Monday, 11 July 2011


Actually there's no connection between the two. The opportunity to use a cracking good title was just too irresistible!

First, BORIS. Isn't he a beauty? 'Enthrallingly magnificent' is maybe nearer the mark. (Photos taken last week during my NON-holiday trip away.)                                          

                                        He's owned by one of my nephews who bought him for £800 (about $1,300 American) a few years ago. Totally hairless (and whisker-less) this sphinx cat is a real sweetie. Very affectionate, it's such a shame that he's left by himself in a large house for the greater part of every day, as his owner, who lives alone, is out at work. And even when my nephew's not working he's out gallivanting around the world several times a year. He's been to Las Vegas half-a-dozen times already and is returning there in November. Can't begin to think of why that place has such an attraction for him! ;-)
    Anyway, when he is away, my own elder brother (my nephew's father) and his wife have to make a 10 mile round trip every day to the house in order to feed him. He won't settle in another place and is not allowed outside as those other cats who are not terrified of him and scamper away, square up for a fight. (The same old story, which is equally true for humans as well as for animals -  If anybody is 'different' then s/he is perceived as a threat.)

Boris loves being stroked, starting to purr immediately. But his skin actually feels very like rubber - and you can easily feel the bumps along his spine. My sister, who is also a cat-lover (though not as avid as I am) cannot bear to even think of touching him. But I just love the feel of him. On my visit he couldn't stop sniffing the lower end of my jeans. I suppose he can only have been picking up the scents of my own two pussies when they rub against me in anticipation of getting their food. It was a shame to leave him sitting on the window-ledge watching my departure. My brief visit was surely a rare moment of excitement for him.

Then the seagull:-
I wrote in a recent blog of how, back in my own flat, a gull has been getting through the window by the same route that the cats come and go - eating the cat food and then, finding it can't get out again, flapping around in the kitchen, flying against the window and pooping all over in its panic. Well, for a full week before I went away I thought the problem had been solved. It couldn't traverse the obstacles I put in the window gap which the cats could (just) squeeze through - at least until the day before I left when it got in yet again.
   Now that I'm back I'm keeping the window closed all the time, watching for when the cats want to go out and come in - and when I'm out myself at the cinema or wherever, I have to lock the cats outside until I return.
    So that's the present temporary situation. What I might do is to buy a cat-flap to fix in its frame against one side of the window opening and block the rest of the gap with cardboard or a piece of wood. Only problem is that it's got to be easily removable so I can take it away when the window needs to be closed. I'm only hoping that if I do this the pesky gull doesn't learn how to use the flap, but I don't really think it will.

  Well, that's how things stand as at now.  Some more pics of my non-holiday to follow in my next blog.


  1. Nice to see you back Ray. Boris is indeed a cutie, although I appreciate that he may be an acquired taste! And what a good name :)
    Regarding your "pet" seagull... this may be of interest to you..

  2. Thanks Craig.
    That 'youtube' film is very funny. Shows that these birds are more intelligent than I thought. There's a method in its pursuit of food, moving it out of the way of the threat.
    And the attitude of the cat is exactly how mine react - or, rather, don't react. They seem more tranfixed by observing the bird's behaviour than having any notion to stop it. But then that must be because the gull's too big to challenge.

  3. How about this for a seagull solution: Put a large picture of a predator near the window to scare it away for good.

  4. Cubby, what kind of predator? If it's not afraid of cats I doubt if a picture, even of a tiger, would cause it alarm. But then I'm sure your remark was made in jest. (Wasn't it?)
    Actually the solution so far has been to just keep the window closed, letting the cats in and out when they want. But it's still a bit of a nuisance having to keep going and checking that they're not waiting to come in. But the cat-flap idea I think is the best one.
    Btw I think the bird is getting the message. In the 5 days I've been back I've not once seen it perched on the window sill, though I can see it sitting further off - that's if it's the same one!

  5. Micky, I suppose there is a bit of resemblance. But I reckon he's 'Son of E.T.'

  6. The seagull stories are hilarious (I suppose since it's not MY house). I, too, love cats but like your sister-in-law I think I would have a hard time petting this one -- although she does make me want to love her. And I don't understand why it was a non-holiday. If you were simply to call it a holiday, wouldn't it make it so?

  7. From outside, the seagull experience may have seemed funny, Mitch, but it was far from that being involved. In fact it was an ongoing headache. However, I can report that since my return 10 days ago, not once has it perched on my window sill, though I can see it still haunting other roofs (that's IF it's the same and only one.) So as long as it keeps away it is just possible that it's got the message that he is persona non grata here and my life can return to a semblance of normality.

    With Boris I have to admit that the first time I saw and felt him I had an initial visceral feeling of revulsion, but on doing what I always automatically do all other animals, I mentally put myself in his place and think "How would he like to be treated?" and then there was no problem at all. He radiates affection and trust, and the least I can do is to return the same.

    As for my 'NON-holiday'. I don't want to overplay it, but the honest truth is that staying at a relative's house, even as close as my sister, though with all its unspoken rules of conduct, is done more out of familial duty than out of wish to be there in person. Of course I love her and we'd keep in contact in any case, but my idea of a holiday is going somewhere you really want to be, (preferably somewhere you're not known!), to let your hair down and explore the place, with the hope of encountering serendipitous excitements, none of which I can do with close relatives around me for 90% of the time. As I hinted, the last time I was able to do that was in Jan 1991 (in Amsterdam).

    But got to let you let back to back to your own Spanish excitements - and I'm very flattered that you found the time amid all the rest of your busy life, to visit my blog. Thanks for that.

  8. Ray gulls are known for being persistent; don't let it win. Boris is adorable. I bet he loves being touched because many people can't get over his very different look. Their loss.