Monday, December 28, 2009

Some things get broken.

It was not my fault! If She had not put venison steaks on the top shelf to defrost then I wouldn't have climbed up to get them. And if She hadn't put all those mugs there then I wouldn't have knocked them off. And if She didn't insist in having a floor made of stone then they wouldn't have smashed. And anyway, they are in more pieces now so that's is better. Isn't it?

It wasn't us anyway, it was Kiffer.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas in the Land of Ginger.

For Christmas we played parlour games. We played:
1. Pin the tail on the mouse.
2. Pull the tail off the mouse.
3. Wake Her up at 5 in the morning.
4. Sneaking goose ( which involves a great deal of distracting humans and a swift claw swipe into a plate.
5. Who can melt the most elegantly on the sofa (Max won)
6. How many cats can you pile on a two legs.
7. How many cats can you pile on a two legs before they notice ( a very distinct game from no. 6 and usually more successful when the two legs is sleeping) ( max no. is five so far.)
8. Bat the dog ( Elmo's favorite).
9.Who can wee outside the door and not get caught.
10. Unwrapping someone else's present.

Then She made us all work as it seems She is trying to brush up Her drawing skills. About time too.
All in all it was a happy, peaceful Christmas in the Land of Ginger.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

And while Kiffer was walking

Max was sleeping on the clean laundry.

Bright spark in a rain darkened landscape.

Cold, with dark and lowering skies, but on the high hill top the grass grows golden. Today my fur looks like frosted ginger. I am the Kiffer Cat, who walks with his head on one side, and by my whiskers and paws I knew that today was a day to walk the hill. So I waited, outside the old man's house, until they came by.

As we walked to the top of the hill I stuck close, so close, with the odd bound ahead to chase the dogs. I could hear the pee-wit call of the white breasted crowned birds across fields. The sky was dark and threatened rain, and sure enough by the time we had crowned the hill cold rain began to fall, cold but light.

Over the hills and far away, across the brittle bones of heather flowers, to a place strewn with feathers from a falcon's kill and we sat and looked and listened. Just before the rain came there was a slight wind as water disturbed air with its falling.

Home across the heather again with sharp gorse spikes and the distant island stretched out in the sea.

As we walked down the hill a great brown buzzard rose with wide wings and lifted into a sky that was so dark now in the early morning light, so dark and so heavy with the weight of water. Look close, for I am the bright cat spark in the centre of the dark land beneath the clouds.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A get well card for Maurice

The longest night seemed almost to be the darkest, as if the night itself was the blackest cat wrapped around the world. But it was a cold cat. Under paw the grass was brittle with cold, water thickened. Where it was shallow, water turned to glass. The air tasted of ice. In the stillness all sounds were crisp. Across the fields Fred called an then sang a howling song into the long night.
Maurice walked into the night with Her, jumped into Her arms and curled close, to keep the night cat darkness away, to share some warmth from fur and breath, to feel the closeness, love. He was cheered by a beautiful picture, sent by Elora. His trip to the vets and x-rays had shown that it was quite possible that he didn't have cancer, that at some time in his life he had suffered a 'trauma' that had left him with broken ribs, now mended, and a partly collapsed lung, that there was something, a splinter, a shard, an unexplained object in his lung.
She wondered whether he had one of the shards from the Snow Queen's mirror inside him. They were supposed to enter the heart to make people cold. But Maurice is anything but cold, the warmest, most loving and loyal cat.
So now we all have to wait and watch and see what happens, and he could have more tests, and he will have more injections, but time will tell. So meanwhile we make the most of every minute in ginger splendour.
And Maurice says thank you Elora and if you lived closer he would get you a rat of your own. And he says, would you like it with or without the head?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

This is how it is

Maurice: Outside her door this morning, a present.
Hannah understood.
" Just think of it like an advent calendar, mum," she said. "One morning, just a wee, the next, a wee and a headless rat." Clever girl, Hannah.
She did not seem so impressed at 6.30 in the morning. No sense of humour!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cold, and a distant view of snow

For too long She has walked the dogs at the beach. Today, despite the cold, it was our turn to walk. Yesterday a few flakes danced down in circles from high. Today, from the hill top, a distant view of snow.

Maurice walked too, all cats keeping close, Kiffer bounding ahead like a dog then keeping close to heel, so close it was as if he were stuck to Her foot. And Maurice and Kiffer found the perfect outside scratching post for cats.
We did not tarry long at the high hill top as the wind had claws. Long enough to see the pale view of hills adorned with snow and to wish it closer, closer, closer ( for we have wishes in plenty left over from star showers).

Back home we all curl around ourselves close to the bright fire. She says She loves the scent of woodsmoke in her hair, on her hands.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The North Wind Doth Blow.

Tonight the north wind is a cat claw wind scratching cold into the soul but even so Maurice insists on walking with Her through the dark.
Cold stars shine down in a deep darkness as the sliver of new moon, silver in the blue of early night has already run off to chase the sun.
The dogs bark, noisy, at a person out too late and across the fields Fred joins them. Others follow in an angry chorus. But Maurice walks quietly and surely on.
The night belongs to him.
Inside we all curl by the amber bright burning warm and we wonder, will we have snow?

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Inside the flames dance in the fire. Outside stars shine. Inside lights twinkle in a green tree. Windows rattle as around the house a wolf wind howls and bites cold and sharp. Inside we curl, in corners, on cushions, in boxes. The earth begins to crisp and harden under paws. We listen to the wildness and hope for snow.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The wishing song of falling stars.

Even though the sky is a sea of clouds with islands of stars clear between, even though the beam from Strumble Head lighthouse sweeps a warning for miles across the sky, still it is possible to see the stars falling. And all day, although sunlight obscured the view, still the shower fell, a rain of stars and we slept, curled in warm places, dreaming to the song of the fallen ones.

A recipe for cats

Rich and dark, chocolate, chili and cinnamon pudding. Just the right page for a cat like Max to settle down and dream on.

Beautiful, just.

Inside: Warm fire burning, small lights like stars in a green tree, cat curl heaven and a fur pile purr.
Outside: The cold taste of winter, distant dog bark, chill breeze from the south and a rain of falling stars.

All evening and into the night we lay across sofas, curled in laps. Hands stroked us as we dreamed. The fire so warm and all so glad that all of the chaos and upheaval of the long year had gone and peace had returned to this quiet household of cats, dogs and the two legs.
Then we peeled ourselves away and out and last night so many stars fell, some brief in their final light show, some arcing bright across the darkest sky to light a trail. It seemed as if they fell to a secret music that only we could hear. So many that if you wished on every one you would have run out of wishes and still had stars to spare.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


She: Is it possible do you think to love a cat too much?
At the vets yesterday I was saying that Maurice was one of those 'once in a lifetime animals". All are special but some just make that connection between their world and ours, so strong.
"How is Pixie?" the vet's nurse asked.
" Ah yes, well, she is another one of those once in a lifetime ones".
I am blessed by living with such lovely animals.
But I do wish whoever it is who is weeing outside my door every night would stop it!
Pixie: Wasn't me!
Maurice: Wasn't me!
Elmo: Wasn't me!
Kiffer: What?
Martha: Well really!
Max: Wasn't me. Was Hannah!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Night rain of stars.

Dark night, late moon rise. In the garden we watch as stars rain down in a shower. Some fall quickly, some trail across the darkness, burning bright. The air tastes of winter, cold against whiskers. Ears pricked, we hear the unquiet dreams of sleeping mice. If we could we would sing them lullabies.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

In the air, the scent of frost and woodsmoke.

It is night. The ground is soft beneath foot and paw but the air holds in it the scent of frost. Cold. Each hollow, each dip, each valley, is filled with islands of mist silvered by moonlight, glowing with lamp light and house light. The sound of the sea is so close. As we walk together around the night village, brightened by moonlight Rosie jumps to a wall top and lifts her head to hear. Across the fields Fred, her brother, barks a night time greeting. Three fields away it is as if he stood next to her, but it is only her moon shadow that looks back.
Back in the house it is warm by the fire. All curl in cozy comfort and the air holds a sense of peace. Whatever swirls around, whatever troubles beset, within is a cat curl haven of warm and serenity. There are no builders here to disturb our comfort, but thanks to them we have a roof and walls and doors and thanks to them we are warm again. Today She released them, the builders, back into the wilds. They have made our home beautiful. With them they carry all our thanks.

By the fire.

She came home tired from a day of hanging paintings and beginning to make an exhibition of Herself. She sat by the fire. Well, what else can a cat do, but get between Her and the flames?

nb: An aside from Elmo: That skirt REALLY doesn't go with the sofa. Or the cushions. And She has gone a little strange in the head and keeps writing biographies about Herself.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Elmo and the interior design nightmare!

Elmo: I can't bear it! Spots with stripes! Whatever was She thinking?! Cover your eyes everyone.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Song of the copper bear

Tonight the wind cat plays with the copper bear that flies above the house. The dogs go to the door. It is dark, time to walk the village bounds before sleep. She rises to go and as She opens the door some of the night rushes into the house. Moonshadow fingers of winterbone trees dapple the ground with dark and silver. I slip through the door, out from the light and into the night, to follow.
She turns. " Go back. It's cold. Stay warm in the house," She says.
But I jump up, into Her arms, a ginger scarf and gloves of bright fur to warm Her as they walk. She pushes Her face into flame fur and we warm each other as She carries me around beneath star and sky and bright moon. As we near the house again its lights shine out a welcome. She breathes in the scent of cat and sighs, holding me close.
" I love you, Maurice."
We close the door on the darkness.
Outside the wind cat still plays with the copper bear. In the wind, the copper bear sings.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Borrowed words.

Things that are wild.
The west wind. Waves at sea. Flames. Distant stars, so many. The bone white moon. Hawk flight. Firelight in a cat's eyes.

Things that are tame.
Being inside, listening to the wind outside. A still shore. Rainsong on a roof. The smell of baking bread. Firelight in a cat's eye.

The Glass Man

A few days ago She left the house early. We heard her talking. She said She was going to play with The Glass Man. Some time ago She read a book called The Girl with Glass Feet. Could this be a man completely made of glass, living a fragile existence by the edge of the land?
Whoever he is She came home tired but happy. It seems that soon we will have a big piece of glass on the wall by the cooker.
Now we are wondering whether She could make a panel with a bright burning tiger.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Busy days, winter soup.

She has been painting.

Martha has been studying art.

And we have all been helping with the washing up.

Yum, cream of carrot soup. Bright orange. Just right.

Just needs mouse croutons.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


In the warmth of the evening house the reader, who was also an artist, read about the writer, glass in hand, and wondered about how intertwined might be the lives of the writer in the novel and the writer of the novel. The cats were all suitably unimpressed by the convoluted sentence. Maurice draped a casual tail across Her shoulder and took a closer look.

He thought that the book was very heavy, had many words in, but on the whole it was not as comfortable as a cushion.

A Study in Red, Black and White; or, Cat Uses Dog as Cushion.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cat's tummy makes the world glow.

Outside, early morning curiosity. Morning light makes ginger glow. Warm house, cold outside and later rain, so we all stayed in to help.

John came and took away paintings for an exhibition at The Imagine Gallery which is in a place that is a long way away, called England. We helped him pack by holding things in place while he stuck bubbles with tape.

But Kiffer was lazy and melting from the warmth of the fire, stretched out long as long so no one else ( other than Martha) could sit there. One long cat!

Now it is raining outside. A small wind howls and yowls and tries to get its paws beneath the doors. And we are warm and dry and cosy. Winter.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One evening in Treleddyd Fawr: or the cushion cats

Outside rain drums on the roof. Patter patter pitter patter. Inside flames curl orange bright. We are cushion cats.