Archive for the ‘cats’ Category

It’s Worse than We Thought. They Have Lolcats!

January 27, 2015

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Votes For Cats

May 6, 2010

Ginger Cat

I confess that I am afraid.  The Tories, I feel, have nothing to say to me or my kind.  But neither, frankly, do any of the other main stream parties.  At the moment it looks as though there will be a hung parliament.  This situation is not unprecedented.  But last time it was disastrous.  We are facing chaos, according to some commentators.  We are facing electoral reform, according to others.  And according to others, whichever party triumphs, we are heading for financial meltdown. We are doomed, I tell you, doomed.

I remember 1997.  I remember staying up all night with my friend Paul, champagne glasses in hand, waiting for the dawn to break, waiting for the inevitable.  ‘Things can only get better’ Can they?  Can they really?  Well, yes, they really did get better for a while.  This was the honeymoon period.  Every newly elected government has one.  Alas, it does not last for long.

I know that many in the ‘mentalist’ community are afraid of welfare reforms, especially so because it looks like the Tories are going to run the show.  Let me launch into a pertinent anecdote.  When I was at university I had a breakdown that led to my being hospitalised for six months.  When I was released into the care of my parents I was determined to get a job, to pay my way.  So I went to what was then called the DSS and applied for benefits – for the short term until I found gainful employment.  So far, so good.

A few weeks later I received a letter stating that I was not only entitled to income support but a whole collection of other benefits too.  ‘Because,’ according to the letter ‘I was disabled’  It was true in a sense -officially, at least.  I have a long and enduring mental illness.  But I still have difficulties with this, like I’m straying onto someone else’s territory.  Now there is something wrong with this scenario: I never applied for disability benefits.  I can’t get over the feeling that I was being shunted off the job figures in order to enhance employment statistics.  I did actually find a job as a library assistant (best job I have ever had.)

So when did all this occur?  In nineteen ninety four.  Now, who was in power at that time?

It is important to remember also that the Tories were the ones who introduced Disability Living Allowance, a benefit designed to enable people with long-term mental and physical illness live in ‘the  community’, to re-engage with society. I’m sure that some were well-intentioned but I’m also sure that others were partly motivated by the knowledge that care in the community costs a fraction of hospitalisation .  Cynical?  Moi?

If You Are a Mouse…

May 1, 2010

be afraid…

Close Up of Ginger the CatClose Up of Ginger the Cat II


July 21, 2009

Picture 2

An Unprovoked Offensive

January 13, 2009



John Donne said that ‘No man is an island, entire of itself’  I’m assuming that he was also referring to women.  I may not be an island but I often feel as though I am inhabiting a sparsely populated one – a land whose only inhabitants are a war veteran, a ginger tom and a mad girl.  That’s Nobby, Ginger and me.  And the waters all around are shark infested and I have nothing invested in the world beyond these shores.  Sometimes I yearn to venture beyond this private universe but I fear that I will be swallowed by the overwhelming, ravenous ocean that is the world around us.  A world that refuses to accommodate difference, that glorifies homogeneity.

We sustain one another – Nobby, Ginger and I.  Disregarded and discarded.  None of us could survive without the others.  It is perhaps understandable that the world does not value me.  After all, what have I contributed?  Why though is society devoid of respect for someone like Nobby?  He is nearly ninety two, a man who has led a full and blameless and productive life.  He was one of the many who helped save our asses during World War Two.  Why should the world reject him?

Maybe I am only here to perpetuate his memories.  Maybe that is all I am and all I will ever be.  He is my dearest and truest friend.  My most faithful companion.  And Ginger the Cat completes the trio.  I have this crazy idea that Bella, the cat I lost just before Christmas ’07, and Freddi, the West Highland Terrier Nobby lost in January ’08, met after death and sent Ginger to act as a kind of guardian over us.  A feline angel.

Nobby wants to tell his stories while he still can.  This is his final goal.  My role is that of a mere scribe.  It has become my raison d’etre.  Only someone with a heart of granite would have a problem with that.

But there are outsiders amassing, dark clouds gathering. poised to tear apart this little island we have created for ourselves.  An unprovoked offensive.

‘Sink Estate’ Or ‘Life in the Ghetto of the Damned’

December 8, 2008




 Midnight. A knock at the door.
Open it? Better had.
Three heavy cats, mean and bad.

They offer protection. I ask, ‘What for?’
The Boss-cat snarls, ‘You know the score.
Listen man and listen good

If you wanna stay in the neighbourhood,
Pay your dues or the toms will call
And wail each night on the backyard wall.

Mangle the flowers, and as for the lawn
a smelly minefield awaits you at dawn.’
These guys meant business without a doubt

Three cans of tuna, I handed them out.
They then disappeared like bats into hell
Those bad, bad cats from the CPL.

Roger McGough


I’d like to tell you about the horrors we witness on a daily basis on our particular ’sink’ estate. 

There is a ninety two year old world war two veteran who still has his service revolver.  (although it has no bullets so that means I can’t borrow it to shoot myself). He also claims that he is still capable of killing someone with his bare hands (although I don’t actually believe this) as a result of his commando training.  There was an old lady who died last year, aged 102.  When she reached 100 and received a telegram from the queen she said that our reigning monarch could shove it up her posterior.  (although she didn’t actually use that word).  There is another old lady who used to sleep with American GIs during the war in exchange for silk stockings.

We are also terrorised by a gang of mad cats. I think they’re called the Cats’ Protection League.  They are never seen together but the intimidation they inflict upon us must be co-ordinated.  They are feral felines, not unlike the Kray twins. They are specie-ist and intimidate the local Canine population. They say that ‘Everything has gone to the dogs’.  Well, not in our area.  Here, everything’s gone to the cats! They miaow loudly outside your door and when you are forced to let them in they eat your food and scratch your furniture.  I also hear they are addicted to cat-nip although it’s hard to distinguish the users from the dealers.   There aren’t enough rehab facilities for them. They fight amongst each other.  The courts give them special animal ASBOs but they simply ignore them. There aren’t enough interpreters who speak ‘Miaow’.  One came into my flat and stayed with me for ten years before finally succumbing to mortality.    

And, in addition to all this degradation and desperation, my house has been inhabited by a bunch of insane teddy bears who party incessantly and keep us awake.  They plan to go to war with the Feral Felines.  We really do inhabit the Ghetto of the Damned.

Now, I’m so depressed after having written all that – all the sordid details, the sheer wretchedness of our lives – I’m going to throw myself off the roof.

Grace the Cat

July 2, 2008

My friend Andrew who works at The Blue Cross alerted me to this story.  He said ‘people suck’ and he’s right.  That is why I sometimes get more distressed by harm inflicted on animals than I do when I hear about harm inflicted on people.  I knew someone in hospital who was a vet who treated abused horses.  She felt exactly the same way because eventually people are able to express and deal with the emotional consequences of abuse in therapy.  Animals can’t do that.

A couple of years before Bella the Cat’s death Nobby and I found a kitten, terrified and shivering outside his flat.  I picked him up and held him while Nobby called Andrew.  He was taken to the Blue Cross.  Later the vet who examined him said his injuries were consistent with a fall.  They suspected, but could not prove, that he had been thrown from one of the flats. Andrew asked me if Bella ‘would like a little brother’.  But Bella was a bully cat and did not get along terribly well with other members of her species* so I had to refuse. They found him a home eventually.

Some chick called ‘dog ree’ (or maybe it was ‘dog breath’.  I can’t be bothered to go back and check.) called me ‘catty’ on a rather unpleasant blog.  Given that one of the definitions of ‘catty’ is ‘Catlike’ ‘Stealthy’ I’ll take that as a compliment. Oh, and the person who called me that is a mangey old dog.**
(Ouch, think I touched a nerve there.)
Lost a bunch of weight recently.  Still more rotund than I would like to be though.
*we had so much in common.
**I offer the most profound apologies to dogs.
Currently listening to

The machine guns are roaring
The puppets heave rocks
The fiends nail time bombs
To the hands of the clocks
Call me any name you like
I will never deny it
Farewell Angelina
The sky is erupting
I must go where it’s quiet.

Farewell Angelina, Joan Baez

And this is how it begins.  They push you away and then they build walls around themselves. Anything to stop the deluge, the rising tide, the rot.  I am so afraid.

Bella’s ghost has departed.

Lost Cats and Schizoaffectve Disorder

June 6, 2008

My friend Andrew’s cat died this afternoon.  He was distraught.  He rang me to say he couldn’t meet up with me tonight.  He is too upset.  He took the Tom in for a routine check up and emerged with his lifeless body.  Andrew works in a cat sanctuary and has seen many cats get sick and die but that doesn’t diminish the pain he feels now.

I was ill last week but managed to avoid the nuthouse.  Sometimes I think I’d rather commit suicide than go back there.  I was told that I was ‘neglecting myself’ so I spent all week worrying that they would force me to go in.  They didn’t, of course.  That’s why I’m sitting here writing. (duh!)  One doctor said I put together a compelling, articulate argument against being hospitalised.  I can’t even remember what I said.  I am in a state of sheer terror at the thought of returning to hospital.  My main problem is that I have co-morbid illnesses that are rarely seen in one person: schizoaffective disorder and bulimia (I started out as a purging anorectic – now why did I feel the need to tell you that?)

When I am treated for my illness at an eating disorders facility, they do nothing to alleviate symptoms of schizoaffective disorder – heightened mood, delusions etc.  And when I am on an acute ward the psychosis is dealt with but not the bulimia.  So, as you can imagine, I’m kind of difficult to treat.  Now, I’m scared that if I alienate them they will abandon me.  I’ve seen it happen.  So, I am feeling isolated and afraid.  I woke up this morning to find I had been crying in my sleep.  I can do nothing but sit back and wait for it to pass.  But its taking its own sweet time about it.
I wonder if cats have their very own Feline Grim Reaper.

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