Lego Cat Lady

Lego Cat Lady

Lego creates the ultimate minifigure. Beyond the Star Wars Advent Calendar, beyond the irresistible £2 blind-box (bag?) collectibles, even beyond the ghastly horror that is Lego Friends… they have made the Cat Lady. Complete with long grey hair and fuzzy jumper. And cat, obviously.

I think she should come with more than one, mind you.

With thanks to @BorisKitty for the find!

My 2012 Review of the Year

So, Ecko we pretty much know about. What else has happened during 2012?

Rain. It started when we got back from EasterCon and it fucking rained until the end of July. Between all the water, and London being awash with the Jubilee and the Olympics, perhaps this was the right summer to be fingers welded to keyboard, frantically trying to edit one book and hand in a second on time. In amidst the frenzy, there was one wonderful weekend at MidFest – a weekend in the best company, where I found family I’d not seen in far too long, and remembered a part of myself I’ve never really left behind.

MidFest

Cats. In January, while during Jury Service, my poor bonkers Lilith finally went to sleep – and I missed her more than I thought possible. Fifteen years, one of my last links with my simpler life in Norwich, she left a cat-shaped vacuum that had me roaming the house, lost without her company. This vacuum led to new cat company in April – which has been something of an adventure. I still miss my Lilith, but can’t bear a house empty of creatures.

Lilith

Bikes. Facing a maniacal summer of book deadlines (and rain), finding the time to pedal was not an easy thing. Once Ecko was sorted, though, I got back in the saddle – only to have my bike written off by a tosser in a Range Rover, speeding through a red light at a major junction. He would have killed me had I been a few inches further forwards.

photo(15)

Which brings me to the big thing, the thing I don’t really have words for.

My Mum has had cancer this year – had it, beaten it, come out healthier than she went in (takes more than the Big C to defeat my Mum). For a moment, there though, that was a terrifying thing – losing one’s Mum doesn’t even bear thinking about. And it hasn’t only been Mum – I’ve had a slew of friends this year who’ve had a cancer scare of one form or other, one at least staring his own mortality in the face.

Books are cool. Rain and deadlines are all very well.

But 2012 has been about mortality. Facing a scrape with my own, seeing Mum in a hospital bed after having several yards of intestine removed, knowing close friends have hospital appointments that tread a tight line between life and death…

Lilith left a vacuum. I feel very, very lucky that my Mum didn’t leave one too.

Mum

 

 

A Tale of Two New Cats

Last Tuesday, I adopted two cats. I’ve been missing moggie company since Lilith died – and was over the moon at finding that these two needed a home.

Upon arrival, they shot behind the chair and sofa respectively, but, poor beasties, they had no idea where they were or what they were doing there, so I made sure they had food and water and litter, and I left them alone. I also made sure that the catflap was closed.

Thursday morning, I was half-woken by the catflap hitting its nail. A moment later, I was fully woken by the sound of the flap opening and closing properly. It took a moment to register – then I was outside in my dressing gown and fitflops in the darkness and the wind and the hammering rain, trying to find them.

It’s funny the thoughts that go through your mind at half-one in the morning in a howling bloody monsoon – how the hell do I tell Angie that I’ve lost her cats? What do I tell my son? My family? Why didn’t I shut the kitchen door? And under it all: Poor little cats. They have no idea where they are, they don’t know to come to me for shelter or help. They’re panicked and lost and alone… and yes, of course I was in tears.

But all the horrified regret in the world doesn’t fix something that’s broken – I could find no cats. And a worried lack of sleep then followed.

In the morning, I was overwhelmed with relief to discover one cat actually still in the house – Coco was safely ensconced under the folding chair. Pixie, however, was – and is – nowhere to be found.

So, for the last four days I have been on the phone – the local vets, the animal shelters and hospitals, the Cats’ Protection people. I have been out putting flyers through people’s doors – and learned a whole new respect for the local postie. I have been trying to attach posters to lampposts in the teeth of the worst fucking April rainstorms we’ve ever seen. I’ve gone out again to put the posters back up where weather and wankers have torn them down. I’ve filled in website forms, hung bags of peed-in cat litter on the back doorhandle, and patrolled at five in the morning and half-ten at night, ratting a packet of Dreamies. I’ve met more neighbours in the last few days than I’ve met in the last few years…

…but still no cat.

In a way, it’s actually worse than losing a cat of my own (if you see what I mean) not only because the poor cat doesn’t know where she is, but because Angie trusted me with her, and I’ve let her get away. I’ve done everything I can to find her (the people systematically removing my posters, whoever they are, are leaving me in a storm of utter foot-stamp frustration) and I’m running out of options.

But I can’t stop. If I sit still I feel like I’ve abandoned the poor little thing to her fate. I’ll keep patrolling and keep putting those posters up until the cat comes back (or I find the motherfucker who’s moving them).

For the moment, there’s no more to say. Pixie is pictured above, she went missing on 26th April from 17 Grove Avenue, Sutton, Surrey – she has no idea where she is and she’s probably terrified. I think about her, and it makes me understand why people need to pray.

The good news is that Coco is settling well, he’s come out from under his chair and is eating and purring and playing as a happy cat should.

I just wish he hadn’t lost his friend – I think he worries about her too.

Nine Lives

My little Lilith is a cat with nine lives.

From getting chased up trees by dogs, to losing all her teeth bar one, to getting covered in sump oil after sleeping under a car, she’s always been in adventures. In her early years in Norwich, she got lost in the bin store and locked in someone else’s flat; for the last three years in Sutton, she’s been living outside, frequently sleeping in the middle of the road, oblivious to drivers and potential misfortune. No force on earth could bring her indoors, or make her happy to stay that way.

She’s a little black cat who’s been very lucky indeed.

From cynical kittenhood (her white sister was the eternal kitten, a love cat and an empath, Lilith was always the grown-up) she’s grown into an elegant and Bast-like adulthood, somehow apart.

In the very last month, she’s become suddenly a lapcat, a purring bundle of affection – over Christmas, she’s been company when my Cub has been away. She’s been there for me, purring like a thunderstorm, sat warm and close.

Something in me always felt that I would come home one day and she would have died outside, under a car, or forgotten in the bushes – like some strange fey stray. But no, in the last few weeks she has come inside to tell us she loves us.

She and her sister were Ying and Yang cats, brought home as little ones and always friends and inseparable. I often wonder how Lilith felt when she lost Ayesha.

Now, I feel her Ninth Life is upon her – how she has escaped this time, I have absolutely no idea. She is a little fighter, and while she may have lost her sight, we will be there to love her and to help her acclimatise. I fear that we will only have her for a short while longer, but we will take care of her for her remaining time.

Until she goes to join her sister, curled up as Yin Yang cats once more.

YinYang Cats ‘Tao of Meow’ by Barbara McConkey at InForm Design.