Wednesday 25 December 2013

A Christmas Special - The entire gang of toms is all here!

Here's something unique from me on this special day - a comprehensive listing of my current co-habitees and regular visitors.

First in order of seniority, my beloved Blackso. He decided to live with me soon after I moved into my current flat in 2000 - and he was more than a kitten then, so he must now be at least 14 years old, more probably 15 or even older. He was originally living in a house down the road, being one of half a dozen cats resident there. All attempts to get him to stay at his home failed, he insisting on living with me for some reason. His former owners have long since moved on, taking their remaining brood with them.
He's very affectionate, purring as soon as I pick him up. He always rubs his face against my nose, and he'll never miss a chance to jump into my lap. Always been healthy too, but scares me to death with his insistence of crossing the road to prowl around in the park on the other side, or to sit on the park wall where his friendly and trusting nature to everybody passing is terrifying, making him an easy prey to anyone who feels hostile to cats. But I do love him dearly, bless him!


My co-resident #2 is Noodles. Also left his home on this same road (but in the other direction to Blackso) to live with me, I think he ran away from there because the owners had two young daughters, maybe 6-8 years old at that time, who possibly just wouldn't leave him alone. (I was the same at that age, treating our then pets as toys, not allowing them time to rest.) As with Blackso all attempts to get him to return failed until his former owners just gave up. Noodles is much more stand-offish than Blackso, never demonstrative with any affection.. I'm not allowed to pick him up and he never jumps onto or stays in my lap, but in his current night sleep phase he's now sleeping in my bed beside my pillow, even purring as he settles down. I reckon he must be about 10 years old - and he's another healthy one.


Mystery cat 'Ginger' appeared as little more than a kitten about 5 or 6 years ago. I've no idea where he came from but he does now turn up here every day to eat and sleep. In the last few months he's put on a great deal of weight rapidly, more than his eating here would warrant, I think. He's now even bigger than Blackso. So whether he's eating elsewhere as well I don't know. Problem is that he's not been doctored - and his loud calling outside sounds like he's looking for a mate. Don't know what to do about him, giving me more worry than any of the others.


Patchy is the 'community cat' (probably aged around 12) who visits every day but, according to his owners (ardent cat-lovers who live just round the corner with their own family of them) is comfortable in any place where he can get food and warmth. If so, then this is definitely his favourite place of all. When he visits he takes over the entire place, even sitting at my open window to vet who comes in and out, refusing entry to 'strangers' with a snarl and a hiss - just like a personal club doorman! He's not afraid of anyone else - apart, that is, from one little intruder, an all-black visitor called 'Sooty', who terrorises all and sundry and is the only one who makes Patchy cower away. Thankfully, like Blackso and Noodles, Patchy has also been neutered.


And finally, Heckie (or Hector), next door's cat, now just over one year old. All play, inquisitive and bold as brass, he spends more time with me than he does in his own home, where he regularly finds himself locked out. So rather than wait on their window sill crying, as he used to do, he now comes to where he's learnt there's always an open window - and he scoffs food from everywhere and anyone else even while they're still eating. No manners at all! But he too hasn't been neutered even though I've mentioned it to his owner who says he will get it done. I hope so, otherwise more trouble ahead.


So those are the five who use my place as a main or second home. There are also several more pop-in visitors ever looking for scraps of leftover food that they can mop up, but never staying longer than it takes to do only that. 

Until quite recently when I was ready to turn in for the night I'd go to my bedroom and find a cat or two curled up or spread out on my bed. In this case it was Noodles and Patchy and I found myself having to snake my body between them, trying to find a position that was reasonably comfortable enough in which to sleep, but sometimes getting warning growls from Patchy, threatening to lash out with his claws if I disturb him too much. 

Pussies all over, and they've got me under their little paw-thumbs! Oh, it's a dog's life, it really is!

And the very 'bestest' of wishes to every single one of my blog readers from ALL the above - plus yours truly! (And that includes wishing you, Paul, if you're reading this. I've missed your valued comments on my recent posts. I do hope that you're okay.)


  1. Love the 'kids'!

    Happy Holidays!

    1. Thanks, Bob. I just KNEW that you'd appreciate them. Have a great and happily memorable time.

  2. such wonderful pussies! :)

    "it's a dog's life in the british army!"

    1. Well, A.M., I certainly know who pulls rank on me. I'm at their beck and call all the time - as well as having to spend a fortune just to keep them satisfied. And do I get any gratitude? No Sir!

  3. They are all beauties and such different personalities. We can push our cats out of the way to make room for ourselves in bed. No threat of attacks. But we still carefully snake around them. Heaven forbid THEIR sleep should be disturbed!

    1. They all have their little quirks, Mitch, which makes them such a fascinating lot. But one thing they do have in common is that their own comfort is paramount. Nothing gets in the way of that!

  4. A fine family, indeed! Happy Christmas to you all!

    1. Thanks, Walt. They really are the world to me - the only friends in physical terms that I have.
      And they thank you for your kind wishes and send you theirs (and mine) in equal measure, even if some of them do happen to include a dog or two.

  5. Season's Greeting's to you, Ray and "The Gang."

    Your "Christmas Special" was, indeed, special. It was a pleasure to meet and get to know each one individually.

    Sorry that I have been absent so long. I've spent a couple of frustrating weeks trying to resolve a computer issue. My computer suddenly did not allow me to make comments. As it turned out, it was a simple fix. All I had to do was change the internet browser and suddenly I was back in business again. Although, I couldn't post a comment, I was still able to keep up with your reviews.

    Now that things have shifted back to normal, let's hope that the end of 2013 culminates with a movie that is at least an '8.'

    1. Much relief at this end to hear from you, Paul - but I did remember that the last time this happened you were then also beset by computer problems, which, I'm delighted to hear, have now been solved - at least for the moment. (I'm just waiting for my own next inevitable crash!)
      I'd found that when my computer came back from its disastrous 'repair' in Sept last (which resulted in my losing all my saved documents and most of my stored pictures - still irrecoverable, though all the titles are still there but I can't get them to appear) I was having great trouble in just getting my computer to perform even the basic functions. Then, by chance my brother told me that he always used Firefox browser, which I also had done before it had been taken away. But when I looked I found that while it was gone it had switched to Internet Explorer. A simple button press was all it took and I was back in operation - though still without all those lost records. It sounds like your problem may have been similar to mine. But anyway, so pleased that you're back.

      Glad you like my current posse of pussies. All the photos are recent - and a new posting of them was long overdue. (I've got Blackso sleeping beside me right now as I type this.)

      I'm just about ready to post my Top 10 films of 2013. Was waiting to see if anything I see in remaining days could be included, but now I note that IF I go before the year-end it's probably only likely to be 'Anchorman 2', I somehow doubt if that is going to disturb my Top placings. (And if it gets an 8' that will be almost as surprising!) But I may still leave seeing it till Jan.

      So, looking forward to the resumption of your insightful comments - and I can't tell you how pleased to know that you've returned. 'Speak' to you again shortly.

  6. aw look at their little faces. Arent they lovely. we probably wont be getting a pet now as we probably wont be moving. We live on a fast road with and s bend in it. and I would be scared to death that they would get knocked down or taken by the foxes (they are HUGE here and I used to live in the country so there must be someone is feeding them)

    Adore the picture of the kitty stretched out.

    My friend has 2 cats that adopted her. one from a family with so many kids it was exhausted and hide in her house coming through the cat flap and the other one was dumped on her doorstep in a cat carrier with a note saying they knew she loved cats

    1. It's beyond me how anyone can fail to be captivated by cats, Sol. They are utterly fascinating. and though they can be a challenge, any effort to win their trust is rewarded manifold in terms of satisfaction.
      I am amazed at how long Blackso has survived so long, crossing the road out front every day, sometimes several times. The others mainly stay at the back where there are everybody's back gardens and no roads - so much safer. Whenever I see Blackso sitting out front on the park wall I go and carry him back in so that he has at least one less road crossing to undergo.
      We also have foxes living in the park here. If I get up in the middle of the night and look out I often see one or two rummaging in the dustbins on this side. I do feel sorry for them. Couple of years ago there was a huge one run over not far from me. I had to call the local council to have it removed but felt deeply for any cubs it will have left behind. But the foxes and cats, though they see each other, just look out of curiosity and then go their own way.
      Like for your friend, all the cats above have adopted me as their preferred owner or place to drop in. I would never choose to have one because they really do take over one's life entirely. It makes going away for a few days a major problem. But if one chose me to live with then I can't see me refusing it, even though officially I'm not supposed to have any pets at all.
      Glad to learn that you' re another one so fond of the little furry things. It seems that the majority of my blog readers and those whose blogs I follow are - so we're both in good company.

  7. The best Christmas story, ever. I adore cats but not allowed pets where I live. My last two died (long lived boys, though) as my previous life was ending. I believe they sensed the change and were very sad. Thanks for sharing the gang - in photos, too - they certainly made my holiday brighter.

    1. I'm delighted they gave you a 'lift', C.They mean the world to me. All their demands and mood-changes, the expense of cat food and keeping the flat warm for them when I'd rather save money by switching the heating off, all this is worth it just to keep them content.
      As I say to Sol, above, I'm not allowed to keep any pets of any description, but when Blackso and then Noodles moved in and adopted me as their owner, my landlord saw them and said he'd turn a blind eye - though he doesn't know about Ginger who also seems to have moved in now. The final two, at least, have their own main homes elsewhere. But I can tell from the landlord's reaction that he too is a cat lover. I only hope he doesn't decide to put his foot down and demand their removal as that would really devastate me. Frankly, I can hardly think of anything worse, other than their dying, which I'm bracing myself for - and it can't be that far away for Blackso at least.
      He's actually sleeping here beside me right now. (He's one hell of a snorer!) When he wakes up I'll tell him about you being an admirer.
      Glad to have brought in a little extra sunlight for you, C. Now that I know you're yet another cat lover I must not leave it so long before showing them off again.

  8. Ive been away from blogging. I hope you have a lovely holiday and i hope 2014 is your best year yet.

    1. Thanks Dr Spo. Your reduction in recent blogging activity was explained by yourself so it was no surprise - and therefore no problem. It's the unexpected absences from ANY regular blogger that worry me.
      Thanks for your wishes, It might be expecting much to want 2014 to be my best year ever, though that would indeed be nice. I'll gladly settle for it being my best in the last 25 years.

      Wishing no less for you, Someone and Harper herself - plus everyone else you feel deserves it.

  9. Ray,
    You KNOW I love this post! Wow! If it wasn't for Bill (who hates cats), I would have my own pussy menagerie here at Casa Tipton-Kelly. What a wonderful person you are to care for your feline friends this way. I love cats for so many reasons. They're clean, can take care of themselves, and all have different personalities. I used to get my "cat fix" with my Mom's cats, both adopted from their feral mom after they were born in my fathers's corn field. Rusty (a ginger cat) and Molly or "Miss Martha" (she had attitude for days), a calico. Ironically Miss Martha was the tough cat, Rusty; although very large was a fraidy cat. I'll have to do a profile on them for one of my future blog postings. Bless you Ray for taking care of them. And you are right, get them fixed. There are too many homeless cats now. Have a wonderful New Year Ray.

    1. Strange that only last night I was wondering if, knowing how equally fond you are of cats, you had seen this post. I was wondering if I ought to e-mail you to make sure you had a look, but then thought I shouldn't push myself forward. But so glad you've found it by yourself.
      Your own affections in this direction are well noted, Ron - and I must say that if I met someone who didn't feel something of the same, then I'd think seriously about taking the relationship any further. But to display an active antipathy as your hubby does, would rule out any possibility with him whatsoever. But that's easy for me to say from this perspective.
      Yes, cats' personalities are all so varied. A prediction of how one will react in any given situation only holds true for that particular one.
      It's not especially praiseworthy for me to care for them. I love doing it. If I didn't, only then could I be thanked for putting myself out. They give so much back in return for the 'favours' bestowed on them, even though they aren't aware of it.
      I look forward to your own blog on felines - though I do notice how many times cats feature in the 'historical' pics which you do post. It seems that over your life you've also done more than your fair share of kindnesses to them.
      And a very happy, enriching, fun-filled and healthier 2014 to you, Ron - oh, all right, and to Bill as well. (Only kidding) Of course I wish both of you all and only the very best.