of the treats for herself and stop Licorice stealing hem. This is a good thing because I’m positive that Licorice takes some of Saff’s breakfast each day! I also put it in the ball because it’s a bit of environmental enrichment and keeps them moving… however slow that may be!

Other videos from my furry family:



Getting treats the easy way

I took this brief video this morning.

I’d filled up the treatball. Saffron knows how to get the treats out but what I love is the way she gets them out and fatty Licorice comes along and steals them!

If the video doesn’t appear, use this link to the flickr page.

Quick before Saffron gets it

Quick painting sketch Mar 18 2012This painting was a rushed effort. I had problems with a certain cat who wanted to sit on me. I had images of her walking in the paint so I had to speed up. I think in the end the painting is better for it. Some of the colours got blended together as I wasn’t taking the time to clean my brush.

Not to be outdone, Licorice is inhibiting my blog writing. The laptop is not precariously balanced on my knee, pushed to this point my a fat 7 kilo furball.

Guess it’s going to be a limited words night.

Pickle on the chopping block

Day one of holidays and I’m getting a taste of what my girls get up to while I’m at work.


The morning seems to have consisted of sleeping. Moving 1 metre. Re-establishing oneself in the sleep position. When approached, wake-up and perform belly roll.

The two headed monster

Licorice and Saffron on my brown gypsy skirt

Best of all sleep on the skirt that I was planning on repairing today. Good work Licorice and Saffron! They’ve been occupying the skirt for a couple of days. I had hoped that they would have found a new snoozing place by now. I shouldn’t complain. Fortunately my cats and my clothes are often the same colour. It makes the cat hair blend in somewhat.

Meanwhile, over at chateau de Andrew the boys are probably doing about as much as the girls. I dropped in to apply flea medication to the back of Pickle’s neck. On walking in the door I found Pickle asleep in the old wheelchair and Gesso spread out on top of the bookshelf. I’m pleased I’ve been able to witness this gargantuan level of athelticism. I don’t feel bad about going away for 9 days. It’s clear that they’ll sleep right through it.

This was Pickle last night. Alternating between sleep and mild attention on the chopping block. Thankfully, for Pickle’s sake, it isn’t presently being used as a chopping block.

PIckle on the chopping block

Pickle on the chopping block

Since I’ve included 3 of the ‘fur children’, I guess I’ll have to put in the fourth. This was his sleeping effort the night before last.

Gesso's comfyLayabouts! Nevermind. I have the perfect way of waking Licorice and Saffron up. I’m going to cut fabric. It works everytime. Even when they are in the other room, they have a ‘fabric’ radar. Cutting a pattern out wouldn’t be half as much fun without the feline assistance.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ready

This evening, I was ready to sew. Saffron had other ideas.

Ready to sew

Saffron's ready to stop me from sewing

The cat sat on my homework

Gesso assistanceLast night, I had to write a presentation for work today.

Gesso had other plans for me, blocking my access to the laptop in the only way he knew how.

Me being slightly peculiar, took a photo of him in situ, turfed him off, then wrote my presentation and included him in it! I’m sure my colleagues think I’m completely cracked but then again, they don’t tell me my presentations are boring, which I think is what many people expect from the data person. I met a new member of staff today. She said to me, ‘are you the IT person?’ I felt almost insulted. Am I that drab?

Through today, Gesso and Saffron must have had a conversation, for tonight, it is Miss Saff’s turn at stopping me from completing my homework. She has adopted a similar approach to gesso. She just happens to be twice the size and far more determined to stay where she is. My dressmaking teacher has 3 cats of her own. I’m sure she will accept my excuse for not cutting out the whole pattern… no?
Saffron assistance