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More mini-me 29, November 2010

Posted by babychaos in baby stuff, General Wittering, Mini Me, toddlers.
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Small fry is in bed, ready to go to sleep. Catus Maximus comes in, meowing. I pick him up and he begins to purr.

Junior knows about purring, it has alarmed him before. The first incident went like this.

“That is a noise.” mini-me had said, a look of worried incomprehension on his face.

“That is purring.” I had told him and explained that it meant our cat was content. He digested this news in silence for a while.

“OK.” he’d said.

So there we were, Junior all ready for bed, me about to kiss him goodnight and Catus Max purring in my arms.

“That is Chewie!” says the small man. “He is purring.”

“Yes, that’s right.” I say. “You remember about purring don’t you.”


“Good stuff.”

A long, long thoughtful pause.

“He is alright? He is not broken?”

“No, he is not broken. He is happy.”


He comes out with this kinf of thing all the time and I can’t help thinking I should write more of it down.


Household Hazard Number 32. The One Cat Disaster Zone. 9, June 2008

Posted by babychaos in Adult Content, Art, General Wittering, Life and living, Play, Small Scale Disasters.
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So I had a lovely day today, the weather was fine and sunny and I spent the morning having coffee with a friend round the corner and I sat out for the afternoon finishing some painting I have to do. All is going swimmingly, just finishing the last of the figure backgrounds and have mixed the colour for the lettering when the Kraken – who has spent the afternoon sleeping peacefully on top of one of my plants – wakes.

Yes, Mr Cat wants on to the table. There is no room. It containing a tray full of mixed inks, a piece of paper with various squiggles and further ink mixes, the paint water, brush and rag (kitchen roll) for wiping the brushes and of course, not forgetting the actual painting. I push him off and he goes back to sitting on the chair… for a few minutes, until he sees I am once again immersed in what I am doing.

He strikes, leaping onto the table and then standing on his hind legs and shaking to settle his fur. The table shakes with him, alarmingly but by some miracle nothing spills from the ink palette or drips off the paper and the paint water pot remains upright.

I remove the painting to safety and the paper with the paint squiggles… well… he puts his front foot in a soggy patch of watered down red and stretches but it’s not too bad, I manage to remove it before he steps into anything too concentrated. I get the water container, complete with brush oh yes and not forgetting my tea out of the way…

He is between me and the inks but he is not interested in retreating to that end of the table. He wants love and as my flailing hands remove soggy paint spattered things from his reach he tries to headbutt them, to get my attention… and get himself tickled behind the ears. I tell him he is a spanner and he suddenly realises I am laughing but at the same time, a little put upon. He backs away sitting down in the yellow ink. It’s all over his bum… this is a long haired cat, remember, with back trousers like one of those bizarre fluffy chickens.


I get the ink tray out of his way – that’s the try full of permanent, light fast inks – and try to wipe the bright yellow – oh look with some green, too – off his copious furry rear pantaloons. There is too much ink on the cloth for it to be much good but it works a little until he decides to sit down on the table. Now there is yellow and green ink all over the table, the cat and the only thing I have to hand to wipe it up.


I pour water on it to keep it wet in the hope I can wash it out. Nothing doing. I must go into the house to get more kitchen roll. Mr Cat leaps onto the chair – his hairy rear trousers acting like a giant paint brush – and covers that with yellow ink, too.

Mr Cat sees that the human is going into the house. Good. He will go with her and then she will stroke him while he eats his food.

No. She will not let him in. Not until she’s got the sodding yellow off the chair anyway – well… ok that’s only a partial success but it’s pretty well camouflaged and I can probably convince Mr BC it’s bird muck.

Mr Cat lurks by the door. I still refuse to let him in. Except I can’t stop him because he’s a bit quick like that whereas, conversely, I am currently built like a weeble and manoeuver with the grace, poise and cornering capability of the average oil tanker. So instead I corner him, hold him down and wipe the rest of the yellow off him. It’s dry now, anyway. He’s going to have to live with a yellow and green arse until it wears or moults off – whichever comes first.

Meanwhile back to the table. The nice wooden naturally weathered outdoor table. That’s yellow and green, too.

And dry.

Oh dear.

Mr BC is not going to like this. Never mind. At least I didn’t get any on the name painting and considering the determined onslaught of Mr Cat I did pretty well to disguise the fate of the chair and escape with merely the table daubed with ink.


Exit BC stage left to find some sandpaper.

I am a tiger! 3, April 2008

Posted by babychaos in General Wittering, Life and living, Light Fluff, Play.
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A couple of nights ago we watched a documentary about tigers.

As you can see, nobody in the room was more interested than Mr Cat, who leapt off my lap and scurried over to the screen to get a closer look.  He showed the tigers a lot of respect, clearly, despite being on TV, he realised they were big bad muthas…

Ah yes… my cousins

He also enjoys football – that’s soccer to my American chums.

Ah great, the footy’s on

Recovering thumbs and things… 22, February 2008

Posted by babychaos in Art, General Wittering, Life and living, Light Fluff.
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I had some art to do today but was rather worried my sore thumb would preclude me from holding a pencil. In the event, I think we’re ok. Phew, the deadline’s next Wednesday so I really do have to finish off the line drawing, at least, today.

Eventually, yesterday evening, I decided to brave a bath, hand in air, etc… Mr BC was coming home late so I put supper in the oven, ran myself a deep hot bath and sank gratefully into it. One member of the household was not content with this though. About five minutes in the bathroom door was pushed open and Mr Cat arrived.

Mr Cat has a bit of an identity problem ergo that he thinks he’s a dog. He will walk to heel, follow me or Mr BC, depending who he has chosen that day, wherever we go and generally hang out with us. He likes to be patted as well as stroked. He never shuts up and when he wants to play he bounces along beside his chosen target barking. A high-pitched (because whatever he may think he IS a cat) terrier like yip. His best game is chase the red dot played with a laser pointer although anything that gets him attention is just peachy and yes, when we first got him, he would retrieve.

He’s a rescue cat, so we don’t really know how old he is, somewhere between 12 and 14 now and to put it politely, he’s a bit of a spacker. He’s incredibly bossy and has a sense of humour. When we first took him on, he was afraid to let us touch him so he acted the fool, dashing about, behaving like a complete idiot and making us laugh.

Mr Cat knew I was in the bath but he couldn’t see me. This clearly annoyed him and made him feel excluded so he set out to get my attention.

He tried drinking from the shower but as it hadn’t been used the tasty pool of soapy water he likes to lap up, if he’s given the opportunity, was not there. Lots of chirruping and general chat ensued as he wandered round the bath. He dragged the bathmat out into the hall where he disembowelled it energetically. That kept him busy for a minute or two.

I pushed the door closed again. It opened almost immediately and I knew that Mr Cat was back in the building… a face with a paw each side appeared at the end of the bath for a second or two and disappeared. A few seconds later, on the other side of the bath, further up, the face appeared again.

Behind my head was a chair, which I’d put there so my towel and water bottle were at hand. A large crash startled me as Mr Spanner Cat landed in it clumsily. I’m sure some cats are really dainty but ours isn’t, he often gets it wrong and falls off things. He sniffed my bottle of water but it had a lid! Ha! He couldn’t slubber on any of the bits where my mouth goes.

He pulled my towel off the back of the chair and had a good go at killing it. Never mind, it was keeping him quiet, I reasoned so I reclined happily in the water reading my book. There is a brief watery plipping noise. Out of the corner of my eye I realised Mr Cat was leaning, pointy eared, into the bath dabbling one hand into the water.

I have him a look.

He stopped.

I return to my book and the dabbling noise started up again, only this time I felt a furry front leg against my back as he tried to get to the water behind me. Another few minutes of this I reckoned and he would be trying to climb onto my head. With a sigh I got out of the bath, ushered Mr Cat into the hall, shut and locked the door. He sat outside and howled until I emerged.

He is quite mad.

I am now sitting in bed typing up his exploits before I get out and tackle the day. He wants me to go and groom him (I’m only allowed to do this while he eats his breakfast). He’s hungry because he’s not going to eat his breakfast alone if he can successfully nag me into grooming him while he eats so for the moment he’ll wait and nag… and wait… He has just walked across my keyboard for the 5th time.

Here is what he says.

It’s probably a swear word.

Here are some photos of Mr Cat in action.

Butter wouldn’t melt…

Butter Wouldn’t Melt

Provide a cat with a number of lovely spots to sit in around the house and garden and you can guarantee he will ignore them all, especially when Mr BC is all nice and warm. Mr BC works from home, often with this kind of assistance.

Back warmer

Mr Cat is a keen gardener.

Mr Cat is a Keen Gardener.

The cork floor tiles make Hannah Barbera style skids and cornering a doddle and although he’s 12 Mr Cat is no more mature than anyone else in the house. He likes to play.

Gumbee cat waiting to pounce

He doesn’t like thunder storms, if we have one, he shows us how to put a very large cat into a very small space… like this.

A very large cat in a very small space.

The law of cats and other time wasting things… 30, January 2008

Posted by babychaos in Art, careers, General Wittering, handy hints, Life and living, Play, writing.
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Mmm, red letter day today, time for our huge hairy cat, Chewbacca, to have his shots. I book him in for 10am so he can go out have a quick patrol of the parameters and then when he comes back to sit on my lap and purr from about 9 onwards I can lock the cat flap and stuff him into his box before he knows what’s hit him.

Good plan huh?


Except as usual, the wheels fall off.

He goes out at the usual time and that is when we realise that our neighbours, either side, have clubbed together to have new TV ariels fitted at the same time. Their gardens – and ours – are full of strange men, friendly but strange nonetheless. There are power tools, noises and smells which do not compute and Chewie does a bunk.


I wait until he is too late for me to make the appointment before ringing the vet to cancel. Within seconds he is at my side, chirruping merrily.


I ring the vet and explain he has just turned up. They agree I can be late.


Once in the surgery, I open the box. He is sitting with his back to me, sulking. I up end the box and without changing position he slowly slides to the bottom. Finally he is weighed, checked and (hoorah) the vet administers a worming tablet. He is now asleep, upside down, where he shouldn’t be but I will allow him to spend the morning there, to make up for the trauma!

On a completely different note, I have found an interesting website. It’s one of these write stuff and earn rewards sites.

If any of you are up on this kind of thing you’ll know what I’m about, if not it’s places like epinions, ciao or dooyoo where you write product reviews in return for points.

The points add up and if you’re lucky after about… ooooh… ten years or so? You earn enough to redeem them for a £5 Amazon voucher. However for all the sweat blood for bugger all aspect (actually you can earn a good living off them but only if you treat it like a job, submit something every day and read practically everything else which appears so people find out who you are and begin to read your stuff) they have their uses.

Many years go I went to a book signing. I told the writer, Terry Pratchett, that I wanted to write a novel but that it wasn’t going very well because what was in my head was very detailed and somehow I just couldn’t do it justice, on paper.

I asked if he could give me some advice. He said I should just write stuff. Write something every day, write letters, e-mails or write about how I can’t think of anything to write. He said that if I did that long enough, I’d learn to drop the details in, in passing, by instinct and it would all come together. He’s dead right. It hasn’t come together quite yet but it’s improved enough to prove that yes, practice helps.

Anyway, as a writer, before I started writing this blog, I used to write reviews for review sites on the grounds that for those days where I couldn’t think of anything to write, I could pick something to review from their ready made categories and earn a very small amount of money for following Terry’s advice.

I still do this when I’m short of inspiration and then I submit the results to as many article and review sites as I can. In my view, since I’ve written the stuff anyway, I may as well get as many pennies for it as I can, they all add up eventually and/or give me another link to ingratiate me with those nice people at Google.

So, recently, I’ve found this site called Quassia which does pretty much this but it also follows the trend of article sites – you publish lots of articles with links to more information on your own site and it counts as an incoming link andGoogle loves you and yada, yada, yada.

Well, because it’s new, Quassia pays you more points than many other sites. Interestingly, it’s entirely geared to website promotion so you sign up add a website you want people to visit and then go about the process of earning points. The more points you earn the more your site is promoted – a bit like paid listings on Google, only sliding scale, the more you “earn” the higher your link is placed. You can also affiliate an adsense account with your area on the site – which seemed quite a good idea to me.

So… You get credits (they call them Quasia dollars but since they’re points and are not a financial thing, I prefer to call them credits) if…

  • you tell someone else about it and they join.
  • you write an article, yourself, points vary depending on whether the work is original to you, published for the first time on Quasia or elsewhere and how well it gets rated by other users.
  • you look at new articles or “screeng intels” as they, rather pretentiously, call it, written by others and rating them on a quality level A – Outstanding, B – Good job, C – Decent enough, D – Below average, E – Awful or even F – Fail [Reject] although you can fail articles which are not in English, incomprehensible, about Quassia itself or pornographic.
  • further units if your rating is the same as the majority
  • further units if you are the first person to read and rate an article.
  • Any article you submit has to be rated by 10 other people before it goes live.

When you’re rating other people’s work, you get extra credits for being the first to read it and if your rating agrees with the majority you also get bonus credits. I’ve managed double credits for most of the articles I’ve “screened” ie read and rated.

What’s on there? So far I’ve read some interesting recipes, some pretty good SEO and web editing hints and some absolutely AWFUL lyrics and poetry! I got 100 credits for submitting a bread recipe… which was nice, especially when I guess the nearest comparable site would be, DooYoo which gives you a mere 50 points for submitting an article – 50 points which have usually expired before I have earned the minimum redeemable points allowance.
In summary, it seemed like a good place to put soundbites, like yesterday’s thing about cats and static, it seemed like a good place for me to dump writing and earn something useful – optimisation (however little of it) for my business website in the form of links – I doubt I’ll do it enough to get actual promotional value – but if, like me, you have more than one blog or website to promote, it has a handy extra of allowing you to add as many sites as you like, so long as they belong to you.

I’ve no idea if it will work but it will be another useful thing to keep me writing a times like now, when inspiration is thin on the ground and it seems I can earn about 100 credits with absolutely no hassle from rating new articles as they appear. I just stuck the site up in a background window, go there sporadically, refresh the page and then read and rate the two or three new intels which have appeared.

I’ll let you know more when I’ve managed to link it up to my adsense account – which I stupidly linked with this site before I realised adsense on WordPress is verboten.

Still, I know some of you are quite active promoting your blogs (or at least, it looks like it to me although that might just be because I’m comparing your efforts with mine and I do, frankly, bugger all to promote this blog) so I thought the odd one of my readers might be interested. If you are and you want to join then if you go in via my page here I get some credits which would be very nice.

Oh yeh and a word of warning… they don’t respond to my kind of humour very well!  I don’t think I’ll be earning huge amounts of points for any of my material.  After explaining that kneading bread with nail varnish or false nails was a no-no I got, and I quote “Very interesting but lost my attention with the false nails part…yuck!